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Life and Death posted 09 Dec 2006, 17:12 by Sorcerous-Words, Auditor

Why do we have this will to live? Honestly, aside from our instinctual survival programming.... view post

posted 10 Dec 2006, 03:12 by Cordelia, Auditor

Because there are so many things we wish to experience, so many feelings we wish to feel, experiences that we feel the need to try. Everyone feels that they have a purpose, that purpose gives them that will. Whether it is love, family, friends, education, there is always a purpose. Some wish to do great things in the fields of science perhaps, find a cure for diseases, help those who have the will to live but can't live. Some live for love, others because life can be such an incredible thing. view post

posted 11 Dec 2006, 00:12 by alhana, Auditor

Some people don't have the will to live, they are the ones who end their live or just give up when they are fighting a serious illness. I guess the larger question is why we question our existence? I do not think that dogs or cats or birds think about their will to live, they just live. Maybe the will to live is part of being self-aware? view post

posted 11 Dec 2006, 20:12 by Will, Peralogue

Well, it seems likely that we have the will to live because all beings without a will to live have died off. That is, imagine you have a set of ten children. Lets say 5 have the will to live and 5 don't. You probably end up with 4 children, one having died in spite of trying its best to live and the other 5 having died off from choosing not to eat. Those who arrive at the age where they can post on internet forums have presumably affirmed thousands of times that they choose life over death. Thus asking the question of this particular audience is much like seperating people by left-handedness or right-handedness and then going into the right handed set and asking why we favor our right hand. view post

posted 11 Dec 2006, 21:12 by gierra, Sorcerer-of-Rank

i think it's more of a lack of will to die, actually. there are many people who go to work to make, come home, eat, sleep, repeat, with no apparent will to do anything with life. do they still have a will to live, or do they just lack the will to die? view post

posted 12 Dec 2006, 04:12 by Cordelia, Auditor

I think Gierra has a point there. There are people who do the same things everyday, how boring it must be, but they just don't wish to die. Perhaps there is nothing left to really live for aside from life itself for some. view post

posted 12 Dec 2006, 11:12 by Sokar, Auditor

I am not sure about the will to fact Freud is constantly talking about the will to die! I haven't deepened enough into the subject to say much about this..but I am quite sure it is not a's either genetics or simple 'human nature' (which is also by be undefined, and normally I wouldn't be using this concept). In any case..I just wanted to say that right and left hand preference isn't a preference either..this is really genetics..and until now we have only established that left-handedness (as you put it) is somehow related to incest. I know it sounds weird, I was shocked just as well... view post

posted 12 Dec 2006, 16:12 by Cordelia, Auditor

Left-handedness relating to incest? Even if it was a reliable source or person who is looking in to this, I doubt it is caused or related to incest. I've always gone about it by thinking that children often immitate their parents, if they use their right hand, they use that one, if they use the left, they use that. I have more to say but I'll leave it for now. This is just my opinion. view post

posted 13 Dec 2006, 16:12 by Sokar, Auditor

This is not a matter of opinion..but that of science.. I will look that up, or actually I will ask the person I heard it from (just so you know and don't think I base everything on hearsay, the person I heard it from is a biologist). view post

posted 13 Dec 2006, 16:12 by Cordelia, Auditor

I'm sure he's a very reliable source since he is a biologist and all, but I'm still a little skeptical, I think I'm going to look it up as well. I was doing some research and I came across some articles, this one is pretty interesting. ... edness.php It looks at reasons people have given through the ages as to why some are left handed and does a quick analysis as to whether or not it is a plausible reason or if the possibility of it is valid. I did come across one line that said much of the royal family is left handed, and raylty tends to breed within their bloodline, so I suppose it is possible that incest may have a part in it, but I do not believe it would ahve a dominant role. In my opinion, I think it has to do more with psychology than biology. view post

posted 05 Jan 2007, 14:01 by avatar_of_existence, Peralogue

but what does that mean "the will to live?". To eat, shit, and sleep? Living means very many different things, but it is true that while all of us will die, only a few have ever really lived. view post

