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From Conception to Birth

#1 Guest_bernabby_*

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 12:56 AM

If you have about 9 minutes this video is worth the watch. It is put together and narrated by a space mathmatician. A fascinating journey of life.

http://www.youtube.c...p?v=fKyljukBE70

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 01:39 AM

Yes, that's truly is fascinating, that Bernabby has discovered TED, and he's impressed with the information provided by actual experts in their field and not the pig slop offered up by the talking heads on Fox News. Amazing !
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#3 User is offline   Simple Simon Icon

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 02:54 AM

Interesting choice of background music. ;)

You know what, Bern, as soon as I saw the title of this thread I knew it was you who'd posted it. And I think I have some idea as to why: bait. ;)

But I really do thank you for posting it. I'm quite a fan of the Ted series, and this is one of the most exceptional I have yet seen. We humans do sometimes do get a little cocky about how clever we are, so I really appreciated Tsiaras' humility in the face of the true wonder that is life. He might have had an agenda in compiling that video and talk, as I suspect you might have had in posting it, but that doesn't detract from the sheer beauty of the images themselves.

I really, really hope that this doesn't degrade into the kind of debate that perhaps you were attempting to provoke, Bernabby, and I genuinely plead with anyone who might be reading this not to be tempted into stepping foot into that potential minefield. There would be no point, and i could only lead to far more bitter acrimony than pretty much any other topic that we might be tempted to discuss here. We all have our own feelings and opinions on the matter, and this video might or might not cause some of us to reflect on these. What say we leave it at that? J

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 05:27 AM

It's too late for that, unless Bernabby asks me to delete this thread right now, it's going to move forward.

There is no doubt that there are some strong feelings on this subject, on both sides, but IMO, that's all the more reason why it should be talked about. It's an festering sore, and if all you do is to speak of it in hushed tones and keep it in the closet, all it will do is continue to fester.

The only thing I'll say on it, is that men should not be offering up any opinion on it, for the amount of contribution that the male provides for this event of nature, it's so minuscule, that it warrants no seat at the table.

This is strictly an issue for the women to decide, and theirs alone. The demands placed on the women of today, justifies them of having the final say, and the only role of the men is, to support the women and their decision. In my view, to allow men to offer their opinion on it, is like allowing an accused to co-judge his own trial.
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#5 User is offline   Alistair S Icon

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:07 AM

Well, right now it's just a video. The conversation could go a number of ways. Evolution (again!) springs to mind, for example.

However, I think I'll stick to the video.

In my opinion, the quality of the mathematics that takes thousands of 2-D slices and reconstructs them into 3D and then animates them is a wonderful thing and a great gift to the medical profession (and to us all, in educational terms).

I also think the process that brings us into being is a wonderful thing.

I like TED. Some good stuff there.
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Posted 01 May 2012 - 11:15 AM

I've seen this video on TED, like it very much, and it reminded me full-force of that adage about ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny. :)

TED is the best. May everyone who clicks into it for the first time also click around to see some of the other lectures; it's quite the trove.

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 11:43 AM

Alistair S said:

I also think the process that brings us into being is a wonderful thing.

Me, too.
I used to do it quite a lot.
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Posted 01 May 2012 - 12:03 PM

Yes.... the video is fascinating.

Science shows us so much, doesn't it?

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 12:09 PM

View Postbernabby, on 30 April 2012 - 10:56 PM, said:

If you have about 9 minutes this video is worth the watch. It is put together and narrated by a space mathmatician. A fascinating journey of life.

http://www.youtube.c...p?v=fKyljukBE70

It is truly unfortunate that some go out of their way to create controversy just over some inner suspicions of motive. This is life illustrated through the marvels of science. How many of you knew our bodies contained 60,000 miles of fibrous life forms, of which, only 1000 can be seen? It is a fascinating step by step slide show of cell splitting, growth (babies would weigh 1.5 tons at birth - watch the video) and so much information of what comprises the human body. If you are not completely captured by this presentation and are only looking for reasons to attack my posting then don't watch this video. If you only wish to pre-judge my motives don't watch this video. If you want to witness a fascinating journey of life you will not regret watching this video. That is all I will say on this matter. If you want to question my motives please do so by pm.

