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A Most Interesting Problem

 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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15 February 2021 10:15
 

A Most Interesting Problem:  What Darwin’s Descent of Man Got Right and Wrong about Human Evolution
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqbZD4Vmwjc&feature=youtu.be

Join The Leakey Foundation for a free virtual celebration of Darwin’s birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Descent of Man. A Most Interesting Problem brings together seven world-class scholars and science communicators to explore what Darwin got right and what he got wrong about the origin, history, and biological variation of humans.

This presentation is about two hours, but worth the time in my opinion. 

What I found most interesting includes:  “survival of the friendliest”; oxytocin and the “evolution of love” (including evidence dogs love us, schools’ out on cats); humans’ “odd mode of locomotion” – why bipedal; and Darwin’s contradictions and biases (“blind spots”) regarding race and gender.

As Darwin continues to be scrutinized over time, we’re finding out “what did he get right, what did he get wrong?”.  And how harmful the ‘wrong’ can be to society – a lesson for current science.  I expect modern-day science self-corrects quicker as it is no longer conducted exclusively by advantaged white men, i.e. “diversity in scholarship”.  And finally, this overview is presented in such a way as to be informative for interested non-scientists.

I would be interested in what you found most interesting.

 

 
 
LadyJane
 
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LadyJane
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15 February 2021 18:11
 

Great find!  What refreshing candor about a subject with the potential to unite humanity but that somehow still remains controversial.  It’s about time we busted some of these myths after a hundred and fifty years and address these queries with the scrutiny they deserve.  Like climbing out of the trees and walking erect.  I’d sure like to know the dogma free answer to that one.

This is what happens when any one person is elevated to a status they can’t possibly live up to.  The way these folks have dissected the work sounds cool.  It seems they value the baby in the bathwater as much as an honest interpretation of the science.  If only we could tackle some of our loftier threads with the same approach and put racism and misogyny in proper perspective.

If I were to kick it off I’d offer a notable bit from the talk.  They said that fourteen percent of Americans believe in white supremacy.  That sounds alarmingly high but sadly not surprising.  The question I have is…do those individuals even believe in the theory they are misinterpreting?

 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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16 February 2021 10:17
 
LadyJane - 15 February 2021 06:11 PM

Great find!  What refreshing candor about a subject with the potential to unite humanity but that somehow still remains controversial.  It’s about time we busted some of these myths after a hundred and fifty years and address these queries with the scrutiny they deserve.  Like climbing out of the trees and walking erect.  I’d sure like to know the dogma free answer to that one.

This is what happens when any one person is elevated to a status they can’t possibly live up to.  The way these folks have dissected the work sounds cool.  It seems they value the baby in the bathwater as much as an honest interpretation of the science.  If only we could tackle some of our loftier threads with the same approach and put racism and misogyny in proper perspective.

If I were to kick it off I’d offer a notable bit from the talk.  They said that fourteen percent of Americans believe in white supremacy.  That sounds alarmingly high but sadly not surprising.  The question I have is…do those individuals even believe in the theory they are misinterpreting?

Yes, the level of scrutiny is so important – science at its best when done as free of “blind spots” as humanly possible.  When there isn’t a jump to conclusions before enough evidence has come to light.  Such as when Yohannes says “we haven’t figured out why we became bipedal ... we don’t know yet ...” (1:59:42-59).  When the curiosity and excitement is in the questions themselves.

After 150 years, Darwin’s most important accomplishment is in asking some of the right questions using science rather than religion.  Some of his theories and conclusions leading us in the right direction, and others not so much.  His errors must indeed be corrected, but I tend not to judge him too harshly as a man since he was a product of his time with all the prejudices that that time period held; who knows what any of us would be like if raised then.  But we surely can judge our contemporaries who have no such excuse.

I think the answer to your question about white supremacy, “do those individuals even believe in the theory they are misinterpreting?”, is no.  I doubt the vast majority have ever read a full article about evolution let alone books on the subject.  They are spouting tidbits that fit into their warped ideology, just as they’ll gerry-pick or misinterpret the bible (always disregarding the ‘do unto others’ part) – slogans and catch phrases.

