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Daniel Schealler's Avatar Joined almost 4 years ago
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Go to: Nun's sex talk raises the Vatican's ire

Daniel Schealler's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Daniel Schealler

Deep Rifts!™

Tue, 05 Jun 2012 21:06:15 UTC | #945759

Go to: Antievolution bills on the New Hampshire horizon

Daniel Schealler's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by Daniel Schealler

Comment 13 by Alex, adv. diab. :

That's right, family relations are what counts, and there is no sensible definition of ape that includes gorillas and orangs, but excludes humans. Ayala is being dense on purpose, and by shooting down the straw man that we are supposedly monkeys, obfuscates the issue.

In fairness, that isn't entirely a straw man.

AronRa thinks we are descended from monkeys.

I find his argument persuasive.

Of course, I do not have the expertise to be critical of his argument. So persuading me to agree probably isn't all that hard. :)

Thu, 23 Jun 2011 03:04:20 UTC | #39

Go to: Antievolution bills on the New Hampshire horizon

Daniel Schealler's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Daniel Schealler

Hang on...

If we're defining animals by clade...

If an orangutan is an ape, and a gorilla is an ape, then the last common ancestor of both gorillas and orangutans was an ape - perhaps even the first ape. Right?

And we share that last common ancestor... Right?

So it follows that we're apes too... Right?

Or am I confused again?

Is Ayala using the definition of 'ape' as 'all primates except humans'?

Hmm... googles Ayala

Aha! That's where I heard the name 'Ayala'. He got a Templeton prize a while back!

That might explain it.

Thu, 23 Jun 2011 00:38:35 UTC | #16

Go to: In Tiny Worm, Unlocking Secrets of the Brain

Daniel Schealler's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Daniel Schealler

I think I'm revealing my IT bias.

If we could model every single neuron in the roundworm's brain; AND If we could connect a chip to the nervous system of the roundworm; THEN Couldn't we, in principle, replace a roundworm's brain with a computer chip?

Obviously there's the whole brain-chemistry-influences-neurological behavior thing, which would be cut out.

But it's still an interesting thought... Hmm...

Wed, 22 Jun 2011 00:44:17 UTC | #641470

Go to: Atheists Get Their "Brokeback Mountain" Moment in the New Sundance Film, "The Ledge"

Daniel Schealler's Avatar Jump to comment 60 by Daniel Schealler

Comment 47 by SourTomatoSand :

Comment 42 by houkoholic :

The problem with House is that he simply re-affirms the stereotype of the strident elitist atheists who can't connect with people and goes around to insult others for their lack of rationality and intelligence for kicks. He is totally ruthless in his methods and has moral and ethical standards that is out of sync with the rest of the society and seems to only care about the medical puzzles he is confronted with and lacks compassion in others, while in the background the show portrays him as a highly flawed, lonely and almost hypocritically emotional person whom had to deal with his issues with alcohol and painkillers because he would otherwise be "empty". As much as I enjoyed the throw-away atheistic comments that Dr. House makes in the show, he's not what I would call a good atheists protagonist.

You know, I loved his character and identified with him quite a bit when I was in the Army. But that was before they started making him hallucinate and lose his mind and do insanely irrational things. The whole "he's just lashing out because he's lonely and hurting" thing is boring.

One of the things that I like about House is that they didn't sit down and say: Hey, let's write an atheist character and make him kind of an asshole.

They sat down and wrote a twisted, interesting, intelligent, ruthless, flawed, humorous, cynical, fascinating asshole of a character.

It just follows from that he would probably be an atheist. The atheism is an after-thought, a consequence of the attributes that make him interesting, and not a source of interest in its own right. I mean... Seriously? House as a Christian? Buddhist? Hindu?

Nah. I just don't see it.

So again: I think it's a little bit interesting that a likeable, openly atheist protagonist has been written into a movie... But in this case it feels like the writer started with 'likeable open atheist protagonist' and then added stuff on to that, rather than starting with a good story and having the atheism of a character come out naturally.

Although again - just a trailer, and I could be reading way, way, way too much into the movie and motives behind it than is deserved.

Thu, 09 Jun 2011 02:05:33 UTC | #636222

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