Afterlife stuff

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by zxspectrum, Jun 20, 2009.

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  1. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Now - see - here's where my views and yours differ Mike. The comments you've responded to above weren't aimed as a dig at you - they were put in because some of the atheists/agnostics on this thread have put forward Creationism (admittedly largely through rehashing or posting links to/passages from other peoples' work/rantings/papers) as a serious argument against religion. What I was trying to do is draw a line between advocating that creationism be taught alongside Chemistry, Biology, Maths, Physics, Geology etc as a 'science' - where it doesn't belong, and keeping it in the RE classroom, where it does.

    However, I disagree with you saying that the theory of evolution hasn't been proved. It most certainly has. We evolved from lesser primates, to monkeys, to apes, to our form as Homo Sapiens. I don't get what's so difficult about that as a concept for people who believe in a 'God' to grasp. Just because we evolved from lesser primates, doesn't preclude a 'God' from selecting us as 'chosen' to be special. I'm perfectly willing to believe (because science has shown absolutely zero progress in providing any evidence to the contrary) that there was some unseen force 50,000-odd years ago that intervened somehow and 'blessed' us with intelligence, emotion and the ability to form relationships with each based not solely on need, but on personal preference. What I don't believe, is that our origins as a species were entirely non-evolutionary - not because there's no evidence to suggest this, but because there is so much evidence to suggest otherwise.

    Incidentally, for all the people out there who can't wrap their shwedes round the fact that a 'scientist' can also believe in a 'God', the above argument pretty much sets out exactly what almost all my non-IT-but-scientific-nerd friends who believe in God think. Put simply, evolution has been proven. Science can explain it (and does a damn good job of doing so). The prevnance of our ability to think, feel and question the existence of a divine power (oh, the irony!) has not.
     
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  2. BosonMichael
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    That's a common misconception. Actually, it hasn't been proven. There has been no proof or evidence of a species change - no intermediate forms, at all.

    I'm not saying evolution can't be true. I'm saying that it has yet to be proven yet. It very well might be true.
     
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  3. dmarsh

    dmarsh Petabyte Poster

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    Like I said Biology is not my strong point, but from what I understand pretty much every organism experiences some small ammount of change to its DNA when it reproduces. (Ok so some cloning occurs but it is not the most common form of reproduction, also even in cloning other forms of mutation can occur.)

    Species are man made arbitary groupings or classifications, evolution does not predict a species will suddenly appear like a dog from a frog. It merely states that incremental change happens, and millions of years of incremental change can eventually result in something completely different from the original.

    For a computing analogy I can't run QDOS programs on Vista, doesn't mean there wasn't a series of small changes connecting the two.

    Some species can interbreed to provide viable offspring like dogs and wolves.

    You are basically twisting a poorly defined man made term 'species' to try to make a point.

    Evolution doesn't care what we label a species. It cares about biology and viable offspring, in most cases this matches with our species definition.

    However Evolution does not require inter species breeding so this is not a problem. It only requires small viable changes in the DNA to be able to be transmitted between generations.

    This does raise more interesting questions, for instance if women lived in a well feed area and had bigger and bigger children, and then one generations adolescents expereince a famine, whats to stop them from having a child too big for natural childbirth ? Scientists have now found another coding layer onto the DNA that can be affected by environmental conditions this new area is called Epigenetics.

    Genetic Evolution is a fact, plain and simple.

    Now we also have the human genome being mapped largely thanks to computers and IT, frankly I'm amazed you can call yourself a proponent of IT or science.
     
  4. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Nice name calling, D. I won't stoop to your level and say something similar about you.

    Proving or disproving evolution will do nothing towards proving or disproving the existence God, as I have mentioned before. Six days to God could have taken 4.5 billion years of his input and guidance. I dunno. And I've already mentioned that it is possible for evolution to be true. Despite that, you feel the need to argue for evolution. Fine; believe that it is already a "proven fact" despite the absence of transitional forms (or "missing link") in the fossil record. Doesn't mean that the lifeforms didn't radically jump; they might have. I can't disprove evolution any more than you can disprove God. Nor do I need to. Science and religion are not mutually exclusive. You believe evolution was caused by random chance; I believe that if evolution is true, it could have been caused by design.

