[2012-Jun-27] The Neil DeGrasse Tyson argument

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Re: [2012 June 27] The Neil DeGrasse Tyson argument

Postby MTGradwell » Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:42 am

Kaharz wrote:You know, if I was the supreme creator and I had singled out humans as being my favorites, I just wouldn't create other sentient beings that be inclined to wipe out humanity. And if I was the supreme creator who wanted a range of sentient species, I wouldn't make them so destructive that I had to have a huge more or less impassible void between them.

In short, your argument is dumb.


If you were the supreme creator then my argument would indeed be dumb. However, I strongly suspect that you are not the supreme creator.

Also, if species are only dangerous while in their infancy, which I strongly suspect, then the void only has to be impassible for as long as that infancy lasts. It's like a child's playpen. The bars are good enough to keep the child in only for a little while. When the child eventually climbs over them, that hopefully isn't a problem because by then the child has enough motor skills and common sense to avoid serious self-harm and/or destruction of property.
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Re: [2012 June 27] The Neil DeGrasse Tyson argument

Postby DonRetrasado » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:16 am

It sounds like you escaped the bars a little too early.[/sickburn]
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Re: [2012 June 27] The Neil DeGrasse Tyson argument

Postby Destructicus » Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:48 pm

Oldrac the Chitinous wrote:We're the product of natural selection, a process that rewards ruthlessness above all other virtues.
Not necessarily. It rewards adaptation to one's environment.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empathy#Ev ... of_empathy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_cooperation
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Re: [2012 June 27] The Neil DeGrasse Tyson argument

Postby Nope » Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:55 am

Oldrac the Chitinous wrote:
MTGradwell wrote:I personally think it stretches credibility that there could be another independently-evolved species anywhere in the universe as destructive as our own, but the point is that it works either way.


I don't much care for this kind of anti-human sentiment. We're the product of natural selection, a process that rewards ruthlessness above all other virtues.


Actually natural selection rewards genes that tend to exist in the next generation. This is why we tend to be altruistic/nice to people who live near us and close family members (they are more likely to be genetically similar, certain genes code for certain pheromones and behaviors that keep us from murdering each other for water and food).

In fact, human beings aren't particularly destructive, we are extraordinarily cooperative. Nothing we have achieved as a species could have been possible otherwise, particularly the existence of cities, scientific advancement, and even the artificial selection of other organisms (resulting in species or subspecies) groomed for particular purposes.

Also, humanity is not in its infancy, it is highly unlikely that humanity will have any genetic drift that will cause us to change as a species. Natural selection is an inherently conservative force, it operates under the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality. E.g., sharks have remained relatively the same for many millions of years, far longer than nearly any other organism on the planet. Most trees and grasses have remained relatively similar to each other for far longer than other organisms. Humanity has nothing to adapt to right now, no evolutionary pressure that we do not overcome with science and technology, thus natural selection will tend to keep humanity genetically stable.


Anyways, the problem with the anti-human sentiment isn't that all life is ruthless and destructive, its that life in general tends to be cooperative and peaceful, otherwise it wouldn't really succeed (even diseases, which we tend to think of as made for the purpose of killing us tend to be kept in check by natural selection, otherwise diseases would kill all their local hosts and die out).
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Re: [2012 June 27] The Neil DeGrasse Tyson argument

Postby Edminster » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:39 am

yes we cooperated with the passenger pigeon and the western black rhinocerous and the dodo and the great auk

wait sorry i meant 'hunted to extinction'

sorry the letters are just so close on the keyboard my fingers must have slipped

he wasn't referring to competition within the species you fucking dolts which you would have understood if you used your Context Clues and actually followed the conversation which was specifically about how man rose to become the dominant predator on every continent and whether we should presuppose that sapient starfaring extraterrestrial life would be equally warlike and rapacious as man is in a weak attempt to justify why YHWH would make such vast gulfs of hostile space between us and anything else that may share this universe with us or if that gulf is in fact there to protect them from us

christ i hate dumbshit anons who can't follow a simple thread of discussion

the only thing worse is reddit users but thank fuck i don't have to read the shit they call intellectual discourse or i'd have long since reached a fundamental agreement with the means and motives of teddy k
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Re: [2012 June 27] The Neil DeGrasse Tyson argument

Postby GUTCHUCKER » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:34 pm

Pardon me for intruding, but I don't like this concept of evolution 'rewarding' traits. Really traits are just more likely to persist if they do not somehow hinder or prevent themselves from persisting.
I'm not going to go into the thread's main argument because it is full of speculation about speculation about boring shit. Have fun with that.
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Re: [2012 June 27] The Neil DeGrasse Tyson argument

Postby Lethal Interjection » Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:13 pm

GUTCHUCKER wrote:Pardon me for intruding, but I don't like this concept of evolution 'rewarding' traits. Really traits are just more likely to persist if they do not somehow hinder or prevent themselves from persisting.
I'm not going to go into the thread's main argument because it is full of speculation about speculation about boring shit. Have fun with that.



But I think anything that is selectively bred within a species is certainly kind of a reward. Better than 'persisting' at any rate.
I mean, be it a brighter feathers, larger size, or anything else that offers a breeding/survival advantage would seem to me to essentially reward those traits by being passed along.
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Re: [2012 June 27] The Neil DeGrasse Tyson argument

Postby GUTCHUCKER » Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:49 pm

I dunno, in this context the word reward just bugs me. It seems to infer that somebody is doing it on purpose? Rather than a passive process.
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Re: [2012 June 27] The Neil DeGrasse Tyson argument

Postby DonRetrasado » Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:05 pm

Edminster wrote:the only thing worse is reddit users but thank fuck i don't have to read the shit they call intellectual discourse or i'd have long since reached a fundamental agreement with the means and motives of teddy k

already there Image
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Re: [2012 June 27] The Neil DeGrasse Tyson argument

Postby Oldrac the Chitinous » Sun Jul 01, 2012 5:24 pm

GUTCHUCKER wrote:I'm not going to go into the thread's main argument because it is full of speculation about speculation about boring shit. Have fun with that.


This seemed appropriate:
Image
Police said they spent some time working out if they could charge the man with being armed with a weapon, as technically he was armed with part of a fish.
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Re: [2012 June 27] The Neil DeGrasse Tyson argument

Postby GUTCHUCKER » Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:13 am

My, how exciting, a meme.
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Re: [2012 June 27] The Neil DeGrasse Tyson argument

Postby DonRetrasado » Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:37 am

Yes, but we like him more than you.
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Re: [2012 June 27] The Neil DeGrasse Tyson argument

Postby GUTCHUCKER » Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:41 am

What's that got to do with anything?
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Re: [2012 June 27] The Neil DeGrasse Tyson argument

Postby Oldrac the Chitinous » Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:45 am

It's a Neil Degrasse Tyson meme! In a Neil Degrasse Tyson thread!
I regret nothing.

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Re: [2012 June 27] The Neil DeGrasse Tyson argument

Postby GUTCHUCKER » Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:07 am

Oh, I see! I apologise for my misplaced derision.
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