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How old is the human race?

post #1 of 101
Thread Starter 
I have a very simple question. How old is the human race?

If one answers that question from a religious perspective, then the human race is approximately 6,000 to 15,000 years old (depending on the time scale biblical events are viewed).

If one approaches it from a non-religious perspective, is it safe to assume that the human race is significantly older 15,000 years old? If that assumption is correct, then why aren't we more advanced then what we are? Why isn't there more evidence that the human race existed 50,000 years ago?

Was there a major evolutionary change recently (within the biblical perspective time frame) that was the catalyst for the enormous growth of the human race?

Thoughts/opinions?

Dave
post #2 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

If one answers that question from a religious perspective, then the human race is approximately 6,000 to 15,000 years old (depending on the time scale biblical events are viewed).

Fair enough, we haven't done it for a while...the boys are getting tooled up in the pub and will be along shortly but meanwhile I take issue with your use of the term 'religious'.

You do not mean 'religious'. You do not even mean 'Christian' - or if you do then you are wrong....it is only a few (comparatively) Xian loons who think like this.

Many Christians don't. The vast majority of Muslims don't. Virtually NO Hindus do. And on....

The idea that the human race is 6 - 15k old is certifiably insane and is held only by the lunatic fringe of non-orthodox (mostly American) Christian cults or sects.

Carry on....oh, and there is plenty of evidence of human presence 50,000 years ago and earlier.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #3 of 101
It depends on whether you define human as the genus homo (several million years ago) or just the species homo sapiens (couple hundred thousand years ago).

But I sure hope the "religious perspective" can't be summed up as believing humans are only 6-15,000 years old. Hopefully that's just a whacky fringe of not-too-bright religious people.
post #4 of 101
Hello.

Anatomically modern human beings physically identical to you and I are about 200,000 years old (there's still some debate about where to draw the line between archaic homo sapiens and proper homo sapiens sapiens, but marrying the genetic evidence and the archeological record, of fossils and tools, gives us something like 200,000 years.)

It's also a tiny bit more complicated because there's no evidence for uniquely human behaviour like ritual, evidencing symbolic thought, older than 70,000 years but judging by the tools we were making and the way we were living socially, we were evidently capable of complex language and passing information around culturally something like 30 thousand years + before that.

Apparently we left Africa by about 100,000 years ago. We'd colonised the Pacific Rim and the landmass that Australia was part of by about 50,000+ years ago, Europe about 40,000 and the Americas something like 15,000 - 20,000 years ago (there's a lot of controversy there too.)
post #5 of 101
Oh, and something I find really, really fascinating is that when homo sapiens sapiens left Africa, there were four different varieties of human beings alive at the same time: us, neanderthalis, erectus and floriensis. Cool. Neanderthal people were alive in the south of Europe until 20,000 years ago, which is nothing. We must have co-existed with them for some 20,000 years or so in Europe. Crazy.
post #6 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

why aren't we more advanced then what we are?

I have often thought along these lines. We have been here a very long time, and I wonder why we just ran around for hundreds of thousands of years throwing spears (ok I know gross simplification) before we decided to do something.

It does suprise me though how much people knew at the turn of the age of pisces, and in reality, it has only been the last 200 years that western civilization became more advanced than our ancient ancestors. Of course, the Islamic and Chinese empires continued to flourish while we spent millenia destroying ourselves, but I wonder why it was that they didn't discover electricity - or atleast develop it - there are examples of electroplating in Baghdad from 2000 years ago - and robots and mechanics in Greek - very cool.

I also think that there is the possibility that civilizations developed pre-ice age that became somewhat advanced, but were erased by the climate conditions. Atlantis anyone?
post #7 of 101
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hassan i Sabbah View Post

Hello.

Anatomically modern human beings physically identical to you and I are about 200,000 years old (there's still some debate about where to draw the line between archaic homo sapiens and proper homo sapiens sapiens, but marrying the genetic evidence and the archeological record, of fossils and tools, gives us something like 200,000 years.)

