RSS 2.0 Feed

» Welcome Guest Log In :: Register

Pages: (4) < [1] 2 3 4 >   
  Topic: DIs new book ", My irony meter just blew up....< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 23 2006,08:07   

This is being talked about at TPT, but I am overcome with the irony and I had to post about it here...

A new self published DI book attacking the Jones ruling:

Traipsing Into Evolution

One of the "expert legal" co-authors - David DeWolf

A previous one of DeWolf's "expert" books on legal matters:

Intelligent Design in Public School Science Curricula: A Legal Guidebook

A quote from this DI fellow's brilliant legal mind from that guidebook:

Quote
9. Conclusion
Local school boards and state education officials are frequently pressured to avoid teaching the controversy regarding biological origins. Indeed, many groups, such as the National Academy of Sciences, go so far as to deny the existence of any genuine scientific controversy about the issue.160 Nevertheless, teachers should be reassured that they have the right to expose their students to the problems as well as the appeal of Darwinian theory. Moreover, as the previous discussion demonstrates, school boards have the authority to permit, and even encourage, teaching about design theory as an alternative to Darwinian evolution-and this includes the use of textbooks such as Of Pandas and People that present evidence for the theory of intelligent design.

The controlling legal authority, the Supreme Court's decision in Edwards v. Aguillard, explicitly permits the inclusion of alternatives to Darwinian evolution so long as those alternatives are based on scientific evidence and not motivated by strictly religious concerns. Since design theory is based on scientific evidence rather than religious assumptions, it clearly meets this test. Including discussions of design in the science curriculum thus serves an important goal of making education inclusive, rather than exclusionary. In addition, it provides students with an important demonstration of the best way for them as future scientists and citizens to resolve scientific controversies-by a careful and fair-minded examination of the evidence.


I need to go to the store now, my irony meter seems to have blown up.

--------------
Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 23 2006,08:41   

Do ya suppose the manufacturers of irony meters might be behind the "controversy", in order to boost their sales? ;)

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 23 2006,10:57   

I think the scientist's argument against the inclusion of ID would be better accepted if it weren't so obvious that other scientific "findings" are being manipulated or totally excluded in other public school curriculum.  For instance, the overwhelming scientific evidence of AIDS contraction being mainly a homosexual disease or IQ difference between the races would be just two examples.  Then there is the whole issue of abortion versus conception.   Again, where are the scientists in this debate?  Eugenics?  An so on and so forth?  Science seems to be acquiring a value system based on political concerns.  If you can't see it, you don't want to.

  
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 23 2006,11:12   

What the heck do ID and science (I mean research) have to do with homosexuality, IQ, abortion and eugenics? How is this relevant to the topic, you f*cking homophobic racist? ???

  
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 23 2006,11:29   

Really.
What is it about ID that leads its supporters to also embrace reactionary idiocies like this? Wanna throw in some Global Warming denial, there dooddy? Got any genocides you can apologize for?

Do they feel an overwhelming need to be wrong about everything?

--------------
The is the beauty of being me- anything that any man does I can understand.
--Joe G

  
Xavier du Barry



Posts: 4
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 23 2006,11:41   

Thordaddy

If one examines the dialectic paradigm of discourse, one is faced with a choice: either reject pretextual nationalism or conclude that sexuality is intrinsically dead, given that neotextual nihilism is valid. If the dialectic paradigm of discourse holds, we have to choose between cultural discourse and subpatriarchial objectivism. Thus, Sontag uses the term ‘expressionism’ to denote not narrative, but prenarrative.

The primary theme of de Selby’s analysis of the dialectic paradigm of discourse is the role of the reader as artist. The fatal flaw of pretextual nationalism depicted in Eco’s The Limits of Interpretation (Advances in Semiotics) is also evident in The Island of the Day Before, although in a more mythopoetical sense. In a sense, Bataille uses the term ‘the dialectic paradigm of discourse’ to denote the common ground between narrativity and class.

Any number of discourses concerning expressionism exist. But the subject is interpolated into a dialectic paradigm of discourse that includes culture as a totality.

Derrida uses the term ‘expressionism’ to denote a neosemiotic paradox. Thus, the characteristic theme of the works of Eco is the bridge between society and class.

Bataille uses the term ‘the cultural paradigm of reality’ to denote not narrative as such, but postnarrative. In a sense, Baudrillard suggests the use of expressionism to deconstruct colonialist perceptions of reality.

Buxton states that we have to choose between the dialectic paradigm of discourse and subconstructive desemanticism. However, the main theme of von Junz’s model of expressionism is the common ground between society and class.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 23 2006,11:42   

What professional objective responses?  You've both made my point.  Science is supposed to be an objective pursuit and yet it is clear that the practitioners of science are anything but objective.  

You believe your arguments against ID are on solid foundation when it is clear that other scientific findings are readily available for political considerations.  Why can one not assume that the debate against ID is just another political consideration that has little to do with science?

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 23 2006,11:46   

Xavier,

I'll bet you money you can summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two?

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 23 2006,11:47   

Quote
Then there is the whole issue of abortion versus conception.   Again, where are the scientists in this debate?
Apparently holed up in our labs. I had no idea there even was a debate on "abortion vs. conception"!

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 23 2006,11:59   

How did my most excellent post about the stupidity of one of the the DI's top legal guns get side tracked into abortion, etc?

--------------
Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 23 2006,12:01   

Russell,

Does the public school system teach that life begins at conception and therefore abortion is the extermination of human life?  Again, the scientists seem to be focused in on one debate while your "findings" are being manipulated and excluded in other aspects of the education system.  Are you unaware of this situation?  Just look at jeannot and O'Brien's responses?  Obliviousness!

  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 23 2006,12:10   

-Trolldaddy-
Quote
Science proves that AIDS is the result of homosexuality,and also that some "races" are dumber than others.

-Sane persons-
Quote
Science does no such thing, and also you are a racist bigot.

-Trolldaddy-
Quote
Denying the truth I see, and also name-calling. That proves you are not objective; I win at the Intarwebs.


Guys, stop feeding the troll already, and let it get back under whatever bridge he crawled out from. Sheesh.

--------------
A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 23 2006,12:11   

:01-->
Quote (thordaddy @ Mar. 23 2006,18:01)
Russell,

Does the public school system teach that life begins at conception and therefore abortion is the extermination of human life?  Again, the scientists seem to be focused in on one debate while your "findings" are being manipulated and excluded in other aspects of the education system.  Are you unaware of this situation?  Just look at jeannot and O'Brien's responses?  Obliviousness!

So, the discovery institute's legal gun, David DeWolf is a complete retard when it comes to the law, he is partially responsible for the Dover school districts 1 million in legal fees and now he has co-authored a book taking Judge Jones to task yet the schools should teach more about abortion?

Yeah I can see the connection there.  Sure...Perhaps we should also examine the relationship between grape jelly and peanut butter.  Two items that modern science seems to be avoiding if you know what I mean.  When was the last time you saw an evolutionist even speak on the topic of grape jelly and peanut butter.  Who are they trying to fool?

Thordaddy, how long will we let them get away with that is my question.

--------------
Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 23 2006,12:11   

Mr Christopher,

This thread has nothing to do with abortion per se, but instead engages upon the silliness of the scientist's singular focus on ID.  Scientific findings are regularly used, manipulated and excluded within the public school system based on political considerations.  And yet, we only really hear the scientists when the debate revolves around ID.  Why?

The answer is quite simple.  The scientists are politicized themselves and know what's good and what is not good in regards to their own self-interest.  

So I ask, where are the scientists in the IQ debates, eugenics, AIDS and homosexuality or abortion and conception?  Why don't we hear the triumphant findings of the scientists in these areas of scientific exploration as it pertains to public education?  Where is the objectiveness?

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 23 2006,12:16   

Perhaps somebody should look at the title of this bullitin board? ;)

It says: "Antievolution.org :: Antievolution.org Discussion Board The Critic's Resource on Antievolution"

At a guess, people discussing those other things are probably doing it on BB's that were set up for those subjects?

Sheesh.

Henry

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 23 2006,12:17   

Quote (thordaddy @ Mar. 23 2006,18:11)
Mr Christopher,

This thread has nothing to do with abortion per se, but instead engages upon the silliness of the scientist's singular focus on ID.  Scientific findings are regularly used, manipulated and excluded within the public school system based on political considerations.  And yet, we only really hear the scientists when the debate revolves around ID.  Why?

The answer is quite simple.  The scientists are politicized themselves and know what's good and what is not good in regards to their own self-interest.  

So I ask, where are the scientists in the IQ debates, eugenics, AIDS and homosexuality or abortion and conception?  Why don't we hear the triumphant findings of the scientists in these areas of scientific exploration as it pertains to public education?  Where is the objectiveness?

thordaddy, the scientists are too busy wasting time and resources addressing the sneaky, lying, cheating, scumbags known as ID theorists who are trying to wedge fundamentalist christianity/creationism in our public school.  THAT is where they all are.

No telling what scientists would be doing if they were not having to devote so much energy to keeping the DI from making all american children scientifically retarded.

By the way, oh never mind.

--------------
Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 23 2006,12:51   

Quote
So I ask, where are the scientists in the IQ debates, eugenics, AIDS and homosexuality or abortion and conception?  Why don't we hear the triumphant findings of the scientists in these areas of scientific exploration as it pertains to public education?  Where is the objectiveness?
Let's bear one thing in mind: biology is a really basic part of high school education. Every high school student I've ever known had to take some biology. Evolution is pretty much the heart and soul of biology, so when the wing-nuts take aim at evolution, they get the attention of a large proportion of scientists.

The "IQ debates"? What are they? How do they relate to high school curricula? What subject area should they be taken up in?

AIDS and homosexuality? What do you want the schools to teach? So far as I can tell, it's the same wing-nuts that want to downplay evolution who don't want the schools talking about sexuality at all. Heck, isn't Phil Johnson - the godfather of ID - one of the most outspoken skeptics of HIV as a cause of AIDS? Is that what we should be teaching?  Yes, homosexual men are at somewhat higher risk for contracting HIV than other groups. Most scientists favor more education on the subject, not less. But it's not scientists who stand in the way; it's the wing-nuts with their abstinence-only nonsense.

Abortion and conception? There's nothing particularly "scientific" about assigning an arbitrary definition to "when life begins". Scientists have been trying to tell you that life began more than 3 billion years ago. But again, the wing-nuts don't want to hear about it.

One could argue that scientists should be more active, and more public, about issues like pollution, global warming, etc. but somehow I don't think that would make Thordaddy very happy.

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 23 2006,13:01   

And the simple answer of course is that science has ruled both on claims of AIDS caused and spread by homosexuals alone, and of a supposed difference in IQ between "races".
And that rule is that both claims are complete BS.
The reason we don't hear about it is not because scientists don't try to defend their stance- they don't have to: Unlike with the whole antievolution movement, not even the fundiest fundie funder would be suicidal enough to fund a movement promoting racism.
Their PR department could try and make something with "we don't come from no stinking ape", but would lose their minds if they had to work with "white heterosexuals rule"...
So, thankfully, scientists don't have to spend that extra time  showing to those jerks how they talk out or their arse as well as the IDers.

...But you already know all that, right Trolldaddy? You're just trying to be provoking to gain some extra attention, as it slowly wanes. And it worked, too: You got mine. Good for you. Now go away.








...And no, I'm not discussing abortion with you. If you're running out of "agruments", well, tough luck: You shouldn't have come to a forum whose subject is clearly not your forte. Go find some abortion forum to do your trolling.

--------------
A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
Shirley Knott



Posts: 148
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 23 2006,13:18   

Better yet, he should get his mother to have an abortion.
The world would be better off without him.

I heard a rumor that the dance of the virgins in thordaddy's home town was cancelled.  His daughter wasn't eligible and his wife refused to dance alone...

hugs,
Shirley Knott

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 23 2006,17:07   

Surely Not,

I realize we take many of the same sides on issues, but I can't say I necessarily agree with your Margaret Sanger impersonation.  Although, I am quite surprised that your posts haven't been met with condemnation.  Maybe you're on to something about the void in values among scientists.

  
Alan Fox



Posts: 1391
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 23 2006,21:18   

Quote
Although, I am quite surprised that your posts haven't been met with condemnation.


We're generally a very tolerant bunch, here, Thordaddy, (We tolerate your vacuous, pointless, contentless posts, don't we?). If you would prefer tighter moderation I suggest you try Uncommon Descent or, well, any other blog really.

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 25 2006,09:50   

Quote (thordaddy @ Mar. 23 2006,18<!--emo&:0)
Does the public school system teach that life begins at conception and therefore abortion is the extermination of human life?

If one more anti-choicer says "life begins at conception" my stupidity meter is going to blow up. Is an unfertilized cell not "alive," Thordaddy? Is a sperm cell not "alive"? Is an epithelial cell lining your lower intestine not "alive"?

This whole "life begins at conception" argument has got to be the dumbest argument the religious right has ever come up with. Using the same logic, I could argue that scraping your tongue with your toothbrush in the morning is murder, because of all the living cells you're killing.

Give me a @#$%!ing break.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 25 2006,10:07   

Clearly, Thordaddy can't make the difference between life and consciousness.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 26 2006,01:12   

ericmurphy,

That strawman took a #### of a beating from you.  Are those quotes you use around "life begins at conception" supposed to signify something I said?  Are you now claiming that the conventional scientific wisdom is that life does not begin at conception?  When does it begin, scientifically-speaking?

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 26 2006,01:18   

Russel,

Is it your contention that no debate beyond that involving ID and evolution are to be found between science and the public school system?  And you really wonder why some religious people think science is highly politicized?  Are they not witnessing a group of hypocrites?

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 26 2006,04:36   

Quote (thordaddy @ Mar. 26 2006,07:18)
Russel,

Is it your contention that no debate beyond that involving ID and evolution are to be found between science and the public school system?  And you really wonder why some religious people think science is highly politicized?  Are they not witnessing a group of hypocrites?

What does that mean? I have read it several times and cannot make sense of it.

Go ahead and blame it on my reading comprehension if you wish but I can't see a clear point in your post.

  
Jay Ray



Posts: 92
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 26 2006,05:11   

I think he is repeating an earlier charge which has already been addressed.  

This charge states that when scientists speak about the scientific method establishing a position of ethical neutrality, that they are being dishonest.  He is trying to say, "it ain't just the facts ma'am, its what you do with them."  

His evidence is that scientific data is used, often by scientists themselves, to promote or refute ideas that may run counter to those promoted by others.  

In other words, since scientists are often political, he seems to think it hyprocritical that they engage in political discourse using scientific data to back their positions, if the data itself is neutral.

More specifically, in light of this alleged hyprocrisy, he finds it reprehensible that scientists should speak in favor of or against particular lessons in public schools.  If science itself is morally neutral, then scientists should keep out of politics.  This goes doubly for any instruction that he disagrees with on the basis his own political or ethical foundations.

In short, scientists should shut up and keep their opinions to themselves.  Only religious people unaffiliated with science should have the right to decide public policy in general, and educational policy in particular.

Anyway, that's what I make out of his rambling.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 26 2006,09:17   

Thordude:
Quote
Russel,
Is it your contention that no debate beyond that involving ID and evolution are to be found between science and the public school system?  And you really wonder why some religious people think science is highly politicized?  Are they not witnessing a group of hypocrites?

Stephen Elliott:
Quote
What does that mean? I have read it several times and cannot make sense of it.
I can't make any sense out of it either. Perhaps, if there is some meaning behind it, Thordude will rephrase it in a non-spluttering way.

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 26 2006,19:26   

Quote (thordaddy @ Mar. 26 2006,07:12)
 Are those quotes you use around "life begins at conception" supposed to signify something I said?  Are you now claiming that the conventional scientific wisdom is that life does not begin at conception?  When does it begin, scientifically-speaking?

It's something you did say, hence the quotes (yes, I'm aware you're attributing the words to someone else).

