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Buddhism, Hindus, God, Fate and Khukuris

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by munk, Jul 17, 2002.

  1. munk


    Mar 22, 2002

    It is fine for you to guess and wonder. But:

    I believe different populations have some inheritable differences. I must admit that I am just relying on my acquiered intuition of ethology and some hypothesis. This is unplowed scientific land so it is impossible to say it is true or not true.>>>

    While it is true different populations have inheritable differences, you have not said what those differences are in Native Americans from other populations. When there is no scientific evidence, we do not say: 'impossible to say or not." There is a Ginger Bread Man running around on a distant planet, prove me wrong!!??

    All populations started from hunter gatherer. What DNA do you think lost in the transition from that to 'modern' society? You think it just goes away in 100 years of non use? 500?

    <<If the gene flow of today between the populations is maintained the future population of Indians will be severly diluted. Imagene a futuristic tribe consisting of for example 3,125% Indian blood only. Can you predict that they will feel it natural to call themselves Indians?>>

    They are "diluted" today, Eik. So is the Black American. So am I. There are as many distinct indian peoples as there are models of Khukruri; some widely unlike the other. So when is, "indian status" lost? When a Cherokee marries a Ute? Or just when a Cherokee marries a 'white man'? ( who was an indian 3000 years ago)

    Eik, I have a hypothesis of my own. I suspect many familial traits are carried genetically. A sort of short time spiral notebook. When I last read about genes, they'd found some that may or may not do just that. I mean that experiences of an ancestor are not available as film footage, but as a subtle preconscious. But this kind of speculation is gobbledy gook until nailed by repeatable research.

    American Indians were the most recent people here who were in touch with the human tools neccesary for survival in the wild. This includes intuition and an understanding of natural events. In some ways, this may, in my opinion, also be an enhanced 'spiritual awareness" to use that ugly phrase. But the average reservation indian is no more in touch with his former way of life than most of us. You need to be taught and to grow under the 'old ways' to activate this awareness. All people have this awareness, all people do not have access to it.

    My best friend in Montana is the great (great?) grandson of a famous (among ndn's) medicine man. He does not speak his own language. He has very little left. He asked me when we first became friends
    " You mean you've never had a vision?" I was surprised that he expected people to have them. I realized I had and told him so.

  2. Bill Martino

    Bill Martino

    Mar 5, 1999
    More interesting considerations.

    Anybody read Black Elk?

    I've had a couple of visions.
  3. munk


    Mar 22, 2002
    No Black Elk here...unless I forgot..and I forget a lot..Anyone for Frank Waters?(?) And I'm forgetting the name of the writer who wrote the books Josey Wales became..Forest Carter? Yeah, I think thats it. The Education of Little Tree.

    What is surprising isn't how much is lost of Indian society, but how much remains under the circumstances.

    My friend just naturally assumed anyone on the planet living a life would also experience visions. I think you have to work pretty hard not to see God, but it can be done.

  4. Rusty

    Rusty Moderator Moderator

    Mar 8, 1999
    I wrote and then deleted from my previous post that the Mandan and I discovered we had experienced nearly identical experiences, component for component in the same order.

    Where we differed was in our clueless attempts to understand the meaning of the experience. Actually it was nice to know someone else was just as confuseled as me.
  5. firkin


    Jan 26, 2002
    Correct!....Jumping to the next thought faster than I can type. (and maybe thinking of an entertaining and silly book also)

    "Becuase they are supposed to stay on a narrow line and do physics only. A biologist can't say in public that God is the hand that guides evolution. A serious scientist cannot do such things! (I am not Christian, it was just an example.)"

    But such a clockwork universe used to be part of physics...perhaps you should alter your phrase to
    "based on [outmeded/discarded/?] scientific knowlegde." ?

    "Good. So if my philosophical computer is capable of all things the computers of today are not capable of (including it's operators), then it could be done, right?"

    Depends...upon how loosely your phrase "based upon scientific knowledge" has become. Loosen it enough and it becomes an oxymoron. Cantor showed that some infinities are larger than others. Also, what good is it if the computer succeeds, but at a rate equal to or less than the evolution of the universe? But I suppose that we can also give the machine the largest cardinality. My transfinite arithmatic is poor.

