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BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults

Penny S. 20 Feb 12 - 08:10 AM
Penny S. 20 Feb 12 - 08:12 AM
theleveller 20 Feb 12 - 08:31 AM
Penny S. 20 Feb 12 - 08:45 AM
Jim Dixon 20 Feb 12 - 10:06 AM
Little Hawk 20 Feb 12 - 10:19 AM
Steve Shaw 20 Feb 12 - 10:26 AM
Jim Dixon 20 Feb 12 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,Chongo Chimp 20 Feb 12 - 01:03 PM
Wesley S 20 Feb 12 - 09:56 PM
GUEST,Eliza 21 Feb 12 - 04:26 AM
Jack Campin 21 Feb 12 - 04:54 AM
Owen Woodson 21 Feb 12 - 05:26 AM
Musket 21 Feb 12 - 06:02 AM
Richard Bridge 21 Feb 12 - 07:24 AM
Little Hawk 21 Feb 12 - 08:50 AM
Jack the Sailor 21 Feb 12 - 11:20 AM
Little Hawk 21 Feb 12 - 01:14 PM
Joe Offer 21 Feb 12 - 11:26 PM
Richard Bridge 22 Feb 12 - 11:28 AM
Little Hawk 22 Feb 12 - 12:04 PM
GUEST,Jim Knowledge 22 Feb 12 - 12:19 PM
Little Hawk 22 Feb 12 - 12:25 PM
Stringsinger 22 Feb 12 - 01:39 PM
Little Hawk 22 Feb 12 - 06:06 PM
Ed T 22 Feb 12 - 06:14 PM
Ed T 22 Feb 12 - 06:28 PM
Little Hawk 22 Feb 12 - 06:36 PM
GUEST,Eliza 23 Feb 12 - 05:29 AM
GUEST,leeneia 23 Feb 12 - 08:45 AM
GUEST,Chongo Chimp 23 Feb 12 - 09:48 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 23 Feb 12 - 10:46 AM
Mr Happy 23 Feb 12 - 11:17 AM
Little Hawk 23 Feb 12 - 11:54 AM
Owen Woodson 23 Feb 12 - 11:58 AM
Mr Happy 23 Feb 12 - 12:38 PM
Les in Chorlton 23 Feb 12 - 12:58 PM
Penny S. 23 Feb 12 - 06:05 PM
Ed T 23 Feb 12 - 06:15 PM
Jim Dixon 23 Feb 12 - 08:24 PM
Joe Offer 24 Feb 12 - 12:45 AM
Les in Chorlton 24 Feb 12 - 03:39 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 24 Feb 12 - 04:55 AM
theleveller 24 Feb 12 - 07:00 AM
Stringsinger 24 Feb 12 - 02:39 PM
Stringsinger 24 Feb 12 - 02:45 PM
Joe Offer 25 Feb 12 - 04:57 AM
Paul Burke 25 Feb 12 - 06:06 AM
Penny S. 25 Feb 12 - 11:29 AM
Little Hawk 25 Feb 12 - 11:56 AM

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Subject: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Penny S.
Date: 20 Feb 12 - 08:10 AM

Whom the gods wish to destroy, they first drive mad - and I don't mean Dawkins.

Story about Telegraph non-story about Dawkins and slavery.

Actual Telegraph news breaking piece

Yesterday Anne Atkins was in her maddening mode - sometimes she seems quite reasonable attacking Dawkins for not saying something about Soham when discussing something else on Today.

Mail non-story

If these are the standards of their arguments, what solid ground* have they to stand on?

Penny
*unconsciously chosen echo of hymn


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Penny S.
Date: 20 Feb 12 - 08:12 AM

Punctuation correction...


