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Izzy
This more or less all came from a conversation two friends and I had on our way to school this morning. One of them invited me to go to church with her. In my life, I've never been to church, or at least not that I can remmeber. My other friend decided that I should go to church with him as well. One is Catholic and the other is Christian. My mom if Christian and my dad is Catholic, but I've never really been into religion or believed in God, an consider myself athiest. But that's not really important.

What is important is one of the things that came up.

1) Someone mentioned that god and the devil may not exactly be people, but more of an essence of good and evil. I can see myself believing that.

2) Then someone mentioned JJ Thompson and the enlargement of the lightbulb. At first the people didn't understand what it was, and thought 'oh, it must be gods will, god's touch, etc.' Later electrons were discovered, which misproved the God theory.

There were a few more points that came up, but the bell is going to ring in two minutes and don't have time to type them out, and they are relatively unimportant.

The point is, what if, like the electrons, humans, other species, and all the life on Earth (other plantets too?) was really just evolution, but like JJ Thompson, we don;t yet have the technology to prove it yet?

Anyways, I'm not trying to say religions and stuff and totally dumb, not needed, and change your views, but to know what you think of this.

And there's the bell...
Felander
As a scientist, I believe in a creator. I cannot fathom how everything in the world was created purely based upon random chance. I literally cannot get my head around it. Looking at the complexities of the human body, the processes of protein synthesis, DNA replication, selective reabsorption in the Loop of Henle etc, I just can't understand how someone can say they were not deliberately designed. They are so... brilliant that the mere notion they were created by chance is, quite frankly, insulting.

However, what I don't believe in is an omniscient, omnipotent, loving God that presides over all mankind, yadda yadda yadda. So, yeah, I'm not exactly what you'd call your average theist.
MisterJ
It's kinda confusing for m at the moment, cuz' I'm growing up in a religious family, and I beleive in God, to an extent. You see, when this get hard and stuff, I'm the kindaof person to look to God for support by prayer or something. But I also have a fairly strong beleife in the scientific side. Like that the world may very well have been created by the big bang, and that we evolved from apes. And I also beleive that even for God, there are rules, like, God can't directly make a thunder storm happen on que, for things like this, you would be able to look back and find the clouds passing over other countries days before it got to you.
It's just like what our religioun teacher says to us, the bible isn't meant to be taken literally, many of the stories are not entirly true, except for the moral meaning.

Anyway, I'm on a bit of both, I'm pretty much a theist, and a scientific beleiver. smile.gif
Mata
I can see how this world and all life on it came from random chance... Or, to be more precise, how it didn't. Life isn't a random process, and we've done a good job of discovering how many things around us are governed by very sensible and logical rules that naturally lead to immensely complex entities.

To put it another way, I've never heard a convincing argument against evolution, despite other theories having the entire history of mankind as a head-start.

As I've said in other places, I do believe that there is a general 'ideal' method of living life, and that this somehow reflects a view of the world that pursues harmony and happiness. Taoism is the best expression of this view that I have found, because it rejects attempts to interpret the divine and instead focusses on living a good, peaceful life.

I was quite Christian when I was young, but the more I read, the more I found that I generally disagreed with the way that the Bible was interpreted. To me the new testament seems to be a very base corruption of what (as far as can be told through the layers) was a very reasonable way of living. I agree with all of the basic messages of Jesus, I just find myself sickened by the spins that have been put on it.
sirdudly
The Catholic Church gets a lot of heat these days, it sometimes makes it difficult to admit your faith when there is soo much hate out there targeted at you and your fellow believers.
There's a lot of ignorance around regarding Catholicism. It's a very common misconception that evolution doesn't work with Catholic teaching. All Genesis means to me is that God created everything, it doesn't need to explain specifics, the people the story was made for wouldn't understand them.
Altough I believe in the Catholic faith, I do have problems with the Church. As an institution made by man, it possesses the negative qualities of man.
Wookiee
QUOTE (Felander @ May 3 2007, 08:25 PM) *
As a scientist, I believe in a creator. I cannot fathom how everything in the world was created purely based upon random chance. I literally cannot get my head around it.


And you're a scientist? Have mercy.

If the great minds of generations past and present had said, "Ooh, I cannot fathom this. It must have been a creator!", and left it at that, boundaries would never have been pushed and advancements never made. If a new generation of minds are going to start positing seriously on the notion of Creationism Intelligent Design, then science is going to throw in the towel. What's the point in searching for answers when you can just say, "Oh, we don't know. A Creator must have done it." ?

Bad Science makes my brain sick.

QUOTE (sirdudly @ May 4 2007, 01:14 AM) *
It's a very common misconception that evolution doesn't work with Catholic teaching. All Genesis means to me is that God created everything


As an ex-Catholic, I'm happy to commonly misconceive that Darwin and the Pope just don't mix, because it's true. They really don't.
Daria
Izzy, when you say your mum is "Christian", what do you mean? Catholicism is also Christianity, just a different spin than, say, Baptism.

I have never believed in a God or any one religion. I don't understand how people can get comfort from religion when it has been the root of so many deaths, blind faith scares me, and I especially don't like religion being pushed onto me. I went to a Church Of England primary school where we would say the Lord's Prayer in assembley three times a week, where we used to all trudge up to the village church for services around Easter and Christmas, and where RE lessons would be learning about Christianity. (It may have just been the curriculum, though). My parents were not religious at all- the closest I got to religion in the home was when I was introduced to family friends who were witches and magicians. My highschool was also leaning towards C of E, but not quite so much- although I was once given an F on an essay paper for writing about Hinduism (correctly, I may add) instead of Judaism- because the class hadn't learnt about Hinduism and it would have given me an unfair advantage if I had got an A. Apparently.

