Scientists replicate key evolutionary step in life on earth

Biologists Replicate Key Evolutionary Step in Life on Earth
Green cells are undergoing cell death, a cellular division-of-labor--fostering new life. Credit: Will Ratcliff and Mike Travisano

(PhysOrg.com) -- More than 500 million years ago, single-celled organisms on Earth's surface began forming multi-cellular clusters that ultimately became plants and animals.

Just how that happened is a question that has eluded .

Now scientists have replicated that key step in the laboratory using common Brewer's yeast, a single-celled organism.

The yeast "evolved" into multi-cellular clusters that work together cooperatively, reproduce and adapt to their environment--in essence, they became precursors to life on Earth as it is today.

The results are published in this week's issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

"The finding that the division-of-labor evolves so quickly and repeatedly in these 'snowflake' clusters is a big surprise," says George Gilchrist, acting deputy division director of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Division of Environmental Biology, which funded the research.

"The first step toward multi-cellular complexity seems to be less of an evolutionary hurdle than theory would suggest," says Gilchrist. "This will stimulate a lot of important research questions."

It all started two years ago with a casual comment over coffee that bridging the famous multi-cellularity gap would be "just about the coolest thing we could do," recalled Will Ratcliff and Michael Travisano, scientists at the University of Minnesota (UMN) and authors of the PNAS paper.

Other authors of the paper are Ford Denison and Mark Borrello of UMN.

Then came the big surprise: it wasn't that difficult.

Using yeast cells, culture media and a centrifuge, it only took the biologists one experiment conducted over about 60 days.

Biologists Replicate Key Evolutionary Step in Life on Earth
Multi-cellular 'snowflake' yeast images with a blue cell-wall stain and red dead-cell stain. Credit: Will Ratcliff and Mike Travisano

"I don't think anyone had ever tried it before," says Ratcliff. "There aren't many scientists doing experimental evolution, and they're trying to answer questions about evolution, not recreate it."

The results have earned praise from evolutionary biologists around the world.

"To understand why the world is full of , including humans, we need to know how one-celled organisms made the switch to living as a group, as multi-celled organisms," says Sam Scheiner, program director in NSF's Division of Environmental Biology.

"This study is the first to experimentally observe that transition," says Scheiner, "providing a look at an event that took place hundreds of millions of years ago."

In essence, here's how the experiments worked:

The scientists chose Brewer's yeast, or Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a species of yeast used since ancient times to make bread and beer because it is abundant in nature and grows easily.

They added it to nutrient-rich culture media and allowed the cells to grow for a day in test tubes.

Then they used a centrifuge to stratify the contents by weight.

As the mixture settled, cell clusters landed on the bottom of the tubes faster because they are heavier. The biologists removed the clusters, transferred them to fresh media, and agitated them again.

Biologists Replicate Key Evolutionary Step in Life on Earth
First steps in the transition to multi-cellularity: 'snowflake' yeast with dead cells stained red. Credit: Will Ratcliff and Mike Travisano

Sixty cycles later, the clusters--now hundreds of cells--looked like spherical snowflakes.

Analysis showed that the clusters were not just groups of random cells that adhered to each other, but related cells that remained attached following cell division.

That was significant because it meant that they were genetically similar, which promotes cooperation. When the clusters reached a critical size, some cells died off in a process known as apoptosis to allow offspring to separate.

The offspring reproduced only after they attained the size of their parents.

Biologists Replicate Key Evolutionary Step in Life on Earth
Multi-cellular yeast individuals containing central dead cells, which promote reproduction. Credit: Will Ratcliff and Mike Travisano

"A cluster alone isn't multi-cellular," Ratcliff says. "But when cells in a cluster cooperate, make sacrifices for the common good, and adapt to change, that's an evolutionary transition to multi-cellularity."

In order for multi-cellular organisms to form, most cells need to sacrifice their ability to reproduce, an altruistic action that favors the whole but not the individual, Ratcliff says.

For example, all cells in the human body are essentially a support system that allows sperm and eggs to pass DNA along to the next generation.

Thus multi-cellularity is by its nature very cooperative.

"Some of the best competitors in nature are those that engage in cooperation, and our experiment bears that out," says Travisano.

Evolutionary biologists have estimated that multi-cellularity evolved independently in about 25 groups.

Travisano and Ratcliff wonder why it didn't evolve more often since it's not that difficult to recreate in a lab.

Considering that trillions of one-celled organisms lived on Earth for millions of years, it seems like it should have, Ratcliff says.

That may be a question the biologists will answer in the future using the fossil record for thousands of generations of multi-cellular clusters, which are stored in a freezer in Travisano's lab.

Since the frozen samples contain multiple cell lines that independently became multi-cellular, the researchers can compare them to learn whether similar or different mechanisms and genes were responsible in each case, Travisano says.

The next steps will be to look at the role of multi-cellularity in cancer, aging and other critical areas of biology.

"Multi-cellular yeast is a valuable resource for investigating a wide variety of medically and biologically important topics," Travisano says.

"Cancer was recently described as a fossil from the origin of multi-cellularity, which can be directly investigated with the system.

"Similarly the origins of aging, development and the evolution of complex morphologies are open to direct experimental investigation that would otherwise be difficult or impossible."


Explore further

Sodium channels evolved before animals' nervous systems, research shows

More information: Ratcliff, W. C., Denison, R. F., Borrello, M. & Travisano, M. Experimental evolution of multicellularity, Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1115323109 (2012).
Citation: Scientists replicate key evolutionary step in life on earth (2012, January 16) retrieved 21 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-01-scientists-replicate-key-evolutionary-life.html
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Jan 16, 2012
There is a good chance that yeast is descended from a multicellular fungus and so has genes that allow cooperation that are just not normally used. This would mean far fewer changes were needed to evolve this cooperation again.

Anyway we need more of this kind of research recapitulating past evolution.

Jan 16, 2012
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Jan 16, 2012
If the creationists on here aren't going to do more research into evolution, they shouldn't post on here. I am glad they are reading articles like this but they obviously don't believe them since they weren't on FOX news.

Jan 16, 2012
@julianpenrod,

Nobody is suggesting there are centrifuges in nature "under normal circumstances in a vacuum".

All the centrifuge supplied was a convenient way to select for multicell clusters of yeast cells. Presumably many other means of selecting for the same thing will have the same result, a conjecture that will no doubt be tested in follow up research.

And intelligence isn't needed to explain the results. If you pick up a ball you are exercising intelligent control, but once you let go of it the gravity that takes over and any bouncing has nothing to do with your intelligence.

Likewise, it took intelligence to set up this experiment, but once the experimenter started running an automatic system (centrifuge, take samples from bottom of tube, repeat), intelligent judgement is no longer in effect. Whatever DNA selection, mutation and phenotype changes happen are done independently by the yeast and are not planned or designed, they are just observed.

Jan 16, 2012
most cells need to sacrifice their ability to reproduce, an altruistic action that favors the whole but not the individual, Ratcliff says.


This is not scientific, but emotional language. Ascribing moral behaviour to a single cell is just ludicrous. This is a statement one would expect from the mother earth religion, but not rational and educated people.

Travisano and Ratcliff wonder why it didn't evolve more often since it's not that difficult to recreate in a lab.


Because it never happened in the first place. The experiment was done by human intelligence in an expensive lab. A child can see the difference, but these tax payer paid scientists fail to make that distinction.

Jan 16, 2012
Oh, how I love PhysOrg. The answer to your question, Reverend Penrod, is MAN. Looky here-
"The answer is stunning: We are so similar to yeast, in some of our genes, that human DNA can be substituted for the equivalent yeast gene- and it works just as well."

Jan 16, 2012
What are these fucking creationists doing here? Is trolling allowed here?

Jan 16, 2012
What are these fucking creationists doing here? Is trolling allowed here?
Relax. God provides them so that we may fiddle with them. They need to be exposed and this is a very good place to do it. Besides it's great fun and good practice.

Jan 16, 2012
In point of fact, the "evolutionary biologists" proved nothing.
This reminds me of a bible passage:

10 The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?"

11 He replied, "Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:

"Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand."

-Religionists are like pharasees. If their god exists (he doesn't) then he doesn't write books. He wrote this world for us to understand. But the promises of wish-granting and immortality have hardened their heads against the many lessons their nonexistant god has graciously provided.

Religionists prefer parables to plain, simple Reality. They lack the patience and resolve and courage necessary to appreciate it.

Jan 16, 2012
IMO it's well known behavior of yeast, it has hardwired this behavior in its genome and it's not demonstration of evolution, but sleeping genes. The cells of yeast are known to have a social behavior and some special types of bear are fermented with multicellular yeast intentionally.

http://www.nature...89a.html

Jan 16, 2012
We are so similar to yeast, in some of our genes


Yes, for instance, we are all made of atoms. Wow, that must be proof for a common ancestor.

human DNA can be substituted for the equivalent yeast gene- and it works just as well


A logically sound explanation would be that genetic functions are like building blocks that act similarly. That would make sense only in a scenario where an intelligent designer is at work. A random-driven process is more likely to produce more randomized functions.

Jan 16, 2012
Did your mom never teach you that foul language is a bad thing?

Jan 16, 2012
Recently it was discovered that so-called viRNA could effect changes in a species that were heritable. It is entirely possible that under "nutrient rich" conditions, some similar epigenetic effect takes place. So I'm not sure just how much this tells us about what happened 500 million years ago. Let's not jump to conclusions.

Jan 16, 2012
Did your mom never teach you that foul language is a bad thing?


Bad is subjective. I'd rather every child on earth use those certain words which are considered impolite by some arbitrary standard than a single child be indoctrinated into the nonsense and anti-intellectual and illogical thought processes that go hand in hand with your religious beliefs.

Jan 16, 2012
We are so similar to yeast, in some of our genes


Yes, for instance, we are all made of atoms. Wow, that must be proof for a common ancestor.

human DNA can be substituted for the equivalent yeast gene- and it works just as well


A logically sound explanation would be that genetic functions are like building blocks that act similarly. That would make sense only in a scenario where an intelligent designer is at work. A random-driven process is more likely to produce more randomized functions.

Not really. Our genes and the yeast genes are nearly identical, making a strong case that our ancestors were single- celled organisms that evolved into larger organisms over many millions of years, and if the earth is four or five billion years old, that's enough time for the thing to get it right- called Man. I don't feel diminished in any way by calling a yeast cell Uncle.

Jan 16, 2012
Did your mom never teach you that foul language is a bad thing?


Bad is subjective. I'd rather every child on earth use those certain words which are considered impolite by some arbitrary standard than a single child be indoctrinated into the nonsense and anti-intellectual and illogical thought processes that go hand in hand with your religious beliefs.


On that note, the word "fucking" (which is the word I used which you are objecting to) refers to the act of sexual intercourse. The vilification of this act is a religious artifact. There is nothing wrong with sex, there is no reason to be squeamish about it and there is no reason to consider words that refer to it as impolite. The human body is not something to be censored while violence runs rampant in our television programs and movies. It's a misguided moral imperative and hypocrisy to the highest degree.

Jan 16, 2012
A logically sound explanation would be that genetic functions are like building blocks that act similarly. That would make sense only in a scenario where an intelligent designer is at work. A random-driven process is more likely to produce more randomized functions.


Intelligent designer you say? The same intelligence that has brought us the likes of GWB, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachman, Rick Perry and so many others who claim to be on a mission from God?

Just exactly what is that mission? You know what don't bother I don't require an explanation. I have had 46 years to make up my mind about the fairy tale you are spreading as the truth. You have exactly zero chance of convincing me of anything at this point so please stop wasting our time.

Jan 16, 2012
Bad is subjective


For instance the rape of small children. Would you support the rapist who claims that in his mind, raping a 4 year old is morally acceptable? I think it is far more rational to assume that rape is always an objective moral evil, regardless of the majority opinion, culture or biology. But such an opinion only makes sense in a universe where God exists.

Oh, Henrik, it's as if you're inviting punishment. How much has the Catholic Church paid in compensation to the victims of the child-molesting Parish priests? Many millions. A very bad choice to make your point.

