Synchronicity - great minds think alike?

I am an antitheist and have seen no evidence for the existence of any deity, yet I find myself strongly attracted to many natural phenomena, such as sunsets, starry nights, trees, rocks, seascapes and mountains, in what I experience as a ‘spiritual’ connection and I am a great believer in a zeitgeist that influences a culture/era greatly.


It is quite probable that my ‘spirituality’ is little more than human psychology. I am strongly attracted to things that aesthetically please me or pose feelings of wonder and awe. As a scientist I suspect that we will find a scientific reason for the effect of a zeitgeist. I feel sure that there is a lot to be discovered about the human mind and mass psychology. How it works I do not know, but I believe we will.


In terms of synchronicity – meaningful coincidences (Carl Jung) – I have encountered a number. Some come out of my scientific background and some are more trivial but were boggling.


In terms of the scientific ones: my mind was taken with the way certain scientific theories seemed to simultaneously arise in different places at the same time – Darwin/Wallace seems the obvious one. Alfred Russell Wallace and Charles Darwin were both independently developing the same radical theories of evolution via natural selection simultaneously. That is remarkable given the far-reaching impact and gigantic leap of such a theory. For two people to have happened upon it at the same time is almost beyond coincidence. As a one off we can write it off but there are numerous other scientific coincidences of a similar nature.


In a more trivial sense I remember being shaken by my roommate and great friend from college. We had many synchronous experiences and often found ourselves extolling the virtues of the same book that we had both started reading. In the long summer break I discovered this book by the Sci-fi writer Robert Sheckley, called Journey Beyond Tomorrow, that I was greatly enjoying. Pete rang me up and told me about this great book he was reading. It turned out we were both reading the same book at the same time and were about the same way through it. The same thing happened with East of Eden by John Steinbeck.


I love books and had a habit of browsing through second-hand bookshops. In one I discovered this art book of Edward Burra’s paintings. It looked as if it had been sitting there for years – dusty and a bit tatty. I’d never heard of him before but was immediately taken with his paintings of Harlem in the 1930s with its gangsters, pimps and ladies. The richness of colour and stylistic portrayal was unique. Clutching my prize I went back home to discover that BBC2 (we only had four channels back then) had a documentary on Edward Burra that evening. I watched that and discovered that there was an exhibition of his work on at the Tate gallery. The next day I was standing in front of his wonderful paintings. I have never seen any of his work, or heard anything about him since. A weird experience.


Coincidence? Quite probably – but sometimes it appears that these coincidences, which have occurred a number of times to me, are extraordinary. Is there some other phenomenon going on?


