Sperm count drop 'may lead to human extinction'

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Nyarlathotep's picture
You told us A was too

You told us A was too abstract to have B. That is an argument of magnitude. So again, I ask you to please provide the magnitude (and the units/dimensions) of the cutoff point. You see: it is easy to make shit like that up, if you don't have to provide the details. Were you just making shit up?

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
An argument of magnitude? The

An argument of magnitude? The word abstract already comes with a definition, and the word "too" is my subjective perception of it. Its basic English. It doesn't even matter if its very abstract or a little abstract, you're still being abstract.

That's some straight up pantheism to think you are in any way represented by the thousands bits of genes spread across a thousand offspring. How many children do I even need to have before I'm certain I've passed down all my genes? Do you have a formula for that?

Nyarlathotep's picture
the word "too" is my

John 6IX BreezyHow many children do I even need to have before I'm certain I've passed down all my genes? Do you have a formula for that?

Clearly it is: lim n->∞ of the earlier function.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
That's amazing, be sure to

That's amazing, be sure to write it up and submit it for publication.

Nyarlathotep's picture
The result is trivial.

That is a trivial derivation for any calculus student.

Nyarlathotep's picture
How is it a strawman? You

How is it a strawman? You said "the goal of a species should be NOT to evolve". No one stated that it was.

LogicFTW's picture
First, we are made up of

First, we are made up of cells, cells reproduce via mitosis if the cell has the resources to do so. Our general definition of living and dying assumes the complex organism continuing to operate as cells continuously perform their functions, and replace themselves and grow in greater numbers as needed. Our death is when our complex system of cells working in concert come to a standstill. We further like to define death in a medical way, when we reach brain death that cannot be recovered from. (We can still have billions of cells performing the functions, reproducing etc, in a person we consider dead via brain death but the "body" is kept alive via assistance.)

You have various complex organisms competing for a finite quantity of needed resources that fluctuates. The organism that remakes it self and is setup to proactively evolve is much less vulnerable and much more efficient than a complex organism that continuously self evolves as a reaction to the environment. It is much easier to instill major genetic change starting over in a small simple state with instructions that allows rapid change then to evolve cell by cell to adapt.

An extreme version of this is the skin beetle egg. In this step, a skin beetle egg, can go dormant, in extreme conditions, for 100's of years, and then when the conditions change to be more favorable the skin beetle egg becomes active again, and a skin beetle is born. That is far more efficient than the skin beetle trying to evolve to say, a: 100 year extreme drought in its area.

A bit like a car and a plane. It is much easier to make a new plane from scratch then it would be to modify a car to be able to fly. The results of evolution shows that the dominant species (besides humans) tend to be the ones that have reproduction and gene sharing cycles then the ones that try to simply evolve and compete for limited resources in a dangerous environment that does not reproduce.

xenoview's picture
The female praying mantis

The female praying mantis might kill her mate, but his genes are passed on to the next generation when she lays her eggs. Yes salmon die after breeding, but they lay eggs for the next generation to be born from, so they pass on their genes. John you still pass genes on to your children, and some to your grandchildren.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Right, but you say that as if

Right, but you say that as if his genes wouldn't have passed down if he wasn't killed.

algebe's picture
@John: "But organs are driven

@John: "But organs are driven by genes,"

Not organs, orgasms. Sex is an urgent and pleasurable drive for all species that reproduce sexually. Otherwise they wouldn't do it, and they'd go extinct.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Hilarious lol, but I agree.

Hilarious lol, but I agree. The part where I don't agree is with the consequences "otherwise... they'd go extinct." The ultimatum here just doesn't connect. Extinction doesn't affect the organism in anyway, it dies regardless if the rest of the species dies with it. Probably evident by the fact that mantis kill after mating, in-group violence goes against your purpose of mating.

From an evolutionary perspective, all you can say about reproduction is that its a virus, a fluke that happened and because it happened it now keeps happening like a snowball effect. Extinction, pleasure, heredity, these are just more flukes, but there's no rhyme or reason connecting any of them.

algebe's picture
@John 61X Breezy: "Probably

@John 61X Breezy: "Probably evident by the fact that mantis kill after mating, in-group violence goes against your purpose of mating."

