Richard Dawkins Exposed: Part IV – Moscow’s Stray Dogs “Evolving Greater Intelligence”!

I want to draw your attention to this article: Moscow’s Stray Dogs Evolving Greater Intelligence, Including a Mastery of the Subway, which appeared on Dawkins’ website at the weekend.

Firstly, I don’t know whether Dawkins added this article to his website himself, or if one of his evolved apes did, but it is quite bizarre that anyone could believe the angle to this story, which was reported in Popular Science. It is amazing how people who think of themselves as scientists can believe that ‘evolution’ can explain away everything.

For every 300 Muscovites, there’s a stray dog wandering the streets of Russia’s capital. And according to Andrei Poyarkov, a researcher at the A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, the fierce pressure of urban living has driven the dogs to evolve wolf-like traits, increased intelligence, and even the ability to navigate the subway.

Poyarkov has studied the dogs, which number about 35,000, for the last 30 years. Over that time, he observed the stray dog population lose the spotted coats, wagging tails, and friendliness that separate dogs from wolves, while at the same time evolving social structures and behaviors optimized to four ecological niches occupied by what Poyarkov calls guard dogs, scavengers, wild dogs, and beggars.

The guard dogs follow around, and receive food from, the security personnel at Moscow’s many fenced in sites. They think the guards are their masters, and serve as semi-feral assistants. The scavengers roam the city eating garbage. The wild dogs are the most wolf-like, hunting mice, rats, and cats under the cover of night.

But beggar dogs have evolved the most specialized behavior. Relying on scraps of food from commuters, the beggar dogs can not only recognize which humans are most likely to give them something to eat, but have evolved to ride the subway. Using scents, and the ability to recognize the train conductor’s names for different stops, they incorporate many stations into their territories.

You have probably noticed the silliest suggestion, i.e. that the dogs are evolving “wolf-like traits”.

Domestic dogs were bred from wild dogs, silly. And with an increased gene pool due to interbreeding, the dogs will be more like their wild ancestors than domestic dogs are, which were bred to favour certain characteristics.

The spotted coats, wagging tails, and friendliness that separate dogs from wolves can be explained by an experiment carried out by Soviet biologist Dmitri Belyaev, who:

…set up a Russian silver fox research centre in Novosibirsk, setting out to test his theory that the most important selected characteristic for the domestication of dogs was a lack of aggression. He began to select foxes that showed the least fear of humans and bred them. After 10-15 years, the foxes he bred showed affection to their keepers, even licking them. They barked, had floppy ears and wagged their tails. They also developed spotted coats – a surprising development that was connected with a decrease in their levels of adrenaline, which shares a biochemical pathway with melanin and controls ­pigment production.

Biologist Andrei Poyarkov explains,

With stray dogs, we’re witnessing a move backwards, that is, to a wilder and less domesticated state, to a more ‘natural’ state.” As if to prove his point, strays do not have spotted coats, they rarely wag their tails and are wary of humans, showing no signs of ­affection towards them.

Poyarkov reckons that “dumping a pet dog on the streets of Moscow amounts to a near-certain death sentence” and “fewer than 3 per cent survive”.

So there are tough mutts down there. Wily ones too.

Naturally, the dogs have adapted (not evolved) to their new environment. Poyarkov reckons that the pack leader is “not necessarily the strongest or most dominant dog, but the most intelligent – and is acknowledged as such. The pack depends on him for its survival.” With fewer than one in thirty abandoned pet dogs surviving, we can understand why intelligence is so respected by the other dogs.

It should worry us that such bad science is being perpetuated in the popular media. A lie told often enough becomes the truth. I suggest this describes the Theory of Evolution. If there is so much indisputable evidence for it, why are we presented with such desperate attempts to try and convince us/perpetuate the myth?

The other posts to date:

Richard Dawkins Exposed: Part I

Richard Dawkins Exposed: Part II – Five Minutes

Richard Dawkins Exposed: Part III – Indoctrination Camp for Children

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214 Responses to Richard Dawkins Exposed: Part IV – Moscow’s Stray Dogs “Evolving Greater Intelligence”!

