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A Mighty Vision

Printed From: WorldHistoria Forum
Category: GENERAL HISTORY
Forum Name: Natural History
Forum Description: History viewed through ecology, geology, paleoclimatology, paleontology & zoology to assist in understanding earth's history
URL: http://www.worldhistoria.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=124712
Printed Date: 11 Aug 2020 at 11:40
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Topic: A Mighty Vision
Posted By: Carcharodon
Subject: A Mighty Vision
Date Posted: 12 Sep 2009 at 10:56

Sometimes  mighty visions can come to us. Such a vision is the thought of the long, long chain of living beings that we are direct descendants of. One can just think of ones father (or mother) and his father, and so on. For little more than 400 generations ago Sweden came out of the grip of the great ice. 4000 generations ago the last ice age began. 40 000 generations ago we were Homo erectus. 400 000 generations ago we were some kind of apes.

As we proceed backwards through the generations we find ourselves being small furry mammals, and earlier than that we were proto mammals. Going back from that we were early reptiles, fishes, amphibians, cephalochordates, early chordates, worm like creatures, and even further back we looked like the first bilateralian Vernanimalcula. Before that we were simple mulitcellular beings and before that one-celled protozoans, and before that early eukaryots. If we go further back, our ancestors were bacteria and before that even simpler organisms. Finally we reach the primordial times, maybe four billion years back, when life first evolved here on our planet.

All these creatures have lived in an unbroken chain leading to all of us.

This is really a vision, based on scientific research, that beats all of the religious visions about Gods and prophets and similar.

The vision of our true ancestry and heritage is so much mightier and so much more interesting and fascinating.

 

One litttle thought: maybe if I one day am standing in a museum and watching some fossil, then perhaps by some amazing chance, just that particular fossil happens to be a direct ancestor of mine. Is that not an utterly fascinating thing to think about?




Replies:
Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 12 Sep 2009 at 11:32
You do realize, of course, that there are a great number of people who don't feel that the vision you have outlined is inconsistent with their respective religious beliefs.
 
-Akolouthos


Posted By: Carcharodon
Date Posted: 12 Sep 2009 at 11:42
Yes and that is okey.
Unfortunately there are also some (like the creationists who belive the earth is only 6000 years old) who would completely deny such a vision. In doing so they are actually denying the existence of most of their ancestors.


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 12 Sep 2009 at 11:55
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Yes and that is okey.
Unfortunately there are also some (like the creationists who belive the earth is only 6000 years old) who would completely deny such a vision. In doing so they are actually denying the existence of most of their ancestors.
 
Agreed. It is neither the right nor the province of theology to delve into questions that rightly devolve to the natural sciences.
 
-Akolouthos
 
P.S. As I mentioned to my dear friend Constantine, the earth is far more than 6000 years old; why only recently we entered the year of the world 7518. WinkLOL Of course, I jest.
 


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 12 Sep 2009 at 13:30
I do find the story of how billions of years of struggle and transformation have led to the creatures we see in the world today (including us). That life continued to find a way, despite meteor impacts and the catastrophic effects of when the entire planet froze 700 million years ago, is simply inspirational. It is a complex tale requiring quite a bit of study to grasp the how of it occurring, but well worth the effort. Kind of like persevering in a hike up a mountain in order to gain the most awe inspiring and magnificent view of the world around you once you get on top of it.


Posted By: Omar al Hashim
Date Posted: 12 Sep 2009 at 13:42
My mother would describe that as a Praise-God-moment


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 13 Sep 2009 at 11:43
Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

I do find the story of how billions of years of struggle and transformation have led to the creatures we see in the world today (including us). That life continued to find a way, despite meteor impacts and the catastrophic effects of when the entire planet froze 700 million years ago, is simply inspirational. It is a complex tale requiring quite a bit of study to grasp the how of it occurring, but well worth the effort. Kind of like persevering in a hike up a mountain in order to gain the most awe inspiring and magnificent view of the world around you once you get on top of it.
 
Interesting stuff indeed. Incidentally, I was wondering how reliable the History Channel documentaries on these matters were for a layman like myself. They're quite interesting, but how good is the information I'm getting from them? The only reason I'm a bit reluctant to follow them is because of the ridiculous popular nonsense that often makes it into their history programming.
 
-Akolouthos


Posted By: es_bih
Date Posted: 13 Sep 2009 at 12:45
Thing is Charch your original post coincides with my religious views, and what the Quarn among other texts hint at. Ignorant people are found on both sides of the argument. It is only ignorant religious people that actually think science and religion don't go hand in hand. They very much do.