It's also a tiny bit more complicated because there's no evidence for uniquely human behaviour like ritual, evidencing symbolic thought, older than 70,000 years but judging by the tools we were making and the way we were living socially, we were evidently capable of complex language and passing information around culturally something like 30 thousand years + before that.

Apparently we left Africa by about 100,000 years ago. We'd colonised the Pacific Rim and the landmass that Australia was part of by about 50,000+ years ago, Europe about 40,000 and the Americas something like 15,000 - 20,000 years ago (there's a lot of controversy there too.)

Thanks for replying. This question came up a short while ago when I met a friend for coffee. Both of us had lots to say but had very little facts to back up what we were discussing.

Any links to share?
post #8 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

I have a very simple question. How old is the human race?

If one answers that question from a religious perspective, then the human race is approximately 6,000 to 15,000 years old (depending on the time scale biblical events are viewed).

If one approaches it from a non-religious perspective, is it safe to assume that the human race is significantly older 15,000 years old? If that assumption is correct, then why aren't we more advanced then what we are? Why isn't there more evidence that the human race existed 50,000 years ago?

Was there a major evolutionary change recently (within the biblical perspective time frame) that was the catalyst for the enormous growth of the human race?

Thoughts/opinions?

Dave

But briefly look into DNA sequencing (of a specific human at a cost of ~$10M) and increased genetic variation of the human species than was previously thought, the current interglacial (and a relatively stable climate with domestication of crops and animals), megavolcano Toba (~70+ KYBP population bottleneck and reduced genetic variability of homo sapiens).

How much of the fossil record exists today from all life that preceded the present, and how much of that fossil record has been dug up to date AND dated properly, to what dating accuracy, and how complete are these individual fossils???

Personally, I don't think we are currently technologically advanced, we don't even have a stable population or a sustainable ecosystem. I think, by and large, homo sapiens are as stupid as we have ever been, perhaps more so now than ever before, given the current rate of population growth, per capita fossil fuel usage/growth. For myself the "glass of humanity" will always be half empty, until such time that our species "wakes up" ecologically speaking.
Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
Reply
post #9 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hassan i Sabbah View Post

Oh, and something I find really, really fascinating is that when homo sapiens sapiens left Africa, there were four different varieties of human beings alive at the same time: us, neanderthalis, erectus and floriensis. Cool. Neanderthal people were alive in the south of Europe until 20,000 years ago, which is nothing. We must have co-existed with them for some 20,000 years or so in Europe. Crazy.

Have you seen the recent report that states that human evolution is occuring faster than ever and it wont be long before we split into 2 species?
post #10 of 101
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK View Post

Have you seen the recent report that states that human evolution is occuring faster than ever and it wont be long before we split into 2 species?

Is that the split where one group will be pretty and other other ugly (or something like it).
post #11 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

Is that the split where one group will be pretty and other other ugly (or something like it).

no, that wasnt it, but I have seen that one as well.
post #12 of 101
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

You do not mean 'religious'. You do not even mean 'Christian' - or if you do then you are wrong....it is only a few (comparatively) Xian loons who think like this.

Many Christians don't. The vast majority of Muslims don't. Virtually NO Hindus do. And on....

The idea that the human race is 6 - 15k old is certifiably insane and is held only by the lunatic fringe of non-orthodox (mostly American) Christian cults or sects.

Nope. You are wrong. The majority of Christian dominations throughout the world officially teach a "young earth" and a "young human race" regardless of what their members think.
post #13 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

Thanks for replying. This question came up a short while ago when I met a friend for coffee. Both of us had lots to say but had very little facts to back up what we were discussing.

Any links to share?

Cool. There's loads of evidence, incidentally, that's really interesting. Where franksargent talks about the 'population bottleneck' he's referring to the fact that human beings are genetically really, really similar.