When posting this thread, I didn’t know if I’d get (m)any takers because the video is on the long side.  However, it is a topic I thought would be of interest to the members here.  Though I’m not at all surprised you took the time.  It’s curious that some members prefer to use up much time arguing with immature newbies-with-agendas rather than have some friendly discussion about some interesting stuff.

(On a lighter side, they cite studies done indicating that our dogs love us, but that similar studies have not been done regarding our cats.  Personally, I suspect dog-lover bias.  I just know my kitties loved me and I want proof.)

 

 
 
Skipshot
 
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Skipshot
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16 February 2021 19:21
 

Thanks for the suggestion.

 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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17 February 2021 09:30
 

As a Canadian, and long time dog-owner, pet and animal lover, I identify closely with the ‘survival of the friendliest’ segment.

 
 
EN
 
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EN
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17 February 2021 13:30
 
LadyJane - 15 February 2021 06:11 PM

If I were to kick it off I’d offer a notable bit from the talk.  They said that fourteen percent of Americans believe in white supremacy.  That sounds alarmingly high but sadly not surprising.  The question I have is…do those individuals even believe in the theory they are misinterpreting?

Just think - 150 years ago it was closer to half (or more), and now its dropped to 14%.  Darwin at work? Survival of the friendliest? The percentage will go down in the future, I predict. There will always be idiots and mean people.  But, yes, some believe that whites are superior to blacks as a race, although they may not understand why they believe it. I know some of them, and they will just cite their own experiences with the particular segment of blacks they have encountered. My experience is entirely different, but that doesn’t matter to them. A small group is racist to the core.

 
Poldano
 
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18 February 2021 02:15
 

I’d like to know where that 14% figure for white supremacist beliefs came from. I searched briefly for it, but couldn’t find a source that I can trust. The figure would be useful for a discussion I’m having in another thread, but I don’t want to use it unless I can understand and vet the way the data were obtained.

Otherwise, most interesting, mainly because I have not read the book.

 
 
LadyJane
 
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18 February 2021 08:49
 

It wouldn’t surprise me if that number went down and then back up again.  It depends on how yer looking at it.  In fact, the American population 150 years ago was 38 million so if half of that were white supremacist that would total 19 million.  The American population today is roughly 330 million so if fourteen percent of those are white supremacist that would total 46 million.  Which means less on a pie chart but more than double in actual numbers. 

But I don’t see what toiling over a number accomplishes other than create enough of a distraction to tangent away from having the conversation altogether.  In what can only be described as white pattern gallness. 

This is all that happens anymore.  Which is the whole point of the discussion.  What has to happen to take one tiny step forward and get through this ugly hate propaganda filled period of history?  When will everyone finally have enough and make the effort to get to what’s real?

How many threads have to focus on problems nobody ever encounters?  Perpetuating fears that never escape the confines of the paranoid imagination?  What compels people to nitpick inconsequential details but not hesitate to believe everything patrons tell us about themselves?

I realize the advantage of owning a brain that can transcend itself to avoid certain unpleasantness.  Like extreme pain before the medicine arrives or becoming overwhelmed by the grand enormity of existence that would plunge us into madness if not for a fitting ability to compartmentalize.

Are we capable of doing this around the invention of gods and denials of objective reality?  Not without frank and fearless discussions.  Maybe that is the question we should be asking whenever unsubstantiated claims are made.  What are we so afraid the truth will reveal?

This is why I prefer non human animals.  They never deserve their extinctions.

 
 
weird buffalo
 
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weird buffalo
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18 February 2021 09:05
 
Poldano - 18 February 2021 02:15 AM

I’d like to know where that 14% figure for white supremacist beliefs came from. I searched briefly for it, but couldn’t find a source that I can trust. The figure would be useful for a discussion I’m having in another thread, but I don’t want to use it unless I can understand and vet the way the data were obtained.