The male mantis presumably doesn't know that he'll be invited to an intimate post-coital dinner. Having contributed his genetic material, he also contributes nutrition to help the female produce his offspring. In addition, males are a menace to the young in many species, so perhaps reducing the number of potential predators improves the offspring's chances of survival. I believe that mating can also be quite dangerous for the males of some spider species.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Interesting, males are a

Interesting, males are a menace to young. True, I believe baboons are notorious for this to the point that if a new male takes control, pregnant females will just abort the young of the previous father.

Not very anti-extinction friendly behavior.

chimp3's picture
It is to the benefit of the

It is to the benefit of the gene to reproduce not the organism. Genes can be shared between organisms. A lion that kills and eats a zebra shares genes with that zebra. The genes are double agents. They dwell in the bodies of the most ferocious killers and the fastest at fleeing.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
I like that, and I agree with

I like that, and I agree with that. But I hope you can see that this is the reason why some Christians think atheists can't have morality, at least not an evolutionarily justifiable one.

algebe's picture
@John 61X Breezy "...why some

@John 61X Breezy "...why some Christians think atheists can't have morality, at least not an evolutionarily justifiable one"

Can you explain that logic a bit more fully.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
"It is to the benefit of the

"It is to the benefit of the gene to reproduce not the organism.... A lion that kills and eats a zebra shares genes with that zebra."

Implied here is that whether the zebra dies, or the lion starves, the genes survives. The organism isn't of importance so long as the gene makes it out alive. Morality almost always argues the opposite, that its the survival and well being of the organism that matters, not their genes. A woman past menopause is as important as a woman who reached menarche. But from an evolutionary lens not so much.

algebe's picture
You don't think grandmothers

You don't think grandmothers are important from an evolutionary perspective? In a human context, grandparents are vital supporters for child-bearing and repositories of collected wisdom. The more helpers a child-bearing woman has, the better the chances for her offspring. I wonder if childless (gay?) uncles and aunts are there for the same reason.

In terms of brutal evolutionary logic, the best course for a carnivorous mammal facing starvation is to eat her children. If she dies, the children will also die anyway. If she can survive by eating them, she can go on to produce more children when times are better. Do you ever see that behavior in humans? I think our evolution has followed a much more sophisticated path in which morality, community, and cooperation are also survival traits. That's why we don't need god.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Great, but to make that

Great, but to make that argument, you would need to show that a child raised in an orphanage, raised in a single-parent home, in a home with no grand-parents, or even adopted by non-biological homosexual parents, is in any way at a disadvantage when it comes time for them to reproduce. If they aren't, then the grandparents are redundant.

As to your evolution of morality comment. This goes back to what I've been arguing, evolution doesn't have reproduction in mind, and it doesn't have survival in mind, much less morality. We are nothing but a coin flip, and evolution is gravity. Landing heads or tails is as arbitrary as having morality or not having morality.

algebe's picture
Orphanages and large numbers

Orphanages and large numbers of single-parent families are very new developments in the context of our evolutionary history, so perhaps it's a bit early to tell whether there are evolutionary implications. But perhaps you could compare statistics for educational outcomes, life expectancy, and fertility for children raised in extended families, nuclear families with no grandparent involvement, orphanages, and single-parent families.

I think each of us is made up of millions of coin tosses, and that some of those coins are actually flipped after we're born. Evolution doesn't have anything in mind, because its an unconciousness, directionless process. But it depends on reproduction, since it can only occur when changes are passed down through generations. It also depends on survival as a test for which individuals will reach breeding age.

Morality mirrors the traits that are important to the survival of our species. We care for our children and other children in need. We care for the elderly and infirm. We make sacrifices for the greater good. We live in communities and work to make our communities better. So for humans at least, evolution is morality, and morality is evolution.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
The problem is that

The problem is that evolutionary psychologists, who presumably are in the best position to answer these questions, disagree with you.

