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3 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2012 - 8:04AM #31
JRT
Posts: 340

Tennessee Joins the Anti-Evolution Parade and Ignores the Experts


 


by Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D.


Founder, The Clergy Letter Project


 


Those damn experts are at it again! Once again they seem compelled to express their opinion on a topic in which they have advanced degrees. It's difficult to understand why they feel such a compulsion to speak out on a subject their research has defined. But they're making themselves heard and, because of the nature of politics in Republican-controlled states, no one in power seems to care.


 


The issue is a simple one. Legislators in Tennessee have apparently decided that it is critical for them to reexamine what should have been settled by the Scopes Trial in Dayton, TN in 1925. They're following down the path blazed by similar-minded legislators in Louisiana and moving relentlessly into the past by moving forward with an anti-evolution, pro-creationism bill modeled on the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA) of 2008.


 


As I recently explained, there are two striking aspects of LSEA. First, it advances a political rather than a scientific perspective. Second, it has been widely and clearly opposed by scientists, educators and religious leaders. Such unanimity was apparently enough for Tennessee legislators; they looked at LSEA and didn't see anything not to love! Why give any credence to the experts?


 


Like LSEA, the proposed Tennessee legislation encourages public school science teachers to present the "weaknesses" of evolutionary theory. All familiar with the political evolution/creation controversy know that language of this sort is code for encouraging teachers to present creationist material.


 


As I said above, the experts have come out in force -- and they're all adamantly opposed to passage. Let's start at the individual level.


 


Tennessee is home to eight members of the National Academy of Sciences -- and all eight of them have signed a powerful statement in opposition. The following two sentences from their statement speak for themselves:


 


"As scientists whose research involves and is based upon evolution, we affirm -- along with the nation's leading scientific organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Academy of Sciences -- that evolution is a central, unifying and accepted area of science. The evidence for evolution is overwhelming; there is no scientific evidence for its supposed rivals ("creation science" and "intelligent design") and there is no scientific evidence against it."



One of the eight National Academy members from Tennessee is Stanley Cohen, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1986. He was honored for his work on nerve growth factor which he expanded after moving to Tennessee to include cellular growth factors more broadly. His work has greatly influenced our understanding of cancer and helped colleagues design anti-cancer drugs. Why would anyone in the Tennessee legislature care about such trivial expertise of this sort?


 


There's also plenty of institutional expertise that has been levied against the Tennessee legislation. The American Institute of Biological Sciences has weighed in in opposition just as strongly. They stated unequivocally that the legislation is "bad for science, science education, and the future economic health of well being of Tennessee." Recognizing that the proposed bill also folded global warming into its anti-intellectual net, AIBS went on to say,


 


"It is important to note that there is no scientific controversy about the legitimacy of evolution or global climate change. These scientific concepts have repeatedly been tested and grown stronger with each evaluation. Any controversy around these concepts is political, not scientific. Indeed, evolution is a core principle that helps to explain biology and informs the development of biology-based products and services, including pharmaceuticals, food and biotechnology."



To offset the oft-expressed, but totally bizarre, belief that expert scientists are biased and are simply promoting their own narrow self-interests by articulating their position, two major national teacher organizations have also weighed in. The positions taken by both the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) and the National Earth Science Teachers Association (NESTA) are absolutely unambiguous. Consider what NAGT had to say:


 


"the scientific theory of evolution should be taught to students of all grade levels as a unifying concept without distraction of non-scientific or anti-scientific influence....[T]he content of science consists of peer-reviewed, tested and confirmed results, not debates based on political or religious convictions. We are convinced that rigorous science education in Tennessee is badly served by SB 893 or HB 368, and we urge Tennessee's representatives, state senators and governor to reject this legislation."



The NESTA statement is equally powerful:


 


"evolution is central to biology and to the earth sciences and that it is an essential component of science classes...While scientific research continues to illuminate how evolution and climate change influence the world around us, there is no scientific debate about whether they do so, and these bills are wrong to suggest otherwise....HB 368 and SB 893 would damage the scientific preparation of Tennessee's students, harm Tennessee's national reputation, and weaken its efforts to participate in the 21st century economy."



