What Do You Believe

Discussion in 'Agnosticism and Atheism' started by honeyhannah, May 11, 2004.

  1. memo

    memo Member

    Actually, it isn't useless: http://www.dukehealth.org/HealthLibrary/News/10151

    Just for clarification, I am a staunch Darwinian but I do not like the escalation of misinformation. You are however, correct about the tailbone and 'junk' DNA.

    I really don't understand the debate over evolution. It's a well established scientific fact with incredible data and information to back it up. You can still have a religious worldview and accept evolution. As much as religion has to do with the spreading of misinformation, I don't put it entirely at fault. A lot has to do with the state of our educational system. It is in need of a serious overhaul when 1 in 5 Americans believe the sun revolves around the Earth:

    For anyone that still has doubts, here are some great sources:

    I have no problem with anyone that decides to adhere to a religion or believe in (a) God. The problem arises when they lose all sense of reason and logic and attack well established scientific fact and push their own agenda onto others.
  2. dreamagain

    dreamagain Member

    I believe it's called evolutionary theory my friend.

    There is no way to empirically prove it. Because you simply can't. There is no conclusive proof of micro-evolution. It would answer lots of questions, yes, but that doesn't make it true. There's simply not enough evidence to claim scientific law of something and say everyone should adhere to darwin's ideas. Darwin himself was the first person to say there were holes in the argument.

    It seems to me you are doing the agenda pushing memo, by saying those who do not believe as you do "lose all sense of reason and logic." Did it occur to you that someone could believe differently than you and have good reason to do so?

    It's not scientific law, because there is not irrefutable evidence of evolution across species boundaries. I still have yet to see conclusive proof of fish growing legs and walking.

    It seems to me the first 300 years of semi-developed useless legs on fish would be an evolutionary setback since they would've been that much more vulnerable to predators. Natural selection just doesn't make sense, because it would have to work rapidly, and the first walking fish. What did he do? Go to the sperm bank, wank off and have his man sauce frozen. Or did he wait around the pond hoping to find another like legged female fish before getting eaten in this new-to-him environment we call land that he was completely unaccustomed to.

    Then again the predators probably new better than to pick on the mutant lame-legged and lunged fish, that could barely breathe underwater, they were saving them so that the legged, lunged fish could evolve into people and come back to eat their ancestors.

    For establshed scientific fact there sure are some holes.
  3. memo

    memo Member

    You don't understand the difference between the word 'theory' in a general sense, and the word used scientifically. "In science, a theory is a mathematical or logical explanation, or a testable model of the manner of interaction of a set of natural phenomena, capable of predicting future occurrences or observations of the same kind, and capable of being tested through experiment or otherwise falsified through empirical observation. It follows from this that for scientists "theory" and "fact" do not necessarily stand in opposition."

    It's been proven. Do you also disbelieve in gravity because "it's just a theory"?
    Read the links I provided.
    When? Where? Prove it.

    You're right. Those that don't accept science are incredibly ignornant and aren't intelligent members of society.
    I don't care what someone believes, but science isn't something one "believes" the way one believes a religion. It's established fact. To go against rational thought and established fact is foolish.


    There's plenty more. Crack open a biology book. The rest of your post is rubbish.
  4. FreakerSoup

    FreakerSoup Stranger


    Again they're only holes to you because you don't understand how it works. When a beneficial gene arises, it is passed on at a higher frequency than the regular type, and eventually leads to a population with a new trait.

    I do think you seem to have lost sense of reason and logic, but I don't think that because you disagree with me. It's because you use arguments that are clearly illogical to support your views. If there's a logical reason, lemme know, 'cause I haven't heard one yet.

    It can be proven to work. Selection is used all the time to breed for certain traits in plants, dogs, horses, etc. I'm sure that someday, a lab-performed experiment will definitively show speciation, but we have not gotten to that point yet. Of course, it cannot be proven that that is what happened in the past. But using a little bit of logic, a dab of reason, and a smidgen of inference, we can say with confidence that this is correct. There is massive evidence for evolution. I have yet to see any noteworthy arguments against it. And yes, there is enough evidence to say that it is true. The only people that rail against it are people that either don't understand it or have a political/religious agenda.