"We start by trashing some common misconceptions. First, that evolution favors survival of the fittest. Instead evolution is about reproduction, passing on copies of genes.... If evolution were about survival rather than passing on copies of genes, there’d be no antagonistic pleiotropy." -Robert Sapolsky, Behave.

Antagonistic pleiotropy just refers to things that increase your chances of reproduction, but probably kill you along the way. Like the bright feathers of a peacock, which gets it a mate, but makes it a bullseye for predators. Or the mantis example we've talked about already.

So when you say morality mirrors the traits that are important to our survival not reproduction, you have a problem on your hands.

"Evolution doesn't have anything in mind, because its an unconscious, directionless process." This is why many Christians have a problem with evolution. An unconscious and directionless process, that gives rise to consciousness and direction (ie. morality). Its counterintuitive, you have to at least agree with that much.

algebe's picture
I think human survival and

I think human survival and reproduction are more complex than those of peafowl and mantises. Can you provide any human examples of antagonistic pleiotropy? (From my high school days I recall that girls seemed to be attracted to the dangerous boys who drove recklessly and got in knife fights, but that they tended to marry boring accountants and lawyers.)

Yes. Its counterintuitive. Does that make it wrong? Does life need a direction and purpose. Can't it just be? Aren't Christians just trying to anthropomorphize evolution because of their need for purpose and direction?

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Well perhaps as you suggest,

Well perhaps as you suggest, the whole of adolescence is one giant antagonistic pleiotropy, doing the thing that impresses the girl, even if down the road it might cost you a liver. But a more specific example is the prostate, it aids in sexuality, but might kill you with prostate cancer later on.

For evolution to explain observations, it does need a direction and purpose. Just read the comments, and how much people switch between using evolution to explain something, and then saying evolution doesn't explain anything. Its nonsensical

chimp3's picture
What do genes have to do with

What do genes have to do with morality? I am a human being that is capable of understanding mindless genes. Dawkins once stated that our human morality may contradict what is best for our genes. Our morality may not be what is best for spreading our genes.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Agreed, morality contradicts

Agreed, morality contradicts what is best for our genes. The problem is that morality is often a behavior, the way reproduction is a behavior. So either accept that evolution is nonsensical but true, or sensible but contradictory.

chimp3's picture
Or just accept the fact of

Or just accept the fact of evolution no matter what a bunch of doofus's think about it. Evolution was an ongoing process long before human apes showed up on the scene and will carry on without us.

Alan Travis's picture
A meaningless tautology.

A meaningless tautology. *Animals survive because they're fittest. They're fittest because they survive.*

Finally the words of Charles Darwin himself:

From a letter to Asa Gray, a close friend and Professor of Biology at Harvard University:

"I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of true science."

A brilliant analysis exposing atheist Richard Dawkins' ignorance and lies:


algebe's picture
@GeniusIsDispruptive: "A

@GeniusIsDispruptive: "A meaningless tautology. *Animals survive because they're fittest. They're fittest because they survive.*

So who said it, apart from you?

Darwin was filled with doubts about his theory and delayed publication for a long time. Do you see that as evidence that his theory is invalid?

The video you cite is interesting. The speaker seems to be suggesting that atheism is wrong because atheists have a low birth rate. Educated people have a low birthrate. So do the Chinese and Japanese, and most developed countries. I've never heard of academic theories being judged on the fecundity of their authors before. That's very original.

So to convince the world of the rightness of atheism, all we need to do is round up some women whom we can keep barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen until we can breed our way to world dominance. Do you really take this stuff seriously? Do you really think, like the sneering ninny in the video, that atheism (or Islam for that matter) can only be transmitted through genetic inheritance?

curious's picture
The western world is going to

The western world is going to go extinct first due to low birth rates. European countries population plus the US, Canada and Australia is just a billion, when India alone is that number. Adding the low sperm count in the mix, and that is look like certain death.

Oh btw this is my first post, hi to all.


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