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Area54

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Everything posted by Area54

  1. Although, if one had the technology to live for millions of years, maintaining a stable environment shouldn't be much of a challenge. Or changing it and yourself to suit your latest whim.
  2. Pessimist: What doesn't kill you, just weakens you for Nature's next attack. Optimist: As the end product of 3.5 billion years of evolution it will take more than a few spiky buggers to kill us off. Realist: That chap Putin seems to have more nukes than brain cells. Not ideal.
  3. I am in complete agreement with this point. I simply challenged the absolutism of your assertion that the research fully supported your position. It doesn't.
  4. I don't think you have demonstrated your point. Let's assume the study's finding is accurate: breed does not predict behaviour. However, that is not the same as genetics does not predict behaviour. i.e. you exclude the possibility that a combination of genes, which might occur in a variety of breeds, could result in a tendency to aggression. This is the old nature vs. nurture argument. I readily accept the nurture role, as represented by the owners, but I don't see - on the information presented so far - that nature is excluded.
  5. The other day I found my car covered in bird shit, which was annoying. Then I thought, there must be something positive I can take from this, and there is. Birds are dinosaurs, so I have dinosaur droppings on my car. Dinosaur droppincs! How cool is that? What different perspectives have you taken on a negative situation in an attempt to change it into a positive one?
  6. In monetary terms, the reverse of a windfall.
  7. That is exactly what I was saying. You have my sympathy for the difficulties you face. Sadly, it seems unlikely you will readily overcome these until you accept that your interpretaion of what is happening to you is probably mistaken. I wish you luck in that regard.
  8. No. Unlike you I have taken the trouble to find out some of the things researchers have discovered about memory. You don't have to take my word for it. That would be a bad idea. Just do some study yourself, using reliable sources.
  9. Memory works in peculiar ways. Intially we do not remember what happened, but what we remeber is an interpretation of what we think happened. When this memory is revisted it is revised. Repeatedly. Moreover, research has shown that false memories are readily created. Therefore, it is not surprising that you run across things that seem to have been changed. If you didn't, that would be abnormal.
  10. OK. That was difficult to follow. What you seem to be saying is that individuals who, for whatever reason, feel greatly challenged by and uncertain about their situation can be "pushed over the edge" by certain ideas. That seems reasonable. If people are "on the edge" then, by definition, it takes very little to "push them over". However, that sensitivity applies only to those edge-dwellers. The rest of humanity just ignores dumb ideas, or indulges in some corrective education, or trolls a litte. Even among the edge-dwellers, a group whose membership card I have occassionaly carried, almost all would treat your opening idea with a yawn, or a giggle. Screams would lie beyond the event horizon. Clearly you have an interest in science. Why not take advantage of that interest by educating yourself further through discussion on this forum - discussions based on solid science, not crazy ideas.
  11. If my understanding of the chemistry is correct, then the number, range and complexity of these compounds is substantially less than available with carbon, and the possibilities of manipulating energy more limited. This does not rule them out as potential bases of life, but does make them less likely.
  12. So, the Kennedys are in the clear then. Good to know.
  13. (Emphasis added) Or that we should be paying more attention to the possibility of panspermia. Until we have established, with a high degree of confidence, one or more plausible paths from pre-biotic to primitive cell, then any alleged estimate of probability for abiogenesis remains a wild-assed guess. I am not saying we shouldn't make wild assed guesses. They are entertaining and can inform future research, but we should remember they are just wild-assed guesses.
  14. This is a general observation and, perhaps for some, a reminder. In the UK there is no such thing as Right of Way. No road user ever has right of way in any situation. What they may have is priority. In that case other road users should respect that priority by giving way. The responsibility remains with the user with priority to ensure it is safe to proceed, not to confidently advance on the basis they have "right of way". Anecdotaly, most people seem unware of this.
  15. I realise I must be explaining my postion with a gross level of incompetence. You are considering only the desired outcome for the immediate situation. I am arguing that we must consider the consequences of that action for future situations. Torturing alleged terrorists generates more terrorists who cause further pain in suffering. You are arguing it is OK to cause future pain and suffering in order to prevent present pain and suffering. You are arguing for continuing the cycle of violence. I understand this is not a conscious argument on your part, but it is the essential outcome. You are mistaken. Dangerously mistaken. In an effort to be part of the solution you become the root of future problems. Don't bother replying, I shall be unable to see it.
  16. And to reiterate my position. I find it difficult to understand your entrenched refusal to acknowledge, or - seemingly - even to admit the role of torture and other violent reactions to terrorism, in generating new terrorists. Your approval of torture to, hypothetically, save the lives of potential victims, while ignoring its assured effect of generating more terrorists, is difficult to stomach when proposed by a fool, but it is especially painfull to witness, as in this case, in an intelligent, educated person. And I hope,they would have the intellect to consider strategy, not tactics. Naturally, I would like my family and myself to survive, but that means I'm asking that others should die, so I can live. Is selfishness a key aspect fo morality?
  17. Your persistent reference to a portion of the article on torture in the subject encyclopedia suggest that you think it somehow proves the correctness of your argument. It doesn't. It merely notes that some writers have argued the same case as you, just more eloquently - not necessarily more convincingly. If that's all you have - and it seems it is - it is time for you to retire from the field.
