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God Is Nothing!


AtheistMommy
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I've gotten into a few debates about evolution this past month. I'll be the first to admit, I'm not all that up on evolution. But I know the basics and I've done some looking into the subject.

 

What I can't understand is why believers continue to say that evolution is faith because you believe that something (us) came from nothing. The nothing is believing in a god. What's really worse, believing that the universe is self made or believing that some magical being made it? No evolutionist claims that the universe was made by nothing. But plenty of believers simply say "God always was." Ok, so why can't that same logic apply to the universe?

 

Could it be because that doesn't fit the mythology? Or maybe to admit this would be to admit that their belief in god could be false? Life is complex, yes, but it's not magical.

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Believers say that evolution involves faith for the same reason they call atheism a religion. It muddies the waters and changes the focus. Believers want their biblical teachings to be on a par with the scientific method, and they are simply unrelated. There are many theists who believe evolution to be true. It's the fundamentalist xians who cling to the mistaken notion that the bible is literally true, and lead the effort to mix biblical creation myths with science in public school systems.

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What I can't understand is why believers continue to say that evolution is faith because you believe that something (us) came from nothing.

 

I'm not well versed in evolution either. But, in reading Dawkin's, this is the crux of the argument. We always come to a first cause. And what is more difficult - to account for an uncreated universe or an uncreated creator?

 

Goddidit is such a simple answer. Unfortunately that only leads to more unanswered and unanswerable questions.

 

Okay, now I'll back out of the discussion and see what people have to say who actually have some knowledge of evolution and abiogenesis.

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I'm not much on evolution myself, but I am learning how to argue it. First of all, evolution says nothing about how we came to be, so much as what happened once we (life) got here. That's it's only job.

 

Second, evolution is not meant to explain how the universe came to be. I'm not sure, but I think cosmology is the field one should search out for that question.

 

Third, just remember that if everything had to come from something, then so too did god, and there's no exception to that; the conclusion that god "always was" does not follow the premise. Well, that's my two cents on it. I don't know as much as you I'm sure, but you should know that those arguments are traps, born either out of ignorance, or are strawmen. Don't walk into them. :ph34r:

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Believers say that evolution involves faith for the same reason they call atheism a religion. It muddies the waters and changes the focus. Believers want their biblical teachings to be on a par with the scientific method, and they are simply unrelated. There are many theists who believe evolution to be true. It's the fundamentalist xians who cling to the mistaken notion that the bible is literally true, and lead the effort to mix biblical creation myths with science in public school systems.

 

 

I'm sure that's true for most. However, it is still nerve wrecking. I'm having so many problems with my son in school right now it's fucking insane. And most of it centers around his age and the amount of science he knows.

 

The boy is five and he drew a sperm and an egg. They (the teacher and some sexual harassment advisor) nearly called CPS on me. They told me "He couldn't understand these type of things at his age."

 

Oh, so very irritating! I would love for all the Peter Pans of the world to grow the fuck up!

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I found a short little video awhile back from Carl Sagan's Cosmos (8 min) that quickly goes through the evolutionary process. It was just about the right speed for my brain. (which means the target audience was kids) :HaHa:

 

Anyhoo -

 

Here it is.

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I'm not much on evolution myself, but I am learning how to argue it. First of all, evolution says nothing about how we came to be, so much as what happened once we (life) got here. That's it's only job.

 

Second, evolution is not meant to explain how the universe came to be. I'm not sure, but I think cosmology is the field one should search out for that question.

 

Third, just remember that if everything had to come from something, then so too did god, and there's no exception to that; the conclusion that god "always was" does not follow the premise. Well, that's my two cents on it. I don't know as much as you I'm sure, but you should know that those arguments are traps, born either out of ignorance, or are strawmen. Don't walk into them. :ph34r:

 

 

Thank you, good points. I was so caught up in the "nothing" that I didn't even see those.

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I think Creationists view Evolution as faith because their science is faith.

 

I've been there done that with my kids. I had CPS called on me because my daughter who was 5 at the time, put balloons in her shirt and said told everyone she had "breasts". They said my daughter was "sexualized".

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I found a short little video awhile back from Carl Sagan's Cosmos (8 min) that quickly goes through the evolutionary process. It was just about the right speed for my brain. (which means the target audience was kids) :HaHa:

 

Anyhoo -

 

Here it is.

