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DavidMcC's Profile

DavidMcC's Avatar Joined over 7 years ago
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Latest Discussions Started by DavidMcC

The lamprey's median eye. - last commented 21 April 2011 08:37 AM

Instant bipedalism? - last commented 18 October 2010 12:10 PM

A new silent catastrophe in the next few days? - last commented 29 June 2010 03:06 PM

Greatest Show on Earth - a quibble. - last commented 24 January 2012 01:16 PM

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Latest Comments by DavidMcC

Go to: Morality without 'Free Will'

DavidMcC's Avatar Jump to comment 1001 by DavidMcC

Comment 1000 by keith

No sensible person is arguing that we can somehow escape determinism.

You are obviously a "hard" determinist, who believes that our lives were determined at the big bang, on the basis that time only happens once, presumably. Hard determinism is nonsense .

But being open to coercion and being able to act in something other than an instinctive way is surely the definition of free will, at least Dennett's slimmed down version.

No, because coercion does not change your thoughts - it is forcing you to act against your own thinking. In other words, coercion is the expression of the free will of the coercer, but reduces the effective free will of the coerced.

Thu, 16 Aug 2012 09:35:26 UTC | #950866

Go to: Cleric says polio vaccination 'un-islamic', warns of jihad against docs

DavidMcC's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by DavidMcC

Hmm.... Exploiting the Abbottabad incident, perhaps?:

ABC News

It has since been reported the CIA used a fake international polio eradication program as a front to track the fugitive terrorist leader down in the city of Abbottabad.

Fri, 15 Jun 2012 13:59:22 UTC | #947568

Go to: Where We Split from Sharks: Common Ancestor Comes Into Focus

DavidMcC's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by DavidMcC

Interesting. The lack of large fossil remains suggests that not only was the head shark-like, but the skeleton was, too, in that it must have been cartillaginous, not bony (otherwise, you might expect to find more substantial fossils). Also, head evolution was always going to be more reliable than scales and spines as a guide to evolution, because of what heads tell about the brain, and because the brain is less wont to sudden and dramatic evolutionary changes than scales or spines. Ironically, by similar reasoning, Acanthodes are more likely to have evolved from a lamprey-like agnathan than from a bony-headed agnathan (the ostracoderms), because lampreys also have a cartillaginous skeleton, and only have a little bit of bone-like material (the rasping tongue).

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 11:52:07 UTC | #947381

Go to: A universe without purpose

DavidMcC's Avatar Jump to comment 87 by DavidMcC

Comment 86 by Retusa :

Comment 30 Alan4discussion"If my hammer breaks and I finish knocking in the nail with a rock, I have given the rock a purpose"I'd be more inclined to say you've found a use for the rock, 'purpose' is a goal or aim: 'use' is employment for or toward a purpose. Either way, the rock doesn't have a single use or purpose.

Quite so. Unless, of course, it's a rock that doesn't like nails. :-)

Tue, 01 May 2012 11:49:43 UTC | #938628

Go to: Evolutionary equivalents of human intelligence

DavidMcC's Avatar Jump to comment 33 by DavidMcC

Comment 30 by GreatWhiteShark

But to suggest it stands alone as some special adaptation, worthy of note above others is I think wrong.

Perhaps what made it seem so "special" was its chance synergy with other traits we have, such as manual skills, social nature and playfulness, and being terrestial, so that use of fire is not ruled out. Thus we became "powerful", and think highly of ourselves as a result.

Mon, 30 Apr 2012 11:02:17 UTC | #938326

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