REM and Darwin

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Daneel

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May 16, 2001, 9:06:44 AM5/16/01
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Watching the Köln concert, I just noticed this line in REM's
"Man on the Moon" lyrics:

"Charles Darwin had ther balls to ask"

Anyone knows what exactly was meant? (I mean, why Michael
Stipe put it into this song?)


see you

Daneel [a#323 | U. of Ediacara student #000666]

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StOo

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May 16, 2001, 10:40:13 AM5/16/01
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another crosspost.. *sigh*

i believe it is a reference to Charles Darwin presenting his theory of
evolution despite the massive (religious) resistance and attempts to
discredit him after it..

of course, it's probably not meant to be taken literally..

stoo..

"Daneel" <dan...@my-deja.com> wrote in message
news:3B027B58...@my-deja.com...

Tim Tyler

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May 16, 2001, 10:48:19 AM5/16/01
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In talk.origins Daneel <dan...@my-deja.com> wrote:

: Watching the Köln concert, I just noticed this line in REM's


: "Man on the Moon" lyrics:

: "Charles Darwin had ther balls to ask"

: Anyone knows what exactly was meant? (I mean, why Michael
: Stipe put it into this song?)

If you think asking what REM's lyrics mean is a useful activity
try listening to Murmur some more ;-)
--
__________
|im |yler http://rockz.co.uk/ http://alife.co.uk/ http://atoms.org.uk/

Ken Cox

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May 16, 2001, 10:58:13 AM5/16/01
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Daneel wrote:
> Watching the Köln concert, I just noticed this line in REM's
> "Man on the Moon" lyrics:
>
> "Charles Darwin had ther balls to ask"
>
> Anyone knows what exactly was meant? (I mean, why Michael
> Stipe put it into this song?)

It has the correct meter and rhymes with the next line?

(That seems to be the only guiding principle for most
popular song lyrics.)

--
Ken Cox k...@research.bell-labs.com

Sammy bm

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May 16, 2001, 11:42:23 AM5/16/01
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its a reference to darwin having the balls to question the existance of God
through his discovery of evolution as opposed to god creating everything in 7
days.
I suppose its another of mans wonderful discoveries and exploits, along with
"Newton got beaned by the apple good" when Newton discovered gravity, and the
eponymous putting a" man on the moon"

Andrew Glasgow

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May 16, 2001, 12:44:39 PM5/16/01
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In article <3B027B58...@my-deja.com>,
Daneel <dan...@my-deja.com> wrote:

> Watching the Köln concert, I just noticed this line in REM's
> "Man on the Moon" lyrics:
>
> "Charles Darwin had ther balls to ask"
>
> Anyone knows what exactly was meant? (I mean, why Michael
> Stipe put it into this song?)

Yes. Someone does know exactly what was meant: the writer.

--
| Andrew Glasgow <amg39(at)cornell.edu> |
| SCSI is *NOT* magic. There are *fundamental technical |
| reasons* why it is necessary to sacrifice a young goat |
| to your SCSI chain now and then. -- John Woods |

Floyd

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May 16, 2001, 1:07:34 PM5/16/01
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Daneel <dan...@my-deja.com> wrote in article
<3B027B58...@my-deja.com>...


> Watching the Köln concert, I just noticed this line in REM's
> "Man on the Moon" lyrics:
>
> "Charles Darwin had ther balls to ask"
>
> Anyone knows what exactly was meant? (I mean, why Michael
> Stipe put it into this song?)
>

It scans properly and rhymes with "Egypt was troubled by the horrible asp"
and it also makes a decent transition to the four questions in the chorous,
but that's probably coincidence. As Michael Stipe said, "The words to the
songs are meant to be heard, not read." I admit that I get a bit of a
chuckle out of the image of Darwin asking Andy Kaufman if he's goofing on
Elvis; serious anachronism. Still, REM lyrics are not meant to tell
logical, linear stories. This is pop, it's not opera! ;-)
-Floyd

zoren

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May 16, 2001, 2:17:58 PM5/16/01
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Daneel wrote:

>Watching the Köln concert, I just noticed this line in REM's
>"Man on the Moon" lyrics:
>
> "Charles Darwin had ther balls to ask"
>
>Anyone knows what exactly was meant? (I mean, why Michael
>Stipe put it into this song?)

Mr. Charles Darwin had *their* balls to ask? Now that puts a new spin on it!

Seriously, though, the line is almost certainly a reference to Darwin's
critique of the belief that all humans descend from Adam and Eve, hence, he
had the balls to question if this was actually the truth.

As to why Mr. Stipe would use that line in song is, as usual, anyone's
guess.

Zoren

Mr. PB

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May 16, 2001, 7:17:02 PM5/16/01
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<< Charles Darwin had ther balls to ask >>

I believe what you are asking is the reference to "balls", this is common
American phrase which means he had the "strength" to take a stand, on the issue
of evolution. It is a reference to the male gonads, implying that an
individuals who has the balls must have high level of testoterone and therefore
more maleness, refering to the stereotypical notion that males take more
chances than females.

seaotter

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May 16, 2001, 10:40:56 PM5/16/01
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This is pop, it's not opera! ;-)
> -Floyd

Are you fucking nuts? Pop? REM? Brittany Spheres is pop. REM is a window to
the eternal. Get your head out of your ass or at least your ears.

seaotter


wilkins

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May 16, 2001, 11:05:48 PM5/16/01
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seaotter <Seao...@mindspring.com> wrote:

A window to the eternally pompous? I do like Stipes' voice though, even
if the melodies get repetitious...

And who reads operatic libretta for deep meaning? Half of it translates
as scattered evocative but generally meaningless phrases (and the other
half is Wagner), so perhaps REM *is* opera.

OK, take your best shot :-)
--
John Wilkins, Head, Communication Services, The Walter and Eliza Hall
Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia
Homo homini aut deus aut lupus - Erasmus of Rotterdam
<http://www.users.bigpond.com/thewilkins/darwiniana.html>

Karl

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May 16, 2001, 11:45:23 PM5/16/01
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zoren <sfri...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:9dug8b$1vp$1...@news.inet.tele.dk...


Good point. It's a little ditty about folks who were unorthodox. "Moses
went walking with a staff of wood"....Moses was certainly unorthodox and
different. Putting a man on the moon was unorthodox. So was Darwin.
"Andy Kauffman in a wrestling match"--okay, so not quite up there with Moses
and Darwin, but still....it was unorthodox and differnent. Who knows, maybe
Mr. Stipes idolizes the man.

Now what blows this whole theory is the line "let's play twister, let's play
risk....yea yea yea yea".

I wasn't around when it was popular, but maybe Twister was really unorthodox
at the time? I could only imagine that contorting oneself into unthinkably
horrific positions whilst watching the Brady Bunch would be nothing short of
"different".

Jim Loats

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May 17, 2001, 12:02:39 AM5/17/01
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In article <1etjyou.om2zkn1t4ncg0N%wil...@wehi.edu.au>,
wil...@wehi.edu.au (wilkins) wrote:

> seaotter <Seao...@mindspring.com> wrote:
>
> > This is pop, it's not opera! ;-)
> > > -Floyd
> >
> > Are you fucking nuts? Pop? REM? Brittany Spheres is pop. REM is a
> > window to
> > the eternal. Get your head out of your ass or at least your ears.
> >
> > seaotter
>
> A window to the eternally pompous? I do like Stipes' voice though, even
> if the melodies get repetitious...
>
> And who reads operatic libretta for deep meaning? Half of it translates
> as scattered evocative but generally meaningless phrases (and the other
> half is Wagner), so perhaps REM *is* opera.
>
> OK, take your best shot :-)

You knew it was coming...