  1. Stewart Cowan says:

    Thanks, English. Very interesting. I’ve always been fascinated with cold places. The beauty and tranquillity – and also the surprises, like the plants and animals that survive/thrive.

    How long have you been there? I imagine the cold doesn’t seem quite as cold in time, or am I wrong?

    Probably!

    I went skiing once – on a school trip to Perthshire. I think it’s the coldest I have EVER been. I never tried it again. I’ve been to Switzerland three times, and Austria, but managed to avoid putting skis on, although that ski chase in one of the Bond films makes it look great.

    I’m self-employed, so I can’t afford broken bones.

  2. English Viking says:

    Hey Stewart,

    The cold is different because it is dry. On a still day, minus 15 is reasonable but if the wind is blowing the windchill can be incredible. It is a criminal offense to run out of petrol/diesel in your car, because if you konk out in a remote area (just about anywhere) hypothermia can set in in less than an hour at minus 25.

    I have been here off and on for around 5 years. I decided I needed an exit strategy from the UK as I can see the whole place descending into civil war before long.

    I’m self-employed too. It’s not my bones I worry about breaking, it’s my spirit.

  3. Jim Baxter says:

    Increasingly complexity Stewart? what’s the problem with that (Let me guess – ‘genetic entropy’). Har har.

    See – see what happens when I don’t post here for a day or two? You and English wind up exchanging news about the weather. Grit in the oyster, that’s what I am on this blog. A much needed bit of grit too, even if it’s only me that thinks so.

  4. Stewart Cowan says:

    Hi English,

    A broken spirit is a lot worse than a broken bone, for sure. I wouldn’t mind an exit strategy from the UK myself, but I want to stay and fight while it is still possible to turn things around.

  5. Stewart Cowan says:

    Hi Jim,

    What’s the weather like in Tom Harris-land?

    I’m not talking about genetic entropy this time, but about the processes by which mind-bogglingly complex life-forms could have evolved. You see, I don’t buy the idea that anything can happen, even given billions of years. It’s silly.

  6. I’m not sure why you think the silver fox experiment proves your claims. In fact it does the exact opposite, showing evolution.

    Consider it this way- evolution is the passing on of traits in a population which increase the likelihood of surviving long enough to breed. A greater proportion of the members of the population genetically predisposed to being cleverer, tougher or otherwise better adapted “win” by passing on these genes to the next generation in a greater proportion to those without the genes. Over time the concentration of the positive traits becomes greater. There are other elements, of course, such as random mutations, which also influence evolution, but their results stand or fall on what effects they have on survival.

    In the wild there are lots of factors which can affect a creature’s ability to live long enough to breed- other members of the pack, other creatures, food types and availability, everything that surrounds them in effect. In the silver fox experiment all or most of these factors were swept aside and replaced by something simpler. The foxes bred if they had characteristics the researcher wanted. Over several generations the fox population evolved into one filled with animals which were much more amenable to domestication. Animal husbandry is evolution, it’s just that instead of the complex interdependent pressures of the natural world the factors driving it are the aims of a man who wants a pet fox, better beef, more eggs or whatever.

  7. Stewart Cowan says:

    Ian Pattinson,

    Welcome and thanks for your comments. I have no quarrels with you on your second paragraph, or even your third. This is evolution, but not the kind that the Theory of Evolution depends upon to be true. If the article had read “Natural Selection” rather than “Evolution” I wouldn’t have had a problem with it. I saw it as yet another unacceptable way to try to promote the TofE as likely to be true.

    Like you say, the foxes were bred for the required characteristics, but this isn’t random mutations causing greater complexity. The genetic information is already there – and has been since Creation, barring any rare mutation which has actually increased complexity and caused better functioning somewhere.

  8. Jim Baxter says:

    ‘You see, I don’t buy the idea that anything can happen, even given billions of years.’

    Why not? I do. But you knew that.

    And regarding an earlier post, you are the one who appears to me to live in the very small world, not those of us who believe the cosmos is very vast and very ancient (by our measures, but no age at all from the ‘point of view’ of light).

  9. Tyler Durden says:

    Stewart,

    All fossils are transitional, what’s your point?

