Evolution vs. Creation

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Boris, May 30, 1999.

  1. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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    Tiassa,

    Well, I wasn't going to go as far as the actual origins of matter, since that didn't seem to be the point of MoonCat's question.

    However, let me respond to you as follows: yes, and no, and what??

    The inhomogeneity of the universe has indeed been a problem for the classical Big Bang. However, it's been quite a few years since that particular controversy was settled with the theory of inflation. According to that theory, at the start the universe underwent a period of hyper-fast inflation where there actually were parts of the universe between which the distance growth rate exceeded lightspeed. Because the universe expanded so rapidly from Planck-scale (~1x10^-33m, at which spacetime is a roiling foam of chaos) to macro-scales, the spacetime distortions of the 'foam' got near-instantly stretched into huge structures which are subsequently "frozen" onto the fabric of the cosmos (they were formed at superluminal rates, and thus, following inflation, never had a chance to collapse back to their natural size.) Because the immense curvatures that exist at Planck scale got stretched out into gigantic structures, their local curvature is pretty gentle (akin to the local curvature of a large sphere, such as a tennis ball enlarged to the size of the Earth for example, being nearly unnoticeable compared to the curvature of a normal tennis ball.) These "dimples" in spacetime served as gravitational wells and mounds that corralled the rapidly cooling energy and matter into basins, which subsequently gave rise to the galactic clusters and superclusters (and maybe even to the first galactic nuclei.) Hence, the present intergalactic-scale picture of "walls" of matter separated by great "voids", as if all matter of the universe is deposited on the surfaces of horrendously gigantic "bubbles" -- is neatly explained away by inflation. Inflationary theory got a major verification when the cosmic microwave background radiation (the 'fossilized' afterglow of the Big Bang) was mapped for the first time at high sensitivity, and turned out to be blotchy just at the scales, power spectra, and magnitudes predicted by inflation. But, none of this really has anything to do with evolution or creationism.

    I suspect, but am not sure, that you are trying to hint at a certain consequence of determinism (to which I personally adhere, but much of modern physics doesn't). That is, if all energy and matter interacts in strictly predictable and mechanistic ways, then one can trace the present state of the universe back some 12-15 billion years to the very first, "arch-state". This initial state possessed a particular configuration, which subsequently unraveled itself in time into the very particular universe we observe. Were the initial state even a tinsiest bit different, that small change would have cascaded and echoed through time to result in a substantially differently-looking universe (in particular, you and I probably would no longer exist at this point in time; we might simply be different as persons, or we might not be human, or Earth might be lifeless, or the solar system might not even exist, etc. -- you get the idea.) This might appear like an opportunity for creationists to claim that God's plan does, after all, have an actual manifestation -- in the shape of that initial configuration of the universe from which everything we know emerged. However, the picture doesn't agree with much of the remainder of creationist ideas about the universe. In this picture, the universe is like a deterministic computer program, or like a vinyl record, just playing itself out. There is no free will, no choice, no alternatives -- fate is absolute, and predestination all-encompassing. Of course, we will never be able to predict the future, since in the grotesquely multivariate function that computes the next state of the universe based on the current state, there are at least on the order of 10^100 individual variables (number of atoms in the universe) -- and thus to predict the next time-step we would have to accumulate an impossible amount of data (not to mention that the Heisenberg uncertainty principle prevents us from knowing precise parameters even of a single atom, and not to mention that as inhabitants of the universe we can't completely encode all of the universe's structure (the omniscience paradox I addressed in the Contradictions thread).) So, while this scenario states that the future is absolutely predetermined by the past, it gives us no hope of ever knowing the future until we get to directly experience it as the present. This, at least, is how I perceive the state of things.

