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That and I always get a little ticked when I go over my money to find that "In God We Trust" written all over it. It annoys me because I don't trust in God, and to say that on national currency *does* invoke a sense of nationalism that I am being excluded from. It's irritating, and America should spend its time trying to incorporate all of its citizens equally, not trying to appease one majority.

 

My Government class my senior year of high school actually had a very similar debate. We were only allowed to speak up two times- once to throw in an opinion, and a second time to refute someone else's- or else there'd only be like, three people talking at a time. I used up my turns quickly, but I still had more to say after that. So I sat down and wrote a five page essay on the "Under God" in the pledge and the God mentions in the money.

^^

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I mentioned the Treaty of Tripoli in another thread; the 11th Article is the relevant one, and though not in the original (Arabic) version of the treaty, it IS in the one that was unanimously ratified by the Senate and signed by President John Adams. These men were the Founding Fathers and their peers; so they knew exactly what they were doing when they agreed to it. Wikipedia's article on the Treaty actually has an excellent discussion of that portion, so it's a good starting place.

 

It's an important thing to consider because a lack of separation of Church and State begs the question "Which Church?" My church when I was growing up, being Fundamentalist Christian, said "The Christian Church, of course." The argument was that, though our Founding Fathers identified as "deists" or "agnostics" at the time, they were actually Christian, and those terms in that age meant "non-denominational." But in the Treaty of Tripoli they state outright and unequivocally that the United States is not and was never intended to be a Christian nation.

 

I would also suggest looking up the history of the deism and agnosticism, and the religions standing of many of our Founding Fathers, particularly Thomas Jefferson (from whom the quote "separation of church and state" is taken) and Ben Franklin (who was, among other things, a member of the Hellfire Club). For religious symbolism in the Capitol (another thing that got quoted a lot at me as proof the U.S. is supposed to be a Christian nation), Snopes is a good starting place for what they do, and do not, symbolize. There's more out there, but these should help put you on a line of argument.

 

Once you break the idea that "Our Founding Fathers intended this to be a Christian Nation," the "Which church?" question becomes wide open. And no one wants to consider the possibility that our legal rights might be determined by some other religion we don't believe in. Heck, even when I was active in the fundamentalist church I didn't want my legal rights determined by a different sect of the *same* faith. They might tell me I can't wear pants, or vote, or use birth control so I don't have 1803803 kids when I'm married! The only way to prevent this is to restrict ANY religion from defining our legal status, to evaluate laws and governance from a stance that views all people as equal, with the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else. No favoritism, no allowances that do not apply to everyone in the same circumstances equally.

 

There's some real-life applications that can be looked at as well, there are scores of arguments and even some court cases of church activity fliers being sent home in schoolchildren's backpacks - including at least one case where a non-Christian group tried to do the same (because the local Christian church did it constantly) and raised a storm of outrage and protests.

 

edit: Oh, forgot to say, both the addition of "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance and the motto "In God we trust" are mid-20th century additions. Neither was made or suggested by our Founding Fathers.

Great! Thanks tongue.gif I disagree with some of that but I'm not trying to start an argument xd.png

 

 

What about arguments APART from the founding? This is a Lincoln-Douglas style debate, and I am taking the affirmative of the resolution "There should be a distinct separation of Church and State." So what that means for me is that as the affirmative the bulk of my time will be spent presenting arguments, and the bulk of my opponent's time will be answering mine. So bringing up arguments about the founding fathers might not be in my best interests, because I'm going to throw my opponent for a loop and try to steer it in the purely pragmatic direction apart from Christianity. When the topic comes up, I will certainly argue the "which church" part, and hopefully have him eat up the rest of his time defending Christianity where I can come back and say "all of that is off topic of the resolution." It'll be fun biggrin.gif

 

So I guess what I'm saying is, apart from arguments about the religion of the founding fathers, what are your pragmatic arguments for separation of church/state? Why would it simply NOT work, regardless of religion, in your opinion? This is really helpful, thanks biggrin.gif

