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Keenston uses the so-called freemium model, which means that some functionality is free and some features are only available if you pay. You can participate (comment, react) in all the debates, discussions or take quizzes as much as you want, but in order to create your own debates, communities or blog posts, you have to buy premium membership. But why don’t we allow everyone to use all the features free of charge because most websites work like this?  The reason is: we do not serve ads to our users AT ALL. Those “free” websites are not as free as one might think… These websites earn money by selling the data about their users to advertisers. The more users they have the more they can earn f

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My name is Sasha and I’ve sat in a lot of classes in my life! After high school, I spent six years earning my first degree (5 years at a Russian University and 1 year as an exchange student at an American college) then I took a break and worked in Moscow eventually deciding to spend another 2 years to earn my Master’s degree in the US. I’ve spent 18 years on formal education and certainly I’ve learned a ton. However, I’ve also realized that there are many flaws in the conventional educational system. Very often, education is conflated with indoctrination and educators mold a person into another conforming worker rather than into an independent, unique, inquisitive and creative thinker. This

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To be consistent with our goal to promote enlightenment, critical thinking and art, we have changed all the reactions to comments, posts and other pieces of content. Now we have the following signs: 

Light bulb: to react to something that enlightened you

Refresh: to react to something that changed your view

Question mark: to react to something that you think needs more evidence

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Brush & Pencil sign: to react to some piece of art that you find truly beautiful 

Our users are not pursuing likes, they are trying to challenge their views, enlighten other people and seek wisdom!

Hello Sasha,

Now that is a tricky question!

Before I start: I am fond of what scientists could find out about our origins so far – and I tend to believe them – unlike maybe others, even if there might be still some gaps and insecurities;)

Scientists could date back the birthdate of humans in Africa who have lived about 4,4 million years ago in recent years,

But it remains still a mystery what lead to the "birth" of mankind.

Darwin’s ideas that he took from extended studies in many regions around the world were much disputed at the time. But later added fuel to misleading ideologies as we all know now in the late 19th and 20th century, with devastating consequences.

His theory of the “survival of the fittest”, especially. Those nations/races who thought themselves to be superior at the time abused his thoughts to build up their cases. They believed that they had reached the top and therefore had the right to rule others -> see white supremacy, for instance.

This reminds me of what they have found out about decision making. The gut feeling comes first, the explanation for the decision follows later.

Modern biological and neurological science has finally proved them wrong. The genomes of all people around the world differ by so very little that there is absolutely no reason for the superiority of any race on earth!

But much of Darwin’s competition theory is still in place. There, he has a point. But with respect to mankind it is not at all about biology or our brain, it is about everything else!

Now, back to the question at hand:
We have a much better picture nowadays of where it all started and how mankind has spread over the planet thanks to a technology based on the measurement of radioactic isotopes in bones developed around 1950. It is an effective and accurate method to date back remainings over thousands of years. All sorts of human/humanoid skeletons around the world were measured that way during the last decades, with astonishing results!

A distinct geographical area, a "graben" in Africa, situated in nowaday's Ethiopia, is said to be the “melting pot” of mankind. The oldest skeleton they found there dates back 4,4 million years from now. But the upright walking happened even earlier, they say.

Could it be that in this enclosed area, certain habits like social interactions fostered the developement of the brains? They think so, but it is hard to say and quite difficult to prove...

What they guess is that long before humans began talking with each other only around 100'00 years back or so, they must have understood one another through making sounds and, most emportantly, by reading and understanding each others emotions on their faces and body language much better than monkeys could.

That is what they concluded after studying the brain activities, it’s structure and developement and the DNA with nowadays' technologies and compared them to our next of kin, the Shimpansees, and other species. These buggers (monkeys), by the way, are not fools at all, but by doing experiments in behavior with them, scientists found that the gaps between monkeys and men are too substantial in terms of social behavior and brain capabilities. They might develop into so intelligent creatures like we are now in another 6 million years, in case they are going to survive us;)

Now, that is the theory of the scientists. But...

-> Could aliens have helped to create mankind?

Some people claim that the emerging of humankind could not have happened without interfering forces/aliens from outside, coming from the universe most certainly. Sort of mental training, maybe, by visitors from outside our galaxy? But there is no hint to that as far as we know that they found on earth to prove that. So it remains speculation or, as I would put it,  stuff for science fiction novels.

-> Is the creation of mankind God’s work?

Many people believe, that a miracle like our world and mankind can only be God's work. Some take that belief literally from the old scriptures and stick to it. Personally, I wonder how many people in our world today still see it that way and do not approve of any scientific approach or theory.

Now, people have always tried to find answers to unsolved questions. I guess, modern science has come a long way and got rid of many superstitions that had prevailed over large periods. 
I tend to believe in science more than in other possible explanations. There is no point, in my view, to take religious scripts literally. Naturally what we know about many things does change over time. It should not threaten our beliefs and put us in an awkward position. But this is a matter open to discussion, and deeply religious people might disagree.

But I guess there might be other ideas out there, whether or not we have developed from monkeys?

And you might have some ideas about what within us shows that we still tend to act like shempansees, or even worse, sometimes…J

Have a good day!
Urs

Added debate 

Today Darwin's theory of evolution is virtually universally accepted by scientists but was he right though? Did we humans evolve from monkeys? Maybe we emerged in some other way? 

Added debate 

Napoleon was an immense historical figure with many people considering him one of the greatest military and political minds in history. Napoleon was victorious for many years until he finally lost to the coalition of different European powers in 1815. What if it was Napoleon who won eventually? 

Added debate 

The WW1 was one of the most brutal wars in the history of humankind.. What if Franz Ferdinand wasn't assassinated in 1914 and it didn't trigger this grave military conflict in 1914? Would a major war still happen later or would the main European powers be able to prevent it? 

 

Added debate 

One of the major historic events in the late 20ty century was the collapse of the USSR in 1991. Some people regard this event as positive for the world, some as negative. 

Well, most trash ads are usually located on dubious websites and you don't have to visit those websites at all. Yes, websites like online betting services for example can be overwhelmed with ads of lower quality but the thing is those websites are themselves of lower quality. A decent site would never place ads that lead to malware.

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