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#204695 - 11/26/06 10:57 AM Dawkins at his very best...
Virus9 Offline
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Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 2108
Loc: Florida
Something I found while surfing this morning. While those with the attention span to watch the entire thing will certainly be in the minority here in the public section of the board, I know there are a few who will appreciate it.

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#204696 - 11/26/06 03:04 PM Re: Dawkins at his very best... [Re: Virus9]
Poetaster Offline
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Thank you for sharing this.

Mr. Dawkins is a wonderful didactic speaker and I thoroughly enjoyed this video.

It is amazing how ridiculous some people can think, and I tip my hat to Mr. Dawkins for being able to courteously deal with such foolishness, while directing his answers not at the questioner THEMSELVES, but rather the audience MEMBERS who would appreciate and understand his answers.

Not one answer to any of the questions was lacking in reason and rationale, and whether I agree with him or not, he earned my respect.

I particularly enjoyed his handling of the young lady who asked him "what if you're wrong..." That was priceless, I would have enjoyed seeing her reaction.

Also, I had a nice chuckle when the "biology" major asked if Mr. Dawkins differentiated between blind faith and reasonable faith. Mr. Dawkins - "No."

Again, thank you for sharing this.
_________________________
"People who harbor strong convictions without evidence belong at the margins of our societies, not in our halls of power. The only thing we should respect in a person’s faith is his desire for a better life in this world; we need never have respected his certainty that one awaits him in the next."

- Sam Harris





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#204697 - 11/26/06 03:56 PM Re: Dawkins at his very best... [Re: Virus9]
$lesk Offline
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Loc: Norway
Fantastic!

Dawkins never fails to impress me with his combination of logic and dry wit.

Thanks for sharing, Virus9!
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#204698 - 11/26/06 05:01 PM Re: Dawkins at his very best... [Re: Virus9]
Rory_Rocketpants Offline
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I enjoyed watching that very much. He spoke clearly and eloquently regarding every question that was asked of him.

I was so impressed, that I am now actually searching for "The God Delusion" on amazon.com.

Thankyou for posting this video, Virus9, it is much appreciated.

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#204699 - 11/26/06 06:40 PM Re: Dawkins at his very best... [Re: Rory_Rocketpants]
Discipline Offline
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Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 6796
Loc: Forever West
I have been reading The God Delusion. It is wonderful book that uses great examples and sharp wit.
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"At last I shall have time to devote myself seriously and freely to the destruction of all my former opinions." ~Descartes

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.” ~Richard Feynman

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#204700 - 11/26/06 06:45 PM Re: Dawkins at his very best... [Re: Virus9]
DamnedLucky Offline

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Registered: 08/03/06
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Loc: Massachusetts, USA
Thank you for posting that upstairs, Virus9. It is appreciated.

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#204701 - 11/26/06 06:51 PM Re: Dawkins at his very best... [Re: Virus9]
evalUate Offline


Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 47
Loc: Michigan
Richard Dawkins is such a joy to listen to. His concise, plain elucidation of reason vs. religious faith is always music to my ears. He is a brave man to confront American’s rabidly myopic faithful, and I applaud him! Thanks for sharing this link. I'm going to pass it around.

HAIL SATAN!
-Nadine

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#204702 - 11/26/06 07:43 PM Re: Dawkins at his very best... [Re: Virus9]
Zaftig Offline
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Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 3406
I was not aware he was that witty.

Very nice. And his brief discussion on ritual was very interesting. Much food for thought.

Thanks for posting.

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#204703 - 11/26/06 08:32 PM Re: Dawkins at his very best... [Re: Virus9]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

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Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 10122
Brilliant display, not only at debunking religious superstition but at supporting the sheer weight with which Darwinism and science wields itself against such superstition.

I also was highly pleased to see his acknowledgement of ritual as a vital component of human affairs; the atheists are finally catching up to what Satanists devised decades ago as the ideal solution to human need.
_________________________
"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

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#204704 - 11/26/06 10:28 PM Re: Dawkins at his very best... [Re: Virus9]
Neko Offline
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Registered: 05/05/04
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Excelent Q&A. Thank you for posting it.

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#204705 - 11/26/06 11:40 PM A splendid de facto Satanist. [Re: Virus9]
Linguascelesta Offline

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Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 2352
Loc: Europa
Some notes I jotted down while watching (well, listening, at least)

I am pleased to see him arguing against insipid Utilitarianism also.

Speaking of people who would rather be happily deluded than accept the truth, I am reminded of the Third Satanic Statement.

I enjoyed his comments about herds, and his subsequent arguments for the seperation of Church and state. It's nice to see that he's supporting Pentagonal Revisionism

I like his response to the question of why quantum theory should be taken more seriously than the idea of the holy trinity despite both concerning things that can be considered paradoxical and "mysterious".

It raised a smile to see that his offered argument against evolution is "the fact that critical thinking and rationality don't seem to be universal attributes of the human mind".

I enjoyed very much his comments on transhumanism. With the possible exception of how he wouldn't consider humanity's future transhumanists to be gods, on the grounds that they would be evolved from humans

I second AmbientLogic's praise of the response to the question "What if you're wrong". This is an important thing to consider whenever one is presented with some fool who hasn't thought Pascal's Wager through properly.

I think one of his hardest-hitting comments was his correct assertion that "There is no such thing as a Christian child, only a child of Christian parentage".

Incidentally "The God Delusion" is a Christmas Special Offer in Waterstone's (Britain's largest bookshop chain). How appropriate

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#204706 - 11/27/06 01:46 AM Re: A splendid de facto Satanist. [Re: Linguascelesta]
redheadgrl Offline


Registered: 09/24/06
Posts: 273
Thanks for your notes on this. I'm having audio difficulties with my computer so I'm unable to listen to the link provided. I enjoyed reading Dawkins "The Selfish Gene," it has lots of interesting theories about tracing human and animal behavior patterns back to genes. I didn't agree with everything he states but I do agree that in order to move forward we need to first understand ourselves better and our genes play a part in this. I especially like this excerpt from the book:
"It is a simple logical truth that, short of mass emigration into
space, with rockets taking off at the rate of several million per
second, uncontrolled birth-rates are bound to lead to horribly
increased death-rates. It is hard to believe that this simple truth is not understood by those leaders who forbid their followers to use effective contraceptive methods. They express a preference for "natural methods" of population limitation, and a natural method is exactly what they are going to get. It is called starvation." - Richard Dawkins (The Selfish Gene)

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#204707 - 11/27/06 02:12 AM Re: A splendid de facto Satanist. [Re: redheadgrl]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

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Which parts didn't you agree with? Most of The Selfish Gene is science, not opinion, and most of it is pretty damned solid. I'm just curious, since I consider that book to be the defining text on modern evolutionary theory.
_________________________
"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

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#204708 - 11/27/06 03:27 AM Re: A splendid de facto Satanist. [Re: Hagen von Tronje]
redheadgrl Offline


Registered: 09/24/06
Posts: 273
Here are some thoughts..any recommended reading is always appreciated, as I'm continuously searching for answers.
Genes predisposition us to behave in one way but our biology/enviroment comes into play and can cause us to act in ways that are contrary to what our pre-programmed genetic material reflects.
Much of our evolutionary success is because of our ability to adapt-which wouldn't be possible if the ultimate outcome was genetically preprogrammed.
Why would a selfish gene want to have so much sex, knowing the intent is not to reproduce?
There is so much variance in the way we deal with our specific human drives and it is often affected by cultural customs, religious beliefs and ideologies-or lack thereof.
Genetics are a vital link but take the behavior of a serial killer. Is it genetic or environmental?

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#204709 - 11/27/06 03:39 AM "Selfish gene", not "knowing gene". [Re: redheadgrl]
Linguascelesta Offline

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Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 2352
Loc: Europa
Quote:

Why would a selfish gene want to have so much sex, knowing the intent is not to reproduce?




My own unprofessional understanding is that it is a selfish "want" not a knowing want. It is things that make one more likely to pass on genes, that are more likely to be passed on. If one has a lot of sex, one is more likely to pass on the gene that says "Have a lot of sex".

I'll leave the more professional explanation to our resident biologist to whom the question was directed.

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#204710 - 11/27/06 03:44 AM Re: "Selfish gene", not "knowing gene". [Re: Linguascelesta]
redheadgrl Offline


Registered: 09/24/06
Posts: 273
A use it or lose it basis for passing on genetic traits? That makes sense to me-but I'm not a biologist either!

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#204711 - 11/27/06 03:51 AM Passing on genetic traits. [Re: redheadgrl]
Linguascelesta Offline

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Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 2352
Loc: Europa
Well, let Me put it another way.

