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Origins of life

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Postby Mikeseno » Wed Mar 15, 2006 7:16 pm

I feel like i'm cutting into this debate/discussion when it is about to end, but i've just registered and so wanted to post something and get involved.

I am a firm believer in evolution and do not have a high regard for creationism. However, I think it is important that the two are not looked at as entirely separate. The reason I say this is because although evolution is scientifically proven to be true, we still do not know for sure how life began and about how the universe came about. It is here that I feel the presence of a 'higher' being currently plays a role. For example, if you believe in the big bang, did someone initiate it? Although life evolved from very simple organisms, did somebody create the first living creature?

In answer to the first question, of course nobody really knows. Therefore any answer given is largely a matter of personal opinion. I believe that there must have been some "creator" that initiated the big bang or started the universe as we know it. I say this as a non-physicist!

I do not believe that the first living creature was created. I believe that as we currently know of only one planet (earth!...correct me if i'm wrong) with biotic life that the conditions that allow life to develop must be sufficiently complex to have evolved by chance. I hope I am making sense. Essentially what I am trying to say is why are there not more planets with biotic life (despite all of our searching, we have yet to find any "life" outside of our planet).

It is here that i believe the role of a "god" is important, not in the evolution of life. Life as we know it appears as it is because of evolution, not because "god" made us. As I already mentioned this is scientifically proven (by fossils for example that show common ancestors, etc) and so I believe the real argument lies elsewhere!

I hope this is understandable and that this is relevant to the discussion.

Thanks
I am currently doing my A-levels in the UK. (bio, chem and maths). All being well I will do Biology at Uni in october.

Other interests include sport (esp. cricket), music and geography.
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Postby AstusAleator » Wed Mar 15, 2006 9:34 pm

This point, like most of the others in this thread, has been made before, probably multiple times.

What you're not considering is that this is simply your personal belief or philosophy on the origin of the universe. I think that it is contingent on the belief that you can get something from nothing, which so far in science has not been proven to be possible.

Science does not make any statements regarding a "creation" that would require metaphysical force. It uses what it understands to theorize about what it doesn't.

The "big bang" was not a "creation" it was simply a new beginning according to the theory. I think it's easy for people to make assumptions, and add "creation" or "god" into evident gaps in scientific knowledge, and then somehow think that all scientists do the same.

The difference is that non-scientists are content to fill those gaps with metaphysical philosophy or reason and leave it at that. True scientists are trying to find physical cause and effect.

I agree with your statement that religion and science should not be mutually exclusive, but I don't agree with your reason. I don't think that religion and science should be seen as conflicting. Nor do I think that one should ever seek religious answers to scientific questions, or vice versa.


PS: your language indicates to me that you put a deal of faith into what you classify as scientific knowledge. "I am a firm believer in evolution," "evolution is scientifically proven to be true," "if you believe in the big bang," etc.
evolution and the big bang are not "beliefs" nor are they proven to be true. Few to no scientific disciplines have provided scientific truths, as the very nature of science is to continually question the status quo as well as the unknown. The big bang is a theory, involving intricate observable mathematical relationships between celestial bodies. One must not "believe" or disbelieve in a scientific theory, but instead attempt to refute it.
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Postby mith » Wed Mar 15, 2006 11:14 pm

you should read up on the theory of science although it's more philosophy than "science"
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Postby Linn » Thu Mar 16, 2006 1:48 am

Astus
Can't... stop... posting...

:lol:
if I understand corectly what you mean
I say Yes me too, I said I am just going to
read no posting, but here i am opening my
big mouth
again!!

Linn: I think part of our problem here is
that we both say so much, and our discussions
cover so many variations on topic that we can't
keep track of everything the other has said .

yes I have thought that also.
My pronlem is my eyes bug out reading on-line.
I like to print things out and sit and read them with
a nice cup of tea, this way I can really "listen" to the
others point and think clearly what i want to say,
or even agree upon. I love science and any thing
to do with it since I was a little kid. It was always my
favorite subject. You keep talking about religion
and not about creation. the one thing that religion has
in common: a creator/s
Even the native american peoples believed
in the one great spirit. and a flood story!!

about the flood:
In the day of Noah the flood came upon
the inhabited earth (inhabited by people)
at that time only a small portion of the earth
was inhabited by people

and thus is in concert with scientific evidence
that a huge
flood did happen. Also sea shells are found on the top
of the highest mountains.

Fish and whales of course were not brought on the ark.

I will get back to you later for info on how many
"kinds" would only have been needed to be brought
aboard to produce the diversity now seen.
I am on my daughters
computer and left my glasses and books at home.
She has my kwyboard because she spilled soda on hers,
and when I get it back I will print this whole thread and
take the time to read everything.

