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Do you believe evolution or intelligent design occured?  

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  1. 1. Do you believe evolution or intelligent design occured?

    • Evolution
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    • Intelligent design
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    • Don't have a clue
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Originally posted by RpTheHotrod

and here's something for you, just for fun

 

 

One reason why Evolution is false.

 

"So, what's your point?"...According to the Nobel Prize-winning scientists Sir Fred Hoyle, that's about the same odds of one functioning protein molecule evolving by chance on the ancient Earth. Actually, he's probably being generous with those odds.

 

With those odds, we can pretty much rule out the chance of one protein molecule, let alone the many, very many, of them that are required to even contain life, and look at all of the complex life systems that we have today and every day.

 

What Sir Hoyle was trying to do was support a theory that life on Earth was the result of outside, or off-world, introduction of biological matter, which resulted in the diversity we have now.

 

I take the view that all the genes that we have were already here, and the event that added them to the Earth was 570 million years ago. You know, the beginning of the Cambrian, that great event. And that everything that we have subsequently used has been simply a question of permuting and combining what came in at that time.

 

That's a quote from Sir Hoyle Interviewed by Brig Klyce at The Institute for Astronomy, Cambridge, England, 5 July 1996. He also said in that same interview:

 

t's my nature — I recognize that it must be an accident in my upbringing and the turn of the century when I was at the university — I just go from observation. I don't say, "It's absurd that there should be bacteria in space." I don't say that. It fits the observation, so it's the best theory we have. I don't care if it's absurd. So I didn't hesitate to publish it. That of course was the beginning of the disaster, the ridiculous. [With irony, of those who ridiculed the finding:] They know! They're born to know that the particles in space are not bacteria. God has told them.

 

Just some interesting info I had.

 

SkinWalker

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Rp, the main problem with you posted essay is that it comes from an essay mill. It's difficult to see sources from essays, since they are basically opinion based upon facts as the author sees it. Still, there are some points worth discussing there.

 

There's a point (in there somewhere) about the lack of transitional species in fossil record. One has to understand that fossils that exist now are but a very few, VERY few, of the population that existed. I don't know the math, but conditions to permit fossilization are few: secondary mineralization, remineralization, leaching of bone mineral, and biologically-induced mineralization begin very rapidly after the bone is exposed to the environment. If the bone is not buried or underwater within 1-2 years of defleshing, it will literally become dust in the wind. The bone fragments may persist for several more years, but they are unrecognizable as to species. If the bone is buried or underwater, diagenetic processes begin rapidly. A bone can be completely remineralized within 5-10 years. Secondary mineralization can fill all the porosity elements within a few months in some environments. These are the environments which preserve bone the best.

 

There's also a point about the pronuba moth and yucca plant needing each other for survival. That's the relationship they have now. It is quite probably that natural selection was at work here. The original plant and moth may have survived quite well through other relationships, but the plants that had this relationship survived more consistently when the two species worked together. Over time, the two species became dependent upon each other since other mechanisms were lost during natural selection.

 

One has only to look at the invention of antibiotics and vaccines to see natural selection in action. Modern medicine has all but wiped out many of the worlds more significant diseases, however, current strains are resistant to medicines. The less resistant individuals died off, leaving the more resistant ones, which propagated and passed on the traits that make them resistant to antibiotics and vaccines. Thus, current strains of malaria and small pox are more hardy than their predecessors.

 

The theory of evolution may not be correct, but the evidence that is currently observable would indicate that it is considerably more valid than the idea of creation. The main validating trait of evolution is that it is scientific theory and is therefore testable and correctable. Creation is neither.

 

SkinWalker

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And time for me to enter the debate... I'll be brutally honest about two things:

 

1) Im not an expert in evolutionary theory but I'm not a total newbie to the concept

 

2) I am obsessed with philosophy. (Take note of that sentence)

 

Moving on...

 

I read with great intrest the argument put forth by some of the people that disagree with evolution could simply not have occured and that a grand plan is in place. To sum up what I have heard: creationism happened and evolution didn't. Ok, you are entitled to an opinion and in some cases an educated opinion. But I have to ask you this:

 

If life did not evolve on earth as purposed in CURRENT evolutionary theory and some form of creationism took place, then explain to me how a divine creator is more plausible?

