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. Jim Baxter says:

    ‘But yet you find The Van Allen belts a sticking point? Hmmm.’

    Tyler, English and Stewart believe anything as long as it appears to oppose science on its own terms. ‘Appears to’ is they key – that’s as far as they want to think and so they will most assuredly think no further.

    Science starts out with questions and looks for answers, or, at least, better questions. The people that English is so in thrall to, putty in their hands, start out with the answer and think up whatever story might satisfy the credulous that they are not actually credulous. The intention is not to produce ideas or theories that can withstand a second’s serious scruitiny – it’s all about calming the faithful and conning the innocent.

  2. English Viking says:

    Tyler Durden,

    The idea that Calvinism does not allow for a person to be saved from their sins except by God overriding that person’s free-will is broadly correct. Your understanding of Lutheranism is not correct though.

    Lutheranism does not allow for access/salvation due to anything, absolutely nothing (that’s the point of it) except the grace of God through faith in Christ. Ephesian 2 v 8,9 KJV. I’ll grany you that the argument over justification is one which continues today.

    If you read your Bible everyday, I am surprised that you do not know what the universal church is. The Bible teaches that a ‘church’ is not a building, nor an organisation, national or international federation. It is the body of Christ, figuratively speaking. Every believer is a member of the body (member as in finger, toe, eye, etc, not someone who pays a yearly due and signs a membership form) and has as equally an important, though often different role to play, as every other believer.

    1 Corinthians 12:12-28

    12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free–and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
    14 For in fact the body is not one member but many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body?

    16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?

    18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be?

    20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”

    22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty,

    24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.

    26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. NKJV

    Colossians 1:24
    I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church. NKJV

    The word ‘church’ is from the Greek (ekklesia) which means, roughly, ‘called out’ or ‘separated from’.

    Whilst I do not accept the vast number of denominations you propose, it is a sad fact that there is a lack of Christian unity in the world today. That men are not living in obedience to God is not evidence of His non existence, nor of the fault of Christianity, it merely reinforces the Biblical teaching that the heart of man is desperately wicked, deceitful above all things. Jeremiah 17 v 9 KJV

  3. Stewart Cowan says:

    Maybe I should start a separate Moon Hoax thread?

    Jim – Neil Armstrong “appears to” have walked on the Moon. We have grainy B/W TV pictures and stunning ‘studio quality’ colour stills. Kennedy said they’d be there by the end of the Sixties. Nixon said they got there.

    No tin foil hat required.*

    *i.e. to be sceptical

  4. Jim Baxter says:

    You know when English is really backed into a corner – he starts speaking in tongues.

    Stewart, I have never mentioned tin-foil hats. Anywhere. prove me wrong.

  5. I have noticed that there are few verified facts that English won’t deny.

  6. English Viking says:

    Mr Pattinson,

    Denying facts is a very foolish thing to do. That I refuse to deny ‘a few’ is possibly evidence that I am not a fool?

  7. Jim Baxter says:

    Denying facts is a very foolish thing to do.

    As is wilfully distorting facts or distorting them to suit a preconceived argument based on a premise in an old book.

    You meant to add that English, I just know you did.

  8. English Viking says:

    Dr Baxter,

    ‘Old book’? Like ‘The origin of species’, I assume you mean?

  9. English Viking says:

    To all concerned,

    My attention is required elsewhere, on a most important matter.

    Consider not my silence a surrender, merely a respite.

  10. Whilst I hope the matter is nothing bad I would suggest you do give up now.

    Anyone reading this comment thread is going to find reasoned, logical arguments often backed up by suggestions of further reading and links to more information. Versus English’s comments. Even someone who had sympathy for his view at the start of the thread would be questioning it by the end.

    Give up whilst your behind, English.

  11. Tyler Durden says:

    English Viking – “Whilst I do not accept the vast number of denominations you propose, it is a sad fact that there is a lack of Christian unity in the world today. That men are not living in obedience to God is not evidence of His non existence, nor of the fault of Christianity, it merely reinforces the Biblical teaching that the heart of man is desperately wicked, deceitful above all things.”

    Just a few things that I find quite interesting from the above comment by English Viking:

    1. Specific use of the word man, twice – Here in the 21st Century, we enlightened folk tend to use the phrase “people” or even “humanity”.

    2. His god or religion is certainly not to blame for a lack of “unity”, so it *must* be the fault of “man” – Blaming his religion or a figment of his imagination is way too difficult, instead of blaming the woeful communication methods of his god, it’s human interpretaion of the message that is at fault – therefore blame humanity. This is classic sociopathic behaviour and shows psychopathy tendencies. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

    3. Humanity is “wicked, deceitful” due to Biblical teaching – Viewing the world thru the prism of one, ancient, dogmatic book is foolhardy. When in doubt, *we* are to blame but his bible is never wrong – classic “cart-before-the-horse” thinking, fallacious, without logic and most certainly deluded. And yet the bible was written by humans – this is known as cognitive dissonance, a typical ego-defense mechanism deployed by theists.

    4. “the heart of man is desperately wicked, deceitful” – It’s hard to know if this is meant to be taken allegorically… or literally… or metaphorically… or haphazardly… or something. But for future refererence, the heart of humans is actually a muscle, it pumps blood around the body, throughout the blood vessels by rhythmic contractions. The heart, like all mental, cognitive and physiological functions of the body, is controlled by the brain.

  12. Jim Baxter says:

    English,

    ‘Old book’? Like ‘The origin of species’, I assume you mean?’

    Thank you. Say it louder. THANK YOU! I could kiss you except that I find men disgusting, especially bearded ones in sharp hats.

    Go on, indulge me, tell me how you think that failed comparison looks from my point of view (clue in the word ‘failed’) – show the world that you are not a completely solipsistic berk.

  13. Stewart Cowan says:

    English,

    **You have my email address if I can do anything.**

  14. Stewart Cowan says:

    Tyler,

    I rather find that 21st Century and enlightened are mutually exclusive terms.

    “the heart of man is desperately wicked, deceitful”

    I think you know what he means. ;-)

    Would you say that any ‘other’ animal can be wicked? Deceitful, yes, but only due to instinct.

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