Jan 16, 2012
Our genes and the yeast genes are nearly identical


In some genes perhaps. To conclude from that we share a common ancestor through millions of years of evolution is a non sequitur however.

Intelligent design of similar building blocks is also consistent with that observation. It is the more likely hypothesis because it does not require a billion year process that is supposed to create coded information from chance mutations, something never observed.

A Honda civic and accord share the same parts because they are from the same maker, not becasue they share a common ancestor called the Honda ciccord.

Jan 16, 2012
You know what don't bother I don't require an explanation


That is exactly the problem with atheists, wilfull ignorance. This worldview rests on thin air, but still they claim the rational ground, which is quite irrational. First try to explain why there is such a thing as rationality at all, and where it is generated in the big bang and /or blind evolution.

Jan 16, 2012
A very bad choice to make your point.


No, a very good one indeed. What premisse of my argument have you refuted by giving an example of bad moral behavior? None.

In fact your comment fully supports my claim that objective morals are proof for the existence of God. Something can only be called evil if such moral standards exist. If atheism is true however, you have no ground for calling pedophile priests morally bad. Only if God exists, can we have objective moral values.

Jan 16, 2012
For instance the rape of small children. Would you support the rapist who claims that in his mind, raping a 4 year old is morally acceptable? I think it is far more rational to assume that rape is always an objective moral evil, regardless of the majority opinion, culture or biology. But such an opinion only makes sense in a universe where God exists.


Would you rape a stranger to save your child's life? Suppose your son or daughter had a 9mm to their head and the person holding it told you to rape this person that you had never met before or they would splatter your child's brains all over the wall...

Of course you would do it. My point is, while the application of force against the will of another never "good", sometimes it is preferable to the alternative. Incarcerating the mentally ill when they commit a crime is an example, it is not a "good" thing to take away someones freedom against their will, but it is often necessary for the good of society.

Jan 16, 2012
The same intelligence that has brought us the likes of GWB, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachman


That is not for me to judge. I however know that people like Newton, Pascal and Plato were intelligent, and they all believed in theism.

Jan 16, 2012
In general, the application of force counter to the will of an individual can be considered universally immoral, and yet we do it all the time and if we didn't the results would be even worse.

That is not for me to judge. I however know that people like Newton, Pascal and Plato were intelligent, and they all believed in theism.


Name dropping, the lowest form of argument. Those you mentioned were a product of their times, in those days you either worshiped god or you were sent to the gallows. Who knows how many people back then didn't actually believe, but pretended to out of fear of persecution. Even in modern society many Atheists in a America are afraid to "come out" due to fear of persecution by the fundamentalist zealots that plague this country, such as yourself.

Jan 16, 2012
"For example, all cells in the human body are essentially a support system that allows sperm and eggs to pass DNA along to the next generation."

A bit depressing way of describing a human :-)

Jan 16, 2012
Your awesome intelligent designer gave me a bunch of teeth that don't fit in my mouth, requiring them to be surgically removed else they cause me intense pain my entire life. Well done "god", great intelligent design.

Your god must be a fucking retard if he considers the human body an intelligent design, considering it is flawed from birth in many ways.

But guess what? While detrimental vestigial structures may be a nail in the coffin of intelligent design evolution gives a perfect explanation for them that is testable and has been confirmed through genetic research.

Jan 16, 2012
Of course you would do it


No, I would not. It is quite shocking that you are unwilling to acknowledge child rape as something morally evil. Unfortunately these distorted views are what atheism and Darwinism ultimately lead to. Dawkins once said that if evolution had taken a slightly different path, the rape of women could have been completely socially acceptable. And that coming from a professor who is supposed to guide our society.

I think the rational approach is to accept the theist position that some things are just a moral abomination, regardles of biology or majority opinion.

Jan 16, 2012
No, I would not. It is quite shocking that you are unwilling to acknowledge child rape as something morally evil. Unfortunately these distorted views are what atheism and Darwinism ultimately lead to.


You would allow your child to be shot in the head rather than engage in the natural act of sexual intercourse and you deign to lecture me about morality?

Get the fuck out of here, you are disgusting to me. You and your ilk vilify sex and the human body and prefer violence and it is disgraceful.

You've shown your true colors.

Jan 16, 2012
days you either worshiped god or you were sent to the gallows


Have you ever read a book or taken a degree in something? The complete ignorance of your replies would lead me to believe otherwise. In the time of Plato, many schools of thought existed, and Plato actually went against the prevailing polytheism. Newton wrote more on Bible commentary than on physics, so to say this is out of religious opression is pure folly. In the time of Blaise Pascal, the reformation had already passed and religious tolerance was taken to the US by the pilgrims.

Jan 16, 2012
In the time of Blaise Pascal, the reformation had already passed and religious tolerance was taken to the US by the pilgrims.


Was this before or after the pilgrims burned witches at the stake?

Jan 16, 2012
You would allow your child to be shot in the head rather than engage in the natural act of sexual intercourse and you deign to lecture me about morality?


Your mental perversion is what is most telling.

Jan 16, 2012
You would allow your child to be shot in the head rather than engage in the natural act of sexual intercourse and you deign to lecture me about morality?


Your mental perversion is what is most telling.


It doesn't matter what you say anymore, you just told me that you would allow your young child to be shot in the head rather than having sexual intercourse with a stranger... This is shocking though not surprising since the misinformed moral principles of fundamentalist christians in terms of favoring violence over sex (as evident by the television, movie, and video game ratings in this country) is well documented.

Jan 16, 2012
Was this before or after the pilgrims burned witches at the stake?


When exactly did you loose your sanity?

Jan 16, 2012
Given two movies, one where a store clerk is shot in the face and another where a couple in love are shown having sexual intercourse, if you were told you must rate one of them "PG-13" and the other one "R" I know for a fact that the majority of you fundamentalist idiots would rate the one with sex "R"... I know this because this is the current policy of all media rating boards in this country, both for television, cinema, and video games.

Jan 16, 2012
Was this before or after the pilgrims burned witches at the stake?


When exactly did you loose your sanity?


When exactly did you lose this argument?

I'll tell you when, when you said you would rather your kid get shot in the face then rape a stranger. Sex is just sex, but the death of a child is a travesty. It is terrible that you think the one is worse than the other and is not worth preventing it.

Jan 16, 2012
This is shocking


Since you keep insisting, let me tell you that your made up story constitutes the logical fallacy of a false dilemma.

My point was that without God, objective moral values cannot exist. Since sane human beings would agree that (for instance) child rape is an objective moral evil, this is proof that God exists. To deny that child rape is only a subjective evil would imply that in some case it could be acceptable, which is a shockingly irrational position.

Jan 16, 2012
A very bad choice to make your point.


No, a very good one indeed. What premisse of my argument have you refuted by giving an example of bad moral behavior? None.

In fact your comment fully supports my claim that objective morals are proof for the existence of God. Something can only be called evil if such moral standards exist. If atheism is true however, you have no ground for calling pedophile priests morally bad. Only if God exists, can we have objective moral values.

What a twisted argument you've just made. You think atheists can't have morality because they don't fear punishment from above? This is sickening if you represent religious opinion. It seems to me that the Protestant versus Catholic war in Ireland was a black day for religious morality.

Jan 16, 2012
My point was that without God, objective moral values cannot exist. Since sane human beings would agree that (for instance) child rape is an objective mora evil, this is proof that God exists.


This is just horseshit.

As I already told you, human beings have certain qualities that they all share. One of those qualities is the desire to be free, to not be coerced or forced into doing something they do not want to do. The fact that this exists as a truth universal to our species in no way implies, let alone "proves" (you lunatic) that god exists.

How misinformed and illogical are you?

Jan 16, 2012
It is terrible that you think the one is worse than the other and is not worth preventing it.


Those are your words, but I did not say that at all. One can come up with all kinds of extreme and fantastical scenario's, but they do nothing to undermine any of my premisses about the moral argument. The fact that we can call anything a moral evil, only makes sense in a theistic universe. None of you have refuted this argument.

Jan 16, 2012
It is terrible that you think the one is worse than the other and is not worth preventing it.


Those are your words, but I did not say that at all. The fact that we can call anything a moral evil, only makes sense in a theistic universe. None of you have refuted this argument.


I have, twice now, you are ignoring me... par for the course for you zealots, you have to ignore a hell of a lot to keep up with your ridiculous beliefs.

Oh, and you did say that you would rather let someone shoot your child in the face rather than rape a stranger... I proposed the scenario and said "of course you would rape the stranger" and you said "no I would not"... implying that you would let your child get shot in the face.

Are you confused? This is all in black and white and recorded on a server somewhere and is accessible to anyone here so it makes no sense to lie about it.

Jan 16, 2012
desire to be free


So why would it be a bad thing to deny somebody else their freedom in an atheistic universe? By what moral law is it evil to do that? Perhaps by denying other people their freedom I can greatly enhance my survival chances. In a Darwinian scenario, it is perfectly ok to kill or oppress people. Only in a world where God exists, can people be held accountable on a moral basis.

Jan 16, 2012
desire to be free


So why would it be a bad thing to deny somebody else their freedom in an atheistic universe? By what moral law is it evil to do that? Perhaps by denying other people their freedom I can greatly enhance my survival chances. In a Darwinian scenario, it is perfectly ok to kill or oppress people. Only in a world where God exists, can people be held accountable on a moral basis.


Morality is based on empathy. Empathy is one's ability to consider themselves in the circumstances of another. If every human has a desire to be free of coercion then every human can rightly assume that others would also prefer to be free of coercion. Moral action is an expression of your sense of empathy combined with the expectation of reciprocal altruism. This is reality, so you will instinctively fight against it in favor of your fairy tale version.

Jan 16, 2012
You think atheists can't have morality because they don't fear punishment from above?


You have either failed to correctly understand or read the moral argument I made. I have never said atheists can not have morality. They just don't have any explanation for their moral behaviour. In fact, they act against their belief system by living as if objective moral codes exist. Which is all the better for the world of course.

Jan 16, 2012
I have never said atheists can not have morality. They just don't have any explanation for their moral behaviour.


Wrong. They recognize that they are merely "someone else" to everyone else, so their moral actions towards "someone else" is equivalent to "someone else's" moral actions toward them. In other words, they expect reciprocation, and rightfully so.

In fact, they act against their belief system by living as if objective moral codes exist. Which is all the better for the world of course.


Now you're being ignorant, ever heard of Ayn Rand?

Jan 16, 2012
Morality is based on empathy


Why should anyone empathize? Based on what law or code should I have empathy with my detractors? In fact, people who do not value others advance more in society. These so called sociopaths seem to have an evolutionary advantage. So in an atheistic world, there is no reason whatsoever to have empathy with others.

Jan 16, 2012
Morality is based on empathy


Why should anyone empathize? Based on what law or code should I have empathy with my detractors?


It's not a choice... it's a property of our consciousness.

In fact, people who do not value others advance more in society. These so called sociopaths seem to have an evolutionary advantage. So in an atheistic world, there is no reason whatsoever to have empathy with others.


You're wrong, reciprocal altruism is the BASIS of a functioning society. Within that system it may be true that individuals can take advantage of others but that only works if the vast majority are altruistic. If everyone decided to take advantage of everyone else and not care about anyone else it would be to the extreme detriment of everyone. This is basic game theory.

You are seriously confused if you think empathy is a choice. Moral actions may be a choice, but empathy is no more a choice than fear.

Jan 16, 2012
In other words, they expect reciprocation, and rightfully so


Based on what? If someone decides to murder a child because he feels to do so out of his subjective morality, an atheist has no ground to condemn this act as morally evil and requiring punishment.

Jan 16, 2012
In other words, they expect reciprocation, and rightfully so


Based on what? If someone decides to murder a child because he feels to do so out of his subjective morality, an atheist has no ground to condemn this act as morally evil and requiring punishment.


Of course he does, what are you smoking?

Is this a serious question or are you being intentionally ridiculous? If it is a serious question I'll answer it if not please don't waste my time with this inanity.