    A great many modern physicists (but not all of them) would dispute my opinion, stating that the universe is fundamentally nondeterministic, and at its most basic level governed by randomness and chance. Thus, no function exists to deterministically map the state of the universe at one moment onto the state of the universe in the next moment. However, I have many philosophical (not physical, mind you) reasons to disagree with such a position (reasons I've discussed on other treads over a half-year ago, and also having nothing to do with evolution.) To my delight, there seems to be a developing resurgence of determinism at the avantgarde of physics, so at least I no longer feel so lonely.

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    To that end, I'll share with you an intuition I successfully used in one of my Senior philosophy essays. Given my description in the last paragraph, imagine that the universe itself (including all space, matter, energy, and us) is indeed a computer simulation. (actually, a nice fit given my model: quantized fundamental entities that collectively constitute the universe, changing state from time-step to time-step according to the states of all the other entities and using deterministic (computable) laws...) Then whoever built the computer, programmed it, and started the program can be construed as "God". However, this "God" and its computer exist in yet another universe (call it "God's realm"), and observing the emergence of life and intelligence on one of the simulated planets, "God" begins to wonder: what if God's realm is also but a computer simulation? And so on, and so forth indefinitely. Actually, I used that particular allegory to demonstrate the theoretical nature of all knowledge, since, for example, imagine what would happen to the universe if the simulation got invaded by a computer virus. The very laws of nature could change, 2+2 could become 10, the Sun might start absorbing light and orbiting the Earth, broken glasses spontaneously re-assemble themselves, etc. Just goes to show you that there is indeed a possibility of an arbitrarily deep hierarchy of forever unknowable and inaccessible realities beyond our reality, which nevertheless precisely determine what we are and how we work. And the hidden processes of those hidden realities may turn the entirety of our perceived universe on its head at any moment. This is but an illustration to the unprovable nature of the mother of all hypotheses -- The Fundamental Principle of Induction -- upon which all knowledge (and indeed all life!) is built -- that reality is regular and continuous both in space and time. But I digress...

    As to your metaphors linking the story of the Devil to the Big Bang -- I'm just plain not getting it. (Sorry!)

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    I am; therefore I think.

    [This message has been edited by Boris (edited March 01, 2000).]
     
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  3. MoonCat Registered Senior Member

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    Boris, Tiassa,

    AAAHHHH!!! Okay, now I'm lost. I'm sorry, I'm not dumb, really! I am relatively uneducated in the realm of physics, so please forgive me for falling behind the both of you two. (shaking head) I need to get my husband on this board. He's the physicist in the family.

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    (visions of strange shapes flying around in my head...what does a quantum particle look like?...oh, it must be that turquoise triangle twinkling away at me over there on the left...) LOL.

    Okay, no more silly-ness.

    Boris, let me ask this, though. You say it's quantum mechanics, roughly, that makes these proteins and such begin to attach together...well, "quantum mechanics" is a label that us humans have placed on the phenomenon, but do we really understand it? Obviously, you understand it better than I do, but as I hear it, it's still a largely "new" frontier in science. The question then turns to..well, we've got a name for the phenomenon, but what makes that happen? Mind you, I don't have an answer to that one, either.

    I think my (clumsy as always) point is that none of us can give an explanation that is definitely THE answer. The Christians have their creation theory, the scientific community has variations of the evolutionary theory, I have my own personal cobbled together theory...I just don't think we've found the real answer yet, 100%. Creationism is big on the "why" and the "who", but shakey on the "how" and "what" (IMHO). Evolutionism is big on the "what" and the "how", but has nothing for the "why" and "who" (partially because most probably don't think there's a "who" at all, which means there probably isn't much of a "why" either).

    For the record, I DO believe in evolution, I have no doubts that it is the case. But I have a theory that walks hand in hand with my version of the evolutionary idea - I keep coming back to a life force being present in the universe. Now, I'm not talking about a "god" per se, I'm talking about another galactic force, like gravity or inertia - a non-thinking, non-aware energy. Just like matter tends to stick together (quantum mechanics at work?), I think it also tends to form life. In the right environments, of course.