 

Think about it. I forget whom posted about how they could prove god's existence, but the basic argument was that you can prove it through everything around us. The fact that it exists. Ok, so let's try to apply this elsewhere. A divine creator cannot exist for the simpler reason that we exist. The argument must be presupposed by an argument proving we exist. Now, even then, the argument does not stand because of Cartesian Dualism.

 

So now you are probably saying: whats my point? Well my point is that just because evolution may have "flaws" does not mean that we have to revert automatically and say that we are a "divine creation". Its irrational. Furthermore, even if you do automatically assume creation you have no scientific proof that a creator exists. Its simply an assumption based on the unknown because it is much easier to just say a mystical being did it and we don't know why then to prove it scientifically. Blind faith? Go right ahead, just understand that you cannot use "blind faith" as a successful argument because it basically is the adsence of reason and rational...

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Well put, Luke. It could also be said that 570 million years of evolution in a 4.6 billion year old planet is, in itself, a divine plan. I've seen no evidence to suggest divine intervention, but that makes more sense than other creation ideas I've heard/read.

 

SkinWalker

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Ok, I'm for evolution. There's scientific evidence of it, and the idea of a divine creator seems ridiculous to me.

 

I'll go into the logic, or illogic, of "god". He's a perfect being. Screeeeetch. Wiat a minute, if he's a pefect being, why did he need us? Something perfect cannot lack anything, and therefore would have no need to create anything. We are created in god's image. Yeah, ok, so a perfect being spawns beings created as embodyments of him and are flawed. So some claim that adam and eve where perfect, but when they ****ed up (impossible for perfect beings) and betrayed god, and then spawned descendants through original sin, we've changed into flawed beings who sin and dont always believe. So how, if god is perfect, how could his little experiment screw up so royally? And who created god? And how can Earth be 4.6 billion years old when it was created only 5000 years ago?

 

These are questions I've never heard a creationist account for, and that is why I dont believe.

 

Religion can easily be explained as a human condition. The lack of knowledge breeds myth.

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i, personaly, find that those who say that the 'idea of a divine creator/God is ridiculous' have to keep saying it, almsot as if they are trying to make themselves beleive it. And SkinWalker? Thanks for the noble introduction :p But saying that the only 'evidence' is the authors word, only goes to show ho unpublicized the real evidence is. Can anyone tell me about Lucia? the shroud of Turin? Our Lady of Guatalupe? These are miracles, pure and simple. If something could do that, why couldnt he create a petty existance?

 

and also, if we are created in Gods image, why are we flawed? Thats an oximoronic irrelevance. We are in his physical image, no one said a damn thing about his high state of being, what powers he might have or his intellect. And by the way, its 8000, not 5000 and, you love this part, i can proove it, too ;) but ill wait for tommorow night... im tired.

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Ok, Don't have much time, but I just want to say that you can rant on and repeat yourselves as much as you want that creationism is "irrational", but evolutionary theory in itself is "irrational". Everything has to have a beginning by the scientific veiwpoints. That is logical, you can't have a universe of diversified energy and matter suddenly appear and then become incredibly dense, and hot, and then for some unexplained reason explode, creating all that we see around us, and after billions of years on some desolate rock, with just the right conditions for the life we see around us, some kind of "accident" happens that makes what we call life to suddenly spring into being. When you look at this Earth, how is it rational to say that it came from an explosion, from random coincidences, chance, and against all odds? I believe that there is a God, who has always been, and will always be here. I believe in the Creation found in the Bible. Either way, no matter what your veiw on God or religion is, it is rational (at least to me) to believe that some force, not bound to our rules of time, space, and physics, was able to create the universe, because if not, where did life come from, and where did all of the matter and energy here come from?

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Originally posted by Kickwhit

And SkinWalker? Thanks for the noble introduction

 

You're quite welcome! Please accept this humble fruit basket as token of community acceptance (to have fruit basket FTD'd, simply email this to 10 of your friends then press F8) :p

 

Originally posted by Kickwhit

But saying that the only 'evidence' is the authors word, only goes to show ho unpublicized the real evidence is. Can anyone tell me about Lucia?

 

Never heard of it.

 

Originally posted by Kickwhit

the shroud of Turin?

 

It was a hoax.

 

Originally posted by Kickwhit

Our Lady of Guatalupe?

 

Not sure about her either.

 

Originally posted by Kickwhit

These are miracles, pure and simple. If something could do that, why couldnt he create a petty existance?

 

Indeed.