Sex is a hereditary desire.

If your parents didn't have it, chances are good neither will you.

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#204712 - 11/27/06 04:09 AM Re: A splendid de facto Satanist. [Re: redheadgrl]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

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Genes predisposition us to behave in one way but our biology/enviroment comes into play and can cause us to act in ways that are contrary to what our pre-programmed genetic material reflects.

First: if we can truly contradict the behavior then it wasn't a genetically programmed behavior, or else if you're referring to "exceptional" behavior then it is a result of severe warping effects or even genetic anomoly and has no relevance to Dawkins's theory. Deviant behavior, if that's what you mean, isn't related to this at all. If anything it proves his point.

Much of our evolutionary success is because of our ability to adapt-which wouldn't be possible if the ultimate outcome was genetically preprogrammed.

No offense, but you didn't think this one out very well. Aren't we genetically programmed to be adaptable?

Further, your statement is a complete and total contradiction in terms. Think this out: we are evolutionarily successful...but being genetically programmed would contradict that. That's swallowing your own tail, since if genetic programming contradicts evolutionary success, then evolution is impossible. Clearly, you misread Dawkins on this point. He would not support the idea of genetic determinism and goes out of his way to debunk that claim, which is what you seem to think he was supporting.

To clarify this: Dawkins demonstrates that genetic programming precisely supports evolution entirely, and provides a perfect mathematical basis for why natural selection is an absolute certainty.

Why would a selfish gene want to have so much sex, knowing the intent is not to reproduce?

Dawkins never discusses this much to my knowledge, but Desmond Morris does at great length in his books. Reading him would elucidate you on the nature of human sexuality in great detail; essentially nonreproductive human sexuality is a pair bonding mechanism, and is also the reason why our sexual intercourse is so profoundly pleasurable (as opposed to the difficult and even painful copulation of some animals). This is necessary for humans, as a means of ensuring pair bonding long enough to raise our incredibly time consuming and helpless offspring (a byproduct of any number of factors, but especially adult neoteny). Very long story, read The Naked Ape, The Human Zoo, and Intimate Behavior for a far better look at this. Morris is, by the way, a contemporary and friend of Dawkins.

There is so much variance in the way we deal with our specific human drives and it is often affected by cultural customs, religious beliefs and ideologies-or lack thereof.

Yet human customs seem to have certain universal threads in common, something Dawkins points out in this very clip posted. Superb evidence of genetic programming of certain behavior patterns. The aversion to incest, presence of marriage as an essentially lifelong contract (that may be truncated but is rarely set for only a certain length of time), maternal duties and paternal duties being usually distinct and often having similar characteristics cross-culturally, etc, all evidence that this is genetically hardwired.

Genetics are a vital link but take the behavior of a serial killer. Is it genetic or environmental?

You think in inappropriate terms. It very possibly has a link to a genetic predisposition which may not be "a serial killer gene" but rather any number of a spectrum of genes which would predispose one to violence. It almost certainly however has an environmental trigger, since it is usually correlated to certain definable factors in the formative years of the killer. This could fill a whole book.

Basically, what I see is that you expected Dawkins to answer questions that weren't relevant to his thesis. The questions you ask are answered satisfactorily, but they are answered in other books. I highly recommend Morris for answering about 75% of what you ask here, I think you'll find he fills in the "human touch" to Dawkins's hard science.


Edited by LeviathanXIII (11/27/06 04:52 AM)
_________________________
"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

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#204713 - 11/27/06 04:50 AM Re: Dawkins at his very best... [Re: Virus9]
Wile_E_Quixote Offline
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Registered: 03/14/02
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That was generally enjoyable but often rather painfull to watch. Whiney voices stumbling over clumsy, ill thought out questions a lot of the time. I save my real contempt though for the questioners that talked about agreeing with most of what Dawkins said but then revealed that they were theists of one flavour or another. You can just picture them sat during the first part of the lecture, arms folded, eyes almost completely covered by their philosophical burqas (to use the same analogy Dawkins used). If you could get an insight into their thought processes at this time, all you would hear would be "Lalalalalalalala I'm not listening to you lalalalalalalalala!"

One has to wonder how many stupid questions Richard Dawkins will put up with before he decides that he can't take any more of the futility of trying to explain fairly self-evident things to tiny, parochial minds. He certainly has far more patience than me on this count.

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#204714 - 11/27/06 08:14 AM Re: Dawkins at his very best... [Re: Virus9]
Carkosa Offline


Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 359
What a wonderful find! I highly enjoyed it. Richard Dawkins is so intelligent and remarkably eloquent in his delivery. I was however rather shocked that he did not know that anger is a common reaction for people who have freed themselves from religious upbringing. It is so obvious why these people tend to rebel.

Someone also brought up the tired old debate that God exists outside of the laws of physics so our scientific laws do not apply to Him. Funny how physics don't apply to God, yet people give him human physical characteristics, emotions and tendencies! If such a being is beyond the laws of physics why does he mentally resemble humans so much?


Edited by Carkosa (11/27/06 08:20 AM)

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#204715 - 11/27/06 01:37 PM Re: Dawkins at his very best... [Re: Discipline]
Evil_Eve Offline
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Quote:

I have been reading The God Delusion. It is wonderful book that uses great examples and sharp wit.




I have wanted to pick up this book and am pleased to see that you are enjoying it. I'm sure I will also.

Currently though, I am still glued to a book by Carl Sagan.
Once I finish with it, I will be certain to pick this one up.
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#204716 - 11/27/06 07:55 PM Re: A splendid de facto Satanist. [Re: redheadgrl]
Poetaster Offline
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Registered: 01/20/06
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Quote:

Why would a selfish gene want to have so much sex, knowing the intent is not to reproduce?




On the shoulders of what Mr. Leviathan suggested, which I'm sure are wonderful suggestions (I'm not that familiar with Desmond Morris, so I'll be looking into his work as well), I'd like to recommend that you look into The Red Queen Hypothesis - Parasite Theory.

It may not be the correct answer, but it is certainly a reasonable theory.

However, that theory only accounts for why we have sex sometimes. Currently it's being attacked because it doesn't explain why sex is such a FREQUENT practice. Which is confusing to me when I consider how evolution works. Sometimes, I think unecessarily contentious arguments are raised for sheer entertainment value.

In a genetically deterministic paradigm, isn't it reasonable to suggest that since genes are the driving engine of biological evolution, their main priority is replication, and in order to maximize that priority, pleasure stimuli developed? Thereby making it a sure bet that the host organism would provide more chances for genetic-fecundity and longevity?

Coupling that with the mounting evidence that pathogen defense mechanisms are superior in a heterozygous chromosome, as opposed to an inferior defense mechanism in a homozygous chromosome, I'm left thinking that sexual intercourse is a two-fold positive for a genetic agenda. Doesn't seem like a stretch to disregard the negatives when natural-selection already did.

"The more you swing, the more you hit."

Edit: It just occured to me (and I would love to hear from Mr. Leviathan on this point) that provided the mechanics of natural-selection, is it at all plausible to theorize that asexually reproducing organisms (which is a current argument against the necessity of sexually reproducing organisms) is in fact NOT a concurrently running equal theory, but rather an example of why sexual reproduction IS a necessity?


Edited by AmbientLogic (11/27/06 08:24 PM)
_________________________
"People who harbor strong convictions without evidence belong at the margins of our societies, not in our halls of power. The only thing we should respect in a person’s faith is his desire for a better life in this world; we need never have respected his certainty that one awaits him in the next."

- Sam Harris





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#204717 - 11/27/06 08:41 PM Re: A splendid de facto Satanist. [Re: Poetaster]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

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Several things to address:

Sexual reproduction itself has to have a benefit all its own, or it wouldn't have evolved. It's decidedly inferior in convenience to asexual reproduction. That benefit is hotly debated, but Dawkins discusses it at some length in The Selfish Gene. Essentially the benefit is one of genetic heritability and recombination of DNA, but I don't have nearly enough space here to really go into this one. Better read the book for a good explanation.

By "we" are we discussing we humans, or we sexually reproducing organism (all inclusive)? Given the original statement I'll assume humans, and I answered this in short in my post below. Humans have actually evolved a lower fecundity per intercourse encounter for the apparent purpose of cementing pair bonds. Many or even most sexually reproducing organisms have a nearly 100% success rate of fertilization per copulation (at least partial fertility; this statement is partly complicated by organisms with massive broods, but in their case especially at least a portion of the eggs are fertilized, which is what I mean), whereas humans are capable of copulating dozens of times with no fertilization at all even if the female is presently ovulating; further, unlike most animals we regularly copulate when the female is not ovulating, and even while the female is pregnant. The most apparent explanation, given how pleasurable human sex is, is that it serves a non-reproductive function in humans as well as the obvious reproductive function. Compare to bonobos, who use massive sexual networking as a social glue, and who also regularly have sex with no possibility of reproductive success. We use it more specifically as a mate/mate pair bonding glue instead of a social glue, but the principle is virtually the same.