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It would simply not work because rule by any religion violates the tenants of some religion. Heck, rule by some religions violates the tenants of different branches of the same religion. When any religious organization is allowed to have direct influence over government, sooner or later some other - most other - religious organizations are going to be slighted and discriminated against. This discrimination will get more widespread as legal conflicts require more definition of just *which* religion, and which sect of that religion, is the guideline. Eventually we either have a theocracy - the head of the church IS the head of the state - or we have civil unrest as those being marginalized start pushing back. In this religion is no different than any other social issue on which people disagree. Everyone has their own opinion, even most people with the same opinion have different views on how it applies, and everyone wants to practice their own view as they see fit.

 

Influence of the church over the state will also, inevitably, lead to influence of the state over the church. Such arguments are already happening, as there's a movement to ban Sharia law. While certain applications of it (those who believe it requires killing of infidels, for instance) are and should be illegal because they violate standing laws and the rights of others, throwing all of it out completely is interfering with someone else's right to believe as they wish. And there is no predicting when or how the rules of whatever religion is on top will conflict with any individual's. Things as basic as when and how to pray could be regulated, or at least suppressed lest they identify any individual as "one of those other people." And consider that many civil rights issues (rights of women, rights of minorities, rights of the disabled) were opposed by religious leadership - many of them still are. That case I quoted in my last post, of a different group of my same faith taking away might right to birth control, or even to wear pants? That wasn't some random quip. That was a discussion held in my church. The birth control thing is more widespread - the Quiverfull movement has created a particularly odd dichotomy for itself, as it does not allow a woman to use *any* form of birth control, not even rhythm method, under the guideline of "have as many children as God gives you;" Yet it has no issue with using modern medical practice to extend a woman's childbearing capacities even when natural processes should render her infertile or dead, signs most would take as "God wants you to stop now."

 

A secular government isn't perfect by any means. No human government can be perfect. But a secular government with a mutual hands-off policy concerning religion offers more room for improvement, and leeway for human imperfections. It can consider the needs and beliefs of all its citizens, allow freedom to practice as we see fit, and concern itself with the betterment of itself and its people as a whole, rather than the betterment of whoever's version of "God says" is popular today.

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So I guess what I'm saying is, apart from arguments about the religion of the founding fathers, what are your pragmatic arguments for separation of church/state? Why would it simply NOT work, regardless of religion, in your opinion? This is really helpful, thanks

 

Well, take a look at the religious persecution in theocracies --

 

Look at Vatican City, where people of Romani descent aren't allowed inside, because the Catholics view us as damned.

 

Look at Muslims who condemn Islamic states as "ruining" the purity of the religion.

 

Look at the Persecution of Bahá'ís in Iran -- (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Bah%C3%A1%27%C3%ADs) or Christianity in Afghanistan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_Afghanistan)

 

Also look into how making certain things illegal, such as divorce and abortion, increases homicide, abuse and violent crime rates.

 

Look at the rights tied to marriage by the state, then make an example of if only LDS marriages were allowed, all of the things that people would lose, such as the right to inherit, to keep their children if male, to adopt, to make medical decisions for their partner.

 

Also, you might want to mention issues here, like the States where atheists and agnostics cannot openly be elected officials, and schools and religious items here [http://www.religioustolerance.org/sch_clot5.htm ].

 

As well as places like Japan and Haiti where religious organizations required conversion before offering aid.

 

You can mention France's burqa ban, and how it has negatively affected France's standing in the world, and is constantly on appeal of religious freedom.

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Unrelated question to Phil's-

 

What is the religious sentiment on pornography again and why?

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Unrelated question to Phil's-

 

What is the religious sentiment on pornography again and why?

I didn't think we were allowed to discuss that? Given the warns that got handed out last time the subject came up...

