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Why did God create the Earth and humanity in the first place?
Posted: 03 August 2012 10:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 121 ]
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Imaginos - 20 July 2012 09:34 PM

Almost all highly evolved species have senses designed to observe the environment for possible danger or opportunity from other “beings” being present.

Yes! That makes me think of an article I found from an old issue of Skeptical Inquirer on how this mechanism is, as you were hinting, linked to our survival. In fact, the belief in supernatural can be part of the survival mechanism. Any attack on their belief is considered a threat to their worldview (life after death for example) thus any evidence, or even any mention to the contrary, usually will put them on the defensive and discard any evidence or rational argument. …Which is “Why Bad Beliefs Don’t Die” (Eureka! Just remembered the name of the article). It was one of the most interesting articles I had read when I first became interested in science at the time since I had continuously witnessed the resilience of beliefs.

Actually I was too busy in my thoughts that I forgot to put in the actual word that would specify what I was asking. Here is the corrected phrase. Sorry I was going too fast for my own good. Being here is the first time I get to ask these questions to people who’ve been on these topics much longer than I have. Also I have yet to dive into philosophical literature (I’m young, addicted to reading but I’ve only been able to read so much so far smile), so it takes me a while to get them to come out right.

From my post, #93. I put the forgotten word in italic.

Wouldn’t it be fascinating instead that one of our first “boosts” in intellectual capabilities, the first of our thought processes to develop after we branched off in our own evolutionary direction, was to start off by developing the concept of supernatural causality?

If you read everything in this new light, it kind of changes the meaning of my final question in that same paragraph, as it was originally intended. That’s why your reply confused me a bit (but again spot on to what I asked). Although, now that I think about it, in the end, your answer still could make sense. It’s just that I figured since the origin of the storm could not be produced by any being the chimp knew of already, that a being “throwing” hundreds of objects everywhere would be too complex for him to imagine, in the end making a supernatural cause too overwhelming for his imagination to produce, that it might have originated only from ourselves once our minds had become more complex. But maybe chimps can think of such things?

There is no doubt in my mind that there are other intelligent animals like Apes, Whales, Dolphins, Octopi, who have extraordinary capacity for thought and and ability to imagine “unknown conditions”. There is no need to identify these experiences as a specific thing.

But I agree, with evolving intelligence, the unknown entities morphed into gods and with gods came ritual. Then ritual evolved into science.

[ Edited: 04 August 2012 02:23 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 05 August 2012 07:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 122 ]
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Write4U:

You said perhaps the future science may well explain the beginning of space time. If I incorrectly paraphrased, please feel free to correct. Until then, do we have little or nothing to explain the beginning of space time?

student

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Posted: 05 August 2012 10:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 123 ]
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student - 05 August 2012 07:44 PM

Write4U:

You said perhaps the future science may well explain the beginning of space time. If I incorrectly paraphrased, please feel free to correct. Until then, do we have little or nothing to explain the beginning of space time?

student

I believe that we have basically established that the BB was the beginning of spacetime (in this universe). As far as I know (very little) of physics, the common interpretation of “what was before”  includes a singularity of (near) infinite energy, which exploded.
This does not satisfy me at all, it begs the question, “where did all this energy come from”?

Intuitively I can visualize a singularity of near infinite Potential, an unstable “metaphysical condition” (the Implicate), which became Explicate Reality in a single mega-quantum event, the BB.

But as we cannot look further back than the BB, what came before will have to wait until we know more about the properties of nothingness (absence of space and time) and the limits of Potential.

[ Edited: 05 August 2012 10:40 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 06 August 2012 05:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 124 ]
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There are actually several theories on space-time and the development of the universe. The most current is brane theory (from membrane). It was derived from string theory which is yet another theory on development of the universe. From this the scientists derived the theory that there are at least 10 demensions including time-space and when a vibrating brane strikes another, singularity occurs filling up the brane with matter. The whole system is self-perpetuating with no beginning and no end. This is a simplistic definition of a complex theory so here’s an intro:


http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/the-start-of-the-universe-with-string-theory.html


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 09 August 2012 10:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 125 ]
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Student, if you, as seems to be the case with most people, cannot tolerate not having an ultimate answer as to how the universe came to be, then you are left with choosing to believe some concocted religious narrative.  Science does not present this ultimate answer, only, hopefully, closer and closer approximations to explaining what we can actually, rigorously, percieve.  And the explanations based on what we can actually, rigourously percieve, make most (if not all) of the world’s religious narratives appear ridiculous.

I recall a verse from the Bible, that goes something like this:  “In the beginning was the Word.  And the Word was God.” I think that this has an essence of truth, although I think that, in actuality, “the beginning” that is referred to, is not the beginning of the universe, but rather, the beginning of religion.  Humans created “God”, but could only do so once we had developed somewhat complex verbal behavior and the skill of empathy.

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Posted: 10 August 2012 10:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 126 ]
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TimB:

You said that science does not ultimately answer how the universe came to be. No argument here. You implied that hopefully science can lead us to a closer answer. If this is an incorrect inference, please feel free to correct.