The concept of trying to figure out where life "begins" is pointless. If something is alive, it's alive. The whole argument is breathtakingly stupid, and to even ask the question shows you don't have a clue. And given the number of "pro-lifers" who are also pro-death penalty…don't even get me started.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 26 2006,20:48   

Quote (thordaddy @ Mar. 26 2006,07:18)
Russel,

Is it your contention that no debate beyond that involving ID and evolution are to be found between science and the public school system?  And you really wonder why some religious people think science is highly politicized?  Are they not witnessing a group of hypocrites?

I think I finally understand.

It looks like Thordaddy is saying:

"There are several topics in the public school system that scientists are interfeering in. They are doing so for political reasons and not scientific. Therefore the whole scientific community is dishonest."  


At least I think that is what he saying.

Thordaddys use of language has me pulling my hair out. His refusal to just state things clearly is irritating.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 27 2006,13:40   

ericmurphy,

Although I agree that life begins at conception (self-evidently so), I merely asked (not stated) why the public school system did not teach this scientific fact.  Your argument is weak and is further weakened by your refusal to answer when new life does begin, scientifically-speaking.

PS  I think you're along the lines of that Surely Not character, but the lack of rebuttals to your weak argument is again quite telling.

Jay Ray opines,

Quote
This charge states that when scientists speak about the scientific method establishing a position of ethical neutrality, that they are being dishonest.  He is trying to say, "it ain't just the facts ma'am, its what you do with them."  


Science can't establish a position of ethical neutrality.  Ethics is antithetical to science.  Science is ethically devoid.

Next you say,

Quote
More specifically, in light of this alleged hyprocrisy, he finds it reprehensible that scientists should speak in favor of or against particular lessons in public schools.  If science itself is morally neutral, then scientists should keep out of politics.  This goes doubly for any instruction that he disagrees with on the basis his own political or ethical foundations.

In short, scientists should shut up and keep their opinions to themselves.  Only religious people unaffiliated with science should have the right to decide public policy in general, and educational policy in particular.


Actually, the question is why scientists are ONLY vocal on the ID versus evolution debate?  There are many contentious issues that are regularly dismissed in the public school system that are bolstered by strong scientific data.

For instance, science has shown IQ difference between races.  Does this not have an important impact in public education?  Science has also shown AIDS to be a disease primarily contracted by homosexuals and intraveneous drug-users.  Does this not have an educational impact if we are lying to our children and claiming they can get AIDS as easily as others?  Science has strong evidence showing gender segregation to be beneficial to children's education and yet many liberals and feminists are wedded to the idea of gender integration.  Where are scientists and where is the debate?  What of biological difference between genders and races?  Again, where are all the scientists contending these silly one- size-fits all educational policies?  

I think you can draw your own conclusion, but mine is that hypocrites calling others hypocrites is self-defeating.

Stephen Elliot opines,

Quote
"There are several topics in the public school system that scientists are interfeering in. They are doing so for political reasons and not scientific. Therefore the whole scientific community is dishonest."  


Quite the opposite as there is ONLY ONE topic that scientists are debating, namely, ID versus evolution.  On other topics like those explained above, scientists are invisible and virtually silent (except for those that research controversial subjects like race, IQ, gender, etc.).  And I certainly don't think the entire scientific community is dishonest, but rather, most scientists are very much in line with the politics of the public school system.  That's why there is only one debate and that debate has science and the public school system on the same side!  It's like hand and glove.

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 27 2006,14:12   

Quote (thordaddy @ Mar. 27 2006,19:40)
ericmurphy,

Although I agree that life begins at conception (self-evidently so), I merely asked (not stated) why the public school system did not teach this scientific fact.  Your argument is weak and is further weakened by your refusal to answer when new life does begin, scientifically-speaking.

PS  I think you're along the lines of that Surely Not character, but the lack of rebuttals to your weak argument is again quite telling.

Agree? Agree with whom? Certainly not me. Life does not "begin" with conception. Life doesn't have a beginning, other than some time several billion years ago. An unfertilized egg is just as "alive" as a fertilized one is. A human female is born carrying all the ova she will ever have.

Merely framing the abortion debate in those terms demonstrates one's abysmal ignorance of biological fact.

Life does not "begin" at conception. It "began" in the distant past. If schools are teaching that life begins at conception, they are teaching a falsehood.

In what way am I "refusing" to answer your question of when life begins? Do you now see why the question and the answer are both entirely irrelevant to the issue of abortion rights? Or do I need to find yet another way of stating the same thing?

My argument isn't weak; it's unassailable. Your argument, on the other hand, is unintelligible.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 27 2006,14:16   

Quote (thordaddy @ Mar. 27 2006,19:40)
ericmurphy,

Although I agree that life begins at conception (self-evidently so)...

Life does not begin at conception. There you are wrong. Human consciousness begins sometime after conception. But sperm and egg cells are alive before conception.

You do know that grass, trees, flowers and other things apart from mammals are alive right?

You are aware that single cells are alive? Such as the amoeba and (da naaaa!;) flagelum.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 27 2006,14:28   

Quote
Actually, the question is why scientists are ONLY vocal on the ID versus evolution debate?  There are many contentious issues that are regularly dismissed in the public school system that are bolstered by strong scientific data.
You seem not to have contemplated the answer I gave to this last week.
Quote
For instance, science has shown IQ difference between races.  Does this not have an important impact in public education?
What is your obsession with this all about???  What about my earlier answer did you find unsatisfactory? I repeat: evolution is central to biology - a core component of every high school education. Psychometrics (or whatever rubric IQ measurement falls under) is not. What do you think schools should be doing on this that they're not? And how in the world can you ascribe so much confidence to the "science" of the completely invented phenomenon of "IQ" when you so airily dismiss the much more solid science behind the facts that evolution deals with?
Quote
Science has also shown AIDS to be a disease primarily contracted by homosexuals and intraveneous drug-users.  Does this not have an educational impact if we are lying to our children and claiming they can get AIDS as easily as others?
What does "primarily" mean? A disproportionate number? More than half? Nearly all? As I pointed out before, the logical place where this will come up in high school education is sex education. Do you think that sex education should give the impression that if you're thoroughly heterosexual, you don't have to worry about AIDS? And if you're really concerned about it, why are you worried about scientists and "liberals"? Why aren't you worried about the much more clear and present danger of right-wing wing-nuts who don't want any information about safer sexual practices discussed?

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 27 2006,15:35   

ericmurphy opines,

Quote
Agree? Agree with whom? Certainly not me. Life does not "begin" with conception. Life doesn't have a beginning, other than some time several billion years ago. An unfertilized egg is just as "alive" as a fertilized one is. A human female is born carrying all the ova she will ever have.


So life does have a "beginning," but only one beginning?  Is this your stance?  So your life began, scientifically-speaking, a couple of billions of years ago?  Is this the claim?

Then in contradiction, you say,

Quote
Merely framing the abortion debate in those terms demonstrates one's abysmal ignorance of biological fact.

Life does not "begin" at conception. It "began" in the distant past. If schools are teaching that life begins at conception, they are teaching a falsehood.


So you go from "[l]ife doesn't have a beginning" (your words) to life "'began' in the distant past."  Which is it?

Lastly you say,

Quote
In what way am I "refusing" to answer your question of when life begins? Do you now see why the question and the answer are both entirely irrelevant to the issue of abortion rights? Or do I need to find yet another way of stating the same thing?

My argument isn't weak; it's unassailable. Your argument, on the other hand, is unintelligible


What I see is that you aren't sure whether life has a beginning or not and you might be billions of years old. LOL!

Stephen Elliot opines,

Quote
Life does not begin at conception. There you are wrong. Human consciousness begins sometime after conception. But sperm and egg cells are alive before conception.

You do know that grass, trees, flowers and other things apart from mammals are alive right?

You are aware that single cells are alive? Such as the amoeba and (da naaaa! flagelum


So when did your life begin?  Are you billions of years old like ericmurphy?    

You say, "[h]uman consciousness begins sometime after conception."  Whoa, that's scientific!  But if that's a sign of life then are egg and sperm alive?  Are single cells, trees and flowers conscious?  They are alive, no?  So human life can't be predicated on consciousness alone, can it?

When did you come alive IF NOT AT CONCEPTION?

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 27 2006,15:46   

Russell,

You are necessarily getting bogged down in the details of my examples while leaving the bigger point dangling in cyberspace.

Why are there NO debates between science and the public school system outside of the ID versus evolution which is really a debate between science and the school system versus IDists.  The public school system represents at its core something antithetical to science.  The public school system is a one-size-fits-all system.  Integration, equality, conformity and anti-discrimination are all attributes of the public school system and yet there are no scientific debates.  All these attributes necessarily eschews measurability?  How can conventional scientific wisdom stand silent in the face of a public school system that regularly denies realities of life and the science that bolsters that reality?

  
cogzoid



Posts: 234
Joined: Sep. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 27 2006,16:11   

Let's break this down so we can understand.  Maybe a composition class is in order.

Quote
Why are there NO debates between science and the public school system outside of the ID versus evolution which is really a debate between science and the school system versus IDists.
I know of no debates between science and public schools.  There are debates about how science should be taught in public schools, but that is a completely different thing.

Quote
The public school system represents at its core something antithetical to science.  The public school system is a one-size-fits-all system.
 Why is a one-size-fits-all system "antithetical" to science?  When in fact, science is constantly looking for "one-size" theories that explain "all".  (By the way, your "one-size theory" of schools clearly doesn't reflect, the remedial, normal, honors, and gifted reality that is the public school I attended.)

Quote
Integration, equality, conformity and anti-discrimination are all attributes of the public school system and yet there are no scientific debates.
How is this connected at all?  Kids in school don't understand science yet, how can they be ready for scientific debates?

Quote
All these attributes necessarily eschews measurability?
Yes, vague terms posted by a troll on the internet eschew measurability.  What do you want to measure and why?

Quote
How can conventional scientific wisdom stand silent in the face of a public school system that regularly denies realities of life and the science that bolsters that reality?
What realities of life are public schools denying?  Can you specifically show and explain these denials, because I simply don't see them.

You're really going to have to slow down and spell your ideas out, when you go a mile a minute, you really make no sense at all.  You are not preaching to the choir here.

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 27 2006,17:05   

Quote (thordaddy @ Mar. 27 2006,21:35)
So life does have a "beginning," but only one beginning?  Is this your stance?  So your life began, scientifically-speaking, a couple of billions of years ago?  Is this the claim?


Life may have had many "beginnings." For all we know, life arose, and was wiped out (asteroid strike, solar flare, volcanism) multiple times, before finally becoming permanently (more or less) established on earth. But that happened billions of years ago, and yes, and I am at one end of  an unbroken chain of living organisms going back that far. That's reality. Deal.


Quote
Then in contradiction, you say,

"Merely framing the abortion debate in those terms demonstrates one's abysmal ignorance of biological fact.

"Life does not "begin" at conception. It "began" in the distant past. If schools are teaching that life begins at conception, they are teaching a falsehood."

So you go from "[l]ife doesn't have a beginning" (your words) to life "'began' in the distant past."  Which is it?


What I actually said was (this is the quote), "Life doesn't have a beginning, other than some time several billion years ago." Is there a contradiction there? If I say "There wasn't anyone in the car, other than the driver," am I contradicting myself? Are you a native speaker of the English language?

Quote
What I see is that you aren't sure whether life has a beginning or not and you might be billions of years old. LOL!


No. What I see is that, like most anti-choice zealots, you cannot distinguish between "life" and "consciousness." When does consciousness begin is a valid question, and currently no one can honestly say for certain. But it's a solid hypothesis that consciousness requires a central nervous system, and a blastocyst sure doesn't have one of those.

As more than one person has pointed out to you, a fertilized ovum is no more "alive" than a sperm cell, or a paramecium, or a bacterium. And it's unclear whether it's any more "conscious" than any of them, either.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 27 2006,17:26   

Why are you guys debating with this guy? It's a total waste of time, he's completely unreachable.

This sentence is completely incoherent, as in I-have-no-idea-what-the-fvck-it-means:

Quote
Why are there NO debates between science and the public school system outside of the ID versus evolution which is really a debate between science and the school system versus IDists.


This makes me seriously wonder if TD is a second language speaker of English or whether he has some language disability, perhaps from advanced age.

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 27 2006,17:29   

oh come on...IDist to use words that are almost impossible to define...

Intelligent=??? having the capacity for thought and reason?  An ant has intelligence to some degree...could an ant have designed the universe?

life=you do realize that this is one of the most difficult terms in the our current lexicon right?  The point that all of the people are trying to make is that at conception there is no higher degree of life than can be found in a sperm.  Go further, you do not possess a greater degree of "life" than that a zygote....

Science explains that it cannot define any greater quality of life to any "living" organism...therefore some other criteria will have to be used to determine morality of ending life...

Of course...thats why they brought in philosophy, and we get fairly creative solutions...like the catholic one

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 27 2006,18:11   

Quote
Why are you guys debating with this guy? It's a total waste of time, he's completely unreachable.
Well, yeah. I'm just doing my usual exercise of asking for specifics, whereupon blowhard arguments like Thordude's reveal themselves devoid of substance. (See the Avo thread, for instance.)

Rarely do I get as gratifying a capitulation as this, though:

Quote
You are necessarily getting bogged down in the details of my examples while leaving the bigger point dangling in cyberspace.


--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 27 2006,18:42   

Quote (Russell @ Mar. 28 2006,00:11)
Rarely do I get as gratifying a capitulation as this, though:

Quote
You are necessarily getting bogged down in the details of my examples while leaving the bigger point dangling in cyberspace.

That is pretty good.

I would translate it as "just because all my facts are wrong, that doesn't undermine my final conclusion in the slightest".

Coming from someone who sees no difference between science and religion, we shouldn't be surprised.

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 27 2006,22:48   

Quote (thordaddy @ Mar. 27 2006,21:35)
Stephen Elliot opines,

Quote
Life does not begin at conception. There you are wrong. Human consciousness begins sometime after conception. But sperm and egg cells are alive before conception.

You do know that grass, trees, flowers and other things apart from mammals are alive right?

You are aware that single cells are alive? Such as the amoeba and (da naaaa! flagelum


So when did your life begin?  Are you billions of years old like ericmurphy?    

You say, "[h]uman consciousness begins sometime after conception."  Whoa, that's scientific!  But if that's a sign of life then are egg and sperm alive?  Are single cells, trees and flowers conscious?  They are alive, no?  So human life can't be predicated on consciousness alone, can it?

When did you come alive IF NOT AT CONCEPTION?

Now that is quite some question. The honest answer is, I don't know.

However, you do seem to be getting confused between life and conscious.

Why did you use the word predicated? It is confusing.

"So human life can't be predicated (=stated as true) on consciousness alone, can it?"

Well I would have thought consciousness was a requirement to be considered human. Wow, what a can of worms.

In some ways I am billions of years old. Every single atom that constitutes me pre-dates the solar system. In another way I am 44 years old. That being the age I have reached. In another way I am just a few days/weeks old, in that the majority of atoms that make me have been captured in that time.

Anyway. How would you define a human life? I doubt you consider a sperm as human (or being a wanker would make you a mass kiler). But a sperm is alive.

Sorry for rambling, but it is difficult to answer vague statements without doing so. Although I am pretty sure Thordaddy will dismiss this as a non-answer.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,00:17   

cogzoid opines,

Quote
I know of no debates between science and public schools.  There are debates about how science should be taught in public schools, but that is a completely different thing.


Exactly... and I've stated as much.  The only two possible debates concerning science and public education is in the application of the scientific method and the dissemination of scientific "facts."  There is little dispute with the former and only a dispute with the latter in terms of evolution vs. IDT and not between science and the public school system itself.  

Next you say,

Quote
Why is a one-size-fits-all system "antithetical" to science?  When in fact, science is constantly looking for "one-size" theories that explain "all".  (By the way, your "one-size theory" of schools clearly doesn't reflect, the remedial, normal, honors, and gifted reality that is the public school I attended.)


And so you are readily admitting the cozy relationship between science and the public school system?  The question is who decides which "scientific facts" are unsuitable for public education?  The answer is clear, but I see little protest from the scientific community on censored "facts."  