Jan 16, 2012
It's not a choice... it's a property of our consciousness


A murderer or rapist also acts from his consciousness. Based on what are you elevating one act of consciousness over the other? General happiness? That is subjective. Minimal suffering? Perhaps the rapist is suffering the most because he cannot rape. So all these artificial grounds for morality ultimately fail beause they offer no objective standard for good and evil. Only God can offer that, not fallible humans.

Jan 16, 2012
It's not a choice... it's a property of our consciousness


A murderer or rapist also acts from his consciousness.


A murderer or rapist may be acting contrary to their sense of empathy, I never said that was impossible. It also may be the case that they have a mental disorder that distorts or suppresses that sense of empathy, that is also possible. I don't see the issue here.

Based on what are you elevating one act of consciousness over the other? General happiness? That is subjective. Minimal suffering? Perhaps the rapist is suffering the most because he cannot rape. So all these artificial grounds for morality ultimately fail beause they offer no objective standard for good and evil. Only God can offer that, not fallible humans.


Based on overwhelming consensus of the population. That is all there is and that is what we go by. If the majority of the population thought it was a greater injustice to not let the rapist rape then that would be favored.

Jan 16, 2012
This is becoming a good discussion and I would like to continue it with you but I am out of time tonight, and I am travelling tomorrow, so I will probably be back tomorrow afternoon (EST) if you wish to continue.

Jan 16, 2012
If everyone decided to take advantage of everyone else and not care about anyone else it would be to the extreme detriment of everyone


That is not an explanation why rape is considered morally evil and worthy of punishment. People do not go to jail for lack of empathy, but because they commited a crime.

Social theory does not explain why there is a moral outcry over henious crimes. Even if society at large is not affected at all by some single act of child molestation, it would still be morally evil. The only way that can be is if there are real objective moral values and duties.

Jan 16, 2012
Based on overwhelming consensus of the population


The general consensus in nazi Germany was that persecuting and killing Jews was acceptable, even by law. Does that consensus make the holocaust morally acceptable? No.

Even if Hitler had convinced the whole earth that Jews are evil and worthy of annihilation, the death camps would have still been a moral abomination. That is because moral absolutes exist, and they are a proof that not human thinking is the foundation of good and evil, but a righteouss and holy God.

Jan 16, 2012
Not exactly a new subject here. But to the theist who thinks morality can only come from an authority... Is it good because god says so or does god say so because it is good? What you have done, in my opinion, is explain that you have absolutely no opinion on moral issues. You simply believe what god says. You have rendered yourself moot. Except that we now need to be afraid of how you interpret your holy books.

Jan 16, 2012
Henrik's IQ is lower than room temperature. He can't grasp simple arguments.


Jan 16, 2012
If Henrik believes that the God of the Bible is an acceptable moral authority, then I suppose he also believes that forced marriage of a rape victim to her rapist is completely moral, as well as beating and stoning your children for disorderly conduct. Because, after all, God says it is.

Jan 16, 2012
And where was your Almighty God when the Holocaust happened, and the Pope at the time kept quiet despite knowing about the mass murder? And now the present Nazi Pope with all the spin about his membership in the Hitler youth being mandatory. Religious lies. And now I get a creepy feeling from you, with your righteousness, that actually you need religion to defend against something very dark and ugly in yourself.

Jan 16, 2012
Bad is subjective


For instance the rape of small children. Would you support the rapist who claims that in his mind, raping a 4 year old is morally acceptable? I think it is far more rational to assume that rape is always an objective moral evil, regardless of the majority opinion, culture or biology. But such an opinion only makes sense in a universe where God exists.


Watch some material from Sam Harris on YouTube. He talks about morality based on human well being. Essentially, we can know what makes a human healthy physically, so why not mentally? We can say that raping a child is not conducive to that child's happiness. Is it objective? I don't know. Is it moral to allow the rape a child to save 100 children from rape? I don't know. I don't think so, but it seems to be the lesser of two evils. Objective is a very strong degree of certainty. Morality is difficult because it is not clear cut. Just think about my point before rating my post.

Jan 16, 2012
Is it good because god says so or does god say so because it is good


The answer to the well known Eutyrphro dilemma is that God is Himself good, that is why His laws are also good. One of the aspects of God is goodness.

Jan 16, 2012
morality based on human well being


Harris position is flawed because happiness is a subjective criterium, and can not be a basis for moral judgement which implies a clear distinction between good and evil. In addition, a person can never confidently predict what level of well being his actions might result in. Some deeds are intended to do good, but end up creating a lot of grief. It is far more logical to base morality on objective criteria.

Jan 16, 2012
as well as beating and stoning your children for disorderly conduct


No, I believe in the moral laws of Jesus Christ, like love your neigbour and do good to those that hate you. Jesus rebuked those that tried to stone the woman caught in adultery, and asked them if they were without sin.

Having said that, this intention does not mean I always achieve those lofty goals, because all humans are sinners, and in need of redemption. To admit that one is a sinner is one of the greatest acts of achieving personal freedom, because it opens the possibility of forgiveness as well as guilt and fear free living.

Jan 16, 2012

No, I believe in the moral laws of Jesus Christ, like love your neigbour and do good to those that hate you. Jesus rebuked those that tried to stone the woman caught in adultery, and asked them if they were without sin.


Jesus of the Bible said that he came to uphold the law, not do away with it. That not until heaven and Earth passed away would a jot or tittle of the law be done away with. But even if Jesus had replaced the old law, then that implies that there was a faulty system put in place by God that required replacing. Thus, at one time or another, the God of the Bible considered such actions moral, even necessary, as he made them commandments. And that he realized he'd made a mistake with the old law, changed his mind, or was incapable of changing in for a substantial amount of time. Which means he was wrong, easily swayed, or not all-powerful. If any of these are the case, he is not divine, not perfect, and not an authority worthy of making an eternal law.

Jan 16, 2012
And where was your Almighty God when the Holocaust happened,


There is no logical contradiction between the existence of a loving, omnipotent God and the existence of evil. A good God may have sufficient reasons for allowing evil to exist at least for a time, and human fee will in itself is an explantion for why there is evil at all.

In addition, God has set a limit on evil because He will one day renew the earth and reign over it. His love is manifested in the death of Jesus on the cross which is sufficient atonement for all human sin.

Jan 16, 2012
Thus, at one time or another, the God of the Bible considered such actions moral


Yes, and perhaps He had sufficient reaons for it at the time. God is not just everyone's friend. He is also holy and sins are abhorrent to Him. Only people who deliberately sin and violate Gods laws should fear Him. It is completely acceptable fo a divine Judge to hold His own creation accountable. That is exactly what a human judge does when he upholds the law.

Jan 16, 2012
as well as beating and stoning your children for disorderly conduct


No, I believe in the moral laws of Jesus Christ, like love your neigbour and do good to those that hate you. Jesus rebuked those that tried to stone the woman caught in adultery, and asked them if they were without sin.

Having said that, this intention does not mean I always achieve those lofty goals, because all humans are sinners, and in need of redemption. To admit that one is a sinner is one of the greatest acts of achieving personal freedom, because it opens the possibility of forgiveness as well as guilt and fear free living.

Oh, you're a sinner alright, Henrik, falling for all of that forgiveness tripe. And I hope you don't love thy neighbour too much either, for your sake, not God's. Were you scolded as a child for having natural impulses? Very often, traumatic experiences manifest themselves as religious fervor. I think you'd benefit from a secular therapist.

Jan 16, 2012
Question for Henrik:

"My point was that without God, objective moral values cannot exist."

Assuming this to be true, how do you explain the extremely peaceful nature of Scandinavian countries (known to be home to a big number of atheists and religion is certainly not taken serious by most people) compared to US (where most people are religious and religion plays a big role in most areas of the country)? While you are at it, some light on the fact that the last horrific crime against humanity in those countries was committed by a fundamentalist Christian in Norway, who killed 80 young students, would be nice. Thanks in advance for insights you will provide on this.

Jan 16, 2012
Which means he was wrong, easily swayed, or not all-powerful.


This is a false trilemma. There is another alternative, which is that God made a plan beforehand to create a world of free beings, who could sin. But in His infinite wisdom He also forsaw the need for a redeemer and an eternal solution for sin. That shows Gods grandeur, love and power in one.

Jan 16, 2012
Also, Henrik, you have yet to demonstrate why your God is the ultimate moral authority over all others. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." Don't bother with more philosophical, dogmatical, or biblical arguments. If your God is capable of manipulating the physical universe, then the results of his will should at the very least be demonstrable, tangible, and subject to scientific scrutiny and testing. Thus I implore you: Demonstrate that your God exists using actual evidence, that his will is the authority that governs the entirety of the universe, and all other possible explanations for natural occurrences, whether supernatural or otherwise, could not possibly have occurred without his influence.

Jan 16, 2012
This is a false trilemma. There is another alternative, which is that God made a plan beforehand to create a world of free beings, who could sin. But in His infinite wisdom He also forsaw the need for a redeemer and an eternal solution for sin. That shows Gods grandeur, love and power in one.


Or he could just have not created sin. Simple. Because if God is the origination of all things, that includes evil, and an all-powerful being should have control over it. I am already convinced that he is not worthy of worship for the simple reason that the rules can change according to his will. If they were perfect to begin with, and truly GOOD, then there would be no reason for change. Also, being free does not include infinite punishment for finite actions.

Also, in what possible scenario could there be that would make rape of an innocent and then subsequently forcing said victim to marry her rapist in any way a moral action? Please fill me in, as I would really like to know.

Jan 16, 2012
how do you explain the extremely peaceful nature of Scandinavian countries


These events only prove one thing: that people are sinners. In the case of countries like Norway, I would say the pleasant socio-economical situation and the introvert temperament of the people plays a role. To call Breivik a Christian is I think too much honour for him. From what I read in the news in his writings he calls himself a cultural Christian, but he did not have or profess a personal faith in Jesus Christ and neither was he born again. Those are essential elements of the gospel however.

Jan 16, 2012
Or he could just have not created sin


The premisse here is wrong. God did not create sin. The Bible equates sin with darkness, and disobedience. Darkness is the absence of light, and disobedience a lack of obedience to the laws. God created the light and the law, but not the disobedience.

Jan 16, 2012
Demonstrate that your God exists


There are excellent and valid arguments for the existence of God. Theism is more rational than atheism. To name but a few, the cosmological argument, the teleological argument, the moral argument which we discussed, the ontological argument and for instance the resurrection of Jesus Christ as the best explanation for the emergence of the early church and the experiences, beliefs and lives of the apostles.

But by far the best argument for Gods existence is if He becomes a personal reality to an individual by revealing Himself to that person by faith. God can change lives like nothing else.

(Contrary, a belief in atheism rests on no sound argument at all, and a belief in atheism leads to all kinds of logical contradictions).

Jan 16, 2012
MODERATORS:
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Please delete Henrik's posts and suspend his account.

Thank you.

Jan 16, 2012
How do we know you're not Satan in the guise of a religious zealot?

Jan 16, 2012
I give this whole series of comments 1/5 stars with the exception of Deathclocks noting of hypocrisy in PTBs censoring sex, but not violence.

Jan 16, 2012
So then why send me PM with religious content, Frank?

Jan 16, 2012
So then why send me PM with religious content, Frank?


Guidelines for posting comments on PhysOrg.com articles:

Use PM (personal messages): If you want to address someone personally, use PM instead of adding new comments.


MODERATORS: Please enforce your guidelines. Thank you.

Jan 16, 2012
excuse me, but your link to the original article at PNAS is non-functional. Moreover, when I searched for the title of the article, nothing came out! Are you sure your citation is correct??

Jan 16, 2012
What are these fucking creationists doing here?


Well apparently you've answered your own question, they are having sex.

Jan 17, 2012
hahaha i can picture all the religidiots here sticking their fingers in their ears and going, "LA LA LA LA LA" as they read this story.