I have some odd views on energies (what some people may refer to as a soul, but not really that), nature, magic and that life is predetermined (but we can choose what path by which we get there). But then I look at them all and think "What a load of rubbish" and have no views on life, other than we should be good people- in a sense that we are not causing harm to others.

Religion made sense years and years ago when people needed answers for things but were not scientifically advanced enough to find them out- so they created stories to explain why the sun goes across the sky, why it rained lots, and why women should stay in the homestead because the men want them there. Religion is not law, and it sickens me when you come across people who believe that religion comes first, over the laws of where you live. Apart from Tibet, where the Chinese should just f*** off.
Moosh
I don't believe in any God as posited by religion. I believe that there are beings (many, many of them) who are "superior" to us, in the sense of being higher-dimensional, and therefore able to do things that we cannot.

However, I don't think they have ever had anything to do with us, and they were created when we were, with the 'big bang' (I hate that term) start of the universe etc.

I feel perfectly happy for the universe to come about by random chance. Note this does not apply to evolution, evolution isn't random. As I see it, we miraculously live in a universe which has the constants tuned so that we are able to live in it. However, we have no knowledge of how many other universes there have been which we couldn't live in, and therefore didn't. If something is a billion-to-one chance, and then the events happen a billion times, is it that surprising that it works once?
Witless
Can't promise to keep this short.. cos my thoughts are multiple and many on this subject.

First off, I certainly don't accept literal interuptations of organised religion. Catch me in the right mood and I'll happily mock them until a christian/muslim/hindu/other religious person that conveniently ignores the parts in their religion that say violence is bad to step out of the shadows and punch me.

However sometimes you can see interesting messages and truths in them if you look at them in the right way. my only problem with that is that you can normally see messages in most things if you look at them in the right way, so that's our perceptions rather than the religions themselves. But nonetheless many good people have gained their ideals from their faiths (many bad people too). So I'll elevate religion to a pedastal above normal moral stories that people through time have traditionally passed down to teach lessons.

Evolution and randomness.. that's an interesting one.. since it really pushes the word random a bit. On one hand the human body didn't come about through random chance. It wasn't like "throw loads of genetic code together one trillion times and through the random chance of probablity you'll get a human at least once".
But then evolution didn't design us with an end goal in mind first. It wasn't like "Hmm.. I have a single cell, and I want to end with a human.. lets see how long it takes to get from one to the other!"
Humans evolved through trial and error, not every genetic change that every creature had was beneficial, infact it's most likely that almost every genetic change was bad except for a small minority that through 'luck' gave them an advantage. But that means there were a million other possible ways that we could have evolved. In a sense it was random chance we evolved into humans, even if it isn't random chance that evolution itself takes place. (Wonder if anyone followed that.)

I don't believe in a conciousness behind the universe (well not in the human sense anyway). But I would regard god and universe/multiverse as two words for the same thing. The universe is too particularly exact in it's make up sometimes. Example.. according to the theory of relativity at the centre of every black hole space is ripping apart, and the normal laws of physics break down. So by that notion everytime a black hole is formed all kinds of creepy messed up new laws of existence should come spilling out into our universe to mess up the our status quo. But then handily do black holes form an event horizon beyond which nothing not even light can escape. This means any weird stomach churning physics breaking stuff that occurs inside will be "censored".

There's a billion examples of the universe having all these self regulating systems that would cause everything to fall apart if only they weren't there. There's no reason scientists can find why these regulating systems 'need' to exist. No mathematical laws are broken without them, but for some reason they just do, and it's thankful too, because complex life as we exist wouldn't be able to come into being with any of those things not in place to keep us here.

I also marvel at the amount of effort that went into putting me here sometimes. Stars had to explode, new ones had to be born, atomic fusion had to occur to make the elements in my body (tee hee, I was forged), gravity had to exist to keep this rock near enough to a star to make sure the temperature was in the right range. Life had to start (for that matter, a particular arrangement of molecules had to be capable of life in the first place), and then ungodly amount of years of evolution had to occur, in which not one of my direct ancestors died before they passed on their genetic code (they even lived through whatever killed the dinosaurs the tough b*stards). All that to make me! I get the pleasure of existing for however long I get and just as if what I got up until now wasn't quite good enough, I got cool bonus features! I got a brain (most complex structure known to humans in the universe) capable of self awareness and the high level thought. Well b*gger me if that isn't a neat feature, so now I get to actually not only be lucky but clever enough to realise it and ponder about the universe I currently live in.

So! I do think there is something pretty ace about existence. I think universe and god are interchangable terms. I think that sometimes things just seem far to coincidental, the laws of physics don't break down if things were only a little different, but yet that slight change excludes our existence. Of course there could be an infinite number of universes all slightly different and we just exist in the one that's just right, that makes a universe like ours envitable, but I feel nonetheless lucky. I mean why is there a configuration that allows us at all. Why not have infinite universes all that don't have a configuration for life supporting physics and chemistry to work?

My beliefs are complicated and long indeed.

I believe in many possibilities and refuse to tie myself to one, I like many of the possibilities it would be a shame to only believe in one. I'd feel I miss out on exploring all kinds of interesting things.
SPEAKERfortheLOST
I'm not sure if this really ties in with the thread or not, but here goes!

