Religion and Faith

Is it all right for someone who is not a member of a specific religion to tell someone who is a member that he is practicing his religion all wrong?Or how about this: should someone who isn't religious at all tell someone who is what the proper province of religion is, and where religion cuts off and science begins?

It sounds like a strange question, but I've seen this happen a lot, right here on hubpages.

I've even seen people make blanket statements about what "real" religions are like. As opposed to what? False religions? What is most amazing is when these types of statements are made in the name of tolerance.

People will say something like: "I respect all religions, except those that are judgemental or coercive." Well, in that case, you don't respect all religions. You might as well be honest about it.

Or someone else may say: "Religion is about matters of personal conscience, but it has nothing to do with cosmology or how humanity evolved. Those are questions for science to decide." But science evolved from philosophy which evolved from religion. How can you say that cosmology has nothing to do with religion?

What all of these attempts to delimit the place of religion in public debate have in common is that it's assumed that you can believe whatever you like -- as long as it doesn't really matter.

Last year, around Thanksgiving, my daughter came home and told me her teacher had taught her that the Pilgrims came to America so that they could be free to worship God.

That sounded a little off to me, so I said: "You mean, they came to America so that they could be free to worship their god in their own way?"

"No. Just so they could worship God. That's what the teacher said."

I've since spoken to other people who seem to believe the same thing. It almost sounds as if the Old World were a completely godless place, where people were forbidden to worship.

Considering that all the countries of Europe had an established state religion and that the religion of the Pilgrims was an offshoot of the official religion whose minor doctrinal differences are difficult for outsiders to appreciate, this paints a very misleading picture of what freedom of religion is.

To understand what the establishment clause is trying to guard against, you must first understand what old world established religion is really like.

I was born in Israel, a country where the establishment of religion flourishes. Israel is, unfortunately, labeled "the Jewish State", and the Rabbinical Authority there is part of the government. However, if you think that in Israel everyone is being coerced into being a Jew, you would be very much mistaken. Instead, the government decides for you which religion you belong to. Religion is marked in people's official identity documents. If your parents were Jewish, then you are Jewish. If your parents were Moslem, then you are Moslem. If your parents were Christian, then you are Christian. There is a whole list of state-recognized religions. The only way you can change the religious affiliation marked in your documents is if you show official written proof that you have been accepted into another of the state-approved religions.

If you talk to government officials in Israel, they will tell you that they believe in religious tolerance. They don't want to force anyone to join their own religion. In fact, they make it very difficult, if not impossible, to join.

This is not the only form of establishment of religion possible, but it is typical, not only of Israel today, but of the way things were done in Eastern Europe between the World Wars.

Athena, Goddess of War and of Science -- and Patroness of Athens

Image Credit: The Wikipedia
Image Credit: The Wikipedia

The freedom of religion that the pilgrims were looking for wasn't the freedom to worship God. It was the freedom to decide what their religion actually consisted of! They had, what to an outsider like me, looks like minor, doctrinal disputes with the established religion. But these seemingly minor points meant everything to them. For these fine points of disagreement they were willing to be imprisoned or to flee their homes and try to eke out a living in the wilderness, and to face probable death from exposure to the elements or starvation or warfare with native tribes.

I don't know of any Americans today who take their theology quite this seriously. Which is why the establishment of religion is misunderstood today both by right wing evangelicals and by left wing humanists.

Today, even the pagans sound like adherents of a Judeo-Christian religion. One hears a lot about universal love, and the way the Goddess provides for humanity, but surprisingly little about many different gods and godesses, some for fertility, some for the hunt, and some to help warriors conduct themselves with honor on the field of battle.

Religion is a very ancient thing that calls upon our deepest emotions. It may very well pre-date humanity, for why do wolves bay at the moon? Early man had many gods and goddesses. In the ancient world, each town had its own patron or patroness. Athena, the goddess of Athens, was equally in charge of warfare and of science. The pursuit of knowledge and the pursuit of power were not considered all that different. Religion was not about universal love.

For some, religion is mostly a social thing; for others, it is very personal. They commune directly with their gods. Every famous world religion today at one time was a small and charismatic cult.

The United States of America is perhaps one of the few places where passionate, personal religion flourishes without persecution. (Most of the time, and with some notable exceptions.) People are free to found new religions and new sects. The government is not allowed to tell you that what you believe is not a "real" religion. The state is not in the business of deciding what is true and what is false. That is for each individual to decide for himself.

The downside of all this freedom is that Americans are so sadly ignorant of their own history that many of them don't appreciate what a unique and wonderful achievement separation of church and state really is.

