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Origin of life

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Postby alextemplet » Tue Jan 17, 2006 4:07 am

The biggest problem I have with ID is that it is based on the assumption that things unexplained will remain so forever; however, history teaches us that this is not the case. Just because something can't be explained today doesn't mean it won't be tomorrow, so the entire principle of ID can be undermined if something previously unexplained becomes understood. At one time, people thought it was God who moved the sun and moon; now, we attribute that to gravity.

Getting back to the point . . . Did abiogenesis occur? In all honesty, I don't know. I believe it was possible, but without concrete proof I can't be certain. Concrete proof in this area will probably never come, given the difficulties involved in probing that far back into the past; however, I again cannot say for certain that abiogenesis might someday be provable because I do not know what the future may bring. I do believe that God was directly responsible for the origin of life, but since God lies outside the realm of science that belief has little scientific merit. I also believe that God can do anything, and it is possible that He chose to create life in such a way that, to us, may seem a lot like abiogenesis. Why He would do this is not for me to answer, but I do believe He could've done so had He so chosen.

To conclude, at this moment we can't be certain how life began on this planet; however, I refuse to put my faith in a God whose very existence depends on our inability to explain nature. I rather choose to believe in a God whose majesty lies in the very structure of the universe that He created, a universe governed in every aspect by the natural laws that He designed. I do not see natural explanations of natural phenomenon to be disproof of God's existence; rather, I see them as evidence of the grandeur and cleverness with which God designed a universe that we actually can understand. Albert Einstein was famous for saying that the more he learned about science, the more he believed in God, but he is even more famous for saying, "The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it should at all be comprehensible."

This thread is giving a very bad habit of straying from the subject. :evil:
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Postby Springer » Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:14 am

quote="alextemplet"

The biggest problem I have with ID is that it is based on the assumption that things unexplained will remain so forever;

Evolution relies on the assumption that everything can be explained in terms of evolution.

...however, history teaches us that this is not the case. Just because something can't be explained today doesn't mean it won't be tomorrow,

Yes, we do learn more and more with time. However, it is an unwarranted extrapolation to presume that we will continue in our knowledge to the point that we will ever understand the origin of life.

so the entire principle of ID can be undermined if something previously unexplained becomes understood.

Only within the circle of evolutionary thinking.

At one time, people thought it was God who moved the sun and moon; now, we attribute that to gravity
.
We still don't understand why gravity exists... so, in actuality, we don't know what keeps the planets in orbit. We've named the force "gravity", but we don't know what causes it.

I do believe that God was directly responsible for the origin of life, but since God lies outside the realm of science that belief has little scientific merit.

You are repeating the indoctrination of evolutionary thinking. There is nothing unscientific about concluding that a supreme intelligence created life. If you analyze the facts, you can logically conclude that nature shows evidence of creative design, not the gradualism predicted by darwinism.


Albert Einstein was famous for saying that the more he learned about science, the more he believed in God,...

By that statement, Einstein appears to have concluded that the facts of nature are evidence of the existence of God.
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Postby mith » Tue Jan 17, 2006 4:24 pm

Springer wrote:Evolutionists argue that God can't be seen or measured. However, the consequences of creative design can be objectively evalutated,
just as the consequences of gravity lead one to the conclusion that it exists.

Of course gravity exists, but does the graviton? That's my point, it's something made up but it is justified, just as the protobionts are even though there hasn't been any instances of them being observed.

I'm trying to focus on abiogenesis in this thread. The fact that educated people seriously consider the Big Bang as a scientific hypothesis only underscores how desperate they are to come up with anything other can concede the existence of God.

I guess you're going to be fighting the physics forum people then.

I would never defer to someone else's opinion such weighty matters as the existence of God. Don't let "experts", whether scientists, philosophers, or clergy, make that decision for you.

And the religious forum....

All I'm suggesting is that you maintain an open mind and don't just accept what the majority of "scientists" believe or state to be true. "Science" can be and not infrequently is dead wrong.

Fair enough, i've read both sides of the argument.
The paper did not provide any evidence that abiogenesis is possible... it only made conjectures which were devoid of any empirical support.

What type of support do you need?

There is no evidence anywhere that abiogenesis is possible. Evidence of replication of simple proteins in a lab means that simple proteins can self replicate under certain conditions. The Stanley Miller experiment proved that amino acids could spontaneously form. None of this is evidence that the spontaneous formation of life is possible.

Most people find it enough to think it's possible.