    One more thing...Darwin is not like god for scientists. Saying he may have been wrong about somethings does not irk us. He lived a long time ago, and many advances have been made since then, including changes to evolutionary theory. I really don't get why creationists obsess over Darwin as they do.
  5. FreakerSoup

    FreakerSoup Stranger

    Haha, same link.

  6. memo

    memo Member

    High five, my fellow heathen.
  7. Okiefreak

    Okiefreak Senior Member

    Yes, they are. And you're right that science seems unable, so far, to explain them, which is one reason I consider the God idea plausible. Of course, atheists like Dawkins would say we're worshipping a "God of gaps"--using "God" to explain what is currently unknown or unknowable. Since I don't expect these questions to be answered in my lifetime, I have to either suspend judgment altogether, have faith that science will provide naturalistic explanations some day, or take a chance on God. I've chosen to do the latter, but my decision rests less on the answers to these questions than on how well the God hypotheses fits with other pieces of the puzzle, including my personal philosophy of meaning.

    I really appreciate your candor in sharing this with us. I hope you won't find it offensive for me to express some reservations. I've put a lot of emphasis in my own approach to reality on risk-based decision making, and I think of faith as intuitive risk taking (Luther's "joyful bet"), so the difference between my own outlook and yours may be subtle. I agree that we're basically betting our lives on our beliefs. But the way you formulate your faith is very similar to Pascal's wager. The thing that's always bothered me about his approach is that it seems to base belief on the prospect of extrinsic rewards or punishments that have nothing to do with his estimate of the likelihood that the beliefs are true. He's not concerned with how reasonable the beliefs seem, or how much evidence there is for them--just with whether the potential threats and/ or rewards are greater in accepting one belief versus another. In other words, whoever is able to present him with the most frightening threat or most enticing reward for believing a certain thing will get his soul. Intuitively, there just seems to be something wrong about that. By the same logic, Pascal would recommend passing on any chain letter that comes along with a horrible curse or wonderful blessing attached, because you never know. Some questions: (1) Is it possible? Can you really believe something that seems improbable simply because somebody has made such a threat or promise? (2) Is it commendable? Should this kind of calculated bet hedging be rewarded, or is there something a little crass and craven about it, like selling one's soul? (3) Will it work? Will this "Gee, I'd really like to be an atheist but I don't want to take a chance" cut ice with the Almighty? (4) Is it sensible? Does betting the only life we know for rewards/punishments in a future world we've never experienced really have no potential for adverse consequences? I don't mean to challenge your faith as a Christian, because obviously I've chosen the same path, but I'm seriously interested in the issues that you raise--and I'm convinced there's substantial evidence to support Christian belief.
  8. hippie_chick666

    hippie_chick666 Senior Member

    The appendix is most useful in third world countries, where diarrahea can cause death. This is what my article pointed out, which also cited your article. In the US, it has little to no use. I should have clarified, although I don't understand why you say I was "escalating misinformation(?)." That seems a little harsh when you ignore that there are some scientists that DO claim the appendix is completely useless.

    Peace and love
  9. Mellow Yellow

    Mellow Yellow Electrical Banana

    It's ironic that technology, the one thing that separates us from all other species, makes us arrogantly believe that we're evolved, when in reality we are devolved. Technology has displaced spirituality, the highest form of consciousness. We've compromised our connection with the earth in the process of manipulating our physical environment to suit us, when evolution dictates that it should be the other way around.
  10. Okiefreak

    Okiefreak Senior Member

    Evolution isn't necessarily the same as progress. The image of a ladder or those Frank and Earnest cartoons showing the parade of species following us are just popular misconceptions.
  11. neodude1212

    neodude1212 Senior Member

    ummm wtf?
    In the original example you provided, there was NO evidence. then you add loads and loads of evidence it was a mouse, and tell me I dont care about evidence?

    sure, IF in the original example you had included all that evidence, I would say that it is much more reasonable to conclude it was a mouse.

    but thinking LOGICALLY, it requires the same amount of faith to believe it was either a mouse or God if you have no evidence. this is logic.
    If i know mice live in my area, eat cheese, and exist, it still doesn't make sense logically to jump to the conclusion that mice did it.
    If you can jump to the conclusion that it wasn't God in lack of evidence of any other option, then you obviously have biased standards and judge events with preconcieved outcomes. If a logical argument for God ever aroused, you would probably just dismiss it anyways.

