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British school cancels Darwin/Evolution play

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GJHarney
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Re: British school cancels Darwin/Evolution play

#200423

Postby GJHarney » February 10th, 2019, 10:14 pm

ursaminortaur wrote:Human evolution is still continuing but now and in the future it is likely to be increasingly a feedback process as we adapt to changes which we ourselves have made to the environment we live in and how we live.


Yes, I understand disease and environment selection that can affect gene inheritance. Such things occur in any populations in any species. However, evolutionary leaps that have occurred in the past are related to isolated gene pools (over significant periods of time) where random genetic mutation is able to become established and where changes within a species can develop to the extent that the isolated population becomes distinct and separate from the wider population it was once part of.

That process has finished completely in humans, there are no longer isolated gene pools areas within the species that could allow that distinct change to happen. In fact even 'races' are a misnomer, there is no meaningful genetic variation by 'race' (which in itself would seem to be a very recent aspect over human history).

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Re: British school cancels Darwin/Evolution play

#200431

Postby avconway » February 10th, 2019, 11:43 pm

Beware the pronoun that has lost its antecedent(s), especially if other debaters, when quoting and re-quoting from earlier posts, enable the grafting-in –- perhaps through inadvertence, perhaps through devilishness -– of a foster parent.

avconway wrote: The play “mocked a bishop”? So what?
Who/what better to mock than a bishop? Well, an archbishop perhaps, or an imam, a chief rabbi or a witch-doctor. Have bishops (and imams and rabbis etc) no adequate debating points that defend them against ridicule – only gaudy clothes, tall hats and red faces?

Lootman wrote:I am not remotely religious but do not see any real value in mocking people who are.

avconway wrote:What else is one to do with them? Put up with them as a never-ending drag on the search for knowledge? If rational debate with them was possible – or effective – the battle over finding and following the path to knowledge would have been over by the end of the 17th century.

As debate on this thread has progressed, as exchanges have taken place, and quotes re-quoted, the “them” in this last paragraph of mine (i.e. of people that I proposed be mocked) is taken as a reference to Christian leaders, but by tracing back through the thread it can be seen that I have a wider target in sight. I lump bishops and archbishops, imams and ayatollahs, rabbis and chief rabbis, witch-doctors and shamans together as part of an entire class that eschews evidence. I do this not because of religion per se, but because I value evidence, logic and ratiocination above myth, supposition and fabrication. The list above of believers in faith-above-evidence is of course incomplete – to it can be added all those groups and classes of people who are impervious to evidence and clarity of thought, small children for example, of an age not yet adequately armed with the skills and knowledge (and courage) necessary to pursue autonomy of thought and expression.

Nowhere have I suggested that mockery, satire and ridicule are the sole tools to be used when discussing issues with the classes and groups listed above (I'd favour polite persuasion), but tools to be used as a recourse when the issues are of import, and rational debate, evidence and logic do not serve.

**********************

The thought crosses my mind – I wonder if the parents in Cheshire (possibly now pleased that their children will not have to discover that sometimes bishops deserve to be mocked), will now scour school and county libraries so that all copies of Hans Andersen's The Emperor's New Clothes can be burnt, lest their children learn the fun of telling it like it is?

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Re: British school cancels Darwin/Evolution play

#200432

Postby Lootman » February 10th, 2019, 11:54 pm

avconway wrote: because I value evidence, logic and ratiocination above myth, supposition and fabrication.

I notice that your posts get longer when your views are challenged. I feel sure that is merely a coincidence. Nonetheless examination of this one sentence reveals the reveal.

You quite simply assume that "evidence, logic and ratiocination" are on your side whereas anyone who disagrees with you is peddling "myth, supposition and fabrication".

I welcome a debate. I do not welcome a debate where you decide a priori that anyone who contests your personal biases is de facto an unbeliever and therefore somehow unworthy of consideration. That smacks of arrogance rather than a reasoned inquiry into truth.

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Re: British school cancels Darwin/Evolution play

#200438

Postby ursaminortaur » February 11th, 2019, 12:59 am

GJHarney wrote:
ursaminortaur wrote:Human evolution is still continuing but now and in the future it is likely to be increasingly a feedback process as we adapt to changes which we ourselves have made to the environment we live in and how we live.


