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  • #31
    Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
    Too many years back. When my eyesight still permitted me to read a book a day.
    Ah you have my sincerest sympathy. Luckily I can still manage that although spectacles are now required for small print volumes.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

      I take your point and I tend to agree.

      However, we cannot ignore the possibility that, insofar as intelligent/human life is concerned, Gribbins' argument holds.
      It is nevertheless the argument of one man – albeit a well-qualified one – and he has been shown to be wrong before, e.g. The Jupiter Effect:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jupiter_Effect

      Whereas, based upon probability alone, the possibility that intelligent life has evolved on some of the billions of earth-like exoplanets in the universe is regarded as sufficiently viable for NASA to inaugurate a science plan to identify them.

      But I accept that we are effectively alone in that the sheer distances involved would render contact with alien intelligences impossible.








      “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by Tassman View Post

        It is nevertheless the argument of one man – albeit a well-qualified one – and he has been shown to be wrong before, e.g. The Jupiter Effect:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jupiter_Effect

        Whereas, based upon probability alone, the possibility that intelligent life has evolved on some of the billions of earth-like exoplanets in the universe is regarded as sufficiently viable for NASA to inaugurate a science plan to identify them.

        But I accept that we are effectively alone in that the sheer distances involved would render contact with alien intelligences impossible.







        I think we are both in agreement on this issue and, as Hawking remarked, any contact with a more advanced alien life may not, necessarily, lead to an overly beneficial outcome for humanity.

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

          I think we are both in agreement on this issue and, as Hawking remarked, any contact with a more advanced alien life may not, necessarily, lead to an overly beneficial outcome for humanity.
          History has repeatedly shown that when one civilization comes into contact with another civilization that isn't as technologically advanced, things don't turn out so well for the latter. They tend to get absorbed or effectively eliminated

          I'm always still in trouble again

          "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
          "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
            History has repeatedly shown that when one civilization comes into contact with another civilization that isn't as technologically advanced, things don't turn out so well for the latter. They tend to get absorbed or effectively eliminated
            That is precisely what Hawking suggested should humans ever encounter a more advanced alien life form. As I recall he made a comparison with the arrival of the Spanish in the Americas and the impact of that upon the indigenous peoples.

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

              That is precisely what Hawking suggested should humans ever encounter a more advanced alien life form. As I recall he made a comparison with the arrival of the Spanish in the Americas and the impact of that upon the indigenous peoples.
              Over on another site there was a poster who kept insisting that Darwin promoted the extermination of "inferior" races and I noted that he was merely pointing out that advanced cultures tend to assimilate or destroy those less advanced when they come into contact.

              The rebuttal was rather long but here are some of the pertinent parts Meh. Feeling lazy. Here's the whole thing:

              Darwin never promoted the extermination of anyone. Such a thing is diametrically opposed to everything he stood for. In fact, during his travels on the Beagle Darwin witnessed attempts to exterminate indigenous populations most notably in Argentina where he describes the perpetrators as “villainous," "banditti-like" and "inhuman" and asked "Who would believe in this age that such atrocities could be committed in a Christian civilized country?"

              Moreover, as has been repeatedly explained to you over and over again... Technologically advanced societies either exterminate or assimilate more primitive cultures. That is an unfortunate fact that Darwin was pointing out.

              Let's look at the context of the quote that you like to rip out of context in your attempt to mislead.
              Originally posted by Descent of Man, Chptr. 5
              “The great break in the organic chain between man and his nearest allies, which cannot be bridged over by any extinct or living species, has often been advanced as a grave objection to the belief that man is descended from some lower form; but this objection will not appear of much weight to those who, from general reasons, believe in the general principle of evolution. Breaks often occur in all parts of the series, some being wide, sharp and defined, others less so in various degrees; as between the orang and its nearest allies—between the Tarsius and the other Lemuridae between the elephant, and in a more striking manner between the Ornithorhynchus or Echidna, and all other mammals. But these breaks depend merely on the number of related forms which have become extinct. At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.”



              This is extracted from a relatively technical argument concerning the reality of species wrt to humans and whether or not there still should be distinct species. Darwin was ultimately concluding the answer is no and is basically contending here that there is no simple unbroken line of intermediary forms since breaks are formed by extinction.

              And it appears that after 140 years since publishing Descent Darwin seems to be correct at least in his assessment that the “anthropomorphous apes” are indeed being driven into extinction as their numbers dwindle as do their habitats. It appears that they will, at some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, be no longer around.

              His experience with Tasmania while sailing aboard the Beagle after that island’s so-called Black War which exterminated the aboriginal population of Tasmania certainly justified his concerns that the same thing would happen to other native peoples at the hands of the "civilized races."

              Further, atrocities like the forcible deportation of Native American tribes, resulting in the Trail of Tears was also taking place about this time and the forced Long Walk of the Navajo had taken place just a few years before Descent was published while Argentina’s Conquest of the Desert was just gearing up. Australia's aboriginal population was reduced by 90% during the 19th century and the Russian conquest of Siberia during this time resulted in a great many indigenous people being totally wiped out.