I mean, unusually similar: there's more genetic diversity between two chimps on different sides of a river than there is between two random people taken from Norway and indigenous Australia. It means that at some point there were only a few thousand genetically viable (breedin' ) pairs of people. I can't remember the exact date we get when we look at the mitochondrial DNA evidence, but it coincides with some really interesting archeological evidence.

I'll find some links when I get a minute... I have to go out for sushi now...
post #14 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hassan i Sabbah View Post

Oh, and something I find really, really fascinating is that when homo sapiens sapiens left Africa, there were four different varieties of human beings alive at the same time: us, neanderthalis, erectus and floriensis. Cool. Neanderthal people were alive in the south of Europe until 20,000 years ago, which is nothing. We must have co-existed with them for some 20,000 years or so in Europe. Crazy.

Apparently, the gene that causes red-hair came straight from interbreeding between Neandethals and us.
post #15 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

But briefly look into DNA sequencing (of a specific human at a cost of ~$10M) and increased genetic variation of the human species than was previously thought, the current interglacial (and a relatively stable climate with domestication of crops and animals), megavolcano Toba (~70+ KYBP population bottleneck and reduced genetic variability of homo sapiens).

How much of the fossil record exists today from all life that preceded the present, and how much of that fossil record has been dug up to date AND dated properly, to what dating accuracy, and how complete are these individual fossils???

Personally, I don't think we are currently technologically advanced, we don't even have a stable population or a sustainable ecosystem. I think, by and large, homo sapiens are as stupid as we have ever been, perhaps more so now than ever before, given the current rate of population growth, per capita fossil fuel usage/growth. For myself the "glass of humanity" will always be half empty, until such time that our species "wakes up" ecologically speaking.

This is really interesting too... I think the archeology and genetic studies marry too well for it to be coincidence and we're getting more accurate all the time... I think we can trust the dates, if we're open-minded enough to revise them, although I don't think we can see them changing enormously.

On another note, I think we're very advanced technologically, although those advances wouldn't have been very useful or even things our deep ancestors would have aspired to given how different our culture has become. We were hunters and gatherers for a very long time (95% of our history as a species!) and were apparently quite happy...
post #16 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK View Post

Have you seen the recent report that states that human evolution is occuring faster than ever and it wont be long before we split into 2 species?

Yeah, cool... but if I don't go now I will be In Trouble x
post #17 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hassan i Sabbah View Post

Yeah, cool... but if I don't go now I will be In Trouble x

Shes going to go neandethal on you
post #18 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK View Post

I have often thought along these lines. We have been here a very long time, and I wonder why we just ran around for hundreds of thousands of years throwing spears (ok I know gross simplification) before we decided to do something.

It does suprise me though how much people knew at the turn of the age of pisces, and in reality, it has only been the last 200 years that western civilization became more advanced than our ancient ancestors. Of course, the Islamic and Chinese empires continued to flourish while we spent millenia destroying ourselves, but I wonder why it was that they didn't discover electricity - or atleast develop it - there are examples of electroplating in Baghdad from 2000 years ago - and robots and mechanics in Greek - very cool.

I also think that there is the possibility that civilizations developed pre-ice age that became somewhat advanced, but were erased by the climate conditions. Atlantis anyone?

Ooh, just saw this... there's a good answer for this. It's to do with the invention of agriculture and the aspirations of hunting and gathering cultures. ..
post #19 of 101
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hassan i Sabbah View Post

This is really interesting too...

I agree!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hassan i Sabbah View Post

On another note, I think we're very advanced technologically, although those advances wouldn't have been very useful or even things our deep ancestors would have aspired to given how different our culture has become. We were hunters and gatherers for a very long time (95% of our history as a species!) and were apparently quite happy...

That is why I asked was there a major evolutionary change to prompt the human race to move from hunters and gathers to an industrial race.
post #20 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hassan i Sabbah View Post

Ooh, just saw this... there's a good answer for this. It's to do with the invention of agriculture and the aspirations of hunting and gathering cultures. ..

yes, I was thinking along those lines, and also that you need a critical-mass number of bodies, which allows a small percentage of them to devote time to technology -
post #21 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

Nope. You are wrong. The majority of Christian dominations throughout the world officially teach a "young earth" and a "young human race" regardless of what their members think.

