What best explains creation? Science, Religion or neither?

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What best explains creation? Science, Religion or neither?

Science
23
70%
Religion
4
12%
Neither
6
18%
 
Total votes: 33

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thevulture
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Re: What best explains creation? Science, Religion or neithe

Post by thevulture » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:40 am

jdanddiet wrote:ok while we're doing quotes:-

"Human heaven? Goodness me, humans don't go to Heaven! No, someone made that up to prevent you all from going nuts!" - Kryten
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If this statement is true, it is also false."
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Re: What best explains creation? Science, Religion or neithe

Post by DigitalDuck » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:47 am

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che_don_john
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Re: What best explains creation? Science, Religion or neithe

Post by che_don_john » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:17 am

joefish wrote:Evolution does take a long time, and you're right to assert that it's not entirely random. But even on the million-year scale it doesn't have time to explore every possibility. That doesn't mean it's not random though; it just means there are inter-related factors that narrow its effects.
Fair point. External factors that may affect and influence evolution could be 'random' from the organism's point of view (change in climate, environment, etc). What I should have said is that the evolution of something, rather than evolution as a whole process, is deliberate. In other words, the conditions that trigger an evolutionary step might be random, but the act of evolving in response to those random changes is most likely not.

There was an interesting anecdote in one of Dawkin's talks about a lizard (I think it was some type of iguana) that was moved from it's inland habitat to a coastal environment. Within something like only 75 years the descendants of those lizards who had been resettled had developed slightly webbed fingers and streamlined bodies to make them better swimmers. So, the random act (from the lizard's poitn of view) of being moved to the coast triggered a deliberate evolutionary change in order to cope with their new environment.

But, I guess there are also some chance mutations that can occur whcih could be considered random (there's a couple of Galapagos birds that this occured with, listed somewhere in Origin of Species, but their name escapes me).
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joefish
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Re: What best explains creation? Science, Religion or neithe

Post by joefish » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:35 am

I would be more careful to avoid the word 'deliberate' when talking about any natural process - you're just offering up more nutter fuel! The important thing is that under those circumstances, evolution did not get to a point and stop, then suddenly restart when the circumstances changed, nor did anyone or anything decide it needed to change, as the mis-directed would try to trick you into agreeing to. It simply kept going, but circumstances nudged it in a new direction.

Now what direction it was going in originally may be harder to deduce. You'd have to compare animals from 75 years earlier with the newer ones; not the two concurrent strains. That's like arguing over whether or not we evolved from monkeys - we didn't - we evolved from a common ancestor which was neither human nor monkey but is no longer around to compare with.

Though having said that evolution doesn't stop/start, there is still a small amount of truth in it. A healthy, well-fed creature has good protection against random genetic variations that may otherwise prove unhealthy. However, a population under stress tends to produce more offspring and suffer reduced immunity; the upshot is that all those random variations and mutations that have built up in its genome but been suppressed by its healthy immune system explode into a slew of extra variety in the offspring which can then explore new niches in the environment (although many of them are bound to fail).

And if that's not odd enough, it's recently been discovered that it's not just us that have been using viruses to hijack strands of DNA and implant them in other species; it's been happening all along.

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Re: What best explains creation? Science, Religion or neithe

Post by Pixiu » Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:16 pm

Joefish is correct. There's nothing deliberate about evolution. The lizards in the previous example didn't decide to adapt to their new environment, and nor did some kind of mysterious guiding hand (God, Mother Nature, whatever) direct them to such adaptations.

It's really more a case of there being mutations and other genetic variations, and those changes that just so happen to increase an organisms chances of survival/reproduction are more likely to be passed down through generations.

The mistake many religious people make is that they look at the life on this planet and ask "How could all this evolve by chance?", but they're really asking: How could all these particular species evolve by chance? The trouble is, they're presupposing the result. It's like if someone went down to the beach and selected one grain of sand, and was then gobsmacked by the thought "What are the odds of me choosing this particular grain of sand. It can't be just chance. Something must have been guiding me!" But of course if they didn't select that grain of sand, they would have chosen another. There may be factors that led to their choosing of that particular grain at the time, but it wasn't a predetermined outcome. Similarly, evolution means that diversification of life is an inevitable result, but what that life is -- what species evolve -- is not a predetermined factor. Genetic variations, inheritance, and environmental factors all affect the process, but none of it is working towards a particular outcome.