I am a fan of a work by Scott Adams, namely a short story called "God's Debris". It describes how there is no "god" in the normal sense but rather we are just debris of this omnipotent being who rather unfortunately, or fortunately depending on the aspect of the reader, exploded (big bang style) and thus created life. In life we are attempting to recreate this "god" by increasing our knowledge of the surrounding world and ourselves. The Internet plays a key role in all of this as it signifies the consciousness of this being. I suggest you go read it, its a free download e-book!
sirdudly
QUOTE (Wookiee @ May 4 2007, 02:39 AM) *
QUOTE (sirdudly @ May 4 2007, 01:14 AM) *

It's a very common misconception that evolution doesn't work with Catholic teaching. All Genesis means to me is that God created everything


As an ex-Catholic, I'm happy to commonly misconceive that Darwin and the Pope just don't mix, because it's true. They really don't.

Umm, no, they do.
http://www.leaderu.com/ftissues/ft9703/art...s/johnpaul.html
Daria
The subject of one of our "impossibly intelligent" conversations last night was on there being just one god, and all religions are just different ways of worship.

I like this idea, even though I don't believe there to be "one god".
Pixelgoth
QUOTE (Daria @ May 7 2007, 01:01 PM) *
The subject of one of our "impossibly intelligent" conversations last night was on there being just one god, and all religions are just different ways of worship.

I like this idea, even though I don't believe there to be "one god".


I'd like to think this is a possibility. I don't believe in just one god but perhaps there is one "entity" and the definition of this differs from religion to religion. For example, Christians would say it was one male god with 3 aspects but Pagans might say it's a female and male god and a variety of aspects.

Who's to say which religion is right which is what causes all these problems. Wouldn't it just be easier if a big hand come down from up above (kinda like the lottery hand) and pointed it all out for us?!!?? laugh.gif
Izzy
QUOTE (Daria @ May 4 2007, 08:24 AM) *
Izzy, when you say your mum is "Christian", what do you mean? Catholicism is also Christianity, just a different spin than, say, Baptism.

I have no clue. I just know she's Christian, mainly because she's told me.

Ok, church was weird, but in a good way. It wasn't one of those 'Oh, praise the lord, blah blah' churches. It was more of sciency psychisy stuff. The opening question was 'Does god exist?' and then they showed a bunch of quotes, went over quantum psychics, said something about the big bang, said some other stuff, and then everyone got food.

We don't start phsyics 'til 8th grade (well, pfft, unless you count briefly going over it in 5th?) so on the most part I was kinda lost. Steph's in 8th grade now, so she was wispering a bunch of stuff that made no sense so I could get what's going on.

But they mentioned one of Einstein's quotes.

"Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."

In all honesty, I'd much rather be lame than blind.

I still don't find myself beleiving in god, or in any gods because I don't find myself beleiving in things that don't make sense of having a blind faith. Even when the church people mentioned that, if an atheist is right, the religous peoples will have nothing to lose. But if whoever is into the whole religion thing is right, then the atheist will have everything to lose. According the church people, if you beleive in nothing, you will die and find nothing. If you believe in god, you will die and find him/her/it/ w/e. So, in my point of view as an atheist, I'm not losing anything. I'll just die and find nothing. Which is what I'm planning to find anyway.
Moosh
QUOTE (sirdudly @ May 6 2007, 07:49 AM) *
QUOTE (Wookiee @ May 4 2007, 02:39 AM) *

QUOTE (sirdudly @ May 4 2007, 01:14 AM) *

It's a very common misconception that evolution doesn't work with Catholic teaching. All Genesis means to me is that God created everything


As an ex-Catholic, I'm happy to commonly misconceive that Darwin and the Pope just don't mix, because it's true. They really don't.

Umm, no, they do.
http://www.leaderu.com/ftissues/ft9703/art...s/johnpaul.html


Hmmm. Reading the above, I'm not sure I agree with you. It is clearly an attempt by the Church to be more modern in its viewpoint, and not to ignore the huge amounts of evidence for scientific theories, but it doesn't actually endorse Darwinism.

The pivotal statement is this:

"In his encyclical Humani Generis (1950), my predecessor Pius XII had already stated that there was no opposition between evolution and the doctrine of the faith about man and his vocation, on condition that one did not lose sight of several indisputable points."

On condition that one did not lose sight of several indisputable points

It goes on to explain these points, which can be summarised as saying "Man is composed of the body, which could have evolved, and the soul, which definitely didn't. The soul comes from God. No argument."
Which isn't very Darwinist, and definitely isn't science.
Greeneyes
QUOTE (CheeseMoose @ May 7 2007, 07:06 PM) *
QUOTE (sirdudly @ May 6 2007, 07:49 AM) *


Hmmm. Reading the above, I'm not sure I agree with you. It is clearly an attempt by the Church to be more modern in its viewpoint, and not to ignore the huge amounts of evidence for scientific theories, but it doesn't actually endorse Darwinism.

The pivotal statement is this:

...

"Man is composed of the body, which could have evolved, and the soul, which definitely didn't. The soul comes from God. No argument."
Which isn't very Darwinist, and definitely isn't science.