Yesterday Anne Atkins was in her maddening mode - sometimes she seems quite reasonable - attacking Dawkins for not saying something about Soham when discussing something else on Today.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: theleveller
Date: 20 Feb 12 - 08:31 AM

I caught a bit of Ainsley Harriot on Who Do You Think You Are, yesterday and it appears that not only did he have ancestors who were slaves, but also slave owners. And WTF has it to do with Dawkins' religious beliefs? Should the 'sins' of the fathers be visited on the children? Well, a couple of my ancestors were whalers but it doesn't mean I can't be a mamber of Greenpeace.

Anne Atkins has always struck me as your typical blinkered religious bigot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Penny S.
Date: 20 Feb 12 - 08:45 AM

Apparently the reporter rang back woith a biblical quote about the sins of the fathers and the number of generations punishment could be expected for them...

As various people have commented, a similar investigation of Telegraph staff and readers is unlikely to find them squeaky clean in the slavery department.

And I suspect that American opponents of Dawkins ought to be careful about that particular objection. There's one in the comments doing an Iona.

Personal hands up = I don't KNOW, but my mother's father's family had a big house near Bewl Bridge reservoir (not there then) and I have suspected that their investments were probably in such things as sugar, and hence were not innocent. They lost the place through following faulty investment advice from a "friend".

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 20 Feb 12 - 10:06 AM

Dawkins' own view of the article is worth reading.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Feb 12 - 10:19 AM

I had an ancestor who was a notorious highwayman. He robbed, plundered, pillaged, and raped. He was known to steal candies from babies. He once flayed a clergyman alive, and he corrupted legions of innocent virgins with his wily ways. He assaulted sheep in pastures and stole from church collection plates. He kicked dogs. He denied God and laughed up his sleeve at atheism. He spread social diseases all across southern England. He used the name of the Lord in vain. Were he alive today he would use the name of Dawkins in vain too, and would probably piss on his front step to add insult to injury!

What should I do about it? ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Feb 12 - 10:26 AM

he corrupted legions of innocent virgins with his wily ways

Bet I wasn't the only one to do a double-take there...


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 20 Feb 12 - 12:25 PM

The story is already being satirized at NewsThump.

(You might need to used Google Cache to see it.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: GUEST,Chongo Chimp
Date: 20 Feb 12 - 01:03 PM

I got enough faults of my own that my enemies don't hafta go dredgin' up stuff about my ancestors.

And proud of it, I might add. ;-D Ook! Ook!

- Chongo


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Wesley S
Date: 20 Feb 12 - 09:56 PM

Who gives a crap about the behavior of someones ancestors? Shouldn't we consider the actions of a person by how they behave today? It's all a tempest in a teapot. Or as Bill Monroe used to say - "That ain't no part of nothing".


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 21 Feb 12 - 04:26 AM

But do we think that some aspects of character and personality are inherited? Are there familial traits which turn up in each generation? The Human Genome project has found quite a few indications that this might be the case. The Irish side of my family has for generations been quite gifted in linguistic ability. My father's ancestors (traced back to the 1600's) were nearly all connected to the sea or ships, even those who hadn't particularly been brought up to it. But even if personality is to some extent inherited, we do have free will to choose how to live our lives. With regard to slave-owners, we should try to judge them from the standpoint of the culture at the time. Cruel and abhorrent though it is to us now, slavery was seen then as the norm as a source of free labour.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Feb 12 - 04:54 AM

I used to work with somebody who was descended from Genghis Khan (via his son Hulagu, who was an ancestor of the Romanian/Ottoman administrator/diplomat/scholar/musician Dimitrie Cantemir, who was one of her ancestors).

When I last heard from her she was making wooden toys at an eco-village in Italy, which doesn't sound a lot like an expression of the raping and pillaging gene.

It seems Genghis has more known descendants than any other other identified human being in history.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Owen Woodson
Date: 21 Feb 12 - 05:26 AM

Anne Atkins is a vicious right wing bigot. She is best ignored.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Musket
Date: 21 Feb 12 - 06:02 AM

Ah.. that will be the rise of aggressive err... sec... err... religious bigotry.

In the scheme of things, it is nothing on Baroness Warsi's diatribe when meeting with the pope, aggressively attacking secularism for being aggressive.

