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126 Re: Debate Thread on Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:04 pm

I'm just going to go ahead and present a piece of evidence for evolution: the eye. It is a complex structure with many parts that must work together perfectly to function. Some say that this is clear evidence that it was designed, and could not occur randomly. But when we look in nature, we can clearly see how it would arise from natural selection.

The first evolutionary step towards an eye was simply an eyespot, or a patch of photosensitive cells, which had the ability to sense light due to these proteins. These cells can only tell if light is present and some can tell the intensity, but not all. The photosensitive cells and multicellular creatures then could better react to their environment, allowing them to survive longer.

These then evolved into an eye cup, where the patch of photosensitive cells on an organism sank down into it a little. Now the organism was able to react to what direction the light was coming from, if a little imperfectly, which was an improvement over only being able to tell if there is light or not.


This eye cup then evolved into a pinhole camera due to the eyecup becoming deeper and wider while the opening became smaller. the inside of this cavity was filled with water. This is the step at which the common concept of an eye begins, as it marks the first point at which they were seeing an actual picture.


A modern day flatworm with eyecups

Then, a small film began to develop over the hole. It separated the photosensitive cells and the surrounding water for the first time, and now instead the cavity was filled with a transparent humor. It initially only protected the eye from harm, and did not magnify or do anything else to the light.

This thin layer over the eye eventually split into two separate layers, increasing field of view. Then, the one that was no longer needed to protect the eye began to thicken and formed the first true lens.

Finally, we have reached the human eye. This eye now has a fully functional lens, with two separate cavities in the eye and the ability to focus on a specific point. And it was just step by step to reach here.



(going to add more organisms later)

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127 Re: Debate Thread on Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:40 pm

My personal belief is that, yes, there is a God, but that God does not intervene with us. God created the universe, set stuff in motion, and then just sat back and watched what happened afterwords. There is no intervention, because the ultimate goal, for all life, is for us to learn for ourselves. Not necessarily achieve total peace or anything, because, while that would be awesome, is virtualy impossibe because there's still way more learning for everyone to be doing. There will always be those who are ignorant and those who are not so ignorant, and different factors like that are what make social experiments so intriguing.

So yeah, in my humble opinion, we are all part of God's great big social experiment.

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128 Re: Debate Thread on Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:24 pm

Gorgro

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Glorious Leader
Spoilered because I'm not going to force anyone to read my atheist rant if they don't want to. If you do read it, however, do try to reply with a reasonable and structured argument instead of getting angry about what I've written here. Feel free to throw in some "oh snap" moments of your own if you want, since I've taken this liberty myself, but don't just rant incoherently about how much you disagree.

Spoiler:

There is no God. From an anthropological point of view, religion has always been a way to explain what people couldn't understand. That's how it started off anyway. The sun, for example, is widely used in ancient religions, since no one had the slightest idea what it was, so it must have been some sort of almighty being! Naturally occurring phenomena like earthquakes or lightning could be nothing short of the actions of some God. Even today, when science is explaining everything up to the big bang, some still say, well then that must surely be an act of God! It's just filling in the blanks.

A lot of people mock Scientology, but really, what's so different about them than any other major religion? They're just not that old, and the sciencefiction novel they believe in is just from our time, instead of being thousands of years old. We've explained the natural phenomena on Earth since then, so now they look to space.

About evolution: I'm still amazed by people claiming that evolution is somehow less plausible than every single person in the world descending from two people who materialised out of thin air or whatever other creation story you choose to believe. Never mind the evidence, this book said so! And they don't just let anyone write books, you guys.
And to everyone clinging hopelessly to the word "theory", do they realise how desperate and wrong they are when all their claims to disprove evolution hinge on one word? A scientific theory is a deductive theory, with content based on some formal system of logic, meaning that through observation and experimentation, the simplest way to explain given phenomena is achieved. It's not that some guy had an idea, wrote it down and everyone blindly follows it without question, because that would just be silly. oh snap!

