Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by king_alvarez, Apr 24, 2008.
Awesome. I am posting this on FB as see if there are many "likes".
I'm currently reading a book by Jared Diamond called "The Third Chimpanzee."
It's a history of the human species, and deals specifically with the issues of art, compassion, and a few other things that set us apart from most other animal species.
anybody else here read it?
It's on my bookshelf back in Louisiana. I have to finish Collapse before I start on this one.
Free downloads on evolution
Another off-topic response...
I haven't yet read it, but I've got this book on my to-do list. And while I don't know what Diamond said exactly, I think that he did get the geography part right on. Reading a synopsis, there were some details he mentioned which properly explained why it was so.
1) Animal and plant domestication: the Americas unfortunately didn't have many work animals like the horse, and their diet from domesticated plants was quite limited. Eurasia was well-provided with both, whereas Africa's only major source for food and animal domestication was along the Nile valley and delta.
2) Rates of diffusion and migration: Diamond made a point about this in Collapse. He stated that it was important for any developing nations to have connections with others. It was dangerous to be completely isolated, but equally bad to be completely open to invaders. Peninsulas were ideal because you had only to protect your borders on one side, allowing for trade and not preventing a diffusion of technology into your country.
3) Continental differences in population and areal size: Europe's diversity of culture and scattered nations actually proved to be the driving force behind colonization around the world. Although there have been many successful Asian nations like Mongolia and China, these empires formed a single homogeneous mass of people, which ultimately made them less dynamic or monolithic in nature. Mongolia was powerful, but short-lived. China endured as less powerful, but stagnant giant. With nations like England, France, Spain, Portugal, and the Germanic city states all competing with one another... surly these would have been the most likely to grow into colonial empires.
Britain was in the perfect position to rise as a global empire because, being surrounded by water, was isolated from its European neighbors; yet within arm's reach through water connection. This allowed them the best geographic position to remain isolated from invaders, yet close enough to influence the world as a sea power. And while I'll admit this was augmented by them leading the industrial revolution, their proximity to water was what allowed them to flourish as a nation.
Rome was in a perfect position to influence the world because it was built on a peninsula. Again it was another European nation blessed with all the resources it needed to advance ecologically and technologically. That in addition to its access to domesticated crops and animals made it a natural choice for becoming a major empire. Locations like the Fertile Crescent were more ecologically fragile, China suffered power struggles all the time, and Egypt's self-sustai
From what I've read, this remark is quite relevant. wannasee's interest appears to be in the potential social implications of teaching a well-supported scientific theory* as fact when a fair percentage of the population does not believe this theory, usually for religious reasons. While further research disputes the idea of the Church opposing a number, it does point out the ridiculousness of ignoring a fact simply because it is confusing, inconvenient, or in opposition to the opinions of those in power. Truth is truth, whether we believe it to be or not.
*just to be clear, a scientific theory is considered to be nearly indistinguishable from fact, except that it could conceivably be proved wrong with adequate evidence.
Zero would destroy their worldview. I think that explains it.
There is no religious test to determine veracity.
Okay, I need to add those two books to my reading list. I'm nine years behind in my reading, tho. Still haven't read the 39 page paper on Chimpanzee ethics. Downloaded it, printed it, read a few pages and then put it down...
I have been debating where to post this information I got from an article on why Noah's ark probably never existed. It's called "The Impossible Voyage of Noah's Ark" and it appeared in a 1983 article in the magazine of The National Center for Science Education, issue 11, Winter, 1983. The National Center for Science Education is dedicated to preserving the teaching of evolution in the schools.
It gives very lengthy explanations of everything from how impossible it would have been for the Ark to have been built given the technological problems involved, the wood would have rotted long before the Ark was even nearly finished, including how difficult it would have been to build proper enclosures for all the animals involved, etc., so I will summarize one point that can't be argued away.
I will summarize as follows: all the known veneral diseases of humans can only survive in one place--the human body. So, all of Noah's family, wives, etc., would have had to have been infected with one or more of these diseases in order for the disease to survive the Flood.
Prior to the Ark, simple log canoes and reed rafts were the only means of water travel. After the Ark, all the technological innovations vanished as if they had never been and the people went back to using simple log canoes and reed rafts.