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Catholics are against it, IIRC (at least some, like my folks). I'd guess it has something to do with it promoting "sexual immorality" by promoting sexual relationships outside of marriage. (Speaking from a Christian perspective, this is, and I'm not sure just what I think I recall about it from my parents and stuff...) and that "sexual activity without a partner (who you are married to)" is a sin.

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I edited in a response in my last post on the last page. I guess you missed it. My point was, I'm rather tired at the moment and can't go through and give a "play by play" argument like I usually do. The only thing I can mention really is that the currently accepted creationist standpoint is the water/ice canopy theory, which I don't know enough to argue on. I'm going to read your essay in depth in the morning when I have more time, I do appreciate you writing it although it went a bit over my sleep deprived head at the moment smile.gif

I'm waiting...

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Unrelated question to Phil's-

 

What is the religious sentiment on pornography again and why?

In Judaism, it's not a sin. There are rules if you're male and masturbate, but that's it.

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Eek. If it's against the rules please just delete my posts D|

 

Ah. I thought it was solely about having sexual feelings for someone other than your significant other, which I was then going to ask about single folks- but Kage's explanation makes that a moot question x)

 

And Shiny- what if you're female?

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Eek. If it's against the rules please just delete my posts D|

 

Ah. I thought it was solely about having sexual feelings for someone other than your significant other, which I was then going to ask about single folks- but Kage's explanation makes that a moot question x)

 

And Shiny- what if you're female?

Nothing about if you're a girl, really.

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I'm waiting...

I apologize, I went away for the weekend and completely forgot about it tongue.gif

 

 

Speaking as a highschooler without an in depth knowledge of the subject, I'll say I don't really have an answer to most of that. So for the time being I'm going to have to concede your point, with the statement that I still hold to my beliefs and will continue to do research into it on my own in an effort to increase my understanding. I can't even make an attempt to argue any of that because my knowledge is so far lacking in that area. So you win this one tongue.gif I enjoyed reading that. It was very informative.

 

 

As for a couple of the things about the ark...

 

 

 

It was not necessary for the ark to contain one of every “species” in that sense. It is perfectly plausible from viewing microevolution within a kind today that we can see that variations of dogs, for example, could be descended from a common ancestor. Variation within a kind happens everywhere, and it readily observable.

 

As for inbreeding and the gene pool, I don’t know enough to speak on that. The only thing I’ve ever heard on the matter is the assumption that genetics were not as corrupted at that point, earlier in history. I can’t back this up and it’s purely secondhand hearsay, so I’m not making any claims about it.

 

 

 

That's all I know enough to comment on really xd.png I apologize I couldn't present more of a challenging argument to you.

Edited by philpot123

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It was not necessary for the ark to contain one of every “species” in that sense. It is perfectly plausible from viewing microevolution within a kind today that we can see that variations of dogs, for example, could be descended from a common ancestor. Variation within a kind happens everywhere, and it readily observable.

 

As for inbreeding and the gene pool, I don’t know enough to speak on that. The only thing I’ve ever heard on the matter is the assumption that genetics were not as corrupted at that point, earlier in history. I can’t back this up and it’s purely secondhand hearsay, so I’m not making any claims about it.

1) Define kind - as in, exactly what do you mean by that in regards to the flood and the time thereafter.

 

2) Also, as mathematical calculations would prove, the flood to the extent the Bible describes it would be physically impossible without God laz0ring the excess water away after that.

 

Kestra, fill us in on this again, please?

 

Plus, there's also continental drift and the implausibility that Noah would find all the animal species/mystical "kind" for the ark within walking distance from his home...

 

In short, pics, or the flood didn't happen.

Edited by lightbird

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In Judaism there is a masculine and a feminine spirit. This is a very important point. As G-d has both a masculine and feminine spirit, and this is played out in creation.

[snip]

 

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/g-d.html

 

"G-d is Neither Male nor Female

 

This followed directly from the fact that G-d has no physical form. As one rabbi explained it to me, G-d has no body, no genitalia, therefore the very idea that G-d is male or female is patently absurd. We refer to G-d using masculine terms simply for convenience's sake, because Hebrew has no neutral gender; G-d is no more male than a table is.