When I was in college, I first came upon this ignorance in the form of a girl in my government class, who in all earnestness asked: "But if it's true that God made the world, why shouldn't we make people study that in the public schools?"

Sadly, the professor did not have a good answer for her. He was struck dumb by the simplicity of her question.The right answer should have been: "Because the government is not in the business of deciding what is true."

For the same reason, government involvement in the establishment of science is also an infringement of first amendment rights. One man's science is another man's religion. It should be entirely a private matter.




Copyright Aya Katz

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Comments 66 comments

John 8 years ago

Very interesting Hub. Religion is very complicated and sometimes it hard to express your beliefs to people not of your faith. They usually thing your crazy or your religion is. I believe in showing my faith by my acts and not my words.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 8 years ago from The Ozarks Author

John, thanks for your comment. I agree that our real values are expressed best by our actions. However, as you say, religion is a complicated thing, and it consists of more than just our values.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 8 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Interesting hub, but there are a couple of points I'd mention. The USA is not unique in having no established religion. Scotland has none, for example. Anglicanism is established only for England. But even in England, religion is never assumed (as in your Israeli example). Rather it would be a census question which no-one needs to answer.

I can't agree with your conclusion regarding science. You are right that science has evolved from earlier forms of thought. But it has evolved to the point where there is a Criterion of Demarcation (after Popper) between Science and non-Science. This doesn't mean Science is true. It does mean that it comprises as yet unfalsified but logically falsifiable hypotheses.

If someone's religion tells them they must proselytise and convert their neighbours, fair enough, let them get on with it. But let them not be surprised if their neighbours take umbrage. I suppose we should even accept that some people will feel driven to 'require' state schools to teach their brand of 'truth'. If the rest of us are too feeble-minded to prevent it from taking place, we can only blame ourselves for sacrificing our children's right to be protected from zealotry.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

Interestingly some extreme religious groups such as the Jehovah's Witnesses are more than happy not to have religion taught in school, especially because mainstream Christian teachings go against much of what they preach.  On the other hand, they will be taught to be respectful of a teacher giving a biology lesson, but many will be outspoken against it if asked directly.  Until 1990's the Watch Tower discouraged JW's from attended college because they felt their young followers would study science, technology, and then be less dependent on the organization.  This is one of the oddest groups when it comes to education because they have so many exceptions to what is being taught in public school, but interestingly their doctrines change slightly every few years, especially after their prediction for the end of the world did not come by the end of the last century.  In the end it is quite humorous really.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 8 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Paraglider, thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts.

I'm not familiar with the state of religion in Scotland, and, of course, I do realize that the Israeli example is not the only form that established religion can take. In many places, the established religion is given lip service at official events, but a person's religion is not a matter of public record. In the past, religious persecution included being faced with the choice of conversion or death or conversion or exile. This is not the current state in present day Europe. 

As for the business of falsifiable hypotheses, as you know I have read your hub on Popper. There are two points I think worth making in this regard:

1) the line of demarcation between science and non-science should never be attributed to any government authority. Let the scientific community patrol these boundaries -- but it is not the province of the government in a free society. 

2)Once a falsifiable hypothesis has been extensively tested and not found wanting, most reasonable people proceed on the assumption that it is true. Of course, tomorrow we may find proof that changes our minds, and we will know we were wrong today. But to say that absolute proof of the truth is not possible is not the same as saying that science isn't seeking after the truth. What else could we be seeking for but to draw as close to the truth as possible?

Sweetie Pie, thanks for dropping by. I suppose predicting the end of the world would be bound to end up humorous, since only if you got it wrong would there still be a world in which we can record the outcome.

It's true that more outlandish religions have more of an incentive in keeping the government out of religion. Maybe one of the problems that we face with "the moral majority" is that they are so sure that their beliefs are mainstream...


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

Right now I would say no particular group is mainstream.  However, mainstream Christian teachings do vary greatly from those of the JW's, and the majority of Americans still claim some type of affiliation with a Christian/Catholic based faith. 

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_prac2.htm

Of course as time goes by this is changing more and more.  Islam is one of the fatest growing religions in the US, so in the future Christians may not be the religious majority in the US.


weblog profile image

weblog 8 years ago from 1India

Interesting hub, I have nothing much to say special. I don't know much either about religions(I'm born as hindu) or science. I personally can survive without any thoughts about the existence of God, it's just me.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 8 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Weblog, thanks for dropping by. I think many people feel as you do... It's just that they don't go out of their way to say so, and that's why deeply religious people have more of an impact.