    Darwin did not have the luxury of the fossil record we have today when writing “Origin of Species” or formulating his early work on evolution, which only makes his work on natural selection, and subsequent publications, even more robust in light of the fossil finds we have today!

    So, the fossil record is *exactly* what you would expect due to the Theory of Evolution being true and factual – unless you can point to a rabbit fossil in the Precambrain period?

    Dawkins has said that the discovery mammalian fossils in Precambrian rocks would “completely blow evolution out of the water.” – But surely you knew that? No?

    In order for you to make comments on what makes the Theory of Evolution true, you’d have to actually have read something on the subject of evolution… and from such an elementary (i.e. ignorant) view of the fossil record along with evolution/geology/cosmology/paleontology, I can only assume you still haven’t read anything.

  10. Stewart,

    If I read your reply right then evidence of evolution isn’t evidence of evolution and there have never been any mutations which have increased complexity, except when there were mutations which increased complexity.

    Where are you getting your evidence against evolution? And have you ever read anything by someone who understands evolution which would properly explain it?

    You’ve obviously got some antipathy to Richard Dawkins, but he’s probably the person you should read. I’ve just ordered his latest- ‘The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution’ (Amazon link). I’ll let you know what it tells me about your arguments.

  11. Electric Monk says:

    Stewart,

    “barring any rare mutation which has actually increased complexity and caused better functioning somewhere.”

    But you can’t leave out the mutations that “increased complexity and caused better functioning” (which you apparently admit do happen) – they don’t need to be common. That is in fact the whole point of natural selection… Those mutations (however rare) which cause better functioning spred through the population beacuse they increase the “fitness” of the organisms that possess them. The commulative selection of beneficial mutations over time can, does, and has been observed to lead to greater complexity (if greater complexity provided an advantage).

  12. Tyler Durden says:

    Ian Pattinson –
    “Where are you (Stewart) getting your evidence against evolution?”

    The Bible.

  13. Jim Baxter says:

    Where are you (Stewart) getting your evidence against evolution?

    Also creation.com, a website on which embittered ex-scientists, passed over for recognition, get their revenge by biting the hand that hasn’t fed them what they consider to be their due, people who have sold out what was left of their integrity to big business.

  14. Tyler Durden says:

    Hi English Viking –
    There is the theory of evolution as proposed by Darwin, which, as any scientist will tell you, then becomes a hypothesis, then becomes fact depending on evidence and research (scientific/deductive method) – evolution is now fact thanks to such evidence as the fossil record, molecular biology, gene sequencing etc. The natural selection part of Darwin’s work can still be thought of as theoretical but as yet, no other scientific explanation comes close. I’m not sure where you are getting this many “theories” of evolution idea from but it’s simply not the case.

    You also seem to be confusing abiogenesis (how life on Earth *first* started) with Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. Darwin never tried to explain abiogenesis. His work explains how life evolved once started. It’s an important point to make as you seem not to know the difference.

    As for your enlightened query: “Why has no other species evolved to the same level as man?” – I’m actually studying this at the moment in college – the answer of course is down to the human brain, specifically the cerebral cortex in the forebrain (telencephalon) which includes the cerebrum, and the four main lobes which accounts for language, sensory, audio and visual awareness, and makes up over 66% of our brains.
    Of course, the evolution of the human brain, and the reasons *why* it has occured so would require me to talk of evolutionary biology over millions of years, as well as neurophysiology, geology, paleontology and other natural sciences.
    But you seem more interested in archaic religious dogma and easy “answers” from your scripture. So, the choice is yours – learn more about the brain (your brain) which will answer your illuminating question above, or remain in the dark with your bible.

    Choice is yours.

  15. English Viking says:

    Tyler Durden,

    Ahh yes, I see it all so clearly now. Your rude, patronising explanations have opened my eyes.

    How could one possibly dissent from your erudite explanations of ‘empirical facts’, particularly when one considers the amount of words you know ending in ‘ology’, the smatterings of Lain terms in your post and the real nail in the coffin for all opponents – the argument is put forward by a College stooodent.

