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Forget Cricket Talk about anything [within Board Rules, of course :) ]

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  #51  
Old November 21, 2003, 02:22 PM
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Zobair Zobair is offline
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That easy to dismiss everything eh? What are you talking about?!?! if you don't appreciate what Quran has to say about creation, no need to deman it like that (though I don't think that was intentional on your part). The examples, allegories that are used in the Quran are not at all that far fetched that you can campare them "to taking a piss is connected to creation somewhat". Can you give me one allegory in the Quran that makes such preposterous connections? or illogical similitudes? Dude! when was the last time you touched the Quran (if you allow me to be presumptous?)

Quote:
Allegory? Heh. If everything is allegory and can be connected to anything, then it's pretty meaningless isn't it? If you try really hard, you could probably allegorically connect taking a piss with the origin of the universe
  #52  
Old November 21, 2003, 02:37 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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I have to admit that the piss reference it was a little demeaning on my part. But I did it to drive home the point of ludicrosity.

All I am saying is Islam/Christianity/Hinduism, etc -- all religions have attempted to make sense of the world we live in. The preachers didn't have scientific tools at their disposal back then, so they must have relied on poetic allegories.

Now allegories are all nice. But it's NOT the real thing. Today is different. We are educating ourselves more and more and rejecting outdated, outmoded ideas of the past.

Does that mean poetry/art/nebulous and vague allegorical religious interpretations are all useless or invalid? No. It's just another way, an unreal way, of interpreting our world. It's our right brain functioning. And we all know the left logical brain cannont survive without the creative right brain.

I am sure someday in the future Islam and all the contemporary religions will be cherished as hiostorical relics, just like we are doing it now to the Roman and Greek mythical stories and legends.

[Edited on 21-11-2003 by Arnab]
  #53  
Old November 21, 2003, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Arnab
OK, I just refuted the claim that an ayat in the Quran somehow relates to the cat's eye nebula. Happy?

Here's the claim:

"When the sky disintegrates, and turns rose colored like paint."

1. The sky did not disintegrate. As a matter of fact, there is no "sky", it's space. And it's not "disintegrating."

2. And the color of the nebula is not rosey. In fact, it's true color may be more like greenish. The sky(or space) didn't "turn rose colored like paint", the paint was thrown on the black and white photo and enhanced to make it look "cool."

Color is a subjective human trait. The sense of color is happening inside our brain. Universal phenomena don't CARE what colors we see.

[Edited on 21-11-2003 by Arnab]
Sad to say you haven't refuted anything. First you were thinking it was one single grey scale picture which was colorized, then when that didn't work you went to some sites to find a green version of it.

1. Sky = space for the inhabitants on this earth. Its is the same. When sun becomes a red giant the sky will look RED.

2. True color of Cats Eye cannot be greenish. Bro, are you familier with spectroscopy? If you were then you will notice that the most of the content of Cats Eye is hydrogen (thats why its grey scale is the brightest). And read this carefully: The hydrogen atom only gives off strong RED color. It is the same reason that Sodium light (from the element sodium) is yellow! That is spectroscopy.

There isn't too many elements in large quantity to produce any other colors. Check the Mars picture from hubble site. You will see that there are other elements present that produce colors from R and G and B part of the spectrum. Thats why they can create a complete image of Mars. On the other hand Cats Eye doesn't have other elements that produce G and B part of the spectrum. Most abundant elements in Cats Eye all produce colors in Red specturm. Thats why Red Giant will be SUPER RED.

And no, its not green and neither can you take a visible spectrum color picture of Cats Eye with telescope.


P.S: I won't be on a computer until late night, so can't post reply until then.
  #54  
Old November 21, 2003, 02:42 PM
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The questions you have posed are redundant....whats the point...they are not circular reasoning...the answers make logical sense...The Quran was revealed in Arabic and not in Swahili because the prophet was born in in an arab land....thats not circular reasoning...

Prof Office hours:

Student: Why are my textbooks written in English?

Prof: Because I am a native speaker of English. Did language did you expect me to write it in?

