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Quark (2/13)



  1. The techniques and methods employed in science, are supposed to be as objective and neutral as possible, so that we don't miss out any details due to our negligence, biase-ness, to give us wrong conclusions. It is perfectly fine to start off with hypothethesis, but we need to keep in mind, until it has sufficient evidences, it is a theory and remains inconclusive (similar to an aircraft crash investigation, where the verdict is kept open until the investigators could determine the specific cause, or it will remain a mystery). The ultimate goal for science, is to be the tool to uncover the "real truth" of things, whatever it is. For the case of proposing "there is gravity", science although cannot completely explain its nature yet, but has sufficiently proven it to exist. However, in the case for life origins, everything is still in its development and theoretical stages. Because of the lack of sufficient evidence, we cannot claim any of the theories as fact yet, and that is precisely why it is more like a "faith-system" - somehow, some of us already "believed" our version to be that of the truth, despite it lacking certain evidences to be true or even having some contradictions (compare it to the context of the air crash investigation, can we "close" the case of life origins already with our available findings? if not, is it not just a theory we believe but not yet the truth? if we feel it is the truth, isn't it a faith?). Sidenote: For those of us who believe that science has the answer/explanation to everything, we need to realise the backbone of science itself is based upon 1 big assumption - the natural law. The natural law assumes things consistently behaves this way and not other, and all other things obeys these laws etc. At the very fundamental level, why these things behave this way (and not another) in the architechure constraints of our universe, science cannot explain because it has reached the boundaries of its assumptions and cannot go beyond (eg, for the question, "since when is 1+1=2?", the logic we can understand and we take it for granted, but we cannot explain how or why it is so) - science can only explain the things within its given assumption. If there exists greater things, science as the main tool for seeking truth would be insufficient. What is our goal for learning science anyway? To seek the real truth or to use it for our cause?
  2. Well, if it was claimed by assumption i concluded the individual didn't utilise the potential, then for those who said he did, haven't you all already similarly assumed that they all did? To put into context, which is more probable? That the enhanced individual successfully and for at least the next few generations outcompete others for food, take multiple partners etc, or perhaps, just stay obliviously in the background? Statistically, the answer.. is both is as probable. If the supporting reason to believe your assumption was simply "because we see the developed species today and so it must have happened", yet we do not see remnant ape1, 2 etc, doesn't the incomplete evidence reveal your conclusion was a faith-biased one? As a objective practicioner of the method of science, can we already rule out other propositions with so little information?
  3. Let's consider the "gap" in question here. Whenever we talk about the theory for the evolution of man, the chart that shows the 1st primitive ape, followed by the 2nd and so on until the modern man today comes into mind. In brief, evolution would tell us it happened as a result of natural selection, and other naturally occurring modes of change from our environment that favoured us to walk more upright and also for our brains to be more tuned towards increased intelligence. It seems highly plausible at 1st glance, but things get a bit tricky if we put it into a realistic background to consider: 1) If intelligence was the preferrential trait at the time of the "1st ape", the concept of natural selection should expect those born with better wired brains would statistically survive better. 2) Evolution assumes these "higher species" will definitely have offspring in order to pass them to the next generation, but that is not always the case 3) we need to remember also these "intelligent" offsprings do not naturally come in batches at 1 go, or in other words, they are usually the minority (very very few in the large pool of his lesser brethrens) If we put this theory into today's context, it could be like saying Albert Einstein is the 1st of "its kind" (the intelligent one). Say he did marry another woman of the same IQ, so will his children be born "better equipped" than the rest of us already, such that his line, will survive better and even outbreed the rest of us? To take the examination of this theory further, we see the apes progressed from 1st to the 2nd and so forth, as if the previous one was replaced by the latter. In today's world, we only see the modern man, and the apes. For this to happen, it would mean the entire groups of ape1,2,3 etc somehow all died out or got entirely interbreeded. Considering how people move from places to places, and also geographical isolations, the possibility to be able to outbreed all the previous ape kinds of man in the entire world would be.. near impossible (unless perhaps our ancient ancestors lived in very small groups and do not travel around for at least the past 100 thousands of years). Then back to the topic of "life" (especially for the more complex ones that has its own "will") occurring from "non-life" chemicals, do we already have the explanation how that "jump" came about? As of now, we are only able at best to theorise how chemicals can occur naturally into structures similar to the components for life. Abiogenesis also only theorise how structures may naturally replicate or group itself into something more complex. But this theory is