posted 11 Jan 2007, 14:01 by Sokar, Auditor

Cordelia -> I give up :D You are right of saying that incest is not a dominant reason for left-handedness. I did not think of the origins here, just of the persistence. Will make sure to read that article some time. Avatar of Existence -> The definition that one lived because he did more with his life sounds obscure. I have never seen life as anything else than growing old and eventual death. Of course I am too young at this stage to say otherwise, but life is just a continuation of habits and interests. No man, however 'important', lives more than the 'useless' is his perception of being more than other that gives him strength perhaps, but nothing more.. Life is a drag, constant drag in search for the beauty (pleasure, or whatever else you want to call it). We live simply because we are born, mostly incidently, and we continue our life mostly out of incidents. That pretty much sums it up, habits and incidents in search of beauty. view post

posted 11 Jan 2007, 18:01 by Harrol, Moderator

@Sokar thanks for the totally grim veiw :P . Alright what you said is right unless you believe in the supernatural like I do, but then again that is a whole new topic. view post

posted 15 Jan 2007, 00:01 by Buckethead, Peralogue

Sokar If you have never experienced one moment of beauty then i feel terribly sorry for you, otherwise from reading your post i can only reasonably figure you are either being extremely pessamistic or playing devil's advocate. Learning to enjoy even the hard moments of daily life is not easy, but for periods of my life i have even been able to see beauty in dirt and it makes living more than worthwhile. Life is both amazingly important, and completely redundant at the same time (with a billion grey areas inbetween) and either way i think it does not just boil down to a series of interests and habits. Human behaviour is part and parcell with perception and thought. Our actions are not all that exist. It is only natural at times to feel a will to live and at others a will to die (or at least a will to no longer exist). One of the things that holds us back from gaining understanding of life is that we are continually looking for these ridiculously unobtainable answers instead of the little pieces of insight that would help. The answers ARE NOT THERE (for us at this point), only theories and bits of insight, accept this,learn to see beauty in learning and gaining awareness and you might find that perhaps the most amazing things you've ever experienced are as basic as your own senses. view post

posted 15 Jan 2007, 14:01 by Sokar, Auditor

Oh but I do know point is that life is exactly that..this search for beauty (I think you understand that beauty can be found in everything, it is just a term I use). My argument goes against that of Avatar of Existence..that life cannot be valued more or less depending on the 'seriousnous' of it..or the use and inspiration of it..for one self or the others... I would disagree with you though that human behaviour involves true thought.. What I mean with true thought in life and behaviour is that it is not going in depth of the merely involves habits and interests... I agree with the rest of your post..I don't advocate the uniqueness or absoluteness of anything existing..our actions therefore are indeed not all that exist..and indeed we focus too much on the whole instead of beauty of the moment.."the little pieces of insight"... Despite my pessimist view on the world..I would be the first to say that life is worth living..even in my deepest sorrows I would find beauty of the moments gone... Finally..consider these two: "There is no greater sorrow than to recall a time of happiness in misery" -- Dante. Can't argue... but especially, "we can't compare life to anything---that's too dreary a prospect" -- Bukowski. Just read it yesterday..some lines before this comes "reality is a juiceless orange".. What of life..? Where do we find the juice but the beauty..? Cordelia -> I still have to read that article... Sorry.. view post

posted 16 Jan 2007, 02:01 by Buckethead, Peralogue

great clarification sokar, i appreciate it. in reply i did not mean that behaviour comes from perception and thought, only that it's importance does not preclude those things (i should have been more clear). also that the secular existance of these two things (within our own brains) does not make them more or less concrete.... example: if our actions are determined through the perceptions and thoughts of others, is importance of existance based solely on the quantity of people (beings) who "experience" something or can a single person's "experience" be just as important and/or satisfying. i tend to believe that too much importance is put on the approval other people's adoration and criticisms. also, the snow has been beautiful here lately. view post

posted 16 Jan 2007, 13:01 by Sokar, Auditor

hehe..I miss the snow..we used to have a house in the mountains when I was a kid..haven't seen something as beautiful for some time as in doesn't snow here..and when it does it is gone the next day..or full of dirt from cars... On your comment..i would agree pretty much with everything now..or perhaps it's better to say, I don't see anything to deny in them :D Cordelia -> I read that is rather interesting and puts my previous comment into high doubt.. My brother, the biologist, now denies of saying that..which could be true..that it was my premature conclusion of what he said... Though it does explain the left-handedness in royalty to a certain extent, there is still some doubt of the origins.. thanks.. view post