To put it another way, if a person looks at an elephant and says "How could this magnificent creature evolve by chance?" ...well, something was going to evolve. If environmental factors had been different during various periods over the past however many millions of years, the creature in question might have been slightly different, or so different that that particular evolutionary line as we know it might never have eventuated. Instead the person posing the question would be looking at some other magnificent creature -- say, the Snorklefump! -- and be asking "How could this wonderful Snorklefump have simply evolved by chance!?" And then that person claps his flippers together and dives back into the ocean, because oops... looks like those different environmental factors had a big impact on our own evolutionary line too. :)
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Treguard
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Re: What best explains creation? Science, Religion or neithe

Post by Treguard » Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:41 pm

All of our reality is based on the Zilog Z80 CPU, and the process of evolution took about the three-four minutes it would take a program to load from tape, barring any syntax errors.

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che_don_john
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Re: What best explains creation? Science, Religion or neithe

Post by che_don_john » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:23 am

Pixiu wrote:Joefish is correct. There's nothing deliberate about evolution. The lizards in the previous example didn't decide to adapt to their new environment
But that is taking deliberate as being synomous with conciousness, which doesn't have to be the case. My blood platelets deliberately respond to changes/injury caused to my body by deliberately clotting wounds, cuts etc, but I don't conciously instruct them to do so.

I'm guessing that the answer is that evolution is both random and not random, ie. genetic mutation can be, but survvial of the fittest might not be? Although, there must be some 'effort' on the part of genetics to help organisms to adapt. Otherwise, if it was all down to chance, then those lizards that weren't relocated to the coast might also have developed webbed feet and streamlined bodies. If I remember correctly, this development that occured with these lizards happened in a very short space of time, so you'd expect that if a genetic mutation occured in the coastal lizards then it should have also occured in their inland-remaining cousins, as they'd all been together not more than 75 years earlier.

I'm not particularly knowledgeable about evolutionary biology (I did philosophy/theology) so will have to bow to better knowledge on this! But, I can say with some confidence that it almost certainly has nothing to do with the Abrahamic God.
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joefish
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Re: What best explains creation? Science, Religion or neithe

Post by joefish » Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:16 pm

che_don_john wrote:that is taking deliberate as being synomous with conciousness, which doesn't have to be the case. My blood platelets deliberately respond to changes/injury caused to my body by deliberately clotting wounds, cuts etc, but I don't conciously instruct them to do so.
No, that's exactly what 'deliberate' means - to choose to do something conscious of the intended outcome. And that's not what's happening. Your blood doesn't deliberately clot. It simply does that as a reaction. It's in the right place at the right time. As a thinking being it's hard to grasp what can happen without thinking about it. Termite mounds are hugely complicated structures, but there's no one termite that sits down and plans the whole thing. They just come together like that as each termite does a particular little job.
che_don_john wrote:there must be some 'effort' on the part of genetics to help organisms to adapt. Otherwise, if it was all down to chance, then those lizards that weren't relocated to the coast might also have developed webbed feet and streamlined bodies.
No, there doesn't have to be. Those other lizards may well have had the odd offspring with slicker bodies and webbed feet. Humans occasionally do; it's not necessarily a major mutation, maybe a throwback to an earlier form that is normally held dormant in the genome. But if that change doesn't give you an advantage it'll probably be lost in the next generation. In fact, if it makes that one slightly worse off it might die before it gets to breed at all. But if it does confer an advantage, then that one gets to breed more than the others and so come to dominate.

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Re: What best explains creation? Science, Religion or neithe

Post by sscott » Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:08 pm

Bit of a downer really that at some point in the future we'll all be fuck1ng dead.Watched a documentary on BBC 2 tonight about square jawed mannequin Mitt Romney and the Mormon church, re-affirms my own lack of belief more than Dawkins/Hitchens ever could.
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Re: What best explains creation? Science, Religion or neithe

Post by gman72 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:59 pm

The intro to Bagpuss is as good as any when it comes to explaining creation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpwhohWhrEE
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joefish
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Re: What best explains creation? Science, Religion or neithe

Post by joefish » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:02 pm

And the more I hear from obvious religious lunatics diverging more and more from any rational argument the more distance I want to put between myself and my own even fairly moderate religious upbringing.

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RetroRik
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Re: What best explains creation? Science, Religion or neithe

Post by RetroRik » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:03 pm

Its an Electric Universe.........

Most of us have played video games. The graphics are made up of pixels.
These graphics 30 years ago were crude and blocky. Very basic and not created in real time.
Now the graphics are fast becoming complex and photo relistic and created in real time.

