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  • PJ,

    I guess your last message was on your profile, rather than our conversation page? I dunno.

    Either way, I agree that if a creator (or whatever) existed outside our universe, then if there was intelligent life in our universe, that life would know about this creator if it chose to reveal itself to that life.
    Hi Jose,
    I am not saying that there has to be a difference... but rather, going back to me original hypothesis, that a creator that is outside the universe can only be known if it reveals itself to its creation.. that life capable of abstract thought and reason would be necessary to comprehend that revelation.


    Six "Uniquely" Human Traits Now Found in Animals

    And other primates also show different levels of abstract thought.

    I agree that a god could do what you describe (create life able to think and reason). That's the thing with gods...they can do anything you imagine.

    But the alternative here is that traits like abstract thought are natural traits that have naturally evolved in different groups of organisms. So how do we tell the difference?

    Yes, humans are different than other life forms, but not "fundamentally" so. Anatomically we're very, very similar to other primates (we even still have anatomical features that are indicative of our tree-dwelling past). And while we have greater cognitive abilities than any other organisms, that doesn't mean we're the only ones with any cognitive abilities at all. For example, other apes are self-aware, can learn, can teach, can reason, have morality, and even show signs of a sense of "awe" in certain situations.

    So while we have those traits to greater extents, they aren't exclusive to us.
    No, I don't know of any life without DNA/RNA. But that doesn't mean having either is a requirement for "life".

    Scientists have developed self-replicating molecules that don't have DNA or RNA, but they don't metabolize either, so they aren't considered "alive".
    ok, do you know of any life that doesn't have dna/rna? I am not aware of any, but would be certainly curious to examine such. And I'm glad you'll accept my usage of 'code' in a casual sense . ;)
    Not really. Within biology there is considerable debate over what is "life". But in general, the most common view is that "life" must be able to replicate, metabolize, and evolve. Having DNA (or not) isn't a consideration.

    As far as DNA being a code, it really isn't in a strict sense. A code is a series of arbitrary symbols that represent something. Genetic codons aren't arbitrary and are part of a series of chemical reactions. With that said however, if you want to refer to DNA as a "code" in a casual sense, I'm fine with that.

    Yes, I agree that there was a time when life first appeared on earth, and that scientists have not been able to fully replicate a step by step process that goes from constituent molecules to full life.
    If your argument is that is it rational to hypothesize that something outside the universe caused the universe to exist, because that something has revealed itself to us, then you need to demonstrate how it has done so.

    No, I'm saying it's not rational to conclude that something outside our universe caused it to exist, since we have no evidence of anything existing outside the universe.

    Probably the most rational answer is "We don't really know".

    No, because as far as we can tell, there isn't anything besides our universe. Thus there's no rational basis for concluding that something outside of it caused it to exist.

    The reason I have never found these appeals to the beginning of the universe compelling is that they are usually a version of the "God of the Gaps" argument, where the fact that we don't know exactly what caused the universe to come into existence becomes justification for invoking whatever mystical entity a person happens to believe in.

    But the fact that we don't know something now isn't IMO justification for concluding that gods are the answer. History shows that eventually those gaps in our knowledge get filled in and not once has a god been the answer.

    So sorry, I don't see how appealing to gods to explain the origin of the universe is "more rational" than our current scientific understanding, or even just saying "I don't know", especially given our history of being too quick in invoking the gods.

    Yep, the evidence strongly points to our universe having a beginning (and btw, it's actually about 13.7 billion years ago).

    No worries, I'm certainly not in any hurry.

    Just a note...I am very familiar with all the creationist apologetics and such, and I'm also a scientist (biology), so please be cautious about posting any sort of appeals to science. To be completely up front, I have very little tolerance for people who parrot scientific-sounding arguments they don't really understand and cant' discuss.
    Amen. Truth cannot change because the Author of Truth is immutable God. These people are Open Theists who believe God Himself changes. That is the root of their error regarding the Gospel message.
    The answers to your questions appear in two of my discussions:

    God does not choose based upon merit of man as this would give man reason to boast, contrary to Scripture. God chooses according to His own good pleasure and glory and not because He saw something "good" in the choices of His creatures. Prevenient grace is the stuff of Arminianism and Catholicism.

    Also, do not confuse foreknowledge with causation. See:

    I'm fairly agnostic/apathetic about any sort of "greater something" that caused the universe to exist. But I don't see any reason to believe any gods were involved.

    I see the universe as entirely indifferent to our existence. If H. sapiens were to go extinct tomorrow, the universe wouldn't skip a beat. If the God of Christianity were real, that's not what I would expect. According to what I was told, Christianity teaches that humans are the crown jewel in it's God's creation. That doesn't seem to be supported by anything we've discovered about the universe.

    So overall, while I'm mostly apathetic about "something greater", if pressed I'd eventually say I don't believe in any gods.
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