posted 07 Mar 2007, 17:03 by avatar_of_existence, Peralogue

Sokar, I do hear what you are saying, but I do believe that some lives are valued more. They just are. I could throw around names, but you know them already and that is my point. I wasn't attempting to quantify any such value. Perhaps those who are great are those who perceive the beauty of things, according to your vision of 'we are all equal'. Also I do believe while we are all equal in life, we certaintly are not equal in death. Many are forgotten, vey few remembered. The quest to be memorable. Why not? If it wasn't for this quest we wouldn't have people like Bakker in the world. Or maybe not. view post

posted 21 Mar 2007, 22:03 by Jamara, Auditor

What is the Will to Live? In my opinion the will to live is nothing more than instinctual. Our instincts, and every living thing's instincts are to live and procreate. That's it. All the other things which fill our lives, which we fill our lives with, are the selfish drive of sentience. We Need to fill our lives with the belief that we have a purpose. We Need to kill the time between feeding and creating offspring, and we fill it with things we believe give us a purpose. The greatest of these things are religious beliefs. Religious belief gives us the ability to be told what our purpose is. To me it is an easy cop-out. The curse of sentience is that we are given the opportunity to ask why. Why are we here. To me the answer is simple. To be alive. But to most that is not enough. They feel that there must be a purpose to them being here. Something other than instincts driving them to be alive. I think allot of our problems with coming to grips with sentience is that fact that we are the only sentient beings on this earth. Since we can't ask others, we often create something higher, better, more knowledgable than ourselves whom we can ask and rely on. To me this is the greatest fallicy amongst the followers of organized religion. They have supplanted their ability to reason with doctrines that tell them exactly what to do, how to think, and answer questions that escape us. That's not to say that there isn't a Human Will. Willpower gives us the ability to supercede those instincts which are meant to protect ourselves and keep us alive. It gives us the ability to run a marathon when our body wants nothing more than to rest. It gives us the ability to go to war and die for causes and beliefs. It gives a monk the ability to end his life to make a statement. But all of these are selfish acts. Running the marathon to win or complete gives a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Fighting the war or dieing for it is selfish because you are fighting for beliefs that give you purpose. The monk immolating himself in protest is selfish because he is fulfilling a purpose that has given him drive. They are filling the void created by sentience with acts that bring them a selfish sense of fulfillment. view post

posted 25 Mar 2007, 03:03 by Buckethead, Peralogue

For the record, i do not consider myself religious and i do not surround myself specifically with people who are or aren't.... Jamara, i have to say i found your post pretty close-minded. i find it funny that non-religious people and atheists consistantly see those who believe in organized religion as weak. i have heard this time and time again. i come from a religious family (with family members who are also decidedly not religious) and know lots of religious people, plenty of whom lean on and need the support of a "higher being". however at the same time i also know religious people (jews, christians and buddhists) who are sophisticated, philosophical thinkers and intelligent people who are more than willing to engage in questions of why and how we exist outside of the realm of their particular religion. Just because you read the bible and/or are christian DOES NOT mean you actually believe adam and eve started the human race, or that the earth is ten thousand years old. This is one of the greatest fallicies of non-religious people. They think that the followers of organized religion are cult-like and all the same. They think that every follower believes or agrees with everything to do with the religion; principles, ethics, belief in history etc. over the years of my life i have found that the followers of organized religion and those who choose not to are exactly the same in one sense: 90% of each of them are completely ignorant about the others and believe that they're lifestyle is "right" and that the others is "wrong". to say that being religious is an easy cop out? i'm sorry but that's just ridiculous. i know religious people who are in pain every day because of what the believe and what they want. not everyone can turn being religious OFF, and to say anything else is just plain stupid. Religious people CAN and DO question they're religions the same way you and i do. Jamara, to say that the will to live is purely instinctual in a way denies the idea of sentience. in being sentient (by definition) we are all aware of our instinctual drives and needs. are you saying that people create excuses to make their instincts seem like cognitive purpose? i would agree that it happens, but i would not say it describes every action. if an old woman wants to finish writing a book before she dies, is that instinct? is she foolishly trying to leave something behind to give herself purpose? and if all of our actions beyond eating and reproducing are all self-deceptive or falsified purpose to fill the gaps.... why did you post your thoughts on the internet? view post

