Friday, 26 October 2007

Saying Goodbye to Your Imaginary Friend

The Innocence of Childhood

As children, most of us would have experienced the unbridled joy of being unrestrained: We were allowed to be tactless in our actions, running amok in the living room and leaving trails of destruction in our wake, be it a bunched of messed up magazines, or even a broken utensil. Our parents forgave us for our thoughtlessness (although sometimes a spanking would be in due), simply because we were kids, infantile caricatures of adult human counterparts which most of us would become (some don't, like a friend of mine who died from a traffic accident when he was 11).

As children, not only were our actions uncoordinated, our imagination and incredulous flights of fancy were, in a paradoxical sort of way, a "normal" process of growing up: Through a process of trial and error, and guided by our ever-watchful parents, we sieved through the actions and thoughts that would ultimately aid us in our future endeavors, as well as those that are detrimental to us, which we would do well to avoid at almost all costs.

Growing up is, therefore, a tedious process, and sometimes kids tend to be a little more frivolous in their beliefs. Through scores of fairytale books and other fantasy tales passed down from word of mouth, children are constantly bombarded with a whole myriad of fairy tales and other make-belief friends.

If a child has been raised on a diet of Peter Pan and his amazing adventures, a malleable, child-like mind will be attuned to this fictional character, and while the indoctrination may not be intentional (after all, parents do not indoctrinate children with Peter Pan's gospel of truth), a child who has yet to discern between fact and fiction may, in time, believe in the tales of Peter Pan.

As a child grows older, he or she gradually sheds away the innocence and ignorance of childhood. Gradually, as the growing child begins to learn and sieve through the vast myriad of truths and reality around him or her, the realization that Peter Pan or some other mythical creature that the child has held so dear in his or her heart is but a mere fickle of imagination begins to dawn. Reality begins to sink in, and the child in transition begins to grapple with the realities of the real , savage world, where evil sometimes (or most of the time, depending on your philosophical point of view) triumph, and good people are vanquished. Starving children dropping like a myriad of flies somewhere in the deep expanse of the Saharan Dessert. Depressing events tend to jolt our senses, and as we ascend into adulthood, we realize that the "feel-good" factor of the fairy tale variety does not necessarily transcend into reality.

Holding On To Infantile Beliefs: Filling the Void Left By Father Santa

Some void.....Santa Shares a Light Moment With His......Ahem........Fan

Logically, as full-fledged adults, our ability to ascertain facts and distinguish them from myths and hearsays are supposedly more mature and developed than our infant counterparts. Some factors, however, create havoc with our sense of rationality and logic, leaving behind a confused and fuzzed logic that blinds us and confuses with what is truth and what really is a pack of lies.

As adults, there is always a lingering tendency for us to cling onto a piece of our childhood, a kind of reminisce that isn't exactly a bad thing, although a morbid obsession with the realms of the twilight zone cannot be a good reflection of a healthy, adult mind.

In a bid to hold onto this historical piece of ourselves, many adults have taken to faith to fulfill a void left behind by our departure from our wry imaginations. God, it seems, becomes the summation of this lost character we look up to in childhood: Peter Pan and his magical abilities, Father Santa and his awe-inspiring ability to deliver presents to every children on the planet. These are omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent qualities we have, at some stage of our infantile lives, attached to our imaginary friends, and for some, the attraction and comfort derived from this seemingly harmless virtue is too difficult to resist.

Christians, in particular, attribute this trait to a "born again" phenomenon: By being a born-again Christian, a person begins to surrender his or her thinking faculties with regards to the deity in question, and in tandem with his or her infantile roots, the born again Christian assumes the same beliefs and behavioral instincts of a infant.

Such a degeneration of the human intellect is a scary thought: Imagine, for example, if the doctor, for some unexplained, bizarre reason, insists on dishing out the bible and saying a litany of prayers, instead of using the trusty stethoscope and attempting to find out the nature of your ailment. Or the engineer who blesses the building instead of using the correct mechanical instruments to ascertain the structural integrity of a building.

If the world is dominated by swarms of infantile humans clinging snugly to such infantile behavior, the world will be a very bleak place to survive in.


Saying Goodbye

Saying Goodbye Is the Hardest Thing To Do............

Unfortunately, adults do not have the luxury to dwell and linger in such phantom-like beliefs. As discerning adults, we need to depend on our mental faculties to perform numerous tasks, as well as protect ourselves from all manner of harm. Believing wholeheartedly that God or some imaginary being will deliver you from the crutches of evil in any given situation is not only foolish, it becomes detrimental if one puts too much faith into the healing effects of the deity, when a simple jab from the good-natured doctor would have solved a world of problems.

In sum, as adults, it is time for us to say goodbye to the remnants of a long-ago childhood, and embrace a godless, free-spirited future with logic, rationality and passion as our steering wheel.




