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Comments by Rawhard Dickins

Go to: Celebrating Curiosity on Twitter

Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 35 by Rawhard Dickins

alan4

While this is true, I think we would also have to get rid of ignorant selfish corrupt governments and anti-science evangelists in those areas

The problem is more fundamental than this, it's why evolution works, it's how we got here, think petri dishes and bacteria!

It doesn't matter how many laws are passed and how many agencies try to help, there will always be a fringe that suffers in the long term. Complete enforced sterilisation would be the only solution, and not one I would advocate although it would reduce suffering.

Tue, 07 Aug 2012 14:13:51 UTC | #950494

Go to: Celebrating Curiosity on Twitter

Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by Rawhard Dickins

Steve Zara

If there really was a great desire to get rid of starvation in the world it could easily be done by halving defence budgets and putting taxes on the rich back to what they were only decades ago. The amount of money tucked away overseas in tax havens is trillions of dollars.

  • then the population would expand and move the sustainable boundary.
  • How do you stop those on the fringes of sustainability from reproducing? We are bound by the underlying principles.

    I agree with taxing, the gap between rich and poor is getting disgustingly big.

    And the contrast between Macdonald's and the starving has been pointed out many times!

    Tue, 07 Aug 2012 06:25:13 UTC | #950478

    Go to: Celebrating Curiosity on Twitter

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by Rawhard Dickins

    Coldthinker

    The cruel reality of evolution is something we have to mitigate for the benefit of all sentient life, but there are always those who will short circuit the system. Pregnancy is difficult to control so there will always be those that push the boundaries into unsustainable areas and pay the cost.

    Mon, 06 Aug 2012 22:04:36 UTC | #950467

    Go to: Celebrating Curiosity on Twitter

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by Rawhard Dickins

    The achievement is amazing especially considering the multi-stage landing sequence that was straight out of science fiction!

    Humanity has to be allowed to have a "sharp end" even if some are starving, unfortunately there will always be some on the fringes of survival, it's fundamental to how evolution works. Contraception helps if allowed but we are slaves to the underlying principles.

    The variation in human achievement and attitude must be a reflection of our diverse evolved history.

    Mon, 06 Aug 2012 17:18:17 UTC | #950442

    Go to: We Are Viral From the Beginning

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by Rawhard Dickins

    Our maker was not so grand!

    Sat, 16 Jun 2012 14:32:30 UTC | #947703

    Go to: The Dark-Matter Ages

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by Rawhard Dickins

    Most of the US population believe in utterly laughable fairy tales that were told by uneducated ancient tribes.

    The science community must feel marginalised and hanging by a thread.

    Strange how cars stop when you press the pedal and how food gets hot in the microwave. Shouldn't that have something to do with who you pray to, which direction you point when you so and the content of your mumblings?

    Fri, 15 Jun 2012 01:04:35 UTC | #947504

    Go to: Belief In God Plummets Among Youth (CHART)

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by Rawhard Dickins

    Figures look high still, a question like "how do you think it all started" or similar may be more revealing!

    Thu, 14 Jun 2012 13:00:08 UTC | #947396

    Go to: In U.S., 46% Hold Creationist View of Human Origins

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 44 by Rawhard Dickins

    85% are lazy thinkers, unwilling or unable to absorb modern knowledge, so the simple answer is - god did it and presumably he created himself first or equally illogically he was there all the time!

    How can that lack of logic reside in the minds of 85% of the population of the most advanced country in the world?

    Watch out America, you may not be at the top of the pile forever! Flaws in the education system, particularly private religious schools in the US and UK need addressing with haste or dreamwalk at peril!

    But don't expect radical changes, the opium of the people there for a reason.

    Mon, 11 Jun 2012 22:17:55 UTC | #946945

    Go to: Major Threat to Religion? Clergy People Coming Out as Atheists

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by Rawhard Dickins

    Perhaps a large number of non-believing clergy will be the norm in the future, but as Hitch use to say there is no deed that a religious person can do that can't be done by a non-religious person. (paraphrasing desperately) So there is no need for the badge of religion other than that they are already well embedded in communities and in a position where they may be of some use.