    I never mentioned Darwin. You have tried to lever him into the debate. Using words like ‘abiogenesis’ – the HYPOTHETICAL phenomenon whereby non living matters transmutes by unknown process(es) into living matter- is evidence of the limitations of your own religion, science, as it is not, by any reasonable definition of the words, scientific fact. It is, however, a reasonable representation of the Lord God turning the dust of the earth into a man, Adam. You seem willing to accept the ‘enlightened’, pseudo scientific idea that life appeared from nowhere, by unknown process(es), at unknown time, in unknown place, directed by no-one. You are equally willing to label such a thing a fact, even though it has NEVER been observed in experiments, repeated in the Lab or in the natural world. You do all those things BY FAITH. Faith in science and the scientist. Faith in learning, intellect and so called wisdom. It is a faith born of an intellectual arrogance that refuses to believe than nothing exists that cannot be known, even by one so small as you (or I). Concerning abiogenesis, I basically believe the same things, BY FAITH. Faith that God created the heavens and the Earth, and everything in then and on them. The process(es) He used are completely unknown. They have never been observed, repeated by experiment or explained in a text book. Even The Bible does not give explanations on the science behind all these things. We believe the same things. We are equally dogmatic. The difference is you consider me to be living in a darkened state, to be ignorant of the arguments of my opponents, to be deficient in learning because I dare use the words ‘God did it’ instead of ‘don’t know’ or ‘insufficient data’.

    You seem to think that I don’t accept the T of E because of my ‘archaic religious dogma’. This is not so. I rejected these fanciful theories many years before becoming a Christian, as I have stated previously. I made that judgement based on the balance of probabilities. I cannot disprove your theories, any more than you can disprove mine. I accept this. You do not. BTW Truth is eternal, so it is bound to be archaic and a religion would not be up to much if it were to bend to the whims and fancies of it’s opponents. It should be dogmatic, anything less is useless.

    Man is not a glorified monkey, a shaved ape. He is the crowning glory of all creation. He is also corrupted, defiled and weak. He is so on every level imaginable. His intellect is faulty, his heart is blinded by pride. He has a natural (and therefore not spiritual) inclination toward arrogance, to have an overgrown sense of his own abilities and intelligence. He (vainly) imagines that either God does not exist (and invents all sorts of weird and wonderful reasons to excuse the inexcusable, including his constantly nagging conscience) or that he can safely stick two fingers up to Him that breathed life into man, and not be held accountable for his own hardness of heart and coldness of spirit.

    I fear it is for these reasons that you reject God and worship Science. I fear it is for these reasons that you will not listen to His loving warnings. He is merciful, and for that reason I repeat one of his warnings.

    ‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.’ Galatians 6 v 7 KJV

  16. English Viking says:

    PS

    ‘Latin’, not ‘Lain’ (unless you come from Essex).

  17. Jim Baxter says:

    Engish,

    As usual you make some reasonable points. But this:

    ‘He is the crowning glory of all creation.’

    Is too much to take. Believing that really is lamentable arrogance, and not mitigated by what you go on to say.

    I trust you do not forget that some of us who believe that science can explain the origins of everything do not do so because it makes us feel better or brings us personal comfort, unlike religion which is a great comfort to many, so involving personal motivation which is always suspect.

  18. English Viking says:

    Dr Baxter,

    Perhaps the desire to be comforted by the ‘facts’ of science, in the non-existence of a Judging Creator, is so that you will not held accountable for all the hurt you’ve caused to people in your lifetime, the lies that you’ve told, all the times you have done that which know to be wrong, all the times you failed to do that which is right. Please do not think I am singling you out as any particularly great sinner, although you may be, It’s just that I’ve never yet heard of a man (except the Lord Jesus) who has not done these things, including me.

    You see, these kind of personal motivations for atheism or agnosticism (however scientifically dressed) are always kind of suspect, don’t you think?

  19. Jim Baxter says:

    English,

    I thought all heaven rejoices in a sinner who repents. So, if you have done loads of bad things and then find God, as seems to happen quite a lot, then all is forgiven is it not? Whereas we non-believers have to live with ourselves. Not so convenient an option as you imply.