 

The shroud of Turin was found to be created in 14th century and the image to be made up of "billions of submicron pigment particles (red ochre and vermilion) in a collagen tempera medium." In laymens' terms: paint. See sources at bottom of post.

 

Originally posted by Kickwhit

And by the way, its 8000, not 5000 and, you love this part, i can proove it, too ;) but ill wait for tommorow night... im tired.

 

I'm still waiting for this one... :) *cracks knuckles*

 

Sources mentioned.

Microscope 1980, 28, 105, 115; 1981, 29, 19

Wiener Berichte uber Naturwissenschaft in der Kunst 1987/1988, 4/5, 50

Accounts of Chemical Research 1990, 23, 77-83.

McCrone Research Institute

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Originally posted by Psydan

When you look at this Earth, how is it rational to say that it came from an explosion, from random coincidences, chance, and against all odds?

 

It's at least as rational as saying, "some old dude was lonely and said let there be light."

 

Originally posted by Psydan

where did life come from, and where did all of the matter and energy here come from?

 

Where did this deity come from? What was his/her/it's origin? Is there a god for god?

 

Of course questions about the origin of the universe cannot be answered. Not at this plane of existence. There, undoubtedly, is more to the physics of the universe than we now know. In terms of understanding how the universe works and is made up, we are but infants, barely able to crawl.

 

Not having any ability to observe creation, it is impossible for any one person to say, unequivicably that they know how it occured. We can only observe the universe around us, make hypotheses, see if additional observation supports or disproves an individual hypothesis, then create a theory. A theory based upon several hypotheses that compliment each other and are the best explaination.

 

If we are infants now, then man was but a mere blastula during the period in which the idea of creation was first told. We did not have the benefit of advanced knowledge and technology that would allow us to make informed hypotheses.

 

SkinWalker

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Originally posted by RpTheHotrod

I'd want some company, something to do.

 

How about create the human race.

 

 

I'd argue that that's how man created his gods. "How can it be that we are the most intelligent life? Who made us?" These are the questions that have been asked perhaps since man came into existence 2.5 million years ago. Without benefit of informed observation, the best explanaition was a supreme being.

 

Religion has served many purposes throughout history. It's kept people in line, given common purpose, redistributed wealth (sometimes even in a fair manner), an provided ethical conduct for followers.

 

I suggest that man created religion (many, many religions... not just christianity) because he was lonely.

 

SkinWalker

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May I clear somethings up?

 

1. I say some Catholics are Christains. Ok? MY Grandma is a Catholic. Some people though think that going to church makes them a Christain.

 

2. A FYI all of you are Neo-darwinist not Darwinist.

 

Darwinists adhere to *Darwin’s idea that natural selection is the sole mechanism (although in a later book, *Darwin rejected it—and returned to Lamarckism, the inheritance of acquired characteristics).

 

Neo-Darwinists declare that the mechanisms by which evolution occurred and are now occurring are mutations, which are then refined by natural selection.

 

Hopeful monster advocates(PUNCTUATED EQUILIBRIUMIST) pin their hopes on sudden, massive mutations, producing a new species all at once. Their view is that a billion-billion beneficial mutations occurs every 50,000 years in two newborns—a male and a female—located a short distance apart.

 

But all are evolutionist. :)

 

3. Please both sides no flaming. You get your point through better when you don't flame.

 

 

Where did this deity come from? What was his/her/it's origin?

 

Who says it had to have a origin? May I define eternal?

 

eternal- ...with out begining or end

 

May I remind you all what the word Super-Natural means.

 

Super-Above, Greater than...

 

So there for

 

Super-Natural means "Above Nature"

 

And tell me if God is super-natural why must he live in the laws of the universe?

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by Kickwhit

the shroud of Turin?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

It was a hoax.

 

True it was.

 

---------

 

Also here is something about proteins I found in a book I have been reading.

 

"BLUE GENE—As we near press time on this paperback, announcement has been made that IBM has begun work on their largest computer to-date. It is called "Blue gene"; and it must be powerful, for they have been building ever larger supercomputers since the 1940s. This one will be 100 times more powerful than Big Blue, the computer used to defeat Kasperson in chess several years ago.

 

They are trying to figure out something which is so utterly complicated that no lesser computer can handle the task. No, not something simple like computing a trip to Saturn and back. Their objective is solving something far more complicated. —It is figuring out how a protein folds!