 

Although we usually speak of G-d in masculine terms, there are times when we refer to G-d using feminine terms. The Shechinah, the manifestation of G-d's presence that fills the universe, is conceived of in feminine terms, and the word Shechinah is a feminine word."

 

This had nothing to do with it.  tongue.gif

 

For why there is different interpretations, it does. It's a poor narrative. Genesis 1:27-28 implies different creation account of Adam/Eve. There's "wiggle room" for no hermaphrodites and brushing off the implication that God is female and male.

 

"I. And God Said: Let Us Make Man, etc. (I,26) [...]

R. Jeremiah b. Leazar said: When the Holy One, blessed be He, created Adam, He created him an hermaphrodite [bi-sexual], for it is said, Male and female created He them and called their name Adam (Gen v,2). R. Samuel b. Nahman said: When the Lord created Adam He created him double-faced, then He split him and made him of two backs, one back on this side, and one back on the other side. To this it is objected: But it is written, And He took one of his ribs, etc. (Gen. II, 21)" (Midrash Rabbah Genesis Vol. 1 Soncino, pg. 54)

 

Reading this, the meaning behind "hermaphrodite" is more unusual than what some would think, and Adam apparently was fabulously cleaved at some point. laugh.gif

 

 

 

11. Male and Female (Nekebah) Created He Them (1,27). This is one of the things which they altered for King Ptolemy: ‘Male with his apertures (nekubaw) created He them.

 

… the translators for the Septuagint didn’t change that, even though it could give the implication God is male and female.

 

Ironically, just below that it tells of being given 4 attributes of the higher beings i.e. angels and 4 attributes of the lower beings i.e. beasts. Procreation/sex differentiation is an attribute of the lower beasts.

 

“The celestial beings were created in the image and likeness [of God] and do not procreate […]”

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genesis_creation_narrative

 

Two stories or one?

 

"Until the latter half of the 19th century, Genesis 1 and 2 were seen as one continuous, uniform story with Genesis 1:1–2:6 outlining the world's origin, and 2:7–2:25[17] carefully painting a more detailed picture of the creation of humanity. Modern scholarship, citing (1) the use of two different names for God, (2) two different emphases (physical vs. moral issues), and (3) a different order of creation (plants before humans vs. plants after humans), believes that these are two distinct scriptures written many years apart by two different sources, chapter 1 by the Priestly source and chapter 2 by the Jahwist, with the bridge the work of a "redactor", or editor.[18][19]"

 

It was not necessary for the ark to contain one of every “species” in that sense. It is perfectly plausible from viewing microevolution within a kind today that we can see that variations of dogs, for example, could be descended from a common ancestor. Variation within a kind happens everywhere, and it readily observable.

 

God must have been inordinately fond of beetles. There's over 400,000 known species of beetles. The bombardier beetle has been said to be "irreducibly complex". What of the bat? How did you get a vampire bat from a fruit-eater or vice versa?

 

The rate of evolution needed would have been much higher than what is observed, so you would be more of an evolutionist than Richard Dawkins!

 

 

The biblical "kinds" shoots down your theory of one grasshopper, hawk, eagle, etc. on ark = variation over time.

 

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The reason why I find the Noah's ark theory laughable is because whoever stated it has no concept of animal behavior. Where would you store all the food? An elephant alone munchs through tons of vegetation per day. Not to mention that it would need different types of food to keep it from being ill and that some of them only feeds on a select type of food. Also some carnivores won't eat if their prey is not alive. Not only that, but Noah, his wife and three kids must have had a hell of a job keeping all the stalls clean and throwing out crap every day. Added to the fact that some animals get stressed and die while in captivity so you would need a place for them to run around.

