What’s Natural for Humans?

first_imgShould humans do what comes naturally?  What comes naturally?  And what do we mean by natural?    Nicholas Wade in the New York Times said, “We May Be Born With an Urge to Help.”  He began with the same question: “What is the essence of human nature?”  Then he discussed evidence that infants have an inborn tendency to help.  Who sees this?  biologists.  After dismissing the views of theologians, Thomas Hobbes and parents, he announced, “But biologists are beginning to form a generally sunnier view of humankind.  Their conclusions are derived in part from testing very young children, and partly from comparing human children with those of chimpanzees, hoping that the differences will point to what is distinctively human.”  We know he is talking ape ancestry because the picture caption says, “The evolutionary roots of altruism are complex,” and the experiments compared young children with chimpanzees.  He also quoted Hilard Kaplan (U of New Mexico) giving a kin-selection opinion of evolution: “Modern humans have lived for most of their existence as hunter gatherers, so much of human nature has presumably been shaped for survival in such conditions.”  A more radical view expressed is the opinion of primatologist Frans de Waal.  He believes “it is in our biological nature, not our political institutions, that we should put our trust.”  Do what comes naturally.  Others quoted say, “Humans clearly evolved the ability to detect inequities, control immediate desires, foresee the virtues of norm following and gain the personal, emotional rewards that come from seeing another punished.”  But did they also evolve the ability to weave stories about what we evolved to do?  In the end, Wade decided to tell us what he thinks we are by nature: “We are selfish by nature, yet also follow rules requiring us to be nice to others.”    A similar subject was raised by PhysOrg: “Empathy distinguishes modern humans from their primate ancestors.”  This is the opinion of Sarah Hrdy, a staunch evolutionist: “The line leading to the genus Homo split maybe 7 million years ago from other apes, and this helps explain why 99 percent of the DNA overlaps,” she said, repeating a common misconception (see 06/29/2007).  After this emphasis on our similarity with apes, Hrdy pointed to the “deciding factor” that describes human nature compared to chimpanzee nature: empathy.  “Understanding what someone else might be thinking or just being interested in attributing a mental state to someone else is something humans do naturally, right from an early age.”  In other words, “our aptitude for imagining the emotions of other individuals is a powerful indicator of our humanity.”  Where that came from, she speculated, was in the shared care of infants.  The article ended with a pun: “So the nursery was the cradle of our humanity.”  Hrdy did not explain why this did not arise in all the other primate groups if it is such a good thing – nor if it was caused by a genetic mutation and natural selection.    We may be kind by nature, but self-control has to be forced upon us.  PhysOrg reported the views of psychologists at University of Pennsylvania.  “Psychologists suggest parents should wait to teach toddlers self-control,” the article announced.  They suggest it may be harmful to the developing brain for an infant to hear too soon the parental “No.”  “Toddlers are mastering all sorts of social conventions that simply must be learned.  They’re the rules of the world.  In this sense, trying to hasten the brain’s development may be not only difficult by [sic] unwise,” the article said.  Questions about preventing the hand from touching the hot stove or running out into the street come to mind.    Painful memories may be evoked by the words to the junior-age version of the birthday song, Happy Birthday to you; you live in a zoo.  You look like a monkey, and you smell like one, too.  Now look at this article in KOMO News.  A zoo in Warsaw has put people on display as cavemen in a cage previously used for monkeys.  This may not be as morally objectionable as the racist act of putting Ota Benga in a zoo (see CMI), since these cavemen are volunteers, but it raises questions about human nature.  Presumably the zookeepers want to make a statement about human kinship with other primates.  If so, how far should the display go to be realistic?  Other primates don’t wear clothes.  They engage in sexual activity and elimination in the open.  Those are natural functions, aren’t they?  The cavemen in the photo look hostile.  They seem unnaturally angry at being imprisoned behind bars.  Maybe it is natural for them to have liberty and justice for all.  Should they pray, play music, and talk to the visitors?  Should they engage in philosophy and science, or would that be unnatural – maybe even “super”-natural?  Which side of the cage is the natural side?Whenever a person has two natures, there are going to be difficulties in philosophy, theology and science understanding how they come together.  Humans have an animal nature and a spiritual nature.  Theologians wrestle with how to integrate our understanding of the divine and human natures in Jesus Christ.    Evolutionists think they can solve it by erasing the spiritual nature and rendering humans as purely “natural.”  That is no solution at all.  It creates more problems than it solves.  For one thing, “natural” is a very slippery word.  It has multiple meanings depending on the context.  Usually, being materialists, they want to explain everything within the domain of “natural law” (whatever that means; it’s a trickier problem than you think), so as to give a “natural” explanation instead of a supernatural explanation.  So they wind up trying to explain all our behaviors in terms of deterministic influences and genetic predispositions from some mythical “prehistory” (a one-word oxymoron).    The natural/supernatural distinction cannot be maintained under scrutiny.  Are they saying that scientific reasoning is within the domain of natural law as well?  Then on what basis should we trust such reasoning?  Usually, they commit the Yoda Fallacy of stepping outside their skin and looking down on humans from some exalted plane that has access to truth, justice and honesty.  If those things were emergent properties of molecules, there would be no way to independently validate them.    In a debate Nov 30, skeptic Michael Shermer was asked about that and shrugged it off.  He appealed to pragmatism: we use reason because it works.  This is a prime example of begging the question.  How does he know it works?  If all his metrics are emergent properties of molecules, he is back to the same conundrum.  His listeners certainly have no basis to trust his appeals to reason.  Within the materialistic box, epistemology itself must emerge.  To what trustworthy, unchanging, reliable standard can his reasoning refer?  His answer merely states his faith in the validity of reason while plagiarizing the presuppositions of Christianity.    The end result of evolutionary reasoning, inconsistent as it is, is to put man in the zoo.  It may be funny for awhile, but sooner or later, if people act like animals, society will reduce to a Hobbesian war of all against all, till someone cries out, “Thou shalt not….!”  Game over.    A personal, holy Creator is the only standard by which our actions can be measured with coherence and consistency.  We may not be able to sort out all the conundrums, but we can have hope in the existence of a resolution beyond our limited understanding of it that does not short-circuit itself at the outset.  Since God has a divine nature by definition, it’s perfectly natural to start with Him.(Visited 114 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Global leaders sing South Africa’s praises