He does not act like a professional. He is an outspoken atheist who has personal contempt for religion. His personal theology results in a very narrow minded persepective.

People have beliefs, get over it. You can say there might be an effect on his work, but unless you've proven it to an impartial judge, that's just slander.

I would appreciate it if you would make a specific point rather than to just tell me to "read the link".

Summary: The world is not totally subjective or objective.

Don't you see how irrational that kind of thinking is? You're saying ID doesn't qualify as science,... therefore it is not an alternative... the only conclusion, then, is that it must be false. Why is something "false" just because some have decided it can't be evaluated?

I didn't say it was wrong, I just said it wasn't science. It's considered a theological position and therefore unfalsifiable. You can preach it as a belief, but you can't have it as a part of the curriculum in schools.

As far as evolution aimed at eliminating ID.... If you read any textbook on evolution, listen to any lecture or read any article on the subject, there is always a presumption of atheism. While the evolutionist will claim that he tolerates religion, his naturalistic philosophy opposes it.

It kind of has to....if you don't assume any supernatural forces including divine intervention and UFO's(science is naturalistic), you're bound to be labelled as an atheiest.

I appeal to the facts of nature. Nature is not a continuum, as evolution predicts. There is no experiment that shows that macroevolution is even within the realm of possibility. Matter does not spontaneously go from a state of randomness to ever-increasing complexity as evolution demands. I see no reason whatsoever to believe that it ever happened.

We already discussed macroevolution, you don't need to keep insisting on not seeing the evidence. I already posted the evidence that most scientists have agreed on. People can judge for themselves.
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Postby Springer » Tue Jan 17, 2006 4:42 pm

quote="mithrilhack"

Of course gravity exists, but does the graviton? That's my point, it's something made up but it is justified, just as the protobionts are even though there hasn't been any instances of them being observed.

[/quote]

The conclusion that protobionts existed is based only on the presumption that evolution is the answer and that ID is non-existent. It's not based on aniy evidence that they are biologically possible or that they could form through natural processes.

The paper did not provide any evidence that abiogenesis is possible... it only made conjectures which were devoid of any empirical support.

What type of support do you need?[/quote]

If they can't demonstrate any living examples of "proto-cells" or "pre-bionts", then they should demonstrate specifically how such a thing could form in terms of probability and known chemistry, and offer actual proposals as to how such would be functional and subject to the effects of natural selection.

There is no evidence anywhere that abiogenesis is possible. Evidence of replication of simple proteins in a lab means that simple proteins can self replicate under certain conditions. The Stanley Miller experiment proved that amino acids could spontaneously form. None of this is evidence that the spontaneous formation of life is possible.

Most people find it enough to think it's possible.


That is not true. Most people don't believe life evolved from inorganic matter.

He does not act like a professional. He is an outspoken atheist who has personal contempt for religion. His personal theology results in a very narrow minded persepective.


The evolutionists are always complaining about ID being a religion, that those who believe in ID are swayed only by their religion, yet when zealots such as Dawkins spout off their atheistic ideology they see now relevancy of that to their competency as a scientist.

Summary: The world is not totally subjective or objective.

You need to consider that and not put so much trust in what you deem as "science".

I didn't say it was wrong, I just said it wasn't science. It's considered a theological position and therefore unfalsifiable. You can preach it as a belief, but you can't have it as a part of the curriculum in schools.


By excluding ID from consideration, you are saying it's wrong.

As far as evolution aimed at eliminating ID.... If you read any textbook on evolution, listen to any lecture or read any article on the subject, there is always a presumption of atheism. While the evolutionist will claim that he tolerates religion, his naturalistic philosophy opposes it.

It kind of has to....if you don't assume any supernatural forces including divine intervention and UFO's(science is naturalistic), you're bound to be labelled as an atheiest.


No, you don't have to assume that everything can be explained by materialism. That is an unjustified, irrational assumption.
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Postby alextemplet » Wed Jan 18, 2006 12:01 am

quote=Springer

Yes, we do learn more and more with time. However, it is an unwarranted extrapolation to presume that we will continue in our knowledge to the point that we will ever understand the origin of life.


I agree, and of course I can't say for sure that we will ever fully understand the origin of life. I only wish to state that it's possible that, some day, we might understand it.

You are repeating the indoctrination of evolutionary thinking. There is nothing unscientific about concluding that a supreme intelligence created life. If you analyze the facts, you can logically conclude that nature shows evidence of creative design, not the gradualism predicted by darwinism.


