"Sometimes is is difficult to avoid the conviction that life is just a two-dimensional cinema screen, hung amid blackness and nothingness, upon which a, random and meaningless narrative is being enacted. But more usually there could be intimations of meaning, and since the universe is so harmoniously organized, I have to see a mysterious creative impulse behind it. One might as well call this impulse, God, as anything else. Darwinists argue that natural selection is a sufficient explanation of organic life. Yet it seems common sense that if an organism moves towards greater complexity, self-consciousness and intelligence, then it is because those qualities are desired. An astronomer once observed that it was no more likely that our word has evolved out of chaos than that a hurricane, blowing through a junkyard, should create a Boeing."----D.M. Thomas, British poet and Novelist.
I am quoting D.M thomas in toto for the simple reason that this piece succinctly encapsulates my own beliefs in the existence of a Grand Design/Scheme, but also because poets generally have great spiritual insights. As Mr. Tomas himself said, "If in doubt, always trust.....the poets."
There is definitely a design.
Nothing is left to chance.
The existence of that grand scheme or design is obvious to most people, that the non-belief of other folks are just too perplexing to contemplate. And it riles me no end, personally, that they would go to extreme lengths to deny it.
Since it is both impossible, via empiric formulation, to prove or disprove the existence of a Divine entity that is responsible for it; the consensus is that the proof could only be indiectly infered by intuition and instinct that undergirds all human experience.
Some folks may have had subtle or less than obvert experience that informs them of a Divine designer and schemer. The question now is, would the non-belief of the other folks not predispose them to experiencing what might in fact be belief-changing and life-redirecting?
Anything is possible. I was a total atheist a few years ago. Now I have absolute belief in God as the designer of the Universe, due to reasoning (studying everything from religion to astronomy and everything in between) as well as direct experiences(which is daily now) with the divine.
No, it's a religious belief that has no bearing on reality, whatsoever.
So sorry, that reality riles you to no end, it has a tendency to do that with those who embrace beliefs.
Yes, you can't prove your god. That must be so riling.
No, they have no been informed of a Divine designer of schemer, it is a belief they embrace due to indoctrination, and little more.
It is? Where? Show us this harmony and organization that you refer?
Backed up with mountains of evidence in every single facet of science.
Sorry, that makes no sense whatsoever. Where do you get the ridiculous notion it's common sense?
That's called, "Hoyles Fallacy" and is shown to be fallacious in this counter-argument called the "Ultimate Boeing 747 Gambit"
Indeed the quote is a very nice paragraph for anyone wanting to believe in God. It provides lots of nice reasons to believe. At least until it is actually examined critically and with a little knowledge.
You can start with the "harmonious" - sit a light year away from a super nova and think about how harmonious that is. Or, closer to home, on an exploding volcano. The universe isn't harmonious at all; it is a violent and chaotic place, with a violence beyond our comprehension.
Your man Thomas, a poet and novelist, obviously hasn't a clue how evolution actually works. Organisms don't evolve towards greater and greater complexity all the time; they evolve towards what works best in a given environment. If that means less complexity then that's what you will find; if it means more then that's what you will find. It is an error of the greatest magnitude to think that intelligence is the goal of evolution.
If the astronomer thinks that dust collecting into a dirt ball from the forces of gravity are similar to making an airplane using a hurricane, he very definitely needs to go back to school. The effects of gravity are pretty well understood and they are nothing like the forces in a large air movement. The two are about as dissimilar as you can get.
Absolutely, trust the poets - if you want an emotional conclusion without all the effort to study and understand the world around us. It's what the ancients did, after all - make up reasons for the things they saw without ever really testing those reasons for a hard connection to reality. It worked well for them, answering their questions and wondering, but study has shown that almost everything they believed was wrong; that making up explanations just doesn't work when it's truth you're after, not just an explanation for the masses that don't care if it's true or not.
So, yes, the quote is great if "substantiation" of a belief is the goal. If it's truth and reality instead, well, it needs just a wee bit more science and study and a wee bit less of the pretty, poetic words that add a false sense of truth.