Jan 17, 2012
"Excellent" and "valid" are hardly the proper adjectives for these arguments. None of them provide any actual evidence, only mere speculation, and are not what I requested of you to demonstrate. If you cannot, or will not, provide demonstrable evidence for your God, simply say so. Despite what you may think, these arguments are merely copouts that I've seen many Christians use before instead of providing tangible evidence for their worldview.

Also, FYI, personal testimony is NOT evidence. I could claim to have a purple dinosaur in my bathroom. I know, because I have a "personal relationship" with him. You should believe me simply because I say so!

On the contrary, belief in any religious dogma is illogical. Christianity included. Atheism is the default position for mankind, as no one is religious without indoctrination. Human nature demands (for the most part) good reasons in order to form a belief. You have provided no good reasons. Just flawed arguments that dance around the issue

Jan 17, 2012
A very bad choice to make your point.


No, a very good one indeed. What premisse of my argument have you refuted by giving an example of bad moral behavior? None.

In fact your comment fully supports my claim that objective morals are proof for the existence of God. Something can only be called evil if such moral standards exist. If atheism is true however, you have no ground for calling pedophile priests morally bad. Only if God exists, can we have objective moral values.


Not at all.
We live in social groups.
If all of us acted only in our personal interest, (using group resources/advantage and not contributing), the group would have no benefit, and cease to exist.
For the social group to keep working, it need rules to negociate individual and common interest.
One such rule is to forbid someone to abuse someone else without penalties.
You don't need a god to think life in community is better if abuse is forbidden.

Jan 17, 2012
@Deathclock,
Bad is subjective. I'd rather every child on earth use those certain words which are considered impolite by some arbitrary standard than a single child be indoctrinated into the nonsense and anti-intellectual and illogical thought processes that go hand in hand with your religious beliefs

Just looking at everything you have posted it is quite clear just how mixed up your thoughts get. First you say it's OK to have no rules with regards to speech - and that then implies it's OK to do as one pleases. Then you want to talk about "the good of society". Please make up your mind. If everyone does as s/he pleases then there can only be anarchy and even more death, pain and suffering then we already have. Besides which, where do you get the idea of "good" from? By which atheistic definition is there any "good"? Who is the ultimate arbiter of what "good" is? Is that the person/people with the most force? Without God,the ultimate center of truth, there is no rational thought

Jan 17, 2012
NO. ESLN.

Jan 17, 2012
I have yet to see any scientific proof that life, as we know it, came about through any other process other than evolution. (even though this, in itself, is not 'proof')

...talk about "the good of society". If everyone does as s/he pleases then there can only be anarchy and even more death... Who is the ultimate arbiter of what "good" is?
Good is survival. Bad is extinction. You may not like it, but 'that's life'.

Jan 17, 2012
Scientists should replicate this experiment on other worlds. For example; Mars or Titan and produce life from scratch there.

Jan 17, 2012
There is a good chance that yeast is descended from a multicellular fungus

By what reasoning do you see a 'good chance' for this?


That is exactly the problem with atheists, wilfull ignorance.

At least we don't simply make up some explanation - we go out, form a hypothesis and then test it (as the scientists in the article did).

Now you go out and find me that intelligent creator you keep blabbing about. Then we'll talk.

Jan 17, 2012
To paraphrase a long-dead philosopher, the only thing that can be added to a situation and not sometimes make that situation worse is a good will. A good will is one that is right in its beliefs about the effects of its actions, actually does the action it intends, and has as its ultimate goal the maximization of the potential of its possible future actions, in terms of the opportunity to perform those actions, their success and their effects. In other words, its ultimate goal is to maximize the scope and power of willing.

So there ya go. A universal moral principle that doesn't invoke some invisible sky fairy. People without empathy can still choose to be moral, and many often do. Empathy drives morality. But Reason steers.

Jan 17, 2012
The experiment in the article is not relevant for a discussion of religions (with the exception of the small minority of theists who deny the existence of evolution -in Europe at least the vast majority of christians see no controversy about evolution).

-If multi-cellular life is easy to produce through evolution, it seems that the increase of oxygen in the atmosphere ca. 600 million years ago was the crucial event that paved the way for complex life. In an unrelated article, the evolution of two symbiotic organisms (both unicellular, one inside the other) implies the step to eukaryotes was likewise not that difficult. No god or "black monolith" required.


Jan 17, 2012
People without empathy can still choose to be moral, and many often do


Then again, people may choose otherwise freely based on their own subjective morals. Morality of course is not a personal choice, but an obligation. Empathy is a subjective experience. Lack of empathy is not a crime, murder and rape are crimes. This is because these actions violate objective moral codes. These codes can only exist if God exists. Atheism however can offer no foundation for moral obligations.

Jan 17, 2012
make up some explanation - we go out, form a hypothesis and then test


Darwinian evolution of ape like creatures into man cannot be tested, because it is an event in the distant past inaccessible for present day experiments. Only indirect observations remain such as for every historical event. Darwinian evolution therefore can only be made plausible, but never proven fact such as gravity or water freezing into ice.

Jan 17, 2012
Good is survival. Bad is extinction


So if the nazi's had succeeded in eradicating the Jewish people, they could be considered "good" in Darwinian terms? That would make the holocaust "evolution in action".

This kind of pseudo-rationality shows the corruption that evolutionary thinking leads to. Then again, famous evolutionists like Darwin, Haeckel and Keith were racists.

Jan 17, 2012
So if the nazi's had succeeded in eradicating the Jewish people, they could be considered "good" in Darwinian terms?

Don't confuse 'good' in a moral sense with 'good' in a Darwinian sense.

In evolution there are no prizes for the moral high ground if it means you go extinct in the process. Evolution just weeds out those who are successful against those that are not - and what makes a successful species is not at all a clear cut case.
Is humanity a successful species because it is in existence now? Or were dinosaurs, though extinct, more successful because they were around 20 million years whereas man has had a scant 100000 year run?

Evolution has nothing to do with morals. If you get right down to it: there is no value system in the universe. The universe doesn't care whether anything is 'alive' or not. 'Life' is just an arbitrary definition made up by living things, anyhow. Recursive and therefore utterly meaningless outside its own context.

Jan 17, 2012
^
That was a dumb comment .One who doesn't know there's a difference between selective breeding or euthanasia and evolution by natural selection and yet will profusely comment on a biological post on physorg.
What the nazi's did was more akin to artificial selection or ID than Darwinian evolution

Jan 17, 2012
Lol yet again folks the creationists/religious fanatics are coming out of the wood work to troll on another science article that may contradict with their (seemingly unrelated) faith, tainted with more non-related political/religious debate (noise). Hehe never gets old.

Jan 17, 2012
Missed a zero there. That should be 200 million years for dinosaurs...not 20.

Jan 17, 2012
(AA, you beat me to it)

Jan 17, 2012
'Life' is just an arbitrary definition made up by living things, anyhow. Recursive and therefore utterly meaningless outside its own context.


Thank you for that confession. I hope you understand that this view of life's purpose is utterly self-defeating. If human definitions are just self made constructs then your worldview is included. You have no way of finding out if your atheism is true, because it cannot be validated against an objective standard of truth. So if absolute truth does not exist (which your views imply), then atheism itself must also be meaningless and false.

Jan 17, 2012
You have no way of finding out if your atheism is true

Truth is not a property of atheism. That would be like claiming that something non-existent exists.

Theism is a non-issue until there is some indication that it exists (i.e. until some evidence is forthcoming).

It's like frodlumgsudism. If I claim that frodlumgsudism is real then I have to furnish proof that it is. It is not up to you to show that frodlumgsudism doesn't exist because before I brought up the subject of frodlumgsudism you weren't even aware that it is an issue at all.
Therefore you had no need for having an opinion on it (or need to show the truth of its absence).
It was a non-issue to you until I brought it up. And until I give you a good reason for frodlumgsudism it remains a non issue to you.

Similarly atheism is the ABSENCE of belief. It needs show nothing until you show that theism is an issue at all. Before you manage that theism remains irrelevant.

Jan 17, 2012
Truth is not a property of atheism


Thank you for confirming my point. There are many valid arguments for the existence of God. There is no valid argument for the hypothesis that God does not exist.

I recommend that things like personal faith or a lack of it are kept out of the discussion. Using words like belief have no part in a rational discussion about the existence of God.

Jan 17, 2012
difference between selective breeding or euthanasia


Again atheists are self-contradicting. Just a while ago your folks posted that life is just chemistry. Nazi's, Jews and the holocaust are all part of this universe and this life. So by your own definition they are subject to evolution.

Now you hopefully see that atheism is in trouble every time it wants to make a logical assertion. Logic is immaterial, and only exists because God exists. In an atheistic universe rational thought is impossible, because thought is just meaningless brain chemistry.

Jan 17, 2012
There is no valid argument for the hypothesis that God does not exist
Any particular god, or just gods in general?

Jan 17, 2012
There is no valid argument for the hypothesis that God does not exist.

There does not need to be unless and until you have ONE good argument for a god (of any kind). Since no such argument has ever been found we're not really holding our breaths on that one.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The claim that there is a god is a VERY extraordinary one.

Jan 17, 2012
Important work, well worth the funding it received. Let us hope that even in these latter times, it will prove possible to fund experiments which will further develop these findings !...

Henri

Jan 17, 2012
Any particular god, or just gods in general?


Let us take one step at the time. At least, that is the more rational approach. First one can establish that theism is more plausible than the opposite. The next step would indeed be to try and find out what form of theism is most plausible.

Jan 17, 2012
There does not need to be unless and until you have ONE good argument for a god (of any kind).


Atheism is the belief that reality consists solely of material things such as space, time and energy. To make atheism a plausible world view, the atheist must do two things:

1. Convincinly refute every valid argument for the existence of God
2. Make atheism plausible by providing their own sound arguments

That is the rational path to take. Any other strategy such as a form of name calling, sophistry, use of logical fallacies or hand waving is not part of this. So atheists still have a chance to make their doctrine plausible once they start using logical arguments. Then everyone can see for himself where the evidence leads to.

Jan 17, 2012
There does not need to be unless and until you have ONE good argument for a god (of any kind).


Atheism is the belief that reality consists solely of material things such as space, time and energy. To make atheism a plausible world view, the atheist must do two things:

1. Convincinly refute every valid argument for the existence of God
2. Make atheism plausible by providing their own sound arguments

That is the rational path to take. Any other strategy such as a form of name calling, sophistry, use of logical fallacies or hand waving is not part of this. So atheists still have a chance to make their doctrine plausible once they start using logical arguments. Then everyone can see for himself where the evidence leads to.


NO, atheism is the belief that God does not exist. You need to get your definitions straight. What you are describing is naturalism, which is completely independent from atheism. And once again, the burden of proof is on YOU, not atheists.

Jan 17, 2012
Any particular god, or just gods in general?


Let us take one step at the time. At least, that is the more rational approach. First one can establish that theism is more plausible than the opposite. The next step would indeed be to try and find out what form of theism is most plausible.

errrr.... no. First one can demonstrate that god(s) exist (or ever existed), and that he/she/it/they were, in fact, responsible for all the stuff you claim they've done (like creating life, the universe,etc). Until that happens, I'll stick with the evolution thing.
The next step is just religion, and I wouldn't be interest either way.

Jan 17, 2012
NO, atheism is the belief that God does not exist


The one implies the other. Naturalism implies atheism, because naturalism denies the existence of any supernatural entities such as God or spirits. If you do not believe that, then you are not an atheist but an agnostic.

To say that atheism does not require proof, is a logical fallacy. A belief is only rational if it rests on sound arguments. You may disagree with me, but then you should stop laying claim on rational thought.

Some atheists say that they have not seen any evidence for the existence of God. Then my reply is that absence of proof is not proof of absence. To conclude that God does not exist for lack of personal belief is at best philosophically lazy thinking. But its a free world.

Jan 17, 2012
and I wouldn't be interest either way.


I guess as an atheist you are not willing to take up this challenge? If you are not willing to defend your beliefs through rational and logical arguments, then what is the supposed veracity of your worldview based on?

