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Is Thought the Actual Force Behind Creation

 
 
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Aug, 2009 12:07 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes;86922 wrote:
In fact there is a free journal called PLoS (actually they have several sub-journals) that you can access online. Go to Public Library of Science, pick an article about evolution, and show me where in the text they make "declarations in the face of great mysteries", as opposed to just sticking to their findings.

Evolution for Everyone: How to Increase Acceptance of, Interest in, and Knowledge about EvolutionPublished in the December 2005 Issue of PLoS Biology


"Something happened several million years ago to give our species a special kind of behavioral flexibility, and the ability to socially transmit behaviors in a cumulative fashion (culture). A sophisticated knowledge of evolution is required to discover exactly what happened. As for the consequences of these new mental capacities, they do not necessarily cause our species to play by a different set of rules than other species. "

Uh... that's one hell of a finding. Would some quantum mechanics help out with the Zeno's paradox that blocks our approach to the question of what happened millions of years ago?

And by the way: this article contains a thinly veiled assertion that abortion is explainable from an evolutionary standpoint. The author handles the issue gingerly. I would suggest that if he even looks sideways at an issue of morality, he'd best leave his biological findings in the lab.
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Aug, 2009 02:24 pm
@Pathfinder,
When people look at the historical process of evolution, some see it as a "blind and indifferent" with no particular end or goal. Others see it as process which inherently tends towards order, complexity, life, mind and experience therefore the result of some higher rational intelligence and purpose.

Both views are rational and not in conflict with known or observable fact. These views (blind indifference or purposeful) are metaphysical and philosophical positions. They are not science and neither is part of the genral scientific theory of evolution.

There are a large number of writings and positions which claim to be supported by the theory of evolution or by "science" but the general theory is much more limited in its claims.
0 Replies
 
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Aug, 2009 07:22 pm
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;86955 wrote:
Uh... that's one hell of a finding.
Oh for the love of god. That was an editorial commentary about a survey of people's acceptance of evolution. Try again. Read a STUDY.

Pretty disappointing, Arjuna. :nonooo:

Try these scientific studies from the same issue.

PLoS Biology: Variant Histone H2A.Z Is Globally Localized to the Promoters of Inactive Yeast Genes and Regulates Nucleosome Positioning

PLoS Biology: Dynamic Acetylation of All Lysine 4?Methylated Histone H3 in the Mouse Nucleus: Analysis at c-fos and c-jun
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 10:02 am
@Aedes,
Aedes;87011 wrote:
Oh for the love of god. That was an editorial commentary about a survey of people's acceptance of evolution. Try again. Read a STUDY.

Pretty disappointing, Arjuna. :nonooo:


I think you read the wrong article. The article I quoted was some professor sharing his outline for an introductory course in Evolution.

This whole stream of thought is silly. You and I both know the standards of the scientific community, that scientists sometimes betray those standards, and that many a nonscientist fails to make the distinction between science and metaphysics. As Prothero pointed out, the professor in that article was initiating young college students to the study of evolution with some really sloppy thinking. He wasn't doing his topic any service. And that he would stand as a representative of science to those students is a shame. Shameful stuff happens.
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 10:29 am
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;87124 wrote:
As Prothero pointed out, the professor in that article was initiating young college students to the study of evolution with some really sloppy thinking. He wasn't doing his topic any service. And that he would stand as a representative of science to those students is a shame. Shameful stuff happens.


I don't think it is the professor that is sloppy. I think it is the theory. It manifests as disorganized and imprecise. Sort of like the Ptolemaic conception of the universe. Sloppy begets sloppy.

Rich
0 Replies
 
BrightNoon
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 11:13 am
@Pathfinder,
Pathfinder;85970 wrote:
Something cannot come from nothing. However does that not also mean that something must have come from something?


