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Why did Starman Get Banned? in General
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Profile #17
quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

quote:
Originally written by 404 Error - PDN Not Found:

"los" is the masculine and mixed plural definite article in Spanish, which is what you should be using instead of "la" in most cases. Khyryk is a name, and therefore the "la" should be removed. You don't say, "Long live the Eric!"
Although in Spanish one does refer to "el Sr. Alorael" (or the like). But I think that rule only applies when you actually have a title in front of the name.

Which would make Alorael right.

quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

While we're at it, fix the conjugations of the verbs. "Viva" is singular. You need something else ("Vivan," I think, but it's been a while) for the plural.

Correct.

And because I'm feeling kind:
¡Vivan los Drayks!
¡Viva Khyryk!
¡Vivan los Serviles!
¡Vivan los Travokites!

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Sorry guys, but I'm going to have to pull out. Real life has reared its ugly head. There are some good points here that deserve proper answers, but all I can do at the moment is encourage you to look for them yourselves.

Again, apologies.

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quote:
It may not exactly be an irrelevant digression, but if all that Gitt uses information for is to say that formation of a certain class of enzyme has not been observed, then his discussion of information is merely an uninteresting piling up of different versions of the same old argument. Evolution of giraffes has not been observed, either. I see no new principles involved in Gitt's information arguments. This disappoints me.
The thing about measuring information content of enzymes wasn't by Gitt. Spetner wrote it, and he didn't use Gitt's information theory. You seem to have mixed things up.

Thuryl, the earlier quote was from an evolutionist, Jeffrey Wicken, who does indeed acknowledge that living systems are organised. Of course one quote hardly demonstrates that evolutionary scientists in general see it that way, so here are a few more.


"Nobel Prize winner Ilya Prigogine also has no problem defining the difference:
“The point is that in a non-isolated [open] system there exists a possibility for formation of ordered, low-entropy structures at sufficiently low temperatures. This ordering principle is responsible for the appearance of ordered structures such as crystals as well as for the phenomena of phase transitions. Unfortunately this principle cannot explain the formation of biological structures.”
[I. Prigogine, G. Nicolis and A. Babloyants, Physics Today 25(11):23 (1972)]

The evolutionary origin-of-life expert Leslie Orgel confirmed that there are three distinct concepts: order, randomness and specified complexity:
Living things are distinguished by their specified complexity. Crystals such as granite fail to qualify as living because they lack complexity; mixtures of random polymers fail to qualify because they lack specificity. [L. Orgel, The Origins of Life, John Wiley, NY, 1973, p. 189]

Thaxton, Bradley, and Olsen make the same clear distinction:
“As ice forms, energy (80 calories/gm) is liberated to the surroundings... The entropy change is negative because the thermal configuration entropy (or disorder) of water is greater than that of ice, which is a highly ordered crystal... It has often been argued by analogy to water crystallizing to ice that simple monomers may polymerize into complex molecules such as protein and DNA. The analogy is clearly inappropriate, however... The atomic bonding forces draw water molecules into an orderly crystalline array when the thermal agitation (or entropy driving force) is made sufficiently small by lowering the temperature. Organic monomers such as amino acids resist combining at all at any temperature, however, much less in some orderly arrangement.”
[C.B. Thaxton, W.L. Bradley, and R.L. Olsen, The Mystery of Life’s Origin: Reassessing Current Theories, Philosophical Library, New York, 1984, pp. 119-120.]"


Of course quotes, even those of Nobel Prize winners, don't really prove that biological systems are different from crystals or weather formations, but it does indicate that it isn't open-and-shut.

An ordered structure is based on simple units repeated numerous times. Life, however, contain specified complexity. To demostrate briefly: "abababab" is an ordered sequence, "tvohdrsd" is a random complex sequence, and, "designed" is a specific complex sequence. It is specific because it is the particular sequence required (in this case for the conveying of a meaning). See this article for some more detail.

You say that life is self assembling, but no-one has seen life that was not assembled by previous life (the law of biogenesis). This not like a cloud or a crystal, where the dissasembled components arrange themselves into the final structure.

Edited to make it more readable.

[ Friday, June 02, 2006 01:53: Message edited by: The Creator ]

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I think if life were to look like a complex plan, but in fact be based on simple patterns, then yes evolution would be reasonable. But life is not the result of simple patterns. It is organised, not just ordered.