This more or less makes additional theories unnecessary; usually the simplest explanation is by far the most likely, and in this case "why do humans fuck so much?" is a commonsense answer.
_________________________
"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

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#204718 - 11/27/06 08:59 PM Re: A splendid de facto Satanist. [Re: Hagen von Tronje]
Zaftig Offline
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Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 3406
Quote:

Sexual reproduction itself has to have a benefit all its own, or it wouldn't have evolved.




Which would explain homosexuality, sex between infertile and/or elderly couples, and masturbation. Yes?

I recently went to lecture by Dr. Mark Jordan, a theologian and homosexual, who argues for a redifinition of caring relationships, because the commonly understood religious notions exclude all forms of sex besides that for procration. There's actually no biblical precedent against pre-marital sex.

But that's a theologian trying to apply reason to divine revelation. Still, it's interesting to me that even among theists, they grapple with the idea of "why do humans fuck so much?"

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#204719 - 11/27/06 09:10 PM Re: A splendid de facto Satanist. [Re: Hagen von Tronje]
Poetaster Offline
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Loc: East Coast, USA.
Dominant selfish-genes as described by Mr. Dawkins wouldn't necessarily be concerned with an overall productivity of sexual reproduction, especially if the gene in question was perhaps a gene that would benefit from a cross-over? Striving to provide ample opportunity for that cross-over by evolving a mechanism within the host, which would be the entire "gene machine" population, that would engender a greater facility and drive for sexual encounters?

I'm stressing too much genetic determnism here, aren't I?

But like you said, "Why do we fuck so much?" Occam's Razor - Because it's pleasurable and provides a social-bonding between genetic hosts. I have a lot of studying and thinking to do.

I appreciate your guidance, even if it wasn't intended that way.


Edited by AmbientLogic (11/27/06 09:22 PM)
_________________________
"People who harbor strong convictions without evidence belong at the margins of our societies, not in our halls of power. The only thing we should respect in a person’s faith is his desire for a better life in this world; we need never have respected his certainty that one awaits him in the next."

- Sam Harris





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#204720 - 11/27/06 10:48 PM Re: A splendid de facto Satanist. [Re: Poetaster]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

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You're making a very, very common fallacy of laymen learning about evolution.

"Survival of the fittest" is not how it works. It's "marginally better reproductive success over the long term of the marginally better suited in all aspects to achieve optimal reproductive success." Evolution is much less about do-or-die and much more about tiny little adjustments to the ratio of reproductive fecundity over an entire lifespan.

No, it wouldn't matter in the least if human sexual reproduction were less "successful" per copulation if we make up for it by copulating a lot, now would it? Snakes copulate once a year, if that, and produce one clutch of eggs out of that (actually they can produce eggs for years later without copulating again). Humans copulate dozens of times a year, and left to their devices unimpeded by modern birth control, will produce another infant about every year until ill health or death claims the mother's fertility. We reproduce at a perfectly acceptable rate, we just get it on a whole lot more in the process.

Incidentally, there are perfectly good reasons why being more fertile would not be highly desirable...we form such strong pair bonds for a reason, it's because we have quite a time raising up our offspring, especially in a primitive state. It takes around 15 years to raise a "near adult," nearly 5 years to raise the child to halfass self-sufficiency, and at least 2 just to get them feeding themselves. Compare to snakes, who can produce a hundred offspring with no need to care for any of them. Yeah, good reason for us to be slower rather than faster reproducers. The human survival strategy is clearly quality over quantity.

Incidentally, if you're wondering how well pair-bonding translates to Dawkins's gene-centric theory, see his thoughts on genetic altruism and consanguinuity for a perfect, brilliant explanation of this.
_________________________
"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

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#204721 - 11/27/06 10:55 PM Re: A splendid de facto Satanist. [Re: Zaftig]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

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Posts: 10122
Using the quote you provided...no.

Homosexuality is something with zero genetic usefulness. By far the best explanation I've heard is Desmond Morris's malimprinting explanation (very briefly, he considers it a fetish formed like any other clinical fetish).

Sex between infertile couples: simple, your genetically programmed instincts don't know (or care) that what they are doing is useless. Instinct says do this, not "do this if you logically know it will work." Genes don't really work that way, so even behaviors that are biologically useless will be carried out. This is perfect, prime evidence of the validity of Dawkins's theory.

You're thinking way, way too advanced here. Humans didn't evolve sexual reproduction, we inherited it from some pretty damned distant ancestors. Pretty much all animals reproduce sexually (there are a few exceptions), and most plants do as well. Sexual reproduction cleary evolved very early on in evolutionary history, and it clearly evolved independently multiple times. That's amazing, and it's perfect proof that it obviously carries distinct benefits to the gene.

Maybe your confusion is a failure to note the definition of sexual reproduction (the one we're using anyway): reproduction achieved by means of two parents, one carrying an egg cell and one carrying a sperm cell, which are combined into a single zygote containing equal portions of each parent's genes.

The way I'm using it doesn't even suggest intercourse, since many animals (frogs for example) don't have intercourse, they fertilize the eggs externally via the male spraying sperm onto the eggs as the female lays them, thus fertilizing them. That's still sexual reproduction, though it has nothing in common with sex as you and I know it.
_________________________
"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

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#204722 - 11/28/06 12:42 AM Re: "Selfish gene", not "knowing gene". [Re: Linguascelesta]
Groundhog Offline


Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 306
Um, it doesn't sound like many orgasms have been had around Lttd. lately. I could be way off-base here, if so, sorry. I mean, sex is a great stress-reliever. i also heard today, that male contraceptive devices will be available by 2008.
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#204723 - 11/28/06 12:59 AM Pardon? [Re: Groundhog]
Linguascelesta Offline

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Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 2352
Loc: Europa
Quote:

Um, it doesn't sound like many orgasms have been had around Lttd. lately. I could be way off-base here, if so, sorry.




Sorry... what? Did I miss something?

Quote:

I mean, sex is a great stress-reliever.




Even if that's what you mean, it's not what you said. Alice aside...

It is a valid point in its own right, but what bearing does this have on the discussion? Evolution is the topic at present.

Quote:

i also heard today, that male contraceptive devices will be available by 2008.




Actually, there was such a device invented quite some time ago, popularly known as a "condom"

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#204724 - 11/28/06 01:09 AM Re: Pardon? [Re: Linguascelesta]
Groundhog Offline


Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 306
I just wanted to interject, in a non-scientific way, that sex is more than just procreation to me and provides a real physical benefit and it sounded to me like nobody was seeing it in this light. I usually don't manage to get my point across in a proper way. I believe in evolution but I don't think that it always wins out because society has a lot to do these days with the laws
of who has babies by controlling abortions and then there's how the parent takes care of themselves. They could have the best genes in the world, but drink and smoke like a villian and the designer baby could come out a K-mart special.

This came from the Wikipedia:

As far as male contraceptives go: On October 31, 2006; CBS News reported that the drug Adjudin had made male laboratory rats infertile for 20 weeks and they became fertile again soon after with no side effects for the adults or the babies. Adjudin was mixed with a synthetic type of the female hormone FSH and injected into the bellies of the rats, because oral intakes of Adjudin alone were too toxic for the rodents. The study came from the Population Council's Center for Biomedical Research in New York city. Years from now, it might be used by humans.


Edited by ooo (11/28/06 01:15 AM)
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#204725 - 11/28/06 01:12 AM For those interested in evolution [Re: Virus9]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 10122
http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/selfish06/selfish06_index.html

Discussion panel thirty years after the publication of the revolutionary book by Richard Dawkins. Includes audio files of the complete presentation at the bottom of the page. Highly recommended.
_________________________
"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

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#204726 - 11/28/06 01:30 AM And now for something completely different. [Re: Groundhog]
Linguascelesta Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 2352
Loc: Europa
Quote:

I just wanted to interject, in a non-scientific way, that sex is more than just procreation to me and provides a real physical benefit and it sounded to me like nobody was seeing it in this light.




That's because we were talking about evolution. Dawkins is a scientist. Did you watch the video at the start of the thread?

Quote:

I usually don't manage to get my point across in a proper way.




An unfortunate affliction. Of course, the effort must be made if one wishes to be understood.