I agree that science can provide evidence of God's existence, but it can tell us little about the nature of God Himself. I agree that nature shows evidence of God's work, but others disagree and largely this conclusion is a matter of faith. Since science cannot investigate the supernatural, I believe it is the task of science to develop and test natural explanations. Sometimes that is not possible, but that is as far as science can take us.

By that statement, Einstein appears to have concluded that the facts of nature are evidence of the existence of God.


I agree, and I used the quote to point out that evidence of God's existence can be found in the beauty of nature itself, not just in our inability to explain it.

The evolutionists are always complaining about ID being a religion, that those who believe in ID are swayed only by their religion, yet when zealots such as Dawkins spout off their atheistic ideology they see now relevancy of that to their competency as a scientist.


I believe that ID, at the very least, is religously influenced because it invokes God to explain nature. I also very strongly believe that atheists like Dawkins are just as religiously biased as the creationists they so readily condemn. In my opinion Dawkins may be a competent scientist, but as a man I find him to be a fanatical hypocrit. I have little respect for those who claim religion excludes evolution, nor do I respect those who say evolution excludes religion. I believe evolution to be simple science, simple nature, having little or nothing to do with theology, and so it causes no conflict with my faith as a Catholic.
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Postby Springer » Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:24 am

quote="alextemplet"




I agree that science can provide evidence of God's existence, but it can tell us little about the nature of God Himself.


Agreed.

I agree that nature shows evidence of God's work, but others disagree and largely this conclusion is a matter of faith.


I think it is intellectually dishonest to deny that nature shows evidence of God's existence. There is nothing that we observe that tells us that complex things can form without intelligent input. I completely agree with your observation of beauty in nature. Beauty is something that can be measured and evaluated, contrary to what some think. EVolution has no explanation for the existence of beauty in nature.

Since science cannot investigate the supernatural, I believe it is the task of science to develop and test natural explanations.


I see you're point. However, what the evolutionary establishment has done is to assume that because they can't evaluate God, he must not exist. Atheism is always implied.
I don't agree that the existence of God cannot be evaluated scientifically.
While you correctly stated that the nature of God cannot be scientifically evaluated, the consequences of creative design can.

I believe that ID, at the very least, is religously influenced because it invokes God to explain nature. I also very strongly believe that atheists like Dawkins are just as religiously biased as the creationists they so readily condemn. In my opinion Dawkins may be a competent scientist, but as a man I find him to be a fanatical hypocrit. I have little respect for those who claim religion excludes evolution, nor do I respect those who say evolution excludes religion. I believe evolution to be simple science, simple nature, having little or nothing to do with theology, and so it causes no conflict with my faith as a Catholic.


I agree with you. Evolution is a religion. They are in love with their theory. The defend it with zeal. Their theory is founded on a philosophy of materialism[/quote]
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Postby alextemplet » Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:59 am

quote=Springer

I think it is intellectually dishonest to deny that nature shows evidence of God's existence. There is nothing that we observe that tells us that complex things can form without intelligent input. I completely agree with your observation of beauty in nature. Beauty is something that can be measured and evaluated, contrary to what some think. EVolution has no explanation for the existence of beauty in nature.


To me, the great beauty of the universe lies in the fact that it is so precisly balanced to support life. For example, if any of the major forces of electromagnetism or gravity were any stronger or weaker, the universe as we know it, including life, would not exist. If the earth were any closer or farther from the sun, or if its atmosphere contained any more or less ozone, the same might be true. I suppose it is possible for this to come about by sheer chance, but supposing such is probably an even greater leap of faith than a belief in God. That is mainly what I see as evidence for God's existence; not our inability to explain nature, but in the marvelous intricacy of the universe.

However, what the evolutionary establishment has done is to assume that because they can't evaluate God, he must not exist. Atheism is always implied.


I agree that some evolutionary biologists seem to think that atheism and evolution are irrevocably linked, and your mention of Dawkins was, in my opinion, an excellent example of just such a scientist. However, I do not believe that the whole - or even the majority - of the scientific establishment, nor the underlying science of evolution itself, is inherently hostile to religious belief.

I don't agree that the existence of God cannot be evaluated scientifically.
While you correctly stated that the nature of God cannot be scientifically evaluated, the consequences of creative design can.


I agree that science can provide us with some evidence of God's existence, but not absolute proof. The possibility of sheer chance - though slim and perhaps much less logical - still stands. It might be possible to learn something about God through science, just as it is possible to learn about an artist through his works; however, I believe the serious investigation of God is a question best left to theology, not science.