    In my concept, the "diety" comes to play later on, after this life has begun. But that's fodder for another thread, so I'll drop that for now.

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  5. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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    MoonCat,

    Quantum mechanics, while being *relatively* new, is very well established and has been around in a more or less current form for half a century. It is not merely a label for a bunch of phenomena. Like Newtonian mechanics, quantum mechanics is a theory that consists of various laws (described by formulae) that govern entities at the quantum scale. Quantum mechanics enables us to explain everything from nuclear bombs to transistors to photosynthesis to electricity to chemistry to the properties of fundamental particles, etc. Indeed, the Big Bang gets a lot of its supporting evidence from the agreement of empirical measurements with predictions formed by a quantum mechanical analysis given the assumption of Big Bang cosmology (for example, abundances of different elements in the universe, properties of the cosmic microwave background, the way matter is clustered in space, etc. -- all derive from the inflationary Big Bang with the use of quantum mechanics.) As another example, using the laws of quantum mechanics scientists are currently able to computationally simulate how chemicals form and react -- and the data generated by computer simulations agrees precisely with data obtained from empirical measurements. So when I say that quantum mechanics governs the way chemicals react, I'm saying exactly what it sounds like I'm saying. There is no need for some additional "force" to affect behavior of matter -- matter's behavior (minus gravity) is completely explained by the laws of quantum mechanics.

    Now, if you are asking where the very laws described by the formulae come from, that's a question I can't answer (nor indeed can anyone else.) As is all matter and energy, the laws that govern them just "are". At present, we don't have enough of an insight to figure out where the <u>fundamental</u> laws come from. However, we've been able to reduce other, more complex, "laws" to a description in terms of more fundamental ones. For example, the laws that govern how a resistor affects current and voltage in an electrical circuit are completely derivable from quantum mechanics. And, the latest efforts such as the M-theory are promising to reduce even the many laws of quantum mechanics to a yet smaller and "simpler" set of yet more fundamental laws -- from which not only quantum mechanics, but the entirety of behaviors of matter and energy in the universe, can be mathematically derived. This process of reduction has been ongoing for centuries, and there is no telling where it will stop...

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    I am; therefore I think.

    [This message has been edited by Boris (edited March 02, 2000).]
     
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  7. MoonCat Registered Senior Member

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    (bowing to Boris' greater knowledge)

    Okay, Boris, I catch your drift.

    We are in agreement on that we can't say WHY these 'laws' are the way they are, right?

    Why do you think they are the way they are?

    What do you think of the theory that this is only one of many "big bangs" the universe has gone through? Do you think it's feasable that the universe was "created" several times, but was unstable and eventually collapsed, and "banged" back into existance again and again until finally the random combinations finally came up with a stable "viable" universe? (this isn't my theory by the way, I stole it from NOVA)

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    That theory makes a whole lot of sense to me personally. It goes a long way towards explaining why our universe is the way it is...basically there IS no reason other than it happens to be a configuration that is "stable" enough not to collapse back upon itself.

    What do you think of my "life force" theory? I don't think it's contradictory to the quantum mechanics laws...well, as far as my feeble brain can see anyway.

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    It's good talking to you Boris, I like the way you think. Hope you're having a good Friday.

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  8. tablariddim forexU2 Valued Senior Member

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    I just came across this little fact and is aimed at the creationists who say there are no missing links.

    Found in 1966 and encased in resin. The Sphecomyrma freyi worker ant, was the first known ant specimen from the cretaceous period. It proved to be a missing link between today's ant species and their wasp ancestors.

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    I used to think I was weird...till I discovered Excoscience messageboards!
     
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    Boris--

    I've given it some thought and it'll be a while before the grander part of that scheme is cohesive enough to of much value. However ...

    Thank you for the fill-in. It's important for me to establish a mechanism to explain the need for diversity in the universe, thus the wonderings about quantum thermodynamics.