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 12:32 PM

View PostLazz, on 01 May 2012 - 11:43 AM, said:

Alistair S said:

I also think the process that brings us into being is a wonderful thing.

Me, too.
I used to do it quite a lot.

I'm not as good as I once was........but I'm good once as I ever was. Posted Image
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#11 User is offline   feegis Icon

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 01:06 PM

Quote

This is strictly an issue for the women to decide, and theirs alone. The demands placed on the women of today, justifies them of having the final say, and the only role of the men is, to support the women and their decision. In my view, to allow men to offer their opinion on it, is like allowing an accused to co-judge his own trial.


Do you think it's possible that this very position is what makes it easy for irresponsible, morally bankrupt men to walk away? "Hey, if she wants to have the baby, that's her choice. I'm outta here!"

How about if both men and women start considering the act that leads to pregnancy, an act that these days gets treated like a drinking game. How about if both men and women recognize it takes two (and if you want two homosexuals to raise a baby, fine with me. There are some homosexual relationships with a lot more love than some heterosexual relationships. But, the fact is, babies are created from what men and women contribute). How about if both men and women see the responsibility of the act and act accordingly. How about if both men and women pay attention to the science of human life and treat it with more respect. As science seems to be a hot topic of debate here at the Muse's Muse, there is no disregarding the science of human life, try as some might.

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 02:42 PM

View Postfeegis, on 01 May 2012 - 01:06 PM, said:

Quote

This is strictly an issue for the women to decide, and theirs alone. The demands placed on the women of today, justifies them of having the final say, and the only role of the men is, to support the women and their decision. In my view, to allow men to offer their opinion on it, is like allowing an accused to co-judge his own trial.


Do you think it's possible that this very position is what makes it easy for irresponsible, morally bankrupt men to walk away? "Hey, if she wants to have the baby, that's her choice. I'm outta here!"

How about if both men and women start considering the act that leads to pregnancy, an act that these days gets treated like a drinking game. How about if both men and women recognize it takes two (and if you want two homosexuals to raise a baby, fine with me. There are some homosexual relationships with a lot more love than some heterosexual relationships. But, the fact is, babies are created from what men and women contribute). How about if both men and women see the responsibility of the act and act accordingly. How about if both men and women pay attention to the science of human life and treat it with more respect. As science seems to be a hot topic of debate here at the Muse's Muse, there is no disregarding the science of human life, try as some might.


I thought my position was quite clear on that:

"the only role of the men is, to support the women and their decision."

If she decides to have the baby, the man should at least be there to financially support the child, regardless of the state of the relationship between the woman and the man.

Men are men, and we all know which head they most often use for making decisions.

If she decides to terminate the pregnancy, that's her choice and her choice alone, it's her body, and her health, and it's not up to any religion or man to tell her what she should be doing, except to be there to support her decision. Both emotionally and financially.

As far as same sex couples having children, or for that matter straight couples having children, I would suggest reading "My Two Moms" by Zach Wahls, http://www.zachwahls.com/?page_id=375 A very intelligent and insightful book on that subject.
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#13 User is offline   Alistair S Icon

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 02:53 PM

Responsibility and acting accordingly? Well, yeah. I agree that contraception is a wonderful thing, too - but maybe not quite as fascinating as the process of foetal development, in my opinion.

Sex has probably always been a drinking game, at least sometimes (for example, when people have alcohol available) but I think we are still capable of having sex responsibly even when we are completely out of it (if we are still capable of having sex at all).

I'm all for the avoidance of unwanted pregnancies and there are ways other than contraception if we make use of our human inventiveness. However, I think it might be a bit early in the thread to start discussing the sexual practices involved. And, of course, a baby isn't the only potentially unwanted outcome.

Nice try, though! :)
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Posted 01 May 2012 - 03:08 PM

Honestly, when a woman lets the man involved know she's in a crisis pregnancy, he usually has quite a bit of influence over what will happen next. If she means to terminate and doesn't want his input, he will most likely never even know there had been a pregnancy. If she does tell him, she's usually offering him the chance to step up and be her partner. An accidental pregnancy is far more likely to produce an infant if the woman knows she isn't facing the future alone.