Exactly what is it that you disagree with here? I mean, no, it isn't Darwinist, and it's not science, but then why would it be? The point is that it doesn't actually oppose these things, just has something they do not. It no longer is ignoring the, as you say, "huge amounts of evidence", and since souls don't come into evolution, is it not agreeing with everything the theory of evolution says?
Moosh
QUOTE (Greeneyes @ May 8 2007, 11:00 AM) *
QUOTE (CheeseMoose @ May 7 2007, 07:06 PM) *

QUOTE (sirdudly @ May 6 2007, 07:49 AM) *


Hmmm. Reading the above, I'm not sure I agree with you. It is clearly an attempt by the Church to be more modern in its viewpoint, and not to ignore the huge amounts of evidence for scientific theories, but it doesn't actually endorse Darwinism.

The pivotal statement is this:

...

"Man is composed of the body, which could have evolved, and the soul, which definitely didn't. The soul comes from God. No argument."
Which isn't very Darwinist, and definitely isn't science.


Exactly what is it that you disagree with here? I mean, no, it isn't Darwinist, and it's not science, but then why would it be? The point is that it doesn't actually oppose these things, just has something they do not. It no longer is ignoring the, as you say, "huge amounts of evidence", and since souls don't come into evolution, is it not agreeing with everything the theory of evolution says?


Souls do come into evolution. There are two possibilities, either souls do not exist, or every living thing has a soul, as part of the point of evolution is that man is no different from any other animal, and came from the same source. Therefore either we have souls, and so do they, or they don't have souls and neither do we. Neither of these views is allowed by the above Church view.
Greeneyes
QUOTE (CheeseMoose @ May 8 2007, 05:50 PM) *
Souls do come into evolution. There are two possibilities, either souls do not exist, or every living thing has a soul, as part of the point of evolution is that man is no different from any other animal, and came from the same source. Therefore either we have souls, and so do they, or they don't have souls and neither do we. Neither of these views is allowed by the above Church view.


Ah, interesting. My mistake.
sirdudly
The either or approach makes zero sense to me. How is it not possible for man to have a soul and animals to not? All JPII states is that the vessel of the human soul, the body, has changed over time to better adapt to its environment. This, in a nutshell, is the textbook definition of evolution, change over time. Could it possibly be that the human soul itself is what defines man as a species?
Witless
Here's some food for thought. There's a theory linked to the inflationary universe theory that in certain universes, conditions arise for small areas (like smaller than atoms) explode outwards.. or more accurately inflate. Basically they become universes (or just verses I guess) in their own right. Our 'verse' formed inside another verse and will spawn more of their own.

Here's the fun part, let's assume for n instant that it's possible to become technologically advancd enough to start this process ourselves. In these new universes the constants of physics and nature need not be the same as our own, and infact we may be able to choose what they are!

From that stand point god or the gods may just be the beings that put our universe into motion, and we could in turn with enough how do the same! It would be like propagation on an entirely new level to what we'd normally consider it.

We could make universes where conditions are more or less favorable to the evolution of life (and I would guess we would make our one as favorable to complex life developing as we could.

Life in each verse becomes the creators of every 'baby verse' they go on to spawn. I like that thought too, it's nice. It would mean even universes were evolving since life would be engineering the most likely universes to form being the ones that spawn complex intelligent life rather than leaving things to chance.

Tis a cute possibility.
Moosh
QUOTE (sirdudly @ May 9 2007, 02:01 AM) *
The either or approach makes zero sense to me. How is it not possible for man to have a soul and animals to not? All JPII states is that the vessel of the human soul, the body, has changed over time to better adapt to its environment. This, in a nutshell, is the textbook definition of evolution, change over time. Could it possibly be that the human soul itself is what defines man as a species?


But why is man different to the animals, and have asoul ? There is no way for this to happen without some kind of supernatural answer, ie. God. You'll say that Darwinism doesn't forbid God, but I think it does.

It's generally accepted, that, for God to create us, or even just to give us a soul, He must be more complex than we are. But complex beings must have evolved, Darwinism allows no other way for them to exist. So God must have evolved. But God is singular, He does not breed, He is eternal. So He can't have evolved. So, by Darwinism, He can't be a complex being, and therefore cannot have given us a soul.

Witless:

I like the budding universes theory. I haven't really looked inot it, but I've heard the idea from other sources and I like the sound of it. One theory I heard is that black holes are budding universes. This would allow the budding to happen naturally, and allows the possibility, if the baby verses can somehow copy the fundamental constants from their parents, and if there is the possibility of copying errors, of natural evolution of universes. Which would be good.
Wookiee
I think, essentially, when you start to qualify your views on science with words like "God" and "soul", you should probably just put science down and go play with something less challenging.
Witless
QUOTE (Wookiee @ May 10 2007, 01:22 PM) *
I think, essentially, when you start to qualify your views on science with words like "God" and "soul", you should probably just put science down and go play with something less challenging.


Haha, why do so many of your posts consist of saying what someone else shouldn't do or shouldn't have done?

You could try posting your own opinions and thoughts too tongue.gif.

Hmm.. I shall attempt to unspammify this post now...
I was thinking some more about the budding universe idea. If it were possible for life to start a new universe and even have control over how that universe worked (the natural laws and the such). I was started writing another short story about a guy living in a universe where they routinely created universes with different conditions.

This one guy is basically a low level tech guy, that reads about fairies and stuff, and decides to make a universe (without his superiors knowing) where fairies and stuff come into being.

If I like it, it may be a final year uni project for me smile.gif
Moosh
QUOTE (Witless @ May 10 2007, 02:12 PM) *
Hmm.. I shall attempt to unspammify this post now...
I was thinking some more about the budding universe idea. If it were possible for life to start a new universe and even have control over how that universe worked (the natural laws and the such). I was started writing another short story about a guy living in a universe where they routinely created universes with different conditions.

