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Until science proves the origin of the very first cells, many will wheel out God as the default expl
Tags: Richard Dawkins Science Religion God
What contraindication , life itself has no purpose, nothing preordained beyond the ultimate extinction. That I give myself some small purpose, some goals to achieve to pass away my time on this earth is not a contradiction in anyway shape of form, merely a possible perk of being an aware human rather than a great ape , or a sheep. I have thanks to evolution some chance to modify my behaviour, to modify my environment without it being purely survival based. If you have to be threatened by some eternal damnation to ensure you live a reasonably moral life, I pity you. I think Hitchens put it best, I should live my life praising a God so that I can spend eternity glorifying him...No Thank you.
It's amazing to read these comments and see all of these atheists shaking their fists at something they claim they don't believe in.
I often wonder why atheists get so emotional whenever the subject of God comes up and why they feel the need to lash out against anyone who doesn't agree with them.
Dickie Dawkins is a fake and bluffer. He's been exposed. Recently when invited to debate with the world's leading theistic advocate, Dawkins chickened out. What a loser. And like all atheists, he'll carry lying and living his delusion. Fact.
Flashbuck, you still have failed to name the thesist Dawkins ran from? You really must play by the rules old chap.... Einstein certainly did not believe in God,,more fake facts.
William, we get emotional as you call it because we are feed up with our lives been controlled by myths and fairytales. and these myths lead to mass murder, This powerless god you talk of, who does what exactly for mankind... to weak to over come evil, to cruel to abolish pain and suffering, even if only in innocent children. By Catholics etc blocking condom use , but then treating the suffers and calling it charity, or the mad religious reasons for blocking polio vaccines. no if your god exists his only rightful place is in the dock.
"Analysing the chemical compounds in Picasso's paintbox doth virtually nothing for the experience of his creations."
that is just not true Stephen. Picasso was at times extremely fussy about the materials he used, and critically affected the painting he would create.
"I think you may be missing the point to life dear friend."
Flashbuck: Why should Dawkins waste his time debating with some christian clown? As for the God hypothesis this solves nothing but complicates the problem. There remains the question of who created God and so on ad infinitum. Christians, of course, being fantasists want to stop at their imaginary God. Try not to be so silly. You embarass yourself.
"true. but, appreciating the scientific factors involved (i.e. oil paint components, physics of light etc) means the aesthetics effects can be honed and targeted. the artist gains even more control over the emotive response. in a similar vein you'll find that musicians will experiment with the science of their craft, like Hendrix or Kraftwerk."
I think so too. But scientific method (evidence) is limited to the repeated patterns of the natural world as it can only deal with matter and energy.
Life, art and human affairs can only be understood through artful re-representation. Hence the stories we share, via text, become the only access to the aesthetic world.
Your 'air of goodness' and your 'passion for life' are beyond capture as a repeated pattern open to analysis.
Stephen, think the aesthetic effect is the minor consideration, could I not have the same aesthetic as Piccasso or Rembrandt, but be blessed as I am with the dexterity of a mountain gorilla. I think its in all of us, but the ability to reproduce is in limited supply. When I hear a great pianist perform my first response is one of envy.
Ian, to be or not to be, that is the...
Jankaas, Picasso would be miserable to discover we discussed his paintbox...
Abiogenesis is probably an area atheists/naturalists should assiduously avoid talking about. There are so many chicken and egg problems. You need a bunch of left-handed proteins. The minimum amount of genetic code life needs is pretty large. Not to mention metabolism and a whole host of issues. And all these problems need to be solved simultaneously. It isn't the complexity that's the problem. It's the complexity + the need for simultaneity.
It's probably best if atheists take the approach from the Wizard of Oz. "Don't look at the man behind the curtain."
Now, what is certainly amusing is people mocking people thinking "God" would go a long way to explain this problem while looking at the issues involved and feeling smug about a "Darwin of the Gaps" approach.
"Picasso would be miserable to discover we discussed his paintbox..."
why? like all great artists, like any self respecting genius; you have to know your materials, you have to be able to make your own materials, to appreciate the way it's put together, and how it reacts under specific conditions.
after this you can free your mind and the rest will follow. there's no way round this, not even for Picasso or Rembrandt, Da Vinci etc etc.
now if this was all we ever talked about, you'd have a point. i can do both though.
Geoff, does not the RNA theory answer the problems with proteins and handedness. Actually the amount of bits required are really only 4 GCAU,or CGAT for DNA its the combinations that are large, the building blocks are small in number. Why simultaneous,,,,evolution is small steps, it gets their in the end.
