Philosopher, Sage, Luminary and Professional Thinking Person
Actually, if you were paying attention, you’d discover that the observed fact of evolution is being taught as a fact, while the theory of evolution (that explains that fact) is taught as a theory.
Thetheory of gravity explains the observed fact of gravity, and yet nobody seems to mind that the theory is taught in school.
The germ theory of diseases explains the observed fact of diseases, and yet nobody seems to mind that the theory is taught in school.
And this is because, of course, when scientists use the word “theory” they don’t just mean a wild guess or an idea without any evidence to back it up. Instead:
In modern science, the term “theory” refers to scientific theories, a well-confirmed type of explanation of nature, made in a way consistent with scientific method, and fulfilling the criteria required by modern science. Such theories are described in such a way that scientific tests should be able to provide empirical support for, or empirically contradict (“falsify”) it. Scientific theories are the most reliable, rigorous, and comprehensive form of scientific knowledge, in contrast to more common uses of the word “theory” that imply that something is unproven or speculative (which is better characterized by the word hypothesis). Scientific theories are distinguished from hypotheses, which are individual empirically testable conjectures, and from scientific laws, which are descriptive accounts of how nature behaves under certain conditions.
“Actually, your question can be truncated, as follows: “Has Trump ever apologized?” And, the answer is (of course) no. Trump has never apologized.”
Trump has never apologized for any of the damage that he has done to this nation, nor has he apologized for the damage he has done to the citizens of this nation, nor has he apologized for the damage he has done to the allies of this nation, nor has he apologized for the damage he has done to the planet, nor has he apologized for the damage he has done to the human beings who inhabit this planet.
Do you think that Donald even knows that the Quora internet site exists? I don’t think he has any idea. I think Quora is just about the best we can have/do on the internet. Quora comes in the form of answers to submitted questions, the answers illustrating more often than not the wisdom of common sense. Common sense, I would say, is the knowledge , sometimes designated as wisdom, that we share, knowledge, that has come to us over the some tens of thousands of years of our species’ existence, thanks to the countless observations and note taking of science and its practitioners. Actually all, of us, to to the extent we are human, are all scientists. We are always looking about us and “taking down” what we see.
This kind of common sensical knowledge doesn’t come from religion. Religion is all that science is not, often all dogma rather than discovery, as some have put it, and whose, practitioners, shamans, ministers, priests, rabbis, monks, magicians et al.. have mostly led themselves and the rest of us astray, while inflicting upon us untold suffering, causing millions of unnecessary deaths most often by something as an insubstantial difference of opinion, a little difference that too often leads to genocide and war. While science is no less subject to differences of opinion these differences have never led us, as have religions, to the brutal exterminations of the ones out of power by those in power
Anyway getting back to my subject, Quora (the plural of quoram, both words, meaning the group of people required to carry over a transaction in an organization, that is the requisite number of those needed to get the business done. Why was this name chosen for the web site. I don’t know.
I’m sorry, but the word “evolutionist” always makes me laugh; I shouldn’t laugh at what is simply ignorance. We all started out ignorant.
“Evolution” is not an “ism” to be believed or embraced. “Evolution” is the name we give to the fact that biological entities change over time. This is a fact, established beyond any doubt, reasonable or unreasonable. It is no more uncertain or controversial than gravity. You don’t call people who believe they will fall over when they trip “gravitationists”, do you?
This being said, it is universally agreed that modern humans evolved from a species called Homo Erectus. Their remains fit nicely on the time scale and sit morphologically halfway between us and their forebears.
The full picture is a bit more complex. In other parts of Eurasia, Homo Erectus evolved into different forms, known as Homo Neanderthalensis and Homo Denisova (in popular accounts, Neanderthals and Denisovans). Homo Sapiens encountered these forms, interbred with them, and we still carry their genes. But they were also descended from Homo Erectus, so it’s still the same ancestry.
The latest primate ancestor that we have a good grasp of and don’t call human is the Australopithecus Afarensis, the famous “Lucy”. It would more resemble an ape than a human to us, probably something like a chimpanzee on two legs. But whether we decide to say that something is of the genus “Homo” is, basically, somewhat arbitrary. You can argue that Lucy was a human, or that her descendant Homo Habilis was an ape; it’s not like there’s even a clear boundary in time when one species ends and the next one starts, so it’s possible to argue something different. These are all just labels that we put on things after the fact to make it easier to discuss them.