Otherwise, most interesting, mainly because I have not read the book.

This analysis of surveys suggests it’s closer to 5.6% based on some specific criteria.  It looks at three questions and categorizes them if they answer “yes” to all three.  That said, I would argue that 2 out of 3 would be fairly concerning as well.

 
LadyJane
 
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18 February 2021 09:17
 

That means the United States has roughly the same number of white supremacists as it did 150 years ago.  Only now with bigger guns.

 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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18 February 2021 09:42
 

There are a gazillion studies and surveys regarding the prevalence of racism, but it all comes down to one point – there’s still a long way to go and it’s taking longer than it should or could.

As discussed in the group presentation, categorizing humanity by race is a fallacy and an illusion.  As modern science now proves, we really are all ‘brothers’, so our cultures need to reflect that.  And the U.S. in particular needs to start dealing with it – truth and reconciliation.

 
 
EN
 
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18 February 2021 09:50
 

If we could get Canadians to deal with the abomination known as curling, then perhaps we could take the lessons learned from that and apply it down here to racism.

I am now waiting for a sweeping Canadian counter-offensive and a stone in my face.

 
burt
 
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18 February 2021 11:17
 
EN - 18 February 2021 09:50 AM

If we could get Canadians to deal with the abomination known as curling, then perhaps we could take the lessons learned from that and apply it down here to racism.

I am now waiting for a sweeping Canadian counter-offensive and a stone in my face.

Having lived in Canada for 47 years, I have yet to develop an attraction to curling. Apparently I’m immune. But I don’t think you have to worry about rabid curlers sweeping down to Texas to confront you, now that grass is legal in Canada they’re usually too stoned.

 
weird buffalo
 
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18 February 2021 11:20
 
burt - 18 February 2021 11:17 AM
EN - 18 February 2021 09:50 AM

If we could get Canadians to deal with the abomination known as curling, then perhaps we could take the lessons learned from that and apply it down here to racism.

I am now waiting for a sweeping Canadian counter-offensive and a stone in my face.

Having lived in Canada for 47 years, I have yet to develop an attraction to curling. Apparently I’m immune. But I don’t think you have to worry about rabid curlers sweeping down to Texas to confront you, now that grass is legal in Canada they’re usually too stoned.

Though the recent amounts of ice might entice them.

 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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18 February 2021 11:23
 
weird buffalo - 18 February 2021 11:20 AM
burt - 18 February 2021 11:17 AM
EN - 18 February 2021 09:50 AM

If we could get Canadians to deal with the abomination known as curling, then perhaps we could take the lessons learned from that and apply it down here to racism.

I am now waiting for a sweeping Canadian counter-offensive and a stone in my face.

Having lived in Canada for 47 years, I have yet to develop an attraction to curling. Apparently I’m immune. But I don’t think you have to worry about rabid curlers sweeping down to Texas to confront you, now that grass is legal in Canada they’re usually too stoned.

Though the recent amounts of ice might entice them.

Top Secret: Curling is an excuse to day-drink Canadian beer on weekends…

 
 
EN
 
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EN
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18 February 2021 11:40
 
Jefe - 18 February 2021 11:23 AM
weird buffalo - 18 February 2021 11:20 AM
burt - 18 February 2021 11:17 AM
EN - 18 February 2021 09:50 AM

If we could get Canadians to deal with the abomination known as curling, then perhaps we could take the lessons learned from that and apply it down here to racism.

I am now waiting for a sweeping Canadian counter-offensive and a stone in my face.

Having lived in Canada for 47 years, I have yet to develop an attraction to curling. Apparently I’m immune. But I don’t think you have to worry about rabid curlers sweeping down to Texas to confront you, now that grass is legal in Canada they’re usually too stoned.

Though the recent amounts of ice might entice them.

Top Secret: Curling is an excuse to day-drink Canadian beer on weekends…

Now, I can respect that. See how important it is to understand culture?

 
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