Origin of Life

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    Feb 05, 2008 5:45 PM GMT
    I keep going back and forth on whether I'm an atheist or an agnostic. When my mind is in scientific mode, I see myself as an atheist. But imagine this:

    You tell a colorblind person to envision the color blue.
    You tell a deaf (from birth) person to imagine the sound of water falling down upon rocks.

    Can you imagine the state of mind of the person to whom you have just asked this? How do they even begin to imagine these things in their mind? They have never known of blue or what water sounds like when it hits another surface. What if, in this universe, there were more than five senses? What if there were 100 different senses but the human race could only grasp 5 of them because of where we are in our evolution?

    Sometimes you hear of people who have a sixth sense. An uncanny ability to be able to sense... let's say the future. Or how sometimes two people who are very close (siblings or lovers) can sometimes sense when the other is in danger or trouble.

    And although this doesn't provide any evidence that there could be a god, it does make me question "What else could be out there?"

    Don't get me wrong. This isn't an advocacy for religion, but rather to keep an open mind.
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    Feb 05, 2008 8:10 PM GMT
    mutation is terrible now such as cancer cell, yet perfect and necessary for evolution at earlier time. evey can of bio soup now is guarantee not to create random life forms , yet it's expected to happen long time ago under worse condition. all i'm doing is comparing data.

    to think critical is to imply current understanding, finding and develop upon it. other then that, a hypothesis is but an educated guess. I'm not mocking or endorsing this film. but i'm removing "believe" out of this hypothesis.

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    Feb 05, 2008 8:59 PM GMT
    "mutation is terrible now such as cancer cell, yet perfect and necessary for evolution at earlier time."

    Those who are able to digest lactose in adulthood have that ability because of a mutation. Mutations today could be good or bad. E.g., there could be a mutation that gives resistance to MRSA. Mutations aren't always bad.

    "evey can of bio soup now is guarantee not to create random life forms , yet it's expected to happen long time ago under worse condition. all i'm doing is comparing data."

    How can it be guaranteed that a "can of bio soup" now won't create random life forms over the next few billion years? How can modern science ever duplicate in a lab, that which took billions of years to unfold? Seems to me that you're choosing to ignore a hugely significant portion of the data set: time.
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    Feb 05, 2008 10:53 PM GMT
    The ability to digest lactose is in all human. that's why all babies can digest mother's milk. It's adulthood that some loose the ability. So it's not mutation, some of us actually loosing ability.

    Regarding "time", I mentioned that in the previous post. you can read the whole bible and make it a science fiction by substituting the word "God" with "time". it's the magic word that explain away all things unexplained. It's just as much a magical word for science as "creation" for religion.
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    Feb 06, 2008 12:46 AM GMT
    sickothesame saidI think for critical thinking believers, it is less about how it all began and more about trying to encompass the world in meaningful ways. The emerging church movement is based around trying to understand the Christian message in light of the post-modern movement. It has very little to do with the origin of it all. Any good and critical theologian will necessarily tell you that the natural theology has superseded the revealed theology of the Bible on the beginnings of "it all." If a Christian denies an old earth and evolution, he makes himself into the laughing stock of the world.

    The simple truth is that science can tell us about the world as we experience, but it never gets us closer to formulate meaning from such empirical examinations. Anytime you move beyond materialism, and you do it when you realize self from non-self in my opinion, you dabble in the world of religion. Many people simply believe they are being drawn to a greater understanding of things together rather than as individuals. Reverence for a story or mythos may seem impractical, but it is better than the self-denial and harsh asceticism caused by materialism.


    Thanks for some authentic spirituality icon_wink.gif

    Richard Dawkins said we have an appetite for wonder. He's right. Even without the religious aspect we still strive to place ourselves in the world and attach a meaning and emotion to everything. We created beauty as not just a word, but a physical presence or attachment we can add to anything.

    Much of this is where religion comes from. Not just as a way to answer questions when we lacked scientific answers, but to give us a reason for existing. We want to feel value from life, feel we contribute somehow, and that what we do will have a lasting impression. Nobody wants to believe one day all humans will cease to exist and then the universe just rolls on unchanged without us. We want to believe we will leave in impression that will linger on and affect the future.

    Well to bring the thread back from dreamland... I think there's a clear difference between spiritual and religious. It's the religious folk I post the video for, the ones who believe in the fairy dusting bearded guys.

    Oh and Sedative14: icon_wink.gif I like the word escapist!
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    Feb 06, 2008 3:50 AM GMT
    "It's adulthood that some loose the ability. So it's not mutation, some of us actually loosing ability."

    That is incorrect:

    http://tinyurl.com/327xo7

    Scientists identify lactose intolerance mutation

    15/01/2002 - A single genetic mutation allows people to tolerate milk after they leave babyhood, and is virtually the same in people of Asian, European and African descent, researchers reported Sunday.
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    Feb 06, 2008 1:44 PM GMT
    QJapultraCan you imagine the state of mind of the person to whom you have just asked this? How do they even begin to imagine these things in their mind? They have never known of blue or what water sounds like when it hits another surface. What if, in this universe, there were more than five senses? What if there were 100 different senses but the human race could only grasp 5 of them because of where we are in our evolution?


    That's what I thought once too. Heh. But for me, it was what finally drew me away from agnosticism into atheism.

    We can't even IMAGINE what eternity looks like, and a few thousand year old book suddenly claims to hold the secrets of the universe? icon_rolleyes.gif

    Trance23Richard Dawkins said we have an appetite for wonder. He's right. Even without the religious aspect we still strive to place ourselves in the world and attach a meaning and emotion to everything. We created beauty as not just a word, but a physical presence or attachment we can add to anything.


