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The Relgion of the New World Order : Darwinism

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posted on May, 18 2009 @ 06:21 AM
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reply to post by Lasheic
 


Very good post yet again. However, you say competition ensures survival etc. However, since mankind fully established his position at the "top" i fail to see how we really have evolved?

For example, the humans of, lets say Roman Empire, had pretty much the same cognitive abilites as us? Did they not? (this is an assumption btw, i havent heard or read any evidence to suggest the contrary) or another example would be that the steam engine was actually developed in Greece about 2 millenia before the industrial revolution.

Therefore, if we havent actually evolved, i would argue that we can elliminate competition in its broadest sense, not competition for base desires like reproduction, for food if one is starving (however supermarkets etc have elliminated this in the Western World). But it could be elliminated to other things such as business and commerce. That sort of competition is driven by greed etc.

Would you agree?




posted on May, 18 2009 @ 09:52 AM
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reply to post by Toughiv
 




However, since mankind fully established his position at the "top" i fail to see how we really have evolved?


I'm trying to do a two in one here, so stay with me. It's relevant. First, a bit of history needs to be said on the "Evolution of Evolution".

Evolution is merely descent with modification being acted upon by a natural selector. That's it, in a nut shell. There's more layers to it, such as genetic drift and Horizontal Gene Transfer, but that's the basics. The only metric of what's "beneficial" or "detrimental" is the environment. For instance, humanity is not at the "top" of the evolutionary ladder. The idea of evolution has been around since at least the ancient Greeks, but it was fractured and poorly understood. It's vaguely similar to our current situation with physics - where we have several different models to describe different layers of interaction - but we're still missing the key component to tie it all together. We're missing that unifying theory which describes quantum mechanics, Newtonian mechanics, Einstein's relativity, etc. However, their understanding of the components behind Evolution were mostly philosophical and poorly understood in comparison to our current understanding of physics.

The rise of Radical Christianity and it's coupling to Government lead to the promotion of special creation by god, enforced by a church which persecuted, exiled, or killed dissenters. This squelched debate about the subject for a long, long, time (At least in Europe, though many of the various individual components of the modern theory, such as selection, were hypothesized by various Muslim scholars at various times during the Islamic Golden Age, before fundamentalism ushered in their own Dark Ages) until the knowledge was rediscovered later by Christians such as Carol Linneas who invented taxonomy as a method of "cataloging god's creations" by their similarities. By discoveries in archeology, such as the evidence for extinction. Or by philosophers like Immanuel Kant who postulated common ancestry. This sparked vigorous interest and debate among naturalists and scholars of their time. Indeed, while we knew a clear pattern of descent with modification was taking place from the rudimentary evidences we had - it was still seen as a direct work of God by many because a natural explanation could not be found as to the prime driver of evolution.

So... it seems Biggie is pulling a bit of a fast one on us in regards to Erasmus Darwin... and if you read his full work "The Temple of Nature", you'll find it littered with references to God. I'm not sure of Erasmus's religious affiliation or convictions, but in the very beginning of his "Additional Notes", he makes in clear that he is not arguing against god as a creator, but that his role is a prime mover. He saw evolution as a natural means to achieve god's perfection in creation. Hence, perhaps, why he does seem to playfully intertwine his poem with Milton's Paradise Lost, both in format and in reference. In a way, it seems he was trying to invoke a sense of respectful homage to both Milton and the Bible by use of mimicry in his poetry - more clearly defining the process of god's creation with "life" being the epic hero making it's the journey towards that goal of perfection. Hence, we were "created in god's image", not by magical hands and clay - but by a process which God set in motion, touched by his perfection, to seek perfection.

It is true, Charles Darwin did not create the theory of Evolution. He, through his observations, merely stumbled upon the "key" to the theory - the recognition of natural selection as a means to explain the direction of evolution and tie the loose ends together. The only thing he was missing was a quantifiable measure of information to be passed on which we knew existed since antiquity - but was not outlined until Mendel... was not discovered until Avery... and was not understood until Watson & Crick. Another example of my list of predictions made by science which turned out to be true.

Now, back to your question. What Darwin's theory did was to suggest that there is no arbitrary "goal" of selection... no perfection to be reached, only ever greater adaptation to a current environment. However, this central idea which so galvanized Evolution - is the concept which is the most poorly disseminated through the public. In Darwin's day, Haeckel inappropriately placed man at the top of the tree of life.. Spencer's coining of "Survival of the Fittest"... and the subconscious passing of the "Evolution to Perfection" meme keeps this idea persistent in the public arena.