Quote:

I believe in evolution but I don't think that it always wins out because society has a lot to do these days with the laws
of who has babies by controlling abortions and then there's how the parent takes care of themselves. They could have the best genes in the world, but drink and smoke like a villian and the designer baby could come out a K-mart special.




If we are looking at "the big picture" here, then you are looking at a pixel. Evolution happens on a grand scale. You definitely didn't watch the video, did you? Watch it, and see how he illustrates the magnitude of the timespans involved with evolution. A generation or so is absolutely nothing as far as evolution is concerned.

Quote:

This came from the Wikipedia:

As far as male contraceptives go: On October 31, 2006; CBS News reported that the drug Adjudin...




Right, so that's a drug. You mentioned a male contraceptive device. I mentioned that we already had such an invention, known as a condom. This was correct. I'm still not sure what bearing any of this has on the actual topic.

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#204727 - 11/28/06 01:39 AM Re: And now for something completely different. [Re: Linguascelesta]
Groundhog Offline


Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 306
OK, you are right, I didn't watch it. I will. As far as the "condom" goes. I just thought that it will change the flow of babies out into the world in the near future. Less of them and also, I thought the drug might be a great investment idea. Heck, I'm trying. I'll get there. I want to watch the video but have to wait until morning now.

I didn't mean to say "condom" I meant pill. I need to get some sleep.


Edited by ooo (11/28/06 01:41 AM)
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#204728 - 11/28/06 01:42 AM Re: Pardon? [Re: Groundhog]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 10122
I believe in evolution but I don't think that it always wins out because society has a lot to do these days with the laws

You know, as someone with a cursory knowledge of evolutionary theory, it gets so tiresome repeating the same tired shit to armchair scientists who think their ignorance constitutes a valid scientific opinion.

Evolution, by definition, cannot fail. It's not a pass/fail proposition; whatever happens biologically will be evolution. Period.

Your confusion is that you believe, due to natural human megalomania and hubris, that you are qualified to speak as to what evolution should be. Evolution is happening in the human race, right now, including the massive fecundity of the stupid, it's just not happening the way you wish it would. Unfortunately, like all natural processes (such as gravity, plate tectonics, inertia, etc) you have absolutely no say in how they play out. You are the pawn, not the player. Nature will run its course without your input. Ain't life a bitch that way?
_________________________
"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

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#204729 - 11/28/06 03:16 AM Re: A splendid de facto Satanist. [Re: Hagen von Tronje]
Zaftig Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 3406
Ok. Your explanations are clear. I'll ask two more questions.

Would homosexual behavior among non-human animals (in dolphins for example) also be considered malimprinting?

And, are there any other books you'd recommend as starter books besides the ones you've already mentioned in this thread?

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#204730 - 11/28/06 03:52 AM Re: A splendid de facto Satanist. [Re: Zaftig]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 10122
Yes. Any attraction to something other than a member of the same species of the opposite sex is malimprinting. This does not imply that fetishes pertaining directly to such a person are malimprinting; enjoying a woman who wears stockings is not a case of malimprinting. Being aroused by empty stockings with no woman is malimprinting. So is animal (including human) homosexuality.

Malimprinting in fact a broad phenomenon not limited to sexuality; it is the case where a natural imprinting instinct is targeted at the "wrong" (naturally speaking) thing. A hatchling duck who wrongly identifies a person, or a red balloon, or whatever, as it's "mother" is likewise malimprinting, a classic example that should better illustrate what human fetish really is.

None of this is to say that malimprinting fetishes are "bad" because they do not violate ethics nor do they imply a flaw in the person, but you might as well admit what they are: a misdirection of reproductive urge. Simple as that. I don't condemn it, I'm as guilty of it as anyone.

If you've never read any of these books, I recommend starting with The Naked Ape. It is extremely readable and entertaining and requires no background science. After that you can tackle the others, with this book having "tuned" you to the science mindset better. Understanding evolutionary science really requires getting used to the way scientists discuss this, because it isn't purely a matter of layman's jargon and ways of thinking, hence the common errors.
_________________________
"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

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#204731 - 11/28/06 04:37 AM Re: A splendid de facto Satanist. [Re: Linguascelesta]
Zaftig Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 3406
Quote:

I think one of his hardest-hitting comments was his correct assertion that "There is no such thing as a Christian child, only a child of Christian parentage".




I'm currently researching a paper on women prophesiers in the early Christian church and I came across this from Tertullian, a Christian apologist,

"Men are made, not born, Christians." Tertullian, Apology, 18.4.

LaVey's inversion of this principle makes me all the more consider him a genius. And a funny genius to boot.

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#204732 - 11/28/06 01:45 PM Re: A splendid de facto Satanist. [Re: Zaftig]
Incubus Offline


Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 242
Loc: Connecticut, USA
If Christians are made, not born, then maybe the same is true for serial killers or racists? I've never met a racist baby.

Just a thought...

Thanks a ton for the post, Virus9.
_________________________
"The might of aithêr chases it into the sea, sea spits it out onto solid ground, earth spits it up into rays of the radiant sun and sun hurls it into the whirlpools of aithêr. One receives it from another, then another from another, and they all hate it. This is the way that I too am now going, an exile from the gods and a wanderer, placing my trust in mad Strife."

-Empedocles (c.490 - 430 BCE)




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#204733 - 11/28/06 02:05 PM Re: A splendid de facto Satanist. [Re: Incubus]
Zaftig Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 3406
Racists are made, sure, just like any other person who adopts superiority and descriminates on irrelevant and unsubstantiated criteria.

As for serial killers...my psychiatrist employer says that you may be born with a strong tendency that may be greatly enhanced by circumstances (i.e. abuse) that you may, or may not, act on. However, lots of people were abused and most to not become murderers. So the trait has to be there in the first place.

Sociopaths are not all killers, and there are varying degrees of sociopathic personalities. Some people have a little, some people have a lot. Some like to eat people, some like to run Enron.

So, in my unprofessional opinion, I don't know.

Anyone study this?

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#204734 - 11/28/06 02:14 PM Re: A splendid de facto Satanist. [Re: Incubus]
Drimlybunk Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 04/01/05
Posts: 928
Loc: California
Ever met a baby with the capacity to express racism?

It also depends on how you define racism? Some social theories suggest that we naturally gravitate towards other people like ourselves. If this is true then dividing ourselves by skin color and cultural heritage might be inherent. Violent actions or theories of inferiority based on skin color, however, are almost certainly learned behaviors.

As for serial killers. I believe science has it down to two categories: those that kill out of hatred (learned) and those who have no emotional reaction to killing others (genetic?). The tests that I have seen which support the theory that some people are born with a predisposition to violence and may also be incapable of knowing that killing others is wrong are supported with evidence of brain activity being absent in certain areas which they have concluded a "normal brain" would have. But a similar field has also shown that brain paterns can be the result of conditioning and that the brain, in learning, does physically change to accomodate input. Which means that testing people already identified as serial killers is rather useless in trying to understand how they are made. I think I will just sit comfortably in the "I don't know" chair for now. Paper on Serial Killers after a quick Google search.

I find that while convincing people to bring their children up in religious neutrallity may be quite difficult it would be far more productive to promote a rational logic amongst individuals which would then allow those children a more comfortable environment to question their parent's choices once they are under less obligation to them. The people around me who had a less than supportive upbringing are the first to turn down theistic religion because they learned early on that their parents should not be trusted and that questioning the motives and motivations of everyone was the only way to ensure personal survival.

Welcome to the board, by the way.


Edited by Drimlybunk (11/28/06 02:15 PM)
_________________________
'We train young men to drop fire on people, but their commanders won't allow them to write "fuck" on their airplanes because it's obscene!' -- Col. Kurtz (Apocalypse Now)

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#204735 - 11/28/06 02:22 PM Re: Passing on genetic traits. [Re: Linguascelesta]
Alia Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 10/31/06
Posts: 228
Loc: At Sorrow's End
Quote:

If your parents didn't have it, chances are good neither will you.




Now, now, there's always artificial insemination...
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~Alia~

Carpe Noctem

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#204736 - 11/28/06 02:57 PM Re: A splendid de facto Satanist. [Re: Drimlybunk]
Incubus Offline


Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 242
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Thank you!

I'm no expert, or even particularly knowledgeable about pathological psychology. It's interesting in and of itself that it's so hard to pin down the "nature vs. nurture" aspects of irrational and sociopathic behavior. What it sounds like is that once a pattern of seriously disturbed behavior becomes apparent in the individual, it's too late to accurately discover what caused it. Once the train wreck happens, I guess it's too hard to unscramble the mess and find out the cause.