still a far cry from being able to explain how lifeless chemicals become a "self-willed" organism. If we ask ourselves, "is there gravity and do we understand it fully?" the answer is yes and no. Yes because scientifically, we can observe and seemingly prove it empirically. However, it is no because we are not able to fully explain it completely as of now. But the conclusion is still yes there is gravity despite our lack of complete explanation. That is a knowledge gap. However, when it comes to beliving in creation by evolution, we have yet to know if the earth (note not the universe) is truly as old as it has to be (in order we have the sufficient amount of time taken for evolution to work), we have yet to understand and explain how lifeless chemicals can become "self-willed" organisms. When we consider complex organs like the brain, the intestines, kidneys etc, that work in perfect tandem to inter-regulate the entire body system, we assumed they fine-tuned themselves thru natural processes (have you ever tried to design and build a computer and made it work?). Then when we suffer from cancer or ailments, we wonder why they don't work as "it should" (consider if we believe in evolution, why should we expect it to operate with a pre-defined function, as the saying goes "survival of the fittest", and if your body parts fail, you are not one of the selected). or why don't we accept cancer is some kind of "new trait" that is inherent, and not to see it as good or bad, since in the evolution context, there is no good and bad but only the final result that counts? I know i may be unscientific or rather layman and weak for those points, but I think we need to be honest with ourselves the amount of pre-assumptions we have to give (unknowingly) to support our belief for creation by evolution. By that, I don't mean that will disprove evolution of course, just that we ought to look in closer detail the kind of assumptions we are willing to accept. Side note: We cannot yet disprove the possibility of a creator too (although this saying will offend those who will say it is "unscientific!", do we not realise in the 1st place, the method of science already opposes itself to proving supernatural beings? Thus even if they truly exist, we won't find them from this method. It would be like trying to use our naked eye to see infra-red)
  4. As of now.. we must agree neither sides (the group that says "life" can be derived from non living chemicals just by itself, vs the group that supports it requires more than just the chemical makeup) can yet prove each other to be absolutely true or false... As such, we should realise each of our standpoint is still motivated by "faith system", and not derived entirely from "neutral objective " science. Yet the 1st group tends to argue in the name of science as if it is the truth already (when how abiogenesis works is still not well understood, but like a blackbox. To say it has the answer and believing in it before the proof.. is more faith than fact ya?)
  5. Hi overtone.. Could you share the details from Darwin's theory of evolution that explained that answers how "lifeless" chemicals, eventually become "life"ones? (or if there is some error in this question itself, how should it be phrased? And thus we can see or understand better the processl/theory?)
  6. By the saying things follow physics and chemistry laws, it could be put aptly that things naturally want to take the path of least resistance ya? Or to choose the path that results in a more stable result with relation to it's environment.. When we consider a cell producing things it needs.. those processes are not the result of following the 2 laws..like in the specific aspect that this chemical inside it wants to bond with the other because it can achieve a more stable state.. It does it.. because (by some other unknown mechanism) it requires it.. So in some sense.. this exhibits some kind of "decision making" ability which is strictly not a product of the 2 laws ya? Another point is.. remembering things tend to take the path of least resistance in nature.. Wouldn't it be more natural for the cell to choose death or decay.. as compared to wanting to preserve itself and developing strategies to continue itself? How does lifeless structures acquire the desire to survive.. especially when it's an uphill challenge against nature... Does evolutionist have the explanation for this particular area? (this is critical junction when lifeless can become life and so has to be addressed 1st before other things ya?) Sidenote: I don't disagree with overtone that things still follow laws of physics.. Considering an object at rest, tends to stay at rest..unless it is act upon by an external force.. So for the lifeless chemical at rest to take the uphill task to counter nature to become life.. it would (by deduction) have received some external help...
  7. So to paraphrase, we could say the premise to distinguish life from non-life are that these objects could "self decide" to perform processes which otherwise will follow those determined by the natural laws of physics and chemistry ya? So for eg when we consider for the replication process, the cell could "self decide" which code from the DNA to copy (rather than to blindly obey the laws of chemistry, which is mainly by order of reactivity), we would say it does exhibit life too ya? Thus if we consider this argument: 1) chemicals originally do not have "life" and always follows physical and chemical laws 2) cells exhibit "life" and can decide which process to perform, despite the physical and chemical laws does evolution have the explanation of the mechanism how lifeless chemicals can eventually evolved to become by itself, "self-deciding"? Abiogenesis did not explain that but explained about spontaneous replication or synthesis, which still point 1. Thus unless we have the explanation for the mechanism, couldn't we say this argument is sound, and valid?