Student: Why do you speak English Sir?
Prof.: What?!!! Its my mother tongue stupid!

Student: Why were you born in Toronto sir? Couldn't you be born in some other place?
Prof.: I don't know and why would I care?! What does that have to do with the quality of the book?...no no! actually I just blindly believe (what?!?!?!)

Prof: Stop asking me these intellectually stimulating (?!?!?!? hahahahaha) but irritating (you bet!!!) questions...or I will give you an F....


Oh my God! did you see all the circular reasoning in those questions?! unbelieveable....


Arnab! seriously you have lost it. I have come across some circular reasoning in my time...but your version takes the cake.



Quote:
You see no circular reasoning eh?...
  #55  
Old November 21, 2003, 02:50 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Nice copy pasting caricature but no cigar. Bad analogy.

You didn't get it. Or you get it, but don't want to admit it.

Lemme give you a more apt analogy:

Prof: This book says I am the greatest professor in the world who makes no errors.

Student: Who wrote it Sir?

Prof: Why! I did.

Student: But why would I believe what you say?

Prof: Because the book says so.

Student: But why would I believe the book?

Prof: Because I, the great non-error-making Prof wrote it!


THAT, my friend is circular reasoning.

[Edited on 21-11-2003 by Arnab]
  #56  
Old November 21, 2003, 02:58 PM
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"holy men and priests come and teach and mock the teachings of others. The others come and do the same thing. As a result, whenever we listen to holy men and priests, we are full of doubt and do not know who is speaking the truth."

"it is understandable that you do not know who is speaking the truth. But do not be swayed by report or hearsay, or what is said on the authority of your traditional teachings. Do not be impressed by those who are proficient in quoting the scriptures or by logic, nor mere opinion or theory. Do not follow blindly out of respect of a holy man or priest. Only when you know for yourselves: such things are good, they cause no harm, they are accepted by the wise, when performed they produce positive benefits and happiness - then people, you may accept and abide in the teachings."
  #57  
Old November 21, 2003, 03:10 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Default Nasif

It is mainly green!

Here's what Professor Bruce Balick of Universoty of Washington, who actually reprocessesd the picture in 1999, has to say:

The first image shows a comparison of the HST images with a good ground-based image, which illustrates the power of the HST. Like the images above, red shows the location of singly ionized atoms. The green light arises from doubly ionized oxygen. In this image blue is the light from neutral oxygen.

Here is the picture Balick processed:


[img=200x200]http://www.astro.washington.edu/balick/WFPC2/catseye.jpeg[/img]

Read more about it here:

http://www.astro.washington.edu/balick/WFPC2/index.html

some more quotes regarding the pic above:

1. Generally blue represents highly ionized material, and yellow and red are less ionized gas.

2. In the case of cat's eye nebula, red shows the location of singly ionized atoms. The green light arises from doubly ionized oxygen and blue is the light from neutral oxygen.


[Edited on 21-11-2003 by Arnab]
  #58  
Old November 21, 2003, 04:00 PM
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OK I have finally found the source of confusion.

The picture Nasif is showing is the initially released version of the thing. If you look at the bottom left corner of the pic, it says the date is Jan, 1995.

Now, the April 1995 Sky and Telescope Magazine features this initially released version on the cover, but on page 98 of that issue a ground based CCD image in 'enhanced color' by Bruce Balick shows this object in a color scheme nearly the 'inverse' of the Hubble image. NGC 6543 also appears greenish in older color film images. A later version of the Hubble image reprocessed by Mr. Balick better suggests the telescopic colors, and can be seen at his site. Balick's revised HST image appeared on the October 1998 cover of Sky and Telescope.
  #59  
Old November 21, 2003, 04:06 PM
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Now that the confusion is gone, care for a nice conclusion?
  #60  
Old November 21, 2003, 04:14 PM
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YES!!

Here's a fitting conclusion:



Pale Blue Dot:

One of the most famous images ever taken from space could be considered a lousy photograph even by the least skilled amateur who wrestles with today's unthinkably complicated cameras.

