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Some Notes on Evolution 
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Post Some Notes on Evolution
[People who attack evolution generally have no knowledge of it and seem embarrassingly unaware of how little they know. Dunning-Kruger, I suppose. They think evolution is just a mish-mash of half-baked ideas when actually we know quite a lot about how life evolves. So I just put this short bit into a Q and A format that discusses various aspects at work in evolution confirmed by experimentation. It's a bit harder to refute when you understand a bit more of how it actually works. Maybe I'll add more later. You can add stuff too in any format you want. I choose Q and A because its easier to read and comprehend. This serves as a kind of reference pool for knowledge of evolution.]

Q: When did the first plants form?

A: The first plant formed approximately 1.6 billion years ago. All terrestrial plants formed from a single cell consisting of a microscopic alga that had absorbed a cyanobacteria. Whether this was an attempt by the alga to eat the cyanobacteria is not known but it ended up being a symbiotic relationship. The alga carries the cyanobacteria around and so the cyanobacteria manufactures food via photosynthesis and provides that food to the host. The host provides protection to cyanobacteria. One other agency is required to pull this off and that is a group of cells that transport that food from the cyanobacteria to the alga host and these cells are actually related to chlamydia—the STD—and were actually similar to the bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s Disease. The genes of these cells are required to take food from the cyanobacteria and transmit it to the alga host. But we know other bacteria also participated in a trial-and-error basis and this enabled this tripartite organelle to harden up.
The alga involved was a type of freshwater blue-green algae, a very ancient form of algae called a glaucophyte. These glaucophytes called Cyanophora paradoxa are considered living fossils and we have studied the genome of about 70 million base pairs. All modern plants share the same exact genes required to allow the cyanobacteria to merge with the alga host. This means it happened only once a very, very long time ago and it was so successful that all plants today from tiny grasses to daffodils to dandelions to ferns to wheat to corn to apple trees to mighty oaks to huge redwoods are all the genetic descendants of this single green cell, this microscopic organelle that formed 1.6 billion years ago.

Q: How did these green cells, as you call them, become plants?

A: Hard to say for certain. We only know that they did. They banded together maybe to catch more sunlight for photosynthesis. Genesis gets it right that sea animals preceded land animals but, of course, says God made each separately on different days but we can clearly see that terrestrial animals evolved from marine animals that eventually left the water over the course of hundreds of millions of years. The oldest living creatures of all are bacteria called prokaryotes which are cells without nuclei and they came into existence perhaps as long ago as four billion years—maybe a half-million years after the earth formed which is astonishing to think about. Then cells with nuclei or what we call eukaryotes evolved from prokaryotes as long ago as 2.5 billion years. The earliest multicellular creatures were wormlike but we know nothing else about them. We call them metazoans. We don’t have any fossils of them but we have fossils of their burrows which are wormlike.
The earliest true animal we know of was either the sponge or some kind of animal similar to a comb jellyfish. Sponges came into existence about 650 million years ago but there is now good evidence that this comb jellyfish-type creature is actually significantly older and yet had a rudimentary nervous system. There are no fossils of it so we cannot put a date on how old it would be but well over 650 million years old.

Q: How do they know this?

A: We have new technologies that can handle the processing of huge amounts of genetic data and analyze where splits in earth’s life family tree occurred and the answer repeatedly came out that the comb jellyfish split off on its own evolutionary path well before the emergence of the sponge. No matter how much data they added and how much they refined it to get the most accurate picture, it always comes out with the comb jellyfish splitting off on its own evolutionary path before the sponge did. How long before the sponge, we don’t know without having fossils to analyze and we have none. Strangely, this mysterious creature is more advanced than the sponge which does not have tissues and a nervous system but that’s what the evidence shows. Animals and plants though have the same root method of originating which is endosymbiosis when one life form swallows another but instead of digesting it, incorporates it whole and the two bodies live symbiotically. The first plants and the first animals formed this way. So there is safety in numbers not only because the sheer numbers can overcome adversaries but because greater numbers introduces diversity and variation that synergetically form lifeforms of greater strength or resourcefulness or adaptability.

Q: We are all really jellyfish at our deepest core?

A: It would seem so. As strange as it is. While they have a basic nervous system and tissue, which other early animals as sponges lack. Their mouth is also their anus. That’s true of only some humans. They have a top and bottom but no front or back, no left or right. So they lack polarization. No head or brain. But somewhere deep down inside us, there they are.

Q: How does polarization work?

