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How would the religious feel about this?

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by TarmacSamurai, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. According to this article at the smh they've found liquid water on Mars, which is a strong indicator that the possibility of life on Mars is still alive and well.

    How would the religious, particularly literalists like those that believe the book of Genesis is fact, consider this in the grander scheme of things?

    If you're a Creationist and you don't believe evolution to be fact, would evidence of microscopic life on Mars have a profound effect on your belief system?

    Personally, I think evolution is a well proven fact and I'm certain that there are various forms of other life out there in the universe. It's the height of human arrogance and hubris to consider ourselves unique in an infinite universe, as far as I'm concerned. This is quite different to the views of most religious people though.

    So, life on Mars - evidence against religious beliefs?
  2. very interesting finding
  3. So, who created god?????

    What ever you believe or not believe, you have to question one simple fact - everything has to start somewhere - right........ Or, are we limited by our own science - infinity????

    So, a question for those of science - infinity - does it actually have a start or finish????
  4. I know people who are creationists who go with the 'God may well have created life on other planets, but the Bible is concerned with life on this planet' line.

    Like a lot of the other evidence, how it looks depends on where you're standing.
  5.  Top
  6. That wasn't actually the question, though it is a valid question nonetheless.

    Does everything have to start somewhere? The religious will tell you that god is timeless and beyond conceivable rules. He has always been. Why not the universe too? Following Occam's Razor it's actually more logically for the universe to have always been than for a god to be added to the equation. Then we have Big Bang and what came before, etc.

    However, the question in this instance was: If you're a Creationist and you don't believe in evolution, will the discovery of microscopic life on Mars affect your belief system?
  7. #8 Roaster, Mar 11, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    Sir skuffy wrote:

    First sentence assumes god (or gods) exists. There is no evidence to suggest this is the case. Just word of mouth and folk tales.

    Linear time is something that humans have constructed to define their lives in measurable chunks. It is all relative - how can the same 7 hour stretch pass by in an instant on one day and take forever on the next? We struggle to understand many aspects of our universe (time being one of them), so we define it in the best way we know.

    Chemical theory has undergone several revolutions in the last few centuries as the body of evidence grew to debunk old theories and support new ones. Planetary system theory has evolved from a "world is flat" view, to a "solar system view with earth as center of universe" view, to an "outlying solarsystem in an infinitely expanding universe" type of view.

    An interesting thing about religion is that it in essence is a theory to explain and justify the complexities of life based on the best available knowledge at the time. However over 2000 years this theory has remained unchanged and only relatively recently challenged, even though our body of knowledge as a human race has grown to dwarf the knowledge available when the original text was written.

    There is so much that humans are yet to understand, but we've come a long way from when the bible was written. Science doesn't claim to have all the answers, but it does support it's theories with evidence arising from repeatable experiments.

    Space and time are immeasureably difficult to comprehend - almost scary - which is why humanity finds comfort in "defining" it according to something (in the case of religion, it is defined according to myth, legend, and an all powerful deity). Infinity by definition has no end, and we only assign a "start" to something because of the linear system we use to measure time.

    We humans like to define our environment - because what we do not understand, we fear. The closer we get to plugging gaps in our knowledge, the less we have to fear. But just because the gap is plugged with something that makes us feel warm and fuzzy, it does not mean it is correct.

    Have you ever tried explaining an internal combustion engine to a cockroach, or tried to get the same cockroach to conceptualise that the day can be broken up into 24 measureable hours? Just because the cockroach cannot understand these concepts, it does not mean that it is "magic" or "heavenly" or the result of divine intervention. It just means that the cockroach does not have the capacity to understand these systems.

    In the same way that a cockroach will never understand the theory behind a flourescent globe, we may never fully understand the complexities of the universe.

    Humans have tried to plug the gaps in their understanding with the best knowledge available to them at the time. 2000 years ago, myth, folk lore, and poor scientific understanding contributed to a belief system which tried to plug the gaps in human knowledge, and an answer (not necessarily correctly) to the age old question "why am i here".

    Plugging gaps in knowledge with divisive and destructive definitions of the world as we know it through religion is no way for the world to get along. Remember that brawl between the Greek and Armenian monks? What sort of world peace message does religion bring when something like this happens WITHIN a religion. In this global age, what value is a belief system which calls for the systematic conversion (or destruction, or exclusion) of other religious beliefs? Surely global morality can exist without religion?

    As a body of knowledge goes, why is the christian tradition any more valid than the earlier abrahamic religions, or any more valid than the ancient greek religions, or any more valid than the aboriginal oral traditional religious belief?