But more to the point, you are claiming that public education should aspire to be like a "one-size theory" for "all."  Yet, the facts say different.

Then you ask,

Quote
How is this connected at all?  Kids in school don't understand science yet, how can they be ready for scientific debates?

Segregation, inequality, nonconformity and discrimination are all "facts" of nature.  How can a system that abhors difference meld so easily with a world that exemplifies difference and is made apparent by the application of science?

Lastly you demand,

[QUOTE]What realities of life are public schools denying?  Can you specifically show and explain these denials, because I simply don't see them.


I've given several examples of taboo topics in the public school system.

If science shows a difference in IQs among the races or that homosexuals are the dominant carriers of AIDS does this then become relevant to a public education?  

If the answer is NO then one wonders what other scientific facts are irrelevant.  If one studies hard enough he will see a pattern emerge in which irrelevant scientific facts correlate closely to a political ideology.  But who is conforming to whom, I wonder?

If the answer is YES then why is it a taboo topic within public education and the scientific community itself?

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,00:32   

ericmurphy,

I've never seen as much flip-flopping and distortion in such rapid succession.

Life had no beginning, life had one beginning and life may have had many beginnings.

I say for the purpose of this argument it would be smart just to settle on the fact that YOU began at conception.  Since you don't know when you became conscious and human life, as far as I know, must first exist before there is consciousness then it stands to reason that conception is a very important matter, indeed.  Besides, you aren't really a couple billion years old.

Then again, maybe some day your son will ask why that whip cream is on your face and what is the silver thing rubbing it off and you can say, "Son, I'm just performing an abortion."

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,00:41   

Russell,

There was no capitulation.  There was only you feigning ignorance to scientific data showing IQ differences in races, dominance of homosexuals as the carriers for the AIDS disease, the efficacy of classroom gender segregation or the disproportionate amount of violence among minorities, etc.  

I could go on and on and all you are left to say is that these scientific "facts" are irrelevant to the public school system.  

If you think otherwise then by goodness where are the debates between science and its "facts" and the public school system?

That's a direct question that needs an answer?  Would you care to oblige?

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,01:29   

Quote
... by goodness where are the debates between science and its "facts" and the public school system?

That's a direct question that needs an answer?  Would you care to oblige?
That's your idea of a "direct question"? ? ?

How about this one: "what is the connection between ozone depletion and the color red?"

No, a direct question would be something like: "what percentage of HIV infections (in actual numbers) occur in homosexual vs. heterosexual people? Please supply reference." or "what do you think public schools should be doing with IQ data that they're not?"

You know, actual questions about specifics, for which actual, meaningful, specific answers are at least conceivable.

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,07:31   

Quote (thordaddy @ Mar. 28 2006,06:32)
ericmurphy,

I've never seen as much flip-flopping and distortion in such rapid succession.

Life had no beginning, life had one beginning and life may have had many beginnings.

I say for the purpose of this argument it would be smart just to settle on the fact that YOU began at conception.  Since you don't know when you became conscious and human life, as far as I know, must first exist before there is consciousness then it stands to reason that conception is a very important matter, indeed.  Besides, you aren't really a couple billion years old.

Get over yourself, Thordaddy.

If you could read and comprehend what I'm writing, you'd realize that my point is that it doesn't matter when life begins. You're hallucinating if you think I, or anyone else in this discussion, is doing any "flip-flopping" on this point (gee, I wonder which way you voted in the last presidential election). On this utterly trivial and stupid point, my position has been unchanging: that life had a beginning (whether it happened more than once or not, and no one knows the answer to that question) billions of years in the past. Can you possibly understand that simple statement?

For the purposes of the abortion debate, the question of when life "begins" is utterly meaningless. The only question that is of even remote applicability to the abortion debate that is grounded in biology (as opposed to ethics, religion, etc.) is when does an embryo become conscious. That's very much an open question, but as I said before, we can all be pretty comfortable in saying a group of a hundred cells (to say nothing of a single cell) is not conscious, any more than a fern, or a jellyfish, or a diatom is conscious.

Your insistence that life "begins" at conception is at worst wrong and at best meaningless.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,07:55   

ericmurphy, you might enjoy PZ's comments on the whole 'life begins at conception' nonsense.

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/03/black_white.php

   
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,08:39   

Quote (stevestory @ Mar. 28 2006,13:55)
ericmurphy, you might enjoy PZ's comments on the whole 'life begins at conception' nonsense.

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/03/black_white.php

Hey Steve,

Yes, a whole bunch of arguments I hadn't thought of as well, but I think it's really Thordaddy who needs to click on your link to give him an idea of how meaningless the entire question really is.

But Thordaddy's mistaken notion of when life "begins" points out a major problem with a lot of right-wing thinking these days: the more general notion that most things in life are black/white, wrong/right, on/off. Life is vastly more complicated than that, and contrary to a lot of these right-wing notions, there are often many other choices. Abortion is only one issue (and, in a perfect world, a minor one at that) among many for which life simply refuses to boil down to a simple good/bad, right/wrong, living/non-living dualism.

Of course, most of Thordaddy's other "facts" (the majority of HIV cases are gay? Not in Africa they're not; and who these days really believes that "intelligence" can be boiled down to a single dimensionless number?—to say nothing of the complexities of trying to control for cultural bias, socioeconomic status, individual genetic variation which is greater intra-race than between races, etc. ) are nothing of the sort.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Jay Ray



Posts: 92
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,09:18   

Conversing (and I use that term in the loosest way imaginable) with Thordaddy is like playing softball with waterballons.  What should be a base hit just goes splat! Everyone gets all wet and annoyed.  

Once identified, the best way I know to maintain my sanity is to quit playing, but make comments as if from the first base bleachers.  Or from the announcer's booth.

Richard, I don't know about you, but this newest pitcher for the Fundies just doesn't seem to be up to snuff in this league.

I was thinking the same thing, Ted.  None of his throws ever land in the strike zone.  Wasn't he a bench warmer for Fundies' farm team up until last month?

That's right, Dick.  Makes you wonder if the manager has been sampling a little too much oxycontin.

Well, whatever the case, Ted, this manager does seem to have the same preference for screwballs as the pitcher.

*fake laughter, cut to beer commercial*

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,09:38   

Quote
Hey Steve,

Yes, a whole bunch of arguments I hadn't thought of as well, but I think it's really Thordaddy who needs to click on your link to give him an idea of how meaningless the entire question really is.
Yeah, but i sent it to you because you'd appreciate it. Thordaddy can't tell sh1t from apple butter, as we say in the south.

   
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,09:57   

Quote
I say for the purpose of this argument it would be smart just to settle on the fact that YOU began at conception.  Since you don't know when you became conscious and human life, as far as I know, must first exist before there is consciousness then it stands to reason that conception is a very important matter, indeed.


Alright...I will give Thordaddy +3 points...he is correct
YOU began at conception.  Conception(in the way he is referring to it) is the point that 2 seperate organisms(ovum and a spermatozoon ) formed 1 organism(zygote).  

Problem(-1): "must first exist before there is consciousness then it stands to reason that conception is a very important matter"

True, but it could be argued that since the whole is made up of the parts, the parts are just as important....
Therefore, the egg and the sperm are equally important.
This is the stance of the catholic church, since creation of a zygote is just as important as the zygote, it is equally immoral to kill sperm, or prevent sperm from getting to the ovum.....
We could go back even further....but i digress

Logical flaw:(-1)
It is a very important matter, if you wish for consciousness to develop.  Otherwise it is not an important matter at all.
Your entire argument is based around the fact that at conception it becomes "life".  We give the life a new definition(zygote), but it doesnt become life.

Scientific facts(-1)
You are actually not quoting "scientific facts", your quoting statistical facts.

Statistical fact:  In the last 300 years the number of pirates has had an inverse relationship with the average temperature of the earth.

Scientific fact: There is a direct correlation between the number of pirates and the average temperature of the earth.  IF we had more pirates the temperature would go down.

or to use your example

Statistical fact: homosexual males have a higher percentage of AIDS cases than heterosexual males

thordaddy's "scientific" fact:  Homosexual males are the primary carrier of AIDS and are responsible for spreading AIDS.

Of course, science needs more than just statistics to draw a conclusion....if not...then we need more pirates

Total Score=0

  
Seven Popes



Posts: 190
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,10:16   

Avert website:
Quote
By December 2005 women accounted for 46% of all adults living with HIV worldwide, and for 57% in sub-Saharan Africa.

Thordaddy:
Quote
dominance of homosexuals as the carriers for the AIDS disease

Thordaddy, did you remember that "factoid" wrong or did you make that up?
http://www.avert.org/worldstats.htm
Dude, learn to Google.  It took me 15 seconds flat to figure out you are lying.
Heck, just LEARN.

--------------
Cave ab homine unius libri - Beware of anyone who has just one book.

  
Jay Ray



Posts: 92
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,10:19   

Hey guys, cut it out.  Quit using facts.  What are you, scientists or something?

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,10:47   

Quote (stevestory @ Mar. 28 2006,15:38)
Yeah, but i sent it to you because you'd appreciate it. Thordaddy can't tell sh1t from apple butter, as we say in the south.

Good point. And the link does also make a good argument that, contrary to the assertions of the right wing, there is a difference between a zygote and a child, and calling a zygote a "child" is on its face preposterous.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,12:29   

Stephen Elliot opines,

Quote
Now that is quite some question. The honest answer is, I don't know.

However, you do seem to be getting confused between life and conscious.

Why did you use the word predicated? It is confusing.

"So human life can't be predicated (=stated as true) on consciousness alone, can it?"

Well I would have thought consciousness was a requirement to be considered human. Wow, what a can of worms.

In some ways I am billions of years old. Every single atom that constitutes me pre-dates the solar system. In another way I am 44 years old. That being the age I have reached. In another way I am just a few days/weeks old, in that the majority of atoms that make me have been captured in that time.

Anyway. How would you define a human life? I doubt you consider a sperm as human (or being a wanker would make you a mass kiler). But a sperm is alive.

Sorry for rambling, but it is difficult to answer vague statements without doing so. Although I am pretty sure Thordaddy will dismiss this as a non-answer.


So you don't know when your life began, but you know it was not at conception (the beginning) and you suspect it started with the emergence of your consciousness?  Which means you don't know when you became conscious other than it was not at conception (the beginning)?

Is this your claim?

You don't KNOW when you began, but you're sure it wasn't at the beginning (conception)?

Then why look for this scientist for any answers?

When you state that consciousness ALONE signifies human life you must necessarily negate that which is required for consciousness, namely, human life.  

If a zygote does not represent human life then it stands to reason that a zygote cannot become conscious.  And if the zygote becomes conscious then it had to be human life, no?

So human life is not predicated on consciousness alone.  Afterall, I'm aware of no evidence of adults being conscious at their births.  This in turn would suggest that birthed babies are not conscious.  Will you claim these babies to be mere flowers, sperm cells or bacteria?  They can't be human life because they are not conscious and consciouness ALONE signifies human life according to you.

IS this your claim?

Human babies are not human life?  Is this a scientific facts?  LOL!

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,12:59   

ericmurphy opines,

Quote
Get over yourself, Thordaddy.

If you could read and comprehend what I'm writing, you'd realize that my point is that it doesn't matter when life begins. You're hallucinating if you think I, or anyone else in this discussion, is doing any "flip-flopping" on this point (gee, I wonder which way you voted in the last presidential election). On this utterly trivial and stupid point, my position has been unchanging: that life had a beginning (whether it happened more than once or not, and no one knows the answer to that question) billions of years in the past. Can you possibly understand that simple statement?


It doesn't matter to you and yet you still argue in favor of pointlessness and meaninglessness.  Huh?  Would your parents say your conception was pointless and meaningless?  Have you or will you claim your children's conception to be pointless and meaningless?  Ok... do whatever, but don't try to convince the rest of us that these "beginnings" are pointless and meaningless just because they are to you.  If this is what science has to offer, what's the point?

But then you say, "life had a beginning," which is tantamount to saying life began at conception.  This is exactly what I believe.  Life begins at conception.  You are certainly coming around.

Quote
For the purposes of the abortion debate, the question of when life "begins" is utterly meaningless. The only question that is of even remote applicability to the abortion debate that is grounded in biology (as opposed to ethics, religion, etc.) is when does an embryo become conscious. That's very much an open question, but as I said before, we can all be pretty comfortable in saying a group of a hundred cells (to say nothing of a single cell) is not conscious, any more than a fern, or a jellyfish, or a diatom is conscious.


Excuse me if I'm missing the science in your statement.  The question of when life begins would be very important if it coincided with the emergence of consciousness.  And that is the very debate, isn't it?  Some claim human life begins at conception and some claim it begins at some unknown point after conception with the emergence of consciouness.  The question is whether this latter belief is merely a rationalization for abortion.  There is certainly no evidence as to when one becomes conscious and yet you are adamant that it DIDN'T begin at conception.  You must concede that consciousness REQUIRES human life first and foremost, but you won't concede that human life is conscious from its conception.  This is fine, but you run into a problem.

If a zygote is not human life then a zygote, much like a ovum, sperm, flower or bacteria cannot become conscious.

If you are conscious and hence represent human "life" and where at conception a zygote, then it stands to reason that a zygote can become conscious.  

And because a zygote can become conscious, it stands to reason that it must be human life and not the equivalent of a ovum, sperm, flower or bacteria.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,13:05   

Thordaddy. I am not a biologist or a scientist.

No I do not know when my life began. Do you know when yours did? If so, please state when that was.

BTW. I did not state that consciousnes alone describes human life. I am pretty sure a dog, cat or crocodile is conscious.

However, I do think that being self-aware is a part of being human. When that happens, I have no idea. But I am pretty certain that a fertilised egg is not conscious. Just as I am reasonably sure an individual sperm is not conscious.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,13:12   

Oh dear. I seem to have accidentally stumbled into the abortion discussion area. Could someone direct me to where they're discussing science education issues?

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,13:34   

PuckSR opines,

Quote
Alright...I will give Thordaddy +3 points...he is correct
YOU began at conception.  Conception(in the way he is referring to it) is the point that 2 seperate organisms(ovum and a spermatozoon ) formed 1 organism(zygote).  

Problem(-1): "must first exist before there is consciousness then it stands to reason that conception is a very important matter"

True, but it could be argued that since the whole is made up of the parts, the parts are just as important....
Therefore, the egg and the sperm are equally important.
This is the stance of the catholic church, since creation of a zygote is just as important as the zygote, it is equally immoral to kill sperm, or prevent sperm from getting to the ovum.....
We could go back even further....but i digress


I'm not sure how this negates my argument that life begins at conception or that that conception represents an important event.  Tires are important to a car, but only if they're attached and functioning.  Yes, sperm and egg are important, but merely existing is equivalent to 4 tires on the ground with the car on the rack.  But I digress and I think a point needs to be added.  Afterall, you started the statement with "true."

Quote
Logical flaw:(-1)
It is a very important matter, if you wish for consciousness to develop.  Otherwise it is not an important matter at all.
Your entire argument is based around the fact that at conception it becomes "life".  We give the life a new definition(zygote), but it doesnt become life.


Huh?  You give "life" a new name, but then claim it isn't "life?"  A zygote is alive similar to the sperm and ovum that created it.  But, it's not "life" because it lacks a consciousness.  In this sense the zygote is no more different than the ovem and sperm that created it.  Both are alive, but do not represent human life.  Is this the argument?

It is a fact that a zygote is or will become conscious.  Afterall, you are conscious because you were a zygote.  But as of know there is no evidence to suggest that consciousness emerges anywhere other than at conception.  You could claim that there is no evidence of an adult being conscious of his/her birth, but you must then claim that birthed babies aren't human life.  Should I add another point?  LOL!  

Quote
Scientific facts(-1)
You are actually not quoting "scientific facts", your quoting statistical facts.

Statistical fact:  In the last 300 years the number of pirates has had an inverse relationship with the average temperature of the earth.