One of the things that's so important to note is that it's not just biologists who are worried about anti-evolution bills of this sort. (How crazy it is to have to write a sentence like the last one! Many of our elected officials think that biologists are simply another special interest when they articulate the core principles of their discipline. And, as with any special interest, they can be ignored if there are more votes, or more dollars, coming from other sources, even if the consequences might destroy a state's education system.) The basic premises of evolution impact the sciences broadly, both because evolution is so central to a meaningful understanding of science and because the attacks on evolution at their core demonstrate willful ignorance of what the scientific method is all about. These anti-evolution bills undercut any hope that we might produce a scientifically literate citizenry, one which is comprised of people who are capable of placing ideas on the continuum from science through non-science to nonsense.

the floggings will continue until morale improves
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2012 - 8:49AM #32
JRT
Posts: 340


Puzzles of evolution: Why did we become bipedal?



26 March 2012 by Kate Douglas in New Scientist


 


CHARLES DARWIN suggested that our ancestors first stood upright to free their hands for toolmaking. We now know that cannot be right since the oldest tools yet discovered are a mere 2.6 million years old, whereas the anatomy of hominin fossils reveals that bipedalism emerged at least 4.2 million - and possibly even 6 million - years ago.


The trouble with bipedalism, says Chris Stringer at the Natural History Museum in London, is that proficient walking has many advantages, but acquiring the skill requires anatomical changes, and in the meantime you will be slow, clumsy and unstable. "It could have begun in the trees," he suggests, pointing out that orang-utans and other primates walk upright along branches when feeding. This fits with what we know about the lifestyle of the first bipeds but does not explain why they evolved specialist anatomy. By 4 million years ago, for instance, the tibia in the lower leg was held upright to the foot, whereas it is angled to the outside in apes living now, even those that spend the most time on two legs.


In a more compelling evolutionary explanation bipedalism would substantially boost survival, which is why some people believe it evolved to allow males to access more food so that they could help feed their partners and offspring (Odyssey, vol 2, p 12). But this idea presupposes a very early origin of monogamy, which the evidence doesn't support, says Donald Johanson of Arizona State University in Tempe, who in 1974 discovered Lucy, a 3.2-million-year-old, upright Australopithecine. He points out that among early hominins, males were much larger than females, which in primates is a sign that there is competition rather than cooperation between the sexes.


"The real question is what were the benefits," says Johanson. One possibility is that individuals who could wander further than others had access to a wider variety of food sources, allowing them to live longer and produce more surviving offspring. In addition, bipedalism would have left their hands free to carry things and, being taller, they may have been better at spotting predators. "There might have been a whole package of advantages," he says, adding that bipedalism may have emerged more than once.


All of which would have set the stage for a second phase of evolution around 1.7 million years ago, when our ancestors left the forests for the savannah. This is when the greatest anatomical changes took place, with shoulders pulled back, legs lengthened and a pelvis adapted to life on two legs.


There are many possible reasons why bipedalism took off at this point. Walking upright might have helped individuals deal with the scorching heat of the open grassland, allowing air to circulate around the body while minimising direct exposure to the sun (Journal of Human Evolution, vol 13, p 91). It would also have increased mobility. "I think the argument comes down to travel efficiency and travel distance," says Robin Dunbar at the University of Oxford. Bipedalism allowed our ancestors to walk long distances, enabling them to track down prey on the savannah. One study even suggests that we become adapted for endurance running (Nature, vol 432, p 345), although modern couch potatoes may consider this idea a step too far.


 


 


 


 

the floggings will continue until morale improves
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2012 - 1:42PM #33
MMarcoe
Posts: 17,563

Mar 26, 2012 -- 1:03AM, iamachildofhis wrote:



iama: On Day 6 of the Creation Week, our Creator-God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness."


Yup. And since time is no issue to God, he used millions of years to do it.


Christ Jesus, the incarnate God-Man, is the "Our / Us" likeness.


This doesn't refer to Jesus. You are making it up, in line with your modern fundamentalist revisionism.


Human beings were created to be in relationship and fellowship with our Creator-God. 


Yes


We were created to be able to look up and lift up our hands and worship Him.


What evidence do you have for the part about lifting up our hands? Why do we have to lift them up?





1. Extremists think that thinking means agreeing with them.
2. There are three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth.
3. God is just a personification of reality, of pure objectivity.
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 27, 2012 - 1:58AM #34
iamachildofhis
Posts: 10,851

Mar 26, 2012 -- 1:42PM, MMarcoe wrote:



iama: On Day 6 of the Creation Week, our Creator-God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness."