This one guy is basically a low level tech guy, that reads about fairies and stuff, and decides to make a universe (without his superiors knowing) where fairies and stuff come into being.

If I like it, it may be a final year uni project for me smile.gif


Have you ever read Science of the Discworld by Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen? It involves a fair amount of irrelevant stuff, but also the people in it creating a universe, and observing it and helping it and interfering in it. Also, I've got to pimp it here 'cos it's Discworld.
Wookiee
QUOTE (Witless @ May 10 2007, 02:12 PM) *
QUOTE (Wookiee @ May 10 2007, 01:22 PM) *

I think, essentially, when you start to qualify your views on science with words like "God" and "soul", you should probably just put science down and go play with something less challenging.


Haha, why do so many of your posts consist of saying what someone else shouldn't do or shouldn't have done?

You could try posting your own opinions and thoughts too tongue.gif.


My opinion really is that when you start to qualify your views on science with words like "God" and "soul", you're probably an idiot! That and CheeseMoose's very articulate posts on the Pope/Darwinism article were pretty much what I wanted to say, and I saw little point in repeating him.

I can just about tolerate people of a religious bent when they're not being totally ridiculous about it. When you start trying to put religion in the same field as science, you get phenomenally stupid declarations like, "The Earth is five thousand years old!" and "Life begins at conception!", and then you end up with America, and no-one wants that. Not ever.
CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane
QUOTE (Wookiee @ May 10 2007, 06:30 PM) *
QUOTE (Witless @ May 10 2007, 02:12 PM) *

QUOTE (Wookiee @ May 10 2007, 01:22 PM) *

I think, essentially, when you start to qualify your views on science with words like "God" and "soul", you should probably just put science down and go play with something less challenging.


Haha, why do so many of your posts consist of saying what someone else shouldn't do or shouldn't have done?

You could try posting your own opinions and thoughts too tongue.gif.


My opinion really is that when you start to qualify your views on science with words like "God" and "soul", you're probably an idiot! That and CheeseMoose's very articulate posts on the Pope/Darwinism article were pretty much what I wanted to say, and I saw little point in repeating him.

I can just about tolerate people of a religious bent when they're not being totally ridiculous about it. When you start trying to put religion in the same field as science, you get phenomenally stupid declarations like, "The Earth is five thousand years old!" and "Life begins at conception!", and then you end up with America, and no-one wants that. Not ever.

I agree.

QUOTE (Izzy @ May 3 2007, 01:39 PM) *
2) Then someone mentioned JJ Thompson and the enlargement of the lightbulb. At first the people didn't understand what it was, and thought 'oh, it must be gods will, god's touch, etc.' Later electrons were discovered, which misproved the God theory.

There were a few more points that came up, but the bell is going to ring in two minutes and don't have time to type them out, and they are relatively unimportant.

The point is, what if, like the electrons, humans, other species, and all the life on Earth (other plantets too?) was really just evolution, but like JJ Thompson, we don;t yet have the technology to prove it yet?

I'm sure you didn't mean this, but electrons didn't evolve tongue.gif

Also didn't JJ Thompson actually prove electrons existed? I did this physics experiment which I think was based on something he did, where he measured their mass to charge ratio? (I might be confusing this with something else)

I agree with you that its stupid to use god to explain things that aren't understand. We can explain a lot of things scientifically, and theres no reason to believe that everything doesn't just boil down to the laws of physics, even if it is too hard to explain it that way.

I guess some people believe that everything works that way but god still created the universe and caused the big bang, but I don't see how that explains anything. Why does god creating the universe make any more sense than the universe creating itself?
Felander
QUOTE (Wookiee @ May 4 2007, 10:39 AM) *
QUOTE (Felander @ May 3 2007, 08:25 PM) *

As a scientist, I believe in a creator. I cannot fathom how everything in the world was created purely based upon random chance. I literally cannot get my head around it.


And you're a scientist? Have mercy.

If the great minds of generations past and present had said, "Ooh, I cannot fathom this. It must have been a creator!", and left it at that, boundaries would never have been pushed and advancements never made. If a new generation of minds are going to start positing seriously on the notion of Creationism Intelligent Design, then science is going to throw in the towel. What's the point in searching for answers when you can just say, "Oh, we don't know. A Creator must have done it." ?

I never said anything about not believing in scientific advancement, or that Intelligent Design should become the dominant school of thought. I just don't see what is so awful about leaving the possibility of a creator open, as well as pursuing other scientific theories.

*shrug*
Wookiee
QUOTE (Felander @ May 16 2007, 11:58 AM) *
I never said anything about not believing in scientific advancement


Yes you did. You said you believe in a creator because you find certain things unfathomable. The implication there is that as soon as you hit a wall, something you can't comprehend, science, reason and logic is abandoned and the imaginary creator is installed to disguise your own inadequacy.

QUOTE (Felander @ May 16 2007, 11:58 AM) *
I just don't see what is so awful about leaving the possibility of a creator open


I do.



Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station!
Wookiee
I wanted to kick this topic up, 'cause I've been reading a lot of articles and editorials this last week or so, and how the Future is all wrong. This appears to stem from the fact that the United States, supposedly the leading nation of the Free World, hates science and loves God. God has broken The Future!