In many ways, each are adapted to their own environment. Darwin's theory was apparently not well adapted to the subjective desire of men to be touched by the divine, whereas these misconceptions accommodated such a mindset. In science, where accuracy is the environmental selector, Darwin's adaptation of evolution was well suited by it's conformity to reality - while "Survival of the Fittest" is only mentioned casually with the acknowledged caveat that it's inaccurate when taken in the colloquial sense... which is why you never hear of "Darwin's theory of Survival of the Fittest" in scientific circles, merely "Darwin's theory of Natural Selection".

The truth of the matter is, Evolution is not like "climbing up and down a ladder". It's like -imagine a sculpture that modifies randomly within a container that slowly changes it's geometry. The sculpture is a single line of descent, and the container it resides in environment. If the sculpture's random change extends beyond the geometry of the container, further extensions are deleted. The changes that conform to the current shape of the box, even if they don't promote a more perfect fit, will not necessarily be removed. Likewise, changes which do promote a more perfect fit are not guaranteed against deletion. This is, of course, incomplete without mentioning at least niches to expand on the above idea. So imagine several populations of these sculptures all reproducing, molding around each other, pushing each other out of the container... working together at times to promote each other's survival in the container.. etc, etc.

What I'm trying to say is, evolution does not favor particular forms or outcomes. It just is. The Bear and the Elk are both well suited for their environments of 300 years ago. Humanity is not well adapted for environments outside of sub-Saharan Africa. Our particular adaptation allows for the mitigation and modification of our environments through understanding... thus, we expanded into the environments of the Elk and Bear and changed it to suit us. They are not as well adapted for the change in the environment - and so are being pushed out. In their place, the Crow and the Cow have seen population booms. The Crow through it's intelligence and adaptability, and the Cow by it's utility to us.

We're not better adapted... we're just differently adapted. Our bodies do not have claws for defense or fur for warmth in winter, but our brains are adapted for understanding our environment - allowing us to make claws of stone and iron.. to make detachable "fur" such as blankets and coats. We can fashion wings of iron to advance into the sky, but should the engines stall - we quickly find out how poorly adapted to that environment we truly are.

I don't think this is too difficult a concept to grasp for anyone, but it IS a lot more complex than simply thinking of evolution as an "Ascendable Ladder" or "Survival of the Fittest".

(Continued Below, will take a moment to write up)



posted on May, 18 2009 @ 11:28 AM
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reply to post by Lasheic
 


Consider also, that our intelligence and cognition may be a detrimental development. We stand at the tallest peak of our technological society, the only technological society in the history of the Earth to the best of our knowledge, are faced with the sobering reminder that out of the rich diversity of hominid species which once existed (some comparable to our own intelligence), we are the only survivors. All of them are gone, extinct, leaving our closest living ancestor the Bonobo Chimpanzee. Humanity represents the very last twig on the hominid family tree. And where our ancestors and sister species survived millions of years - we've only been around a scant 150~200 thousand years and already wield the technology capable of causing our own extinction.

In the event that happens, by what metric would you gauge humanities adaptation of intelligence or sapience? What we once thought was penultimate expression of perfection's progress, may end up being just another evolutionary dead end.

If you ask me, humanity is only the "apex" species in terms of what we have discovered about the world. In terms of survival and propagation though - microbes rule this planet.



Indeed, even our entire bodies are single individual life form - but can be rightly considered merely a swarm of a population of single-celled and highly specialized organisms working cooperatively with each other to promote survival.



lets say Roman Empire, had pretty much the same cognitive abilites as us? Did they not? (this is an assumption btw, i havent heard or read any evidence to suggest the contrary)


There isn't any evidence in that regard. Indeed, it may be the case that humanity is getting less cognitive as our technology advances. The brain is amazingly plastic and capable of adaptation. Brain structure can modify with use, and research is indicating that if you don't use it - you loose it. The brain can suffer atrophy just like muscles. Determining factors for average intelligence are largely environmental - especially in the brain's major formative years. However, with the proliferation of external memory storage (books, the internet, video, etc) it's becoming easier to simply remember "sources" than actual detailed content. It's like having a bunch of bookmarks on your internet browser leading to a wealth of information... yet... what happens if you're stuck offline?