posted 25 Mar 2007, 13:03 by Curethan, Didact

Hey, well said. I count myself an aetheist, but I have great respect for those who have faith and act in a manner consistent with the noble teachings that most every religon has at their heart. I often have this same argument with non-religous friends of mine, and its nice to see another person who will stand up against these preconceptions. It certainly is a common archetype of aetheist that you describe, those who embrace the reflex of 'what I believe is true, and your beliefs are wrong' - which certainly is funny considering that aethiests by definition, believe nothing. Personally, I envy those who trust that they are a part of something greater - but I find that my own search for meaning within leads me to try to behave outwardly very similarly to the way a good christian, jew, buddhist or muslim would, so why would I deride them? view post

posted 25 Mar 2007, 23:03 by Peter, Auditor

[quote:73s74cbr]In my opinion the will to live is nothing more than instinctual. Our instincts, and every living thing's instincts are to live and procreate. That's it. All the other things which fill our lives, which we fill our lives with, are the selfish drive of sentience. We Need to fill our lives with the belief that we have a purpose. We Need to kill the time between feeding and creating offspring, and we fill it with things we believe give us a purpose.[/quote:73s74cbr] I have to say I don't see that because, as a matter of fact, we are driven by instinct implies that there is no meaning in life. It merely implies that if meaning is a normative concept (and most people would say it is) and if it really is the case that we can derive no ought from is, then the meaning of our lives does not come from our biology. It doesn't show that meaning cannot supervene on our biology or that it cannot be an emergent property starting once we arrive at a certain level of cognitive complexity. It doesn't show that sentience alone might ground meaning, after all sentience really is something apart from instinct (at least on your definition, because sentience is what we do between being instinctual). Moreover, when you define sentience as being inherently selfish, well, I think you are mistaken. You are either making an a priori claim about the nature of intention, whereby, by necessity if you intend something, that intention is self-relating, [i:73s74cbr]or [/i:73s74cbr]you are making a merely psychological claim with evidence stemming only from your own experience. I suggest that the way you present your views implies that you support the psychological claim rather than the a priori, but I will try and argue against both anyway. Now I don't have my lecture notes with me, so this will only be a rough construal of the argument. The problem with the a priori view is that it is committed to asserting that the intention "To steal the money from the box so that I can buy myself a car" as selfish and self-regarding as (and here please take [i:73s74cbr]only[/i:73s74cbr] the intention as stated, with no additions... i.e. literally just the words I write) "To bring grapes to Toby's sick aunt in hospital". However, it is clear that the latter intention is [i:73s74cbr]not[/i:73s74cbr] selfish and self-regarding [i:73s74cbr]as it is presented[/i:73s74cbr]. The two intentions are not the same and the latter cannot be selfish or self-regarding, for it does not mention "me" at all. Logically speaking, the latter intention cannot be self-regarding. The argument [i:73s74cbr]then [/i:73s74cbr]is that no one ever actually has the latter intention. No one ever intends to bring grapes to Toby's aunt because they are sick, rather they intend "To bring grapes to Toby's sick aunt [i:73s74cbr]because[/i:73s74cbr] that will make me look good and will therefore benefit me". But that is not an a priori claim about the nature of intention. It is an empirical claim about the nature of human psychology. The wonderful thing about intentions, however, is that they are inherently closed to the outside world and so cannot be studied in the way that most scientific phenomena can be. In matter of fact we actually have direct access only to our own intentions. So to make a claim about someone else's intentions we need to extrapolate from our own experiences, meaning that we are going from one single example (one's own expereiences of one's intentions) to draw up conclusions about 6 billion other people (rather more if we are going with "Humans who have lived", which one should do if one is making a psychological claim about humans in general). But actually, that is not standardly an acceptable inferential system. We think that all solid objects fall to ground when dropped, not because we once saw a rock fall to ground, but because we have seen hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of solid objects fall to ground before. I think that the belief that only selfishness acts as a motivation to action (or rather on your model, selfishness and instinct) derives from a mistaken inference from the fact that many of our own intentions are selfish and from the fact that many of our own intentions turn out to be selfish when they appeared to be altruistic (sometimes we do do "nice" things simply to gain the kudos from doing them). And then when we encounter an intention which appears altruistic and for which we cannot discover a selfish hidden motive, we simply assume that the motive is well hidden, rather than that there is no such motive. More generally, I know very intelligent believers. I have considered religion and faith in a Christian God, and I have rejected such beliefs, but I also know that not one of my arguments would, or should convince an intelligent believer. They are enough to convince me and (I believe) to ensure that my position is defensible. Not so long ago BBC Radio 4 did a set of three interviews of religious experts (Christian[the Archbishop of Canterbury], Jewish [the British Chief Rabbi] and Muslim [a French Islamic scholar whose name escapes me]). Certainly the Archbishop and the Chief Rabbi have pursued philosophy degrees and I suspect the Islamic Scholar will have done something similar. None of them convinced me in the slightest of their beliefs, though all convinced me thoroughly of their deep and abiding humanity, but even when pressed on the most difficult of problems, the Problem of Evil, they were able to defend their positions cogently and seriously, at least satisfying me that I could not have gone further against them. Of course many arguments for belief in God are poor arguments. Sometimes I suspect atheists come off as being strongly anti-religion because they argue so strongly against parts of it, the poorly thought out parts (which deny evolution etc.) and eventually become carried away with themselves, or are portrayed as having done so. Still, give me a rabid Richard Dawkins any day over the Texan radio show host who agreed with a caller that the fact that Charles Darwin had never won a Nobel Prize indicated a certain lack of scientific credibility in his theory of evolution. Apologies if this seems a rather rambling post, it is late for me and I am beginning to suspect I have simply be typing for half an hour without the brain really engaging. view post