    In truth, my logical faith in God is no different than your logical faith in evolution and disbelief in God: in the absence of proof, and despite your lack of study of Biology, evolution is logical for you, so you believe it. Fair enough. I'm not attacking your faith. What you believe could be true. I can't disprove it. But you are certainly attacking mine, and attempting with all your might to disprove it.

    Why does it bother you so much that I believe in a Creator?
     
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  5. dmarsh

    dmarsh Petabyte Poster

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    Your belief in religion itself does not bother me.

    Your 'muddying of the waters', twisting of terms, misinterpretation and faulty logic do.

    If you saw an adult telling people smoking was good for them would you feel compelled to correct them ?

    I'm not attacking your faith, its whats called a vigourous debate, I'm criticing your reasoning.

    I never said science and religion are mutually exclusive. If they make conflicting statements clearly one statement must be at least partially wrong ? All you seem to do is drop or alter that statement at whim. If you have such a close relationship with god why does he keep you so poorly informed ?

    Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, this is a pointless debate.

    Peace and God Bless ! :angel
     
  6. BosonMichael
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    Oh, *I'm* the one misinterpreting, as you blindly assume that I believe certain things and misconstrue things that I say? Oh, that's rich! :biggrin

    But there's proof smoking is bad for you. Can't compare it.

    Dude, you've been increasingly launching personal attacks against me:
    "You chose the quotes and the results you feel justifies your beleifs and discard the rest, if all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail."
    "frankly I'm amazed you can call yourself a proponent of IT or science."
    "If you have such a close relationship with god why does he keep you so poorly informed ?"

    If you can't debate without resorting to personal attack, you need to improve your debating skills, because it does nothing to further your point.

    You're criticizing reasoning you know nothing about. And when I point you towards what I've studied, you "don't have the time".

    That's not debate, D. That's trolling.

    Yes, but neither side can be proven. Thus, you will believe what you believe, and I will believe what I believe.

    And again, you troll, throwing out deliberate inflammatory statements without justification! Who is to say who has access to the "correct information", or which of us is "poorly informed"? As you see it, I must not know all the stuff you're telling me because I don't believe the same things you do. However, I've already studied everything you're telling me - became degreed in it, in fact. And as I see it, God has given you access to all the information you need... yet you reject Him and that information. I've already pointed you in the right direction, yet you "don't have the time".

    Considering you're doing nothing more than name calling at this point, there's no reason to continue this debate.
     
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  7. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Don't try to tell a Palaeontologist what has been proven in the fossil record and what hasn't Mike. Anyone who believes that you can't trace direct lineage through the evolution of apes to Homo Sapiens is deluding themselves. Like I said, there's nothing that explains the higher consciousness of us as a species, but much more evidence than is necessary to prove that we are descended from apes. If that doesn't 'prove' the theory of evolution I don't know what does. You claim no 'intermediate' forms exist (the correct term is 'transitional' but to pull you on that would just be nitpicking :biggrin) when, in fact, there are plenty of them. To give a few examples:

    Eusthenopteron - a fish with legs from the Devonian. The 'link' between fish and amphibians or, more dramatically, between life underwater, and life on land.

    Archaeopteryx - a dinosaur with feathers from the Jurassic. The skeletal structure is (irrespective of what Creationism (ahem) 'teaches' that of a dinosaur, whilst there is clear evidence that the animal had feathers. The 'link' between dinosaurs and birds.

    There are several other less-well known 'transitional' species - including perhaps the most fascinating of the lot - the 'mammal-like' reptiles of the late pre-Mesozoic era - which share many of the characteristics of reptiles and mammals - proving another evolutionary theroy (divergence of form from common ancestors).

    Then, of course, most unpalatably for Creatinosts, there's the Australopithecus spp - an upright walking ape from 2.5 million years ago - which proves the link between lower apes and Homo Sapiens via Cro-Magnon man, Homo Habilus and Homo Erectus (stop sniggering at the back, there).