    "Would such a computer be different than what many consider to be a god? --And that is what most people make as a spontaneous idea when I tell them about this super computer.--"

    It certainly can be attributed with a collection of properties such that any discussion of it described as "scientific" or "logical" cannot be either within most accepted rigorous definitions of the terms. I think we have reached such a point. This trait it undoubtably shares with gods and religion. Such a mixture is full of paradox; many seem to need both, I think it's foolish to think one knows enough about either to try and combine them. Both likely contain pieces of "reality" and pieces of human misconception. Who can say which is which?

    minor point--question may be whether it gets "read" and expressed as a trait. Current thinking seems to be that theres a lot of "obsolete" DNA hanging around. part of the "message" seems to be what other parts of the message to "read". Many parts don't seem to ever get read, as I understand things. Faster change is possible with this set-up, doubt as fast as a few hundred years for humans.
  6. raghorn


    Feb 23, 2002
    I have Black Elk. I read one chapter a month or so, I'm about halfway through. He really nails it on how modern society presumes to be so smug about having all the answers while simultaneously demonstrating just the opposite.
  7. Bill Martino

    Bill Martino

    Mar 5, 1999
    More good stuff. It is good medicine to look beyond the illusion.
  8. Eikerværing


    May 30, 2002
    Originally posted by munk
    I am sitting here behind a desk, a transatlantic desk even so. Therefor I can't say anything about any behavioural differences. We have something called fieldwork that I would need to do first. This is what is called a serious approach. All I have done is to keep an openmindedness. But I suspect climate to be an important factor in creating differences.

    Some people are not very willing to think thoughts that battle the conventional wisdoms that they rest their lives upon. My statement is a counteract against general people's general predjudice, and not meant as evidence of anything. That is why it says "impossible to say or not" and holds all possibilities open. Basic science is made by investigating ideas, that is the norm. To unconditionally disapprove them has never been what brought this world forward. For centuries it was considered crazy to build a flying machine... because conventional wisdom predicted that it would be impossible...

    To be as short as possible: Extremely little, if any. I think we are the same today as 10 000 years ago. But I have been wrong before...

    In Norway we have had many local races in some valleys and fiords in traditional times. A heritage from tribal times. Just now this is breaking up by mixing, my grandmother still knows how to tell the difference between different types of Norwegians, people on my age have no clue whatsoever. But still we are Norwegians, just like a mix of Indian tribes will still be Indians.

    About White people entering Indian tribes. I think we have to look at it from a gene pool perspective. This is not about individuals but about the gene pool as a greater unit. If we introduce a wolf from Italy to the Russian wolf population then it is going to contribute genetically to the Russian gene pool. And so that Italian wolf will take fully part in the Russian gene pool. Nobody can argue against that much as less anybody can argue against a White marrying into an Indian nation and becoming a genetic part of it. Looking at the individual alone is looking at an illusion, seeing that it is a part of the gene pool as a greater whole is the truth. And that was a bit Buddhist wasn't it? Biology seems to be very Buddhist some times I think.

    The problem is how to explain for normal people what 100 scientists have debated amongst themselves during 20 years or more, and what reasonable understanding of it all has come out of those 100 differing opinions.

    Probably that book you read was using metafors and being very eager to unlearn the common misconception that biologists think humans are like robots carrying out genetic instruction orders.

    The repeateable research you request is already done. You can find an introduction to it in this brief report of a discussion between supporters and opponents. Please go to http://program.forskningsradet.no/biomangfold/nedlasting/ and find "Managing the Environment Requires Managing Human Nature". Download the file HumanNature.pdf

    Incredibly well written and insightful Munk! That is also why an attempt to find population differences will be extremely hard, and probably most of them will remain hidden if there should be any at all. (But I am a believer of course.)

    Very interesting. I must do some more reading on this subject.
  9. Bill Martino

    Bill Martino

    Mar 5, 1999
    We all came from the same place and we are all going back to it so might as well try to get along in between.
  10. Daniel Koster

    Daniel Koster www.kosterknives.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 18, 2001
    In general, the parameter for the population and integration of peoples/cultures is usually Darwinian. Try to find a modern anthropological theory that does NOT include this as a fundamental premise.

