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Are humans still evolving? 
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Penelope wrote:
I am looking at your age under your avatar at the side of the screen. I could have sworn that at one time, it said you were 23.


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Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:13 am
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Well read and very bright....I know....

but am I alone in thinking that some people do have an odd way of amusing themselves? :hmm:


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Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:24 am
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I'm evolving. :D

No it was a accident that I cant change back, for now.

:book:



Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:59 am
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grim



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Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:32 pm
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I see you are having a very serious discussion about human evolution. I'll add my 2 cents ...

Based on the following articles I sincerely hope we are still evolving .. but I wonder if we are actually going backwards .. de-evolution? (no slight intended towards the world's baggage handlers).

Quote:
Lost luggage count rising: airline consumer group
Last Updated: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 | 9:45 AM ET Comments53Recommend48
CBC News

A British air travel watchdog says airlines around the world have been losing more bags than ever before. The Air Transport Users Council said Tuesday that more than 40 million bags were misplaced by airlines in 2007, compared with 30 million bags in 2005.

Of the 40 million pieces of lost luggage, more than one million — or one bag per 2,000 passengers — were never recovered.
Likening air travel to a "luggage lottery," the council said in a report that the annual number of mishandled bags was rising and could be as high as 70 million by 2019.

Report Says Airlines Lost 30M Bags in 2005
(From AP Online)

Byline: BRADLEY S. KLAPPER

If you've ever been frustrated after an airline lost your luggage, you're in the good company of millions of others. An estimated 30 million bags were temporarily lost by airlines in 2005, and 200,000 of those bags were never reunited with their owners, according to an industry report released Monday.



Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:18 am
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Giselle said:

Quote:
I see you are having a very serious discussion about human evolution.


The baggage handlers are a very good example, and what about the self-checkout points at the Supermarket???

Quote:
At the end of the aisle, the problem becomes apparent: since the last time I visited Sainsbury's, four central checkout bays have been replaced by eight self-checkout points. The majority of the people using these are doing so only because they have joined the wrong queue, and most are now behaving as if they are scanning their purchases in a low-oxygen environment. It's not their fault - self-checkout is useless, and there's only ever one member of staff to help, and he's always busy helping someone else who has somehow managed to charge himself 80 quid for his own sleeve - but their frustration provides something to watch when you're still too far away to reach the magazines.

Over the course of the next quarter of an hour, I gain four trolley lengths on the self-checkout queue to my right, where a woman has been attempting to weigh the same aubergine for the better part of the afternoon. Her plight is drawing pity and resentment in equal measure.

"She'll never use that thing again," someone says. No, I think, and neither will any of the people behind her.

I manage to get my items on the conveyor belt, but the woman in front of me, having completed her purchases, is now with great deliberation selecting items from her shopping to be unpurchased. I make the mistake of wondering if and how things could get worse.

"Who wants to buy a red nose?" someone shouts. I look up. A man and woman dressed in red uniforms are striding past with a bucket of red noses, grinning broadly. The man has a video camera. They are the only people in the building who are currently in a red nose kind of mood.

"We need someone to buy a red nose for the camera!" shouts the man. They stop directly in front of me. I am giving a pet insurance leaflet my fullest attention. I can feel the camera on me, waiting for me to look toward it. "Just one person to buy a red nose!" he shrieks. "Sir! Would you like to buy a red nose? Sir!" I am never coming here again, I think.

Two days later I am there again, in the same queue, facing the same chaos, trying to will the man currently bagging his groceries to behave less like he is preparing antiquities for overseas shipment and more like he is evacuating a flaming plane. Next to me a woman with three children is desperately trying to scan a six-pack of tinned tomatoes, only to be told, over and over, that there is an unexpected item in the bagging area.

"Bleach!" she suddenly shouts, pointing at her small son. "Go down that aisle and get some bleach. Lots of bleach. It doesn't matter what flavour." She means to drink it, I think. I hope the kid brings back enough for all of us.


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Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:00 pm
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thanks Penelope for the very funny piece on self-checkout. I must admit that I'd have trouble finding 'aubergine' on a self-checkout machine. did the red noses actually happen or did you make that up? and, you know, a sense of humour may be the best indicator of advanced evolutionary state ...



Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:27 pm
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Giselle:

Aubergine is what, I believe, you might called egg-plant?

The red noses were for sale everywhere for the weeks up to last Friday, because it was 'Red Nose Day' !!!

Everyone wears a red nose, you can buy one for your car even. When we went to London - the entrance to the London University's statue of Charles Darwin was wearing a red nose. It's evolution I think!!! :D

The money we pay for our red noses goes to Comic Relief, which is held once a year to raise money for the third world countries.


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Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:35 pm
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Penny, that's hilarious! I copy/pasted that to an email to all my friends. I really hate them self checkout systems that are able to continuously complain about unknown items in the baggage area without ever raising its voice or sounding frustrated. At least if the system felt as frustrated as myself when I used it, I'd feel better!



Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:39 pm
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I think I should tell you that the piece is by Tim Dowling one of my favourite columnists who writes for our Weekend Guardian Magazine. He is an American who lives and works here!!! :smile:

I didn't mean to take the credit!!! :oops:


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Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:51 pm
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Quote:
continuously complain about unknown items in the baggage area without ever raising its voice or sounding frustrated. At least if the system felt as frustrated as myself when I used it, I'd feel better!

After a few calm repetitions of "unknown items", I think the checkout system should start muttering "bloody idiot", at least that way the others waiting in line will have their frustration expressed in a non-violent way. And yes I believe aubergine and egg-plant are the same thing but I suggest sticking to ordinary things if you use self-checkout, like carrot, to avoid being called bloody idiot by a machine.



Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:55 pm
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When you've been treated like a bloody idiot by a machine, don't you just love a sulky checkout lady?

I'd much rather deal with another human being.....although when our local Co-op ladies were told to say 'Have a Nice Day'......we all became very prickly.....I mean, they are our friends and you don't say things like that to your friends do you?

We had a word with the manager, and said we would rather they said, 'Take your shopping and clear off!' because that seemed more 'friendly'. :laugh:

Evolution is not behaving like a machine!!!


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Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:32 pm
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penelope
Quote:
Evolution is not behaving like a machine!!!

hmm, or perhaps evolution is being able to design a machine that can act more like a human, without some of the niceties, so 'take your shopping and clear off' works well.

and so that i'm not accused of trivializing a serious discussion about evolution, i do think that solving some of humankind's problems, whether it be lost luggage, annoying check-outs or eradicating hunger and disease, does present some real challenges. A lot of these problems seem intractable, so maybe we just have to get smarter or die. And if we do get smarter and survive, perhaps our distant, smarter relations a million years from now will look back on us and wonder how such un-evolved humans could possibly have survived, let alone prospered.



Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:50 pm
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giselle:

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and so that i'm not accused of trivializing a serious discussion about evolution,


I think I did that already!!

It doesn't look as though it will be hunger and disease that will halt our evolutionary progress, but the climate change caused by global warming, and our scientists can't seem to agree on what is causing that.

Maybe it is nature giving us a hand to evolve? Certainly, in the case of other species, many thousands die before the species develop the gene to avoid destruction. I am thinking of Dawkin's example of the gazelle finally evolving to be able to outrun the tiger, but only after millions of tiger dinners.


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Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:15 pm
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Interbane wrote:
We have evolved the tendency for false belief. Since there is no filter in our brain about what is true and what is false, we must excessively believe; it is safer to believe in danger than to not believe, therefore such belief is of survival value. Our traits have served us well and we're now kings of the planet, but we need to wage war against the beneficial-turned-detrimental trait of excessive belief.
Humans have also evolved a range of instinctive responses such as hatred, greediness, rape and revenge which are maladaptive in the modern global context. However, we do have a brain filter called rationality, which to me seems aligned to Christian virtues such as love and forgiveness. Irrational instinct - including the tendency to false belief - may have been adaptive in primitive times, but is now a danger to human survival. Going back again to the Sermon on the Mount, I would suggest a modern translation of Matthew 5:3-10 changing the word “blessed” to “adaptive”. Hence we get

Adaptive are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Adaptive are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Adaptive are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Adaptive are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Adaptive are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Adaptive are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Adaptive are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Adaptive are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

RT



Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:08 am
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