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Abiogenesis is the idea that an organised structure (life) could arise from less organised structures without design. This was supposed to happen without life. It should be just as possible for organisation to arise now as it was then. If it has never been observed why should we belive it has occured? Science is supposed to involve evidence.

Edit: slight rephrasing.

[ Thursday, June 01, 2006 19:18: Message edited by: The Creator ]

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

quote:
Originally written by The Creator:

'Chaotic' systems, as I understand them, can be said to have complex behavior arising from (relatively) simple algorithims.
Complex behavior arising from relatively simple algorithms. How is this different from evolution, again?

It may not be, but we are looking for examples of organised (not just complex) structures arising without design. If there is not evidence of this happening, then surely we should be sceptical of any theory that says that it does.

quote:
I suspect that you will also find specific information about a carbon structure if it has formed a diamond. For example, nearby mineral types, amount of pressure involved in the formation, etc. Likewise, ice is of many types, depending on the initial conditions. Information is all around us, and in many forms, if we choose to see it rather than discount it.
The crystals you describe are prime examples of order not organisation. Please provide an example of organisation arising without design.

quote:
Darwin was never a marketeer of his theory of the origin of the species to the extent that certain present day individuals are marketing ID. That, in and of itself, is the bit that worries a lot of people. There may not be a lot of substance within the ID argument, but with the right Madison Avenue glitz it will be difficult to convince a lot of people otherwise.
There are evolutionists marketing evolution just as hard or harder than IDers. Richard Dawkins and Ian Plimer come to mind.

[ Thursday, June 01, 2006 19:02: Message edited by: The Creator ]

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Not that I know a lot about the structure of hurricanes, but I think that the patterns (order) found in them are repeatitions of a theme (in a fractal manner), in which case it would be a form of crystallographic order.

However, I will investigate this in more depth.

Edit: A brief look around indicates that hurricanes are prime examples of 'chaotic' systems. 'Chaotic' systems, as I understand them, can be said to have complex behavior arising from (relatively) simple algorithims. Probably an oversimplification, but unless it can be shown that 'chaotic' systems are organised my case stands.

[ Thursday, June 01, 2006 17:55: Message edited by: The Creator ]

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The examples given so far are of order rather than organisation.

For those of you who apparently didn't read my earlier posts:
“‘Organized’ systems are to be carefully distinguished from ‘ordered’ systems. Neither kind of system is ‘random,’ but whereas ordered systems are generated according to simple algorithms and therefore lack complexity, organized systems must be assembled element by element according to an external ‘wiring diagram’ with a high information content ... Organization, then, is functional complexity and carries information. It is non-random by design or by selection, rather than by the a priori necessity of crystallographic ‘order.’” [Jeffrey S. Wicken, The Generation of Complexity in Evolution: A Thermodynamic and Information-Theoretical Discussion, Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 77 (April 1979), p. 349]

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You can ignore the complex mechanism part if you like. Just give me an example of organisation arising without the involvement of life or human design.

quote:
That particular criticism of evolution is new to me. IDers make a big deal of ID not being evolution, and the theory of evolution very obviously makes predictions, some of which have been verified and some of which are a little more difficult on a limited timescale but that haven't ever been contradicted.

—Alorael, who is splitting hairs a bit with the last statement. ID denies evolution, but it doesn't actually provide evidence of evolution not happening. It simply provides evidence (using the term loosely) of evolution not being feasible.
A Critique of Douglas Theobald’s “29 Evidences for Macroevolution” deals with many of what are considered to be predictions of evolution. More on this later, time permitting.

Edit: Gah! Said the opposite of what I meant.

[ Thursday, June 01, 2006 16:40: Message edited by: The Creator ]

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Okay, I get the feeling that to properly explain Werner Gitt's (not Spetner's) information theory I would end up more or less posting most of the book here. I don't have time for that, so I will leave it to those of you that are actually interested to get the book and read it yourselves.

quote:
I remain puzzled by the role information plays in his argument. If his point is only that macro-evolution has not been observed in nature, I don't see why he should bring up enzymes and information. He can surely just observe that nobody has seen a giraffe evolve. It seems to be the same point, if all he's saying is the observations haven't been made; the whole deal about information would be an irrelevant digression. And if he's saying more than that, if he's trying to find an information theoretic theorem against macro-evolution, then I don't see how his case can be sound, because whatever has actually been observed, there is no known natural law against the spontaneous appearance of new enzymes having abitrarily high Spetner information. Certainly the Second Law of Thermodynamics is not about that.
The information is not irrelevant, because it is the increase in information that EvolutionA needs and that has not been observed. (If you ask 'what is EvolutionA' then I will know that you are criticizing an article you haven't read properly) Spetner is not the same as Gitt, who is the one postulating "an information theoretic theorem against macro-evolution". You seem to have gotten the two arguments mixed up. The second law of thermodynamics has nothing to do with this particular argument. That would be Thermodynamics Vs. Evolutionism, which is by Timothy Wallace.

