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Religion Vs. Science

Debate and discussion of any biological questions not pertaining to a particular topic.

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Re: Religion Vs. Science

Postby HolyCow » Mon Nov 30, 2009 4:45 am

This is what Einstein said:

"Well, I do not think that it is necessarily the case that science and religion are natural opposites. In fact, I think that there is a very close connection between the two. Further, I think that science without religion is lame and, conversely, that religion without science is blind. Both are important and should work hand-in-hand. It seems to me that whoever doesn't wonder about the truth in religion and in science might as well be dead."

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Postby TheVirus » Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:47 am

And what do you say, HolyCow?
”It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
~Charles Darwin
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Postby plasmodesmata11 » Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:53 am

I wrote some casual paper on a topic relevant to this... Excuse my seemingly partial ignorance on different religions... My friend informed me of the great religions of buddhism and confucianism as well, so don't think this clumps them all together.

So as we might notice on my profile, I am not associated with any religion. I went to church like the classic little WASP boy until I finally stepped back and asked myself a few questions.
Why is christianity correct? What makes us right and others wrong, whether it be present day or throughout the times? Why do we feel the need to turn to some figure no one understands nor can ascertain exists?
This note isn't going after any specific rligion, please realize. Rather, it deals with religion as a whole. Faith is the thing I shall be chastised for should anyone reply to this. Faith is something that apparently can supercede concrete knowledge, ideas, and established facts. But what is it? It is something that we can all at least agree isn't tangible. It is one of the characteristics that humans posess that nothing else does.
Throughout the times, we have taken things we do not understand and applied fantastical reasons for their occurences. If something is beyond our control, we believe that there is someone out there who does have it in their hands. And we also use this to attempt to understand life and death.
What is our purpose on this planet? How did life start? Are we really modeled in a great figure's image? Are we really born with original sin?
I prescribe to the "theory" that this is all made up because at the time it explained what we did not understand. While typing this, I disliked putting theory in quotations. Some people do not believe in evolution. Why the hell are people so ignorant and flat out dumb today? IT IS BEING PROVEN AND IS IN MOTION RIGHT NOW. There are several examples of it occuring in a macroscopic fashion even the most thick-headed bible toting nut should be able to see.
And as to the origin of life? Well, we weren't put here like we are, seeing as we EVOLVED from some lower hominid. Organic molecules have once more BEEN PROVEN to form spontaneously given the correct elements, and these will aggregate into cell precursors. Evolution took over from here, and through a trial and error way, life sprung up, adapting to its environment.
Chances are we began walking upright to heighten our efficiency. There was some climatic bottleneck event that killed off the inefficient. Knuckle-walking requires about four times the energy than walking upright. The hominids whose foramen magnum moved inferiorly needed to walk upright to see. The ones who did not follow suit expended too much energy and could not therefore get enough food, and death followed.
DNA passed on these traits, and while it is seemingly the most prestigious compound of all, it still makes mistakes when copying. This gives rise to mutations, and therefore a possible change in phenotype. This can give advantages, and this is the basis of natural selection.
The religious fanatics like to use this classic argument... something like statistically a room full of monkeys would take like a few billion years to just type randomly any one of good ol' Bill's sonnets, and how could life, the most complicated thing on the planet, have formed in 3.3 billion years to what it is now?
Well, let's realize that bacteria divide exponentially. One, two, four, eight, sixteen, etc... And bacteria can do this very quickly. Soon you're doubling numbers in the millions, billions, and then so many damn zeroes you have no idea. And they are all changing; the replication isn't perfect all the time. So do you really believe that this wasn't possible? Regardless, the proof is right in front of your damn eyes (which rose from eyespots, by the way)
So that blows up half of what pretty much any religion says. While I am certainly no astrophysicist, there's also the whole big bang thing. So then comes in the argument, OR BETER YET THE ONE'S WHO CHANGE THEIR RELIGIOUS VIEW WHEN THEY FIND OUT THEIR'S MAKES NO SENSE, who say,"Well, where'd all that stuff come from?" Clearly it must be God or that other omnipotent being? WELL THEN, WHO PUT HIM THERE? The hard and sad truth is that we will never understand it. We can't understand how something as momentous as EXISTENCE, like time and space, formed if there are still people out there clinging to falsehoods because they feel it's the only thing they have left.
And now in this beautiful note, all you religious people get to be put under the microscope.
So sure, we all most likely descended out of Africa, and there were those landbridges, and populations got cut off and humans finally developed completely separate and diverse cultures. We were all different, but there were some similarities. For example, many cultures referenced certain concepts (there are many old records of things like ALIENS or what not found in separate cultures), yet there was no way they could do such a thing; they lived across large seas and mountains and couldn't exchange ideas. One thing they all developed was religion.
FIRST, obviously all the religions weren't the same. But the idea of religion was present throughout the world. Eastern Asia, Central Africa, North America, South America... All these places, whether they be concurrent or not, had separate, independent religions.
So who were the people who didn't have religion? We don't know... because it is plausible that they died out. Perhaps it is advantageous to be religious in at least the matter of natural selection. Perhaps it gave certain people strength to survive or to help others or other things that ultimately allowed them to pass on their genes.
Best example of all is christianity... Anyone who knows me knows I am not too hot with history, but whatever... The Crusades. You were killed or converted. All the violence that has happened through history over religion (and god has that been a lot) has changed whose genes would go on. The church was the most powerful entity at several points in history. These people, the ones connected with the church, if they could, would easily reproduce because their means far exceeded the other minority peasants who could die in their rundown, infested houses on any given day. Why did they live in those conditions? Because they shared different beliefs. Though it is not precisely natural selection, religion HAS changed who is around today. Look at demographics. What is the most widespread religion? Where, geographically, are the people with the highest standards of living? The top few religions are bound to have these areas overlap. These are the people who can easily raise children and pass on their DNA.
So religion influences natural selection. It is apparently advantageous, looking at the world today. It can also be argued from a sociological standpoint as well... go ahead and do it if you please.
You are born, you live, and then you die. You are made up of compounds, made up of elements. You can't lock up all these valuable elements, right? So nature recycles you through its saprotrophs. Put in a less elegant fashion, when you die, you rot away. :(
It is true that we do not know the difference between a snapshot of someone alive one instant and then dead the next. What leaves them, if anything? Some may say the soul or lifeforce or whatever. Most likely, death is not instantaneous; it's probably a process. So many things must fail for your body to not operate, so chances are it isn't instantaneous at all. Maybe you blackout for about two minutes and then finally die. No one knows because everyone who experienced it is... oh yeah, dead.
Also, ghosts don't exist.
In the end, I believe turning to religion is for the people who can't handle things themselves. There is no proof; only several instances of it being proven wrong. And as to the whole meaning of life... It's to pass on heredity. Obviously we as humans need to do more things, like have fun, but inserting religion is an artificial way of giving us purpose. Find your own calling. It's in you. Don't follow some main stream idea that takes away your independent thought.
Wouldn't you rather laugh with the sinners in hell anyways?
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Postby TheVirus » Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:47 pm

_at_plasmodesmata11
I haven't finished reading, but so far it's the most reasonable post in this topic.
”It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
~Charles Darwin
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