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Quote# 57462

How do birds know how and when to build a nest? How do they choose who to hang with? How do they recognize old friends (they all look the same)? Why don't we see fat sparrows? What are they singing about? Who teaches them music? How come they can all sing on key? How do they know that they are sparrows so that they can hang with other sparrows? Birds of a feather do flock together (how many sparrows do you see flying with seagulls?). Are they nervous on their first flight? Who warns them about cats? If it's their mom and dad, how do they communicate with their kids? Do they dream? What do they dream about? Cats? If they think, do they think in English or Chirp? Probably Chirp. Are they taught language skills while in the nest or afterwards at some sort of hidden Chirp school? Does the language have a similar structure to human language? When they all get together for a sing along (we often hear loud tree choirs), do they have a conductor? Is anyone is charge, or is it just a jam session of golden oldies?

As an atheist it must be a little frustrating having no one to thank for all this. How can you not stand in awe at the intelligence of the mind that put all this together? I marvel at the genius of God. Einstein did. Newton did. The atheist doesn’t. He sees the meal but never tastes it...because he doesn’t want to. What a tragedy.

Ray Comfort, Pull the plug on Atheism 75 Comments [1/30/2009 3:51:18 PM]
Fundie Index: 16
WTF?! || meh
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Quasarsphere

Comfort, you are a patronising fucking cunt.

1/30/2009 3:55:12 PM

Eden

There are fat sparrow,
but you don´t recognize it because all birds look alike for you.

It is the same for birds however. They recognize each other because they have learned it (and maybe also have the neural structures that developed for genetic reasons) but on the other hand humans would look all alike to them ;)

Humans however can recognize other humans by their shape/face, but lack the neural structures to distinguish one sparrow from another (except maybe they know him very well ;) )

Singing also ist partially genetics, partially learned (which is why parrots "talk", they just imitate sounds.

This and all the other things are very good explained by neurobiology. Maybe you should read some books about neurobiology and Biopsychology to learn more ;)

1/30/2009 4:01:31 PM

draco_nite

Birds are not people.

1/30/2009 4:03:11 PM

Vince

Please stop anthropomorphizing animals to prove God. It doesn't work.

If God is so wonderful and programmed everything into us and around us, why can't we fly? Or breathe under water?

1/30/2009 4:05:05 PM

Lucretius

Ray if you actually bothered to read some real science books instead of parrotting (pun very much intended) 'Goddidit' all the damned time, you would find the answers to these and many more questions,but then you are probably happy in your ignorance and the money you get from other ignorant suckers ,who buy your crap to bother.

1/30/2009 4:06:06 PM

Quantum Mechanic

Wrong again Ray.

1/30/2009 4:06:10 PM

garblethweep

in that order:innate ability/internal clock, like when you know when to get up; they don't; pheromones; metabolism; to attract a mate; innate ability; same way you know humans are humans; different climates; no; senses: same way you spout shit; yes; they can't comprehend it; their own language and communication; innate ability; no; no; they do that for a better frequency.

and when you thought he couldn't be stupider...

1/30/2009 4:06:11 PM

Philbert McAdamia

Deep, deep thinking from Ray.

@ Eden
People do not all look alike to them. I feed the birds at work. I eat lunch in my truck and throw out bread scraps to the sparrows and pigeons. Not only do they hang around my truck (no thanks for the poop, fellas) but they also flock to the truck when I walk outside, and sometimes the ones pecking around on the ground will run alongside me as I walk to it. Mine is the only vehicle in the lot with an avian entourage. As stupid as pigeons seem, they recognized me from at least the third day I fed them.

1/30/2009 4:15:04 PM

RavenWood

What an idiot...

1/30/2009 4:18:54 PM

aaa

Ray, you are closing the furry zone.

1/30/2009 4:20:04 PM

Paschal Wagner

"The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this."
- Albert Einstein

1/30/2009 4:25:18 PM

WTF

My daughter asks questions like this, but she's three years old.

1/30/2009 4:37:51 PM

JohnTheAtheist

Probably chirp? are you fucking kidding me? I can't believe that ANYONE takes this guy seriously.

Also, there is a evolutionarily explainable answer to every single question this douchebag proposes.

1/30/2009 4:43:13 PM

Moondog

They learn about cats from old "Tweety and Sylvester" cartoons on YouTube, which serve as instructional videos. Mice do the same, with the "Itchy and Scratchy Show." After a few laughs from cartoon violence, they learn. Dumb ones think they can handle a chain saw or nuclear weapon, are eaten, and that is how natural selection favors the more intelligent of the species. You, being the less intelligent of the human species, should die young after saying, "Hey y'all, watch this!"