Now it could be said that we humans and everything else in the Universe are made of pixels.
These pixels are atoms and their smaller components.

Ok now lets think about how much computer power would be needed to create this Universe pixel by pixel in 3D.

It would obviously have to be huge.

But a current video game deals with this problem in its world by only computing the information to be
displayed on the screen you are viewing..

Example..

In a first person shooter you can see what is infront of you but what is behind you does not exist in
the computers memory as its not needed until you turn around.

So a computer needed to create our universe would be much smaller. It would only need to compute what you
are looking at..

Remember the riddle "If you are outside a forest and a tree falls in the middle of the forest does it
make a sound..?" Does it actually exist at all.?

Ok now lets look at what scientists are now saying. They say that when you observe an atom it has form.
It has shape and a measurable mass.

Now if you don't observe the atom it is scattered everywhere and has no form.
( I don't know how they proved this but that is what they are saying )

So does this not sound like what i explained before.?
Just as the computer and video game only compute and display what you are looking at so the atom in our universe
is only computed when we observe it.

Now take what i have said and imaging what computing power we will have in say 100 years.

There would be enough power to generate the universe we observe at any one time at atom/pixel level in 3D.

In a universe said to be 13 billion years old we may be less than 100 years away from creating an entire
universe of our own. The person programing this universe simulation would be GOD.! of that Universe.

Finally if we are so close to being a God of our own creation then someone else in another level of reality
has maybe already done this and created the Universe simulation we live in.

The Big Bang could have been the moment the program was loaded. Everything electrically expanded
across the microchip we call our Universe.

So many other theories and strange things in this Universe could be explained with this.

Could we be a living SIMS game left to evolve in the computer memory of a computer in another dimension.? Lets hope they don't turn their computer off. :wink:

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Re: What best explains creation? Science, Religion or neithe

Post by Havantgottaclue » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:10 pm

joefish wrote:Your blood doesn't deliberately clot.
I agree, joefish.

Because it doesn't deliberate - i.e. weigh up options and choose a course of action. It just does what it is designed to do without stopping to think about it!

My dictionary confirms for me that it's a straightforward borrowing from the Latin deliberare which, through legal usage, has preserved its original meaning remarkably well. My dictionary's etymological bit further explains - and this I didn't know - that the term is ultimately derived from the word "libra" which as we all know means "scales". What the word deliberate takes from this is the "weighing up" of alternatives, so the core of its meaning is bound up with rational processes rather than instinctive or spontaneous ones.
Soon you will have forgotten all things: soon all things will have forgotten you. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 7)

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Re: What best explains creation? Science, Religion or neithe

Post by pratty » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:38 pm

RetroRik wrote:Its an Electric Universe.........

Most of us have played video games. The graphics are made up of pixels.
These graphics 30 years ago were crude and blocky. Very basic and not created in real time.
Now the graphics are fast becoming complex and photo relistic and created in real time.

Now it could be said that we humans and everything else in the Universe are made of pixels.
These pixels are atoms and their smaller components.

Ok now lets think about how much computer power would be needed to create this Universe pixel by pixel in 3D.

It would obviously have to be huge.

But a current video game deals with this problem in its world by only computing the information to be
displayed on the screen you are viewing..

Example..

In a first person shooter you can see what is infront of you but what is behind you does not exist in
the computers memory as its not needed until you turn around.

So a computer needed to create our universe would be much smaller. It would only need to compute what you
are looking at..
Sounds similar to the theory I proposed on page 2. History simply doesn't exist in the present, the same way as the game world behind your FPS character doesn't exist.
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joefish
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Re: What best explains creation? Science, Religion or neithe

Post by joefish » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:41 pm

Wow, way to completely mis-interpret a good theory for the purposes of spouting a lot of balls. You're doing even better than the creationists who are still trying to argue with Darwin, despite the fact he's been dead for quite a bit.
The key point you're missing here is the interpretation of the concept of 'observation'. It doesn't just mean what one person is looking at at the time. It means interactions, such as the interaction of one particle with another. So, a particle in complete isolation may exist in a super-position of states. It's doing all the things it could be doing all at once. But as soon as whatever it's doing has a knock-on effect on another particle, and another, and another, and so on all around the universe, it's no longer in isolation and has to fall into line and do one thing or another. The universe immediately behind you doesn't cease to exist or turn into grey goo when you turn your head; it's still interconnected with everything else you can see and hear; it's still there. It's only at the very tiny sub-atomic levels where you can pull fundamental particles apart from each other that they can get away with 'unobserved' behaviour.

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