@Flashbuck, you're trying to prove that your god exists by appealing to the highly disputed fact that Einstein believed in it too. Can't you see the gaping flaw in this argument? I doubt it. You are actually trying to argue for the existence of god by making a classic appeal to authority. Judging by your laughably aggressive use of language I'm going to assume you're about 13 so I won't be too hard on you for that - there's time to learn, sonny.
Could one of you Godless geniuses tell me how something was made from absolutely nothing? According to some of you there is no God and presumably no Creator. If everything started from a tiny little speck then where did it come from? Please don't bring up the Bible or religion. Both are a load of man made crap.
I think it's possible to focus too much on what we call "life". The key is self-replication, probably with some intermediate stage (think of a set plaster shape being impressed into a clay mould, which is filled with liquid plaster, allowed to set, and so on). As soon as two molecules can make "copies" of themselves, the process of natural selection will start.
Maybe a million years after this copying starts, a random event makes the copying happen in a more efficient way (say a faster intermediate stage is encountered). Suddenly this means of copying will outpace and supersede the first.
Until these happy accidents occur, the molecules will meet countless times with non-advantageous intermediates, and will sometimes react, but they will not end up copying themselves.
There is no intelligence involved, but once the path to improving the way the molecule reproduces itself is set in motion, it will go on improving and diversifying into niches, which is evolution by natural selection in a nutshell. Complexity only happens because of the cumulative effect of tiny random errors.
We all know that Life on Earth was started by cells/organisms being brought here by interstellar matter like comets. And that before the Big Bang absolutely nothing existed. And thats how it'll all end.
Andthat God was created by man just to make him/herself feel better.
Ian, you are skipping over a whole lot. Yes there are 4 basic "bits". It's not the amount of letters but the ability to put them into meaningful sentences and words. Plus, they have to interact with proteins, etc.
Evolution is small steps. But if you notice a problem that requires a rocket ship (i.e. you need a bunch of stuff working all at the same time in the right way), that doesn't lend itself to a naturalistic explanation.
@Al Shaw, atheists really don't have to explain their lack of belief in the historically accepted origins of universe explanations put forward by the various religions. You could be an atheist and have no interest whatsoever in scientific explanations. I suspect this would have been the mindset of early man, before superstition (which has been found in many species) took hold. Science is attempting to answer the question you ask, and maybe one day it will answer it (perhaps we're already pretty close, so keep paying attention!).
Not so long ago we didn't know what caused cholera but now we do. Not so long ago we didn't know how anaesthetics worked ... and we still don't. The beautiful thing about scientific reasoning is that it is utterly humble, a community of people whose default state is inquisitive and where accepted truths can be altered and upgraded in the face of new evidence. This is the uncrossable dividing line between it an religion: religion cannot by its very nature be modified (although it's quite normal for religious people to say that their holy book "shouldn't be taken literally" when a part of it is shown to be ridiculous). Zealots claim to know the mind of their god; even if he definitely did exist they could not truly make that claim. (Fortunately, most religious people are not zealots.)
So the religious person is probably more in the dark than science about the origins of the universe and life. And as I'm bound to ask ... can you tell me who made god?
@swatantra nandanwar - Could not agree more.
'God', like 'luck' and the rest are purely a psychological manifestation of mankind's own immaturity and fear of responsibility. It is an opt-out. An easy option for a species that doesn't quite know what to do with itself, or where to place itself in the universe.
At least when scientists don't know something they admit it, instead of cooking up fanciful scenarios and willfully submitting to a conveniently generated fiction that coddles their infantile minds, unlike some.
Arturo - this is not the place to talk about George Osborne.
Geoff, once you have the 4 basic bits they can interact, trillions and trillions and trillions of times until?
No you do not need a bunch of stuff
to be created simultaneously, you need a bunch of stuff to have "evloved or created" and to persist. They need to interact yes, but some parts could have sloshed around for a billion years and other parts mere years.
Yes I'm missing out steps, I accept the Krebs cycle it has evolved, it is a series of steps did it simultaneously evolve all the steps , I doubt it.
Buckskins, we godless ones just refuse to accept Adam, Eve, Virgin birth, man walking with dinosaurs etc. We want to know what existed before the big bang, but to believe in a god as incompetent as current ones are proving to be, no. If you accept black holes, singularities are not beyond your ken.
Me I believe that the bigbang has happen countless, yes countless times before and that we humans just have not the ability to think in terms of the time scales involved. But I won't accept some entity with concious thought is behind it all, its not required.
What is "God" but another space-filling trope -- like "Mother Nature"? The daft bit is imagining this figure of speech has some sense of purpose and cares about humanity!