Yes, I understand disease and environment selection that can affect gene inheritance. Such things occur in any populations in any species. However, evolutionary leaps that have occurred in the past are related to isolated gene pools (over significant periods of time) where random genetic mutation is able to become established and where changes within a species can develop to the extent that the isolated population becomes distinct and separate from the wider population it was once part of.

That process has finished completely in humans, there are no longer isolated gene pools areas within the species that could allow that distinct change to happen. In fact even 'races' are a misnomer, there is no meaningful genetic variation by 'race' (which in itself would seem to be a very recent aspect over human history).


Speciation occurs when there is reproductive isolation although that commonly occurs because of physical isolation of populations that isn't the only way in which it can occur. Sympatric speciation - where species split even though they continue to inhabit the same geographic region - does occur. One cause being the development of different mate selection preferences. Hence although unlikely in the near future it is certainly not impossible that the human race could split into multiple species even though they all share the same ability to travel to anywhere on earth. Alternatively multiple beneficial mutations could arise and spread throughout the whole species which given enough time could render our descendents in effect a different species to the current homo sapiens.
The above is without considering the possibilities of human settlements in space, on the moon and mars which could lead to different adaptations occuring amongst different populations in the future.

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Re: British school cancels Darwin/Evolution play

#200440

Postby BobbyD » February 11th, 2019, 1:25 am

ursaminortaur wrote:
BobbyD wrote:
ursaminortaur wrote:Ever noticed how Christianity dumped all the Jewish Kosher food laws ? And I think evolution had come up with family structures in the various pre-cursors to Homo-sapens as well as early modern humans before there is any sign of organised religious behaviour preserved in the fossil record.


How exactly would organised religious behaviour be preserved in the fossil record?


Evidence of burial with grave goods and the appearance of anthropomorphic images and cave paintings are generally considered to be evidence of religious behaviour and seem to first appear during the upper paeolithic around 32000 years ago. Less conclusive evidence of intentional burial amongst both Homo Sapiens and Neaderthals might push that back into the middle paeolithic.


...and these cave paintings are fossilised?

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Re: British school cancels Darwin/Evolution play

#200469

Postby avconway » February 11th, 2019, 9:47 am

Lootman wrote:
avconway wrote: because I value evidence, logic and ratiocination above myth, supposition and fabrication.


You quite simply assume that "evidence, logic and ratiocination" are on your side whereas anyone who disagrees with you is peddling "myth, supposition and fabrication".


I'm always fascinated, and give my full attention, when I learn from other people what I'm doing. But your assertion above is false. I make no such assumption, and unfortunately you offer no evidence that I do – you simply make the assertion.

I shall now tell of the three assumptions I DO make. Firstly, I assume that evidence, logic, observation, questioning and ratiocination are on the side of EVERYBODY on the planet, not me alone, I assume these tools are ready to serve EVERY side in debate, both those that believe that the earth is flat and those who believe it is round.

Secondly, I assume that EVERYBODY has access to these tools of thought and debate. This is a somewhat less certain assumption because there exist authoritarian figures and institutions which actively discourage, crush, or prevent access or use of these mind-opening tools – eg a group of parents in Cheshire who recently crushed the performance of a children's stageplay.

Thirdly, I assume that EVERYBODY who disagrees with me has sound reasons for doing so, thus I am always asking questions, always asking for evidence, always asking “Why?” because if people have sound reasons for holding a position that opposes mine I want to change sides, I want to go across to the side that is right. I'm like most people, I like to be right, I like to know the right answers, to be on the right side of history, the right side of justice /injustice – and that fondness for being right demands a readiness to change sides, a readiness to bend as the evidence and reasons may direct. Having to bend to the evidence, having to change sides, is terribly painful, but only the first time – having to abandon the belief that 7x8=54 hurt like hell, but in time one learns not to cling to a position, but to cling to evidence, to reasons and reason, wherever it goes.

Those are my three assumptions.

Hope that helps

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Re: British school cancels Darwin/Evolution play

#200512

Postby ursaminortaur » February 11th, 2019, 11:33 am

BobbyD wrote:
ursaminortaur wrote:
BobbyD wrote:
How exactly would organised religious behaviour be preserved in the fossil record?