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Posted By: Birddog
Date Posted: 13 Sep 2009 at 18:44
I'm sorry es_bih, I'm afraid I'm an ignorant person on the Athiest side of the arguement. Unhappy
 
Religion and Science can get on as long as their is a gap that science hasn't filled yet. While their is still a blank gap, religion can say in that empty, unexplained space is God. When the space is filled, God disapears from that space. Science still has a long way to go, and beyond our current foothills of ignorance, vast plains and mountins of ignorance lie before us, but the gaps in science are getting filled and slowly disproving God. Religion and Science make very poor bed fellows.
 
 


Posted By: Carcharodon
Date Posted: 13 Sep 2009 at 21:23
I agree with Birddog. Many times the claims of religion has been refuted by science. And also most of the religious claims that science still has no methods to evaluate (like the existence of supernatural beings) are forwarded without any proof whatsoever.

And unfortunately there is a constant press from creationists in some countries (like USA) that the schols shall teach religious alternatives to evolutionary biology. One can just look at the debates about so called intelligent design.


Posted By: Zagros
Date Posted: 13 Sep 2009 at 22:16
Quran says that we were made from clay doesn't it? 


Posted By: Carcharodon
Date Posted: 13 Sep 2009 at 22:25
Clay is mostly made up of inorganic components with a lot of silicone in it. Life is made up by organic components with carbon as a very important ingredient.


Posted By: Birddog
Date Posted: 13 Sep 2009 at 22:48
The Bible says woman is made from clay and a rib from a man. What does that make god, a potter?


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 13 Sep 2009 at 23:15
Originally posted by Akolouthos Akolouthos wrote:

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

I do find the story of how billions of years of struggle and transformation have led to the creatures we see in the world today (including us). That life continued to find a way, despite meteor impacts and the catastrophic effects of when the entire planet froze 700 million years ago, is simply inspirational. It is a complex tale requiring quite a bit of study to grasp the how of it occurring, but well worth the effort. Kind of like persevering in a hike up a mountain in order to gain the most awe inspiring and magnificent view of the world around you once you get on top of it.
 
Interesting stuff indeed. Incidentally, I was wondering how reliable the History Channel documentaries on these matters were for a layman like myself. They're quite interesting, but how good is the information I'm getting from them? The only reason I'm a bit reluctant to follow them is because of the ridiculous popular nonsense that often makes it into their history programming.
 
-Akolouthos


I don't know about the History Channel documentaries. The only time I could ever view one of those is on cable, and I'm not enough of a couch potato to justify paying for that. So I have never seen a History Channel documentary except when visiting a friend's house and we just happen to switch on to it. From what I have seen of them, they present historical events in a rather simplistic fashion because it makes better 'packaging' for the viewer. A lot of it is them cutting from one scene to another to another, often without any consistent theme. But I appreciate that they at least draw people into taking an interest in history. It's a starting point for many people to educate themselves further, and so compared to most other tv I am prepared to give the History Channel its due credit for helping to spark interest in history.

I have never seen a History Channel documentary on the evolution of life on earth. I would think that a more nature oriented channel would cater to that story, as history really concerns what happens with humans.

But I would never support a documentary on the creation and evolution of life on earth that is fit into a 30 or 60 minute timeframe. Such limited time could never properly express the key processes, discoveries and theories which are integral to this field of study.

I thought that two senior high school years worth of biology classes (Year 11 and 12) did a roughly adequate job of providing students with the basics to do with the relevant information.


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 09 Apr 2016 at 12:24
The religious right want the Bible taught in school, as a portion of a religion class, or as part of a literature class, and the atheists (another kind of fundamentalism) won't allow it, despite religion in general, and Christianity in particular playing a large role in lots of people's lives, so the evangelicals try to sneak it in under Creationism.  They wouldn't do that if religion or the Bible were represented in some way in school.

I think that atheism is able to damage liberal Christianity, at that point, with no buffer zone between atheism and fundamentalism, the sparks will really fly!  I wouldn't even consider Christian fundamentalism to be the problem.  No, atheists might 'kill' off the moderates and then be surprised when the rest of the world goes to the Mullas.  Of course, if the atheists, and agnostics and self-proclaimed humanists had any sense then they would allow for moderate religion as an alternative to radicalism.  But going after the low hanging fruit, they will leave alone those who can actually cause problems until it is too late.


