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Messages - midgard

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I say we release them into the wild.

Bad idea, then they'll claim independence and eventually become the strongest country in the world...  ;)

But what if Raist II and the rest of your clones revolt against Raist Alpha?

Why would they do that. I created them. I'd treat them well too. When they asked why they had to do work I'd remind them they wouldn't exist without me. My natural guilt would send my clones back to their jobs.

Natural guilt? Where is your natural guilt for living off the work done by your clones?

If your clones are like you I'd say they'd be more interested in making their own clones of themselves and trying to convince the clone clones to do work for them (who in turn would only be interested in making clones in an attempt to get rich quick).

How much money are you giving to your parents and grandparents?

Electrons travel around the nucleus. It is kind of like a solar system except at an extremely small level.

Lies to children.

But if unnatural deliveries due to genetic factors are a very small minority, it will take an exceptionally long time before that gene or combinations of genes are found in a large number of people, and that's assuming they have some kind of advantage over people without those genes - which is hard to believe.

What you're saying here has nothing to do with the ratio of unnatural deliveries* that are due to genetic factors compared to unnatural births that aren't. What you're really talking about it the ratio of unnatural deliveries that are due to genetic factors compared to all other deliveries.

As far as the time it would take for this to happen and needing an advantage, you've brought nothing new to the table - please hang your head in shame. ;)

However, I am curious as to why you personally find it hard to believe; is it just because you cannot think of any advantages or is there some other reason?

*Every time I write that I envision some bizarre delivery room set up like something from frankenstein...

Sorry couldn't be bothered reading all the posts.

No worries, I gathered that from your reply. I found the discussion rather interesting and you may too if you go back and read it. I won't reply to the points I think we covered in the discussion (I may go back and edit the original post though so that anybody coming into it new will hopefully be up to date). :)

There was only one new part to address that I could see (and I have a niggling feeling it was addressed very close to the start).

We then need to consider that currently the majority of unnatural births do not occur for genetic factors, but things related to illness, the position of the baby in the womb or the convenience of the mother.

The unnatural deliveries that occur that aren't due to genetic factors are irrelevant to the conversation unless we were trying to draw some conclusions based on the prevalence of unnatural births - which we're not.

I think I'll definitely go back and edit the original post... please be patient.

Very patient, I've got to fight with my lack of motivation.

Unfortunately, I like it too much to harm it or want harm done to it.  :-[

Aye, disadvantageous to the population, advantageous to me!  I don't want no babies... yet.

Too late for me :D

I've been skimming over many of the pages and it seems to be the same thing over and over again: giving preliminary excuses as to why people will reject his ideas and then picking up a definition of something and twisting and changing it* and then explaining why his new definition is wrong. As soon as he does this I start to go onto the next paper as from that point all he really seems interested in tackling gaping holes in the straw men he himself creates.

Perhaps he may be right about some things or everything but he would certainly go a lot further if he tried a different approach.

*Example: he describes the dimensions used to describe the position of a point as dimensions of the point itself and then argues that this must be wrong as points don't have dimensions.

Do you know what's really funny about all this?  I voted, "I don't understand the question" so I could read the posts. lol.  Anyways!


I think we are agreeing on a many points, and I might be willing to concede the topic except for one thing that you may have over looked in your example.  If a mother, who's hips are too small births a baby who's head is too big and the mother dies, the genes are still passed onto the younger generation.  This is why you see people today that should have died under natural birthing circumstances live to birth again.  This has been going on for thousands of years and the only factor we have changed is that now mothers that should have died can now birth more than one baby.  Will this slight increase in surviving mothers tip the scales to lead to the loss of the natural ability to birth? No.  I related the topic to foreskin because either way, in either case, even if the baby dies in some instances, the same genes are being passed to the next generation regardless.  Neither case will effect the gene pool in any discernible way. 

I think that it's possible that the narrow-hipped ones could eventually tip the scale, if they died on their first child then exponential growth was impossible, now it's not so eventually it "could" tip the scale. The same is if a baby's head is too large and previously it would've died then the growth of the excessively-large-headedness-gene would be zero whereas now it's capable of exponential growth (it's not just mums that die in childbirth).