opher goodwin Added Aug 5, 2017 - 6:17am
What weird coincidences have happened in your lives?
john guzlowski Added Aug 5, 2017 - 7:15am
I can identify with this and will check out the artist.  
opher goodwin Added Aug 5, 2017 - 8:10am
You are welcome John. I loved his work.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 5, 2017 - 8:51am
A rich train of thought friend. So much to be mined here! Jung definitely had a profound insight. I have always been fascinated with his vision of the mind.
Dino Manalis Added Aug 5, 2017 - 9:16am
We humans constantly seek answers; hope; and reassurance, it's part of living!
opher goodwin Added Aug 5, 2017 - 9:18am
TBH - Jung and Freud both contributed greatly to understanding human minds. I wonder what the brain mapping will show up?
opher goodwin Added Aug 5, 2017 - 9:18am
Dino - I think we have evolved brains that always look for patterns and seek solutions.
Katharine Otto Added Aug 5, 2017 - 10:02am
Not-so-great minds think alike, too, as mob psychology shows.  Your train of thought closely approximates modern physics, which is a "quantum" leap from Newtonian physics.  This leap of understanding/faith recognizes that there is much we can't know about the universe and how it works, as long as we are dependent on our physical senses and instruments.
Freud, Einstein, and Karl Marx were contemporaries around 1900.  While they had different orientations, all three contributed to greater understanding of human nature and our place in the universe.  Jung, of course, was Freud's protege until their falling out.  In any case, they both had great respect for dreams, including mass dreams, and symbolic language generally.  Art is symbolic language, too.
The mystically oriented see the physical universe as illusion, created by the mass mind, what you call the zeitgeist.  No god need apply, if you contend the universe itself has consciousness.  Are space and time illusions, a "root assumption" of human beings?  
Anyway, I'm wondering if we as a species could solve our problems through mass dreams of solutions.  The Senoi tribe of Malaysia apparently used dreams very effectively to develop creativity and solve problems.  
I highly recommend "The Tao of Physics," by astrophysicist Fritjof Capra, which shows how modern physics corroborates many of the ancient beliefs of Oriental mystics.
opher goodwin Added Aug 5, 2017 - 10:23am
Thanks Katharine - fascinating - I'll check that out.
Ian Thorpe Added Aug 5, 2017 - 11:51am
I've encountered many weird coincidences, too many to list and enough to make me think there might be something in Rupert Sheldrake's theories on morphic fields though there is nothing solid to uphold those theories.
A haunted house story, which does not directly involve me, is interesting though. The house was owned at the time by my brother, a very down to earth type who had until then totally dismissed the supernatural. One night, soon after moving in he was awakened by his girlfriend (also not an excitable type) who whispered "Graham there's someone in the bedroom. He woke to see an elderly woman dressed in the style of the early twentieth century and with her hair in a bun, standing at the end of the bed. After a few moments the figure faded, they both reported.
On relating the experience to neighbours in the village, responses did not express disbelief but learned the ghost was well known in the village.
What interests me, to the extent that when doing a radio show around the time my profile pic was taken I had a scholar of the paranormal from Lancaster University as a guest to talk about it, is that as was the case with my brother's ghostly visitor when he and his girlfriend, both new to Aspatria, described the same experience as people they did not know, people of earlier generations, had described. My radio guest confirmed this is often the case.
opher goodwin Added Aug 5, 2017 - 11:52am
Ian, fascinating stuff.
Leroy Added Aug 5, 2017 - 2:46pm
Coincidences and synchronicity are more common than we might think.  According to Littlewood's Law, the odd's of a one in a million event happening to us in one in thirty-five days.  The most unusual days are the days when nothing unusual happens.  VSauce had an interesting video on the subject:
Spooky Coincidences
opher goodwin Added Aug 5, 2017 - 3:01pm