'Well, basically there are two sorts of opera,' said Nanny, who also had
the true witch's ability to be confidently expert on the basis of no
experience whatsoever. 'There's your heavy opera, where basically people
sing foreign and it goes like "Oh oh oh, I am dyin', oh, I am dyin', oh,
oh, oh, that's what I'm doin'", and there's your light opera, where they
sing in foreign and it basically goes "Beer! Beer! Beer! Beer! I like to
drink lots of beer!", although sometimes they drink champagne instead.
That's basically all of opera, reely.'

-- _Maskerade_, Terry Pratchett

Actually, the light opera sounds a lot like Fridays at the Thumb. Early
on Friday, of course, when folks are still coherent enough to sing.

Jim
--
.sig file available upon request

Eros

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May 17, 2001, 3:36:38 AM5/17/01
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"Daneel" <dan...@my-deja.com> wrote in message
news:3B027B58...@my-deja.com...
> Watching the Köln concert, I just noticed this line in REM's
> "Man on the Moon" lyrics:
>
> "Charles Darwin had ther balls to ask"
>
> Anyone knows what exactly was meant? (I mean, why Michael
> Stipe put it into this song?)

You have to listen to it played backwards to find out. :)
--
EROS.

"Will you speak falsely for God, and speak deceitfully for him?"
Job 13:7

"Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
Hebrews 11:1

"Believers are justified in all things."
Acts 13:39


John Wilkins

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May 17, 2001, 9:44:58 AM5/17/01
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Jim Loats <j_l...@yahoo.com> wrote:

Replace "witches" with "philosophers" and "Nanny" with "Wilkins" and
you've pretty well got it..


>
> Actually, the light opera sounds a lot like Fridays at the Thumb. Early
> on Friday, of course, when folks are still coherent enough to sing.
>
> Jim

Stick philosophers near alcohol and so long as they can breathe, they
can sing. Coherence is for wimps.

--
John Wilkins at home
<http://www.users.bigpond.com/thewilkins/darwiniana.html>

sheep defender

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May 17, 2001, 12:12:50 PM5/17/01
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In article <j_loats-177DA6...@news.netexpress.net>, Jim Loats
<j_l...@yahoo.com> wrote:

Yeah, that's all, if you leave out all the carefully constrained and
perfectly balanced ambiguity, AND the fine tuning (integer resolutionings)
targeted at our innate affinity for recognizing important patterns for
survival (even when there ain't any in the said 'data'!).

Defender

Ken Cox

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May 17, 2001, 12:19:25 PM5/17/01
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wilkins wrote:
> And who reads operatic libretta for deep meaning? Half of it translates
> as scattered evocative but generally meaningless phrases (and the other
> half is Wagner), so perhaps REM *is* opera.

Pratchett's take on the words, from _Maskerade_, is classic.

Agnes: "But what do the words mean?"

Pianist: "Let me see, I'm a little rusty, but it would be,

This door sticks,
This damn door sticks,
Why will it not open?
I am pushing, but it stays shut,
Perhaps I should be pulling?"

--
Ken Cox k...@research.bell-labs.com

Ken Cox

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May 17, 2001, 12:22:20 PM5/17/01
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Jim Loats wrote:
> 'There's your heavy opera, [...] it goes like "Oh oh oh, I am dyin'[...]",
> and there's your light opera, [...] and it basically goes "Beer! Beer!

> Beer! Beer! I like to drink lots of beer!"
> -- _Maskerade_, Terry Pratchett
>
> Actually, the light opera sounds a lot like Fridays at the Thumb. Early
> on Friday, of course, when folks are still coherent enough to sing.

Later on Friday, when the effects of mixing several quarts
of beer with the more dubious items on the snack menu kick
in, it's more like heavy opera.

--
Ken Cox k...@research.bell-labs.com

Floyd

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May 17, 2001, 2:10:35 PM5/17/01
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seaotter <Seao...@mindspring.com> wrote in article
<9dvdnh$gju$1...@nntp9.atl.mindspring.net>...


> This is pop, it's not opera! ;-)
> > -Floyd
>
> Are you fucking nuts?

Well, that's what the petition says, but I don't believe it.

> Pop? REM? Brittany Spheres is pop.

Aaaahhh, no, I see the problem. Brittany Spears is pAp, or perhaps a
puppet. The words sound similar, but the meaning is different. In order
to be popular music, you have to make some music, so Brittany can't be pop.

> REM is a window to
> the eternal. Get your head out of your ass or at least your ears.
>
> seaotter

Settle down, Bevis. It's only rock and roll.
-Floyd

Floyd

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May 17, 2001, 2:22:35 PM5/17/01
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wilkins <wil...@wehi.edu.au> wrote in article
<1etjyou.om2zkn1t4ncg0N%wil...@wehi.edu.au>...


> seaotter <Seao...@mindspring.com> wrote:
>
> > This is pop, it's not opera! ;-)
> > > -Floyd
> >
> > Are you fucking nuts? Pop? REM? Brittany Spheres is pop. REM is a
window to
> > the eternal. Get your head out of your ass or at least your ears.
> >
> > seaotter
>
> A window to the eternally pompous? I do like Stipes' voice though, even
> if the melodies get repetitious...
>
> And who reads operatic libretta for deep meaning? Half of it translates
> as scattered evocative but generally meaningless phrases (and the other
> half is Wagner), so perhaps REM *is* opera.
>
> OK, take your best shot :-)

Two words: La Traviata!

[muttering]
Harumph...'evocative but generally meaningles phrases' indeed! Ok, for
"Werter," I can see your point...and "Turandot," and I suppose even "Elisir
d'Amore," but "Il Trovatore?" "Fliedermaus?" What about "Don Giovanni,"
ferchrissakes! Harumph, I say to you, sir, and Harumph again!
[/mutter] ;-)
-Floyd

seaotter

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May 17, 2001, 7:40:02 PM5/17/01
to
> Settle down, Bevis. It's only rock and roll.
> -Floyd

But I like it. Like it. Yes, I do.

seaotter


wilkins

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May 17, 2001, 8:49:27 PM5/17/01
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Floyd <far...@u.washington.edu> wrote:

> wilkins <wil...@wehi.edu.au> wrote in article
> <1etjyou.om2zkn1t4ncg0N%wil...@wehi.edu.au>...
> > seaotter <Seao...@mindspring.com> wrote:
> >
> > > This is pop, it's not opera! ;-)
> > > > -Floyd
> > >
> > > Are you fucking nuts? Pop? REM? Brittany Spheres is pop. REM is a
> window to
> > > the eternal. Get your head out of your ass or at least your ears.
> > >
> > > seaotter
> >
> > A window to the eternally pompous? I do like Stipes' voice though, even
> > if the melodies get repetitious...
> >
> > And who reads operatic libretta for deep meaning? Half of it translates
> > as scattered evocative but generally meaningless phrases (and the other
> > half is Wagner), so perhaps REM *is* opera.
> >
> > OK, take your best shot :-)
>
> Two words: La Traviata!
>
> [muttering]
> Harumph...'evocative but generally meaningles phrases' indeed! Ok, for
> "Werter," I can see your point...and "Turandot," and I suppose even "Elisir
> d'Amore," but "Il Trovatore?" "Fliedermaus?" What about "Don Giovanni,"
> ferchrissakes! Harumph, I say to you, sir, and Harumph again!
> [/mutter] ;-)
> -Floyd

Oh I am the very model of a modern Aussie philistine.
...