I do not believe that evolution is a religion, though I admit some do make religious conclusions based on it. But that has more to do with philosophical interpretations of the science, rather than the science itself. I don't find evolution to be hostile to religion, since I find it quite possible that God could've used evolution as much as anything else. The great similiarity between even seemingly distant species, the transtitions shown in the fossil record, and the surprisingly similar genomes among species are all too much to ignore. Whether it was divinely guided or not, evolution did happen. So it is not a religion, but simple history; and like simple history, it is interpreted and misinterpreted to suit the opinions of the interpreter. But these interpretations do not change the inherent truth of the history itself.
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Postby canalon » Thu Jan 19, 2006 4:20 am

alextemplet wrote:To me, the great beauty of the universe lies in the fact that it is so precisly balanced to support life. […] I suppose it is possible for this to come about by sheer chance, but supposing such is probably an even greater leap of faith than a belief in God. That is mainly what I see as evidence for God's existence; not our inability to explain nature, but in the marvelous intricacy of the universe.


Well there is another way to see the things: If the balance was a little bit different, there will be no one to marvel at the universe, but it would still be there. For what we there may have been billions of universe with or without witnesses of their marvel, since we cannot have any idea of what existed before the universe was born, and time with it. The assumption is then that given infinite time everything however improbable, including a universe with such weird creature as human become possible.

I agree that some evolutionary biologists seem to think that atheism and evolution are irrevocably linked, and your mention of Dawkins was, in my opinion, an excellent example of just such a scientist. However, I do not believe that the whole - or even the majority - of the scientific establishment, nor the underlying science of evolution itself, is inherently hostile to religious belief.


I do agree with you I know many believers who have no difficulty in accepting evolution and keeping their faith.

I agree that science can provide us with some evidence of God's existence, but not absolute proof.


This definitely interest me. What according to you could be an evidence of the existence of any kind of godlike entity?
In my opinion faith and science should be two different things, without any intersection. But I would be happy to hear your suggestions.

The possibility of sheer chance - though slim and perhaps much less logical - still stands. It might be possible to learn something about God through science, just as it is possible to learn about an artist through his works; however, I believe the serious investigation of God is a question best left to theology, not science.


This last sentence sounds much better to my scientific hear ;)
However I have to admit that I don't need god to marvel at the beauty of nature. In fact there is probably more beauty in my eye in a system that has been able to spontaneously organize itself with such beauty and complexity than in something created and thought out. A proof of the existence of god will definitely be a great disapointment.

I do not believe that evolution is a religion, though I admit some do make religious conclusions based on it. But that has more to do with philosophical interpretations of the science, rather than the science itself. I don't find evolution to be hostile to religion, since I find it quite possible that God could've used evolution as much as anything else. The great similiarity between even seemingly distant species, the transtitions shown in the fossil record, and the surprisingly similar genomes among species are all too much to ignore. Whether it was divinely guided or not, evolution did happen. So it is not a religion, but simple history; and like simple history, it is interpreted and misinterpreted to suit the opinions of the interpreter. But these interpretations do not change the inherent truth of the history itself.


Well said. Science and religion are just like oil and water they cannot be mixed together. They have completely different realm of action. I do find equally stupid the will to try to bend science to suit a religious agenda than than the use of science to try to (dis)prove religion.
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Postby Springer » Thu Jan 19, 2006 3:33 pm

quote="alextemplet"

I agree that some evolutionary biologists seem to think that atheism and evolution are irrevocably linked, and your mention of Dawkins was, in my opinion, an excellent example of just such a scientist. However, I do not believe that the whole - or even the majority - of the scientific establishment, nor the underlying science of evolution itself, is inherently hostile to religious belief.


I share your observation, and that fact is an enigma to me.
In an attempt to be "politically correct", there is always the disclaimer that evolution is neutral toward God.... but any time you try to prove that ID is necessary, there is a strong resistance.

I agree that science can provide us with some evidence of God's existence, but not absolute proof. The possibility of sheer chance - though slim and perhaps much less logical - still stands.


Laws of physics and chemistry can ultimately be reduced to probability. If the probability is sufficiently great, it is impossible. The improbability of a cell spontaneously forming through random molecular interactions is so enormous that it is absurd to consider such a thing possible, unless one invokes unknown and undiscovered laws of physics and chemistry.

I do not believe that evolution is a religion, though I admit some do make religious conclusions based on it.


The reason I consider it a religion is because it is a belief system based on materialism. Natural selection is their God. Even though all are not as fanatical as Dawkins, it is nevertheless "preached" in our high schools and universities. No opposing view is even entertained. This is the antithesis of science. Real scientific inquiry becomes a farce.