quote:
This quote sums up your argument. Too bad it's wrong. The answer is that it depends on the chemistry and the atomic properties of what the photons interact with. Plenty of examples of where entropy increases, but never mind things like photosynthesis which causes a local decrease in entropy.

But photosynthesis requires a complex mechanism (clorophyl {sp?} and a cell capable of utilizing it) which was my argument. Please give an example of organised (not ordered) complexity arising without a mechanism that was was designed or whose origin is under dispute (i.e. life).

quote:
If there is something you simply "believe", with no proof, can you acknowledge why I think that is irrational?

I belive my senses are reliable. Is this irrational?

quote:
absolutely anything whatever would be consistent with special creation. Which is just another way of saying that special creation theory makes no predictions at all.

Many would say the same of evolution.

There other points here which I would have like to have adressed, but again, time prevents me.

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I think you meant organized rather than ordered, GremlinJoe.

“‘Organized’ systems are to be carefully distinguished from ‘ordered’ systems. Neither kind of system is ‘random,’ but whereas ordered systems are generated according to simple algorithms and therefore lack complexity, organized systems must be assembled element by element according to an external ‘wiring diagram’ with a high information content ... Organization, then, is functional complexity and carries information. It is non-random by design or by selection, rather than by the a priori necessity of crystallographic ‘order.’” [Jeffrey S. Wicken, The Generation of Complexity in Evolution: A Thermodynamic and Information-Theoretical Discussion, Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 77 (April 1979), p. 349]

quote:
The article pulls a dozen "theorems" out of the air, without proving them. They are all based on using the term "information" in the context of human communication. But as the article has just noted in criticizing the Shannon formula, the term "information" can mean many things, ranging from mere length of a random signal, to conscious intent. When everyone agrees that life forms are full of information, they do mean something more sophisticated than Shannon information, but they do not necessarily mean anything as anthropomorphic as the "information" that is discussed in this article. The only link this article provides between the "information" referred to in its "theorems" and the "information" in biology is the fact that the same word can be used for both. But this is mixing up codes, in a way that the article's author ought to know enough to avoid.
As I said earlier, that was just a basic overview. In his book In The Beginning was Information he explains where he gets his theorems from (short answer: observation, the same place we get the laws of thermodynamics), and why his definition applies to genetic systems as well as human languages and computer codes. I have to ask, however, why exactly do you think the theorems only apply to human communication?

quote:
The second article also uses "information" in a funny way. There is an assertion that random mutations could not produce an enzyme that never existed before on Earth. My reaction is, Why the hell not? There is no reason at all to say this; a brand new enzyme would be perfectly possible. And if you use a definition of information, whereby the appearance of a new enzyme constitutes new information, then information can certainly increase.

Where exactly does it say that "random mutations could not produce an enzyme that never existed before on Earth"? I think you will find that what he is actually saying is not "it can't happen" but that it would be neccessary to show a mutation that produced a new enzyme with a higher information content than it's unmutated version in order to provide evidence for (macro)evolution.

quote:
Spetner makes the same kind of confusion when he estimates, reasonably enough, the information value of the specificity of an enzyme, but then concludes that random production of the enzyme would be impossible.
From the article in question:
"I shall emphasize again: There is no theorem requiring mutations to lose information. I can easily imagine mutations that gain information. The simplest example is what is known as a back mutation. A back mutation undoes the effect of a previous mutation. If the change of a single base pair in the genome were to change to another and lose information, then a subsequent mutation back to the previous condition would regain the lost information. Since these mutations are known to occur, they form a counterexample to any conjecture that random mutations must lose information. An important point I make in my book, and which I emphasize here, is that, as far as I know, no mutations observed so far qualify as examples of the kind of mutations required for Evolution A."
He is not saying they must be impossible. He is saying they have not been observed.

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You might find Werner Gitt's In the Beginning was Information interesting. A basic summary of his arguments can be found here. A Scientific Critique of Evolution is a reply to an article on TalkOrigins, but it addresses bacterial resistance to antibiotics, and measuring information content of mutations. You may also be interested in the reply to a letter which asked How is information content measured?.