    The bit about the devil is just a tremendously convenient coincidence to a period of quantum existence in the universe: What if the tales of the fall of the devil are stories all life knows in some sense, an organic signature, as such, of the creation of the universe. As I tend to believe that humanity crafts its gods in its own image, and as gods originally explained the unexplained ... some gods might have explained the history of the universe. Crudely, as such.

    But that's about all it's worth. I had wanted to throw at least some idea out there for the notion that evolution, Big Bang, or other now-fundmental theories need not contradict God.

    thanx,
    Tiassa

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    The whole business with the fossilized dinosaur eggs was a joke the paleontologists haven't seen yet. (Good Omens, Gaiman & Pratchett)
     
  10. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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    MoonCat,

    Well, that is the question, isn't it?

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    Of course, since we "can't say WHY these 'laws' are the way they are", I wouldn't be able to tell you what I think about it. It's not because I've got some grand theory but am too squeamish or scheming to share it with the world. I just plain don't have a slightest idea. I've thought about it a lot, and I still don't have a clue.

    In fact, I don't even know if it is ever mathematically possible for us to divine the reasons for why the laws are the way they are. After all, any fundamental reason 'why' would have to be put in language, and therefore would have to rely on a set of concepts even more fundamental than itself -- and we are led down an infinite regress of trying to define those more fundamental concepts in terms of yet more fundamental concepts, ad nauseum. Perhaps, this is the wrong approach to the problem? What if the paradigm of the "circularity of being" is more than a merely cute idea, what if it's the statement of reality? Maybe there is no beginning and no end. Maybe the universe is not really infinite in a flat sense, but is curled up upon itself, so that it is pointless trying to define where it begins or where it ends, or what is outside vs. inside. Maybe such attempts are just as futile as the anscient search for the edge of the Earth. Then again, maybe our conceptual frameworks haven't yet evolved to the state enabling complete understanding -- similar, for example, to how the anscient Greeks with their Euclidean geometry and no concepts of calculus would have been unable to conjecture a Riemannian warped spacetime of Einstein.

    Well, for one this "theory" has an actual name; it's called "the Anthropic Principle". Basically, the more complete statement of the Principle would go something like this: the only reason things are exactly the way they are, is because we exist and are able to observe them. If things were different even in the slightest degree, we either wouldn't exist to observe them, or we will still exist but not be aware of any "difference" -- since we have nothing concrete to compare our particular reality to.

    This has been used to dismiss quibbles about the many empirically-determined, yet seemingly fundamental, constants of quantum mechanics and general relativity. For example, such things as the gravitational constant, the speed of light, the vacuum permittivity constant, the Planck length, etc, etc, etc. simply are the way they are, with no current explanation for their exact values. The creationist argument went, that if any of these various constants was even a little bit different, the universe as we know it would not exist (which is true.) Therefore, creationists argued, all these constants have been precisely set by the Creator. The Anthropic Princple counteracts that claim, conjecturing that our particular spacetime is but one of a potential infinity (whether these realities are sequential or parallel is irrelevant at this point), that the majority of other spacetimes would either not be conducive to life, or would not start out with the initial conditions to evolve a Human race, and that ours just happens to have had the configuration that leads to the personal existence, thoughts, and even writings (the present post included), of every one of us.

    But note that many constants currently considered fundamental may end up being derived from a yet more fundamental "Theory Of Everything". So in that sense, the miraculous confluence of the many factors that makes our existence possible may eventually be reduced to just one or two constants, if even that. In the end, it may turn out, for example, that all the constants and laws of the universe derive from some single fundamental geometrical property of some kind of ultimate "bricks" from which the universe is built.