  8. Moontanman, May i ask in your personal opinion, how would u distinguish life from non-life??
  9. Are we able to define n explain "life" properly and definitively already? Do we realise up to now, at best we are all only good at trying to argue the odds of the biochemical occuring naturally? We do need to realise from the very start, we have unknowingly pre-assumed any inorganic chemicals having the precise biochemical and physiological structure = life ya? meaning to say like a computer, with all the circuit boards in place, the previously inorganic structure will now function like a organic one AUTOMATICALLY. Does it really work like that? sidenote: consider even the computer we know today doesn't run on hardware alone to perform complicated systems, but requires software, which is immaterial. Thus for an inorganic substance, to distinguish it as life that it can operate on its own, replicate, is determining naturally occuring biochemical structures, a strong enough point to say it can cause life?
  10. Creation by evolution in theory, is a mathematical possibility. But it does not explain how or why "lifeless" chemicals.. when in the right conditions, after becoming something randomly complex (yet still lifeless, like a protein structure), can become "alive". Just consider a live cat vs a cat that just died. In terms of chemical makeup, they are identical, yet they are totally different too. Then after having "life", it did not explain on what kind of external pressures can cause it to upgrade itself, to grow from a unicellular organism, to one that has multiple complex systems that operate as an entire being. The modes of pressures available for Evolution theory are mainly by random mutation and natural selection. By these 2 modes alone, if we were to believe it is sufficient, we would not be able to deny that we are also effectively saying "anything when left on its own, will eventually upgrade itself, and that, is the order of the natural world". That thought begs deep questioning as we all know, things naturally decay, instead of becoming more complex in a meaningful way by itself.
  11. @ Thorham With regards to emphathy, what is the evolutionary advantage of it? The disadvantages of it are that it makes the creature feel bad about a particular issue, and to solve this issue, additional effort is required (usually at the expense of the creature). Am i right to think that Evolution is like electricity, it takes the fastest and easiest way (path of least resistance) to arrive at the most optimum condition of the environment setting? That being so, emphathy seems more a hindrance than advantage to have isnt it? @Arete, Yes, agree in some animals species, there exists a social code of conduct of do's and don'ts. However, when we compare the background of the "morality" between the best animal examples vs humans', we see that for humans the drive behind has a deeper tone. The animals (eg the primates) don't do the don'ts mostly because of fear, lesser confidence and the likes, They are instinct led and basically it is still quite the "strong don't challenge" rule. For humans, the deeper impression of morality that most people universally follow, have elements of self control --> to be able to not do the don'ts, not out of fear alone, but because of "right and wrong". The morality we understand and practiced, is not simply grounded by outwardly characteristics but by "beliefs" , something which is not yet found in animals i believe (or are there already animals like that?). It is to the point that we practice it like an "absolute standard". For evolutionists however, morality would be merely just a theory or philosophy, since the only rule that guides and pushes life is "the toughest wins". So morality would be just 1 of another tool to enhance survivabilty, to maintain and manage peace that's all, but not a "real standard". That being said, for those people who don't "practice" morality, from the evolutionists point of view, since there is no true "right and wrong", conman, murderers and psycho killers etc are just "wrong" on accounts that they violate and disrupt the "agreed acceptable behaviours" of that society they lived in. Would it be also correct to say then "if it doesnt affect others, you can do anything you like, since moral laws exists only to govern peace of people living in a community"? yet quite a number of us cannot agree with that kind of saying, because it seems to infringe our understanding that the "right and wrong" of things extends deeper into individuals. Thus the heading title that if you believe in the abovementioned morality that humans practiced, it would infringed the beliefs of evolution --> evolution paradox?
