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Author Topic: ALIEN LIFE DISCOVERED!
Reverend
Based on a true story...
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For the record, I didn't mean to ridicule and I realise I probably went on at greater length than I should have, but I genuinely want to know what the basis is for trusting the Bible in matters like this. I honestly have trouble seeing the rationality of it.

As for what might hypothetically happen if some real evidence came to light; honestly, I don't think it'd fundamentally change anything about the way people look at the world around them. I think a lot of people (myself includes) already accept that there's almost certainly life out there in various forms, others who don't and never will no matter what evidence comes to light, others who don't care either way since it doesn't affect them directly...and of course there's the ones that think they've already met one...

I imagine it'd only have a real impact if we find sapient life, and that's much less likely than finding single cell organisms. That's the real proverbial (and who knows, perhaps literal) can of worm because the immediate concern would be "uh oh, what if they're as crazy as we are?"

As for religions, I think most will survive and adapt. History has shown that they're nothing if not robust and malleable. You're always going to get hard-liners and the ultra-orthodox fanatics who can't cope with a change in their perceived reality, but they tend to be a (oft-times vocal) minority. I'm sure some scholar will point to some obscure line or passage in their holy book of choice and choose to interpret it in a new light, claiming it was the intended truth all along.

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...what we demand is a total absence of solid facts!

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Aban Rune
Former ascended being
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Trusting that the Biblical record is accurate and trustworthy when it comes to the origin of life requires no greater a leap of faith than trusting that evolutionary theory is accurate and trustworthy. Of course some will disagree with that statement. But I'll explain.

Can anyone prove that an intelligent being created the universe? If it means being able to point to God and say "There he is," then no, noone can. But the fact is, evolutionary theory can do no better. Evolutionists can speculate on what they think *might* have happened. But there's hardly agreement on what actually did even among the "God is silly" community. You'll even find astrophysicists and the like out there who actually believe in intelligent design.

You can say that religious individuals look at holy writings and see what they want to in order to justify their beliefs. And that's certainly true in many cases. But does the same thing not happen in scientific circles? I would argue that it does. Not because they're scientists any more than religious people do it because they're religious. But because that's what humans tend to do.

But that said, I have no difficulty believing that an intelligent being created the masterpiece of order that the universe is and that he did it in a way that makes use of all the observable natural laws at work around us.

And, as I also didn't mean to start a religious debate, that will be my last contribution [Smile]

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"Nu ani anqueatas"

Aban's Illustration
The Official Website of Shannon McRandle

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Shik
There's a million things I haven't done, but just you wait
Member # 343

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quote:
Originally posted by Aban Rune:
If you look at other instances in the Bible where the word "day" is used, you find it doesn't always mean a 24 hour period. Sometimes it's used to signify a period of time with a determined beginning and a determined end. So when the account describes seven creative days, there's no reason to assume it means seven 24 hour periods, which is obviously inaccurate.

Jerry: "Well...what about the Earth? You didn't really make it in six days, did you?"

God: "No. The truth is I thought about it for five days then created it in one day. Then again my days are not your days."

Jerry: "What do you mean?"

God: "When I got up this morning, Sigmund Freud was still in medical school."

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Cartman
just made by the Presbyterian Church
Member # 256

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quote:
Originally posted by Aban Rune:
Can anyone prove that an intelligent being created the universe? If it means being able to point to God and say "There he is," then no, noone can. But the fact is, evolutionary theory can do no better.

"Evolutionary theory" says nothing and is not supposed to say anything about the creation of the universe, because that is the domain of cosmogony (with this being the current accepted scientific account of the "how"). It also does not say much about how life formed from inorganic matter, because that is the domain of abiogenesis. Evolution "only" says a lot about how life as we know it changes (ie. develops, ie. evolves) over time. Your comparison makes no sense.

Just FYI.

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Aban Rune
Former ascended being
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My point (and I think this was pretty clear, a lack of Wikipedia search notwithstanding) was simply that the theory that life began and then evolved from nonliving material is not a proven fact. The theory that the universe was created by complete and utter chance with no direction whatsoever is not a proven fact. Saying that those who believe there is evidence of intelligent design in the universe *must* be wrong because science proves otherwise is as invalid as saying God created the universe just because the Bible says he did.
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Reverend
Based on a true story...
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Isn't this the old "Carl Sagan has a dragon in his garage" argument?

While I completely agree that non-religious scientist types can be dogmatic about what they believe, I can't accept the notion that because science can prove something for a fact then it's better to believe in a bunch of made-up stories that have probably been so distorted over the millennia they could have started life as a recipe for mammoth stew.