That is, if it weren't a picture of our planet. From more than 4 billion miles away.

"Scientifically, it didn't teach us a single thing," Van der Woude says of the Pale Blue Dot, snapped by Voyager 1 in 1991. "But historically, it's priceless."
-------------------------------------------------

"The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors, so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light."

-- Carl Sagan

From "Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space," Random House, 1994

[Edited on 21-11-2003 by Arnab]
  #61  
Old November 21, 2003, 04:18 PM
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Never mind.
  #62  
Old November 21, 2003, 04:46 PM
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Default Evidence?

Quote:
[Quran 55:37-38] When the sky disintegrates, and turns rose colored like paint. Which of your Lord's marvels can you deny?
Referencing the document of Bruce Balick(http://www.astro.washington.edu/balick/WFPC2/index.html), let me present a case which should prove without a doubt the accuracy of the Quranic definition of a dying star.


Quote:
"At noon the huge bright red Sun will fill half the sky."
Balick writes that the "red" sun will half fill the sky, does this not then suggest that the sky will aslo appear red (as it very much does in our time- at sunrise and sunset).

The verse from the Quran states "turns rose colored". Herein the Quran uses the metaphor of "rose coloured" to define the colour.
This is similar to what Balick writes above.


Balick further writes:

Quote:
"The oceans will boil and evaporate into space, along with the atmosphere."
Now let us compare this to the Quranic verse:

Quote:
"When the sky disintegrates"
The "sky" stated in the Quran is the "atmosphere" stated by Balick.
(The Concise Dictionary of Oxford bares witness to this)

The meaning of sky given by the Oxford dictionary is as follows:

"Sky - the region of the atmosphere and outer space seen from the earth."

The Quranic verse therein says that the SKY(atmosphere) will disintegrate(evaporate).

The Quranic definition here of the SKY disintegrating is in accordance to what Balick writes.

Furthermore, let us examine the issue of:

Quote:
"...turns rose colored like paint"
The Quran states here that the sky will turn red coloured like "paint".

Note the use of "paint" paint does not necessarily denote a liquid. The conotation here is of "gas".

Let us then compare this new information with Balicks document which states:

Quote:
"The highly energetic forms of light emitted by the hot white dwarf interact with the electrons attached to the atoms in the gas cloud, resulting in a colorful nebula much like the thousand planetary nebulae that have been catalogued already"

Indeed all of the verse from the Quran:

Quote:
[Quran 55:37-38] When the sky disintegrates, and turns rose colored like paint. Which of your Lord's marvels can you deny?
is in direct accordance to what Balick writes. Therefore without a shadow of a doubt, the Quranic verse is scientifically accurate!

Arnab, let me now ask you this, is Balick but not a scientist???

I am sure you will try to refute the argument presented herein, so good luck Arnab!

[Edited on 21-11-2003 by Unknown]

[Edited on 21-11-2003 by Unknown]
  #63  
Old November 21, 2003, 05:26 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Hmmm...I gave that link to refer to the part Balick wrote about the "Cat's Eye Nebula." That part is further down the page.

We are not talking about the death of our sun here. We are talking about the pic of the "cat's eye nebula" that Nasif posted and tried to connect it to the ayat.

Now you're trying to connect the ayat to the death of our sun, which just happens to be the first section of the webpage link I gave. You mistakenly thought that was the section I was talking about.

Do you see what you just did? You just showed that one can connect any astronomical event to that ayat, if the guy is brainwashed enough and his mind is imaginative enough. After all, it's a vague allegory. You can interpret it whatever way you like. Like poetry. But allegorical poetry is not the real thing.
  #64  
Old November 21, 2003, 05:33 PM
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Arnab, you seem to be very, very -EDIT- adament

OUR SUN IS A STAR!

Need I say more? If you are unable to comprehend this basic fact, let me know...

All stars behave in a similar fashion when they die. The "cat's eye nebula" was a star once upon a time... So the "cat's eye nebula" is a result of a star dying, similarly the sun shall die in such manner.