Evidence of burial with grave goods and the appearance of anthropomorphic images and cave paintings are generally considered to be evidence of religious behaviour and seem to first appear during the upper paeolithic around 32000 years ago. Less conclusive evidence of intentional burial amongst both Homo Sapiens and Neaderthals might push that back into the middle paeolithic.


...and these cave paintings are fossilised?


Sorry, you are correct I used the wrong term. I probably should have said the archaeological and palaeo-archaeological records.

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Re: British school cancels Darwin/Evolution play

#200598

Postby Lootman » February 11th, 2019, 4:23 pm

avconway wrote:
Lootman wrote:
avconway wrote: because I value evidence, logic and ratiocination above myth, supposition and fabrication.

You quite simply assume that "evidence, logic and ratiocination" are on your side whereas anyone who disagrees with you is peddling "myth, supposition and fabrication".

I shall now tell of the three assumptions I DO make. Firstly, I assume that evidence, logic, observation, questioning and ratiocination are on the side of EVERYBODY on the planet, not me alone, I assume these tools are ready to serve EVERY side in debate, both those that believe that the earth is flat and those who believe it is round.

Secondly, I assume that EVERYBODY has access to these tools of thought and debate. This is a somewhat less certain assumption because there exist authoritarian figures and institutions which actively discourage, crush, or prevent access or use of these mind-opening tools – eg a group of parents in Cheshire who recently crushed the performance of a children's stageplay.

Thirdly, I assume that EVERYBODY who disagrees with me has sound reasons for doing so, thus I am always asking questions, always asking for evidence, always asking “Why?” because if people have sound reasons for holding a position that opposes mine I want to change sides, I want to go across to the side that is right. I'm like most people, I like to be right, I like to know the right answers, to be on the right side of history, the right side of justice /injustice – and that fondness for being right demands a readiness to change sides, a readiness to bend as the evidence and reasons may direct. Having to bend to the evidence, having to change sides, is terribly painful, but only the first time – having to abandon the belief that 7x8=54 hurt like hell, but in time one learns not to cling to a position, but to cling to evidence, to reasons and reason, wherever it goes.

All three assumptions seem either unclear, incomplete or inadequate. Numbering them for readability:

1) "evidence, logic, observation, questioning and ratiocination" are certainly helpful tools. The mistake you make is to assume that they are the only tools. You appear to rule out the development of any theory, idea, view or decision that is predicated on other human faculties such as values, ethics, principles, passion, inference, induction and a host of other qualitative tools. In other words your crime is being 100% left-brained when in fact the entire brain must be involved for more balanced and complete reasoning. Indeed, some people deliberately hide behind left-brained thinking and seek to decry those with broader cognitive skills.

2) Everyone may have access to these and other tools. But in any society some people will quite simply care more about an issue than others, and may become an activist, an advocate or even a politician. If you really wish to deny influence to anyone who takes such a stand then you are a democrat in the idealised sense of the world, and I am suspect of such people myself. But even in a democracy a minority have a right to be listened to and nurtured. Just because you might be a majority doesn't mean you get 100% your own way. We should listen to minorities and care for them. For example if I put on a play in your town that relentlessly mocked Palestinians for being homicidal terrorists and envious whiners, you too might be "offended".

3) There is a tautology buried in these words of yours: "I assume that EVERYBODY who disagrees with me has sound reasons for doing so". It is part of the meaning of the word "sound" there that the other person thinks the same way and the same things that you do. So if someone disagrees with you then you immediately declare that that other person is "unsound". It's a semantic game that is self-serving.