In regards to thermodynamics, you are absolutely correct. However, an open system is not sufficient to provide a decrease in entropy. It requires a mechanisim to harness the incoming energy. An exapmle of undirected energy would be a bull in a china shop. A lot of 'work' may be done, but it only increases disorder (entropy). The same bull, however may be harnessed to a machine to spin the potters wheel, and so help create a localised decrease in entropy, but this requres a mechanisim. To read the argument in more depth see Thermodynamics Vs. Evolutionism .

Sorry I'm not answering your questions myself, but I don't really have time do much more than post links, especially when it's so technical.

Re Buddhism: I stand corrected.

[ Thursday, June 01, 2006 03:14: Message edited by: The Creator ]

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I may regret coming back here for this. I am almost certain to be massivly outposted, and I may have real life force me out of the discussion at any time, but what the hell.

To keep things marginally on topic I'll start by saying that my definition of religion is much the same as Ash's (surprise, surprise).

quote:
The problem with your definition, Ash, is that it makes the word "religion" less useful. If absolutely everybody who has thought enough about "the spiritual realm" (whatever the heck that term means) to come to have some opinion about it counts as having a religion, then calling somebody religious no longer says anything meaningful.
Not really. You can say everyone has a religion (however poorly thought out it might be) without saying everyone is religious. In fact I would say many christians are not religious. In this use, the word "religious" has to do with how prominently a person's religion affects their behaviour, not whether they have a religion in the first place.

Also, it appears that a number of people here think that rules are part of religion, but I disagree. A religion does not necessarily impose rules on behavior. For example "God created the universe especially for me so that I can do whatever I want." Would be a religious belief that does not impose rules. Also, I'm not sure about Buddhism, but I would say that it doesn't have rules so much as advice on how to become spiritually better off.

quote:
Your definition, by the by, is completely useless. It presumes a concept of a 'spirit realm', specifically one radically linked to your own belief system (disqualifies most isolated native religions, incl. Shinto, due to the fact they don't regard the spiritual and the material as separate).

The definition is not 'belief in the nature of the spiritual realm' but 'belief about the nature of the spiritual realm. It does not presume anything about the spiritual realm, or even that it exists. It simply means the belief 'The spiritual realm does not exist' is as religious as 'the spiritual realm is not separate from the material'.

quote:
Even if we allow presumption of that concept, it also seems to posit that any sort of presumed knowledge constitutes belief, which is wholly absurd. Presumed knowledge only becomes belief when it is based on gnosis and as such will not be trumped failing the intercession of new gnosis.

Example: I presume to know gravity is an immutable constant.

If new experiments with, say, the lunar ranging array produce results inexplicable by my current understanding - and I still presume to know, in full knowledge of those experiments, that gravity is an immutable constant - that is belief.
Your definition of belief is different from mine. My definition of belief would actually be 'presumed knowledge'. You have not demonstrated why that definition is absurd. Your definition of 'belief' would be more like my definition of 'blind faith'.

Now on to the evolution debate.

First I had better say that no-one sensible disputes micro-evolution.
Secondly, beneficial mutations do happen. The superbugs are an example, and there are others. There is a type of beetle on a windy island that has no wings. It's unmutated brethren on the mailand do. The mutation is beneficial on the island because flying beetles tend to get blown out to sea and drown. It doesn't take a genius, however, to see that losing things will never get you from beetles to baboons. (I just know someone is going to say "but baboons aren't desended from beetles.") Information losing mutations can, and do, cause micro-evolution, but in that case micro-evolution cannot be used as evidence for 'goo-to-you-via-the-zoo' macro-evolution. Evidence for macro-evolution would be a mutation that created new genetic information. Since evolution is supposed to still be going on, we should be able to find one of the mutations that causes it. (For the reasons why superbugs aren't an example of an increase in genetic information see here.)

I may not have time to continue this later, but I will try.

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Spoiling a child will not make it happy, which is what you are saying God should do for us. We can only become perfectly happy when we become perfect.

Suffering is the denial of a want, whether it is 'I want that toy' or 'I want you to stop hurting me'. How can a being that doesn't have any free will want anything?

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quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

If the justification for non-intervention is to allow us to exercise our own free will, then it sure seems like free will's been a bit of a flop so far.
Indeed. It's only when we realise that left to ourselves we will make a mess of things that we turn to God. Unfortunately, we tend to only realise this after the mess is made. God only helps when we ask him to because we don't appreciate it otherwise.