Scientific fact: There is a direct correlation between the number of pirates and the average temperature of the earth.  IF we had more pirates the temperature would go down.

or to use your example

Statistical fact: homosexual males have a higher percentage of AIDS cases than heterosexual males

thordaddy's "scientific" fact:  Homosexual males are the primary carrier of AIDS and are responsible for spreading AIDS.

Of course, science needs more than just statistics to draw a conclusion....if not...then we need more pirates

Total Score=0


I'll concede that last point.  Total score 2 (out of what though?).

  
Seven Popes



Posts: 190
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,13:40   

Thordaddy, no Seven Popes opines?  I did 15 seconds of surfing for nothing?  If it's a reading comprehension issue, I'll type real slow....

--------------
Cave ab homine unius libri - Beware of anyone who has just one book.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,14:02   

Stephen Elliot opines,

Quote
Thordaddy. I am not a biologist or a scientist.

No I do not know when my life began. Do you know when yours did? If so, please state when that was.


If you do not know when you began then doesn't your conception become the default position?  My life began at conception.  And just like I was not conscious of my birth at the time of birth, I was not conscious of my conception at the time of conception.  Will you now claim that you were no more human at birth than at conception?  You weren't human life at your birth?  I shudder to think of a world where that can be conceived of a true.  But then again, justifications for killing always progress inward.

Quote
BTW. I did not state that consciousnes alone describes human life. I am pretty sure a dog, cat or crocodile is conscious.


I asked if human life could be predicated on consciousness ALONE to which you sounded incredulous to the idea that it could be otherwise.  So consciousness is not unique to humans and it doesn't emerge at conception for those that possess it?  So evidence of consciousness DOES NOT necessarily signify human life?  It may signify a dog, cat or crocodile.  Therefore, something else must help us to define human life.  I call it the zygote.  What do you call it?

Quote
However, I do think that being self-aware is a part of being human. When that happens, I have no idea. But I am pretty certain that a fertilised egg is not conscious. Just as I am reasonably sure an individual sperm is not conscious.


But then you must concede that a birthed baby is not conscious.  Are you aware of any known child, teenager  or adult that was conscious at their time of birth?  Therefore, you must assume that babies are not human life if consciousness ALONE signifies human life or unless you are now claiming that consciousness is ONLY a PART of what makes a human life.  You need to clarify where you stand.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,14:08   

Seven Popes,

My reference to AIDS distribution was confined to America since it was the American public school system we were discussing.  There is little doubt that in America, AIDS is dominant amongst homosexuals.  I try to restrain my imperialist inclinations and let Africa deal with their AIDS problem which is entirely different than ours in America.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,14:28   

Thordaddy,

You seem to be mixing consciousnes with memmmory now.

To make things easier, why do you not state your point clearly?

Do you seriously believe that a fertilised egg is conscious? At the moment of conception?

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,14:36   

guys, the AIDS situation in Africa doesn't help attack the fags. Therefore, it doesn't count. I mean, stop being so biased.

   
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,14:52   

Stephen Elliot,

I thought we were talking about science and now you are asking what I "believe."  I don't think it matters whether a fertilised egg is conscious because consciousness is only a part of being human life.  

I don't understand where you stand?  Does consciousness ALONE define human life?  You first seemed to say yes.  And then you stated dogs, cats and crocodiles are conscious which would indicate you believe it doesn't alone define human life as consciousness could also help define a dog, cat or crocodile.  So how do we tell the difference between a conscious dog and a conscious child?  Must it not be something outside of consciousness?  I call it a zygote.  What do you call it?

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,14:57   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Mar. 28 2006,20:28)
Thordaddy,

You seem to be mixing consciousnes with memmmory now.

To make things easier, why do you not state your point clearly?

Because that's beyond his ability. Obviously.

  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,15:49   

Quote
So how do we tell the difference between a conscious dog and a conscious child?  Must it not be something outside of consciousness?  I call it a zygote.  What do you call it?


I call it a central nervous system, thorguy.

--------------
A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,16:09   

This debate is very tired. The issue isn't when someone becomes human (a genetic notion), but rather when someone becomes a person (a legal notion). And the answer is simple: a human becomes a person when the law says so.

For nearly half the history of the US, negros were legally not persons. They could be legally treated as property in every way. This has nothing to do with genetics, intelligence, consciousness, education, or ability. It is strictly a legal definition.

In the matter of abortion, the law is currently bowing to circumstances: abortions are like immigration from Mexico: something that happens and will happen regardless of the law.

Beyond this is the congruity with American principles generally: Abortion is not mandatory (as it is some places), nor is it prohibited (as it is other places). Instead, Americans are *free to choose* without anyone's religious convictions being imposed on anyone else.

The marriage of inevitable practicality with individual liberty is a marriage made in heaven. Let the bigots rant; their right to do so is rightly protected. In a very real sense, liberty means letting other people do things you don't like and wish they wouldn't.

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,16:19   

Quote
Oh dear. I seem to have accidentally stumbled into the abortion discussion area. Could someone direct me to where they're discussing science education issues?


Actually, this does apply to the whole ID discussion....

Several people, including thordaddy, lack a clear way of seperating philosophy from science....
a scientific proof=a philosophical proof in their minds

Quote
(PuckSR)Your entire argument is based around the fact that at conception it becomes "life".  We give the life a new definition(zygote),but it doesnt become life.

Quote
(Thordaddy)Huh?  You give "life" a new name, but then claim it isn't "life?"


Completely wrong thordaddy...
I explained that it was life before conception
I claimed it was life after conception
I claimed that it doesnt become life...it already was alive

Quote
It is a fact that a zygote is or will become conscious.  Afterall, you are conscious because you were a zygote.  But as of know there is no evidence to suggest that consciousness emerges anywhere other than at conception.


It is a fact that an ovum and sperm will become conscious too....if they are allowed to interact

Actually...consciousness must emerge after conception
consciousness-An alert cognitive state in which you are aware of yourself and your situation.....
lets make it easier
sentient-Endowed with feeling and unstructured consciousness

either way you put it...you need to be thinking...in some way.
A zygote doesnt have a brain, a mind, or even a neural network....
it cannot be concious...i would go as far as to give you conciousness as soon as neural cells begin developing...but that still doesnt happen for awhile

If you havent noticed yet, this is all incredibly interesting stuff...but not scientific....

thordaddy....if you think the issue of the zygote is scientific...and that you have the answer...I have an equally scientific question that is remarkable similiar

If you take an old car and start fixing it up; you might have to replace some parts.  At what point does it become a different car?  If I replace every part in the car, one at a time over several years....is it a new car?

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,16:54   

Once again Thordaddy demonstrates his inability to comprehend clear, unambiguous English sentences:

Quote (thordaddy @ Mar. 28 2006,18:59)
It doesn't matter to you and yet you still argue in favor of pointlessness and meaninglessness.  Huh?  Would your parents say your conception was pointless and meaningless?  Have you or will you claim your children's conception to be pointless and meaningless?  Ok... do whatever, but don't try to convince the rest of us that these "beginnings" are pointless and meaningless just because they are to you.  If this is what science has to offer, what's the point?


Where did I say conception was meaningless? I said that arguments about when life "begins" are meaningless within the context of the abortion debate. As I've said a million times before, life does not begin at conception. Can we possibly get past that point? I'm sick of repeating myself.

Quote
But then you say, "life had a beginning," which is tantamount to saying life began at conception.  This is exactly what I believe.  Life begins at conception.  You are certainly coming around.


WHAT?!! Saying life had a beginning, at some point in time, is tantamount to saying it began at conception? Are you out of your mind? Or are you as logically-challenged as you are semantically-challenged? Life began some time in the distant past, not "at conception." Can you understand the distinction between "in the distant past" and "a few decades ago"?

Quote
Excuse me if I'm missing the science in your statement.  The question of when life begins would be very important if it coincided with the emergence of consciousness.  And that is the very debate, isn't it?  Some claim human life begins at conception and some claim it begins at some unknown point after conception with the emergence of consciouness.


Thordaddy, I have to ask: are you drunk when you write this stuff? We already know that the onset of consciousness does not coincide with the onset of life, unless you're willing to entertain the notion that sperm cells (along with every single other living organism--algae, liver cells--on the planet, arguably including viruses) is "conscious". You're placing points in issue that were settled long ago. No one but the most utterly clueless would argue that life =  consciousness.

Once more from the top, Thordaddy: Life Does Not Begin at Conception. Can we finally, at long last, get past this point?

Quote
There is certainly no evidence as to when one becomes conscious and yet you are adamant that it DIDN'T begin at conception.


If you're saying no one knows at which point, exactly, a fetus becomes conscious, you and I can agree (evidently the only point on which we agree). But if you're still going to maintain that it's even possible for a fertilized but undivided ovum to be conscious, you're quite frankly out of your mind.

Quote
 You must concede that consciousness REQUIRES human life first and foremost, but you won't concede that human life is conscious from its conception.  This is fine, but you run into a problem.


I don't have to concede this at all. I'm pretty sure that, e.g., dogs, cats, dolphins, chimps, etc., are possessing something at least roughly synonymous with, if not identical to, consciousness. So you've lost that point too.

On your second point, I can't imagine how anyone could possibly think that a freshly-fertilized but undivided human ovum could possibly be possessed of anything worthy of the name "consciousness," unless you're using the term in some novel sense that you have not yet defined.

Quote
If a zygote is not human life then a zygote, much like a ovum, sperm, flower or bacteria cannot become conscious.


God, man, can you possibly start making a distinction between "consciousness" and "life"? No one is saying a human zygote is not human life (normally I'd assume that we're limiting our discussion to human zygotes, but based on the way this discussion is going so far I'm not sure that's a valid assumption). The point everyone else here is clear on is that a human zygote, at the moment of conception, simply is not conscious. Is this point really that hard to grasp?

Quote
If you are conscious and hence represent human "life" and where at conception a zygote, then it stands to reason that a zygote can become conscious.  


Can we file this under "another statement of the bleeding obvious"? Yes, a human zygote can become conscious. So can an unfertilized ovum. So can a sperm cell. Did you have a point here somewhere?

Quote
And because a zygote can become conscious, it stands to reason that it must be human life and not the equivalent of a ovum, sperm, flower or bacteria.


This, on the other hand, goes in the "bleeding non-sequitor" category. Because a zygote (any kind of zygote? a corn plant zygote?) can become conscious, it must be a human zygote? Well, what if it's a chimp zygote? Are you going to argue that chimps are not conscious? Or that if a chimp zygote can become conscious, it must in fact be really a human zygote? I'm afraid you've completely lost track of your argument.

On the other hand, I know exactly what my argument is. Here's the take-home lesson, Thordaddy: life does not begin at conception. Consciousness does not begin at conception. There's very little special about the moment of conception. Yes, a fertilized ovum has a somewhat greater chance of becoming a person than an unfertilized egg (or a sperm cell for that matter) does, but it has a lot less of a chance of becoming a person than a third-trimester fetus does. There's certainly nothing inevitable about a fertilized ovum becoming a person.

Drawing the line between personhood and non-personhood at the moment of conception is entirely arbitrary. Which goes back to my point that life simply is not as black-and-white/right-or-wrong as many on the right would like us to believe.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Jay Ray



Posts: 92
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,17:05   

You only think you just hit a home run.  

Waterballons.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,18:52   

PuckSR opines,

Quote
Completely wrong thordaddy...
I explained that it was life before conception
I claimed it was life after conception
I claimed that it doesnt become life...it already was alive


There was life before your conception.  There was life after your conception.  But at your conception there was ONLY you.  You are not a sperm.  You are not an ovum.  You aren't even a sperm and ovum real close together.  Their "lives" are very distinct from your life and your conception, but you claim them the same.  The sperm, ovum and zygote are all the same because they are alive.  But neither the sperm nor the ovum will become you or the zygote that was once you.  What do you say of this differentiation?

Quote
It is a fact that an ovum and sperm will become conscious too....if they are allowed to interact


...and not meet an untimely death.  But if the zygote will become conscious then what evidence is there that it is not conscious from conception?

Quote
Actually...consciousness must emerge after conception
consciousness-An alert cognitive state in which you are aware of yourself and your situation.....
lets make it easier
sentient-Endowed with feeling and unstructured consciousness

either way you put it...you need to be thinking...in some way.
A zygote doesnt have a brain, a mind, or even a neural network....
it cannot be concious...i would go as far as to give you conciousness as soon as neural cells begin developing...but that still doesnt happen for awhile

If you havent noticed yet, this is all incredibly interesting stuff...but not scientific....


Yes, one must be conceived in order to become conscious and if consciousness is important in determining human life then conception is ever more important because it's a clear indication of potential consciousness.  

But, I'm a little perplexed that you could claim a zygote to be unconscious when no evidence exists for such a claim outside the fact that it doesn't have the alleged mechanisms for consciousness.  Yet, those very mechanisms that are believed to manifest consciousness are present in a baby at birth, but I am aware of no child, teenager or adult that has claimed consciousness at birth.  This throws into doubt the relevance of your alleged mechanisms of consciousness and whether they determine the consciousness of a zygote.

Quote
thordaddy....if you think the issue of the zygote is scientific...and that you have the answer...I have an equally scientific question that is remarkable similiar

If you take an old car and start fixing it up; you might have to replace some parts.  At what point does it become a different car?  If I replace every part in the car, one at a time over several years....is it a new car?


I don't claim to have an answer, but instead accept what I presently know.

I guess it all depends on what you mean by different.  If only the owner gets to decide then he will decide.  If many others are allowed to pontificate then I guess we will have many different answers.

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,19:03   

Quote
but I am aware of no child, teenager or adult that has claimed consciousness at birth.


You obviously misunderstand 2 things....
1)  You wouldnt have to remember consciousness
2)  Do you see a baby interact with their surroundings?  They possess conciousness......that is why they can interact...
Ive never heard a dog claim consciousness either...but im fairly sure they are conscious beings..

Quote
I guess it all depends on what you mean by different.  If only the owner gets to decide then he will decide.  If many others are allowed to pontificate then I guess we will have many different answers.


Hmm...then i guess you see the problem with this whole conversation....we all "opine"....you cannot prove when that car becomes a new car....
you probably think that if you replace one part it is still the same car
you probably think if you replace every part...that it is a new car...

but you cannot tell me when it changes....such is a question for philosophy....
all science can tell us is that you replaced 20 parts...

Quote
But neither the sperm nor the ovum will become you or the zygote that was once you.


But the sperm and ovum do become the zygote that once was you????
What are you trying to say...?
Either your a cleverly disguised teacher feeding me koans...trying to put me on the path....
or your really, really confusing....

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,19:18   

ericmurphy opines,

Quote
I don't have to concede this at all. I'm pretty sure that, e.g., dogs, cats, dolphins, chimps, etc., are possessing something at least roughly synonymous with, if not identical to, consciousness. So you've lost that point too.

On your second point, I can't imagine how anyone could possibly think that a freshly-fertilized but undivided human ovum could possibly be possessed of anything worthy of the name "consciousness," unless you're using the term in some novel sense that you have not yet defined.


First you claim that dogs, cats and dolphins have consciousness.  This means consciousness ALONE DOES NOT define human life, but instead may define several different conscious entities. This leads one to accept that consciousness is only a PART of what defines human life.  We cannot say, "thou is conscious, thou is human being."  That conscious thing might be a dolphin or a dog.  

So I ask, what is the difference between a conscious dolphin and a human baby?  You say a fertilized ovum is not conscious yet you know nothing of when or where consciousness emerges.  And you also readily admit consciousness in lower life forms, but not for the zygote.

Quote
On the other hand, I know exactly what my argument is. Here's the take-home lesson, Thordaddy: life does not begin at conception. Consciousness does not begin at conception.


Then your life either began at the Origin and you are billions of years old or your life began at the emergence of your consciousness in which you have no idea when it emerged and hence no idea when your life began.

Quote
There's very little special about the moment of conception. Yes, a fertilized ovum has a somewhat greater chance of becoming a person than an unfertilized egg (or a sperm cell for that matter) does, but it has a lot less of a chance of becoming a person than a third-trimester fetus does. There's certainly nothing inevitable about a fertilized ovum becoming a person.