I don't think kids need to be taught to enjoy torturing guinea pigs if they're so inclined, but perhaps they do need to be taught to hate and fear certain ethnic or social groups in particular.
_________________________
"The might of aithêr chases it into the sea, sea spits it out onto solid ground, earth spits it up into rays of the radiant sun and sun hurls it into the whirlpools of aithêr. One receives it from another, then another from another, and they all hate it. This is the way that I too am now going, an exile from the gods and a wanderer, placing my trust in mad Strife."

-Empedocles (c.490 - 430 BCE)




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#204737 - 11/28/06 03:45 PM Re: Pardon? [Re: Hagen von Tronje]
Groundhog Offline


Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 306
Please forgive me for trying to decondition myself. I am the least loved in society and I am trying to decompress.
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#204738 - 11/28/06 05:24 PM Re: Pardon? [Re: Hagen von Tronje]
Groundhog Offline


Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 306
I know that evolution wins out in the end. What does it win though? It's own existance or something more substantial? I would like a perfectly moral, just, functioning universe with the scientific knowledge available to make life as close to perfect as it can be but I don't have an inkling of what is perfect. What do you think that the goal should be? Genetic engineering to make only people with high I.Q.'s conditioned only to think in what way? I guess watching The Village of the Damned as a child left a huge imprint on my mind. I always think of those perfect children as genetically engineered but in a way that they hate everyone that isn't quite as perfect and logical as they are. It seems like I have been programmed by the media into thinking that only calamity can come from tampering with nature. I realize of course that I am not very scientifically minded probably more science fiction minded than anything.
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#204739 - 11/28/06 05:43 PM Re: And now for something completely different. [Re: Linguascelesta]
Groundhog Offline


Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 306

I listened to all of the video and I probably will again too. Dawkins talked about two things that I have been thinking about as well. I was just reading on the internet that there are a few states that do not allowed Atheists to run for certain offices and I find that to be ridiculous.

Article IX, Sec. 2, of the Tennessee constitution ("No Atheist shall hold a civil office") states: "No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments shall hold any office in the civil department of this state." Arkansas, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas have similar laws.*

Also, here's a winning quote: "I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God. -- George Herbert Walker Bush

Atheists are indeed the least loved in society and I agree not eagerly welcomed when they do venture out of the closet.

Christian children (Any child that is a believer in some kind of religion) was more than likely made and not born to be that way. I completely agree with that and think it is counterproductive to evolution. Even if our bodies change and our brains are in perfect health, if what goes into them is crap, that's what comes back out, n'est pas?

I have never heard of the word deconditioning until today.
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#204740 - 11/28/06 06:04 PM Re: A splendid de facto Satanist. [Re: Incubus]
Zaftig Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 3406
Quote:

I don't think kids need to be taught to enjoy torturing guinea pigs if they're so inclined, but perhaps they do need to be taught to hate and fear certain ethnic or social groups in particular.




Why?

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#204741 - 11/28/06 07:01 PM Re: A splendid de facto Satanist. [Re: Zaftig]
Incubus Offline


Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 242
Loc: Connecticut, USA
You know what? I'm not sure. Now that I think about it, I don't have any evidence to support the notion one way or the other. I just remember some kids in school who seemed "naturally" predatory and heedless of punishment from teachers. But I suppose they could have learned that behavior from their parents or siblings.
_________________________
"The might of aithêr chases it into the sea, sea spits it out onto solid ground, earth spits it up into rays of the radiant sun and sun hurls it into the whirlpools of aithêr. One receives it from another, then another from another, and they all hate it. This is the way that I too am now going, an exile from the gods and a wanderer, placing my trust in mad Strife."

-Empedocles (c.490 - 430 BCE)




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#204742 - 11/28/06 07:24 PM Re: Dawkins at his very best... [Re: Virus9]
Varg_Gorgon Offline
Banned

Registered: 11/12/06
Posts: 91
Loc: Canada
Wow, a really stimulating discussion they had there. Some amussing things like that bit about 'that which is comfort, and that which is true,' one'd have to agree that many people seem unable to grasp the essential difference between those concepts. Other interesting part was that guy who went on to argue that it's because one believes that a ball can bounce; that he's seeing professor Dawkins in front of him because he believe so... Reminds of an Internet debate I had with some 16-year-old christian kid, I'd never thought university level students would make such arguments (we experience the world through our senses, should these senses be disturbed by the use of drugs that experience just changes, it's modified, but it's still accurate so far as our senses are concerned).

Thanks for sharing, eh?


Edited by Varg_Gorgon (11/28/06 07:44 PM)

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#204743 - 11/28/06 07:59 PM Re: A splendid de facto Satanist. [Re: Incubus]
reprobate Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
Loc: Canada
I think she was asking about this part:

Quote:

perhaps they do need to be taught to hate and fear certain ethnic or social groups in particular




... because it's ambiguous. I think lexiphanic took you to be saying that kids should be taught to hate and fear. You could also be saying, if they are going to wind up hating or fearing, they would have to have been taught it.
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reprobate

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#204744 - 11/28/06 08:20 PM Re: A splendid de facto Satanist. [Re: reprobate]
Incubus Offline


Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 242
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Oh, sorry. I wasn't clear enough.

I don't condone teaching kids to hate. I meant to say that parents who hate teach their kids to do the same. I've seen films of KKK rallies where the participants take their kids, for example.
_________________________
"The might of aithêr chases it into the sea, sea spits it out onto solid ground, earth spits it up into rays of the radiant sun and sun hurls it into the whirlpools of aithêr. One receives it from another, then another from another, and they all hate it. This is the way that I too am now going, an exile from the gods and a wanderer, placing my trust in mad Strife."

-Empedocles (c.490 - 430 BCE)




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#204745 - 11/28/06 08:30 PM Re: Pardon? [Re: Groundhog]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 10122
I am not very scientifically minded probably more science fiction minded than anything

Sounds like it. Again, just because you think you know what is best for nature doesn't mean you do. In fact, you probably don't.

Evolutionarily speaking, if the "intelligent elite" are so lacking in reproductive urge that they are totally overrun by the readily reproducing idiot masses, then they deserve to be stamped out from the gene pool. Simple as that.
_________________________
"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

Top
#204746 - 11/28/06 08:30 PM Re: A splendid de facto Satanist. [Re: Incubus]
Zaftig Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 3406
Thank you for clearing that up. Reprobate was correct, your phrasing was unclear.

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#204747 - 11/28/06 08:41 PM Re: A splendid de facto Satanist. [Re: Zaftig]
Incubus Offline


Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 242
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Thanks for giving me a chance to clear it up. Dumb mistake on my part.
_________________________
"The might of aithêr chases it into the sea, sea spits it out onto solid ground, earth spits it up into rays of the radiant sun and sun hurls it into the whirlpools of aithêr. One receives it from another, then another from another, and they all hate it. This is the way that I too am now going, an exile from the gods and a wanderer, placing my trust in mad Strife."

-Empedocles (c.490 - 430 BCE)




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#204748 - 11/28/06 08:50 PM Re: Pardon? [Re: Groundhog]
Chess Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 09/09/02
Posts: 1473
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
Quote:

It seems like I have been programmed by the media into thinking that only calamity can come from tampering with nature. I realize of course that I am not very scientifically minded probably more science fiction minded than anything.




Nah. The science-fiction-minded folks are aware that simple "monster destroys its creator as symbolic punishment for tampering with nature" stories haven't been in vogue since the 1920s.

-Chess

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#204749 - 11/29/06 12:13 AM Re: Pardon? [Re: Groundhog]
Discipline Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 6796
Loc: Forever West
It seems like I have been programmed by the media into thinking that only calamity can come from tampering with nature.

You seriously think that? Then why are you using the internet or enjoying cooked food? Both are products from tampering with nature.

Godzilla is knocking on your front door.
_________________________
"I've learned . . . that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes." ~Andy Rooney

"At last I shall have time to devote myself seriously and freely to the destruction of all my former opinions." ~Descartes

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.” ~Richard Feynman

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#204750 - 11/29/06 01:13 AM Re: Pardon? [Re: Discipline]
Groundhog Offline


Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 306
I'm just a cog in the wheel, an insignificant little blurp on the screen. I love Godzilla. Come to me Godzilla and let me pet you on your nose.
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#204751 - 11/29/06 01:17 AM Re: Pardon? [Re: Groundhog]
Discipline Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 6796
Loc: Forever West
No one can tame Godzilla!
_________________________
"I've learned . . . that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes." ~Andy Rooney

"At last I shall have time to devote myself seriously and freely to the destruction of all my former opinions." ~Descartes

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.” ~Richard Feynman

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#204752 - 11/29/06 01:32 AM Re: Pardon? [Re: Groundhog]
Danny Mc. Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 11/05/04
Posts: 2143
Loc: Taxationland
Quote:

I'm just a cog in the wheel, an insignificant little blurp on the screen.