Why must something have come from anything at all? We agree that it's illogical to suggest that something came from nothing. Your solution then is to say that something came from something else, whatever that might be. I say in response, where did that older somthing come from? It seems to me that, if you assume that something cannot just have been forever, i.e. that something must always come from something else, and on these grounds you claim that the world must have come from something else, then by the same logic, you must also assume that 'something else' (from which came the world) must not simply have been eternally; it too must have come from yet another 'something else.'

In other words, if you assume that the world came from nothing, you are speaking in tongues and the statement means nothing; it's illogical. If, on the other hand, you say that something must have arisen from something esle, then, by that same logic, each successive 'something else' you discover as the origin of another something, must itself have an origin, and so on, ad infinitum. Usually, this kind of thinking leads to the positing of some extra-logical agent as the final cause, such as God, which is another way of saying 'I don't know.'

Quote:
The only difference between you and I is that you suppose that it has simply always been here, and I just simply refuse to suppose anything other than that we know it is here and are lost to explain it.


It is irritating at first (I tussled with the same paradox once), but now I'm as confortable with the idea that the world always has been, is, and always will be, as you are with the idea that it must have come from something. It might be a matter more of personal preference than anything more substantive.

Quote:
What is your thought on the time space evaluation that comes into play here Noon?

For isnatnce, if one takes a flashlight and shines it into the sky; lets assume that it does not become misdirected or dissolved by any barriers. That light would continue to travel in a straight line until it was impeded.

So if some extraterrestrial out there in its path sees that light some 500 years from now, they could begin to follow it back to its source. But given the time span, that flashlight battery gave out a long time ago and when they arrived at the flashlight it would be dead.

Now my questions here are twofold. Having followed the light back to its source have they travelled back in time?

And having found the source of the light have they not found its origin?

This is the teaching behind the light given off from some stars. It is said that most of the stars in the sky are so far away that by the time the light given off from then reaches our eyes, it has traveled through time and space for so many thousands of years that the actual origin , the star itself is not even any longer there and all we are seeing is the remnant light from a long ago vanished star.

So what we see really is remnant evidence of something that once existed, and were we to follow that light backwards, would we be going back in time to reach it? NO! We would ultimately still be heading into a future where by the time we got to the origin of the light there would be nothing there.

My question to you Noon, is how does one get to nothing? In other words if we follow that light back to a source that no longer exists, than what do we find when we get there? How can you follow something to a point of non existence? if the ray of light given off does not dissipate and leads right back to its origin , but nothing is there to give it off anymore, we reach a point of illogic again.

That is how I perceive the origin. if one was able to follow creation back to its origin one would be met with an illogical situation of space time displacement, where what used to be there no longer exists. At some point the ray of light stops at the place it began but nothing is there.


I probably know less about physics than you do, so maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see a problem here at all. If I were to follow the path of the light cylinder which had been travelling through space for centuries, what I would see when I arrived is...whatever happens to be at that location then. I certainly didn't travel back in time. Again, maybe I'm missing something; could you explain what exactly is the problem again?

PhilosopherJay wrote:

I tend to agree that brainlike functions may be carried out by different types of matter constructed in very different ways. However I am not sure if we should call these processes "thinking." For example, it is probable that a computer will be able to process the information from a large number of sentences simultaneously, perhaps million or more. This is something which human brains do not do very well. In fact people who try to process too many sentences at the same time tend to be considered psychologically impaired. I do not know what thinking-like processes the computer of the future will be going through, but I suspect it will be so far from what humans consider thinking and that we will need different words to describe it.

For the moment, I think we should leave the definition of thinking as a unique function of animal brains.


I agree that thinking which occurs as a result of structures other than our brains, or similiar animal brains, would be a different sort of thinking, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that it shouldn't be called thinking at all. The basic, non-anthropomorphic structure of thought, as I see it, is the ability to define/interpret/evaluate/etc. the present, visceral experience in terms of non-present experience of one kind or another. Any structure which thinks has to be able to 'store' past experience such that those lingering experiences are existing (i.e. being experienced) simulteineously with the present experience; that very coincidental existence, that seeing the present through the more fixed schema of accumulated pasts, is thought.

