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Message for John

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Re: Message for John

Post by Guest on 1st June 2011, 23:36

@Feather wrote:Thank you for that post, John. I just may be your first convert. We'll see.
Just remember that I'm not on a mission to 'educate' or 'convert' people - I simply aim to understand things in a way that constitutes knowledge rather than belief.
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Re: Message for John

Post by Feather on 2nd June 2011, 08:42

I realise that. Knowledge every time for me too. I wonder why we are the only creatures who can contemplate our own demise. That seems to me to be the fundamental difference between animals and us. Evolution has a lot to answer for imo. scratchhead



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Re: Message for John

Post by Guest on 2nd June 2011, 11:40

We do seem to be far more intelligent than is required for mere survival.

If we accept evolution by natural selection (as I do) then I think that one thing that might have caused it is that we were at one time in a battle for survival with another species (most likely other human species) or more where intelligence was the survival factor and we eventually won.

The other species died out it which makes it look like we have intelligence for no particular reason - but it must have been driven by a survival advantage at some point.

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Re: Message for John

Post by krisisle on 2nd June 2011, 14:59

John wrote:We do seem to be far more intelligent than is required for mere survival.

If we accept evolution by natural selection (as I do) then I think that one thing that might have caused it is that we were at one time in a battle for survival with another species (most likely other human species) or more where intelligence was the survival factor and we eventually won.

The other species died out it which makes it look like we have intelligence for no particular reason - but it must have been driven by a survival advantage at some point.

now that is interesting. Any more info on those thoughts?
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Re: Message for John

Post by Guest on 2nd June 2011, 17:25

Why do birds have good eyesight and why do stick insects look like sticks?

The more an insect looks like a stick the harder it will be for a predator, such as a bird, to spot it. Therefore the more a stick insect looks like a stick the more likely it is to reproduce and pass on its genes - its offspring will also probably look more like sticks too because it inherited the 'looking like a stick' genes.

Stick insects that don't look like sticks get eaten quickly and those that do look like sticks survive longer and reproduce more. So as the generations go by, stick insects become more and more like sticks.

Birds that eat stick insects need to be able to spot them. So birds with good eyesight will be able to spot more stick insects than birds with poorer eyesight. So the ones with good eyesight reproduce more frequently and so pass on their genes for good eyesight.

Over time, the average eyesight of birds will get better as the ones with poorer eyesight die off.

But if birds' eyesight is improving, only the most stick-like of stick insects will survive so they will tend to look even more like sticks as time goes on - and then only the birds with even better eyesight will be able to spot them.

And so it goes on. It's called an 'evolutionary arms race'. Competing species (such as predator and prey) shape each other's morphology through natural selection.

This is what I mean by it being a possibility for the adaptation that is human intelligence. If we were in competition with other hominids who had developed tool use then it's not so much physical characteristics that are shaped by evolution but our brains. It is the species that can make the best use of tools that will win out in the end and being able to think about things in an abstract manner (higher intelligence) will be selected for during the competition for survival.

Of course there may be a lot more to it than that - being a social species probably helped drive intelligence too as we needed to be able to maximise our own survival chances while both living with and competing against our fellow humans. There's a theory known as 'the Machiavellian hypothesis' that explores this in some detail.

As with many complex issues, there's likely to be a lot of factors involved.

Interesting stuff though.
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Re: Message for John

Post by Kitkat on 2nd June 2011, 19:00

Very nicely explained, John. and yes, it is very interesting 'stuff'.
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Re: Message for John

Post by Guest on 2nd June 2011, 20:53

I would highly recommend Richard Dawkins' book The Selfish Gene as a great place to start for anyone interested in the issue of how evolution works.

Yes, that's Dawkins of (now) anti-religion fame!

But this is the stuff where he worked as a scientist and writing about it is where he excelled. His early biological books are why he's so highly regarded - not his views on religion.

I know I've talked on here about doing the OU science foundation course and what an absolute eye-opening experience it was, but I must say, reading Dawkins' early books on evolution were also a great experience.

It's all absolutely fascinating - and real to boot.
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Re: Message for John

Post by Feather on 2nd June 2011, 22:32

And do you see our knowledge that we die as an evolutionary advantage? I can see how it would make us more alert and determined in a fight situation because we would know what we had to lose.



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Re: Message for John

Post by Feather on 2nd June 2011, 22:42

PS---Any ideas on what our next evolutionary stage will be? Based on the need to survive, we would need a huge transformation bearing in mind all the threats to our existence that exist today. Evolution is too slow a process to save us.



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Re: Message for John

Post by Guest on 3rd June 2011, 01:18

@Feather wrote:And do you see our knowledge that we die as an evolutionary advantage?
No, quite the opposite. If we were truly rational and just viewed the world as the utterly random chance place that it seems to be (no ultimate purpose etc.) then what would be the point in reproducing?

Evolution is all about reproduction. If we can be deemed to have any purpose in a purposeless universe, then it is simply to reproduce.