As a summary for those who chose not to open Pandora's box up there, this paragraph by Bertrand Russel kind of sums up how I feel about religion:
Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.

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129 Re: Debate Thread on Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:57 pm

Tuomey

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King Under The Bridge
Gorgro wrote:

Spoiler:

A lot of people mock Scientology, but really, what's so different about them than any other major religion? They're just not that old, and the sciencefiction novel they believe in is just from our time, instead of being thousands of years old. We've explained the natural phenomena on Earth since then, so now they look to space.


Because:
Spoiler:
Scientology says people have to give them lots and lots of money to get to heaven. Other religions do, yes, take money - but only as much as they need and the rest goes to charity. The guy who created scientology said that makin your own religion is the best way to get rich.
I think there is a definite difference between "thou shalt not kill" and "thou shalt give me all thy cash"

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130 Re: Debate Thread on Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:49 pm

Also thereI have seen many flaws in the "theory" of inteligent design (I put theory between quotation marks becouse it's not a valid scientific theory becous it's unfalsifiable).

For example, the main proteins that make up the cytoskeleton of plants and animals are the same (microtubuli and actine filaments). These have the function of rigidity and transport. In both cases the transport is linked to one of the proteins, but whereas in plants it is linked to the microtubuli, in animals it's linked to the actinefilaments. This hardly makes sense if one looks at it from a standpoint of ID, but is easily explained with the theory of evolution.

Also I find it hard to believe an inteligence is behind the insane variety of micro-organisms.

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131 Re: Debate Thread on Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:33 am

Jonny

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Gorgro wrote:"Never mind the evidence, this book said so!"

I think that pretty much sums up the majority of religious stances on issues like evolution: taking a book written thousands of years ago as gospel now and forever, in the case of some fundamentalists, seems somewhat short-sighted.

In fact, your comment reminded me of a picture on memebase. It's kinda big, albeit safe for work, so spoilered.
Spoiler:


Having read Dewmann's comments, I'm beginning to wonder if the answer to the creation and nature of the universe lies somewhere between the two extremes. Namely, that a powerful being of some form kickstarted the universe and then allowed it to go its own way, i.e. evolve and grow and change without any further intervention.

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132 Re: Debate Thread on Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:33 am

I'm Christian, but I figure why read the Bible?

A. Like everyone else has said, it was written a good while ago. It's not quite as credible as today.

B. And that's even if the Bible managed to stay unchanged throughout millenia. It's not like somebody would have it rewritten or something! (LawlKingJames)

Slavemasters in America would teach their slaves that "God wanted them to be slaves." I'm fairly certain a few creative edits of the Bible (At least, the ones in that specific area in that specific time) were taken there. And the fact that today they'd be more than a little inaccurate proves my point.

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133 Re: Debate Thread on Sun Aug 14, 2011 3:49 am

Gorgro

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Glorious Leader
Cute Sparkly Hobo Wizard wrote:
Gorgro wrote:

Spoiler:

A lot of people mock Scientology, but really, what's so different about them than any other major religion? They're just not that old, and the sciencefiction novel they believe in is just from our time, instead of being thousands of years old. We've explained the natural phenomena on Earth since then, so now they look to space.


Because:
Spoiler:
Scientology says people have to give them lots and lots of money to get to heaven. Other religions do, yes, take money - but only as much as they need and the rest goes to charity. The guy who created scientology said that makin your own religion is the best way to get rich.
I think there is a definite difference between "thou shalt not kill" and "thou shalt give me all thy cash"

Spoiler:
The catholic church actually fractured in the 16th century because people were unhappy with, among other things, the churches power and wealth from selling relics and indulgences. This is actually the start of the Protestant movement, I believe. My point being, they're not the only greedy ones out there in the big religious picture.