    Many people objectively experience supernatural events all the time. I live in Savannah, Georgia, and if you look it up, it's one of the most haunted cities in America.

    *hardy har har neo is crazy haha*

    but in all seriousness, I used to go ghost hunting for a little while. If I knew you in real life, I could take you to objectively see 4 supernatural occurances that I personally know to take place each and every night. I've taken at least 20 people to all these places, and they all see the same thing I do.

    So, this is an objective, collective experience, or there is something in the water down here.
  12. FreakerSoup

    FreakerSoup Stranger

    If you have never heard of mice, maybe. If you know mice exist (and eat cheese, I suppose), it is more logical to say that there are mice in your house than it is to say that there must exist a supernatural force that likes cheese. Mice aside, even, it is more logical to say that some animal is in your house and eating your cheese than to assume the supernatural.

    Maybe I'll come visit someday, I'd be interested to see that. What is it? Has it been videotaped?
  13. Okiefreak

    Okiefreak Senior Member

    In science, unlike everyday usage, evolution can be (and is) both theory and fact. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_as_theory_and_fact
    I think you have your terminology confused. Most Creationists concede microevolution. It's macroevolution they dispute.
  14. Okiefreak

    Okiefreak Senior Member

    What seems puzzling about this argument is that there are walking fish, today, right now, that people can see and touch. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walking_fish. Some climb: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climbing_perch ;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterfall_Climbing_Cave_Fish
    In fact, some of them, the snakeheads, have become quite a problem in some parts of the country, because they're voracious predators, not the pansies you portray.
    These fish are formidable enough as it is, and it's easy to see how even rudimentary legs would aid them in climbing and walking. Recent discoveries provide important links in the fossil record of transitional forms in the development from fish to amphibians. http://hometown.aol.com/darwinpage/tetrapods.htm ;http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/04/0401_040401_tetrapodfossil.html
    The best book on this subject is Carl Zimmer's At The Water's Edge, which includes excellent coverage of how fish got legs. Legs didn't evolve to help fish survive on land, but rather to help fish swim in the shallows at the ocean's edge. Legs, even rudimentary ones, allow fish to move better among river plants and sneak up on prey. Left, right motion came first. This helped fins to grow stronger. At some point there came a need to move to another puddle, to get away from predators, or lto lie out of the water in wait for prey. Strong, alternating fins, which had evolved entirely in the water, were well-suited for these new purposes.
  15. Hryhorii

    Hryhorii Member

    Mudskippers are another example of walking/climbing fish.

    Another link with tetrapods and fish is the coelacanth. When you watch it move, you can see its fins move in the same front-back patters as quadrapeds...
  16. hippie_chick666

    hippie_chick666 Senior Member

    "If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way."

    Bertrand Russell- a wise man

    Peace and love
  17. Reigning Fire

    Reigning Fire Member

    There is a Universal God who is currently beyond human comprehension. And there are beings far more knowledged and peaceful than humans (ie: Jesus, Buddha etc...) and vice versa. There is a whole spectrum of beings both above and below the spiritual state of humans. Humans just think they are special because of their ignorance. They have a long way to go before they can even grasp the concept of a Universal God.
  18. hippie_chick666

    hippie_chick666 Senior Member

    I don't think humans will ever be able to intellectually understand an infinite force/entity, as the mind is finite by nature. When we try to define the infinite in our finite terms, we are creating a mental concept of a finite being, which by definition is not infinite. Therefore, any gods that humans define are not the infinite being and are false.

    Peace and love
  19. Reigning Fire

    Reigning Fire Member

    Excellent point.

    We should meet up and talk more ;)
  20. neodude1212

    neodude1212 Senior Member

    I wouldn't say false, just not accurately described.

    If Im in love with someone, and I try to explain to you what it feels like, I'd probably do a horrible job.
    That doesn't change that fact that the original inspiration is true.

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