So you see, as I said before, the Quranic definition of a dying star is scientific. Now, do not be wise again.

[Edited on 21-11-2003 by Unknown]

[Edited on 21-11-2003 by Unknown]

[Edited on 11-22-2003 by chinaman : Moderation (watch your language) ]
  #65  
Old November 21, 2003, 05:40 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Yes. I am very stupid. I believe you. Every star in the universe has a planet like Earth orbiting around it, full of atmosphere and Humans who can see how it dies with their naked eyes. Every star dies the same way, like a blooming rose.

What was I thinking? I am soooo stupid.
  #66  
Old November 21, 2003, 05:43 PM
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Poor sense of sarcasm...:duh:
  #67  
Old November 21, 2003, 05:46 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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I know! I am so poor at everything! Not only am I stupid, I can't even make decent sarcasms.

OK enough fun. No hard feelings, man.
  #68  
Old November 21, 2003, 05:47 PM
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Unknown, I cannot appreciate your guesture towards Arnab. We must show reasonable respect to every poster. Please edit your post with appropriate language. Thank you.
  #69  
Old November 21, 2003, 06:00 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Ah yes! Adamant. That's a way better word. And you know what, it's a pity too that I am like that. Because it is mostly useless. I am not changing anyone's mind here. Just going on and on in a seemingly futile debate.

And here's another very interesting psychological nature of humans. Humans try to avoid arguments as much as possible. And they also tend to antagonize and shun the person who debates a lot. Thinking and producing logical arguments is such a chore.

I should have kept my mouth shut and let you guys revel in the miracles of Quran. That would have been such a nice, flowery, cinematic atmosphere.

[Edited on 22-11-2003 by Arnab : can't believe i misspelled admant]
  #70  
Old November 21, 2003, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Nice copy pasting caricature but no cigar. Bad analogy.

You didn't get it. Or you get it, but don't want to admit it.

Lemme give you a more apt analogy:

Prof: This book says I am the greatest professor in the world who makes no errors.

Student: Who wrote it Sir?

Prof: Why! I did.

Student: But why would I believe what you say?

Prof: Because the book says so.

Student: But why would I believe the book?

Prof: Because I, the great non-error-making Prof wrote it!


THAT, my friend is circular reasoning.

yes! finally! this is indeed circular reasoning. But the context is all wrong?!I am curious where did you learn your Islam and Quran from?

If anything the following seems like a better analogy to me

Programmer: I have created you program to execute this certain objective. You have a certain amount of "artificial intelligence" (pun very much intended ) for the purpose. I have given a set of rules and some procedure in a "library" (read book) you can peruse.

Program: How would I know you are not bullcrapping me?

Programmer: boy! now that is hard. Since I have created you for a specific purpose and I intended it as a "test-run" (pun intended again!) and so you are very limited in your abilities and knowledge. But hey here it is what you can do! I have put a whole lot of hints and clues in the help section! That should help you along nicely. Its going to be hard. I have meant it that way.

Program: So did I get you right?! you are kind of giving me a choice to take you on your word or not?

Programmer: Well..yes! But I must warn you there might be some consequences, based on your choice.

Program: Well! you gives you the right?!

Programmer: Are you listening or what? I created you so I make the rules. So deal with it.

It doesnot sound too implausible does it...In fact I can even imagine myself having such a "convo" with a program that i may create as a programmer

Now that... how ever loosely...is more in tune with what the Quran is about...the question of circular reasoning doesnot arise...because the flow of information is assymetric...the relationship in terms of knowledge of things is "defined" as unequal! Humans are invited to reflect on the signs provided and to "submit" themselves i.e. be Muslims...their mission objective in this "run". The choice is clearly given and the merits discussed in depth...and its not at all " you do it because I said so".

I actually enjoyed this arguement..its all good as long as people are respectful and pleasant. Like Arnab said...most people don't want to argue about such things..and I would like to add that those who do mostly just harp on their own points and often ignore what they cannot refute...sometimes avoid them quite cleverly. Often thus its just an arguement between debaters and one with the better skills or patience may gain the upperhand but he/she may not necessarily be right! Thats Humans for you. Humans are an amazing creation with some serious Artificial Intelligence

Program:
  #71  
Old November 21, 2003, 10:11 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Ahh you're presupposing there is a programmer already. Your whole analogy rests on the premise that the existence of the programmer is undisputed.

