Saturday, November 8, 2008

Week 10 -- what do we know about Jesus?

Here's a cool skeptic website where he broke down all the different breakdowns of Jesus. From birth, parents, marriage, adolescent years, resurrection etc - It also gives an account that the father of jesus was in fact a roman soldier, with his findings.

CBS posted an interview and report where people discussed the validity of the virgin birth. This goes along with the idea that Mary may not have been a virgin, but in fact hoped to be the story of the old testiment.

Gerald Edelman - Neural Darwinism

brain is composed of many sub-systems. It may be goverend by a unversal algorithm

how does the mind derive from the brain?

is there a mechanistic, mathmatical theory of how the cognitinve processies derive from the brain.

it explains the organization of upper order brain functions, and made brain base devices to understand brain functions. To learn about the neural basis of consciousness.

we have to have a global brain theory. show which properties are responsible for consciousness, find ways to measure it, and show the differences in the brain that rise or do not rise to consciousness.

why is the brain not a computer? its more like an evolutinary jungle. it has structure, with lots of variablility. Its the most variablility structure imaginable, and each is different.

At the same time, the integrated powers is enourmous.

Ken Miller on Intelligent Design

Proper understanding of science. evolution is a theory, not a fact had warning stickers on text books that taught evolution in school.

there are several states that are trying to give time alotted in public school to teach intelligent design equally as evolution.

kansas had hearing, that invited many scientists to attend. They decided they would introduce criticisms in teaching evolution. they re-wrote the definition of science! science is the human activity of seeking natural explanations in the world around us. == now, science is the method of systematic continuing investigations, and finding more adequate explenations. we want more adequate explanations.

naturalism limits possible solutions, we want to open science up to non-naturalistic explanations.

ID argues fossil records is a problem for evolution. Sceince says there are so many forms of species and transitional forms its hard to pinpoint one and show it leads to x.

argument against evolution -- fossil records don't have the intermediate records to prove it.

there are 5 intermediate fossils found in the last 2 decades, in idia/pakistan is where the fossils are found

now have we solved the problem? no .. sceince is very self critical. Then middle ear would have completely changed. the land mammal is great at hearing on land, but can't hear under water.

The fossil records prove that adaptation, and becomes powerful for evolution.

the genetic code for chimps were published in the last few years, they argue we evolved from the apes. There are similarities between us and apes ..

but we have 2 fewer chromosomes than the great apes.

Apes have 1 more pair of chromosomes than we do. If a whole chromoome was lost, that would be leathal! so if apes share common ancestor, they either have 46 or 48 chromosomes. One pair must have gotten fused, and non - of our chromosomes are fused, and if we don't find that, evolution is wrong we haven't found a link.

but, our chromosome # 2 was fused and is unique with our lineage.

Dr beke said the designer must be supernatural, and requires the horizons to broaden.. the project of ID is to expand science to include the supernatural.

sceince sucks at getting message to public. How many were known about the fusion of chromosome # 2 a 2 years ago??

Friday, November 7, 2008

Steven Pinker on Evolutinary Psychology

Variation is partly due to being genetic

Evoltionary Psychology - study of the universal human nature. Put most differences in people due to the environemnt, not genes. It depends on where you grew up.

Underneath all the variation, there is something more abstact with more rules of a language. A universal language is the stamp of those hidden rules. If you look superficiary at muscle movement and what they say, behavior is all over the map. But motives are all the same, usually.

Motions/patterns of thought is the nature of behavior.

Key insight of AI -- its hard to get computers to do intelligent things. They can't do waht we take for granted (walking without stepping over shadows). Gives appreciation to complexity to our brain, and have to ask where it came from? Could it be natual selection? what is evolutions role?

intelligence is a generic property, not something that came from nowhere. Evolution wasn't enough to evolve our brain.

Kin selection - key to understanding our social relationships. Our blood relatives are more important than strangers, why? Why are airports clogged at christmas? Whats up with strategic marriages, wars over succession ..

The existance of consciousness gives us the idea that there's something more to life... is it beyond neural science? is it beyond science?

what was life like before the big bang? what do you mean time only started when the big bang started? its a circle we fall into, which makes me think this thinking game is making us a victim , into thinking we don't need a purpose because our mind can't grasp it.

bottom line -- the brain is a limited organ. It was designed to finish a finite set of tasks, problems that are life and death matters ... we can't hold 10,000 words in short term or mentally rotate objects in the 4th dimension or solve complex issues like free will... so stop trying!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Week 9

Here's an awesome "illuminated text" on eugenics. There are multiple different areas you can click on to learn about history, quotes, photos etc that is easy to read and follow.

This is an encouraging eugenics sight that will provide you with tools, books and contacts to improve the human race. There are also testimonials, references and multiple images of how this can work.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Week 8 - Expelled

I also enjoyed the movie. I didn't know much about it, or what the purpose of it was. The only thing I dislike about those propoganda films is how they always show the lamest, belittling clips of things they are trying to bash. Like the film zietgeist, everytime jesus was protrayed it was the lamest, oldest stupidest low budget film clip around. I understand its hard to show something you are passionate about without having your biased views to be evident, but I wish it was more neutral just provding information. Here's what a few people thought about the movie:

One of my favorite parts was the very end of the movie, where Dawkins was stumbling over his words. I respect and admire the guys knowledge about so many theistic issues, but I'm not a huge fan of his attitude and the way he protrays himself as an intelectual. Hitchens is much worse, and is way to arrogant for me to seriously listen to what he has to say just based on his delivery. This is a funny website of a guy who is agnostic, but doesn't like Dawkins based on his pesonality and presentation of his views:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

week 7 --

conscious vs nonconscious. I never realized how many differences were in the two, and this site has a long list of what some of the differences are. Verbal, deliberate, single-tasking, orderly and analytical are all examples of our consciousness. On the other hand, our non-conscious side is based on emotional, multi-tasking, not the right here right now, and the understanding of why. Looking at the two,our non-conscious side leads much more to the possibility of outside realms and levels of reality. Our practical mind doesn't give us that option, and limits our living to the right here right now. Therefore, it appears we aren't able to consciously get outside our earthly limits until we are allowed to dream.

Does our brain control us, or are we in control? This article discusses cases with battered women and children, and how this sticks with us for a lifetime. Our fondest memories or deepest fears are always on our mind, and resurrected throughout life. Showing that we aren't really in control of our mind or emotions, but rather our brain brings them up throught life.