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Old 03-14-2014, 11:41 PM
 
Location: OKC
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Hello all. It's been a long time since I've been on this board. Anyway, to the point of the thread -

As a secular person who believes in science, one might ask themself why wouldn't evolution (over long periods of time) create a God?

In fact, unless you believe there is some limiting factor on evolution, shouldn't you believe that God(s) are an inevitable implication of how species evolve... slowly becoming more powerful until they are indistinguishable from omnipotent?

If God(s) don't exist already, maybe they will someday.
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Old 03-15-2014, 01:50 AM
 
40,040 posts, read 26,720,362 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
Hello all. It's been a long time since I've been on this board. Anyway, to the point of the thread -
As a secular person who believes in science, one might ask themself why wouldn't evolution (over long periods of time) create a God?
In fact, unless you believe there is some limiting factor on evolution, shouldn't you believe that God(s) are an inevitable implication of how species evolve... slowly becoming more powerful until they are indistinguishable from omnipotent?
If God(s) don't exist already, maybe they will someday.
Good to see you posting again, Box. You were missed. Still a heathen, eh? Oh well . . . God is patient.
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:43 AM
 
39,026 posts, read 10,819,276 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
Hello all. It's been a long time since I've been on this board. Anyway, to the point of the thread -

As a secular person who believes in science, one might ask themself why wouldn't evolution (over long periods of time) create a God?

In fact, unless you believe there is some limiting factor on evolution, shouldn't you believe that God(s) are an inevitable implication of how species evolve... slowly becoming more powerful until they are indistinguishable from omnipotent?

If God(s) don't exist already, maybe they will someday.
I am delighted to see you back. You were missed. I recall your serious consideration of a Sortagod and wondered whether you had gone theist? How's that working for you?

As to your comment. Yes; anything is possible. The only stand I take as a goddless bastard (Yes I'm still one) is that on sheer lack of good evidence, I have to deem any that I have heard 'not probable'.
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Old 03-15-2014, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,190 posts, read 9,077,440 times
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Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
Just qualify your assertions about reality and God to the same standard you apply to us theists . . . "I don't believe" . . . NOT "until you show me proof there IS a God "no God" is the default."
The content or object of my unbelief is not the default. The default is unbelief itself. I default to not believing in things unless I see evidence that convinces me. It doesn't matter whether it's god or anything else. It's just that for most things I encounter, I DO see evidence.

This ends up as effectively the same thing as "defaulting to no god" but it's not inconsistent or special pleading because I apply the same evidentiary standards to god that I apply to houses and trees and cars and everything else in my field of awareness. It is not that I'm picking on god, it is that god is simply asserted by believers without evidence.

If you believe in trees and I don't, my unbelief is no threat to your belief because you have seen, touched, climbed, and raked leaves from, so many trees throughout your life and you know that virtually everyone else has had the same experience through their five waking senses. Because your belief is clearly justified and my unbelief is clearly delusional, my unbelief in trees is no threat at all.

It's different for god, supernatural realms, conspiracy theories, the notion that the law doesn't actually require people to pay taxes and all such similar things. Because none of those beliefs are justifiable by the same criteria you justify a belief in trees: your objective personal experience, the fact that it's experienced the same by virtually all others, scientific and other measurable evidence, etc. As a result, with respect to god and other things of that nature now unbelief IS a threat because belief is based on faith supported by, at best, quasi-evidence, and often by mere wishful thinking and groupthink.

So the very existence of people who don't believe in (say) god, much less their rational explanations of their unbelief, directly undermine faith as well as erodes at the compartmentalization where god-believers don't apply the same evidentiary standards to god as they do to other things (they couldn't or they wouldn't be able to function at all in the Real World).
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Old 03-15-2014, 09:36 AM
 
Location: The backwoods of Pennsylvania ... unfortunately.
5,846 posts, read 3,353,622 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
Hello all. It's been a long time since I've been on this board. Anyway, to the point of the thread -

As a secular person who believes in science, one might ask themself why wouldn't evolution (over long periods of time) create a God?

In fact, unless you believe there is some limiting factor on evolution, shouldn't you believe that God(s) are an inevitable implication of how species evolve... slowly becoming more powerful until they are indistinguishable from omnipotent?

If God(s) don't exist already, maybe they will someday.
I suppose, as is so often the case, it all depends on what we mean by a "god."

Do I think that naturalistic evolution would cause a species to evolve into an entity like the God of the Bible? No, not really ... not unless we're going to delve into the ancient astronaut theory. I don't think evolution would create a god, because near as we can tell, evolution always ends up striking a balance. Evolution never seems to gift a singular species with everything, and that's what would have to happen in order to evolve into a true Bible-esque type of God.

Humans, for instance, evolved a very capable brain, but the trade-off is that we're very weak and vulnerable physically as compared to most animals. We have no useful natural weapons or defenses that would work very well in the wild. In the same way, I don't see nature evolving an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, omni-benevolent god because that would mean evolving a creature beyond nature itself.