"With so many mindbytes to be downloaded, so many mental codons to be replicated, it is no wonder that child brains are gullible, open to almost any suggestion, vulnerable to subversion, easy prey to Moonies, Scientologists and nuns."

-Richard Dawkins

46 comments:

tina said...

That would explain why an adult would , for lack of a better word, fall prey to religion? This does make sense to me and may be (one)explanation to the question I had, of why adults turn to religion.This is a very interesting post.

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

But what eactly do people turn to, when they turn away from God? It is not always "logic" or "rationality," for sometimes it is merely for a "passion" to do that which they know God has commanded not to.

BEAST said...

This is a question I was faced with when I became an atheist. I guess everyone has to find an answer to fill in that void.

Some turn to sports, others turn to science, and depending on your passion, there is always something concrete to hold onto, till life ceases to exist no more.

Beast

BEAST said...

Tim:

All too often, Christians and other religious folks tend to assume that we would somehow "know" what God wants us to do or not to do. If that was the case, perhaps you might want to explain why every religion has its own version of it's own deity. Or why various religious cultures exist (e.g some religions don't allow their members to eat pork, while others are strictly vegetarian).

Beast

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

Beast,

Because instead of conforming to the truth, man would rather conform the truth into what he wants to do; thereby turning the truth into a lie.

Man does this in things other than religion also.

Tim

BEAST said...

That would be a strange thing indeed: Wouldn't all of us (oh well, at least a majority) fawn upon this deity of yours and react to his every command, (kind of like a parade, where everyone listens and moves in accordance to the screams of the damn sergeant major), so as not to get into his "bad books"?

If God does exist, and sends us just one religion and one singular way of life, wouldn't it be silly for everyone to come up with a myriad of ways to worship the deity, assuming that people would want to worship a deity?

The truth is, no one knows "exactly" which god is the real deal. Definitely not you, the one with not much of a intellect to begin with. That's the whole truth to it: No one knows!

In the absence of information, the best approach to the subject of god is non-belief. Speculation without truth is at best hearsay, at worst, utterly baseless myths.

Beast

Pyramidhead said...

Lets face life can be hard. Some people can deal with it. But most people can't go without the help of a "god". It's their comfort blanket. Of cause those of us who don't or want a "god" have other ways of dealing with life. Family and friends that helps us through the tough times. Some us turn inward to reflect on life.

xenu said...

lol u humans are embarrassing

aulddwone said...

This is probably why many people from a poor family backgrounds often end up in a church and feeling comfy cos' it gives them a cushion (albeit imaginary) to land on which they they cling on to for dear life.

On the other hand, I also see the rich flocking to religion because it gives them a sense of power. To be able to dominate over others in the congregation, especially the poorer ones. Much of it seems to be more of a power struggle than anything.

Alfred said...

My daughter is 4, and is quite capable of distinguishing between reality and fantasy. I've laid the groundwork for her to question religious beliefs and superstitions when she gets older. Some parents may say its cruel, but I've already told her that Santa Claus is not real. Ghosts are not real. Monsters are not real. Barney is not real. She understands that the characters in her stories and TV are not real. Its difficult to explain reality to a child, but I simplified it as something tangible, like a dog or french fries. So far God has not come up in any of our conversations since she has not had any contact with religion. When it comes, I'll just tell her God is not real too.

tina said...

Nothing wrong with telling your kid that. At least you're not doing what the religious people do.

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

Alfred,

How will you tell your child, "I'll just tell her God is not real too?"

Both science and Dawkins admit that science can neither prove nor disprove God, nor can one say positively there is no God. Dawkins admits he simply lives life as if there is no God.

Tim

BEAST said...

Tim:

Since you have Dawkin's book, check out what he says about the God Hypothesis and NOMA (Non Overlapping Magistera).

Science may not conclusively prove that God does not exist, but that doesn't mean science can't comment on the God hypothesis. In fact, evidence from physics and biology points to a Creatorless Universe.

Beast

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

Beast,

There is no evidence that can be brought forth to point toward a "Creatorless Universe." Didn't you say you can't prove a negative (i.e. God does not exist)? Anything that science produces to assume there is no God, is being misinterpreted to ease their conscience.

Dawkins' very on definiton of himself: "[6] Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist. “I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.”"

Assumptions are sometimes wrong, and eternity is a long time to pay for an incorrect assumption.

BEAST said...

Tim

There is also no evidence to prove that the Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn't exist. Do you want to hedge your bet on its existence?

The truth is, not a single phenomenon in nature and space can be attributed to the work of a deity. That itself would have negated the existence of God to the lowest possible denominator, according to Dawkins. Unlike what NOMA states, science does have a say in the God hypothesis.

As for your insinuation of the Pascal's Wager, I have dealt with that issue quite thoroughly, and if you don't understand you may read it again.

Beast

Larro said...

God? No God?

I don't care. If somebody wants to believe in a god so be it.