    I'm not interested in starting an argument, just want everybody to be on the same page.
  11. Eikerværing


    May 30, 2002
    That would be difficult since anthropology is not about populations. Anthropology is the study of humans' social and cultural worlds, which is something that is shared across populations. And some times there are even differences within populations (so called subcultures).
  12. Daniel Koster

    Daniel Koster www.kosterknives.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 18, 2001
    eik = my mistake. maybe this will clarify:

    In general, the parameter for the popularization and integration of peoples/cultures is usually Darwinian. Try to find a modern anthropological theory that does NOT include this as a fundamental premise.
  13. Eikerværing


    May 30, 2002
    The universe is still about cause and effect isn't it? One event leads to the other, right? Isn't that all we need to know?

    That computer is not real you know... It is a fantasy... No need to speculate how well it will work, because it will. Trust me, I have done this before :D ...

    I was at that point from the beginning... It is just philosophy my friend...:)

    I am not sure what you mean here. Munk talks about one thing and you answer with another. I don't know if it was your intention or if you don't have all tings clear on this subject.

    You have mentioned one of the mechanisms of how variation arises and gives rise to new adaptations. Munk asked about the time aspect for selection to cull old adaptations.

    Munk's question about the time aspect is something biologists are very curious upon. In cases of extreme selection pressure it will take only one generation for traits to be selected away. So his time aspect of 100-500 years was ok. But for it to happen the trait that is lost must be disadvantageous so it is selected away. Traits that are no longer in use don't get lost all by themselves.

    Right now the human species has more variation than ever, because the many new genetical changes are not selected away by nature. Many are just silent. Unfortunatly more changes are harmful than benefitial, so we will need to do some "natural selection" by ourselves one day.
  14. Eikerværing


    May 30, 2002

    Maybe my English is not good enough, at least I can't make any sense out of that.

    Do you have some suggestion to guide the way for us?
  15. Daniel Koster

    Daniel Koster www.kosterknives.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 18, 2001
    There are 2 ways of looking at human development: linear and circular.

    If you believe in linear development, then you readily accept Darwinism, etc. You support the idea that we are smarter now, so we must have been "dumber" in the past, and that we are on a course chartered to take us to even higher levels of evolution, etc.

    Circular development means that man will always be man, a dog will always be a dog, etc., ie. the species will never cross. Any evolutionary change will only occur within it's own sphere and it will never leave that sphere, only change inside it. There may be ups and downs along the circle, but there is no clear start or finish. Many religious groups support this notion.

    Many (not all) anthropologists see cultures in terms of evolutionary stages. That is to say, they support linear development. They classify cultures according to their language development, whether or not they are industrialized, beliefs in myths, legends, religions, etc. Which, naturally, leads to a linear way of thinking:

    The longer we are on earth (as a race) the smarter/better/etc. we get.

    I happen to disagree. I think that while there are certainly better tools nowadays, there have always been brilliant people. Anyone who has read Plato knows this. His ideas were taught on the street corners then and are still revolutionary today.

    Until we see (and study) all peoples and cultures as equals, and not as notches on the evolutionary belt, we will never grasp the true nature of humanity.
  16. Bill Martino

    Bill Martino

    Mar 5, 1999
    This is beginning to hurt my head.
  17. munk


    Mar 22, 2002
    ..and my eyes..

    Eik said he feared ndn's stock would be watered down with contact with white genes...that's why they wear blue jeans.

    I don't know what makes an 'ndn', but if it were only blood, the tribes would not have formally adopted as many 'white men' as they once did. (and still do)

    You take all this and it amounts to mush. The differences in human genes are infintesimaly small. I can't spell the word but in this case it mean we really are all the same, and still unique, Brothers and Sisters.

  18. Eikerværing


    May 30, 2002
    The understanding you have of evolutionary biology is something that I am totally unfamiliar with as a student of biology. If this has ever been a view in biology then it must have been in the previous century. Sorry to say it.

    No, sorry, nobody accepts Darwinism. This term does not exist in the basics of biology. In all my textbooks about basic biology I never saw this word and I never learned about it. So it is something we don't learn at all.
    Well, all fields of science change all the time, so if you have read old books I won't say for sure that Darwinism has not been in use as an accepted term, but it is not so today in the basics of biology.

    Well, the part of biology that deals with the human animal's behaviour is some times described with the word Darwinism. But Darwinism is not a term for evolution in general. It is used merely about human biology stuff. Especially evolutionary psychology and such (Darwinian psychology and Darwinian medicine).