A: At the end of limb buds of embryos are these little patches of tissue called ZPA or Zone of Polarizing Activity. The ZPA gives us mirror image hands and feet. The ZPA causes the pinky to form on one side of the hand and the thumb to form on the other and to do it in mirror image in regards to the left and right hand. And this happens with fish, frogs, lizards, birds, bats, whales, dogs, lemurs, tigers and wombats. Any limbed animal. All of them have ZPA. How does the ZPA do this? It exudes a set of genes called “sonic hedgehog” that, when activated by retinoic acid, makes a pinky grow on one side of the hand first and, moving across the hand, a thumb on the other side as well as the fingers in between. It grows the pinky or digit 5 first and then works across the hand to the thumb and creates mirror image hands and feet with respect to left and right. If you have a ZPA on both sides of the limb bud, it will sprout digit 5 first and then work across the hand where the two hands meet in the middle. The effect would be a two mirror-image hands sprouting from one wrist.

Q: Any experiments to prove that?

A: Yes. We also have rare but sufficient examples of people born with two ZPAs on the limb bud who developed two joined mirror-image hands on one wrist.

Q: Face-hugger hand.

A: Yes. It does resemble a face-hugger.

Q: So that is a result of two ZPAs?

A: Two ZPAs on one limb bud—posterior and anterior—of the embryo, yes. If you inject a chicken egg with vitamin A, which is the main ingredient of retinoic acid, you can over-stimulate the ZPA of the embryo and get the same effect. They once isolated the sonic hedgehog of a mouse and injected it into the fin cartilage of the embryo of a skate—a shark relative. That cartilage in the fins are like long, skinny cylinders that all look pretty much the same, nearly identical in shape, size and length. They inserted a tiny bead of mouse sonic hedgehog protein in the middle of the fin between the center cartilage rods. When the skate hatched, the rods had developed like those of mammal hands. Those rods closest to the bead, each formed a digit 5 and worked outward in both directions and terminated in a thumb or digit 1 at each side of the fin making a mirror image that appeared more hand-like than fin-like. Since that time, we’ve done this type of experiment on a variety of animals and the results are the same. This means that genes that form hands or fins are really the same. That tells us that the formation of the hands of mammals did not involve the formation of new DNA but ancient DNA already present in fish.

Q: I once had a cat with six toes on all four legs. What causes that?

A: That’s called polydactyly. The extra digit is usually postaxial meaning that it happens on the pinky or digit 5 side. Sometimes, it occurs by the thumb or preaxial side and very rarely it occurs by the inner fingers or central axial area. It happens because there is a genetic mutation upstream of the shh gene or sonic hedgehog where we locate the ZPA on the posterior limb side. This mutation is cis-acting meaning that it occurs on the same DNA strand of the structural genes but basically results in an ectopic region, that is, a ZPA not in the normal spot but on the anterior side of the limb, that sends extra cells and instructions to create another thumb digit or digit 1. With an extra digit 5, the ectopic region is just offset from the ZPA on the posterior end of the limb. Anything to do with formation of the hands or feet is dependent on sonic hedgehog or shh protein.



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Post Re: Some Notes on Evolution
OK so are you going to provide basic information such as who is asking the questions and who is providing the answers? Or is this all your own writing? :?
“sonic hedgehog” Heh that's interesting...
"Face-hugger hand" well that's weird...



Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:33 pm
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Post Re: Some Notes on Evolution
DB Roy wrote:
[People who attack evolution generally have no knowledge of it and seem embarrassingly unaware of how little they know. Dunning-Kruger, I suppose. They think evolution is just a mish-mash of half-baked ideas when actually we know quite a lot about how life evolves.


That's probably not a very good analysis. People like me who don't know very much about artillery can still be of the opinion that artillery, like poison gas, is a diabolical invention. The big difference for evolution is that Young Earth Creationists are attached to a certain version of explaining why the world is like it is, rather than mainly a value judgment. The how of evolution is of little interest to them, because it is, in their view, not the correct Why. The fact that their preferred explanation approach is incorrect and useless doesn't matter to them, (they care about its rhetorical value), so why would they be interested in the details?

Dunning-Kruger may play a role in why many of these people persist in telling themselves that their explanation makes more sense. I don't know any people like that, (well, maybe one) so I have trouble assessing this.

DB Roy wrote:
No head or brain.
That’s true of only some humans.

DB Roy wrote:
A: Yes. We also have rare but sufficient examples of people born with two ZPAs on the limb bud who developed two joined mirror-image hands on one wrist.
You didn't really connect the dots, but this is an interesting case. Errors in gene transmission or gene expression are a good example of gaps in the Creationist story. They are holes that undermine the general as well as the specific notions of how Special Creation is supposed to work, while supporting a natural selection explanation of natural variation in a number of ways. Neither God's provident goodness nor a Fall from Grace supplies any narrative that would be consistent with such a process.



Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:55 pm
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Post Re: Some Notes on Evolution
Harry Marks wrote:

That's probably not a very good analysis. People like me who don't know very much about artillery can still be of the opinion that artillery, like poison gas, is a diabolical invention. The big difference for evolution is that Young Earth Creationists are attached to a certain version of explaining why the world is like it is, rather than mainly a value judgment. The how of evolution is of little interest to them, because it is, in their view, not the correct Why. The fact that their preferred explanation approach is incorrect and useless doesn't matter to them, (they care about its rhetorical value), so why would they be interested in the details?


I don't understand anything you just said. Artillery IS evil for the most part. It's inherently evil because its ultimate purpose is to make war via killing people and destroying buildings. Doesn't really matter whether you know anything about artillery or not--its ultimate purpose is to kill. Evolution is not inherently evil and neither picks your pocket nor breaks your leg. When did I ever say they would be interested in the details of evolution when I just finished saying they are entirely ignorant of the subject?? Why should they be acquainting themselves with those details? Because you can't effectively critique that of which you have no understanding.

Quote:
Dunning-Kruger may play a role in why many of these people persist in telling themselves that their explanation makes more sense. I don't know any people like that, (well, maybe one) so I have trouble assessing this.


Again, every person you know who denies evolution has this problem because it they didn't, they wouldn't be denying it. To critique something of which you are not properly acquainted is the height of arrogance especially when it has a huge body of scientific evidence to back it up. You must acquaint yourself with that evidence BEFORE you critique it. It doesn't do to simply say that evolution is only a theory and think that you just destroyed it. You can't ask if why, if we are evolved from monkeys, are there still monkeys and think this brilliant question just toppled the evolution edifice but that's what the creationists believe.

Quote:
You didn't really connect the dots, but this is an interesting case. Errors in gene transmission or gene expression are a good example of gaps in the Creationist story. They are holes that undermine the general as well as the specific notions of how Special Creation is supposed to work, while supporting a natural selection explanation of natural variation in a number of ways. Neither God's provident goodness nor a Fall from Grace supplies any narrative that would be consistent with such a process.


Then you've already done more thinking than the creationists have ever done.



Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:52 pm
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Post Re: Some Notes on Evolution
DB Roy wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
That's probably not a very good analysis. People like me who don't know very much about artillery can still be of the opinion that artillery, like poison gas, is a diabolical invention. The big difference for evolution is that Young Earth Creationists are attached to a certain version of explaining why the world is like it is, rather than mainly a value judgment. The how of evolution is of little interest to them, because it is, in their view, not the correct Why. The fact that their preferred explanation approach is incorrect and useless doesn't matter to them, (they care about its rhetorical value), so why would they be interested in the details?


I don't understand anything you just said. Artillery IS evil for the most part. It's inherently evil because its ultimate purpose is to make war via killing people and destroying buildings. Doesn't really matter whether you know anything about artillery or not--its ultimate purpose is to kill. Evolution is not inherently evil and neither picks your pocket nor breaks your leg.
Well, actually, anti-evolutionists do think the purpose of evolutionary theorizing, and scientific skepticism in general, are evil. Why? Because they attack the authority of God. Now, before you go lambasting me for buying into this view, try to understand it.

First, consider the position of William Jennings Bryan. He was not the brightest bulb in the marquee, but he did understand that Social Darwinism was built on Biological Darwinism. People like his esteemed opponent in the Monkey Trial, Clarence Darrow, were saying to each other that these poor benighted masses should be sterilized, by and large, lest they pass on their benighted genes to their children. Bryan knew enough not to line up with that crowd, and in fact, as a defender of the downtrodden farmers of the declining agricultural sector, knew enough to judge the ideology by its fruits. Mercy and empathy were on his side, while ruthlessness and privilege had lined up with Mr. Darwin.

So, second, consider the possibility that many people judge a doctrine by its fruits, or by their perception of it. Creationists may give anti-evolutionists intellectual cover, but the essential thing to grasp is that they don't really care about the cover. The point is to line up with God's authority. Now, maybe you don't think Jeffrey Epstein's corruption of the judicial system, or the corporate denialism against science, means our system is rotten, but I do. I think the amorality of the MBA doctrines has brought low a truly great civilization, dragging its self-image through the dirt. Parents are vying with one another to get kids into elite schools so they can meet other children raised in amorality and open to enlistment in the culture of corruption. And why wouldn't they? What is the admired alternative in our society? The Amish?

All that is to underline what I said already. They don't care about the evidence, because what they care about is the authority of belief in God.

