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I have come across some interesting articles that don't easily fit into the Religion Is Crazy or The Beauty In Religion threads that sometimes relate to religion or the intersection of science and religion so I thought I would start a new thread so that these can be discussed.

- - - Updated - - -

Newly translated and pre-Biblical tablet details a great flood, and a “rescue boat” with animals put aboard””in pairs!

We’ve known since at least 1872 that the Great Flood detailed in Genesis is a descendant of earlier flood myths from Mesopotamia. And there may be some credibility to the presence of at least some serious floods then, based on the fact that Mesopotamia is a giant flood plain and some archeological evidence for a big flood around 5000 BC. But what we didn’t know until now is that those earlier flood myths also incorporated a boat onto which local animals were sequestered to save them””two by two! More......

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/newly-translated-and-pre-biblical-tablet-details-a-great-flood-and-a-rescue-boat-with-animals-put-aboard-in-pairs/
 
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Well done, bellenuit.

Now we can pick that apart :)
 
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What a staggering website to put this article on "Why Evolution is True"

Not too sure about the dates of Genesis too. Would have thought it was written closer to 1,400BC rather than around 500BC that they quote in the article. But a flood occurring in 5000BC supports the Genesis account.

If anything this account supports the Genesis flood account. So many independent ancient cultures have accounts of some sort of a global flood occurring around the 5000BC time. This would support the strength of the argument. All these cultures in agreeance with one another.

I thought your article must have been a creationist one. Bizarre that it's on an evolution website when it actually supports some sort of flood account!

I guess people tend to whack up a bunch of text and draw whatever conclusion they want! Weird.
 
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What a staggering website to put this article on "Why Evolution is True"
Since the Biblical account of Noah contradicts what we know of the evolution and migration of plants and animals, any article that emphasises the falseness of the Noah story would seem appropriate for a site called "Why Evolution Is True"

But a flood occurring in 5000BC supports the Genesis account.

If anything this account supports the Genesis flood account. So many independent ancient cultures have accounts of some sort of a global flood occurring around the 5000BC time. This would support the strength of the argument. All these cultures in agreeance with one another.
Except that most Biblical scholars date Noah's flood at around 2500BC

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2012/03/09/feedback-timeline-for-the-flood

Also this......

According to the Jewish historian Josephus, Irish archbishop and chronologist James Ussher, Bible historians and most conservative Christian scholars, the Flood of Noah's time occurred between 2500 BC and 2300 BC.

http://www.creationtips.com/flooddate.html

And accounts from various cultures of a great flood (global is putting it too strongly - their globe only consisted of the world that was accessible to their civilisation - in other words an area of probably 1000 km in radius at most) is vastly different to the myth of Noah's flood, which details the saving of all animals in existence by putting two of each on an ark. Yes, there were many floods as one would expect since Mesopotamia is a giant flood plain. Not surprising that stories of great floods would be common place.

What the article shows is that many of the stories of the Bible are just recreations of stories that were already part of theist mythologies relating to gods that had preceded the god of Abraham. Thus, as I detailed in a previous post, we have many god stories that include; virgin births, god trinities, atonement for sins of the world, being put to death and rising again (often 3 days later) etc. And as this article shows, it would appear that Noah's flood, though contrary to everything we know about the evolution and migration of animals, is also a copy of a previous theist myth.
 
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I thought I would start a new thread so that these can be discussed.
Bellenuit, excellent thread since science and religion seem to be coming together as we start thinking outside the box. I hope this thread grows and develops.

It's a damned shame that ignorant morons decided to burn down the Library of Alexandria in 391 AD or whenever. How many of today's questions would be answered if we had access to the documents it held? How much more advanced would we be today if brainless thugs hadn't held us back by executing intellectuals and burning books?

I remember the young Normie Rowe (aka the "Carnal Knowlege Boy" ... Ahhh, the days when "Carnal Knowlege" was a crime. Nowadays it's virtually compulsory. :rolleyes:) singing his version of "It Ain't Necessarily So" from the 1959 movie Porgy and Bess. The church people at the time thought it was the work of the Devil. Our understanding of the Old Testament has changed a lot since those days.


 
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Another example of creation and evolution working conjointly:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/10584380/Why-robot-sex-could-be-the-future-of-life-on-earth.html

Ultimately, the question whether self-reproducing robots will evolve or not boils down to the capability of artificial intelligence systems to self-improve. Only then could the “brains” of the robotic factory build evolved robots without the need of human designers.

It’s already happening. Machine learning has been around for years. New algorithms for data analysis, combined with increasing computer power and interconnectedness, means that intelligent machines will be able to comprehend massive amounts of contextual information. They would not only be able to understand what a piece of information is about, but how it relates to other information. The capability to understand correlations and get “the big picture” could potentially enable them to set their own goals. Already there are autonomous robotic systems that do that, military drones being an example. Self-improvement could be next.