Chef Jeff profile image

Chef Jeff 8 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

Great hub! For me religion is a personal matter. Science is a way of trying to explain things we don't quite understand. Government is best left out of religious matters, and people need the freedom to either believe or not believe, as they so choose.

Cheers!

Chef Jeff


Chef Jeff profile image

Chef Jeff 8 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

Great hub! For me religion is a personal matter. Science is a way of trying to explain things we don't quite understand. Government is best left out of religious matters, and people need the freedom to either believe or not believe, as they so choose.

Cheers!

Chef Jeff


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 8 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Chef Jeff, than you for stopping by. I totally agree. Religion is a personal matter.

Even if we did have a an iron-clad rule to determine what is or is not science, we will never have a rule to determine what is or is not religion. This means that the government had better stay out of both, unless we're going to allow science to pre-empt religion.


hot dorkage profile image

hot dorkage 8 years ago from Oregon, USA

Great hub Aya Katz. I struggle with religion my whole life. It is so easy to make fun of my religion (Catholicism) with the pedophiles and the inquisition and all that but OTOH if you read the words of the Catholic mystics or observe the simple faith of humble folks you can find some truely spiritual stuff in there. Having said that, all mysticism whether buddhist, hindu, christian, jewish, or islam tends to drift to a commonality anyway and throw off a lot of the popular and cultural trappings of it's religion of origin. Thomas Merton realized that when he studied Buddhism in the 60's.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 8 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Hot dorkage, thanks for the comment. I sympathize with how you feel. The religious temperament and the rational mind often occur in the same person, and this can create a lot of turmoil.


Melissa G profile image

Melissa G 8 years ago from Tempe, AZ

Great job with this hub, Aya. It's very well written and thought provoking. One thing that occured to me while I read it is I don't fully understand what constitutes religion. If one person believes in a unique set of spiritual tenants and deities, does that person belong to her or his own religion? Also, what's the difference between religion and faith. You mentioned that perhaps religion pre-dates humanity, but how could religion exist if nobody was around to believe in it?


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 8 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Melissa G, thanks for your comment and for asking some very good questions!

The word "religion" is sometimes used as an abbreviation of "organized religion." However, I think you're right. If someone has a set of religious beliefs that is unique to that person, then it could be a religion of one. It could become a religion of two or more, once the original believer persuades a few others to join.

I think that faith is the mental state of believing, as opposed to the thing that one believes in. Real faith, like real love, is not a choice -- it's an involuntary emotion. We can choose what we do about how we feel, but we can't directly control our feelings. People with intense conversion experiences go through an emotional process very similar to falling in love.

When I wrote that it may be that religion pre-dates humanity, I meant that other animals seem to experience similar emotions to those evoked by religion, such as reverence for celestial bodies.


Melissa G profile image

Melissa G 8 years ago from Tempe, AZ

Aya, thank you for explaining! I read in a book, maybe The Prophet, that there are as many religions as there are individuals in the world--meaning, I suppose, that even within any organized religion, each follower has their own, unique perspective on the teachings and what they mean. I always thought that was a very interesting point.

Your views on faith make good sense. Thank you for setting forth that description. It seems like reverence for celestial bodies may fall somewhere between faith and religion--or it may be part of animal and human instincts. Who knows--it's interesting to think about, though!


Jewels profile image

Jewels 8 years ago from Australia

Religion pre-dates humanity. Well NO. Isn't religious doctrine and sect behaviour an explanation and climbing back toward an experience? But that experience is not from belief or faith, but a knowing. A state of being that was lost at the Fall - the Adam/Eve incident - the partaking of the tree of knowledge (that darn apple), where humans split from unity to separation. From a state of knowing to a state of wanting to understand knowing. Hence duality. Depends on how far you want to go inward to see and to know. But since that occurence haven't people wanted to know "Why God did you want us to have this experience - we were perfectly happy the way we were?"

Every bit of doctrine has been to get us back to this state of bliss. Nothing more/nothing less.

Thanks for enabling a wow moment above my head about Truth and that center line - the Tao, the place between yin and yang, night and day, the interface at the center of polarities. Rhyme and Reason. Often the pursuit of truth is looking for what is right - and if we find it then we have the perfect set of rules and we can live happily ever after. But the set of rules that are being sought to date swing to only one side of the pendulum and create a constriction. Likened to anal righteousness. Constriction, to restriction, to suppression which leads to our own hell. OK, that was my rant about my wow moment, brought about by your hub, thanks.

The job of the Government is not to dictate truth, it's job is to make sure our sewerage is working. So we can find our center line among all the waves of euphoria and sadness while having this strange human experience.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 8 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Melissa G, I agree. Even within an organized religion each follower has a unique perspective.

