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Comment Re:This part is important (Score -1) 28

That's right. He's striking out in bold strokes and we may expect he will not deliver all he promises. But if he delivers a small portion it will be worth reading.

It's been years since I read it however I did find it worth reading. It's quite short and dramatic and if you suspend disbelief you may shock yourself to find worthwhile insights come from the procedure.

But the notion that you cannot give the rest of the book an unprejudiced read because you notice the oversell aspect starts in the prologue is bollocks, I think that was my point at least. ;)

Das Kapital, on the other hand, really gave me nothing but headaches. 'Unlike Hegel, who only makes sense in German, Marx doesnt make sense in any language.'

Comment Re:This part is important (Score -1) 28

I dont speak for Smitty here though I suspect we have some substantial agreements on this.

But it's not that Marx's analysis of class warfare is *wrong* so much as that it is just so oversimplified as to be next to useless, and it's posing as a comprehensive analysis. Furthermore it poses as universally true, when in large part it's an artifact of the industrial revolution times it was written in.

There's no division between labor and capital in paleolithic society. Yet there were classes.

So he's forcing a huge stretch of time and space into this narrow model that really reflects the time and space that these people knew, and is not nearly as universal as they thought.

Instead of booge and prole, you can substitute white and black, or french and english, or english and french, or you could go with casted vs untouchable, or bear clan vs deer clan, or highlander versus lowlander, or farmer versus hunter, or or or or... there is nearly no end to the diversity in how humans divide themselves up. Each analysis is somewhat valid and can produce insight, but all are oversimplifications.


Comment Re:You are wrong! (Score 0) 25

I am not sure I understand the mathematical reference, but what I mean is this:

At some point a very long time ago the first dna-based living organism came into being, and we can to a reasonable degree say what happened after that, how one thing led to another until we have the dizzying array of living organisms on the planet, from the simple to the most complex, all descended from that.

But how it came to be in the first place? A different question. Not by evolution - evolution works on a population with alleles, there was no such population, no alleles, before the first life. So by definition, whatever gave rise to it, it was not evolution.

Some people think it arose spontaneously from the soup, abiogenesis. Some people think it came from somewhere else, on a meteor perhaps, panspermia. No one has proven abiogenesis to be possible, and panspermia really just pushes the question back a level, as in, ok wise guy, so it came on a meteor to earth, but how did it start back wherever it came from? There really is very little evidence to go on. The fossil record that shows the development of species, sometimes in great detail, simply has nothing to say about how the first microbe came to be. It's a mystery.

The other gentleman accused me of the 'God of the Gaps' fallacy for mentioning it, but I am not saying that the gap proves G_d. I am only saying there is no contradiction or conflict. G_d can create in whatever way he wants to, whether by crafting physical laws that *do* allow abiogenesis under just the right conditions, or by literally reaching out and making the DNA helix when he is ready to do so. I just see our role as seeking to understand how he has done it, rather than demanding that he must have done it as we wish to believe it was done.

Comment Re:You are wrong! (Score 0) 25

"I think that's another reason why evolution is scary to many theists. If evolution is correct, and our minds can evolve,"

Biological evolution doesnt actually have much to do with cultural evolution, aside from presumably enabling it in some way.

"it implies that religion and the belief in God may just be another step in the evolution of our minds, which we may one day move on."

Religion anticipates that notion however, with most if not all religions having a concept of a better future, when we will understand more than we do now.

"The belief in God becomes just a biological process instead of something divine and spiritual."

If G_d designed the biological process from the ground up and caused it to exist in the first place, that hardly sounds like 'just a biological process' to me.

Comment Re:You are wrong! (Score 0) 25

There is literally tons of fossil evidence to support it actually. The evolution of Equids, for example, Horses and Asses and Ponies and Zebras and their many extinct relatives are pretty thoroughly mapped out for the last ~60million years with fossils, and it's very informative. You should check it out.

"In your example, divergent populations B and C are still fertile with each other. "

Not forever. Speciation is a funny concept to really grasp though. It reminds me of quantum physics. We as humans like and need to have clear conceptual lines, so we draw them. We draw this line called species, and we test the line by attempting to breed, and that is pretty much pass/fail, most of the time, and the definition works well enough for us, most of the time. But it's not a perfect reflection of existential reality, you see. There are Horses and Asses and Mules and Jennies. There is the Great Pyrenees and the Chihuaha; the Liger... it could grow to a very long list without being exhaustive.

But the aspect that is like quantum physics - you cannot tell exactly when it happens. Because it will only happen if the populations are separated, yet you cannot test whether it has happened or not until they are reunited.

People today typically credit Charles Darwin with 'evolution' but in fact evolution in some form or another has been talked about since biblical times. Everyone in biology already believe in evolution, but there were varied ideas as to what caused it to happen. Lamarck's was the best accepted at the time, and of course quite off-track as to the main mechanism, but the point needs to be understood that evolution did not come from Darwin, he received it from prior centuries and even millenia.

What brought some better sense into this debate which hitherto had concerned philosophers and bishops and the like, was the intrusion of someone who worked, and specifically with domesticated plants. He was a monk named Mendel, and he did some very interesting work with peas. And when Darwin read Mendel, a lightbulb went off in his head, but he was still missing the final piece of the puzzle.

