Posted by Gary R on February 28, 2003 at 06:11:30:
In Reply to: Re: If You Find My Views Offensive, Don't Read My Posts posted by Peter B on February 27, 2003 at 18:04:42:
Thanks, Pete. I think. First of all, I'll say that I don't think I'm in the minority anywhere except, perhaps, on these message boards. Secondly, all of my comments, off-color or not, have been in response to things others have said. I have never, on these boards, gone out of my way to say anything that concerns matters of politics, religion, race or any other "hot button" topics. I have only responded with my own views when such topics have been either expressed or implied by others first. I believe the record (what still exists of it after Kevin's "editing")will confirm this.
Indeed, a mature discussion is what I come here for, and it's what I expect, and usually find. You are all a bright, articulate, and sometimes ingenious group who have inspired my thinking in many ways, and your input has been appreciated. Indeed, there are "true leaders and stars in each generation," and I'm certain that we may have a few here. I believe that those of you who are still in your youth will find, with time and experience, as I have, and as all those before us have, that no single generation can know it all, and that no single generation can either be held responsible for the mistakes or the triumphs of the human race.
The human condition and all human knowledge and wisdom (as well as ignorance and flaws) are composed of the historical sedimentary layering of ideas, concepts, truths and conventions that have been accumulating since our earliest ancestors began to breathe life. We are all beholden to their acheivements, to a greater extent than any of us can possibly appreciate, and so, too, our own acheivements and advances (as well as our problems and flaws) will be passed on to successive generations yet unborn.
One of my hobbies, for almost twenty years, now, is genealogy; the tracing of ancestry. This hobby goes well beyond that simple activity, though. As one delves deeper into it, one gains a considerable education in history, anthropolgy, geography, linguitics and many other subjects. One thing I've learned from genealogy is that we are all, quite literally, cousins, descended from the same relative handful of ancient ancestors. Though our society has divided and compartmentalized us all into cliques and castes, and though all of us are born into and grow up in a civilization in which we view others in terms of "us" and "them," the fact remains that we are all members of one great family. I say that without any religious implications at all. I am not a religious person, by any means. I mean, rather, that we are all quite literally and genetically related to each other, regardless of race. The latest studies in the distribution of human DNA have confirmed that we all descend from one of seven "tribes" that emerged from Africa some 150,000 million years ago and fanned out across Europe and Asia. Fascinating stuff, I'm sure you'd agree (unless you don't believe in evolution, I guess).
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