  20. Tyler Durden says:

    Jim Baxter –

    “Engish, As usual you make some reasonable points.”

    Really? Could you direct me towards these “reasonable points”?? Thanks.

  21. Tyler Durden says:

    Hi English Viking –

    “and the real nail in the coffin for all opponents – the argument is put forward by a College stooodent.”

    I’m studying for my Ph.D at night while working full-time during the day – do you have a problem with getting an education or “mature” students (I’m 40) in education as a means of further learning?

    Just curious.

  22. Jim Baxter says:

    ‘Could you direct me towards these “reasonable points”?? Thanks.’

    My pleasure. Here they are:

    ‘I cannot disprove your theories, any more than you can disprove mine. I accept this. You do not. BTW Truth is eternal, so it is bound to be archaic and a religion would not be up to much if it were to bend to the whims and fancies of it’s opponents. It should be dogmatic, anything less is useless.’

  23. English Viking says:

    Dr Baxter,

    You seem to imply that non-believers have not ‘done loads of bad things’.

    With regard to the ‘living with yourself’ issue, there is an alternative. You could repent and seek forgiveness. Usually, though by no means always, once a person has reached middle age and not realised or accepted the truth of the Gospel, the weight of their sins and the associated guilt can lead them to a hardness of heart and a desperate, irrational belief in the fantasies of science (in a vain attempt to convince themselves that they are ‘not too bad’) that they can become numb to all calls to turn around as this would involve a total abandonment of the idea that they are half decent. Their pride prevents them and thing get worse, the heart harder, the conscience duller, etc. I am absolutely convinced that you have heard those calls, you have just ignored them. The more you ignore, the quieter they tend to get, until, well, you know the rest.

    You are well versed in science, but you appear sadly lacking in theology. It strikes me as a little strange that a scientific mind would reject something as false without considering all the evidence. Have ever read The Bible? I don’t mean the odd verse here and there, I mean really read it, studied it. Have you ever attempted to pray? Have you never considered the possibility that you are mistaken? I would respectfully say that, if not, you are not in full possession of the facts and unable to come to an informed judgement.

  24. English Viking says:

    Tyler Durden,

    I applaud your industrious attitude but fear it may all be in vain. If your Ph.D is to be obtained from a ‘College’ in the usual sense of the word, and not a University (and even then, it depend which one), it will not be worth the paper it is written on. I am not being cruel, nor attempting to belittle your endeavours. I am telling you the truth.

    Could I ask the title of your thesis?

  25. Jim Baxter says:

    English

    You said this:

    ‘Perhaps the desire to be comforted by the ‘facts’ of science, in the non-existence of a Judging Creator, is so that you will not held accountable…’

    I ask again, where’s the comfort? If I wanted comfortable beliefs I could try to believe in your God. Your beliefs provide you with comfort – you acknowledge as much – mine don’t. You gain personally from what you believe – I don’t.

    ‘Have you never considered the possibility that you are mistaken?’ All the time. I have no reason to believe I mistaken about this.

  26. Tyler Durden says:

    Hi Jim Baxter,

    I mentioned to Stewart above about how evolution could be disproven – rabbit fossils in the Precambrian strata. So, the point English Viking is making is *not* reasonable. This is how science works: falsification, while updating theories, hypothesis based on new data and evidence i.e. non-dogmatic.

    Religions “bend to the whims and fancies of it’s [sic] opponents” all the time due to the moral zeitgeist moving within society. We could start with Galileo, heliocentrism, cosmology; the idea of not stoning homosexuals or those who commit adultery in the town square; keeping slaves; subjugating women; The Crusades, The Inquisition; all the way to the idea of the The Vatican accepting Darwinian evolution. So, the point English Viking is making here is also *not* reasonable.