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134 Re: Debate Thread on Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:05 am

Tuomey

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King Under The Bridge
Gorgro:
Spoiler:
You know the church doesn't do that anymore. Lots of things happened hundreds of years ago. Newer religions (and everything else as a matter of fact) should learn from history. The Catholic church also had some people tortured to death a long time ago. That wouldn't put them on equal moral ground with a religious organisation who did it today.

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135 Re: Debate Thread on Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:18 am

You can't prove God exists.

You can't prove he doesn't, either.

Stephen Hawking, the most intelligent Atheist there is, even said, in his own words: "Science does not disprove religion."

I believe God exists, others will believe he doesn't.

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136 Re: Debate Thread on Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:14 am

Tuomey

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King Under The Bridge
Very true.

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137 Re: Debate Thread on Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:53 am

Also, the pope has declared that evolution is correct. I'm going to side with the guy in the funny hat.

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138 Re: Debate Thread on Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:01 am

someguy3657 wrote:You can't prove God exists.

You can't prove he doesn't, either.

Stephen Hawking, the most intelligent Atheist there is, even said, in his own words: "Science does not disprove religion."

I believe God exists, others will believe he doesn't.
I will say the only thing I will say in this entire discussion, amen to that. Chritains rely on faith, we belive that there is a God, and that you can't solidly prove phiscaly that he exists, but we stay faithful. I am not going to say any thing else.

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139 Re: Debate Thread on Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:56 am

"Maybe just believing in God makes God exist."

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140 Re: Debate Thread on Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:01 am

Gorgro wrote:Spoilered because I'm not going to force anyone to read my atheist rant if they don't want to. If you do read it, however, do try to reply with a reasonable and structured argument instead of getting angry about what I've written here. Feel free to throw in some "oh snap" moments of your own if you want, since I've taken this liberty myself, but don't just rant incoherently about how much you disagree.

Spoiler:

There is no God. From an anthropological point of view, religion has always been a way to explain what people couldn't understand. That's how it started off anyway. The sun, for example, is widely used in ancient religions, since no one had the slightest idea what it was, so it must have been some sort of almighty being! Naturally occurring phenomena like earthquakes or lightning could be nothing short of the actions of some God. Even today, when science is explaining everything up to the big bang, some still say, well then that must surely be an act of God! It's just filling in the blanks.

A lot of people mock Scientology, but really, what's so different about them than any other major religion? They're just not that old, and the sciencefiction novel they believe in is just from our time, instead of being thousands of years old. We've explained the natural phenomena on Earth since then, so now they look to space.

About evolution: I'm still amazed by people claiming that evolution is somehow less plausible than every single person in the world descending from two people who materialised out of thin air or whatever other creation story you choose to believe. Never mind the evidence, this book said so! And they don't just let anyone write books, you guys.
And to everyone clinging hopelessly to the word "theory", do they realise how desperate and wrong they are when all their claims to disprove evolution hinge on one word? A scientific theory is a deductive theory, with content based on some formal system of logic, meaning that through observation and experimentation, the simplest way to explain given phenomena is achieved. It's not that some guy had an idea, wrote it down and everyone blindly follows it without question, because that would just be silly. oh snap!

As a summary for those who chose not to open Pandora's box up there, this paragraph by Bertrand Russel kind of sums up how I feel about religion:
Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.

I came on to say +1

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141 Re: Debate Thread on Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:43 am

Tuomey

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King Under The Bridge
I sigh and once again put on my moderator hat.

Katls Nalcrato wrote:
someguy3657 wrote:You can't prove God exists.

You can't prove he doesn't, either.

Stephen Hawking, the most intelligent Atheist there is, even said, in his own words: "Science does not disprove religion."

I believe God exists, others will believe he doesn't.
I will say the only thing I will say in this entire discussion, amen to that. Chritains rely on faith, we belive that there is a God, and that you can't solidly prove phiscaly that he exists, but we stay faithful. I am not going to say any thing else.

Katls posted this.
Someone downvoted it.
Why? There isn't anything offensive or insulting here.
Come on guys.
So he believes in God and doesn't have anything else he wants to contribute. Big deal.