And then he sailed around the south pacific. Islands, each with their own little species, isolated from those on other islands. And it finally clicked. Mendels genetics allowed traits to be inherited. A small founder population on an island at the beginning, followed by selection for different traits on different islands, produced a dizzying number of species, many closely and obviously related. And that was the *mechanism* for evolution - genetics and selection.

"A great example is the artificial construct of race in humanity. Groups that diverged based on isolation and adapted based on climate, yet any fertile male and any fertile female can still produce offspring."

Sure we can, but we are a species that has existed for only ~250k years, and it was only ~70k years ago that the ancestors of all non-africans left africa. We're an infant species and on top of that there have been very few cases where any population was totally isolated from others for very long, so it's not at all surprising we have no subraces. We're not birds, our generations take much longer, and we tend to adapt quickly via culture before selection at a physical level can really do its worst, so we evolved more slowly even long before we invented things like e.g. modern medicine.

Comment Re:You are wrong! (Score 0) 25

And you are simply imposing inaccurate definitions then complaining that the evidence doesnt fit them. Sure enough, it doesnt. Your definition is wrong.

It's quite correct that you never see an animal give birth to another animal of a different species. It's quite incorrect of you to presume that such a thing is needed, expected, consistent with evolution however. It's none of those things. It's nonsense.

Species diverge by diverging in isolation over a long period of time. Let's call our common ancestor A. Population A is then separated into two populations to do not interbreed, B and C. Each evolves on their own path forward. Eventually, and this can take millions of years, the accumulated differences in the allele proportions in the two populations will result in B and C no longer being capable of interbreeding, but at no point will generation x of either B or C not be capable of breeding with generation x+1.

There's no magic here, just normal well understood mechanisms that we observe every day.

Comment Re:You are wrong! (Score 0) 25

"So, you seem to be espousing Evolution here, amIright? I'm still trying to work out the shift from inorganic to organic chemistry. In particular: why does it take less faith to subscribe to Evolution than any other of the alternatives (without bothering to espouse any one of them)."

1. The shift from organic to inorganic chemistry is actually not part of evolution. Evolution concerns what happens AFTER that. Origin of life is a different subject.

2. It's easy to 'subscribe' to evolution, it requires no faith, because we can observe the process and its results easily and naturally.

I have another dear friend that thought he was anti-evolution and when I actually got to talking with him about it it turned out he had a completely inaccurate definition of evolution, and aside from the vocabulary problem he actually agreed with me completely!

Evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life. Evolution is defined as 'change in the frequency of alleles in a population over time.' Every breeder of livestock is intimately familiar with it, even if they do not realize what it is.

Comment Re:Words, don't they have meanings? (Score 0) 12

"Would that mean that he opposed the beloved Federalist Papers that the tea party clings so dearly to? If he was opposed to the Federalist Papers, then that wouldn't seem to make him much of a supporter of "republicanism" as we know it today, would it?"

Not exactly.

The Anti-federalists of that time were defenders of the Articles instead, while the Federalists were advocates of replacing it with the Constitution, and relative to their opponents they were the centralizers.

The lines of battle have shifted over time, as the centralizers have long since given up even pretending to stay inside the lines of the Constitution, todays federalist is arguing a fallback position that, with the Constitution a fait accompli, we should demand the assurances that were given in its favor to induce its adoption be kept, at the least.

Comment They should have said "potentially illegal" (Score 0) 269

These laws, even in the states where they are current on the books and have not been specifically struck down, are nonetheless most likely unconstitutional and void anyway.

At most they should have said 'potentially illegal' - branding it as flat-out 'illegal' is an unsupported assertion that is almost certainly incorrect.

Comment Re:WTF? (Score 0) 184

That's some pretty funny stuff, and I know there is similar insanity in Windows and OSX as well. Stupid error messages was an old topic long before the first IBM or Apple PC was ever sold. The funny thing is I seem to avoid 99% of them these days, on any OS, simply by using a command line or a canonical file manager. So pointing out that KDE's graphical shell sucks gets a big meh out of me. They all suck.

Comment Re:WTF? (Score 1, Informative) 184

"Sounds more like Windows to me. And that actually, may be a good thing. Seriously, Windows got a lock on the desktop because people liked it, and by people, I mean everyday joe blow secretary or the executive that can't even type his own emails or use a spreadsheet, in short the greater pool or end users."

No. Just no. That is flat out incorrect. Windows got a lock on the desktop because you bought it with every computer whether you used it or not, and joe blow secretary or the old-school executive did not *PREFER* it to other options, s/he did not typically understand there was any alternative. And because MS has always been willing to use their position today to acquire or destroy any company that might get in their way tomorrow, of course.

"I once read a great take on organization. If you have more than ten of something, you probably need another level for ease of use, be it files in a folder, icons in a start menu, etc. I took the time to redesign my start menu in windows, and boy I and anyone else could find right where any program was, quickly."

Arent you glad that the system *allows* you to do this manually, instead of insisting on hiding all the details and just giving you an unchangeable 'view' that enables only the most commonly used options rather than confuse you?

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