  27. Jim Baxter says:

    Tyler,

    I disagree. English can speak for himself (you may have noticed) but his view that reason cannot explain eveything is itself a reasnable one. What you say about the evolution of religion is true but not in English’s case – he is quite consistent and literal in his interpretations of the Bible

  28. English Viking says:

    Dr Baxter,

    I meant that because a person is usually aware of their own shortcomings (I prefer to call them sins, but you know what I mean) and most people experience some form of negative emotion over these shortcomings, it could perhaps be construed as a comfort for that person to think that their is no further judgement for their sin, only what is exacted in the here and now. A murderer, after completing a 20 year prison sentence would probably say that he had paid his debt to society. Quite so, but not to God, and nor could he ever. He has 2 common alternatives; repent of his sin and ask God’s forgiveness through the propitiating death of Christ or reject all ideas and thoughts of the existence of God and comfort himself with the idea that when it’s over, it’s over. It’s not.

  29. Tyler Durden says:

    English Viking –

    I’m not sure what your “point” is with regard to college/university – here in Ireland either is applicable, and acceptable, for a Ph.D or a Masters. Our universities can also contain the word “college” as in Trinity College (TCD), University College Dublin (UCD) and University College Cork (UCC).

    My thesis is: “False Beliefs Maintenance for Fear-Related Religious Behaviour in Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder: An Investigation in Rituals, Consequences and Belief.”

    My hypothesis is that those who are overtly religious, and attend church regularly, are *more* prone to Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder (OCD) than non-religious due to the indoctrination, repetition, and irrational fear, associated with religious rituals.

    BTW, any time you’re over in Dublin, look me up, I can give you tour around Trinity College (TCD) where the original works of Archbishop James Ussher reside – as you probably know, Ussher is the guy famous for his dating of “creation to the 23rd October, 4004BC.” – not very scientific, but hey, neither is religion.

    https://www.tcd.ie/history/Ussher/date.php

  30. Jim Baxter says:

    English,

    ‘He has 2 common alternatives; repent of his sin and ask God’s forgiveness through the propitiating death of Christ or reject all ideas and thoughts of the existence of God and comfort himself with the idea that when it’s over, it’s over. It’s not.’

    I’ve never understood why one man’s death is supposed to be good for the rest of us so that’s just gobbledegook to me.

    And…it’s that word again – comfort. You are the one who keeps using it, perhaps because you need it and assume that the rest of us must need it too to live in peace with ourselves. I don’t comfort myself with any beliefs about death. I have no doubt it is the end but I take no comfort from that. I don’t fear it either. I doubt if that many murderers are bothered about taking comfort. They tend not to have much of a conscience, most murderers.

    You asked if I have studied the Bible in depth. No, I haven’t. There are many dogmas that I haven’t studied in depth – Das Kapital is another. Does that mean I am ill-qualified to have an opinion on the effects of Marxism?

  31. English Viking says:

    Tyler Durden,

    ‘This is how science works: falsification, while updating theories, hypothesis based on new data and evidence i.e. non-dogmatic.’

    Your words. You allow for updated beliefs in your faith, for corrections of errors, even if those errors were carved in stoned as undeniable, demonstrable fact for decades previously. You welcome new revelations, in fact you laud them as evidence of the broad-minded nature of your ‘church’. You do not allow the form of ‘Christianity’ you falsely suppose to be biblical the same latitude, you point to it moving with a ‘moral zeitgeist’ and condemn it for such. Those persons who refuse to bend to these ‘whims and fancies’ are then condemned as religious bigots or intolerant zealots. I cannot do right for doing wrong.

    It is also not a logical or valid argument against the existence of God to try to paint Him as being cruel or intolerant e.g. In some verses that pertain to the punishment of homosexuals, or the keeping of slaves. Why is it that you claim that God does most definitely not exist, and appear to think that one reason for this is that the God of the Bible does not fit your ‘zeitgeist’ definition of ‘nice’? God is not Santa, He can be whatever He wants, whenever He wants to. Should He be slightly to the right of Ghenghis Khan, that would not mean that He does not exist. It is most fortunate for you (and me) that He is not.

    You appear seriously unacquainted with basic theology, which is unsurprising in most evolutionists. Yet you expect me to know the inside leg measurement of persons like Dawkins and his latest nonsenses.

