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Ask an atheist

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Askthepizzaguy, May 7, 2011.

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  1. timtofly

    timtofly One Day

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    So it is ok for a fish, but no one else? Still did not answer my question though. If every one has it....
     
  2. Seon

    Seon Not An Evil Liar

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    What he's saying is that the most efficient path from the brain to the mouth in a fish is to go around the heart. As land mammals are the descendants of fish, they retained this characteristic despite it becoming inefficient.
     
  3. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Moderator

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    It's worth pointing out of course that the difference is so minute that we don't notice i, hence why evolution has never gotten rid of it
     
  4. timtofly

    timtofly One Day

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    Sorry, I am so dense. I thought he was talking about fish today, not before anything evolved. So nothing evolved in fish, they have always had it. It was the evolutionary jump that did not eradicate it for others? So evolution is not effecient?

    So, if we do not need this inefficient nerve why did it evolve? Why is evolution keeping things that we do not need? Is it the goal of scientist to help out the next evolutional jump and eliminate the unneccessary fluff?

    Thank You Contre.
     
  5. Akka

    Akka Moody old mage.

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    Something tell me that you fail at understanding what evolution is and you just imagine that "evolution" is the atheist word for "god" in a system that is still "intelligent design" by nature.
     
  6. emzie

    emzie wicked witch of the North

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    I am talking about fish today, and the common ancestor of us and fish, which presumably looked quite a bit like what we would call a fish.

    Fish are as evolved as you or I. It's important to remember that organisms are they way they need to be, within limits.

    Limits being that evolution is not all powerful. It can only work with what has come before. Which brings us...

    Each incremental step that moved the heart away from a direct line between brain and jaw did so so slowly that by the time it was something evolution could notice (slightly faster reaction time) it was too complex a change to occur. In one of Dawkins' books, he compares the limits of evolution to an engine. Say you have a propeller engine. You want to get to a jet engine, in specific steps of addition / subtraction. The catch is you have to do the conversion in a way that each change leaves the engine functional. It would be impossible.

    In a similar vein, our eye is a rather inefficient photon capture device. The retina is backwards, where the nerves connecting the eye brain run on top the retina. So photons have to travel through the nerve fibres, through the cell, to the light-sensitive area. This also creates a blind spot where the nerves have to travel through the retina to the brain. Interestingly, molluscs have an eye that has the light-sensitive part on top, and the nerves below. They presumably have much sharper vision and no blind spot.
     
  7. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Moderator

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    Far from it! Evolution is just random changes to the genes that a certain offspring inherits, and if those changes are condusive to being passed on (normally: if those changes make it more likely that the organism will have breeding offspring) then they become prevalent in the species as a whole.
     
  8. Whiskey_Lord

    Whiskey_Lord Chieftain

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    Evolution...isn't...random. [pissed]
     
  9. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Moderator

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    Well, OK, not quite, but as to what form a particular mutation may take I think 'random' is as good a word as any, isn't it?
     
  10. Yeekim

    Yeekim Warlord

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    Why do you think His purpose is to get something "right"? Maybe His purpose was to create "perfect" evolutionary process rather than create "perfect" beings?
    You presume death is a cruel fate. Based on what evidence?

    Sorry, just playing the Devil's...err...God's Advocate. :)
     
  11. Whiskey_Lord

    Whiskey_Lord Chieftain

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    Nature too often selects against random mutation. Things evolve largely due to environmental pressure.
     
  12. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Moderator

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    Environmental pressure only plays a part after the mutation has actually taken place - it determines whether the mutation propagates, not whether or how it happens in the first place. 'Random' stands, I think.
     
  13. emzie

    emzie wicked witch of the North

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    You are correct. Random mutation, non-random survival.
     
  14. Mechanicalsalvation

    Mechanicalsalvation -

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    Nope. :lol:
    Let me put it "my" way. Again the way I understand this is that there are many levels of consciousness highest to be Sat-Chit-Ananda (pure existence-consciosness-bliss) that is also an original point/place of everything(including any form of creation) and that would also be a place where you could find God.
    Next level is the Supermind. That is where the the actual creation starts. And I would imagine that this is as well place where the conscious force responsible for whatever creation starts operating. Now as you go down to the physical matter you are getting what we call subconsciousness or inconscience.
     
  15. ParkCungHee

    ParkCungHee Chieftain

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    A better example would be the panda's "thumb". Which is actually a bone in it's wrist jutting out without any articulation. It's in every way worse then a real thumb.
     
  16. Mechanicalsalvation

    Mechanicalsalvation -

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    Well thats your rigid idea of godly proportion. If you take the Creation as a game than you may see that actualy its more fun if there are many possibilities... Everybody enjoys much more a game where they are not sure if they are going to win. If everything is perfect and you know you are going to win from start you may as well do not want to play/start creation in the first place.
     
  17. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    Mind, I didn't say you believe wrong. But to attribute a conscious force to evolution, you're not understanding the way it works. Because there is no sign of it, nor evidence for it. So when you say: "the way I understand it, there's a conscious force ...", would be wrong in my opinion. But I see no problem with believing there is.
     
  18. ParkCungHee

    ParkCungHee Chieftain

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    I'm going to make the same objection I made at a cosmological scale: there's no reason these arguments work against a creator, just a particular type of creator. It is true that a creator is unlikely to be a micromanager of biology.
    However, many humans, myself included, find the wonderful symmetry of evolution to be far more pleasing then the symmetry of nice straight nerves, and I find no reason a creator wouldn't either.
    I suppose I should get around to asking a question, because that's what the thread is for, and get at what my real issue is:
    Are you an athiest because you feel we have accurate and complete enough knowledge of the Universe and God in order to rule out the existence of one,
    or
    Are you an athiest because we don't know enough about God to justify his existence?
     
  19. Mechanicalsalvation

    Mechanicalsalvation -

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    I am happy to adjust my believes...

    I get a feeling that if there was no conscious inteligent force behind the evolution you would get some giant bugs running around ultimately killing themself off and destroying everything else rather than "fragile and subtle" humans in spite of their brains...
     
  20. Mathilda

    Mathilda Queen

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    Well into evolution debate I see.
    If I may interrupt, I'd like to ask a question from atheists in the US.
    I've heard rumours that being an atheist in the US is in some way controversial. Have you experienced any of this personally?
    Has you lack of belief led you to uncomfortable situations, social problems or even worse?
    Or maybe this is only an issue in some parts of the US?

    Disclaimer: only read the first six pages and the last page, so if was covered in between, my apologies.
     
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