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Seeking Things Above


If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Col 3:1)

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2008-04-26

Looking for an explanation to evolution

nothingness

A million or a billion or a trillion years ago or an eternity ago, there was nothing. There was nothing but blackness if nothing can even have blackness. Then, in an instant, in a moment (although instants and moments do not yet exists) there was something.

Poof!

universe
Out of nothingness came something. I guess something is an understatement. Out of nothing came everything.

I'm not a physicists or a biologist. However, I am a well educated (Texas A&M) professional. Somewhere my education and 20 years of being a successful business professional have failed me. I'm apparently not smart enough to understand this little known physical law that something can come from nothing.

If you can help this slow Aggie understand this truth (it must be true since it is being taught at all levels of education as fact) please post an answer here. Please include any links that provide information on the scientific theory of nothing from something. I'm also interested in any scientific proofs how random chance and chaos can produce order and mind-blowing systems of complication like a living cell and DNA.

I'm open minded and just seeking the truth.

Some helpful links I've found doing my own research are below:

How something came from nothing.
Also discussed here...
And here...

Proofs of theory:

Evidence 1.
Evidence 2.
Evidence 3.

9 comments:

chillinatthecabstand said...

Huh. I've never heard the "something from nothing" thing except from Christians like you.

I think you're referring to the Big Bang, which just states (to my limited knowledge of it) that the universe to be much much much smaller and hotter than it is now and that it is still expanding and cool.

chillinatthecabstand said...

*that the universe used to be much...

*is still expanding and cooling

Lucy Lowe said...

Hi there,

Just a couple of things on Evolution for you: Firstly, Evolution does not answer the question of where life came from - it merely shows how life has developed from initial simple forms to the complexity of today. I'm afraid it's a misconception that Evolution explains the origin of life.

Another misconception is that Evolution involves random chance. It doesn't. Of course, the idea of any complex living thing suddenly appearing by chance is ridiculous - but that isn't what Evolution suggests. Evolution deals with the problem of improbability by breaking it up into smaller pieces - a continual stream of very slight changes over the course of millions and millions of years.

To make that a little clearer: Imagine a creature of the sea developing lungs to enable it to breathe on land. The probability of that occuring by chance as one event is ridiculous and stupid. However, the probability of that occuring through 100,000 million minor changes over 45 million years: Not ridiculous at all.

You might ask how or why these changes occur. Why is simple: In order to adapt to meet the demands of the environment in which the organism lives. As to how: Genes, stretches of DNA, "replicate" themselves - that is, make exact copies of themselves. Occasionally inexact copies are made, and it is then up to natural selection to choose between the original DNA or the inexact DNA. If the inexact DNA is more successful at being copied then natural selection will have occured.

Anyway, there are probably other questions you have but this post is getting long. Hope this is helpful, (or at least mildly interesting for you!) and have a lovely day :)

Lucy

Tony said...

Chill -

Thanks for coming over. My question was more on evolution. If everything is evolving there had to be a beginnig at some point.

What's your take on how everything got here? Are you suggesting that matter and energy are eternal and have always existed, no beginning and no end?

No beginning and no end sounds like the fringe of accepting that there is more than what we can see, touch and understand in our physical world today.

Is there a big intellectual difference between believing matter is eternal and believing a being is eternal.

I'm trying to grasp the logic, if there is no God, how did all this start?

Thanks.

Tony said...

Thanks Lucy -

I'm still struggling with how it all started. How did that sea creaure get there before it developed lungs. Does it go all the way back to a single cell somewhere. How did it get here?

I do understand how evolution happens within a species and while I don't believe there's any proof of one species being created from another species I do understand the survival of the fittest theory so that may not be random.

However, what about the first living creature or organism. How did it get here. The only theory I've heard is something about the right atmospheric and chemical conditions came together at just the right time to somehow create a protein or some single cell organism. It sounds pretty random.

Then there is the rest of the matter around us that is not living. How did it get here? How did those atmospheric conditions and chemicals get here?

Is there any scientific theory that has hard evidence that rules out the possibility of a creator?