It doesn't surprise me in the least that organised religions are using whatever means they can to stem the tide of common sense. The buggers have too much power and influence to lose. You don't expect them to play fair do you?

I have ancestors who were non conformists so although they obviously were influenced by religious superstition, (these were simpler times) they saw the marriage of state and church as a bad thing. Oh, and one was hung for sheep rustling. Rather proud of that...

When you think about it, we have ancestors going back to star fish apparently. Lots of scope for slavery, rape, pillage, patricide, infanticide, being late with your library books...


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Feb 12 - 07:24 AM

That inherited ability to re-grow severed limbs is very handy.   In the case of fundagelicals, perhaps severing the appendage between the two arms is the best bet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Feb 12 - 08:50 AM

I have given about a day's thought and some serious soul-searching to the question of what I should do about my remote ancestor who was a notorious highwayman who robbed, plundered, pillaged, and raped, and was known to steal candies from babies, and once flayed a clergyman alive, and corrupted legions of innocent virgins with his wily ways, and assaulted sheep in pastures and stole from church collection plates, and kicked dogs, and denied God and laughed up his sleeve at atheism, and spread social diseases all across southern England, and used the name of the Lord in vain on frequent occasions, and would, if he were alive today probably use the name of Dawkins in vain too, and would probably piss on his front step to add insult to injury!

This is what I'm going to do about it. Fuck-all! How about some music instead? ;-D


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 21 Feb 12 - 11:20 AM

"The Irish side of my family has for generations been quite gifted in linguistic ability. "

Unless you count getting drunk and poetically bullshitting on nearly any topic at hand, including their own religion and country of origin, the Irish side of my family negates yours.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Feb 12 - 01:14 PM

I am a bit sad to say that I have no Irish side to my family. A pity. I think the Irish are wonderful people. I am blessed, however, with a Scottish side, so that's one good thing, though it may cause some nervousness in sheep...


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Feb 12 - 11:26 PM

This whole thread has me wondering whether I should feel guilty about my ancestors, or not. The French part of my family arrived with Cadillac and were part of the founding of Detroit. I suspect they were prosperous, but it seemed that each generation made its own way. The most successful French family member owned a flower shop.

The German part of the family, who I suspect had Jewish roots, were furriers and then engineers. I suppose my dad was a Captain of Industry since he was an engineering manager - should I feel guilty about him? He was (and is) a nice guy, and very generous.

The Irish part were cleaning ladies and housewives, so I guess I don't need to feel guilty about them - their men were unknown.

On second thought, maybe it doesn't make sense to feel guilty about my ancestors, or to apologize for them. Apologizing for my ancestors seems really, really stupid. So, I agree with Mr. Dawkins that blaming him for his ancestors is silly. Maybe, though, might it also be silly to blame all religious people for the misdeeds of others? Mr. Dawkins seems to be quite balanced and tolerant in this discussion (click); but many of those who claim to support Dawkins, are far less tolerant.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 11:28 AM

I think, LH, that you are confusing Scotland with Wales - but no doubt all of us Anglophones from this side of the pond sound the same to you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 12:04 PM

Hardly, Richard! Hardly! I can easily detect numerous different accents from the UK, all of them quite interesting, and I am most certainly not confusing Scotland with Wales. My mother's people originally came from Scotland, clan MacGregor, and I am steeped in Scottish ballads, a la Ewan MacColl (who wasn't in fact a Scot himself, but he did sing their songs).

Regarding Wales, it's probably the area of the UK that I am least familiar with in terms of both the culture and the accent(s). I did thoroughly enjoy the impromptu Welsh chorus in the movie "Zulu", though...(the soldiers in the movie sang a heroic song prior to the final Zulu attack at Rorke's Drift).

