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Author Topic:   But what about before that?
SIDEWALK
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 21 (34320)
03-13-2003 7:30 PM


Hello there -

I'm completely new to this kind of a discussion, but I have one question that I'd like responded to (not necessarily answered).

Based on my significantly limited understanding of Creationism, God existed in the beginning. If so, where did this God come from? It would seem to me from some greater God I guess? I know apparently He was always there, but this doesn't make any sense. Time as we know it moves forward, all things have beginnings, when did God appear, and who put Him there? I don't understand. If it was a greater God, how did he or she get there?

Based on Evolutionary theory (again, my painfully limited understanding), I believe everything (life) all starts with the Big Bang theory, a single particle expanding or something like that. Where did this original particle come from? I don't know exactly what Evolutionary theory dictates as being the first of any sort of object, minute dust speck, etc, but it came from somewhere, right? How did it get there?

Now, I know (or at least I think) neither of these questions are really answerable (at least at this point in our currently uninformed state of being), but it seems that both dedicated God followers and strict Science types must agree that based on either of their theories, something which we cannot understand came beforehand.

I don't claim to know what it is, or how it or he or she got there, but neither can any of you, so isn't the debate fairly irrelevant?

I'm not trying to be obnoxious, and I'm open to all responses - just curious. Because as far as I can gather both theories of life begin a little bit too late. There must have always been something before what we all think of as being first.

Thanks for your input -
SIDEWALK


Replies to this message:
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judge
Member (Idle past 4640 days)
Posts: 216
From: australia
Joined: 11-11-2002


Message 2 of 21 (34327)
03-13-2003 10:50 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by SIDEWALK
03-13-2003 7:30 PM


Didn't
Hi there..it is an interesting question, although I can see this topic being moved.
The answer is God did not "come from" anywhere. God is, was and will be. Created things "come from" somewhere.

Hope this helps on some way. Perhaps this is hard to understand but apparently thats the best way for us to understand it.
In fact I'm not even sure that I understand what this means. Everything I am familiar with seems to have a beginning, but apparently God did not...might be too much for our puny minds.

In fact our minds are designed to do other stuff rather than grasp this fully IMHO

[This message has been edited by judge, 03-13-2003]


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 15215
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 3 of 21 (34331)
03-14-2003 2:31 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by SIDEWALK
03-13-2003 7:30 PM


Evolution doesn't deal with the origin of the universe at all. That's cosmology (which is part of physics, while evolution is a big part of biology). If you want to look into scientific ideas about the origin of the universe I would recommend Alan Guth's _The Inflationary Universe_ and possibly Stephen Hawking's _A Brief History of Time_
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Quetzal
Member (Idle past 4068 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 4 of 21 (34335)
03-14-2003 6:29 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by SIDEWALK
03-13-2003 7:30 PM


Hi Sidewalk, welcome to evcforum.

sidewalk writes:

Based on Evolutionary theory (again, my painfully limited understanding), I believe everything (life) all starts with the Big Bang theory, a single particle expanding or something like that. Where did this original particle come from? I don't know exactly what Evolutionary theory dictates as being the first of any sort of object, minute dust speck, etc, but it came from somewhere, right? How did it get there?

The sequence, as Paulk mentioned, is more like: cosmogenesis -> stellar genesis and nucleosynthesis -> solar system and planetary formation (specifically Earth) -> abiogenesis. At this point HERE there be life. From here forward, evolution takes over. So, what happened before life was chemistry, and before that nucleosynthesis/physics, and before that was the Big Bang. And before THAT was a lot of theory and speculation and abstruse mathematical formulae about which I have no clue. I'll be happy to pick things up for you from the abiogensis point forward, but not backward - this is where the Theory of Evolution comes in. It isn't intended to be a Theory of Everything. After all, it's quite possible to discuss the rise of the diversity of life without having to deal with the history of the universe back to the Big Bang.