  12. Animals kill each other, mostly for sustanance and to win the chance for mating, but sometimes over territorial disputes and even for fun. Yet as we can see from national geographic programs about wild beasts killings, man call these behaviours "the natural order of life". The concept of "morality" seems to be absent from the animal kingdom. Like eg a hyena kills the cub of a lioness, the stronger, more experienced alpha bear mauls the younger bear for infringing its harlem and space.. there seems to be no justice, right and wrong when it comes to animals.. that is one of the outtake of evolution, because "survival of the fittest" is the key drive for it. So if humans came about by evolution, why is it man did not maintain this brutal system of eliminating the weak and promoting the toughest? How did we evolve the need to create accountability of taking another's life (to be punishable by death or jail), when the other animals do it rampantly? Has anyone ever thought of putting a tiger, python or great white that killed many to court for its actions? What is it we possesss specifically that the animals don't, that holds us "accountable" for our actions to self and others, even for the "sickest most deranged murderer" (so can he claim he's just like the animals, acting according to instincts, and so we can treat him as how we see other animals kill each other, and thus feel ok for this sick murderer too)?
  13. my bad for the presentation of the last question.. i shouldn't use the word "agree".. let me try in another way.. Couldn't objective morality still be operating in the background of the world's system.. despite people being able to form their own standards of right and wrong? As mentioned earlier.. the best we could conclude from observation is that we are free to choose our beliefs... but not enough to conclude morality is objective or truly subjective... Consider these thought processes: 1) I believe there is no A (so it is B) 2) I don't believe in A (because i believe in B) when we say we believe in subjective morality (represented by B)..it is via process 1) or 2)? my point is.. if it is thru 1), the premise for disbelief is there and there will be no way to explain anything into it..
  14. How do we conclude if a person is insane or not? Is it by comparing him to the majority of the people in his society deemed "normal", or is there an objective way (though society may not be aware of)? If so, what about Galileo Galilei, who was imprisoned for being the one to claim the earth is round in his time? The problem for subjective morality is that since all concepts of right and wrong are derived from our own opinions.. and thus all judgment are floating and and personal.. In that respect, subjective moralists should not be able to conclude, judge, the kinds of common bads eg "slavery is wrong" for OTHERS.. because there should be no "universal reference" to fall back on to to push any point to anyone.. If they were to say it is by logic or evolved compassion they based their conclusions on (for their views on rights and wrongs), are they claiming it is by the same common 'universal' logic that all should have? If so then this group would not be true subjective moralist anymore too..because they are claiming by grounds of the laws of nature (which is objective) to push their stand.. My views on slavery is that it is wrong.. because it willfully disregards the other person's quality as a fellow human, to treat them as a commodity/property to be used.. I would say even the enslavers know this inside their heart, and know it is not 'right' to do that.. but it's just that it probably didn't matter to them... and ultimately, if we pursue deeper the purpose of the moral law, we should see it is to govern oneself more than it is to for others... consider this.. for people living in a community, the basic civic laws should suffice (no stealing.. murdering... etc) why the need for a law that dives deeper into our hearts to govern, limit and guide us against our natural desires.. to push us towards goodness (if we could define it in the 1st place)? is there still a need for if we know no one is looking or we can get away with it? if the answer is yes.. then consequently objective morality will exist... if no..then it would mean we could truly do whatever we want (even killing etc) since the concept of 'justice' is after all just a theory.. my point is not to describe what is the current physical condition of the world... but what is the honest condition we understand or "feel" inside our hearts... to moontanman.. i think it is necessary one agrees the existence of objective morality 1st before we can ask where it comes from... isn't it?
  15. I think dragonstar made some good points: -the non belief in an all powerful creator does not preclude the belief in other supernatural powers ex fate, ghosts, spirits, etc -you don't have to have someone to blame to feel anger about a situation -one does not have to have an entity to blame to have feelings of injustice and no one would ever stop and think "my emotions are just social conditioning and governed by majority choice" -they could simply accept that bad things happen and move on without needing an object to direct their indignation at. they are reflective of the observable world we live in and we can certainly find people like that around us..i stand corrected that it "must" follow the conclusions i stated previously... Subjective morality seems a reasonable concept when we consider how people could conclude their own rules to living.. give/create meaning of life for themselves.. However, that does not mean Absolute morality cannot exist alongside too..(absolute in the sense the laws to right and wrong is beyond our own creation..and pre-existed before us)... It could be there all the while, but just that people didn't choose it or recognize it...(no one could empirically prove it doesn't exist ya.. since this scope is "subjective") Thus at best, it could only show we are free to choose our paths concerning right and wrong..(not enough to conclude morality is subjective or absolute..) To moontanman's question.. i'm in the group that believes in a designed universe.. thus the relevance for seeing there exists an intended way of living with regards to the design intention.. How about you? with design, there will be an intention..
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