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:59 PM

Quote

Nice try, though!


You think I was merely trying to win an argument? I've got news for you, Alistair, some people believe what they believe for a reason, and they have a pretty good idea why they do.

You didn't address any of the points I made on the plane on which I provided them. For the record, my post had NOTHING to do with contraception, but you didn't see that. That's my fault, I suppose.... I've never been particularly good at expressing myself. When I talk about responsibility, I mean on a whole different plane than what you perceived. Again, not regarding contraception.

Quote

Responsibility and acting accordingly? Well, yeah. I agree that contraception is a wonderful thing, too - but maybe not quite as fascinating as the process of foetal development, in my opinion.

See, if you would have understood that my post had nothing to do with contraception, you might have had something different to say. As it stands, this point makes no sense in reference to my post.

As for the fascination of the foetal development, well, you're preaching to the choir, now.

Quote

Sex has probably always been a drinking game, at least sometimes (for example, when people have alcohol available) but I think we are still capable of having sex responsibly even when we are completely out of it (if we are still capable of having sex at all).

This comes off a bit glib to me, and I don't see much relevance, here, as it misses the reference in my post. But if you have no problem with the sons and daughters of the world playing so casually and carelessly with sex, then I guess my place in the world as an option for kids to hear they don't have to is all the more necessary. More importantly, I'll be happy to talk to them about why they don't have to. I'm not naive or foolish, I just want to offer an option to the relentless indiscriminate sex brigade fired upon kids who have enough to contend with. Yes, it seems I am in the distinct minority, certainly on this site, and I may not make a world changing difference, but I'm here for someone that wants to know it's OK not do be so blasé about it.

There are two primary consequences to sex - physical and emotional. Technology has played a role in the physical, but it doesn't erase the emotional. In fact, it can add to emotional distress. And what about the emotional? If we are successful at watering down the emotional responses and consequences of sex to where we are unfazed beyond a few seconds of pleasure, then we have destroyed the thing that makes it a joy to be human and a pleasure to experience that kind of intimacy for better reasons rather than worse reasons.

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 10:01 PM

Crikey, Feegis - I thought Alistair was talking to me... or Bruce !
I was about to get a little hot under the collar myself.

Obviously a misconception.
I withdraw.
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Posted 01 May 2012 - 10:07 PM

And a lovely conversation at that.
It’s very gratifying that a mathematician steeped in science would be so humble with his remarks about life.
I thought that they should have used Richard Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra, you know, the music from 2001 A Space Odyssey for the background music.
It is so much more awe-inspiring and breathtaking, just like the journey of a baby from conception to birth. :rolleyes:
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Posted 01 May 2012 - 11:42 PM

View Postbernabby, on 02 May 2012 - 06:09 AM, said:

If you want to question my motives please do so by pm.
Obviously, Benabby, only you can know for certain what your motives were in starting this thread, so I apologise if I was incorrect in my presumption.

View PostLazz, on 02 May 2012 - 04:01 PM, said:

Obviously a misconception.
I withdraw.

Posted ImagePosted Image



#19 User is offline   Alistair S Icon

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:05 AM

Feegis, I had no idea that you were talking about kids and the option to abstain from sex. I've re-read your post and still don't see how I would have known that.

The "nice try" was not aimed at any argument. I was actually going for humour (and failed).

This thread, with its twists and turns continues to mystify me. There appear to be multiple conversations going on that are only tangentially linked to the original post.
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Posted 02 May 2012 - 02:10 AM

NO !.....I'm Spartacus...

Meanwhile back at the ranch....

It seems Bernabby had PM'd me earlier today, and explained his position that he was merely posting that link to share in what he thought was a fascinating presentation of fetal development, nothing else and nothing more.

I had PM'd him back stating that I had my suspicions that it was more then that, now having the benefit of rethinking this episode over the course of evening and to reconsider,
I feel I should have extended Bernabby the benefit of doubt and taken him at his word.