If that's where you like to be, then don't f*cking complain about it!
_________________________
"To be born into this world a sentient, self-conscious and reasoning being, surrounded by inexhaustible glories in Nature, which we may comprehend, possess,enjoy; to be able to rise on the wings of a lofty imagination; to be able to get glimpses of the ideally perfect; to apprehend the Divine; it is to the development and enjoyment of these high powers that the young man is invited. How dare he refuse to qualify himself by the most perfect training of all his powers." Lyman J. Gage 1910


"Follow Me!", John M. (Delta).

"I've learned that you shouldn't compare yourself to others - they are more screwed up than you think." Something Magistra Isabel posted. laugh

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#204753 - 11/29/06 01:54 AM Re: Pardon? [Re: Danny Mc.]
Groundhog Offline


Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 306
That's what most people are. At least I know what I am. Who is more than that? There are some people who are. I will respect your right to tell me you don't want to hear my complaints.
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#204754 - 11/29/06 02:08 AM Re: Pardon? [Re: Groundhog]
Drimlybunk Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 04/01/05
Posts: 928
Loc: California
Quote:

That's what most people are.




You imply that is resonable justification for your conclusion.



Quote:

Who is more than that?




I am.

What did you think being your own god meant?
_________________________
'We train young men to drop fire on people, but their commanders won't allow them to write "fuck" on their airplanes because it's obscene!' -- Col. Kurtz (Apocalypse Now)

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#204755 - 11/29/06 02:16 AM Re: Pardon? [Re: Groundhog]
Danny Mc. Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 11/05/04
Posts: 2143
Loc: Taxationland
Quote:

That's what most people are. At least I know what I am.




If you like to be considered with most people, then good luck!

Quote:

Who is more than that? There are some people who are.




You will do well to keep hope in yourself. Satanists would never talk like this.

Again good luck!
_________________________
"To be born into this world a sentient, self-conscious and reasoning being, surrounded by inexhaustible glories in Nature, which we may comprehend, possess,enjoy; to be able to rise on the wings of a lofty imagination; to be able to get glimpses of the ideally perfect; to apprehend the Divine; it is to the development and enjoyment of these high powers that the young man is invited. How dare he refuse to qualify himself by the most perfect training of all his powers." Lyman J. Gage 1910


"Follow Me!", John M. (Delta).

"I've learned that you shouldn't compare yourself to others - they are more screwed up than you think." Something Magistra Isabel posted. laugh

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#204756 - 11/29/06 03:44 AM Re: Dawkins at his very best... [Re: Virus9]
Mr_47 Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 3082
Loc: Pure Imagination
Thanks for sharing this. I really do enjoy watching Dawkins explain his theories. I especially like it when he was asked about the existance of critical thinking he replied with a question as to why there was such a lack of critical thinking.

Dawkins certainly knows his material. I was quite pleased how he and the theists present were able to converse quite intelligently and how he had a very logical explanation for every scenario they presented to him. In my own personal experience, most theists are die-hard and can't debate in such a gentle manner as they did with him.

Watching this video has made me want to pick up a copy of The God Delusion for myself. I've only browsed through other's copies and never really had a chance to sit and read it for myself. I have had the pleasure of reading articles featuring him and have seen him on television before. I really like his viewpoints on science vs. theism.

I noticed he likes to refer to himself as a defacto atheist. I'd certainly view him as a defacto of a different color.

Also, I noticed this video ended partially through the presentation, is there another video of the remainder of the presentation?


Edited by xDravenx (11/29/06 03:45 AM)

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#204757 - 11/29/06 09:42 AM Re: Dawkins at his very best... [Re: Mr_47]
Discipline Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 6796
Loc: Forever West
It is not hard to have answer of the top of your head for theists. Most of my answers include, "That is a silly argument. So silly it does not deserve a response."
_________________________
"I've learned . . . that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes." ~Andy Rooney

"At last I shall have time to devote myself seriously and freely to the destruction of all my former opinions." ~Descartes

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.” ~Richard Feynman

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#204758 - 11/29/06 10:33 AM Re: Dawkins at his very best... [Re: Mr_47]
Neko Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 798
Quote:

Dawkins certainly knows his material. I was quite pleased how he and the theists present were able to converse quite intelligently and how he had a very logical explanation for every scenario they presented to him. In my own personal experience, most theists are die-hard and can't debate in such a gentle manner as they did with him.




Actually, I do not think the theists handled themselves well at all. They were repeatedly fumbling over their words which I am sure was in part just nervousness. Based on some of the remarks by Dawkins it was apparent that that some of them really didn’t listen to his original speech, suggesting that they weren’t listening objectively. And I think the only reason they didn’t throw a hissy fit was because they were intimidated by him and weren’t really given an opportunity to retort.

It really wasn’t a debate as the questioners weren’t able to respond back to the answers they were given. I am sure that if they were in private, where they would feel more comfortable they would have acted like the typical nutcases your familiar with.


One professor mentioned that he brought his students there just so they could observe an atheist, like Dr. Dawkins was a fucking specimen in lab. They weren’t there to see if he had anything say that might actually hold a shred of truth. They had made up their minds that they felt he was full of shit before even going; how completely disrespectful. Well, maybe the professor isn’t an accurate representation of his class as a whole but, the professor was rather rude.

Dr. Dawkins held himself with class and dignity but, I cannot say the same for some of his audience.
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#204759 - 11/29/06 12:18 PM Re: Pardon? [Re: Drimlybunk]
Groundhog Offline


Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 306
You said: "What did you think being your own god meant? " It would mean to me evolution. I need to evolve into my own God. I am in the process of that. I didn't start with a very God-like beginning. I am coming out of some hard times and maybe I'm just supposed to all of a sudden be my own God. OK, I just don't feel like I'm a womderful God right now and I think I'll know when the transition occurs. I need to read and study more to be where I will be comfortable making such a claim for myself.
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#204760 - 11/29/06 12:21 PM Re: Pardon? [Re: Danny Mc.]
Groundhog Offline


Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 306
I am progressing toward becoming what I want. It takes time to read and educate yourself.
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#204761 - 11/29/06 01:29 PM Re: Pardon? [Re: Groundhog]
Virus9 Offline
CoS Priest

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 2108
Loc: Florida
I need to evolve into my own God

If you need to evolve into being your own god, then you are in the wrong place.
_________________________
Everyone is special in their own way, and by "special" I mean the short-bus variety.

"Recognize the phrase 'national interest' as a synonym for 'self-interest' and you will find no moral obstacle that cannot be removed from the highway of ambition."
-Lewis Lapham

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."
-Winston Churchill

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#204762 - 11/29/06 01:41 PM Re: Pardon? [Re: Virus9]
Groundhog Offline


Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 306
Virus9,
I don't think so because I want to be stronger etc. I am sincerely interested in learning.
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#204763 - 11/29/06 02:11 PM Re: Pardon? [Re: Groundhog]
Carkosa Offline


Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 359
Quote:

You said: "What did you think being your own god meant? " It would mean to me evolution. I need to evolve into my own God. I am in the process of that. I didn't start with a very God-like beginning. I am coming out of some hard times and maybe I'm just supposed to all of a sudden be my own God. OK, I just don't feel like I'm a womderful God right now and I think I'll know when the transition occurs. I need to read and study more to be where I will be comfortable making such a claim for myself.




When one reads The Satanic Bible, it shouldn't be a manual to change your life (which is in total contradiction to Satanism) to fit what Anton LaVey wrote. TSB is a literary mirror for Satanists who read it and they identify with it. You don't convert to Satanism. There should be no struggle. If you have to struggle, you are not a Satanist. It's great that you are opening up your eyes and perhaps Atheism should be your next step. Satanism however, is different. Satanists are born, not made. Period.

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#204765 - 11/29/06 03:33 PM Re: Dawkins at his very best... [Re: Discipline]
Mr_47 Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 3082
Loc: Pure Imagination
Quote:

It is not hard to have answer of the top of your head for theists. Most of my answers include, "That is a silly argument. So silly it does not deserve a response."




This is true.

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#204766 - 11/29/06 03:37 PM Re: Dawkins at his very best... [Re: Neko]
Mr_47 Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 3082
Loc: Pure Imagination
Quote:


It really wasn’t a debate as the questioners weren’t able to respond back to the answers they were given. I am sure that if they were in private, where they would feel more comfortable they would have acted like the typical nutcases your familiar with.






I'd have to agree, if they were in private it would have most likely been more heated. They were stumling over their words, but at least they weren't screaming like idiots.