Jewels, thanks for sharing your "wow!" moment. I understand the perspective that "the fall" was a split from the unity of not distinguishing differences to the separation of seeing distinctions. However, as a cognitive scientist dealing with non-humans and language, I'd have to say that I think this state of unity can be found in a human infant that has not yet discovered the distinction between itself and its mother, but is not found in most non-human mammals.

People tend to idealize other animals, attributing to them some kind of "noble savage" oneness with all creation. In my experience, that's not so. Chimpanzees in the wild may live in a garden of Eden where fruit grows on trees and no labor, beyond picking the fruit, is required, but they have a very sophisticated social system, where everything is tit-for-tat. The idea that chimps are like us "before the fall" is not supportable.

All mammals distinguish between themselves and others, between the in-group and the out-group, between their own young, and the young of others. These distinctions are tremendously important for the survival of each individual in the group.

Humans may be the only mammals who are born not knowing the separation between self and other that is considered the "innocent state of grace." The reason human infants are so clueless is because they mature much more slowly than other animals. A chimp in that state would be a chimp in utero.


Jewels profile image

Jewels 8 years ago from Australia

I don't see the noble savage oneness - that's the first I've heard of that one! To me the animal kingdom is primarily one of survival, kill or be killed, very instinctual. We humans are not much different unfortunately; we have allot in common. I think humans instinctly know the separation, though it's mostly unconscious but lies latent within us all. It's our motivation to find love beyond keeping the species going. Our desire to be in union again is at the crux of our desires, and our shortcomings. And we all have our different standpoints and ways of getting back to this same state.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

Aya- "The reason human infants are so clueless is because they mature much more slowly than other animals" I don't know if it's do with the fact that humans evolution has made the babies feel safer and they take more time to mature unlike deer or some animals they need to learn to run or hide to survive being eaten.

Yes I do agree every human being has the right to think for themselves but also be open to others.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 8 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Jewels, thanks for clarifying -- and sorry I jumped to that conclusion. I guess that where I got confused was the suggestion that we want to get "back" in union, and I was trying to think when we might have ever been in union. beyond the infant or unborn state. But if I put myself firmly back in the frame of mind that we are talking about religion, not biology, then of course you have a valid point. That is what most religions tell us to aim for.

Countrywoman, thanks for dropping by. You're right, human infants are amazingly fearless. I think they feel safer because they are so helpless that they couldn't run if they wanted to, so there's no point in paralyzing them with fear. Their caretakers have to be the ones to make sure they don't get eaten -- and in the not so distant past, many were eaten! One of the confusing things about human babies is the amount of racket they make, screaming for no reason when their needs are being met. Chimp babies are so much more quiet. I can't help but wonder when human babies became so noisy. It would be a terrible disadvantage for human survival during a time when we had to evade predators.


Jewels profile image

Jewels 8 years ago from Australia

Aya - I'm a big metaphysical geek. I've done allot of meditation and work on inner vision, studied a bit. I'm in no way an expert but I use my experience as a reference to unravel written texts. Have to say I never understood this Adam and Eve myth at school and the apple eating story until I separated myself from the verbal to the experiential which is where meditation can take you when there is a state of consciousness within the experience. So I'm not interested in what I'm told to do by any Religious dogma - to me it's a senseless endeavour. Though we are along way from science bridging to these experiences.

Yes, this state of union is in the newborn child. One reason babies became so "noisy' can be seen as a reflection of the world today. It's so busy, active, vocal. So little time for peace and leisure. The environment a child is in has changed, how could we expect them to remain quiet amid the chaos. Our society has changed from the slower more sedate times to one of 'full speed ahead.' This is evolution in progress. Babies have to keep up!


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

Jewels- You have opened a totally new dimension. I asked my grand father why do we call kids as equal to God and he gave me the explanation that " God is having the purest consciousness and until the kid is polluted with material deficiencies they have similar (not same) consciousness the moment the kid starts telling lies, dishonest and other qualities he/she loses that consciousness". He also used to practice different meditation techniques and used to tell me during our evening walks "to bow to that woman their and respect this man here" I asked him how he figures it out he used to say "he could feel the presence of aura/certain energy in different people including plants/animals"

Ofcourse these statements are based on faith and to me I believed in him (others maynot believe) since by way of scientific experiments not possible. My grandfather lived a pure life getting up early eating only one simple meal a day (besides twice a day drinking milk) and speaking very less. In his last days he almost totally became a recluse and spending even more time in Meditations.