 

Thanks! I stuck it on my MySpace. Me and the wifey plan to show it to our son tomorrow.

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Here is what Richard Dawkins - who is an evolutionary biologist - has to say about evolution just being another religion. From the God Delusion :

 

Maybe scientists are fundamentalist when it comes to defining in some abstract way what is meant by 'truth'. But so is everybody else. I am no more fundamentalist when I say evolution is true than when I say it is true that New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere. We believe in evolution because the evidence supports it, and we would abandon it overnight if new evidence arose to disprove it. No real fundamentalist would ever say anything like that.

 

It is all too easy to confuse fundamentalism with passion. I may well appear passionate when I defend evolution against a fundamentalist creationist, but this is not because of a rival fundamentalism of my own. It is because the evidence for evolution is overwhelmingly strong and I am passionately distressed that my opponenet can't see it - or, more usually, refuses to look at it because it contradicts his holy book. My passion is increased when I think about how much the poor fundamentalists, and those whom they influence, are missing. The truths of evolution, along with many other scientific truths, are so engrossingly fascinating and beautiful; how truly tragic to die having missed out on all that! Of couse that makes me passionate. How could it not? But my belief in evolution is not fundamentalism, and it is not faith, because I know what it would take to change my mind, and I would gladly do so if the necessary evidence were forthcoming.

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I think Creationists view Evolution as faith because their science is faith.

 

I've been there done that with my kids. I had CPS called on me because my daughter who was 5 at the time, put balloons in her shirt and said told everyone she had "breasts". They said my daughter was "sexualized".

 

 

Yup! That's exactly the type of BS I'm talking about. I'd like to know how they figure a five year old doesn't know what they are talking about. Just because the majority likes to keep their children in the dark doesn't mean everyone wants to.

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AtheistMommy wrote:

What's really worse, believing that the universe is self made or believing that some magical being made it?

 

Either is unbelievable, but something had to happen--we just don't know what.

 

As someone's already pointed out, evolution is a separate issue from creation, but that doesn't stop the fundies, because faith trumps science.

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AtheistMommy wrote:
What's really worse, believing that the universe is self made or believing that some magical being made it?

 

Either is unbelievable, but something had to happen--we just don't know what.

 

As someone's already pointed out, evolution is a separate issue from creation, but that doesn't stop the fundies, because faith trumps science.

 

The problem here is using the word "made." Who says that the universe was ever made? We can extrapolate that matter and energy can go on to exist in some form indefinately. What's so hard about reversing that extrapolation and applying it to the past? Likewise, it takes a leap of faith to believe that a sentient being can exist forever and it takes a much larger leap of faith to believe that sentience has always existed.

 

Put simply, we have evidence that energy can niether be created nor destroyed. We have no similar evidence in regards to sentience.

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I'm sure that's true for most. However, it is still nerve wrecking. I'm having so many problems with my son in school right now it's fucking insane. And most of it centers around his age and the amount of science he knows.

 

The boy is five and he drew a sperm and an egg. They (the teacher and some sexual harassment advisor) nearly called CPS on me. They told me "He couldn't understand these type of things at his age."

 

What an absolute bunch of f*cktards. Ugh, yes, I HATE that people think children are incapable of understanding what we in the adult world consider "complex". Talk about dumbing down. I suppose they never want children to grow out of saying "pee-pee" and "poo-poo", good grief.

 

Here are a couple of Evolution recommendations for you and your son that you may enjoy:

 

Darwin and Evolution for Kids: His Life and Ideas with 21 Activities, by Kristan Lawson. I absolutely love this book. I have to make sure that my children know this shit in order to defend their position. While other home educating parents are using Apologia, we're arming ourselves with the correct understanding of evolution. The book is not dumbed down at all and it also presents what Christians believe. Actually, the intro and first couple of chapters go into that area quite a bit, one of the pictures shows what happened to people who disagreed with the bible...they were tortured (the picture is not graphic though).

 

We haven't tried these yet because I was overwhelmed with info from my online home education support group but here you go:

 

Life Preservers: An Evolution Game

 

Evolution in Action: Game

 

Evolving Planet: Tour Through Time

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What I can't understand is why believers continue to say that evolution is faith because you believe that something (us) came from nothing.
That seems like a huge non sequitor to me, even if evolution had to do with something coming from nothing. They are misusing "believe" IMO. For them, belief = faith, i.e. no proof. But the definition of faith they use is belief in things unseen (i.e. unproven), which means belief cannot be the same as faith. According to the dictionary, belief is an opinion or conviction. Belief has to be based on something, either evidence or faith. While they use faith as their foundation, we use evidence, therefore belief for us is not faith.

