One God?

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by mathman, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    And so am I!!!


    An surprise again, Neither am I!
    My hostility when it does arise, is towards those religious freaks that want to raise it and use it to oppose and attempt to deride and/or invalidate science.
    Or those obviously with a closeted religious agenda.
    I see them as the most insidious kind of the various anti science rabble we have on this forum.
     
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  3. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, well, no one's perfect.
     
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  5. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    I don't believe I've seen anyone use religion in an effort to invalidate science. They might question it's conclusions in the larger scheme of things...

    If I told you that the odds of a protocell just popping into existence and surviving are astronomical, you might still cling to it as the only rational explanation for life, even though we have never been able to do the same in a controlled environment.
     
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  7. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    You can't even roll double sixes reliably in a controlled environment. But unless the odds are zero, it will happen eventually.
     
  8. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    When they accomplish the impossible, let me know. It's a tall order. Not only must it be self-contained, but also must replicate itself.
     
  9. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Astronomical is not impossible.
     
  10. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    I'm a believer when it happens. I read somewhere that the probability was so slim that it, in essence, was virtually impossible.
     
  11. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Well, it did happen. Life is here. The only question is whether or not some virtually impossible entity waved his magic wand to make it happen.
     
  12. mathman Valued Senior Member

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  13. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    I see magic in life itself. Maybe that is foolish, but it is amazing stuff. I can't prove or disprove anything. Probability seems to suggest it unlikely that a simple organism--with all its complexity--could just assemble into existence, much less evolve into the variety that has existed.
     
  14. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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  15. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    As I pointed out, the other alternative that has been suggested - one or more gods - is much less probable.
     
  16. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    Anything with a non-zero probability of happening has a good chance of occurring, given enough time.
     
  17. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    How are we certain it is a non-zero probability? Could you also believe that a tornado blowing through a junkyard might assemble a car from all the loose parts? That might be more probable than the random creation of life. We also must contend that all life, both past and present, owe its heritage to a single cell that magically assembled one day.
     
  18. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    Would "Intelligent Design" be more palatable? It doesn't invoke the word "god."
     
  19. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

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    So do I, but I don't ignore science for the sake of magic. Not everything has to be guided by some intelligence. The most magical things, are in my mind, the things that spontaneously generate and order themselves. The gods' existence does not, in and of itself, imply their activity.
     
  20. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    There's a variety of Biblical creationist who uses their belief in the literal truth of the first chapters of Genesis as reason to attack the reality of biological evolution.

    I guess that depends on the nature of the 'protocell'. If we are talking about fully-formed procaryotic cells, bacteria and archaea, then I fully agree with you. Even these relatively simple cells are so incredibly complex that it's almost impossible for me to imagine them coming into existence all at one, out of some 'primordial soup'.

    But if we are talking about much simpler self-reproducing chemical reactions of some sort, subject to natural selection and perhaps enclosed in some kind of simple membrane, then I think that it's less of a stretch.

    My view is that life probably originated as the end result of a long process of prebiotic evolution of chemical replicators, where each step had some reasonable chance of occurring, not all-at-once in a single exceedingly improbable leap from a bunch of chemicals to a fully-formed cell.

    I'm very much a naturalist regarding the origin of life. But I acknowledge that my naturalism is basically a matter of faith, until all the details of how it happened are filled in. (It won't happen in my lifetime.) Right now, naturalism in origin-of-life studies is basically a research program, driven by science's very defensible methodological naturalism. It isn't something that we actually know for a fact.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
  21. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I believe that indirect chemical evidence (isotope concentrations in Australian zircons) suggests that life may have existed on Earth as far back as 4.1 billion years. That's the 'hellish' Hadean eon in which the surface of the Earth was still cooling and recovering from the planetary impact with a Mar-sized body that is hypothesized to have created the Moon. In other words, the Earth might not have had a solid surface stable enough for life to form for much of the time previous to life's first appearance.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadean

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_impact_hypothesis

    This new evidence would put the origin of life on Earth prior to the Late Heavy Bombardment that pocked the Moon with its craters and probably involved tens of thousands of 'planet killer' asteroid impacts on Earth. So, if the evidence for the early appearance of life I just mentioned up above is true, either the earliest life would have had to have somehow survived the LHB, or else life will have had to have originated on Earth more than once.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_Heavy_Bombardment

    My own suspicion (that's all it is) is that life might not be native to Earth at all, and may have originated elsewhere in the universe. I don't have a clue how it could have gotten from there to here.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
  22. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    Moving the origin of life to someplace other than earth doesn't resolve the question - how did it start?
     
  23. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Of course not.

    The point is that if life seemingly appeared on Earth very early in its history, in an eon in which the Earth's crust was newly solidified and when the Earth was still subject to constant asteroid bombardment, then there would have been little opportunity for prebiotic evolution of simpler chemical replicators to result in the origin of the first procaryotic cell. The alternative to a lengthy prebiotic process would seem to be the idea that bacterial life originated all-at-once, by some hugely improbable leap from a bunch of chemicals in a hypothetical "primordial soup" (an idea that already assumes some prebiotic process that produced the necessary 'soup') to a fully-formed cell, complete with its molecular genetics, chemical metabolism, cellular anatomy and everything else. That's like blowing up a pile of building materials with a bomb and expecting the explosion to produce a house. (Bacteria are more complex than houses.) That might not be absolutely impossible, but the probabilities would be so low as to effectively be the same thing.

    Moving the origin of life elsewhere, earlier in the universe's history, supplies the "enough time" from your post #73, time in which the origin of the first cells could have happened more incrementally, step-by-step. That's the advantage of panspermia. The disadvantage is explaining how life made its way here.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016

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