My advice is to engage any discussion of the matter at the level of values and emotions, instead of pretending that only the factuality matters because that is what matters to you. It isn't that hard to show that taking values seriously does not rely on authoritarian religion, and that in fact such religion may undermine the taking seriously of values. But that is the kind of argument worth making because it doesn't engage in willful denial of the nature of the "other side."

Quote:
Again, every person you know who denies evolution has this problem because it they didn't, they wouldn't be denying it.
Well, again, Dunning-Kruger categorization relies on the single dimension of knowledge, while the denial is actually motivated and socially supported by a very different set of issues.

Quote:
To critique something of which you are not properly acquainted is the height of arrogance

I couldn't have said it better myself.



Last edited by Harry Marks on Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:05 pm
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Post Re: Some Notes on Evolution
Harry Marks wrote:
Well, actually, anti-evolutionists do think the purpose of evolutionary theorizing, and scientific skepticism in general, are evil. Why? Because they attack the authority of God.


With all due respect, I don't care. Evolution can't harm you and any view other than that is wrong. Sorry. I won't argue this any further because it's fucking retarded. You have the choice to reject evolution if you want to but that's what's harmful. Ignorance of evolution has caused harm.

Quote:
Now, before you go lambasting me for buying into this view, try to understand it.

First, consider the position of William Jennings Bryan. He was not the brightest bulb in the marquee, but he did understand that Social Darwinism was built on Biological Darwinism. People like his esteemed opponent in the Monkey Trial, Clarence Darrow, were saying to each other that these poor benighted masses should be sterilized, by and large, lest they pass on their benighted genes to their children. Bryan knew enough not to line up with that crowd, and in fact, as a defender of the downtrodden farmers of the declining agricultural sector, knew enough to judge the ideology by its fruits. Mercy and empathy were on his side, while ruthlessness and privilege had lined up with Mr. Darwin.


Biological Darwinism didn't create social Darwinism. Racists created social Darwinism. To be specific, white racists invented social Darwinism. In case it escaped your notice, white people bring race into everything. Racism is the white peoples' religion and science. It is the only thing they truly hold dear. It's utterly ridiculous to think Jesus was a white man or that he could have understood anything about modern white racialist theory but somehow white people believe that. It's ridiculous to think that nature's various processes caused evolution but somehow white people were created special. But they believe that. You can attack their religion and their science but don't you dare attack their racism because that is what is at the core of the white race--their racism--it is everything to them and they will NEVER give it up. They'll give up everything but that. Their whiteness makes them better than everything else. They have to believe that because nothing else shows this to be true. Christianity is the greatest religion ever NOT because they really believe that but because THEY chose it as their religion. They bestowed their whiteness upon it. Science isn't great because it explains nature, it's great because the white race invented it or at least they believe that. If a non-white people make a great scientific discovery, white people comfort themselves with, "It was our civilizing influence that enabled them to do it otherwise they'd be in the jungles cooking each other." If you read early anthropology works from Europe starting in the 18th century, it's plain that eugenicist thinking was already present in the white mind. Darwinism just gave them a pseudo-scientific framework to encase their racism in. And Christians were the most racist people of all and they still are.

Quote:
So, second, consider the possibility that many people judge a doctrine by its fruits, or by their perception of it. Creationists may give anti-evolutionists intellectual cover, but the essential thing to grasp is that they don't really care about the cover.


Evolution has produced far more fruit than religion ever has or ever will.

Quote:
The point is to line up with God's authority. Now, maybe you don't think Jeffrey Epstein's corruption of the judicial system, or the corporate denialism against science, means our system is rotten, but I do. I think the amorality of the MBA doctrines has brought low a truly great civilization, dragging its self-image through the dirt. Parents are vying with one another to get kids into elite schools so they can meet other children raised in amorality and open to enlistment in the culture of corruption. And why wouldn't they? What is the admired alternative in our society? The Amish?

All that is to underine what I said already. They don't care about the evidence, because what they care about is the authority of belief in God.


I disagree. They care about their racism which they then disguise with the phrase "the authority of belief in God." Their racism moves them not their religion.

Quote:
My advice is to engage any discussion of the matter at the level of values and emotions, instead of pretending that only the factuality matters because that is what matters to you.


I don't pretend. Facts matter more than values. Values have to be based on facts. Values that ignore facts are dangerous.

Quote:
It isn't that hard to show that taking values seriously does not rely on authoritarian religion, and that in fact such religion may undermine the taking seriously of values. But that is the kind of argument worth making because it doesn't engage in willful denial of the nature of the "other side."


