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The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Comment by The Flying Atheist on April 13, 2012 at 1:54am

@Fred Trellis

An interesting coincidence that you bring up the name Lamarck.  Earlier today I listened to an old podcasts from 2003 of "In Our Time" from BBC Radio with Melvyn Bragg.  The topic discussed with his three panelists was "Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Natural Selection."

Podcast info here:  Lamarck and Natural Selection

Podcast player:

For everyone:  if you're not familiar with the "In Our Time" program, you should check it out.  Every episode is an interesting discussion with Melvyn Bragg and three scholars.  Topics vary from history, science, religion, cultural...everything...old and new.  I was introduced to it last year and am in the process of listening to past years' episodes.  I just finished the year 2003!!  Great stuff. 

Comment by Joseph P on April 12, 2012 at 12:25pm
He's too important to read what others say, correcting his preaching.
Comment by Littlejohn Dellar on April 12, 2012 at 11:47am

@Kenneth Hilland

If you really want to find out what that kind of experience is like, but without quite so much associated risk, I suggest you try smoking 30x concentrated Salvia Divinorum.

The effects are very similar but last only a couple of minutes.

Comment by Joseph P on April 12, 2012 at 11:46am
Denise, you're not being fair. He's a Very Important Person and is therefore immune to having to support the bat-shit insane things he says.
Comment by Littlejohn Dellar on April 12, 2012 at 11:45am

@Kenneth Hilland.

DMT is not a plant.  N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound of the tryptamine family. DMT is ubiquitous in plants. It occurs as trace amounts in mammals, including humans, where it may putatively function as a trace amine neurotransmitter. It is originally derived from the essential amino acid tryptophan and ultimately produced by the enzyme INMT during normal metabolism. The significance of its widespread natural presence remains undetermined. Structurally, DMT is analogous to the serotonin (5-HT), the hormone melatonin, and other psychedelic tryptamines, such as 5-MeO-DMT, bufotenin, and psilocin (the active metabolite of psilocybin).

Comment by Kyu on April 12, 2012 at 11:38am

I thought the secret to learning to fly was in throwing yourself at the ground and then getting distracted on the way down so that you forgot you couldn't....

Comment by Jennifer Moran on April 12, 2012 at 10:36am
Okey dokey then. Time to unfollow. This thread jumped the shark about 50 posts ago.
Comment by Richard ∑wald on April 12, 2012 at 5:57am

"Evolution is driven by pressure"

Suggested reading: "The Selfish Gene", Richard Dawkins.

Just to update that ol' theory a bit.

Comment by Michael Winslow on April 11, 2012 at 2:41pm

New to group. Hello, all.

Throwing out a subject that kinda fits into anti-evolution.

I was watching a program about the collapse of our (world wide) modern society. Scientists are saying, we could easily have a collapse of modern society that would throw us into a new Dark Age that would make our know past Dark Age look like a day at the beach.  Millions (maybe Billions) would die trying to survive without any modern conveniences or in fighting for these conveniences. While human evolution would continue (slowly), the world would be thrown into chaos and the population would be diminished.

Historically, we have seen ALL great empires and societies fall. Have we learned from their mistakes? Some people say there is a common thread between our modern society and the Roman Empire (as well as others empires) As the Roman Empire fell, so could our world society  fall/fail in the same way, just on a massive scale.

Thoughts? Comments?

Comment by Marc Draco on April 11, 2012 at 11:54am

That was in a different context Richard about a related event - but with a different selective pressure; which kinda demonstrates my point. Evolution is driven by pressure - we're not really evolving much (if at all) right now since we simply don't have to. A bit like the Triops.

In the ancient case it was about lack of resources. This time it's about a whole bunch of different things. I might add, neo-Darwinian selection isn't necessarily about direct heritability. There are "social" factors too.

Chantal. This isn't just about America - although some here have chosen to assume that it is. The same is happening here in the UK - which is why I included some English idioms in the discussion.

Education IS key to this - the fact that Richard ignored - smarter parents tend to have smarted kids because they can teach them more; but education isn't moving at sufficient pace to keep up with advancements in science or population.

Want to know why I don't care about "Billy Bobs?" I'm surrounded by them. They make life in my town a living hell.

The point is we can't educate them - they don't want to learn. It's like a telling a creationist that there is no god and showing him/her proof after proof after proof.

These people may have the cerebral capacity to learn but they suffer a massive psychological block - they simply don't want to. We're trying to reverse the trend here but we're already over the precipice.

I can't speak for America - I can speak for the UK - where millions of people (hundreds of thousands of families) rely on the taxpayers to keep them. Keep a roof over their head, keep them in food, plasma TV, cigarettes, booze... you name it.

Chantal, I'd love to be wrong on this. One of the great things about science is that it's OK to be wrong once in a while provided you learn from that. The timescales here won't make any difference - so I'll be long gone before this happens.


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