              And it wasn't just Europeans and people of European descent. The Zulus under Shaka Zulu, who the British were very familiar with, were militarily superior to their neighbors and engaged in the wholesale slaughter of numerous tribes in the southern part of Africa (a period known as the Mfecane) resulting in the region becoming nearly depopulated.

              No, Darwin had many reasons to fear that natives will end up getting exterminated by the "civilized races." Further, he wasn't entirely wrong. I don’t think anyone can deny that even today we can still see more technologically and militarily "advanced" cultures either destroying or replacing the less advanced ones.

              As an aside, Darwin was also merely echoing a common view of both humanitarians and apologists for imperial expansion that was already many decades old that primitive people were inevitably doomed at the hands of the “civilized races.” Going back to the genocide committed against the native Tasmanians it was casually described by Edward Curr as having ended “as all such matters have ended in other parts of the world, by the extermination of the weaker race."

              OK, now that we established the context and some background, perhaps it should next be noted that Darwin was not in any way urging anyone to commit genocide. In fact, there is nothing in Darwin's words to support (and much in his life to contradict) the implied claim made by those misquoting him here that he wanted anyone exterminated.

              Instead, he was merely noting what appeared to him to be an obvious fact, based as noted above in no small part on the atrocities being committed in the name of conquest whether it was for European imperialism and colonial conquest or American “Manifest Destiny.”

              Darwin constantly listed what he thought were facts about the prospects of any given race, culture or society, but this was in no way an endorsement of what he thought should happen. In fact, and to the contrary he clearly states that to act in a way so as to eliminate an "inferior" would result in doing enormous damage to our better natures:
              Originally posted by Descent of Man, Chptr. 5
              “The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, if so urged by hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with a certain and great present evil. Hence we must bear without complaining the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind”



              Further, his comments near the conclusion that...
              Originally posted by Descent of Man, Chptr. 21
              "Important as the struggle for existence has been and even still is, yet as far as the highest part of man's nature is concerned there are other agencies more important. For the moral qualities are advanced, either directly or indirectly, much more through the effects of habit, the reasoning powers, instruction, religion, etc, than through natural selection; though to this latter agency may be safely attributed the social instincts, which afforded the basis for the development of the moral sense."



              ...show that while such oppression comes to the human race as a force of nature, other forces like morality, religion, and the capacity for reason are still far more important in determining how we treat each other.

              To continue to assert that Darwin was urging the extermination of others here is at the very least committing the naturalistic fallacy of confusing statements of "what is" with those about "what ought to be." The way things are does not imply that’s how they ought to be. That’s akin to arguing that if someone broke their leg then it should stay broken. Again “is” does not mean “ought.”

              I guess the overall point being that evolution is descriptive. It is ignorant to think that evolution prescribes or proscribes the use of brute strength to resolve every problem that comes up whether in nature, society or whatever.

              IOW, evolution describes, not prescribe. It merely attempts to tells how things are, not how they should be.



              The point being that it has been long recognized that technologically advanced cultures tend to make short work of less advanced ones

              I'm always still in trouble again

              "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
              "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                Over on another site there was a poster who kept insisting that Darwin promoted the extermination of "inferior" races and I noted that he was merely pointing out that advanced cultures tend to assimilate or destroy those less advanced when they come into contact.

                The rebuttal was rather long but here are some of the pertinent parts Meh. Feeling lazy. Here's the whole thing:

                Darwin never promoted the extermination of anyone. Such a thing is diametrically opposed to everything he stood for. In fact, during his travels on the Beagle Darwin witnessed attempts to exterminate indigenous populations most notably in Argentina where he describes the perpetrators as “villainous," "banditti-like" and "inhuman" and asked "Who would believe in this age that such atrocities could be committed in a Christian civilized country?"

                Moreover, as has been repeatedly explained to you over and over again... Technologically advanced societies either exterminate or assimilate more primitive cultures. That is an unfortunate fact that Darwin was pointing out.

                Let's look at the context of the quote that you like to rip out of context in your attempt to mislead.


                This is extracted from a relatively technical argument concerning the reality of species wrt to humans and whether or not there still should be distinct species. Darwin was ultimately concluding the answer is no and is basically contending here that there is no simple unbroken line of intermediary forms since breaks are formed by extinction.

                And it appears that after 140 years since publishing Descent Darwin seems to be correct at least in his assessment that the “anthropomorphous apes” are indeed being driven into extinction as their numbers dwindle as do their habitats. It appears that they will, at some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, be no longer around.

                His experience with Tasmania while sailing aboard the Beagle after that island’s so-called Black War which exterminated the aboriginal population of Tasmania certainly justified his concerns that the same thing would happen to other native peoples at the hands of the "civilized races."