I have no idea what you're saying here. You mean not giving anyone the time of day who slags evolution? Evolution is a proven scientific fact. It happens. There is no room for dissent. Those who disagree are the ones in denial. They're the ones who need to get their heads out of their asses or they can kiss mine. They may think they can legislate by their emotions and their gut feelings but they are wrong and the current administration proves that every single day. And if they think they can shout us down or drown us out, if they think their convictions are stronger than mine, they're going to find out how wrong they are.



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Post Re: Some Notes on Evolution
DB Roy wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
Well, actually, anti-evolutionists do think the purpose of evolutionary theorizing, and scientific skepticism in general, are evil. Why? Because they attack the authority of God.


With all due respect, I don't care. Evolution can't harm you and any view other than that is wrong. Sorry. I won't argue this any further because it's fucking retarded. You have the choice to reject evolution if you want to but that's what's harmful. Ignorance of evolution has caused harm.
No, I don't reject evolution. I do question the sanctity of scientific knowledge. Looks to me like we are damn near killing ourselves off from scientific knowledge, and I think those who say, "it doesn't matter, because it's true," are skipping over some important steps. Do we need to know something because it's true? Do I need to know the most simple and affordable way to kill myself because it's true? For that matter, do we need to know a secret drug that will extinguish all the pain from life (which, we are learning, will also extinguish much of our motivation in life)?

DB Roy wrote:
Biological Darwinism didn't create social Darwinism. Racists created social Darwinism. To be specific, white racists invented social Darwinism. In case it escaped your notice, white people bring race into everything. Racism is the white peoples' religion and science. It is the only thing they truly hold dear.
I don't actually know that much about the details of where social Darwinism came from, but I expect that racism played a big part in its emergence. Linking genetics to social groupings must have seemed irresistible in a society eager to justify its practice of slavery but also confronted with the military strength of European nations as a contrast with the nations of the POC. But Social Darwinism did not stop with People of Color. They wanted "the fittest" to be those of the highest social class as well. And probably it seemed a natural extension of Darwinian theory.

It is not a simple matter to just say, Well, society has to handle the difficult truths. Society is pretty much utterly failing to handle the difficult truths these days. I am not on board with any ideology that just assumes we will be able to hold things together in the face of difficult truth. I want the details of how we will reach some agreement on rational response.
DB Roy wrote:
It's ridiculous to think that nature's various processes caused evolution but somehow white people were created special. But they believe that.
I'm not so sure. Homo sapiens came from earlier species by a process of some being better at language (and perhaps other things) than others. How would I know which groups are likely to be the fittest and kill off the others the way Sapiens apparently killed off Neanderthals? I think countering racism is much more complicated than just waving our hands and declaring "that's ridiculous".

DB Roy wrote:
Christianity is the greatest religion ever NOT because they really believe that but because THEY chose it as their religion. They bestowed their whiteness upon it.
Yes, that's pretty much the way the BJP views Hinduism. There is a lot of the same tribalism in the support of Christianity by Christians.

DB Roy wrote:
If you read early anthropology works from Europe starting in the 18th century, it's plain that eugenicist thinking was already present in the white mind. Darwinism just gave them a pseudo-scientific framework to encase their racism in.
There is a lot of truth to that, but it is also true that early science pretty much takes the facts as they find them. They were pretty biased as to which evidence they accepted and payed attention to, but that was heavily influenced by the overall picture that confronted them, of European education and power and skill. As a first pass at things, they would tend to interpret things in that light.

It took a while to have all the pieces together that could demonstrate that getting to science first could be just an accident of geography or just an accident, rather than a sign of inherent superiority. But just as there are racial differences in susceptibility to disease and in physical capacities, there may be racial differences, on average, in other things. Just to declare that of course there are none is not nearly strong enough: people need to understand solid reasons why treating others according to their race is not only wrong but self-defeating.

DB Roy wrote:
Evolution has produced far more fruit than religion ever has or ever will.
And you know this how?

DB Roy wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
Parents are vying with one another to get kids into elite schools so they can meet other children raised in amorality and open to enlistment in the culture of corruption. And why wouldn't they? What is the admired alternative in our society? The Amish?
All that is to underline what I said already. They don't care about the evidence, because what they care about is the authority of belief in God.

I disagree. They care about their racism which they then disguise with the phrase "the authority of belief in God." Their racism moves them not their religion.
Well, that's a pretty sweeping judgment. If you took a random sample of Red State Evangelical Christians, I daresay there would be many for whom that is true. But there are also many for whom the authority of belief in God is the rock their lives are built on, and they genuinely live much more healthy lives because of their religion. Some of those are racists, and some are tender-hearted and enlightened and would not care about a person's race one way or another. If I had to guess I would guess that the latter outnumber the former.

