1. Brandon Brandon United States says:

    As I trudge through these series of mostly knee-jerk reactionary posts, one thing jumps out at me that has annoyed me greatly in my study of the sciences and that is people's tendency to create a distinct line in the sand between themselves and the rest of the natural world. It's such an inbred arrogance guised in a religious humility. Wasn't earth (and by extension, man) supposed to be at the center of the universe. It's not even the center of our solar system or galaxy. Also, every point in the universe is the center of the universe (For those having problems visualizing this, think of the surface of a sphere. Every point on that sphere can be called the top or the bottom...it just depends on where you are looking at it from)

    On this same point, man has made countless claims as to his supposed seperateness from the animal kingdom. One of them (the one I hate the most) is that only man is capable of reason and that animals are driven completely by impulse and instinct(The irony that impulse and instinct can be used to describe a lot of people's behavior isn't lost on this poster). Dolphins, with their self-awareness and abilities to communicate, reason, express emotions, adapt, and perform altruistic acts, they have spread across every ocean and many freshwater rivers in the same way humans have populated every continent. The cognitive abilities of dolphins are exceptional. They also possess the ability of self-awareness, as they recognize themselves in the mirror.

    Elephants honor their dead. How did religion being? While some people may say "God revealed himself to a prophet", the earliest evidence of religious thought is based on ritual treatment of the dead. If religion is truly the hallmark of man, how can such a seemingly lowly beast exhibit the same characteristics?

    Apes are another creature which exhibits the ability to reason. Chimps have been shown to outperform humans in memory tasks (www.newscientist.com/.../...s-at-memory-task.html) Apes have been observed using a stick to gauge the depth of rivers they cross. Apes are also known to use fallen branches and bones as weapons (2001: A Space Odyssey anyone) (So, for the creationists out there, why is it that ape family has over 95% of the same DNA, opposable thumbs [perfect for using tools], make facial expresssions and generally exhibit nearly all the emotions that we do if not for evolution?)

    Birds...look on youtube for vids on Alex the Parrot and tell me with a straight face he's not smarter than some people you know.

    As someone greater than me once said “there is no fundamental difference between man and the higher mammals in their mental faculties." About the only one I could find is that mankind is unique is the lateralisation of brain function which arises from the division of the cerebrum into 2 halves. We're just the smartest animals, nothing more. Animals make choices, have their own will, their own personalities.

    The reasoning behind this arbitrary line seperating man from beast is that god created man in his own image. Those not well versed in metaphors take this to mean god has two arms, two legs, a long beard, bald, and a white robe. (Funny how this resembles the archetypal depiction of Zeus. Also somewhat ironic is that this is one of many examples of the evolution of religion and that everything either evolves or die.) What's lost on me is why an eternal all-powerful deity would have a mortal form? I think what the writers meant is that God has human characteristics like compassion and empathy, just as animals have been PROVEN to possess.

    As for my own beliefs, I don't personally believe in god. However, that doesn't translate to god doesn't exist. That's impossible to prove.
    What I do know is that using the Bible as a source of scientific truth is ludicrous, especially since the Bible pre-dates the dawn of science by 1500 years. It leaves you with all sorts of questions that can only be answered by "It's the will of god" which really isn't an answer.

    If the earth was created around 4000 years ago, that would mean dinosaurs and humans lived together...like the flintstones. If this were true, how come the dinosaurs aren't mentioned in Noah's Ark? They would have been the largest and by far most dominant creature on earth. Why would they be left out of the seminal scene involving ALL the animals of the world. A fundamentalist may respond "Well, that's where dragon myths come from." I might respond, "Why does carbon dating place them back millions of years." He/she may respond again "Carbon dating is the devil's technology." Then I would say, "Ok, but to be consistent, don't take any drugs from Amgen, Genentech, or any other company that markets biologics, as their development relies heavily on evolution, which according to you is a perversion of the truth of creationism and, thus, the devil's technology." BTW - Evolution is a fact. No one is going to deny that mutations do not exist. Mutation that causes a new trait to appear + trait passed on to another generation = evolution. Drug-resistant bacteria mutating from non-drug resistant bacteria=evolution. Just believing you aren't descended from an animal is not enough to make it true. Just believing something in general doesn't make it true. Until I get a medical treatment developed using creationist principles, it will remain bullshit)

