The evolution of the first primordial cell into human beings (for example) requires massive increases in complexity. The first step in this long process would have occurred when this first species of cell produced a more complex offspring cell.

Ok, I'm no expert, but this is a bit confusing from a genetics point of view: It's my understanding that the DNA of the parent cell determines the structure (or complexity) of any offspring cell. So how did the offspring cell end up more complex than the parent? I could think of only two scenarios, none of which make any sense to me:-

1. The increased complexity of the offspring cell came from the DNA of the parent cell - but this means that the DNA of the parent is more complex than the parent. Huh?

2. If the increased complexity of the offspring cell didn't come from the parent cell, it must have come from the offspring. So somehow the offspring cell made itself more complex - therefore the offspring cell is more complex than itself. Huh?

Me no understando!

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@ Anthony. Your expertise on some very esoteric areas of Evolution seems to have improved dramatically. I wonder if those fish you mention could be caught by a fisherman using these worms. Watch from 5:00 – 7:30 if for some reason don’t want to watch it all.

@Anthony, still waiting for some clarification on my perspective when seeing the log cabin in the forest. Is this the first dwelling I have ever seen? Have I ever seen anything crafted from wood? Is it the first time I have seen a forest?

You still don’t get it Anthony. If I had never seen a structure like a house before I would be struck by seeing one for the first time. If I grew up in a house made of stone I would not be as surprised to see a log cabin for the first time.

If I had never seen a tree before and suddenly found myself in a forest I would be unlikely to start looking at a log cabin within it and find it so wondrous as to start thinking that a god must have done it. If I was familiar with what trees were and had seen a forest beforehand I would not be startled by discovering a log cabin within that forest. I would see that it was made of the same material and that it looked like the house I lived in before I got shipwrecked.

It would be more likely that I would not have been shipwrecked and ended up on a desert island in the first place because if I was so easily startled or confused by wooden structures I would not have embarked on a journey across the ocean on a wooden ship. If a much more intricately designed wooden structure as a ship did not make me think of gods then finding a wooden log cabin in a forest of wood would not be a problem.

So like I said a few weeks ago, your analogy is not an argument. It shows a lack of critical thinking on your behalf and on anyone that tries to find any merit to it. Someone – a fundamentalist Christian or Muslim – decided to not use Paley’s Watchmaker analogy. They thought they would try a different approach and then came up with this intellectually mundane analogy. Not only is it a pathetic appeal to ignorance, your lack of ability to quantify or explain the parameters of it only make it more pathetic. Your constant sniping at science displays only the extent of your indoctrination into fundamentalist Christianity where you no longer even regard yourself as religious.

You are right on one thing. I.D. is not science. However atheism is also not science. Your failure to see that says much about you.

@Anthony Blair (taking it up to the top level)

only some kind of all-powerful God(s) can provide an after-life

Why does an afterlife need a provider? Just as the universe might have existed forever—or the stage on which the current universe exists might have lasted forever—some might heaven. Why not?

"Only God - who is spirit - can product spirit"

A bold statement. Could you provide a citation for that, please?

The physical universe did not produce spirit.  Only God - who is spirit - can produce spirit.  That's why I argue that anyone who believes in an after-life is a de facto theist and therefore not an atheist.

I've never heard of an atheist who believed in an afterlife. Got any names?

Anthony...your redifining of words is getting tedious and more than a little annoying. We don't care about your made up definition of the word atheist. It's wrong.

Oh this is nice. Someone is actually trying to define the terms they use. To sum up, here's what you say spirit is:

  1. The "spirit" is the immortal part of a person
  2. "spirit" is not composed of matter
  3. "spirit" is to the body, like story is to storybook, or movie is to dvd
  4. "spirit" can only be produced by other "spirit"

And here's where we have problems:

  1. There is no evidence of any part of a person being immortal, so immediately your definition of spirit is looking like it doesn't exist
  2. We talk about the story being separate from the story book, as it could potentially be told elsewhere... so a story is composed of words, theme, and plot... What is the spirit composed of?
  3. See above. Just saying that spirit is like the information in a book doesn't really help.
  4. This one amuses me greatly... If spirit can only be produced by spirit, and god is a spirit, then which spirit created god? And which spirit created the spirit that created god?

That's why I argue that anyone who believes in an after-life is a de facto theist and therefore not an atheist.

I would disagree, at least until you can prove that the existence of an afterlife is dependent on the existence of a theistic deity.

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