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God vs Evolution

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Postby Sillitovet » Sun May 06, 2007 9:10 am

alextemplet wrote:You're trying to cause conflict where there isn't. Evolution only explains how life developed after it was created, not how it was created in the first place. There is no real contradiction between Darwinism and creation; the two explain completely different events.


I think you misunderstood what I meant by saying creator, I was refering to the theory that there has been some sort of "intelligent design" or that a higher being created living things. NOT the creation of the universe (which, incidentally, I hope shall one day be explained by science) at all. And for this definition of the word creator I would say there is a conflict between science and this aspect of religion.

Reading above it seems that several people almost mis-interpret the meanings given by others to try and make their own argument! Much of the discussion seems to be nit-picking over the exact definitions of words rather than over the subject itself.

I wonder why some people believe and others do not, is it to do with their parents beliefs? My father is an atheist so perhaps that is the reason I am also, it is hard to throw aside childhood beliefs forged by authoritative figures. On the other hand my belief is backed by evidence.

alextemplet wrote:That's very true, God exists regardless of whether or not we acknowledge Him, understand Him, or want Him.


This phrase sounds good, but it underlines the escape clause of many religions - "you can't prove he isn't there, so he must be". Equally I could say; God doesn't exist, regardless of whether or not we acknowledge him, try to understand him or want him.

edit: I don't know if this has been posted before but this man can articulate my feelings better than I am able! http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/113
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Postby alextemplet » Sun May 06, 2007 3:12 pm

I dislike the term "intelligent design" because it is too often used solely to describe anti-evolutionary ideas. However, if we accept the fact that the laws of science are sufficient to explain the universe - and I seriously think they are - then that still does not rule out the possibility that those laws themselves were designed by an intelligent creator. After all, in an infinite universe, what can't be true?

It is a tad ignorant to write off religious belief as the sole work of parental figures. My family sincerely lacked faith, and yet I am very devout. I came to my faith through my own investigation, after I took a good, long hard look at the evidence and realized that the evidence really does support the existence of God.
Generally speaking, the more people talk about "being saved," the further away they actually are from true salvation.

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Postby narrowstaircase » Sun May 06, 2007 10:19 pm

Sillitovet wrote:edit: I don't know if this has been posted before but this man can articulate my feelings better than I am able! http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/113


i think the responses by 'K Honey' and 'Robert Thomas' are valid points in response to Dawkin's own 'non-belief'. Also 'Jeremy Needleman' makes excellent points in interpreting such a uniquely English talk with all its nuances.

although i must quote a song writer in response to Dawkins, "if theres no truth and who cares, how come you say it like you're right?"

edit: i dont like the way he clumps Einstein and Hawkings into his own mindset and understanding of reality and in essence speaks for them. ive said this before on this forum and ill say it again. the people who interpret the word God as a metaphorical symbol for something eternal and all encompassing (Einstein and Hawkings) have much more in common with fundamentalist believers than they do with atheists. simply because atheists reject value in life by emphasising dry facts. the grass is green, the sky is blue, this mechanism works in this way, and so on. claiming these dry facts to be 'the ultimate truth' but in doing so dismissing any meaning behind that knowledge which is the real truth. a quote from Einstein, "science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." i dont think Dawkins would say anything like this and yet he feels its imperitive to categorise such a great thinker and imaginitive mind with his own. If he feels such distain towards the word God then why doesnt he make a speech centred on the way its been interpreted by different people. he could put himself in such an investigation and see how he has so narrowly confined its interpretation and meaning. infact its like i said before. this literal interpretation of God is so unnaturally detached from humans personal experience with life that it has resulted in the forging of two camps which are readying to make war on one another. fundamentalist religion and cold, mechanistic, unfeeling science. two extremes whos existance is only validated by their 'opponent' and 'all-or-nothing' status. another quote from Einstein which he had in his obituary, "the cosmic religious experience is the strongest and the noblest driving force behind scientific research." His view of life doesnt even compare to Dawkins' in my honest opinion.
"Oh wearisome Condition of Humanity! Borne under one law, to another bound: Vainley begot, and yet forbidden vanity, Created sicke, commanded to be sound: What meaneth nature by these diverse lawes? Passion and Reason, selfe-division cause."
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Postby narrowstaircase » Mon May 07, 2007 1:51 am

Sillitovet wrote:This phrase sounds good, but it underlines the escape clause of many religions - "you can't prove he isn't there, so he must be". Equally I could say; God doesn't exist, regardless of whether or not we acknowledge him, try to understand him or want him.