DB Roy wrote:
Quote:
My advice is to engage any discussion of the matter at the level of values and emotions, instead of pretending that only the factuality matters because that is what matters to you.


I don't pretend. Facts matter more than values. Values have to be based on facts. Values that ignore facts are dangerous.
Well, in my book, the idea that facts matter is a value judgment, even if it is a pretty obvious one. I agree that values that ignore facts tend to be dangerous, and that values should be chosen with facts in mind, but picking which facts are most important to pay attention to is the whole ballgame. Saying that facts matter more than values is contradictory on its face. Facts matter because of values - that's what "matter" means.

DB Roy wrote:
Quote:
It isn't that hard to show that taking values seriously does not rely on authoritarian religion, and that in fact such religion may undermine the taking seriously of values. But that is the kind of argument worth making because it doesn't engage in willful denial of the nature of the "other side."


I have no idea what you're saying here.
I'm saying it is a stronger and more effective argument, with someone worried about the authority of believing in God, to point out how the values they uphold, like caring about others and behaving responsibly, don't actually depend on authority. The ideology of fundamentalist religion says that people will behave badly if they don't recognize God's authority. However, we can show with plenty of evidence that it is just as effective to provide modeling and to nurture individual self-confidence as to provide strong authority. Better, in fact. Without the need for authority, the motivation to deny evolution goes away.

DB Roy wrote:
And if they think they can shout us down or drown us out, if they think their convictions are stronger than mine, they're going to find out how wrong they are.
But if, instead, you counter their fear by being confrontational against it, you only confirm their fear. There is a reason why the Divider in Chief appeals to authoritarians. Division is proof to them that their worldview is correct, and anyone who opposes God (as they understand the term) must be for anarchy and violence and giving in to primal anger.



Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:41 pm
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Post Re: Some Notes on Evolution
https://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressi ... istianity/

Christianity is white supremacy: Christian activist Sandy Rios claims that when the left criticizes white supremacy, they attack Christianity.

Rios, the American Family Association’s Director of Governmental Affairs and a popular defender of extreme conservative Christian values, suggested that criticism of white supremacy is criticism of Christianity while speaking on her radio program, “Sandy Rios in the Morning” on American Family Radio.

On her program Rios said:

It’s not about your skin color and when they go further and compare President Trump to Nazis and their white racism, it’s really silly because, remember, the Nazis killed thousands, hundreds of thousands, of people, but guess what? They were white. The Nazis were Aryan supremacists. They had a certain superhuman race they wanted to develop and most white people did not qualify.

Rios continued:

So when the left is talking about white supremacism, they’re talking about the roots of this country. They’re talking about Christianity. They’re talking about hard work, about capitalism and free-market values. They’re talking about everything that has made America what it is. That’s what they mean.

Rios added:

It may seem as though the hatred is focused on the president, but as I have said to you before, it is really focused on us—those of us that love this country, even if you don’t support Trump fully but you love the Constitution, you love the founders, you believe in Jesus—you are an object of their wrath.



Rios is a big Trump supporter, and a virulent anti-LGBT activist who often spouts Christian hate speech to promote her prejudice and bigotry. Previously Rios made headlines by fantasizing about Hillary Clinton being a lesbian, and leading an attack on Target’s trangender-inclusive bathroom policy by sending men into women’s bathrooms.

As for the connection between Christianity and white supremacy, historically, racism and white supremacy has been a central theme in American Christianity.
In fact, the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant body in the United States, was founded upon the notion that black slavery and white supremacy was integral to the Christian faith.

And the Ku Klux Klan has always been, and remains, an exclusively Christian organization dedicated to white supremacy.

Bottom line: Christian activist Sandy Rios equates white supremacy with Christianity, and claims that when the left criticizes white supremacy, they attack Christianity.



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Post Re: Some Notes on Evolution
I just found the above article this morning.



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Post Re: Some Notes on Evolution
DB Roy wrote:
Christianity is white supremacy: Christian activist Sandy Rios claims that when the left criticizes white supremacy, they attack Christianity.

Just dipping my toes in here briefly. "Christianity" is actually a very nebulous term, almost meaningless without adding a few very important qualifiers. It's true that in many parts of the U.S., Christianity can encompass conservative and nationalist "values", but there are very liberal "Christian" denominations as well. And then there are the Christmas- and Easter Christians who vary greatly in their religiosity and many others who may even keep their politics out of their religion altogether. Technically, a Christian is someone who believes in Jesus as saviour, but even that is probably not very consistent among the hundreds of thousands of sects and denominations. Heck, most Catholics have no problem with evolution at all, since the Pope made acceptance of it official in the mid-1980s. I'm not sure why anyone would want to rely on the Pope for such things, but there it is.