When the Mikado was done a while back with Eric Idle as the Lord High
Executioner (BBC?), and he sang "I've got a little list", the first item
was "Australians of all kinds"...

Mr. PB

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May 18, 2001, 2:47:52 AM5/18/01
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<< "let's play twister, let's play risk....yea yea yea yea". >>

Actually i have always thought this to be reference to the early days in the
local scene when we would actually play these games at parties, i believe he
was reminiscing.

aranemgale

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May 19, 2001, 2:10:41 AM5/19/01
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To me it means that Darwin went against society and the church at the time.
He asked where did we come from...and even though people hated what he had
to say he had the balls to do it. People still hate his theory of evolution
today. That to me took mighty big balls!!!
Rob

"Andrew Glasgow" <amg39.RE...@cornell.edu.INVALID> wrote in message
news:amg39.REMOVETHIS-A5...@newsstand.cit.cornell.edu...

Adam Marczyk

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May 19, 2001, 10:47:44 PM5/19/01
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aranemgale <arane...@home.com> wrote in message
news:p7oN6.131817$2_.41...@news3.rdc1.on.home.com...

> To me it means that Darwin went against society and the church at the
time.
> He asked where did we come from...and even though people hated what he had
> to say he had the balls to do it. People still hate his theory of
evolution
> today. That to me took mighty big balls!!!

Darwin was hardly an iconoclast. He held off publishing his own theory for a
long time because he was afraid of the implications.

[snip]

--
When I am dreaming,
I don't know if I'm truly asleep, or if I'm awake.
When I get up,
I don't know if I'm truly awake, or if I'm still dreaming...
--Forest for the Trees, "Dream"

To send e-mail, change "excite" to "hotmail"

MEow

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May 20, 2001, 7:25:55 PM5/20/01
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The alien which happened to be occupying the body of "seaotter"

What? Of course they're pop - some pop's just worse than other. I
happen to like Eurythmics sometimes, but they're still pop IMO.

--
Nikitta - Female with gender-ambigous name
Lifelong atheist #1759. EAC - Spanker of Theists
AFV Bitchiness-Club
"Vell. Nikitta's jus this gal, you know" Thåths (afdaniain)

seaotter

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May 20, 2001, 10:33:14 PM5/20/01
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> What? Of course they're pop - some pop's just worse than other. I
> happen to like Eurythmics sometimes, but they're still pop IMO.
>
> --
> Nikitta

I beg to differ. IMO.

seaotter


Bloody Viking

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May 21, 2001, 5:12:36 AM5/21/01
to

aranemgale (arane...@home.com) wrote:

: To me it means that Darwin went against society and the church at the time.


: He asked where did we come from...and even though people hated what he had
: to say he had the balls to do it. People still hate his theory of evolution
: today. That to me took mighty big balls!!!

Just look at this newsgroup! There's a LOT of people who just can't stomach
the thought that we came from a prehistoric ape.

--
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: 100 calories are used up in the course of a mile run.
The USDA guidelines for dietary fibre is equal to one ounce of sawdust.
The liver makes the vast majority of the cholesterol in your bloodstream.

CUIDADO: Las Puertas Estan Listo Para Cerrar.

MEow

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May 21, 2001, 6:44:57 PM5/21/01
to
The alien which happened to be occupying the body of "seaotter"

Hehe - I expected you to, but there should be room for that too :0)

--
Nikitta - Female with gender-ambigous name
Lifelong atheist #1759. EAC - Spanker of Theists
AFV Bitchiness-Club

"Do you mean they answered the phone?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How on earth did you managed to make them do that???????" Amynthas (Sheddie)

seaotter

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May 21, 2001, 10:16:38 PM5/21/01
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> Hehe - I expected you to, but there should be room for that too :0)
>
> --
> Nikitta

Maybe in your skewed view of the Universe, but I say if you ain't with me
your agin me.

seaotter


Lord Alistair Davidson, part time deity

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May 24, 2001, 7:23:39 PM5/24/01
to
Bloody Viking wrote:
>
> aranemgale (arane...@home.com) wrote:
>
> : To me it means that Darwin went against society and the church at the time.
> : He asked where did we come from...and even though people hated what he had
> : to say he had the balls to do it. People still hate his theory of evolution
> : today. That to me took mighty big balls!!!
>
> Just look at this newsgroup! There's a LOT of people who just can't stomach
> the thought that we came from a prehistoric ape.

And then the Americans went and elected one!

--
Lord [INSERT NAME HERE]
"I can't do everything / But I'd do anything for you. / I can't do
anything / 'Cept be in love with you." -- Dire Straits, Romeo and Juliet
"She's a moonchild / Gathering the flowers in a garden. / Lovely
moonchild / Drifting on the echoes of the hours." -- King Crimson,
Moonchild

Mr. PB

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May 24, 2001, 10:39:30 PM5/24/01
to
<< a prehistoric ape.

And then the Americans went and elected one! >>

Really sucks doesn't it?

StOo

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May 24, 2001, 11:49:28 PM5/24/01
to
"Lord Alistair Davidson, part time deity" <lord...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote in
message news:3B0D9713...@yahoo.co.uk...

> Bloody Viking wrote:
> >
> > aranemgale (arane...@home.com) wrote:
> >
> > : To me it means that Darwin went against society and the church at the
time.
> > : He asked where did we come from...and even though people hated what he
had
> > : to say he had the balls to do it. People still hate his theory of
evolution
> > : today. That to me took mighty big balls!!!
> >
> > Just look at this newsgroup! There's a LOT of people who just can't
stomach
> > the thought that we came from a prehistoric ape.
>
> And then the Americans went and elected one!

n1.. made me smile :)

stoo..

Pat James

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May 25, 2001, 12:55:08 AM5/25/01
to
On Thu, 24 May 2001 18:23:39 -0500, Lord Alistair Davidson, part time deity
wrote
(in message <3B0D9713...@yahoo.co.uk>):

> Bloody Viking wrote:
>>
>> aranemgale (arane...@home.com) wrote:
>>
>>> To me it means that Darwin went against society and the church at the
>>> time.
>>> He asked where did we come from...and even though people hated what he had
>>> to say he had the balls to do it. People still hate his theory of
>>> evolution
>>> today. That to me took mighty big balls!!!
>>
>> Just look at this newsgroup! There's a LOT of people who just can't stomach
>> the thought that we came from a prehistoric ape.
>
> And then the Americans went and elected one!
>
>

As a duly electe member of the Chimpanzee Anti Defamation Society I must
request that you withdraw that remark. Dubya is not an ape. He's barely even
a primate.