I don't find evolution to be hostile to religion,...

There is always the "lip service" given that evolution and a belief in God are compatible. However, evolution always implies that there is no need for intelligent design,.... that God had nothing to do with creation. If you were to prove that intelligent design in fact was operational in nature, the entire theory of evolution would be demolished. Why? ... because the entire theory of evolution is based on natural selection as the supreme creator.

...since I find it quite possible that God could've used evolution as much as anything else.

I agree that he could have, but I don't see evidence that he did...

The great similiarity between even seemingly distant species, the transtitions shown in the fossil record, and the surprisingly similar genomes among species are all too much to ignore.


Homologous resemblance, whether phenotypic or genetic, is a very weak argument for evolution. There's no reason to suppose that God would create everything from scratch, using a separate blueprint. Thus, similarities are equallly compatible with creation.
As far as the fossil record, the evidence has been greatly embellished.
I don't see any proven transitional species in the fossil record. You have to remember that you're dealing only with fossilized skeletal remains, which represent a relatively small percentage of the overall biology of an organism. Also, the interpretation of fossils is highly subjective. What evolutionists ignore is the conspicuous lack of transitional species in the fossl record. If gradualism is the history of life, transitional species should be everywhere and uniquivocal. There are absolutely no living transitional species... why not? If you look at an evolutionary tree of life, why is everything a descendant of a hypothetical common ancestor, rather than an acutal known species, living or extinct?

Whether it was divinely guided or not, evolution did happen.

Macroevolution has never been proven to be even within the realm of biologic possibility. There are no known laws of heredity that allow a species to radically change, regardless of how much time you allow. You may think that God overcame those laws... that is possible. However, where is the evidence?

[/quote]
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Postby mith » Fri Jan 20, 2006 12:30 am

Springer wrote:
The reason I consider it a religion is because it is a belief system based on materialism. Natural selection is their God. Even though all are not as fanatical as Dawkins, it is nevertheless "preached" in our high schools and universities. No opposing view is even entertained. This is the antithesis of science. Real scientific inquiry becomes a farce.


As you admitted ID isn't science. It has no place in schools. But the weaknesses of the theory are discussed. TOE isn't simply preached as the only perfected version of truth, it is simply the best we currently have from a scientific standpoint.

Homologous resemblance, whether phenotypic or genetic, is a very weak argument for evolution. There's no reason to suppose that God would create everything from scratch, using a separate blueprint. Thus, similarities are equallly compatible with creation.

You can argue that it goes with creation because the wide variety of different species means that natural selection didn't create them but God did. And you can also argue that it was created because God doesn't have to use different blueprints. That's not science, that's just rhetoric. If you don't know how life would be designed by god, you can't use it as a support.

As far as the fossil record, the evidence has been greatly embellished.
I don't see any proven transitional species in the fossil record. You have to remember that you're dealing only with fossilized skeletal remains, which represent a relatively small percentage of the overall biology of an organism. Also, the interpretation of fossils is highly subjective. What evolutionists ignore is the conspicuous lack of transitional species in the fossl record. If gradualism is the history of life, transitional species should be everywhere and uniquivocal. There are absolutely no living transitional species... why not? If you look at an evolutionary tree of life, why is everything a descendant of a hypothetical common ancestor, rather than an acutal known species, living or extinct?


Macroevolution has never been proven to be even within the realm of biologic possibility. There are no known laws of heredity that allow a species to radically change, regardless of how much time you allow. You may think that God overcame those laws... that is possible. However, where is the evidence?

Already dealt with this issue.
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Postby mith » Fri Jan 20, 2006 1:00 am

Springer wrote:The conclusion that protobionts existed is based only on the presumption that evolution is the answer and that ID is non-existent. It's not based on aniy evidence that they are biologically possible or that they could form through natural processes.


Excerpt describing the formation of the "membrane" of the protobiont.

Keto-enol tautomerism is a widely distributed state of
substances that possess a carbonyl group. Usually,
tautomeric equilibrium is strongly shifted toward the
keto-tautomer. Enolization of the lipid ester carbonyl
and substitution of two protons in lipid molecules by a
magnesium ion is a highly unlikely, yet not prohibited by
the laws of chemistry, event. (If that event was a trivial
one and could be easily simulated in a laboratory, I
would not be now writing this paper, as the problem of
the origin of life would have been solved long ago.)
http://www.google.com/url?sa=U&start=5& ... pdf&e=9797

Many other different models, none of which are impossible. If you know enough molecular chemistry to prove this argument false, be my guest.