Or is not believing in God just a belief no different than a belief in God.

Thanks.

Lucy said...

Hi Tony,

If you're wondering where it all started you'll have to forget about Evolution for the moment. Abiogenesis is what you're looking for information on.

You are quite correct in thinking that life coming from non-life is a hugely, hugely unlikely event. The lifeform we're talking about is of course an exceedingly simple one, very, very basic, but even so, the odds of it occuring are hugely improbable, perhaps a one in a 100 billion chance.

The thing is, there are around 10 million planets in our galaxy and around 100 billion galaxies in the Universe. Life only had to appear once, so though the odds of it are hard to comprehend from our perspective, from the perspective of the Universe it really isn't such an outlandish event to occur.

It is, as you say, pretty random - but random events occur, and as I said, it only had to happen once.

I do think this is where a lot of confusion comes in with Evolution, so just to be clear:

The origin of life on this planet, one single event: random.

The progress of life from simplicity to complexity, a series of millions upon millions of continuous tiny events: non-random.

As to not believing in a God being a belief: I'm not sure it is. I don't believe in a God because there isn't any evidence for one. For the same reason, I don't "believe" I have three arms, but I wouldn't really refer to that as a belief as such. I accept the possibility that a God exists but as there isn't any evidence for one that possibility is equal to the possibility of Elves or fairies or anything else.

I also don't see any reason for believing in one God over the other. The Christian one, the Muslim one, Zeus, Thor, etc, etc. They all have an equally (low) chance of being real. We're both athiests, it's just I'm an atheist in respect to one more God than you.

Anyway, I hope that is helpful. I do have one question you might be able to help me with, just for my own interest. In general it seems religious people are opposed to the idea of life on other planets. I don't have strong opinions either way, but it seems odd to me that religious people doubt life on other planets. So my question: If there is a God why did she "create" such a vast Universe with billions and billions and billions of planets, and then place life on only one of them?

Another looooong post - Sorry! Have a good day,

Lucy :)

Tony said...

Lucy -

Thanks at pointing me towards abiogenesis. It looks like there are many theories within that field. My question is still, how did the matter get here that somehow created this first living organism, no matter how simple this first organism was. Did something come from nothing at some point or was matter and energy always present. I think to say matter and energy are eternal is contrary to science as we know it. What was the initial change agent?

"So my question: If there is a God why did she "create" such a vast Universe with billions and billions and billions of planets, and then place life on only one of them?"

I caught the "she". lol.

I don't know if religions in general have a problem with other life forms on other planets. I don't know why they would. I think the Mormon religion teaches that if you do everything right you'll get your own planet to run.

As a Christian, my belief that there are no other planets inhabited with intelligent life is based on my belief in God's redemptive plan as laid out in the Bible. This redemptive plan not only affects us individually but according to the Bible, all of His creation. In the bible, the stars, moon and stars were created light, time-keeping, navigation and of course for His glory.
So not believing in life on other planets is not a religious thing. It's whether or not you believe - There is a creator
Who created us in His image
That we failed Him in the beginning and we are all born to fail him (sin is the Christian word)
Because He loved us he sent His Son to live the life without failing
To die as the perfect sacrifice
To atone for our failures
And provide redemption by just believing in this grace
Not by any good acts I do on my own.

Tony

mooney said...

AS always, thanks for stopping buy Tony. This seems to be a popular discussion topic, doesn't it?

Interesting take on the possibility of no life on other planets/systems. It assumes a creative God would stop with us, when according to the Bible we were not even the first thing created? How could we assume we were the last?

I think there is more out there.

- mooney

Tony said...

mooney -

With God all things are possible. You're right, angels were created who knows how long before mankind. We certainly can't put God in a box on what he could have created besides angels and men.
It would raise some tough questions which is why I fall on the side of there being no others. Did these other beings sin? Are they under the condemnation of our sin? Did Christ die for them as well or did He even need to? If we're going to have a new heaven and new earth, assuming heaven means the universe, does their world get transformed as well?
Not that anything God has done has to fit into my understanding. The questions just keep me on the conservative side.

Good to hear from you.

Tony

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