--
Proud member of not one, but _two_ of Petey der Gross's Lists.
Proud member of the Peterbaition International Secret Society.
Founding member of the Chimpanzee Anti Defamaition Society. Ook. Want a
banana?

BrgmtNVtvr

unread,
May 25, 2001, 7:31:16 AM5/25/01
to
>There's a LOT of people who just can't stomach
>> the thought that we came from a prehistoric ape.
>
>And then the Americans went and elected one! [Lord Alistair]

Uh ... well, actually, we sort of *didn't,* but he's taken over the Monkey
House, anyway. --Bergie


Jay M

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May 29, 2001, 6:57:38 AM5/29/01
to

"StOo" <wildREM...@hotCAPSmailTOMAIL.com> wrote in message
news:fDkP6.7$CT1....@news6-win.server.ntlworld.com...

> "Lord Alistair Davidson, part time deity" <lord...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote in
> message news:3B0D9713...@yahoo.co.uk...
> > Bloody Viking wrote:
> > >
> > > aranemgale (arane...@home.com) wrote:

> > > Just look at this newsgroup! There's a LOT of people who just can't
> stomach
> > > the thought that we came from a prehistoric ape.

Personally, it's not the inability to stomach the thought as much as the
absurdity. For instance, according to natural selection as I understand it,
the strong propagate and the weak die off. If that is the case, why are
there still monkeys running around? I thought they were supposed to die off
and be replaced. And if there are still monkeys (further down the chain and
less developed) why aren't there still a bunch of (more developed)
monkey-men (other than the pres =) ) running around? It doesn't seem
probable.

I definately agree that some small changes are possible within a species,
like people are getting taller, and skin color, eye color and genetic traits
like that, but these are changes that take place within the species because
it was all in our genetic code to begin with. Even today, some races are
taller than others on average. That code is pretty long you know. It's
all due to the way genetic material is passed down. Mendel experimented on
this. I just don't buy the species changing into an entirely different
species. Scientists have not proved it to my knowledge and I doubt they
ever will. On the other hand, I have seen proof that the Bible is true and
inspired by a higher source which has yet to be overturned. So, I'll stick
with that for now!

Das Monkey

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May 29, 2001, 7:14:50 AM5/29/01
to
Jay M wrote:

> On the other hand, I have seen proof that the Bible is true

where?

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Greedo

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May 29, 2001, 8:02:37 AM5/29/01
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"Jay M" <anon...@noone.com> wrote in message
news:9evvao$q39$1...@bn2.blue.net...
>

>
> > > > Just look at this newsgroup! There's a LOT of people who just can't
> > stomach
> > > > the thought that we came from a prehistoric ape.
>
> Personally, it's not the inability to stomach the thought as much as the
> absurdity. For instance, according to natural selection as I understand
it,
> the strong propagate and the weak die off. If that is the case, why are
> there still monkeys running around? I thought they were supposed to die
off
> and be replaced. And if there are still monkeys (further down the chain
and
> less developed) why aren't there still a bunch of (more developed)
> monkey-men (other than the pres =) ) running around? It doesn't seem
> probable.


Humans did not evolve from apes.

"Apes" (all kinds of apes, monkeys etc.) and humans have a recent common
ancestor. By recent I mean that in relative terms, ie more recent than the
comman ancestor between mice and men.

You have to realise that 'strongest', 'fittest' etc. are all relative terms.
Monkeys are better adapted to live in trees. So in areas where there were
many trees, monkeys evolved as they were forced to live in these trees.
Another group of this common ancestor would have lived in a different
area(or moved to it for one reason or another) and developed different
features based on their interraction of themselves with environment.

The above example is grossly simplified, but it should dispose of a couple
of popular misconceptions.


>
> I definately agree that some small changes are possible within a species,
> like people are getting taller, and skin color, eye color and genetic
traits
> like that, but these are changes that take place within the species
because
> it was all in our genetic code to begin with. Even today, some races are
> taller than others on average. That code is pretty long you know. It's
> all due to the way genetic material is passed down. Mendel experimented
on
> this. I just don't buy the species changing into an entirely different
> species.

>Scientists have not proved it to my knowledge and I doubt they
> ever will.

Science has proven evolution. Read the page talkorigins.org to see ample
evidence. It may require some further reading, but the facts are there and
they are irrefutable, except if god for some reason placed all of the
evidence to trick people.

>On the other hand, I have seen proof that the Bible is true and
> inspired by a higher source which has yet to be overturned. So, I'll
stick
> with that for now!

I guarantee 100% that any evidence you can supply from the Bible can be
refuted by science. The Bible is not 100% true(nor 100%false)
The Bible implies the Earth is approx 6-8000 years old. THe Bibles
describes the Earth as flat. etc.

But it is nice to see that you have an open mind, the only way to let the
truth in.
Feel free to post any 'proof' you have that the Bible tells the truth, but
keep in mind that quoting the Bible in its own defense (ie. Genesis is true
because of John 3:16 etc.) is illogical and all Biblical evidence must be
backed up by solid logical or scientific data.


Daneel

unread,
May 29, 2001, 10:33:43 AM5/29/01
to
Jay M wrote:
<snip>
> Personally, it's not the inability to stomach the thought as much as the
> absurdity. For instance, according to natural selection as I understand it,
> the strong propagate and the weak die off.

It is admirable that you say "as I understand it", that is,
acknowledging you could be wrong (as you are). According to
natural selection, in a *population* living in some *niche*,
those better suited at *reproduction* *in*that*niche* will
propagate and those less suited die off. The *reason* for
this is that what makes them better or less suited is
*inherited*. One way of being better suited could be being
stronger, but not the only one

> If that is the case, why are
> there still monkeys running around?

Because they are superbly suited for living in trees and
feeding on fruits/leaves growing up there; better than apes
like chimps or humans, better than their ancestors, and
better than the common ancestor of both monkeys and apes.



> I thought they were supposed to die off
> and be replaced. And if there are still monkeys (further down the chain and
> less developed)

You probably learned some really dumbed-down version of
evolutionary history, one which says "monkeys" didn't
change but humans did since we separated. But no, that's
not true - present-day humans and monkeys are equally
'evolved', but evolved in different direction after
separation to populate *different niches*.

> why aren't there still a bunch of (more developed)
> monkey-men (other than the pres =) ) running around? It doesn't seem
> probable.

Other "monkey-men" were almost surely driven to extinction
by more modern humans. But, I must note, there were long
periods of time two or more species existed, just not in
the same place (robust Australopithecines and early Homo,
later archaic Homo sapiens and one to three modern Homo
erectuses, then the last Homo erectus and Homo sapiens
sapiens and Homo s. neanderthalensis).



> I definately agree that some small changes are possible within a species,
> like people are getting taller, and skin color, eye color and genetic traits
> like that, but these are changes that take place within the species because
> it was all in our genetic code to begin with.

First, all natural selection is taking place within a
species. Second, you're dead wrong about 'it being in our
genetic code to begin with'. It comes from mutations. The
variants are geographically constrained. Some variants are
recent adaptations, like facial fat tissues for eskimos,
who OTOH haven't yet acquired the white skin of other,
older artic people. Some new variants can be traced down
to the very mutation, like the cholesterol-resistance
mutation that appeared in an Italian village some 200
years ago.