When we go back to find the greatness in our past, how do we know when we’ve got there, where and when to stop? With the arrival of Columbus on the shores of the new world, with the Founding Fathers, with the freeing of the slaves? You see what I mean. Greatness is to be found whenever and wherever men have lived (and even before men in the Age of the Great Apes, and before that in the Age of the Dinosaurs). But Donald Trump and his MEGA cap wearing followers at the rallies seem to be completely ignorant of both America and the meaning of Great, or Greatness.
If you read my blogs you’ll know I like the website Quora, that I like Quora a lot. And probably like most of the Quora subscribers, in particular like those who answer the Quora questions, as Jonathan Hall below, I like to read about things, learn about things, fill in a few of the myriad holes in my own meager knowledge of the past. Quora helps, more than school ever did.
Here is then is the question, taken from a Quora Digest that showed up my Inbox, today, March 9, 2019:
And here below is another America, one that Trump has probably never heard of:
And here is Jonathan Hall’s response:
Exsqueeze me? It really is a pity that even today, despite all the literature, museums and outreach, even the average citizen of the eastern United States is still blissfully unaware of the complex societies whose remnants they often walk or drive right over. Story time!
The Eastern Woodlands of the United States has been a nexus for stratified civilization since 3500 B.C. The Mississippi River area was even home to its own independent cradle of agriculture known as the Eastern Agricultural Complex, from which we still have popular vegetables like squash and sunflower. The peoples that farmed these crops have been traditionally termed the “Mound Builders”, so named for their apparent proclivity towards earthworks. The term is a bit dated now, and archaeologists today are able to differentiate specific cultures, but “mound-building peoples” is often still used to describe the cultures in general.
There have been many mound-building societies over the course of North American history. We’ll probably never know the exact political relationships, but we can identify consistencies in material culture and living patterns. The first one that really seems to take off across the board is the Hopewell:
Starting around 100 BC, sites all around the Mississippi start adopting a similar set of traits such as pottery styles, arrowhead techniques and artistic motifs, along with a much more pronounced sense of social stratification. The Hopewell appear to have begun with the Ohio Hopewell, which built upon the stratified Adena culture that existed since 1000 BC on the Ohio River valley, which connects to the Mississippi. The Hopewell greatly proliferate the number of mounds constructed in the Eastern Woodlands and diversify their uses.
One of the most iconic examples of the Hopewell are the Newark Earthworks: a series of interconnected circles, walls and moats that appear to serve as a massive lunar observatory. The Moon’s orbit ‘wobbles’ in relation to the Earth: at one extreme the orbit is rotated one way, and rotated the other way at the other extreme. The point in this cycle where the Moon’s orbital plane reaches its northernmost or southernmost extent before going back to the other is termed the lunar standstill, which produces an effect not unlike the Sun’s solstices. This happens every 18 years, 7 months and almost 10 days. The Newark Earthworks are able to track the Moon’s declination until the next standstill with remarkable precision.
Newark today. A country club still owns parts of the earthworks.
It’s possible that the Ohio Hopewell had such influence over the Eastern Woodlands that they may have started a new religious movement, or perhaps their influence was economical and assimilating their culture was better for business, or people may have simply admired parts of their culture enough to replicate it. A mix of the three may have happened, but we might never know specifically why people wanted to copy them.
What we do know was that their influence was phenomenal. The Hopewell had access to a trade network that extended all the way to the Great Lakes, the Gulf of Mexico and the Rockies, with artifacts from these regions showing up in Ohio:
In the year 500, the bow and arrow trickled southward after being introduced by the Inuit from northern Canada. This makes hunting (and fighting) much more accessible, freeing people up from their dependencies on crops and some hierarchical control.
From there the magic begins to die for the Hopewell and the societies within its sphere fall into the geographically broader-ranging Woodland period. The 500 years of the Late Woodland period saw a great intensity in fortification, a significant reduction in mound-building (though some are still built) and more numerous, smaller walled villages instead of the larger towns of the Middle Woodland’s Hopewell. This lifestyle, in some form, actually lasted in the periphery of the Eastern Woodlands until the arrival of Europeans.