    As I said - I'm not going to get into a bunfight over whether there was some intervention along the way that 'blessed' Homo Sapiens with intelligence, culture, thoughts, feelings etc etc. What I will take issue with is the utter nonsense of trying to 'disprove' evolution. The two (religion and evolution) are NOT mutually exclusive - the sooner Creationists realise that the better for all (believers, non-believers and, most importantly, children) concerned.

    As Penn & Teller so memorably proclain: Creationism is Bull****.
     
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  8. BosonMichael
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    Not trying to disprove evolution. In fact, I said that it could be true, but there are some scientists who believe that there aren't true intermediate forms - to them, the forms seem to radically jump from one to the other. Like I said before, evolution might very well be the mechanism that God used to create life on this planet, so it doesn't matter to me whether evolution is true or not.

    Or... have you not been reading my posts too? :D
     
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  9. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Phew - for a minute there I thought you were going to 'come out' as a Creationist. Don't do that to me Mike!

    FWIW, the people who believe that transitional forms aren't enough of a 'missing link' to 'prove' evolution as a theory are reasonably thin on the ground. Those that don't have a suspiciously 'Creationist'-like agenda at least.
     
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  10. BosonMichael
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    Well... I am someone who believes that either Creation or Evolution-by-a-Creator happened. Whatever that makes me, I am. :biggrin

    And... if I'm wrong about the existence of God, then that just leaves Evolution-by-random-chance as a possibility.
     
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  11. nugget
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    As you pointed out later, God told Noah to build the Ark.


    Yes, it was divine intervention that led the animals to the Ark.


    All in the Ark.


    Honestly, if you have the so-called religious upbringing that you profess then you would know all this. I can remember it from sunday school some 30 years ago.


    If you read the bible carefully you will find that (please correct me if I'm wrong, it's been 30 years or so) it took Noah and his sons approximately 200 years to build the Ark. Plenty of time for the animals to get there.

    God tamed the animals and made it so they wouldn't eat each other.


    Full points for that one. :thumbleft
     
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  12. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    ...so that would make Noah and his sons.... 200+ years old?!


    Qs
     
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  13. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    With methuselah being 900-odd years old. What's your point?
     
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  14. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    I'm jealous.
     
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  15. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    I'm getting there.. :eek:
     
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  16. m3lt

    m3lt Byte Poster

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    This is so wrong in so many aspects I dont know where to start. :blink

    Evolution is EXACTLY the opposite of "random chance". Natural selection works as an evolving mechanism of adaptation.
    Living beings do what they do and are the way they are, because nothing is random.

    This is interesting because I am currently reading the book called "Climbing Mount Improbable" by Prof. Richard Dawkins, which is one of the most fascinating books I have ever had the pleasure to read. It is complex in so many aspects, but simple enough for you to understand the concepts of an evolving and naturally selective environment within everything "living" and also how it extends phenotipically speaking to the non-living things as well.

    He explains that the chance of things being the way they are at random, is exactly the chance of a tornado going past a scrap yard and assembling a fully functional vehicle, all by itself.

    We can develop more this discussion, but I would advise anyone a good read with the book I gave an example and also "Unweaving the Rainbow" by the same author.

    I am sure you will find it fascinating too BosonMichael, give it a go! :p

    I do know the story roughly, wasnt exactly carved in my mind though.
    It was more of a rethorical question. I wanted to know if he was going to answer using logic and reasoning or give the "easy" answers as you did.
    It is logistically impossible nevertheless. :P
     
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  17. BosonMichael
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    I'm not talking about lifeform A evolving to lifeform B evolving to lifeform C... I'm talking about a bunch of stuff becoming lifeform A. And that occurred because a Creator created it... or it happened as a result of a bunch of chemicals randomly occuring in a spot in the universe.

    Either you simply can't understand that, or you're just messing with me - either way, this thread has run it's course.

    Study what I've studied (that'll take a while), and then make the same recommendation to me. Perhaps I might!

    Nice trolling. :rolleyes:
     
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  18. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    I think so too.

    Thread closed, well done for keeping it civil to all parties :)
     
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