BTW, I don't know if 'it was all in our genetic code to
begin with' reflects a biblical literarist position, but
if yes, you should know that some genes have more versions
than people on Noah's ship.

> Even today, some races are
> taller than others on average. That code is pretty long you know. It's
> all due to the way genetic material is passed down. Mendel experimented on
> this.

These are nice words, but what do you mean? Probably
Mendel's discovery of recessive genes that get expressed
only when inherited from both parents? Or what?

> I just don't buy the species changing into an entirely different
> species.

What does "entirely different" mean? If this was some
reference to speciation (that is, species separation),
then, wheter you buy it or not, it was observed multiple
times. With bacteria, it was even done in laboratory (one
round species separating into a flat surface-loving and
a rugged base-loving species).

> Scientists have not proved it to my knowledge and I doubt they
> ever will. On the other hand, I have seen proof that the Bible is true and
> inspired by a higher source which has yet to be overturned. So, I'll stick
> with that for now!

"Inspired by a higher source". Does that mean you have to
take it all literally?


see you

Daneel [a#323 | U. of Ediacara student #000666]

! DO NOT send emails to my DejaNews adress, but to !
! "ustokos!cs.elte.hu", after replacing "!" with "@". !
************************************************************
"Ever tried. Ever failed.
Never mind. Try again.
Fail better." _Salman Rushdie_

feathersiron

unread,
May 29, 2001, 12:43:42 PM5/29/01
to
Both sides need to know this: Evidence is not the same as proof. Both
sides have evidence, but since no one happened to catch the beginning of the
world on video tape, there is no proof.

feathersiron

unread,
May 29, 2001, 12:53:02 PM5/29/01
to
I whole-heartedly agree. Also, I admire your balls to say this on a
newsgroup. Evolution is not fact, it is only theory. Most people don't
realize this, b/c we have been indoctrinated with it, and other theories are
generally not discussed in public schools.
Have you read The Collapse of Evolution by Scott Huse? Sounds like you may
have. If you have not, you will find it quite interesting.

And for those of you who will inevitably flame him for this - I suggest you
read it too. No point in arguing your opinion unless you are well informed
about both sides.

Lisa Gardner

unread,
May 29, 2001, 1:25:25 PM5/29/01
to
Daneel <dan...@my-deja.com> wrote in message news:<3B13B33C...@my-deja.com>...

> Jay M wrote:
> <snip>
> > Personally, it's not the inability to stomach the thought as much as the
> > absurdity. For instance, according to natural selection as I
> >understand it,
> > the strong propagate and the weak die off.
>
> It is admirable that you say "as I understand it", that is,
> acknowledging you could be wrong (as you are). According to
> natural selection, in a *population* living in some *niche*,
> those better suited at *reproduction* *in*that*niche* will
> propagate and those less suited die off. The *reason* for
> this is that what makes them better or less suited is
> *inherited*. One way of being better suited could be being
> stronger, but not the only one [...]

Also: you're dealing here with, as I see it, characteristics
*within* a certain environment.

How much of our (even our 'natural' environment) is manipulated?
To what extent is it maniuplated, by whom, and how? We don't know
the answers to any of these questions and any attempt we make
at giving an answer at this point, is based on assumptions.

'Gods', or something like gods, could easily come into play here -
this thing/these beings would be something that operates outside
the realm of our awareness, like the programmer who programs
a role-playing game dynamically or something like that, but who is
'not visible' to the characters in the role-playing game.

Evolution/natural selection happening within our whole 'scheme',
that which we can perceive, doesn't in and of itself negate the possibility
that our enviroment, and us, are manipulated. We might very well
be. We can't prove that we are not. It is a possibility.

Lisa

Tom

unread,
May 29, 2001, 1:30:29 PM5/29/01
to
"On 29 May 2001 12:43:42 -0400, in article <QkQQ6.38$lQ1....@jekyl.ab.tac.net>,
"feathersiron" stated..."

>
>Both sides need to know this: Evidence is not the same as proof. Both
>sides have evidence, but since no one happened to catch the beginning of the
>world on video tape, there is no proof.
>

"Both sides?

Which both sides are you talking about?

I presume that evolutionary biology is one of them. What is
the other one? The idea that one god killed his opponent, and
formed the animals out of the slain god's bones?

Surely you don't mean "creationism", for that doesn't have
anything to say. There is no "Who, What, Where, When, Why or
How" about it.

I suspect that you are talking about "creationism", for one
of the marks of "creationism" is that because it doesn't have
anything to offer, all it can do is toss out all knowledge ---
"nobody happened to catch ... on videotape". Did anybody
happen to catch the storming of the Bastille on videotape? Did
anybody catch WWII on videotape? Did anybody catch *any* war
on videotape (and don't tell me about videotape of *part* of
the Gulf War ... I want the whole thing, or you don't have
"proof" that there was a whole Gulf War).

"Creationists" show their true colors by denying everything
factual ... because it doesn't come up to their standards of
"proof". They tacitly admit that the evidence for evolution is
so overwhelming that they have to resort to this kind of
absurdity.

"Creationism" has nothing to offer, no evidence, they won't
even tell us what the words they use *mean*; much less putting
them together in a coherent story, much less offering evidence,
not even telling us what they would think of as evidence.

Thank you for confirming, once again, that there is "no
there, there" in "creationism".

Tom

Lisa Gardner

unread,
May 29, 2001, 1:35:04 PM5/29/01
to
Daneel <dan...@my-deja.com> wrote in message news:<3B13B33C...@my-deja.com>...
> Jay M wrote:
> <snip>
> > Personally, it's not the inability to stomach the thought as much as the
> > absurdity. For instance, according to natural selection as I understand it,
> > the strong propagate and the weak die off.
>
> It is admirable that you say "as I understand it", that is,
> acknowledging you could be wrong (as you are). According to
> natural selection, in a *population* living in some *niche*,
> those better suited at *reproduction* *in*that*niche* will
> propagate and those less suited die off. The *reason* for
> this is that what makes them better or less suited is
> *inherited*. One way of being better suited could be being
> stronger, but not the only one[...]

I left something out in my last post, and it is this:

if it is the characteristics that promote survivial within a certain
environment that are the characteristics that get selected for
according to the theory of natural selection, then certain characteristics
could be 'aimed for' by the manipulation of the environment in such
a way that those characteristics are the most likely to be chosen for.

This means: were there beings who could manipulate our 'reality',
then they could influence our long term human course of development
by altering the environment in which we live in such a way that
those characteristics that they would like to see us develop, are
pretty much necessary in order for us to survive in that environment.
Then over the long term, the characteristics that they have arranged
our environment to perpetuate and bring forth in human evolution,
would be selected for.

No one can really prove that such being do not exist. It is also
probably true that no one can prove that such beings *do* exist.

It's also true that no one can really say to me, 'It is impossible
that such beings exist'.

Lisa
mmmm... SUV's... commercials... TV... radio... more stuff... more
stuff... need to buy more things... need to buy more things... my
descendents will be the perfect consumers, unable to live without
the products that get provided by... who?

Lance Carter

unread,
May 29, 2001, 1:42:39 PM5/29/01
to
"seaotter" <Seao...@mindspring.com> wrote in message news:<9dvdnh$gju$1...@nntp9.atl.mindspring.net>...