A somewhat greater chance?  Has a sperm or ovum ever evolved into a person?  And your right that there is nothing inevitable about a fertilized ovum becoming a person especially if abortion is just a choice.  If abortion was frowned upon the inevitability would be much greater.

Quote
Drawing the line between personhood and non-personhood at the moment of conception is entirely arbitrary. Which goes back to my point that life simply is not as black-and-white/right-or-wrong as many on the right would like us to believe.


It's certainly no more arbitrary than drawing the line between personhood and non-personhood at the emergence of consciousness.  Afterall, you don't even know where that line is!  Now that's arbitrary.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,19:49   

PuckSR opines,

Quote
consciousness-An alert cognitive state in which you are aware of yourself and your situation.....
lets make it easier
sentient-Endowed with feeling and unstructured consciousness
 

But then said,

Quote
You obviously misunderstand 2 things....
1)  You wouldnt have to remember consciousness
2)  Do you see a baby interact with their surroundings?  They possess conciousness......that is why they can interact...
Ive never heard a dog claim consciousness either...but im fairly sure they are conscious beings..


If one cannot remember being self-aware at birth then how can you make a claim of consciousness at birth? You must either assume a period of unconsciousness that erases all previous moments of consciouness.  Or you must assume that the interaction with one's environment is a sign of self-awareness.  Or, you must assume that the mere existence of the alleged mechanisms that manifest consciousness have in fact done so?  

If one is forced to make these assumptions then how can a zygote be considered unconscious?

A zygote may be conscious, but we have simply forgot this moment of self-awareness.

A zygote can be said to interact with its enviroment.  Very precisely so!

A zygote may not possess the alleged mechanisms for the manifestation of consciousness, but it certainly retains the mechanisms that manifest the mechanisms that are alleged to bring forth consciousness.  Would consciousness need to be in there somewhere?

PuckSR,

When did your life begin if not at conception?

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,20:03   

Thordaddy, you're so far removed from your original argument I doubt you can even trace your way back there. Your original position was that life begins at conception, and that schools should teach this "fact." It has been pointed out to you in no uncertain terms that life does not begin at conception, but you stubbornly refuse to accept that fact.

Somehow we now find ourselves wandering around in the weeds of trying to define what a human life is, which aside from being a waste of time in this context, is essentially undecidable. Society has defined and redefined personhood often enough to make it clear that there is no such definition. Certainly none that has applicability to your argument.

You're asking me to describe the difference between a human infant and a dolphin. I'm trying to imagine what possible connection this could have to whether schools should teach a falsehood, i.e., that life begins at conception, and frankly I'm at a loss.

I admit that consciousness can exist in non-human organisms because they have the necessary hardware, i.e., a central nervous system, to support consciousness—something a blastocyst emphatically does not have. You're trying to obscure a very simple issue here. A zygote does not have consciousness by any rational meaning of the term. You're acting like there's an argument here, when there isn't one. You're simply wrong.

I most certainly do have an idea of when my consciousness arose. It arose at some point after I developed a central nervous system capable of supporting consciousness. That I can't pin when that happened down to a particular date and time doesn't change that fact. But when I achieved a state of consciousness has absolutely nothing to do with at what point I became "alive," and you stubbornly refuse to make the distinction between the two.

Has a sperm or ovum ever evolved into a human? No. Neither has a zygote. Evolution doesn't work that way. Has a sperm or an egg ever developed into a human? Sure. It happens a few thousand times every single day.

There's nothing inevitable about a fertilized egg becoming a human, abortion or not. Are you really so uninformed as to believe that every fertilized egg necessarily develops into a fetus, to say nothing of an actual person?

Quote
It's certainly no more arbitrary than drawing the line between personhood and non-personhood at the emergence of consciousness.  Afterall, you don't even know where that line is!  Now that's arbitrary.


You're making my point for me. Any attempt to draw a line between personhood and non-personhood is necessarily arbitrary, and if you think you can get science to do it for you in a non-arbitrary way, you're dreaming.

You're looking for a way to torture science into giving you a certainty where there's no certainty to be had. Life is not as black-and-white as you imagine it to be. You will never get science to draw the line you want it to draw, so if I were you, I'd quite while I was behind.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,20:11   

Quote
If one cannot remember being self-aware at birth then how can you make a claim of consciousness at birth? You must either assume a period of unconsciousness that erases all previous moments of consciouness.  Or you must assume that the interaction with one's environment is a sign of self-awareness.


Do you remember when you started remembering?
Was it a sudden moment, or do you remember it at all?

For the sake of this conversation, please define conciousness....

My definition of conciousness has absolutely nothing to do with memory

Quote
PuckSR,

When did your life begin if not at conception?


Wonderful question....I dont even know if there is an answer...but i certainly dont know...and neither do you
The point, which you have missed, is that life may start at conception...but no one...including yourself knows when it starts...we just have opinions...

This is a big mistake some Christians make...
knowledge does not mean strong conviction about your beliefs...
You do not know god exists....you just believe that he does

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,20:58   

PuckSR,

You don't see the absurdity of claiming no knowledge of one's commencement of self-awareness.  You don't know when you became conscious, but you can state it wasn't at conception.  

How do you know when you just said you didn't know?  

How do you know you were conscious at birth when you just said you didn't know when you became conscious?  

You only assume you were conscious at birth because you assumed you interacted with your environment or you had the mechanisms for consciousness or you simply observe other birthed babies and made the assumption.  

But then how can this not be said of a zygote?  Clearly, a zygote interacts with its environment and it must at least contain the mechanisms that created the mechanisms for consciousness.  A zygote must contain the fundamentals of consciousness, no?

If you don't know when YOUR life begins then why should you assume that it started anywhere other than at your conception?  What evidence leads you away from the obvious assumption?

BTW, I'm not Christian nor am I particularly religious.  Although, I do see many valuable contributions in both science and Christianity.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,23:09   

Thordaddy.

Do you believe something without a brain or central nervous system can be conscious?

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,23:28   

Stephen Elliot,

I don't think the evidence shows consciousness in entities without a brain and a central nervous system, but neither of these things are required to be alive.

Is there a point to the question?

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,23:50   

Quote (thordaddy @ Mar. 29 2006,05:28)
Stephen Elliot,

I don't think the evidence shows consciousness in entities without a brain and a central nervous system, but neither of these things are required to be alive.

Is there a point to the question?

The point was that a human zygote is not a fully fledged human being.

You apeared to be making an anti-abortion argument based on a point that you considered a fertilised human egg to be a human being. Therefore implying abortion was murder.

You have said things like "life begins at conception". When clearly both the egg and sperm are alive before conception.

  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,23:59   

Quote
I can't imagine how anyone could possibly think that a freshly-fertilized but undivided human ovum could possibly be possessed of anything worthy of the name "consciousness," unless you're using the term in some novel sense that you have not yet defined.


Eric, he's using the term in the "Eternal Soul" sense, of course. Thordaddy, dont be ashamed to state your beliefs clearly: It might make your posts more coherent.

Anyway, things are simple:
Life (as in a living organism) does NOT begin at conception.
"Life comes from life", remember that principle so dear to creationists?
(and no, that does not disprove the theories of abiogenesis in the past- please don't try to derail the thread yet again at this point if you are even slightly honest).
What happens at conception (and I'm sure we both agree) is that the foundations are set for what will eventually be an independent organism- a human, in our case.
Now, we agree (science agrees) that this bunch of cells, if all goes well -and that's a big "if"- will become a human being.
But is it a human being now? Not that certain a fact.
You can argue that the human "soul" magically appears at conception, but I won't follow you there. Arguing that some supernatural, undefined and unobservable quality appears in a supernatural, undefined way in a living organism (much like ID, heh) Is not science.
I am sorry but, speaking scientifically, there's not much evidence of the zygote being "human": What distinguishes us as humans, our intelligence,
which is responsible (as in other creatures) for our self-awareness and also makes us capable of abstract thought, is entirely dependent of our central nervous system; and there is no trace of that in the bunch of cells that is the embryo the first weeks, let alone at conception.
If you think there's any scientific evidence supporting that, you're clearly mistaken. There is NO scientific controversy here. Only a moral and religious one.
(much like ID, but in the case with abortion all sides agree to the nature of the controversy -nobody tries to invoke science to prove the zygote is sentient and concious, that would be plain silly. :))
And so, there is no reason for such a debate to be held at schools (except perhaps in some moral class).
And that's as much as I'll discuss abortion with you (which even so, is clearly way off-topic). As for your other two arguments, they are both IMMENSELY inaccurate, and only prove the sort of bigotry one can find in whatever sites you dug them out of.
The whole "AIDS as a homo disease" argument is a bad joke (the reasons have been clearly pointed out to you by others already- sorry if you don't get them), and as for  that other "theory" that tries to force racism in science: the only serious attempt to do so was with one infamous essay, which was immediately discredited as statistically unsound decades ago (if it denonstrated anything, it was that black people in the US recieve less education than WEMs -duh).

And that is that. Now, do you have anything meaningful to add to this debate, or will you go on talking about abortion, trying to imply "soul" without actually saying it, and at the same time claiming you are not religious (yeah, right)? Because then I'm done here.

--------------
A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
W. Kevin Vicklund



Posts: 68
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 29 2006,06:33   

Among black Americans, the primary mode of transmission of AIDS is heterosexual sex and IV drug use - this is especially true for black women.  So even restricting it to America does not assist thorluther's argument.

I am also aware of quite a large number of social scientists who are, in fact, arguing about whether many of these topics should be included in school curricula.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 29 2006,12:05   

Not sure if you need a subscription, or can read this without and be subjected to ads, but you really ought to check this out: "GOP War On Sinners"

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 29 2006,12:09   

Here's a teaser, showing you why you really ought to check it out:

Quote
"I believe the most damaging thing Tom DeLay has done in his life is take his faith seriously in the public office, which made him a target of all those who despise the goals of Christ," said Scarborough, a former college football player and longtime DeLay ally. Taking the stage before the 200 or so adoring activists in the banquet hall, DeLay ran with the end-times theme. "We have been chosen to live as Christians at a time when our culture is being poisoned and our world is being threatened, at a time when sides are being chosen and the future of man hangs in the balance," he said. "The enemies of virtue may be on the march, but they have not won, and if we put our trust in Christ, they never will."


--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
jupiter



Posts: 97
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 29 2006,13:19   

Quote
I don't think the evidence shows consciousness in entities without a brain and a central nervous system, but neither of these things are required to be alive.


Thordaddy's existence must be one of constant vigilance and few creature comforts. By his definition, there's no distinguishing between "life" and "consciousness," and such absolute reverence for life makes PETA look like a Ted Stevens Bow-Hunting Club. Thordaddy's life-honoring diet of potting soil and paste must have serious health consequences, including neurological impairment. The mental rigidity; the illogical, circular thinking patterns; the inability to take in and consider written language -- quite likely, it's all due to advanced scurvy. Or maybe pellagra. Or both. The man desperately needs a lemon with a side of brewer's yeast.

I'm still wondering how his beliefs about life, consciousness, or anything else have any relationship to science.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 29 2006,17:03   

ericmurphy opines,

Quote
Thordaddy, you're so far removed from your original argument I doubt you can even trace your way back there. Your original position was that life begins at conception, and that schools should teach this "fact." It has been pointed out to you in no uncertain terms that life does not begin at conception, but you stubbornly refuse to accept that fact.


thordaddy asks, "So if your life didn't begin at conception then when did it begin?"

ericmurphy responds, "I DON'T KNOW when my life began, but I KNOW it wasn't at conception!"

So when little Johnny asks when he came "alive," his biology teacher can tell him, "I DON'T KNOW Johnny, but it sure wasn't at your conception."

Who needs a biology teacher like that?  I'm looking for answers, man.

Quote
Somehow we now find ourselves wandering around in the weeds of trying to define what a human life is, which aside from being a waste of time in this context, is essentially undecidable. Society has defined and redefined personhood often enough to make it clear that there is no such definition. Certainly none that has applicability to your argument.


The question is whether personhood is defined by real hard science or just ericmurphy's subjective notions?  Hitler and Sanger helped define human life and human life suffered greatly.

Quote
You're asking me to describe the difference between a human infant and a dolphin. I'm trying to imagine what possible connection this could have to whether schools should teach a falsehood, i.e., that life begins at conception, and frankly I'm at a loss.


No, actually I'm asking you how you tell the difference between two conscious entities.  Other than mere physical difference, both are alive and consciousness  and according to you didn't begin at conception.  Yet, we don't hunt babies for their meat.  There is no scientific distinction between human infant and a dolphin though there is a distinction indeed.  What is it?

Quote
I admit that consciousness can exist in non-human organisms because they have the necessary hardware, i.e., a central nervous system, to support consciousness—something a blastocyst emphatically does not have. You're trying to obscure a very simple issue here. A zygote does not have consciousness by any rational meaning of the term. You're acting like there's an argument here, when there isn't one. You're simply wrong.


First, I see no definition of consciousness that requires a central nervous system and so you are making an unfounded assumption.  Secondly, a zygote interacts with its enviroment and that, at the least, exhibits some degree of consciousness.  Thirdly, the mechanisms that are alleged to manifest consciousness (central nervous system) are almost assuredly contained within the zygote in some measure.  Lastly, you really have NO idea if a zygote is conscious because you have NO idea when or where consciousness emerges.  You simply put your faith in an idea the helps you rationalize the killing of human life.

Quote
I most certainly do have an idea of when my consciousness arose. It arose at some point after I developed a central nervous system capable of supporting consciousness. That I can't pin when that happened down to a particular date and time doesn't change that fact. But when I achieved a state of consciousness has absolutely nothing to do with at what point I became "alive," and you stubbornly refuse to make the distinction between the two.


So what is the distinction, ericmurphy?  When did you become "alive" and then become "conscious" if it was not at conception for the former and completely unknown for the latter?  You're alive and conscious, but you don't know when you became alive and conscious.  I just assume it happened at conception.  No other evidence is sufficient to persuade me otherwise.

Quote
You're making my point for me. Any attempt to draw a line between personhood and non-personhood is necessarily arbitrary, and if you think you can get science to do it for you in a non-arbitrary way, you're dreaming.


The line is simply drawn at birth and not conception.  This allows you to rationalize abortion.  Nothing more.  The problem is that there is no scientific reason to draw the line at birth and yet it has been drawn with little disagreement from the science community.  Of course, that is all changing rapidly as we speak.

Quote
You're looking for a way to torture science into giving you a certainty where there's no certainty to be had. Life is not as black-and-white as you imagine it to be. You will never get science to draw the line you want it to draw, so if I were you, I'd quite while I was behind.


What is the science behind drawing the line at birth?

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 29 2006,17:16   

Stephen Elliot opines,

Quote
The point was that a human zygote is not a fully fledged human being.

You apeared to be making an anti-abortion argument based on a point that you considered a fertilised human egg to be a human being. Therefore implying abortion was murder.

You have said things like "life begins at conception". When clearly both the egg and sperm are alive before conception.


What's a fully-fledged human being?  Does that description have scientific validity?  Is a 90 year old grandpa in a coma a fully-fledged human being?  Is a child with cerebral palsy a fully-fledged human being?  What about an Iraqi veteran with multiple amputations?  

You what to argue in favor of objective science while you give human life a purely subjective meaning.  Your own subjective meaning.  I don't like subjectively defining human life because history is a prime example of the bad things that can happen when powerful minorities or majorities can define the value of our lives.

But until you define a fully-fledged human being why should you assume it to be anything other than that which begins at conception?

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 29 2006,17:54   

Faid opines,

(I got a real kick out of this one)

Quote
Anyway, things are simple:
Life (as in a living organism) does NOT begin at conception.
"Life comes from life", remember that principle so dear to creationists?
(and no, that does not disprove the theories of abiogenesis in the past- please don't try to derail the thread yet again at this point if you are even slightly honest).


When one starts like this can anything after be taken serious?  So life doesn't begin at the beginning and life comes from life except when it came from non-life?  LOL!!