So for instance, you use the example of justice/injustice. That is a highly subjective notion since it involves subjective factors like values, ethics, politics and a trade-off between equity and freedom. It's not obvious which side of a debate is "just". The fact that you have a rigid set of "just" and "unjust" cases is indicative of moral inelasticity. There are two sides to every issue (*)

(*) For example, you present science and religion as being opposite and that (for you) only science has value. That is sometimes called the Conflict Thesis. But there is a whole school of thought called Theistic Evolution which aims to synthesise both and yield a more comprehensive and multi-faceted understanding. Again you appear to seek shallow one-dimensional over-simplistic left-brained accounts of the world when reality is more rich and deep than that.
Last edited by Lootman on February 11th, 2019, 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: British school cancels Darwin/Evolution play

#200602

Postby Lootman » February 11th, 2019, 4:37 pm

GJHarney wrote:I understand disease and environment selection that can affect gene inheritance. Such things occur in any populations in any species. However, evolutionary leaps that have occurred in the past are related to isolated gene pools (over significant periods of time) where random genetic mutation is able to become established and where changes within a species can develop to the extent that the isolated population becomes distinct and separate from the wider population it was once part of.

That process has finished completely in humans, there are no longer isolated gene pools areas within the species that could allow that distinct change to happen. In fact even 'races' are a misnomer, there is no meaningful genetic variation by 'race' (which in itself would seem to be a very recent aspect over human history).

You assume there that evolution progresses solely in biological terms. But Ayn Rand developed an entire theory of ethics predicated on the notion that different ethical and moral codes can drive how successful a tribe or grouping will be.

So for example a society that bans the murder of others will clearly flourish more than a society where honour killings for the slightest indiscretion are considered normal. The former society will become more stable, more predictable, more populous, will breed more and, in that way, such moral codes will spread. Whereas the less helpful moral codes will wither and die.

In fact Rand contends that our entire sense of morality derives from which behaviours, codes and rules were most conducive to the success of the species.

A fortiori some religions may do a better job of making those peoples successful and populous than others. Some forms of government, e.g. democracy, may have a better prognosis than others like communism or fascism. Some economic systems, e.g. capitalism, may prove to be more successful than others like communism, and so on.

When looking at what drives a society to be more successful, no area is out of bounds. With complex societies, it is social organisation and norms that can drive differing levels of success, selection and progress.

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Re: British school cancels Darwin/Evolution play

#200605

Postby redsturgeon » February 11th, 2019, 4:44 pm

Lootman wrote:
3) "I assume that EVERYBODY who disagrees with me has sound reasons for doing so". It is part of the meaning of the word "sound" there that the other person thinks the same way and the same things that you do. So if someone disagrees with you then you immediately declare that that other person is "unsound".



I am confused here. Is this what you meant to say?

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Re: British school cancels Darwin/Evolution play

#200606

Postby redsturgeon » February 11th, 2019, 4:44 pm

Lootman wrote:
3) "I assume that EVERYBODY who disagrees with me has sound reasons for doing so". It is part of the meaning of the word "sound" there that the other person thinks the same way and the same things that you do. So if someone disagrees with you then you immediately declare that that other person is "unsound".



I am confused here. Is this what you meant to say?

John

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Re: British school cancels Darwin/Evolution play

#200608

Postby Lootman » February 11th, 2019, 4:49 pm

redsturgeon wrote:
Lootman wrote:
3) "I assume that EVERYBODY who disagrees with me has sound reasons for doing so". It is part of the meaning of the word "sound" there that the other person thinks the same way and the same things that you do. So if someone disagrees with you then you immediately declare that that other person is "unsound".

I am confused here. Is this what you meant to say?

Re-reading it, yes, I still think so. It's really a special case of this kind of thinking:

A: Reasonable people agree with me that X
B: I disagree with X
A: Then you are clearly unreasonable. I only want to talk to reasonable people.

In other words the word "reasonable" gets defined as "agreeing with me". It's a form of circular reasoning often employed as a debating tactic.

In general, adjectives and adverbs used in a debate rarely add value and more often are emotive gambits.

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Re: British school cancels Darwin/Evolution play

#200614

Postby redsturgeon » February 11th, 2019, 5:19 pm

Lootman wrote:
redsturgeon wrote:
Lootman wrote:
3) "I assume that EVERYBODY who disagrees with me has sound reasons for doing so". It is part of the meaning of the word "sound" there that the other person thinks the same way and the same things that you do. So if someone disagrees with you then you immediately declare that that other person is "unsound".

I am confused here. Is this what you meant to say?

Re-reading it, yes, I still think so. It's really a special case of this kind of thinking:

A: Reasonable people agree with me that X
B: I disagree with X
A: Then you are clearly unreasonable. I only want to talk to reasonable people.

