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
Members: 4060
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The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Comment by Joseph P on April 8, 2012 at 6:08pm

Religion is a people control invention so the few can control the many.  Worked very well for ancient Egyptians, Aztecs, Romans adopted Catholicism after not having much luck crucifying and threatening them. Then we have the King James Bible- so the common people could understand it and dozens of little break away sects that wanted their own communion.  Whatever the common beliefs were, weren't that common.  They haven't apparently discovered the truth.

That's a bit of a simplistic view.  Religion was seized as a useful tool to control the masses, yes, but it wasn't created as such.  Religions evolved from early elementalism and various forms of spirit worship.  There's a little Creation myth/just-so story thrown in.

 

It's an unholy mess (pun intended) that's difficult to trace back to its origins.  Early religions survived and evolved into the modern religions because they provided for some emotional need that human society had.  Christianity survived as long as it has because it gave the oppressed classes hope.  Just because the royal classes used it for their ends doesn't mean that they created it.

Comment by Joseph P on April 8, 2012 at 5:57pm

I stand corrected. Just not sure about what.

 

Has anyone figured out what we are evolving into and what kind of common sense we should apply to meet the demands of our immediate future that we have created for ourselves?

That's the thing.  Evolution doesn't have a goal in mind.  It's not a thing.  It's just an explanation for things that happen in the universe, like most scientific discoveries.

It's not really something that you can prepare for.  Things just change over time, as environmental conditions change.  For that matter, humans can have a great effect on our environment, which can effect the path of our own evolution.

Either way, though, it happens over huge numbers of generations ... hundreds or thousands, barring catastrophic environmental changes.  It's not something that we need to worry about, on an individual basis.

Comment by Joseph P on April 8, 2012 at 5:48pm

Joseph. Hitler was a Christian but also a Darwinist (call it evolutionist if you like) which is where he got his weird ideas about belonging to a super race and trying to move the process along by eliminating what he felt were the inferior. He was also a vegetarian which just may have been the real problem.

As I'm sure others have already said (I'm commenting as I read through the backlog), Hitler was a Creationist, not a Darwinist.  He got his ideas from the Bible and from Martin Luther, not Evolution.

You're buying into the Creationist propaganda.  He was their boy, not ours.  He said so in his own book.  Read it, rather than listening to what the fundies say about him.

I'd also like to see your connection between his vegetarianism and his actions and politics.

 

I do believe that humans evolve. The brains must function differently to accommodate the evolution of speech for example and I do believe that the seed that sparked the big bang came from somewhere. What is wrong with the thinking there?

What's wrong is that you're blindly asserting something without evidence, just like religion does.  You should go read up on what the cosmologists are saying, not the religionists.

Hawking's latest book is a good place to start.  I also recommend 'A Universe from Nothing', by Lawrence M. Krauss.

 

So what in your opinion should a person say to indicate that he was a free thinker?

It's not what you say.  It's what you do.  A freethinker looks to science and evidence, rather than dogma and wishful thinking.

Comment by Rudy V Kiist on April 8, 2012 at 5:46pm

Thank you Susan...I was just about to jump in and say pretty much that.

Btw, shouldn't this be on a "discussion board"? Although I'm not sure what the topic really is. I'm thinking maybe a misunderstanding of evolution was the original topic?

Comment by Susan Stanko on April 8, 2012 at 4:56pm

How does  Claudiu's post confuse you?  Is because it isn't perfect?  I understood it just fine.

I just read your profile.  You are one of those idealists fresh out of college who think you know better than everybody else, right?  Why jump down Denise's throat?  All it does is make you look like an ass. 

Comment by Wyatt on April 8, 2012 at 4:41pm

Note, we should never turn a blind eye to the truth.  We must examine the facts.  If we have overwhelming evidence to believe something is true, we must not be afraid of stridency in spreading the word.  However, the private religious beliefs of historical figures are difficult to substantiate.  In many cases, all we have to go on are ambiguous public statements, secondhand accounts, and rumors.   We can speculate.  But the record of a person's actions is more substantive.  And it is pressing that we look around the world today and see how organized religion, among other things, has sought to undermine our education system, discourage rational thinking, and impose primitive and unconscionable doctrine on modern society.

Comment by David Philip Norris on April 8, 2012 at 4:31pm

Joan: Nonsense! You're never "too old" for anything of the intellectual variety. :-D

Comment by Joan Denoo on April 8, 2012 at 4:24pm

@ John D Oh! that is why I couldn't understand him. I'm too old to try again. 

Comment by David Philip Norris on April 8, 2012 at 4:10pm

John D: Agreed!!

Comment by Claudiu Mihael Terenche on April 8, 2012 at 3:59pm

My grammar is not relevant! It seems like you never read Nietzsche.

 

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