This whole argument is useless unless those in favor or against can come to grips with the fact that the other is well within their right to a valid viewpoint. However I personally see those within the faith denying that those without are not validated. When religion invariably creeps into affect my life I have a problem. A serious problem.

more at a later time...

Modusoperandi said...

Writer, Splinters "There is no evidence that can be brought forth to point toward a "Creatorless Universe."
The lack of evidence for a creator'd universe (specifically your creator) points to a creatorless (again, yours) universe. You don't believe in leprechauns, do you? Why? No evidence for them, you say?

Writer, Splinters "Anything that science produces to assume there is no God, is being misinterpreted to ease their conscience."
Scientists keep making appointments with his secretary, but he consistently fails to show up at the agreed to time. When he finally does appear, he's both invisible and silent. Mostly, he seems to let other people speak for him. Some of the time, those people make sense. Others...not so much.
As for the second bit, you know that atheists have no conscience. Only Jesus can give you one of those. I jest. I do that sometimes. We atheists are all whacky! Wooo!

Writer, Splinters "Assumptions are sometimes wrong, and eternity is a long time to pay for an incorrect assumption."
Oooo. Pascal's Wager. If you truly believed that, you'd be a Muslim. I hear that their hell is far worse than any of the Christian denominations various variations of hell.

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

modusoperandi,

Everything there is points toward a Creator, for there is nothing that is that has not been created.

Tim

BEAST said...

Tim

More insinuations with little to back you up.

Virtually all your arguments have been debunked by myself and other atheists. You should come up with better arguments, failing which, spare yourself the humiliation and hide in your closet.

Beast

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

Beast,

So you know of something that is, that has not been created?

Please do share the information and link, so I may take a gander.

Tim

BEAST said...

Practically everything that isn't man made isn't created. What kind of link do you want? A link to Saturn?

Beast

BEAST said...

Exceptions to the case:

1. Anthills are created by ants.

2. Nests made by birds to lay eggs.

When something is created, it has to serve some kind of a purpose.

Beast

Larro said...

Some folks just need that imaginary buddy to lean on (a crutch?). Yesss, a crutch. It's a way to deal with reality without having to really think about all the shit people do in the world (mostly because they feel validated in doing so). But when somebody steps up and points out the flaws in their logic...watch out!

Who told them to believe and have faith in a god anyway? Not god! Nobody would have a fucking clue there even was a god if they weren't told to believe in it. So-called "spiritual" experiences would be chalked up to psychological disorders or brain-damage if not for the simple fact that they were told to believe it. It is a psychological disorder brought on by parental abuse. I'm serious. It's like telling children to believe in Santa Claus or else you will want all your life. Leprechauns or you will never find that pot-o-gold.

Hmm. Just thought of something. All this mumbo-jumbo about Jesus, Santa Claus, Leprechauns, Tooth Fairy, etc...

It's a reward doctrine. Do everything right according to what you've been told and you shall receive. Put a tooth under your pillow and get some moolah. Chase a rainbow and find some moolah. Try to stay off of Santa's shit-list and get some nice stuff.

Jesus? No different.

To endeavor to achieve these rewards smacks of greed and utter egocentric, egotistical whims.

drd said...

Beast, I barely have time to visit this site lately, so I will be brief (Mod, I will address your prior comments when time permits)

All evidence in science, and in particular physics and Cosmology points to a Creator. We have been through this before, and you keep making baseless comments to the contrary.
Must I start enumerating the many facts that point to 'fine tuning' and Design?? We been there done that, your side is without ammo.

Modusoperandi said...

drd "Must I start enumerating the many facts that point to 'fine tuning' and Design?? We been there done that, your side is without ammo."
Apparently, you must. If you want to get us to deism all you have to do is go back to before time and get the fingerprints of the one who will not be interviewed. I joke, a little, but if the teleological argument is the best you have, then you're not there yet. To you, there have been no good rebuttals to it. To us, it's an argument from ignorance, mostly. The argument from ignorance carries so little weight, you see, because it's always eventually superceded by knowledge.
That things bear the appearance of design does not mean that they were designed; it merely means that we don't know everything. That happens a lot. The not knowing about stuff, I mean.
That the universe bears the appearance of design is tougher to determine as, while ours obeys rules that are close enough to ideal to result in things being only mostly openly hostile to life as we know it (99.99999...%), the sample rate is so small (1 of 1) as to be useless.

drd said...

For physical life to be possible in the universe, several characteristics must take on specific values, and these are listed below. In the case of several of these characteristics, and given the intricacy of their interrelationships, the indication of divine "fine tuning" seems incontrovertible.