Thanks for that Leroy. Spooky business these coincidences.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 5, 2017 - 3:40pm
Remember the very, very end of Dark Side of the Moon?
There is no dark side of the moon, really. Matter of fact it's all dark.
There are no coincidences. There are from the standpoint of how we may perceive these things, but in the grand scheme of things everything that happens does so to some purpose. It is not for us to divine these things. We may seek for the answers and in so doing continue to learn, to grow, to evolve, yet there are ever more questions. Or perhaps it is to no purpose at all, just entirely random chaos. Perhaps purpose is, like gods, like myths, choose your belief system, nothing more than a human invention. Why must there be a purpose? For our own gratification or peace of mind? What makes us so damned special? Maybe we should just get over ourselves and just live. 
opher goodwin Added Aug 5, 2017 - 3:48pm
TBH - that's how I live my life Burghal. If there is some underlying reason, purpose or order then so be it. It'll accommodate me without me bothering it.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 5, 2017 - 4:02pm
Indeed! Thats rather the same manner in which I consider climate change! Now we understand each other. Maybe not agree, but understand nonetheless :) Not trying to stir the hornets nest, no need to reiterate your thoughts on the topic. I know what you believe.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 5, 2017 - 4:03pm
Jung absolutely tapped into something and I think even he knew that he had only scratched the surface of it.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 5, 2017 - 4:05pm
The laymans version of this comes to us from none other than Frank Zappa:  Ultimately who gives a fuck anyway?
mark henry smith Added Aug 5, 2017 - 4:16pm
I believe there is a something, call it a deity, call it a puff of wind, but there has been in my life some things that have happened that I can't explain except through the belief that there is some deeper connectedness of sentient beings, what Malcolm Gladwell calls, psychic resonance, the energy of thought, which could be the energy of a God-like being working through us.
It is in this belief system that I find and put all of my hope, for if thoughts can radiate out of our craniums and influence the thoughts and behaviors of other sentient beings, then the thoughts of love we have, all of the good thoughts that blossom in our hearts and flow through our brains are not idle. They have the potential to change the world and I think Jung would agree that in creating new archetypes to replace dangerous illusions we make positive strides.
I once asked God to show me what girl I should date and in the next minute the phone rang. It's only now that I remember God's warning against my getting a phone.  
opher goodwin Added Aug 5, 2017 - 5:46pm
Burghal - I like Zappa's approach! There are just some instances where I do very much give a fuck.
opher goodwin Added Aug 5, 2017 - 5:47pm
Mark I love it. You should never have got that phone.
John G Added Aug 5, 2017 - 6:02pm
Why are you an 'anti-theist' as opposed to being an atheist? I'm a life long atheist but I find anti-theists like Dawkins more obnoxious than the religious nutters they criticise.
opher goodwin Added Aug 5, 2017 - 6:13pm
John - I'm an antitheist because it is not so much that I do not believe in god (I am an atheist too as it happens) as that I believe manmade religions do a great deal of harm. I am opposed to all organised religions on that ground. I think they should be abandoned as the pernicious power structures they are. We're better off without them.
However, I am tolerant of people of faith (whatever faith).
John G Added Aug 5, 2017 - 6:48pm
I think that capitalism is a far more dangerous and pernicious belief system than any religion.
It is Anglo-American capitalists and their disciples killing, raping and pillaging the planet. 
Not the pope.
John Harris Added Aug 5, 2017 - 7:15pm
Synchronicity points to an interconnected-ness of all 'things' - space, objects, people, thoughts. In purely mathematical terms, the statistical probability that these seemingly related events are simply random concurrences does not stack up. Decades of scientific research supports that there is something going on that is more than just 'random chance'. To draw a line from this to theism is drawing a long bow. We simply do not yet have the scientific resources to support this idea. 