Quote
What happens at conception (and I'm sure we both agree) is that the foundations are set for what will eventually be an independent organism- a human, in our case.


What happens at conception?  Nothing, according to you.  It's the beginning that doesn't begin.  

Oh wait... actually conception is the setting of the "foundations" of what will "eventually be an independent organism."  

As you state above, "[l]ife (as in living organism) does NOT begin at conception."  Conception just sets the foundations for LIFE!  

Quote
Now, we agree (science agrees) that this bunch of cells, if all goes well -and that's a big "if"- will become a human being.


Wow, what a profound insight.  The question for science is when does it become a human being.  You say it's not at conception even though you readily admit this event to be the foundational setting for LIFE.  That of course is when you're NOT saying "LIFE doesn't begin at conception."

Quote
But is it a human being now? Not that certain a fact.
You can argue that the human "soul" magically appears at conception, but I won't follow you there. Arguing that some supernatural, undefined and unobservable quality appears in a supernatural, undefined way in a living organism (much like ID, heh) Is not science.
I am sorry but, speaking scientifically, there's not much evidence of the zygote being "human":


You beat that strawman up pretty good.  Have I made any mention of souls or supernatural qualities to bolster my debate that my life, your life or anyone's life begins at conception?  

But the last one's the kicker!  You're right, science has found many zygotes within the women's womb that turned out to be nonhuman.

Quote
What distinguishes us as humans, our intelligence,
which is responsible (as in other creatures) for our self-awareness and also makes us capable of abstract thought, is entirely dependent of our central nervous system; and there is no trace of that in the bunch of cells that is the embryo the first weeks, let alone at conception.


Intelligence is not distinguishable between a birthed baby and an adult dolphin.  There is little to no trace of intelligence or consciousness in a newborn baby and no child teenager or adult has ever claim self-awareness at birth.  You need other criteria to define human life.

Quote
If you think there's any scientific evidence supporting that, you're clearly mistaken. There is NO scientific controversy here. Only a moral and religious one.
(much like ID, but in the case with abortion all sides agree to the nature of the controversy -nobody tries to invoke science to prove the zygote is sentient and concious, that would be plain silly. )


If no one tries to prove the zygote to be conscious then how on earth can they claim it to be unconscious with any scientific validity?  

Quote
And so, there is no reason for such a debate to be held at schools (except perhaps in some moral class).
And that's as much as I'll discuss abortion with you (which even so, is clearly way off-topic). As for your other two arguments, they are both IMMENSELY inaccurate, and only prove the sort of bigotry one can find in whatever sites you dug them out of.
The whole "AIDS as a homo disease" argument is a bad joke (the reasons have been clearly pointed out to you by others already- sorry if you don't get them), and as for  that other "theory" that tries to force racism in science: the only serious attempt to do so was with one infamous essay, which was immediately discredited as statistically unsound decades ago (if it denonstrated anything, it was that black people in the US recieve less education than WEMs -duh).


I love it when the scientist proclaims the objectivity of science while interjecting his subjective values throughout his defense.

If you are disputing the statistical fact that homosexuals in America are a disproportionate carrier of the AIDS disease then please do.  It doesn't change the fact.  If living the homosexual lifestyle puts one at a unquestionably high risk for contracting AIDS, should a public school system teach of the normalcy of homosexuality?  You'd probably rather stick you head in the sand than deal with some of the unpleasantries of scientific discovery.

Quote
And that is that. Now, do you have anything meaningful to add to this debate, or will you go on talking about abortion, trying to imply "soul" without actually saying it, and at the same time claiming you are not religious (yeah, right)? Because then I'm done here.


A guy argues for the primacy of science and then makes a false assertion backed by no empirical evidence.  Too funny.

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 29 2006,18:28   

[quote=thordaddy,Mar. 29 2006,23:03][/quote]
Quote

thordaddy asks, "So if your life didn't begin at conception then when did it begin?"

ericmurphy responds, "I DON'T KNOW when my life began, but I KNOW it wasn't at conception!"



After all this time, you still don't get it.

When life begins is utterly meaningless in the abortion debate. Whether you think life begins at conception, at birth, at the onset of puberty, at the point your mom's ovaries started producing ova before she was born, or whether it was back at the dawn of time has no relevance whatsoever to the issue. Nor is this a subject that should be taught at school, which was your original point, if you can remember back that far.

This is the same kind of stupid argument that the Creationist thinks he wins when he notes that you can't tell him the time and day of the week when the first chimp popped out the first human.

Quote
The question is whether personhood is defined by real hard science or just ericmurphy's subjective notions?  Hitler and Sanger helped define human life and human life suffered greatly.


I've already explained to you why science will not give you these kinds of answers. You're making my point for me again by pointing out that when humans try to define personhood, terrible things happen. And yet here you are, trying to define personhood!

Quote
No, actually I'm asking you how you tell the difference between two conscious entities.  Other than mere physical difference, both are alive and consciousness  and according to you didn't begin at conception.  Yet, we don't hunt babies for their meat.  There is no scientific distinction between human infant and a dolphin though there is a distinction indeed.  What is it?


God, Thordaddy, you're batting a thousand making my points for me. We don't hunt babies for their meat, and we shouldn't hunt dolphins for their meat either, for exactly the same reason. Ordinarily I'd be surprised you didn't see that one coming from a mile away, but then again you've pretty much telegraphed your political viewpoints anyway.

But in the meantime you're stating that "there's no scientific distinction between [a] human infant and a dolphin," a statement that's so dumbfoundingly preposterous the only reason I even bring it up is to point out its preposterousness.

Quote
First, I see no definition of consciousness that requires a central nervous system and so you are making an unfounded assumption.  Secondly, a zygote interacts with its enviroment and that, at the least, exhibits some degree of consciousness.  


As I suspected, you're using the term "consciousness" in a completely non-standard way, and then not favoring us with an explanation of what sense you mean it in (shades of Dembski). If "consciousness" doesn't need a central nervous system, then what are its minimum requirements? Can a bacterium or a virus be conscious? (Given the relatively small difference in complexity between a bacterium and a fertilized egg, I'm thinking you believe a bacterium to be conscious.) Can a rock be conscious? Or does something need to have a "soul" to be conscious? If that's your definition of consciousness, then we're way, way out of the bounds of scientific discourse, and I wouldn't be the first one in this thread to point that out to you.

Quote
 Lastly, you really have NO idea if a zygote is conscious because you have NO idea when or where consciousness emerges.


I certainly don't know what your definition of consciousness is, and neither does anyone else here. But whatever it is, I can tell you that it's utterly irrelevant to the abortion debate, that's for sure.

Quote
So what is the distinction, ericmurphy?  When did you become "alive" and then become "conscious" if it was not at conception for the former and completely unknown for the latter?  You're alive and conscious, but you don't know when you became alive and conscious.  I just assume it happened at conception.  No other evidence is sufficient to persuade me otherwise.


Do you think the fact that I've already answered this question at least twice could possibly persuade you that I do in fact know when I became conscious?

And if you still cannot distinguish between something being alive and something being conscious, I'm afraid neither I nor anyone else will be able to enlighten you.

Put your money where your mouth is, Thordaddy. Do you believe that everything that's alive is also conscious? Because whether you realize it or not, that's what you're saying. And by your own logic, killing any living thing is just as much murder as having an abortion is. Think about that the next time you sneeze.

Quote
The line is simply drawn at birth and not conception.


No it's not. No one, not the most rabid supporter of abortion rights, will argue that aborting a nine-month-old fetus is not tantamount to murder, under anything but the most extraordinary circumstances. Most abortion rights advocates are uncomfortable with late-term abortions for any reason other than to save the life of the mother, and many are willing to draw the line much earlier than the third trimester for reasons other than saving the life of the mother. Like most anti-abortionists, you're completely distorting the terms of the debate to demonize abortion-rights advocates.

In your mind, being the black-and-white thinker you are, the only choices for line drawing are at conception or at birth. I'm assuming that, like our benighted president, you do not "do" nuance. Am I right?

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 29 2006,18:59   

Thordaddy opines:

Quote
You beat that strawman up pretty good.  Have I made any mention of souls or supernatural qualities to bolster my debate that my life, your life or anyone's life begins at conception?


Well, let us see....you have constantly referred to "undefined" qualities....

You readily admit that life and consciousness are vague and difficult to define properties that humans inherently possess.
You fail to realize the point, or maybe you do...and if so, kudos to you sir....
Science cannot, and does not enter into debates of this nature, for a very obvious reason...science does not hold opinions.....
Science cannot tell you when life begins, science cannot tell you what conciousness is, and science cannot tell you if the world is designed.

It is absolutely hilarious, thw whole reason you follow ID is because you want "science" to recognize your beliefs....
you get mad because science will not recognize your beliefs, because as you have stated several times..."attacking your reasoning for your beliefs is the same thing as attacking your beliefs"..

You need to calm down for a moment and realize that science isnt claiming atheism or that abortion is 'good'....
Science, by sheer nature, holds an agnostic view on these issues....
Then again...you think an agnostic=atheist...IDiot

The original point, which you do not remember, is that science avoids teaching controversial ideas in school...except evolution...

It is wonderful that you have provided us interesting philosophical proofs for pro-life.....
but you have completely failed to make your point about science....
Could you please link to some scientific studies on this topic Thordaddy...or at least attempt to get back on topic

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 29 2006,20:33   

ericmurphy opines,

Quote
After all this time, you still don't get it.

When life begins is utterly meaningless in the abortion debate. Whether you think life begins at conception, at birth, at the onset of puberty, at the point your mom's ovaries started producing ova before she was born, or whether it was back at the dawn of time has no relevance whatsoever to the issue. Nor is this a subject that should be taught at school, which was your original point, if you can remember back that far.

This is the same kind of stupid argument that the Creationist thinks he wins when he notes that you can't tell him the time and day of the week when the first chimp popped out the first human.


The problem here is that humans don't strive towards meaninglessness and so color me unconvinced at the argument that YOUR conception was meaningless.  

Why is YOUR conception meaningless?  Is it because you were alive, but not conscious and consciousness is the only important factor?  Is it meaningless because you could derive no meaning at conception?  What exactly makes your conception meaningless?

Next you say,

Quote
I've already explained to you why science will not give you these kinds of answers. You're making my point for me again by pointing out that when humans try to define personhood, terrible things happen. And yet here you are, trying to define personhood!


But only you are trying to define it.  You are saying it is not a person at conception worthy of protection from involuntary death.  I am simply stating that when the egg and sperm come together to form a zygote, one is at the beginning of HIS/HER life.  You say NO, this is not so.  This is meaningless.  A zygote means nothing because it is only alive like a sperm or an egg.  Again, this isn't what most people look to science for and if science doesn't want to put anything forward then stay out of the way of those that do.  Remember, it's meaningless anyway.

Then you say,

Quote
God, Thordaddy, you're batting a thousand making my points for me. We don't hunt babies for their meat, and we shouldn't hunt dolphins for their meat either, for exactly the same reason. Ordinarily I'd be surprised you didn't see that one coming from a mile away, but then again you've pretty much telegraphed your political viewpoints anyway.

But in the meantime you're stating that "there's no scientific distinction between [a] human infant and a dolphin," a statement that's so dumbfoundingly preposterous the only reason I even bring it up is to point out its preposterousness.


For exactly what reason do we not hunt babies like we hunt dolphins?  And please give us the scientific distinction between a conscious infant and a dolphin beside mere physical traits and the nomenclature that goes with it.  

I say the distinction is one is human and the other is dolphin and that is all that is required to value one over the other, but you see no value for the human life when it resides inside a mother's womb apparently unconscious.

When does life become meaningful to you?

Next you say,

Quote
As I suspected, you're using the term "consciousness" in a completely non-standard way, and then not favoring us with an explanation of what sense you mean it in (shades of Dembski). If "consciousness" doesn't need a central nervous system, then what are its minimum requirements? Can a bacterium or a virus be conscious? (Given the relatively small difference in complexity between a bacterium and a fertilized egg, I'm thinking you believe a bacterium to be conscious.) Can a rock be conscious? Or does something need to have a "soul" to be conscious? If that's your definition of consciousness, then we're way, way out of the bounds of scientific discourse, and I wouldn't be the first one in this thread to point that out to you.


There are those with a central nervous system that remain unconcious.  A new born baby seems a prime example.  So a central nervous system alone does not predicate consciousness.

consciousness

The definition I use is the standard one found in a dictionary.  It can be summed up as self-awareness.  A zygote undoubtedly has all the mechanisms that create the mechanisms for the alleged manifestation of self-awareness.  The mechanisms for consciousness are within the zygote.  Do you disagree?  And if you have no idea when you became conscious and the mere existence of a central nervous system is no guarantee of consciousness then why assume that your consciousness began anywhere other than at your conception?  

All you say is that a zygote can't be conscious, but you don't even know where or when consciousness emerges.  You don't see the flaw in that thinking?

Then,

Quote
And if you still cannot distinguish between something being alive and something being conscious, I'm afraid neither I nor anyone else will be able to enlighten you.

Put your money where your mouth is, Thordaddy. Do you believe that everything that's alive is also conscious? Because whether you realize it or not, that's what you're saying. And by your own logic, killing any living thing is just as much murder as having an abortion is. Think about that the next time you sneeze.


I know that a zygote IS or will become a conscious human being if it doesn't meet an untimely death.  I know this first and foremost because the zygote is alive and life is required for consciousness.  

You seem to think consciousness is primary.  It reminds me of those that distort that part of the Constitution that says,

"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

Many believe that the "life" part can be skimmed over as though liberty and happiness can manifest outside of life.

How can consciousness be more important than life itself?

It's like claiming science to be more important than religion even though religion gave life to science.

Lastly you say,

[QUOTE]No it's not. No one, not the most rabid supporter of abortion rights, will argue that aborting a nine-month-old fetus is not tantamount to murder, under anything but the most extraordinary circumstances. Most abortion rights advocates are uncomfortable with late-term abortions for any reason other than to save the life of the mother, and many are willing to draw the line much earlier than the third trimester for reasons other than saving the life of the mother. Like most anti-abortionists, you're completely distorting the terms of the debate to demonize abortion-rights advocates.

In your mind, being the black-and-white thinker you are, the only choices for line drawing are at conception or at birth. I'm assuming that, like our benighted president, you do not "do" nuance. Am I right?[QUOTE]

I don't see any scientific evidence for drawing the line at birth.  I don't see any evidence that a birthed baby is conscious.  So how can you claim it to be "tantamount to murder" to abort what is nothing more than sperm and egg?  Unconscious, but alive!  You must claim consciousness to make this statement, but what evidence is there that the birthing process coincides with consciousness?  The simple existence of a CNS?  Is that the proof?  Have you met any self-aware newborns?  Has you met anyone that was conscious (self-aware) at birth?

When does a human life become worthy of not being aborted ericmurphy?  When it gains consciousness?  At conception?  At birth?  Or, should we just leave it up in the air and let the abortions proceed unabated?

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 29 2006,20:53   

Thordaddy....let me ask you an abortion question

if you had to choose between the mother definately dying or an abortion...which would you choose any why?

Let's see some Kant.....

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 29 2006,20:54   

PuckSR opines,

Quote
Science cannot tell you when life begins, science cannot tell you what conciousness is, and science cannot tell you if the world is designed.


Is this equivalent to saying we can not find these answers or is it simply saying science is not an ample tool to answer these questions?

Then you say,

Quote
It is absolutely hilarious, thw whole reason you follow ID is because you want "science" to recognize your beliefs....
you get mad because science will not recognize your beliefs, because as you have stated several times..."attacking your reasoning for your beliefs is the same thing as attacking your beliefs"..


LOL!  Is this based on verifiable empirical evidence or is this just your subjective opinion that requires instant disregard?  Mad?  I joined this forum for fun and I'm having a great time.  I only joined this debate about 2 months ago and had little or no knowledge of anything substantial concerning ID or evolution.  I haven't been in a church in 17 years other than a few marriage ceremonies.  I couldn't quote one passge out of the Bible and I say that with no braggadocios.  