first_imgIker Casillas, captain of Spain, and his team celebrate victory with the Fifa World Cup trophy after their victory over the Netherlands in the 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa final match at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg on 11 July. (Handout image for editorial use only: Fifa/Getty Images) • Download high-resolution imageIrene NaidooInternational leaders came out with high praise for South Africa on Sunday, as the country prepared to host the finale of what many have described as the best Fifa World Cup ever.Addressing the 1Goal Education for All Summit in Pretoria before the final between Spain and the Netherlands, Fifa president Sepp Blatter described the country and its citizens as “role models”. He said South Africa had set an example with both its hospitality as a host nation and its exceptional organisational ability.“The trust Fifa has put into the country and its people have been answered with a big, big success,” Blatter said. “Thank you South Africa, thank you.”He joked that everyone had survived the vuvuzelas, even though it did not seem as if they would at the start of the tournament.Netherlands Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende also praised South Africa for the “outstanding organisation of the World Cup”.“It is an excellent example for other countries,” he said.Balkenende, who was visiting South Africa for the final, said that earlier in the day he had attended a church service, where vuvuzelas were used during the service.Despite Spain’s eventual win, the Dutch prime minister was upbeat about his team’s chances, and dismissive of Paul the octopus’s predictions.“Don’t believe the octopus Paul because the female octopus Pauline from the Netherlands and the small bird Mani from Singapore are predicting another result,” he said.President of the Gabon and African Union representative Ali Ondimba Bongo thanked South Africa for making the continent proud.“The World Cup has drawn the attention of hundreds of thousands of international visitors and millions of viewers to the continent,” he said. “I want to congratulate South Africa for the successful hosting of the World Cup as an African event.”United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation director-general Irina Bokova said she would be taking three vuvuzelas home for her children.last_img read more

