August 04, 2005
Blog has been moved
This post has been moved to blogspot. No further posts will be made to this location.
Science is about asking questions
A slashdot story started my brain rolling about what is science exactly. There are many different explanations like the dictionary one or the wikipedia one, but what it means to me is asking questions. It's about not being happy with the answers if they don't match what you see. It's about not actually thinking that you have "figured it out", but for any science that we "know" accepting that as the best idea we have right now. It might change tomorrow.
Growing up I assumed what I read in textbooks in school was fact. Star Wars taught me that facts are only from a certain point of view: you change your view, the facts can change. I guess like in quantum mechanics the observer is very important. (don't assume that me linking to Q.M. means I understand it).
Getting back to the /. article, what's true: Creationism or Darwinian Evolution? Both have holes in them (one of the reasons for the argument), so I will hold that neither are true. I think that there is something we have not figured out yet that will make more sense than either of them. Maybe it's a mixture of the two. Assuming that there is a god, it would make more sense to me that he (she, whatever) would set up the rules for the physical universe rather than be involved in the life / death of each and every being in it. Maybe everything here is chance with no noble purpose and will come to a random end. Maybe each and every life has been planned from beginning to end.
In the end I don't think that it matters to me one way or another for day to day life. I'm still going to try and be a good*, happy* person. I'd prefer to think of it as being my responsibility for those rather than god's though. That way I won't sit on my ass and complain when they don't happen.
Carpe diem and all that. ;-)
* as defined by me
Posted by jim at August 4, 2005 10:23 PM
Isn't it a necessity to either believe in Darwinism xor Creationism? Maybe not all of the details, but, really, there are only 2 (mutually exclusive) possibilities for the origin of the Universe. Either it has always existed in some form or, at the beginning of time, God snapped His fingers and created it all. Sure, it could have 'Evolved' since its Creation, but that's still Creationism.
I actually just started reading 'The Origin or Species' by Charles Darwin, but the first couple chapters have been super dry, so it has taken me a month just to get through them. I'll actually buckle down one of these days and start reading it seriously. Riding around on one wheel and playing video games are just too much fun right now. Damn one-wheelers. Damn video games.
I'm a loser, i know.
'The Origin OF Species', sorry.
Creationism, as described in the bible is not a flawed scientific argument. It is a mythological story about where people, and the rest of the universe came from in order to answer questions that there were no real answers to. Similar stories exist in Greek myths, which are now called myths because nobody believes them anymore.
Evolution seems to make sense in most ways. There's a couple things that we don't have exactly right, but we know that animals/plants do evolve. If you study the science, you can actually see the evolution of different species over time when looking at fossils from different time periods.
However, believing in evolution doesn't negate the existence of a god. It does state that he didn't create everything in one fell swoop with the snapping of fingers, but that doesn't mean there is no God. God could have simply created rules that the universe follows. Whether or not there is a god isn't a question of science anyway. People who believe in a god, believe in a god without it having to be proving to them. That's the meaning of faith. It doesn't matter what science says, because they choose to ignore it.
I've been trying to look for a half-way decent link on the Clockmaker Theory, but haven't found anything decent.
This is as close I could get (nevermind the bias). http://www.gotquestions.org/deism.html
Now that I think of it, it's kind of weird. When I went to Catholic school, they always taught us that faith was believing in something without having evidence of that thing existing. I'm not sure how they expect people to react with evidence to the contrary. It's one thing to believe in something without evidence of it. It's a completely different thing to believe in something when there is evidence to the contrary.
Interesting topic, Jim. We both agree that regardless of how our world came about, that does not affect how we choose to live our lives.
I agree with Eric, in that I'm not sure that there are only 2 mutually exclusive possibilities to believe in.
I'm borrowing this from an article on catholic.com, which states:
People usually take three basic positions on the origins of the cosmos, life, and man: (1) special or instantaneous creation, (2) developmental creation or theistic evolution, (3) and atheistic evolution. The first holds that a given thing did not develop, but was instantaneously and directly created by God. The second position holds that a given thing did develop from a previous state or form, but that this process was under Godís guidance. The third position claims that a thing developed due to random forces alone.
It's an interesting article, which goes on to explain the Catholic position is that one may choose to believe 1 or 2, but not 3 (which only makes sense, since one assumes that if you identify as Catholic, you believe in God) So, in this case, to view the problem as 2 mutually exclusive possibilities, we are really talking about a different problem: whether or not God exists.
