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Thread: Huntsman on evolution, warming: 'Call me crazy'

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    Re: Huntsman on evolution, warming: 'Call me crazy'

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverDad View Post
    Step back and think this through for a moment. Let's grant you the bolded red text. Let's say that intervention improves IQ. Secondly there is the more universal phenomenon of IQ in young children being somewhat responsive to the heavy control adults have over their environment and so we see slight improvement as the children age, but that process reverses itself as the children begin to assert their own individuality more.

    Now, if you tailor your intervention within the window of time where IQ can be raised and before it begins to recede, then your intervention will show success. Your control group is also showing success from normal parental, teacher, involvement. The way you phrased your question appears like you don't credit the children in the intervention group with aging, and so also enhancing their IQ via this normal process, but you grant that the children in the control group get this benefit.

    What has really happened is that the gap that was there in the beginning remained fairly steady over the 5 years of the study. If the intervention was successful then we would expect the gap that was recorded at the onset of the experiment to grow over time, thus showing the effects of the intervention.
    Well, you have a lot of hypotheticals in there that aren't actually necessary to the discussion, because the actual experiment included monitoring of the subject children up to age 21. The bottom line is that they effectively proved that intensive, high-qualit child care from infancy can and does improve cognitive ability and it also has a number of quantifiable benefits, e.g.:

    "Follow-up assessment of the participants involved in the project has been completed. Progress was monitored at ages 3, 4, 5, 6.5, 8, 12, 15 and 21.[5] The areas covered were cognitive functioning, academic skills, educational attainment, employment, parenthood, and social adjustment. The significant findings of the experiment were as follows:[6][7]

    Impact of child care/preschool on reading and math achievement, and cognitive ability, at age 21:

    An increase of 1.8 grade levels in reading achievement
    An increase of 1.3 grade levels in math achievement
    A modest increase in Full-Scale IQ (4.4 points), and in Verbal IQ (4.2 points).

    Impact of child care/preschool on life outcomes at age 21:

    Completion of a half-year more of education
    Much higher percentage enrolled in school at age 21 (42 percent vs. 20 percent)
    Much higher percentage attended, or still attending, a 4-year college (36 percent vs. 14 percent)
    Much higher percentage engaged in skilled jobs (47 percent vs. 27 percent)
    Much lower percentage of teen-aged parents (26 percent vs. 45 percent)
    Reduction of criminal activity"

    The project concluded that high quality, educational child care from early infancy was therefore of utmost importance."

    Abecedarian Early Intervention Project - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    If you have a rational critique of the experiment I haven't been able to identify it.
    Last edited by AdamT; 08-21-11 at 12:02 AM.

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    Re: Huntsman on evolution, warming: 'Call me crazy'

    Quote Originally Posted by ric27 View Post
    While life has resurged after mass extinctions, there hasn't been any evolution of intelligent life except us

    If evolution of intelligent life was so easy a process, why don't we see human equivalent birds, reptiles, cetaceans, felines, etc?
    The mistake you're making is assuming intelligence is an end unto itself, that intelligence is the apex of evolution. It's an easy mistake to make: humans are intelligent and we tend to think of ourselves as the planet's dominant species. Problem is, "dominant" is a somewhat subjective term and evolution doesn't have a particular "goal" in mind. The goal of evolution, if there could be said to be one, is survival. Not cities, music, art, or space travel. Living and reproducing.

    Dolphins are smart, but being smart doesn't make them capable of dominating the planet. An octopus is smart too. So are crows, I remember watching a youtube video about some crows in England who figured out traffic signals. They found nuts that are too hard for them to crack, so they put them on the street for cars to run over and crack them. Of course, being in traffic is dangerous... unless you wait for the crosswalk light to turn green. They ****ing figured out crosswalks. Smart, right? So why don't crows dominate the planet? Because they weigh like three pounds and can't make a spear, let alone hold one.