So, there are these debates going on, for the 2008 nominations and all that. Ten Republican candidates are asked whether or not they believe in Darwin's theory of evolution. Three admit that they don't. Three adult males, United States Senators, no less, do not believe in evolution. One of them, Sam Brownback, actually wrote a piece for the New York Times to justify his position; despite saying, "It does not strike me as anti-science or anti-reason to question the philosophical presuppositions behind theories offered by scientists", he concludes "Man was not an accident and reflects an image and likeness unique in the created order. Those aspects of evolutionary theory compatible with this truth are a welcome addition to human knowledge. Aspects of these theories that undermine this truth, however, should be firmly rejected as an atheistic theology posing as science." Seriously, what the f%@# is that? "Science that agrees with God is okay, anything else isn't real science", apparently. Who elects a person like this and why?

For the same religious reasons, stem-cell research is criminalised and abortion demonised. For the same ignorant, anti-science reasons, climate change has, until just this week, been denied by the current administration. For these reasons, plausible space programs have been long forgotten, human advancement derailed and redirected, focused now on a Spime-tech/Grim Meathook Future. And still, where's my f%@#ing jetpack?

I blame America for holding the world back with Christian propaganda spilling out of one face, cash stapled to the other, shaking hands with itself, sickly grinning forever and f%@#ing ever.

Finally, I think this is the most perfect illustration of science vs. religion ever.



Further reading.
Bush agrees to CO2 cut, strings attached.
Senator Brownback apparently knows f%@# all about anything.
NASA is broken. Someone please fix it.
American Presidential candidates race to see who loves God more.
46% of Americans make my brain itch.
Creation Museum.
The Grim Meathook Future.
Daria
Ok, so bluntly- normally, Wookiee, I find your posts to be a little to harsh to make me want to reply to them. But I agree with you on this one, and I think that the above diagram is fantastic. Although the Pope, with his hat on, has recently changed some things, like Original Sin.

I really can't understand how creationalism can be taught- in public schools, of all places, and to have the same ridiculousness governing the country is apaulling.

We all know that science changes, and this is why it is so important to have it taught, and used as evidence in some cases (global warming, anyone?). It changes because we learn more about it, and more research is done with it. Just because it changes is NO reason to discredit it- as some religious leaders seem to think.
Witless
mini rantish post here..

What really bugs me is that normally scientists do to a degree like having flaws pointed out in their theories.

Skeptic: "If your theory works.. then explain this situation where it doesn't quite work right?"

Scientist dude: "Oh yeah! good point, lets find out why!"

But a lot of religious folk seem to take our lack of evidence for theories as proof of gods grand divine design. It has even caused some scientists to keep quiet about holes in their theories that might otherwise have been researched by other people around the world.

It's almost like promoting ignorance and revelling in it. "If you don't know how something works, put it down to god and think no more!!"

I find that attitude utterly infuriating when it's taught in classrooms. How can you teach people explicitly not to try and understand how things work. That's just daft.

Yeah I know a lot of religious folk aren't like this.. but I sometimes worry that way to many people in places of power and authority are like that.
Phyllis
Ugh, Brownback. He makes me hate Kansas even more. I already held a bit of a grudge against it because when I was young some other kids inexplicably thought my name was Kansas -- hardly its fault, really. But electing someone like him is. Those who voted against him and are as appalled as me at the crap he says are immune from my wrath, obviously.

I cringe when I read about how many Americans support teaching creationism in public schools. I don't understand that mindset at all. Maybe because it wasn't very common in the godless blue state where I grew up, or maybe because they are freaking insane. Possibly some from column A, some from column B.

Either way, I don't really care what they believe...but the trying to shove it down other people's throats thing just tends to make me angry.

As an aside, we have been getting Jehova's Witnesses and Mormons knocking on our door every week now, trying to convert us. They didn't seem as interested when it was pouring down rain, but now that it's nicer weather they've gotten all preachy. The Mormons wanted to make conversation about me being American, because one of them was as well (for those not following along with the minutiae of my life, I live in England now). A rather immature part of me wanted to shake him and tell him to shut up and go home and stop trying to convert the world (I didn't, of course).
Calantyr
Science is science, belief is belief. Don't try to mix them or you'll end up in farce.

Sure, maybe there's something out there supernatural. Good for it. Until it pops up and demonstratively proves it's magical nature I think I'll stick to fact, evidence, and disprovable theories thank you very much.

On the plus side, in recent years there have some overturning of ludicrous religion posing as science. The Kansas School Board threw out Creationalism as mandatory learning in Science class. They were also ordered to stop putting warning pictures on text books that contained details on evolution. I kid you not, they had stickers with warnings like "This book contains theories based on Darwinism. This should be read with an open mind to the flaws contained within and not without opposing views such as Creationism."

Sorta ignoring that Darwinism is about as far from modern evolution theory as you can get, but ho-hum.
sirdudly
QUOTE (Daria @ Jun 11 2007, 06:13 AM) *
We all know that science changes, and this is why it is so important to have it taught, and used as evidence in some cases (global warming, anyone?). It changes because we learn more about it, and more research is done with it. Just because it changes is NO reason to discredit it- as some religious leaders seem to think.

Then why do the people at the head of the cult discredit any challenge through use of new evidence to their theories?
Wookiee
QUOTE (sirdudly @ Jun 11 2007, 07:43 PM) *
QUOTE (Daria @ Jun 11 2007, 06:13 AM) *

We all know that science changes, and this is why it is so important to have it taught, and used as evidence in some cases (global warming, anyone?). It changes because we learn more about it, and more research is done with it. Just because it changes is NO reason to discredit it- as some religious leaders seem to think.