There are three main reasons why I very much doubt this will happen:
1. Primarily, I don't see the two advantages that lead to this awkward compromise (better bipedal mobility and increased intelligence) as such an advantage in our environment (at least compared to our ancestors' environment).*
2. The size/variation of the gene pool means that any advantage's effect on the population will be tiny. However, I also want to reiterate that the birth is a messy compromise and we could expect variations that require a c-section to come from multiple sources and not just a single source. Still potential partners number in the billions so even with the multiple sources the overall effect will still be tiny.
3. Finally there's the availability of c-sections, it's sometimes hard to imagine that the world won't keep on getting better and better and that prosperity won't spread further and further or that we could ever slide back into the dark ages but I'm sure that's been the case for every advanced civilisation.

*Too be honest I think intelligence these days probably is a disadvantage when it comes to reproduction:

That's exactly the point I was making.  Regardless of how babies are being birthed, it's not going to affect their genes.  If a baby is cut out, it still has the genes necessary to give birth. If a baby is cut up, it still has the genes to grow foreskin.  By theorizing that a circumcised penis is more sexually attractive, it would mean men with circumcisions were reproducing more often.  This relates to the original post because it was stated that c-sections would become the normal method of birthing (just as foreskinless penises would be the normal method of sexing).  Either way, babies will still be born with the genes for foreskin and ability to birth.

I understood your point and this is why I said you didn't understand because the point is irrelevant to what was being asked. I'm not suggesting that the way a baby is delivered will affect their genes I'm saying that somebody's genes may affect the delivery.

It would be many many many years before random mutations lead to either of those gene sets becoming obsolete.

I wasn't suggesting that this would happen any time soon, especially considering that c-sections are not readily available to everybody. Even if they were it would take a long, long time for a change considering how massive the potential mating gene pool is for people these days. One point though, human pregnancies are already a massive compromise so any random mutation may not be something entirely new but an enhancement of something around already (e.g. bigger heads to fit bigger brains, narrower hips so female actors don't look silly when they run).

And even then, I'm not sure how easily the genome is willing to shed it's ability to successfully reproduce (figuratively speaking of course, genes have no direction in change).

Exactly, figuratively speaking. How about you stop thinking about some imaginary will of the genome and think about the actual genome and what actually causes direction in evolution. A c-section may not be a natural reproduction method but it is still a successful one, as such if genes that are dependent on c-sections get copied more rapidly and out compete genes that aren't dependent then eventually the c-section dependent genes will become dominant. There will be nothing in those genomes that looks to the future and thinks, "what if c-sections aren't always available?" If we take an example of babies' heads too big for vaginal birth there is no will or forethought of the genome to direct the vaginal birth process to adapt to this new development.

It's kind of like the male nipple; the female nipple is sooooo important in the survival of a baby that the trait is carried over into men as a useless aesthetic feature.

The reason men have nipples is not because they're important to females but let's focus this back to the conversation though: so what? Just because birth canals couldn't be used in deliveries doesn't mean they still wouldn't be there. There's already people that are dependent on c-sections and they still have birth canals.

I don't think we are in disagreement here.  However, if a species used an excessive amount of its brain, then that is blood that could be used to power muscles.  A species could get wiped out by prey if it's too smart for its own good.  Of course though, humans have clearly made it past this stage.  I am curious why you edited my original question before replying to it?  It changes the tone and grammar of the question.

Yes, I wanted to emphasize that I'm merely talking about a hypothetical and not something I believe will happen. I believe it definitely lies in the realm of possibility but it certainly isn't a prediction - as you pointed out any advantage allowed by abandoning vaginal births could carry a cost that is higher than the advantage.

I don't see how this relates, I don't know of a single baby that has been birthed by caesarean naturally.

It relates because I changed the norm in the scenario to people who naturally don't have foreskins. In both situations the norm is the advantage but an operation is available that allows somebody to bypass their natural disadvantage. With c-sections it allows births that couldn't happen naturally to occur (which is a significant disadvantage indeed).

As a side note, I'm really enjoying this discussion - thanks. :)

What if having a circumcision made you more sexually attractive and increased your chances of reproducing more?

