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Old 05-09-2007, 11:51 PM   #886
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interesting read from someone who was an athiest

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/04/03/col...ary/index.html
i agree with him that there is no conflict between being a scientist and a believer.

science deals with what is in this universe. "believing in god" is an answer to what is outside of this universe. the two dont even intersect.

people have all sorts of experiences that can cause them to believe or stop believing. the problem that most of them make, is to claim that they definitively know. it is all human experiences.

as i put in an earlier post of mine, i finally stopped rationalizing and admitted to myself that i do not know the answer, and never will. once i did this, i feel i was able to enhance my spiritual side.
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Old 05-14-2007, 07:01 PM   #887
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so i suspect that the notion of god FAR FAR FAR precedes the development of christianity.
There is no suspect there. It is FACT. The "one" god and the relation to the Christ didn't come into existence until mid way through the Roman Empire. Before that there are to many "gods" to count and before the entity of our modern take on monotheism, there was the "sky god".

God or the "spirit" is inherent in the genetics of mankind.

The sky god is often refered to as Zues but that obvisouly doesn't fit with a monotheistic view. This predates Zues. Try looking for Zoroastrian or Aten.
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Old 05-15-2007, 12:06 PM   #888
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hi rc,

i dont think there is any evidence to suggest that the idea of god or spirit is inherent in the genetics of mankind.

i watched a very interesting show on pbs on Pharaoh Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV, 1364-1347 B.C.)

http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/e...yptmonothe.htm

the time frame of zoroaster is sketchy. it used to be thought to be 6oo bc. but according to this article, it appears as though most scholars now place him as early as 1700 B.C. or as late as 1000 B.C.

abraham is placed at around 2000 bc, so neither comes before judaism.

however, these are all very recent, when you compare them with our oldest known hominid, lucy. according to his article, about 3.2 MILLION years ago.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/prehistoric_..._of_man1.shtml

it seems to me that Australopithecus afarensis was advanced enough to have developed notions about god.
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Old 05-16-2007, 01:47 AM   #889
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abraham is placed at around 2000 bc, so neither comes before judaism.
Are you infering there is no "god" before Abraham?

I feel there is evidence of "spirit" in genetics. Let's assume for an instance that evolution is "truth". Meaning its a decent scientific theory. Playing the role what do you think of man as he watched the sun rise in the morning and set at night? Could these creatures develop and understanding of the fire god that would allow them to survive verses perish? And would these creatures pass their "knowledge" of the god to their children? And from this could religion be the mutation that sets the monkeys apart? Religion being an attempt at explaining their world?

Is religion the missing link, the event that propels evolution? Can an entity evolve without spirit?
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Old 05-16-2007, 08:47 AM   #890
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And from this could religion be the mutation that sets the monkeys apart?
No.

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Religion being an attempt at explaining their world?
Sure.

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Is religion the missing link, the event that propels evolution?
No.

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Can an entity evolve without spirit?
Sure.
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Old 05-16-2007, 10:40 AM   #891
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I guess you traveled back in time and conducted research of ancient hominids meme.

I say the evidence points to religion and the benefits of predicting natural events to an evolutionary advantage. Let me simplify... the fertility god says it's time to plant the crops. We eat, you starve. Or drink this soup blessed by the spirits who take away pain. We survive a cold, you die.

Nothing magical or holy about that just science.
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Old 05-16-2007, 01:09 PM   #892
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I guess you traveled back in time and conducted research of ancient hominids meme.
Nope, I just answered your questions. Religion isn't a mutation and it doesn't set monkeys apart from anything. Religion is an attempt to explain the world. Religion isn't a "missing link". Religion doesn't "propel" evolution. "Entities" evolve without spirits all the time. Everything that replicates and might not survive evolves all the time.

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I say the evidence points to religion and the benefits of predicting natural events to an evolutionary advantage. Let me simplify... the fertility god says it's time to plant the crops. We eat, you starve. Or drink this soup blessed by the spirits who take away pain. We survive a cold, you die.

Nothing magical or holy about that just science.
Yes, transgenerational wisdom can provide a survival advantage. One of the big shifts in the evolution of human culture was when grandparents started living long enough to help raise children, increasing the accumulation of memes.
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Old 05-16-2007, 02:13 PM   #893
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Yes, transgenerational wisdom can provide a survival advantage. One of the big shifts in the evolution of human culture was when grandparents started living long enough to help raise children, increasing the accumulation of memes.
yes, but religion, and religious prescriptions and proscriptions are one of the many ways that memes are transfered transgenerationally. To totally ignore the title of the thread asking about the actual existence of god it is clear that evolutionarily religion has been an adaptation of the human species and as a way of transferring knowledge was apparently an advantage because it was clearly selected for. We can see this by the overwhelming numbers of humans who carry the need to believe in a "greater being" or a way to explain the universe in a way that is beyond science or humanity.
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Old 05-16-2007, 04:54 PM   #894
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To totally ignore the title of the thread asking about the actual existence of god it is clear that evolutionarily religion has been an adaptation of the human species and as a way of transferring knowledge was apparently an advantage because it was clearly selected for. We can see this by the overwhelming numbers of humans who carry the need to believe in a "greater being" or a way to explain the universe in a way that is beyond science or humanity.
Are you saying there's a genetic basis for religious belief? Or memetic? I see no evidence for a genetic basis.
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Old 05-16-2007, 04:58 PM   #895
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I don't know what the reason is for religious belief. I merely stated that with the proponderance of people on this planet holding some form of belief in a greater being or a plane of existance beyond the earth that there is a reason that belief is there. Like most attributes that make up the modern human this attribute was likely selected for through evolution. That, or it got a free-ride because it is related to another feature (curiosity perhaps?) which was selected.
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:31 PM   #896
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I don't know what the reason is for religious belief. I merely stated that with the proponderance of people on this planet holding some form of belief in a greater being or a plane of existance beyond the earth that there is a reason that belief is there. Like most attributes that make up the modern human this attribute was likely selected for through evolution. That, or it got a free-ride because it is related to another feature (curiosity perhaps?) which was selected.
But most attributes of human culture weren't selected for through genetic evolution. Our tendency to have culture was, but the details were selected by memetic evolution. There's no identified physical structure that corresponds to religious belief.
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Old 05-17-2007, 03:19 AM   #897
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I didn't say genetic evolution. I merely said it was selected for.

FWIW we know very little about the structure of the brain and I am unaware of any research that is conclusive wrt something structural in the brain that causes a belief in god or not.

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Old 05-17-2007, 11:47 AM   #898
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I didn't say genetic evolution. I merely said it was selected for.
How was it selected for if it wasn't genetic? What do you mean?

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FWIW we know very little about the structure of the brain and I am unaware of any research that is conclusive wrt something structural in the brain that causes a belief in god or not.
Correct, and if we find some physical structure that corresponds to religious belief, then I'll believe it was "selected for". So far there's no evidence for that.
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Old 05-17-2007, 01:18 PM   #899
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How was it selected for if it wasn't genetic? What do you mean?
I mean that clearly it was selected for because so many humans carry the trait. If the trait is propagated via memes or genes is beyond sciences current ability to know.
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Old 05-17-2007, 01:25 PM   #900
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I mean that clearly it was selected for because so many humans carry the trait.
Bad answer. Language was selected for. English was not. The fact that so many people speak English doesn't mean it was selected for.

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If the trait is propagated via memes or genes is beyond sciences current ability to know.
Nope. If there's a physical structure then it's genetic. There's no evidence for a physical structure for religious belief, or any other specific belief.
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