No doubt science has and can continue to explain the universe’s complexity. This complexity includes a multi billion year historical time line, sub atomic detail, multi billion year distances, and now theoretical additional dimensions beyond the four already known. I still have not figured out how the strings and branes (that Cap’t Jack mentioned) came into being. All this new and theoretical complexity seems to only bolster the intelligent creation argument. Is there any scientific evidence (or even theory) that answers how the universe came into being instead of answering the universe’s complexity?

student

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Posted: 11 August 2012 12:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 127 ]
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student - 10 August 2012 10:16 PM

TimB:

You said that science does not ultimately answer how the universe came to be. No argument here. You implied that hopefully science can lead us to a closer answer. If this is an incorrect inference, please feel free to correct.

No doubt science has and can continue to explain the universe’s complexity. This complexity includes a multi billion year historical time line, sub atomic detail, multi billion year distances, and now theoretical additional dimensions beyond the four already known. I still have not figured out how the strings and branes (that Cap’t Jack mentioned) came into being. All this new and theoretical complexity seems to only bolster the intelligent creation argument. Is there any scientific evidence (or even theory) that answers how the universe came into being instead of answering the universe’s complexity?

student

Discoveries in science are always followed by more questions. So, again, if you want an ultimate answer, you are not likely to get it through science. However, through scientific discoveries our understanding grows.  As I said, if you cannot tolerate not having an ultimate answer, then you can choose to believe some bogus religious narrative that purports to give you that answer.  Still, if you are being intellectually honest, even then, you would not have your ultimate answer. For example: You mentioned “intelligent creation”.  If you choose to believe that some intellligent entity created the universe, you should still question where that intelligent entity came from.  The deal with religion is that you aren’t required to be intellectually honest.  In fact, religions almost always require intellectual dishonesty.  So the answer in a religion re: where the intelligent designer of the universe came from, might be “He/she/or it always existed, now let’s move on to believing some other B.S. that we choose to believe without evidence.

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Posted: 11 August 2012 10:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 128 ]
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student - 10 August 2012 10:16 PM

All this new and theoretical complexity seems to only bolster the intelligent creation argument. student

Student, I’m really surprised at that statement.  So far, you’ve seemed quite logical and you reasoned well.  But this????  You can believe in intelligent creation if you want, but how on earth can you see the scientific work as “bolster(ing) the intelligent creation argument”???  There is NO rational connection.

Occam

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Posted: 11 August 2012 03:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 129 ]
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Occam. - 11 August 2012 10:10 AM
student - 10 August 2012 10:16 PM

All this new and theoretical complexity seems to only bolster the intelligent creation argument. student

Student, I’m really surprised at that statement.  So far, you’ve seemed quite logical and you reasoned well.  But this????  You can believe in intelligent creation if you want, but how on earth can you see the scientific work as “bolster(ing) the intelligent creation argument”???  There is NO rational connection.

Occam

Perhaps he means that the string theory appears to have as much rationality as the intelligent design argument. Although I think some string theory is likely correct, I don’t think anyone should be required to trust a theory that is incomprehensible to them. Also, I do find that the philosophical dialectic surrounding science tends often to be obscure and elitist. All too often the science explanation becomes religious when it makes the absolute certain logical claim that, “nothing in science can ever be found to be certain.” Well, I ask, what about this very certain claim itself? I disagree with those who dictate science as that which will never absolve things with certainty. It’s an obscure get-out-of-jail-free card explanation no different than a secular god-of-the-gaps one.

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Posted: 11 August 2012 04:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 130 ]
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Scott Mayers - 11 August 2012 03:05 PM

Perhaps he means that the string theory appears to have as much rationality as the intelligent design argument.

I rather doubt that he means that.

Although I think some string theory is likely correct, I don’t think anyone should be required to trust a theory that is incomprehensible to them.

I find French incomprehensible.  Are you saying that I shouldn’t be required to trust French recipes?  We all find things we haven’t studied sufficiently, to be incomprehensible.  I’m often annoyed by people who spout their ideas about topics of which they have only headline knowledge.  You don’t have to trust something you don’t understand, but you aren’t justified in proclaiming drivel based on that lack of knowledge. 

Also, I do find that the philosophical dialectic surrounding science tends often to be obscure and elitist.

That statement is just plain silly.  Every field of endeavor has and needs its own vocabulary.  If one doesn’t take the time to study the field and learn that vocabulary, one isn’t justified in claiming that it’s “obscure and elitist”.

All too often the science explanation becomes religious when it makes the absolute certain logical claim that, “nothing in science can ever be found to be certain.”

Nitpicking.  Would you be happy if it was preceeded by “essentially”?  A basic goal and premise of sciences is that one continues to search in an effort to expand our boundaries of knowledge.  The statement means that we should never accept prior work as the absolute authority but everything is open to further examination and possible modification.

Well, I ask, what about this very certain claim itself? I disagree with those who dictate science as that which will never absolve things with certainty. It’s an obscure get-out-of-jail-free card explanation no different than a secular god-of-the-gaps one.