that 'escape clause' is very deterministic and doesn't do justice to the religious experience im trying hard to communicate. have you ever read The Little Prince? chapter four is especially relevant to this difference in perspective. http://www.angelfire.com/hi/littleprince/chapter4.html

these lines: "Just so, you might say to them: 'The proof that the little prince existed is that he was charming, that he laughed, and that he was looking for a sheep. If anybody wants a sheep, that is a proof that he exists.' And what good would it do to tell them that? They would shrug their shoulders, and treat you like a child."

i love this book. although it is futile to impose such a view on someone else i hope you can appreciate this perspective as at least existing and being relevent in the lives of other people. if there is something within me that feels intimately connected with life, if through me it strives for higher levels of consciousness and makes its character known through ideals such as compassion and selflessness and love, isnt that proof enough that it exists? and cant i call that thing God? or in William Blakes perspective the Poetic Genius?
"Oh wearisome Condition of Humanity! Borne under one law, to another bound: Vainley begot, and yet forbidden vanity, Created sicke, commanded to be sound: What meaneth nature by these diverse lawes? Passion and Reason, selfe-division cause."
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Postby want2know » Mon May 07, 2007 3:50 am

narrowstaircase wrote:my view is that God is the universe and cant actually be seen as something independant of it. through the smallest indivisible fibre of the universe, God is there. not above it or detached, but is actually him.
If I understand you correctly, you are saying that EVERYTHING is god. In that sense, since everything is god, the very urge to let ourselves in on it is also god but at the same time the urge not wanting to believe in god is also the same god. It's not just our internal struggles about the existence of god but there are so many conflicting forces in play in this universe. Are these apparent conflicts merely our lack of understanding as only a tiny part of the whole god? If so how in world can we trust this inadequate part of god to be doing all it can to let itself to be known as a part god, if even possible?

And also, to me I can't understand the difference between no god, but merely believing in the existence, and your god, which is another way of saying the same thing only divinizing the existence.
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Postby want2know » Mon May 07, 2007 4:00 am

Sillitovet wrote:Equally I could say; God doesn't exist, regardless of whether or not we acknowledge him, try to understand him or want him.
but I would argue your logic for not believing in existence of God, although I haven't hear it yet and would love to, would be more illogical than for His existence.
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Postby narrowstaircase » Mon May 07, 2007 6:39 am

want2know wrote:If I understand you correctly, you are saying that EVERYTHING is god. In that sense, since everything is god, the very urge to let ourselves in on it is also god but at the same time the urge not wanting to believe in god is also the same god. It's not just our internal struggles about the existence of god but there are so many conflicting forces in play in this universe. Are these apparent conflicts merely our lack of understanding as only a tiny part of the whole god? If so how in world can we trust this inadequate part of god to be doing all it can to let itself to be known as a part god, if even possible?

And also, to me I can't understand the difference between no god, but merely believing in the existence, and your god, which is another way of saying the same thing only divinizing the existence.


by saying that, i meant that there is an internal meaning and inherant value in everything. the consistancy of the value might be termed God. i dont know really. The psychological conflicts in human nature, the dichotomies, called The Human Condition is explained in Jeremy Griffith's books. that is where i would look if i were you, to learn more about that in particular.

ive tried to explain to the best of my ability using quotes from people i think will help in communicating my perspective. i just wanted to emphasise that for alot of people God isnt a guy in the sky and that religion means more to some people than a set of rules, or a detached figure of authority and supreme power. maybe the next step in understanding me is in mobilising your imagination.

if you arent just antagonising me for the sake of a debate i would suggest you read authors like Laurens van der Post, Carl Gustav Jung, Jeremy Griffith, Pierre Tielhard de Chardin. these people are the four pillars of my personal development. Jung and Griffith are scientists of the highest regard.
"Oh wearisome Condition of Humanity! Borne under one law, to another bound: Vainley begot, and yet forbidden vanity, Created sicke, commanded to be sound: What meaneth nature by these diverse lawes? Passion and Reason, selfe-division cause."
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Postby want2know » Mon May 07, 2007 7:04 am

Narrowstaircase, sorry if I came out as if I were antagonising you. That was not my intention. I truly wanted to understand the link. And by asking the first question that there are conflicting forces, I saw myself a possible rebuttal to that logic and just wanted to save some time by playing both sides. I do wish that you do share with me what you have picked up from your reading. As I am not much of a reader, if you haven't noticed already by my communication skills, unless I have to. I do prefer gettting it straight from the horse's mouth if you will.