    Well, it's not really contradictory to anything. That's the good news. But it's also the bad news. Your lifeforce "theory" is not a true theory -- because it cannot in principle be disproved. It does not offer any concrete predictions based on experimental factors. In that sense, your "theory" is totally useless as far as attempts to <u>understand</u> (i.e. explain in terms of cause-and-effect, numerically replicate the current empirical measurements, and enable to predict future outcomes) are concerned. As such, your "theory" has no more value than any other from an infinite set of such potential "theories" that co-exist with physical reality without ever coming into conflict with it. Since your theory cannot be disproven, the only way we can hope to ascertain its truth is through a direct observation of the life-force (whatever it may be). However, as such a verification potentially will never come, and we cannot wait indefinitely, all of these verification-dependent theories must be treated as equally probable at this point. And, because there are infinitely many such potential theories, the probability of any random one of them (including your particular one) being the truth is mathematically 1/(infinity) = 0. Due to these deficiencies, your "theory" is hereby consigned to come under the Occam's razor.

    At least that's what I think. You, of course, are free to entertain your particular faith all you want -- just don't expect to gain any insight from it that you couldn't have gained through other means.

    And by the way, I enjoy talking to you too, even though we don't agree on certain theological issues.

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    [This message has been edited by Boris (edited March 05, 2000).]
     
  11. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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    Tiassa,

    So... Does that mean that you are satisfied with the posts I've made, meaning: do you think I've adequately explained the presence of diversity in the universe? Or maybe, you want to discuss that issue a bit more?

    Heck, regardless, I feel like adding a little bit on that topic. Complexity tends to arise within unstable systems that encompass many constituents interacting in nontrivial ways. (By "unstable" I mean that a perfectly symmetrical arrangement is easily destroyed by even a slightest perturbation.) As matter is very complex in its behavior, and presents on the order of 10^100 units to the system of the universe, it shouldn't be too surprising that complex patterns evolve within such a system over time. (The inflationary Big Bang I mentioned in my previous reply to you merely accounts for the formation of very-large-scale structures in the universe, which are not determinable merely by the more fine-grained interactions between bits of matter. Essentially, it helps explain why the universe isn't just a very low-density gas cloud.)

    Well... Read the last section of my reply to MoonCat above, concerning the Occam's razor. I think it applies equally well to your particular suggestion.

    But beyond utility, in order for life to contain an "organic signature" of the universe's creation, such a signature must have been imprinted onto us through evolution. Yet, there is nothing apparent about the environment that would drive such a process. Perhaps, you see it otherwise? Or, if you are merely throwing out a possibility with no actual implications, again see the Occam's razor bit...

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    I am; therefore I think.
     
  12. Rambler Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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    Hi guys,

    The question of "why do these laws exist" was asked....here is my opinion of why:

    as Boris has said before humans are excellent at identifying patterns, I explain physics/mathematics as humans doing just that, i.e. making our reality fit a pattern (maybe its a human need to control --if we understand how it works we can exploit it make it work for our benefit) and that drives us to reduce everything to a fundamental model (a pattern we can extrapulate from). However IMO our understanding of the fundamental nature of the universe is what our human brain can comprehend, i.e. the edge of the universe is the limit of human comprehension we can't visualise a 5 dimensional space so we understand the universe to be made up of 3 spactial dimensions etc.

    So IMO the reason why the "fundamental" laws exist is because we invent them to be able to extrapolate from them and satisfy our need to understand our universe...lets face it before quantumn mechanics the universe (as we new it) was based in newtonian mechanics.....so as our perception / comprehension of the universe changes so does the universe as we know it.....and when we finally find a "fundamental" alternative to the theory of relativity we will be in a universe that allows for travel faster then the speed of light...WOW I hope you guys follow what I'm trying to say (it was so much clearer in my own head).

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  13. Rambler Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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    my above post got posted twice ... sorry (this was the second)

    [This message has been edited by Rambler (edited March 05, 2000).]
     
  14. Vanden Registered Member

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    Just thought I'd toss my two cents in...

    I still wonder why people argue over a thing like this. I personally believe in evolution, and I also believe in God. I don't think that the two are mutually exclusive. Many people look at the Bible as the literal truth, and it's giving them false illusions, I think. The important parts of the Bible are the lessons taught within it. Many people, many in this forum, often quote mistakes or contradictions in the Bible. I agree there are some, but I also hold the opinion that they don't matter in the slightest. The lessons and morals which are taught are still the same.