It's irrelevant how sexually attractive a circumcised man is, their babies will still have a foreskin.

Does that make the situation more similar, or am I grievously misunderstanding the question?

They're still very much different and I'm guessing you've misunderstood the question (the alternative is you believe a boy fathered by a circumcised man is born without a foreskin ;)).

It'd be more similar if most men weren't born with foreskins naturally and were sexually more attractive and then posing the question as, "Because circumcisions have evened up the sexual attractiveness of men with foreskins and men without foreskins is it possible that all men will eventually be born with foreskins and "require" a circumcision?"

Even if we take your example and make it more in line with the question and ignore circumcisions and say that a genetic mutation causes some babies to be born without foreskins and ask if it's likely it'll become a dominant trait I still do not think it would be similar. Human pregnancies are a very crap compromise between bipedal motion, intelligence/headsize, duration of pregnancy and the ability to give birth vaginally (and probably other things). With c-sections this has created one less thing to have to compromise over - in other words the cost of having to give birth vaginally has been removed.

I don't understand what your asking here and I find it very difficult to forget about the women for even a moment.


Are you asking if a higher intelligence would possibly help survival?


...are you asking if bigger heads will not be conducive to birthing?


I don't understand the question.  =(

 ::) Get over it.

I know, but non-preterm babies of today have more competition from preterm babies today than they did in previous generations, meaning that if a genetic predisposition existed in a woman to produce preterm babies, it would be more likely to be passed on today, because in the past, the babies wouldn't have survived to produce offspring of their own.  It's the same argument as why c-section babies whose heads are too big would become more prominent in the species, just at the other end of the scale.

I misunderstood what you were saying. When you said, "...premature birth may be selected for, making childbirth easier for the mother, as the kid is smaller, and easier to push out." I thought you meant that the preterm birth in itself would be an advantage that was selected for over non-preterm births. As such I was pointing out that regardless of a preterm birth being easier for the mother, a preterm birth is still a disadvantage when compared to a non preterm birth.

You are right in pointing out that this disadvantage is nowhere near as much as a disadvantage as it has been previously in the past.  Indeed, in this sense I completely agree that if a preterm baby has a selective advantage over a non-preterm baby (perhaps reduced learning disabilities could help them survive and reproduce) then this could flourish now that the survival cost of actually being a preterm is a lot less than before.

They are, but with advances in medical science, their survival becomes more likely, which means that whatever causes mothers to consistently produce premature babies as some seem predisposed to do, could be passed on to the next generation.  I'm sure we could all agree that the likelihood of a baby born 2 months premature today stands a better chance of living than one born 20 years ago.

Preterm babies of today are "competing" with non-preterm babies of today. They are not "competing" with preterm babies of 20 years ago. The fact that preterm babies of today are more likely to survive compared to preterm babies of 20 years ago is completely irrelevant when preterm babies of today are still more likely to die compared to non-preterm babies of today.

Of course, in the end it comes down to reproduction... but it always helps if you can survive until you're old enough to reproduce.

Evolution favours those who reproduce more often.

This, while not far off, this is an incorrect statement.  Hares fuck like bunnies, but evolution does not favor them because they are furry little sluts.  Evolution, or more accurately Natural Selection, favors those most adept to their environment. Like I said though, it's not far off.  If a mutation in insects caused them to become resistant to pesticides, then it would be greatly advantageous for them if they reproduced quickly.  I may just be arguing the way you composed your sentence, but to me it read like you were attributing high fertility to speciation.

I think he was using "more often" in a broader sense. In other words a living organism that has one baby reproduces more often than an organism that was killed before it could reproduce.

Also, I think that arguing this entire point is like wondering if babies are going to start being born without foreskin.  Spoiler: they aren't.

If you think the two are similar you really haven't understood the question.

If women who were genetically unable to have natural births became sexually dominate, then given time the genes needed for natural birth would become less and less common and repressed in our genome.

Forget about the women for a moment. What about intelligence, do you think that could provide an advantage?

The Lounge / Re: Chinese Riddick Kid
« on: March 02, 2009, 08:48:12 AM »
That russian page reports on the same story, so I personally think it might be real.