Strong nuclear force constant
Weak nuclear force constant
Gravitational force constant
Electromagnetic force constant
Ratio of electromagnetic force constant to gravitational force constant
Ratio of proton to electron mass
Ratio of number of protons to number of electrons
Ratio of proton to electron charge
Expansion rate of the universe
Mass density of the universe
Baryon (proton and neutron) density of the universe
Space energy or dark energy density of the universe
Ratio of space energy density to mass density
Entropy level of the universe
Velocity of light
Age of the universe
Uniformity of radiation
Homogeneity of the universe
Average distance between galaxies
Average distance between galaxy clusters
Average distance between stars
Average size and distribution of galaxy clusters
Numbers, sizes, and locations of cosmic voids
Electromagnetic fine structure constant
Gravitational fine-structure constant
Decay rate of protons
Ground state energy level for helium-4
Carbon-12 to oxygen-16 nuclear energy level ratio
Decay rate for beryllium-8
Ratio of neutron mass to proton mass
Initial excess of nucleons over antinucleons
Polarity of the water molecule
Epoch for hypernova eruptions
Number and type of hypernova eruptions
Epoch for supernova eruptions
Number and types of supernova eruptions
Epoch for white dwarf binaries
Density of white dwarf binaries
Ratio of exotic matter to ordinary matter
Number of effective dimensions in the early universe
Number of effective dimensions in the present universe
Mass values for the active neutrinos
Number of different species of active neutrinos
Number of active neutrinos in the universe
Mass value for the sterile neutrino
Number of sterile neutrinos in the universe
Decay rates of exotic mass particles
Magnitude of the temperature ripples in cosmic background radiation
Size of the relativistic dilation factor
Magnitude of the Heisenberg uncertainty
Quantity of gas deposited into the deep intergalactic medium by the first supernovae
Positive nature of cosmic pressures
Positive nature of cosmic energy densities
Density of quasars
Decay rate of cold dark matter particles
Relative abundances of different exotic mass particles
Degree to which exotic matter self interacts
Epoch at which the first stars (metal-free pop III stars) begin to form
Epoch at which the first stars (metal-free pop III stars cease to form
Number density of metal-free pop III stars
Average mass of metal-free pop III stars
Epoch for the formation of the first galaxies
Epoch for the formation of the first quasars
Amount, rate, and epoch of decay of embedded defects
Ratio of warm exotic matter density to cold exotic matter density
Ratio of hot exotic matter density to cold exotic matter density
Level of quantization of the cosmic spacetime fabric
Flatness of universe's geometry
Average rate of increase in galaxy sizes
Change in average rate of increase in galaxy sizes throughout cosmic history
Constancy of dark energy factors
Epoch for star formation peak
Location of exotic matter relative to ordinary matter
Strength of primordial cosmic magnetic field
Level of primordial magnetohydrodynamic turbulence
Level of charge-parity violation
Number of galaxies in the observable universe
Polarization level of the cosmic background radiation
Date for completion of second reionization event of the universe
Date of subsidence of gamma-ray burst production
Relative density of intermediate mass stars in the early history of the universe
Water's temperature of maximum density
Water's heat of fusion
Water's heat of vaporization
Number density of clumpuscules (dense clouds of cold molecular hydrogen gas) in the universe
Average mass of clumpuscules in the universe
Location of clumpuscules in the universe
Dioxygen's kinetic oxidation rate of organic molecules
Level of paramagnetic behavior in dioxygen
Density of ultra-dwarf galaxies (or supermassive globular clusters) in the middle-aged universe
Degree of space-time warping and twisting by general relativistic factors
Percentage of the initial mass function of the universe made up of intermediate mass stars
Strength of the cosmic primordial magnetic field

For all of this to be perfect, a rational human would see divine intervention..denial is more than just a river in Egypt.

drd said...

Article below is by a PhD in astronomy and physics:

An Estimate of the Probability for Attaining the Necessary Parameters for Life Support1-85

Parameter
Probability that feature will
Fall in the required range
for physical life