posted 26 Mar 2007, 03:03 by Jamara, Auditor

I find it funny that the name atheist was brought up so often. Not once did I ever claim to be an atheist. In fact I am a Pagan. I am against religion, not spirituality. There is quite an extreme difference between the two. The difference being Dogma. I found and formed my own spiritual beliefs that just happen to loosely coincide with others' beliefs. I was never told what to believe, how to believe, how to show my beliefs, or how to celebrate my beliefs. I found them. I questioned, and through my sentience I found what I believed. No one told me how to do it. I questioned and reasoned and learned. And as far as the nephew bringing grapes to his aunt, that was instinctual. He was aiding his familial unit. He as aiding his gene pool. And we, like most mammals, have very strong familial instincts. I never siad that selfish was bad. I only meant that all non-instinctual action is based upon self-fullfilment on some level. There is always some level of self-gratification. Sentience is a quirk. We don't fully understand how it arose. We do know that because of the reshaping of our cerebellum due to a skeletal change in posture along with the increased functional useage of our hands is what allowed for the cerebral reshaping giving rise to sentience. Sentience is our ability to question and imagine. (I would like to add for future clarification that I am using sentient in the common understanding, basically equating it to consciousness) And evolution. That is a scientific law. The theory is Darwin's natural selection. Evolution has been recorded and can be recorded. It happens, therefore it is a law. A theory tries to explain that law. view post

posted 26 Mar 2007, 04:03 by Jamara, Auditor

Disregard that last portion of my post. At first I misunderstood where you were coming from with the mention of evolution :oops: . I get very passionate about it. view post