Posted By: caldrail
Date Posted: 10 Apr 2016 at 22:18
Originally posted by Birddog Birddog wrote:

The Bible says woman is made from clay and a rib from a man. What does that make god, a potter?

Sounds like he's making a prehistoric sex toy to me. Here you go, Adam, enjoy yourself. But the real point is that the biblical idea betrays the mortal origin of God. He operates in a humanistic fashion using concepts known to the ancients. He is no more than a human face on the infinite, a guarantor of behaviour, a cultural symbol, an excuse to exploit, persecute, and profit. He is whatever human society wants him to be.

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Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 11 Apr 2016 at 15:30
One speaks to a child in a way that the child might understand.
Whatever you say, the child will probably understand less, and more, than you intend to say.

"a guarantor of behaviour"  I've always wondered what the atheist would prefer in an encounter with a hoodlum with a knife.  A backwards, God-fearing hoodlum who will hesitate to open him up like a fish being gutted, giving the much 'smarter' atheist the chance to run away?  Or an 'enlightened' hoodlum who has no hesitation because he is "certain" there is no God, and thus nothing to punish him?

Some beliefs are functional.


Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 12 Apr 2016 at 13:07
Originally posted by caldrail caldrail wrote:

[QUOTE=Birddog] The Bible says woman is made from clay and a rib from a man. What does that make god, a potter?

Sounds like he's making a prehistoric sex toy to me. Here you go, Adam, enjoy yourself. But the real point is that the biblical idea betrays the mortal origin of God. He operates in a humanistic fashion using concepts known to the ancients. He is no more than a human face on the infinite, a guarantor of behaviour, a cultural symbol, an excuse to exploit, persecute, and profit. 

"He is whatever human society wants him to be."

Or SHE.


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From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.(Chief Joseph)


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 12 Apr 2016 at 15:31
God didn't make Eve from Adam's feet, so she is not beneath him, God did not make Eve from Adam's head, so she is not above him.  God made Eve from Adam's side to be his partner and equal.  In fact, some rabbinical interpretations look upon the original Adam as a hermaphroditic person, and what God did was separate the two parts into male and female.  In other words, in this interpretation, God is not taking Eve _from_ Adam, but really is separating one being into two.

btw, everything else is made of clay, but woman is not.  Woman is a secondary creation made from man, and so another interpretation says that she is superior because she is the only one who ultimately is _not_ made from dirt (or clay).


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 12 Apr 2016 at 20:10
I think many people have a hard time wrapping their head around the truth that equality is a luxury afforded by material wealth or special conditions such as friendly natural environments.

For the pastoral society that produced the Abrahamic tradition tribal survival depended on females behaving differently than males.  The fact that females were essencially the most valuable property of males insured that their reproductive capacity was both maximized and protected.  The religious traditions that evolved out of the harsh realities of pastoral life only existed to make that life more emotionally palpable.  The cultures that didn't have as rigorous of codes are extinct which is proof of their practicality if not their abstract morality.  What the Abrahamic religions have proven to be good at if nothing else is surviving and multiplying.


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 13 Apr 2016 at 14:06
ummm.  I don't know about "_only_ existed."  Life was harder in some ways, but easier in others.  One doesn't have heroin, or speed, or hard alcohol in antiquity.  One has one's tribe which gives a great deal of meaning to the member, a particular "place" in the world.  Like Lawrence of Arabia said, every Arab has a tribe.  Well, we are talking about another tribe, that has existed for, what, 4000 years?  If truth is pragmatic, whatever would get results, I would say the ancient Israelites have some kind of truth.  Whether that translates into Israelis might be another question.  But they definitely have an impact on the modern world, way out of proportion to their numbers.

We might not like the Biblical world (although we don't really know or understand their world), but I bet there are some anorexic heroin waifs enslaved to pimps and porn in our world who would prefer such order and structure that tribal life provides.  Of course, part of that is the grass is always green on the other side of the fence, but part of it is that all this "freedom" makes it so that, in reality, it can't get any worse.


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 13 Apr 2016 at 17:42
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

ummm.  I don't know about "_only_ existed."  Life was harder in some ways, but easier in others.  One doesn't have heroin, or speed, or hard alcohol in antiquity.  One has one's tribe which gives a great deal of meaning to the member, a particular "place" in the world.  Like Lawrence of Arabia said, every Arab has a tribe.  Well, we are talking about another tribe, that has existed for, what, 4000 years?  If truth is pragmatic, whatever would get results, I would say the ancient Israelites have some kind of truth.  Whether that translates into Israelis might be another question.  But they definitely have an impact on the modern world, way out of proportion to their numbers.