So in that regard I apologize to Bernabby for my snarly remarks.

As for the link he provided, yes it is a truly fascinating look at embryonic development, considering how we as humans start our life off as an single cell and progress through the stages of life from embryo to baby to child to adolescences to adult to old age and to when the bodies cells no longer regenerate.

It is indeed a fascinating journey and it all starts from a single cell. It certainly gives one pause to think. Thanks for sharing Bern.
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Posted 02 May 2012 - 12:34 PM

I want a baby .. anyone free to try? Posted Image

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:19 PM

Fair enough, Alistair. As I said, I don't always express myself to a discernible point.

This is one topic that I feel very strongly about, and I will try to limit my posts, both in number and in length (I was supposed to be doing that, anyway :P ).

I simply think we are doing a tremendous disservice to our kids (and, actually, to adults). I keep thinking about the line from 10,000 Maniacs "Candy Everybody Wants:

If love and hate is the candy
If blood and lust taste so sweet
Then we give them what they want

I have read many interpretations of these lines, but I take it to mean the irresponsibility of media who know what buttons to push, and what will be eaten up by those most susceptible - all for ratings, and, in turn, money. A friend once said to me that, as a conservative capitalist, I should applaud that, but that was his misperception. I would not saddle someone else with a weight they wouldn't want to carry for money, and for the kids who get swept up in what they are bombarded with, that is what is happening.

I believe in public decency and respect and consideration for everybody. It's like a comedian who drops F-bomb after F-bomb and one who doesn't. Now, you can say the clean comedians aren't funny, but I would beg to differ. And, don't get me wrong, I appreciate a well-aimed, well-timed F-bomb, but not when it's done indiscriminately and without regard for the audience. For example, I don’t know if someone will be offended by an F-bomb, but I know they won’t be offended by the absence of one.

As far as sexual behaviour, if someone wants to be freaky (for lack of a better word) in the bedroom, on the kitchen floor, on a secluded beach or rooftop - more power to them (providing it's legal). I have no problem. I just don't like that sex is trumpeted everywhere you turn without regard for those who don't care to hear it or see it, or are at an age where they have tough decisions to make, decisions that are made that much more difficult with such influence. A damaged person is a sad thing, the damage can be a tough thing to overcome, and the consequences of sex can damage a person. That's all I'm saying.

Anyway, I've said enough.

Best Regards,
Feegis

P.S. In re-reading my response to Alistair, I recognize my tone was a bit testy. No excuse for that.

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 02:49 PM

Thanks, Feegis. I think I now understand what you were saying.

I do think that sex is an emotionally complex kind of interaction.

Most of us aren't as emotionally well-adjusted as we like to believe (and especially so when we are young). We can be enticed into sex to feel loved or to avoid pressure, for example. We can also go into sex exhibiting a kind of sociopathy, treating the other person as a masturbatory object rather than a thinking, feeling human being. If we aren't doing either of these things, our sexual partners may be.

Yes, it can be damaging. Mind you, so can many other things we engage in.

I think it mostly comes down to self-esteem and our reasons for engaging in a behaviour, rather than the behaviour itself.

It is also a potential short-cut that we can use to make us feel better about what is troubling us. Trouble is, it won't fix those pesky self-esteem issues if we don't like what we see in the mirror (and that can make it especially problematic).

Sex sells, and it's a cheap short-cut to engage our interest, so it is over-used in advertising as a result. It's also become a product in its own right. Yes, we are surrounded by it.

The availability of (even quite sick) porn is scary - and I do wonder what kind of sex "education" people who have grown up in the internet age are getting. I can certainly see that readily available porn has already had an impact on sexual behaviours and personal styling and attitudes.

I'm less bothered about the language used by comedians than I am about how people view themselves and each other, and about how they treat each other as a result.

I don't think this is all down to sex. Sex was always both awesome and problematic and probably always will be. There was never a golden age where everybody behaved well and "appropriately". Sex wasn't invented in the 60s, after all.

Having said that, I do think that there are pressures on young people these days that weren't always so strong.