The Russian page has a link to the Sun.

Also, did the "derma" part of leukoderma raise a question in your mind?

Found a picture:

That looks fake.


Sometimes they're very necessary.

Which could very well be the reason we become virtually dependent on c-sections. Especially when you consider that human babies are born one year before they "should" be born (most primates' babies are born with the functions roughly equivalent to a human 1-year-old), maybe babies that stay in longer will survive better. If not then it could be a matter of more intelligent = more likely to survive & bigger head = c-section becomes more and more prevalent until we are virtually dependent on them.

I think it might go the other way.  With so many premature births, and the premature babies surviving to reporduce, premature birth may be selected for, making childbirth easier for the mother, as the kid is smaller, and easier to push out.

I'm fairly certain that preterm births are more likely to die than other babies.

The Lounge / Frank, Henry and the Blib Machine
« on: February 18, 2009, 07:46:25 AM »
A person needs to have 4 Blibs each day to survive. A Blib Machine operated by one person can make 20 Blibs/day. A Blib machine lasts 10 days and costs 60 Blibs to get a new one. Frank owns a Blib machine and is approached by Henry who doesn't own one. Henry says he will operate Frank's Blib machine if Frank will allow him to keep some Blibs at the end of each day. What do you think would be a fair ammount of Blibs for Henry to keep each day? If you were Frank how many Blibs would you let Henry keep at the end of each day?

Flat Earth Debate / Re: DIY Experement: Time Dilation
« on: February 17, 2009, 05:23:58 AM »
I was merely asking for clarification of your question. 

I can predict for you anything you want, some things with more accuracy, some things with less.  I do however have qualms with your explanation for asking for a prediction, which we will call hypothesis from now on.  While formulating a hypothesis is an important step in the scientific process, demanding a reasonably accurate one is not science at all.  If every scientist was held to such standards then every result that defied the hypothesis would have to be thrown out.  As such, if I predicted that the base clock was moving slower, and it turned out that it in fact was not moving slower at the conclusion of the experiment (indicating a non-revolving earth) then I would have to do away with those results.  Regardless, here are my hypotheses...
Time dilation due to Lorentz transformation: The top clock will be a few hundred nanoseconds plus or minus 100 slower than the bottom. 
Time dilation due to gradational red shift:  not applicable.

I'm pretty sure I said this experiment, not science in general. Yes, if you predict it would be moving slower and it wasn't then this would stand against you. However, just because it is moving slower doesn't mean it's moving slower for the reason you gave, there could be another explanation. I think your explanation would become more likely if you made a more accurate prediction. Do you want the height and position of the tower I have in mind (I still haven't heard anything back about the clocks being donated yet) or will you stick with your one size fits all prediction?

Unfortunately, the clocks will never read the same time, so this experiment is moot.

Could the clocks keep time accurately enough for this experiment to work? I don't know if that's what you're saying but if they're just not "reading" the same time does that cause a problem if you know the difference to begin with? (I don't know much about... anything really, this includes atomic clocks).

Flat Earth Debate / Re: DIY Experement: Time Dilation
« on: February 17, 2009, 04:09:01 AM »
This is already done when GPS, and other, satellites have to be recalibrated  ;D

Isn't this DIY experiment getting even more out of hand now we're talking about satellites?!

Yes, perhaps the label "DIY" was a bit of a stretch.  However, if you cannot find some clocks to be donated or borrowed, I promise to buy instant scratch-off's until I win enough money to purchase you a set of clocks.  However, given enough time, and excluding the chances of clock failure, any two identical clocks will work. (enough time = lots and lots)

I have sent of some emails - hopefully I will get a positive response.

Flat Earth Debate / Re: DIY Experement: Time Dilation
« on: February 17, 2009, 04:04:29 AM »
Are you asking me to predict the difference cause by time dilation due to Lorentz transformation and gravitational red shift?

It?s important to note that this will not definitively prove the shape of the earth.  It will however indicate that the earth is revolving and not zooming upwards.

