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Does it really matter if we came from monkies?

Discussion in 'Evolution Vs. Creationism' started by Scuba Pete, Jan 29, 2005.

  1. lilithu

    lilithu The Devil's Advocate

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    The only criticism that you can come up with is indulgences? from hundreds of years ago?


    Not to knock how hard labourers work, but dude, you obviously have no clue as to how hard clergy work. It's not all the glory of delivering sermons and officiating at weddings. We have three ministers at our church (congregation of over 700). They work six days a week. They start their work days around 10am but routinely work until 9pm. Not only is a lot of thought involved in crafting a good sermon, the ministers are also in charge of making sure that the whole service goes as planned, so that it flows as one coherent whole, not a piecemeal collection of ideas. They attend budget and planning and committee meetings for the church. They counsel those who are in pain. They are responsible for the spiritual and emotional well-being of all 700+ of us. They are on-call in times of emergencies. They have to come up with the right words to help someone continue living when a loved one has died. That alone makes them worth their salaries. Our Sr minister and our social justice minster also work in city politics, lobbying for affordable housing for low income families, for funding for community support structures like the neighborhood youth club, support for the homeless. Twice a year they each lead evening classes at the church on everything ranging from theology to spiritual practice to social justice. These people are leaders, teachers, administrators, grief counselors, community activists...all rolled into one. I know first hand that they work hard for their money and I'm sure there's stuff they do that I'm not even aware of.

    I'm kind of a lay leader at the church. I lead classes occasionally and am active on a few committees; that's all. But I personally get anywhere from one to two dozen emails every day from church related things, with people expecting answers immediately. People whom I do not remember come up to me at church (and in stores and restaurants) as if we are friends and I have to figure out a way to get remember (or learn) their identities without hurting their feelings. It's overwhelming. I can only imagine what it's like for the ministers.
     
  2. lilithu

    lilithu The Devil's Advocate

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    Recognizing that we might mean different things by the word "chance," if it wasn't/isn't chance, what is it then?


    Actually, the bible says that God created the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea in one day - the fifth day to be exact. But the Hebrew word that gets translated into the English word "day" does not mean 24hrs. It refers to a span of time. It could be 24hrs. It could be millenia.

    Plus anyone who read the text carefully can see that it is not meant to be taken literally. It is written poetically/symbolically, not expositorily. It is written in the language of religion, not in the language of a textbook. The Hebrews who recorded this story and those who heard it told understood this. We have forgotten it. We don't even seem to remember that the bible was not originally written in English.

    The time argument is a non-sequitor. It does not contradict evolution. "chance" vs. "intelligent design" is the real issue.
     
  3. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    What are you talking about? Go to yur book store and pick up a Jewish calendar - Orthodox Judaism is a YEC position. As for its nonorthodox variants, why whould their acceptance of evolution be any more "ironic" than that of your average Lutheran?
     
  4. lilithu

    lilithu The Devil's Advocate

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    One can look at it that way. One can also look at it as all of creation leading up to Man. Saving the best for last. The order of creation in Genesis shows man as being created last for just that reason. We are made higher than any other physical beings, just a little lower than the angels. I don't think that adding millions or billions of years takes away from that. It could just add to our glory. ;)



    The real "difficulty" with evolution is what you state below:
    Just one small correction: it's not just that we will not be the highest species. We are not even the "highest" species right now. Evolutionary theory is value neutral. We are no more "advanced" than a dung beetle or a microscopic worm. Sure, we may have bigger brains, but it is our own conceit that makes us think that this is "better." The only measure by which evolutionary theory judges is how "successful" the species is, and that is determined by sheer numbers. By that measure, we are pretty damn successful, but certainly not the most successful. And an asteroid tomorrow (or global warming) could change that in a heartbeat. That is what evolutionary theory says about us. Quite humbling, no? ;)

    Actually, I've always thought that between the "no-self" of cognitive neuroscience and the "interdependancy" of ecology, and the complete agnosticism regarding God, that Buddhism is much more in agreement with science than any other religion. :D (not that being in agreement with science should be the measure of validity)
     
  5. lilithu

    lilithu The Devil's Advocate

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    For the record, we did not come from monkeys. Monkeys and humans both came from a common ancestor. Todays monkeys are just as highly evolved as we are.

    No it doesn't matter where we came from physically. The only thing that matters is where we go spiritually now that we're here.
     
  6. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Curiously enough, this appears to be a relatively new awareness, a convenience which seems to have gained in popularity as science made the more common interpretation less satisfying to the apologist.