In other words the word "reasonable" gets defined as "agreeing with me". It's a form of circular reasoning often employed as a debating tactic.

In general, adjectives and adverbs used in a debate rarely add value and more often are emotive gambits.


This is a very strange use of logic on your behalf that I believe you are wrongly attributing to avconway.

John

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Re: British school cancels Darwin/Evolution play

#200619

Postby Lootman » February 11th, 2019, 5:32 pm

redsturgeon wrote:
Lootman wrote:
redsturgeon wrote:I am confused here. Is this what you meant to say?

Re-reading it, yes, I still think so. It's really a special case of this kind of thinking:

A: Reasonable people agree with me that X
B: I disagree with X
A: Then you are clearly unreasonable. I only want to talk to reasonable people.

In other words the word "reasonable" gets defined as "agreeing with me". It's a form of circular reasoning often employed as a debating tactic.

In general, adjectives and adverbs used in a debate rarely add value and more often are emotive gambits.

This is a very strange use of logic on your behalf that I believe you are wrongly attributing to avconway.

It may be true that Avconway does not intend to be perceived that way. But to turn his own MO back onto him, where is his evidence?

There is something inherently mischievous about dismissing an entire class of people as "unsound" or "unreasonable" in the way that he appeared to be doing when he said the "only thing" you can do with religious people is to mock them. And that they are not entitled to a safe space. The use of adjectives and adverbs (and he used a lot of them) always carries the risk of that perception because it seeks to characterise an entire class of people as somehow unentitled to their opinion on the grounds of a generic characteristic.

Why dismiss the feelings of an entire class of people just because personally you disagree with them? Especially when the writer is very assertive about the sensitivities of another class of people similarly classified by religion or race? I think it's fine to discuss how fair and understandable the objection of these parents is. It is not fair and understandable to dismiss them out of hand because they are Christians, Palestinians, women, gays or disabled. We should focus on the message and not on which group the messengers can be stereotyped as.

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Re: British school cancels Darwin/Evolution play

#200621

Postby redsturgeon » February 11th, 2019, 5:39 pm

Lootman wrote:It may be true that Avconway does not intend to be perceived that way. But to turn his own MO back onto him, where is his evidence?

There is something inherently mischievous about dismissing an entire class of people as "unsound" or "unreasonable" in the way that he appeared to be doing when he said the "only thing" you can do with religious people is to mock them. And that they are not entitled to a safe space. The use of adjectives and adverbs (and he used a lot of them) always carries the risk of that perception because it seeks to characterise an entire class of people as somehow unentitled to their opinion on the grounds of a generic characteristic.

Why dismiss the feelings of an entire class of people just because personally you disagree with them? Especially when the writer is very assertive about the sensitivities of another class of people similarly classified by religion or race? I think it's fine to discuss how fair and understandable the objection of these parents is. It is not fair and understandable to dismiss them out of hand because they are Christians, Palestinians, women, gays or disabled. We should focus on the message and not on which group the messengers can be stereotyped as.



I would not wish to get caught between your personal battle with another poster but I merely wished to point out a glaring fault with your attempted use of logic.

I think we are close to getting into the arena of "my belief" trumps your 'logic'.

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Re: British school cancels Darwin/Evolution play

#200624

Postby Lootman » February 11th, 2019, 5:52 pm

redsturgeon wrote:
Lootman wrote:It may be true that Avconway does not intend to be perceived that way. But to turn his own MO back onto him, where is his evidence?

There is something inherently mischievous about dismissing an entire class of people as "unsound" or "unreasonable" in the way that he appeared to be doing when he said the "only thing" you can do with religious people is to mock them. And that they are not entitled to a safe space. The use of adjectives and adverbs (and he used a lot of them) always carries the risk of that perception because it seeks to characterise an entire class of people as somehow unentitled to their opinion on the grounds of a generic characteristic.

Why dismiss the feelings of an entire class of people just because personally you disagree with them? Especially when the writer is very assertive about the sensitivities of another class of people similarly classified by religion or race? I think it's fine to discuss how fair and understandable the objection of these parents is. It is not fair and understandable to dismiss them out of hand because they are Christians, Palestinians, women, gays or disabled. We should focus on the message and not on which group the messengers can be stereotyped as.