SA, Australia call for IMF transparency

first_img“For too long, the IMF’s legitimacy has been undermined by a convention to appoint its senior management on the basis of their nationality.” Sapa 23 May 2011 “In order to maintain trust, credibility and legitimacy in the eyes of its stakeholders, there must be an open and transparent selection process which results in the most competent person being appointed as managing director, regardless of their nationality,” the statement read. Following the resignation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, IMF members were asked to act decisively and select a new managing director. In selecting a new managing director it was important to adhere to these criteria agreed upon by G20 leaders in Pittsburgh this year, South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan said in a joint statement. “The task is urgent given the current challenges facing the global economy, including in particular the needs of low income and developing countries who rely on the IMF for support.” The appointment of the new International Monetary Fund managing director should be done through an open, transparent and merit-based process, the South African and Australian governments said on Sunday. Gordhan and Swan said the global financial crisis demonstrated that the world needed a strong IMF and a strong managing director.last_img read more

India firm on deporting Rohingya

first_imgA day after the Centre on Monday refused to give 40,000 Rohingya Muslim immigrants an assurance that it will not move for their deportation back to Myanmar, MoS for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said State governments have been asked to make a task force to identify them.He was speaking on the sidelines of a North East Democratic Alliance meet in NEw Delhi on Tuesday.Responding to criticim made by human rights activists on government’s proposed deportation plans, Mr. Rijiju said India has absorbed the maximum number of refugees and “nobody should tell us how to deal with refugees.”During the monsoon session of Parliament, the government said it had directed State authorities to identify and deport illegal immigrants, including Rohingya, who face persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.last_img read more

Tripura has space for the non-Left and the non-right: Pradyot Kishore Manikya

first_imgPradyot Kishore Manikya, of the erstwhile royal family of Tripura, and also the Congress working president, feels the state has space for the non-Left and the non-right too, which is the centre.“BJP of all people should realise in life there is no such thing as black and white. You have to strike the right balance between the right and the centre and the left. I believe Congress is the right alternative between the extreme right and the extreme left,” he said.last_img

Hunger Is Campaign To End Childhood Hunger Finalist In 2017 Halo Awards

first_imgThe Albertsons Companies Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) announced that Hunger Is, their joint charitable program designed to raise awareness and funds to end childhood hunger in America, has been nominated for two prestigious 2017 Halo Awards, North America’s highest honor for corporate social initiatives and cause marketing.The Halo Award, now in its 15th year, is presented by Engage for Good, (formerly Cause Marketing Forum). The award honors businesses and nonprofits with Halos for “doing well by doing good.” Hunger Is received nominations for Best Point of Sale Campaign and Best Social Service Campaign.“Each year, as corporate social initiatives get more sophisticated, we receive an increasing number of strong submissions into the Halo Awards. Being named a finalist is an industry honor and demonstrates a level of accomplishment in campaigns that combine purpose and profit,” said Engage for Good President David Hessekiel.A total of 20 category awards will be given out to programs judged the best cause marketing campaigns of 2016 at the 15th Annual Engage for Good conference in Chicago on June 1, 2017.Golden-Globe-winning and Academy Award-nominated actress and humanitarian Viola Davis is the Hunger Is program’s ambassador. To date, Hunger Is has raised more than $18 million and funded 273 programs to provide healthy food to children across the country. Funds are generated through in-store fundraising campaigns that include both customer donations at the check stand and donations generated by the purchase of participating products in more than 2,300 Albertsons Companies stores in 33 states throughout the U.S. Stores include Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, ACME Markets, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Carrs and others.“It’s a tremendous honor to be nominated for the Halo Award and to be recognized for our commitment to ending childhood hunger,” said Christy Duncan Anderson, Executive Director of the Albertsons Companies Foundation. “Along with the Entertainment Industry Foundation and our tireless ambassador, Viola Davis, we’ve been able to increase access to healthy food, improve the nutritional quality of breakfast programs and expand weekend, summer and vacation meal programs. We’re grateful to Engage for Good for recognizing these efforts and raising awareness about the problem of childhood hunger in America.”“We are so humbled and honored to be nominated for the 2017 Halo Award for Hunger Is,” said Lisa Paulsen, President & CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation. “We are so proud of what Hunger Is has been able to accomplish, in collaboration with the Albertsons Companies Foundation and our incredible ambassador Viola Davis. We are so appreciative that Engage for Good has recognized Hunger Is’ impact and for helping us raise awareness about this critical issue so we can put an end to childhood hunger in America.”More information about the issue is available at HungerIs.org, along with simple ways for individuals to donate.last_img read more