    Almost all of your arguments about the backward and sometimes cruel attitude and actions of persons and institutions you outline in your post to Dr Baxter involve the Catholic ‘church’, which is, in my opinion, part of The Whore of Babylon (Revelation, Google it) and totally and utterly unrepresentative of biblical truth. There are no nuns in the Bible (except one, who was a man, Joshua’s father, Nun was his first name), there are no monks, no monasteries, no Popes, no Papal Bulls, no inquisitions, no Vatican, Cardinals, Arch-Bishops, indulgences or trans-substantiations. There is no such thing as ‘sainthood’ in the perverted form we see it today. The word saint is simply a contraction of the word ‘sanctified’, which applies to every believer regardless of what the Pope may think. The veneration of saints is forbidden in The Bible, as are almost all the other idolatrous practices of this awful caricature of the Church. I am afraid that the once bright beacon of light that was the C of E has succumbed to much of the same evils, as have many other once brilliant flames of Christian truth. That men are useless is self-evident. This does not disprove the existence of God.

    You appear, to me at least, to equate Christianity with Catholicism and then reject Christianity as false when you should really be rejecting Catholicism. As I said to Dr Baxter, you are not in possession of enough of the facts to be able to make a logical, reliable, scientific decision as to the existence, or not, of God. You have merely concentrated on one side of the story.

    BTW, highlighting my solecisms is generally considered poor form and may lead the casual observer to believe that you are running out of bullets.

  32. Tyler Durden says:

    English Viking –
    So, your “version” of Christianity is right, but all others are “wrong”?? How interesting. But of course you’d say that. I’m sure the other 36,000 schicms within Christianity would disagree with you.

  33. English Viking says:

    Tyler Durden,

    The point I was making was that if you were to attain a Ph.D from an college in England (that’s why qualified what I meant by college) it would be pretty much useless, except it came from an ever decreasing number of elite institutions, thanks to the dumbing down of the education system to the point where kids leave school to go on to ‘yooni’ with an armful of A* GCSE’s and head full of nothing. After a couple of years drinking and fornicating a large part will ‘graduate’ with an Honours Degree in Media Science, The Beatles or Surfing, from such venerable institutions as Derby Polytechnic, then go on to conquer such intellectual conundrums as the completion of an Unemployment Benefit application. I am pleased for your sake that you do not fit into this category. That you choose to devote your time applying a golden veneer to your intellectual objections to religion is your business. Having letters after your name won’t make a blind bit of difference to the force of your argument though.

    I did not realise that you live in Dublin. That more than explains your dislike of all things Catholic.

    How do you know that Earth was not created in 4004 BC? Because Dawkins says so? Not very scientific, but hey, that’s blind faith for you.

  34. English Viking says:

    Tyler Durden,

    36,000? Are you sure? What with you being a scientist and all, perhaps you would care to name them.

  35. Tyler Durden says:

    English Viking –
    “How do you know that Earth was not created in 4004 BC?”

    Evidence, dear boy, evidence.

  36. English Viking says:

    Dr Baxter,

    I used the word comfort because I was replying to your first use of it at 2.13pm today.

    You would be able to make comment on what you THOUGHT the EFFECTS of Marxism were, by virtue of your observations of those who claim to be Marxists and those who claim to be enacting Marxist policies, but you would not be able to tell me whether these, so called Marxists, were telling you the truth, nor that they were true to the teachings of Marx as laid out in Das Kapital. The same is so for your observations of Christianity, if you have not read The Bible.

  37. English Viking says:

    Tyler Durden,

    Well let’s have it then, dear boy.

  38. Jim Baxter says:

    English,

    ‘You would be able to make comment on what you THOUGHT the EFFECTS of Marxism were’.

    OK, well I think that the effects of religion are to control people’s minds with a myth and deceive them into accepting a miserable lot in life which they might otherwise seek to overcome: I believe it to be a conspiracy, a very old one and no less a conspiracy for that. Actually, I think Marx might have agreed with that, from what little I know of his writings.

  39. Tyler Durden says:

    English Viking –

    Would you like the answers in a geology or cosmology timeframe?