Humans are not rational, however, and my personal opinion is that we invent notions of the afterlife, heaven, etc., to make sense of our existence (which is 100% real to us while we're alive) so that our own being, but particularly our relationship to significant others (those who have gone and those who will follow us), has some real meaning.

It is very difficult to envisage yourself as the loving, caring, being that you are as ultimately having no purpose other than as a replicator of genes. Yet that seems to be the actual reality.

It seems so wasteful! I suspect that this is why we have that sense that there must be 'something more'.

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Re: Message for John

Post by Sandstone on 3rd June 2011, 13:46

John wrote:Although I can rant and rave about the paranormal and belief systems till the cows come home, I actually don't find it all that interesting. And when you're conversing rationally with believers about their belief system, you might as well be talking to a brick wall.

John, it's funny how on one hand you say that the debate is boring, but then when someone posts a thread on the paranormal, you are quick to offer an opinion. But then you kind of suggest that your opinion didn't actually count, because you don't want a debate, after all.

That's kind of like telling your wife that you've been cheating on her for years and you've never loved her anyway.... And then kissing her on the cheek and saying "but I don't want to talk about that, so it doesn't really count".

It seems like you still want to express your opinions on the paranormal, but you don't want your views to be questioned. Sounds pretty dogmatic, or at the very least, insecure. I hadn't planned on being a frequent visitor to this forum. I saw the link here on blogger and got curious. So don't run away from another forum because someone might question your opinions. I didn't come here to chase you away. I was just responding to what you said about my blog. (That's the thing about the internet, it's getting harder to anonymously diss people these days, isn't it?)

I'm still interested in seeing someone like yourself reproduce the same effects I've seen using electrostatic forces and convection currents. I don't mean similar effects. I want to see starts and stops and changes in direction with an Al foil wheel inside a sealed jar in conditions of high humidity. I am interested in the science of these things. I consider myself a skeptic in the true sense of the word, meaning that I question everything. I'm curious about the world. I don't need a fantasy to make the universe an awesome and interesting place.

I have read Dawkins books, BTW. I agree that his early work on biology is by far his best work and well worth reading.
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Re: Message for John

Post by Guest on 3rd June 2011, 14:17


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Re: Message for John

Post by Sandstone on 3rd June 2011, 14:49

John wrote:

Again, wow. That answer sure raised the bar. I'm glad you aren't on my thesis committee. I don't think I could handle such tough discourse. Wink

Anyway, I didn't mean to disrupt your nap time. I'm guessing you get cranky without your naps.
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Re: Message for John

Post by Guest on 3rd June 2011, 14:58

You're now posting flame bait (!)

If I wanted to debate you I would - and I'd take you to pieces.

I'm just not interested. Do you get the message?

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Re: Message for John

Post by krisisle on 3rd June 2011, 15:58

John you have wanted an intellectual debate for ages. You now have the opportunity to have a debate with a person from the scientific community who also happens to have anomolous experiences. I would have thought you would have been on her like a seagull after a chip (Pixie's phrase. lol)

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Re: Message for John

Post by Sandstone on 3rd June 2011, 16:29

John wrote:You're now posting flame bait (!)

If I wanted to debate you I would - and I'd take you to pieces.

I'm just not interested. Do you get the message?

Flame bait? I've been quite civil. If you didn't want a discussion, why start one? Or do you always insult people and expect them to smile and thank you for it? If you don't want people to call you on what you have to say, well, don't say anything then. But don't expect others to nod in agreement when you are being rude.

You didn't have to make that first post, but you did. You could have deleted your posts and ended the conversation that way as well. But you seemed to expect the last word and that I would just back down like a good girl. But let's face it, I wasn't raised to be a doormat. Maybe in your universe things work that way. Must be quite the fantasy world.
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Re: Message for John

Post by Guest on 3rd June 2011, 16:39

I didn't start a discussion - I made a post to let the other members on here know that psi-wheels are nothing new and that we already know what's going on with them.

Looking at your videos it's quite obvious that the wheel reacts to the movement and position of your hands - i.e. not your mind.

And sorry Krissile, but arguing over whether psi-wheels constitute good evidence for PK is not an 'intellectual debate' - it's laughable.

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Re: Message for John

Post by Sandstone on 3rd June 2011, 17:41

John wrote:I didn't start a discussion - I made a post to let the other members on here know that psi-wheels are nothing new and that we already know what's going on with them.

Why, because you are so worried that everyone else needs your guidance or they will be lost in woo? And where did you get all your absolute knowledge from? Last time I checked, science is an ever growing body of data. We don't have all the answers.

Again, please demonstrate spinning an Al foil wheel spinning inside a sealed jar under conditions of high humidity and normal room temperature. And the wheel has to stop, start and change speed and directions. That isn't asking too much is it? If you know how everything works and nothing is new in your universe, please show me how it's done. I actually am interested. Then we can critique your video.

Or, you can apologise for being so rude and I'll gladly go back to that other forum where they tell me you like to end all conversations with absolutes and don't take to disagreements very well. Laughing
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Re: Message for John

Post by Guest on 3rd June 2011, 18:09

Right, I'm outta here.