Then why do the people at the head of the cult discredit any challenge through use of new evidence to their theories?


Please, dear f$@#, please tell me you didn't just call science a cult.
mooooooooooopo
QUOTE (sirdudly @ Jun 11 2007, 07:43 PM) *
QUOTE (Daria @ Jun 11 2007, 06:13 AM) *

We all know that science changes, and this is why it is so important to have it taught, and used as evidence in some cases (global warming, anyone?). It changes because we learn more about it, and more research is done with it. Just because it changes is NO reason to discredit it- as some religious leaders seem to think.

Then why do the people at the head of the cult discredit any challenge through use of new evidence to their theories?


if you're implying what I think you are trying to imply then why don't you step back and think about it for a second.

Science is the wrong shape to be a cult. It is a web of people sharing ideas and theories, nobody is really 'at the top'. Even if some people are as you describe and attempt to "discredit any challenge through use of new evidence to their theories?" regardless of whether it fits or not that's the exception and not the rule.

Cults on the other hand tend to take a pyramid shape, with one or a few people at top controlling others via their beliefs. As far as I know science has no supreme leader of any kind.
Wookiee
^ Fantastic response.
Moosh
QUOTE (moop @ Jun 11 2007, 08:57 PM) *
QUOTE (sirdudly @ Jun 11 2007, 07:43 PM) *

QUOTE (Daria @ Jun 11 2007, 06:13 AM) *

We all know that science changes, and this is why it is so important to have it taught, and used as evidence in some cases (global warming, anyone?). It changes because we learn more about it, and more research is done with it. Just because it changes is NO reason to discredit it- as some religious leaders seem to think.

Then why do the people at the head of the cult discredit any challenge through use of new evidence to their theories?


if you're implying what I think you are trying to imply then why don't you step back and think about it for a second.

Science is the wrong shape to be a cult. It is a web of people sharing ideas and theories, nobody is really 'at the top'. Even if some people are as you describe and attempt to "discredit any challenge through use of new evidence to their theories?" regardless of whether it fits or not that's the exception and not the rule.

Cults on the other hand tend to take a pyramid shape, with one or a few people at top controlling others via their beliefs. As far as I know science has no supreme leader of any kind.


Moop is right, however it is true that there is sometimes resistance to some new ideas, when they represent a large shift in understanding, but this happens very rarely, eg. Newtonian mechanics -> relativity.

Why does this happen? Because people are cautious. In the scientific community, to announce a result then for it to be contradicted and found out to be wrong is not shameful in the least, as long as you are willing to accept that it is wrong and move on, as most scientists would be. But science is getting more and more public, and people do not want their mistakes to be publicised outside of the science world, due to the problems that this may cause for their later careers, so they are cautious in revealing and supporting new ideas sometimes. This can be a bad thing, but at most can only delay the idea, it cannot squash a correct theory.

The other reason is the purely human one that if you've spent your life working on something (as most of those who sirdudly would claim are "at the top" of the scientific community have), then you will have some negative feelings about a new theory that may render your work less significant or even worthless. This, whilst understandable, is not science however, and should be striven against.

Science means the constant checking of theories against evidence and evolution of those theories. If you're not doing that, then you're not doing science. But whilst you should not hold onto a theory for sentimental reasons, neither should you immediately support a new theory before it is properly tested. And the more rigorous testing, the more opposition any theory must have to overcome, the better for it.
Witless
This is pretty much spam but I think it's related.. it's Harvey birdman's response to creationism vs evolution:

http://www.tv-links.co.uk/link.do/2/1774/3101/21461/33532

(The link only works if you copy paste it into the address bar)
Wookiee
^Class.

QUOTE (CheeseMoose @ Jun 11 2007, 09:56 PM) *
Science means the constant checking of theories against evidence and evolution of those theories. If you're not doing that, then you're not doing science. But whilst you should not hold onto a theory for sentimental reasons, neither should you immediately support a new theory before it is properly tested. And the more rigorous testing, the more opposition any theory must have to overcome, the better for it.


Absolutely. As per the flow charts, if evidence is found that might contradict a theory, then hey, maybe the theory needs adjusting or to be thrown out altogether. If evidence is found that contradicts the Bible, then you can be sure to find the Pope sat with his hat pulled down over his ears, singing, "La la la la la, I cannot hear you! Ciao!"
sirdudly
I didn't call science a cult. I was referring to the "cult of global warming". Can anybody explain to me how buying a carbon offset is any different from purchasing indulgences?
Calantyr
I don't know any serious scientists, or environmentalists who know vaguely what they're talking about, who believe in 'Carbon Offsets'.

The logic behind it is weird as anything, but it gets fantastic PR.
Daria
QUOTE (sirdudly @ Jun 12 2007, 03:27 PM) *
I didn't call science a cult. I was referring to the "cult of global warming". Can anybody explain to me how buying a carbon offset is any different from purchasing indulgences?


I hate the huge fiasco about being "green". It has become such a popularity contest and really, they are just as bad as each other- also, as I was discussing with (big) Dave yesterday, some of the 'solutions' really aren't solutions at all. Biofuels use up much needed resources in other countries, and by recycling plastic bags (not just using them again) you're shipping them off to China and they get made into different ones (whilst the workers get ill from the chemicals).