I think this is as much due to living in societies that increasingly focus on individualism and materialism and competitiveness as it is due to other factors. It's one of the results of living in a society that worries more about how someone looks and dresses - and what they own - than it cares about what kind of a person they are.

There is a kind of "me-ism" that seems to have become more prevalent in the last 25 years or so. It's a worldview that looks at everyone else in terms of what they can do for you and dismisses those who need help or would "drag you down". The flip-side of this is the fear that everyone else is doing the same thing when they look at you (and that you have to match up to some "ideal" to be a fully functioning person).

Which brings us back to self-esteem, or the lack thereof.

Sex, amongst other things, is a demonstration - and reassurance - of our desirability. That makes it enticing. That's not the best reason for sex, in my opinion. It lacks the true intimacy that, in my opinion, is what makes sex really good.

I'm probably rambling. I suppose that my main point is that sexual freedom is like any other - it's both wonderful and dangerous at the same time and learning when, and how, to exercise that freedom (and when not to) is critical.

Secondly, it's not so much about the behaviour itself, in my opinion, as it is about the meaning we each give to that behaviour and how that meaning then goes on to affect how we see ourselves (and others).

I'm not sure whether I've engaged with the points you were making Feegis - but I hope so :)
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Posted 02 May 2012 - 06:26 PM

It is just beyond our comprehension isn't it. He asks the questions I've always asked. Just HOW does every cell know what it's supposed to become...brain cells, skin cells, heart cells etc.
That there are so relatively FEW genetic "mistakes" - I know that sounds terrible, I can't think of a better way to put it, is a miracle in itself.

Feegis, I absolutely share your views on the ....well, the absolute decline of morals when it comes to sex. Just morals in general really.
I also can't stand comedians who use the F word in every single sentence. It just loses impact very quickly.

#25 User is offline   jonie Icon

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:45 PM

Honestly, I didn't find this either enlightening or informative. Not up to the usual TED standard.

Mr. Tsiaras presented no new revelation or insight into human development and it didn't take me long to decide that imparting scientific wisdom was not his intention. The video he showed is what I'd expect an 8th grader to be watching in an Introduction to Human Development.

It was evident, by his omission of any actual science related to the subject, that he was more than happy to leave the audience with the ideas that

- The conception and birth of a human being is uniquely special and divinely isolated from the same fundamental activities going on in the rest of the natural world.

- It's a magical and divine wonder not requiring any mention of the fact that it's also the wondrous result of the millions of years of evolutionary fine tuning which preceded it

- There is no explanation for the complexities he made a point of presenting.

There is much to be in awe of and he left all of it out.

Like the fact that most humans are born perfectly normal due to the way evolution, through natural selection, has discarded what didn't work, is truly awesome.

Like the way the brain folds in on itself to fit more in a confined space is awesome now and was awesome back when it first appeared in sea mammals and great apes in the form of a mutation or adaptation which successfully led to the evolution of higher intelligence beings, such as ourselves.

Conception, birth, brain development, specialized cells genetically coded to be heart muscle or lung tissue - all awesome and all wonderful, but it's not magic and only appears to be the undisputed result of divine creation by those who have no understanding of genetics or how we evolved.

Could a mastermind designer be behind it all? Possibly and I don't profess to know the unknowable, though everything seems to point in another direction. What this mastermind has been credited for in the past has been shown to be the work of an evolutionary process. As more and more is revealed through the study of genetics, the mastermind loses more and more credibility.

Watching this? I felt as if he was insulting not only my intelligence but the intelligence of his audience and the scientific community he professes to be a part of. If he'd refrained from setting the stage for his presentation by listing off his scientific credentials I would not have been expecting some scientific relevance and would have come away feeling I could at least respect him for his opinion. I don't have any respect for the disingenuous.
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#26 User is offline   Alistair S Icon

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 12:43 AM

Yes, but he's essentially a mathematician and a specialist in medical imaging (rather then the processes at work).
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#27 User is offline   Kenneth Bradshaw Icon

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 01:14 AM

This is a generalization, but by my observation this is mostly true. We all believe in protecting the innocent and we all believe in protecting personal rights, but we give them different weights. Conservatives and liberals tend to - mind I said tend to; this is not absolute - differ in this way.