 

In every cell in your body, brainless proteins assemble more proteins from amino acids. They put them into their proper sequence (!), and then, as soon as the task is ended, the new protein automatically folds down into a clump, as complicated as a piece of steel wool. IBM is trying to figure out the fold pattern instantly made by this microscopic piece of mindless, newborn protein!

 

The computer will cost $100 million, and Stanford University is trying to get people to let them use their home computers to help with the task (go to standford.edu for details). They say they need the information to figure out drugs to counteract HIV and other viruses. So far, they can only get the protein to wiggle; they cannot get it to fold (NPR, Wednesday evening, September 27, 2000).

 

As we go to press: It has recently been discovered that the terrible plague of Mad Cow Disease, (initially brought into existence by cannibalism) is caused by protiens that do not fold correctly."

 

This is only to find out how these things fold.

-------

Oh and Cjais. I have something about those Bacteria for you.

 

"(RESISTANT STRAINS—But soon hopes ran high again. It was discovered that strains of bacteria resistant to penicillin, aureomycin, or chloromycetin appeared when these drugs were given for various diseases. Could it be that here were the "beneficial mutations" that science had been searching for, which natural selection was favoring?

 

These hopes were dashed when it was discovered that those variations did not arise because of exposure to antibiotics, but instead occurred spontaneously at a constant rate—regardless of whether or not antibiotics were present.

 

"Certain strains of bacteria and flies seemed to be induced which were resistant to penicillin and DDT, after exposure to these chemicals. As will be shown later they already existed and it only seemed that the fittest were surviving."—Walter E. Larnmerts, book review, in Creation Research Society Quarterly, June 1977, p. 75.

 

Most resistant strains were actually natural unmutated varieties. They had always been there, but as the unresistant strains were reduced, the naturally resistant types increased in number for a time.

 

But then came even worse news: A few resistant strains were found to, indeed, be mutants. But it was obvious that these were always weaker and soon died out from natural causes other than the antibiotics.

 

In regard to the mutated form: Doses of antibiotic reduce the number of the natural strain, and the mutated form takes over. Then when the antibiotic treatment is stopped, the natural strain increases and the resistant strain soon dies out—because, as a mutated form it never was strong.

 

So both normal variants and occasional mutated forms can be involved. *Georghiou explains the resistance of houseflies to DDT and certain other chemicals, a resistance which is parallel to that of resistant bacteria. He says it is due to normal variant strains, not mutated forms:

 

"It is now well established that the development of increased ability in insects to survive exposure is not induced directly by the insecticides themselves. These chemicals do not cause the genetic changes in insects [therefore they are not mutation-inducing agents]; they serve only as selective agents, eliminating the more susceptible insects and enabling the more tolerant survivors to increase and fill the void created by the destruction of susceptible individuals."—*C.P. Georghiou, et. al., "Housefly Resistance to lnsecticides," in California Agriculture, 19:8-10.

 

The resistance of certain strains of bacteria, flies, Indian meal moths, and Anopheles (malaria) mosquitoes to DDT and other pesticides is not evolution, any more than the breeding of new varieties of dogs and cats is evolution.)"

 

 

--------

Nice job RP. My eyes hurt now, but nice job anyways.

 

Oh Skin did I ever send you the thing about the guy eaten by the whale? I finaly got a scanner. I think I still got it in my room some where.

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no, the shroud of Turin was dated (via Carbon Dating ;)) as a 14th century work. Carbon Dating also has this thing about dating to within 5 millenia. So it could ahve been made 300 years from now, if you relate to Carbon Dating; so its still not a hoax. Our Lady of Guadalope was the large painting of Our Lady on St... cant remember his names... robe when he found flowers blooming in the snow in 1642. Most people will look at it and say 'aww, its jsut a painting!' but theres sotmhing interesting about it. If you look into someones eye, you see a refection of yourself or whatever it is they're looking at. If you take a microscope and examine the eye of Our Lady on this painting, you can see photorealistic depicture of the estonishment on the peoples faces' that were present for its original reveilment. That was not possible in 1642

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Originally posted by Kickwhit

Carbon Dating also has this thing about dating to within 5 millenia. So it could ahve been made 300 years from now, if you relate to Carbon Dating; so its still not a hoax.

 

Ridiculous. Do you even know what a half-life is? Do you even know how carbon dating is done, and how it works?