                Further, atrocities like the forcible deportation of Native American tribes, resulting in the Trail of Tears was also taking place about this time and the forced Long Walk of the Navajo had taken place just a few years before Descent was published while Argentina’s Conquest of the Desert was just gearing up. Australia's aboriginal population was reduced by 90% during the 19th century and the Russian conquest of Siberia during this time resulted in a great many indigenous people being totally wiped out.

                And it wasn't just Europeans and people of European descent. The Zulus under Shaka Zulu, who the British were very familiar with, were militarily superior to their neighbors and engaged in the wholesale slaughter of numerous tribes in the southern part of Africa (a period known as the Mfecane) resulting in the region becoming nearly depopulated.

                No, Darwin had many reasons to fear that natives will end up getting exterminated by the "civilized races." Further, he wasn't entirely wrong. I don’t think anyone can deny that even today we can still see more technologically and militarily "advanced" cultures either destroying or replacing the less advanced ones.

                As an aside, Darwin was also merely echoing a common view of both humanitarians and apologists for imperial expansion that was already many decades old that primitive people were inevitably doomed at the hands of the “civilized races.” Going back to the genocide committed against the native Tasmanians it was casually described by Edward Curr as having ended “as all such matters have ended in other parts of the world, by the extermination of the weaker race."

                OK, now that we established the context and some background, perhaps it should next be noted that Darwin was not in any way urging anyone to commit genocide. In fact, there is nothing in Darwin's words to support (and much in his life to contradict) the implied claim made by those misquoting him here that he wanted anyone exterminated.

                Instead, he was merely noting what appeared to him to be an obvious fact, based as noted above in no small part on the atrocities being committed in the name of conquest whether it was for European imperialism and colonial conquest or American “Manifest Destiny.”

                Darwin constantly listed what he thought were facts about the prospects of any given race, culture or society, but this was in no way an endorsement of what he thought should happen. In fact, and to the contrary he clearly states that to act in a way so as to eliminate an "inferior" would result in doing enormous damage to our better natures:


                Further, his comments near the conclusion that...


                ...show that while such oppression comes to the human race as a force of nature, other forces like morality, religion, and the capacity for reason are still far more important in determining how we treat each other.

                To continue to assert that Darwin was urging the extermination of others here is at the very least committing the naturalistic fallacy of confusing statements of "what is" with those about "what ought to be." The way things are does not imply that’s how they ought to be. That’s akin to arguing that if someone broke their leg then it should stay broken. Again “is” does not mean “ought.”

                I guess the overall point being that evolution is descriptive. It is ignorant to think that evolution prescribes or proscribes the use of brute strength to resolve every problem that comes up whether in nature, society or whatever.

                IOW, evolution describes, not prescribe. It merely attempts to tells how things are, not how they should be.



                The point being that it has been long recognized that technologically advanced cultures tend to make short work of less advanced ones
                As we appear to be in agreement on this issue, I wonder why you making these posts.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                  As we appear to be in agreement on this issue, I wonder why you making these posts.
                  Noting that this was not a view unique to Hawkings and has been around for centuries.

                  I'm always still in trouble again

                  "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                  "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                    Noting that this was not a view unique to Hawkings and has been around for centuries.
                    I never stated it was unique to Hawking [N.B. his name contains no "S" at the end].

                    Or are you simply desperately trying to impress me with your erudition?

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                      I never stated it was unique to Hawking [N.B. his name contains no "S" at the end].

                      Or are you simply desperately trying to impress me with your erudition?
                      *snort*

                      I'm always still in trouble again

                      "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                      "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                        I think we are both in agreement on this issue and, as Hawking remarked, any contact with a more advanced alien life may not, necessarily, lead to an overly beneficial outcome for humanity.
                        Oh certainly. Our own history as a species is indicative of of the possible negative outcome. One can only hope that more advanced alien life is more advanced in every way - including more civilized values than were displayed by say, the Conquistadors.
                        “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Tassman View Post

                          Oh certainly. Our own history as a species is indicative of of the possible negative outcome. One can only hope that more advanced alien life is more advanced in every way - including more civilized values than were displayed by say, the Conquistadors.
                          That is the hope certainly.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Tassman View Post

                            Oh certainly. Our own history as a species is indicative of of the possible negative outcome. One can only hope that more advanced alien life is more advanced in every way - including more civilized values than were displayed by say, the Conquistadors.
                            As well as many many others including Muhammad and his mob of marauders? The Conquistadores are no longer around but Muhammad's barbarous marauding mob is still busy doing it's thing..

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Trucker View Post

                              As well as many many others including Muhammad and his mob of marauders? The Conquistadores are no longer around but Muhammad's barbarous marauding mob is still busy doing it's thing..
                              Indeed. Humankind is a primitive species.
                              “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Tassman View Post

                                Indeed. Humankind is a primitive species.
                                Do you know of a less "primitive species [your choice of terms]?

                                Comment

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