Author Topic: Do old posts get deleted?  (Read 1057 times)

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Offline azinyk

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Do old posts get deleted?
« on: February 09, 2011, 02:17:54 AM »
My understanding was that only posts in Explicit get automatically deleted, but I can't find some of my posts in the Science & Skepticism section.

After podcast #290, I went looking for a reply that I wrote a few years ago on the value of animal testing.  I remember it as being really good.  I pointed out that vivisection enabled the discovery of insulin, that the DNA evidence shows that animal models can be 99% identical to humans, etc.  I was gentle and even-handed to the anti-vivisection proponent.  Unfortunately, I now can't find that post anywhere - not using the forum search tool, not using Google.

I don't think it's an age thing, because I can see other posts I wrote as far back as 2006.

Offline Beleth

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Re: Do old posts get deleted?
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2011, 12:31:40 PM »
The only posts that get deleted are one in Explicit, and certain trollish or really offensive ones.

There are, however, areas of the forum that are inaccessible to non-moderators, and some of those areas are entire boards which have outlived their usefulness or which the Panel doesn't want around any more.  One of these boards is the old "Questions for the Panel" board, in which I found this:

vegan27 wrote:
Every species on Earth is biologically unique, right down to the cellular level.
By definition, any species must have some distinction from every other species, otherwise it would not warrant classification into a species of its own.  However, "unique" is a word that can easily be equivocated.  The fact that a species isn't *quite* identical to any other species doesn't mean it's radically different.  It may be very similar to its close relatives.  My siblings and I are "unique", but a lot of people can't even tell us apart.

What does a rat have to do with my own biology?
All the evidence we have so far suggests that all living organisms share a common ancestor (it's still possible we might find some kind of bacteria that originated independantly, but certainly all mammals share a common ancestor).  Common ancestry means we have common biochemistry, genetics, and morphology (form).  "Common" may not mean "identical" (although sometimes it does), but it can mean "similar".

with in-vitro studies, it is at least *human* tissue the scientist is examining.  No kidney is quite like a human kidney; no skin is quite like human skin.
Really?  Why shouldn't an organ or tissue from two related species be identical?  Humans may have diverged from our close relatives in some ways, such as brain structure and bipedalism, but why should every trait change?  Features that both species use in the same way, and are subject to the same selection pressures, should be conserved in the same way.  Even genetic drift wouldn't matter because it tends to operate on selection-neutral traits.  Two cars of the same model have a fundamental difference if one has a V6 and the other has a V4, but they can still have interchangable CD players, side-mirrors, and headlights.

No other animal species produces all of the same proteins, growth hormones, etc. that we do.
We don't need them to be identical in every respect.  We have learned about human genetics from fruit flies, and even pea plants.  Those organisms didn't need to be exactly like us.  Engineers have a saying: "All models are wrong.  Some models are useful."

"Giving cancer to laboratory animals has not and will not help us to understand the disease or to treat those persons suffering from it."
- Dr. A. Sabin

Why not?  The doctor doesn't give any argument to show why this won't happen; as far as I can see, it's just an unsupported assertion.

J. Barnes, after experimenting on rhesus monkeys for 16 years, later wrote: "When I first left the laboratory, I remained skeptical, stating, 'there are some good experiments to be sure, but the majority are worthless', or words to that effect. Now after years of looking for those 'good' experiments, I have long since concluded that they do not exist.
Again, we have someone giving their conclusion without showing the evidence that led up to it.  There are all kinds of creationists who just say "there are no transitional fossils"; a person who denies that such fossils or worthy animal experiments exist would need to show why well-respected examples are invalid, rather than just stating that they are.

"I know of no achievement through vivisection, no scientific discovery, that could not have been obtained without such barbarism and cruelty. The whole thing is evil." -Dr. Charles Mayo
"Vivisection" can mean different things, but let's say it refers to cutting an animal that isn't dead yet.  When Banting discovered insulin, he had to damage the pancreases of dogs, surgically, to simulate a failed pancreas in humans.  You can call it mutilation, if you want to push the morality button.  Then he injected with them with an extract from the pancreas of other animals, and they survived longer than dogs without the injections.  If the dogs hadn't been mutilated, or hadn't been alive (and probably suffering), the experiment couldn't have been done.  But it was, and the discovery of insulin is considered one of the greatest medical achievements of the 20th century.  Mayo suggests that it could have been done another way, and maybe it could have, but without describing such a procedure, it's just an unfalsifiable premise.  To say that we couldn't do it any other way would mean we'd have to know about every potential medical technology that could possibly be developed.  I don't consider that a good argument, though, and think we should only compare vivisection to other medical technologies that are within reach.  Even if we can find a substitute, we still should weigh the pros and cons of both methods.

You know... I think I'm just going to give it up.  I was hoping for a discussion that wasn't just me alone defending scientific anti-vivisection against every other person who replied.
That's too bad; I thought it was a fascinating topic.  I think one of the fundamental problems is that, among people who believe that animal research is useful, it is a moral decision as to whether we should cause a living being to suffer in order to benefit ourselves.

You will probably agree that experiments on humans are at least using a medically sound "model", but you would probably agree that Nazi experiements on concentration-camp victims were immoral.  An experiment can be both useful and evil, and you might have a better chance of convincing us of the latter.  Particularly in this evolutionist-heavy group, showing that animals are similar to humans, and therefore worthy of our sympathy, might be easier.  You might have skepchick Rebecca in your corner already - you have me.

Please read (or at least a look at) the book I mentioned earlier (Sacred Cows and Golden Geese: The Human Cost of Experiments on Animals by C. Ray Greek MD and Jean Swingle Greek DVM).
If I can find it at my local library, I think I will read it.

Ashley Zinyk

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I expect to pass through this world but once;
any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now;
let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
-- Stephan Grellet

Offline azinyk

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Re: Do old posts get deleted?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2011, 07:19:24 PM »
The only posts that get deleted are one in Explicit, and certain trollish or really offensive ones.

There are, however, areas of the forum that are inaccessible to non-moderators, and some of those areas are entire boards which have outlived their usefulness or which the Panel doesn't want around any more.  One of these boards is the old "Questions for the Panel" board, in which I found this:

(click to show/hide)

Is that what you are looking for?  I hope so!

Yes, this is exactly what I had in mind.  Thank you!