Oh...you meant the bit about the sheep? ;-D Well, I can't say for sure regarding that. I've just heard rumours.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 12:19 PM

I `ad that Little `awk in my cab the other day. All `is feathers were nicely preened and `e was dressed up to the nines. I wonder if a little `unting bird was the first thing `is mum saw when `e was born?
`e said, "Howdee Jim, I`m off to do some genealogical research on one of my ancestors, that one I described on that Mudcat forum. Where d`you reckon I should I start".
I said, "Somerset `ouse or the Palace of Westminster I suppose, but I didn`t know one of your lot was a Member of Parliament!!"


Whaddam I like???


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 12:25 PM

It sounds to me loik you're a cockney or some workin' class bloke from Soho, innit?

Am I close?


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Stringsinger
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 01:39 PM

There were slave owners on my father's side of the family from Mississippi. I don't feel the least bit guilty about that nor am I about to pay reparations to anyone.

I have not exhibited any impulse to own slaves and abhor the practice.

The Telegraph has shown itself to be an ignorant newsrag and would be well
used to line the bottom of a birdcage or cat box.

Professor Dawkins has done such a service to humanity that in my estimation outlives
any proclivity of a great great great great great great grandfather forbear.

I have rarely met anyone who didn't have a slaveholder or racist bigot in their family at
one time or another.

Joe Offer has criticized Professor Dawkins for not being tolerant but he doesn't know much about how Professor Dawkins conducts his personal life. Many of his acquaintances and friends are religious and despite the disagreements he may have with them, their relationships remain amicable.

He is also tolerant of some of the colleagues when they meet academically and participating in prayers for social reasons and out of respect for the needs of the
meeting. Professor Dawkins is being vilified by religious fanatics who don't understand the graciousness, intelligence and sensitivity of the man.

Shame on those who speak ill of him including the Telegraph Newsrag.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 06:06 PM

Chongo Chimp has offered to battle Dawkins in a "bare knuckle" steel cage match in Miami, Florida, but it isn't because he holds any rancour toward Dawkins. He just thinks it would be a damn good fundraising event. ;-D


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Ed T
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 06:14 PM

"It is a desirable thing to be well-descended, but the glory belongs to our ancestors." -- Plutarch


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Ed T
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 06:28 PM

One out of 200 males living in 2003 had the genes of a common ancestor, possibly Genghis Khan? That's not to say they are like him. Only that he got around.

Great producer-reproducer


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 06:36 PM

It sounds like Genghis Khan lived sort of the way Chongo would like to in his more lurid fantasies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 05:29 AM

I didn't mean to imply that ALL Irish people (or any other people) may be linguistically gifted, I only meant that on a personal level, my Irish family have this gift. As we hardly know eachother and have been brought up separately, I conclude it's genetic. My father's people are Scots, from way up north in Sutherland, and again the seafaring 'gene' has been strong from 1600, even among those not born near the sea. (I ought to have turned out to be a cruise-ship interpreter!) I've noticed in pupils' families, (I'd taught the parents of many of my pupils) that certain personalities seem to run in families. This subject interests me, as I wonder if 'blame' and 'punishment' could be modified or adjusted according to genetic factors, but I also wonder to what extent we truly have 'free will'. I studied (among other auxiliary subjects at Uni) Moral Philosophy, and these questions have been chewed over for centuries. But now we have more scientific evidence of gene patterns, they could be chewed over some more.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 08:45 AM

The less science and history people learn, the more they rely on the process of association to get them through life. The process of association can be helpful in life, but it isn't accurate enough when push comes to shove. (Being suspicious of someone because of what his ancestors did is an example.)

Who is Dawkins, anyhow?


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: GUEST,Chongo Chimp
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 09:48 AM

That was my question too. "Who the hell is Dawkins?" But I have found this forum to be a very good provider of the answers about that. Ya just stick "Dawkins" in the search box, and you can pull up all kinds of fractious hoo-hah and ravin' on about the guy, and a few hours of readin' it can bring ya right up to snuff to where ya can go to yer local bar and wow yer buddies with yer knowledge about Mr Dawkins.