 

No, it doesn't have "this thing to within 5 millenia". It's very accurate, but it does have it limits - it can only go back 50.000 years, which conveniently would be enough to collapse the entire young earth theory. How pathetic.

 

It's a hoax.

 

Sorry for not being so active in this debate, but I have a lot of work to do currently, and don't have the time to read up on this stuff (no, I don't simply copy/paste from websites) -C'jais

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I think for Reference I better put down the C-14 method.

 

C-14 is made when radiation enters the atmosphere(I don't know what the exact chemical reaction is, but We don't need the details there) The ratio of C-14 to C-12 is 1-1,000,000,000,000

Plants absorb C-14 and C-12 and animals get C-14 and C-12 from eating other plant and animals. When the plant or animal dies the C-14 starts it's radio-active decay. They compair C-14 to C-12 in order to get a date.

 

THe limits on C-14 dating is that

 

1. It may only be used on once living things

 

2. C-14's full-life(Time it takes for almost no useable C-14 is left) is 50,000-60,000 years.

 

(And please anyone if I forgot anything about this pleaes correct me.)

 

It's very accurate

 

Read a quote by J.Gordon Ogden,who is a director of a radiocarbon lab.

 

I find myself increasingly distressed that users of Radio Carbon dates fail to understand or appreciate what the quoted figures realy mean... all that a date represents is a "best estimate" of radiocarbon content of the sample received by the laboratory. It includes none of the sampling or physical and biological errors sources mentioned earlier... It may come as a shock to some, but fewer than 50 percent of the radiocarbon dates from geological and archaeological samples in northeastern North America have been adopted as "acceptable" by investigators.-"The use and Abuse of RadioCarbon dating" Annals of the New york Academy of science 288(1977): 173

 

-I got more, but I have to go with my brother to a doctor apointment so I can't finish it now.

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Originally posted by Mandolorian54

how do you know carbon dating is accurate?:rolleyes:

 

Isotope dating is very accurate, given the timescale. Granted, they may be a few millions years off the scale when they're into the billions but this is to be expected, and is of no matter really.

 

Isotope dating is used in conjunction with each other, to even out the results, and decrease the chance of getting haywire results by a huge margin. Basically, when using several different isotope dating methods, they're never wrong about the age, as they give the same result. Sure, dig up some half-true evidence of where several differents method were wrong about the same material - it is completely irrelevant given the record of its fantastic prediction power.

 

Now, isotope dating methods aren't used alone by themselves, either. They're also used in conjunction with the counting of the annual layers of ice cores from greenland - something which has nothing to do with radioactivity. And not only that, but also in conjunction with dendrochronology - the annual layers in tree rings.

 

They can be used to predict results. Say we found this sample in strata from a certain layer in the earth. Everything from this layer must be within, say, 1 million to 300.000 thousand years old. Several isotope dating methods are run on it, and to top it off, we compare the results from a dendrochronological sample from the same layer. They all give the same result. Which means they're accurate and do not produce weird ass results at random. Which means they can be used for dating the earth.

 

The oldest rock on earth has been dated by several isotope dating methods, and their results vary very little, no matter how many times it's tested. It all points to be several billion years old.

 

Did you get all this? By now, I want some clear cut evidence that these dating methods simply do not work. Whatever that evidence may be. If you can't dig up this one irrefutable evidence that the isotope dating methods are useless, then you're facing overwhelming proof of a very old Earth.

 

If you wish, I could likewise present overwhelming proof that there's no way for a huge, global flood to have occured, but I'm saving that for now. I want to see you twitch on this for a while.

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For the shroud of Turin, scientists sent samples to three different labs along with three control samples of known age (they were several centuries old).

 

All three labs correctly identified the ages of the control samples within acceptable margins of error. Neither lab knew the control samples from the shroud's.

 

The shroud samples each dated with a 95% confidence level, that the flax plants used to create the Shroud of Turin had only come in to existence between AD1260 and AD1390.

 

In general, its accepted that Carbon dating of recent objects (a few thousand years old) is more accurate than earlier objects (more toward the 30, 000 year limit... 70, 000 years with a particle accelorator). C-14 has a half life of 5730 years. When dealing with objects of only a few thousand years old, +/- 200 years is a margin for error that is not uncommon. Thus you have the above date range, since +/- 130 years was the expected margin for error in this test.