local abundance and distribution of dark matter 0.1
relative abundances of different exotic mass particles 0.01
decay rates of different exotic mass particles 0.05
density of quasars 0.1
density of giant galaxies in the early universe 0.1
galaxy cluster size 0.1
galaxy cluster density 0.1
galaxy cluster location 0.1
galaxy size 0.1
galaxy type 0.1
galaxy mass distribution 0.2
size of galactic central bulge 0.2
galaxy location 0.1
variability of local dwarf galaxy absorption rate 0.1
quantity of galactic dust 0.1
giant star density in galaxy 0.1
rate of nearby gamma ray bursts 0.1
star location relative to galactic center 0.2
star distance from corotation circle of galaxy 0.005
ratio of inner dark halo mass to stellar mass for galaxy 0.1
star distance from closest spiral arm 0.1
z-axis extremes of star's orbit 0.02
proximity of solar nebula to a type I supernova eruption 0.01
timing of solar nebula formation relative to type I supernova eruption 0.01
proximity of solar nebula to a type II supernova eruption 0.01
timing of solar nebula formation relative to type II supernova eruption 0.01
timing of hypernovae eruptions 0.2
number of hypernovae eruptions 0.1
masses of stars that become hypernovae 0.1
flux of cosmic ray protons 0.1
variability of cosmic ray proton flux 0.1
gas dispersal rate by companion stars, shock waves, and molecular cloud expansion in the Sun's birthing star cluster 0.1
number of stars in birthing cluster 0.01
star formation rate in parent star vicinity during history of that star 0.1
variation in star formation rate in parent star vicinity during history of that star 0.1
birth date of the star-planetary system 0.01
number of stars in system 0.7
number and timing of close encounters by nearby stars 0.01
proximity of close stellar encounters 0.1
masses of close stellar encounters 0.1
density of brown dwarfs 0.1
distance from nearest black hole 0.2
absorption rate of planets and planetismals by parent star 0.1
star age 0.4
star metallicity 0.05
ratio of 40K, 235,238U, 232Th to iron in star-planetary system 0.02
star orbital eccentricity 0.1
star mass 0.001
star luminosity change relative to speciation types & rates 0.00001
star color 0.4
star rotation rate 0.3
rate of change in star rotation rate 0.3
star magnetic field 0.1
star magnetic field variability 0.1
stellar wind strength and variability 0.1
short period variation in parent star diameter 0.1
star's carbon to oxygen ratio 0.01
star's space velocity relative to Local Standard of Rest 0.05
star's short term luminosity variability 0.05
star's long term luminosity variability 0.05
amplitude and duration of star spot cycle 0.1
number & timing of solar system encounters with interstellar gas clouds 0.1
galactic tidal forces on planetary system 0.2
H3+ production 0.1
supernovae rates & locations 0.01
white dwarf binary types, rates, & locations 0.01
structure of comet cloud surrounding planetary system 0.3
planetary distance from star 0.001
inclination of planetary orbit 0.5
axis tilt of planet 0.3
rate of change of axial tilt 0.01
period and size of axis tilt variation 0.1
planetary rotation period 0.1
rate of change in planetary rotation period 0.05
planetary revolution period 0.2
planetary orbit eccentricity 0.3
rate of change of planetary orbital eccentricity 0.1
rate of change of planetary inclination 0.5
period and size of eccentricity variation 0.1
period and size of inclination variation 0.1
precession in planet's rotation 0.3
rate of change in planet's precession 0.3
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon abundance in solar nebula 0.1
number of moons 0.2
mass and distance of moon 0.01
surface gravity (escape velocity) 0.001
tidal force from sun and moon 0.1
magnetic field 0.01
rate of change & character of change in magnetic field 0.1
albedo (planet reflectivity) 0.1
density 0.1
density of interstellar and interplanetary dust particles in vicinity of life-support planet 0.3
reducing strength of planet's primordial mantle 0.3
thickness of crust 0.01
timing of birth of continent formation 0.1
oceans-to-continents ratio 0.2
rate of change in oceans to continents ratio 0.1
global distribution of continents 0.3
frequency, timing, & extent of ice ages 0.1
frequency, timing, & extent of global snowball events 0.1
silicate dust annealing by nebular shocks 0.02
asteroidal & cometary collision rate 0.1
change in asteroidal & cometary collision rates 0.1
rate of change in asteroidal & cometary collision rates 0.1
mass of body colliding with primordial Earth 0.002
timing of body colliding with primordial Earth 0.05
location of body's collision with primordial Earth 0.05
position & mass of Jupiter relative to Earth 0.01
major planet eccentricities 0.1
major planet orbital instabilities 0.05
drift and rate of drift in major planet distances 0.05
number & distribution of planets 0.01
distance of gas giant planets from mean motion resonances 0.02
orbital separation distances among inner planets 0.01
mass of Neptune 0.1
total mass of Kuiper Belt asteroids 0.1
mass distribution of Kuiper Belt asteroids 0.2
average rainfall precipitation 0.01
variation and timing of average rainfall precipitation 0.01
atmospheric transparency 0.01
atmospheric pressure 0.01
atmospheric viscosity 0.1
atmospheric electric discharge rate 0.01
atmospheric temperature gradient 0.01
carbon dioxide level in atmosphere 0.01
rate of change in carbon dioxide level in atmosphere 0.1
rate of change in water vapor level in atmosphere 0.01
rate of change in methane level in early atmosphere 0.01
oxygen quantity in atmosphere 0.01
nitrogen quantity in atmosphere 0.01
carbon monoxide quantity in atmosphere 0.1
chlorine quantity in atmosphere 0.1
aerosol particle density emitted from forests 0.05
cobalt quantity in crust 0.1
arsenic quantity in crust 0.1
copper quantity in crust 0.1
boron quantity in crust 0.1
flourine quantity in crust 0.1
iodine quantity in crust 0.1
manganese quantity in crust 0.1
nickel quantity in crust 0.1
phosphorus quantity in crust 0.1
tin quantity in crust 0.1
zinc quantity in crust 0.1
molybdenum quantity in crust 0.05
vanadium quantity in crust 0.1
chromium quantity in crust 0.1
selenium quantity in crust 0.1
iron quantity in oceans 0.1
tropospheric ozone quantity 0.01
stratospheric ozone quantity 0.01
mesospheric ozone quantity 0.01
water vapor level in atmosphere 0.01
oxygen to nitrogen ratio in atmosphere 0.1
quantity of greenhouse gases in atmosphere 0.01
rate of change in greenhouse gases in atmosphere 0.01
poleward heat transport in planet's atmosphere 0.2
quantity of forest & grass fires 0.01
quantity of sea salt aerosols 0.1
soil mineralization 0.1
quantity of anaeorbic bacteria in the oceans 0.01
quantity of aerobic bacteria in the oceans 0.01
quantity of anaerobic nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the early oceans 0.01
quantity, variety, and timing of sulfate-reducing bacteria 0.00001
quantity of geobacteraceae 0.01
quantity of aerobic photoheterotrophic bacteria 0.01
quantity of decomposer bacteria in soil 0.01
quantity of mycorrhizal fungi in soil 0.01
quantity of nitrifying microbes in soil 0.01
quantity & timing of vascular plant introductions 0.001
quantity, timing, & placement of carbonate-producing animals 0.00001
quantity, timing, & placement of methanogens 0.00001
phosphorus and iron absorption by banded iron formations 0.01
quantity of soil sulfur 0.1
ratio of electrically conducting inner core radius to radius of the adjacent turbulent fluid shell 0.2
ratio of core to shell (see above) magnetic diffusivity 0.2
magnetic Reynold's number of the shell (see above) 0.2
elasticity of iron in the inner core 0.2
electromagnetic Maxwell shear stresses in the inner core 0.2
core precession frequency for planet 0.1
rate of interior heat loss for planet 0.01
quantity of sulfur in the planet'score 0.1
quantity of silicon in the planet's core 0.1
quantity of water at subduction zones in the crust 0.01
quantity of high pressure ice in subducting crustal slabs 0.1
hydration rate of subducted minerals 0.1
water absorption capacity of planet's lower mantle 0.1
tectonic activity 0.05
rate of decline in tectonic activity 0.1
volcanic activity 0.1
rate of decline in volcanic activity 0.1
location of volcanic eruptions 0.1
continental relief 0.1
viscosity at Earth core boundaries 0.01
viscosity of lithosphere 0.2
thickness of mid-mantle boundary 0.1
rate of sedimentary loading at crustal subduction zones 0.1
biomass to comet infall ratio 0.01
regularity of cometary infall 0.1
number, intensity, and location of hurricanes 0.02