Now, I confess to being a theist, but I also think that we need be very careful about the conclusions we choose to jump to. 
I am a theist because a. I have personal experience which causes me to believe and b. it makes sense to me. Many people I know are atheists because a. they have no personal experience to prompt them and b. it does not make sense to them. Both rational positions.
But, I am more interested in whether someone has an open and exploratory mind - as og has clearly demonstrated here, than what they choose to believe. 
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 5, 2017 - 8:21pm
      If one believes in God/Lord, then synchronicity is possible. There is no causal connection between the destruction of a sinful city by hail and fire and the activities in the city. One might look otherwise for some meteorological phenomena that caused it, not that the city was sinfully corrupt.
     Otherwise I would have a difficult time arguing that non causally related phenomena can be connected by some underlying thematic cause, what scientists say is an underlying construct which relates the phenomena.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 5, 2017 - 8:36pm
For example, Evolutionary theory is a theoretical construct, it's a theory, a conception of nature which other variables, evidence fit into, an underlying variable that is a concept.
wsucram15 Added Aug 5, 2017 - 11:32pm
This is an interesting article.
Personally, I have a friend in ministry right now that used to finish my was weird. I also knew exactly what he was thinking, most of the time. Very strange, totally platonic friendship thats lasted a very long time.   I also have found friendships like that are very rare..
As far as the random occurrences, that would depend on your open mindedness. Is it coincidence or subject to investigation to open your mind further?
I like to think the latter about such things. Meeting people and learning something new you were looking to learn anyway, is the best thing in my book.
opher goodwin Added Aug 6, 2017 - 3:50am
John - The Pope has had his day. There's been plenty of pillaging and rape down the centuries, burning at the stake, torturing and maiming. Right now it's Islam's turn with ISIS, Boko Haram and the rest. The Hindu extremists in India are also having a go and the Buddhists in Burma. Religion is a scourge.
But I agree that capitalism runs it a close second.
opher goodwin Added Aug 6, 2017 - 3:53am
John - a very good stance to have. Keeping an open mind on all things is healthy. For me the evidence for a god doesn't stack up but synchronicity and the zeitgeist point to something more than w presently know. Quantum physics tells us that the universe is far weirder than we think. Why would photons behave differently when being observed? I find that intriguing.
opher goodwin Added Aug 6, 2017 - 3:56am
Barath - one does not have to believe in a supernatural being to find intriguing things in synchronicity and zeitgeist. They are presently unknown. Who knows what we will know in the future. One thing I'm certain of is that all religions are manmade, whether there is an underlying 'force' is open to conjecture.
opher goodwin Added Aug 6, 2017 - 3:57am
Barath - science is not about facts. There are no facts. Science is about understanding.
opher goodwin Added Aug 6, 2017 - 4:08am
wsu - that's why I post. I like thinking and I like debate. It seems to me that in a universe where electrons can exist at two places at the same time, photons behave differently when watched and some subatomic particles arrive before they've left all things are possible. I remain apart and enjoy the awe and wonder.
Talking to different people can make you think more.
John Harris Added Aug 6, 2017 - 4:45am
Opher, when I first encountered the inexplicable wonders of Bose-Einstein condensates, quantum superposition, the double slit experiment and the words of Neils Bhor -"Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.", I was hooked and have followed in wonderment science's quest to discover 'reality'.
These discoveries when carefully considered, should shake us to our very core, for they disrupt the basis of everything we think we know.

