Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

Thinky Thoughts

15 Comments

Sometimes I have thinky thoughts that really probably are better left alone.  Questions arise in my mind that probably really have no answer, at least not yet, and maybe never.  I know I’m not alone in this.

My thinky, thoughtful question of the day:  Why is that the creationist has no trouble believing that there is a God, that that God spoke and everything was created, and that that God did all the things attributed to Him in the Bible, but that stuff just couldn’t simply be here, like DNA?  DNA couldn’t just be.  According to creationists something or someone had to have made DNA.

The things that are here, tadpoles, fish, grass, trees, dogs, lizards, people couldn’t have possibly evolved.  Yet they have no trouble believing that God was just here.   Nothing or noone created Him.  He just was.  How come stuff that’s here couldn’t be just like that?  Why does there have to be a creator for there to be things?

This is not my way of putting a spin on the “who created God” thing.  I just don’t understand why it’s so far-fetched to subscribe to evolution, but a no brainer to think there’s a God the just said, “Let there be _____.”, and there was.

::sarcasm:: I’m very scientific ::sarcasm::.  That is all.

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15 thoughts on “Thinky Thoughts

  1. Creationists are masters of cogniitve dissonance. Swing by the Answers in Genesis website sometime if you need a chuckle.

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  2. What Ahab said, partly. But also… people have a strong innate tendency to perceive events as having a sentient cause. (There's a technical term for it, but I can't think of it right now and I'm too lazy to look it up.) It's basically why almost anything with the right arrangement – like the front of a car – looks like a face to us, and why people tend to, say, yell at stoplights for turning red just as we get to them. We have trouble with the idea of things just happening; we tend to expect things to happen as the result of thinking beings, with goals and motivations, exercising some sort of will. Creation gives us such a being. Sure, He's incomprehensible, self-contradictory, and quite possibly insane by normal human standards, but He's still a thinking entity. Evolution, on the other hand, marks us as the random result of natural processes, and for a lot of people I think that's just very hard to accept on an instinctual level. We don't tend to wonder, "How did this happen? What processes were involved?" We tend to wonder, "Who did this, and why?"

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  3. As far as I can see, no scientist has yet been able to explain how something can come from nothing. Even Stephen Hawking in his book, The Grand Design, speculates the universe popping into existence within a quantum vacuum (whatever that is), which apparently isn't nothing. And while evolution gets us really far back into the development of life, it's not actually an explanation for biogenesis, or (I think?) the genesis of DNA. We have complete nothingness and then…a universe…and life! All that to say, as incomprehensible and self-contradictory the Christian God is, there's not evidence as of yet for how life or the universe actually got going. I sit between two seemingly impossible alternatives and scratch my head. I just really don't know.

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  4. Do you watch Mr. Diety, btw? It's on youtube, quite hilarious, and the most recent episode illustrates how convoluted and incomprehensible the literally reading of Genesis is with respect to God existing in a timeless void and then creating the universe.

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  5. I think DoOrDoNot pretty much sums up the attitude of most of the creationists I know. Religion offers final answers, science by its very nature can't. And I agree with Michael Mock that "people have a strong innate tendency to perceive events as having a sentient cause." Combine those two things and you have theism. And I don't see theism going away any time soon.

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  6. I can actual accept the concept of a god bringing the universe into existence, because, if the universe exists when it ought not to, then why couldn't a god have that same courtesy extended to it?To me, the largest leap of blind faith is made in the acceptance that God perfectly knew everything before it even existed. Everything in life points to the fact that knowledge like that comes from experience. In that sense, although not at all Biblical, I could see a god learning how to create life in the trial-and-error laboratory of evolution.