 

And all this even without mentioning that, depending on the water being freshwater/saltwater during Noah's flood you'd need to put all marine species living in the opposite type of water in the ark as well. I also do not understand how plants could possibly withstand that sort of flood.

 

So Noah's ark= stalls with regards to different climates, food supplies, exercise field simulating different habitats, massive aquariums housing either all species of freshwater or saltwater life again sorted out according to different climates, and possibly a big hole for crap to fall through. Hmmmm. Am I the only person who finds this not feasible?

Edited by ylangylang

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Anyone here ever watch the show 'Ancient Aliens'? One of the eps talks about the biblical Flood and the possiblity the Arc was not one that had full sized animals, but just samples of their DNA: a massive DNA bank, basically.

 

Keeping all the animals just as DNA samples would be a heck of a lot more feasible than trying to feed/clean/etc actual adult ones. Of course, the problem is that after the fact, using those DNA samples to recreate all the animals/plant life. Then again, these are aliens we are talking about in this case...who knows what they are capable of?

 

On a similar vein here: how would people feel if it was found out we were 'created' by an extraterrestial race?

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1) Define kind - as in, exactly what do you mean by that in regards to the flood and the time thereafter.

 

2) Also, as mathematical calculations would prove, the flood to the extent the Bible describes it would be physically impossible without God laz0ring the excess water away after that.

 

Kestra, fill us in on this again, please?

 

Plus, there's also continental drift and the implausibility that Noah would find all the animal species/mystical "kind" for the ark within walking distance from his home...

 

In short, pics, or the flood didn't happen.

Full post is down bottom here: http://forums.dragcave.net/index.php?showtopic=122753&st=960

 

 

evaporating the ocean as a means of explaining where all this water magicked in from? Any tectonic release powerful enough to evaporate several billion cubic kilometres of water (and note that 1,000,000,000 km^3 of water is about 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 cubic metres, one cubic metre contains 1000litres of water, hence we have 1 x 10^9 km^3 of water = 1x 10^21 l) would be enough to also blast the planet either into some sort of self-oblivion or, by Newton's Laws of Motion, knock itself off-course and wipe out all life as we know it. The amount of power required to turn one kilogram of water instantly into steam is 2.27 Megajoules - that's 2,270,000 Joules of energy. Per kilogram. So now we're up to 2,270,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Joules of energy being released, or 2.27 x 10^27 Joules. In comparison, Tsar Bomba, the world's biggest nuclear weapon, released only 2.1 x 10^17 Joules, so we're talking a full ten billion times more powerful than that. Or compared to the aforementioned Boxing Day Earthquake, that was still only 4 x 10^22 joules - a hundred thousand times less powerful, and that was enough to knock the planet of its rotational axis by a second or two.

 

And that's just the raw energy required to evaporate said water. That's assuming totally pure water with 0% waste energy. That's not taking into account the amount of tectonic activity required to actually produce that much waste energy, and assuming 100% distribution of said energy after the eruption. Since Nature is never perfect there wouldn't be 100% distribution - we'd be lucky to hit 10% effective distribution. So evaporation alone requires 2.27x 10^28 J of *spare*. Now (and going slightly out of my knowledge here on the numbers-side of things) we then have the amount of energy required to split the Earth's crust open enough to actually allow that amount of energy to escape and hit that amount of water - the Boxing Day Tsunami didn't affect anywhere near that amount of water, nor did Tsar Bomba's mushroom cloud encompass that amount of air, so we can assume that the energy released from *that* tectonic explosion would far outstrip either of those. It would have to be more than the left-over energy that vaporises the water as well - now, let's be conservative and say that 0.1% of the energy released by the eruption went into waste energy to evaporate the water. That now gives our figure to be 2.27 x 10^32 Joules. That's 227,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Joules. Can your mind even begin to comprehend a number that big, let alone an explosion that is a hundred billion times more powerful than the world's most powerful nuclear device?

