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Old 04-05-2007, 03:58 PM   #31
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I’ve been thinking about this and some of what A_Wanderer said throughout the day. Then this an idea came to me and led me to do a little research. I found that up to 60 percent of the human body is water, the brain is composed of 70 percent water and the lungs are nearly 90 percent water. About 83 percent of our blood is water.
In comparison, most fruits and vegetables contain up to 90 percent water.
However, anyone can see when you compare the human body to a tomato, the differences are staggering.

Fruits and vegetables don't have brains, beating hearts, sex organs, an incredible feeling that comes with sex, the capacity to love, a built-in moral compass, the capacity to heal physically on their own, the ability to see, hear and feel, cognitive thought, the ability to move out of their own will, the ability to cry tears based on emotional feelings, the ability to laugh after emotional feelings, the ability to feel pain, the ability to have babies, the ability, for some of us, to breastfeed important nutrients to the baby (which many scientists say can't be reproduced), the ability to breath, and, among many other things, the ability to taste and enjoy, chew and swallow, digest and obtain necessary nutrients from, and poop and pee the left over stuff (probably largely water) from fruits and vegetables. A tomato is just a tomato (no matter how you say the freaking word).

Then, on top of it all, there's the questions as to why fruits and vegetables exist and how they're able to be grown from seed to the end result. It seems as if their existence and our existence together, and how one needs the other (or food in general) to exist, has something behind it other than chance.

I guess my point is this: I don't understand why asking "why" is any less important than asking "how." I would argue it's more important. If there is no reason to ask "why" then, really, there's not much of a reason to ask "how," ultimately. It's all chance, so so what. I then have as much value as a freaking tomato. (Which, I know can be used in everything from ketchup to salsa, so there’s hope for me.)
However, if there is a reason to ask "why," there has to be value in asking it . . . and discovering what the "why" is.

It’s been my experience that doing this reveals a “Who.”
Higher plants didn't exist alongside the first animals, they would have fed on what was abundant - bacterial slime mats. It's worth pointing out that photosynthetic algae have existed for over 3 billion years and were there before the organisms that ate them existed. The perfect match that we see between higher plants and the animals that consume them are the product of an evolutionary race of predation. That not only explains what we see in the world today, it explains what we see as the world changes.

The concept of chance is taken poorly because you don't use the idea of selection. Say that I have a bag containing one hundred marbles of many different colours and I pick them out into another bag, but as I do so I only select for red marbles. At the end you will only be left with red marbles in the second bag; and that was the product of chance and selection. So in an evolutionary context say that each marble represents a a variation and instead of you selecting it is whether the variant organism survives. After selection has taken place you will only be left with successful variants.

Asking why is based on the assumption that there is a why, you will need to fit the evidence to suit your paradigm; so instead of seeing a tomato as a means of seed dispersal and reproduction for a plant it becomes something more. Now I agree that tomatoes represent creation because they were, they were created by people through selective breeding (artificial selection) to be pallatable, large and of use. Different types of tomatoes that you buy at your grocery didn't just come from the wild.

The division between plants and animals goes way back in deep time; if you want to get into the messy connections then take a look at something like slime moulds - your examples of a modern tomato and a modern human are organisms billions of years removed by decent. The interactions between plants and animals however have been things that shape the evolutionary fitness of each and drive change.
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Old 04-05-2007, 03:58 PM   #32
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no, it developed -- i.e., evolved -- due to necessity.
OK, then. If that's the case, what's allowed it to do so? How does everything have the ability to do so? Again, to me it seems like a bigger leap of faith to just accept this.
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Old 04-05-2007, 04:08 PM   #33
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Anything that is capable of replicating, having emergent variation and transmitting that variation into offspring is capable of evolution.

It's not a leap of faith to view the world as the sum product of innumerable mechanistic and observable interactions - trying to drag the other side into the mud because faith can never win in the real world is flawed.
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Old 04-05-2007, 04:10 PM   #34
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Oh, I agree with you. The natural world is a thing to marvel at. Not just humans. I'm a fan of nature and wildlife. (You're not talking to Jerry effing Falwell here.)
However, there's still something special about human kind. A monkey may be close to us in its makeup, but it can't play guitar like the Edge. A cheetah may be beautiful and fast, but it can't design a Mac. Etc. Etc. There's something special going on here that separates us, even though we're part of the natural world, too. At least I think so.
Yes higher intelligence, something that we see rudimenary examples of in other animals but we today seem to be the pinnacle. If all those other high up homonids weren't wiped out this argument would probably be moot.
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Old 04-05-2007, 04:50 PM   #35
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faith can never win in the real world....this sounds loaded...would you care to explain what you mean by this comment?
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Old 04-05-2007, 04:54 PM   #36
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If an occurance is due purely to natural cause then it can be unraveled and explained in a manner congruent with the rest of reality. If we introduce the concept of the supernatural then it ceases to be explainable in a uniform manner and in a sense becomes unknowable. So in the real world where magic doesn't exist faith is a very bad means of explanation.
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Old 04-05-2007, 05:02 PM   #37
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Originally posted by coemgen