    Humans, physically speaking, are really kinda pathetic. But our particular combination of intelligence, communication skills, and manual dexterity allowed us to figure out tools. We're the right size to both need weapons and be able to use them. To use the extreme example, of what use would tool-using intelligence be to a Tyrannosaur? It wouldn't provide much of a survival advantage because that creature is already quite survivable. (asteroids not included)

    Of course, "why" is a pretty tricky question right from the start when you're talking about evolution.
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    Re: Huntsman on evolution, warming: 'Call me crazy'

    Quote Originally Posted by nijato
    However, you have not yet provided a reference which supports your average racial IQs you posted earlier.

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverDad
    The IQ literature shows the following for group mean IQ: Ashkenazi Jew, 115; Northeast Asian., 105; Whites, 100; Hispanic, 89; African-American, 85.
    I feel that providing a scientific reference for this rather extraordinary claim is crucial to your credibility.
    Do you really need citations of Racial IQ differences?
    The internet and last century are replete with such.
    Surely you can't pretend/posit you are not aware of the wealth of it.
    Even deniers can only make up apologies for those Acknowledged differences.
    (socio-economic, nutrition, blah, etc)

    You might want to start with a post of mine in This very string:
    http://www.debatepolitics.com/breaki...post1059741795

    Amazingly the data is more difficult to find now than 5 or 10 years ago as sites like Wikipedia have become utterly PC and deleted large amounts of info. This is true about so Many sensitive entries on Wiki.
    ie, A Large version of this used to be on Race and intelligence - Wikipedia page:


    No more. The link no longer exists.

    Richard Lynn's table USED to be on the same. Found it in a 3 year old post of mine From that site.
    (the same post which contained the graph above http://www.politicalforum.com/race-r...tml#post474169 )

    Richard Lynn, "Race Differences in Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis" 2006 Table 16.2 (indigenous populations)

    Estimated average IQ

    Arctic Peoples ---------------- ------------ 91
    East Asians -------------------- ---------- 105
    Europeans ------------------- - ---------- 100
    Native Americans (north & south) ------ 86
    Southern Asian & Northern Africans ---- 84
    Bushmen (southern Africa) -------------- 54
    Africans (subsaharan) -------------------- 67
    Native Australians (aboriginals) --------- 62
    Southeast Asians ------------------------- 87
    Pacific Islanders -------------------------- 85
    No longer. Though he is mentioned.
    Last edited by mbig; 08-21-11 at 12:19 AM.
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    Re: Huntsman on evolution, warming: 'Call me crazy'

    Quote Originally Posted by ric27 View Post
    While life has resurged after mass extinctions, there hasn't been any evolution of intelligent life except us

    If evolution of intelligent life was so easy a process, why don't we see human equivalent birds, reptiles, cetaceans, felines, etc?
    Because intelligence takes many forms. Dolphins, as I'm sure you know have a well documented ability to communicate with complex vocalizations. If we consider the degree of folding of their brains, it is possible that bottle-nose dolphins have a processing capacity on par with humans.

    Also, all of the primates are rather intelligent. Apes are all capable of what is called domain-general cognition, or in more common parlance, the ability to learn problem-solving techniques and apply them to different settings. There is a good paper about this here.

    Also, one of the most interesting phenomenon is how some echinoderms use a nerve net lacking any central brain to produce highly complex camouflage that mimics the specific surroundings of their environment. Unfortunately, after a few minutes of searching I couldn't find something I remember reading years ago that said by some measure they were the most "intelligent" creatures on Earth due to the sheer number and frequency of nerve signals they produce.

    Finally, evolution theory is not made to answer "why not" questions. Natural selection can only act on what is available - and what is available may not be what's "best." There are certainly pigments that are better at capturing light energy than chlorophyll, yet almost all plants use it. Why? Because they are descended from ancient ancestors that contained chlorophyll and managed to do the only things that matter in evolution: survive and reproduce.

    The "why not" line of reasoning is actually a good piece of evidence in favor of evolution theory - any designer that came up with the inefficient, impractical organisms we see around us should be ashamed of themselves! Check out the "laryngeal nerve" as an example.