    Which gets me back to the gay thing....since homosexual behavior has been identified in thousands of species that are able to have homosexual relationships, one cannot say that same-sex attraction is a choice. It is something deeper shared by probably all of our brethern in the animal species who can identiy themselves as male or female. Also, if homosexuality is a sin, how should hermaphrodites identify themselves? As abominations who can only seek salvation if they refrain from sex completely (since (1) they can't reproduce and (2) any relationship they have can be called gay by people who only think in terms of black and white) If god is real, he seems like a real dick to do this. Sexual reproduction isn't even the dominant method of reproduction on this earth. hell, same sex reproduction has been witnessed in certain species of fungus and some worms are true hermaphrodites and are able to self-fertilize, giving new meaning to the phrase "Go fuck yourself."

    So, to deny that homosexual behavior is a natural part of animal behavior is to deny reality presented before you. what's left is to judge the morality of the act. I believe one's basic morality should be based on whether or not the actions you follow lead to a more just, stable, peaceful, loving, and understanding world. Adherence to morality shouldn't be promoted through a carrot and stick approach (ie you either go to heaven or hell.) Doing so means the individual never truly understands the difference between why things are right and wrong. In effect, it's little more than operatic conditioning. If this is the case, than one is doing things for selfish reasons (to avoid hell) and cowardice. The true test of one's morality is how you would act if what you did had no reprecussions or rewards, like the true test of a man's character is what he does when no one else is watching. Otherwise, if one needs to have the ultimate carrot (heaven) just to act in the right way, I don't think that person is moral, just rational...nothing more or less. The world is inarguably more just, more peaceful, loving and understanding than it has ever been. This poster thinks that the extension of human rights to non-whites, non-protestants, and non-males and the world's progress isn't a coincidence. The world isn't perfect, but as a black man, life for me is exponentially better now than it was 30, 60, 100, and 400 years ago. So to people who say that we are slipping into moral decline, I say fuck you. Nothing is more morally reprehensible than denying a person's basic humanity because they happened to be of a certain color. If it was heaven for you and hell for me, that isn't evidence of a more virtuous time.

    BTW - My father is gay. He's a better parent than most couples. I was never abused emotionally nor phsyically. I was cared and provided for. In my home city which has a graduation rate of 40%, I was not only an academic standout, I attended Stanford University. My brother also went to an elite school. It wasn't genetic either, my brother was adopted. Why people think gay couples should not be allowed to adopt is beyond me. I guess being raised in a group foster home is preferrable to being as a gayby? Somehow, being given a warm and loving environment by a couple who is more committed to being good parents (all other things being equal, being a gay parent requires more effort than being a straight parent due to the bs they receive from society.) for those against adoption by gay parents, please go adopt them yourself instead of political grandstanding to make yourself look worthy of heaven in the eyes of god. It is unquestionably devilish to deny an orphan a chance of living in a caring and nurturing home (not to mention paranoid and destructive to society because kids growing up without any special attention from elders turn out way more likely to be fucked up) because you think this is all part of some hidden gay agenda to...what, destroy families and indoctrinate all boys to become gay, or at least bisexual. If you believe that, well, you've found it. Yes, all of us are in on it. The reptiles from outer space, the council for foreign relations, freemasons, skull&bones, rockefellers, bildeberg groups, the illumati, the elders of zion, the bilderberg group, all of us want to turn the USA to the GaySA.

    Sorry, I was bored and went to long on this.

    Also, I personally believe that life is a challenge. If it came with an instruction guide telling you exactly how you should act, it kind of defeats the purpose of figuring out how to live. And aren't cheat sheets offering you salvation if you only do exactly what they tell you to do more hallmarks of the devil?

    • Lyuba Tereshchenko Lyuba Tereshchenko Canada says:

      Brandon I applaud what you said. I think ignorance and fear is behind most of the homophobic comments. I wish people wouldn't feel that way. Gay people are just like straight people except we are attracted to people of same gender. That's it. I wish people would quit demonising each other and listen!

      And why cant I change the title of this comment. I've said what I had to Rik. Title should be Well Said Mate.

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