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#204767 - 11/29/06 03:46 PM Re: Pardon? [Re: Groundhog]
Minus Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 05/10/06
Posts: 2236
Loc: Circling A Star
Quote:

I need to evolve into my own God. I am in the process of that.




You are, already, the God of your own subjective universe. You have no choice in the matter. Whether you are a strong, wise and successful God or a failure is up to you. Stop making excuses and embrace yourself. You seem to be waiting for something. That is useless. The time is now! Take control of your life and earn the title of Godhood! Don't wait for someone to bestow it on you.
_________________________
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Minus

"When the great lord passes, the wise peasant bows deeply and silently farts."
-Ethiopian Proverb

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#204768 - 11/29/06 03:51 PM Re: Pardon? [Re: Carkosa]
Groundhog Offline


Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 306
It's not Satanism that I don't identify with. I just haven't been a big success in my life up to this point and I am hesitant about professing myself to be a God as I feel somewhat tainted by my past before I ever read TSB or even knew that CoS existed which I am using as a guide to learn with/from.
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#204769 - 11/29/06 03:53 PM Re: Pardon? [Re: Minus]
Drimlybunk Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 04/01/05
Posts: 928
Loc: California
It has been proven to me improbable and illogical to try to convince or convey "our" understanding of this matter to people who do not immediately agree with it.

Those who try to become a god will find themselves in a circular search for a way to achieve an impossible goal.
_________________________
'We train young men to drop fire on people, but their commanders won't allow them to write "fuck" on their airplanes because it's obscene!' -- Col. Kurtz (Apocalypse Now)

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#204770 - 11/29/06 03:57 PM Re: Pardon? [Re: Drimlybunk]
Minus Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 05/10/06
Posts: 2236
Loc: Circling A Star
I know...

It's just maddening because it's RIGHT THERE! The answer is in plain view and ripe for the taking yet so many people just pass it by and never get to taste the sweetness of the forbidden fruit.
_________________________
Hail Satan!
Minus

"When the great lord passes, the wise peasant bows deeply and silently farts."
-Ethiopian Proverb

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#204771 - 11/29/06 04:27 PM Re: Pardon? [Re: Groundhog]
Neko Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 798
You can't change what has already happened. You can, if you choose to, control the present and affect change for your future. Seek to actively control the 'now' and not be controlled by your past.
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#204772 - 11/29/06 05:10 PM Re: Pardon? [Re: Groundhog]
Carkosa Offline


Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 359
Quote:

It's not Satanism that I don't identify with.




You do not identify with Satanism. You agree with it. Big difference. How can you identify with it if your whole life up to this point was in direct conflict with Satanism?


Quote:

I just haven't been a big success in my life up to this point and I am hesitant about professing myself to be a God as I feel somewhat tainted by my past before I ever read TSB or even knew that CoS existed which I am using as a guide to learn with/from.




What do you define as unsuccessful? Not being able to reach certain goals because of obstacles? Or purposely being an irresponsible loser who does nothing to get out your bad situation? Everyone goes through difficult times some time or another in life. What truly matters and defines you as a Satanist is how you deal with it.

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#204773 - 11/29/06 05:16 PM Re: Pardon? [Re: Carkosa]
Groundhog Offline


Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 306
It's personal so if you want to know, p.m. me.
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#204774 - 11/29/06 05:30 PM Re: Pardon? [Re: Neko]
Groundhog Offline


Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 306
Quote:

You can't change what has already happened. You can, if you choose to, control the present and affect change for your future. Seek to actively control the 'now' and not be controlled by your past.




This is exactly what I am doing...........The TSB gave me the desire to do so. I was unaware that there were others like me until I found the CoS website. I thought I was bad until I learned that I was really good and not bad. I used to try to make myself good and hated myself because I was bad. My family always made me feel crazy because I could never be happy walking in their shoes (going to church and in general thanking God for any positive results in my life). Now, that I know that I am God, things will change and I will seek positive results for myself since I have no reason to rebel against myself.
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#204775 - 11/29/06 08:28 PM Re: Dawkins at his very best... [Re: Virus9]
Shelle Offline


Registered: 05/15/06
Posts: 52
Thanks for posting this video! I thoroughly enjoyed Richard Dawkins articulate eloquent speech and wit. It was very entertaining. This was my first time hearing of him. I have had debates in the past few years with theist aquaintances on similar topics. It was informative when he spoke about morals and altruism as a bi product of our Darwinist ancestry. After seeing this video (among other videos of him on youtube),i'm excited about purchasing his (as well as Sam Harris and Desmond Morris)literary works; particularly, The Selfish Gene. However, the audience didn't seem to be asking well thought out questions. What really struck me most was when he mentioned the human emotional need for ritual when someone dies, gets married, etc. "THAT'S SATANISM!", I thought. When he mentions using the argument that one can not disprove gods existence must mean that he does exist and uses examples of the invisible pink unicorn, the flying spaghetti monster and the celestial tea cup gave me quite a chuckle along with agreeing with him.
Here is another short video of his that I found of his. There is even an illustration of the flying spaghetti monster.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLN1Bd7M1hc


Edited by Shelle (11/29/06 08:34 PM)

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#204776 - 11/29/06 08:32 PM Re: Dawkins at his very best... [Re: Shelle]
Rory_Rocketpants Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 11/28/05
Posts: 1795
Loc: unknown
Quote:

the audience didn't seem to be asking well thought out questions.




Bare in mind, most of the well-thought-out questions came from the people that weren't theists... (or Christians, to be more specific)

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#204777 - 12/02/06 11:22 PM Re: A splendid de facto Satanist. [Re: Hagen von Tronje]
redheadgrl Offline


Registered: 09/24/06
Posts: 273
Thank You Warlock LeviathanXIII for taking the time to respond to my questions. I'll add the books by Morris on my reading list (The Naked Ape, The Human Zoo, and Intimate Behavior) as they sound very interesting!

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#204778 - 12/04/06 08:56 AM Re: Dawkins at his very best... [Re: Virus9]
MagdaGraham Offline
CoS Priestess

Registered: 06/23/04
Posts: 13369
Loc: Scotland
The Independent, London
Home > News > People > Profiles
Richard Dawkins: You Ask The Questions Special
The scientist, author and campaigning atheist answers your questions, such as 'What would you say at the gates of heaven?'
Published: 04 December 2006
In the beginning was ...? ALAN BROADHURST, Nottingham

Simplicity.

What is there to distinguish your intolerance from that of a religious fanatic? TONY REYNOLDS, By e-mail

It would be intolerant if I advocated the banning of religion, but of course I never have. I merely give robust expression to views about the cosmos and morality with which you happen to disagree. You interpret that as 'intolerance' because of the weirdly privileged status of religion, which expects to get a free ride and not have to defend itself. If I wrote a book called The Socialist Delusion or The Monetarist Delusion, you would never use a word like intolerance. But The God Delusion sounds automatically intolerant. Why? What's the difference?

I have a (you might say fanatical) desire for people to use their own minds and make their own choices, based upon publicly available evidence. Religious fanatics want people to switch off their own minds, ignore the evidence, and blindly follow a holy book based upon private 'revelation'. There is a huge difference.

You fail to make any distinction between organised religion (which can be dangerous) and an individual's 'belief in God' (which harms no one). Why do you seem incapable of separating the two? GARY HOWE, By e-mail

Of course I am capable of separating the two. But whether beliefs are dangerous or harmless is not the only interesting basis for separating them. There is also the little matter of whether they are true. Scientists care about such things.

Terrible things have been done in the name of Christ, but all he ever taught was peace and love. What's wrong with that? CHRISTOPH ALEXANDER, London SW19

Nothing is wrong with peace and love. It is all the more regrettable that so many of Christ's followers seem to disagree. I once wrote an article called " Atheists for Jesus", (see www.RichardDawkins.net ) and was delighted to be presented with a T-shirt bearing the slogan.

Do you consider parents forcing children to accept their religion a form of child abuse? JAMES MACDONALD, Bronte, New South Wales

Yes. What would you think of parents who forced their children to accept their politics, or their taste in architecture? Have you ever heard anyone speak of a "Leninist child" or a "Postmodernist child"? Of course not. Why, then, do we all go along with "Christian child" and "Muslim child"? Such labelling of children with their parents' religion is child abuse.

Do you get a real kick out of arguing with believers? PAM KELLY, By e-mail

No.

Does your wife ever say "Bless you" after you sneeze, just to annoy you? DOUG MACKENZIE DODDS, Reading

Bless you, I'd have to be dreadfully literal-minded to be annoyed by that. What do you take me for, one of those people who sends Christmas cards to The Archers?