We might not like the Biblical world (although we don't really know or understand their world), but I bet there are some anorexic heroin waifs enslaved to pimps and porn in our world who would prefer such order and structure that tribal life provides.  Of course, part of that is the grass is always green on the other side of the fence, but part of it is that all this "freedom" makes it so that, in reality, it can't get any worse.

It is indeed shocking that a bronze age tribal myth should have so much influence in the 21st century Smile

Many atheists seem to go spasmodic over the whole thing.


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 15 Apr 2016 at 16:40
Give me that ol' time religion.
If it was good enough for Kali
although embracing her's a folly,
then, by golly, 
it is good enough for me.
<grin>

atheists seem to be fairly optimistic about human nature, they seem to believe that people will act decently if there are no threats for bad behavior (hell) and no rewards to good behavior (heaven).
They should note that while it may be true that they, individually, have a good temperment for acting decently, many of those whom they are trying to persuade don't.


Posted By: caldrail
Date Posted: 15 Apr 2016 at 23:06
People's outlook is to do with their personality, not their beliefs. Even in one religion, such as Christianity, you find good tempered charitable positive individuals as well as bigoted zealots seeking absolution in one form or another, and everyone inbetween. Another bell curve, just as in any other religion or non-religion, if you see what I mean.

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Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 17 Apr 2016 at 13:15
Heraclitus of Ephesus said that, "character is destiny."  But I think that certain types of belief attract certain characters, and certain types of behavior come from certain characters.  They reinforce each other.  If you believe that you have something to lose, there is less chance of you going, so to speak, off the reservation.
Nowadays, the new atheists seem to be speaking for the atheist community. of course the atheist community is wider than that, but those who are loudest these days are the new atheists.  Dawkins, Hutchins (rip), etc.  


Posted By: caldrail
Date Posted: 17 Apr 2016 at 22:11
Quote But I think that certain types of belief attract certain characters

I wouldn't place too much faith on that paradigm (pun intended). Whilst it is true that "birds of a feather flock together", human society is not as conformal as you seem to believe. It's that bell curve thing again. You get an average majority, and extremist minorities. The problem is that the more radical elements are likely to be more motivated and more willing to risk themselves to achieve their ends - which are not necessarily the same as those of the average membership - as the average are 'running with the herd' more often than not, rarely pious, even to the extent of simply lip service to their beliefs for the sake of a quiet life.

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Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 18 Apr 2016 at 02:20
loving this thread 


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 24 Apr 2016 at 09:59
Wolfie, I am not sure why a bronze age myth _shouldn't_ have influence in the 21st century.  It has a lot of inertia, built up over 3000 years, and frankly, I don't think human nature has changed that much.

Of course, one way to get rid of it, is to kill off anyone who believes in it.  That is what the National Socialists tried to do quickly and what the Communists tried to do slowly.  I think atheists are discouraged that religion has not just faded away, like they predicted.  Little do they realize that the Nazis and the commies also were pushing in their own ways, for a Brave New World.


Posted By: caldrail
Date Posted: 24 Apr 2016 at 22:01
In fact the National Socialists - I assume you mean the Third Reich - were developing a pagan religion based on their skewed vision of their Aryan tribal past. The SS headquarters was being developed as the centre of this new faith which was already being taught to recruits by the wars end.

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Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 25 Apr 2016 at 16:21
Yeah, believing that religion is something that is (or could be) just made up is an atheistic thang.
The 1000 year Reich was not a mighty vision, it was a delusion that lasted about a decade and its "religion" had no staying power once the reich disappeared.  The two greatest characteristics of religion are how they endure for 100s or 1000s of years and how they change, transforming and adding layers.


Posted By: caldrail
Date Posted: 26 Apr 2016 at 03:04
I don't see how reinvented pagan beliefs are atheist. That's a contradiction. Since all religions are ritual and mythos imposed on peoples desires for reassurance and communal spirit - literally none have any reality to them, no matter what they demand or suggest - and often represent an individuals control over society by manipulation, atheism is merely a rejection of anyone else's world-view that does not offer anything superior (essentially any atheist with a smug attitude about knowing better than the faithful is no different to a believer being smug that their faith will prevail)

Now that might sound odd since I have a form of spiritualist belief myself, but then many would assume I'm atheist. Or a devil worshipper mwuahahahahaaaaaaaa!!!!! Of course I'm not. It's all superstition and emotional control.