Compare this to the plight our ancestors faced in the days when oral tradition dominated, or before literacy and literary technology became widely available to the public. When the survival of traditions, transactions, military orders, etc had to be memorized, categorized, and accurately recalled over extended periods of time between exposure to the source material... if there was any at all.

Yeah... our ancestors were every bit as intelligent as we are, and far more than we often give them credit for.



another example would be that the steam engine was actually developed in Greece about 2 millenia before the industrial revolution.


Hero of Alexandria also wrote the first book on robots. Well, steam powered automatons. However, literacy was rare, communication hindered by the expense of paper/scribes, word of mouth and speed of foot. This was solved partially by the invention of libraries - universities and repositories of knowledge. However, they were also prone to being called heretical pagan temples by an ignorant public and being burnt down - taking large chunks of humanities progress with them.

The destruction of the Library of Alexandria is a drawn out ordeal. It reached it's peak of brilliance under the Ptolemys who enshrined knowledge and actively promoted it's acquisition. Alexandria was a promoted as a secular city where scholars from all over the world could study, contribute, debate, and learn from it's texts. However, the Romans didn't put much of an emphasis on knowledge. While Mark Anthony actively tried to replace or compensate the texts lost during the first burning when Rome conquered Alexandria, they didn't pursue the new acquisition of knowledge the way the Ptolemy dynasty did. I don't know if the Library suffered a greater loss from the initial fire (which was accidental, spread from the harbor, not intentional) or the apathy which followed in their governance. While languished, the library was burnt again in 415 by Christian mobs during the aforementioned power struggle between Cyril and Orestes.

What very little of the original collection remained was further decimated by the Persian invasion in the 7th century. Ignorant soldiers and their commanders burned the texts to heat their bath water. I don't think they really comprehended what they stumbled upon. When those who DID comprehend it's magnitude recognized what was happening, they hurried away what little there was left to their Mosques where they were translated, studied, and used to help spurn the Islamic Golden Age. It wouldn't be until their discovery by European crusaders in the Mosques of southern *Spain that Europe rediscovered itself through the recovery of these texts during the enlightenment and it's subsequent renaissance.

Renaissance means "Rebirth", and it's a direct reference to the rebirth of the Hellenistic Era of knowledge.

I'll have to save my response on competition for a bit, as I have some running in town to do. Should have something written up by tonight though.

Edit = *Mosques in Southern Spain, not Italy. My bad.

[edit on 18-5-2009 by Lasheic]



posted on May, 18 2009 @ 11:46 AM
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reply to post by Lasheic
 


I look forward to your reply on competition. However, there is one thing i would like to take from what you have stated. Mankind is the only animal with the ability to comprehend and understand its environment in the way we do. For example, we are the only species that wonder "if i eat X bananas from the surrounding area, and they have a Y regrowth rate, how many of us can survive from these before the supply becomes exhausted."

Also, I would argue it isnt our brain that has meant we have reached the pinnacle we are at today. Sure we have aposible thumbs but the one MAJOR defining factor about mankind is ouor ability to read and write. Therefore, if i study the correct technique of catching fish, developed over years of hunting, i can write it down for somebody to learn. Therefore, what took me years to learn only takes (minutes > hours)


Knowledge is power



posted on May, 18 2009 @ 09:54 PM
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I do love satire!




posted on May, 19 2009 @ 05:08 AM
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What a great reply, Lasheic. I particularly enjoyed this analogy to natural selection:


Imagine a sculpture that modifies randomly within a container that slowly changes its geometry. The sculpture is a single line of descent, and the container it resides in environment. If the sculpture's random change extends beyond the geometry of the container, further extensions are deleted.

For lucidity and exactitude, that's hard to beat. If you thought it up yourself, I salute you.


Late in a life spent explaining evolution to people who didn't get it, Stephen Jay Gould decided that the reason they found it so hard to understand it is that they didn't want to understand. You've just made that defence a lot harder to maintain.



posted on May, 19 2009 @ 06:46 AM
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If the sculpture's random change extends beyond the geometry of the container, further extensions are deleted.


What is meant by further exentions are deleted? Further extensions of the sculpture? If so, does that mean that if a development is made whereby the animal excels at something other than what it required by the environment that trait isnt passed on? I dont see how this is so?