Science may not have all the answers (how could it?) but for the most part *real* scientists base their theories on observable facts and then test them to destruction and see if they hold up. If not, great, now we know how it doesn't work, on to the next theory!

Whatever your personal feelings may be on the subject, the fact remains that there are literally millions of pieces of evidence that support the idea that we evolved from a puddle of organic molecules without any direct intervention whatsoever at any stage in the process and not ONE that backs up the claim that the planet is 8000 years, that a single human (then a mono-gendered species) magically popped into existence and hung around for a while until a female counterpart was fashioned out of a rib bone.

It sound like I'm just being facetious, but I'm dead serious, this is the claim of Christians who say the Bible is right. Leap of faith my arse. It's a security blanket for people to fool themselves into ignoring the mind crushingly vastness of the universe and the utter lack of purpose to our existence, beyond what purpose we choose for ourselves.

"Masterpiece of order"? Seriously? At the risk of sounding like a nihilist (which I'm really not btw) have you taken a look around lately? There are trillions of bloody huge rocks zipping around, any one of which could reduce us into our constituent atoms. Stars clump and smash together, whole galaxies collide with one another and most of the left over debris we call planets are sterile rocks. This isn't order, it's chaos and we quite simply don't matter and that's a thought that most people just can't cope with.

My attitude that IF the was a god and IF he did all this and has some great master plan then it's utterly pointless believing in the conniving git since he'll get his way no matter what we do or don't do. All we can be sure of is that the universe exists, we're apparently and there's a bloody awful lot of hydrogen atoms in here with us.
quote:
Originally posted by Cartman:
quote:
Originally posted by Aban Rune:
Can anyone prove that an intelligent being created the universe? If it means being able to point to God and say "There he is," then no, noone can. But the fact is, evolutionary theory can do no better.

"Evolutionary theory" says nothing and is not supposed to say anything about the creation of the universe, because that is the domain of cosmogony (with this being the current accepted scientific account of the "how"). It also does not say much about how life formed from inorganic matter, because that is the domain of abiogenesis. Evolution "only" says a lot about how life as we know it changes (ie. develops, ie. evolves) over time. Your comparison makes no sense.

Just FYI.

It's a common mistake a lot of religious people seem to make. The way I see it, in most cases, their creation myths have the universe created especially for humans, who show up pretty soon after the proverbial fresh paint has dried.

They often don't realise that science, by way of observable facts has found no special connection between the creation of the universe and the existence of human life on Earth...beyond the obvious. They just take it for granted.

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Dark Knight Adventures & Batman Beyond:Stripped - DeviantArt Gallery
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...what we demand is a total absence of solid facts!

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Charles Capps
We appreciate your concern.
It is noted and stupid.
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quote:
Originally posted by Aban Rune:
Trusting that the Biblical record is accurate and trustworthy when it comes to the origin of life requires no greater a leap of faith than trusting that evolutionary theory is accurate and trustworthy.

I realize everyone has already jumped all over you already, Aban, but I'm afraid I have to drag out the large fonts.

Bullshit.

Quoting from CA612:
The theory of evolution is based on evidence that has been observed. There is a great amount of this evidence. When evidence is found to contradict previous conclusions, those conclusions are abandoned, and new beliefs based on the new evidence take their place. This "seeing is believing" basis for the theory is exactly the opposite of the sort of faith implied by the claim.

This claim implicitly equates faith with believing things without any basis for the belief. Such faith is better known as gullibility. Equating this sort of belief with faith places faith in God on exactly the same level as belief in UFOs, Bigfoot, and modern Elvis sightings.
Reading the rest of that site would probably serve you well.

Evolution occurs. We have witnessed it both in the lab and in the wild. Every historical record we can find points at evolution having occurred, indicates that natural selection is the engine by which it operates, and suggests that all life on Earth started from one life form a few billion years ago.

We have no scientific evidence of gods.

Evolution requires zero faith. Gods require faith.

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Nim
The Aardvark asked for a dagger
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What most people in the public don't seem to question or dissect is the reason why the world religions work and keep staying attractive to the human mind, ever since we took shape 50000 years ago.

We are conditioned by genes and our baby environment to love and deify our parents, lords of food and kisses, from age 0-4 or so. When you take away all the window-dressing from a given religion (historical names, leaders and stack of principles), all religions take the psychological mother/father-construct, usually placed at the center of every person's worldview and mind, and assimilates/copies that point of belonging into another being, which is made out to be something like your mom/dad but greater, the ├╝bermom/dad.