MMarcoe: Yup. And since time is no issue to God, he used millions of years to do it.



iama:Not according to Genesis 5;5


   
"And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died."


iama: Christ Jesus, the incarnate God-Man, is the "Our / Us" likeness.


MMarcoe: This doesn't refer to Jesus. You are making it up, in line with your modern fundame.



iama: Human beings were created as images of what Christ Jesus would be when He incaranted.


Col 2:9     
"For in Him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."


1Pe 1:20     
"Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,"


Rom 8:3     
"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:"



iama: Human beings were created to be in relationship and fellowship with our Creator-God. 


MMarcoe: Yes



iama:  Yes.


We were created to be able to look up and lift up our hands and worship Him.


MMarcoe: What evidence do you have for the part about lifting up our hands? Why do we have to lift them up?




iama:  Our posture influences our heart's worship.


Psa 28:2     
"Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto You, when I lift up my hands toward Your holy oracle."

Psa 63:4     
"Thus will I bless You while I live: I will lift up my hands in Your name."

Psa 119:48     
"My hands also will I lift up unto Your commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in Your statutes."

Psa 134:2     
"Lift up your hands [in] the sanctuary, and bless the LORD."

Lam 2:19     
"Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up your hands toward Him for the life of your young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street."

Lam 3:41     
"Let us lift up our heart with [our] hands unto God in the heavens."

Hbr 12:12     
"Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;"


.

The wonder of Christmas is that the God Who dwelt among us, now, can dwell within us. - Roy Lessin
.
"Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."
.
Justice is receiving what you deserve.
Mercy is NOT receiving what you deserve.
Grace is receiving what you DO NOT deserve.
.
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 27, 2012 - 9:30AM #35
Sparky_Spotty
Posts: 833

Actually we walk upright so we can perform mudras


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mudra



Prove me wrong.


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3 years ago  ::  Mar 27, 2012 - 12:43PM #36
MMarcoe
Posts: 17,563

Mar 27, 2012 -- 1:58AM, iamachildofhis wrote:


Mar 26, 2012 -- 1:42PM, MMarcoe wrote:



iama: On Day 6 of the Creation Week, our Creator-God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness."


MMarcoe: Yup. And since time is no issue to God, he used millions of years to do it.



iama:Not according to Genesis 5;5


   
"And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died."


What does this have to do with anything? Please make a coherent case. Otherwise, consider yourself wrong.


iama: Christ Jesus, the incarnate God-Man, is the "Our / Us" likeness.


MMarcoe: This doesn't refer to Jesus. You are making it up, in line with your modern fundame.



iama: Human beings were created as images of what Christ Jesus would be when He incaranted.


Col 2:9     
"For in Him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."


1Pe 1:20     
"Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,"


Rom 8:3     
"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:"


I'm referring to the meaning of the "Our/Us." Please pay attention and address that.


 


We were created to be able to look up and lift up our hands and worship Him.


MMarcoe: What evidence do you have for the part about lifting up our hands? Why do we have to lift them up?




iama:  Our posture influences our heart's worship.


Psa 28:2     
"Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto You, when I lift up my hands toward Your holy oracle."

Psa 63:4     
"Thus will I bless You while I live: I will lift up my hands in Your name."

Psa 119:48     
"My hands also will I lift up unto Your commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in Your statutes."

Psa 134:2     
"Lift up your hands [in] the sanctuary, and bless the LORD."

Lam 2:19     
"Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up your hands toward Him for the life of your young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street."

Lam 3:41     
"Let us lift up our heart with [our] hands unto God in the heavens."

Hbr 12:12     
"Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;"


This is all nice, but I don't see it establishing anatomy.





1. Extremists think that thinking means agreeing with them.
2. There are three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth.
3. God is just a personification of reality, of pure objectivity.
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 27, 2012 - 1:11PM #37
teilhard
Posts: 52,180

We "walk upright" so that we can wear not only "Shoes" but also "Gloves" ...


Mar 27, 2012 -- 9:30AM, Sparky_Spotty wrote:


Actually we walk upright so we can perform mudras


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mudra



Prove me wrong.






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3 years ago  ::  Mar 27, 2012 - 1:26PM #38
iamachildofhis
Posts: 10,851

Mar 27, 2012 -- 12:43PM, MMarcoe wrote:



iama: On Day 6 of the Creation Week, our Creator-God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness."


