we all "knew" that the ceolocanth (I don't know how to spell it, it's a fish) was extinct. There was not one shred of evidence that it had not died out. In fact this lack of evidence was so overwhelming it took catching more than one of the beasts to "prove" that it indeed had not died out (the first was considered a fake because everyone knew they were extinc). The people took it on faith that it did not exist because of observation. We still have not cataloged all species that live on the earth, even several years ago there was some strange looking animal found in the east that seemed to have gills (they were not of course, just resembled them) on it's snout. Scientist thought that the local natives had some form of diety that they made out of thier collective conscience, untill one was found alive.
Hmm - I seem to remember saying something about being able to disprove scientific theories. The fact is, we KNOW very little, but we theorize much. I can accept theories, but frankly I don't BELIEVE them. They are theories, they fully could be false. Some theories are very entrenched, and so it is hard to get people to accept that they have been disproved - but that doesn't mean that there is not a single part of science that could not be disproved tomarrow. What you say proves my point. We thought the ceolocanth was extinct. Someone found one. we know better now.
lets look at some science theory for a bit. we look up at the sky through very powerfull radio telescopes. we find that when we look far enough back we see some strange things. Based on several axioms that we have no basis other than "it works in all other cases" we surmise that the universe was contained in one singularity (or something close). At some point far enough back our model of physics breaks down. we know this because our mathematics say this, there is not a SINGLE peice of solid evidence suggesting this is true.
Not true, there is some decent evidence, such as the background rediation, and expansion of the univers, and so on. That doesn't mean it's true, because there are currently some serious flaws in the theory. Things like - the expansion the the universe suggests that the univers is 8 Billion years old, but we know of stars older then 15 billion years old. If the univers is 8 billion years old, there can no be matter in it that is 15. that's why these things are called theories. Just because the big bang is a currently popular theory doesn't mean that it can't be wrong. Remember - from the atheist point of view, it is OK to be wrong. We jsut revise our theories to deal with it, and move on.
It is pure conjecture, but because we came up with it from a certain point of view many are willing to beleive it.
I'm willing to say that people who believe it, I mean REALLY BELIEVE it as the way the universe MUST have been formed are idiots. Science NEVER generates anthing that a person can be 100% sure about. It's just something that has to be lived with. You could always be wrong.
Now, lets look at the univers again. What are the chances that during the big bang (i am going to assume it is close to correct) that the mix of matter/anti-matter was what it was (required for us to exist), very very low. Further lets say what are the chances that planets and suns would form, also very low. Now lets look at life forming, even lower than all of those. Using the grand and unfallible reason/logic/and mathematics calculated that the chance of life forming would take the equivelent of a sparrow flying the earth one grain at a time to the nearest star. In other words reason shows that life will not come into existence, but yet it has. Either three things, we do not have the math to represent this correctly, there is some "force" moving events, or we are very, very, very lucky. Look at all the odd things that must be true for life. Water must have hydrogen bonding. It must expand when it freezes (know how rare that is?), it must have one of the narrowest ranges that it stays in liquid form. If any of those things did not happen, if water was not soo unique then life would not happen as we know it. look at all the odd things. That purely by chance idea breaks down when enough variables are put in, you have an even smaller chance of a universe forming that life is the natural outgrowth, which leads to faith one way or another (at least if you like to think about these things, the other thing is I don't have an opinion and I don't care).
See my comment later on for my view of this (as a theory mind you). And besides, a high level of unlikelyhood does not even count as evidence of a higher being, it at best means that there is likely somethign we don't understand (which is acceptable - there is lots we don't understand)
no, you can not. In "a brief history of time" he discusses a theory (I don't remeber the name) that attemps to answer "why does the univers look as it does to us". The "scientific" answer is "if it was any different we would not be here to observe it". That is a very religious type statement, or one of the largest cop-outs I have ever seen.
I believe a full theory on this goes somethign like: there are likely infinite universes. in all of these universes, most do not have the ability to generate life (too little energy, Ice sinks, what ever). Our perspective necessarily comes from a universe that CAN support life. the same argument can be worked back all the way to our planet. If we weren't the lucky ones, we wouldn't be here to posit why we were so lucky.
This is admitedly a theory - perhaps there are no other universes, perhaps there are no other star systems, and perhaps there are no other planets. but at least for the last two - we have a hell of alot of evidence that they exist. So the argument is at least valid for everything up to the universe. Do the inhabitants of Venus wonder why they exist? no, why? because they don't exist in order to wonder.
then you might as well kill yourself as much of science is based on that.
I take exception to that. I'm curious, why are theists always so convinced that people should just kill themselves if they don't have a reason for things (or for existing). I happen to enjoy my life very much thank you, and I don't need the validation of anything other then myself in order to do so.
Science takes observations then tries to approximate it closely then says "prove me wrong". One of the fundemental things to learn in science is that you can not prove almost anything, even fundamental laws are broken sometimes, thats why nearly all of science is called theory. The evidence christians show are probably rejected by you (such as the complexity and the chance that it would happen, of course I understand statistics and that does not prove it can't, just that it probably won't. If you say infinite time than may I remind you that the universe was created once, only one chance to get it right - and fortunatly it was done right, there are ideas that there may have been multiple big-bangs but, since we should NEVER accept something without proof we will ignore that. one of the reasons for this idea was needing the time for chance to happen and what would happen if there is a "big crunch").
First off, I have to say there is absolutely no evidence that the universe had to be created at some point. We surmise that because everything we see in our lives has a beginning, that the universe must also have a beginning. I accept that it's possible the univers had a beginning, but I also accept that it is possible that it did not. I don't think we understand it well enough to make a final judgement on that.
Oh, and yes, you are right, statistical unlikelyhood proves nothing, other then we were luckly. One can use it as an inticator that we might not understand everything related to it correctly.
the main problem with you argument is that science and religion don't neccassarily ask the same questions. Science says how, not why. What I mean is that yes, you may ask "why do objects seem attracted to each other" and the answer is gravity, but that is still a how. Religion would ask "why does gravity eist". Or to go down to a point of an axiom, "why is 1+1=2". science would say "because it is" or "that is the way the univers is ordered" (again on the second answering how, not why), religion would seek to answer that question - as does much of philosophy. Religion and science are independant. At the point they answer the "why" they become a religion, athiesm is science for the ultimate answer, <insert religion here> for other religions. you have ultimatly built you science on ignoring the question (because that is the way the univers is made) or you take it on faith (because it is).
More importantly in my mind is the ultimate question - is there a why. I don't see any reason for there to be. As far as I can tell most of the universe's WHY is the answer "". Why implies intelligence - I ultimately see no need for a why, the could be one - but why do we assume there is. We can give ourselves our own whys - but I ultimately think the universe doesn't care. Now this differs from reigion in that the ultimate answer to anything is "God", or "God made it that way".
Chiefly - I think the main difference is that you can refute sucessfully a rational argument, but I don't think the same is true for religion. If I refute a religious argument need only reply with "because god said so". The ultimate difference between the two ways of looking at the world is one is refutable, the other is not.
as for dragons take a look at the komodo dragons and some of thier ancestors, some were quite large (30-40 feet) and lived at the time humans did in pre-historic times. some of those things were taken from living animals.
I don't recall komodo dragons breathing fire, and flying.
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