Jan 17, 2012
NO, atheism is the belief that God does not exist

No.
For the very simple reason: If theism didn't exist atheists would not exist. If atheism was an ACTIVE disbelief in gods (i.e. a conscious choice against gods) it would be a state whether theism had ever been declared or not.

Atheism is not a stance. It's the absence of a stance.

Atheism is the belief that reality consists solely of material things such as space, time and energy.

No. Atheism is simply the absence of acknowledging the issue of gods. Period.

First one can establish that theism is more plausible than the opposite

Oh. This one I've GOT to hear. Explain. Please. Do.

Jan 17, 2012
In order to understand the purpose of religions it is important to gauge what they do as opposed to what they SAY they do.

All religions claim morality comes directly from their god and that it would not exist without their god. All religions claim that their god is the epitome ogf goodness. And yet all religions teach the rejection of other gods. 'No other gods before me' is invariably their first and most important commandment.

Their books go on to condone breaking all their moral laws in defense of their god against unbelievers. Every religion does this. The ones who didnt didn't survive because their adherents were exterminated.

Religions claim to be the source of morality simply so they can break their moral laws against their enemies, with the full approval of their god.

All the successful religions also enforce the edict to 'fill up the world' at the expense of their enemies. These 2 conditions ensure a world FULL of unremittant violence and immorality of the worst sort.

Jan 17, 2012
So by creating inevitable conditions of overpopulation and the resulting conflict we can see that despite religions all claiming to be the source of peace and goodness, they are actually the CREATORS of the worst sorts of evil. They INSIST on outgrowing and overrunning each other. This is how the ones which were best at this, have SURVIVED.

The People who concocted your pleasant little fairy tales henrik cared nothing about what happened to you once you were dead. They cared a great deal about what you thought and did while you and all your cohorts were still alive. Onward xian soldier.

Jesus came to bring not peace but a sword you know? He intended you to be slaughtering your family members and presenting yourself for martyrdom because humanity desperately needed Managing, and this was absolutely the Only Way to do it.

Jan 17, 2012
absence of acknowledging the issue of gods


That is quite vague and open to many interpretations. One should be able to provide a clear statement of one's worldview. To avoid any definition problem, it is good to turn to a reputable source like a dictionary.

Webster: atheism
a : a disbelief in the existence of deity
b : the doctrine that there is no deity

The first might be called positive atheism, the second negative atheism or anti-theism. Especially anti-theism should be based on sound arguments, because it is a strong assertion.

Maybe that is why Dawkins bus campaign slogan read: there is probably no God...Atheism here is presented by Dawkins as a belief in certain probabilities. When something is considered probable, one should be able to explain why.

Jan 17, 2012
"I recommend that things like personal faith or a lack of it are kept out of the discussion. Using words like belief have no part in a rational discussion about the existence of God." -Henrik

I am curious what your idea of a rational discussion is then?
Do you have some scientific evidence for the existence of God that doesn't rest of Faith or Belief? I must've missed it? Did he like His fingerprints somewhere?

Jan 17, 2012
"Using words like belief have no part in a rational discussion about the existence of God." -Henrik

That is one of the funniest things I've ever read. That's made my day, it really has.

As for the article: really interesting. Needs a lot more testing, which I look forward to reading about in the hopefully not-too-distant future. :)

Jan 17, 2012
That is quite vague and open to many interpretations.

Cop out much?

Again I ask you point blank:
1) Were you an anti-frodlumgsudist BEFORE I brought up frodlumgsudism?

If you were: How were you aware of the issue of frodlumgsudism BEFORE I brought it up? (quite impossible because I made it up)
If you were not: Then you have just acknowledged that to be anti anything that thing first has to be made an issue of by someone.

So how can there be anti-frodlumgsudists if no frodlumgsudists exist? It's pretty clear who has to supply proof first. Because if we follow your weird mode of thought then YOU would have to prove to me why you are anti-frodlumgsudist before I even tell you what the reasons for frodlumgsudism is.

Now replace frodlumgsudism with 'god'/'theism'. Very simple logic.

2) Why is theism more plausible than atheism?

Jan 17, 2012
@Henrik
Implications are not definitions. Your logic about atheism and naturalism being interchangeable is faulty and just plain wrong. If atheism depended on naturalism, there would not be atheists who believed in ghosts. Atheism is a LACK OF BELIEF IN GODS, not everything supernatural. Why is this difficult for you to understand? You do not hold this mindset, so who are you to define it in the first place?

"To say that atheism does not require proof, is a logical fallacy." Um, no. Atheism makes no claims, so we have nothing to prove. Would you send someone to jail on the charge of rape simply because there's no evidence that he isn't a rapist? Doubtful. Atheists make no positive claims, thus we require evidence in order to establish a belief in positive claims.

You're right. "Absence of proof is not proof of absence." So why don't we all believe in unicorns and monsters and purple flying hamsters? There's no evidence that says they don't exist. What have you to lose?

Jan 17, 2012
Atheism makes no claims


Well, it does. Otherwise, how would you call this statement:

- There's probably no God -
(2009 atheist Bus campaign by Dawkins foundation)

Tourette's syndrom? So my first question would be: why do you think that is credible? If the answer is only: I have not seen any evidence for God, then an atheist has very little to offer in terms of rational arguments. The bus slogan should then have read: I, R. Dawkins, lack any evidence for making any convincing statement regarding the existence of God.

Jan 17, 2012
there would not be atheists who believed in ghosts


Well, for one I think they should be careful around other atheists. Their lifetime membership of the atheist society might be revoked for believing in superstition. An atheist who believes in anything supernatural, breaks the atheist dogma and could be called a heretic.

Remember when the late and famous atheist Anthony Flew announced that he started to have reservations about the truth of atheism, it were his former atheist friends who treated him with the utmost contempt. But that just shows you their paper thin morals.

Jan 17, 2012
Why are you guys biting? He's using bus adverts as an argument! Seriously people, there has to be something better you folks could be doing with your time! :P

Jan 17, 2012
2) Why is theism more plausible than atheism?


Because unlike atheism, theism is supported by credible and valid arguments. These arguments come from the area of cosmology, physics, psychology, geology, biology, philosophy and history to name but a few.

Whereas in the history of mankind, no atheist has ever come up with a valid argument against the existence of God.

Jan 17, 2012
Were you an anti-frodlumgsudist BEFORE I brought up frodlumgsudism


Sometimes you wonder why some theists are afraid of atheists. Looking at their level of rationality, you wonder where they got the idea they are the sane ones. It looks like 300 years of enlightenment just went straight passed and has skipped over this entrire generation.

Jan 17, 2012
@Henrik

A positive claim would be "There is no God" or "God does not exist." The inclusion of probabilities means that the speaker makes no definitive claim, can be swayed based on changing evidence, and thus, it is neither positive nor negative. Saying over and over again that it is does not make it so.

So you concede my point. You are sadly mistaken if you believe all atheists deny the existence of anything supernatural. Also, you have no merit in saying how you think other naturalist atheists should behave toward non-naturalist atheists. The fact that you believe atheists have a dogma that we follow is simply mind-numbing and exemplary of your naivete. It is clear you don't know what you're talking about, and you really need to educate yourself about opposing worldviews if you expect to be taken seriously.

Continuing to insist that there is physical evidence for your God does not make it so. Produce it.

Jan 17, 2012
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Please delete Henrik's posts and suspend his account.

Thank you.

Jan 17, 2012
Frank
These are important issues which need discussing. Henrik is not some dimwit flooder and he doesnt need to be harassed. His views need to be addressed.

Jan 17, 2012
Henrick you should read "The God Delusion" by Dawkins. The bottom line is that religion promotes ignorance in the face of scientific proof. Who or what created creation? To the theist there is no reason to investigate this or even question it. Also the argument that religion provides us with a moral "compass" is ludicrous and naive in the extreme. I would explain but I learned long ago that arguing with a fundamentalist is beyond pointless.

Jan 17, 2012
I gave you a principle for determining the difference between right and wrong, i.e. morality, that doesn't rely on the idea or existence of a god. Your repetition that the existence of a deity is necessary to ground morality doesn't make it so. And there are at least a couple of others that are good enough for people to go with. Those principles didn't come from a god, they came from a bunch of smart dudes a couple centuries back who paid attention to how people thought and acted. And the most important ones, Kant, Mill and, (as much as I hate to say it) Rand were all atheists.

You mentioned in a response to antialias that you wanted an objective standard to judge truth and morality. Tough. There isn't one, or at least not one humans have access to. The best we can do is inter-subjectivity. There is no objective Truth. There is only social truth.

Jan 17, 2012
Even if scientists are able to one day create life from universal elements the crazies aren't going to believe it. Creationism is not a theory and shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath as an actual theory. Creationism and "Intelligent" Design are merely religious conjecture, and have as much scientific merit as bloodletting.

Jan 17, 2012
religion promotes ignorance


You have missed the point of my contention in it's entirety. I am not defending this or that religion. The history of religion has little or no consequence for the existence of God. There is no logical connection between the various manifestations of religious zeal and the existence of a deity.

I am fully aware of Dawkins arguments from his books. He does not provide any arguments for atheism, nor does he refute any existing theistic arguments convincingly. His main point over and over again is a form of social criticism of religion based on a certain style of representing religious beliefs.

Jan 17, 2012
There is no objective Truth


Is this statement an objective truth? If so, then it is false. If not so, then it is false as well. I have told you before that atheism is self-refuting in its foundation.

Jan 17, 2012
...smart dudes...Kant, Mill and, (as much as I hate to say it) Rand were all atheists.
And who, unfortunately, had no idea about how the brain works or where social dynamics originates, and so they were just guessing (and propagandizing) and so got it wrong.

The origins of morality can be found in the dynamics of the tribe; those being altruism toward fellow members along with concerted animosity toward outsiders. Those tribes which exhibited these traits would prevail in competition with other tribes and so were selected for.

Here you go thrash - read something relevant.
http://rechten.el...RID2.pdf

The tribal nature of humans is wholly biological and thus so is morality. Religions were able to institutionalize this dynamic and apply it artificially over ever larger and disparate groups.

Jan 17, 2012
2) Why is theism more plausible than atheism?


Because unlike atheism, theism is supported by credible and valid arguments. These arguments come from the area of cosmology, physics, psychology, geology, biology, philosophy and history to name but a few.


HAHAHAHAHAHA. Blatant lies.

Were you an anti-frodlumgsudist BEFORE I brought up frodlumgsudism


Sometimes you wonder why some theists are afraid of atheists. Looking at their level of rationality, you wonder where they got the idea they are the sane ones. It looks like 300 years of enlightenment just went straight passed and has skipped over this entrire generation.


Stop deflecting and answer the question. Regarding your whole "you can't have subjective morality" thing, animals don't like it when they get hurt and resent whatever hurts them. Animals don't even have the mental capacity to think about gods, so game, set, and match.

Jan 17, 2012
"There can be no doubt that a tribe including many members who, from possessing in a high degree the spirit of patriotism, fidelity, obedience, courage, and sympathy, were always ready to give aid to each other and to sacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious over most other tribes; and this would be natural selection" (Darwin, 1871, i, p. 166).

Internal altruism coupled with external animosity - how better can we describe the structure of religion? The OT described this succinctly. Its lessons were of conquest. The NT describes the mechanics of revolution, of conquest from within. For what is a revolution without martyrs?

The jesus character is the greatest martyr of all time. By his example millions presented themselves for killing. Because of this the NT is implicated in far more violence than the OT.

Jan 17, 2012
And by the way kant was most definitely not an atheist.

"I have therefore found it necessary to deny knowledge in order to make room for faith" (Immanuel Kant).
http://plato.stan...eligion/

-See if you would research before you post you would save yourself some embarrassment.

Jan 17, 2012
Wow. I really hope Henrik is just an extremely bored troll. This whole argument is stupid, since nobody is going to change their opinion, but I find it entertaining.

I tried the theist thing. As I grew older, it all seemed way too illogical. I tried to fight my brain and convince myself I was a believer, but it's difficult to argue with logic. I definitely felt more free than ever, even when I was baptized.