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142 Re: Debate Thread on Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:46 am

Guest


Guest
^^ I think Tuomey's right here: It might be best to leave this debate for another time - We don't want anyone getting offended or hurt.

143 Re: Debate Thread on Sun Aug 14, 2011 11:11 am

Gorgro

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Glorious Leader
I agree about what 2me said about the downvoting of that post. It was just a statement, and it wasn't exceptionally irrational or something like that, so I can respect that.

I think we can close this debate now and maybe start a new one unless anyone has something specific they would still like to add.

Also
Dewmann wrote:"Maybe just believing in God makes God exist."
Ooooh, a theory about God that doesn’t require looking into a telescope. Get back to work! (Futurama, if anyone didn't get that)

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144 Re: Debate Thread on Sun Aug 14, 2011 11:22 am

I would, that was immature of them. So I have conficting veiws with who did that, but am I throwing an insult or slur at you? No, I'm just saying I'm a Christain.

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145 Re: Debate Thread on Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:05 pm

You'd be surprised, once I told some person I was a pure atheist (he was Catholic) and he said I was the spawn of Satan and was going to hell and my parents should have aborted me, because that would have been better than to give birth to a person who didn't believe in God as well as calling me a Satanist.
Spoiler:
Fucking intolerable people.

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146 Re: Debate Thread on Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:18 pm

Whoa, that came from a Catholic? I'm afraid how a Puritan would have reacted to that.
Dispite what some people think, most Christains are not voilent, the closest to being voilent would be the Puritains.
The Cursades was an imoral action of the Pope Urban II, who persauded the Chirstains of that time that all Muslums are evil( and they're not, it the readical ones that Al-Queda and the Taliban are composed of) and that all of sins that they had comited would be lifted for further modvation. I dispise all Cursaders, above all Pope Urban II, and I'm ashamed that the French pitched in. They are my blood, and I hold that dear, but it's things like modern and Cursader Franch that me ashamed aat times to have them in my blood.
And if it wasn't bad enough, more Cursades happened, and most of the Christains no longer look to purge the "infedles" off of the planet but for the loot. And it get worse.
One imfamus day, a group of Cursaders saw that the Muslums of the city that they ransacked where close enough to be as low as animals to have no isuse with canibalizeing them.
My heart is acheing so much from typing the monsterasity of the Cursades that I can't write further.

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147 Re: Debate Thread on Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:27 pm

Never, ever generalize and say PURITANS ARE HATEMONGERS or anything like that. Mr. Catholic chode-sucker was an asshole, and one of my best friends is Catholic. Things differentiate from person to person, and Garchomp is amazing.

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148 Re: Debate Thread on Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:39 pm

I'm not exactly gerealizing, it is actualy Puritain teaching to when you see a sinner, you make sure that they know that they are breaking God's law and that if they don't repent, they are going to Hell, and there is no exections to that teaching. They are the most adgessive agaist secular views and other religions of any Christain denomations.

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149 Re: Debate Thread on Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:21 pm

Gorgro

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Glorious Leader
There are always extremes in almost any religious group. I couldn't really care less what anyone chooses to believe as long as they're not that type of person who immediately judges you for not having the same views as them. This is actually the type of people who my religion rantings are generally aimed at. The sort of people who would ban teaching evolution in schools, for example.

My school taught both explanations, but it did so by teaching us about creationism during our religion class (I went to a catholic school) and evolution during biology. They were taught as two separate things instead of something like "this one is the infallible truth of the LORD and the other is the alternative for heathens and sinners"

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150 Re: Debate Thread on Sun Aug 14, 2011 11:23 pm

Jonny

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Prince of the Squirtle Squad
Gorgro, have you ever heard of Logicomix? It's a book about the life of Bertrand Russell and his interests in philosophy and mathematics. It's a really interesting book, and your Bertrand Russell quote reminded me of it.

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