I certainly am asking you to predict the results beyond just "they won't be the same". Surely if this experiment is worth anything you should have to make a reasonably accurate prediction to demonstrate that the effect is due to what you say and not some unexplained phenomena.

Flat Earth Debate / Re: DIY Experement: Time Dilation
« on: February 17, 2009, 03:36:06 AM »
1: Buy two identical atomic clocks.

Well this is a bit tricky. The only "atomic" clocks I found don't seem appropriate to me. However, if you don't see anything wrong with using them I will gladly use them for the experiment if you accept the results.

If I give you the details of the height of the tower and it's position will you generate your prediction of the time dilation effects for both the different speed and gravity1?

1. Yes, yes, I know.

I don't think any of these seem appropriate enough either.

However, on this site it did give a pretty good lead - but it put the price at USD 50,390... a little out of my price range at the moment.


Following the lead I ended up here. Unfortunately, I can't find any prices or ways to purchase these. As such I will write to them and ask them to donate two to me so I can find out if the earth is flat or round.


I have also noticed they have a list of distributors. If I am unable to get two machines donated for this experiment would you give me the money so I can buy these and carry out your "DIY" experiment, Pongo?

<Edit by ﮎingulaЯiτy - Fixed for broken links.>

Technology, Science & Alt Science / Re: A few selective pressures removed
« on: February 16, 2009, 11:18:10 PM »
Natural births are hard enough as it is, due to our evolution of both bigger heads and small hips (for intelligence and bipedal motion, respectively). Many women are going with C-section for convenience and plannability, I don't think the change would be that significant.

But that's sort of the point, if births are hard enough as it is then the change wouldn't have to be that significant to go from possible to virtually impossible. What if even bigger heads and smaller hips were advantageous - with c-sections there would no longer be a selective pressure limiting these to what can still be effective in birth. In other words, have you considered that there could be a non-obvious (e.g. common cause) selective pressure that may actually favour a harder birth (e.g. larger head, tougher perenium, etc.)? By this I mean that a change might occur that has a benefit (perhaps better social skills) as well as something that traditionally would have been a disadvantage (inability to dilate) - something that doesn't seem linked but has a common cause. Wouldn't such a change become more likely the longer time goes on?

I don't think a woman wants a C-section. It is surgery and requires time for healing so theres nothing really convenient about it, not to mention the scar. But also sometimes it is easier than a natural birth.

I'd imagine some do, not just for the reasons given by Mykael but also as some women see it as "easier" to have major abdominal surgery than push a baby out of their vagina. It's amazing how varied women can be, you'd think because they all have a vagina and boobs they'd all want the same things. ;)

I really don't think so... but i wold have to know what percentage of births are delivered this way, and then make up an opinion.

According to a highly reliable source :P the incidence of c-sections are on the increase in the developing world. However, as Mykael point out, that doesn't really mean the number of births where c-sections were essential (e.g. to save baby and/or mum) is on the increase. Plus I don't think any change would occur in the short term as there's no (obvious) benefit to a harder birth.

I am curious if there's anybody who doesn't consider this a possibility but then thinks that humans as a species will become more intelligent...

Technology, Science & Alt Science / A few selective pressures removed
« on: February 16, 2009, 05:00:17 AM »
It appears that modern technology (or should that be prosperity) has made it possible for some births to occur that wouldn't have otherwise. As such we have changed this part of our species' environment and therefore the selective pressure associated with it. With this, could a future where natural births are virtually impossible occur?

My personal thoughts are this is a possibility but I don't think it's very likely as I don't think this is a very large selective pressure to begin with.

Also, as the perineum can split without an incision I'm not sure whether episiotomies should be included in this - I have included though as maybe one of the possibilities would be a tougher perineum that wouldn't split naturally and as such future childbirths may be impossible without an episiotomy (in Holles Street Maternity Hospital virtually all asian mothers require an episiotomy).

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Vigilantism
« on: February 09, 2009, 05:04:47 AM »
I think it's everybody's responsibility to be a peace keeper no matter what. If you see somebody attacking somebody else, it's up to you to do something about it.

In one sense, I think having an "official" body for this makes this duty a 'commodity' and eases their mind as they shirk their responsibility to their fellow man, country and god.

