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Everything posted by DrKrettin

  1. That would not help much if the buffalo landed back on the lines. Why didn't he call it a bison-catcher?
  2. I'm not a biologist, so shoot me down if you like. There are many species of animals where there is a dominant male who mates with a lot of females and thus has many offspring, Presumably he is dominant because he carries genes which are positive for the species, so there is an evolutionary advantage that he mates and others do not. If births are 50% male and 50% female, that leaves a lot of males with nothing to do (the stag party), but who have the same sexual urges as the dominant male. It follows that homosexual behaviour of the inferior males would have the advantage that the alpha male can carry on producing, with less hassle from competing males. If so, then homosexual behaviour would have an evolutionary advantage, albeit indirectly. How's that for a theory?
  3. Nice post, but it's a shame you went to the effort, considering that AP had been suspended before we posted.
  4. The Telegraph newspaper has an article with a bar chart showing the frequency of hurricanes, but I don't know its source.
  5. That's very true - as anybody who has said "calm down and stop being emotional" to an angry woman will testify.
  6. That is a pathetic answer given that you said:
  7. Just as a matter of interest, exactly which pseudoscience do you see as legitimate?
  8. Obviously you need psychiatric help to bring you back to rational pessimism.
  9. True, but you did say in an earlier post that the irrational needed psychiatric help. I think I see irrational behaviour all round me all the time, often by people who can be extremely rational at times. Behaviour which I would not recognise as emotional, just stupid, and I do not exclude myself. You sound as if you are saying that most, if not all, of our species needs psychiatric help. Hmmmm
  10. That's fine as far as it goes, but examples of emotional response do not make the difference between emotional and irrational very clear.
  11. To some extent maybe, but for reasons I am not clear about the classics are different. I think it must be connected with the fact that these are the basis of European culture, but divorced from modern culture, so provides a different perspective. I have studied German to degree level, and found various aspects of it fascinating, but it didn't really encourage me to think about how I think. A degree course in Greek was different because it challenged my thinking in ways which the German never did, and it did far more to teach me how to think. Perhaps the difference is purely subjective and another might have the opposite reaction.
  12. The foundations don't do much and can be quite tedious, but when able to read texts in the original, it opens up all kinds of thought processes and you start to become aware of all kinds of assumptions in your thought processes of which you were previously unaware. You gain an insight into cultures which are in some ways remote, and this makes you conscious of the fact that your own culture is not the only way of seeing the world. It also provides an insight into how language operates, but I can't answer your question satisfactorily in a forum post.
  13. That's better! If you are going to make a mistake, then make two mistakes in the same word!
  14. You might be a little more convincing if you could at least spell it!
  15. Teaching Latin and Greek is a surprisingly good way of teaching someone how to think. Unfortunately very few people these days can appreciate classics because the fashion is for something "useful", policies made by people who don't actually think much, because they haven't learned how to. *sigh*
  16. Could you define for me the difference between irrational and emotional? I'm not disputing anything here (yet), I just need some clarification.
  17. No language is dead if the literature is worth reading, but I agree that it makes no sense having rules of a Germanic language dictated by a Latin. Over half of English vocabulary originates from or via Latin, but the grammar is resolutely Germanic. As for phrasal verbs, I am reminded of what the child said when its mother intended to read a bedtime story from a particular book, had second thoughts and put it away, so the child said Mummy, what did you put that book I was going to be read to out of up for?
  18. The question of whether somebody is capable of communicating in a particular language or not can only be answered by a consensus of those trying to understand the communication. This capability cannot be classified as a fact, and in your case I'm afraid the consensus is heavily against you.
  19. He goes around looking for somebody to tie his shoelaces for him, avoiding philosophers of course.
  20. What constitutes historical proof? All evidence we ever have that a particular person existed is in the form of historical documents and monuments. You can't have a simple boundary between "definitely existed" and "no evidence", all you can have is a sliding scale between "existence very highly likely" to "no evidence". Every historic character lies somewhere on that scale, and there is no clear dividing line between "proof" and "not enough proof". Having said that, given the sparse evidence we do have, I suspect that it is indeed based on a person who actually existed, but that is merely my suspicion.
  21. There is what I find a very odd tradition where I live (Tenerife) which is part of Spain and strongly catholic. That is, every town and village has their own patron virgin, depicted as a wooden statue and given a name such as "Virgen de Candelaria", "Virgen de las Nieves", "Virgen del Carmen" etc. She is never called Mary, and the most notable one is black. The concept of a virgin birth is obviously an important one, and probably influenced by the history of the island, which was a stone-age society until 1492 when the Spanish turned up.
  22. She actually says "ἐπεὶ ἄνδρα οὐ γινώσκω", (I know not man) but then she would say that, wouldn't she?
  23. It could just be an error in translation. The word used is parthenos, which actually means "unmarried woman" from which it is understood that the person was also a virgin in the biological sense. So when Matthew says "Ιδοὺ ἡ παρθένος ἐν γαστρὶ ἕξει καὶ τέξεται υἱόν", he might just have meant that she was unmarried. It could be that simple.
  24. I think I'll confine myself to single malts - I like to keep things simple.
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