    The idea that one species evolves to another is not refered to as Darwinism. It is just evolution.

    Ok, lets get back to your idea that to support evolution (or as you said, Darwinism) means supporting an idea that every species gets just better an better; faster, stronger, smarter, whatever, all the time. Sorry but that is wrong. In the infancy of biology perhaps some biologists believed so, but that was during last century.

    So what do we biologists support? What is evolution? It is adaption to selection pressures. In some cases it might mean smarter, in other cases it might mean less smarter. In different environments different solutions will be adaptive. To say that better equals smarter, faster or stronger is a complete misunderstanding. Better is a term we never use! We talk about degrees of adaptations! More well adapted might mean either slower or faster, stronger or weaker, smarter or less smarter, all depending on the environment. Your idea of better is an illusion so to speak and your understanding of better is something that only would be useful only in the social contexts between human beings and not in the science of biology.

    What we believe about human beings:
    We see that today there is little if any selection pressure on humans. We live such sheltered lives that everybody reproduce as they wish. So to live in a modern society means that evolution stops. Therefor we should not get smarter at all.

    That was the common and accepted belief in biology today. As you can see it contradicts what you have thought.

    Here is my personal belief which is also shared by many biologists but nobody dares to speak it out loud!
    In our extremely competitive educational society today the youth compete fiercly for getting the grades to go to universities and colleges. I don't know if you have been in high school lately but it is like a race, and those who can't run fast enough and long enough are "selected away" and do not get accepted in higher educational institutions. This means that in the young people today the degree of education positively correlates with higher IQ and other personal capabilities too.

    I have checked the birth statistics in my country and over a period of 20 years people of high education have had about 0,1-0,3 less kids than those of lower education have had. And this pattern still persists. This means that in the higly competitive society today which segregates youth on the basis of IQ actually leads to the higher reproduction of the less smarter. So to the opposite of what you think that I and many other biologists believe, we actually see a decline in IQ because having a high IQ is not advantageous in our society. And understand that what is biologically advantageous is not measured in money or status, it is measured in number of offspring. The problem of accepting this is because this is happening so slow that we can't see it very well. Not yet...

    Whatever religious sects these are I don't know. Are they legal?

    Species actually do evolve into other species. We didn't think so in the dark middle ages, but we know today that the earth is not flat.

    What you are refering to here is the old misconception that those people who had the most modern cultures were "the best" of people. You would find such things in Europe and USA before WW2 I guess. But not today, it would mean your suicide as an anthropologist if you wrote a report like that. You would in fact loose your job probably. It might be used terms as "less developed" but that refers to culture as something separate of the people in it. We all know that our own cultures were equally primitive a long time ago, and so nobody holds it against anybody.

    Well actually I happen to know an anthropology student and one month ago he and I discussed if living as a hunter/gatherer, hunter/gatherer/fisherman/farmer, just farmer, or modern man required the most intelligence from a human being. And we hold it for very possible that our world today is easier to survive in when it comes to intelectual capabilities. And I must say my anthropologist friend is very representative for his science today.

    So discard the dogmatics (your linear thinking) you think anthropologists have, dogmatics belong in a religion, anthropologists do not preach it.

    Well as you can see you have disagreed on a fictional story.

    All university students have to read the Greek philosophers. I think they already found out about smart people in the ancient history.

    Do you know what sort of people do not study cultures as equals? People like Hitler. I can testify that there are no Nazi banners hanging from the universities of this world.

    My friend, I don't know what you have fallen for. But you are speaking of a rational science as if it was a dogmatic religion. How on earth did you ever come to such thoughts???
  19. munk


    Mar 22, 2002
    "My friend, I don't know what you have fallen for. But you are speaking of a rational science as if it was a dogmatic religion. How on earth did you ever come to such thoughts???" Eikerang to Pendentive

    Pendentive can speak for himself, but this is insulting to read. At the same time you make these kinds of arrogant statements to others, you presume to speak for modern biology as if that science was without controversy and you it's spokesman. You sound like a pompous undergrad and I wish you'd stop it.