Like you, I am an atheist but could there be a place for the metaphor provided by religion - and particularly mythology - in human life? STEPHEN PALMER, Shrewsbury Sixth Form College

Metaphors are fine if they aid understanding, but sometimes they get in the way. It can be better to cut straight to the real thing and bypass the metaphor altogether.

Einstein, Newton, Bacon, Kepler, Pascal, Boyle and Faraday all believed in God. Does it bother you that such eminent scientists might not have been " deluded"? BEN TAYLOR, by e-mail

It was hard to be an atheist before The Origin of Species. Einstein is the only member of your list who was born into the post-Darwinian world, and it is no accident that he was also the only one who didn't believe in God. He declared: "It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. "

Do you not worry that ultimately most of humanity simply can't cope with the idea of there being no God? JAMES SPIERS, New York City

I hope you are wrong, because it seems a rather patronising insult to humanity. Anyway, I think there is a higher nobility - and greater solace - in coping with what is true, even if it is frightening or painful. See http://richarddawkins.net/

Your campaign to expose the irrationality of religious belief seems to have given y ou a higher profile than your work in evolutionary biology. Would you rather be known as Richard Dawkins the scientist or Richard Dawkins the militant atheist? CLIVE ROBERTS, Rhyl

Bertrand Russell called himself the Passionate Sceptic. It's aiming high, but I'll shoot for that.

How should an atheist compassionately respond to someone who says that without a belief in a spiritual afterlife he would not have been able to endure the death of a much-loved child? GORDON PETER DUFF, Sheffield

Compassionate doctors sometimes lie to patients about the severity of their condition, and it is not always wrong to do so. I prefer not to follow the precedent, however. Instead, I would point out how lucky we are to have lived at all, however briefly. I developed the thought in the opening words of Unweaving the Rainbow, (see www.RichardDawkins.net ) which I hope will be read at my own funeral.

What do you think happened to the body of Jesus, and how does that tally with the accounts of the resurrection? GRANVILLE SYKES, By e-mail

Presumably what happened to Jesus was what happens to all of us when we die. We decompose. Accounts of Jesus's resurrection and ascension are about as well-documented as Jack and the Beanstalk.

Our pub quiz team is named The Church of Richard Dawkins. At a recent Oxford quiz night, we were told to change our name in case it was deemed offensive to any churchgoers present. Have you any suggestions for a " less offensive" name? RICHARD O SMITH, Oxford

And they call me intolerant! I am shocked that this happened in Oxford, of all places. I hope you win the tournament so resoundingly that you can dictate terms and call yourselves whatever you like. "Offensive" my foot.

Are people who advocate intelligent design stupid, and do you think natural selection will operate to remove them from future generations? ADAM KHAN, The Hague, Netherlands

The majority are ignorant, which is not the same thing as stupid. Natural selection will not remove ignorance from future generations. Education may, and that is the hope to which we must cling.

Mary Midgley, the philosopher, has taken you to task for using words such as "selfish" to describe the unconscious entity of the gene. Has she a point and is there still personal bitterness between the two of you? DECLAN ELLIS, Cambridge

Oh yes, what a good point. And how about physicists talking about quarks as having "charm"? Isn't that terrible? Or doctors talking about an " aggressive" cancer? Or economists talking about the European monetary " snake"? I dealt with Mary Midgley in an article called "In Defence of Selfish Genes" in the same journal that published her unprovoked attack. For the text, see www.royalinstitutephilosophy.org

Why have you not engaged in public debate with Alister McGrath, Mary Midgley, Michael Ruse, Keith Ward, or indeed anyone else who would present you with a serious challenge? JAMES RADFORD, By e-mail

The producers of my Channel 4 documentary [Root of All Evil?] invited the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and the Chief Rabbi to be interviewed by me. All declined, doubtless for good reasons. I don't enjoy the debate format, but I once had a public debate with the then Archbishop of York, and The Observer quoted the verdict of one disconsolate clergyman as he left the hall: "That was easy to sum up - Lions 10, Christians nil."

Should men submit to their selfish genes, dump their wives and go for younger, blonder models? CAROLYN SANCHEZ, Manchester

No. We gave up submitting to our selfish genes long ago, when we took up clothes, contraceptives, sonnets, cubism, astronomy, snooker, bungee-jumping and other things that our selfish genes would at best consider a waste of time. Scientific facts about the world do not translate into moral " shoulds".

I have huge respect for you as an evolutionary biologist and free thinker but my admiration was greatly enhanced when I discovered you were married to the fabulous Lalla Ward. Forgive me, but has she still got that fetching sailor suit she wore on Doctor Who? STEVE DODDING, Peterborough

Alas, no, it has gone to the great wardrobe mistress in the sky. But Lalla doesn't need a costume to fetch me.

You have been an incredible force in popularising Darwinism. What original research would you like to be remembered for? IRENE TAL, Cambridge

The Extended Phenotype, although you could say it's philosophical rather than scientific research.

How did a science geek like you get such an attractive wife? GARY HAMMOND, London

I suggest you go to " The Sexiest Man Living" at salon.com and eat your words. But seriously (of course you knew there had to be a "but seriously"), science has an image problem with young people, and phrases like " science geek" don't help. Isn't it a bit like "kraut" or " dago"?

You backed an anti-war candidate in the last election. Would you be happier if Saddam Hussein were still in power? ANTHONY SHEEN, Macclesfield

Oh, how silly of me. You see, I had this foolish memory that Saddam Hussein was given an ultimatum on the eve of war that if he surrendered his weapons of mass destruction war would be averted. Silly me, I thought that meant the purpose of the war was to remove his WMD. Oh, so now I understand. All along, the purpose of the war to to remove Saddam Hussein. Oh, I see (copyright: J Cleese). Now the Taliban are coming back to power, because Bush and Blair took their eye off Afghanistan and charged into Iraq instead. You know, horrible as Saddam Hussein was, I believe I'd rather have him than the Taliban. Last week in Afghanistan, a teacher was disembowelled and torn to pieces by four motorbikes pulling in opposite directions, for the religious crime of teaching girls algebra. I don't think even Saddam Hussein executed people for teaching girls algebra.

Is global warming a threat to the human species? ROBIN THOMPSON, Oxford

Yes. You could say that the human species is a threat to the human species. I recommend Al Gore's film on global warming. See it and weep. Not just for the human species. Weep for what we could have had in 2000, but for the vote-rigging in Jeb Bush's Florida.

I salute your courage in questioning Christianity, but what do you do on Christmas Day when everyone is celebrating? I presume you do not send or receive cards or give/receive presents. BRENDA EVANS, Dorset

Why do you presume that? Do you seriously imagine that all - or even a majority of - the people who send cards and presents are followers of Jesus? Why, even the music we have to endure in shops is usually "White Christmas", "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", and the nauseating "Jingle Bells". What's religious about that?

If you died and arrived at the gates of Heaven, what would you say to God to justify your lifelong atheism? VALERIE JACKSON, Richmond

I'd quote Bertrand Russell: "Not enough evidence, God, not enough evidence." But why is God assumed to care so much about whether you believe in him? Maybe he wants you to be generous, kind, loving, and honest - and never mind what you believe.

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#204779 - 12/04/06 09:19 AM Re: Dawkins at his very best... [Re: MagdaGraham]
reprobate Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
Loc: Canada
Quote:

I have huge respect for you as an evolutionary biologist and free thinker but my admiration was greatly enhanced when I discovered you were married to the fabulous Lalla Ward. Forgive me, but has she still got that fetching sailor suit she wore on Doctor Who? STEVE DODDING, Peterborough

Alas, no, it has gone to the great wardrobe mistress in the sky. But Lalla doesn't need a costume to fetch me.






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#204780 - 12/04/06 01:44 PM Re: Dawkins at his very best... [Re: MagdaGraham]
Discipline Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 6796
Loc: Forever West
I do admire Richard Dawkins' work in both biology and his charge against religion. However, I disagree with is viewpoint of war (though I could agree it has been badly managed) and his starch stance on global warming.

But those slight disagreements are excusable in my book.
_________________________
"I've learned . . . that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes." ~Andy Rooney

"At last I shall have time to devote myself seriously and freely to the destruction of all my former opinions." ~Descartes

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.” ~Richard Feynman

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#204781 - 12/05/06 04:40 PM Re: Dawkins at his very best... [Re: reprobate]
Poetaster Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 01/20/06
Posts: 2334
Loc: East Coast, USA.
Makes you want to be a scientist, doesn't it?
_________________________
"People who harbor strong convictions without evidence belong at the margins of our societies, not in our halls of power. The only thing we should respect in a person’s faith is his desire for a better life in this world; we need never have respected his certainty that one awaits him in the next."

- Sam Harris





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