dependency factors estimate ≈ 1039
longevity requirements estimate ≈ 1013

Probability for occurrence of all 200 parameters ≈ 10-237
Maximum possible number of planets in universe ≈ 1022

Thus, less than 1 chance in 10215 (one hundred billion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion) exists that even one such planet would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracles.

Just so you know, the 1022 number means 10 to the 22nd power, the superscripts did not come through, so if your confused,its probably (no pun intended) a superscript

drd said...

Now, Mod, on to another issue you bring up constantly..the difference in time between dating Adam and Eve.

Your logic is faulty and misunderstands the dating technique in miDNA.
Geneticists can estimate the time to the most recent common ancestor by the number of variant mutations in the general population. Assuming a certain number of years per mutation, on the average, they can set an approximate date for the most recent common ancestor in the female line, and the most recent common ancestor in the male line. It works out that the most recent common ancestor in the male line is more recent, by several tens of thousands of years, than the most recent common ancestor in the female line(as you point out, however...). This fits with biblical history, which indicates that Eve was our most recent common female ancestor, and that Noah (who lived thousands of years after Eve) was our most recent common male ancestor.

In theory, there would be a number of mutations on the Y-chromosome that occurred after Adam. However, only one line would survive the flood, since all the males on the ark carried the Y-chromosome of Noah. Depending upon how long it was between Adam and Noah, this could have removed a lot of variation in the Y-chromosome, setting the apparent date to about that time (the flood). However, the x-chromosome potentially had much more variation, since the females were probably all unrelated. Therefore, at least some of the mutations that occurred between Eve and Noah's wife would have been preserved through Noah's wife and Noah's sons' wives (8 different X-chromosomes, compared to only 1 Y-chromosome).
Female: X-X
Male: X-Y

This more than explains the time frame between X Eve, and Y chromosomal Adam (or Noah).

Modusoperandi said...

drd "...Probability that feature will Fall in the required range for physical life"
...as we know it. The world is not made for man, man evolved for his world. The universe too (moreso, as it's mostly fatal. Even parts of the Earth barely tolerate us, while other areas are distinctly hostile). I'm sure that the Gleems of Sarkov IV sit around and point out that the universe is designed for their alienish alien bodies as well.