However, I'm a moral person. My morals surely differ from yours, as I don't see a problem with premarital sex and don't think rape victims should marry their rapist or that slavery is OK, but I try to do what is right. I'm sure you've heard this, but:

"Morality is doing what is right regardless of what you are told - religion is doing what you are told regardless of what is right."

Call me strange, but I don't need a reward or threat to do the right thing. I do the right thing so I don't feel like an asshole, and hoping others would do the same.

You're surely just trolling...

Jan 17, 2012
Kant was as much of an athiest as he could get away with for where he lived and worked. He was ordered by the King to stop publishing essays on religion because they were heavily critical of theological dogma. As head of his academic department, one of his duties was to escort his department to Mass on Sundays, which he did, holding the door open for them to enter, then leaving to return home. And his magnum opus, the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant establishes that not only can the nature and existence of a god not be known, but it cannot even be thought about without involving contradictions. At most, we can hope that a god exists, and it is this kind of hope that Kant identifies as faith. And more recent accounts of Kant's life have made it unclear whether he even hoped that the Christian god exists. He did establish that we should hope that moral perfection is possible, but that's a long way off from hoping for the existence of YHWH.

Jan 17, 2012
@Henrik

Oh please. Do you really want to begin yet another cascade of logical fallacies? Do you even read what you've typed before you submit it?

Is this statement an objective truth? If so, then it is false.


So by your logic, something can be both objectively true and false simultaneously? I'd be interested to see how you would explain away that one.

"If not so, then it is false as well."


I think it's a given that something objectively false is, in fact, false. :P

I would like to think that I know where you're going with this, and that I can accurately interpret inane fundamentalist drabble. However, the more pressing matter is that you are still trying to avoid meeting your burden of proof. I suggest that you are start procuring that physical and cosmological evidence for God, like many of us have asked you to do multiple times, before your trollish behind is exposed.

Atheists don't have to refute you. You've done at least that much already, many times over.

Jan 17, 2012
Based on overwhelming consensus of the population

The general consensus in nazi Germany was that persecuting and killing Jews was acceptable, even by law. Does that consensus make the holocaust morally acceptable? No.


Check your facts, this is a blatant lie. The majority of the people didn't know what was happening because Hitler organized his underlings so that each only had knowledge of the small part that they played. The general population had no idea what was going on. It is patently false that the majority of Germans thought it was okay to murder innocents.

Jan 17, 2012
Kant was as much of an athiest as he could get away with for where he lived and worked.
You have some evidence of these demonic proclivities? No.
He was ordered by the King to stop publishing essays on religion because they were heavily critical of theological dogma.
-Which do not make him atheistic by any stretch of 'logic'. So was luther heavily critical - so what?

So we admit that, due to pragmatism or whatever, kants dogmae, by his own admission ('in order to make room for faith') was tainted, and that it is impossible to discern which might be so tainted and which might not? Of course it isnt.

And as he had no knowledge of the evolutionary source of human motivation, as we do today, he was ONLY GUESSING.

And he was most assuredly selling a particular Weltanschauung to the educated elite, in other words, propagandizing, as the church was itself doing to the other classes as well.

Besides youre off-topic as usual. Philocrap is dead per science and hawking.

Jan 17, 2012
The general population had no idea what was going on


"Wir haben es nicht gewusst"? Historians have debunked that lie a long time ago. Check your facts. Germans either knew or could have known. Most chose to suppress that knowledge.

Jan 17, 2012
So by your logic, something can be both objectively true and false simultaneously?


Let me repeat step by step as to not confuse you. You say: "there are no objective truths". Lets assume that statement is true. If no objective truths exist, then also the statement "there is no objective truth" is not objectively true (because no such truths exist). That means it could be false. If the statement "there is no objective truth" can be false, this means there is actually an objective truth, contradicting the statement.

Contrary, if the statement is false, then objective truths do exist which contradicts the statement "there is no objective truth", making it false.

So either way, your statement leads to a self-contradiction. Its the same as if an atheist would say: all atheists are liars. Is he right or wrong? The denial of objective truth leads to a logical impossibility, which is at the core of atheism.

Jan 17, 2012
@Henrik

I'm sorry, but I think you're confusing yourself. I never said there was no objective truth. I stated earlier that there was no objective morality, but that has nothing to do with objective truth. Big difference. However, if something is objectively true (these truths do exist in nature as constants) then it is true regardless of whether or not the statement objectifying the subject is true. Regardless of whether or not the observer can witness the truth in its absolute objectivity, as subjective experience is independent of objective absolution. You've caught yourself in a never-ending cascade of seemingly falsifiable statements regarding objective truth, because the contradiction to the statement (that there are indeed objective truths) could also be false if no objective truth exists.

Like I said, it's not my statement. Go back and check again who you are supposed to be addressing.

And once again, you're attempting to skirt around my request. Pay up, or GTFO.

Jan 17, 2012
@Henrik Dawkins once said that if evolution had taken a slightly different path, the rape of women could have been completely socially acceptable.
Hahahaha the fundie thinks monkeys should give consent!

Jan 17, 2012
Pay up, or GTFO


You seem to have a problem controlling your impulses. Perhaps a lack of social skills. Could that be the reason why your life is such an unfruitful disappointment so far? I recommend some good Christian therapy.

Jan 17, 2012
...as much as I hate to say it) Rand were all atheists.
Rand wasn't smart by Russian standards. She was banal and dull. Not a person worthy of respect. But given the barren wasteland that was conservative American culture, she spread like wildfire overseas. Some of the dullest elements in the West actually took the crazy bitch seriously.

Jan 17, 2012
@Henrik

The only impulse I have is my overwhelming desire to witness demonstrable evidence for the existence of God from a self-pronounced expert on the subject, without being subjected to unintelligent and unecessary ad hominem attacks.

Jan 17, 2012
The denial of objective truth leads to a logical impossibility, which is at the core of atheism.
You obviously never understood Godel's incompleteness theorem. Fail.

Jan 17, 2012
My point was that without God, objective moral values cannot exist.
I actually agree with you on this point. Morality is as fallacious as god, because moral authority originated from this fiction. Thinkers must detach themselves from morality and subconscious mythical ties to some imaginary superbeing, and instead apply reason to forge a consistent ETHICAL framework. Only then can one hope to behave in a clear, direct and consistent manner without being hobbled by subconscious mythos. Myths unfortunately still play a large role in human behavior, for their dubious assumptions go unexamined and promulgate chaos and irrationality.

Jan 17, 2012
Thinkers must detach themselves from morality and subconscious mythical ties to some imaginary superbeing, and instead apply reason to forge a consistent ETHICAL framework.
Laws as agreed to by a democratic majority in the context of a well-written constitution, is what determines 'morality'. It is not perfect but it works much better than anything any religion ever produced.

We need no ethics based on superstition, and we dont need to believe they come from some aetherial plane of existence.

Jan 17, 2012
Henrik,
You're just an average jerk. You have spent an entire day arguing about what? Nobody knows what happens after we die except you. You must be god's gift to all of us - as you have infered in many of your posts.

Guess what? You haven't changed anyone's minds about anything here. That's because you're a fake.

Instead of spending all day arguing, you could have been helping someone who needs help. Instead, you choose to waste your time master baaating your own ego.

Job well done. The guy who went to India to learn buddhism then came back to Jerusalem to engage in tantra judism would be not be proud.

Jan 17, 2012
All attempts to address Henrik failed.
Why?
Henrik's rationality starts with God.
If you want to reach the Henriks you must go where your rationality stops. Good luck.


Lets recap.
Creationist Evanglists convert: 0 people.
Time spent trying: 20 hours.

Look who's talking about failure.
People get tired of arguing with idiots, however in typical religious wingnut fashion, that is interpreted as winning.

That's right you spent 20 hours of your life that you can never get back not convincing anyone. Meanwhile, atheists are working in the hospitals and hospices. Typical.

Jan 17, 2012
Again, Henrik, stop deflecting-

Stop deflecting and answer the question. Regarding your whole "you can't have subjective morality" thing, animals don't like it when they get hurt and resent whatever hurts them. Animals don't even have the mental capacity to think about gods, so game, set, and match.



Jan 18, 2012
Because unlike atheism, theism is supported by credible and valid arguments. These arguments come from the area of cosmology, physics, psychology, geology, biology, philosophy and history to name but a few.

Whereas in the history of mankind, no atheist has ever come up with a valid argument against the existence of God.

Again you cop out. I asked you to name a sepcific one. ONE. Just one that is proof (or even an indication) that there is a god as opposed to no god.
Give one indication that positing something as unbelievably complex as an omnipotent, superintelligent, omniscient being makes explaining what we observe simpler or more reasonable than very simple natural processes.

But all I see is you floundering about. You know what? I'm pretty sure you don't even know - in your own heart - what you're talking about. All you're doing right now is defending some (as you now come to see) false belief because you have already wasted the majority of your life on it.

Jan 18, 2012
Hmm,I smell lot of creationism. The pathetic part is lot of theists don't know where their scripture came from. Its funny tha t Jesus, Allah and all others who were on this Creation of the Universe project might be having a single wife. And who believes in intelligence design, I would say he ( Allah/Jesus/other good fellas ) must be a bad designer because appendix in your body is of no use at all. For the creationists it makes sense.

Jan 18, 2012
appendix in your body is of no use at all

The appendix is not a good example. It does have a use. There is an interesting theory that it serves as a reservoir for our gut bacteria. This helps them repopulate the intestinal tract after a bout of diarrhea.

There are other vestigial structures (tail bone, plica luminaris, arrector pili) which seem to be remnants from our ancestorsand which have no use for us today. in nimals there are many such vestigial structures (vestigial hip bones and hind legs in some snakes. Vestigial leg structures in whales, ... )

Jan 18, 2012
hahaha thank you guys for repeatedly bringing up the altruism fact and how he has repeatedly and blatantly avoided it, as soon as it was brought up he began taking fragments of qoutes instead the entire post. Been waiting for him to reply to it since like the third page.

Jan 18, 2012
Hmm, So appendix in your body is for something. I asked other questions too by the way about Allah, Jesus etc. Then why believing in something that you don't see at all or have some kind of evidence. Cuz you were taught to do it when you were a kid. You din't know nothing and our minds were pretty much clear when we were kids. After all, we can still survive with out God ( if there is any ). There is no point to support that argument. If he is there, the world should have ended as the preacher predicted the apocalypse last year.

Jan 18, 2012
An intelligent designer would not have put the pleasure zone so close to the waste disposal unit. We are also remarkably inefficient in our digestive systems, coverting only a fraction of food ingested into energy.

As George Carlin said, "If this is the best he can do, I'm not impressed. Results like these are not what I would expect from a supreme being; more like an office temp with a bad attitude."

Jan 18, 2012
I still think wisdom teeth are the best example... how sadistic must god be to design us with 4 teeth that don't properly fit in our mouth, requiring them to be surgically removed or causing us life-long pain? I don't understand how creationists can get past this, I notice Henrik didn't respond to it...

Jan 18, 2012
If this is the best he can do


The validity of every argument depends on the plausibility of it's premises. Your argument against design is very weak, because it relies on the premise that mankind is the best possible design God could come up with. For this assertion to be true, you would have to know God's mind and plan with the human race. So the burden of proof is on you to show that mankind's current condition is a result of God's full intention and/or best efforts. For instance, it is completely possible that the human condition is not a reflection of God's final plan.

In that case you have nothing but a logical fallacy. For instance, most religions and certainly Christianity do not assume at all that the human kind is the final product. So there you go.

Jan 18, 2012
Atheists will always loose a debate on the existence of God because their foundational thinking is flawed. If you try to use the human mind to deny the very source it depends on, then you will end up in a paradox. If you assume that the human mind is the alfa and omega, you have chosen a self-refuting world view. Human thinking can never prove that human thinking alone is true, for that assertion is also the product of human thinking. Truth can only be established based on an external and objective standard that is always true, independent of the human mind.

