Joined: May 2002
The Desmon Morris list, so far;
|Alison, Sevenoaks, UK, 27/12/2008 2:12 Rubbish, Darwin recanted on his deathbed, he believed in God and knew we didn't come from monkeys, if we did, why haven't the monkeys in zoos turned into men? |
Alison, You have repeated a century old lie attributed to the evangelist Lady Hope. It was repudiated by Dawrin’s wife Emma and his daughter, who were with Charles R. at his death. They pointed out that Lady Hope was never in Darwin’s house near the time of his death. As to your confusion about common descent (why are there still monkeys?) The first error you make is that there is a particular evolutionary goal- monkeys are not teleologically directed to become humans. The second is summed up by asking, “If you came from your grandparents, why do you have cousins?” Or, “If America was founded by Europeans, why are there Europeans?”
|David, uk, 27/12/2008 08:46 The idea was that it was created perfect then man´s downfall made it bad. Take it or leave it but don´t distort it. As for evolution, it was around a long time before Darwin, he just made it fit with an atheist version.|
David, Creationists are ignorant about science, and also theology and history. The notion that prior to the “Fall of Man” the creation was “perfect” is not biblical. In Genesis 1:31, God expressed (for the sake of argument) that the creation was “very good.” God was pleased. That would necessarily include the creation of “the serpent” who appeared in Gen 3:1. The notion that “very good” should exclude things we humans dislike is categorically rejected in Job 38. Darwin’s scientific contribution was twofold, he provided a mechanism for evolution, and he combined this insight with actual observations. These had already been published in his “Voyage of the Beagle,” and in scientific proceedings. Far from being atheistic, the word “agnostic” was coined specifically to describe the proper attitude of science toward the supernatural.
|Billie, York, 27/12/2008 07:50 Why hasn't Alfred Russell Wallace been given any credit in this article? If it wasn't for Wallace making the same but independant discovery as Darwin 20 years later, the truth may have never come out, because Darwin didn't have the guts to publish his theories and anger the church. Thankfully, Wallace had no such compulsions so Darwin was pushed into publishing or losing the credit. Wallace was later discredited because of his belief in mediums and the occult but that shouldn't mean that he is erased from history altogether, he was an extremely clever man.|
Billie, The article is prompted by the impending celebrations of Darwin’s anniversaries. Wait for Wallace’s birthday, and throw a big party. I will note that Wallace was the first to receive the gold Darwin-Wallace Medal from the Linnean Society of London. Creationists attack Darwin because he is better known, and they like single targets.
|catnap, Swansea Wales, 26/12/2008 22:10 Darwin was a great man indeed, his Origin of the Species is a masterpiece of how different life forms have physically evolved. However there is something missing, and that is a theory of the evolution of behaviour (or of the brain). All animals display behavioral traits, likes and dislikes, individual and group behaviour, preferences and prejudices etc. Where do our emotions come from? Why are they there? What purpose did they serve? Whether you consider certain behaviour as good or bad is irrelevant. That behaviour served a purpose in the past and is a consequence of evolution. For example, where does racial prejudice come from? Could it be from the requirement for group survival?|
Catnap, There is a book by C. R. Darwin that you might look into, “The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals” published in 1872. The argument that biological emotional and cognitive skills equate to “racism” is a false-step. When we start dealing with humans, we must be cautious that historical accident and social reification are not taken to be absolute. Languages make an excellent counter example. Any normal human baby can be taught any “mother tongue.” Early linguists of the Nineteenth Century believed that facility in a particular language was innately inherited. This was persuasive to Ernst Haeckel, who concluded that other traits we now know are cultural were biological.
|Watchkeeper, UK, 26/12/2008 19:25 "... this blue-green slime was the original ooze from which all life on this planet evolved." |
Oh, really? And the experimental evidence to support this hypothesis would be ... what? As Richard Feynman said: "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." There is absolutely no experimental evidence to support the hypothesis that all life on this planet evolved from blue-green slime. None. It must be accepted by faith. That is unscientific, and the hypothesis should therefore be rejected.
Watchkeeper, That we, and all other life on earth have as a common ancestor a “monera” is supported by genetics and geochemistry. (I use the term monera as intended historically, as the precursor to the bacteria, archaea and eukarya.) The theory of evolution is not dependent on the origin of life. But, for those interested I recommend; Iris Fry, 2000 "The Emergence of Life on Earth: A Historical and Scientific Overview" (Rutgers University Press) is the best general reader book available on the topic. It is eight years old, and a second edition is warranted to bring her presentation up to date. A bit more technical is J. William Schopf (editor), 2002 “Life’s Origin: The Beginnings of Biological Evolution” (University of California Press), but it is well worth the effort.
|Richard Morant, Houston Texas, USA, 26/12/2008 19:14, Hy Ds, |
I have never gotten over a statement you made about a decade ago on your superb series about Human Sexuality.
The crux of your statement atrributed to Evolution, the early demise of the males in the populaton. Thus leaving the family to wife and grandmother.
Although I love Science, I could never figure out, how the genes passed on at the conception of a male baby, could then be told at some later date, remotely, to self destruct when he was older.
I realise that if they were already there, they could be passed on.
What kind of influence could possibly make a persons genes change from original programming to then, go back in time, to affect him after he was born.
I believe that Scientists are using evolution in conversation, as if it were a creative, omnipotent influence.; and THAT, is proposterous.
Richard Morant, You have made several errors in less than 1000 characters. While most cells have fixed lifetimes, the notion that human males are “… told at some later date, remotely, to self destruct” is absurd, and not at all what any scientist would suggest. We human males (and some of our non-human brothers) have elevated levels of Corticosteroids. This gives us some advantages in muscle mass, shortened reaction times- even heightened anger. It also leads to hypertension, connective tissue degradation and cation imbalances. In short, we hunt and fight good, and otherwise stroke out, or have heart attacks. This has nothing to do at all with reproductive fitness- in fact well built, aggressive “macho-men” are quite popular. What is “preposterous” is that you think we attribute omnipotence to biology.
|James Plaskett, Cartagena, Spain, 26/12/2008 16:27 It´s all very well to point out how well-adapted finches beaks may be, but the big snag for those who extoll Darwin´s idea of Natural Selection is that the simplest of all living things is perfectly adapted to any and all environments. |
Monocellular bacteria do alright on alpine peaks, in deserts, Antartic tundra, jungles or 10,000 metres down in the ocean.
So the whole idea of things becoming better adapted through natural selection is wrong.
James Plaskett, You seem to have the odd idea that all bacteria are the same. It is true that species concepts are more fluid when dealing with bacteria, but never to the degree you imagine. At the same time, I note that it did take at least 3 billion years before we see complex metazoans emerge mostly single celled life. But, geochemistry provides very good guides at to what changing environmental conditions contributed, along with natural selection and genetic variation. The level of changes were on the order of entire global chemistry alteration. Search on the Archean atmosphere just to start.
Edited by Dr.GH on Dec. 29 2008,12:47
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."
L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"