That the universe appears designed to exist doesn't necessarily mean that it was. A universe that failed wouldn't have us (or anything, potentially) in it wondering why there was no universe.

Also, it's still just "God of the gaps" reasoning. We don't know everything, there's a gap, god did it.

That being said...if it was proof, rather than a hypothesis, it still only gets you to deism (I did mention that I'm occasionally deist, right? The argument from wonder may be a logical fallacy, but it's a pretty one).

drd "This fits with biblical history, which indicates that Eve was our most recent common female ancestor, and that Noah (who lived thousands of years after Eve) was our most recent common male ancestor."

So "adam" is Noah now? How do you match the giant gap of time and many generations with the tiny gap in time and the, what, ten generations in Gen5?

Also, is anybody freaked out that I, an atheist, am arguing the literal Word of God, while DRD, a Christian (I assume) of unidentified denomination is not?

To sum, yes, DRD, it does all match up perfectly, as long as you only take it literally where it sort of matched something that actually happened, and exegesis a little to make that bit fit, and make a figurative adam a literal Noah (but keep figurative Eve literal), and make the flood local and massage the timeline (presented in enough detail that, like the ark's measurments, I doubt that the begets were meant to be taken as anything other than literal. That doesn't make them true. Indeed, the attention to detail makes them easy to debunk, as Ussher's faulty literal timeline can attest) so that it happened 40-65,000 years ago.

Yes, DRD, God's Word is perfect. It's unfortunate that it requires such verbal gymnastics to make it so.

Modusoperandi said...

...and the Noah story still doesn't work. If one family Noah, wife and kids x 6 were all that were saved, well...have you ever seen Deliverance?

Larro said...

Looks like you two need to get a room :P

BEAST said...

Lol. Give me a break, DRD.

Instead of wasting time rebutting your arguments, I will point you to Professor Dawkins' book, "Climbing Mount Improbable" instead.

Beast

drd said...

Mod

It does not require verbal gynastics, just proper exegesis and scholarship

Beast, Dawkins deals with very few of these variables...he is very selective on what he discusses, and avoids the hard issues.

BEAST said...

DRD

That is because he is a biologist, not a physicist like Stephen Hawkings.

In any case, all these factors you mention, if indeed requires a Creator to cause a cascading of these factors, then the Creator itself would require a higher probability than the causation. In short, you will need to explain how the Creator got there in the first place.

Beast

drd said...

Beast, a few points:

1. You used Dawkins book as a 'source of rebuttal'. It is not, and for the reasons you mentioned.

2. You are fond of referring me to past posts of yours when you have covered an issue in another thread.

In this instance, the 'cause' of God was thoroughly discussed, and rebutted in another thread.
However, I will be glad to simply explain that anything that is not 'infinite' needs a beginning, and to have a beginning, there must be a cause. If something (mathmatically speaking) is infinite, it has no beginning, and therefore needs no cause.

This is a common philosophical mistake atheists make when dealing with first causes and the issue of the beginning of the universe, time, space and matter. They always then say: 'ok, then who made God?'. This is nonsensical for the aforementioned reason.

Lastly, Hawkins in his first book, readily admitted that if E=MC2, were true, then a god must exist.

BEAST said...

Strange. I have watched Stephen Hawking's lectures in Youtube, whereby he specifically ridicules the idea of God. Another case of "words taken out of context"? When scientists talk about God, they do not refer to God in the usual, anthropomorphic context.

Secondly, it is perfectly logical to assume that for a creator to create something, the creator itself must certainly be more complex. Therefore, if the change of events that predate the universe has a high improbability, then the idea of putting another deity to initiate it is even more improbable. This has been highlighted by Stephen Hawkings himself.

The reason why I refer to Dawkins is because he uses the Darwinian model to explain that certain things happen gradually over a gentle slope, a metaphorical crane, and that the mechanics of the universe may have evolved incrementally over time, not all at once (aka the Ultimate 747 theory, which Creationists uses often to debunk Evolution).

Like I said, the Cosmological Argument is so weak, that no credible scientist will use it to justify the existence of God.

Beast

BEAST said...

God Of The Gaps:

1. The frog is a complex animal.

2. The elbow of the frog is complex.

3. If some parts of the elbow is underdeveloped or missing, the frog's elbow will fail completely.

4. Since the elbow is irreducibly complex, therefore a Creator made the frog's elbow.

Such simplistic, moronic arguments are so shallow that if every scientist was to ascribe this conclusion, I guess every scientist on Earth wouldn't bother to even do any research.

"Duh! Why bother! God Made It!"

Beast

BEAST said...