Just joking, when the going gets tough I get the fuck out of dodge. There's always one more cave to hide in.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: /b/'s view on religion
« on: February 04, 2009, 10:17:06 AM »
I'm saying that a God that evidently doesn't have any power over the universe nowadays (not seen any miracles recently- but doesn't stop the universe having a creator) might have this built into people, so they have a chance to do good things.
Which, believe in God or not, are the right things to do.

Being good. It's just a good idea. If everyone believed in God, it would solve a lot of problems, but some people are ridiculous about it.

Actually, just stick to the 10 commandments and it's fine!

Let me just say again that I'm not religious, but not killing and stealing etc are rules I follow..

But my point is that the 'fundamentals' of all religions (strange to use that word in a good way when talking about religion) are just common sense. And whether it's because you want to go to heaven, or because you want everyone to have a good life, it doesn't matter.

This just gets murkier and murkier. It's gone from an argument for a god's existence based on an "instinctive knowledge" of god common to humans to an argument for god's existence from morality (people need god to do good things) moving on to become a statement about the benefits to society that arise from a belief in god and eventually dropped god completed, adopted common sense and became: "Don't be a massive twat."

I have a couple of questions for you:
  • Is a god necessary for belief in a god?
  • Is a god necessary for humans to be able to do "good"?
  • Is a belief in a god necessary for humans to be able to do "good"?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: The VHEMT
« on: February 04, 2009, 07:32:29 AM »
What a bunch of morons.  The product of successful marketing, eco-guilt has become a powerful thing.  Apparently powerful enough to convince some idiots that the less evolved species on the planet are somehow better than us.

What makes the other species less evolved?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: /b/'s view on religion
« on: February 04, 2009, 03:55:53 AM »
My argument 1:
Carl Jung said that God is created in our minds; it's part of our nature. Freud said something similar.

If I was a God, I wouldn't tell everyone I existed as noone would be tested in any way on Earth..
but giving every human an in-built knowledge of my existence...hmm.... sounds like a good idea....

So basically you believe that there's some god who decided to create a universe and fill it with people just to see if they end up believing in him or not and that he tried to bias the results of the test by giving everybody built-in knowledge of his existence... hmmm... sounds like a pretty retarded god.

My argument 2:
Teleportation: disassembling someone at point A, and reassembling them at point B, presumably out of different cells. Would 'you' come out the other side? Presumably somebody who thought, looked, and remembered exactly the same as you would, but completely destroying somebody (at point A) often leads to their death.

If you compared yourself and yourself from 8 years ago, you'd find that you would be made of completely different cells (except for cells that fall off, and then you drink them accidentally and other things like that), so what keeps 'you', 'you'?

I really don't see what you are arguing here at all.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: /b/'s view on religion
« on: February 03, 2009, 06:03:30 AM »
Let's start at the beginning...

1- Most religions in the world say that they're right, and by consequence the rest of them are wrong.

A. Why does the consequence "the rest of them are wrong" follow from "most religions in the world say that they're right."?
A.i. Is this in reference to religions saying that they are right and other religions are wrong?
A.ii. Is this in reference to inconsistent statements in different religions?
B. What do you mean when you say that a religion is right or wrong?
D. Can a religion be 'wrong' and still contain things that are true?

Meanwhile here's an argument that gods exist:

Symbolization Key:
A = Gods Exists
B = Concepts Exist
C = Gods are a concept

:_: A

Announcements / Re: Anyone want to help with the Flat Earth Wiki?
« on: December 24, 2008, 04:41:11 AM »
Where is the wiki?

Technology, Science & Alt Science / Re: Time
« on: December 24, 2008, 03:28:58 AM »
I clumsily forgot to mention that Occam's Razor doesn't determine truth, but is a general guideline that is almost always helpful.  ;)

But it does determine what is most likely.

Really? In what way does it do this?

The Lounge / Re: Akinator, the web genius
« on: November 28, 2008, 07:26:39 AM »
Wow, at first he incorrectly guessed Simo H?yh? (Sniper) but after more questions he managed to get Odin.

Akinator is the web genius.

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