You're not attacking my beliefs.  You're are displaying your own.

Quote
You need to calm down for a moment and realize that science isnt claiming atheism or that abortion is 'good'....
Science, by sheer nature, holds an agnostic view on these issues....
Then again...you think an agnostic=atheist...IDiot

The original point, which you do not remember, is that science avoids teaching controversial ideas in school...except evolution...


This is too good.  Ideal science is value-free, but we don't have ideal science.  We have value-laden science.  We have science that teaches controversial subjects it wishes to propagate and science that plays coy when its findings butt up against political ideology.  Gosh... that's just what you said.

Quote
It is wonderful that you have provided us interesting philosophical proofs for pro-life.....
but you have completely failed to make your point about science....
Could you please link to some scientific studies on this topic Thordaddy...or at least attempt to get back on topic


I don't see the philosophical argument for claiming YOUR life began at conception.  What is this argument, exactly?

  
Alan Fox



Posts: 1391
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 29 2006,20:55   

Thordaddy:

Quote
Or, should we just leave it up in the air and let the abortions proceed unabated?


This is a science blog. Science cannot answer questions about social issues. Whilst many, especially women, may wish to discuss this important question, this thread is not the place. I suggest you start a new thread at least or, more appropriately take it to a forum specifically intended to discuss these social issues.

I won't make any further comment in this thread on the subject, and suggest others don't.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 29 2006,20:59   

PuckSR opines,

Quote
Thordaddy....let me ask you an abortion question

if you had to choose between the mother definately dying or an abortion...which would you choose any why?

Let's see some Kant.....


My stance is very simple.  An innocent human being is not morally obligated to die in order to save another innocent human being even if it is one's child.  If a mother chose to die so that her child could live, I would consider that mother to be amongst the most noblest of people.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 29 2006,21:02   

Alan Fox,

Got sociology?

  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 29 2006,22:59   

Quote
Faid opines,

(I got a real kick out of this one)

Glad I could provide some mirth for you, thor, since trying to provide some lessons in common sence bounces on the brick wall of your stubborness.
Quote
When one starts like this can anything after be taken serious?

You tell me. Your comment is:
Quote
So life doesn't begin at the beginning and life comes from life except when it came from non-life?  LOL!!

You're easily manipulative, aren't you? I knew you were going to make that derailment (and since I've said it now it's deliberate, not due to your stupidity) but I wanted to show the intentional dishonesty in your arguing. You jumped at the bait, proving my point. Thanks.
So, let's take this from the top:
"Life doesn't begin at the beginning" is totally inane, and it's your words, not mine.
"Life comes from life" is a principle valid when observing living organisms today. Do you deny it? Are you a spontaneous generation proponent?
A possible exception to that is provided with the theory of abiogenesis, that claims that the enviroment of early Earth permitted the creation of life. Besides that, from organisms to the cellular level, nothing living comes from something that wasn't alive to begin with. Plain enough for you now?
Quote
Oh wait... actually conception is the setting of the "foundations" of what will "eventually be an independent organism."  
As you state above, "[l]ife (as in living organism) does NOT begin at conception."  Conception just sets the foundations for LIFE!

Oh boy. Here we go again... So, in your mind, life=emergence of a potentially independent organism? Sorry, but no dice. ALL the cells in your body are alive, thor, whether you like it or not. Even outside your body they'll remain alive for as long as they can be sustained. You need to do some serious studying on what life is.
Quote
Wow, what a profound insight.  The question for science is when does it become a human being.  You say it's not at conception even though you readily admit this event to be the foundational setting for LIFE.
 (sigh) No I don't, thor. Read what I said above.
Once again: I am sorry but, speaking scientifically, there's not much evidence of the zygote being "human":
Quote
You beat that strawman up pretty good.  Have I made any mention of souls or supernatural qualities to bolster my debate that my life, your life or anyone's life begins at conception?
Of course you didn't- you're not that stupid. But I'd really like to know what exactly is this quality a zygote has, that provides all the characteristics that make a human human (conciousnes, self-awareness, emotions, intelligence etc) without requiring a central nervous system, glands or any organ and specified tisue whatsoever. And where it's located. And if it can be traced. I have a feeling this "strawman" is gonna get a good beating too...
Quote
But the last one's the kicker!  You're right, science has found many zygotes within the women's womb that turned out to be nonhuman.

Excuse me? do you think a zygote contains a
tiny homunculus inside, all cuddled up? You are so 14th centrury, thor. :)
I'm sure you know this already and are just trying to avoid it, but being something is much different than becoming something eventually. Would you try to walk over a bridge that wasn't built yet?
Quote
Intelligence is not distinguishable between a birthed baby and an adult dolphin.  There is little to no trace of intelligence or consciousness in a newborn baby and no child teenager or adult has ever claim self-awareness at birth.
There are plenty of traces of conciousness in a newborn baby, thor. You are a father, right? And, once again, self-awareness/=memory; We've been through that. Do try to keep up.  
Quote
You need other criteria to define human life.
Please provide some. Other than intelligence, self awareness, capability of thought process and emotional responce- all the things our CNT and hormones are responsible for. (I can feel that strawman coming)
Quote
If no one tries to prove the zygote to be conscious then how on earth can they claim it to be unconscious with any scientific validity?
By determining the features responsible for conciousness in humans, and seeing no trace of their existence  in the bunch of cells that is the early-stage embryo. Do you know of any other (scientific) way? (right this way, little "strawman"...)
Quote
I love it when the scientist proclaims the objectivity of science while interjecting his subjective values throughout his defense.
Than you get a glimpse of how people see you all the time, thor.
Quote
If you are disputing the statistical fact that homosexuals in America are a disproportionate carrier of the AIDS disease then please do.  It doesn't change the fact.  If living the homosexual lifestyle puts one at a unquestionably high risk for contracting AIDS, should a public school system teach of the normalcy of homosexuality?
Now who's "interjecting his subjective values"? The subject you wish to have taught in schools (abnormality of homosexuality) does in NO way derive from the statistical fact you mentioned (homosexuals being a high risk group). Anyone can see that, even people from those "lower IQ" races you seem to think exist. :p
Yes, homosexuals are a high-risk group for contracting AIDS. So are heterosexuals with multiple partners. and surgeons. and nurses. And those that work at rehab clinics.
Should we teach that surgeons are freaks of nature, because they have a higher chance of getting AIDS than other people? No. We should teach how AIDS is transmitted, and what we must do to prevent it. Should we teach that gays are an abomination that can give you AIDS because they're, you know, gay? Only in the Sunday School of Fundie Bigots. And in your mind.

Quote
A guy argues for the primacy of science and then makes a false assertion backed by no empirical evidence.  Too funny.   :p
And that last one made my day. Trolldaddy accusing someone else for absense of empirical evidence!  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D
Keep it up lil'champ, you might learn something eventually.



...probably not.

--------------
A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 30 2006,00:31   

Faid opines,

Quote
You're easily manipulative, aren't you? I knew you were going to make that derailment (and since I've said it now it's deliberate, not due to your stupidity) but I wanted to show the intentional dishonesty in your arguing. You jumped at the bait, proving my point. Thanks.
So, let's take this from the top:
"Life doesn't begin at the beginning" is totally inane, and it's your words, not mine.
"Life comes from life" is a principle valid when observing living organisms today. Do you deny it? Are you a spontaneous generation proponent?
A possible exception to that is provided with the theory of abiogenesis, that claims that the enviroment of early Earth permitted the creation of life. Besides that, from organisms to the cellular level, nothing living comes from something that wasn't alive to begin with. Plain enough for you now?


Here is what you stated before,

Quote
Anyway, things are simple:
Life (as in a living organism) does NOT begin at conception.
"Life comes from life", remember that principle so dear to creationists?
(and no, that does not disprove the theories of abiogenesis in the past- please don't try to derail the thread yet again at this point if you are even slightly honest).


So when I said that you said "life does not begin at the beginning," in what way is this different from you stating,"[l]ife (as in a living organism) does NOT begin at conception?"

And when I said that you said, "life comes from life except when it came from non-life," how is this different from you stating that "life comes from life" with the possible "exception" provided by the "theory of abiogenesis?"

You don't know where to go.  It seems to me that life came from life and my life began at conception.

Then you say,

Quote
Oh boy. Here we go again... So, in your mind, life=emergence of a potentially independent organism? Sorry, but no dice. ALL the cells in your body are alive, thor, whether you like it or not. Even outside your body they'll remain alive for as long as they can be sustained. You need to do some serious studying on what life is.


Actually, my conception equals the emergence of a independent organism.  Do you disagree?  And please inform me of an emerging nonliving entity.  So only those things that are "alive" even have the potential to "emerge" (I assume you mean "emerge" to becoming self-aware).  

Now we can argue about which things that are "alive" that can actually "emerge," but there is no argument that you and I have "emerged" from our conception (beginning).  If you disagree and none of your individual living cells can "emerge" independently, when did you "emerge?"

Next you say,

Quote
(sigh) No I don't, thor. Read what I said above.
Once again: I am sorry but, speaking scientifically, there's not much evidence of the zygote being "human":


What's the evidence that it's not human?  I'll be intently waiting for this.  Both of us were zygotes and now we are humans.  Are you aware of nonhuman to human transformations?  

Then,

Quote
Of course you didn't- you're not that stupid. But I'd really like to know what exactly is this quality a zygote has, that provides all the characteristics that make a human human (conciousnes, self-awareness, emotions, intelligence etc) without requiring a central nervous system, glands or any organ and specified tisue whatsoever. And where it's located. And if it can be traced. I have a feeling this "strawman" is gonna get a good beating too...


The primary quality of a human zygote is that it represents the conception of a human being.  All those things you've listed that make a "human human" are meaningless without conception.  You're taking secondary traits (consciousness, intelligence, emotions) and claiming primacy while taking the primary trait (life) and making it secondary.

A new born baby displays none of the traits you claim makes a "human human" and yet you wouldn't dare say a newborn wasn't human, would you?  You're only refuge is the existence of the alleged mechanisms for consciousness.  Yet, the mechanisms that created the mechanisms (CNS) had to be included somewhere within the zygote, no?

Next you say,

Quote
Excuse me? do you think a zygote contains a
tiny homunculus inside, all cuddled up? You are so 14th centrury, thor.
I'm sure you know this already and are just trying to avoid it, but being something is much different than becoming something eventually. Would you try to walk over a bridge that wasn't built yet?


I think the zygote contains all the information needed to proceed through the human life cycle including that information required for consciousness.  I don't think current science allows it to be any other way.

"Being something" may be different than "becoming something," but if that "becoming something" is ENTIRELY DEPENDANT on "being something" first then I would say that "being something" is very important indeed.

Next you say,

Quote
There are plenty of traces of conciousness in a newborn baby, thor. You are a father, right? And, once again, self-awareness/=memory; We've been through that. Do try to keep up.


Yes, I am a father and would love to read about these "traces" of consciousness in newborns.  Hopefully, these "traces" will include small children that haven't forgot their moment of self-awareness.

Next,

Quote
Please provide some. Other than intelligence, self awareness, capability of thought process and emotional responce- all the things our CNT and hormones are responsible for. (I can feel that strawman coming)


How about a human zygote for starters?

Quote
By determining the features responsible for conciousness in humans, and seeing no trace of their existance  in the bunch of cells that is the early-stage embryo. Do you know of any other (scientific) way? (right this way, little "strawman"...)


You must concede that the "features responsible for consciousness" were at least existing in a more fundamental and unrecognizable form within YOUR zygote.  The question then becomes whether these fundamental "features" provided a less recognizable degree of consciousness.  It seems reasonable to me that one's degree of consciousness develops over time at least within the early stages of develop following conception.  You as a newborn may have been more conscious than when you were a zygote, but you are definitely more conscious now than you were as a newborn.

In fact, you are claiming a self-awareness (at or around either birth or a developed CNS) and then a loss of that self-awareness only to reclaim a self-awareness that you don't recall.  Whoa!

When add to this that YOUR conception WAS REQUIRED for YOUR consciousness and you have no evidence of when YOUR consciousness began then it seems silly to assume that it began anywhere other than at conception.

Lastly you say,

Quote
Now who's "interjecting his subjective values"? The subject you wish to have taught in schools (abnormality of homosexuality) does in NO way derive from the statistical fact you mentioned (homosexuals being a high risk group). Anyone can see that, even people from those "lower IQ" races you seem to think exist.
Yes, homosexuals are a high-risk group for contracting AIDS. So are heterosexuals with multiple partners. and surgeons. and nurses. And those that work at rehab clinics.
Should we teach that surgeons are freaks of nature, because they have a higher chance of getting AIDS than other people? No. We should teach how AIDS is transmitted, and what we must do to prevent it. Should we teach that gays are an abomination that can give you AIDS because they're, you know, gay? Only in the Sunday School of Fundie Bigots. And in your mind.


I've said nothing of the wrong or rightness of homosexuality.  Science regularly determines normalcy and abnormality.  In fact, homosexuality was once consider abnormal by the AMA.  What scientific findings have allowed the AMA to change this designation?

Homosexuality should be taught in it full scope like all other topics of importance.  That means the good, bad and ugly.  I'm simply astonished to hear these supposed rebuttals to the easily observable fact that practicing homosexuals present a very grave public health hazard that doesn't simply reside with AIDS, but all STDs.

When you say we should teach how to "prevent it," in what way does this jive with teaching the normalcy of homosexuality?  All we should teach is that homosexuality is an abnormal (not normal) lifestyle that presents incredible risks to those that practice it including diminished life expectancy and death.

Why are we teaching this statistically dangerous and deadly lifestyle to younger and younger children under the guise of a normal alternative lifestyle?

  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 30 2006,03:27   

Thor, I'll be brief in my response because frankly, I think you already understand what I say pretty well, you're just trying to dodge and evade questions you know you can't answer.
Quote
So when I said that you said "life does not begin at the beginning," in what way is this different from you stating,"life (as in a living organism) does NOT begin at conception?"
Because conception does not mark the beginning of life. The sperm and ovum were alive in the first place. Period.

Quote
And when I said that you said, "life comes from life except when it came from non-life," how is this different from you stating that "life comes from life" with the possible "exception" provided by the "theory of abiogenesis?"
If that is what you meant, then you must explain why you thought it was a contradiction. Because abiogenesis describes the events that led to life on earth in the distant past. It has all to do with when life begun, but nothing to do with birth of an organism. Once again: Life does not begin at conception. It was there before that.


Quote
Actually, my conception equals the emergence of a independent organism.  Do you disagree?

Of course I disagree. The zygote is not already independent, silly. It is unable to sustain itself and grow outside the womb, and won't be for the next six to seven months at least, when it's barely able to survive being born. However, nobody argues that ability for independent survival is what makes a fetus human; I'm just trying to explain to you what happens at conception.  But this has nothing to do with whether it's human or not.
Quote
And please inform me of an emerging nonliving entity.
Huh? What on earth are you talking about? It's you that says there was no life before conception, not me.  
Quote
So only those things that are "alive" even have the potential to "emerge" (I assume you mean "emerge" to becoming self-aware).
You assume wrong. I mean to become a new fully formed individual of the species. Self-awareness, when we're talking about humans, is a good part of that, but not all. And I hope you finally understand that, yes, only a living thing might have the potential to become a new organism, but that doesn't mean that everything that does not have that potential is not  alive.
Well, a man can hope, right?
Quote
Now we can argue about which things that are "alive" that can actually "emerge," but there is no argument that you and I have "emerged" from our conception (beginning).  If you disagree and none of your individual living cells can "emerge" independently, when did you "emerge?"
Sorry, I have no idea what you're talking about.


Quote
What's the evidence that it's not human?  I'll be intently waiting for this.  Both of us were zygotes and now we are humans.
It has no brain, no heart, no blood, no glands or secretory or circulatory system whatsoever, it lacks any kind of specified tissue that we have as organisms for the first week, and the first traces of a CNS take many weeks to develop. It simply does not possess the means by which it might produce any of the traits attributed to humans. Now, I'm eagerly waiting for your evidence that it is human -although something tells me I need to get a seat.  
Quote
Are you aware of nonhuman to human transformations?
Yes, pregnancy. :) Your point?  

