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  • How does evolution account for rationality and reasoning?

    @Logic When one discusses human evolution it should be in a different way than the evolution of any other creature on the planet. Humans emerged as the dominant species because of their manual dexterity, which then allowed for the development of reasoning and rationality. Bipedalism, flexibility, opposable thumbs, and other physical characteristics developed due to natural selection. These adaptive traits became collectively superior than all other creatures and allowed humans to distinguish themselves as dominant for the following reasons:
    1. Ability to alter their environment, as opposed to adapt to it
    2. Aiming for goals with roots in survival but that transcend the basic need for survival
    3. Specialization and skill within the species
    ...and a few others, but those are the main reasons. All of this sets us apart from every other species and it's the direct result of superior physical characteristics that came out of evolution. It is the third reason I listed in particular that resulted in incredible and rapid cognitive development. Apes first began to use tools, a crucial evolutionary advantage. When individual members developed their own skills people were able to form culture, language, art, science, and all the complex processes we know today.

    There is one line in the Wikipedia article for the evolution of human intelligence that I think sums up human evolution pretty concisely: "These environmental pressures caused selection to favor bipedalism." Such was the case for all other traits we developed on the path to reasoning, including reasoning itself. The natural pressures that came about as the result of environmental changes, such as ice ages, force all species to change and form new traits. At some point, conditions made it crucial for humans to develop reasoning in order to survive. Whether or not those conditions came about as the result of a higher power is in my opinion debatable. Personally I don't believe in a God so I think those conditions came about as the result of circumstances, like the position of the planet in the solar system.

    If you think about how complex life on earth is one might be naturally inclined to assume that only a higher power could have created it. But if you look at the scale of the universe, and think about just how BIG it is, and that there are over 200 billion observable galaxies and each galaxy has billions of its own stars and each star has its own planet system with a few planets each (the average is in between 1 and 2), then how could something like earth and life and reasoning NOT form? We're talking about over 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets, (10 to the 24th power) and that's just in the observable universe. There is absolutely no way of telling what else could be out there - it's just beyond the comprehension of humanity. But by the limits of our own reasoning, relatively speaking, I do not think we are that special or that our circumstances are that unique. Compared to the solar system, the galaxy, or even our local galaxy cluster, yes, we might be unique - but that there is maybe .001% of the universe, so it's probably not so remarkable.

    Sources:
    // http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2013/01/05/how-many-planets-are-in-the-universe/
    // https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_human_intelligence
    islander507agsr
  • Is It O.K. to Refuse to Serve Same-Sex Couples Based on Religious Beliefs?

  • Does "under God" belong in the pledge?

    The age-old debate. I don't think it does because not everyone needs to believe in God; even though our country was built by religious people, it was not built specifically on religious values. Our Constitution is also based off of freedom, including the freedom of religion and freedom of expression. This means that designating our national pledge towards theism, and arguably Christianity, is exclusive of other forms of religion and expression. It is fine for people to continue to use "Under God" in the pledge if they believe in God, but it is not necessary and should not be included in the official text.
    joecavalry
  • Is Kushner a scumbag or a nice guy?

    Well, this reporter who published a comprehensive article this week certainly thinks that Jared Kushner is a scumbag.  

    Meet the Real Jared Kushner

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/05/25/jared-kushner-russia-fbi-donald-trump-215191

    The article is full of testimonials of Kushner encounters, not to mention his father who ended up convicted for bunch of shady wrong doings.

    therep
  • Trump considers major changes amid escalating Russia crisis

  • De Blasio: It’s ‘Distressing’ ICE Is Arresting ‘Law-Abiding’ Illegal Immigrants

    I agree with the assessment that a person who is in the country illegal has broken the law.  The question is who is responsible for enforcing immigration laws and if we as a society choose to task police with this responsibility what are the impact to law enforcement of that decision.  How are we going to pay to keep illegals in local jails until they are transferred to ICE?   Are communities of immigrants going to distance themselves even more from police? What are we doing with the children of immigrants that are deported?  How are we funding that operation?
    I can understand the argument of illegal workers and their effect on the economy.  My concern is tasking police with immigration duties and massive deportations are all good head liners, but I have not seen a comprehensive treatment of this problem that accounts for the impact on affected communities and how we are dealing with american children once their parents are deported.
    I think there should be a path to becoming a legal citizens for those who can take advantage of it.  It should include paying higher taxes for a period of time to fund the hidden costs of dealing with illegal immigration.
    melefWhyTrumpbillpassedagsrlove2debateale5
  • Communism vs Capitalism [I already know the answer trust me]

    @CuriousGeorge All the money YOU worked for, Goes to you. Even if it is a low amount [Which goes back to what job you work really.]  Not to the person who just 'owns' the company. 
    natbarons
  • Should Land belong to Palestine or Israel?

    How should Israel vs Palestine conflict be adressed?
    joecavalry
  • Is it harder to stop smoking or lose 50 lbs?

    Both smoking and obesity are hugh health challenges, but it's so hard to quit smoking and lose weight.
    Is it harder to stop smoking (lets say after 20 years of smoking pack a day) or lose 50 lbs (Lets say for a 300 lbs person)?
    natbarons
  • Is Poverty a 'State Of Mind'?

    Housing Secretary Ben Carson Says Poverty Is A 'State Of Mind'

    http://www.npr.org/2017/05/25/530068988/ben-carson-says-poverty-is-a-state-of-mind

    Pro:
    Carson — who himself grew up in poverty to become a widely acclaimed neurosurgeon — said people with the "right mind set" can have everything taken away from them, and they'll pull themselves up. He believes the converse is true as well. "You take somebody with the wrong mind-set, you can give them everything in the world (and) they'll work their way right back down to the bottom," Carson said.

    Con:
    Anti-poverty advocates say both Carson  is fundamentally wrong, that most low-income people would work if they could. And many of them already do. They just don't make enough to live on.


    therep

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