    Sprituality unites. Religion divides.

    ps Bill O'Reilly is a stupid twat.
  8. I should also note that scientific theory can somewhat blow because it makes one realise just how insignificant one is, and rather than giving meaning to one's life, just opens up more questions about what the meaning is.

    This is where religion fills the gap, because it provides a definition as to lifes meaning (procreate in the name of god and spread the word and all that), which is a very welcome answer and easy solution to the very scary question of the meaning of life.

    But this doesn't make it correct. Just easy for some to swallow.

    Don't hurt anyone. Do your best every day. Life is now.
  9. Is evolution as a process a matter of absolute certainty?

    It is an interesting theory that is logical it answers some questions, but not all. I can look at something that has happened, and look at clues around it for what caused it to happen. I come to a conclusion. but it does not make what my conclusion 100% certain. If I can explain something logically and therefore make it true, Douglas Adam's technique of flying will be true because it is logical.

    Discovering live of Mars does not change anything thus far.
  10. no, nothing on earth is an absolute certainty. But it is supported by a significant body of evidence from a range of different fields (biology, physics / carbon dating, archaeology) etc etc.

    It is generally easier to accept a theory as a certainty when it is backed up by a significant body of evidence.

    For something which adopts the same logic as religion, have a read about Bertrand's teapot or the flying spaghetti monster.

    Douglas adams is a comedy fiction writer. I'd say his flight "theory" is not particularly valid because of a lack of evidence of it having worked. I wouldn't define any of his propositions as "logical" - plugging a spaceship into a cup of hot tea is unlikely to power an infinite improbability drive.

    But as far as improbability is concerned, is his theory on flight any more improbable than the biblical tale of walking on water / rising from the dead?
  11. You are right. Let us apply the same argument to evolution. It is not proven. At the moment, it cannot be proven. I have nothing against it being presented as a good probability. I am against it being presented as an absolute certainty.
  12. Ok, I can't stand it any more!

    The word "Theory" as it applies in a scientific sense is not akin to "a guess", "idea", "unsubstantiated concept", "hypothesis". That is to say, Evolutionary theory is not an unsubstantiated concept/guess that's awaiting some kind of proof.

    For example, gravity is a "theory" but it has defined laws. We don't doubt gravity, but because we don't understand everything about gravity and its nature it is still described in scientific terms as a theory.

    Read about it here: http://www.scienceray.com/Philosophy-of-Science/Evolution-Fact-or-Fiction.144975
  13. It is proven, the evidence is everywhere, and scientists dont talk in absolute facts.

    As Rob's pointed out, gravity is also a theory, but I'm sure you dont worry about floating off the planet anytime soon given its 'just a theory'...
  14. ITYF that it is most commonly referred to as the "theory of evolution", and never the "absolute truth of evolution".

    But when a theory is backed by a significant body of evidence, it is accepted (not presented) as certainty.

    Evolution has the same proof as any other scientific theory. Evidence of evolution comes from a number of key sources:

    • 1. the fossil record of change in earlier species
      2. the chemical and anatomical similarities of related life forms
      3. the geographic distribution of related species
      4. the recorded genetic changes in living organisms over many generations

    The labelling of it as a theory rather than an absolute certainty is reasonable humilty on the part of the scientific fraternity. But given the weight of evidence which supports the theory, it is rather simple to accept it as fact.

    I acknowlege that it must be hard to accept a scientific theory on the merits of evidence and scientific rigour when it clashes with a theological belief system. The theory of digital signal transmission is based on evidence and repeatable experiments in the same way as evolution, yet this theory is not rejected? Is this because the scientific fraternity is more competent in the field of telecommunications than in evolutionary biology, or because the dominant religious belief system does not offer an alternative explanation which is in conflict with the theory?

    The constant is scientific method - repeatable controlled experiments which reveal small portions of "truth" which aid our understanding in the world. Inconsistencey arises and science is rejected only when it challenges the theories put forward in dominant religious thought.

    That is one of the key problems with religion - any challenge to the doctrine is immediately discarded as heresy and lies and is not assessed with an open and balanced mind.
  15. DELETED by roaster - puter is misbehaving.
  16. DELETED by roaster - sorry - puter is farking up.
  17. It wasn't so long ago that the dissenter was discarded.
  18. poetic and quite true. Jesus was the original activist - he went against the dominant doctrine and brought in new ideas to freshen up the religion.

    Why are so many of his followers against using him as a role model?
  19. creationism can't provide any credible scientific evidence whatsoever that evolution is flawed. Creationism is a pseudo-science. It isn't a scientific theory in any sense because it isn't based on scientific principle.

    A recent study found that religious thoughts occupy the same areas of the brain as imagination.

    fancy that.