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  7. I've done quite a bit of reading over at AIG. You know what's funny, Ahab? Before I started really thinking about things all the Answers sounded pretty dang good. I used to readily accept Ken Ham's trope. I really believed it all was stared back in Genesis. It frightens me how much of a sheep I was.I completely see your point, Michael Mock. I definitely have the tendency to believe that things have a sentient cause. When the all the traffic lights catch me when I'm already late for work I have the tendency to say "the traffic gods are against me" or "I must have killed a robin in a former life". These are, of course, said in jest. But the idea is still there that someone caused these events. "We don't tend to wonder, "How did this happen? What processes were involved?" We tend to wonder, "Who did this, and why?" I think because we, ourselves, are creative beings we tend to think in these terms. We do want to know the who, where and why of it all.No, I don't watch Mr. Diety on a regular basis, though I have seen some of the clips. I'll have to check that out, DoOrDoNot. I find myself in the same quandry you mention. It isn't that I have a difficult time thinking there possibly is a God that set this whole thing in motion. I guess where I am spiritually at the moment could be termed a Deist. Well, sometimes. Other times not so much. It's not so much that I can't relate to the belief that there is a creator of sorts, it's that I can't understand why those who do believe that think that's such a forgone conclusion and seem shocked that someone could think otherwise.As a side note, I did come across interesting article recently:http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-08/building-blocks-life-can-originate-spaceNo, DougB theism isn't going away, probably ever. I'm not sure that would make the world a better place. I've got no beef with people believing in God. My beef is with people acting hateful because they think they are the apple of his eye and everyone else is going to hell in a handbag. And they seem as if they'd like to help that process along. :(As I said earlier, TWF, it's not as if I cant accept or relate to the concept itself, it's more of questioning why those who do accept that concept believe it is the default position. And much like you the greater leap of faith I have is in distinguishing that God from, say, the wind.

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  8. As well said earlier in the comments, we seek agency. We are also pattern seekers, witness 'Jesus appears on toast' stories. We seek the comfort of knowing rather than the discomfort of not knowing, so 'Goddidit' gives us the knowing (not really, but what the hey, it works if ya don't think too hard). We learn 'Goddidit' from the big powerful adults who feed and care for us when we are helpless tykes. We have an evolved need to belong to the group. These things (and no doubt others I haven't thought of) in concert produce an intractable conviction.Yet there is a true 'I don't know' at the beginning of things. While this may seem equivalent to 'God is a mystery', it is not. The former piques further investigation (and even if the journey cannot be completed, the journey has its own value independent of the destination), the latter lulls the mind into a contented 'knowing without knowing'.

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  9. I read one christian apologetic who ascribed to the sentient cause. He claimed that children always ask 'who' and that it isn't until one is an adult he or she begins to ask 'what processes'. This apologetic claimed that children were right all along and that adults had to leave the convoluted processes of thinking behind to get closer to God. At the time it seemed reasonable, but I was trying to hold onto a belief in God, not question why certain questions weren't to be asked.

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  10. It took me a long time to realize that "I don't know" was as good an answer as any and a complete sentence, Exrelayman. I certainly don't consider "I don't know" to be the equivalent to "God is a mystery". "I don't know" begs further investigation. "God is a mystery" means "now stop that thinking and behave". %~}Yeah, prairie, I bought the same line as a true believer. It sounds good and for someone who just wants to believe it's proof that we're created with a God-sized hole in our hearts. Though by that same logic we should all just stay six and believe in Santa and the Tooth Fairy for the rest of our lives. I realized that when I really stopped to think about it.

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  11. Well, here's the thing. Most cosmologists accept the big bang theory concerning the origin of the universe. The universe that we know is not eternal (always here.) It began at a certain point in space and time.But, Christians believe that God is eternal. He is the alpha and omega, without beginning or end. He exists outside of space and time. Of course, many people of faith do not see evolution as incapable with creation, but would see evolutionary process as the means God used in creation.Just seeing the complexity of the creation, and the precise variables needed to sustain life on this planet, there's no way, it seems reasonable to me to think this happened from essentially nothing by happenstance.What does everyone think about the hypothesis proposed by the late Dr. Francis Crick that aliens may have seeded DNA on the planet?Rebecca.

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  12. Well, Rebecca, I just don't even know what to say about that. Yes, many Christians do reconcile evolution with faith. And if that were the obstacle to my faith I probably would have no trouble doing that too.

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  13. @ Micheal Mock: Are you thinking of "Agent Detection"?

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  14. @ D'Ma: I love that phrase, "Thinky thoughts"! I might be forced to steal it.The best explanation I've heard on the subject is this: While every natural thing has a cause (and therefore the universe must have a cause), God is not natural, but supernatural, and supernatural things do not need to have causes.I say that's the best explanation I've heard, but I still don't think it's a very good one. For instance, how does one know supernatural things do not need to have causes? etc. etc.

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  15. @Paul Sunstone,Steal away! I stole it from someone else, but can't remember just who or I'd give them proper credit for it.

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