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Posts posted by DrKrettin

  1. 40 minutes ago, Area54 said:

    A well made cow-catcher could throw a  buffalo weighing 2000 lbs some 30 feet."


    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. 32 minutes ago, EdEarl said:

     Moreover, reason is not very effective against emotional thinking. 

    That's very true - as anybody who has said "calm down and stop being emotional" to an angry woman will testify.

  4. 24 minutes ago, Anonymous Participant said:

    None. I just have a more accurate and rational definition than it rides the bandwagon

    That is a pathetic answer given that you said:

    36 minutes ago, Anonymous Participant said:

    From my perspective I can see a lot of what mainstream refers to a legitimate science is indeed pseudoscience , and a alot of what it refers to as pseudoscience is legitimate science. 


  5. 5 minutes ago, Anonymous Participant said:

    From my perspective I can see a lot of what mainstream refers to a legitimate science is indeed pseudoscience , and a alot of what it refers to as pseudoscience is legitimate science.

    Just as a matter of interest, exactly which pseudoscience do you see as legitimate? 

  6. 12 hours ago, EdEarl said:

    There are several definitions of irrational, and at least some of them would include emotional decisions. 

    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

  7. 1 minute ago, EdEarl said:

    The fight or flight response is one example of emotional thinking. In addition, people's decisions can be affected by love, hate, envy, fear, hunger, thirst, etc. and combinations thereof. Pretty much all people make both rational and emotional decisions. People are overloaded with information, some of dubious value. So people make bad decisions. Also, people with valid data make bad choices sometimes; it doesn't mean they are irrational all the time. Philosophy and logic classes probably increase the number of rational decisions people make, at least some people. I haven't seen a study, so don't know. Perhaps they should be taught in lower grades.

    That's fine as far as it goes, but examples of emotional response do not make the difference between emotional and irrational very clear.

  8. 1 minute ago, Strange said:

    That is not unique to Latin, of course. It is true of any second language.

    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.

  9. 4 minutes ago, Area54 said:

    Interesting. I learned some Latin, but I've never found it contributed to my thought processes. (It's main benefit was the feelking of smugness over those who haven't studied it.) Perhaps I was not sufficiently advanced in it to reap the benefits. How do you see it working?

    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.

  10. 12 minutes ago, Silvestru said:

    How would you teach someone how to think? 

    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*

  11. 2 hours ago, EdEarl said:

    Irrational people need psychiatric help. Most people think emotionally and some people think rationally only some of the time. 


    Could you define for me the difference between irrational and emotional? I'm not disputing anything here (yet), I just need some clarification.

  12. 4 minutes ago, Strange said:

     Why should any language, especially a Germanic one, be expected to follow the rules of a long dead language?  

    And in the case of English which has a huge number of phrasal verbs ("get up", "do in", "pick up", etc) as well as idioms like "where it's at" it is almost impossible to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition without bizarre distortions. (As in the example credited to Churchill: "this is a rule up with which I will not put.")


    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?

  13. 1 hour ago, ProgrammingGodJordan said:

    Facts may persist regardless of belief...


    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. 

  14. 41 minutes ago, Handy andy said:

    Does anyone have actual historic proof that Jesus existed. I have never met anyone who can point to any historic proof.


    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.

  15. 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. 

  16. 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.

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