    Finally, I think you had a question about the evolution of baleen whales. Wikipedia has a good piece on it here, the basic point of which is that the intermediate ancestor between ancient toothed whales and modern baleens had both teeth and baleens. One of the best pieces of evidence for this is Janjucetus, a fossil species that has both and lived about 25 million years ago.
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    Re: Huntsman on evolution, warming: 'Call me crazy'

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    The mistake you're making is assuming intelligence is an end unto itself, that intelligence is the apex of evolution. It's an easy mistake to make: humans are intelligent and we tend to think of ourselves as the planet's dominant species. Problem is, "dominant" is a somewhat subjective term and evolution doesn't have a particular "goal" in mind. The goal of evolution, if there could be said to be one, is survival. Not cities, music, art, or space travel. Living and reproducing.

    Dolphins are smart, but being smart doesn't make them capable of dominating the planet. An octopus is smart too. So are crows, I remember watching a youtube video about some crows in England who figured out traffic signals. They found nuts that are too hard for them to crack, so they put them on the street for cars to run over and crack them. Of course, being in traffic is dangerous... unless you wait for the crosswalk light to turn green. They ****ing figured out crosswalks. Smart, right? So why don't crows dominate the planet? Because they weigh like three pounds and can't make a spear, let alone hold one.

    Humans, physically speaking, are really kinda pathetic. But our particular combination of intelligence, communication skills, and manual dexterity allowed us to figure out tools. We're the right size to both need weapons and be able to use them. To use the extreme example, of what use would tool-using intelligence be to a Tyrannosaur? It wouldn't provide much of a survival advantage because that creature is already quite survivable. (asteroids not included)

    Of course, "why" is a pretty tricky question right from the start when you're talking about evolution.
    Right, and we don't generally think of ants, termites, or roaches as being smart, but they are incredibly successful species in terms of survival and reproduction.

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    Re: Huntsman on evolution, warming: 'Call me crazy'

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    Of course, "why" is a pretty tricky question right from the start when you're talking about evolution.
    Lets put "why" aside for the time being and focus on "how"

    There are lots of very complex structures in humans, insects, animals, fish, etc. According to evolutionary theory, they evolved from less complex structures and survived in the species because they offered a survival advantage.

    How can evolution be tested???? Some scientists think the ear evolved from a breathing tube that allowed ancient fish to take an occasional breath of air through the top of their head. First of all, at some point, the fish never had a breathing tube. How did it spontaneously develop? I can see an advantage to a shallow water fish to be able to breath air as well as water, but the fish couldn't decide it wanted to do that and spontaneously alter its structure to do so. Even if countless generations are struggling along breathing just water, how do they suddenly start growing a tube? Was there some spontaneous mutation of on fish and it had a freaking hole in its head that connected to lungs/gills and allowed it to breath air?

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    Re: Huntsman on evolution, warming: 'Call me crazy'

    Quote Originally Posted by mbig View Post
    Do you really need citations of Racial IQ differences?
    The internet and last century are replete with such.
    Surely you can't pretend/posit you are not aware of the wealth of it.
    Even deniers can only make up apologies for those Acknowledged differences.
    (socio-economic, nutrition, blah, etc)

    You might want to start with a post of mine in This very string:
    http://www.debatepolitics.com/breaki...post1059741795

    Amazingly the data is more difficult to find now than 5 or 10 years ago as sites like Wikipedia have become utterly PC and deleted large amounts of info. This is true about so Many sensitive entries on Wiki.
    ie, A Large version of this used to be on Race and intelligence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia page:


    No more. The link no longer exists.

    Richard Lynn's table USED to be on Wiki: Found it in a 3 year old post of mine From that site.
    (the same post which contained the graph above Race and IQ. - Political Forum )


    No longer. Though he is mentioned.
    Some of this data has been found to be spurious:

    "Data showing that the Japanese had higher I.Q.s than people of European descent, for example, prompted the British psychometrician and eugenicist Richard Lynn to concoct an elaborate evolutionary explanation involving the Himalayas, really cold weather, premodern hunting practices, brain size, and specialized vowel sounds. The fact that the I.Q.s of Chinese-Americans also seemed to be elevated has led I.Q. fundamentalists to posit the existence of an international I.Q. pyramid, with Asians at the top, European whites next, and Hispanics and blacks at the bottom.