Here is a quote from Stephen Hawking's book, A brief History Of Time:


"Throughout the 1970s I had been mainly studying black holes, but in 1981 my interest in questions about the origin and fate of the universe was reawakened when I attended a conference on cosmology organized by the Jesuits in the Vatican. The Catholic Church had made a bad mistake with Galileo when it tried to lay down the law on a question of science, declaring that the sun went round the earth. Now, centuries later, it had decided to invite a number of experts to advise it on cosmology. At the end of the conference the participants were granted an audience with the pope. He told us that it was all right to study the evolution of the universe after the big bang, but we should not inquire into the big bang itself because that was the moment of Creation and therefore the work of God. I was glad then that he did know the subject of the talk I had just given at the conference -- the possibility that space- time was finite but had no boundary, which means that it had no beginning, no moment of Creation. I had no desire to share the fate of Galileo, with whom I feel a strong sense of identity, partly because of the coincidence of having been born exactly 300 years after his death! [Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time (New York: Bantam, 1988), pp. 115-16.]"

drd said...

Beast
There are quite a number of astrophysicists who totally disagree with your assertion about the cosmological argument. In fact, in that field, unlike Biology, the numbers are split much more evenly. Read David Block PhD's material...heard him speak...awesome. He heads South Africa's observatory and is an expert in xray teloscopy...one of the best in the world..Or, even recently from Tulane, Paul Davies PhD. Even the recent past President of Cambridge University Dr Polkinghorn disagree's with your comment.

Next Hawking himself has acknowledged that the idea in this quote is pure metaphsics. Unbounded time and space can theoretically exist and have no beginning, if you do some crazy math to justify it, however, there is not a shred of evidence for it, and in fact, quite a large bank of data against it....stay with facts, and not metaphysics, or you will be doing exactly what you claim Christians do.

BEAST said...

DRD:

I am not familiar with the other two scientists, but Dr Polkinghorn is one of maybe two or three prominent British scientists who are Christians, so that would explain it.

As for Hawking's tacit acknowledge that his own definition of space and time are "mere metaphysics", I haven't seen a quote from him that states as such. I do, however, know of a lecture which can be found in You tube, given by Hawkings, whereby he mocks at the idea of Gods.

Beast

drd said...

Beast

How old is this video? Hawking has changed his view quite a bit over the years.

In addition, Polkinhorn is a physicist who became Christian precicely because of the evidence.
Davies recently (within the last year) became a Christian but has written a number of books on 'Cosmic Blueprint'...now, if you buy that exact book, you will believe Davies is an atheist...but, you will find out that the Cosmological argument that he writes about, is the very thing that changed his mind over time.

BEAST said...

The Cosmological Argument is bullshit, really.

Simply because we do not have a theoretical crane like Evolution to explain the developing universe does not mean that scientists should insert "GOD" into every so-called unsolvable complexity. This has been refuted and argued by so many scientists that I wonder why I should bother to reiterate it to you.

The Link is here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFjwXe-pXvM

Took place in March this year. Even if his ideas do change over time (like the recent case of the black holes, where he lost his bet), I do not think that he ascribes to the cosmology argument, not to mention that HE DOES NOT BELIEVE IN GOD.

Beast

BEAST said...

If there was any evidence to prove the validity of Christianity, I would be the one of the first one to volunteer for the creed. I attended a Baptist Church, stayed with it for ten years, topped every god damn bible class in almost every grade and still find myself running empty on the evidence side.

Virgin births, talking snakes, the indelible Sin debt, the vindictiveness of the Sky God, and the fantastical death and rise of a god son........fuck, do you have any evidence for all these? The only thing christians have is faith, which they demand in good measure because other than that, Christianity is bullshit, just like Scientology. If you want me to believe that Mary gave birth through Godly insemination, then I will kindly ask you to believe that Xenu, the evil galactic warlord of Scientology, exists.

Beast

aulddwone said...

It would be helpful to read what Steven Weinberg has to say about the universe being "finely-tuned".

http://www.physlink.com/Education/essay_weinberg.cfm

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Rich said...

On the subject of what to tell your children about religion I started a forum discussion on Amazon.com with this deliberately provocative question:

What gives parents the idea they have the right to force their religion on their children?

That post went up about six months ago and now we have over 1700 posts and over 235 participants. Things can get quite lively and I have been called a socialist and a communist more than once. We make no bones about being secular humanists, which is like waving a red flag at the right wingers.

My point is to try and learn what justifications parents give for their actions. Since I could not find any research on the subject I decided to just go and ask parents. Sometimes I amaze myself.

If you are interested in ending hereditary religion, you have to find ways to severe the passage of dogma and superstition down the generations. Want to come and help us explore these issues?

http://www.amazon.com/tag/parenting/forum/ref=cm_cd_et_up_redir?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx20C498EK5JY4S&cdPage=1&cdSort=newest&cdThread=Tx2CZZFKFXLZ0XM&newContentID=Mx29CLYUZY0OQHN#Mx29CLYUZY0OQHN