No, completely different motivations.  I’m guessing that your reasoning would seem to be similar to that of the head of the U.S. Patent Office at about the turn of the 20th century, who said the office could be closed since all important inventions had already been found.

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Posted: 11 August 2012 06:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 131 ]
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I find French incomprehensible.  Are you saying that I shouldn’t be required to trust French recipes?  We all find things we haven’t studied sufficiently, to be incomprehensible.  I’m often annoyed by people who spout their ideas about topics of which they have only headline knowledge.  You don’t have to trust something you don’t understand, but you aren’t justified in proclaiming drivel based on that lack of knowledge. 

Your counter-arguments are incompatible. If you find the French language incomprehensible, either you can’t read them to make the recipe yourself [thus, irrelevant], or you are accepting food made from the recipe by someone else who you presume can [therefore, you don’t even know if the particular recipe that you cannot read corresponds to what is presented to you; again, it becomes irrelevant]
Yes, it is frustrating when you are absolutely certain of something but others question you due to their present lack of perception, capabilities, or whatever. But my natural mother, whom I met later in life certified that she met God in person. I can’t deny her experience. And though I think that she was mistaken or even possibly lying, I am not capable in my logical mind of settling in on a real belief that there is a God.

That statement is just plain silly.  Every field of endeavor has and needs its own vocabulary.  If one doesn’t take the time to study the field and learn that vocabulary, one isn’t justified in claiming that it’s “obscure and elitist”.

First of all, are you assuming that I don’t have the vocabulary? Second, when you are in discussion with others of any sort, regardless of common background, defining the terms amongst those you converse with at present is usually necessary and effective in important conversations if you want to convey you message. Assuming the responsibility for other to go out and do their homework to learn your lingo is elitist. Do you not find it similar to someone you are having a debate regarding whether the bible is the word of god or not come back with, “well, your not qualified to speak until you read and learn the language of the bible.”?

Nitpicking.  Would you be happy if it was preceded by “essentially”?  A basic goal and premise of sciences is that one continues to search in an effort to expand our boundaries of knowledge.  The statement means that we should never accept prior work as the absolute authority but everything is open to further examination and possible modification.

I agree depending on the context. But if the context is given in, say, a documentary that the audience presumes is explaining science and facts, or in a serious debate, you at least require interpreting it in a consistent way; If you’re being particular and exacting throughout, you can’t just slough in a statement that you didn’t mean to be taken seriously. At least in a forum like this, we can feedback and correct our meanings with one another.

As to closing the patent office remark, you’re assuming that I view the contrast of my claim as true, that since I think that many of today’s scientists are of the belief that: Nothing is Absolute, that I believe Everything is Absolute. Rather, I believe that some things are absolute and some things are not absolute. So no, I wouldn’t close the patent office. And for something in science, I believe that we can find certainty but if we find evidence that appears to contradict it, we should investigate the matter to determine whether our interpretation was wrong or that there was an even better explanation. This is what you likely agree to. But how it’s worded is important.

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Posted: 11 August 2012 07:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 132 ]
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Scott Mayers
Do you not find it similar to someone you are having a debate regarding whether the bible is the word of god or not come back with, “well, your not qualified to speak until you read and learn the language of the bible.”?

I believe that is a valid argument in and of itself. Of course this does not validate the bible itself. The problem with the bible is that the more you learn what’s in it, the deeper the understanding of the fallacy on which it is based.
Thus “knowing” the language of the bible does give one a certain authority to speak on it, if critical thought is applied.

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Posted: 12 August 2012 06:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 133 ]
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Occam.:

Thank you for the flattery. Unfortunately, you will find that many of my comments will contradict your flattery.

You asked how the scientific work bolsters the intelligent creation argument. You are right, I should have emphasized the complexity the scientific work discovered, not the scientific work itself. I am more likely to think intelligent design while looking at a sandcastle as opposed to a pile of sand.

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Posted: 12 August 2012 06:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 134 ]
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Student, does your response mean you believe in believe in Intelligent Design?

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Posted: 12 August 2012 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 135 ]
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Oh Geez, Student, that watch-on-the-path (sandcastle in the sand) argument has been so thoroughly refuted that I didn’t think anyone even bothered with it any more.

Humans are curious and look for answers.  Many are not comfortable with accepting that they don’t know.  I believe this was one of the bases for the beginning of religion.  People needed to explain unknowns - the big daddy in the sky caused the lightning, caused my horse to die, caused me to have a great crop, etc.  As science has learned the real reasons, religion has retreated.  However, now we recognize the complexity of the real world and make the silly assumption that it must be “designed by an intelligence”.  The problem is that people who believe that are those who haven’t put forth the effort and time to learn the scientific disciplines involved.  If you do that, you begin to see and understand the underlying reasons.  And, they are NOT “intelligent design”.

If I take you at your word and that you ARE a student, I would guess one of the following:  a) You are in high school, b) You are not a science major, c) You are in a religious university where they dispense offal.

Occam

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