The earth and the universe are not static in their essence, so of course parts of our own earthly environment, and parts of the astral environment will always be in constant motion and motion implies some degree of "disharmony", but disharmony that does not totally destroy that essence and the environment where that essence exist. Therein lies the non-chaos i.e the harmony of the earthly and astral world
Paleontologists tell us that the hominid specie made its appearance some 3.5 billion years ago ( our universe having made its appearance some 8.5 billion e arlier) I am assuming that the progresion of the hominid specie, and the "envirionment" where that progression occured were pretty much uniform, including the environment when the simian branch of that hominid specie diverged from the human branch. I am also assuming that the human branch and the simian branch lived pretty much in the same environment and were therefore subjected to the same evolutionary pressures for adaptation and survival. So why then did the human branch progress much further cerebrally, that their simian cousins if they were subjected to the same evolutionary demands?
You will of course agree with the idea that science do not and may not provide us withh all the answers to the questions of how and why we are here, thus we should rely on our experience undergirded by instinct and intuition to provide us with possible answers to questions that science is unable to provide. Granted that those answers are not based on empirical data, they should still be considered in the context of human evolutionary development and progression.
Unfortunately, the use of such wishy-washy words as 'astral world' 'astral environment' 'essence' only serve to diminish your argument to gibberish as they have no meaning or clear definition.
That is some of the most ridiculous and childish advice anyone could give. In other words, immediately jump to conclusions of magic and mystery when an answer is not readily available. That's what led people to believe the earth was flat and the sun orbited around it. Absurd.
First the "essence" of the universe is space and energy. That neither can be destroyed does not in any way indicate a "harmony". There is no "astral", somehow separate from reality, to even be considered. You are now throwing words around that have no meaning in the real world of physics.
You are very sadly mistaken than homo sapiens lived in one environment during their evolution. It is, in fact, the changes in that environment that caused the changes to be advantageous. Nor did the simians live side by side with the branch that would become homo sapiens during the period; separation of groups is integral to the concept of evolution and plays a major part in diverging species.
Science will never answer all of the "hows", and doesn't even try to answer the "whys". That, however, is no reason to make unsubstantiated guesses and declare them to be true. If you want answers agreeing with reality you're going to have to go a lot further than making up stories and words explaining those stories to find any. Deciding that there must be an "astral environment", with invisible and undetectable intelligent entities just doesn't cut it. At that point you have belief, not knowledge, and it can never become knowledge without using the tools of the scientific method to find out whether the belief is, in fact, truth.
Never forget that a "possible" answer is worth exactly as much as the evidence supporting it; in the cases you have mentioned that worth is zero as there is no evidence. Questions arising out of ignorance are not evidence of anything but an inquiring mind.
And Homo Sapiens are the ultimate in the field of inquiring minds, don't you agree?
No. Ever hear "curiosity killed the cat" phrase? Cats are very curious animals, as many others are as well. That homo sapiens have answered larger questions does not mean than other animals aren't just as curious and just as inquiring.
Your statement also leaves out the possibility of other highly intelligent lives elsewhere in the universe; to think that we are the smartest animal to ever evolve is anthropomorphism at it's worst. Our whole species is less than a speck of dust in the cosmic all; there is certainly no reason to think that we are "best" at anything, let alone either intelligence or curiosity.
Curiosity is common to all sentient beings, but introspection is not. Our curiosity is directed by introspection and undergirded by intuition and instinct, the cat's curiosity is not. For if it is, then the cat will also be composing sonatas and love songs, building the pyramid and Eiffel tower, writing sonnets and poems, and sculpting David, and painting Mona Lisa, inventing microscopes to peer into the unseen world, and building more and more powerful telescopes to peer into the astral world. On earth, we are undeniably the most intelligent/smartest beings. Now if there are other sentient beings on other planetray systems out there....then I have to modify my preceeding statement.
Homo Sapiens are asking questions, but they are not only larger ones , they are also the most important and meaningful because the answers would impact our very existence.
You might want to check again the meaning of anthropomorphism...if there is anyone in this conversation who is guilty of being anthropomorphic, it's you.... for trying to elevate animal behaviour to the level of that of human emotion or ascribing to it human meaning and purpose.