posted 26 Mar 2007, 04:03 by Buckethead, Peralogue

read my post again jamara [quote:2w5e3yuj]i find it funny that non-religious people and atheists consistantly see those who believe in organized religion as weak.[/quote:2w5e3yuj] [quote:2w5e3yuj]over the years of my life i have found that the followers of organized religion and those who choose not to are exactly the same in one sense[/quote:2w5e3yuj] [quote:2w5e3yuj]This is one of the greatest fallicies of non-religious people [/quote:2w5e3yuj] i mentioned atheists once, in the same sentence as "non-religious people"... thereby implying that not all people who choose not to follow organized religion are atheists. the only other times i mentioned people who don't follow religion are in the other two quotes. i am not an atheist. i have my own undeveloped sense of spirituality the same as many other people. that being said, i do not believe in a conscious "greater being" or god. I have come to the conclusions and questions i have much the same as you. learning how to learn and think critically is a skill, once you have it it's hard to understand how you ever thought any other way. that doesn't mean it's wrong to believe in something more solid. also, believing in a more concrete structure does not mean you haven't thought critically before arriving at your conclusion. accepting organized religion doesn't mean you've bought into all the dogmatics presented and thrown away your ability to criticize. now more than ever with the desicions facing christian communities, many christians are becoming speculative or disenfranchised by the positions held by their particular churches. this is not to say that many people don't give in to all the aspects of one religion... because there are millions of people who follow religion blindly, but just as you are presumably not the sinning, hellbound, slumming creton that many people would think you are (because you don't follow their religion), not all followers of religion are bumbling, unaware, mindless slaves who don't think for themselves. view post

posted 26 Mar 2007, 04:03 by Jamara, Auditor

My reference to the usage of atheists was from everyone's posts, Buchethead, not just yours. In fact I appreciated your inclusion of non-religious people. And I agree that people who follow religions can be critical thinkers and blah blah blah, and that the vast majority of "christians" are only christians because that's what their daddy was, but still, I can't understand how a critical thinker, someone who has actually flexed the grey matter, could just believe what was written in a book, rewritten, editted, then systematically reformatted. I just see organized religion as a crutch of the masses. view post

posted 26 Mar 2007, 06:03 by Curethan, Didact

I did not mean to imply that your views were aethiestic either Jamara - I was merely commenting on the observation that Buckethead made and my experience thereof. In the interests of hairsplitting - I think you will find that it is the theory of evolution, as a scientific law must proven by repeatable experiment and empirical data - which you can't do in this case. It certainly is widely accepted and consistent, and no scientificly acceptable theory opposes it, but a theory it remains. Your last statement reflects the hubris of many folk - especially those who are aware of the fact that they are more intelligent than many of their fellows - succumb to. And it is here that the narrow mindedness that buckethead refered to comes in. Having rejected a world view as flawed, you abandon it and declare that any of its adherants are similarly flawed and are either stupid or weak because they cannot see what is clear to you. But perhaps you are wrong, or you are merely overlooking the point of faith. Faith is what gives you the strength to believe in the ephemeral - as a pagan, you must believe in some concepts outside of yourself that cannot be proven - the existence of a goddess, the soul or karma as examples. Can you provide a scientific proof for any of these things? Or do you merely see their existance in the same way a christian might feel Jesus in their heart? To judge others because of their beliefs or percieved intelligence is both dangerous and silly. Judge others by their actions, for that is the measure of their worth. view post

posted 26 Mar 2007, 07:03 by Jamara, Auditor

[quote="Curethan":p91kgj48]In the interests of hairsplitting - I think you will find that it is the theory of evolution, as a scientific law must proven by repeatable experiment and empirical data - which you can't do in this case. It certainly is widely accepted and consistent, and no scientificly acceptable theory opposes it, but a theory it remains.[/quote:p91kgj48] But evolution is change. And it has been recorded. It has been recorded in the genetic changing of the length of Finch beaks. It has been recorded in the bioengineering of man in the breeding of horses, cows, tomatoes, wheat, pigs, dogs, cats, roses, etc... Evolution is the genetic change within a species or population. It happens and can not be denied. And that is all that evolution is. The theory of natural selection summises that through Darwin's Laws of Natural Selection, new species evolved from older species. [quote=]Having rejected a world view as flawed, you abandon it and declare that any of its adherants are similarly flawed and are either stupid or weak because they cannot see what is clear to you. But perhaps you are wrong,[/quote] I never claimed to be right. I only claimed that people who let other people do the thinking for them are . . . Dee Dee Deees [quote=] the existence of a goddess, [/quote] I view the Goddess as the earth. All the biomass and all it's intrinsic parts. We all come from the Mother, and we all return to the Mother. We are all a part of the Mother. The biomass of the planet remains constant (space programs disregarded) [quote=]the soul [/quote] I view the soul as the driving force of living things not to decay. What is it that keeps our cells, our highly ordered components from breaking down? What is it that keeps them moving towards remaining alive. The soul. The soul is the unaccountable force which is resisting entropy. [quote=]Can you provide a scientific proof for any of these things? Or do you merely see their existance in the same way a christian might feel Jesus in their heart? [/quote] Actually it was several ecology and microbiology and genetics courses at Penn State which ultimately filled in the gaps of my beliefs. Seeing the intricacy of the ecological food web and the refinedness of the genetic pathways, and many other tangent nuances is what basically turned me from an agnostic to a pagan. [quote=]To judge others because of their beliefs[/quote] I'm not judging anyone's beliefs, just the mode by which they gain those beliefs. view post