It's so easy to tap into, because everyone wants to return to the bosom and let someone else be responsible for the universe, life and death, to be the little sidekick and reap all the benefits, spiritual food and kisses.
Regarding the Meaning of Life and the Afterlife, my favorite Heaven-refuting observation is the one where the old lady asks her priest/rabbi/whatever, "When I die and go to heaven, which one of my dead husbands will I be allowed to sleep with?"

Taking it a step further, if a person was very God-fearing and faithful their whole life, a real contribution to the community, a good bean, and personally always loved another person from afar, who didn't love them back or didn't know about them, would he/she be "united" with this love interest in heaven? Would that love interest not want to be with its own spouse or love interest? Would a copy of the love interest be made for the first person, like in a Holodeck? The idea of Heaven is so infantile it's scary, even moreso than creation myths.

Alien religion, that sounds like a real nice meaty sandwich to bite into, would be fun to live long enough to encounter it, just to see all the spiritual leaders of Earth go through the roof.

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Reverend
Based on a true story...
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Yeah, the idea of an afterlife never really appealed to me and that whole thing about the 40 virgins is just ridiculously juvenile. I mean, assuming for a second the consciousness can exist past the death of a body (which to me makes about as much sense as a painting existing after it's canvas is removed) I really don't think sexual fantasies would be of much interest as those kind of motivations have more to do with glands and biochemistry than anything else. Hell, even if that wasn't the case, spending eternity with only a finite number of *anything* to keep you occupied is going to get boring eventually. Even if it takes a thousand or trillion years (subjectively speaking) before you run out of things to keep you entertained you still have an endless stretch of time ahead of you and that plus boredom equals madness. I'd take oblivion over that any day.

The only idea that even comes close to making some sense is reincarnation, not that I think that's possible either, but at least there's some logic to it. The Judeo-Christian-Islamic idea sound to me like being stuck in the matrix...sans kung fu.

Mind you out of all the things religions go on about, this one makes the least amount of sense arguing about since it's the one thing we can all be sure that we'll all find out for ourselves sooner or later.

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Dark Knight Adventures & Batman Beyond:Stripped - DeviantArt Gallery
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...what we demand is a total absence of solid facts!

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Nim
The Aardvark asked for a dagger
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Rverend:
quote:
Even if it takes a thousand or trillion years (subjectively speaking) before you run out of things to keep you entertained you still have an endless stretch of time ahead of you and that plus boredom equals madness.
I know what you mean.

Regarding buddhist-hindu thoughts of reincarnation, I find it humorous that their ultimate goal, after long hard work of going through a plethora of host bodies, n.b., is said to be ultimate entropy, Nirvana, total nothingness, free of greed, cravings and earthly vices. Well then they've got good news coming, they are all gonna be winners. Beginner's luck too!

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WizArtist II
"How can you have a yellow alert in Spacedock? "
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I believe the universe was created by God. Can I "Prove" that? NO. No more than any atheist can prove that there IS no God. Have they traversed the expanse of this universe and examined every galaxy, every solar system, every planet and moon? Have they gone back in time to view the beginning of the universe? If NOT, then their point of view is no more valid.

The article that initiated this thread really testifies to the truth that when you test something, you are either looking to prove or disprove something. That provides a bias point of view because it skews the perspective of the results. What if a billion years in the future, all that was found of our civilization by aliens were the remains of the 'Elephant Man' would that then lead to them formulating a theory on mankind based on a deformed artifact? Interestingly enough, one of the criticisms of Creationists is that they try to fit whatever facts are presented to fit their perspective. But do not Evolutionists do the exact same thing? IF facts do not fit their preconceptions do they not try to adjust or declare it an aberration?

If mankind evolved from monkeys then why are there still monkeys? Shouldn't the inferior form have ceased to exist because it is not 'the fittest'? Where are the missing links? Shouldn't there exist intermediate forms that are readily identifiable?

Isn't the sheer variety of life forms that exist on our Earth rather hard to trace back to a single incident of primordial soup getting 'lucky' and forming base amino acids that will get 'lucky' again and again and again millions of times over until POOF we have this diverse thriving planet? I know for the most part many of you will just write these questions off as "Another God Freak Retard" that doesn't believe in science. Such is not the case.