    To be balanced against this Humpty-Dumpty suggestion that the meaning of the word is pretty much whatever one wishes it to be is, among other comments, the following:
    Furthermore, there was no effort to express this more general time period in the Greek translation (LXX) or the Targums.
     
  7. Mr Spinkles

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    I would say that no, evolution and God are not mutually exclusive. In fact, evolution and teleology are not mutually exclusive.

    Allow me to explain: true, evolution does stipulate that organisms evolved as a result of mindless, "purposeless" natural processes. However, most scientific theories (other than those dealing with psychology, anthropology, sociology, etc) propose mindless processes as the cause of all sorts of phenomena. However, just because a mindless process causes {A}, it does not follow that a Deity with a mind could not have set up that mindless process in order to cause {A}.

    Now obviously nontheists will complain about how arbitrary it seems for a Deity to set up natural selection, genetic mutations, and an environment that, after many millenia, produces intelligent primates, rather than simply snapping his/her fingers and *poof!* humankind appears...

    Still...I think our theist friends should be commended, not attacked, for trying to reconcile their beliefs with Darwinian evolution. I much prefer to hear that than the ol' "evolution is a lie!!" bit.

    As for Genesis...I don't get the impression that Adam and Eve were a metaphor for anything--it looks like plain ol' fashioned mythology to me, just like the mythology of a thousand other cultures.
     
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  8. lilithu

    lilithu The Devil's Advocate

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    Hi Spinks. Chance/natural selection does not prove that there is no God. But wouldn't you agree that evolutionary theory does put a damper on the quite common idea that humans are exalted?

    Actually, the "exalted" bit transcends the theist/atheist divide, since even many atheists still believe that we humans are the end-product of evolution - its culmination. And I have heard stauch self-avowed atheists claim that we are going to evolve into some perfect being, given enough time.



    There are other problems between some forms of theism and evolution. From my understanding, Islamic metaphysics cannot allow for the idea of species changing from one into another.


    And what is a myth to you?

    Genesis has two creation stories btw. The Adam and Eve story is thought to be much older than the "Let there be light" story, even tho redacters put the older one second. In the older story, God makes humans the way that a potter makes a pot. In the newer, priestly version, God speaks physical reality into being.
     
  9. Mr Spinkles

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    Of course, but then again, the heliocentric solar system puts a damper on the quite common idea that humans are exalted, and that came way before Darwin's theory. If people want to believe humans are exalted, they'll find a way.

    True--as do all issues other than "Does God exist?"

    From dictionary.com :
    Yes I know. I particularly enjoyed Alter's translation of the creation stories in his work "The Five Books of Moses".

     
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  10. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Spinks,,, you got fruballed for
    This gets back to my "Cake theory". It doesn't matter whether God winked it into existence or set evolution in motion to do the deed. What matters for faith is that GOD was the prime motivator. :D
     
  11. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    That's right. That's reserved for the people who have been here longest :162:

    And no feathers, that was not meant for you.
     
  12. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    Well darn...this was definitely a "frubal moment" and it wouldn't let me. Hmmph.

    Excellent point!

    I'm not sure whether or not I believe in evolution though, particularly after taking anthropology. It just seemed as if there were too many leaps of faith I would have to take to come to the same conclusions. I'm not sure I'm able to put those aside. (i.e. the missing link with humans).
     
  13. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    The​
    Gap Between Man and Monkeys





    A recent analysis of the DNA of chimpanzees and orangutans, as well as of certain monkeys and macaques, has revealed that their genetic makeup is not as similar to man’s as scientists once thought. "Large differences in DNA, not small ones, separate apes and monkeys from both humans and each other," says Britain’s New Scientist magazine. "There are large deletions and insertions sprinkled throughout the chromosome," explains Kelly Frazer of Perlegen Sciences, the California, U.S.A., company that did the analysis. New Scientist characterized the differences as a "yawning gap [that] divides monkeys and us."

     
  14. t3gah

    t3gah Well-Known Member

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    "Recent" as in last month, last year or ?
     
  15. lilithu

    lilithu The Devil's Advocate

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    It's all relative. To say that the difference is larger than thought is not the same as saying that the differences are not spanned by evolution.


    Deletions and insertions are just that. Deleting sequences of DNA and inserting pieces of DNA. Underlying that statement is the fact that there are enough similarities in the sequences to identify the deletions and insertions. If they weren't so closely related, no one would be able to identify anything.
     
  16. Mr Spinkles

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    Then again, evolution isn't mutually exclusive from invisible pink unicorns, either. ;)
     
  17. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Given the rich variety of possibilities in the DNA code, I don't think invisible pink uniforms are that far off from reality. :D
     
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