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  #31  
Old 04-15-2018, 09:38 AM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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Interesting comments, all. As an academic librarian, I believe in the importance of education. One of my recent tasks is updating the books in our community college library, trying to make sure the science areas are more current than 1999.

I do not disdain religion, nor spirituality, but I don't think the Genesis story can be taken as proof that Darwin was wrong, and vice versa. Why can't science and religion/myth coexist, since both speak to different areas of the human psyche?

Fundamentalism in any religion is dangerous, just as bigotry in any political system is the same. Our hope for the future lies, I think, in educating the young with all viewpoints-- and, of course, the facts.
The writer Edmund Gosse wrote a book about his father and himself, and how the father (although a clergyman) attempted to make a bridge of sorts between "creationism" from the Book of Genesis, and the Darwinian - Wallace theory of Evolution. Rev. Gosse proposed that God purposely, after creating the world in the seven days, made a trail of fossilized evidence to give mankind a background that the evolution theory would fill in as to how life began. The Reverend was confused when nobody appeared willing to accept his proposal, his fellow clergymen pointing out that it was absurd to think God would purposely lie in this manner to satisfy the very attempts at "eating at the tree of knowledge" by mannkind that he initially insisted upon preventing in the story of the Garden of Eden. It was an interesting try though.
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  #32  
Old 04-16-2018, 01:28 AM
martin wilson martin wilson is offline
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Richard Dawkins himself has written that he considers Jesus to be an outstanding moral philosopher.
It may be that if we ever progress as a species, our ideal world won't be too dissimilar to the principles of Christianity.
I've also read that of the numerous self help books available, the New Testament is by far the best one to read.
At which point someone usually brings up centuries of religious intolerance, of death and suffering.
I tend not to. I believe in the days of yore, the church represented the same access to power that is so attractive to the sociopathic,
the dictators, politicians, even CEO's of corporations that we see today.

All the best.
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  #33  
Old 04-16-2018, 01:57 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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I've also read that of the numerous self help books available, the New Testament is by far the best one to read.
Depends which bits of it you read. The Gospels and Epistles vary widely in terms of their attitude to women, the Jews and indeed the family. As a self-help book it is often contradictory and, if you pardon the expression, something of a Curate's Egg.
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  #34  
Old 04-16-2018, 02:12 AM
Ginger Ginger is offline
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...something of a Curate's Egg.
There's one I've never heard before.
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  #35  
Old 04-16-2018, 02:42 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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There's one I've never heard before.
Originating in a Punch cartoon of the 1890s, the expression a "Curate's Egg" refers to something that's good and bad in parts.



Reverend: I'm afraid you've got a bad egg, Mr Jones!
The Curate: Oh no, my Lord! I assure you that parts of it are excellent!
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Last edited by Sam Flynn : 04-16-2018 at 02:44 AM.
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  #36  
Old 04-16-2018, 04:03 AM
Svensson Svensson is offline
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Music is great for communication. Yodelling has evolved from communicating with other alpine farmers over large distances (I agree, calling it "music" is a moot point though). Still today, humans are gathering at music festivals as it is a characteristic of who we are as a species. It's a communal event. Whales are singing to communicate emotions. So it should not be seen in isolation but as one of many components of social animals such as humans.

As for the Aspirin comment, it may not be obvious what it purpose currently is but there might be one in the future that helps driving evolution forward again. For example, in India and Sri Lanka, Goats are used to keep the tea plantations weed-free. Goats don't like the taste of Tea leaves and will leave them alone but they will pretty much graze on anything else. Who knows, maybe in another 10-20 goat generations, the "tea-goat" (and this would be onehelluva misnomer) will be recognised as its own biologically separate species..?

Cheers.
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  #37  
Old 04-16-2018, 03:40 PM
Ginger Ginger is offline
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Originating in a Punch cartoon of the 1890s, the expression a "Curate's Egg" refers to something that's good and bad in parts.
Thanks!
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  #38  
Old 04-17-2018, 01:25 AM
martin wilson martin wilson is offline
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I remember a Star Trek: Voyager episode where the crew encounter aliens who have never heard singing.
That fine actor Robert Picardo shows off his beautiful singing voice and performs some opera, becoming something of a superstar.
Long story short, one of the aliens tries his hand, and equally wows the crowd, except he simply sings random, dissonant notes.
So there's that mystery, how music evolved to be harmonious and pleasing to the ear, and why listening to someone who cannot sing (like me, I'm reliably informed the last expiration of bodily gases from a corpse is more melodious) is such an uncomfortable experience.

All the best.
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:27 PM
Ginger Ginger is offline
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So there's that mystery, how music evolved to be harmonious and pleasing to the ear...
And it's not only music. There's an innate sense of order, an appreciation of relationships, of proportion, of pattern, of magnitude, that underlies the human perception of music, mathematics, and geometry. There's some reason to believe that other species experience this as well. And I'm highly skeptical that Darwinian selection accounts for that.
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:30 AM
martin wilson martin wilson is offline
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It's interesting for sure. I tend to think aesthetic appreciation is based on known parameters of perception.
For example, I'm sure there was an exhibition of abstract art that drew appreciative murmurs from art critics but turned out to be painted by a chimpanzee. I'm not entirely sure what the point was, either a joke about pretentious art critics, or how our perceptions become altered based on what we expect, and how we search for meaning, even in a few random splashes of paint that were done by a monkey.
Take a look at the McGurk effect on YouTube for a fascinating example of how important our visual sense is.
I've forgotten who it was, an engineer i think, who said if he had a particularly difficult problem he would go to bed and as often as not he would have the answer when he woke up.
Take music again. It's well known that Paul McCartney woke up one morning with the tune to Yesterday in his head.
Apparently he played it to everybody in an attempt to find out if he had simply copied a tune from somewhere.
It has been suggested that it shares a similarity to the song Answer Me, written in 1952, and a hit for Frankie Lane.
Less divine inspiration then, but more the subconscious whirring away like a little computing machine, and crucially, based on what went before.
I'm sure like me, others have given up trying to remember a name of somebody, say an actor who appeared in a film. Then a while later it just pops into your head.

All the best.
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