 

It must be noted that for a date to fall out of this margin is extremely unlikely. C-14 testing is based upon many years of data gathering and comparisons from various other sources, such as tree ring dating, ring varve comparison, etc. Carbon levels have been analyzed using stalagmites and stalagtite formations worldwide, which are formed by calciumcarbonate deposition (note that this compound is comprised of calcium and carbon).

 

I realize that this type of science is above the heads of many who have not studied it... I've studied it a bit, and still find it quite complex.

 

But the same ethical and scientific method goes into dating research and procedure as goes into the scientific disciplines that give us such wonders as Pentium processors. I think we can all agree that these are accurate and work. I'm always amazed that one can trust science for the material things that we "covet" but not to explain the things that go contrary to established, religious dogma. Perhaps this is the same feeling Copernicus and Galilei had when they attempted to tell the church they were wrong.

 

SkinWalker

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Originally posted by Pnut_Master

C'jais, we could all agree that in this universe there is a beginning and a end, correct?

 

[...]

 

What are your views on the pre-big bang situation?

 

Big Bang is an extreme situation. Basically the laws of Physics are up for grabs (at the moment). Pre-Big Bang? There are currently no models to describe that (or rather there are too many models).

 

But, seriously, that question is tantamount to asking: What time was it before time began? What if there was simply nothing? Why is it easier to believe that there was a god, than that there was only an infinite, pitiless nothing?

 

Still, like I said before: No theories at the moment, only hypothesises, as far as I know.

 

But we can rule out God, because It would not have disappeared afterwards, and It is clearly not present in the present universe.

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Originally posted by Pnut_Master

That's why some people believe in a god, that cluster of gas and elements didn't pop up out of nowhere..

 

What if it did?

 

In quantum physics, particles pop into existence from nothing all the time. There is no cause behind them. It's very likely that it was a sudden influx of these particles from nothing that triggered the Big Bang from a vacuum of nothing.

 

Religious people always attribute God to the unknown. There was a time when people didn't know what caused thunderstorms and natural disasters, so they attributed God to it, or even invented specific gods to take care of the explanation. Same story with stars and other objects in the sky - God made because he could, and because it looks pretty. Then we found out what they really were, and God could take a hike again.

 

And let's not forget diseases - they're God's punishment for our sinful living, right? Yes, until we discovered they were just natural results of natural causes. No magic behind them.

 

When we stare at the great unknown beyond death, God is once more invoked to explain what we cannot understand. When we try to understand and come to terms with that which we can't, the beginning of the universe, God is called into service yet again. But he will always be retreating. Science is taking his place, filling the gaps of our understanding with ever more knowledge, and forcing God to occupy ever less territory of our comprehension.

 

In the end, God will die a slow, natural death. Through sheer rationality, people will realize that God is a codex of morals designed to keep you in line with the age old "carrot-and-stick" technique - a system of hope and fear to make you accept the things you can't comprehend.

 

God has meaning and relevance only if you want him to. If you can picture a world without God, it'd function the same way as ours, only there wouldn't be the "God-factor" in your mind to watch over you, to grant you hope and fear, and to take away the burden of getting to grips with the world.

 

God is useless. It is very possible to have healthy morals without him. The world won't be a worse place to live, objectively. Of course, there won't be any afterlive in your mind if you don't believe. But I can live with that. Immortality is a childish, immature fantasy, and I won't regress to the stage of a school bully who thinks it's cool to go around and scare his subjects into following him, "cuz you'll get cool extra life this way, and if you don't, you'll burn forever! hahahah!". Pathetic excuse. Pathetic bully. A cheap trick I can't believe somebody would fall for. Desiring immortality is about as selfish as it gets. There is no lower form of wanting to look superior to others, and none more childish. Eternal damnation is about the most ridiculous trick to make you look above and beyond others, and to reassure and affirm your choices to yourself. It's the most inane guilt trip I've ever witnessed.

 

There are no servants of God to me. There are only slaves to mental constructs and abstract illusions designed to hold the masses in line with hope, fear and immortality.

 

I want none of it.

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Originally posted by C'jais

God is useless. It is very possible to have healthy morals without him.

 

I would have to disagree with the first sentance but agree with the second.

 

Anthropologically speaking, god(s) do serve a purpose (I intentionally omit referrance to the christian "God"): a deity can unify people to a common culture, give them a common purpose, provide social identity, construct value and ethics systems, etc.