I done this at Duffy's Bar only last week, and it prompted a vigorous debate between about 30 apes and monkeys that finally degenerated into a furniture-bustin' and window-breakin' brawl that spilled out into the street and stopped traffic for the next fifteen minutes.

Duffy is still cleanin' up the mess and will reopen on the weekend, he says.

I blame Dawkins for it. If he was here, I would kick his ass.

- Chongo


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 10:46 AM

""It sounds to me loik you're a cockney or some workin' class bloke from Soho, innit?""

Very close, but "innit" only if you are under thirty (approx).

If we old fogies start using their patois, the hoodie'd knuckle draggers will have to come up with something different and you wouldn't want to overtax their brain cell, would you?

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Mr Happy
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 11:17 AM

""It sounds to me loik you're a cockney or some workin' class bloke from Soho, innit?""

or Dick van Dykehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGCmVDl46rY


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 11:54 AM

I made up some other words to that chimney sweep song from Mary Poppins. They go like this...

Chimp, chimp'n'ee, chimp, chimp'n'ee, chimp, chimp-charee
A chimp is as ugly as ugly can be
Chimp, chimp'n'ee, chimp, chimp'n'ee, chimp, chimp-charoo
Good luck will rub off when he bites your hand through

And throw him a rock..........and he'll throw it back too! (WHACK!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Owen Woodson
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 11:58 AM

This is ridiculous. To a person all my forebears were good solid working class types. You know the sort. Never out of work. Never scrounging on the sick. Never frittered their wages away on horses and drink. Always ready to help a friend or neighbour. Never got into debt or owed anyone a red cent, and as honest and as law abiding as the day is long.

So if it's all in our ancestral genes how can anyone explain ME!


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Mr Happy
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 12:38 PM

Myalgic encephalomyelitis/myalgic encephalopahty


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 12:58 PM

We have half your mother's genes,
1/4 of our grand mothers (of which we have 2)
1/8 of our great grand mothers (of which we have 4)
1/16 of our great, great grand mothers (of which we have 8)
1/32 of our great, geat, great grand mothers (of which we have 16)

If you follow the maths we inherit very little from each of our ancestors

L in C#


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Penny S.
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 06:05 PM

Actually, once you get back past your parents, it's more complicated. Each of your parents inherited half their chromosomes from each of their parents, but there's nothing to say which half of their parents' chromosomes they got. It isn't impossible that all of the genetic material from their mother was from her mother, but not likely. It isn't impossible that none of it except the X was from her. On average, it would be about half from each parent and so that 1/4, but it isn't going to be definitely that.

Also, as the genes are usually inherited on the chromoseomes they arrived on, a person has 23 sets from each parent, anywhere between 0 and 23 from each grandparent, but probably about 12. Next generation about 6 each, next about 3, next about 1 or 2, next - who knows? (Of course, there's a bit of shuffling about mixing things up a bit.)

Makes all that stuff about bloodlines in the aristocracy rather meaningless - except for the inbreeding.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Ed T
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 06:15 PM

""Don't blame yourself. The apocalypse wasn't your fault. Actually, it was just as much your fault as it was anyone else's. Come to think of it, if you're an American, it was probably about 80-90 percent more your fault than the average human. But don't let that get you down. It wasn't exclusively your fault. Unless you're the president. Then it might be your fault. But you'll have plenty of interns to tell you that it wasn't, so you'll be fine"".

MEGHANN MARCO, Field Guide to the Apocalypse


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 08:24 PM

Les and Penny: You're leaving out mitochondrial DNA, which comes 100% from your mother.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 12:45 AM

Stringsinger says: Joe Offer has criticized Professor Dawkins for not being tolerant but he doesn't know much about how Professor Dawkins conducts his personal life. Many of his acquaintances and friends are religious and despite the disagreements he may have with them, their relationships remain amicable.

What Joe Offer actually said above: Mr. Dawkins seems to be quite balanced and tolerant in this discussion (click); but many of those who claim to support Dawkins, are far less tolerant.