Kinda like Bush telling Iraq: "Destroy your WMDs!" Iraq says:"But how can I destroy them if I don't have any?" Bush says: "Destroy your WMDs or I am going to attack you."

How can he be so sure of that Iraq had WMDs? He can't be. He just blindly believed that. He doesn't even care that if there is no WMD, his whole argument falls apart. He just has to invade Iraq, WMD or not.

Similarly, I just know there is a God. And I have to pray to him. But how do I know? Well, I just know.
  #72  
Old November 21, 2003, 11:26 PM
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I must give props to Arnab. He is fighting a lone battle with all of these mollahs. I am also impressed by the promptness of his reply. The first couple of pages were interesting indeed (killed my time for sure). To my religious brothers here, go to the Mosque and cry your heart out (today is a special day) instead of fighting here... Do not commit sins!

I must agree that Quran's text are very vague. Some of the connection between the text and the scientific datas seem very ludicrous.

Quote:

"[Quran 55:37-38] When the sky disintegrates, and turns rose colored like paint. Which of your Lord's marvels can you deny?"
-------------------------------------------------
written by Unknown:
The Quran states here that the sky will turn red coloured like "paint".

Note the use of "paint" paint does not necessarily denote a liquid. The conotation here is of "gas".
--------------------------------------------
How in the world am I gonna know for certain that they are talking about gas here? These are some weird metaphors and similies. Think about an explosion, it looks like a rose and paint. Explosion is a good disintegration.

Moreover, the text mentioned rose here. How do I know which rose it is talking about. Is it red rose, white rose or some other rose?

you see, fighting over the composition of colors is just futile if you are opposing it. If you can successfully rebut it, our brothers will then carp and harp over different looks of rose, smells of rose, they will eventually move to a definition of rose that suits their belief.

I am sorry but the very fact that a single ayat in the Quran can be analyzed so many different ways only accentuates its vagueness.

Sometimes we hear very absurd reasoning when all fails! "you have to understand Arabic here to grasp the main idea, in Arabic such word mean such and such". Since Quran was written for the whole mankind and not particularly any race, I believe it was not wise of God to use such esoteric words....

In any case, while some portions of Quran seem ridiculous (explanations are even worse), there are portions where you stumble upon and think. You wonder, how can a man write this? Just the rich text - the beuatiful rhyming alone gives you an undescribable feeling. The teaching there, some science - in particular the development of embryo text is a wonder and you wanna believe it's God's own text. But then you think to yourself - the likes of Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, Einstein etc gave us something intriguing too. Not all of them are fond of God.

In either case, Quran is a wonderful text - no doubt. It is today that Quran was revealed to our prophet. So the ones who believe - pray. One who doesn't, show some respect.

Stick to the rules that was put forth by chinaman (was it he?) .... There are no acceptable conclusion for this sort of debate ...

Now, Let's discuss the embryo developement portion - interested anyone?

DAMN THAT WAS TOO LONG... DIDN'T MEAN TO WRITE THAT MUCH.. SORRY!

[Edited on 22-11-2003 by Orpheus : acknowledging something]

[Edited on 22-11-2003 by Orpheus]
  #73  
Old November 22, 2003, 12:45 AM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Which reminds me of a (now late) Douglas Adams joke. "To illustrate the vain conceit that the universe must be somehow pre-ordained for us, because we are so well-suited to live in it, he mimed a wonderfully funny imitation of a puddle of water, fitting itself snugly into a depression in the ground, the depression uncannily being exactly the same shape as the puddle."

Haha!