posted 26 Mar 2007, 09:03 by Curethan, Didact

My hairsplitting comment was only about what constitutes a scientific theory as opposed to a scientific law... The other comments you have highlighted regard generalisations - individuals deserve to be judged on individual merits. Religious stereotyping is widespread and rarely challenged. I really don't think that you personally believe in reinforcing these stereotypes, judging by your clarifications - but I do apluade Buckethead's challenge of these stereotypes in this thread, and added my own ideas because this is a public forum - not because I think you said anything particularly reprehensible. :) view post

posted 26 Mar 2007, 19:03 by Jamara, Auditor

I often enjoy playing Devil's Advocate to spark lively debate :twisted: Hope nobody was offended view post

posted 27 Mar 2007, 04:03 by Buckethead, Peralogue

no offense taken... only healthy discussion. view post

posted 27 Mar 2007, 23:03 by Randal, Auditor

Curethan: Evolution is a fact. It has been observed repeatedly, and also is evident from examining the fossil record. There also is a theory of evolution. This seeks to explain how the observed phenomenon of evolution actually works. Why things mutate, how they mutate, when they mutate, etc. This is a theory in the scientific sense of the word, like you described. Compare, for example, gravity. Gravity is an observed fact. Stuff falls down. Newton came up with the theory of gravity seeking to explain how it works. He was fairly close, though later theories amended and improved his. view post

posted 28 Mar 2007, 00:03 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

[quote:d1e91d3c]Evolution is a fact. It has been observed repeatedly, and also is evident from examining the fossil record. There also is a theory of evolution. This seeks to explain how the observed phenomenon of evolution actually works. Why things mutate, how they mutate, when they mutate, etc. [/quote:d1e91d3c] Evolution is [u:d1e91d3c]not[/u:d1e91d3c] a fact. For it cannot be definitively proven, as for the fossil record there are numerous gaps. I don't particularly agree with evolution or creation but there are evident faults in both. view post

posted 28 Mar 2007, 07:03 by Curethan, Didact

K, just to clear this up I'll quote from the NC state university's website... [quote:2olbbyg8]scientific law: A logical, mathematical statement describing a consistency that applies to all members of a broad class of phenomena when specific conditions are met. Examples of scientific laws: Faraday’s Law of electromagnetic induction, Coulomb’s Law of electrostatic attraction, Dalton’s Law of partial pressures, Boyle’s Gas Law.[/quote:2olbbyg8] [quote:2olbbyg8]scientific theory: An explanation of why and how a specific natural phenomenon occurs. A lot of hypotheses are based on theories. In turn, theories may be redefined as new hypotheses are tested. Examples of theories: Newton’s Theory of Gravitation, Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, Mendel’s theory of Inheritance, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.[/quote:2olbbyg8] Sorry, I'm a nerd ... :oops: view post