It would be akin to humanity creating an android more intelligent, more capable, more advanced than humans but without an "off" switch or Aasimov's failsafe.
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Old 03-15-2014, 09:43 AM
 
Location: OKC
5,426 posts, read 5,726,808 times
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Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
Good to see you posting again, Box. You were missed. Still a heathen, eh? Oh well . . . God is patient.
Thanks, good to be on here again. I Hope you are well.
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Old 03-15-2014, 09:58 AM
 
Location: OKC
5,426 posts, read 5,726,808 times
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Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
I am delighted to see you back. You were missed. I recall your serious consideration of a Sortagod and wondered whether you had gone theist? How's that working for you?

As to your comment. Yes; anything is possible. The only stand I take as a goddless bastard (Yes I'm still one) is that on sheer lack of good evidence, I have to deem any that I have heard 'not probable'.
Thanks, it's good to get back into it again.

Here's where I'm at now:

I am only a sorta-theist in the sense that I do think we should include near-omnipotent aliens (if they were found to exist) in our definition of a God.

Because we have discovered so many other habitable planets in our universe, (it is thought that there are 60 billion habitable planets in the Milky way alone) I think it is likely evolution has occurred on at least some of those other planets as well. I do think there is a good chance that an alien life form of some type exists somewhere else in the universe.


And if one of those life forms were just 1% more advanced than us (130 Million years more advanced) I think they would be near omnipotent, and thus should rightfully be called a "god."




So I don't think there is any direct evidence that evolution has created a god.
But I do think there is indirect evidence, in the sense that we can draw reasonable inferences from the fact that there are probably around 60 billion habitable planets in the Milky Way alone, and the fact that we have a 13 Billion year old universe.
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Old 03-15-2014, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,190 posts, read 9,077,440 times
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Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
And if one of those life forms were just 1% more advanced than us (130 Million years more advanced) I think they would be near omnipotent, and thus should rightfully be called a "god."
By general consensus a god is supernatural and demands worship, fealty, subservience, dependence. An advanced alien is not supernatural and if such a race got to the point it did, would not demand our worship (or, indeed, need it). I would not apply god as a label to them, even in quotes.

Of course even here in the 21st century the appearance of such a being would inspire worship by some. But that doesn't prove that such worship wouldn't be misplaced.
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Old 03-15-2014, 10:07 AM
 
Location: OKC
5,426 posts, read 5,726,808 times
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Originally Posted by Shirina View Post
I suppose, as is so often the case, it all depends on what we mean by a "god."

Do I think that naturalistic evolution would cause a species to evolve into an entity like the God of the Bible? No, not really ... not unless we're going to delve into the ancient astronaut theory. I don't think evolution would create a god, because near as we can tell, evolution always ends up striking a balance. Evolution never seems to gift a singular species with everything, and that's what would have to happen in order to evolve into a true Bible-esque type of God.

Humans, for instance, evolved a very capable brain, but the trade-off is that we're very weak and vulnerable physically as compared to most animals. We have no useful natural weapons or defenses that would work very well in the wild. In the same way, I don't see nature evolving an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, omni-benevolent god because that would mean evolving a creature beyond nature itself.

It would be akin to humanity creating an android more intelligent, more capable, more advanced than humans but without an "off" switch or Aasimov's failsafe.
I would expand the definition of evolution to include the purposeful directed changing of DNA as well as natural selection.

In other words, we as humans are just on the technological cusp of being able to manipulate DNA directly, rather than having to let mother nature do her trick. We are getting to the point that designing DNA is possible, and soon it will be trivial. In a thousand years, all of our DNA could be synthetic.

I would also include in the term "evolution" the incorporation of computers into the brain and robotics into the body part. It may be that in 1000 years the human brain is made mostly of silicone, that we are connected to the internet directly into our thoughts, one giant hive mind making it impossible to tell if we are one billion individual people or just one person.
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Old 03-15-2014, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,190 posts, read 9,077,440 times
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Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
I would expand the definition of evolution to include the purposeful directed changing of DNA as well as natural selection.
Evolution is still fine as defined, because while our alteration of DNA is not natural selection, if we alter it in ways that tend to the successful reproduction of the modified humans, and the changes are carried forward by offspring, then natural selection will still tend to favor the introduced changes.

If the changes we introduce aren't included in offspring but have to be artificially reintroduced in them, then natural selection is not having its say in our survival, however.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
I would also include in the term "evolution" the incorporation of computers into the brain and robotics into the body part. It may be that in 1000 years the human brain is made mostly of silicone, that we are connected to the internet directly into our thoughts, one giant hive mind making it impossible to tell if we are one billion individual people or just one person.
If you incorporate a chip inside your brain it will not exist in your offspring and is not subject to natural selection. Of course technology "develops" (it can be metaphorically said to "evolve") but I think we are confusing things by overloading the term "evolution" like this.
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