Need I say more?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 03:39 AM

Shall I tolerate those who tell me what I should tolerate?

L in C#
ps true about mitocondreal DNA but sure it changes the point much


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 04:55 AM

"It sounds to me loik you're a cockney or some workin' class bloke from Soho, innit?

Am I close?"

I was going to present you with the 'Dick van Dyke award for an inhabitant of the North American continent pretending to be a Cockney', LH - but someone beat me to it! Thanks for brightening up a dull Manchester morning!

As for the 'Dawkins ancestors were slavers' thing - it's worth pointing out that the whole of western 'civilisation' was built on a foundation of slavery. The same goes for empires of the past - Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek, Roman, Chinese, Aztec, Ottoman etc., etc., etc. Our 'civilisations' were, and still are, all based on the enslavement and exploitation of other human beings and the natural environment - and it's time we admitted it and faced up to it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: theleveller
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 07:00 AM

"Actually, once you get back past your parents, it's more complicated."

You can say that again. I was thinking of doing a bit of genealogy on my mother's family and was told not to bother as my grandfather's father was never disclosed, even to him. It seems that, in his 20s, he was told that his mother and father were, in fact, his grandparents and his sister was really his mother, having been put in the family way by a local landowner. Hey - I could really be an aristocrat, as I've suspected all my life!


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Stringsinger
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 02:39 PM

Slaveholding is a cultural and behavioral problem not a genetic one.
I doubt whether descendants of Washington or Jefferson held slaves.
It was obviously a smear campaign at Dawkins by the Telegraph.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Stringsinger
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 02:45 PM

Joe, if you agree with Dawkins, then I apologize.

As to those who are critical of religion, I would stack their intolerance against those of religious persuasion who are intolerant of atheists. It works both ways.

Tolerance is a peculiar word however, as it smacks of being patronizing. I think
understanding would be a better way of accepting those who don't agree with you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 04:57 AM

Hi, Frank. I agree that the word "tolerant" is inadequate. I don't know if I'd say that I'd agree with Dawkins, but I am open to his perspective and I do think he has much to say that is very worthy of consideration. The people I have trouble with, are those who lump all religious thought together and reject it all without consideration.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Paul Burke
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 06:06 AM

You have 23 pairs of chromosomes, but don't forget that none of these is exactly the chromosome that any of your ancestors (including ma nad pa) had. During meiosis* (the process of separating the paired chromosomes into the single strands that produce the contestants in the egg-and-sperm race), not only do each of the separated chromosomes distribute randomly into the gametes, but during meiosis the paired chromosomes swap sections with each other, producing a new selection of genes on each one. The process is not completely random - there are preferred sites for the crossing- but it does mean that the genetic material gets a thorough shuffling over time.

*I had difficulty remembering which cell division process was which, until a friend told me: meiosis is what happens in my ovaries. Mitosis is what happens in my toeses.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Penny S.
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 11:29 AM

Dawkins had a debate with Rowan Williams last week, and acknowledged he was probably an agnostic, but suggesting a 9.5 probabilty of there being no God.

Various sites report this Oxford union event.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Dawkins attacked for ancestors' faults
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 11:56 AM

It's extremely hard to determine a probability factor for the existence of God...given the fact that people can't agree on a clear definition for the term in the first place. ;-D There are at least a few million different ideas about what it means!

I wonder what Dawkins' definition of "God" is? I bet it's not anywhere near my definition of God.

The mistake most people make when talking about "God" is...they automatically assume that everyone else defines that word the same way they do. Their assumption is very often incorrect. And that doesn't even seem to occur to them. What they are doing, in most cases, is arguing for the nonexistence of something that meets the specific definition they already have in mind, but has little in common with what someone else is thinking about when using the term. It all ends up being about as silly as Don Quixote charging the windmill, and produces about as much useful effect. Lots of sound and fury: no useful conclusion whatsoever.


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