It seems like there's no refuge from idiocy after all.

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Re: Message for John

Post by Sandstone on 3rd June 2011, 18:24

Guest wrote:Right, I'm outta here.

If you're expecting to find someplace where no one ever questions your authority or takes you to task for rude behavior, good luck with that. Are you sure you don't suffer from some kind of god delusion? Maybe Dawkins can help you out!

Honestly, I wasn't trying to chase you out of your forum. Just apologise and I'll be on my way. You can then resume instructing all the ladies here on what they can and cannot believe in. (Of course, that doesn't mean they will actually listen to you.)
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Re: Message for John

Post by Kitkat on 3rd June 2011, 18:44

Guest wrote:Right, I'm outta here.

I'm really sorry to read this, and upset to see you go, John.

Sandstone, for your information, whatever you may have picked up on "that other forum", our John was a well-respected long-term member there who's valued input is sorely missed and will likewise be so here ... even moreso, as a friend and as someone that I and some others here know and have met personally.

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Re: Message for John

Post by Sandstone on 3rd June 2011, 19:51

@KitKat wrote:
Guest wrote:Right, I'm outta here.

I'm really sorry to read this, and upset to see you go, John.

Sandstone, for your information, whatever you may have picked up on "that other forum", our John was a well-respected long-term member there who's valued input is sorely missed and will likewise be so here ... even moreso, as a friend and as someone that I and some others here know and have met personally.

KitKat, I didn't ask John to leave and am sorry that you've lost a valued forum member. I wasn't abusive. I didn't call him delusional or suggest that he was trying to pull one over on the members of this forum (who John seems to think are lacking in critical thinking skills). I tried to discuss matters thoughtfully and was immediately met with abusive and rude behavior on John's part.

If you want to delete all the links here to my blog,as well any discussion of my blog, I'd be happy to leave the forum so John can have his happy place back. I'm a little surprised at his lack of tolerance. I have some very good friends who are hardcore skeptics and we are still able to have interesting and respectful discussions. I'm happy to discuss the science of these things. Personally, I don't go to forums to discuss my blog at all. If someone wants to make comments on my blog posts, I'm happy to respond there. But I'd rather talk about published papers and things both sides can have equal access to in forums. It's more interesting and less personal that way.

I don't think it's very polite to expect me to find someone slagging my blog and my character without giving me the option to respond. That seemed to be what John was doing. But since I hadn't expected to hang out here for an extended stay anyways, and I have no wish to chase someone away from their happy place, perhaps you can delete all of the posts pertaining to this issue and give John his do-over. I think that would be an equitable solution to the problem, don't you agree?
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Re: Message for John

Post by Kitkat on 3rd June 2011, 21:59

@Sandstone wrote:perhaps you can delete all of the posts pertaining to this issue


I think that would be an equitable solution to the problem, don't you agree?

No, I don't agree. In my view, censorship is a blinding and numbing tool of dictatorship. How can that ever be an equitable solution to any issue?

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Re: Message for John

Post by Sandstone on 3rd June 2011, 22:44

@KitKat wrote:
@Sandstone wrote:perhaps you can delete all of the posts pertaining to this issue


I think that would be an equitable solution to the problem, don't you agree?

No, I don't agree. In my view, censorship is a blinding and numbing tool of dictatorship. How can that ever be an equitable solution to any issue?

OK, well it's your forum. I thought you wanted John back and I was willing to essentially give him a do-over. If everyone agrees to something like that it hardly counts as censorship. It would be more like a truce in my view. But if you want the posts to stand I'm not going to argue the point. If you have a different solution that treats both sides fairly, I'd be happy to hear it.
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Re: Message for John

Post by Feather on 3rd June 2011, 23:12

You know all the acrimonious discussions I've had with John in the past, kk. I'm so glad that they are no longer happening but you cannot attribute any blame to a new member for his
"I'm outa here". Sandstone has every right to give her opinion on matters being discussed.The fact that she hasn't been aware of what it can lead to is not her fault. The only way to keep John here and happy would be to gag people who disagree with him. Personal friendships should be irrelevant. judge



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Re: Message for John

Post by Sandstone on 3rd June 2011, 23:28

@Feather wrote:You know all the acrimonious discussions I've had with John in the past, kk. I'm so glad that they are no longer happening but you cannot attribute any blame to a new member for his
"I'm outa here". Sandstone has every right to give her opinion on matters being discussed.The fact that she hasn't been aware of what it can lead to is not her fault. The only way to keep John here and happy would be to gag people who disagree with him. Personal friendships should be irrelevant. judge

Thanks Feather, I appreciate the support. Honestly, I didn't think I was that harsh with the guy, especially when he was suggesting that I was either delusional or dumb. The guy needs his own planet, not just a private forum. And I did try to come up with a fair solution. I'm still open to suggestions. Maybe there needs to be a forum disclaimer warning all newcomers not to address John directly. Ever. For any reason what-so-ever. (Just a thought.)

    Current date/time is 17th August 2018, 10:07