A conservative will value innocence over rights. They will oppose abortion, protecting an innocent fetus, and favor capital punishment for those who's crimes are heinous. A liberal will tend to favor abortion - a fetus has not established rights more important than the mother's, and oppose capital punishment - protecting someone who has established rights by actually existing.

Again, this is not absolute, but I think it is mostly true. One reason that you will never resolve it is both positions are valid and most people believe in both - just at different levels of priory and importance. I tend to the conservative side, but my views may modify depending on the circumstance.

#28 User is offline   Simple Simon Icon

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 04:25 AM

View Postjonie, on 03 May 2012 - 05:45 PM, said:

Like the fact that most humans are born perfectly normal due to the way evolution, through natural selection, has discarded what didn't work, is truly awesome.


Ya know, Jonie, I read and reflected on this sentence quite a number of times, and couldn't help but feel it contained an intrinsic irony, although I find it hard to put into words just what that is. I think it's something to do with the idea of "evolution" having "discarded" what doesn't work. Maybe it's just me, but there seems to me to be an implicit implication of intent in there. I mean, why would "Evolution" (sorry, the mischief in me just had to capitalise it ;) ) choose to discard what "didn't work" over what "did work"?

OK, so maybe "choose" is a provocative word. But, even taking the current scientific model of the creation of the universe and all life on our dust speck, into account, the question that your statement seems to me to beg (particularly with regard to what we know as life) is, "why?" Why order rather than chaos?

#29 User is offline   transmissiondown Icon

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 03:19 PM

View PostSimple Simon, on 03 May 2012 - 02:25 AM, said:

View Postjonie, on 03 May 2012 - 05:45 PM, said:

Like the fact that most humans are born perfectly normal due to the way evolution, through natural selection, has discarded what didn't work, is truly awesome.


Ya know, Jonie, I read and reflected on this sentence quite a number of times, and couldn't help but feel it contained an intrinsic irony, although I find it hard to put into words just what that is. I think it's something to do with the idea of "evolution" having "discarded" what doesn't work. Maybe it's just me, but there seems to me to be an implicit implication of intent in there. I mean, why would "Evolution" (sorry, the mischief in me just had to capitalise it ;) ) choose to discard what "didn't work" over what "did work"?

OK, so maybe "choose" is a provocative word. But, even taking the current scientific model of the creation of the universe and all life on our dust speck, into account, the question that your statement seems to me to beg (particularly with regard to what we know as life) is, "why?" Why order rather than chaos?
Simple Simon, I think that you should rethink the question/s you just asked because they are both skating on very thin ice. ;)

We all have or had tonsils and the same goes with spleens and other odd bits, that is things we can live just fine with-out -- so why do we still have them, because they are mostly benign. Gills on the other hand wouldn't really help. Over the course of human history, how many would have done well with 0-1 legs or arms or two heads, conjoined bodies or any other afflictions? So evolution found it necessary to take away certain parts and ad new where and when needed.

Order is what keeps the balance working with chaos it breaks down. Look at galaxies, most have order to them as well as chaos but order seems to be the rule.
Now for Jonie to say that most humans are born perfectly normal is just a bit of lambast if you ask me but that's just me.

This post has been edited by transmissiondown: 03 May 2012 - 03:31 PM


#30 User is offline   Alistair S Icon

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 03:46 PM

View Posttransmissiondown, on 03 May 2012 - 09:19 PM, said:

Gills on the other hand wouldn't really help.


I wish I had some! :)

Mind you, I wish I could understand this thread. Or maybe I don't. Chaos can be quite a cool wave to ride sometimes.

I'd quite like to see a similar video done showing puppies developing.
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Posted 03 May 2012 - 07:14 PM

View PostSimple Simon, on 03 May 2012 - 02:25 AM, said:

View Postjonie, on 03 May 2012 - 05:45 PM, said:

Like the fact that most humans are born perfectly normal due to the way evolution, through natural selection, has discarded what didn't work, is truly awesome.