Perhaps by exploring and learning about human evolution, intelligent machines will come to the conclusion that sex is the best way for them to evolve. Rather than self-replicating, like amoebas, they may opt to simulate sexual reproduction with two, or indeed innumerable, sexes.

Sex would defend them from computer viruses (just as biological sex may have evolved to defend organisms from parasitical attack), make them more robust and accelerate their evolution. Software engineers already use so-called “genetic algorithms” that mimic evolution.

Nanotechnologists, like Eric Drexler, see the future of intelligent machines at the level of molecules: tiny robots that evolve and – like in Lem’s novel – come together to form intelligent superorganisms. Perhaps the future of artificial intelligence will be both silicon- and carbon-based: digital brains directing complex molecular structures to copulate at the nanometre level and reproduce. Perhaps the cyborgs of the future may involve human participation in robot sexual reproduction, and the creation of new, hybrid species.

If that is the future, then we may have to reread Paley’s Natural Theology and take notice. Not in the way that creationists do, but as members of an open society that must face up to the possible ramifications of our technology. Unlike natural evolution, where high-level consciousness and intelligence evolved late as by-products of cerebral development in mammals, in robotic evolution intelligence will be the guiding force. Butler will be vindicated. Brains will come before bodies. Robotic evolution will be Intelligent Design par excellence. The question is not whether it may happen or not, but whether we would want it to happen.
Anyone for "robot porn"? :)
 
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Another example of creation and evolution working conjointly
As well as robots eventually having enough intelligence to "create" their own futures, humans are also now at a stage where they are no longer dependent on the two fundamentals of evolution - random mutation combined with natural selection. With our current knowledge of DNA and the current state of medical technology, man may soon be in a position to alter the DNA of our offspring to add desirable traits or eliminate undesirable traits. Random mutation may only partly determine what our offspring turn out to be. Natural selection is a probability game that favours certain traits over time, but if we know the environment under which natural selection operates, we can also load the dice in our favour by ensuring our offspring have those traits that are likely to be favoured.

Whether this will be good or bad is hard to say. But it is something that will happen whether we like it or not.
 
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I remember the young Normie Rowe (aka the "Carnal Knowlege Boy" ... Ahhh, the days when "Carnal Knowlege" was a crime. Nowadays it's virtually compulsory. :rolleyes:) singing his version of "It Ain't Necessarily So" from the 1959 movie Porgy and Bess. The church people at the time thought it was the work of the Devil. Our understanding of the Old Testament has changed a lot since those days.
That's a song I have known all my life but never paid attention to the words until I played the links you gave. Though I can see why conservative Australians at the time might have been shocked by the words, I am surprised that it survived in the ultra conservative Bible belt USA. Looking at the history of the opera on Wikipedia, there doesn't seem to be any mention of controversy surrounding that song. Perhaps they were more liberal in 1935.
 
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Another example of creation and evolution working conjointly:

Nanotechnologists, like Eric Drexler, see the future of intelligent machines at the level of molecules: tiny robots that evolve and – like in Lem’s novel – come together to form intelligent superorganisms. Perhaps the future of artificial intelligence will be both silicon- and carbon-based: digital brains directing complex molecular structures to copulate at the nanometre level and reproduce. Perhaps the cyborgs of the future may involve human participation in robot sexual reproduction, and the creation of new, hybrid species.
It may more likely be a graphene (carbon) and carbon future with the way things are progressing with our understanding of graphene. It will hopefully replace silicon in the not too distant future, help to make batteries recahrgable within seconds, has already allowed a 2/3 reduction in the size of super capacitors used within cameras and can hopefully be scaled up for grid storage based batteries. Back in 2010 they got graphene based transistors running at 300GHz and expect them to allow terra hertz frequencies. Combine those speed increases with whatever transistor size reductions we can get from current lithography processes and improvements in programming we might very well get the holy grail of AI good enough to fool a person in a conversation.

As well as robots eventually having enough intelligence to "create" their own futures, humans are also now at a stage where they are no longer dependent on the two fundamentals of evolution - random mutation combined with natural selection. With our current knowledge of DNA and the current state of medical technology, man may soon be in a position to alter the DNA of our offspring to add desirable traits or eliminate undesirable traits. Random mutation may only partly determine what our offspring turn out to be. Natural selection is a probability game that favours certain traits over time, but if we know the environment under which natural selection operates, we can also load the dice in our favour by ensuring our offspring have those traits that are likely to be favoured.

Whether this will be good or bad is hard to say. But it is something that will happen whether we like it or not.
Makes me fear we're heading towards the star trek future of the Eugenics Wars, or maybe Gattaca where where non genetically modified people become second class citizens. The utlimate class warfare that might mean within a few generations we have homo sapiens sapiens trying to coexist with homo sapiens enhanced.