> This is pop, it's not opera! ;-)
> > -Floyd
>
> Are you fucking nuts? Pop? REM? Brittany Spheres is pop. REM is a window to
> the eternal. Get your head out of your ass or at least your ears.
>
> seaotter

I beg to differ. Britney's spheres are *my* window to the eternal. I
agree, however, that it's an understatement to say that REM's music is
much more artistic.

Lance

feathersiron

unread,
May 29, 2001, 1:51:02 PM5/29/01
to
<sigh> why did I get into this?
1. Surely you know I wasn't serious about the videotape thing.
2. You're overgeneralizing about creationists. Yes, there are some who
don't use science or evidence to argue their point. But there are some who
do. Did I slam evolutionists? Why are you slamming creationists? I'm sure
no one wants to read about this argument, b/c it gets seriously tedious, and
it has nothing to do with R.E.M.. All I'm asking is that you try to respect
other points of view by really trying to find out about *all* sides. That
goes for any issue.
3. I don't understand why you keep putting the word creationist in
quotations.
4. I *really* didn't want to start a huge creation vs. evolution argument
here. I apologize to everyone if you think I did.
5. I'm done now.

Tom

unread,
May 29, 2001, 2:22:34 PM5/29/01
to
"On 29 May 2001 13:51:02 -0400, in article <2kRQ6.43$lQ1....@jekyl.ab.tac.net>,
"feathersiron" stated..."

I presume you're talking about me.

1. It's hard to tell when someone is joking, and when someone is
serious, in an anti-evolutionary debate. Surely people have said
in all seriousness, "How do you know. Where you there?"

2. I have not seen anybody produce a "creationist" theory, much
less evidence for such a theory. Unless you count things like
the pagan myths of origins. I will respect a point of view when
there is a point of view to respect. And I have tried to find
out.

3. Because many people think that "creationism" refers to belief
in the Creator.

4. If you don't want to start something, don't speak out in a
public forum.

5. Unfortunately, "creationism" will stay on.

Tom

Jon Cornell

unread,
May 29, 2001, 7:54:12 PM5/29/01
to
>> On the other hand, I have seen proof that the Bible is true
>
>where?


On the corner of Fuck Me in the Ass.

Jon


Duncan Armstrong

unread,
May 29, 2001, 8:32:36 PM5/29/01
to
"Jay M" <anon...@noone.com> wrote in message
news:9evvao$q39$1...@bn2.blue.net...
>
> I definately agree that some small changes are possible within a species,
> like people are getting taller, and skin color, eye color and genetic
traits
> like that, but these are changes that take place within the species
because
> it was all in our genetic code to begin with. Even today, some races are
> taller than others on average. That code is pretty long you know. It's
> all due to the way genetic material is passed down. Mendel experimented
on
> this. I just don't buy the species changing into an entirely different
> species. Scientists have not proved it to my knowledge and I doubt they
> ever will. On the other hand, I have seen proof that the Bible is true
and
> inspired by a higher source which has yet to be overturned. So, I'll
stick
> with that for now!
>

By its very definition, the notion of God is beyond scientific proof or
disproof.

Religion exists outside of the realm of science. Science is nothing but a
system, a set of rules by which we are able to make sense of the world
around us. Science involves making observations, making hypotheses based on
those observations, testing those hypotheses in a controled fashion such
that the tests may be repeated by others, and subsequently solidifying the
hypotheses into theories. The theories hold - not as proven dogma, but as
"best guess" explanations - until subsequent observations disprove them.
That is all science is.

Creationism does not follow this system, and is therefore not science.

Religion is completely removed from this; it is based on *faith* - the
belief in something beyond that which we can observe directly. I'm not a
theologian, nor am I an expert on the Bible or Christianity, but from what I
understand, God does not want his existance to be proven as that would
remove the need for faith, and faith is what God wants most from his
children.

In short, science and religion are completely separate, and in their purest
forms, neither necessarily excludes the other. That is why I have the
greatest respect and admiration for faith, but do not believe creationism
should be taught in schools - it's simply not science.

By the way, for those of you who still haven doubts about evolution, I urge
you to read 'The Blind Watch Maker' by Richard Dawkins. It is the most
thorough, well-reasoned, and entertaining defence of evolution I've ever
read. It makes for a great read and is unendingly fascinating.

And once you're done with that, I urge you even more heartily to pick up a
copy of 'The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy' by Douglas Adams, may he
rest in peace. Trust me when I say, you'll never be the same again.

Cheers,

Dunc


GregEggs & Ham

unread,
May 29, 2001, 8:45:55 PM5/29/01
to
Haw!

-
GregEggs & Ham


"Jon Cornell" <j...@chiasmus.reno.nv.us> wrote in message
news:3b143690$1...@news.greatbasin.net...

seaotter

unread,
May 29, 2001, 11:07:54 PM5/29/01
to
> Personally, it's not the inability to stomach the thought as much as the
> absurdity.

Whoa, Never heard an argument from personal incredulity before.

> For instance, according to natural selection as I understand it,
> the strong propagate and the weak die off.

As I understand this you don't understand evolution. That the most fit
reproduce better than the less fit is by definition true. Now perhaps you
don't know what fitness is.

> If that is the case, why are
> there still monkeys running around? I thought they were supposed to die
off
> and be replaced.

Monkeys, which aren't our ancestors, do the monkey thing better than we do.
Perhaps that's why our ancestors decided to head for the ground.

> And if there are still monkeys (further down the chain and
> less developed) why aren't there still a bunch of (more developed)
> monkey-men (other than the pres =) ) running around? It doesn't seem
> probable.

Modern monkeys, as well as every other living organism, are just as evolved
as we are.

Snip the bit about evolution happening but not from one species to another.


>Scientists have not proved it to my knowledge and I doubt they
> ever will.

Speciation has been directly observed many times. I don't know what standard
of proof your using ,but evolution and specifically speciation has pasted
the standard of reasonable doubt decades ago.

> On the other hand, I have seen proof that the Bible is true and
> inspired by a higher source which has yet to be overturned. So, I'll
stick
> with that for now!

This is the real answer. You like the Bible. I can respect that, but don't
play scientist. Your out of your sandbox.

seaotter

feathersiron

unread,
May 29, 2001, 11:21:16 PM5/29/01
to

Hey, I liked your post, and it made me think of a quote my uncle/english
teacher once told me. You'll probably disagree, and but I'm just throwing
it in b/c I think it's interesting. I believe it was Einstein who said it.
I'm not going to quote though, b/c I don't know for sure. (If anyone can
confirm, please do)
It went something like this:

Religion without science is blind.
Science without religion is lame.

Brian O'Neill

unread,
May 30, 2001, 9:44:38 AM5/30/01
to
"Jay M" <anon...@noone.com> wrote in message
news:9evvao$q39$1...@bn2.blue.net...

> Personally, it's not the inability to stomach the thought as much as the
> absurdity.

Or the inability to understand it.

> For instance, according to natural selection as I understand it,
> the strong propagate and the weak die off.

You need more understanding then. This is but a single mechanism of
evolution.

> If that is the case, why are
> there still monkeys running around? I thought they were supposed to die
off
> and be replaced.

This only shows your ignorance on the subject matter. If you wish to learn,
I'll waste my time on showing how you're wrong. If not, I won't waste my
time, though I'd bet others have already pointed out your errors anyway.