Jewels profile image

Jewels 8 years ago from Australia

Not faith countrywomen, it's vision. Feeling/sensing is a form of seeing, or vision. I would love to have met your grandfather.


pjk_artist profile image

pjk_artist 7 years ago from Turkey Point, ON

You ask:

Is it all right for someone who is not a member of a specific religion to tell someone who is a member that he is practicing his religion all wrong?

I reply:

As bad as this may seem... if you have discovered the truth about God... and nobody else seems to have... are you not obligated to inform/correct/teach the masses?

Of course each different religion KNOWS WITH ABSOLUTE SURETY that they know the real truth and everyone else is wrong. I made a blanket statement today... saying all religions have one thing in common... they all worship a false external God. I have recently discovered that God is actually internal... your own imagination... this is truth... and I feel a need... an obligation to help all these poor souls who have been fooled and convince them. Am I right to do this? I don't know. Great question!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

pjk_artist, of course you have the right to share your own discovery of what you believe is true with the world. Others may decide to listen or not. That is their choice. But don't give up your dream of sharing your truth with someone who might be willing to listen!

The question I asked was a little different. For instance, if someone does not believe in a particular religion, does that person have the right to tell a true believer how that religion should be interpreted?


qwark profile image

qwark 7 years ago

Hi aya:

There are many "religions." Most are innocuous.

Monotheism is the only religious belief that has developed the kind of power and control that can perpetrate the demise of evolving life on this planet.

The human brain has evolved very rapidly over the past 60 thousand years. As it's abilities expanded, the anomaly: consciousness was engendered. This made man an unique animal amongst all earthly life.

As "consciousness" grew, confusion and fear was created.

Death was not understood.

The planet became a frightful place with pain, suffering, death and frustration a moment by moment occurrence.

To continue to exist, abjectly ignorant man had to "socialize." There is strength in numbers. Bonding was a natural result. The loss of a "family" member weakened the group.

To give meaning to, and provide reason for all the enigmatic "natural" events inherent in his life, primitive man "imagined" supernatural forces upon which he could fall back upon for strength or blame in times of sorrow and hardship.

As "man's" sophistication was enhanced, his beliefs in the "supernatural" followed suit. Those beliefs are alive and well today.

The difference is that contemporary man arrogantly believes that he is of "special" value in the universe, because "he" has been "blessed" with a promise of immortality by an imagined "creator of the universe." He is, of course, of value only to himself and only for the "moment" he exists.

Contemporary man has been around for about 40,000 years. He is an infant life form which is profoundly involved his evolution.

His "imagination," functioning at this nacent level of consciousness, may be the antithesis of natures requirements for adaptation and balance.

Religious "faith" is defined as "hope."

Intelligent "action" not "hope," will be man's savior.

For man to succeed as a species, he must grow in intelligence, and replace monotheistic "hope" with the power of logic and reason.

Qwark


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Qwark, I agree with many of your observations. There does seem to be a profusion of monotheistic religions at the moment. Some of these have an almost Candidian quality of trying to convince themselves that we live in the best of all possible worlds, and instead of helping to sort out conflicts of interest between different groups, the purpose seems to be cloak our problems or ignore them outright.

It is true that some of these religions focus almost entirely on the issue of mortality and how to cope with the frightening prospect of our own demise.

However, there is really a great deal more to religion than that small issue of death. Most of religion has to do with life, and how we can conduct ourselves honorably and heroicly, achieving great things despite the odds.

Not all optimism is based on blind faith and unreasonable hope. Some is based on a pragmatic understanding that if we submit to despair, we will never overcome the odds.


qwark profile image

qwark 7 years ago

Hi Aya:

There are only 3 "major" monotheisms: christianity, islam and judaism. all believe in the same imagined god.

When the term "religion" is used, that word covers a myriad beliefs and as I said most are innocuous.

Regardless of the "belief," god/s have always been imagined.

As a young species, "man" is struggling to adjust to the "uniqueness" of "consciousness." He is still an ignorant, primitive, predacious brute.

Mother Gaia demands that her fiats, concerning "survival" are met, or the final outcome will be extinction.

"Man" is but one of trillions of life forms that have evolved and may go the way of the majority: here today, gone tomorrow.

Religious faith, "hope," is founded upon primitive human weakness and an inability to act except in terms of pleas for help from imagined god/s.

Pragmatism founded upon reality, reasoned thought and action, will be man's "Savior."

At this point in time, "man" has been so fragmented by "monotheism," that his ability to come together in concert for the sake of human survival isn't possible. With the potential of human population burgeoning to almost double in the next half century, that fragmentation will also double.

To this realist, logician, and "science fiction buff, "optimism, as it relates to the future of human kind, is approaching it's lowest ebb.