I agree with the others that said that they are trying to bring evolution down to the same level as Creationism. But Creationism isn't even in the same ballpark as evolution because it attempts to not only explain the origins of species, but also abiogenesis and cosmology. What is fun is that while the three fields are separate in science, they are a package deal for Creationists, so one doesn't have to bother to try and demonstrate the problems with the different aspects of Creationism to disprove it.

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Put simply, we have evidence that energy can niether be created nor destroyed.

 

Do we? How did the universe (lots of matter and energy) come to be out of the singularity at the Big Bang 13.X billion years ago? We have absolutely no idea whether is it was created at that time or transmitted or what. And the statement that the universe "made" itself was simply used (I'm sure) to mean self-generated through some unfathomable, but less than supernatural process.

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I just think humans are really arrogant. Christians seems to think that we are so fantastic that we couldn't have possibly "Just happened." What if they found out, definitively, that we all "just happened." Would there be a mass suicide pact by every religious person in the world? I know some people who would literally die if they found out, for certain, there was no God.

 

Sad...and arrogant.

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AtheistMommy wrote:
What's really worse, believing that the universe is self made or believing that some magical being made it?

 

Either is unbelievable, but something had to happen--we just don't know what.

 

As someone's already pointed out, evolution is a separate issue from creation, but that doesn't stop the fundies, because faith trumps science.

 

The problem here is using the word "made." Who says that the universe was ever made? We can extrapolate that matter and energy can go on to exist in some form indefinately. What's so hard about reversing that extrapolation and applying it to the past? Likewise, it takes a leap of faith to believe that a sentient being can exist forever and it takes a much larger leap of faith to believe that sentience has always existed.

 

Put simply, we have evidence that energy can niether be created nor destroyed. We have no similar evidence in regards to sentience.

 

Yes sir! The Law of the Conservation of Mass/Energy! It does, indeed show that the total mass of the universe can easily be eternal. In other words, the universe, in some shape or form, has always been. This current form, on the other hand, is explained with Big Bang cosmology. This idea was one of the central themes in Atheist Universe.

 

The God Hypothesis, as Dawkins calls it, just creates more problems than it attempts to solve. If irreducible complexity means there needs to be a designer and everything needs a cause, what designed their highly complex god? And what designed what designed its highjly complex designer? Wouldn't there have to be an unbroken chain of designers or parent gods and goddesses going all the way back into infinity? The only escape from this dilemma would be evolution. In that scenario, how did their god evolve? From simpler god-like creatures? How would you trace the evolutionary tree of deities (other than tracing their human origins)?

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I just think humans are really arrogant. Christians seems to think that we are so fantastic that we couldn't have possibly "Just happened." What if they found out, definitively, that we all "just happened." Would there be a mass suicide pact by every religious person in the world? I know some people who would literally die if they found out, for certain, there was no God.

 

Sad...and arrogant.

 

They often use strawmen arguments like that that belie their complete ignorance of evolution. Humans didn't just happen. The 3.5 billion year stretch from the first life to us now is hardly what I would call "just happening!" It's like the Cambrian Explosion. It's only an "explosion" in geological time. The time span in which this explosion occurred was 10 million years! A mere microsecond in deep time, but forever in any sort of time that is meaningful to a human who's lifespan is but a tiny fraction of that at 120 years at the max!

 

I was happy to lose my belief in the nonsensical, contradictory and evil god of the Bible, Yahweh. The uinverse just made so much more sense without him. It was the flaw in the equation, that once removed, perfected everything. Evolution (cosmological, chemical, biological) is fact. All this bullshit mythology we find in all the thousands of creation myths is just fiction. Even the dominant mythologists here can see how silly all the other creation stories are. Yet, from insideir little box they just can't see how silly theirs looks from the outside. It's only once they've escaped hat they can look back and their old tattered home and laugh at it.

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Put simply, we have evidence that energy can niether be created nor destroyed.