In short, attacking Christianity is a bit like trying to grab hold of an amoeba with a pair of tweezers. Good luck with that. Harry is probably on the right track with his suggestion that we try to engage "at the level of values and emotions" but I also agree with you there are problems with the broad umbrella of intellectual cover provided by "Christians" of every kind for their Fundamentalist brethren to pursue anti-truth. Harry seems to be suggesting that our understanding of evolution is not everyone's cup of tea, and that science is a bit like opening Pandora's box. But it's probably very dangerous to give people permission to ever reject reality in favor of delusion or dogma. Is that what God would want? I would suggest that knowledge is not dangerous in of itself, just the twisting and distortion of it for political or personal gain. Beware of charlatans! As such I can relate to what Mahatma Gandhi once said: "Truth alone will endure, all the rest will be swept away before the tide of time."


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Post Re: Some Notes on Evolution
geo wrote:
DB Roy wrote:
Christianity is white supremacy: Christian activist Sandy Rios claims that when the left criticizes white supremacy, they attack Christianity.

Just dipping my toes in here briefly. "Christianity" is actually a very nebulous term, almost meaningless without adding a few very important qualifiers. It's true that in many parts of the U.S., Christianity can encompass conservative and nationalist "values", but there are very liberal "Christian" denominations as well. And then there are the Christmas- and Easter Christians who vary greatly in their religiosity and many others who may even keep their politics out of their religion altogether. Technically, a Christian is someone who believes in Jesus as saviour, but even that is probably not very consistent among the hundreds of thousands of sects and denominations. Heck, most Catholics have no problem with evolution at all, since the Pope made acceptance of it official in the mid-1980s. I'm not sure why anyone would want to rely on the Pope for such things, but there it is.

In short, attacking Christianity is a bit like trying to grab hold of an amoeba with a pair of tweezers. Good luck with that. Harry is probably on the right track with his suggestion that we try to engage "at the level of values and emotions" but I also agree with you there are problems with the broad umbrella of intellectual cover provided by "Christians" of every kind for their Fundamentalist brethren to pursue anti-truth. Harry seems to be suggesting that our understanding of evolution is not everyone's cup of tea, and that science is a bit like opening Pandora's box. But it's probably very dangerous to give people permission to ever reject reality in favor of delusion or dogma. Is that what God would want? I would suggest that knowledge is not dangerous in of itself, just the twisting and distortion of it for political or personal gain. Beware of charlatans! As such I can relate to what Mahatma Gandhi once said: "Truth alone will endure, all the rest will be swept away before the tide of time."


My point is, you can't know the truth if you don't study it. While many Christians do accept evolution, let's face it: they are, by far, the leading proponent against its acceptance. If there were no Christians in the US, there wouldn't be much of an anti-evolution movement. It makes no sense to politicize something just so you can feel like you have an excuse to reject it. You can't appoint conservative judges and think you can legislate it out of existence. As Gandhi said, truth will always be here, it will endure but so will lies and deception. Evolution is truth and making it a trigger word unacceptable in religious company only makes religious company stupid. My aim here is to show that evolution cuts deep. It's not superficial. It goes to the very meat of things.



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Post Re: Some Notes on Evolution
It's true that denial of evolution is based on religious beliefs, maybe not in 100% of cases, but close enough. It wouldn't be Christianity alone that uses scripture to deny evolution, but of course in the U.S., Christian scriptures are still the most prominent religious writings.

I'm thankful that Catholicism and the mainline Protestant sects decided to accept the theory of evolution. We'd be much worse off if they hadn't. Their attitudes toward evolution aren't in line with my own thinking, because they promote theistic evolution, but that is an acceptable compromise.

As recently as a century and a half ago, speaking of Christianity as a single religion wouldn't have made sense to people. The particular sect that one belonged to was one's religion. A Baptist wouldn't have felt much kinship to an Episcopalian just because they both read the Bible. Although schismatism is much less evident today, it's still with us, and the different views on evolution are one indicator. So I agree that opposition to evolution comes from Christians of a certain fundamentalist stripe, but just how many Christians in total oppose it is hard to say. Public opinion polling on the question doesn't come up with consistent results, even when evangelicals are asked. The phrasing of the question seems to make a large difference. Would it be too extreme to talk about Christian support of evolution? Maybe not.

Every issue of National Geographic, that radical magazine, has multiple references to evolution. It's hard to imagine not being able to open its pages for fear of seeing such misinformation. But I guess that the way it is for some folks.



