Consciousness evolves in many non-human creatures not from pond-skippers to a fully conscious humanoid. Nor did humans spring from protista to vertebrates to mammals to Homo sapiens in one easy leap. Time and generations of living cells evolved until humans sit beside a fire with a friendly dog and cat and birds singing in the trees and snakes coming in for a sip of milk or for warmth. Each evolved according to its own patterns, not by magically being called into existence. This process depends on changes over time in each part of the tree of life.

There is no pre-planned purpose to human consciousness. What is, is. 

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Some people assert that since the universe and the earth are so "perfectly tuned" for human life, they must have been designed for that ultimate goal. But as you said: What is, is. If it were different enough, we wouldn't be around to make these observations and speculations and questions; it's a form of selection bias.

Ah yes, "Selection bias". 

People who say the universe and the earth are perfectly tuned for human life haven't survived any earthquakes.

Here on the Ring of Fire (California), we have.

Y que sera, sera?

Tom, I wasn't able to put a photo here of The Earthquake Zone. See
http://www.atheistnexus.org/group/politics-economics-and-religion

Being conscious of facts, paying attention to detail, understanding underlying causes helps to face challenges with courage and wisdom. One fact that many do not know, if the weight of glaciers change to a tipping point, tectonic plates respond ... which means earthquakes in places we have never had them, as well as in the earthquake zones of Earth.

Joan, thanx for the ring of fire map.

I had to grimace/chuckle at your:

"Being conscious of facts, paying attention to detail, understanding underlying causes helps to face challenges with courage and wisdom...."

If there weren't so many of us, our blunders would have driven us to extinction by now.

"If evolution is true, then why can't we see things evolve?"

Ever been confronted with this line of logic?  It illustrates the main hurdle of this process called evolution - some people just can't grasp something that is impossible to witness in real time with their own eyes ... but oddly enough they are willing to accept the concept of creation.  Quantifiable evolution takes so much time occur, that you almost need some degree of faith to accept it.  Of course, the two things that it has going for it are the fact that there are entire fields of evidence based study to back it up, and that the earth has had plenty of time to allow for evolution to occur.  Minute changes may take thousands of years to occur, but thousands of years are like the blink of an eye compared to how much time organisms have had to evolve.  Consciousness is a by-product of the process.

Future, To not be able and willing to grasp evolution, and to be able and willing to believe creationism, reveals not only failure to think rationally, but lack of courage, and willingness to take the lazy  explanation, no matter how misguided. 

Some of my dearest relatives and most beloved friends of the past have absolutely no willingness to consider evidence, even that which can not be disputed. I find conversation with these people to be not only boring, but infantile and they have proved themselves to be hate-mongers. Bye, Bye family and friends;  welcome reason linked with care and compassion. 

For some reason, my "Reply" button worked this time. 

Boring is a good word for it. However, you can't deny that they are dedicated-as-all-hell to their beliefs, regardless of how warped those beliefs are. I see the potential for a lengthy stint of mental gymnastics. Sometimes, participating in that debate can be fun. If you can manage to keep it casual and civil, you can mine hours of mental exercise, and hone your reasoning skills. Personally though, I think I think it's more practical to manage that discussion on line, where your argument can be polished before delivery.

It is easier to make certain all the correct words are chosen ... however, I think we have been mincing our words to the point that we just give religious a little itch. They need to feel stings. I do like to debate in person, however, I have been threatened physically when debating. I don't write anything differently than when I speak directly but when a person can't hold up an opposing view, some tend to get physical. 

I read recently that HIV viri (plural of virus?) and closely-related forms (flu viri?) have life spans so short that people who work with them do see them evolving.

Has anyone else seen anything on this?

Hm-mm? Would their brains explode if we asked them if they have seen boulders being changed to sand by river water and wind?

We could deny that grass/hair/teeth/toenails/etc grow and challenge them to prove that they do.

Watch water evaporate? The possibilities are endless!

I used to regularly debate with an ardent theist in the medical field.  He claims he used to be an atheist too.  When I bring up the reality that viruses (I'm guessing that's the correct plural) evolve all the time, which is why they can be so difficult to treat, he adamantly refutes this and claims they don't evolve, they adapt.  Personally, I'm not in the medical profession, but I don't really see the difference.  The whole idea of evolution is that species either learned or physically changed to adapt to changing environments, or they became extinct.  Seems like I just saw an article on AN that discussed whether or not a virus is actually alive, but I can't find it now.

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