    But wait, you’ve already admitted to being dogmatic so what’s the point? You’re happy with “goddidit” as an easy “answer”. I tried answering your interesting query with regard to “Why has no other species evolved to the same level as man” by explaining about the evolution of the human brain – but you didn’t want to know. I said it was your choice – you’ve chosen ignorance and dogma *over* an education and facts.
    (If your god does exist, I’m sure he’s oh so proud of you.)

  40. English Viking says:

    Dr Baxter,

    I agree with you entirely. That is why I follow Christ and not a religion.

  41. English,

    You do realise the bible was written by humans, don’t you? Even if they were transcribing the holy words of God, those words were filtered through their understanding of the world, their prejudices and their knowledge. Then over the millennia the book has been translated, edited, added to, revised, reinterpreted and filtered through generations of expectations and prejudices.

    If you want to base your life on the Bible that’s your choice, but there’s no way it’s the word of God, if He, She or It exists, and it never was.

  42. English Viking says:

    Tyler Durden

    You love those ‘ologies’, don’t you? And a budding brain surgeon to boot! You must be the most well read man in the world, with the exception of theology. You have not answered most of my questions, actually.

    You are equally happy with your dogma of unproven, unprovable evolution as an easy answer. You have made no explanations as to the workings of the Human brain nor the reason for its vast superiority compared to other creatures, merely strung a lot of grand sounding words together in an attempt to sound like you actually have an answer, none of which explains WHY other species have not developed. You seem to exhibit religious zeal in your attempts to convert me to your religion and now you have failed you resort to being rude and patronising, again.

    I doubt that God is proud of anything, let alone me. Pride’s a very nasty thing, don’t cha know?

  43. English Viking says:

    Mr Pattinson,

    You are entitled to your opinion Sir, and that is all that it is. You believe what you will, I believe that He that wrote these things is more than able to keep them, regardless of outside influences. One day we will see which of us has played the fool. If it is I, what have I lost? If it be you…….

  44. Jim Baxter says:

    English,

    Thank you. That’s most sporting of you old chap. Except of course… oh, I’ll leave it for now… very churlish to disagree with a man who agrees with one entirely.

  45. Emglish,

    You keep the belief. I have reality.

  46. Stewart Cowan says:

    Ian Pattinson,

    Tyler’s been trying to get me to read more of Dawkins. I think I read him pretty well already!

    “You keep the belief. I have reality.”

    You have no basis on which to make such an assertion.

  47. Stewart Cowan says:

    Tyler,

    All fossils are transitional, what’s your point?

    In that case, where are the creatures with, say, lungs which are neither reptilian nor avian as reptiles allegedly turned into birds?

    So, the fossil record is *exactly* what you would expect due to the Theory of Evolution being true and factual – unless you can point to a rabbit fossil in the Precambrain period?

    Being a Creationist, I don’t subscribe to these long-age periods. What evolutionists need to worry about are polystrate fossils, especially trees which have ‘grown’ vertically through coal seams.

  48. Jim Baxter says:

    ‘What evolutionists need to worry about are polystrate fossils.’

    Tripe. You are well aware of the scientific explanations for these, and that ‘polystrate’ is a wilful misnomer.

  49. Stewart Cowan says:

    Ian Pattinson,

    If I read your reply right then evidence of evolution isn’t evidence of evolution and there have never been any mutations which have increased complexity, except when there were mutations which increased complexity.

    The ‘evidence’ is for natural selection, not an increase in complexity. For example, if you breed dogs to have short fur then after a few generations all your offspring will have short fur – not because they have ‘evolved’ this special ability as such, but because they have lost the genes for making longer fur. Their genome is less complex than it was before. This is the opposite to what needs to happen for the Theory of Evolution to be feasible.

    Mutations which are beneficial and increase complexity are very rare. You can imagine that millions of these freak beneficial mutations over millions of years can produce a more complex organism, but I don’t think it is possible in the real world. I don’t think people generally have thought about just how impossible it is to get just the right sequence of mutations, without any that adversely affect the new body part or organism, and being able to live long enough to pass on their new, ‘improving’ genes to the next generation.

  50. Stewart Cowan says:

    Jim,

    “Tripe”?

    I disagree. [Blows raspberry]

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