 

Throughout history, societies have benefited (as well as perished) because of religious beliefs. Entire states have been created, based solely on religious heritage.

 

The problem in today's global system, is that religion is now one of the limiting factors in many nation-states (so is transnationalist corporations, but that might be another thread :) ). Judeism and Islam are head-to-head over a small bit of land and it isn't to secure its natural resources. Research in genetics and cloning is being impeded by religious ethics that aren't qualified to comment on the new sciences being developed. Ethics for this type of science doesn't yet exist.

 

But speaking from an objective perspective (I personally think christianity, islam, etc. is merely propaganda or societal indoctrination), I wonder if our societies are ready yet to accept that their brief existances in this universe are, indeed, limited. If it was common belief that it didn't matter what one did in this world, what would cause one to act within societal norms and ethics?

 

Hey... it's just my rambling.... I try to remain objective when looking at cultures. There's definately two distinct cultures here: a christian one and a non-religious one. I'm sure others exist and that many of those posting are members of more than one culture, but those two appear to dominate.

 

Like the android said, "Would you please continue the petty bickering? I find it most intruiging." j/k :p

 

SkinWalker

 

PS..... if anyone was wondering, I recently switched from majoring in History, to majoring in Anthropology....

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Originally posted by SkinWalker

I recently switched from majoring in History, to majoring in Anthropology....

 

...And a fine switch it was ;)

 

As you said, religion can both be a benefit to society as well as a hindrance (mostly to others). When looking at religion in the short time frame, it gives people hope, inspires them and makes them perform fantastic feats - though religion has no monopoly on this, as Der Führer could inspire the same things.

 

But when examining the last millenium, religion seems to have been a global plague, destroying nations and keeping people and science opressed. If there had been no religion present in the dark ages, no people would have been able to abuse it to their own ends, and wage wars on other nations. It doesn't matter that these people and the ones following them were not religious in the slightest - it matters that religion was there to be abused. It is such a powerful tool, yet so easily manipulated to sway entire populations into a frothing mass of vindictive crusaders.

 

If we were just as religious today as for 700 years ago, science would be all but extinct. No one would dare to research astronomy or genetics for fear of finding God, and realizing he's not even there. If Catholocism had had its way, we'd have either subdued most of the Asian continent, or destroyed ourselves in the attempt. Religion creates barriers, and people can react violently if a well-meaning missionary comes up and try to convert them.

 

In the long run, we'll have to abandon religion as the focal point for unification. With the discoveries in science, vastly increased population and overcrowding in huge but poor countries, we cannot afford to let our gods decide our fate as a species.

 

While religion certainly is an asset in many ways, in the grand perspective of things we cannot let it rule over an overcrowded earth with many different faiths and ethics. A single, unifying faith will lead to chaos as the dark ages proved when the Catholic church tore itself apart from built up stress and domination. Religion simply won't work looking at the future and its many towering ethical obstacles and poor living conditions for many people, and comparing with the past and its Hall-of-Shame for religions that terrorized, subdued and dominated entire populations in a mirage of God-given right, promised afterlives and dreadful mind torture of eternal punishment.

 

As for the individual, I say we adopt some strong, utilitarian morals without basis in any religion. I, myself, can proudly say I've had inspiration from both the Bible and Buddhist teachings in building up my own, personalized codex of morals. It works. I'm a good person, and treat others as I'd like to be treated myself. Yet God plays no part in this, and I realize trying to ram a skewed spriritual world view down another's throat is never going to be as effective as simply telling him how the morally best way to behave would be. Fanatical doctrine hurts people mentally - just take a look at these Christians in this thread, which have gone so far as to refuse to acknowledge fact because it inconveniently collides with their God's scriptures and they evidently have the right mindset for flying planes into buildings.

 

I don't hurt others - not because of God, but because I know through and through that it's a Bad Idea. I treat others well - not because God commands me to, but because I know through trial and error (and a visit from Captain Obvious) that it's the best course of action to take.

 

I come from a country completely devoid of God. Creationism is taken nation-wide as a joke and an example of just how nutty those 'Mericans really are. Not kidding, talking to Christians in this forum was the first run-in I had with religious people. Really, excepting the odd priest, I can safely say that I've never met any religious young people in my life. This is part of the reason why I seemingly make a bee-line for Christians whenever I can - the other being that they're so convinced creationism is true that I cannot bear to let their uneducation take the better of them.

 

'Peyce.

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