No, you are wrong, and in fact it's just the opposite from what you say: Many (mostly American) members of Christian churches believe in a young earth, but as far as I know, no major Christian denomination officially endorses such a position.
post #22 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hassan i Sabbah View Post

Oh, and something I find really, really fascinating is that when homo sapiens sapiens left Africa, there were four different varieties of human beings alive at the same time: us, neanderthalis, erectus and floriensis. Cool. Neanderthal people were alive in the south of Europe until 20,000 years ago, which is nothing. We must have co-existed with them for some 20,000 years or so in Europe. Crazy.

And we probably killed them. It wouldn't be the only species we made extinct. Kind of amazing, because they look like real brutes. Maybe they tasted good.
post #23 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

No, you are wrong, and in fact it's just the opposite from what you say: Many (mostly American) members of Christian churches believe in a young earth, but as far as I know, no Christian denomination officially endorses such a position.

Is this really wrong though?

Certainly they all will read from the Bible, and it is done without clarifying the allegory, you dont ever come across sunday-schools teasing out the nuances of the text when teaching the kids - because they do not possess the skills to understand - so they take it literally,

amongst adults, the text is read as is, and if the interpretation of this is left to the individual, some will understand it as allegory, while others take it literally. What they are teaching is more of a reinforcement of what you already understand.

Indeed, all churches teach young earth and creationism, because at the level of understanding of an 8 year old, that is what it says. Its a shame that many of the adults have no better understanding than an 8 year old.
post #24 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

That is why I asked was there a major evolutionary change to prompt the human race to move from hunters and gathers to an industrial race.

cant remember what timescale it happened, but the reason we are so smart, is because there was a gene mutation that caused our brains to develop for 3 times longer than previously.
post #25 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK View Post

Is this really wrong though?

Certainly they all will read from the Bible, and it is done without clarifying the allegory, you dont ever come across sunday-schools teasing out the nuances of the text when teaching the kids - because they do not possess the skills to understand - so they take it literally,

amongst adults, the text is read as is, and if the interpretation of this is left to the individual, some will understand it as allegory, while others take it literally. What they are teaching is more of a reinforcement of what you already understand.

Indeed, all churches teach young earth and creationism, because at the level of understanding of an 8 year old, that is what it says. Its a shame that many of the adults have no better understanding than an 8 year old.

We may need to distinguish between what/how they teach and what their official positions are. Depending on how they teach, who teaches, who listens, etc., they may encourage young earth beliefs. But when they have their official bodies look at evolution, and many denominations have, they end up endorsing it, even if they still say "but God started it" or "but God was involved." There may be some exceptions to that, but I've looked into it in the past for these debates, and all of the major denominations that I found, including Catholicism and the mainline Protestant denominations, have ended up endorsing evolution at some level.
post #26 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

We may need to distinguish between what/how they teach and what their official positions are. Depending on how they teach, who teaches, who listens, etc., they may encourage young earth beliefs. But when they have their official bodies look at evolution, and many denominations have, they end up endorsing it, even if they still say "but God started it" or "but God was involved." There may be some exceptions to that, but I've looked into it in the past for these debates, and all of the major denominations that I found, including Catholicism and the mainline Protestant denominations, have ended up endorsing evolution at some level.

I understand your point completely, but my point is - is that if you take anyone - in the highest position you can get, of any denomination - the teaching you will get from them 1 on 1, is completely dependant upon your capability to understand. The same words will mean completely different things to different people.

The teaching in groups or churches is always done at the lowest common denominator level, regardless of the official position of the body, so that those of limited capability are included and do not become scared. For some people, this is all they need to hear, others will reject this, and either leave or may go on to discover the allegory.