Jan 18, 2012
First time I'm hearing that God intentionally designed humans to be flawed... tell me, what is the motivation to intentionally design something to be flawed... not in terms of god, but what motivation might cause you or someone like you to intentionally design something with a known flaw?

Jan 18, 2012
If you assume that the human mind is the alfa and omega, you have chosen a self-refuting world view. Human thinking can never prove that human thinking alone is true, for that assertion is also the product of human thinking. Truth can only be established based on an external and objective standard that is always true, independent of the human mind.


1: I don't think anyone thinks that the human mind is the "alpha and omega"... whatever that means.

2: There is no reason to assume that absolute objective knowledge can be gained by humans, and there is no reason to assume that that limitation means that there is a god... that is fallacious logic.

Most of your arguments are based on various mischaracterizations of what atheists/agnostics think. You have to know your enemy to successfully combat them, and you apparently don't know the first thing about people that don't believe in god.

Jan 18, 2012
God intentionally designed humans to be flawed


That is not what I am saying. Read carefully. My point is that for your argument against design to be valid, it's premise has to be made plausible. You have to provide proof that the current human condition reflects God's final plan and full intention with the human race. If you can't, then the argument is at best just a straw man.

Jan 18, 2012
complex as an omnipotent, superintelligent, omniscient being


Why would God be complex? The definition of God is a bodyless, immaterial Mind, which is a remarkable simple concept. God has no interacting parts or functions like a machine. My contention is that God is actually simple.

You are just confusing the thoughts and actions of God (which can be very complex indeed) and the essence or nature of God (which is quite simple). So the burden of proof that God is complex is completely on you.

Jan 18, 2012
God intentionally designed humans to be flawed


That is not what I am saying. Read carefully. My point is that for your argument against design to be valid, it's premise has to be made plausible. You have to provide proof that the current human condition reflects God's final plan and full intention with the human race. If you can't, then the argument is at best just a straw man.


You're argument is that god's design of humans is not the "final plan"... this implies that god intentionally designed humans with flaws that he may or may not fix at some later time...

I asked you to give me a reason or motivation that you, as a human, might intentionally design flaws into something that you produce. Are you refusing to answer?

Furthermore, the burden of proof is CLEARLY on you since you are the one proposing the existence of a being of unimaginable complexity for which there is zero credible evidence.

Jan 18, 2012
complex as an omnipotent, superintelligent, omniscient being


Why would God be complex? The definition of God is a bodyless, immaterial Mind, which is a remarkable simple concept. God has no interacting parts or functions like a machine. My contention is that God is actually simple.

You are just confusing the thoughts and actions of God (which can be very complex indeed) and the essence or nature of God (which is quite simple). So the burden of proof that God is complex is completely on you.


What kind of horseshit is this? I don't think you understand what complexity means... any "thing" that can create the universe must be complex. Anything that can create complexity must be complex itself.

Complexity, FYI, is given by entropy. If you don't understand that wait a few more hours and look up entropy on wiki...

Jan 18, 2012
Are you refusing to answer?


No, I have answered you by pointing out that, unless you are willing to provide proof for the premise of your argument, it presents a logical fallacy. If you have a problem understanding that, then perhaps you must pick up a book on logic first.

Jan 18, 2012
Anything that can create complexity must be complex itself.


Proof?

(Remember we are trying to have a rational debate)

Jan 18, 2012
You're argument is that god's design of humans is not the "final plan"... this implies that god intentionally designed


First of all I did not make that argument. You made the assertion against design. I am not under any obligation to help you formulate your own arguments.

But secondly, this statement is a non sequitur. If the human condition does not reflect Gods full and final intention with mankind, it does not follow logically that God intentionally designed a flawed being. I hope you can see that.

Jan 18, 2012
Are you refusing to answer?


No, I have answered you by pointing out that, unless you are willing to provide proof for the premise of your argument, it presents a logical fallacy. If you have a problem understanding that, then perhaps you must pick up a book on logic first.


It's axiomatic you lunatic.

If you don't think humans are designed ideally currently, which we clearly are not, then you either think god made a mistake or god intentionally designed us with a flaw. These are the only two options.

So which is it, did god make a mistake or did god intentionally design humans with not one but many flaws?

Jan 18, 2012
this statement is a non sequitur. If the human condition does not reflect Gods full and final intention with mankind, it does not follow logically that God intentionally designed a flawed being. I hope you can see that.


Now you're trolling, or you are more insane than I thought.

There are only two options if you agree that human beings are flawed, which we clearly are.

1 - God made mistakes in our design.
2 - God intentionally designed us with the flaws that we possess (wisdom teeth being the example I am running with).

There are no other options, so which is it?

Jan 18, 2012
There are no other options


No, you are presenting a false dilemma. There are at least two additional options:

1. God is not finished with creation yet.

This option includes all scenario's in which God has chosen to use some form of natural evolution to move towards a future and more ideal design.

2. God has created mankind perfectly, or at least very good, but through some other factor corruption entered the otherwise good design.

In both cases, God may have sufficient reasons to allow this corruption to last until He implements His final and perfect plan.

Jan 18, 2012
It's axiomatic you lunatic


No it is not. And anger is a sign of weakness. Try to stay polite and rational if you can. Be blessed.

Jan 18, 2012
1. God is not finished with creation yet.


Yet here I live, and in this time I had to have 4 teeth surgically extracted from my skull. Ergo, god intentionally designed ME with a flaw, or god made a mistake in designing ME.

This option includes all scenario's in which God has chosen to use some form of natural evolution to move towards a future and more ideal design.


Oh so now you believe in evolution? How quickly you abandon your own nonsense when pressed...

God has created mankind perfectly, or at least very good, but through some other factor corruption entered the otherwise good design.


In this case god made a mistake, part of the design is to anticipate things like this. I can design a car that looks awesome that falls apart when it hits a pothole... you're saying that's a good design just because potholes weren't anticipated?

Jan 18, 2012
It's axiomatic you lunatic


No it is not. And anger is a sign of weakness. Try to stay polite and rational if you can. Be blessed.


You're right I am angry, the shit you peddle is both an insult to the extremely intelligent people who devote their entire lives to the pursuit of knowledge and the advancement of the human race and also a dangerous message intended to spread a plague of ignorance to the unknowing and impressionable. So yes, it makes me angry when someone tries to convince others of their utter nonsense to the detriment of our society.

...and anger is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of humanity.

Jan 18, 2012
I don't know about anyone else, but I didn't read the title as:
Scientists replicate key CREATION step in life on earth

Jan 18, 2012
Yet here I live


Does it bother you that you are not the finished product and work on you is still ongoing?

Ergo, god intentionally designed


Non sequitur.

Oh so now you believe in evolution


Try to distinguish between arguments and beliefs.

In this case god made a mistake


The car manufacturer is not responsible for the damage when the driver knows the instructions but decides to run his vehicle into a brick wall.

Jan 18, 2012
You're right I am angry ....


Now you have become the drama queen of Physorg. My contention is rather that you are angry because your initial air of superiority has been checked, and that makes you mad. Let the reader decide which is more likely.

Jan 18, 2012
Does it bother you that you are not the finished product and work on you is still ongoing?


It bothers your argument, that's why you are deflecting.

I am a human, and I am alive, and I am flawed. Either your god designed me with flaws intentionally or your god made a mistake.

Which is it?

Try to distinguish between arguments and beliefs.


Do you make a habit of making arguments that you don't even believe yourself?

The car manufacturer is not responsible for the damage when the driver knows the instructions but decides to run his vehicle into a brick wall.


That wasn't the analogy.

God didn't just design the car, he designed the roads, and everything else. You think god designed everything, so if god designed everything and humans still have too many teeth to fit in their mouth he either intentionally designed us with that flaw or he made a mistake in his design of us or of our environment if it was caused by the environment.

Jan 18, 2012
Now you have become the drama queen of Physorg. My contention is rather that you are angry because your initial air of superiority has been checked, and that makes you mad. Let the reader decide which is more likely.


I, the reader, deduce that the writer of the above quote be far too intellectually inferior to carry on an intelligent conversation with people who actually know what the heck they're talking about.

I, the reader, also suggest that said commenter educate himself before he makes a fool of himself any further.

http://talkorigin...indexcc/

Have fun.

P.S. Where's that evidence? We're going on nearly 24 hours with no response.

Jan 18, 2012
I'll save you some time... you are going to assert that it is our fault that we have too many teeth... somehow something we did using our god-given free will caused this to happen, right? I know this will be where we end up because it is the last place you can fall back to, because I have had this argument many times.

First, I'd like to state that the idea that humans are somehow responsible for our own biological flaws is lunacy...

Second, we can move this discussion right along to free will if you would like, and I will tell you that free will is impossible given an omniscient god, so you tell me, does free will not exist or is god not omniscient?

Jan 18, 2012
So to recap, either god designed us intentionally flawed, god made a mistake in our design, or somehow humans caused our own biological flaws through free will and in that case god cannot be omniscient.

Either way, the bible is wrong. I don't know if you are particularly arguing in favor of the judeo-christian god or some other god of your own delusions, but any way you slice it god cannot be a perfect being, but a flawed being, so why call him god instead of "alien"

Jan 18, 2012
For instance, it is completely possible that the human condition is not a reflection of God's final plan.
Wha... are you saying that humans are still evolving??? You must be wrong because the bible says we are created in gods image.
Why would God be complex? The definition of God is a bodyless, immaterial Mind, which is a remarkable simple concept.
Yeah but as he must monitor everything in the universe and know both its entire past and its entire future, he would have to be at least as complex as this implies. He could NOT be simpler than the sum total of all that which we can detect. Right?

Jan 18, 2012
You know, if henrik is not referring to evolution he must be talking about the original sin, before which humans WERE perfect but because we gave in to temptation, we began to decrepitate.

But this is not how it LOOKS. We examine humanity and the fossil record and we can see a clear progression of changes which resulted in our current configuration.

We see these vestigial items within us and within other animals and we can clearly discern in most cases what functions they used to serve and why they are no longer needed.

There is no indication that these were ADDED to either humans or whales or snakes et al, and whether we or they ever existed in a more perfect state at any time in the past.

Henriks god left this evidence for us to examine. It tells us a very clear and consistant story. If his god fabricated this evidence in order to mislead us then he is indeed a very deceptive god. Perhaps he and satan had so much fun with Job they thought they would replay the joke?

Jan 18, 2012
And the argument that we cannot understand gods intentions does NOT play. Your god left this evidence henrik. Like I say the more we learn from it the clearer and more consistant the story becomes. If this story originates in the mind of your god it was conceived to deceive.

We examine the archeological and geologic records and we can see that the bible stories are fabrications as well. No flood, no exodus, no solomonic/davidic kingdoms, no genocidal joshuan rampage... nothing.

And so what are we to conclude about the story of our fall from grace and our resultant bad backs, wisdom teeth, and PMS? Your god has a proven record of flummery. What have you to say in his defense?

If he lied about the Red Sea/sea of reeds and jericho, then how can we possibly swallow that nonsense about immortality and preferential wish-granting?

Jan 19, 2012
Henrik's god is some kind of omnipotent bohemian hippie or some being that doesn't give a damn about his own writings and lets Satan run the show. Basically his god is a deadbeat dad. Q in Star Trek comes to mind.

Jan 19, 2012
The car manufacturer is not responsible for the damage when the driver knows the instructions but decides to run his vehicle into a brick wall.


Yeah Deathclock; quit growing wisdom teeth!

Jan 19, 2012
God planned to create people in his image, planned for them to sin (or did not stop them), despite them having no knowledge of "sin" to avoid it. Despite knowing it would happen, before creating them, he still doomed the rest of us to an eternity in hell. He sent his own son, knowing fully that he would be killed, and then dooming all generations to pay for it.

Basically, he knowingly created situations that would lead to our eternal punishment, unless we decide to throw out logic and tangible evidence to believe he exists. Oh, lard, thou art so awesome and loving!

No thanks. I prefer to just rot in the ground.