Flashbuck, you silence is loud...who is this great all knowing theistic , the Wizard of Oz perhaps.
"Could one of you Godless geniuses tell me how something was made from absolutely nothing?"
great question. will give you the correct answer when you've explained who made God.
btw which God version do you believe in?
and in general to this article;
also have no idea why abiogenesis is seen as a weakness in evolution. it's the exact same as demanding an explanation of where the Universe came from before you'll accept Gravitational Theory.
perhaps just evidence of how bad some schools are, or, how dumb some people are.....
good grief. decades on we still have to read articles that insist Abiogenesis is somehow the Achilles heel of Modern Evolutionary Synthesis.
i am used to this nonsense from Creationists but no-one else has an excuse anymore. it's a best lazy, at worst plain ignorant. btw how is the author of this piece qualified to write about this topic, or can anyone just churn out this trash?
next we'll have someone say that "it's only a theory".......watch this space.
Arturo's post above is just about the right reaction to the Goddidit fallacy. well said.
swantantra: The possibility of life coming from outside is equal to it starting here,the concept just gets more press. The point is it started somewhere and the mechanism will need to be the same. considering just the time spans involved, I think it started here. Then again I believe things have been going on yoyoing backwards and forwards singularity big bang singularity for time scales beyond human imagination. Us, we are just the product of incalculable transcription errors and we wont last.
"Geoff, once you have the 4 basic bits they can interact, trillions and trillions and trillions of times until? "
You are going to have to have those units hang around without degrading so they can blindly search for the right pairing. That's probably a very, very long time. And it has to find the right match and be able to propagate.
That makes the atheist case much, much worse.
Einstein certainly believed in God and he said so on many occasions:
"...there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views." (Einstein)
"I'm not an atheist..." (Einstein)
"I want to know how God created this world. I'm not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details." (Einstein)
Etc etc etc etc
The reality is you wriggling atheists hate the fact that the world's greatest scientist believed the universe had a Creator, and author, who we call God.
And of course it's not just Einstein, because Godel, the greatest logician since Aristotle also believed in god. Likewise, Planck, Heisenberg, Kelvin, etc etc etc...
So you stick to stick to reading your deluded Dickie Dorkins, sonny, because you're way out of your depth when it comes to the big boys.
Interesting - I've read all the comments above and none of them make any mention of 'meaning' - which is a fundamental of all religious belief, and something which science, by its self-imposed limitations, cannot address.
Most religious people I know are quite nice and would give you the shirt off of their backs if you needed it. They are not plotting mass murder or trying to control other peoples lives. Where do you get all of this nonsense from?
In fact, sociological studies indicate that religious conservatives are the most charitable group in the United States both with their time and their money (and yes this even includes being the most charitable group in non-religious charities). If you google Arthur C. Brooks and read his work you can read all of these findings.
It seems to me that we need more sincere religious people in the world, not less.
@ jankass - This piece is the opposite of a creationist-type piece. It is saying that science has many plausible explanations about the origin of life. Creationists often try to argue that this subject is the Achilles heel of Darwinism and so articles like this are needed to put those believers in their place
If atheists are so much smarter than Christians are and all the evidence is on their side, then why did Richard Dawkins run away from debating William Lane Craig like a scared little girl when he had a prime opportunity to do so recently in the United Kingdom?
"....this world is like unto a hospital, full of the ailing and the scrofulous;that men and women in their millions prostitute their minds and their hearts; that the world is full of moonstruck neurotics who rush about hither and thither fancying themselves sane and sound...."
William only a miopic would give that answer, lets see, the crusades, the Spanish inquisition will those 2 do for a starter? Sincerely religious oh so as a sincere athesist I'm incapable of charity and good deeds.... Why do you presume a monopoly on good deeds or do you mean without God you would be a vile creature. Sorry not impressed by this great vocal religious mass in the US, not nearly enough churches for all you church goers.
I won't decry good works on a personal basis, but if you consider gifts to churches as charity forget it...I'm not into seeding....if I need a good laugh I watch the US based Christian networks on TV drumming up their funds...
Oh as for Craig Lane I'm not so sure he's the great supporter of YOUR type of God, he's trying like Hawkings to create a theory of everything basically, I'm actually with him on TIME, to me its the only true infinite, everything else must by its nature be finite. Much of his work is readable, but Dawkins has already stated why he would not appear on the same stage as this man because of his views on genocide, oh and its okay to kill kids as they go straight to heaven...yep. thats his views.
Pig, no need for more clap trap from yet another failed religion.....I was going to say bogus, but that would be an oxymoron. as they are all bogus.