Historically, most of what we have believed to be true at one time, has subsequently been found to be either not true or least incomplete. Why would we think that in this age our beliefs are likewise "true"? At what point in the future will be discovering that they weren't quite that true after all?
The real joy in life is not 'being in the know' but rather 'being in the mystery'.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 6, 2017 - 5:31am
My dad is a Ph.D. in physics, but I don't think he ever really understood the things I think about. He went into solid state physics. He was more of an experimental physicist than theoretical.
Sometimes I let my dad read some of the things I write afterwards to see if he agrees.
When I was growing up he was religious and I have wasn't. He never knew all this stuff about his religion. It a bit too much for him. Now I'm religious he isn't. He grew up during Indian Independence and Gandhi when he was young. The Independence movement is real important to Indians, and some Indians devote their whole lives to their religion. They didn't know all this.
Mostly, I read then meditate in the garden on a problem(there is a story about Kekule and Benzene rings) and the answer comes to me. Over time I build a theory.
My house was built with the Sun in the the South-eastern quarter of the garden, so I get a nice rainbow by Raman scattering of water particles when I water my garden.
I followed the sunlight from East to West. I tied a string along the path the light takes and I understood something about the growth of cities, global warming and albedo, of asphalt, absorption and refraction, and urban "heat islands" but that was because the tree I planted wouldn't stand up straight; it hadn't sprouted adventitious roots yet. It's a kind of palm tree. I didn't know how to tie it right. So I tied it to a tree in the direction of refraction.The soil absorbs heat and cools it, then reradiates it. Asphalt refracts more light and has a much higher albedo. Heat islands are explained more by the effects of asphalt and cement, high albedo and refraction and reradiation of light in cities than CO2 emissions.
Scientists learned a lot by studying the properties of light in the last century. Sometimes the rainbow it surrounds me when I spray the water upwards to cool off. Austin Texas summers are real hot.
I showed my niece and nephew a rainbow. They helped water the garden. They looked for the rainbow. My dad got mad he said
"Where are you spraying the water, spray the water on the plants". I laughed a little.
  My dad never thought of showing me a rainbow when I was a kid.
Okay, I'm signing off this thread. Thanks for the discussion.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 6, 2017 - 5:58am
I graduated from the University of Rhode Island. My landlord went to Harvard on the Watson scholarship, to study to become an architect. Good person, nice of him to invite me into his home. He tried to get me to be a Christian, but it didn't take.
Anyway, I've been around scientists and academics my whole life, they don't do the things I do.
opher goodwin Added Aug 6, 2017 - 6:07am
John - that is exactly what I feel. There is such a mystery in reality. Enjoy it.
opher goodwin Added Aug 6, 2017 - 6:10am
Barath - thanks for that. An interesting insight. Many scientists and academics don't do the things I do either.
Infidel753 Added Aug 6, 2017 - 9:28am
When the same scientific theory or discovery is achieved by two or more people at roughly the same time (another example would be Newton and Leibniz discovering calculus), in many cases it's not really coincidence.  Most such achievements require a whole string of prerequisites to be in place before they can happen -- earlier discoveries, the accumulation of a certain body of data, etc.  Once those prerequisites are there, the discovery is likely to happen fairly soon.  If neither Darwin nor Wallace had ever been born, for example, evolution by means of natural selection would probably have been discovered by someone else, not too much later.
opher goodwin Added Aug 6, 2017 - 9:58am
Infidel - Yes that is quite possible. Though, with evolution, the prevailing attitude was vastly different to what both Wallace and Darwin independently concluded. To have gained that insight took a tremendous amount of work on animal variation and a lot of lateral thinking. Both Wallace and Darwin had all the necessary work under their belt but it was still quite an enormous leap. It is remarkable that they came up with the same mechanism at exactly the same time.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 6, 2017 - 10:40am
Some of these cases are nothing more than an accident of geography. Some would posit the notion that these great discoveries and advancements occurred in Eurasia because of the intellectual superiority of the races inhabiting these spaces. That is bollocks!
Advancements have come disproportionately from this part of the globe due to the unique characteristics of this landmass' geography. Humans have been able to free up the labors required for feeding their numbers through the development of agriculture and the resulting fixed settlements. Agriculture and fixed settlements developed and evolved on other continents too, but with this difference. Where the eurasian mass is oriented on a latitudinal plane, North and South America, Africa are not. In eurasia a variety of plant that might be domesticated and cultivated in the mediterranean might also enjoy similar climate and soil conditions as found in a like latitude elsewhere on the same landmass. Thus the crop and its cultivation was transferable across a much broader scope of land and peoples as to aid in the further development of agriculture and fixed settlements. This in turn led to the greater numbers of peoples freed up to develop other skills, attain greater knowledge and further advancement of the species. What might be grown and what degree of manpower freed to develop and expand these advancements were transferable across a much wider space and led to more concurrent developments of similar science or skill.
In contrast what might be successfully cultivated in the Andes did not easily translate to the southwestern cultures of North America, or to the eastern woodlands.  What might work well in the coastal plains of the pacific northwest would not translate to eastern canada. Likewise with the domestication of certain species of animals which led to the development of livestock. Horses were not native to the African continent, but they had Zebras. So why did not African peoples develop the use of Zebras to expand their mobility across the continent? Well Zebras are nasty and mean critters. Unlike horses they simply do not possess the right attributes that lend themselves to domestication. 
opher goodwin Added Aug 6, 2017 - 10:49am
I'm sure most are coincidences of circumstance - maybe all of them.
john guzlowski Added Aug 6, 2017 - 10:56am
A coincidence?
My wife Linda and I were showing Chicago to her brother Bruce who was visiting from the east. We were driving around the University of Chicago area on the southside of Chicago, and Bruce was saying, "Say this is a pretty campus, what kind of people teach her?"