I grapple with the problem of what is 'compassionate' teaching and what is dangerous. Its a very fine line.
post #27 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

We may need to distinguish between what/how they teach and what their official positions are. Depending on how they teach, who teaches, who listens, etc., they may encourage young earth beliefs. But when they have their official bodies look at evolution, and many denominations have, they end up endorsing it, even if they still say "but God started it" or "but God was involved." There may be some exceptions to that, but I've looked into it in the past for these debates, and all of the major denominations that I found, including Catholicism and the mainline Protestant denominations, have ended up endorsing evolution at some level.

Yes exactly, and of course it takes a certain type of mindset to fly totally in the face of actual evidence such as dinosaur fossils etc.

I do not think that there are many religious bodies or believers (outside the fundie heartlands of the US) that would seriously argue for the co-existence of dinosaurs and humans as well as the literal creation in 7 days of a 24 hour period; and that is essentially what the young earth belief boils down to - only they don't phrase it like that.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #28 of 101
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK View Post

Indeed, all churches teach young earth and creationism, because at the level of understanding of an 8 year old, that is what it says. Its a shame that many of the adults have no better understanding than an 8 year old.

Talk about painting with a broad brush! You don't really think that all theologians have the understanding of an 8 year old do you? Have you ever read "The City of God" by St. Augustine or Martin Luther's "Large Catechism"? Definitely not 8 year old material.
post #29 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK View Post

I understand your point completely, but my point is - is that if you take anyone - in the highest position you can get, of any denomination - the teaching you will get from them 1 on 1, is completely dependant upon your capability to understand. The same words will mean completely different things to different people.

The teaching in groups or churches is always done at the lowest common denominator level, regardless of the official position of the body, so that those of limited capability are included and do not become scared. For some people, this is all they need to hear, others will reject this, and either leave or may go on to discover the allegory.

I grapple with the problem of what is 'compassionate' teaching and what is dangerous. Its a very fine line.

Imo, all religious teaching should essentially be experiential - ie it should say 'this is how you get X' and should provide the methodology for specific 'spiritual' results.

Anything that cannot be shown in this way should be sidelined. Then there would be no need for faith or opinion. You may think that God cannot be demonstrated in this way and I guess you'd be right but there are many spiritual states that could be through meditative or other ritual practice. Maybe that's enough, at least it would chill out the hotheads.

Failing that - which is I guess too over-optimistic - then at least such teaching should teach people to think for themselves and not defer to 'authorities'.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #30 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Yes exactly, and of course it takes a certain type of mindset to fly totally in the face of actual evidence such as dinosaur fossils etc.

I do not think that there are many religious bodies or believers (outside the fundie heartlands of the US) that would seriously argue for the co-existence of dinosaurs and humans as well as the literal creation in 7 days of a 24 hour period; and that is essentially what the young earth belief boils down to - only they don't phrase it like that.

I know weve had some fun with the fundies in the past, but do you think its possible, that the reason they say the things they do, is not because they're fools, but because their compassion is to fish for those who are simply not capable of hearing anything else at that particular point in their lives?
post #31 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

Talk about painting with a broad brush! You don't really think that all theologians have the understanding of an 8 year old do you? Have you ever read "The City of God" by St. Augustine or Martin Luther's "Large Catechism"? Definitely not 8 year old material.

12/14 at a push..... Luther was an arch anti-semite which definitely has the ring of the juvenile and Augustine...well..... I think it wouldn't be too hard to find far less pedestrian thinkers amongst most junior schools - not in the US or UK maybe but it's doable.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #32 of 101
New theory that cooking sped up brain development. Cooked protein is easy to digest. Our brain requires massive energy that can not be supplied by vegetables and fruit. Raw meat takes a long time to chew and digest and so does raw plant matter.
It does make some sense that since cooking became widespread human intellectual accomplishments have accelerated.
(Latest edition SciAm)
Unfortunately over consumption of protein has the affect that the brain is depleted of blood flow since the digestive tract will require more as well as the access body mass. Thus obesity could cause degenration.
post #33 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK View Post

I understand your point completely, but my point is - is that if you take anyone - in the highest position you can get, of any denomination - the teaching you will get from them 1 on 1, is completely dependant upon your capability to understand. The same words will mean completely different things to different people.