For example, a fish has a mutation of a third eye that has no significance, i.e. it does not really provide benefit of seeing oncoming predators. Overall that it doesnt make it "fitter" in any way. Then that third eye would not be passed onto its offspring? I do not agree.



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 04:11 AM
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Originally posted by Toughiv
If a development is made whereby the animal excels at something other than what is required by the environment, [does that mean the] trait isnt passed on? I dont see how this is so?

Organisms need energy to develop. They obtain it from the environment in the form of food. The amount of food available is always limited* and the organism must compete for it against other members of its species.

Because of this limitation, every organism has an energy budget - it must balance its energy expenditure on physical processes with its energy income from the environment. A useless trait - one that doesn't promote survival and reproduction - develops at the expense of useful ones. This means the three-eyed fish, although it may see better than it needs to, will not be as successful at living and begetting as its fellow-members of the same species. It will have fewer offspring than they, and the offspring, similarly handicapped, will leave fewer descendents in their turn. Sooner or later, the trait will vanish, the genes for it having been bred out of the gene pool of the species in this way.

Thus environmental factors drive natural selection, what Darwin in a rare poetic moment called 'the winnow of Nature'. This is the meaning of Lasheic's sculpture-in-a-box metaphor.
 

*Because, as Malthus saw, organisms multiply until their numbers match or exceed the available food supply.



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 04:52 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Ah now I understand, thank you for explaining this. I would however, still raise my previous point about mankind. How we dont appear to be evolving at all? That we are unique in the way in which we relate to our environment etc.

Cheers

Brad



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 05:30 AM
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reply to post by Toughiv
 


Humans are complicated. There are 6 billion+ of us in countless environments all round the globe, the environmental pressures of which we are often able to resist. We also support the weak and unhealthy. So our gene pool is becoming more and more varied and diverse as time goes by.

What will happen is fairly unforeseeable.

[edit on 20-5-2009 by Welfhard]



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 05:41 AM
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Originally posted by Toughiv
How we dont appear to be evolving at all?

Oh, but we are.

Lactose tolerance in adults evolved a few thousand years ago, well within historical times.

Evidence from the International HapMap project shows that several other mutations have also occurred and been fixed in the genotype over the last few thousand years. The linked article concludes:


Human evolution did not stop tens of thousands of years ago... We are still evolving and adapting to local environments.



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 06:01 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Read the sites and some that branch off. Very interesting read to be honest.

What im really trying to pick at is our evolvement doesnt seem to be "bettering" ourselves, or making us "fitter" in some way. When it comes to the lactoser tolerance, diet can always be changed, or just not weened off breast milk. Instead go breast milk > Milk to keep the enzyme active.

However, I did read how our brains are progressively developing, which overall has to be the way mankind will develop. I say this because it is our brains and our ability to comprehend, reason and so on that has gotten us to the survivable position we are in today.

One thing about the brain development that i do find intriguing is how do we naturally select those who have larger brains? Is it built into todays society? Those who have more intelligence, TEND, to get further within the "system", earn more money, and thus increase their attractiveness to the opposite sex. (women insert arguments against here lol)

Brad



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 06:05 AM
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reply to post by Welfhard
 


do you believe that is why multicultural societies have been promoted within the Western world, rather than "keeping to ones own communities and traditions", to promote genetic variations and to prevent bottlenecking of gene pools?

I dont mean that to sound racist in any which way, people do have a tendancy to "stick to their own". If you do not agree with me, please explain why.

Thanks



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 06:15 AM
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reply to post by Toughiv
 


It's hard to say. I put it down to our society trying to be "PC" and encouraging ethnic "appreciation".

But when you have such large gene pools it's not gonna make much of a difference.



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 07:59 AM
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Originally posted by Toughiv
What im really trying to pick at is our evolvement doesnt seem to be "bettering" ourselves, or making us "fitter" in some way.

A lot of people have trouble with this. The answer is that evolution is not progress towards some ideal state. The definition of 'fitter' is, simply, 'better adapted to the environment'. We've already seen how it makes no sense to speak of an organism becoming any fitter than that. And the environment, too, is constantly changing, throwing up new challenges to which species must adapt. So new traits evolve and old ones disappear - the energy wasted on the development an obsolete trait is likewise subtracted from the trait carrier's energy budget, making it less fit and, again, causing the genes for the trait to be bred out of the pool. That is how blind cave fish, for example, lost their eyes.