I think of man, and other higher order structures, as a sort of Rube goldberg machine, in that, at any given moment, most of its actions are not the result of of immediate external stimulation, but rather of arcane and complex interactions going on inside the structure, which are the result of the whole set of past external stimulations. A structure which does not have this sort of capacity is always at the mercy of present events; it cannot think because there is nothing other than the present by which to evaluate the present and make plans, fantasize, reflect etc.

So, if you mean that non-human, non-animal 'thinking' could be extraordinarily different than human-animal thought, then I agree. But I think that the fundemental process would be the same, the very process which makes it 'thought,' and so I would still call it thought.
0 Replies
 
Adam101
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Oct, 2009 10:26 pm
@BrightNoon,
BrightNoon;85919 wrote:
It's illogical to say that the universe began from some primal force, as that primal force then has to have an origin, and that origin has to have an origin, and so on ad infinitum. If the universe had a beginning, we simply have to say that nothing generated something, and we have no underatanding whatsoever of such a process, we've never witnessed such a process, and we can't possibly imagine such a process. So why would we assume that such a thing happened? If all we have ever known is something, and we've never known nothing, and certainly never seen nothing give rise to something, why wouldn't we start with something, rather than nothing? It seems to me that the only logical explanation for the present existence of the universe is that the universe has always existed, albeit in various forms.


What if Allah(God) is literally everything--both sensed and not sensed? What if Allah WAS the nothingness and then just evolved into consciousness? Then, if this is true, she could imagine the galaxies, the universes, the multi-universes, etc., and her imagination could be so real we sense it, because that's what I believe the OP was stating as a school of thought. I could be wrong. One thing I'd like to point out is that if we do literally create our realities with our mind, then I assume we're truly alike to Gods, deities of great strength, and this would have value as evidence to the existence of an ultimate creator building us in its image. However, because she's imagining reality, too, it is structured to her imagination and not ours. I've thought a lot about this. If Jesus could work miracles, how did he do it?
Leonard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Oct, 2009 11:39 pm
@Pathfinder,
There is no such thing as 'before' the big bang or 'during' the big bang. Time is simply not applicable before then, rather there is no 'before' because any 'time' that existed during the big bang (or exists as a line intersecting the singularity) is perpendicular to ours.

By 'god', the least subjective common definition is a state of being that is not applicable to time. God could not have been created by anything. If the 'god' you speak of is an entity or a state of mind that people worship, then perhaps he would have been created.