Do you think people would love God for preventing the wars? They would be very angry at him for it. Wars wouldn't happen if there weren't a lot of people that wanted them to happen.

Or did you mean that free will seems to be a bad thing because it causes suffering? But without free will, suffering doesn't mean anything. And no matter how bad a child is, their parents will still love them more than a robot.

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Specifics please. I can see one or two possible similarities, but I want be sure I address the issues that are your concern.

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canopy (this is weird)(and funny) in Blades of Avernum
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A bug that I found:
When you cast Summon Beast, you will often get important NPCs. The kind of NPCs you face in boss fights. Slightly unbalancing to say the least.

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What I think happens in regard to 'good' people who aren't christians comes from this passage.

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32. And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36. Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38. When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39. Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40. And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43. I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45. Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.


It seems that how you treat the 'brothers of the king' is going to have a big impact on your afterlife. Just as well that he lets them suffer, isn't it?

Edit: I can see how you might say that God is a dictator, but what is your basis for saying He is evil?

[ Saturday, April 16, 2005 18:06: Message edited by: The Creator ]

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Message board basics in General
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G'day Sushi. I tried to leave once as well.

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Oops, double post.

[ Wednesday, April 13, 2005 15:26: Message edited by: The Creator ]

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I'm not saying they would deserve it, but they would be making themselves tempting.

Unless they make efforts to control it (and not many do), men will be aroused by the sight of a woman's body. Therefore, a woman who dresses to 'get attention' is most likely to get only one sort of attention. Men who like to think of women as people will tend towards those who don't make it difficult for them.

By the way, I'm mainly talking about those who dress revealingly in order to be 'attractive'. A warm day on the beach, for example is a different matter.

Edit: I agree Dolphin, that men need to control themselves. Making it difficult for them, however, is not helpful to equality of gender.

And please, all of you remember, this is not an attempt to control you, it's a general warning.

[ Wednesday, April 13, 2005 15:31: Message edited by: The Creator ]

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Profile #85
You know what's most shocking about this topic?

I actually agree with TM. It's not a subject I've thought about at great depth, but TM's first in-depth topic made sense to me.

(yes, the world is ending)

To those of you who are angry a TM's attempt to tell you what you can and cannot wear: He is not demanding anything. He is issuing a warning. I heard one guy sum it up very well.

"If you're not in business, don't advertise."

quote:

If they are worn to get a rise out of men, it is women selling their dignities for palpable control, which is akin to selling one's self for intercourse for capital. In other words, whoredom.
Woah, woah, slow down there. Even if a woman wears something to provoke a response in men (and I recognize that some do, don't get me wrong), she may be using it to control them, not because they force her to please them. The control runs at least as much the other way as you're suggesting.

And being controlled does not equal being a whore.
Uh, Kel? You seem to be aswering a different statement than the one TM made. He said the women have the control, but they are selling their dignity for it. I would agree with TM that this is a form of low grade whoredom.

[ Wednesday, April 13, 2005 14:58: Message edited by: The Creator ]

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Areni
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The Universe in General
BoE Posse
Member # 112
Profile #109
anti-protons also have the advantage that they could be (relatively) easily contained by a negative electrostactic feild.

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Areni
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New Abortion Laws in General
BoE Posse
Member # 112
Profile #281
I think you must have misunderstood my point. Those thing are not sufficient to prove that an embryo is a human being by themselves, but together they are. How would you define what is a human being, other than an individual human organism?

Edit: And your overpopulation argument is ridiculus. As someone who has spent much of his life providing food for you townies, I can tell you that there is an oversupply of food. I would have though that the number of obese people would have given you a clue.

[ Thursday, April 07, 2005 18:09: Message edited by: The Creator ]

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Areni
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Posts: 1423 | Registered: Sunday, October 7 2001 07:00
New Abortion Laws in General
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Member # 112
Profile #279
In your definition of the placenta you said (paraphrasing): 'The placenta is an organ formed partly from embryonic tissue'
The embryo may be defined separately, but I would say that is just for ease of discussion. Perhaps we should say the placenta is part of the child instead?
Regardless, this discussion is rather irrelevant, unless you are advocating that abortion be illegal after day five.

TM, you really need to express youself more coherently. I could not understand your analogy. Also, an embryo has unique DNA, is an individual organism, and is human. Please do not dismiss the last as unimportant.

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Areni
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