1/30/2009 4:46:24 PM

Oy Vey!

I see Banana-Man is blabbering nonsense again.

1/30/2009 4:51:53 PM

David B.

"How do birds know how and when to build a nest?"

Evolution. Those that got it wrong were out-bred by those that got it right.

"What are they singing about?"

Sex, territory, predators, etc.

"Who teaches them music?"

Evolution. Those that could not sing were less successful at attracting mates, defending territory, warning about predators, etc. than those who could.

"How come they can all sing on key?"

The don't.

"How do they know that they are sparrows so that they can hang with other sparrows?"

Evolution. If they "hung with" (I assume you mean courted, mated, competed for the attentions of) the wrong species, they wouldn't be as "fruitful" as sparrows that didn't.

"Birds of a feather do flock together (how many sparrows do you see flying with seagulls?)."

Birds of different "feathers" do flock together. See "Woodpecker Participation in Mixed Species Flocks in Peninsular Malaysia" by Styring and Ickes, The Wilson Bulletin 113:342-345, 2001.

"Are they taught language skills while in the nest or afterwards at some sort of hidden Chirp school?"

Neither, it's an innate skill. In some species there is evidence that birdsong is partly learnt by listening to other birds, though.

"Does the language have a similar structure to human language?"

Yes, see "Recursive syntactic pattern learning by songbirds" by Gentner, Fenn, Margoliash and Nusbaum, Nature 440:1204-1207, 2006.

"As an atheist it must be a little frustrating having no one to thank for all this."

No it'd be like thanking someone when you win the lottery, even though your winning was a product of chance.

"How can you not stand in awe at the intelligence of the mind that put all this together?"

Because there is no evidence one did.

1/30/2009 4:55:08 PM

Geno

Instinct. Instinct. Ability to recognize each other and differentiate one bird from another. We do, you just can't tell. They sing to mark territory, to locate each other, and to find mates. Their parents teach them to sing. They don't have a concept of key, and if you listened you would notice that they don't all sound the same. Ability to recognize their own damn species. Not all birds of the same kind live in flocks; look at birds of prey, for instance. They are, but there's little they can do about it; sometimes their parents shove them out of the nests. Instinct. They communicate through body language and actions like preening. They dream; they even sometimes have nightmares. We cannot communicate with them to the extent that we can determine what they dream about. They do think, but not in a defined language. There is no "Chirp". They are taught to communicate in the nest- the proposition of a 'chirp school' is one of the most ridiculous concepts I've ever read on this site. Try singing the same territorial song as a robin and you tell me. They would need a stylized form of music theory, organization, and communication in order to have a conductor of some sort, so in short, NO. It's just a repetition of the songs they were taught.

I lost some brain cells reading this. I want them back.

1/30/2009 4:56:23 PM

jonzie

this guy is a total fucktard

1/30/2009 4:59:42 PM

Illuminatalie

Sparrows think in chirps and have jam sessions, and that proves God exists. Gotcha.

1/30/2009 5:07:16 PM

Not_You

Did someone just wonder whether birds think in English? Holy flying fucktards! That there is just about the height of fundy ethnocentrism.

1/30/2009 5:13:54 PM

Lucilius

How can you have all of these questions yet be so intellectually lazy as to not search for answers? "Goddidit" is an acknowledgment of mental surrender.

1/30/2009 5:29:27 PM

Headache

tl;dr comfort crap.

1/30/2009 5:34:48 PM

DevilsChaplain

The first paragraph can be answered in one word: instinct.

The last few sentences can be answered in the following way: Einstein was a deist, unlike Newton. I (an atheist) marvel at nature. And the only tragedy is that we haven't found the cure for stupidity which, sadly, afflicts poor Ray Comfort. Now, go eat some fresh Atheist's Nightmares...er, I mean bananas.

1/30/2009 5:40:12 PM

Snarky

I fully recognize that you have the right to say such utterly beyond-stupid things.

1/30/2009 6:20:14 PM

Grigadil

Once upon a time there was a colony of bacteria. Along comes Ray Comfort.

Bacterium 1: Hey look, here comes old bananabreath birdbrain.

Bacterium 2: Yeah, let's influence his hallucinations again.

Bacterium 3: Sorry, I'm not playing this time. That's just not sporting. Poor fellow is at such a disadvantage.

1/30/2009 6:28:55 PM
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