how turtles got their shells

long time ago, in the very distant past when birds could talk, snakes walk, asses talk, lions ate grass, and all animals lived together in friendly communes, turtles had a soft smooth shell.

One day news reached the commune of a party that was to be had high up in the sky, near the sun so to speak. Even back then, only birds could fly so when the turtle heard of this plot, he asked his bird friend if he could join the party. A committee of birds was selected to see how to make this possible. Among the options proposed was to have the largest bird haul the turtle to the party and back. The hawk said, hell no. The vulture said not on backyard, the eagle made no comments but there was no doubt the answer was no. A second plot was needed and real fast. It is here that it was decided they would donate feathers to the turtle and do a crash course in flying. This was done in no time and the whole party left for feast.

As was the custom in those days, whenever animals or people went to a feast, they used nicknames. So all the birds had their nicknames some flattering some not so much. The turtle for its nickname said it would be called all of us. And it is here that the rain started beating the turtle.

You see, when they got to the feast, every time food was served, the animals would ask for whom it was meant and the response, you guessed it right, was all of us- the turtle. And so the turtle ate while the rest of the birds watched in dismay. It went on like this till it was time to return and the birds held a quick meeting to exact their revenge. As soon as they left the venue, and had been told their goodbyes, they each and all plucked their feathers from the turtle who without this aid came a tumbling down landing on a rock with it shell cracking it in the process and since then all turtles have had hard shells.

If you have read up to this point, I will tell you the story of bats. where did they come from? When, where, why and how the first bats become airborne is another mystery buried by Deep Time.

George william Foote

Said many lofty things and I agree with him wholeheartedly. England owes him an apology for jailing him for freedom of speech.

But he is also evidence that intelligent men can be grossly mistaken. In his response to Booth, he of the Salvation Army, he wrote and I agree that people in jail should be treated with kindness that indeed many are not psychopaths & may not be a threat to society if rehabilitated. Where i disagree with him is in saying the weak, the ‘unfit’ should not be supported & this is based on the natural selection- let the fit survive. I think this was a gross misunderstanding of evolution on his part.

He writes, for example

He is not aware that thousands of men and women are born in every generation who are behind the age. They are types of a vanished order of mankind, relics of antecedent stages of culture. Natural selection is always eliminating them, and general Booth proposes to cuddle them, to surround them with artificial circumstances, and give them a better chance. He does not see that most of them, however propped up by the more energetic and independent, will always bear the stamp of unfitness; nor does he see that he will enable them to beget and rear a more numerous offspring of the same character.

Salvation syrup by Foote

He believes there are congenital criminals and prostitutes among other things.

I am also inclined to disagree with Booth when he writes

No change in circumstances, no revolution in social conditions, can possibly transform the nature of man

General Booth

It appears to me these gentlemen misunderstood Darwin or were among the Ryan’s of the 19th century. Or am I missing something as Mike is won’t to say?

we are animals

Today is no braining Tuesday, so I bring you this interview of de Waal

Why are so many people wedded to the idea that humans are special?

We’re raised with those ideas. It’s an old Christian idea that humans have souls and animals don’t. I sometimes think it’s because our religions arose in a desert environment in which there were no primates, so you have people who lived with camels, goats, snakes, and scorpions. Of course, you then conclude that we are totally different from the rest of the animal kingdom because we don’t have primates with whom to compare ourselves. When the first great apes arrived in Western Europe—to the zoos in London and Paris—people were absolutely flabbergasted. Queen Victoria even expressed her disgust at seeing these animals. Why would an ape be disgusting unless you feel a threat from it? You would never call a giraffe disgusting, but she was disgusted by chimpanzees and orangutans because people had no concept that there could be animals so similar to us in every possible way. We come from a religion that’s not used to that kind of comparison.

Continue reading

Conclusions of the Territorial Imperative

Usually, at the end of a good book, I prefer to write my thoughts about what I have read. In this case, however, you will allow me to be lazy and let Ardrey talk for himself.

He writes towards the end, and I think the conclusions make sense;
1. We must know that man, while the alpha fish among species, is unique only in his capacity for getting himself into troubles that for other species nature would be compelled to provide
2. We must know that as body and behaviour evolve as a collective enterprise,  so human behaviour like the human body is governed by evolutionary laws comparable to those of any other species
3. We must know that while the human brain exceeds by far the potentialities of that possessed by any other animal species, its psychological processes probably differ not at all from those of other higher animals, and from those of lower animals perhaps as well
4. While granting that the varying cultural achievements of human populations set man apart from other animals, still we must know that such cultures, however complex, simply serve to fill out behavioural patterns, some as ancient as recorded life
5. Man no different from any other animal is a complex of expressions, frequently conflicting, in which no single determinant- territory, society, dominance, sex, economic necessity or single innate need for identity, stimulation or security – holds exclusive or permanent domain.
6. Our capacities for sacrifice, for altruism, for sympathy, for trust, for responsibilities to other than self interest, for honesty, for charity, for friendship and love, for social amity and mutual interdependence have evolved just as surely as the flatness of our feet, the muscularity of our buttocks, and the enlargement of our brains, out of the encounter on ancient African savannahs between the primate potential and the hominid circumstance. Whether morality without territory is possible in man must remain as our final, unanswerable question.

I will add here, contrary to Jean Jacques Rousseau, the capacity for violence is innate but the tools is what we must learn.

I hope this summary doesn’t disappoint all those who were expecting more, Victoria I am pointing at you😀

Against intelligent design

All the works and all the productions of nature are really made by necessary and accidental causes, which are blind and completely deprived of Reason. These works and productions do not at all demonstrate or prove the existence of a sovereign intelligence or consequently, the existence of a god who made them as we see them.
It is therefore absurd and ridiculous to say or think that printed characters, ink and paper, which have no movement in themselves, could arrange and bind themselves so well together that they could make a book.
The above are wise words by Jean Messlier