    Mon, 11 Jun 2012 19:10:36 UTC | #946917

    Go to: Dispatches from the birth of the Universe: sometimes science gets lucky

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Rawhard Dickins

    Noise seen on TV sets is almost entirely dominated by noise generated internally, probably more so on earlier sets. Nowadays you should see or hear a slight difference if you unplug the aerial. This is rather misleading but gets people thinking outside "the box" !

    Mon, 04 Jun 2012 11:34:17 UTC | #945453

    Go to: In U.S., 46% Hold Creationist View of Human Origins

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by Rawhard Dickins

    .. and god made himself .. . right!

    Mon, 04 Jun 2012 00:12:55 UTC | #945374

    Go to: Moody Bible Radio Discovers 'The Clergy Project' - interview with Teresa MacBain

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by Rawhard Dickins

    Absolutely nothing of any value from Karl Payne! Laughable!

    Wed, 30 May 2012 16:34:58 UTC | #944541

    Go to: Stone-Throwing Chimp Thinks Ahead

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Rawhard Dickins

    If he found religion too, that could be a bad combination!

    Mon, 14 May 2012 20:17:29 UTC | #941473

    Go to: How was airline bomb made to be 'undetectable'?

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Rawhard Dickins

    Religion taken to extreme!

    Tue, 08 May 2012 22:39:29 UTC | #940626

    Go to: Family Battle Offers Look Inside Lavish TV Ministry

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 34 by Rawhard Dickins

    People need protecting from many aspects of religion, not only in childhood.

    Sun, 06 May 2012 14:13:50 UTC | #940159

    Go to: National Day of Reason

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Rawhard Dickins

    You really can't argue with the word reason, what an excellent choice.

    Sat, 05 May 2012 00:00:33 UTC | #939792

    Go to: One in seven thinks end of world is coming

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 35 by Rawhard Dickins

    Watch out for epidemic and meteorites!

    Fri, 04 May 2012 08:14:44 UTC | #939581

    Go to: One in seven thinks end of world is coming

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Rawhard Dickins

    Something to do with Andromeda isn't it?

    Fri, 04 May 2012 00:35:25 UTC | #939483

    Go to: Patrick Coffin, with Edward Feser, Receive a Call from Sean Faircloth of the RDFRS (US)

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 38 by Rawhard Dickins

    Fundamental to any argument from the religious is the assertion that god has always been there.

    While ever this infantile way of thinking exists, debates will only be useful for the entertainment that they provide, because any derivation that follows from the assertion is ungrounded.

    Thu, 03 May 2012 09:24:52 UTC | #939289

    Go to: Come Ye Out From Among Them, 3 former preachers talk about Coming Out.

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by Rawhard Dickins

    When I hear all that talk about being tempted by the flesh, it reminds me of this thought: There's only one or two really important things that your parents, grandparents, and great, great grandparents did: They ate, and they had intercourse. The rest of it is fairly unimportant, and if you could bestow 3 wishes upon your children, these would be the first two, so the sooner we get over the hangups the better!

    Tue, 01 May 2012 11:29:27 UTC | #938623

    Go to: U.K.'s Royal Society Finds No 'Silver Bullet' for Population Issues

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by Rawhard Dickins

    Populations are limited by the environment, and it will be no different for humans.

    Even those on the fringes of sustainability will do their best to survive, reproduce and push those fringes ever wider and larger, and for these reasons I believe that much of the work done by the charities is ultimately futile.

    Added to this is the desire of many religious groups to succeed by either out-populating others or having such ill-informed family planning as to have the same effect.

    Sadly much of the human race is destined to proceed with the sort of suffering that applies to the rest of the animal kingdom, perhaps the only difference is that humans have the added torment of knowing that it is happening.

    For those of us in the better parts of the developed world, enjoy it while you can!

    Mon, 30 Apr 2012 07:44:13 UTC | #938297

    Go to: Dear E. O. Wilson: Please retire or stick to ants

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 93 by Rawhard Dickins

    Excellent posts from everyone!

    Fri, 27 Apr 2012 10:51:09 UTC | #937663

    Go to: Dear E. O. Wilson: Please retire or stick to ants

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 83 by Rawhard Dickins

    "a gene only spreads when it's good for its self"

    I assume you mean that it is being good for it's own copies, the gene itself could end up in the belly of a predator but any of the group beyond immediate kin could benefit. You could call it selfish as it is only looking after its type, it would survive because as long as it is in the population other "guardian angel" copies of the same gene will be there to ensure its survival.

