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  1. martens misses all her friends GoComics Pro Member commented on Jim Morin about 9 hours ago

    Oddly enough, your example is really applicable here. In fact, in a very restricted sense Lamarck had something right, although he wasn’t correct on the mechanism. There are acquired characteristics by daughter cells that do not require a change in DNA but rather in the expression of the gene in question due to factors affecting the parent cell (epigenetics). So yes, it was science in a way that creationism will never be. Lamarckism made hypotheses that were testable. There is no way to test for the role of a Creator (which is as close to a hypothesis as I can get from the creationism folks).

  2. martens misses all her friends GoComics Pro Member commented on Jim Morin about 10 hours ago

    First, gaps in the fossil record are basically irrelevant to the support for the theory of evolution. We are not using it to explain species distributions over time throughout the world but rather to explain the mechanisms by which speciation occurs (and I might point out here that the term “species” is a rather fuzzy term as we use it in biology). That is why I termed logicalone’s list to be of no use for his argument.
    Second, the theory of evolution is not the “only” explanation for the diversity of life over time, but it has the best fit with the data available, and it is testable. Creationism or Intelligent Design are not testable and therefore are not the preferred explanation by those of us in science for the understanding the mechanisms involved in the development and changes of life forms. It really has nothing to do with the supposed smallness of our minds…

  3. martens misses all her friends GoComics Pro Member commented on Nick Anderson about 11 hours ago

    But then the act of observation changes the state…at least I have heard that said. I’m still trying to cope with Nozick’s “Invariances” which sort of gets into this kind of thing, but I have to admit that I don’t really get quantum mechanics, at least not like the real physical science people do. I simply threw in the Higgs boson because of its apparent property of conferring mass to quantum particles, hence (maybe) to reality as we perceive it.

  4. martens misses all her friends GoComics Pro Member commented on Nick Anderson about 15 hours ago

    Fine. You hold whatever beliefs you wish that you can live by and with.
    I still haven’t a clue what you mean by consciousness, I clearly see that you dislike me intensely, and that is fine too. I do not expect to liked by everyone. Nor do I expect to be able to follow everyone’s lines of reasoning. Yours leaves me completely wondering just what you mean.
    As I said above, communication is a problem in the best of circumstances…and these are not the best.

  5. martens misses all her friends GoComics Pro Member commented on Nick Anderson 1 day ago

    Well, looking again at the consciousness as reality thing, I get the feeling that one might as well say consciousness is Higgs boson, if consciousness is to be the source of matter. I’m not sure that is a particularly useful way to do science, but to each his own.

  6. martens misses all her friends GoComics Pro Member commented on Nick Anderson 1 day ago

    To put a space in between lines, use html format:

    < br > (I put spaces in to get it to show on this post. You omit the spaces to make it operate)

    You imply that I am arrogant by giving my credentials when I make a comment. On the other hand, have you considered that I do this more so others can judge from what basis I am making my point and decide just how much value they wish to give it? You clearly do not wish to give it much credence, and that is fine. It is your choice.

    You have assigned supposed views to me without in fact knowing whether or not I have those views. Basically, you have implied that I am simple-minded and narrow-minded. That is your right, but don’t expect me to consider that input of value to me.

    Finally, you cite consciousness as the basic building block of reality. I have seen this postulated before, and I would ask, as I do for other similar questions, just how do you define consciousness? Why do you think it is unique to humans? (I have assumed that is the import of your treatise above. If I am wrong and you think that other organisms can have consciousness, please feel free to say so.) I have no problem with people having their own beliefs about questions like this or questions of religion. I do have a problem with the failure of communication that bedevils most human conversation. It is difficult to know, REALLY know, what someone else means by what they say.

  7. martens misses all her friends GoComics Pro Member commented on Nick Anderson 2 days ago

    Have you possibly considered the idea that altruism is an intrinsic characteristic of social species? And that possibly Mr Landers was too extreme in his characterization of human nature as being “naturally greedy” might be the source of the contention? I might point out that there are a number of behavioral studies on the nature of altruism and empathy and their function in stabilizing societies of social species. It is my opinion that a good case can be made for the success of H. sapiens sapiens based on intrinsic altruism and empathy, as compared with the other H. sapiens subspecies that died out. However, we may have out-run the biological controls that got us to our place of prominence due to our technological “intelligence”, but that is in fact a different question. You, as a biologist, must be as aware as I of the mechanisms of Darwinian evolution and what survival of the fittest really means.

  8. martens misses all her friends GoComics Pro Member commented on Jim Morin 2 days ago

    Thanks, Mangey. You provided me with the chuckle I needed for this discussion!

  9. martens misses all her friends GoComics Pro Member commented on Jim Morin 2 days ago

    I’m sorry…your list only confirms that you are naive scientifically. It also confirms that you do not understand what Darwinian evolution is. As I said, this is not a good forum in which to teach the basics of evolution. If you find it offensive to be told to do some targeted reading in the area, so be it, but you will never learn without such reading.

  10. martens misses all her friends GoComics Pro Member commented on Jim Morin 2 days ago

    And I also have to admit to be somewhat bemused by the idea that humans are somehow unique compared to other living organismst. The problem I see with the “unique” qualities of humans is that these qualities give us the ability to alter our environment to the point of making it uninhabitable for us (and a lot of other species along the way).