    Here was a question tailor-made for James Flynn's accounting skills. He looked first at Lynn's data, and realized that the comparison was skewed. Lynn was comparing American I.Q. estimates based on a representative sample of schoolchildren with Japanese estimates based on an upper-income, heavily urban sample. Recalculated, the Japanese average came in not at 106.6 but at 99.2. Then Flynn turned his attention to the Chinese-American estimates. They turned out to be based on a 1975 study in San Francisco's Chinatown using something called the Lorge-Thorndike Intelligence Test. But the Lorge-Thorndike test was normed in the nineteen-fifties. For children in the nineteen-seventies, it would have been a piece of cake. When the Chinese-American scores were reassessed using up-to-date intelligence metrics, Flynn found, they came in at 97 verbal and 100 nonverbal. Chinese-Americans had slightly lower I.Q.s than white Americans. (Gladwell 2007)"

    IQ and race - The Skeptic's Dictionary - Skepdic.com

    I think the bottom line is that intelligence obviously has genetic and behavioral components. Throughout the history of man various groups have concocted bogus tests and measurements to explain why THEIR group was fundamentally superior to that/those other groups.

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    Re: Huntsman on evolution, warming: 'Call me crazy'

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamT View Post
    Some of this data has been found to be spurious:

    "Data showing that the Japanese had higher I.Q.s than people of European descent, for example, prompted the British psychometrician and eugenicist Richard Lynn to concoct an elaborate evolutionary explanation involving the Himalayas, really cold weather, premodern hunting practices, brain size, and specialized vowel sounds. The fact that the I.Q.s of Chinese-Americans also seemed to be elevated has led I.Q. fundamentalists to posit the existence of an international I.Q. pyramid, with Asians at the top, European whites next, and Hispanics and blacks at the bottom.
    .....

    IQ and race - The Skeptic's Dictionary - Skepdic.com
    .....
    That's just more skepDICK apologetics.
    njato had asked for data, not SkepDicks excuses/rationalizations.

    And YOU have -0- Credibility with me since your Underhanded stunt of last night here.
    http://www.debatepolitics.com/breaki...post1059742583
    but thanks for at least posting the link this time.
    You've shown you can Google if (and) nothing else.
    Goodbye.
    Last edited by mbig; 08-21-11 at 12:34 AM.
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    Re: Huntsman on evolution, warming: 'Call me crazy'

    Quote Originally Posted by ric27 View Post
    Lets put "why" aside for the time being and focus on "how"

    There are lots of very complex structures in humans, insects, animals, fish, etc. According to evolutionary theory, they evolved from less complex structures and survived in the species because they offered a survival advantage.

    How can evolution be tested???? Some scientists think the ear evolved from a breathing tube that allowed ancient fish to take an occasional breath of air through the top of their head. First of all, at some point, the fish never had a breathing tube. How did it spontaneously develop? I can see an advantage to a shallow water fish to be able to breath air as well as water, but the fish couldn't decide it wanted to do that and spontaneously alter its structure to do so. Even if countless generations are struggling along breathing just water, how do they suddenly start growing a tube? Was there some spontaneous mutation of on fish and it had a freaking hole in its head that connected to lungs/gills and allowed it to breath air?
    Again, nothing happens suddenly in evolution and these examples you keep raising are nothing more than conjecture. If you want proof of evolution it is available in great abundance. It can even be seen in microorganisms where it occurs rapidly due to their short life cycles. Thus we invent anti-bacterial soap, only to discover that in a few short years, bacteria have evolved that can survive the anti-bacterial chemicals.

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    Re: Huntsman on evolution, warming: 'Call me crazy'

    Quote Originally Posted by mbig View Post
    That's just moree "skepDICK apologetics.

    And YOU have -0- Credibility with me since your Underhanded stunt of last night.
    http://www.debatepolitics.com/breaki...post1059742583
    (but thanks for at least posting the link this time)
    Your criticism is quite bizarre. As I pointed out last night, a) I misread your original post, but in any case, b) nothing that followed what I quoted contradicted what I said/quoted.

    And for the record, if you want to stand on a credibility high horse, I suggest you ride in on something other than ad hominem argument.

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