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: 4168
Latest Activity: on Friday

The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Discussion Forum

Drinking Coffee Associated with Lower Risk of Multiple Sclerosis

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Christopher Lowe Sep 14, 2016. 2 Replies

Neanderthals, Denisovans and ancestor X

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo Aug 7, 2016. 3 Replies

The evolution of work

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Joan Denoo Jul 12, 2016. 61 Replies

Has man evolved?

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by John Elder Jun 18, 2016. 5 Replies

The Probability Of Being

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by John Elder Jun 11, 2016. 4 Replies

Living Relatives of Leonardo da Vinci have been Found

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Qiana-Maieev Apr 18, 2016. 6 Replies

Johns Hopkins Receives $125,000,000 to Fight Cancer

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by John Jubinsky Apr 1, 2016. 2 Replies

A new theory explaining the origins of life?

Started by Donald L. Engel. Last reply by Donald L. Engel Mar 31, 2016. 5 Replies

Map of Archaic Ancestry

Started by Qiana-Maieev. Last reply by Joseph P Mar 29, 2016. 5 Replies

Homo Erectus food processing

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo Mar 19, 2016. 1 Reply

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Comment by Joseph P on February 17, 2015 at 1:06pm

@Quinton

The religious talk about their religion giving them meaning or purpose, but does anyone actually know what they mean by that?

The most coherent I've ever heard out of them is that somehow, forever = meaningful.

There's a similar, fucked-up correlation between infinity and value, in their propaganda.  It's the opposite of reality, of course.  If a resource is freely available in almost limitless quantity, then it's value drops off to almost nothing.  Considering how the the conservative, religiously-owned party here in the US claims to have a solid grasp of financial matters, they don't understand a damned thing about economics, in reality.

If you ask them why groveling at the feet of their holy master, praising him for eternity, gives their life meaning ... well, no, I've never heard a coherent explanation.

Comment by Dr. Terence Meaden on February 17, 2015 at 12:53pm

Memories of reading it all at school.

Richard Le Gallienne's version included

Look not above, there is no answer there;
Pray not, for no one listens to your prayer;
Near is as near to God as any Far,
And Here is just the same deceit as There.
(#78, on p. 44)

Comment by Donald L. Engel on February 17, 2015 at 12:40pm

"I sent my Soul through the Invisible,
Some letter of that
After-life to spell:
And by and by my Soul return'd to me,

And answer'd "I Myself am Heav'n and Hell:"

Joan, I just read lyour last entry, and it reminded me of the above quote.

It is from "The Rubyait", by Omar Khayyam.  If there is anyone out there that hasn't read it, I think you will find it interesting.  You can read it if you google it.

Comment by Joan Denoo on February 17, 2015 at 11:43am

Don, thank you for this very important exchange that occurs very often in my life. That question seems to haunt people to the point of despair. Once one grasps the concept of living here and now and paying attention to those around us, life becomes so much richer. No hope of a paradise, no fear of hell. Paradise and hell exist right here, right now. 

By the way, I recommend your books to all my family with children. Some love them, some not. That is the way it is. At least, we will never have to wonder if people have books to help them understand. You books make it possible for adults to contemplate your message. 

Comment by Idaho Spud on February 17, 2015 at 11:43am

I think one of the sheep's purposes is to praise god forever.  

Comment by Quinton Llewellyn on February 17, 2015 at 11:35am

I understand that they think their god is the cause of everything, but I had assumed that they mean "purpose" as in "goal". I'm not sure though what is meant by god being the goal or the meaning of everything means. Do you have any idea? If so can you explain it to me?

Comment by Plinius on February 17, 2015 at 9:42am

In the years in my fundie family's church I never came close to an answer. I guess that, since they believe that their god is the purpose and meaning of everything, they no longer have to make a personal purpose and meaning. Which means an empty life.

Comment by Quinton Llewellyn on February 17, 2015 at 9:37am

@JosephP

"Creationists are either dishonest as hell or grossly ignorant of what evolution actually is."

I expect most are just grossly ignorant of what evolution actually is and have too much invested in their ignorance to question it. I know however the Jehovah Witnesses have the Theocratic War Strategy, which essentially means if it will help them in an argument they should lie. The religious who knowingly lie will sometime justify it with the idea that if it saves a person from damnation it's for the greater good; this was the same justification I believe the Spanish Inquisition had for burning people alive - when morality is based on the well being of people's supposed afterlife instead their well being here and now, it is possible for anything to become permissible.

Comment by Quinton Llewellyn on February 17, 2015 at 8:55am

The religious talk about their religion giving them meaning or purpose, but does anyone actually know what they mean by that? What is the purpose or meaning to their life they think they gain specifically from their religion? Has anyone actually defined it?

Comment by Don on February 17, 2015 at 7:25am

You're exactly right, Joan.

From POLLY AND THE ONE AND ONLY WORLD (Green Writers Press, 2014):

     Leon leaned back on his elbows and tilted his face toward the sun.  Eyes closed, he said, “Here’s what bothers me.  If it’s all just stories, the Bible and the Quran and all those, and if there’s no heaven or angels or anything, and no god-given purpose to life . . . then what are we doing here?  I mean, I hate to think we’re just these random blobs of cells that sprang into existence for no reason at all."

     “But, Leon . . . ”  She swept her hand along the horizon, blue on blue.  "This is the reason.  Awareness.  And if you want purpose, well, we create our own purposes, each one of us, for ourselves."

     He stared out across the water.  "Then our lives don’t actually mean anything.”

     “Who says they’re supposed to?”

     “I know, but if our lives don’t mean anything, then . . .   Then people might as well be jellyfish.  Or seaweed."

     “That’s true.”

     “And some day we’re just going to go extinct, like the woolly mammoth and the stegosaurus.”

     “Some day the sun will swell up and consume the earth.  So?  We’re just specks, Leon.  Tiny specks in an ocean of space and time.”  
 
     He sighed.  “Mr. Olson says it’s ridiculous to think about humans going extinct, because we’re God’s chosen people, and when Jesus comes back, all the Christians will be raptured and taken up into the clouds."

     She shook her head.  "If anyone’s going to save us, Leon, it'll have to be us."

 

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