We are facing an imminent diminution in the numbers of extant life on this planet.

As Hawking said (paraphrase) we face a greater threat from our own kind than we do from a cosmic source.

Great chatting with ya.

Qwark


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Qwark, I agree with much of what you say. However, what exactly do you mean by the "uniqueness of consciousness"?


qwark profile image

qwark 7 years ago

Hi Aya:

By consciousness I mean: having perception, knowledge, an ability to understand, to have insight, to be able to plan ahead and follow thru, to be aware of and recognize ones existence, to be curious and able to act to create the future, to act and react "willfully" not instinctively, to imagine..etc., etc.. No other form of life on this planet has evolved those abilities. That makes human consciousness "unique."

thanks for the thoughtful response.

Qwark


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Qwark, I understood your use of the word "consciousness". It's the phrase "unique consciousness" that I didn't understand. Why do you think that no other form of life on this planet has evolved those abilities?

Have you read about my research with Bow?


qwark profile image

qwark 7 years ago

Hi Aya:

Yes I know about your experiences with your chimp. Bow is a wonderful creature as are all the great apes and dolphins.

The great apes are "aware" of themselves in a mirror.

There are many animals which display learned abilities to use simple tools.

The human animal is the only animal that exists or has existed that has evolved the 2 mighty frontal lobes of the brain that are involved in motor function, problem solving, spontaneity, memory, language, initiation, judgement, impulse control, social and sexual behavior and spacial orientation. They control the human ability to plan series of movements needed to perform multi-stepped tasks i,e, reading music while playing a musical instrument which necessitates the use of all the extremities ( an organ for instance.)

No other animal, not even "Bow" can visualize the world of the future and plan for it. Man can.

Books have been written about the extremity of differences in "consciousness" 'twixt man and other animal life.

This evolved anomaly "consciousness" seperates man from other animal life so distinctly that he is considered to be unique amongst all life on the planet.

I have also read about amazing experiments conducted by a woman with a gorrila raised from infancy. The gorrila displayed many human abilities that were unexpected and surprising.

It is thought by some researchers that humans and chimpanzees should be in one genus.

I wish you continued success with "Bow."

Qwark


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Qwark, on what do you base this idea that no other animal visualizes the world of the future and plans for it?

I'm willing to venture a guess: you probably base it on the presence or absence of complicated material culture. Has it ever occurred to you that if they had wanted the material culture, chimpanzees could have created it, but that they realized that they would have ended up slaves to their own tools, and chose not to?

Bow knows about "work". He's opposed to it. He thinks we can live better without working.


qwark profile image

qwark 7 years ago

Hi aya:

Ah yes I remember "Pierre Boulle's" wonderful story; "The Planet of the Apes."

"...on what do you base this idea that no other animal visualizes the world of the future and plans for it? I'm willing to venture a guess: you probably base it on the presence or absence of complicated material culture."

Not at all.

About 6 million years ago, man and chimp diverged from a common ancestor. the reason Bow cannot create what man can is due to to "genetics." The human "cerebral cortex," the brain's most highly evolved region, is about 3 times larger than the chimps. It is a much more complicated structure in humans than in apes and monkeys.

If you view the brain as the body's engine, "...the human brain fires like a 12-cylinder engine, while the chimp brain works more like a 6-cylinder engine." The possiblity that "Bow" and his like could accomplish the feats we "humans" are capable of, does not exist now and never has.

I know that Bow is family. It would be difficult to think of him as being anything but "human" since he has grown and matured along with you and yours.

You seem to be a thoughful and caring "father." ..:-)

Qwark


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Qwark, actually, I'm a mother.

And while Bow can't produce or even explain the technology all around him at the age of seven, neither can his human sister, my biological daughter, at the age of ten. Most humans use technology that they don't really understand. It's not genetics, Qwark. It's not the configuration of our brain. It's how we use it!


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qwark 7 years ago

Hi Aya:

You seem to be a thoughful and caring "Mom."..:-)

My Bad!

Ok...:-) We'll leave it there and I hope, we'll agree to disagree.

Thanks for your responses.

Qwark


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Qwark, we can agree to disagree, but don't feel compelled to stop. Your comments are always welcome!


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qwark 7 years ago

Hi Aya:

Anytime you feel like a "chat," ....I'll be here :-)

give my best to "Bow." :-)

Qwark


qwark profile image

qwark 7 years ago

Hi Aya:

I don't know if you know that I answered your response to my "hub" "It Will swallow the earth." If you did and just didn't want to respond....it's ok...:-)

Qwark


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Qwark, I think I missed your response. I'll go check it out.


qwark profile image

qwark 7 years ago

Hi Aya:

Here's my response to your response on my "hub" "The Reward."