Thought doesn't create anything, thought activates creation.
0 Replies
 
Shostakovich phil
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Oct, 2009 12:58 am
@Pathfinder,
I don't agree that it is impossible to think that there may have been an event (in time) before the big bang. Nor is it impossible to imagine, or even logically reason out a process that accounts for the existence of our universe. It is a profoundly difficult question: "How did the universe come into being?" But I am not one of those who think that just becaue it's a profoundly difficult question, that it can't be given an answer, and a rational, well thought out answer at that. I'll post my own answer to this question when I get the time to type out my 'Causal Argument for the Existence of a Supreme Being.' The argument necessitates an Absolute Mind as the creator of our universe, but this conclusion comes out of the argument and the premise that it begins with, which is: The state of an absolute void, or nothing, at the ultimate beginning of all things, amounts to an absolute state, and this concept of an absolute state (bondless, indivisible, eternal or constant, and unconditional) provides itself as the first cause to an effect, this being a dynamic, expanding, mobile force of mind. I won't go any further than this here. This argument consists of four a priori principles (coincidentally falling in line with Kant's critical demands for a science of metaphysics). But It's getting late now, close to midnight, and I'll try my best to make some time in which I can present the whole argument as soon as I can get around to it. It'll be up to those who enjoy this forum to offer their critical comments afterwards. I'll lable the thread "Causal Argument" for short, for those interested in following up on it. And 'thought' is the force behind all of creation --this is the most important conclusion that follows from the premise of the causal argument.
Pathfinder
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Oct, 2009 04:33 am
@Shostakovich phil,
Shostakovich;95011 wrote:
I don't agree that it is impossible to think that there may have been an event (in time) before the big bang. Nor is it impossible to imagine, or even logically reason out a process that accounts for the existence of our universe. It is a profoundly difficult question: "How did the universe come into being?" But I am not one of those who think that just becaue it's a profoundly difficult question, that it can't be given an answer, and a rational, well thought out answer at that. I'll post my own answer to this question when I get the time to type out my 'Causal Argument for the Existence of a Supreme Being.' The argument necessitates an Absolute Mind as the creator of our universe, but this conclusion comes out of the argument and the premise that it begins with, which is: The state of an absolute void, or nothing, at the ultimate beginning of all things, amounts to an absolute state, and this concept of an absolute state (bondless, indivisible, eternal or constant, and unconditional) provides itself as the first cause to an effect, this being a dynamic, expanding, mobile force of mind. I won't go any further than this here. This argument consists of four a priori principles (coincidentally falling in line with Kant's critical demands for a science of metaphysics). But It's getting late now, close to midnight, and I'll try my best to make some time in which I can present the whole argument as soon as I can get around to it. It'll be up to those who enjoy this forum to offer their critical comments afterwards. I'll lable the thread "Causal Argument" for short, for those interested in following up on it. And 'thought' is the force behind all of creation --this is the most important conclusion that follows from the premise of the causal argument.


I, for one, would like to hear what you have to say if for no other reason than to continue to ponder the whole idea with other minds of curiosity.

---------- Post added 10-04-2009 at 06:06 AM ----------

BrightNoon;87142 wrote:
Why must something have come from anything at all? We agree that it's illogical to suggest that something came from nothing. Your solution then is to say that something came from something else, whatever that might be. I say in response, where did that older somthing come from? It seems to me that, if you assume that something cannot just have been forever, i.e. that something must always come from something else, and on these grounds you claim that the world must have come from something else, then by the same logic, you must also assume that 'something else' (from which came the world) must not simply have been eternally; it too must have come from yet another 'something else.'
......If, on the other hand, you say that something must have arisen from something esle, then, by that same logic, each successive 'something else' you discover as the origin of another something, must itself have an origin, and so on, ad infinitum. Usually, this kind of thinking leads to the positing of some extra-logical agent as the final cause, such as God, which is another way of saying 'I don't know.'
.......It is irritating at first (I tussled with the same paradox once), but now I'm as confortable with the idea that the world always has been, is, and always will be, as you are with the idea that it must have come from something. It might be a matter more of personal preference than anything more substantive....
I probably know less about physics than you do, so maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see a problem here at all. If I were to follow the path of the light cylinder which had been travelling through space for centuries, what I would see when I arrived is...whatever happens to be at that location then. I certainly didn't travel back in time. Again, maybe I'm missing something; could you explain what exactly is the problem again?



Noon, I would refrain from using the term illogical to define the paradox. In nature,or the nature of, a dilemma or paradox is something that cannot be explained by logical evaluation, so logic is not its tool of revelation whether logical or illogical.

The paradox is how can something come from nothing, and to try to speculate on that with finite minds that are programmed to the reality in which the origin of existence is in comprehensible, is what is really illogical. However, to answer TTman's question, seeking the answer is also mysteriously programmed into our mind/thought/consciousness in some testing way. We cannot, with what we have been given intellectually, help ourselves.

You say you are comfortable with the idea that existence simply 'always existed', and yet admit that it is purely personal preference to think that way. That is no different whatsoever than the blind faith aspect of believing in God, which is also a matter of personal decision and choice to conclude a speculation. That is not meant as an insult Noon, just an observation.