MMarcoe: Yup. And since time is no issue to God, he used millions of years to do it.


iama:Not according to Genesis 5;5


   
"And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died."


MMarcoe: What does this have to do with anything? Please make a coherent case. Otherwise, consider yourself wrong.



iama: "Millions of years" vs Adam was, originally, created fully human, and lived for 930 years, "and he died".  The Bible never speaks of "millions of years," but always of an original 6 Days of The Creation.  Adam was created specifically, specially, "in OUR image" and "after OUR likeness." Adam died 930 years later, having reproduced "sons and daughters," human beings reproduced / procreation.


iama: Christ Jesus, the incarnate God-Man, is the "Our / Us" likeness.


MMarcoe: This doesn't refer to Jesus. You are making it up, in line with your modern fundamentalism.


iama: Human beings were created as images of what Christ Jesus would be when He incaranted.


Col 2:9     
"For in Him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."


1Pe 1:20     
"Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,"


Rom 8:3     
"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:"


MMarcoe: I'm referring to the meaning of the "Our/Us." Please pay attention and address that.



iama:  The "Our / Us" = God - Father-Son-Holy Spirit.


Col 2:9     
"For in Him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."


We were created to be able to look up and lift up our hands and worship Him.


MMarcoe: What evidence do you have for the part about lifting up our hands? Why do we have to lift them up?

iama:  Our posture influences our heart's worship.


Psa 28:2     
"Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto You, when I lift up my hands toward Your holy oracle."

Psa 63:4     
"Thus will I bless You while I live: I will lift up my hands in Your name."

Psa 119:48     
"My hands also will I lift up unto Your commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in Your statutes."

Psa 134:2     
"Lift up your hands [in] the sanctuary, and bless the LORD."

Lam 2:19     
"Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up your hands toward Him for the life of your young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street."

Lam 3:41     
"Let us lift up our heart with [our] hands unto God in the heavens."

Hbr 12:12     
"Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;"


MMarcoe: This is all nice, but I don't see it establishing anatomy.



iama: Human beings were created, based upon the incarnation parameters of Christ Jesus.


"Face to face" is the relationship position of God - Father-Son-Holy Spirit - the Trinity, and, so, "in Our image" and "after Our likeness," reflects the nature / posture of relationship in the Godhead.


The intimate relationship of husband and wife, also, reflects this intimacy. 


Eph 5:25     
"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it;"

Col 3:19     
"Husbands, love [your] wives, and be not bitter against them."

Tts 2:4     
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,"


Dying to our own selfishness is required for fellowship / relationship, and it does not come, naturally. Dying, daily, as Christ Jesus stretched out upon His cross, giving of ourselves, unselfishly, walking, uprightly, working, giving, receiving, stooping in humility, worshiping our Creator-God means:


- loving our Creator-God, vertically, looking up, and


- loving our fellow human beings, horizontally.


.

The wonder of Christmas is that the God Who dwelt among us, now, can dwell within us. - Roy Lessin
.
"Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."
.
Justice is receiving what you deserve.
Mercy is NOT receiving what you deserve.
Grace is receiving what you DO NOT deserve.
.
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 27, 2012 - 2:34PM #39
Ken
Posts: 33,859

Mar 27, 2012 -- 1:26PM, iamachildofhis wrote:

"Millions of years" vs Adam was, originally, created fully human, and lived for 930 years, "and he died".  The Bible never speaks of "millions of years," but always of an original 6 Days of The Creation.


That's because the Bible was written a very long time ago by people who were wholly ignorant of the natural sciences.

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 27, 2012 - 3:30PM #40
iamachildofhis
Posts: 10,851

Mar 27, 2012 -- 2:34PM, Ken wrote:



iama: "Millions of years" vs Adam was, originally, created fully human, and lived for 930 years, "and he died".  The Bible never speaks of "millions of years," but always of an original 6 Days of The Creation.


Ken: That's because the Bible was written a very long time ago by people who were wholly ignorant of the natural sciences.



iama: The authoritive claim by the all-knowing-non-science-expert-on-all-things, has spoken.


Genesis was written by the One who Created, and therefore, knows what He is talking about!


.

The wonder of Christmas is that the God Who dwelt among us, now, can dwell within us. - Roy Lessin
.
"Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."
.
Justice is receiving what you deserve.
Mercy is NOT receiving what you deserve.
Grace is receiving what you DO NOT deserve.
.
Quick Reply
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