 

The sudden vacuum left by even a billion cubic kilometres of water disappearing would have sent a massive tsunami racing across the surface of this oceanic world and easily tip over a wooden boat, and this is assuming the shockwave (far more intense than any nuclear bomb ever could be) didn't pulverise the vessel into matchsticks or instantly vaporise it. Even if it was the opposite side of the world to this massive tectonic event.

 

As for a vacuum - the MEE would cause a quarter of the world's water to disappear nearly instantly. Imagine you had a bowl of water and you flash-boiled the centre of the bowl so that a huge column of water disappeared, and you stopped time the moment that water turned to steam. You now have a massive column in the middle of the water that is empty air. Nature abhors a vacuum - that is, if there is an imbalance then Nature will try to even everything out. Also water is liquid, so it changes shape to fit its container.

 

Thus we now have a massive hole in the middle of the water - let time very slowly start again. Water will lose its shape and start to flood down into this 'vacuum' left by the evaporated water, and will continue to flow into this hole until the water level across the entire bowl is level again. Because you've lost a quarter of the water the water level will drop, and because water is chaotic in nature it's not going to simply gently trickle in and fill up gently - it'll be just like water pouring down a plug hole, all messy and chaotic as it causes ripples and waves that interact with each other and slam up against the sides, with a massive whirlpool in the middle as the water rushes into the middle.

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Why do Jews spell it G-d instead of God? I've always wondered that.

I remember reading somewhere that it has to do with not being allowed to write God's name on anything that can be destroyed. I'm not 100% sure though.

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The reason why I find the Noah's ark theory laughable is because whoever stated it has no concept of animal behavior. Where would you store all the food? An elephant alone munchs through tons of vegetation per day. Not to mention that it would need different types of food to keep it from being ill and that some of them only feeds on a select type of food. Also some carnivores won't eat if their prey is not alive. Not only that, but Noah, his wife and three kids must have had a hell of a job keeping all the stalls clean and throwing out crap every day. Added to the fact that some animals get stressed and die while in captivity so you would need a place for them to run around.

 

And all this even without mentioning that, depending on the water being freshwater/saltwater during Noah's flood you'd need to put all marine species living in the opposite type of water in the ark as well. I also do not understand how plants could possibly withstand that sort of flood.

 

So Noah's ark= stalls with regards to different climates, food supplies, exercise field simulating different habitats, massive aquariums housing either all species of freshwater or saltwater life again sorted out according to different climates, and possibly a big hole for crap to fall through. Hmmmm. Am I the only person who finds this not feasible?

You're forgetting one thing. Godly magic.

 

Just kidding. I agree with you, and I actually hadn't thought about the freshwater/saltwater thing before. Good point.

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Why do Jews spell it G-d instead of God? I've always wondered that.

 

 

Out of respect, so that the title-name isn't destroyed or deleted,

 

 

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You're forgetting one thing. Godly magic.

 

Just kidding. I agree with you, and I actually hadn't thought about the freshwater/saltwater thing before. Good point.

It was actually my seven yr old nephew (my dad has a lot of brothers so I have a lot of nephews and cousins whose age difference w me is massive) who pointed it out after trying to release his goldfish into wgat he called a "sea pool" i.e water bombarded w salt. We stopped him in time and he asked that question.

 

Yeah somehow I just cannot see Noah building a wooden aquarium tongue.gif

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Continuing this whole Noah's Ark thing we've got going, has no one mentioned inbreeding yet?

 

I believe with humans, there need to be at least 500 genetically diverse individuals. I don't know what the threshold is for other species, but one pair is not going to cut it.

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Continuing this whole Noah's Ark thing we've got going, has no one mentioned inbreeding yet?

 

I believe with humans, there need to be at least 500 genetically diverse individuals. I don't know what the threshold is for other species, but one pair is not going to cut it.

Well yes it did come up, to which the counterargument was "genes were rolleyes.gif more pure back then."

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Well yes it did come up, to which the counterargument was "genes were rolleyes.gif more pure back then."

That's... not how it works... at all... ?:/

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