If they can't demonstrate any living examples of "proto-cells" or "pre-bionts", then they should demonstrate specifically how such a thing could form in terms of probability and known chemistry, and offer actual proposals as to how such would be functional and subject to the effects of natural selection.

See above. If how it can be made was exactly know, then it wouldn't be a theoretical item would it?

That is not true. Most people don't believe life evolved from inorganic matter.

I'm sorry, I meant to say scientists, the number of supporters I have already cited before.

The evolutionists are always complaining about ID being a religion, that those who believe in ID are swayed only by their religion, yet when zealots such as Dawkins spout off their atheistic ideology they see now relevancy of that to their competency as a scientist....

You need to consider that and not put so much trust in what you deem as "science".

Of course, especially those reports that one day say coffee is good for health and the next day say coffee isn't. But the basics of TOE have been unchanged for a long time.

I didn't say it was wrong, I just said it wasn't science. It's considered a theological position and therefore unfalsifiable. You can preach it as a belief, but you can't have it as a part of the curriculum in schools.


By excluding ID from consideration, you are saying it's wrong.

If someone does a faulty experiment, it doesn't matter whether the results are right or wrong, the conclusions will be discarded because it isn't science. It's called serendipity or lucky guess.

ID pretends to be science but it doesn't fulfill all the rules and requirements. Therefore, whether it is true or not, it can't be accepted as scientific.

No, you don't have to assume that everything can be explained by materialism. That is an unjustified, irrational assumption.

While science hasn't explained the mind or consciousness, it doesn't mean materialism is unjustified. What I see is what there is. doesn't seem very irrational or unjustified to me.

And it doesn't matter what we think, naturalism is a part of science. As I said before, you're more than welcome to start a philosophical thread debating the merits of science.
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Postby alextemplet » Fri Jan 20, 2006 1:16 am

Canalon:

Well there is another way to see the things: If the balance was a little bit different, there will be no one to marvel at the universe, but it would still be there. For what we there may have been billions of universe with or without witnesses of their marvel, since we cannot have any idea of what existed before the universe was born, and time with it. The assumption is then that given infinite time everything however improbable, including a universe with such weird creature as human become possible.


Yes, all of that is true, but there is no evidence that other universes exist or that time is infinitely old. Personally I like that idea, since I think an infinite God would certainly creat an infinite universe, or something darn near close. But there is no evidence either way, so ultimately it all boils down to a question of faith.

This definitely interest me. What according to you could be an evidence of the existence of any kind of godlike entity?
In my opinion faith and science should be two different things, without any intersection. But I would be happy to hear your suggestions.


Consider this: If God does exist, then two things are probably true. First, He created the universe or universes, and secondly, He intervenes whenever He feels necessary in the actions of the universe and human life. He may be able to do this in such a way that, to us, appears completely natural, or He could do in such ways that appear nothing short of miraculous. In my own personal religious life, I have had spiritual experiences that certainly didn't seem natural, and to me were very miraculous. For personal reasons I'd rather not disclose what those events were, and I know it doesn't count much as scientific proof, but to me it is more than enough evidence to continue believing. My previous explanation of the precise balancing of the universe to support life, to me, only strengthens my faith.

I agree that, overall, science and religion should remain separate; however, sometimes that just isn't possible or else this entire thread wouldn't exist. Nor do I believe that absolute proof of God's existence would ever be possible, simply because I don't think He'd have left undisputable proof of His presence. If He did, that would make faith unnecessary. I admit that sounds weak, or it does to me, but think about it. If God is as good and merciful and kind as the Bible says He is - as I believe He is - then why would He want people to be forced to believe in Him? So I believe He left just enough evidence - spiritual or natural - to make faith plausible, but not absolute proof.

However I have to admit that I don't need god to marvel at the beauty of nature. In fact there is probably more beauty in my eye in a system that has been able to spontaneously organize itself with such beauty and complexity than in something created and thought out. A proof of the existence of god will definitely be a great disapointment.


I agree with this completely. I used to be agnostic and felt exactly the same way. Now I'm Catholic and obviously feel differently. To me, my own belief that there is a good and merciful God always there when I need help, is very beautiful and comforting. But I still respect your viewpoint since it does have a certain philosophical beauty to it. And again, that's what a lot of this is all about, what we choose to have faith in and what makes us happy. To each his own, perhaps?
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