In a nut shell: What exactly does everyone believe?
Some believe evolution differently than others.

just for fun:
Peace
siochain,paz,pax,pace,heiwa,
He ping,vrede, salan,shanti,paix,etc....
"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these".

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Postby Linn » Thu Mar 16, 2006 1:58 am

just want to add one point.
Do you agree as you all must have read,
that theories start based on assumptions
and observations by thinking people
(the odd balls like us that debate and think
about these things)
then comes hypothesis and then theory
and then we try to find proof.

I say this because I keep seeing the word assumption. and sometimes assumptions
are good.

All the great scientists started with assumptions
they observed something, thought about it and based on that made an assumption...
"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these".

~ George washington Carver
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Postby alextemplet » Thu Mar 16, 2006 2:29 am

Linn wrote:

about the flood:
In the day of Noah the flood came upon
the inhabited earth (inhabited by people)
at that time only a small portion of the earth
was inhabited by people


Linn, I'm sorry, but Genesis tells us that the flood was global, not local. Here's a few verses:

Gen 6:7 - So the Lord said, "I will blot out from the earth the human beings I have created - people together with animals and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them."

Gen 6:17 - For My part, I am going to bring a flood of waters on the earth, to destroy from under Heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die.

Gen 7:19-24 - The waters swelled so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole Heaven were covered; the waters swelled above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. And all flesh dies that mvoed on the earth, birds, domestic animals, wild animals, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all human beings; everything on dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. He blotted out every living thing that was on teh face of the ground, human beings and animals and creeping things and birds of the air; they were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark.

It is clear that this story describes a global flood, not local or regional. In Gen 6:7, we are told that God intends to destroy all life, not just humanity, and that means the whole earth. Gen 6:17 says this even more clearly: ". . . to destroy from under Heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die." The passage from Gen 7 describes the waters covering even the highest mountains under all of Heaven, not just one region. This last passage also repeats that all life, not just humanity, dies in the flood.

Linn, I admire your faith and I admire your attempts to defend the Bible, but I think you're barking up the wrong tree. As I stated before, a literal interpretation of the creation and flood stories is self-contradictory and shouldn't be trusted. A more metaphorical interpretation is in great harmony with both science and theology and thus, I believe, a much better choice entirely.

My apologies if this is too religious, but after recent discussion in this thread I don't think it's too far out of line.
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Postby Linn » Thu Mar 16, 2006 2:43 am

Alex
I will catch ya tomorow or some
other time about that
later gator
"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these".

~ George washington Carver
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Postby mith » Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:02 am

I know many regard sacred texts as a source of scientific data and you can argue that it's infallible or whatever, but often the point isn't that the book/text is wrong but that the interpretation is wrong.

Nowadays we can look back at the Rennaisance and say "oh man, weren't those church leaders dumb for thinking the earth was the center of the universe." They argue and cited the Bible to support their claims...and they were wrong. But don't we face the same problem today?

Who is to say that our interpretation of the text is correct, which part is supposed to be literal and which is supposed to be metaphorical? Unfortunately God doesn't come down and say "this is what this passage means" or "this text is the authoritative version of my word." One only needs to look at the various sects and divisions within religions to realize that it can be interpreted many different ways.

You could say that the creation of the earth is pretty cut and dry, but no doubt there are others with equally valid claims to say that it isn't.
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Postby alextemplet » Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:21 am

mithril wrote:

I know many regard sacred texts as a source of scientific data and you can argue that it's infallible or whatever, but often the point isn't that the book/text is wrong but that the interpretation is wrong.


I couldn't agree more.

Nowadays we can look back at the Rennaisance and say "oh man, weren't those church leaders dumb for thinking the earth was the center of the universe." They argue and cited the Bible to support their claims...and they were wrong. But don't we face the same problem today?


Again, highly agreed.

Who is to say that our interpretation of the text is correct, which part is supposed to be literal and which is supposed to be metaphorical? Unfortunately God doesn't come down and say "this is what this passage means" or "this text is the authoritative version of my word." One only needs to look at the various sects and divisions within religions to realize that it can be interpreted many different ways.


This is where I have to disagree with you. I used to believe that the Bible can be interpreted in many different ways, but after reading as much of it as I have I have come to believe the opposite. The Bible is very clear as to what it wants to say. Take Jesus for example. When He was being metaphorical, He told us so; when He was being literal, He told us so. So we don't have to argue over how to interpret His words; He told us Himself exactly how He wants to be interpreted. With regards to the creation story, the numerous errors and inconsistencies are God's way of telling us that He's being metaphorical; also, as I said, the creation story can be interpreted to agree remarkable well with modern science. So yes, God does tell us what the Bible means; all we have to do is read it.

