2009-03-12

Do Bad Chimps Go to Hell?

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by Neil Godfrey

Image from Mail Online

Loved this, yet one more story from animal kingdom demonstrating that other species are “people too”.

Chimp Planned Rock Attack on Zoo Visitors? (this title links to the full BBC/AFP/ABC article)

The above pic and others of Santino in action, and original story, and links to similar stories, are found in Mail Online’s Science & Tech section.

Mathias Osvath, a Lund University researcher, says Santino’s behaviour shows convincingly that our fellow apes consider the future in a very complex way. . . . . . . . . . .

“It implies that they have a highly developed consciousness, including lifelike mental simulations of potential events,” he said.

“They most probably have an inner world like we have when reviewing past episodes of our lives.”

So an ape has memory, and the ability to work with that memory to plan future events, and to plan actions now to prepare for those future events?

I loved many of the comments tagged on the end of this story. I’m reminded of what I’ve witnessed with both mice and various Australian birds, especially magpies and kookaburras. I’ll have to write up some stories here as soon as I get some real free time. But I have learned that they, too, clearly have self-awareness and love and other feelings for one another.

But back to this topic. How do Creation Scientists or Intelligent Designists explain this sort of behaviour among animals vis a vis the evidence they assert for some sort of divinely implanted human soul? We know from other studies that chimps not only plan “bad behaviour” (we know of their plans and group activity to go out on search and destroy their fellow-kind missions) but also of their loving and magnanimous gestures towards one another too.

And we know how humans can be so easily treated from bad propensities to “good” ones by the mere addition of a bit of sleep, change of diet or a chemical added to the brain.

Would this stone-throwing “hood” chimp also be changed to go out and offer bananas or gestures of friendship to visitors with an injection of seratonin?

I used to wonder, as a Christian, how God could possibly judge such cases of a child-beater repeating the pattern of parents vis a vis another reformed misfit who could attribute all their change to a good lie-down or kind word of assurance from a significant other.


2007-10-18

The complex lives of earliest humans

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

by Neil Godfrey

What can be deduced from a bit of ochre and a whale barnacle . . . .

News story of a recent publication in Nature, with related audio file:

Earliest humans lived complex lives, scientists find by Sarah Clarke


2007-09-23

Learning about flagella and ID in a history book

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

by Neil Godfrey

(There’s a YouTube video discussing the following in more depth. Also an article here.)

I am loving a history by William Rosen, Justinian’s Flea: Plague, Empire and the Birth of Europe, “eccentric” though one reviewer might label it.

But I took time out to read this book to give myself a relaxing diversion from my usual diet of socio-political, ethical and religious tomes and tracts.

So I was caught off-guard when I came to page 203 and a discussion about Darwinian selection, ID (Intelligent Design), and what’s attached to the Yersinia pestis cell membrane. In case you were wondering “What the . . . is a Yersinia pestis?” this is the Wikipedia’s definition:

Gram-negative facultative anaerobic bipolar-staining bacillus bacterium belonging to the family Enterobacteriaceae.

Now that that has been cleared up 😉 we can continue. Continue reading “Learning about flagella and ID in a history book”


2007-09-21

Latest on the Hobbit and dinosaur feathers

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

by Neil Godfrey

So the velociraptor had feathers.

Check out some great new illustrations here.

And the latest publication in the Hobbit debate believes its identity is all in the wrist — and homo sapiens lived beside a cousin as “recently” as 12,000 years ago. (There are other useful links from this news page, too.)

More background to the latest news (linked above) can be found here on the Wikipedia site, and other info from a counter-creationist site can be seen here.

And there’s always “the book“.

(pic from Lateline & http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/09/21/2039663.htm


2007-04-12

Evolution is okay so long as there’s a little angel inside each gene

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

by Neil Godfrey

Pope has finally almost caught up with Darwin (you can’t rush these things now) and says that it’s at last okay to believe in evolution as long as you also think that God is master geneticist making sure all the genes work out right along the way.

Of course, the Pope’s position on evolution is just like saying, Yep, the planets do revolve around the sun but we know God has assigned angels to sit on each one of them to make sure they keep perfectly balanced between laws of gravity and centrifugal force. Continue reading “Evolution is okay so long as there’s a little angel inside each gene”

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