Although I guess some is better than nothing for trying to help the environment. The thing is, though, why does Johnny Borrell need to go across London in a special bus and motorbike (run by biofuels)? He could just sit at home and shout about being green. It would have had the same impact to society (i.e no one listening to him) and it would have saved a few pounds.
Wookiee
QUOTE (sirdudly @ Jun 12 2007, 03:27 PM) *
I didn't call science a cult. I was referring to the "cult of global warming".


Right. Yes, climate change is a myth and we should all just carry on squandering resources beyond our capacity for renewal. Yup, I'm right there with you.

QUOTE (Daria @ Jun 12 2007, 04:14 PM) *
as I was discussing with (big) Dave yesterday, some of the 'solutions' really aren't solutions at all. Biofuels use up much needed resources in other countries, and by recycling plastic bags (not just using them again) you're shipping them off to China and they get made into different ones (whilst the workers get ill from the chemicals).


Biofuels ruin everything.
Columbian Biofuel Pirates.

Bit of an own goal, really. I suspect this is what we get for leaving it so late in the day to try and reduce emissions and combat climate change.

And don't get me started on Live Earth. It will turn into a rant of epic proportions.
Sir Psycho Sexy
QUOTE (moop @ Jun 11 2007, 08:57 PM) *
As far as I know science has no supreme leader of any kind.


Like...some sort of...science...pope?

(With a FULL BRAZILIAN!)

Yes yes, I know... spam, I have nothing constructive to add.
Greeneyes
QUOTE (Sir_Psycho_Sexy @ Jun 12 2007, 07:42 PM) *
Like...some sort of...science...pope?


You mean science gangsta-rapper, obviously.
Calantyr
Max Planck for Science Pope!

With a name like that, how can you say no?
Wookiee
As it's apparently okay to explode authors just because they wrote some book twenty years ago that you never read, I would like to reiterate my firm stance against people who insist their lives are governed by an all-knowing invisible pixie that lives in the sky; religion is clearly of no benefit to anyone, and is the province of idiots and psychopaths.

Theo Hobson, I'm looking at you.
Greeneyes
QUOTE (Wookiee @ Jun 20 2007, 02:06 PM) *
religion is clearly of no benefit to anyone, and is the province of idiots and psychopaths.


That is a rather strong opinion there, Wookiee. Do you really regard anyone who has a religious stance other than staunch atheism an idiot? Regardless of anything else about them? Many scientists, like Newton and Einstein, and, as Calantyr mentioned, Planck, still believed in a god, despite their contributions to science. Do you regard them as idiots or psychopaths, too? And if people can find solice in their beliefs, and if their beliefs give them another reason to live a good life; are these not benefits to them, to everyone?

Net meaning to argue here, just curious.
Witless
QUOTE (Greeneyes @ Jun 20 2007, 04:20 PM) *
QUOTE (Wookiee @ Jun 20 2007, 02:06 PM) *
religion is clearly of no benefit to anyone, and is the province of idiots and psychopaths.


That is a rather strong opinion there, Wookiee. Do you really regard anyone who has a religious stance other than staunch atheism an idiot? Regardless of anything else about them? Many scientists, like Newton and Einstein, and, as Calantyr mentioned, Planck, still believed in a god, despite their contributions to science


Actually Einstein didn't believe in god, and the jury's still out on Newton. Einstein was Jewish in that he had Jewish parents and used religious metephors liberally in his life. But he didn't believe in god in the traditional religious sense. He was infact quoted as saying "I do not believe in a personal god". When he did say that, americans wrote in their droves that godless people like him should keep their mouths shut. Some even went as far as to say, people like him are the reason Hitler killed Jews!

He came from a religious family and as such used many religious phrases like "the mind of god" for describing the complexity of the universe. But to be honest I have been guilty of using that phrase too, but I sure don't believe in concious mind being some kind of universe creator or controller.

Newton on the other hand grew up in a prolifically christian time, and everyone believer or not called themselves a christian, and painted everything they said with religious metaphors. But as I understand it, it has been difficult to say for sure that he was religious in the sense that he had faith in a concious divine creator, so much as he believed in the majesty of the universe and simply used christian descriptions (as was very common at the time) to describe them.

That still happens a lot today, there are very very few religious scientists in the world, but many people do use religious (christian in the western world) descriptions for things. For example describing the beauty of nature as examples of the divine nature of the universe. Christians (especially in the states) leap on this and quote them out of context as proof that the best and the brightest of the science world are actually on the side of god. Most sucessful scientists tend to run into a wall if they try and keep faith, since faith often falls down if you train your mind to be relentlessy rational. There are exceptions to the rules. But it's a lot rarer than a lot of rumours would leave people to believe.

However, athiestisms advantage is that athiests aren't fundamentalists. In principle an athiests beliefs about how the things work can be changed by new evidence. It's why athiests don't declare war in the name of athiesm. The whole point is that dissagreements often drive our understanding forward. Being strongly anti religious is fine in my opinion.. but going out all guns blazing and hostile is on the road of why organised religion is annoying in the first place. If religious people around the world all lived and let lived with their faith throughout all history, I probably wouldn't be anti religion at all. But not everyone is a quiet tea drinking christian that blushes at someone saying the word "bottom". Infact numerically I'd say they make up the minority throughout history and quite possibly still today.

I'm not saying Wookie's being super hostile.. it's not like he's dropping bombs on people and to my knowledge he's killed no one. But it does sound like he's gone beyond strong disagreement with religion.. (which is where I sit) and over to hostility. Maybe I am reading his comments wrongly though and he just has a more coarse way of describing things than me.
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