Here's a (6 MB size mpg) video of Adams telling the joke to an audience:

http://nicelytoasted.net/adams.mpg


And if you do have time, please read the full transcript of that speech here:

http://www.biota.org/people/douglasadams/

His explanations are very lucid. Here are some quotes:

On how the idea of God emerged:

Quote:
Where does the idea of God come from? Well, I think we have a very skewed point of view on an awful lot of things, but let’s try and see where our point of view comes from. Imagine early man. Early man is, like everything else, an evolved creature and he finds himself in a world that he’s begun to take a little charge of; he’s begun to be a tool-maker, a changer of his environment with the tools that he’s made and he makes tools, when he does, in order to make changes in his environment. To give an example of the way man operates compared to other animals, consider speciation, which, as we know, tends to occur when a small group of animals gets separated from the rest of the herd by some geological upheaval, population pressure, food shortage or whatever and finds itself in a new environment with maybe something different going on. Take a very simple example; maybe a bunch of animals suddenly finds itself in a place where the weather is rather colder. We know that in a few generations those genes which favour a thicker coat will have come to the fore and we’ll come and we’ll find that the animals have now got thicker coats. Early man, who’s a tool maker, doesn’t have to do this: he can inhabit an extraordinarily wide range of habitats on earth, from tundra to the Gobi Desert—he even manages to live in New York for heaven’s sake—and the reason is that when he arrives in a new environment he doesn’t have to wait for several generations; if he arrives in a colder environment and sees an animal that has those genes which favour a thicker coat, he says “I’ll have it off him”. Tools have enabled us to think intentionally, to make things and to do things to create a world that fits us better. Now imagine an early man surveying his surroundings at the end of a happy day’s tool making. He looks around and he sees a world which pleases him mightily: behind him are mountains with caves in—mountains are great because you can go and hide in the caves and you are out of the rain and the bears can’t get you; in front of him there’s the forest—it’s got nuts and berries and delicious food; there's a stream going by, which is full of water—water’s delicious to drink, you can float your boats in it and do all sorts of stuff with it; here’s cousin Ug and he’s caught a mammoth—mammoth’s are great, you can eat them, you can wear their coats, you can use their bones to create weapons to catch other mammoths. I mean this is a great world, it’s fantastic. But our early man has a moment to reflect and he thinks to himself, ‘well, this is an interesting world that I find myself in’ and then he asks himself a very treacherous question, a question which is totally meaningless and fallacious, but only comes about because of the nature of the sort of person he is, the sort of person he has evolved into and the sort of person who has thrived because he thinks this particular way. Man the maker looks at his world and says ‘So who made this then?’ Who made this? — you can see why it’s a treacherous question. Early man thinks, ‘Well, because there’s only one sort of being I know about who makes things, whoever made all this must therefore be a much bigger, much more powerful and necessarily invisible, one of me and because I tend to be the strong one who does all the stuff, he’s probably male’. And so we have the idea of a god. Then, because when we make things we do it with the intention of doing something with them, early man asks himself , ‘If he made it, what did he make it for?’ Now the real trap springs, because early man is thinking, ‘This world fits me very well. Here are all these things that support me and feed me and look after me; yes, this world fits me nicely’ and he reaches the inescapable conclusion that whoever made it, made it for him.

This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in—an interesting hole I find myself in—fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it’s still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for. We all know that at some point in the future the Universe will come to an end and at some other point, considerably in advance from that but still not immediately pressing, the sun will explode. We feel there’s plenty of time to worry about that, but on the other hand that’s a very dangerous thing to say. Look at what’s supposed to be going to happen on the 1st of January 2000—let’s not pretend that we didn’t have a warning that the century was going to end! I think that we need to take a larger perspective on who we are and what we are doing here if we are going to survive in the long term.
On evolution:

