We're all really alike....really!

How can we expose more people to critical thinking?
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We're all really alike....really!

Post by clarsct » Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:29 pm

Seems that some Xians have a thing about all cultures having a belief in some higher power...

Well, turns out that humans are, more or less, the same everywhere...
http://www.temple.edu/tempress/titles/864_reg.html

In over 400 ways, really. So why is this fairy tale stuff important or unique...it isn't.


It's just more bullshit.
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Re: We're all really alike....really!

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:32 pm

clarsct wrote:In over 400 ways, really. So why is this fairy tale stuff important or unique...it isn't.


It's just more bullshit.
Unique? No.

Important? Maybe it's a survival trait in some way?
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Re: We're all really alike....really!

Post by clarsct » Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:47 pm

Abdul Alhazred wrote:
clarsct wrote:In over 400 ways, really. So why is this fairy tale stuff important or unique...it isn't.


It's just more bullshit.
Unique? No.

Important? Maybe it's a survival trait in some way?
A 'God gene'?


Would be interesting.....if true.
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Re: We're all really alike....really!

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:34 am

clarsct wrote:
A 'God gene'?

I'll put it more modestly. A propensity to credulity.

Just as the ability to put on weight by overeating is a plus to a hunter-gatherer, so too might credulity have served some useful purpose.
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Post by DrMatt » Thu Jan 17, 2008 1:17 am

A tendency to believe in invisible agents. Because predators are good at making themselves invisible, so those capable of entertaining such notions are better able to avoid becoming lion lunch than those who only fear threats they can see. The waste of energy running screaming through the woods every time one steps on a branch and hears a crunch and has an automatic "eerie" feeling is apparently not bad enough to cancel out the benefit of occasionally being right and thus living longer and having a greater tendency to reproduce.

That'd be a plausible-sounding answer from anthropology.
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Post by Luke T. » Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:25 pm

Do wild animals believe in a higher power? Yet they react to a cracked branch and have survived quite well. The two are not connected.

We have far more intellectual capacity than is necessary for mere survival. We have imagination. And that needs to be fed or it turns on itself.
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Post by DrMatt » Thu Jan 31, 2008 5:39 pm

I'm agnostic about the continuum hypothesis.
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Post by Abdul Alhazred » Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:07 pm

Luke T. wrote:Do wild animals believe in a higher power?
There is no way to know the answer to that question.
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Post by DrMatt » Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:30 pm

Abdul Alhazred wrote:
Luke T. wrote:Do wild animals believe in a higher power?
There is no way to know the answer to that question.
Actually, the question itself might be incoherent.
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Post by En folkefiende » Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:38 pm

Humans want to "understand". Absent physics, chemistry and mathematics, a "higher power" sounds like a good explaination.

But we've outgrown it, and we need to get over our primitive selves.
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Post by Abdul Alhazred » Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:52 pm

Now that I think of it, Luke may be onto something, but from the wrong direction.

Why suppose imagination isn't survival trait?
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Post by clarsct » Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:49 pm

Abdul Alhazred wrote:Now that I think of it, Luke may be onto something, but from the wrong direction.

Why suppose imagination isn't survival trait?
Ok, to go back to Luke a little, how is imagination a survival trait?
In what ways do we enjoy an advantage?
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Post by Luke T. » Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:27 pm

Why evolve?

If it is just about survival, what is the problem with being a single cell on a deep sea volcano vent? Huh? Moving on up to the east side. Yeah. I'm onto you.

The answer is overengineering. The first organisms wouldn't have come into existence unless things were overengineered. And that same overengineering caused things to just keep going and going once they got started. We don't evolve because we want to. We evolve because we can't help it. It would be a helluva trick turning it off.

And now we have more going for us than we need to survive. Now we have leisure time. Time enough to make shit up.

Shit! What's that noise? I've eaten everything that moves for a two mile radius.

Who threw that lightning bolt?

I want answers. Whoever gives me the best answer, I want to keep around. He gets to share my kill.
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Post by DrMatt » Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:00 am

clarsct wrote:
Abdul Alhazred wrote:Now that I think of it, Luke may be onto something, but from the wrong direction.

Why suppose imagination isn't survival trait?
Ok, to go back to Luke a little, how is imagination a survival trait?
In what ways do we enjoy an advantage?
The ability to evade predators that we haven't spotted yet, by only imaging that they might be creeping up behind us. The ability to plan future actions like agriculture or, even before agriculture, going back next spring to where the wild blueberries were last spring. Lots of things. Imagination and subjunctive thinking are really the same thing.
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Post by Luke T. » Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:25 am

DrMatt wrote:
clarsct wrote:
Abdul Alhazred wrote:Now that I think of it, Luke may be onto something, but from the wrong direction.

Why suppose imagination isn't survival trait?
Ok, to go back to Luke a little, how is imagination a survival trait?
In what ways do we enjoy an advantage?
The ability to evade predators that we haven't spotted yet, by only imaging that they might be creeping up behind us. The ability to plan future actions like agriculture or, even before agriculture, going back next spring to where the wild blueberries were last spring.
Birds do that. Nothing special.
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Post by DrMatt » Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:38 am

Luke T. wrote:
DrMatt wrote:
clarsct wrote:
Abdul Alhazred wrote:Now that I think of it, Luke may be onto something, but from the wrong direction.

Why suppose imagination isn't survival trait?
Ok, to go back to Luke a little, how is imagination a survival trait?
In what ways do we enjoy an advantage?
The ability to evade predators that we haven't spotted yet, by only imaging that they might be creeping up behind us. The ability to plan future actions like agriculture or, even before agriculture, going back next spring to where the wild blueberries were last spring.
Birds do that. Nothing special.
But we are not birds. And birds don't do adaptive agriculture.
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Post by gnome » Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:40 am

Now he's having a go at the birds!
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Post by DrMatt » Fri Feb 01, 2008 2:02 am

gnome wrote:Now he's having a go at the birds!
Charley's 'ad 'em
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Post by sparks » Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:52 pm

Luke T. wrote:Why evolve?

If it is just about survival, what is the problem with being a single cell on a deep sea volcano vent? Huh? Moving on up to the east side. Yeah. I'm onto you.

The answer is overengineering. The first organisms wouldn't have come into existence unless things were overengineered. And that same overengineering caused things to just keep going and going once they got started. We don't evolve because we want to. We evolve because we can't help it. It would be a helluva trick turning it off.

And now we have more going for us than we need to survive. Now we have leisure time. Time enough to make shit up.

Shit! What's that noise? I've eaten everything that moves for a two mile radius.

Who threw that lightning bolt?

I want answers. Whoever gives me the best answer, I want to keep around. He gets to share my kill.
Engineering implies an engineer. We are simply the result of what chemicals can do given 5 billion years.

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Post by Tiosylanyl » Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:04 pm

Luke T. wrote: And now we have more going for us than we need to survive. Now we have leisure time. Time enough to make shit up.
Not sure I fully agree that this was the sole source of human imagination. I don't know if that was what you were implying, but I think that building tools to aid in survival also qualifies as the use of imagination.