    Genesis tells the story of God creating the earth, and every living being. Many people assume that this is exactly the way it happened, and that God actually created the earth in seven days. I think that doing this would be well within his power, but I doubt an eternal being would be in such a rush. Instead, I would propose that this story is there to teach us that we would not be here unless God put us into existence, and that we could do nothing without his consent, because, after all, he created everything that we know.

    This issue really comes back to the existence of God. Why do we believe, or why do we not? I think it's different in almost every case. Many people are raised as Christians, Jews, or followers of other religions. Some find religion by themselves. This was the case for me, as I only became a Christian very recently. Until then, I suppose I considered myself an agnostic. Why do I believe in God? It is something I feel. No amount of research or proof could have proved it to me, and none can convince me otherwise. Some use the Bible as their ultimate proof of God's existence. To those, I hope that you find belief within yourself, and do not rely simply on a book. If you do, I have found some pretty interesting gods in fantasy books that you might want to try out if all it takes for you is a good story. I know many people try to use other proof as well, from wherever they find it, to prove that God exists. I would hope that if you believe in an all powerful being, you would also be able to accept that he'll let himself be proven to exist whenever he feels like it, and not before, and that he'll be damn sure everyone realizes it when he does.

    Many people try to convert others to Christianity using whatever "proof" they can scrounge up. If you are attempting this method, I don't think you're really helping. Instead, share what God has done for you in your life with others. That is what brought me to Christianity, and many others who I have talked to told me that it was the same for them. Trying to convince people with proof just won't work. It has to be something that you feel inside you. There are things that I believe in that I have been convinced of through proof, but I don't think that God is something that can be proven through conventional means. If he could be, what kind of test would it be to believe in him? God wouldn't have promised eternal salvation to those who believed in him if it was obvious to everyone that he existed. That is why faith is important. To have faith would not be too hard if God came and appeared to everyone on the evening news, although I think that might still not be enough for some people.

    I guess I'll end this with a plea for tolerance among people. I hope that those who constantly ask for proof of God's existence can realize that it is something that cannot be proven. I also hope that those Christians out there, and those of other faiths as well, would not judge those who disagree with you, and would instead try to show others why you believe as you do. Many take it upon themselves to hold judgment over others when it is not their place. The Bible and other such books are there to guide us with lessons, and they are not tools of persecution as some would have them be. I personally think God would get pretty pissed off if he found people judging others in his place. That's just my belief, though. I'm not saying we should go without courts and police and all that. I just am opposed to people being labelled as evil or not being allowed to do certain things because of who they are or what they believe.

    I guess that's the end of my rant. Let me know what ya think =)
     
  15. Rambler Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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    I don't think that anyone is looking for proof of any kind. I like to think that this is a discussion on peoples convictions. We make points and see if anyone can bring a point of view that you may not have considered.....its all (as far as I can tell) a test of our own ideas about religion.

    your point is a good one and for those that it may apply to I hope they take it to heart, however if we don't question it we will never be able to have a firm understanding of what religion means to ourselves.....thats my 2 cents.

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  16. Vanden Registered Member

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    Well, some may not be looking for proof, but in many other posts that I've read on these boards in various topics, it seems that those arguing for Christianity have always been asked to provide proof of their beliefs, and thus my comments on proof.

    I do agree that these things should be questioned, and that is why I wrote my post in the first place, but I think I see too many questioning on the basis of proof on a topic which, to me, seems outside the realm of that which can be proved.
     
  17. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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    Rambler,

    You bring up an interesting point:

    I would agree with you, except that we can still reason about things we can't visualize. For example, our mathematics enables us to explore 11-dimensional membranes, despite the fact that we can't visualize anything beyond 3 dimensions very well. Similarly, we could in principle design ways to detect other dimensions through their effects on the 3 spatial and (perhaps) the "time" dimensions that we can explicitly perceive. If the universe is thoroughly logical and causally connected, such a process could in principle let us discover everything there is to know about how the universe works (though it still won't help us with the possible hidden realities I've mentioned before.)