Ya know, Jonie, I read and reflected on this sentence quite a number of times, and couldn't help but feel it contained an intrinsic irony, although I find it hard to put into words just what that is. I think it's something to do with the idea of "evolution" having "discarded" what doesn't work. Maybe it's just me, but there seems to me to be an implicit implication of intent in there. I mean, why would "Evolution" (sorry, the mischief in me just had to capitalise it ;) ) choose to discard what "didn't work" over what "did work"?

OK, so maybe "choose" is a provocative word. But, even taking the current scientific model of the creation of the universe and all life on our dust speck, into account, the question that your statement seems to me to beg (particularly with regard to what we know as life) is, "why?" Why order rather than chaos?

Sorry Simon, it's difficult putting such concepts into words and sometimes I don't find the perfect ones. It was late when I wrote this but I assure you, it was not my intent to burden evolution with decision-making.

I seem to do better with examples so, I picture men and women at some point towards the end of the transitional stage between ape and human.

I see 25% of the ape/women have a pelvic opening which will not accommodate the delivery of the increasingly human-like children with larger craniums which are, at that time, becoming more prevalent. Their children die as a result and hence, the mothers with the small pelvic openings do not produce offspring who will pass along genes for this attribute. I fast forward 10 or 20 thousand years (not sure of the time frame and too lazy to look it up) to the present. Female genes that don't possess the genetic code for developing pelvic openings wide enough to allow the passage of a human child have long since disappeared from the evolutionary stage (discarded).

The lack of adequate pelvic space is just one of at least a few million hard reality scenarios which occurred at every level of human development. Whatever it is we take for granted today is the result of a very long, slow, and incremental process of elimination. As well, attributes may have arisen in certain individuals which might have enhanced human development in ways we can't imagine. Attributes which never took hold due to a lack of available mates or the occurrence of conditions sufficient to wipe out the individuals who possessed them.

So when we talk about "order vs chaos" in terms of evolution I think it has to be acknowledged that order, in it's partnership with chaos, exists as the defined potential within an organism which is constantly subjected to the maelstrom of chance and opportunity. What exists now, in the present, are the species and attributes which have managed to successfully navigate through the maelstrom. Some by way of fortunate circumstance, some by their ability to take advantage of emerging opportunities, others by being able to adapt to less than advantageous circumstances in ways their competitors couldn't. Each generation confronting a constant barrage of new challenges, adapting to survive, evolving as a result or, as in the case of the oppossum, surviving by not making any adaptations, yet not evolving either.

I could go even further to say that once order has established itself at a certain level within an organism (or further above it in the chain) the basic genetic blueprint itself is immune to the whims of any outside influence. In other words our bodies won't suddenly begin to raise and lower the temperature within us in response to the heat and cold of the temperature outside.

Anyway, I think of a recently planted tree. Millions of years of evolution have established a genetic order (blueprint) within it which will dictate the shape of the leaves and consistency of the bark. Without undue interference, it will grow to a certain height and live to a certain age. What order can't dictate is the random environmental conditions which will play it's equal part in determining how well it stays nourished and hydrated and whether the young tree lives to realize it's full potential or dies when it's plagued by disease or hit by a bolt of lightening.

To be honest, I've never been able to successfully separate order and chaos when I look at the natural world. The two seem to exist simultaneously everywhere in nature. I take this as good thing but then again, it's all I know.

So was this chaotic/orderly balance divinely designed to be so? Is there a way to prove or disprove the unprovable? Will a better understanding of what genes and DNA actually do and how they do what they do, enlighten us as to which direction we need to be looking?

View Posttransmissiondown, on 03 May 2012 - 04:19 PM, said:

Order is what keeps the balance working with chaos it breaks down. Look at galaxies, most have order to them as well as chaos but order seems to be the rule.
Now for Jonie to say that most humans are born perfectly normal is just a bit of lambast if you ask me but that's just me.