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Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 27 Apr 2016 at 12:48
"reinvented?" or invented?  Religion is not just a matter of inventing something that sounds good, or heavy, or light or however you want to characterize your invention.  I wouldn't consider a flim flam man preaching slavation (or salvation) for the sake of his own personal income or power to be "religious."  The Nazis were into Nietzsche's will to power, if they worshipped anything, it was power, perhaps cloaked in teutonic "religion," but in its core cynically atheistic and relativistic, except for the will to power.

Put it this way, you have a cult, is the cult leader really religious?  or is he opportunistically, cynically using the appearance of religion for the sake of his own power trip?  But, maybe you think that that is all there is to religion.


Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 27 Apr 2016 at 13:09
All religion is belief in some invisible being thought by believers to have immense powers. That some people will be taken in by the rhetoric of so-called spiritual leaders is an indication of the leaders charisma and powers of persuasion.

Show me something tangible and maybe I'll believe in it.


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From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.(Chief Joseph)


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 27 Apr 2016 at 16:04
Some forms of buddhism don't believe in a god or gods, probably the majority.  Do you doubt that there are intelligent people who are sincere in their beliefs.  Or is everybody a mark?

Maybe if you believed in something, I could show you something tangible;)  I am not interested in proving anything for you.  If you want to find out more, I am sure you can.  If you have a tradition, then great.
The theologian Paul Tillich roughly said that the desire to prove the existence of God is just as atheistic as the desire to disprove God's existence.  (that is not an exact quote, but you get the point.)  Point is, he felt the desire to prove God was as bad as the desire to disprove God.  If God is not a "thing" like every other thing, but is rather the grounding for things, including sentient beings, then how could you "prove" God the way you would prove that rabbits exist?  Do you want to come up with a definition of God and see if you can find something that matches? <grin> 
Or maybe God is like the title of this thread, a mighty vision that we only very imperfectly understand, even after 1000s of years, or especially because religions are measured in 100s if not the 1000s of years, something that "we" really don't well comprehend.  Those who (directly) have that vision are called prophets, something exceedingly rare.  But something that has existed at certain times in history, even if there are none around today, or none that I know of.  Then again, I believe in supervolcanoes and TZOs (neutron stars inside of red giants) even though I have never seen them.  Thank goodness, because when Yellowstone goes up, Denver will probably be too close.  I imagine that prophets also are fraught with danger.


Posted By: caldrail
Date Posted: 28 Apr 2016 at 02:57
Quote But, maybe you think that that is all there is to religion.

organised religion is an exercise in social conformity and control, either for communal continuity, societal morality, or merely to exploit the faithful. It has always been that way. Even with less organised religions there is a tendency to emphasise these traits, as shamans and witchdoctors often discover how much influence they have. Simple socities tend to suffer less from this - it is the presence of potential reward and profit that encourages human failings.

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Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 28 Apr 2016 at 10:54
I have a friend who says, "I don't believe in organized religion, I'm Orthodox (Christian)."  I have to agree, "my" Sunday school class is like herding cats.  Like here on the worldhistoria forum, people don't so much reply to what you say, as they respond to what you say.  People feel free to say that they don't agree with x, y or z, and you know, they may be advocating some traditional "heresy."  But nobody stones them, or forces them out, nor even usually comments on it.  A religion may be travelling in a certain "direction," but to call it organized is usually something else entirely:)  


Posted By: caldrail
Date Posted: 30 Apr 2016 at 00:40
Organised religion is one supported by an official hierarchy, so I doubt your friend is being entirely objective, or is one of the large number that pay lip service to religion whilst not engaging in it. Many label themselves as belonging to one faction or another without active interest, or sometimes, even active empathy of conformity. If he didn't believe in orgainsed religion - why does he classify his beliefs as conformal to part of the organisation of Christianity?

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http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 30 Apr 2016 at 04:07
No, he wasn't entirely objective, but neither is anyone else.  He was being humorous, and I think his point was that Orthodoxy is a disorganized religion, not an unorganized religion.  "Organized" implies that there is someone who know and understands what's going on, someone in "control."


Posted By: caldrail
Date Posted: 01 May 2016 at 21:44
Orthodoxy is a disorganised religion? Nonsense. Orthodoxy, by definition, described conformity, and conformity can only occur until a membership agrees or is coerced into adhering to a standard, which requires organisation. He might convincingly claim his views are relatively orthodox in nature, but the grammar is important. The word 'orthodoxy' implies organisation. Again, by definition, the use of the word 'religion' as opposed to the phrase 'religious beliefs' implies organisation too.

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