GDM
Jan 19, 2012
OK, let me see if I can sum up all of the above.
Assuming that god exists, he is f**king with us. That is not very nice, so I would have to conclude that god is really EVIL (sound of rolling thunder). As I have seen no evidence of the existance of "god", the only thing that remains is a remote possibility of beings superior to humankind on some planet waaay out there...or not.

Jan 19, 2012
I created my own ghod, well someone else created him, I just found him. He's a small wooden statue with one missing foot. He wholeheartedly backs evolution. When I asked him about it he said, "How the hell should I know, I'm just a wooden statue."

Also, Henrik, your level of crazy is rather appealing. Evolutionarily speaking, of course.

Jan 19, 2012
Henrik's god is some kind of omnipotent bohemian hippie or some being that doesn't give a damn about his own writings and lets Satan run the show. Basically his god is a deadbeat dad. Q in Star Trek comes to mind.

Q would be a lot more fun to have as a ghod. Much more fun than Henrik's boring outdated ghod. I'll believe in any ghod portrayed by John De Lancie...or that's made of wood.

Jan 19, 2012
free will is impossible given an omniscient god


This is yet another non sequitur. There is no logical contradiction between an all knowing God and the creation of humans as beings of free will. It is in fact quite possible that God would know the free willed response of every person under every circumstance in advance. This way God respects the free will of every human being, and at the same time is in full control.

Jan 19, 2012
God planned to create people in his image, planned for them to sin (or did not stop them


Not al all. The existence of sin is a necessary by-product of the creation of autonomous beings who have the free will to obey or disobey God. According to the Bible, God did warn Adam and Eve about the terrible consequence if sin. They decided to ignore that warning and sin anyway.

However, in His wisdom God planned to take on flesh one day and suffer for all sins so His creation could walk away free. That is why He said: let us create man in our own image. That image is Jesus Christ.

Naturally born human beings are not created in this image yet, so work on us is still ongoing until we freely decide to either reject or accept the image of Christ.

Those people who freely reject Christ will not be able to enter heaven, which is Gods final and perfect design of the universe. These people have chosen to suffer an eternal life of sin away from the God they have freely rejected.

Jan 19, 2012
god is really EVIL


No, the answer is that humans commit sin out of their own free will. God has done His part throughout history to redeem people. These stories can (in condensed form) be found in the Bible. His final offer is His own flesh and blood Jesus.

There is no logical contradiction between the existence of evil and God being perfect and good. Atheists have tried to find that connection, but have failed. God may have perfectly sound reasons to allow evil to exist for a limited amount of time. As soon as God has implemented His eternal plan of perfection, sin and evil will be an infinitesimally small event in light of the eternity that is to come.

Every human being has the complete free will to spend eternity suffering in sin in hell or rejoicing in righteoussness in heaven. All the information is available, so no person can accuse God when he is shut out of heaven on the day of resurrection. God can simply say: I do not know you because you rejected me first.

Jan 19, 2012
That is why He said: let us create man in our own image. That image is Jesus Christ.
Not according to every jew and moslem, and quite a few xians you may want to ask. I love how you guys like to rewrite your book to say whatever you want.

26 Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it."

Adam was perfect and immortal. His punishment for eating of the tree was mortality and suffering.

"17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die."

-The book is very clear on this.

Jan 19, 2012
And what is THIS supposed to mean??
These stories can (in condensed form) be found in the Bible.
Again you imply that there is a more perfect word than the word of god?? Would this be the more correct interpretation of his word, which can only be found coming from YOU?

You choose in your audacity to reinterpret the word of god. So do many many others EXACTLY like you, and you all interpret it differently.

And to boot, none of you nor even the book itself can correctly interpret what must be gods final and most perfect word of all - the natural world. The book fails miserably to describe it.

The book even fails to describe what scientists can find out for themselves about the stories in the book, simply by digging around and looking for evidence that they actually happened. They find nothing. The stories are all false.

How do you interpret this most embarrassing disconnect henrik?

Jan 19, 2012
They find nothing. The stories are all false


The topic of Bible inerrancy is an interesting, but totally different matter alltogether. This thread so far is concerned with the fact that a belief in the existence of God is based on solid, rational arguments. In fact the existence of God is necessary to prevent the universe becoming utterly meaningless, a-moral and inexplicable.

But to give just a brief response. I think there are very good reasons to assume that the Bible stories of Genesis are in fact historical rather than mythical or metaphorical. The reason is that the Bible material is at least generally consistent with the natural. But I do not exclude the possibility that for instance the creation account is a meta-narrative.

But all this is irrelevant for the existence of God and His final plan with the universe and humanity. Those plans we can infer just as well from the words of Jesus Christ or the writings of the apostles and church fathers.

Jan 19, 2012
Toss some of those 'valid' arguments out there


There are many. I mentioned the moral argument already:

(1) Without God, no objective moral rules and values exist
If atheism is true, morals would be social or biological constructs subject to change
(2) There are objective moral rules and values
Human experience shows that some things are objectively wrong, such as child abuse, the holocaust or discrimination against homosexuals
(3) From 1 and 2 it flows logically that God exists.
Only if God exists, do we have an obligation to act morally.

The usual responses include the Euthyphro dilemma, moral platonism or equating morality to maximum happiness. All of those are easily refuted however.

Sometimes atheists bring up the probem of evil, but that is irrelevant to the existence of God as lawgiver. Others give a social or moral critique of religion. But in fact evil deeds of believers just reinforce the moral argument not weaken it.

It's a pretty solid argument.

Jan 19, 2012
But all this is irrelevant for the existence of God and His final plan with the universe and humanity.
Not really. What we know of god and jesus come directly from the bible. If it is describing these things in the context of other things which are known to be false then we must have doubt in god and jesus.
Without God, no objective moral rules and values exist
If atheism is true, morals would be social or biological constructs subject to change
Why would biological requisites be subject to change? I gave you an understandable source for human morality which is wholly biological; the dynamics of the tribe.
http://rechten.el...RID2.pdf

This dynamic is described succinctly and further refined in the OT.

Jan 19, 2012
"Primeval man", [darwin] argued, "regarded actions as good or bad solely as they obviously affected the welfare of the tribe, not of the species". Among the living tribal peoples, he added, "the virtues are practised almost exclusively in relation to the men of the same tribe" and the corresponding vices "are not regarded as crimes" if practised on other tribes (Darwin, 1871, Vol. I: 182, 179).

-What about the structure of religions DOESNT this describe? What about the stories in the OT doesnt this explain?

Leaders early on learned how to extend their authority by institutionalizing this dynamic. With clever embellishments it enabled the israelites to conquer canaan while resisting the dilution of their identity. It was a brilliant, though totally human, innovation.

Jesus and paul only showed the world how to effect conquest from within, through revolution. Again, thoroughly man-made.

Jan 19, 2012
If it is describing these things in the context of other things which are known to be false


There are problems with this statement. Any judgement in terms of false and true must be based on an objective standard or truth. Atheists do not have such a standard. What we have is indirect observation of historical events through documents and archeology.

Second, stories like the flood and the creation account could be metaphorical. In fact many Christians regard them that way. These stories for them convey a higher truth: God as Creator of the universe and the impending judgment of God for sin.

Third, Bible narratives like the flood could be literally true just as well. There is no conclusive evidence against that interpretation. In fact, some Christians insist that the Genesis accounts are more consistent with the natural than for instance Darwinism. This is called creationism. One may not agree with it in full (I don't), but it is a logically defensible position to hold.

Jan 19, 2012
Your religions all still demand exclusivity. 'Only through jesus christ.' This pits you all against one another.

Irrespective of what you and they all preach, this means inevitable conflict, suffering, sacrifice, and slaughter, because an inseparable part of this equation is your obsession with reproductive aggression. 'FILL UP THE EARTH' is not a request. It is your Prime Directive.

This is where the edgy ecumenicism of dormancy gives way to outward hostility, when the children of the Chosen begin to starve.

Again you all SAY the same things. You all CLAIM to know the source of goodness and peace. But youre always ready and willing to kill and die in droves, in the most amoral of ways, in order to PROVE it arent you?

Jan 19, 2012
There are problems with this statement. Any judgement in terms of false and true must be based on an objective standard or truth.
Sorry I wont be sucked into phoney philosophical discussions. You all SAY the very same things in millions of very clever and practiced ways. Thousands of priests and gurus have spent centuries on the public dole refining your arguments.

You seem to be overlooking an important one though. The REASON that god had to sacrifice his only begotten son was because of the original sin. Had not adam succumbed, jesus would never have had to die. I think paul says this somewhere, yes?

Xian guilt is an important part of your particular mantra and this is the source of it. Jesus on the cross was not inevitable.
Third, Bible narratives like the flood could be literally true just as well. There is no conclusive evidence against that interpretation.
No as ethelred will tell you there was simply no time for the flood to happen. Right ET?

Jan 19, 2012
source for human morality which is wholly biological


Three fundamental problems I see with a socio-biological foundation for morality:

First, socio-biological constructs are not objective. Objective moral values would hold everywhere, regardless of culture, history or human opinion. The holocaust would also be a bad thing on Pluto.

Second, the truth of a moral value is independent of how that value came about in terms of human experience. This can be understood from our understanding of the natural world. Before we came to understand the electron, electrons did exist.

Third, the social biological account is self-defeating. It presupposes evolution, and within evolution everything is the result of socio-biological processes. This means that the socio-biological argument itself is just the result of the same process. But a natural process cannot prove its own veracity.

Jan 19, 2012
Your religions all still demand exclusivity


Aha, the old religious pluralism objection. Allow me:

1. Religious pluralism is a fallacious ad hominem argument
2. Religious pluralism itself might be wrong, for it also demands exclusivity
3. It is often based on the genetic fallacy: however the truth of something is not defined by it's way of origin
4. Religious pluralism is a worldview of its own which has roots in the culture of western post-modernism

Let me provide you the more logical approach: if indeed objective truth exists as I have shown earlier, then logically one of the religions must be true, and all others false. The true one could be Christianity, or pluralism, or atheism or buddhism etc. But the most likely candidate for truth is based on the best evidence. And Christiany has by far the best papers so far.

Jan 19, 2012
One thing to understand is that what religionists see as the immoral practices of secular society are endorsed primarily to reduce population growth in exactly the same way that religious mores are configured to maximize it.

The strictest religious cultures allow women to do NOTHING else but make and raise children. Charity is invariably meant for families which have grown too large to support themselves. Physical appearance is standardized and disguised to reduce the temptation to stray. And deviation from these mores carries the worst of punishments.

Religions may moderate these mores but they never abandon them. Secular western society has legitimized alternative sexual activities which do not lead to conception. and it has given both sexes meaningful alternatives to procreation.

This is due in part to our tropical reproductive rate. But religions seek to MAXIMIZE this rate and this has resulted in equally bizarre and draconian social measures designed to compensate for it.

Jan 19, 2012
such as child abuse, the holocaust or discrimination against homosexuals

Why are those things wrong?


I rest my case. Clearly the more rational approach is to consider these things objectively morally wrong. You are in fact saying that child abuse could be a good thing to do. Do you see the level of perverse thinking your atheism has lead you to?

Jan 19, 2012
The holocaust would also be a bad thing on Pluto.
But not to joshua or gideon eh? God even condoned incest when his adherents perceived that they were the last of their kind. So does nature by the way.

'Everything is beautiful in its own time... There is a [Proper] time for everything under the sun.' In other words, defeat is NOT an option.

Jan 19, 2012
ergo those being 'bad' are not Objective moral values


You have misunderstood the word objective here. Objective means independent of culture, human opinion and time. You are also making the classical mistake of confusing moral epistemology with moral ontology.

The fact that societies and people violate objective moral codes does not mean they do not exist. Even if Hitler had convinced the whole earth that gassing the Jews was a decent thing to do, it would still be morally wrong.

Jan 19, 2012
But not to joshua or gideon eh


At the risk of repeating myself: Biblical inerrancy is a different topic. I would be happy to discuss at some point, but not now. You know, when two grownups have a debate they usually don't jump from topic to topic like little children.

Right now we are discussing the moral argument for the existence of God. If you have any contribution to make to that, then feel free to do so.