I was responding to Desertrose's comment about how it's amazing that more doesn't go wrong when we think about the journey from conception to birth. I was trying to point out the reason why most children are born without major defects or bizarre abnormalities in their development such as having an arm where an ear should be. My point was that, through the evolutionary process, where the less than desirable, inefficient and detrimental adaptations die out, what continues up the generational ladder are those adaptations which have either replaced or won out over those that had failed. Were it not so, if our species were somehow unable to develop those successful adaptations, we wouldn't all be here. There's still instances of birth defects, lingering genetic anomalies which we can hope will eventually pass out of existence as well. Too many birth defects are due to other influences like maternal drug abuse and devastating side effects of some legal drugs. Thalidomide come to mind.

So how was my comment a "bit of a lambast" and against what or whom?
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#32 User is offline   feegis Icon

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 07:32 PM

Hey Alistair,

Yes, you have engaged with the points I was making, as well as adding good points for further discussion. You covered a lot, and I won't get to it all this time around, but I do enjoy engaging in this type discussion.

I agree it doesn't all come down to or stem from sex. I am in the camp that believes most addictive or destructive behavior comes from a more deeply rooted issue that generally goes hand in hand with low self esteem. Addictive behavior steeped in low self esteem is one aspect of what I'm talking about. I have been around it all my life, and I have seen the vicious cycle of it all. The other part is the social aspect of it, and the role we all play. I agree with freedom, I am not a prude or a straight-laced person, but I also subscribe to the idea in John D. Rockefeller's quote:

I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.

Again, you've presented a lot of points I'd like to discuss, and I may come back to address one or two more. As it stands, I have to run.

And, Desertrose, it's nice to know you see what I'm saying and feel the same. I liked your entire post. The development of life is astonishing. Regarding F-bombs, they say profanity is the sign of a lazy mind. Again, I appreciate the well-timed, well-placed, well-purposed F-bomb, but, for crying out loud, the way some go on, it just has you shaking your head in bewilderment.


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#33 User is offline   Bruce N Icon

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:00 AM

View PostAlistair S, on 03 May 2012 - 03:46 PM, said:

Mind you, I wish I could understand this thread. Or maybe I don't. Chaos can be quite a cool wave to ride sometimes.

I'd quite like to see a similar video done showing puppies developing.


Well, at the risk of turning some people off, we all know how nature can be grand, mysterious, fascinating, wonderful, and any other adjectives one can think of, and I'm sure many of us have our own ideas of what exactly life is, and the importance of how it relates to themselves.

So it's in that vain that I would like to explore what my feelings are and what exactly is the meaning of life, one of the biggest stumbling blocks for me, is what Alistair has just mentioned, being that he would like to see a puppy develop from a single cell into a dog.

Well the truth of the matter is, as with most higher forms of animals, such as cats, dogs, bears, humans, during the first few weeks of the embryonic stage they all look the same. In fact up to about the fourth week of that stage the only real way to tell the difference between an pig embryo and an human embryo, would be through an DNA sample.

Therein lies the quandary for me, one embryo develops into an ascension life form, while the other ends up on the breakfast table, usually enjoyed with that of a couple of amniotic egg sacs, and or, in what some consider a delicacy, fertilised embryonic amniotic egg sacs.

Yet we only consider some forms of life to be sacred, most notably only our own spices, and it's usually at this point that I truly consider becoming a vegan, not trying to upset anyone here, but these days I'm really having a hard time wrapping my mind around that fact, and about eating something that was born with a spinal column and a brain.

I would like to think that we humans can evolve beyond that of being cannibals of flesh and meat. I think we still have a very long road ahead of us to travel.

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 01:45 PM

View PostBruce N, on 07 May 2012 - 04:00 AM, said:

Yet we only consider some forms of life to be sacred, most notably only our own spices, and it's usually at this point that I truly consider becoming a vegan, not trying to upset anyone here, but these days I'm really having a hard time wrapping my mind around that fact, and about eating something that was born with a spinal column and a brain.

I would like to think that we humans can evolve beyond that of being cannibals of flesh and meat. I think we still have a very long road ahead of us to travel.

I can relate to that, Bruce. I have a good friend whose food policy is simply that she never eats anything that has (or had) eyes. I do eat meat on occasion, but I must confess to hypocrisy in that regard.





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