In the example of following the light trail back to its point of origin I was trying to point out how the lapse of time and the reality of the present are bound together in one constant continuum. The reality of it is not a matter of its length of time, or its passage from then till now, which is constantly altering from one tense to another by simply being in constant momentum. The reality of it is in its 'existence'. we exist. The universe exists. And just like the long burned out star that once existed as the point of origin of the light trail, 'existence itself', being a real trail, also can be traced back. One should be able to follow the trail of existence in exactly the same way that one follows the trail of a light from a star.

However when one gets to the origin of that trail, with regard to the star, that star no longer exists because it has burned itself out long before you could get to it. That light you follow from your present has been there for millions of years. And so as you follow it backward you are in essence traveling back in time. Of course you are actually traveling into the future with every step that you take into the 'passage' of time, but as you follow a trail backward you follow its timeline backward into its past. So when you arrive at the point of origin, whatever was there eons ago could only be there now if its continues to exist beyond the forces of erosion and decay, a force beyond the natural forces of what we are aware of. Like the trail of smoke left from the fire it began with creation lingers on as the telltale remnant of what once was. But because it is here now wafting its way through our reality, we know that its fire once burned strongly to create it.

The dilemma is a matter of did that fire always exist and how could it have been lit from a base of complete nothingness. This is not a matter of incomprehensible logic. It is simply a matter of not being able to follow such a lenghty smoke trail. But if we could continue on that reverse path, we would come to the time when there was a line between that fire not being there and in the next instasecond, a fire was there.

So the real dilemma is WHAT FORCE could be responsible for such a thing as we know must be squeezing the trigger of that smoking gun?

To attempt to define it is ridiculous. To name and it and equate with our human forms is illogical. But to suggest that it is not there just because we cannot imagine what it is, or to say that it must have just always been there, is in my way of thinking merely a cop out.

To be walking hrough a forest and suddenly coming upon a scorched section and telling yourself that this scorched section must have always been here just because you do not know the origin of the fire, is a mind that simply doesn't want to bother to follow the burn to its point of origin. But logically, you know the fire began somewhere.
rhinogrey
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Oct, 2009 12:34 pm
@Pathfinder,
Pathfinder;95018 wrote:

To be walking hrough a forest and suddenly coming upon a scorched section and telling yourself that this scorched section must have always been here just because you do not know the origin of the fire, is a mind that simply doesn't want to bother to follow the burn to its point of origin. But logically, you know the fire began somewhere.


To apply your common-sense 'causal' logic to the beginning of all is completely nonsensical.

To take the position that 'there is no beginning' is not at all the same as what you've described above. What it is is a recognition of the Flux, that all things inherently contain their opposite and that therefore any beginning also must in itself contain the end. Existence is the motion that this opposition purports to describe.
Pathfinder
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Oct, 2009 03:04 pm
@rhinogrey,
rhinogrey;95057 wrote:
To apply your common-sense 'causal' logic to the beginning of all is completely nonsensical.

To take the position that 'there is no beginning' is not at all the same as what you've described above. What it is is a recognition of the Flux, that all things inherently contain their opposite and that therefore any beginning also must in itself contain the end. Existence is the motion that this opposition purports to describe.


I disagree , the opposite of beginning is not ending.
0 Replies
 
Adam101
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 06:26 am
@Adam101,
Adam101;94987 wrote:
What if Allah(God) is literally everything--both sensed and not sensed? What if Allah WAS the nothingness and then just evolved into consciousness? Then, if this is true, she could imagine the galaxies, the universes, the multi-universes, etc., and her imagination could be so real we sense it, because that's what I believe the OP was stating as a school of thought. I could be wrong. One thing I'd like to point out is that if we do literally create our realities with our mind, then I assume we're truly alike to Gods, deities of great strength, and this would have value as evidence to the existence of an ultimate creator building us in its image. However, because she's imagining reality, too, it is structured to her imagination and not ours. I've thought a lot about this. If Jesus could work miracles, how did he do it?