LIME launches 4GLTE with Delano Williams as Ambassador

first_img Recommended for you The Indian Premier League Has a New Home in the Caribbean Flow Sports now offers an unrivalled Cricket line-up Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 03 Aug 2015 – LIME has done it, launched 4GLTE in the Turks and Caicos Islands and now both mobile service providers can offer this superfast service to customers. On Friday evening at the Seven Stars resort, LIME invited dignitaries including Premier Rufus Ewing to be a part of the launch where not only was the 4GLTE unveiled, but a dazzling campaign featuring the country’s fastest man and one of the region’s fastest athletes, Delano Williams as the new brand ambassador. LIME had months ago announced the acquisition of Islandcom, and unabashedly stated they wanted the company’s assets primarily for its LTE license. Now, under a new general manager, Delleriece Hall, the superfast service is launched. Premier Rufus Ewing is among the first in the country to boast the service from LIME. Flow counting down to Rio Games, launches Gold Tour campaign Related Items:Delleriece Hall, launch, lime, LTE, premier rufus ewing, seven stars resort Perdina wins Movado Watch set from LIME & Jai’slast_img read more

HOT OFF THE PRESS Read Wilmington Recreations Summer Newsletter

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington Recreation Department’s Summer 2019 ‘Recreation Matters’ newsletter was published online on Wednesday.Read the newsletter HERE. Review a complete list of youth and adult programs, trips and tickets that the department is offering this summer.Have a question? The Department can be reached via phone at 978-658-4270, via email at recreation[at]wilmingtonma.gov, or in person at Room 8 in Town Hall.(NOTE: The above announcement is from the Wilmington Recreation Department.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedHOT OFF THE PRESS: Read Wilmington Recreation’s Fall NewsletterIn “Community”WILMINGTON RECREATION: Concerts, Trips & Youth Programs Were Huge Hits This SummerIn “Community”VIDEO: Meet Wilmington Recreation’s New Program Coordinator Bret SawinIn “Videos”last_img read more

Beyonce discusses every womans nightmare in this YouTube video

first_imgBeyonce opened up about her weight gain and how she underwent a strict fitness regime to tone down. Ahead of the 2018 Coachella, the superstar singer went through a nightmare as she worked towards reducing all the weight she had gained post her pregnancy with twins. She revealed her regime as well as the perils of weight gain in a video.”Good morning, it’s 5 a.m., and this is day one of rehearsals for Coachella,” Beyonce said as she stepped on the scale. “Every woman’s nightmare…this is my weight, 175. Long way to go.”For an epic weight transformation, The Lion King actress teamed up with Marco Borges, her trainer. Borges is also an exercise physiologist and New York Times Best Selling author! In fact, he is the guy who created the 22 Days Nutrition which directs all the focus on healthy eating habits by switching to a plant-based diet.Beyonce’s 22 Days NutritionYouTube”I’m back on the stage after giving birth to twins,” said Beyonce, who delivered twin babies Rumi Carter and Sir Carter on June 2017. She further added, “I was a woman that felt like my body was not mine.”The 37-year-old singer underwent the 22 Day Nutrition Meal Planner to undergo and promote a healthy diet. “It’s time to work, so I have to get in that zone, it’s like a different headspace,” she said and further added, “Me getting the weight off was so much easier than getting back in shape and my body feeling comfortable.” BeyonceInstagramWe have got to admit, Queen Bey certainly looks like she is in much better shape. Her Coachella performance showcased the crazy transformation she underwent. The diva is currently basking in the success of her latest venture, The Lion King. The actress gave voice to Nala and also released a music video and album, Spirit.last_img read more