The rest of the article can be found at: http://www.catholic.com/library/Adam_Eve_and_Evolution.asp
From my context, there are still only 2 possibilities: either God created everything (Creationism), or everything always existed (Evolution). You can then go deeper, i guess, and divide the Creationist possibility into 2 subpossibilities, which would be Karen's alluded (1) and (2). Even in (3) though, it doesn't negate God's existence, as Eric pointed out. It just renders Him useless and insignificant in our creation/evolution.
For instance, i could make an ant hill and populate it with ants. But, having an ant hill exist without me doing anything doesn't mean that i don't exist. It's an implication, not an equivalence relation:
God created everything --> God exists
In (3), just because God didn't create anything, doesn't mean that He doesn't exist.
Oh, and, Eric, i'm pretty sure that the Church explains fossils by saying that when God created the Earth, He created the fossils and put them in the Earth. It's a pretty sneaker and implausible explanation, but it still works. Thus, fossils do not imply Evolution. But, the Bible's description of Creationism *is* scientifically flawed, at least from what i've heard about what it says. In the Bible, doesn't it say that Man started with Adam and Eve, who procreated to have 2 sons? Well where did the rest of us come from then? Were the sons asexual or homosexual inbreeders who managed to get each other pregnant? Was Eve getting it one with her sons when Adam wasn't looking and then sneaking off to a cave for 9 months? Plus, could you imagine what we'd all look like if we all came from a gene pool of 2 people? Yummy, i bet. Explain that scientifically, or at least educate me on what the Bible actually says about this issue. I'm pretty confused, i guess.
Actually, there was a 3rd son, Seth, he was born after Cain killed Abel. Anyway, there was other people around. I'm not sure where they came from. They're in the bible, check out Genesis.
It's not really clear where these people come from. I guess God just created them like Adam and Eve. Oh, there's also talk of having 2 wives. I'm not sure how this fits with catholic beliefs.
I'm not sure how catholics, being that it is one religion, are allowed to believe in 1) or 2). There can only be 1 answer. Either it's 1) or 2).
Oh, and the whole fossils were put there by god argument is pretty weak. Why would he do that, it doesn't make any sense. He didn't just one day think, I'll pull a fast one on them, and make it look like animals evolved, instead of making it look like I created them. Just to mess with them. And in the year 2100 he'll be like, you guys just got punk'd.
Eric, but that is what the (Catholic) Church teaches. Maybe reading the article that I pointed out will clear up the confusion.
some points (from the article):
The Church does not have an official position on whether the stars, nebulae, and planets we see today were created at that time or whether they developed over time.
Concerning biological evolution, the Church does not have an official position on whether various life forms developed over the course of time. However, it says that, if they did develop, then they did so under the impetus and guidance of God, and their ultimate creation must be ascribed to him.
Concerning human evolution, the Church has a more definite teaching. It allows for the possibility that manís body developed from previous biological forms, under Godís guidance, but it insists on the special creation of his soul.
Does that make more sense?
Karen, It does make a lot more sense now. Basically they're saying you can believe that either 1) or 2), because they don't want to be wrong. You can believe in 1), because that's what they taugh for thousands of years before evolution was postulated, or you can believe in 2), because even if evolution is correct, it still works, and can never really be disproven, since it still says that it was God who made the evolution happen.
Yeah, the "God made the fossils" argument is weak, or, as i said, [sneaky] and implausible, but it still works. I didn't make it up. Some guy on the uni message board brought it to my attention. I just thought that it was an interesting argument, that's all.
Why would God do that? Well, why would He have created anything at all? If you were omni-omni, would you waste your time making annoying little planets, annoying little people, and all of the other crap that exists? Please, it would be so beneith you that you wouldn't even bother. Sure, it may entertain you for a while if you were just 'mostly' and not 'omni', but that's not the case.
You know everything ever and into infinite, and you have the power to do anything.... so you make a bunch of worthless people and put them on a chunk of rock? Ha-ha, yeah right!
Come to think of it, if i was omni-omni, i'd probably want to kill myself. It would suck. But, can someone who has the power to never die and the power to kill Himself actually kill Himself? Can God commit suicide? There's a predicament.
Maybe he was bored one day, and lonely, because, as christians say, there is only 1 god. So, he created a bunch of friends (in his own image) and just for kicks, since he's "omni-omni", he decided it would be a good idea for them to worship him. Then he got bored of all this, and started ignoring the people.
Sorry, submitted too early there.
It's kind of like playing simcity. Eventually you get bored, and start setting fires, flooding rivers, and causing wars. The game is no fun when stuff is good and peaceful all the time.
Well, I guess that is settled now.
Here's a nice article about how gravity is not actually nature, but God providing the force. A good laugh for everyone.
Due to the proliferation of comment spam, Iíve had to close comments on this entry. If you would like to leave comment, please use one of my recent entries. Thank you and sorry for any inconvience caused.