"Hi aya:

Not at all..:-)

I see "fully realized" life as the the goal of evolution.

I visualize "THAT" life as having no vestigial remnants of prior existence except that that life now exists as pure "intelligent energy."

The "known" universe is only about 14.7 billion years old. In terms of geologial time, that is but a blink of an eye. Beyond the "known" universe exists space. Within that "space" exists mysteries we primitive creatures cannot imagine.

I can conceive of forms of life which exist which have "evolved" to become dynamic forces which can ply the abysses of limitless space by simple "will." These "forces" would not be limited by the laws of physics. They would be profoundly involved in the processes of limitless and eternal "evolution."

They would own a Capacity or potential for "absolute" effective action.

They would exist as Einsteins: E=MC2!!

Please read my profile Aya...that in itself may explain "ME" to you.

Thanks again my science fiction pal..:-)"

Qwark


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Qwark, you are a mystic. If intelligence is pure energy and needs no vessel, then perhaps you don't need a spaceship to roam the universe!


qwark profile image

qwark 7 years ago

Hi Aya:

Until evolution takes us to the point of "The Reward," the "spaceship" will be our only means of escape.

We are a primitive, conscious form of life headed toward extinction or success.

Sharks and alligators seem to be more adaptable than we.

Thanks for the response.

Qwark


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Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Qwark, sharks and alligators may be better adapted to this environment than we are, but I doubt that they are more adaptable than we are.

How do you know that intelligence takes the form of pure energy? What does this mean, in practical terms?


qwark profile image

qwark 7 years ago

Hi Aya:

Oh yes, alligators and sharks have proven to be much more adaptable than we.

Modern man has existed for less than 40k years. Sharks, for instance, have existed for over 400 million years.

At this stage of the evolution of man, the brain would be useless without a mass of "protoplasm" to do it's bidding.

If human life becomes successful and finally leaves this planet, it will continue to evolve.

As the "brain" becomes more functional, less will be expected/needed of the body.

All matter is comprised of "energy." Eventually, there will be no need for the "intelligent" energy encased in a "brain, to depend upon mass to accomplish a function. It will function using the laws of kinetics.

It will become free of mass and exist as an incorporeal entity comprised of nothing but an ethereal vitality which could only be defined by mathematics.

It would become the realization of the "Theory of Everything."

I'm "sure" that these "entities" exist beyond our limited ability to imagine.

Thanks for asking Aya.

Qwark


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Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Qwark, the distinction I was making was between the terms "adaptable" and "adapted". We have changed more than the sharks and alligators have. We are therefore more adaptable, while they are better adapted.


qwark profile image

qwark 7 years ago

Hi aya:

it would seem so, but that would only be to the untrained eye.

Both the shark and the alligator have existed for more than 200 million years and have had to adapt, successfully, to all the insults of geologic time, They've proved themselves to be the most highly adaptable and some of the best adapted forms of life on Earth.

WE "humans," have existed as Homo/sapiens for less than 40,000 years and are not adapting well. In fact, we seem to have divorced ourselves from all that is required by Mother Nature to survive as a species.

Of course all the aforementioned is evolution functionimg as it has and shall for eternity.

Qwark :-)


opinion duck 7 years ago

Aya

Religion has more to do with people, than with God.

People make up the rules regarding their religion.

Variations and offshoots of some religions just developed because people decided it should be different to better suit them and what they wanted in a religion.

Religion is necessary to keep people busy during their lives and believe that they have a purpose to their existence.

Religion and Science are at opposite ends. Religion doesn't seek answers, because it has faith in the bibles. Religion is focused on serving God and not questioning his existence.

Science is searching for answers of all kinds and in all areas of existence. Science theorizes on answers to its questions. Science is based on man's curiosity and intelligence. Science is better at utilizing its discoveries as opposed to its reality. For example, even before the atom was able to be seen, it was utilized in various products and applications. Electricity is harnessed and utilized even though there are many questions about how sub atomic parts really function.

The point is that Religion has accepted an answer about God's existence with no scientific proof available, while Science doesn't even have a theory on God's existence.

Religion can therefore be deemed an emotion to soothe our minds, while science is our intellectual candy that we must continually chew until we get an undisputed factual answer.

Religion is far more involved with shutting down science, than Science is about shutting down Religion.

Copernicus and the Church is just one example of this.

......my opinion, neither religious nor scientific.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Qwark, alligators and sharks haven't changed much in a long, long time, because they can manage in the environment as it changes without changing themselves. They are less flexible than humans, and they need less flexibility in order to survive. It's a design feature. So I would say that alligators and sharks are better adapted -- not more adaptable.