Just one further point:

sidewalk further writes:

...it seems that both dedicated God followers and strict Science types must agree that based on either of their theories, something which we cannot understand came beforehand.

I would disagree with this statement. I don't think either side in the debate would concur here. Philosophically, theists claim that God came "before" - was eternal, in essence. They may not understand everything there is to know about God, but they do claim knowledge that He exists. Philosophical naturalists, on the other hand, claim that there is NOTHING that human intellect cannot ultimately understand, even if we don't understand it TODAY. So they would also reject the idea of the unknowable. And scientists - methodological naturalists - operate under the assumption that if something exists in nature, we will ultimately be able to understand it. In some sense this is sort of begging the question as to whether there is anything beyond nature, but science makes no call or claim one way or the other. "If it's natural, we can understand it. If it's supernatural, we can't, but it is unnecessary to postulate it." I'd say most scientists would consider the universe - and by extension its beginning - to be a wholly natural place.

(Edited to fix !@#%%^#$ ubb code.)

[This message has been edited by Quetzal, 03-14-2003]


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Admin
Director
Posts: 12613
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 5 of 21 (34347)
03-14-2003 8:36 AM


Waiting to see where discussion goes before deciding whether to move this topic to a different forum...

------------------
--EvC Forum Administrator


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SIDEWALK
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 21 (34459)
03-15-2003 11:14 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Admin
03-14-2003 8:36 AM


Very Helpful
I appreciate all the insights provided above, and see that while I am ALSO interested in evolutionary theory, my question did not really deal with it at all. I still don't understand the concept of how God could have always just been there, or where the minute gas particles came from, but I guess that's just one of those suspension of disbelief things - Consider it closed here.

OK, now on to a more evolutionary based question. Can anyone explain to me why with so many different types of people all across the globe, Native American, Chinese, African, Australian Aboriginal, Inuit etc. there are no significant differences between the people of these variosu cultures?

What I mean is that although the skin colour may be different, or possibly height or hair consistency, no one of these groups of people living in drastically different environments (Inuit vs African) have developed any characterists which would be specifically benenficial to their environments over time? Inuit do not have fur, Aboriginals do not have thin fleshy protective sun umbrella heads - you get the picture. Nor does it seem as though we are even moving slightly in this direction?

Thanks in advance - SIDEWALK


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 15215
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 7 of 21 (34461)
03-15-2003 11:56 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by SIDEWALK
03-15-2003 11:14 AM


Re: Very Helpful
I thought tha it was the case that some groups of humans did have differences with adaptive significance - in addition to skin colour there is the greater lung capacity of mountain peoples and, I believe, (although this is not directly related to environment as the term is understood in general usage) lactose tolerance.

Also humans, although widespread, have a low genetic diversity compared to most other species so we should not expect too much in the way of differences at this point. The fact that humans have spread as well as they have strongly suggests that technology (in the widest sense of the word) is an adequate substitute for "natural" abilities that might evolve.


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John
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 21 (34462)
03-15-2003 1:15 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by SIDEWALK
03-15-2003 11:14 AM


Re: Very Helpful
quote:
Can anyone explain to me why with so many different types of people all across the globe, Native American, Chinese, African, Australian Aboriginal, Inuit etc. there are no significant differences between the people of these variosu cultures?

There are noticable differences between some peoples. One group of artic whale hunters -- hunting whale in skin canoes, no less-- have an atypical reaction to cold that goes a long way toward preventing frostbite.