It seems your understanding of Christian God is not all accurate. You continue suggesting that God is detached. If you don't mind I would also like to suggest a reading or two. Mere Christianity by CS Lewis and the Bible by God.
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Postby narrowstaircase » Mon May 07, 2007 7:37 am

want2know wrote:Narrowstaircase, sorry if I came out as if I were antagonising you. That was not my intention. I truly wanted to understand the link. And by asking the first question that there are conflicting forces, I saw myself a possible rebuttal to that logic and just wanted to save some time by playing both sides. I do wish that you do share with me what you have picked up from your reading. As I am not much of a reader, if you haven't noticed already by my communication skills, unless I have to. I do prefer gettting it straight from the horse's mouth if you will.

It seems your understanding of Christian God is not all accurate. You continue suggesting that God is detached. If you don't mind I would also like to suggest a reading or two. Mere Christianity by CS Lewis and the Bible by God.


i have the bible but have not got very far into it yet! :D im only up to leviticus. ive been reading other things. but when i do i dont interpret it literally. that will probably be the point we will agree to disagree on. the christian god has meant different things to different people. i think it has to do with what you experience personally. a relationship of sorts with life, yourself and your ideals.

ps: start reading!
"Oh wearisome Condition of Humanity! Borne under one law, to another bound: Vainley begot, and yet forbidden vanity, Created sicke, commanded to be sound: What meaneth nature by these diverse lawes? Passion and Reason, selfe-division cause."
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Postby want2know » Tue May 08, 2007 1:19 am

narrowstaircase wrote:the christian god has meant different things to different people. i think it has to do with what you experience personally. a relationship of sorts with life, yourself and your ideals.
But there really is one God and I don't disagree that He might mean different things to different people. But I am sure they don't think their God is different from my God, if they are truly Christians.
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Postby robertkernodle » Thu May 10, 2007 5:35 pm

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Hi narrowstaircase,

Sorry I seemed to go AWOL on this discussion, but I injured my knee and couldn't walk to my usual place of contemplation to chime in for the past few days. I'm back to a functional limp, so I'll see what I can add:

In your response to me a few days ago, you seemed to disqualify any attempt at stating an indeterminate universe by citing language itself as absolutely deterministic in its ability to state indeterminsm.

Nice trick, but it doesn't work. Systems can speak of the potential of other systems outside themselves. See Goedel. Language, therefore, does not disqualify its own discussion of its limitations.

I say, "The universe is indeterminate".

You say, "That statement is determinate, so it is self-contradictory".

I say, "No,... that statement is a clear statement of its own limits." Clarity and definition are human perceptions marked by human expressions, all the while knowing their containment in a larger system of indeterminate other forms.

Robert Kernodle
Last edited by robertkernodle on Thu May 10, 2007 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby robertkernodle » Thu May 10, 2007 5:54 pm

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Now more generally,

A consistent observation is not strictly a finite, bounded event of absolute closure. Such an observation is a resonance (of a vibration) between different levels of organization, whose measurement is a peak in a range of indeterminate "in betweens".

Quantum physics seems to insist that there are NO "in betweens" past a certain scale - there are only peaks and jumping from peak to peak, with no intermittent slopes (since we cannot seem to see any).

This inevitably leads some of us to ask, "In what do these peaks exist?",... to which the quantum purists reply, "This is not our concern - we only care about what we observe, and we avoid the question of an underlying reality altogether, since this is not good science (to ask such a question)."

To me, this is the same as saying, "In between the quantum peaks,... we deny the existence of the word 'be'. We deny "being", except as measurement. We deny being's existence beyond measurement, which being logically MUST enable this very measurement."

This is NOT good sense. Is eliminating good sense the price of good science?

I suggest not. We seem to need a substrate of BEING itself, in order to have any basis for anything at all. Then we seem to need to describe the nature of this BEING-substrate in such a way that allows flexibility, maleability and organization on all scales visible and invisible to us. We assume that always something indeterminate lies outside any boundary of any law we can establish.

We simply canNOT deny existence outright beyond known bounds. We seem better to model the potential of the unknown too, in such a way that it allows for the known we see.

String theorists already do this, but their terms still seem somehow rigid and subsidiary to yet another level of reasoning.

RK - (to be continued)
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