You want humans to change from what they are to something they are not. You want us to create a difficult environment for ourselves, for the purpose of speeding up our evolution. That is the opposite of what the alligator has done. Do you understand this?


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Opinion Duck, it's important not to confuse established religions with religion in general and established science with real science.

The average member of an established religion has never had a religious experience in his life. He has never seen a god, an angel or a devil, and like most people, he is highly skeptical if someone else declares that he has.

The average established scientist has never discovered any important scientific facts for himself. He is highly skeptical of anyone else's discoveries.

Skepticism can be good in both cases. However, the difference in protocols for "proving the truth" is less pronounced than you might suspect.


opinion duck 7 years ago

Aya

I am really sorry, but I just couldn't make sense of your comment.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Opinion Duck, I'm sorry too. If you'd like ask some questions to clarify the confusion, please feel free. I'll be happy to respond.


qwark profile image

qwark 7 years ago

Hi Aya:

I think ya missed my point.

Sharks and alligators have had 200 million years to adapt and they've had to adapt to far greater changes in environment than we have had to. They have proven their adaptability.

We humans are still languishing on the "bottom rung" of the evolutionary ladder...totally confused by the anomaly "consciousness" and the unique ability to choose. We challenge nature. The results are yet to be realized

I don't think, Aya, that I've Intimated that I "want" man to change. All that I've alluded to, in our chat, is what I think man will have to do if he is to become a successful species and leave this planet to search our galaxy for places to inhabit.

Space travel, for the lengths of time necessary to reach other cosmic systems, is impossible for man as he exists,. He will logically and necessarily have to create new human species which will be pre-programmed to exist in space.

.....enjoyable chat...:-)

Qwark


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Qwark, I feel that you missed my point about the difference between being "more adaptable" and being "better adapted."

All life on earth is related. We all had a common origin. That means that the alligator and homo sapiens had the same starting point. Alligators are reptiles. At one time, our ancestors were reptiles, too. Mammals developed later. We are mammals.

All mammals continued to adapt to the environment as it changed more than all reptiles. All reptiles stayed closer to an earlier form, which works for them. Therefore, a reptile is better adapted to its environment, but is not as flexible about changing more. Humans are late comers -- but we didn't just show up out of nowhere. We just kept adapting, while others adapted less.

They (the reptiles) may be successful adaptations, because they are already well adapted to the environment. We (the mammals) are still changing, so we are more adaptable.


qwark profile image

qwark 7 years ago

Hi Aya:

Chatting with you is interesting...:-)

I think we could both go on ad infinitum...I know I could write a book on why I believe as I do....I'm sure you could too...lol, but I think the "civil" thing to do is to "agree to disagree."

I've enjoyed our "chat" my friend.

I hope you have a long and wonderful life.

Qwark


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Qwark, sure, let's agree to disagree! I've enjoyed our chat, too. Please feel free to come back and chat some more any time!


qwark profile image

qwark 7 years ago

Aya...:-)


philip carey 61 7 years ago

I think that, far from limiting God, science shows the grandeur of the creation. Evolution is a testament to God, not an insult. What is "God"? What Isn't he? Good writing. I somehow raised an eyebrow at an Israeli primatologist living in the Ozarks. You must someday write about that.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Philip Carey 61, thanks! I've written lots of hubs about living in the Ozarks, being a primatologist and culture clash. Feel free to come back and read more! I'd love to hear your comments!


lovelypaper profile image

lovelypaper 6 years ago from Virginia

We have a right to worship whomever and however we want. I happen to be a Christian and I believe my faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven but this is my belief. I don't go beating people on the head with my Bible and I believe that everyone's faith is meaningful to them.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Lovelypaper, thanks for your comment. It is always refreshing to find someone like you who understands that everyone's faith is meaningful to them. That's really what it's all about!


Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

I simply leave space for those who have a strong religious belief...my immediate family are very Catholic and I see this belief a much needed part of Humanity...though not only is separation of church and state is wise,but also separation of church and science to a large degree is needed...


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Mentalist Acer, I agree. It is wise to leave your family lots of space to believe whatever they believe and find solace in what makes them happy. Separation of church and state is important. Science and religion do not mix well, either. But... separation of state and science is also very important, because the moment the state gets into the business of ruling on the "Truth" about the world, that is the moment that they get to decide what religious doctrines are valid and which religions are legitimate.


Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

Point Extremely Well Made Aya.I Agree On Separation Of State And Science.;)


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Mentalist Acer, I'm glad we agree!:)

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