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    I am; therefore I think.
     
  18. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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    Vanden,

    This is true indeed; however many feel compelled to attack certain theories or empirical findings because they run contrary to treasured intuitions gained through 'faith'. This is where people start challenging the logic or the evidence for such things as evolution, or the Big Bang, for example. And that's when people start arguing about whether such scientific theories should even be taught to the general populace, or whether certain creationist "alternatives" should be considered as at least equiprobable. Hence, this particular thread.

    Usually, people are only asked for the justification of their beliefs when they attack certain other beliefs, theories, or findings. Such challenges are typically made in an attempt to illustrate that the attacks are unfounded, and that the attackers actually have no solid ground under their feet, whereas the target of their attacks has the entire physical universe to stand upon. These are examples where intuition clashes with reality -- perfect illustrations of why objectivity is vastly superior to faith.

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  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    Boris--

    Were I to teach Creationism, or any other religious-based faith-as-fact curriculum in a public school, I would feel compelled to walk a fine line, trying to demonstrate a balance between the theological image and the probable historical/anthropological reality of the concept.

    I believe that it was you who, on multiple occasions, phrased it such that "man creates God in his own image." (Please don't quote my quoting you in that I would hate to put words in your mouth; it's the concept that's important, not its origin within this forum.)

    I am a strong believer that humankind creates and created its own gods. (The only way I can accept the other is if we count God as synonymous with Universe, and vice-versa, so that both concepts bleed all over each other; and even then, two or three vital assumptions are necessary--e.g. faith, which leaves us where we started.) I'm also inclined to ask what it is that we reflect when we create gods, and why we, as the collective human race, choose those criteria to reflect. This, I'm convinced, is the key to determining the value of religion (as opposed to the pure concept of faith, to which I assert nothing at the moment).

    I would offer prior debates at this forum and throughout Christian society regarding the story of Noah and the Flood; determining the nature of the "flood" is difficult, as we can either take single, localized geological/meteorological events and declare one of them to be "the Flood", or we could perhaps look back to the primal Earth, when all was shrouded in ocean. I generally look back to the primal Earth for this one, since the story of the Flood exists millennia prior to the Hebrews. Thus, while I do not agree that the Biblical version of the Flood, I do think it fair to say that the story probably refers to a "flood" that actually existed. (A Cherokee version of creation and flood has a Great Buzzard flying over the wet, marshy land until He becomes tired, and settles in the land that became the Cherokee homeland; doves and olive branches?)

    That's the kind of connection I'm after, one which reflects how we arrived at the particular stories of God that we did.

    But a couple of cool stories here at Exosci clicked into place, and then the evolution-debate reopened ... I was hoping to put a groundwork out there to demonstrate that there is a practical manner of fitting creationism into any "opposing" (

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    ) scientific discipline.

    You've given me a great deal on diversity and density ... thank you. It was extremely necessary to know why the Universe isn't a uniform gas cloud; your points are of inestimable value; quantum thermodynamics and stuff like that is just me grasping at straws when I know there's a real explanation that I haven't figured out. (I'd rather be sci-fi than Dark Age when I get mythical.)

    The only point I wanted to expand on directly was the "organic signature". It's a borrowed term, so I'm not entirely happy with it. But it does contain essentially the parts I'm after. I would assert that such a signature is imprinted on us in a very subtle way: "Hear that sound? Of course not, it's the sound of the Big Bang." Something like that. Essentially, the echo of the Bang permeates the entire media of the Universe (matter interactions take place in a volume that is subject to the echo). It is inherent in some way to human composition in a manner that would not be present were there no echo taking place. Think of the local things humans miss perceiving: the spinning of the earth, the plummeting of the solar system through space, the drifting of the continents. But it seems to me that, as all the Universe is interconnected, and theoretically dependent on a single event, certain things are inherent, the repeating of processes throughout the system. Those inherent characteristics, a resonance from the Big Bang that might be extropolated in a demonstrable manner, are the devices of imprint I think are needed.

