ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

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ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

We debate origins of the Universe, life, Earth, humans, religion, atheism, using common sense, evolution, cosmology, geology, archaeology, and other sciences, to repel biblical creationism and other religious beliefs.

Location: Oxford University, England
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The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Comment by Joan Denoo on November 6, 2012 at 10:45pm

sk8eycat, Susan Jacoby is a great read. She is also good at debate, doesn't stand still for nonsense and challenges with confidence and competence. I do little reading any more and there are many interviews on video or radio broadcasts to enjoy with eyes closed, a cup of tea in my lap, and a piece of chocolate to munch on. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 6, 2012 at 9:55pm

''Who made God?'' is a question asked by many and it doesn't make sense to me. "Who made lightning?"  "Who made sunshine?" "Who made water and who makes it flow downslope?"


A concept that some might call god, to me, is a process; a process that made the universe out of nothing as far as astrophysicist can tell. Lightning comes from natural forces that include at least electro-magnetic forces and perhaps other energies as well. Sun is part of the process of energies in the universe and I have no idea how it works and why, but I don't think I need to know that, at least as a little old lady trying to work up enough energy to repot my violets. Water comes from elements forming molecules of hydrogen and oxygen but I can't make them myself, they just develop because of natural processes. Water running down hill is a little easier if the explanation of gravity proves to be true. 

A bee gets up in the morning and flies from flower to flower and in the process pollenates seed bearing plants. It doesn't intend to do so, it intends to feed its appetite, whatever that is. A bee with yellow pollen flying overloaded with cargo perform an impossible task with those tiny little wings. But bee doesn't know his wings are tiny; it is just what nature calls it to do. 

Not a very sophisticated answer, indeed. I just know that I exist as a survivor of survivors who had children. My genetic code passes to my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, for who knows how long. 
I am alive, I have sensing organs, a brain and the usual systems that everyone else has, from a heart that pumps blood through the cardio-vascular system, lungs that pump air and gases through my pulmonary system, an intake chamber and gastro-intestinal system with filters along the way and an outflow orifice. A system with intake and outflow are called "open systems". Several other system, of which I am unaware, like sweat glands, lymph nodes, and who knows how many other things exist and operate, not because I do anything, they just go about their work without any input from me. 

Of these things I am very sure. I exist, I have work that needs to be done to survive (food, water, shelter, stuff like that). I belong to a community who loves me and whom I love. I have a mind that thinks and reasons and explores and experiments, and notices cause and effect, and I am capable of learning a great deal more. I see stars and constellation unaided, but can see other stars, universes in far distant space, taking more time than I have to visit them, or more equipment to successfully flourish if I go past the living zone of Earth. 

There is no "purpose" for my life, nor for anyone else's life. I come into being by some spark of life through sperm meeting egg, I grow, live and die going back into the stuff of stars. Nothing has a plan for me. I simply have some things I am good at and enjoy, and can create a life that flourishes. 

I exist as an inquisitive, curious, observing, happy human being, loving morning and rising to a new day, and going to rest after a day full of challenges that occasionally resolve satisfactorily. How could I ask for more? 

 

Comment by sk8eycat on November 6, 2012 at 9:01pm

Roy...you're right, it IS Barbara Walker.  Mah brayne nawt wurkin 2dai.  Sorry.

Comment by Roy on November 6, 2012 at 7:39pm

Also, from what I've observed in my lifetime, god is only created in the minds of the believers.  Everyone creates their own and they are all different.  Basically, we are all godless, but some people just don't believe that.  I like to tell them that I don't have any invisible pretend friends.  But I may have some real pretend friends. lol (so to speak)

Comment by Roy on November 6, 2012 at 7:34pm

The book Man Made God that I have is by Barbara Walker.  It's very good in my opinion.  A lot of it pertains to women's issues.  I highly recommend it.

Comment by Neal Schermerhorn on November 6, 2012 at 6:51pm

I was going to say "man made god". Didn't know it was a book!

Many Christians say God was just always there, he never started and won't stop. When I point out that if their god can be beyond time and space, why can't something else which science might someday discover, they don't like that very much.

I like the theory that "god" is simply one's own self, playing "hide-and-seek" with itself, a sort of mild disassociative disorder if you will. Certainly explains why people fight over it so much.

Comment by sk8eycat on November 6, 2012 at 6:00pm

There is no satisfactory answer. Believers claim that the Big Bang could not have caused the universe "out of nothing."  Nobody said it did.The most likely theory is the explosion of the Monobloc.  But at the same time, they are claiming that their god came into existence out of nothing.  Can't have it both ways.

As for "Who made god?", Dan Barker goes into that quite thoroughly in Losing Faith in Faith and Godless

It's a great conversation-stopper, IMO.  Shuts the fundies right up. If that's the result you want.  They can't answer it because there IS no answer...because there never was a god, for one thing.

YHWH, and all the other gods came from the mind(lessness) of human beings, which means they are lesser beings than we are..

There is a book by Susan Jacoby that I haven't read yet called Man Made God.  I MUST read it!

Comment by sk8eycat on November 6, 2012 at 4:13pm

When I was in my mid-20s, I was having a hard time with a lot of personal things, so I read the entire buybull from cover to cover, looking for answers. 

Guess what!  If you really read the whole thing, instead of selected "buybull study" chapters, it becomes obvious that it's fiction.  BAD fiction. 

I read it again to make sure, and when I finished, it felt as if a 100 lb bag of fertilizer had fallen off my shoulders.  It was the most liberating experience of my life, and I never looked back.

I pity my friends who are still mired in fear and slavery to a myth, but I keep my mouth shut.  Unless somebody asks.  Sometimes I get snarky and say I'm a Druid...most people doon't know Jack about Druidism.

Comment by Idaho Spud on November 6, 2012 at 3:21pm

Jimmy M, I like your post.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 6, 2012 at 1:30pm

Sondra Brooks, you describe a very familiar feeling. Some may have a moment of understanding; it is taking me a long time. The journey is not only interesting but fun and exciting. 

 

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