Momma’s Birthday Open Thread

Seeing as posting has been light around here lately and I’ll be heading off to my mother’s place for the weekend I figured it was time for another open thread. Discuss whatever you feel like discussing. Perhaps this is a good spot to have that discussion on the finer points of avatar selection some of you have been mentioning in other threads. Whatever. Enjoy and have a good weekend.

13 thoughts on “Momma’s Birthday Open Thread

  1. I thought about posting this comment a few threads down, but I’m curious as to what everyone’s opinion might be.

    I was having a conversation last night with a friend of a friend and she is a creationinst. Not in the Christian sense, but in the “I’m a spiritual person, therefore I’m cool” sense. I managed to piss her off enough to leave the table, which is funny because we were at a bar and she loves to drink. She stepped outside for a smoke by herself when I told her that she was full of shit. Not exactly polite, but she was really pushing my BS buttons. Her and a friend of hers were asking me these asinine questions about humanity in general as a way to prove that we were created. I already have answered these questions, but I would like to hear what all of you think.

    1. Why do humans feel emotions? Since we do, that means we were created.

    2. The mathematical probability of existence of life is very slim. Our existence must have been planned.

    3. If humans evolved from apes, then why are there still apes? Why haven’t all apes evolved into humans?

    Ugh! These questions made my head hurt so much. I would like to hear someone other then myself give an opinion on these statements.

  2. I don’t know about 1 or 2, but the answer to 3 is this:

    Humans didn’t evolve from apes.  We both evolved from a common ancester.

    I was having a discussion with a guy from work who’s a creationist.  He asked me how I explained the gaps in the fossil records.  I answered that there is a whole lot of ground that hasn’t been excavated yet, so it would be naïve to think that we’ve uncovered but a small percentage of fossils.  Then it dawned on me.  I should have said: How do I explain the gaps in the fossil record?  How do you explain the fossil record in the first place!

    “You want proof of evolution?  FOSSILS!  FOSSILS, FOSSILS, FOSSILS!  I win!”  -Lewis Black

  3. Re item 2. to rebut this intellectually weak statement I shall quote the hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy:

    “Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts to space.”

    We really understand so little of what the universe has to offer. We have just stepped out the door and onto the front porch (the moon) hell we haven’t even made it to the end of the lawn.  The mathematical improbability of life when compared to the size of the universe as say a ratio(only the bit we know about) = life is here, there and elsewhere.  The universe is so big we simply cannot comprehend its true nature so we make things up (i.e. god, we are planned look aren’t we special) to not feel so small (which we are).

    Why is it so hard for so many humans to get it? We are like bacteria in the scope of the universe and if we don’t manage to wipe ourselves out not working together the universe is just as likely to do it for us without even noticing.

    “If human beings don’t keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months’ consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favor of a new one. If they don’t keep exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.”
    Ford Prefect

    If we have been planned then why explore at all.  We can go back to our caves and hide from the lightning and wait for the planner to explain it all to us ather than go out there and find out for ourselves.

  4. You know, all three of those questions contain an underlying assumption:  that humans are the pinnacle of {creation,the universe,whatever} and that therefore everything should “evolve” to become us, and we are so rare and special that of course we couldn’t happen just by accident.

    It could well be that some completely alien force is examining us right now under a microscope and going, “Eeeuw, how did THAT happen?  Helen, get the Lysol.  We gotta make sure something this freaky doesn’t grow back again.”

  5. 1. Where’s the proof of that premise? That’s pretty piss-poor logic. It’s no different than saying “we have opposable thumbs, therefore we must have been created”. In addition, there’s ample writing by evolutionary psychologists and others explaining the relationship of emotions and our evolution.

    2. The mathematical probability of our existence is irrelevant-it happened. A good analogy I’ve heard is that if you have everyone on earth a coin and told them to flip it, then “eliminated” every one who flipped tails, and did it again, and again, and again, etc., you’d eventually end up with only one person left, who had flipped heads something like 32 times in a row.

    The thing is, there are really too many factors to take into account for us to estimate the mathematical probability of our existence-perhaps the natural laws of the universe are favorable to the origins of life-we just don’t know enough to tell.

    Another problem I have with that argument is that it’s always assumed that our specific existence is the only one possible. There are many, many other possibilities-many other forms that life could have taken, so the probability that ANY life could exist is much higher than the probability that our specific life forms could come to exist.

    3. This argument is just old and tired, and people who don’t bother to understand how evolution works and yet continue to use that argument should just be bitch slapped.

  6. Re item 1.

    The question really stems from this argument.

    Beings who feel emotions were created.
    Humans are beings who feel emotions.
    Therefore, humans were created.

    Why should we except the premise?
    Do bacteria feel emotions? (Oops, may have to work on that syllogism.)
    Created by whom or by what, a supernatural something or a natural process?

    Re item 2.

    The cumulative effects of evolution occur in little steps over a very long time. Refer them to Climbing Mount Improbable by Dawkins. If for no other reason to see if they turn red at the mention of his name.

  7. Emotions are a survival tool, just like an opposable thumb or bipedal symetry.  We have emotions because they keep our genes reproducing.  What “practical” purposes are served by emotions like rage or love or jealousy.

    Rage keeps us alive in dangerous situations.

    Love keeps us reproducing our species.

    Jealousy protects our genes from other , competetive genes.

    And i must say, Happy Birthday to you, Mother of SEB.  Great job on raising a cool , level headed son.

  8. should have cut to the chase.

    anytime i hear dumb shit come out of someones mouth
    (male or female) i simply say, “show me your tits”

    then when they get in a huff and all stirred up
    i say, “because thats all youre good for”

    they either swing or go away at that point.

    animals show all kinds of emotions.
    somehow i dont gather how one can use emotions to
    distinguish ones self then act like evoloution is
    a bad thing. I guess everyone wants to be special.

    humans arent animals, theyre special, were all fucking special.
    i feel so special im gonna get me
    an avacado smammich… ..or two even and
    some special coke. then im gonna watch a movie.

    netfix rocks and i need to animate my avatar soon.

    LOL yay special coke! everythings better with a bat or a captain.

  9. GeekMom:

    It could well be that some completely alien force is examining us right now under a microscope and going, “Eeeuw, how did THAT happen?  Helen, get the Lysol.  We gotta make sure something this freaky doesn’t grow back again.

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