    ""No, sorry, nobody accepts Darwinism. This term does not exist in the basics of biology. In all my textbooks about basic biology I never saw this word and I never learned about it. So it is something we don't learn at all." Eikerang to Pendentive

    This is wrong on its face and you know better. The term may have evolved and been refined, but the ideas set in motion by the perspective of Darwin are still cogent today. But you couldn't bring yourself to give Pendentive any common ground. The worse part is that unless you know something you presume it does not exist. Youth makes those assumptions. Who in the hell cares whether it was in 'your' text books or not? Who are you? There were things in my textbooks that are dead wrong today. Don't trust them.

    Here's some advice, based upon 45 years of social and biological evolution. If you think someone is dead wrong, or mistaken about the facts, bring your discord to the discussion in the form of a question. "But I thought Darwin was no longer a valid model?" You might have asked. This offends no one.

    Perhaps a genius could have told you this in three lines, or one of the older, crankier, wiser men around here could have put it more simply. Ask yourself this; if you are 'right' what purpose is there in sarcasm, putdowns, and condescension?

    That's right. None. If you have something to teach here, then teach. That's cool. But leave the rest of it.

  20. Eikerværing


    May 30, 2002
    Well, I am quite sure that if Pendentive and I had been sitting face to face and talking he would have seen by my body language, facial expressions and voice that I was friendly and postive all the way. When I now reread the post again I see that it can be interpreted completely different of what it was meant to be. It will depend on if Pendentive reads with a positive or negative mindset.

    I say to Pendentive I am sorry if you felt put down and stepped on very hard. It was not the intention of mine at all.

    When I wrote that post to you Pendentive it was not with the intention to harm. For me it was a standard thing (to my mistake this time perhaps, have to see your response first) and I expected a similair answer back and some life to this thread! So it was not written with the intention of ill-doing, but of having a very "free correspondance" and livening things up. But judging from Munk's reaction I might have had a bad aim this time.

    I would like to tell that the first large part of my post from the beginning until the second quote, was meant to be informative. Statements such as "sorry no" were meant to signal a humble "low voiced" soft profile and not arrogance. I made that section very large because the words just came and I felt like making a long debate with lots of posts as short as possible by giving all my info at once just as well.

    In between the second and third quote there are some "funny" comments. I see now that they can be misinterpreted. But when I wrote them they were completely innocently meant with no bad intentions. In fact they were directed at those remote religious groups and not Pendentive.

    Then after the third quote I repeat some things told by a guy I know, which should be ok. But I have a couple of last lines that might seem to be preaching. But they were absolutely not meant to be that.

    Between quote four and five. Just my thoughts again. Nothing bad meant at all. I hope it was not taken badly. I see now that their interpretation will depend on if the reader is postive or negative at mind.

    The same goes for my last lines below the last quote. They look bad now that I read them with Munk's words in the back of my mind. But when written they had only the naive idea of talking very openly and not to put someone down.

    But Munk, some things you are wrong about and I will explain about it. Especially when it comes to how things are meant. This is the drawback of a forum; the mood of the speaker and the way he says things are left to the reader to imagene.

    If you watch closely, you will see that I only speak about a very narrow part of biology, my own field. If somebody here had been talking about freshwater biology, botanics, molecular biology, forest logging, genetical engineering or any other biological paths then not a word from me. I only open my mouth on the things I know about. You must see that please.
    And about being pompous, this post in it's whole should help explain that I was not.

    If you read the public debates of social scientists and religious groupings then you will meet the term Darwinism, sure. Because that is THEIR label and stigmatizing on this science (as if it was an old dinosaur). And when biologists enter that public debate they have to use that label too.

    When I open with "No, sorry" then it actually means that I try to be as "low voiced" and humble as possible. It was not an arrogant start in case you misunderstood, but a humble one. And the entire section there was meant to be informative.

    When Pendentive talked about Darwinism, I thought he meant the old stuff. When I open with talking about my textbooks it is in order to expose that I did not see myself as omnipotent (as you think I see myself as) because I actually checked it in books to make sure and eventually correct myself. Telling about the books was not for using it to "hit someone in the head with", but for testifying to that I had done my best to find the right facts for us both. Can anyone do any more than that I ask.

    As I explained above, the textbooks were not considered "my precious" textbooks or for hitting people's heads but a way of checking and giving this talk the best info. It was not about not giving common ground, but all the information needed for us.

    Books might be wrong, but descriptional terms change, and it was useful to check in a quite new book.

    I can only refer to what has been said so far in this post by me to explain better how it all really was meant. It was not meant that way and it is a lot about how you read it.

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