  18. The evidence is that they are not arbitrary, but rather are loosely expressed cultural reflections of instinctive behaviours. Nothing arbitrary there. Contrary to some popular thought, once can compare apples and oranges. However, comparing physics with ethics is less productive. I sense that you do not understand what fittest means in an evolutionary context. I see that you are unaware of the importance of cooperation. It is on a par with competition. (Arguably more important.) I guess you have no idea of the major role played by luck. Given such weak premises I couldn't see any point in giving the rest of your post much thought, though I would be happy to discuss why you are wrong, if you wish.
  19. When you mature enough to consider thinking about the comments of others, rather than launching into an automatic, angst ridden, agenda driven, logic free, outburst, you might be able to identify the flaws in your thinking. You might also be a lot happier. I wish you well in that respect. In the meantime I am heading for a sensible thread.
  20. I am unable to express my objections concisely enought to warrant further disruption of me by the thread. This was why I proposed taking up the discussion in a seaprate thread. Regarding deception, I did not intend to suggest you were deliberately lying. Rather, the nice flow of your argument makes it seem more convincing than the evidence warrants. I think you may have misled yourself. Absolutely. Nicely put. Pretty much how it struck me. I would probably also call it seductively deceptive.
  21. I don't disagree that one can make a well structured argument. What I am maintaining is that I have not seen such arguments supported by extensive evidence. Where evidence is offered, my impression has been that it was, consciously or unconsciously, cherry picked. This is a field in which my reading has been casual and therefore I may have overlooked many examples of which I am doubting the existence. Nor do I mean to imply that the present absence of such evidence means it isn't out there, waiting to be discovered. It's just that i have seen little examining the possible role of recent brain evolution (last 50k years, say) in the changes. (Which changes, while postulated have not necessarily been adequately demonstrated.) There appears to me, with limited background, that cultural explanation is accepted with a fairly low bar. In a sense my comments are an appeal to anyone who has a deep knowledge of current thinking of this topic to provide a summary and point me to texts that will address it in depth. Your last sentence is interesting because it made me think of Julian Jaynes' book from the 70s, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Not sure why you think engagement of both hemispheres would be mediated by culture rather than neurology. Perhaps you were speaking metaphorically?
  22. I thought it was an expansion rather than an extension. It introduced concepts not explictly stated, nor implicitly obvious from your earlier remarks, with which I was in agreement. Your expansion/extension had, in my view, plausible elements, but also some with such exceptions as to invalidate the generalities. However, it is a side issue and off-topic for this thread. If you ever care to debate/discuss it in another thread I would be game. Just let me know by pm if you start such a one.
  23. Yes, it seems a no-brainer, but then that is based upon the evidence we currently have and a particular interpretation of it. Others seem to be able to look at the same evidence and come up with a different interpretation. It makes no sense to me (or to you), but that doesn't mean we are right. It is speculative, but I wonder if there has been a signifcant change in some aspect of brain architecture or operation in the last few millenia that that encourage the rational approach. I realise the conventional explanation is that it is a cultural evolution, but I've not seen a convincing, evidence based argument for that. (Though I haven't gone out of my way to look for one.)
  24. You have attempted to sum up human character and its causes in half a dozen short paragraphs. I think, in the process, you've formed an over-simple pattern. It reads well, even very well, but I doubt its efficacy for interacting with the world. Put another way, in this instance you've offered a view of reality that is more dangerously askew than that held by @deepend. I say more dangerous, because your view is close enough to the truth to be seductive, but far enough away from it to be deceptive. I try to avoid the seductively decpetive.
  25. The OP apparently denies that there was anything rational in the foundation of any religion. Yet, as @Peterkin and @Ken Fabian point out, there are perfectly rational reasons to account for the origin of religions. The OP makes much of the need for evidence to define, or identify reality. (And seems to have reached the questionable conclusion that he has quite a good grasp of reality.) Our early ancestors had minimal evidence; no microscopes, telescopes, chemical analyses, MRIs; no systematic process for investigating nature. Based upon the evidence they did have, it was reasonable and rational to imagine that the movement of the trees in a wind, the changing of the seasons, the blessings of the sun, were the product of agency. To conclude otherwise would, based upon available evidence, have been nonsensical. If the alternative to believing in an afterlife is a life long, paralysing fear of death, perhaps it is rational to believe a religion that offers an alternative. Conclusion - there are rational reasons for founding a religion. (As an aside, Ron Hubbard seemingly did it for the money.) My conclusion is that the OP knows almost nothing about religion, practically nothiing about how sciences such as anthropology or geology can investigate the reality of the past, and next to nothing about what constitutes reality. Apart from this, his posts are entertaining. @deependFor the record. I am an agnostic, but atheistic in regard to all the religions I have so far come into contact with. As to cult membership, I am quite engaged by model railways, but - contrary to your apparent expectation - there is a lot of evidence that they really do exist. I found almost nothing in your posts that was logical, or reflected reality, or revealed an understanding of what your were discussing. I echo the implicit recommendation by @Phi for All: don't assume you know better than everyone else: stop preaching; listen to what others say; reflect on it; engage, rather than tell people how they think and how wrong they are. I look forward to the interesting discussions that could follow your conversion. Damascus, this way!
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