    As kin selection works, I assume the same mechanisms work across the entire group, not just down the generations.

    It's interesting that a gene that say, makes an animal more likely to vocalise when there is danger gets fixed in the population. The effect is not good for the individual or its copy of the gene, but good for the entire group's survival relative to the external population.

    Thu, 26 Apr 2012 14:49:53 UTC | #937484

    Go to: Dear E. O. Wilson: Please retire or stick to ants

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 81 by Rawhard Dickins

    If this appears to be the case then can anyone tell me why this is not group selection? i.e. Certain genes survive because they are good for the group, and the group will at some level be interrelated.

    Thu, 26 Apr 2012 10:42:51 UTC | #937436

    Go to: Dear E. O. Wilson: Please retire or stick to ants

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 79 by Rawhard Dickins

    Is altruism only sustainable within evolution when the recipient is offspring as opposed to say, cousins?

    Thu, 26 Apr 2012 08:14:08 UTC | #937413

    Go to: Dear E. O. Wilson: Please retire or stick to ants

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 63 by Rawhard Dickins

    Jos

    I accept that genes appear to act in a selfish way but the gene's effect can be widespread as in The Extended Phenotype. Wide ranging effects affect other individuals and if this is beneficial it could be said to be altruistic and the individual may benefit by reciprocity.

    In what way would this not fit the definition of group selection?

    Tue, 24 Apr 2012 16:47:18 UTC | #937035

    Go to: Dear E. O. Wilson: Please retire or stick to ants

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 60 by Rawhard Dickins

    Can anyone explain then why altruism exists in unintelligent species?

    Altruism is behind Kin and group selection so are these modes actually the same thing separated only by degree? We are all cousins!

    Altruism undoubtedly helps the success of families and groups, and this effects which genes succeed, i.e. the genes from individuals that bestow a benefit within groups. Uncooperative freeloaders may begin to dominate a group but the group may fail en-mass, but cooperative groups may succeed if say, the cost of a squark when danger looms, or the danger of being noticed is negligible, i.e. lost in the noise of other factors, and less detrimental than beneficial. Freeloaders and altruists within a group would in this case have a level playing field, but success would occur differentially between groups of varying ratios, leading to a higher prevalence of altruism.

    Altruism may also work when carried along with other factors that ensure its survival, symbiotic, or pleiotropic traits, one of which would be of benefit to offspring or cousins and the altruistic individual would benefit from reciprocity where the gene had become established in an environment that may not necessarily select against it.

    If anyone can comment or add to this I would be grateful.

    BTW on a different note. I think it's a little unkind in the way that academics have rallied against E.O. Wilson, I think a somewhat softer approach could have been given to this gentleman in his twilight years.

    And one other thing that has come across on these pages (and this is in no way meant to blow my own rather small trumpet), is the immense detail that makes up the subject of evolution, the level and depth of knowledge of its every fold is quite staggering and should put any denier or god-of-the-gaps theorist to shame for their glaring ignorance.

    Tue, 24 Apr 2012 14:37:23 UTC | #937004

    Go to: Why do French intellectuals "know nothing about science"?

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 32 by Rawhard Dickins

    Those Cro-Magnons would turn in their grave!

    Mon, 23 Apr 2012 13:56:33 UTC | #936685

    Go to: Dear E. O. Wilson: Please retire or stick to ants

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by Rawhard Dickins

    When a mutation promoting altruism is passed to offspring, surely those offspring would have an immediate advantage?

    Sun, 22 Apr 2012 09:20:32 UTC | #936428

    Go to: Dear E. O. Wilson: Please retire or stick to ants

    Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by Rawhard Dickins

    Does this not depend on the definition of an organism? In Smith's haystacks, individuals have to cooperate to form a successful group, although the real world may look like a farmyard after a hurricane with a carpet of shallow peaks and troughs representing a degree of segregation.

    Some of the actual individuals will have survived the successful pressure-cooker environments of the haystacks (excuse metaphors) and temporarily become the mobile germ-line for the cluster and altruism is hence selected for because haystacks with largely uncooperative individuals don't succeed. Individuals benefit from clustering and don't spread in a run away fashion.

    Sun, 22 Apr 2012 06:10:32 UTC | #936414