    I think I've posted this in another thread before:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numinous

    The mysterium tremendum et fascinans. It's why we believe in religion, transcendence, etc.

    From wiki:

    Numinous

    In order to clarify the term in layman's language it may be viewed as "the intense feeling of unknowingly knowing that there is something which cannot be seen." This "knowing" can "befall" or overcome a person at any time and in any place - in a cathedral; next to a silent stream; on a lonely road; early in the morning or in the face of a beautiful sunset. Similarly unpleasant or frightening scene or experiences can lead to a sense of an unseen presence of ghosts, evil spirits or a general sense of the presence of evil. Visions or hallucinations of god, gods, the devil or devils can also happen.

    The idea is not necessarily a religious one: noted atheist Christopher Hitchens has discussed the importance of separating the numinous from the supernatural.


    Trance23We want to believe we will leave in impression that will linger on and affect the future.


    I agree. A very human trait.

    Selfishness. icon_razz.gif Encompasses the fear of death, fear of punishment, fear of being forgotten, fear of being alone, etc.

    ebl333The ability to digest lactose is in all human. that's why all babies can digest mother's milk. It's adulthood that some loose the ability. So it's not mutation, some of us actually loosing ability.


    I am lactose intolerant.

    ebl333Regarding "time", I mentioned that in the previous post. you can read the whole bible and make it a science fiction by substituting the word "God" with "time". it's the magic word that explain away all things unexplained. It's just as much a magical word for science as "creation" for religion


    I think not. Time exists. We all feel its passing. We can measure it. Has anybody forgotten Einstein? It's a perfectly good reason why we can't recreate what happened.

    The fact that they've recreated a small part of it, no matter how dubious is more than anything 'creationists' can claim for themselves.

    Remember, the church called Kopernik insane and a blasphemer, he turned out right, didn't he? It was a big hit on the church's ego to realize that Earth was just a puny 3rd planet of an average star. It was just a hypothesis too then, but at least it was based on SOMETHING.

    As for mutations, why do you assume it's all harmful nowadays? icon_razz.gif Mutation is not the 'breath of god', it's observable and has not at all changed from it's orginal function (though it will be if humans continue research into eugenics and GMO's). It's not at all like creationists saying that 'oh, we can't make another Adam or Eve, because *insert excuse here*'
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    Feb 07, 2008 8:12 AM GMT
    Speaking of Thygros' De Froste effect, I have my own little pet theory.

    Worlds within worlds kinda thing. have you ever wondered at the striking similarity between atomic structure, solar systems, galaxies, and the universe itself? It's like fractals. icon_razz.gif I've often wondered if somehow the whole universe we are in is just a single atom to another larger dimension and vice versa (the individual atoms are universes in itself, and quarks, and so on).

    Wouldn't that be really freaky?! LOL Imagine that an infinite number of universes are existing within you, each with a different perception of time, such that our own time would seem glacial to them.

    On the other hand we are simply existing on a 'subatomic' particle of the 'atom' we call our universe, which could be, of all things, a single atom from the snot of some unimaginably vast creature. And that any moment (though that moment will seem like eternity to us) would sneeze and subject our universe to stresses that would wipe out most developing lifeforms. Scary huh? LOL

    Just thinking about it makes me feel really really small. But then again, it makes me feel somehow better to be insignificant and yet part of the entire system of existence (come on, who wouldn't be flattered to know that each of us contains an eternity of universes while at the same time being part of only one universe which is part of an eternity of bigger universes... confusing I know LOL). So I just live my life to the best I can and not worry about these stuff. LOL

    It's kinda pointless to wonder about it anyway. I doubt anyone can ever understand time, much less infinity. It'd just make us go crazy. Our minds aren't enough.

    I just get annoyed at how we humans constantly try to assert our self-importance. Back then, it was geocentricism. Now, it's about being the 'chosen people' of a divine being who seems to be unhealthily preoccupied with us. If he's so goddamn powerful, why would he give a shit about us in the first place? icon_razz.gif Religion is basically human vanity. It hurts to come to terms that we aren't really anything special, and that in a few billion years, our descendants (if we have any) would be totally inhuman that they wouldn't even remember Earth anymore.

    Strangely what comes to my mind is a biblical phrase "Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair." I wonder what an alien race would think of us when they discover (if they bother to at all) the remains of our civilization eons into the future.

    PouncerYou know there was a serious assertion by the Church in the 1800's (during the rise of Darwinism and the discovery and understanding of dinosaur bones), that dinosaur bones and other evidence in the fossil record were actually placed there by God to test our faith!


    I actually had several teachers in college. Whenever they discussed evolution (even in proof-laden comparative anatomy and embryology!), they keep saying that 'evolution is just a theory to test man's faith, and that god allowed them to continue with it because we have free will' icon_rolleyes.gif

    P.S. "astrobiology"? icon_sad.gif What happened to the other term? "Exobiology"? I always liked that better. icon_razz.gif

    P.P.S. ebl333, lactose intolerance is a mutation. Heck the fact that some people have dark skin and some have white is probably the result of some random mutation which got magnified through natural selection. Milk isn't a food source for human ADULTS, hence why normal humans shouldn't really be able to use it as such except in infancy. To put it bluntly, "normal" adult humans aren't supposed to drink milk at all. Sometime, somewhere (I believe it can be traced through genetic markers) a mutation occurred in which adult humans developed the ability to derive nutrients from lactose. This got magnified as more and more human cultures started to use dairy products as a food source. However, though there is only vague statistics to back this up, I believe that in cultures where there is no heavy reliance on dairy products, there is a higher prevalence of lactose intolerance. A lot of filipinos I know are also lactose intolerant.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:LacIntol-World2.png
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    Feb 07, 2008 1:34 PM GMT
    The Cunt.