    The biggest problem with such ideas is that their final form is dependent on the subjective assumptions of myth. But those assumptions might change in accord with the contemporary conditions. The key is if, after all the factors have been worked through, the value doesn't change that much. Of course, I have to learn a couple of other theologies at least as well as I have learned the Judeo-Christian before I can extend this to encompass greater portions of the human riddle. But why do that before I've mucked out the details of the prototype?

    Thank you for the commentary, though. I hope you understand that this is offered in opposition to nothing specific, and certainly is not aimed at your theories, per se. If you'll allow me to grease your ego for a moment, though, I directed the initial tangent at you in hopes that your vast informational resource could be of help. In that respect, I appreciate your patience in this. For the record, you've given me exactly what I had hoped to hear; now I have to decide if that's a good thing or a preconceived conclusion I was working toward.

    As I am indebted, I can only offer my gratitude ...

    thanx much,
    Tiassa

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    The whole business with the fossilized dinosaur eggs was a joke the paleontologists haven't seen yet. (Good Omens, Gaiman & Pratchett)

    [This message has been edited by tiassa (edited March 06, 2000).]
     
  20. Lori Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,065
    I simply DO NOT get this debate! Why, oh why are you guys so insistent that the two have to be mutually exclusive?????? THEY DON'T!!!! Listen closely....science explains the HOW, and the Bible explains the WHY. Isn't that obvious????????? Boris, the day you answer the question WHY is the day YOU get religion. So far your best guess is "just cause it grew here; just cause it exploded; just cause". Now really answer the question....WHY? And then you will know the meaning of life.

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    You may think I'm a nut, but I'm fastened to the strongest bolt in the universe.
     
  21. Rambler Senior Member Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    509
    First Boris,
    I knew someone would point out mathematics in more then 3 dimensions....I've had this discussion before, my reply to that is yes we can imagine, calculate and have an idea of a universe that is different to our own, however when that concept becomes a part of our understanding and we can qunatify it or reduce it to fundamental patterns (eqn's) it also becomes part of our universe, i.e. our universe -- as we know it -- has grown.


    Lori,
    Do you know the meaning of life?
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    work to LIVE...don't live to WORK.

    [This message has been edited by Rambler (edited March 06, 2000).]
     
  22. Rambler Senior Member Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    509
    Boris as a side question (I know this isn't the thread for it),

    Your sig' is "I am therefore I think", have you ever looked at that from a slightly different perspective like: I think therefore I am ?



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    work to LIVE...don't live to WORK.
     
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    37,888
    Lori--

    So the Bible explains why ... which makes humanity the centerpiece of God's universe.

    At what point in history did who stumble across this? In this respect, Jesus probably isn't the best answer, despite the wide belief that his name is a cure-all. I mean, before you can say the Bible explains the why of anything, we have to agree on the question. After all, some might ask, "Why did God make the Universe?" to which some will laugh at the assumption that the Universe requires God to authorize it. Others might say, "Why does the Universe exist?" To which some will say, "To fulfill God's will," and then others will laugh because it begs the question "What is God's will?" And so on. We might find the answer, but it was 42 the last time I looked, and nobody knew the question.

    But ... if the Bible explains "Why" ... when did this explanation occur? When was it realized conceptually and offered to humanity as an answer? After all, for all the years it's been around, humans cannot agree on what it says.

    Incidentally, Lori ... what happens when one person's answer begs a thousand pardons and an infinite number of questions of another?

    thanx,
    Tiassa

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    The whole business with the fossilized dinosaur eggs was a joke the paleontologists haven't seen yet. (Good Omens, Gaiman & Pratchett)
     

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