By the year 1000, however, something new appears in the heart of the Mississippi. People are once again gathering in large towns and forming wealthy elites under the control of powerful rulers who began using earthworks to proclaim their legitimacy. Corn (maize) was introduced to the Eastern Woodlands in 200 BC, but had a hard time dealing with the colder climates. However, new cold-hardy cultivars had finally been developed and were taking the Eastern Woodlands by storm into a new agricultural revolution. Things were about to get corny.
Archaeologists have given these corn-crazy, mound-building chiefdoms the aptly-named title of the Mississippians:
This is where things really start getting big. The power and influence of chiefs have increased drastically into large, multi-town paramount chiefdoms, though if we’re being completely honest some of these really resemble early kingdoms and the difference is largely semantic. The massive trade networks have fired back up and are bringing in more goods than ever before. They especially love Great Lakes copper. Art, culture and religious expression have also greatly expanded and this cultural movement reaches nearly every corner of the Mississippi River watershed:
The “Sponemann Figurine” from Cahokia. The headwrap seen on her head has been documented in historical Native American tribes.
Copper plate of a falcon-eyed man from Spiro Mounds, Oklahoma.
“Crouching Man” effigy pipe from Shiloh Indian Mounds, Tennessee
A million years ago the dominant hominid species were Homo Erectus (Homo Ergaster in Africa). It is probably the hominid species with the longest lifespan. From its first appearance 1,8 mya until about 140.000 years ago when a small population still existed in and around Java. It was the first human to wander outside the African continent. It was the first human to learn how to control fire. They were also the first true human hunters. Their predecessor, Homo Habilis, used tools but did not really hunt; it scavenged recently dead prey with sharp tools and took meat and hides. But they never used spears while Homo Erectus did.
So, one milion years ago, Homo Erectus was a typical hunter-gatherer. He was still not as tall as later relatives would be, between 1,45 and 1,85 m. A typical male perhaps 1, 60–1,70 m in general and a female 1,50–1,60 m. His weight between 40 kg and 75. They had developed fire and used it for many purposes. Cooking fires are seen in the archaeological finds from approximately 1,4 mya. Fire was also a protection from bigger predators and could be used as a help in hunting (if they actually used fire for hunting purposes is very difficult to prove but there certainly is a possibility). Their bigger bodies (than Habilis) needed more food to sustain them and give them energy. Given their stature they were probably effective runners with a good stamina. They could not run as fast as their prey but they could run for a longer time than their prey. This kind of hunting demands social communication to be really effective. Some reconstruction of their skulls suggest that the area where social communication is lodged in the brain were developed and they probably used both signs and speech to communicate.
There is also proof that they took care of each other. Elderly individuals have been found, one whose teeth had fallen out long before he died. He had to have help to survive and the community he lived in gave it to him. Though they took care of their tribe members there is no evidence of burials. That is not to say that they did not do it, only that we can’t prove that they did.
Erectus’ spreading pattern around the globe suggest that he was not adjusted for a colder climate. Proof of clothing is absent and he keeps himself to Africa, southern Asia and possibly southern Spain. The first proof of clothing we have come from his relative Homo Heidelbergensis (about 0,7 mya) which did move further north (Germany).
Below is a possible reconstruction of a campsite. They used caves or overhangs but could do without too. Fire was a powerful protector.
People that argue against evolution say “how can something come from nothing”.
That’s not an argument but a question which has nothing to do with evolution. Evolution deals with the question how the species we have today could have developed from first life. How first life came into existence is still unclear. We have some ideas but nothing conclusive.
The question also is inadequate. Life did not come from nothing. Life, as it seems somehow came from inanimate matter. That is not nothing.
What is your argument and proof of evolution and the Big Bang theory?
That evolution is happening needs no proof, because it’s not a theory but an observation. We can clearly see that from millions of fossils we found. We can see that with microorganisms exposed to antibiotics. The current theories of evolution simply are our most plausible explanations for that phenomenon.
Same goes for the Big Bang. We have a ton of evidence that points in that direction. It’s the most plausible explanation. What is beyond that, we cannot tell. All our models break down within a Planck environment around the Big Bang. Maybe we will never know. Again, that does not imply God.