> And if there are still monkeys (further down the chain and
> less developed) why aren't there still a bunch of (more developed)
> monkey-men (other than the pres =) ) running around? It doesn't seem
> probable.

What exactly do you know about what is "probable?" It may not seem
"probable" to you, but your perceptions are not the issue here, fortunately.

> I definately agree that some small changes are possible within a species,
> like people are getting taller, and skin color, eye color and genetic
traits
> like that, but these are changes that take place within the species
because
> it was all in our genetic code to begin with. Even today, some races are
> taller than others on average. That code is pretty long you know. It's
> all due to the way genetic material is passed down. Mendel experimented
on
> this. I just don't buy the species changing into an entirely different
> species.

Whether you "buy" it or not is irrelevant. Speciation has been observed.
Repeatedly.

> Scientists have not proved it to my knowledge and I doubt they
> ever will.

Scientists don't "prove" anything, since "proof" is a math concept.
Scientists have, however, shown much evidence, including directly observed
evidence, that speciation happens.

> On the other hand, I have seen proof that the Bible is true and
> inspired by a higher source which has yet to be overturned. So, I'll
stick
> with that for now!

Please do share this "proof."

-Brian

TIME ELAPSED SINCE I QUIT SMOKING:
One year, one month, two weeks, six days, 10 hours, 15 minutes and 30
seconds.
16617 cigarettes not smoked, saving $2,077.14.
Extra life saved: 8 weeks, 1 day, 16 hours, 45 minutes.

See my Sig File FAQ: http://pages.prodigy.net/briank.o/SigFAQ.htm


Brian O'Neill

unread,
May 30, 2001, 9:44:34 AM5/30/01
to
"feathersiron" <laura....@3web.net> wrote in message
news:JtQQ6.39$lQ1....@jekyl.ab.tac.net...

Evolution is a fact and a theoiry. Did you read the FAQ on the TO site
about this? Do you have any idea what a scientific theory is?

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-fact.html

> Most people don't
> realize this, b/c we have been indoctrinated with it, and other theories
are
> generally not discussed in public schools.

Please describe a "theory" that competes with evolution, offer the evidence
that shows it plausible and explain why you feel it is "generally not
discussed" in public schools.

Either that or admit that there is no such thing and you're confusing
wishful thinking with scientific knowledge.

> Have you read The Collapse of Evolution by Scott Huse? Sounds like you
may
> have. If you have not, you will find it quite interesting.

Yes, Computer Scientists are certainly qualified and well-versed in
evolution.

> And for those of you who will inevitably flame him for this - I suggest
you
> read it too. No point in arguing your opinion unless you are well
informed
> about both sides.

I have read a ton of Creationist rhetoric. Why don't you tell us why tales
of the Bombardier Beetle seemed convincing to you? Has the fact that the
basis of the book, that evolution violates natural laws of thermodynamics,
has been thoroughly debunked and those who did the debunking can show you
the math if you'd like?

Can you tell me in what context the following quote was made in:

"Any theory of orgins can not be a scientific fact, for it cannot be
tested."

That is attributed to Huse. I am being charitable and thinking that it
might be taken out of context. If it's not and that is actually how he
feels on the subject, he really should go back to his computer science
background, because he is painfully ignorant about what can and "cannot be
tested."

-Brian

TIME ELAPSED SINCE I QUIT SMOKING:

One year, one month, two weeks, six days, 16 hours, 18 minutes and 28
seconds.
16627 cigarettes not smoked, saving $2,078.40.
Extra life saved: 8 weeks, 1 day, 17 hours, 35 minutes.

Brian O'Neill

unread,
May 30, 2001, 9:44:33 AM5/30/01
to
"Lisa Gardner" <lgar...@mbay.net> wrote in message
news:a317c4b9.01052...@posting.google.com...

It is a possibility that the world was created last Thursday with all of our
memories intact and with the appearance of old age.

It is a possibility that everything is controlled by garden gnomes that live
in my kitchen cupboard.

Would you say that these facets should be included in science? Does
excluding them make the conclusions without them bad science? How would you
include garden gnomes and "Last Thursdayism" as valid science?

-Brian

TIME ELAPSED SINCE I QUIT SMOKING:

One year, one month, two weeks, six days, 16 hours, 22 minutes and 53
seconds.
16627 cigarettes not smoked, saving $2,078.41.

Lisa Gardner

unread,
May 30, 2001, 10:03:17 AM5/30/01
to
Duncan Armstrong wrote in message ...


Yes. The problem as I see it is that there is a lot of very basic level
things that most people who talk about 'science' and the doing of science,
might reasonably question and regard as assumptions that they decide to
make or not to make, and upon which the whole process of 'observation'
is based.

different sets of basic level assumptions might give a different meaning
to the word 'observation'.

But all of this happens outside of sciene. I don't know that it is something
that science could even deal with. I don't know that these things that I would
call 'basic level assumptions' upon which the whole process of observation
is based (IMHO), are even 'falsifiable', if you want to go with Popper's scheme
(which I have only read a small amount on, but I think I understand the basic
idea.)

So maybe they must be accepted as axioms, or *not* accepted as axioms.

It seems to me that most people who talk about 'science' don't really
do a whole hell of a lot of thinking about what is or might be, essentially,
a very deep level 'assumption' that the body or deep mind makes - and
they take these assumptions to be irrefutable characteristics of reality.

And they don't talk to much about what 'reality' is either.

>Creationism does not follow this system, and is therefore not science.

And? Religion may not ever have been trying to be or to compete with
science. Religion and spirituality may be things that deal more with the
larger picture that includes within it what I have called above, 'the deep
level basic assumptions' we make about 'what reality is'.


>Religion is completely removed from this; it is based on *faith* - the
>belief in something beyond that which we can observe directly. I'm not a
>theologian, nor am I an expert on the Bible or Christianity, but from what I
>understand, God does not want his existance to be proven as that would
>remove the need for faith, and faith is what God wants most from his
>children.

Well, I wouldn't agree with that, but... how would he prove himself? IMHO
there are lots of big things out there in the universe that can do lots of really
neat and impressive magick tricks to impress the hell out of anyone who
is 'locked in the conference room'. So were this to be the measure by
which 'god' proved himself to people, they'd be up shit creek, because
they could be fooled by any big celestial guy who came by and did
a few cool big card tricks for them.

And IMHO not all the guys who do that are nice guys, and some of them
are probably con artists.

>In short, science and religion are completely separate, and in their purest
>forms, neither necessarily excludes the other. That is why I have the
>greatest respect and admiration for faith, but do not believe creationism
>should be taught in schools - it's simply not science.

Okay. What about logic and the differentiation between the things that
can be proven within a system and the things which cannot, but must be
taken as axiomatic and as foundational to the system - by *choice*. Many
people in the world these days confuse the two, IMHO- including people
on both sides of the argument that you're talking about here.

but nobody is ready for that yet, really. 'harder to wake galileo' and all
that. I hope I am not reading too much into mstipe's words here.

>By the way, for those of you who still haven doubts about evolution, I urge
>you to read 'The Blind Watch Maker' by Richard Dawkins. It is the most
>thorough, well-reasoned, and entertaining defence of evolution I've ever
>read. It makes for a great read and is unendingly fascinating.
>
>And once you're done with that, I urge you even more heartily to pick up a
>copy of 'The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy' by Douglas Adams, may he
>rest in peace. Trust me when I say, you'll never be the same again.

