i've been struggling with the "religion question" lately so i took anthropology of religion this semester to see what's out there. this class ultimately led me to this website, where i stumbled upon your conversations. your statement that everything a person does is motivated by selfish reasons sounds very familiar to me. there is an economic theory out there that states the same thing, even making the case that people such as mother theresa was inherently selfish. that point and many others which i wont bore you with really struck close to home for me (but i will say your viewpoint on forgiveness is in my opinion equal to/more reasonable than Christianities "turn the other cheek" approach"). i just wanted to let you know that your not speaking to yourself even if the posts have slowed down, it just takes people time to discover things. it's nice to read such informative and well thought out opinions on religion and beliefs in today's culture, keep up the good work. oh and by the way, do you believe life that life was just a series of chemical reactions that by pure luck just happened to occur on this planet, or do believe there was some type of divine influence?
Hello and welcome. Thanks for the compliments, I hope you stick around to converse and share your ideas as well.
oh and by the way, do you believe life that life was just a series of chemical reactions that by pure luck just happened to occur on this planet, or do believe there was some type of divine influence?
The simplest and most annoying although true answer would be a simple "I don't know."
I'm a scientist, a biologist specifically, with a very active imagination, so it tickles me to death that there's a question so profoundly interesting as "how did life begin?" out there that science has barely been able to squint at so far. It's awesome! I love it! We've been able to create amino acids from completely sterile, inorganic conditions designed to imitate our best idea of what the conditions on primordial Earth were like (the famous Miller- Urey experiment), we have various theories about what sorts of random chemical reactions might have come together just right to start primitive but self-perpetuating metabolism, but we can't explain it all, and we haven't had much luck trying to recreate it so far, although I understand teams of researchers are working on the problem as we speak.
And from my understanding, life came to be on Earth pretty quickly, speaking in geological and evolutionary time, from when conditions came about that allowed the possibility.
I don't believe it was some divine intelligence who just said "hmm, I think I'll invent Life today." But, I also am highly skeptical that we have enough knowledge to explain how it happened with really lucky chemical reactions as we understand them. That, and the last couple years of college have succeeded with blowing my mind with the complexity of living things. Ultimately, I believe there was something going on beyond what we know about so far, something we haven't discovered yet. Maybe science will find it someday, I sure hope so and I'd love to be involved in the research, but maybe it won't. Maybe it is something that could be akin to a god or higher power that made it possible. Maybe both.
I'm not discounting any possibility, it could have been a god for all I know, but it does drive me nuts the people who will stomp the breaks on any theory that doesn't involve intelligent design because of their own inability to fathom such complexity coming together of its own without God's help. I mean, I have a hard time fathoming it too, but I think that has more to do with the limitations of my own mind rather than anything resembling objective truth. I mean, have some imagination people!
There's so much cool, awesome shit in the universe, most of it remains to be found probably (I hope). The universe is definitely strange and awesome enough that it could have created the immense complexity that is life from simple inorganic precursors and a large deposit of luck. The universe is also strange and awesome enough that it could contain non-corporeal intellegences far more powerful than ourselves. I really really doubt that one of those potential intelligences is anything resembling the God of Abraham, or just about any divine entity created by humanity, but I can't disprove it either.
I hope that was a satisfactory non-answer to your good question.
So, I have a question for you now. How do you think the world would react if a team of scientists succeeded, and were able to prove that they had done so, in creating a self-perpetuating colony of simple cells fitting the definition of life entirely from inorganics using reactions all found on primordial Earth?
A terrifying though completely fascinating question in my opinion, I hope you find it interesting as well.