 

Do we? How did the universe (lots of matter and energy) come to be out of the singularity at the Big Bang 13.X billion years ago? We have absolutely no idea whether is it was created at that time or transmitted or what. And the statement that the universe "made" itself was simply used (I'm sure) to mean self-generated through some unfathomable, but less than supernatural process.

 

Ah, but we do. All the matter that came out of the Big Bang was already there, albeit in another form. The Law of the Conservation of Mass/Energy shows this. No need to create what already exists -- simply recycle into something new. Seeing as how there's zero convincing evidence for any gods or goddesses ever existing and mountains of evidence against their various hypotheses, the conclusion is rather obvious, I'd say. The universe, in some form, has always been. It's just that humans, with our microscopic life spans, have trouble grasping that not everything has to conform to their view of the world.

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The Reverend wrote:

Yes sir! The Law of the Conservation of Mass/Energy! It does, indeed show that the total mass of the universe can easily be eternal. In other words, the universe, in some shape or form, has always been.

 

The Law only applies to a closed system which the universe is, has been since the Big Bang, and will continue to be to the Big Crunch if there is one.

 

We can theorize about what preceded the Big Bang or what might follow a Big Crunch, but there is no more evidence for any such theory than there is for Biblical creation--which is nothing.

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What I can't understand is why believers continue to say that evolution is faith because you believe that something (us) came from nothing.
That seems like a huge non sequitor to me, even if evolution had to do with something coming from nothing. They are misusing "believe" IMO. For them, belief = faith, i.e. no proof. But the definition of faith they use is belief in things unseen (i.e. unproven), which means belief cannot be the same as faith. According to the dictionary, belief is an opinion or conviction. Belief has to be based on something, either evidence or faith. While they use faith as their foundation, we use evidence, therefore belief for us is not faith.

I agree with the others that said that they are trying to bring evolution down to the same level as Creationism. But Creationism isn't even in the same ballpark as evolution because it attempts to not only explain the origins of species, but also abiogenesis and cosmology. What is fun is that while the three fields are separate in science, they are a package deal for Creationists, so one doesn't have to bother to try and demonstrate the problems with the different aspects of Creationism to disprove it.

 

The Creation Hypothesis is completely lacking in evidential support. It has yet to graduate to any kind of theory. What evidence can be shown for their hypothesis? All they ever show is negative argumentation against evolution, but nothing to support their position in the positive sense. Evolution, on the hand, is a time tested theory that has so much evidence that it can easily be called fact. It can and has been witnessed, as well, as being supported through its many predictions, the fossil record, extensive genetic evidence, cladistics, biogeography, etc.

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The Reverend wrote:
Yes sir! The Law of the Conservation of Mass/Energy! It does, indeed show that the total mass of the universe can easily be eternal. In other words, the universe, in some shape or form, has always been.

 

The Law only applies to a closed system which the universe is, has been since the Big Bang, and will continue to be to the Big Crunch if there is one.

 

We can theorize about what preceded the Big Bang or what might follow a Big Crunch, but there is no more evidence for any such theory than there is for Biblical creation--which is nothing.

 

There is evidence to be found on all sides as evidence simply means "a thing or things helpful in forming a conclusion." Whether it is conving or not is another matter, entirely.

 

Whether or not the universe was closed or not (it is) would not affect the conservation law. It would still apply to the hypothetical mass/energy being inserted into the universe in your example. That mass/energy would still need no creation. It would pose a new mystery, however. Where did it come from? A different plane? There are various hyptheses that posit different planes of existence. They're all quite interesting and have their various evidences, but I don't find them convincing. The matter in the universe has been shown to constant and I see no problem with it being eternal. It just makes the most sense to me.

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The boy is five and he drew a sperm and an egg. They (the teacher and some sexual harassment advisor) nearly called CPS on me. They told me "He couldn't understand these type of things at his age."

 

Sorry to hear you have to deal with such stupidity.

 

The topic of eggs and sperm is no more complicated than, seeds, soil and water.

 

I doubt they would drop their jaws if your son drew a picture of a flower growing out of a seed.

 

Hopefully the next crop of teachers your son gets will be a little smarter.

 

Mongo

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It's sad to see that something as innocent as the fertilization of an egg by a sperm is treated as so wicked that a child shouldn't know anything about it, and furthermore can't understand it.

 

The sad legacy of the Abrahamic demonization of human sexuality :vent:

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