Yes, I believe the Bible. But, as Aban said previously the concept of "days" is most certainly open to question. IF all the mass of the universe WAS located at a single point (what I will call Infinite Mass) would time even exist? The theory of time dilation around an Event Horizon would seems to apply here. How far out would the expanding matter have to travel before time would actually move that first second forward? Would the galaxies have formed and begun to spin out stars and solar systems? And from what viewpoint would time be observed? A being at the center of the universe and Infinite Mass would perceive time much more slowly than at the leading edge of the expansion. So what could be a single day for that being COULD actually be a thousand years at the edge. The same would then seem to apply to each individual galaxy as well. Again it would be a matter of the perspective of the observer.

What I find sad is that most often these discussions usually quickly fall into bigotry and denigration on BOTH sides of the issue. I question EVERYTHING that I "Believe" in, Religion, Science, my Cell Phone Bill... that is where I think each and everyone of us should start, by searching for our own answers and not just believing in what has been written or interpreted, whether in the Bible or the Science Book.

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There are 10 types of people in the world...those that understand Binary and those that don't.

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Reverend
Based on a true story...
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Yeah and like I said. Invisible dragons live in garages. Prove to me it's not true.

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================================
...what we demand is a total absence of solid facts!

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Charles Capps
We appreciate your concern.
It is noted and stupid.
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quote:
If mankind evolved from monkeys then why are there still monkeys?
Because you either don't understand evolution or you like reusing talking points perpetuated by people that don't understand evolution?

quote:
Shouldn't the inferior form have ceased to exist because it is not 'the fittest'?
Evolution does not work that way.

quote:
Where are the missing links? Shouldn't there exist intermediate forms that are readily identifiable?
Evolution does not predict incomplete creatures. Every population that exists or has existed is part of a sequential chain of populations, progressing collectively from one form to another as required by the forces of natural selection.

A few million years ago, a group of primates became geographically segregated from the rest. Their new, different environment placed different demands upon them. Over time, that population became more fit to survive in that environment by having less fit members pass away and more fit members continue to live and reproduce.

At the same time (or not), another group of primates split off and did the same thing, only in a different environment. That population also became more adapted to their environment, the less fit members passing away while more fit members continued to live and reproduce.

This happened over and over and over. Some groups became what we call monkeys. Some became what we call gorillas. Some became what we call orangutans. Some became chimps. Some became humans.

Evolution isn't about superior or inferior, newer or older, it's about what natural selection does to a population. It's why we still have coelacanths, a freaking ancient species. Their environment has not changed significantly, therefore they have few pressing evolutionary forces and minimal need to change as a population group.

Evolution is fact. We have observed it, we have experienced it, we have documented it, it's supported by the complete suite of earth sciences.

Or, put another way, we understand how evolution works, and there is no room for supernatural intervention.

Please, I urge you to read through this list of creationist claims against evolution. It's long, but you're probably going to see a lot of arguments there that you've either read or used before. It's crucial that you understand what you're actually arguing against and why the arguments you're using are ineffective.

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Jason Abbadon
Rolls with the punches.
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quote:
Originally posted by WizArtist II:
Interestingly enough, one of the criticisms of Creationists is that they try to fit whatever facts are presented to fit their perspective. But do not Evolutionists do the exact same thing? IF facts do not fit their preconceptions do they not try to adjust or declare it an aberration?

The difference there is that your "Evolutionist" tries to make sense of the real and observable universe- discarding nonviable theories and always searching for verification of facts.
The Creationist tries to take the stories and edicts of an anthology of history, parables, outdated laws and theology and shoehorn them into plausability.
For example, that whole "days" might not mean days thing- if that's so, then God might mean grasshoppers: whatever makes the religion fit contenporary facts.

I can respect spirituality and a person's decision to believe but not someone that refuses to accept objective reality.

As to the term "Creationist", I would not toss rev into that category- the Creationists I have met (one a good friend somehow) have ecided that "Scientists" are trying to obscure the "truth" the Bible offers and believe very non-sensible things such as...
Dinosaurs were killed off by early humans.
Or, Dinsoaur bones were placed there by satan to mislead the faithful.
Earth is only 6000 years old- and any archeology or carbon dating is false or part of an anti--christian conspiracy.
There were no other hominids- Neandertals (for example)were decendants of Cain, early hominids like Lucy were misshapen modern humans, etc.

But non of their beliefs really irk me so much as their relentless campaign to force public schools to teach their non-factual dogma as somehow a "viable alternative" to scientificly proven facts.
Today's kids in the United States are already pretty uneducated in science and critical thinking- the alst thing the country needs is to have theology rammed down their throats.
After all, the the supposedly "good-'ol-days" when the country was far more Christian (and white), none of that theology was taght in schools. that's what churches are for- not schools.

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Justice inclines her scales so that wisdom comes at the price of suffering.
-Aeschylus, Agamemnon

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