I think we are close to getting into the arena of "my belief" trumps your 'logic'.

Funnily enough that was near exactly the point I was trying to make!

We can certainly leave it there.

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Re: British school cancels Darwin/Evolution play

#200629

Postby ursaminortaur » February 11th, 2019, 6:10 pm

Lootman wrote:
redsturgeon wrote:
Lootman wrote:It may be true that Avconway does not intend to be perceived that way. But to turn his own MO back onto him, where is his evidence?

There is something inherently mischievous about dismissing an entire class of people as "unsound" or "unreasonable" in the way that he appeared to be doing when he said the "only thing" you can do with religious people is to mock them. And that they are not entitled to a safe space. The use of adjectives and adverbs (and he used a lot of them) always carries the risk of that perception because it seeks to characterise an entire class of people as somehow unentitled to their opinion on the grounds of a generic characteristic.

Why dismiss the feelings of an entire class of people just because personally you disagree with them? Especially when the writer is very assertive about the sensitivities of another class of people similarly classified by religion or race? I think it's fine to discuss how fair and understandable the objection of these parents is. It is not fair and understandable to dismiss them out of hand because they are Christians, Palestinians, women, gays or disabled. We should focus on the message and not on which group the messengers can be stereotyped as.

I think we are close to getting into the arena of "my belief" trumps your 'logic'.

Funnily enough that was near exactly the point I was trying to make!

We can certainly leave it there.


Good to have confirmation that debating with you is pointless as your belief trumps all logical argument.

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Re: British school cancels Darwin/Evolution play

#200632

Postby BobbyD » February 11th, 2019, 6:39 pm

ursaminortaur wrote:
BobbyD wrote:
ursaminortaur wrote:
Evidence of burial with grave goods and the appearance of anthropomorphic images and cave paintings are generally considered to be evidence of religious behaviour and seem to first appear during the upper paeolithic around 32000 years ago. Less conclusive evidence of intentional burial amongst both Homo Sapiens and Neaderthals might push that back into the middle paeolithic.


...and these cave paintings are fossilised?


Sorry, you are correct I used the wrong term. I probably should have said the archaeological and palaeo-archaeological records.



The only reason I quibble is it does change the implied time period slightly...

The further back the less complete that record gets. What we have is some evidence of instances where there are what appear to be religious practices, but what we lack is a complete picture, and most context. Some areas are more likely to preserve artefacts and indications than others, some technologies are more likely to be preserved through thousands of years than other, and some areas are more convenient for rediscovery than others. There are major peoples whose culture we know about only through the descriptions of others since they were (as far as we can tell) preliterate or their writings remain unintelligible to us and left no descriptions of themselves that we can read, and there are many peoples who have faded from history altogether. I would suggest that in this instance it is worth considering not just what we have evidence for, but how big a sample of the whole the evidence we have constitutes.

Not that you have to go back further than 32,000 years for a group to confer an evolutionary advantage, life was nasty, brutish and short far far more recently than that. There has been plenty of genocide and plenty of people subjugated or out competed in to non-existence in that time. Religious belief is prevalent in the earliest known cultures on every populated continent, and a people with a religious belief which through nothing more than serendipity points them towards a lifestyle which increases their odds of survival just a bit were more likely to emerge existing than one which doesn't.

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Re: British school cancels Darwin/Evolution play

#200638

Postby XFool » February 11th, 2019, 6:51 pm

ursaminortaur wrote:
Lootman wrote:
redsturgeon wrote:I think we are close to getting into the arena of "my belief" trumps your 'logic'.

Funnily enough that was near exactly the point I was trying to make!
We can certainly leave it there.

Good to have confirmation that debating with you is pointless as your belief trumps all logical argument.

:lol:

Much as I am itching to join in this particular debate, I won't. Because...

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Re: British school cancels Darwin/Evolution play

#200654

Postby redsturgeon » February 11th, 2019, 7:30 pm

https://www.thecollegefix.com/more-than ... statement/

It looks like the forces of Wilberforce live on...

John


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