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About mistermack

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  1. Yep. And she said "have a nice day" !
  2. Is there a rational reason for religion?

    The OP question is probably the wrong one. It would make more sense to ask if there is a LOGICAL reason for religion. Lots of rational people are religious. I'm not so sure about how logical their reasons for believing are. Does the belief follow on logically from facts they can be sure of? What happens is that people compartmentalise religion. They reserve a much lower standard of proof for religious beliefs than for other day to day information. I suppose a perfectly rational person can argue that religion is a good thing, whether true or not. But are they perfectly logical?
  3. Durn it. Must be something I did in a past life, wrecked my chances of a +
  4. Karma doesn't exist. Someone made it up. Like all the other silly religious and semi-religious hoo ha. It was invented at a time when everything was mysterious, and there was very little scientific knowledge. You can understand people inventing these things, when there is nothing better on offer. People still hold to some of it now, through wishful thinking, and indoctrination.
  5. As much as anything, I think it was a numbers game. Neanderthals had a culture of settling in favoured places, and not moving much. Places like gorges, where migratory game got squeezed, and hunting was easy. Modern man was more mobile, and followed herds instead of waiting for them to show up. When the ice age got really severe, Neanderthals had starved to death and disappeared over much of Europe, so that when it ended, they didn't have the numbers to repopulate, and modern humans just drifted in from the South, following game, and absorbed the remaining Neanderthals by interbreeding. (that's my best guess, based on the various versions and theories I've read).
  6. I'm sure that's right. But a lot of it is related to culture, not inherent intelligence. There's so little evolved difference, it's pretty certain that you could take a baby modern human from 50,000 years ago, before even the bow and arrow was invented, give it a modern education, and it could get a good degree in physics. So there were people walking around 50,000 years ago, with that much potential, who were using flint stones for blades, and unable to even boil water.
  7. I had to look them up. Wikipedia says " These fish are also known for having large brain size and unusually high intelligence." but it also says " the cerebellum (part of the brain) is greatly enlarged, giving them a brain to body size ratio similar to that of humans (though other sources give the brain/body proportion as 'similar to that of birds and marsupials'; Helfman, Collette & Facey 1997, p. 191). This is likely to be related to the interpretation of bio-electrical signals. " They are a bit freakish, and the extra brain matter appears to be related to the electrical systems. The body/brain mass ratio is only a rough guide anyway, there are other factors in human intelligence, including the folding and the frontal lobes of the cerebrum.
  8. The absolute mass of the brain isn't the indicator of intelligence. It's the RATIO of brain mass to body mass that is a guide to the intelligence of the animal. Our ratio is way more than that of elephants. It seems that body mass demands brain mass, just to keep it functioning. The ratio of brain to body mass of a neanderthal was very close to our own. There is a slight difference in layout, modern humans having slightly more frontal lobe, neanderthals having a longer brain case. But the differences are extremely minor. I doubt if you can conclude much from the lack of construction evidence. That's a cultural thing, there are hunter-gatherer societies of modern man who leave no constructions, and if they used wood instead of stone, that would most likely leave no evidence. And the population size of neanderthals were surprisingly small, so that restricts the amount of evidence.
  9. Is the Universe infinite?

    Are the words "is" and "infinite" actually compatible? "is" implies a finite state at a finite instant in time to me. Could there "be" an infinitely long pencil at an instant in time?
  10. I think a lot of people underestimate the intelligence of Neanderthals. I can't provide a reference, but the impression that I've accumulated over the years is that their intelligence levels would be pretty much on a par with people you meet today. Obviously, they didn't have a culture that involved significant building in stone, otherwise we would have evidence of it. I would love to know what kind of shelter they used. I think they were generally sedentary, with settlements around places that provided favourable hunting opportunities, in contrast to modern man, who were more mobile and tended to follow herds. It shouldn't really come as any surprise that Neanderthals should build a dam though. (if that's what it was). They would have seen beavers doing the same thing on a daily basis, and it wouldn't take much brain power to copy a beaver.
  11. Shield

    A bouncer I used to know used to explain action and reaction to troublemakers in a simple way. "If you don't behave, we are going to have one hit each. I hit you, and you hit the floor! "
  12. Who am I?

    It's my mum. She's the only person I know.
  13. Who am I?

    Nice. That gives me a huge advantage from the start.
  14. Probably meant Somerset and Cheddar. Back in those days, slavery was everywhere and involved every race. There have always been varying degrees of it, and still are. It was only with the discovery of America that black people were singled out, with a particularly nasty version.
  15. You mean Manchester United have played Taunton ? Edit : On the OP, John Lennox makes a habit of misquoting people, and using their words out of context. I've seen Richard Dawkins on Youtube complaining when Lennox did just that, after a live debate with him. Lennox will take a phrase that you said, remove the context, and bend it's meaning, once he's no longer face-to-face with you.