You could say that the creation of the earth is pretty cut and dry, but no doubt there are others with equally valid claims to say that it isn't.


Despite how much this topic is argued, I think it is very cut and dry. Just look at the scientific evidence which obviously leans towards evolution, then read the book which is obviously metaphorical and agrees with evolution, and it's pretty obvious. At least it seems that way to me.
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Postby David George » Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:26 am

Alex

Please allow me to set the record straight as to the Genesis creation story. I've read it several times in the past few days and I've noticed a number of interesting facts that are probably missed by most people. Those facts can be broadly categorized as two points. First, Genesis agrees with science if it's interpreted correctly; secondly, a literal interpretation contradicts itself and therefore cannot be trusted.

Starting from the beginning, Gen 1 describes both evolution and the big bang. With regards to the big bang, God says "Let there by light: (Gen 1:3), and *bang* there's light, just as if you were observing the big bang. There's other parallels in subsequent verses but for the sake of space I won't go into it here. As for evolution, God creates life first in the ocean (Gen 1:20), just like evolution, and then life on land (Gen 1: 24), and man comes last (Gen 1:26-27).


Well yesterday I did read the bible[Genesis] and found few things that were wrong [To me].It is said that they were two expances[water] one above the other below.The sky appears blue that doesnot mean it is water.The people who wrote the genesis didnot realize this and only obsereved that the sky and sea are blue and thought both were water.I think that this is what i_r_e_d's girlfriend was talking about in the topic 'Have you guy heard of the Bio Sphere?'.It is said that the stars were formed in the fourth day I think it is in Gen 1:7.It is also said that first vegetation was formed on land.It says that the water creatures and birds were formed first later the wild and domestic animals.This goes against evolution.My exams will be over tommorow so that I can write a larger message :twisted: :twisted: .Beware . :twisted: :twisted:
"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution"
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Postby alextemplet » Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:32 am

We have to keep in mind that the Hebrews originated in Mesopatamia. Abraham lived in Ur before God brought him to Canaan. It's no surprise that the Genesis creation story is exactly the same as that foundin Mesopatamian theology; the flood story also has a large number of parallels. The Hebrews just wrote what they had always believed for generations.

And David, have you read the second chapter of Genesis? That's where the second creation story is, and it disagrees with the first. This is my main point, that the story has to be metaphorical because it doesn't even agree with itself. This is a crucial fact overlooked by most creationists; a coworker even tried to tell me last week that there's only one creation story in Genesis, not two different ones. After reading the Bible, he had no choice but to agree with my point. I only wonder why he never read it before.
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Postby mith » Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:04 pm

alextemplet wrote:This is where I have to disagree with you. I used to believe that the Bible can be interpreted in many different ways, but after reading as much of it as I have I have come to believe the opposite. The Bible is very clear as to what it wants to say. Take Jesus for example. When He was being metaphorical, He told us so; when He was being literal, He told us so. So we don't have to argue over how to interpret His words; He told us Himself exactly how He wants to be interpreted. With regards to the creation story, the numerous errors and inconsistencies are God's way of telling us that He's being metaphorical; also, as I said, the creation story can be interpreted to agree remarkable well with modern science. So yes, God does tell us what the Bible means; all we have to do is read it.

You could say that the creation of the earth is pretty cut and dry, but no doubt there are others with equally valid claims to say that it isn't.


Despite how much this topic is argued, I think it is very cut and dry. Just look at the scientific evidence which obviously leans towards evolution, then read the book which is obviously metaphorical and agrees with evolution, and it's pretty obvious. At least it seems that way to me.


Like I said before, you only need to look at the number of different sects(and young earth proponents) to see how varied interpretations are. And I don't feel there's anyway of proving that you're more "right" than the other person. You might feel it's incredibly clear as day what is meant while your opposite could feel the same. Both of you might feel the other is insane, irrational or the demonic reincarnation. but is there anyway to break the deadlock?

But you say,"isn't science the same way? You look at data and you interpret it." No, with science, you have criterias of adequacy which I don't think religion has. Such things as scope, fruitfullness, testability, simplicity are relatively easy to test in science and it usually becomes obvious which theory is wrong(science=self-correcting).

But for example how would you test a religious interpretation fruitfulness? You could watch two people with different interpretations die and see one going to heaven and one to hell and conclude which is right or wrong. You could look at the lives of two people with different beliefs and see who gets smoten in life more by the hand of god. But even evil people lead happy lives. Short of judgement day, I don't see anyway for you to verify which is the "right" interpretation.

Bottom line, science has consequences which can more or less be objectively tested, but religion...not really.
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