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Post Re: Some Notes on Evolution
I once worked with a guy who believed in evolution except that God made man. Everything else was evolution but man was created the way Genesis stated. I don't know what Christian sect he belonged to. While I would wager most Americans who label themselves Christian accept evolution, most don't really understand it. The reason, I think, that most of these Christians accept evolution is simply because they are not adamant Christians but are mildly or lax, quasi-Christian. The type of people who say, "I'm not religious but I am spiritual." Whatever that means.

To the point, I find the idea that evolution is responsible for all life on earth except humankind which was created by God to be utterly unacceptable. I am not willing to compromise on that. If you're going to accept evolution then accept it. Only people who don't really understand evolution would think a God-created human race is an acceptable belief.

We have all the evolutionary adaptations that we see in fish. Fish were the first animals to have a face--two parallel eyes, a nose in the middle below the eyes, a mouth under the nose, the mouth having a lower movable jaw. That was carried forward into amphibians, reptiles, lower mammals and primates. Fish were the first animals to have topness and bottomness, backness and frontness, leftness and rightness. So did all the creatures that evolved from them. Fish were the first creatures to walk on land. The first fish used their fins and stayed immersed enough to water to breathe it. But soon other fish developed the first lungs, their fins were becoming useless because lungs enabled fish to stay out of water indefinitely. First they developed little single bones sprouting off the skeletal mass but once fish became more terrestrial than aquatic, they needed more effective locomotive devices that could instantly adjust to changes in terrain. So, two bones sprouted from the single bone. These two bones work in tandem. From those two bones sprouted a mass of bones and cartilage that formed essentially a hand. That hand had to turn and swivel and the two bones above it worked together to allow that movement. This was passed on to amphibians, reptiles and mammals. We all--all animal forms--have a humerus/femur, an ulna and radius/tibia and fibula, a wrist/ankle and hands/feet with fingers/toes. Bones--fish were the first animals to have them. The first bones were teeth, then a skull formed and the earliest skulls--believe it or not--were made from compressed teeth. That skull belonged to a fish. Then came a spinal cord, a ribcage, a pelvis. All present in the fish first. Then enclosed inside the body were internal organs--lungs, heart, stomach, bladder, liver, intestines. All of which later animals possessed. Same with blood. The first animals to have eyes were fish and we inherited them. Now you may ask about the ear. Fish don't have ears. No they do not. What they have are gills. Once they came up on land permanently, they didn't need them anymore but gills didn't disappear. Instead, they were scrapped and reformed into the bones of the ear. We know this because human embryos form with gills that we can watch eventually become the ear bones. Otherwise, our ears are formed in the same spot on the body where the fish's gills are located. We came from fish. All our evolutionary adaptations were already present in the fish first. Some, such as the gills, got repurposed but we came from fish.

The idea that fish evolved but then God created us from some scratch recipe with all the same evolutionary adaptations as the fish doesn't make any sense.



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Post Re: Some Notes on Evolution
DB Roy wrote:
Evolution is truth and making it a trigger word unacceptable in religious company only makes religious company stupid.
Agreed. I have never been in a church that preached against evolution and was anything but stupid, even evaluated solely on other grounds. Of course that doesn't change my belief that engaging on grounds of values, and specifically the wrong-headedness of an authority based approach to values, is more likely to open those closed minds.

DB Roy wrote:
My aim here is to show that evolution cuts deep. It's not superficial. It goes to the very meat of things.
I would like to hear more of this. I enjoyed your first post very much.



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Post Re: Some Notes on Evolution
geo wrote:
But it's probably very dangerous to give people permission to ever reject reality in favor of delusion or dogma. Is that what God would want? I would suggest that knowledge is not dangerous in of itself,
Yet those who reject evolution think they see an even greater danger: societal dissolution without firm, acknowledged authority. Religiously based, naturally. The idea that you could set aside questions of authority to "objectively" evaluate the evidence does not make sense to them. So they try to choose their own facts, and assert them because they must be true, rather than accept any threat to the authority they live by.

On the other hand, knowledge certainly can be dangerous in itself.

geo wrote:
just the twisting and distortion of it for political or personal gain.
Another term for your "twisting and distortion" is "making use of the knowledge." Political and personal gain is how our society is organized. Claiming that "knowledge doesn't hurt people, people hurt people" is no more accurate than when people use that argument about guns. True in some abstract sense, perhaps, but uselessly so. If we don't manage the potential toxicity of knowledge, we will be unable to manage the toxicity that eventually materializes, because once the genie is out of the bottle, well, you know the argument.

geo wrote:
Beware of charlatans!
Like the fossil fuel industry. Except I don't think that's what you had in mind.



Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:32 pm
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