I, like most people here, sometimes get asked where do I get my meaning in life without God? Where is the wonder? One answer is as clear as your hand in front of your face. Except for great apes, a few marsupials and a few reptiles we are the only species with an opposable thumb.  We owe it a great debt. Without it it’s unlikely we would have evolved very far. Thumbs made most tools and writing possible and gave our early ancestors critical advantages over other species such as better fine motor skills for hunting and fishing.

It's hard to think something so simple could have such a huge impact on our entire civilization but try going even an hour with your thumbs taped or tied to your palm and it's easy to see just how important thumbs are.

If I can understand how great something as simple as an opposable thumbs is imagine how I must feel about the rest of the human body. With how are able to fight disease, expel waste and absorb nutrients, how efficiently we process information and so on. This sense of awe, wonder and appreciation extends to the natural world and the universe as a whole.

How does an atheist find meaning and wonder? It's as easy as looking and my own hand!

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Comment by Doug Reardon on September 1, 2011 at 11:27pm

Think what the Cetacea could have accomplished if they had had them!

Comment by Doubting Thomas on September 2, 2011 at 12:10am

An aquatic rival? That could make a great movie!

Comment by Doubting Thomas on September 2, 2011 at 10:06am

Oh absolutely! There is a ton a of randomness in evolution but we still have plenty of reason to be grateful, full of wonder and hope free from religion and superstitious nonsense. More importantly it's easy to find meaning just by looking around at the environment.


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