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com


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Replies to this message:
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Oblio
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 21 (34513)
03-16-2003 12:46 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by John
03-15-2003 1:15 PM


big bang..lol
i for one would rather just accept the fact that i cannot grasp such concepts as God always being God, uncreated...
rather than believe that everthing around me came from a spontaneous explosion that came from nothing...

comparing the two, the latter seems laughable.

i realize this has kind of gone off the track of things but... oh well.

the big bang defies most physical laws, such as the law of biogenesis and entropy.
the law of biogenesis states that life can only come from where life already existed.. not out of spontaneous explosions.
the law of entropy states that our energy is becoming less useful and more random.... pre-big bang there would be 0 useful energy... going reverse to this law...

the fact that 2 of our planets spin in opposite directions, with no major dent indicating a collision shows that they couldnt have come from the same source, ie an big bang..

finally the first organism, whatever scientists are claiming it was these days, would have needed all its vital functions, mouth, waste tract, eyes, digestive system, another whole organism to mate with... plus some sort of protective system against the cosmic rays it would be battling due to the non present ozone layer that wouldnt have been there yet...

ill continue later...


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John
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 21 (34514)
03-16-2003 12:55 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Oblio
03-16-2003 12:46 PM


Re: big bang..lol
quote:
ill continue later...

'k. There are several threads addressing the ideas you present, perhaps you could introduce those ideas there?

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com

[This message has been edited by John, 03-16-2003]

[This message has been edited by John, 03-16-2003]


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Percy
Member
Posts: 18600
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 11 of 21 (34515)
03-16-2003 1:57 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Oblio
03-16-2003 12:46 PM


Re: big bang..lol
Oblio writes:

the big bang defies most physical laws, such as the law of biogenesis and entropy.

the law of biogenesis states that life can only come from where life already existed.. not out of spontaneous explosions.

There's no such thing as a "law of biogenesis".

the fact that 2 of our planets spin in opposite directions, with no major dent indicating a collision shows that they couldnt have come from the same source, ie an big bang..

The solar system did not originate from the Big Bang. The two are not closely related in time at all. The Big Bang was about 13.7 billion years ago, the origin of the solar system eons later about 4.6 billion years ago. The solar system condensed from nebular material sitting around in space, at least some significant portion of it having been scattered into space from earlier generation stars that went supernova.

Both Uranus and Venus rotate in the opposite direction from other planets, but you're probably thinking of Uranus since you mention a collision. It isn't Uranus's direction of rotation, but it's unusual tilt (about 98o), that caused scientists to propose a collision early in it's history as one possible explanation. The collision would not cause a permanent dent. Objects of planetary scale are very plastic and will always quickly return to a substantially spherical shape. The moon is thought to possibly be the result of a collision of a large object with the earth very early in our history, and there is no dent on earth, either.

finally the first organism, whatever scientists are claiming it was these days, would have needed all its vital functions, mouth, waste tract, eyes, digestive system, another whole organism to mate with...

The first life would have been very simple, a single-celled organism perhaps something like blue-green algae. It would have been the product of a long series of small, incremental stages over many millions of years.

plus some sort of protective system against the cosmic rays it would be battling due to the non present ozone layer that wouldnt have been there yet...

This is a fairly speculative area as there is much we don't know about the early earth, but there is no requirement that the first life evolved on the planet's surface. If radiation was a problem then the first life probably came about either underground or beneath the surface of water.

--Percy


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Joralex
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 21 (34585)
03-17-2003 3:20 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Percy
03-16-2003 1:57 PM


Any consistent standards here?
Being new here, I'm just trying to understand the rules - I wouldn't want to step out of line...

Recently I was asked :

"I *would* ask that you please follow the Forum Guidelines and support assertions with evidence or argument, for example:

Accurate reason : you are attempting to measure the infinite with a finite ruler. The two are inconmeasurable and the problem is thereby ill-conceived.

"And you've demonstrated the infiniteness of God where?"

This is the one that really puzzled me. I've read scores of posts in EvC and I've seen unsupported statements left and right without any comment from you... why then this request?

Here is just one example that I'm certain you will recognize :

"The solar system did not originate from the Big Bang. The two are not closely related in time at all. The Big Bang was about 13.7 billion years ago, the origin of the solar system eons later about 4.6 billion years ago. The solar system condensed from nebular material sitting around in space, at least some significant portion of it having been scattered into space from earlier generation stars that went supernova."