However, I did read how our brains are progressively developing, which overall has to be the way mankind will develop.

This makes sense, considering the high fitness value of intelligence in the human environment. The trend will doubtless accelerate when parents acquire the ability to tamper with the genomes of their unborn children. With genetic engineering advancing so rapidly, I expect that will happen quite soon - within this century, perhaps.

But the more interesting question is how intelligence came to be selected for in the first place, or as you say,


How do we naturally select those who have larger brains?

Our brains have evolved at a phenomenal rate - too fast, perhaps, to be explained by ordinary natural selection. Their evolution may be an example of something called Fisherian runaway, aka 'runaway sexual selection'. In a nutshell, women find intelligence sexually attractive (in combination with other factors, of course, so the Revenge of the Nerds ain't happening any time soon), mate preferentially with more intelligent men and bear more intelligent offspring, both male and female, who share the taste for mating with fellow brainboxes, and onward whirls the merry-go-round...



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 08:17 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


I will be looking up that Fisherian in a minute. One quick question though, you say we each have an energy budget. I would argue this isnt so. With the amount of farming etc we have available to us, I can go down to the sotre and buy as much food as my money affords. Therefore any developments made toward a seemingly "unneccesary" trait can be sustained easily can it not?

Thanks

Brad



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 09:09 AM
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Originally posted by Toughiv
I can go down to the store and buy as much food as my money affords. Therefore any developments made toward a seemingly "unneccesary" trait can be sustained easily can it not?

Yes, this is true of modern humans who have access to a food surplus. And there are many such people. But how would such a trait be selected for? It is by definition useless to the carrier, so whence comes the pressure to cause it to spread through the population?

Such pressure can be artificially induced, of course. This is the familiar process we know as breeding. Breeders have produced, among dogs for example, a plethora of nonadaptive or even maladaptive traits - such as the inward-turned eyelids of chow-chows, which cause them a great deal of suffering.

It is true that genetic variation among humans is increasing, partly because we are isolated from some of the more brutal effects of natural selection. There are plenty of humans born with nonadaptive traits, but these traits usually die out or remain rare for various reasons, for example because potential mates don't find their carriers very attractive.

[edit on 20/5/09 by Astyanax]



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 09:19 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Hmm, from all of this im reading into and learning im trying to figure out where mankind is going. (Western culture based)

To me, we have discussed that the brain is likely to be our main area of development, since anything other needs can be provided for, rather than natural traits making one person fitter than another.

I.e. if it gets cold we make jackets, so endomorphs, with their slower burning metabolism arent at a great advantage, unless they find themselves thrown overboard a ship.

So I was contemplating how society has ushered a "brainy" selective process. To me this has to be through Money and Intelligence relation. With money being a key attractive feature. However, it is more likely that the upper classes have less children.

This brings me back to the NWO now. Are we instinctively moving toward a society where the intelligent people get the "mind" related jobs, where those of lower intelligence are given the grunt jobs? Are we at that already? Will it eventually lead to tyranny of the intelligent?

The evolution of mankind will lead to the brainy controlling the less brainy on a mass scale? Or is it balanced as is it? Do you see our society evolving alongside mankinds? To keep up with our brain development and encourage it?

Am i looking at this the wrong way?

Cheers



posted on May, 21 2009 @ 04:25 AM
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reply to post by Toughiv
 

Sorry: that's where I call a halt. You seem very interested in the answers evolutionary theory suggests to perennial and contemporary questions, so I imagine you could only profit by learning it. Richard Dawkins's books, The Blind Watchmaker and A River Out of Eden, provide admirably readable and scientifically accurate expositions of modern evolutionary ideas. After that I recommend Darwin himself: The Origin of Species. Any high-school microbiology textbook will teach you as much genetics as you need to know. After that, you can find your own way. Avoid Stephen Jay Gould until you have learnt enough to see where he goes wrong, and if you must use the internet, trust only sites with solid scientific credentials, such as those maintained by the biology department of reputable universities. UCLA Berkely has a good one for beginners. Good luck on your journey.



posted on May, 21 2009 @ 07:04 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


I was simply trying to relate NWO and Darwinism together, as suggested in the Thread.

Yeh ive read a few books from Dawkings, god delusion etc. I think he is too much of a reductionist personally.




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