I made this post and not a single person has responded to it; however, I think it's highly discussion worthy. People think that we know not of anyway that nothing can become something, but we accept the idea of evolution, that we derived from ______ and became human. Why couldn't the universe go through this same process? Why couldn't God(Allah) be the ultimate product of evolution. Wouldn't it make sense if the world is truly changing and evolving with time?
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 05:29 pm
@Pathfinder,
Speaking for myself, I am reticent about using the name 'Allah' in casual exchanges such as this. (For similar reasons, I often enclose 'God' in parentheses also).

Your statement packs a lot of substance into a few short words. For example

Adam101;94987 wrote:
One thing I'd like to point out is that if we do literally create our realities with our mind, then I assume we're truly alike to Gods, deities of great strength, and this would have value as evidence to the existence of an ultimate creator building us in its image.


There are many objections to this proposition, such as, why does my mind have any priority over yours, or anyone elses, in the 'creation of reality'? If I imagine that New York City no longer exists, then why does it continue to exist even after I have imagined it not existing? Do you mean reality is simply the output of an individual's imagination, or something else?

I think another avenue of approach might be to suggest some historical models for the 'mind-first' understanding of reality and to illustrate some practical implications of this understanding (i.e. if this is true, then it means ...)
Adam101
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 05:42 pm
@jeeprs,
well I think Allah is holding the world together, not us. Our imagination can never uphold to Allah's, but I think that she will allow us to manifest our imagination if we're perfect before her.
0 Replies
 
odenskrigare
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 06:04 pm
@Pathfinder,
"Allah" ... "she"?

ugghhhhhhhhhh
Adam101
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 06:10 pm
@odenskrigare,
We can discuss who knows Allah better some other place. Instead, while we're on the forum, let's try and post some useful thoughts, not uggghhhhhh or anything like that, ok?
0 Replies
 
odenskrigare
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 06:48 pm
@Pathfinder,
Well alright

Here's a useful thought

"Why aren't you trying to take a falsifiable, evidence-based view of creativity and other mental phenomena"
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 06:52 pm
@Pathfinder,
I agree that you are trying to make a useful contribution, however I would be careful about the way it is expressed. You may indeed have developed a personal philosophy where 'Allah' is understood as a 'she'. However by using this expresssion it is a fair bet you won't be bringing many people along with you, rightly or wrongly.
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 07:26 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;95653 wrote:
There are many objections to this proposition, such as, why does my mind have any priority over yours, or anyone elses, in the 'creation of reality'? If I imagine that New York City no longer exists, then why does it continue to exist even after I have imagined it not existing? Do you mean reality is simply the output of an individual's imagination, or something else?

I think another avenue of approach might be to suggest some historical models for the 'mind-first' understanding of reality and to illustrate some practical implications of this understanding (i.e. if this is true, then it means ...)

If I could toss something out: The way some people would address your objections is this: if you really really wanted to, you could make NYC disappear. All it requires is your will meeting the way. There is a fundamental demand for meaning. Meaning structures events in the same way grammar structures language. You can say whatever you want: you can make any sound you want: you'll still find yourself bound by the rules that must be followed to say something meaningful: your desire to speak binds you to those rules. You are still the creator of your speech.

In regard to your mind vs. other people's, the objection is overcome this way: if you and I are standing in a room and we are both looking at a chair, you can't see the chair I'm creating, and I can't see yours. There are actually two chairs. That we believe otherwise is explained as the result of occult communication between us.

As for Allah being female, I translate the world Allah as I understand it being used here. The category of female implies passive reception of a seed into fertile ground from which a new and independent entity arises by transforming that ground with its own pattern of life. I don't know if that is what was meant, though.
0 Replies
 
 

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