The poet and I are mostly referring to "harmony" in the broadest sense of the word. There are obviously "chaos" or "disharmony" in parts or the other of our earthly and the larger cosmological world in as much as matter/anti-matter, space/ energy are neither passive nor static. I am not an astrophysicists, so what I termed "astral" I am referring to all the visible entities , be they star systems, galaxies, supernova etc. that inhabit the universe. But the fact that volcanoes erupt all the time, and stars die violent deaths, and Time/Space fluctuate do NOT in any way take away from the observable order and harmony of this our world and beyond.
So what is the goal of evolution, since as you said INTELLIGENCE is NOT one of them. And what is the purpose of developing intelligence.....specifically, why are we more intelligent than the other sentient beings on earth.
The perplexities of complexities (or non-complexities for that matter) , I don't think would ever be the sole purview of evolutionary formulation... at least by the random processes that Darwininists include in or assign to evolution.
We still have a problem. The terms 'order and harmony' have yet to be properly defined within the context of your explanation and to show what and where exactly are the 'order and harmony' in the universe?
Since intelligence is merely another branch of evolution, we can ask similar questions about a great deal of things, like why are eagles eyes so superior to humans, why can't snakes grow arms and legs, why is the common house fly the most dangerous animal on the planet?
These do have answers, btw
The fact that you have posted the above disjointed reply is a sign of the order and harmony in the universe.
Pray tell me, aside from intelligence what are the other branches of evolution. If you read Widerness' first post he seems to think that intelligence has nothing to do with evolution, be it a goal, and I suppose in your formulation, a branch. Blame it on you and your fellow Darwinists to muck up evolution as Darwin himself has postulated it to be.... which is simply, the process with which a life form tries to adapt to the demands and exigencies that are imposed on it by its immediate and intermediate environment.... the eagles fly high up above to spot its prey, so they have superior visual acuity; the snake slithers low down below so no need for arms and legs. BTW the common house fly is not the most dangerous animal on the planet.... Homo Sapiens is. If you don't believe that, ask Einstein and his elegant equation E=mc2.
If evolution can be said to have a "goal" at all (the term goal typically indicates an intelligence, which the natural forces of evolution does not have) that goal is survival of a species. Nothing more, and certainly not one small facet or potential of living organisms.
I of course agree that the natural forces of evolution does not have "intelligence" if by intelligence one means purposeful self-direction. Evolutionists posit that we are all creatures of evolution, but how can a non-intelligent process produce intelligent/sentient beings.
The answer lies not in the formula>>process itself but in the "design" of that formula that led to processes that led to intelligence. Since natural self-direction is not an evolutionary process, then it must be a designed/designated process, initiated by an ENTITY who possess sentience/intelligence.
Evolution was designed as a process to achieve the goal of persistence and perpetuation of life (be they sentient or non-sentient), and for the sentient among us, to be witnesses to the reality of existence and to WHOEVER made that existence possible.
Sorry, the forces of evolution are no more by intelligent design than those of gravity. The result of those forces (us) do not need a designer any more than a falling rock does.
For that premise to have even a chance of being true, the "goal" of evolution would have to be humans (we are pretty proud of that, even if we shouldn't be), but that isn't the goal at all. Just a side effect, much of which is driven by pure chance.
There is very often the perception that the universe, sun and earth were all created as necessary for the final goal; humanity. Rather, humanity is the result of that creation and if it were different so would humanity be different. There is nothing special about homo sapiens; we are the result of natural forces all the way and there is no indication whatsoever that the earth was "placed" where it is in order to produce us.
One could just as reasonably say that the goal of the universe's creation was Saturn with it's beautiful rings; the earth and everything on it is merely a side effect, unintended and perhaps unwanted. The garbage left over after creating Saturn.
If as you posited, all sentient entities are merely side-effects of incidental and non-purposeful cosmological events, then why even develop intelligence, or be endowed with intelligence?
If as you say "we are all the result of natural forces", who initiated and designed those "natural forces" You have to agree at least that "natural forces" could not possibly have created themselves. One of the basic interpretation of the universe is: Nature does not and could not exist in a vacuum.
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