Hah... I like that attitude... :)

Lisa


Lisa Gardner

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May 30, 2001, 10:06:57 AM5/30/01
to
Brian O'Neill wrote:

Yes it is.

>It is a possibility that everything is controlled by garden gnomes that live
>in my kitchen cupboard.

Yes. and the blue faeries on my bathroom mirror.

>Would you say that these facets should be included in science? Does
>excluding them make the conclusions without them bad science?

No.

>How would you
>include garden gnomes and "Last Thursdayism" as valid science?[...]

I would exclude them by virtue of the dep level assumptions which I choose,
or don't choose, to take as axiomatic. How would you exclude them? You've
done so here, so tell me how and why you have done so. Also, what are
the assumptions you've made that led you to conclude that these things
aren't so?

This could lead to an interesting discussion.

Lisa


Lisa Gardner

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May 30, 2001, 10:31:38 AM5/30/01
to
Brian O'Neill wrote:
>"Lisa Gardner" <lgar...@mbay.net> wrote:
>
>include garden gnomes and "Last Thursdayism" as valid science?[...]

I did not think of this point until just now:

Let me say this: if the gnomes and the faeries decide to rebel one
day and so what you and I agree is 'reality' right now just goes wango
as a result, I might be able to handle it better than you - because your
basic level system of assumptions seems to include statementsx
something along the lines of, 'faeries and gnomes cannot exist'
and 'reality is pretty much just the way I see it, and I don't need to
question that assumption at all'.

If this happens then I'll look at my basic level set of assumptions
and say, 'whoa - looks like something might need to be changed
here. What is it? Better look at formulating a new set of assumptions'
What will you do? You don't seem to me to be questioning or
examining at all, your own beliefs about 'what reality is' - and I
mean: those very deep level assumptions that exist right now
*outside of the domain of scientific endeavor* - those assumptions
that *underlay* empirical observation and experience. That underlay
it IMHO, that is.

I understand the mechanisms of science and I can do science myself
if I want to. I can function within the scientific thought scheme and I
can reason according to your set of basic assumptions. I can meet
you on your own ground if I have to do that. I just don't think that your
ground is as irrefutably constant a part of 'reality' as you seem to think
it is. I can play your game - but I can also play outside of it. Can you?

If we have an apocalypse or something 'reality changing' or something
like that, then you are basically fucked up the ass big time (in a bad way,
that is). I stand a chance of getting through it.

That is, basically, one of my reasons for thinking the way I do and considering
the things I do.

And also and besides, it's fun and interesting. I like doing it. It helps
me to cope.

Lisa


Jon Cornell

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May 30, 2001, 11:14:28 AM5/30/01
to
>>It is a possibility that the world was created last Thursday with all of
our
>>memories intact and with the appearance of old age.
>>
>>It is a possibility that everything is controlled by garden gnomes that
live
>>in my kitchen cupboard.
>>
>>Would you say that these facets should be included in science? Does
>>excluding them make the conclusions without them bad science? How would
you
>>include garden gnomes and "Last Thursdayism" as valid science?[...]


We can't exclude these possibilites, really. However, having a belief
doesn't mean that we should be closed to other possibilties - and,
conversely, being open to all possibilities doesn't mean we shouldn't have a
belief.

Consider the consequences of the two extremes. A closed mind with a set
belief will experience unbelivable cognitive dissonance and turmoil when
their belief is contradicted by apparent reality. For example, a
conservative who believes homosexuality is deviant behavior caused by abuse
will be in for a world of hurt if they happen to have a gay child. My best
friend is going through that right now. Similarly, many creationists cling
to the belief that man was created exactly as we are, in the face of all
overwhelming evidence, and many "scientific-minded" people, confronted with
the rapture, would deny that it was happening, decide it was some kind of
elaborate hoax or hallucination, and deny themselves the chance to ascend
into heaven.

But, on the other hand, leaving yourself open to all possibilities is
equally destructive, because it's impossible to make a plan for yourself
without premises to act on. I'm reminded of the late Douglas Adam's
character, "The Ruler of the Universe", who was so caught up in the notion
that everything was subjective that he refused to even make the statement
that his cat must eat to survive, or that his cat was even a cat, or that it
even existed.

I think that one of the finest mantras in life, equal in its profundity to
"Judge not, lest ye be judged", was recently penned by Thom Yorke of
Radiohead: "I might be wrong." Believe in something, but always acknowledge
that you might be wrong. In fact, I think I just might get a T-shirt
printed with those words on it.

Jon


BrgmtNVtvr

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May 30, 2001, 11:19:09 AM5/30/01
to
> I believe it was Einstein who said it.
>I'm not going to quote though, b/c I don't know for sure. (If anyone can
>confirm, please do)
>It went something like this:
>
>Religion without science is blind.
>Science without religion is lame. [Laura]

I can't confirm it, but if he did say it, I seriously doubt what Einstein had
in mind for religion having a place in science involved fundamentalists who
want to undermine all science education.

Fundamentalist Christians in America have this nasty habit of always thinking
their religion is soooooo terribly oppressed. So they demand things like school
prayer, creationism, "faith based federal funding" for social programs, etc. --
never really grasping that if these things are opened up to their own narrow
view, they will necessarily, by fairness and great globs of lawsuits, have to
be opened up to everyone else's narrow view, too, ironically doing the most
promotional good for faiths they find utterly reprehensible (which is,
basically, any faith other than their own). Jerry Falwell was in an orgasm of
delight at Bush's "faith based funding" crapola until Moslems, Jews, Coptics,
Buddhists ... Wiccans ... Satanists ... (ad infinitum) joined him in his
eyerolls of ecstasy. Wait a minute -- *these* guys will get federal money, too?
Holy crap, maybe we better rethink this ...

And that's the problem with "creationism." When they say "creationism," they of
course mean the Bible's version of creation, which is but one creation story
out of literally thousands that human societies have come up with over the
ages. The Bible's own Genesis version isn't even "a" version, it's several
versions patched together, which contradict each other.

The argument that Biblical creation should be taught alongside science because
it can't be proven it's *not* the truth is all fine and dandy until you realize
that means those other thousands of versions should have to be included, as
well. Just to pick one, there's an African Bushmen creation story that says the
earth came into being when the giant god Bumba swallowed some dirt and it
churned in his stomach until he barfed it all up in the form of the world.
Which is entirely stupid to anyone who is not an African Bushman. But you can't
prove it didn't happen! Bushmen "creation scientists" might even offer up the
"supporting evidence" that since hydrochloric acid exists on earth and is a
known component of human vomit, the Bumba story must be Truth. So I want Bumba
in America's public schools, too! We don't want to miss *any* possibilities
here, astronomically remote and contrary to logic and sensibility though they
may be, do we?

The Bible can have its say in America's all-faiths-taxpayer-funded public
schools just as soon as all the happily tax-exempt Christian fundy churches are
willing to give equal time to evolution from the pulpit, just in the spirit of
a little "fairness." And I don't see that happening anytime soon. --Bergie

Daneel

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May 30, 2001, 11:20:29 AM5/30/01