There's also the issue of the hundreds to thousands of viruses that have inserted their genetic code into our DNA. Too much tinkering around and we may accidentally reactive a virus that has not been in the wild for tens of thousands of years, maybe longer.

I do look forward to a future where heart surgery is generally an injection into the heart of heart stem cells that repair the damage, same with getting a new tooth, kidney, liver etc. Scientists have already done a 3D printing of a mini kidney.

I just hope it's not a future like Elysium that we're headed for.
 
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Full Show: Neil deGrasse Tyson on Science, Religion and the Universe

[video=vimeo;84349929]http://vimeo.com/84349929#embed[/video]
With respect to DB008, I'm posting a reply here because I think this is the more appropriate thread for it. Here is the link to the original site that enables Full Screen view:
http://billmoyers.com/episode/full-show-neil-degrasse-tyson-on-science-religion-and-the-universe/

Excellent discussion, especially from about 16:45
"So, this whole sort of reinterpretation of the, how figurative the poetic passages of the Bible are came after science showed that this is not how things unfolded. And so the educated religious people are perfectly fine with that. It's the fundamentalists who want to say that the Bible is the literally, literal truth of God, that and want to see the Bible as a science textbook, who are knocking on the science doors of the schools, trying to put that content in the science room. Enlightened religious people are not behaving that way. So saying that science is cool, we're good with that, and use the Bible for, to get your spiritual enlightenment and your emotional fulfillment."

The Bible is not a science textbook and should not be treated as such. The Old Testament is probably best seen as an attempt to explain to the simple minded people of 2000+ years ago how we got here, using the best knowledge available at the time, as well as giving them some basic laws to live by and a carrot and stick approach to encouraging them to abide by them, in the absence of a sophisticated policing and legal system.

Two interesting programs on how to think of Old Testament stories:
The Prophets - Part One http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01mlxh2
1/2 The story of Jonah and Isaiah, two of the prophets of Old Testament and their ideas

The Prophets - Part Two http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01mzmnr
2/2 The stories of the Prophets Miriam and Elijah of the Old Testament

-------
These days, only fools dismiss fanciful ideas that they cannot understand, as impossible, and I believe it's best to keep an open mind about the Bible.

Since the introduction of String Theory and Edward Witten's M-theory in the '90s, there has been a growing consensus that multiple universes probably exist, but there is much debate about their nature and size. In that recent documentary "How Small Is the Universe?" it was suggested that a particle as small as a grain of sand could be an entire universe in itself. Mind bending!

Many scientists are convinced that with so many stars and planets in our universe, life as we know it must exist on another planet somewhere, but so far not one skerrick of evidence for it has been found.

It seems to me more likely that intelligent life, NOT as we know it, exists in a neighbouring universe in higher as yet undetected dimensions, and that it can travel between universes and may be responsible for life here on Earth.

Cold Spots were recently identified in the map of the cosmic background radiation generated from the data from the Planck satellite, which are thought to be evidence of collisions between other universes and ours as it formed during the Big Bang.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...ence-multiverse-revealed-time-cosmic-map.html

M-theory physicists have speculated that gravitons, particles thought to carry the force of gravity, may "leak" into the fifth or higher dimensions, which would explain why our gravity is significantly weaker than the other three fundamental forces. By what path are they leaking I wonder?

Is our universe connected somehow to a neighbouring universe? In science fiction movies we've seen "space portals" through which the heroes move back and forth between worlds. Could they be possible?

Remember how science fiction often becomes science fact. H. G. Wells' fanciful space travel to the Moon, and his Martian death ray are now realities.
http://www.army.mil/article/116740/...sfully_demonstrated_against_multiple_targets/
 
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Makes me fear we're heading towards the star trek future of the Eugenics Wars, or maybe Gattaca where where non genetically modified people become second class citizens. The utlimate class warfare that might mean within a few generations we have homo sapiens sapiens trying to coexist with homo sapiens enhanced.

There's also the issue of the hundreds to thousands of viruses that have inserted their genetic code into our DNA. Too much tinkering around and we may accidentally reactive a virus that has not been in the wild for tens of thousands of years, maybe longer.

I do look forward to a future where heart surgery is generally an injection into the heart of heart stem cells that repair the damage, same with getting a new tooth, kidney, liver etc. Scientists have already done a 3D printing of a mini kidney.

I just hope it's not a future like Elysium that we're headed for.
A genetically modified world with more intelligent people and fewer violent thugs would be nice.

As for Elysium, that's quite possible where we're heading. :(
Eighty-five people control the same amount of wealth as half the world's population (3.5 billion).
http://www.smh.com.au/business/richest-85-boast-same-wealth-as-half-the-world-20140120-314vk.html
 
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I'd need even one scientific example of life coming from non-life to believe that this is possible. Not one has ever been observed thus I have to follow the current scientific evidence that life does not come from non-life.

Speculation is always fun and interesting but I can't draw my conclusions based on them. I need tangible scientific evidence.
 
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