The teaching in groups or churches is always done at the lowest common denominator level, regardless of the official position of the body, so that those of limited capability are included and do not become scared. For some people, this is all they need to hear, others will reject this, and either leave or may go on to discover the allegory.

I grapple with the problem of what is 'compassionate' teaching and what is dangerous. Its a very fine line.

I guess I think it's possible to teach that the stories in the Bible are not scientific treatises, but stories meant to convey religious meaning. That's not a very hard concept. They just have to want to teach it that way, and if they see that as opening the door to a weaker faith, they may not want to.
post #34 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK View Post

I know weve had some fun with the fundies in the past, but do you think its possible, that the reason they say the things they do, is not because they're fools, but because their compassion is to fish for those who are simply not capable of hearing anything else at that particular point in their lives?

Anything's possible - the universe is an amazing place!

It's not so good to generalize I think, I know I do all the time but not in real life. I've met many fundies who were not fools and compassionate as you say. I think many really do want to help like that - I've rarely known this to apply to the leaders though, mostly only the flock. Hahah - I always laugh when I hear 'flock' hahah...ahem.....

Seriously anything can lead to 'enlightenment' don't you think? Anything at all....atheism, Islam, Pastafarianism, Falwell...even Bush....it's just that it very rarely does.....it's not about the teacher, it's all about the student. If you can see it then you can see it in anything....

So they say....
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #35 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamac View Post

New theory that cooking sped up brain development. Cooked protein is easy to digest. Our brain requires massive energy that can not be supplied by vegetables and fruit. Raw meat takes a long time to chew and digest and so does raw plant matter.
It does make some sense that since cooking became widespread human intellectual accomplishments have accelerated.
(Latest edition SciAm)
Unfortunately over consumption of protein has the affect that the brain is depleted of blood flow since the digestive tract will require more as well as the access body mass. Thus obesity could cause degenration.

thus we could envisage a situation where those that do have the gene set that can make advantage of modern life will adapt and prosper, while those that do not will degenerate.
post #36 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

Talk about painting with a broad brush! You don't really think that all theologians have the understanding of an 8 year old do you? Have you ever read "The City of God" by St. Augustine or Martin Luther's "Large Catechism"? Definitely not 8 year old material.

No, what i really meant, was that if you take an 8 year old kid and get them to ask their 'teacher' if God really made the universe in 6 days, then the most compassionate answer might be to say Yes. (I wouldn't but hey)

Obviously, if you take an adult and get him to ask the same teacher the same question, then most of the time, the answer should be a qualified No. But there are times when I think the compassionate answer to an adult might be Yes. (I wouldn't, but....hey!!!!)

Same question, Same teacher, different answer. I dont think the theologians have the understanding of an 8 year old, but from the outside, their method of teaching is to imply what can be easily understood by an 8 year old.

Now is it right, that many adults are still believing the same things as they did at 8 years old?

Who's fault is that? the teacher or the learner, or is it no fault at all?

Is it right, that in situations, where a group exists at varying degrees of understanding, that the teaching is only available at the lowest common denominator? Is this a correct understanding of the situation?- maybe you can teach everyone to their level at the same time, with the same words?
post #37 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Anything's possible - the universe is an amazing place!

It's not so good to generalize I think, I know I do all the time but not in real life. I've met many fundies who were not fools and compassionate as you say. I think many really do want to help like that - I've rarely known this to apply to the leaders though, mostly only the flock. Hahah - I always laugh when I hear 'flock' hahah...ahem.....

Seriously anything can lead to 'enlightenment' don't you think? Anything at all....atheism, Islam, Pastafarianism, Falwell...even Bush....it's just that it very rarely does.....it's not about the teacher, it's all about the student. If you can see it then you can see it in anything....