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So, suddenly, evolution ceases to be such a real problem to get hold of. It’s rather like this: imagine, if you will, the following scenario. One Tuesday, a person is spotted in a street in London, doing something criminal. Two detectives are investigating, trying to work out what happened. One of them is a 20th Century detective and the other, by the marvels of science fiction, is a 19th Century detective. The problem is this: the person who was clearly seen and identified on the street in London on Tuesday was seen by someone else, an equally reliable witness, on the street in Santa Fe on the same Tuesday—how could that possibly be? The 19th Century detective could only think it was by some sort of magical intervention. Now the 20th Century detective may not be able to say, “He took BA flight this and then United flight that”—he may not be able to figure out exactly which way he did it, or by which route he travelled, but it’s not a problem. It doesn’t bother him; he just says, ‘He got there by plane. I don’t know which plane and it may be a little tricky to find out, but there’s no essential mystery.’ We’re used to the idea of jet travel. We don’t know whether the criminal flew BA 178, or UA270, or whatever, but we know roughly how it was done. I suspect that as we become more and more conversant with the role a computer plays and the way in which the computer models the process of enormously simple elements giving rise to enormously complex results, then the idea of life being an emergent phenomenon will become easier and easier to swallow. We may never know precisely what steps life took in the very early stages of this planet, but it’s not a mystery.

So what we have arrived at here—and although the first shock wave of this arrival was in 1859, it’s really the arrival of the computer that demonstrates it unarguably to us—is ‘Is there really a Universe that is not designed from the top downwards but from the bottom upwards? Can complexity emerge from lower levels of simplicity?’ It has always struck me as being bizarre that the idea of God as a creator was considered sufficient explanation for the complexity we see around us, because it simply doesn’t explain where he came from. If we imagine a designer, that implies a design and that therefore each thing he designs or causes to be designed is a level simpler than him or her, then you have to ask ‘What is the level above the designer?’ There is one peculiar model of the Universe that has turtles all the way down, but here we have gods all the way up. It really isn’t a very good answer, but a bottom-up solution, on the other hand, which rests on the incredibly powerful tautology of anything that happens, happens, clearly gives you a very simple and powerful answer that needs no other explanation whatsoever.
On Science and Religion:

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Now, the invention of the scientific method and science is, I’m sure we’ll all agree, the most powerful intellectual idea, the most powerful framework for thinking and investigating and understanding and challenging the world around us that there is, and that it rests on the premise that any idea is there to be attacked and if it withstands the attack then it lives to fight another day and if it doesn’t withstand the attack then down it goes. Religion doesn’t seem to work like that; it has certain ideas at the heart of it which we call sacred or holy or whatever. That’s an idea we’re so familiar with, whether we subscribe to it or not, that it’s kind of odd to think what it actually means, because really what it means is ‘Here is an idea or a notion that you’re not allowed to say anything bad about; you’re just not. Why not? — because you’re not!’ If somebody votes for a party that you don’t agree with, you’re free to argue about it as much as you like; everybody will have an argument but nobody feels aggrieved by it. If somebody thinks taxes should go up or down you are free to have an argument about it, but on the other hand if somebody says ‘I mustn’t move a light switch on a Saturday’, you say, ‘Fine, I respect that’. The odd thing is, even as I am saying that I am thinking ‘Is there an Orthodox Jew here who is going to be offended by the fact that I just said that?’ but I wouldn’t have thought ‘Maybe there’s somebody from the left wing or somebody from the right wing or somebody who subscribes to this view or the other in economics’ when I was making the other points. I just think ‘Fine, we have different opinions’. But, the moment I say something that has something to do with somebody’s (I’m going to stick my neck out here and say irrational) beliefs, then we all become terribly protective and terribly defensive and say ‘No, we don’t attack that; that’s an irrational belief but no, we respect it’.
[Edited on 22-11-2003 by Arnab]
  #74  
Old November 22, 2003, 03:33 AM
chinaman chinaman is offline
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Was is really necessary to quote a large portion of the text? You already provided the URL.

It would have been nice if you had provided a brief introduction to the author, the specific points he was trying to make and may be a little quote from his argument along with your notion that your are trying to achieve from that reference.

I don't wanna sound overtly restrictive to anyone. Just reiterating the readability and quality of the posted argument. A reader should take pleasure instead of being unduely burdened by a knowledgable and sound discussion. Cheers.
  #75  
Old November 22, 2003, 12:09 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Yeah you're right. It's kinda off topic.
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