posted 28 Mar 2007, 09:03 by Randal, Auditor

Gaps in the fossil record have nothing to do with it. Of course there are gaps... how could there not be gaps? It's random stuff we found from thousands and millions and hundreds of millions of years ago. The point is evolution exists. We can reproduce it in a laboratory with some sufficiently quickly reproducing species. We can show its existence in the fossil records whether or not there are gaps. We can show it by examining the genes and physical attributes of currently living species, showing they share some common ancestor. [quote="Stephen Jay Gould":3nrm1zd3]Well, evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other, yet to be discovered. [/quote:3nrm1zd3] There is also a theory of evolution. And some variations on that theory. And that theory has plenty of gaps in it and it's quite possible it will turn out to be wrong in how it explains some of the processes of evolution. But evolution itself merely means, according to [quote="":3nrm1zd3]3. Biology. change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift.[/quote:3nrm1zd3] These changes in the gene pool have been shown. They have been reproduced in laboratories. They are fact. So evolution is both a fact and a theory, and neither of those statements contradicts the other. Notes: my quote came from [url=][u:3nrm1zd3]The Stephen Jay Gould archive[/u:3nrm1zd3][/url:3nrm1zd3] view post

posted 28 Mar 2007, 21:03 by Jamara, Auditor

Evolution = the alteration of a species or rise of a new species in order to best adapt to a new environment. Descent with modification. Accompanied by an accumulation of neutral mutations. The mathematical postulate which catalogues genetic drift and the degree of freedom for change within a genetic population is the Chi-Square Formula. The Chi Square Formula was derived from the Hardy-Weinberg Theorem which was derived from Mendel's First Two Laws of Heredity. The use of Mendel's First Two Laws of Heredity, the Hardy-Wienberg Theorem, and the Chi Square Formula are all used as the basis of predicting and testing the Theory of Natural Selection within a population to explain why and how Evolution occurs, because it does occur. And it does occur regardless of whether Natural Selection is correct or not. The Molecular Clocks are calibrations of the rate of protein and amino acid alterations within genomes which has led to the ability to date the branching taxa along evolutionary lines. (Even when the fossil records are absent). This has given rise to the more precise taxanomical trees. Molecualr biology has allowed us to trace and predict genetic mutations within a population. view post

posted 29 Mar 2007, 04:03 by Curethan, Didact

Please stop. I'm not disagreeing with the theory at all. You called it a scientific law, which it just isn't. view post

posted 29 Mar 2007, 04:03 by Jamara, Auditor

Sorry, sorry. I'll keep anymore rants to the new thread in this forum. I told you I get passionate about this. But . . . no, no, behave . . . :wink: view post

posted 29 Mar 2007, 07:03 by Zarathinius, Auditor

Isn't it wonderful how grand, esoteric subjects like the will to live tend to morph into other esoteric topics? Thus far, off the top of my head, this thread has discussed left-handedness, evolution, atheism, religion, spirituality, the distinction between scientific fact and theory, and any number of little smart-people natterings in between. Why we want to live is such a broad question, and the scientific explanation leaves so much to be desired. We make up for our own frustrating inability to understand ourselves with religion, science, philosophy, and roundabout discussions of all three. In this manner, we humans are able to live with the fact that certain things simply slip our understanding. view post

posted 29 Mar 2007, 21:03 by Jamara, Auditor

Thanks Zarathinius, that was what my original point kind of was. I feel that because of our sentience, we want there to be a larger purpose, and all these things we do are kind of in search of that prupose. We are either searching for our purpose, or creating things to give us purpose. And I admit that there ultimately could be a true purpose out there, but for this mere mortal it eludes me. view post

posted 30 Mar 2007, 00:03 by Buckethead, Peralogue

i still don't see how one person's purpose can be false purrpose.... reality exists throught the perceptions of living beings, so if one person finds purpose in life by collecting bottle caps, how is it false? because other people say it is? because there's no scientific theory to prove it is purpose? because there's no deity to come down from the heavens and say "that's not the meaning of life, this is!"? reality exists in our minds, our experiences, memories and purposes are as real and ephemeral as our bodies. one true purpose? binary thought, there is or there isn't... there couldn't be more than one, oh no that would never happen. view post

posted 30 Mar 2007, 03:03 by Trutu Angotma, Peralogue

lifes one true purpose is what we make it. not a single ghoal each individual strives for but looking for the one place you belong most in the world. to each his own. view post


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