OK, then. If that's the case, what's allowed it to do so? How does everything have the ability to do so? Again, to me it seems like a bigger leap of faith to just accept this.


why does there have to be an explanation/purpose that makes sense to us?

i think it's snappy to say that disbelief in God is as much a leap in faith as belief in God, but that's a bit incomplete to me when we're discussing science, and it's a very human-centric way of looking at things, i.e., there must be an order and logic to begin with.
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Old 04-05-2007, 05:36 PM   #38
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In many ways I think that it is because in the absence of faith they think that science must fill that void for emotional fufilment; which as a philosophy or system of investigation it doesn't and cannot deliver.

It seems that so much faith rests on the fear of death; that we will cease to think and exist. But as hard a truth as our inexistence is it is no worse than the world before we were born and to just wish it away with so much flotsam in life seems rather wrongheaded.

Do you have to dwell on the implications of mortality when paradise is promised through faith?
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Old 04-05-2007, 10:36 PM   #39
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
If an occurance is due purely to natural cause then it can be unraveled and explained in a manner congruent with the rest of reality. If we introduce the concept of the supernatural then it ceases to be explainable in a uniform manner and in a sense becomes unknowable. So in the real world where magic doesn't exist faith is a very bad means of explanation.
But faith would never WANT to explain a natural occurrence, so how does that even matter? IMO, people who use faith to attempt to explain scientific phenomena are pretty nutty and using their faith as a front for their own nuttiness. So set aside the assumption that "faith" and "crazy Fundies" go hand-in-hand because that's a pretty limited scope of what faith is and what purpose it serves. Faith doesn't "win" or "lose" like scientific theory is either factual or false. Faith is just faith.
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Old 04-05-2007, 10:39 PM   #40
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Do you have to dwell on the implications of mortality when paradise is promised through faith?
IMO, the concepts of paradise, immortality, faith vs. works = heaven, etc are more specific theological distinctions and aren't exactly relevant for this type of debate. You can have a faith in something larger than yourself that has nothing to do with the Christian concept of Heaven.
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Old 04-05-2007, 11:28 PM   #41
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I'm only speaking for myself, but I think none of what's said on this thread except maybe Liesje's posts really correlate with me as a person of faith. I'm not religious per se, not interested in sitting in a Church on a Sunday (or any other day), and don't miss mass/services in the slightest. That said I firmly believe there is something greater than us out there, and I have no proof for it nor do I think about it. It is just a feeling I have, I don't sit there and ponder it or try to rationalize it or legitimize it. What for? It is what it is: something inside me that feels this way, and I don't give it more thought than this.

Maybe other people of faith sit there and think about the magnificence of God's creation - I really don't.
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Old 04-05-2007, 11:47 PM   #42
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http://atheistdelusion.cf.huffingtonpost.com/

Scientist freaks!!
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Old 04-06-2007, 12:56 AM   #43
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Quote:
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I'm not religious per se, not interested in sitting in a Church on a Sunday (or any other day), and don't miss mass/services in the slightest. That said I firmly believe there is something greater than us out there, and I have no proof for it nor do I think about it. It is just a feeling I have, I don't sit there and ponder it or try to rationalize it or legitimize it. What for? It is what it is: something inside me that feels this way, and I don't give it more thought than this.
Despite the fact that I do practice a particular religion and love studying its theology, what you said pretty much sums up how I feel about it as well. I'm not interested in proofs or absolute revealed truths or trying to convince anyone else, never have been.
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Old 04-06-2007, 03:41 AM   #44
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I'm convinced that we as humans turn to faith (or away from faith for that matter) when whatever we've got isn't "working" for us anymore--whether it's an atheistic worldview or allegience to a particular theology--When it stops "working" emotionally, mentally, we look for something else. And as long as whatever we believe (or don't believe in) seems to work for us, we've little interest in changing.

That seems to be Collin's story.

As a Christian, I really don't see atheism as that "problematic". If someone just doesn't "get" faith, they don't get it. As someone who believes in a God that exists outside of our belief in Him or not, I imagine God understands that. Of far more concern are those who jack up the world in His name.
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Old 04-06-2007, 09:49 AM   #45
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http://atheistdelusion.cf.huffingtonpost.com/

Scientist freaks!!
Can't argue with that, im stumped
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