And the 7 or so assertions that are made above have been demonstrated... where? Where in this post was the evidence or arguments supporting these assertions?

"Please understand I'm not taking any position regarding the validity of your assertions. Holmes may be wrong and unobjective, and God may be infinite. But rule 4 of the Forum Guidelines requests that assertions be backed up by evidence and/or argument."

My problem with this is that if (all) assertions are to be backed up with "evidence" then just about every post will be a dissertation.

I also am left wondering why the hundreds of assertions that I've read in other posts (such as the example above) offer no evidence to support them. Selective enforcement?

Just wondering...

In Christ,
Jorge


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Admin
Director
Posts: 12613
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 13 of 21 (34587)
03-17-2003 4:34 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Joralex
03-17-2003 3:20 PM


Re: Any consistent standards here?
Joralex writes:

"And you've demonstrated the infiniteness of God where?"

This is the one that really puzzled me. I've read scores of posts in EvC and I've seen unsupported statements left and right without any comment from you... why then this request?

My paragraph about the Big Bang is a summary of what is currently known. The information is in all libraries, encyclopedias, reference books, etc. If someone is unfamiliar with the information, as seems to be the case here, and wants to dispute it I'll gladly support everything I said. It hasn't been disputed yet.

In general, one presents one's point of view until some part or parts of it are challenged, at which point you begin defending and elaborating according to the nature of the challenge.

In the case of the thread you're talking about, Was God Designed?, you long ago passed the point of having presented your point of view. Your viewpoint is being disputed by John, PaulK, Peter and holmes, you've made about eight posts in the thread, and by this point the rebuttals should go beyond repetition of the "flavor of ambition" arguments and "God is infinite" assertions. You could point out how the arguments of others are flawed or unsupported, and you could offer supporting evidence for your own perspective.

The God statement by itself would not have raised my concerns. It was that it was combined with a number of other worrisome tactics, such as a bare assertion that your opponent was wrong with no supporting argument or evidence, a bare assertion that your opponent wasn't objective, a bare assertion that your opponent isn't aware/familiar with ID, an issue avoidance statement of "what's to be gained by examining" your assertion, and so forth.

------------------
--EvC Forum Administrator


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Quetzal
Member (Idle past 4068 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 14 of 21 (34609)
03-18-2003 4:34 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by SIDEWALK
03-15-2003 11:14 AM


Hi Sidewalk:

Good questions inre human diversity. There are a couple of outstanding books out recently on the subject, but basically it appears to be sum-up-able by saying "there haven't been enough generations". I would add that I personally think that once we learned to start using technology to overcome our physical handicaps, cultural evolution has taken over from biological evolution as the driving force in human development. As Paul said, our technology has trumped biology.

Having said that, there ARE a number of identifiable biological traits that are selection-based. Sickle cell heterozygosity as a trade-off for generations of living in malaria-endemic areas, metabolic and other cold-adaptive changes in Inuit, lactose tolerance in Europeans (from the invention of dairy farming), etc. In addition, we've had a fair number of MAJOR selection events in even recent history - such as European populations that were bubonic plague survivors being slightly more resistant to HIV/AIDS, or even the increase in the incidence of allergies in Western societies (my favorite explanation for which is the elimination of parasites which formerly "trained" our immune system to lessen its responsiveness - of course, there's environmental contaminants to which we have no evolutionary resistance to go along with that). In any event, I would say that human biological evolution IS continuing, but that cultural evolution works so much faster and has such far-reaching effects that biological adaptations are masked or rendered unnecessary.


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Quetzal
Member (Idle past 4068 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 15 of 21 (34611)
03-18-2003 4:51 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by PaulK
03-15-2003 11:56 AM


Skin color may not even be adaptive - Ehrlich, among others, seems to think it's more related to sexual selection reinforcing traits than UV exposure or vitamin D production. I'm still reading up on this one. Interesting, tho'.
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