Quote
The primary quality of a human zygote is that it represents the conception of a human being.  All those things you've listed that make a "human human" are meaningless without conception.  You're taking secondary traits (consciousness, intelligence, emotions) and claiming primacy while taking the primary trait (life) and making it secondary.
Aaand here we go again... Nobody's making the concept of life "secondary". We just say it was there in the first place. If you yourself valued life in general above human life, you'd be in serious trouble: You wouldn't be able to eat anything. Like I said, if you know of another way of distinguishing humans from other life forms other than those I mentioned, feel free to share them.

Quote
A new born baby displays none of the traits you claim makes a "human human" and yet you wouldn't dare say a newborn wasn't human, would you?
Yes it does display them, thor. If you are sincere and have actually kept a newborn in your arms, you just know this is true. The newborn displays emotions, shows curiosity and interacts actively with his enviroment. but the important thing is that, even if it didn't display them for some reason, it already posesses the means to display them.
Quote
You're only refuge is the existence of the alleged mechanisms for consciousness.  Yet, the mechanisms that created the mechanisms (CNS) had to be included somewhere within the zygote, no?
Mechanisms of mechanisms... interesting. I wonder what else you'll think off. Of course the genetic information for creating a human brain is inside the zygote- but that does not mean it is also expressed there, and the zygote already posesses the equivalent of a brain! Tell me, is it safe to walk across a bridge that's not built yet, because the blueprint is already printed?

Quote
I think the zygote contains all the information needed to proceed through the human life cycle including that information required for consciousness.  I don't think current science allows it to be any other way.
So? See my previous response. Oh, and that information came 50% from the sperm, and 50% from the ovum. Why do you attribute 0% importance to both? Unless you think that "something" happened when they merged, making the sum way, way, way more important than the parts... Hmm.

Quote
"Being something" may be different than "becoming something," but if that "becoming something" is ENTIRELY DEPENDANT on "being something" first then I would say that "being something" is very important indeed.
Important? Yes. We wouldn't have a bridge without a blueprint first. Same thing? Heck no.

Quote
Yes, I am a father and would love to read about these "traces" of consciousness in newborns.  Hopefully, these "traces" will include small children that haven't forgot their moment of self-awareness.
See above. Aaaand don't think I'll get tired of "reminding" you:
Self-awareness/=memory.

Quote
How about a human zygote for starters?
Um, no. Sorry. Again, see above. Or rather, see below:

Quote
You must concede that the "features responsible for consciousness" were at least existing in a more fundamental and unrecognizable form within YOUR zygote.  The question then becomes whether these fundamental "features" provided a less recognizable degree of consciousness.  It seems reasonable to me that one's degree of consciousness develops over time at least within the early stages of develop following conception.  You as a newborn may have been more conscious than when you were a zygote, but you are definitely more conscious now than you were as a newborn.
1) This "fundamental and unrecognizable form" is very well known; it's called genome. Gee thor, I wonder what else you might have been thinking of... :)
2) A gene provides no degree of its trait unless at the time it's expressed. Our brain does not exist in some platonic world of information archetypes, before being developed when the genes responsible start being expressed; it does not exist at all. Sorry to ruin your illusions.
Quote
In fact, you are claiming a self-awareness (at or around either birth or a developed CNS) and then a loss of that self-awareness only to reclaim a self-awareness that you don't recall.  Whoa!
What? I claim no such thing. Please elaborate. Oh, and of course:
Self-awareness/=memory.

Quote
When add to this that YOUR conception WAS REQUIRED for YOUR consciousness and you have no evidence of when YOUR consciousness began then it seems silly to assume that it began anywhere other than at conception.
Well, I suppose that, since my conception was necessary for me to learn how to drive, I could already shift gear like a pro at the time, and do some amazing drifts round the fallopeian tubes.
If only I had limbs, and a tiny Subaru Impreza... :D

Quote
I've said nothing of the wrong or rightness of homosexuality.  Science regularly determines normalcy and abnormality.  In fact, homosexuality was once consider abnormal by the AMA.  What scientific findings have allowed the AMA to change this designation?
Moving the goalposts, are we? What does that have to do with your AIDS example?

Quote
Homosexuality should be taught in it full scope like all other topics of importance.  That means the good, bad and ugly.  I'm simply astonished to hear these supposed rebuttals to the easily observable fact that practicing homosexuals present a very grave public health hazard that doesn't simply reside with AIDS, but all STDs.
And that is why what should be taught is how AIDS and all STDs are transmitted, and in what way one should stay safe, regardless of being a homosexual, a doctor or a regular teenager that bangs anything that moves.
Do you know how AIDS is transmitted, thordaddy? Do you know the reason that makes homosexuals a high-risk group, and doctors another? Or do you think it's something impure in the homo blood that attracts it?
Maybe you should look into this matter with a clear head.  

Quote
When you say we should teach how to "prevent it," in what way does this jive with teaching the normalcy of homosexuality?  All we should teach is that homosexuality is an abnormal (not normal) lifestyle that presents incredible risks to those that practice it including diminished life expectancy and death.
We do not, because it does not. It is not homosexuality that is responcible for the incredible risk: it's the lack of safety measures. Once again: Are surgeons freaks, because they are also a high-risk group?
Quote
Why are we teaching this statistically dangerous and deadly lifestyle to younger and younger children under the guise of a normal alternative lifestyle?
Please define what this "deadly lifestyle" is, and how science is teaching it. It's not up to science to say which lifestyle is or is not "normal". Science can only say how we can protect ourselves from STD's whether we are homosexual, heterosexual, drug addicts or medical personnel- the methods are pretty much the same, and the results equally adequate for gays and family men alike. Now, is there any more bigotry you'd like to share with us?
Oh and about that other forgotten "example" of yours- you know that science denies that "races" even exist, right?


PS. Did I say "brief"? Whoops.

--------------
A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 30 2006,04:40   

Quote
Why are we teaching this statistically dangerous and deadly lifestyle to younger and younger children under the guise of a normal alternative lifestyle?


Now, much as I suspect Thordaddy is an unhinged wing-nut, I can imagine a high-school curriculum that fails to communicate the dangers of unsafe behaviors. Never ran across one myself, but I can imagine such a thing.

So, Thordaddy: can you give us any (and I'm sorry to sound like a broken record here) specific examples of what you're talking about?

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 30 2006,05:40   

Thordaddy opines:

Quote
My stance is very simple.  An innocent human being is not morally obligated to die in order to save another innocent human being even if it is one's child.  If a mother chose to die so that her child could live, I would consider that mother to be amongst the most noblest of people.


You would kill a baby....how sick can you possibly be.....
You would let a mother die...thats just morally outrageous....
How evil can one person be?
??? get the point ???

Quote
Is this equivalent to saying we can not find these answers or is it simply saying science is not an ample tool to answer these questions?


No...science is capable of finding answers to questions....the problem is that we have yet to define words such as "life" and "consciousness"
when you can tell us exactly what those two words mean...in other words...give us definitive qualities for each of those terms...Im sure we can answer your question

Quote
This is too good.  Ideal science is value-free, but we don't have ideal science.  We have value-laden science.  We have science that teaches controversial subjects it wishes to propagate and science that plays coy when its findings butt up against political ideology.


Really?  Then please give us some examples.
I already explained to you that your ideas on AIDS and different IQs among races are not examples of science....

What controversial subjects does science teach?
Controversial to who?
Why are they controversial?

Quote
I don't see the philosophical argument for claiming YOUR life began at conception.  What is this argument, exactly?


EVERY ARGUMENT YOU MADE FOR LIFE BEGINNING AT CONCEPTION WAS EITHER ARGUED PHILOSOPHICALLY OR JUST SIMPLY FROM A MISUNDERSTANDING OF DEFINITIONS

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 30 2006,06:09   

The whole subject of when a fetus becomes a human is at present unanswerable by science.

Right now we are relying on a legal/ethical decision.

Thordaddy loves this. He can opinionate away, dance around definitions and generally lay-down a smokescreen.

He is a complete waste of peoples time. His ignorance has been amply displayed and you will give yourselves a headache trying to reason with him.

Lots of you have made some very good points. Clear and easy to understand. Thordaddy has ignored every single one.

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 30 2006,06:13   

[quote=thordaddy,Mar. 30 2006,02:33][/quote]
A few more times and then I'm done with this. It's like banging my head against the wall.

Will you stop misquoting me? No one is saying conception is "meaningless." What I've said over and over again is that the question of when life "begins" is meaningless in the context of the abortion debate. Start hearing what I'm saying, not what you think I'm saying.

Quote
But only you are trying to define it.


You're the one trying to define a zygote as a conscious person deserving the same protection as a two-year-old child. I'm telling you that you cannot define personhood that way.

Quote
I know this first and foremost because the zygote is alive and life is required for consciousness.


These are the kind of statement you make that make me realize how hopeless you are. You evidently think that because life is a requirement for consciousness, the fact that a zygote is alive must mean it's conscious. It really is pointless having a discussion with someone so logically challenged.

Quote
How can consciousness be more important than life itself?


Just out of curiosity, Thordaddy: are you a vegetarian? Or a vegan? Because if not, you clearly value consciousness more than life. Do I need to explain why, or can you figure it out yourself?

Quote
I don't see any scientific evidence for drawing the line at birth.


Clearly you're not even reading what I'm writing. Communication with you seems to be a one-way street. In which case, I don't think I'm going to bother with you anymore.

Quote
I don't see any evidence that a birthed baby is conscious.


Hey, check this out! Thordaddy thinks a zygote is conscious, but he doesn't think a new-born is! Wow. That's certainly a new take on the science of consciousness…

Quote
At conception?  At birth?  Or, should we just leave it up in the air and let the abortions proceed unabated?


Further evidence that Thordaddy is incapable of reading English.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 30 2006,06:20   

Quote
Hey, check this out! Thordaddy thinks a zygote is conscious, but he doesn't think a new-born is! Wow. That's certainly a new take on the science of consciousness…


I'm not too surprised. Generally the religious right loses all interest in children the second they're born.

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 30 2006,06:31   

ericmurphy,
Some very good points.

But this one has me scratching my head.

Quote
Thordaddy,


How can consciousness be more important than life itself?


Quote
ericmurphy,

Just out of curiosity, Thordaddy: are you a vegetarian? Or a vegan? Because if not, you clearly value consciousness more than life. Do I need to explain why, or can you figure it out yourself?



Should that not read you don't value consciousness more than life?

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 30 2006,06:41   

Did Thordaddy ever take the test Wesley suggested earlier?

Suppose you're in a fertility clinic when a fire breaks out. You've got seconds to decide: do you rescue the two-month old baby or the petri dish containing 5 blastulas?

I'm not going to allow for the easy out that Wesley suggested, though: the fact that the blastulas are not likely to survive the rescue. I'm going to change the petri dish with 5 blastulas to a thermos containing 100 frozen embryos. All you have to do is get the thermos to a reliable source of liquid nitrogen and you've rescued 100 humans. Or, just the one.  Your choice.

While I'm here, though, Stephen Elliott wrote:
Quote
The whole subject of when a fetus becomes a human is at present unanswerable by science.
This reminds me of one of the reasons Ronald Reagan - the patron saint of American wing-nuts - gave for his opposition to abortion rights. He said something like "science can't yet say for sure, so the moral thing to do is err on the side of caution".

But, of course, science never will answer that question. As has been pointed out here repeatedly, it's not a science question. It's a legal one. Clearly, a civilized society is going to draw some, necessarily arbitrary, lines around what is and is not a person. Nowadays, infanticide is universally beyond the pale. In earlier times, not so much. Is that because we've "learned" so much more about how human an infant is? Guess again.

(By the way, I'm not trying to pick a fight with Stephen Elliott. I assume that was a slip of the keyboard, and not a restatement of the Reagan canard.)

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 30 2006,06:46   

Wow....
So apparently Thordaddy is a neo-con religious fundie?
He may be obtuse
He may be purposefully being confusing
he may be manipulative

But as long as he claims agnosticism on religion...Im going to avoid attaching any religious claims to him.
I tried this, and he vehemently denied religious beliefs...

BTW Arden...
That comment about the religious-right was completely unwarranted

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 30 2006,07:37   

Russell,
It was not a slip of the keyboard. Maybe it was a bad choice of word.

My point is that neither a sperm or egg is a human. Nor do they become one at the point of conception.

I will admit that I uncomfortable at the thought of abortion from 6 months on (aproximately), unless for medical neccesity.

I believe that a "baby" becomes conscious before birth. But definately not at conception. Personally, I reckon abortion should be the pregnant womans choice till about 6 months.

In the end, I am Damned if I know. Not exactly a black/white decision.

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 30 2006,07:53   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Mar. 30 2006,12:31)
ericmurphy,
Some very good points.

But this one has me scratching my head.

Quote
Thordaddy,


How can consciousness be more important than life itself?


Quote
ericmurphy,

Just out of curiosity, Thordaddy: are you a vegetarian? Or a vegan? Because if not, you clearly value consciousness more than life. Do I need to explain why, or can you figure it out yourself?



Should that not read you don't value consciousness more than life?

No, I think I had it right.

The point I was making is that, if you believe that "life" is what's important here, as opposed to "consciousness," then you must believe that taking of any life is wrong, not just life which is imbued with consciousness (which would make you some sort of radical uber-buddhist). If that's the case, even being a vegan is going to be a bit hypocritical. As my brother used to say, "I don't eat anything that casts a shadow."

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 30 2006,08:00   

So not being a vegeterian means you value consciousnes more than life?

Surely a vegetarian/vegan values consciousness more than life. They only eat foods that never where conscious. But all foods are/where alive.

Omnivors (like myself) eat almost anything.

Maybe this is a missunderstanding due to too many negatives in the original post?

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 30 2006,08:25   

One more thing to chew on, Thordaddy:

A significant fraction of fertilized ova don't result in a child, or even pregancy, due to numerous factors—failure to implant, failure of the developmental process to proceed normally, spontaneous abortion, etc.

Now. You believe that a fertilized egg is a human being, with all the same rights, privileges, legal protections, etc. as any other human being, right? Well, if a fertilized eggs fails to implant properly, how should the authorities, legal and medical, deal with this eventuality (which again is extremely common)? Should a coroner issue a report, perhaps listing the cause of death as misadventure? Should there be an inquest? Maybe an investigation into possible malfeasance? Perhaps a funeral should be held? (Before you answer, keep in mind that in probably seven cases out of ten, no one, including the mother, even knows that there is a fertilized egg.)

What do we do with the couple that's trying desperately to get preganant, ends up with a dozen fertilized eggs after a hundred attempts, none of which results in a preganancy? If they have reason to believe that most of their attempts are not going to lead to an actual pregancy, are they guilty of negligent homicide?

Am I beginning maybe to make myself clear that life is not as black and white as you would have us believe?

Doubtful.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 30 2006,08:50   

Quote
BTW Arden...
That comment about the religious-right was completely unwarranted


Perhaps you're right. They also seem to take a keen interest in what they're allowed to hear in school.

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 30 2006,10:11   

Quote
In the end, I am Damned if I know. Not exactly a black/white decision.
My point, exactly. And no amount of science is going to change that.

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 30 2006,10:17   

Quote
As my brother used to say, "I don't eat anything that casts a shadow."
A very effective weight-loss program, anyway.

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 30 2006,11:57   

Quote (Russell @ Mar. 30 2006,16:17)
Quote
As my brother used to say, "I don't eat anything that casts a shadow."
A very effective weight-loss program, anyway.

That really did make me laugh out loud. Lucky I had swallowed my drink or I would still be cleaning it off my monitor.

  
  117 replies since Mar. 23 2006,08:07 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Pages: (4) < [1] 2 3 4 >   


Track this topic Email this topic Print this topic

[ Read the Board Rules ] | [Useful Links] | [Evolving Designs]