So they say....

But what if the flock actually need the hero figure that we dispise to put them in the right frame of mind to go out and do the genuinely compassionate things. Aren't we then the fools for not realising that the way things are set up, are there for a reason - that more good arises from the evil, than the evil creates evil itself.

Apologies for using the terms good and evil, its just easier to understand!
post #38 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK View Post

But what if the flock actually need the hero figure that we dispise to put them in the right frame of mind to go out and do the genuinely compassionate things. Aren't we then the fools for not realising that the way things are set up, are there for a reason - that more good arises from the evil, than the evil creates evil itself.

Apologies for using the terms good and evil, its just easier to understand!

But it doesn't work like that does it? Nine times out of ten the 'leader' is a homophobic racist intent on fleecing them of their cash or else just a common or garden bigot.

On one level people like Dawkins and Hitchens (ok, maybe not Hitchens as he is just a wingnut quasi-fascist with barely the intelligence of a syphilitic mandrill stuffed to the gills with GHB and recovering from a full-frontal lobotomy) are actually right in their criticism of religion - there does seem to be an inordinate level of nutters and bigots involved.

No-one needs a 'leader' who just teaches them to hate. People who do compassionate things do so anyway regardless of their religious perspective - religion seems to stop them if anything because they feel they are 'right'.

I'm not sure things are 'set-up' either....seems the evidence for randomness is pretty overhwhelming...
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #39 of 101
Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey

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The Journey of Man is a documentary that talks about our evolution, our recent history, and how we came to be to the way we are today. It looks at the Y chromosome, that's passed down from male to male, and tracks the marker mutations to map our ancestors' journey. It's how we conquered the Earth in just the last 59,000 years.

As far as I'll go on in this discussion. This documentary convinced me that we are all one of the same. The first and most important migration of mankind. Bookmark this link before this thread gets mired in religion and all that other crap. Enjoy.
post #40 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

But it doesn't work like that does it? Nine times out of ten the 'leader' is a homophobic racist intent on fleecing them of their cash or else just a common or garden bigot.

On one level people like Dawkins and Hitchens (ok, maybe not Hitchens as he is just a wingnut quasi-fascist with barely the intelligence of a syphilitic mandrill stuffed to the gills with GHB and recovering from a full-frontal lobotomy) are actually right in their criticism of religion - there does seem to be an inordinate level of nutters and bigots involved.

No-one needs a 'leader' who just teaches them to hate. People who do compassionate things do so anyway regardless of their religious perspective - religion seems to stop them if anything because they feel they are 'right'.

I'm not sure things are 'set-up' either....seems the evidence for randomness is pretty overhwhelming...

ok, im cracking open the yorkshire bitter, so things might deteriorate a bit from here on
Perhaps im just trying to rationalize 'teh bad' positively so I can make sense of it and nullify the fear.

I know that we perceive the leaders as you say they are, but thats because we have a bigger perspective of things, but the 'flock' dont perceive that, or else they wouldn't chose to be part of the flock, but as much as people claim they dont like to be duped, in actualality, its human nature to subconsciously chose to be duped all the time. The only problem arises when people realise the duping.

Maybe being fleeced of their cash and being duped is something that actually brings about the good in them? Obviously they dont consciously perceive it as such, and we rightly perceive it as bad, but could this system be designed to subconsiously harm people so to put themselves in equilibrium they genuinely seek out to do good?

Is it right, we perceive it as bad? Maybe if we were at a different level of understanding, we could perceive that something bad at the top, fleecin people, actually produces a whole lot of good, is not such a bad thing.

I dont actually believe that myself, but then there is the possibility that I do not fully appreciate the whole situation.

Anyway, I was wondering....if your daughter and her best friend comes over for tea, and they say to you chuffed to bits, "we were taught today that God made the universe in 7 days" - what do you say as a Father who loves his daughter - and doesn't want to upset her friend?
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