I was driving and started in, "Well, this is one of the great universities in the world. There are probably more Nobel Laureates teachng here than in any other school in the midwest."

Bruce is a scoffer and he said, "Yeah, like who, any names an average guy would recognize?"

I'm driving around these narrow streets around the school and trying to avoid hitting anybody because it's a Saturday and people are walking to and from shopping.

Bruce thinks I'm ignoring him and he says again, "So name some of these Nobel guys!"

I say, "Well, one of my favorite writers is Saul Bellow and he won the Nobel prize and he teaches here."

And Bruce says, "Yeah? What's he like."

And I slam on the brakes to avoid hitting a guy with two bulging grocery bags who just stepped into the intersection, and I say to Bruce, "That's him. The guy I almost hit. Saul Bellow!"

And Bellow must've heard me call his name because he looked up at me and smiled, and nodded his head.

I felt a blessing descend on me, a connection I'd never forget.

I was the man who did not kill Saul Bellow.
opher goodwin Added Aug 6, 2017 - 10:59am
John - Wow that is some story. Amazing how these things happen.
Katharine Otto Added Aug 6, 2017 - 12:38pm
John Guzlowski,
Good story.
I've been thinking about the sequential logic of the Western paradigm, such as cause and effect. Compare it to the pattern-based approach of Eastern thought, modern physics, and Oriental medicine.  
It is claimed "left-brained thinkers" are logical, while "right-brained thinkers" are artistic.  The language centers are in the left brain, and words have to come out one at a time, so words are not good at conveying patterns.  I believe putting thoughts to words helps make them conscious.
Anyway, synchronicity can perhaps be explained as stemming from a larger pattern that reaches beyond conscious perception and extends, like the modern physicists suggest, to the ends of the cosmos, not dependent on time or space.
opher goodwin Added Aug 6, 2017 - 1:03pm
Katharine - I don't know that words do come out one at a time. I've often tried to work out how it is that I am able to think and speak. Where does it come from. It seems to just flow seamlessly. I used to worry about the process drying up - particularly when public speaking. But it happens. Certainly putting my thoughts into writing makes them more concrete.
I think there is some mental connection but I don't know what.
John G Added Aug 6, 2017 - 6:11pm
Right now it's Islam's turn with ISIS, Boko Haram and the rest.
Except they are proxies of western capitalism.
Your views are naive.
Saint George Added Aug 6, 2017 - 6:32pm
Your views are naive.
Your views are compliant with those of your assigned political cadre officer. For whom do you shill, johng? Do tell.
Curious minds want to know.
Saint George Added Aug 6, 2017 - 6:56pm
I am an antitheist and have seen no evidence for the existence of any deity
What sort of things or events would, in your view, constitute such evidence for a deity? What kinds of things would you be willing to accept as evidence?
Saint George Added Aug 6, 2017 - 6:57pm
I am an antitheist and have seen no evidence for the existence of any deity
Not just an atheist, but an antitheist? Mind explaining the difference?
opher goodwin Added Aug 6, 2017 - 7:27pm
John - I don't think so at all John. What on earth makes you think they are proxies of Western capitalism? They are fundamental Islamic extremists. I think you are too caught up in your hatred of capitalism (one I share BTW).
opher goodwin Added Aug 6, 2017 - 7:31pm
Saint - I believe all religion is manmade, about power and does more harm than good. I am against organised religion. I wish it would go away and leave mankind free of its restrictive hate-filled doctrine. That makes me an antitheist.
I would be convinced of a deity if there was any evidence at all. I see none. What evidence do you think there is for there being a deity? I'm interested to hear.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 6, 2017 - 7:32pm
Well maybe everything is controlled by an all knowing, incomprehensible intelligence(that you are not aware of) so there is no such thing as coincidence.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 6, 2017 - 7:46pm
   Okay, I take it you want to live in a good World, or at least a better one. You believe in being good, but you don't believe in God, why should it be possible for the world to be good if there is no God? After all then everything is based on chance and so arbitrary. "War, peace, famine, the price of a paper clip". Why should life be fair?
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 6, 2017 - 7:49pm
You believe you have free will I suppose, but why should you have it?It wouldn't be fair if you didn't? Why should life be fair?
John G Added Aug 6, 2017 - 8:24pm
What on earth makes you think they are proxies of Western capitalism? They are fundamental Islamic extremists
Empirical evidence. As opposed to the garbage you swallow from the corporate media/political class. They are paid proxies of the empire.
But by all means, look over there!!!!!!!
And promote the clash of civilisations that your owners want you to believe while they wage their resource wars.
It's much easier to absolve yourself of guilt over the slaughter if you can make yourself believe the lies about 'radical islam'.
Being 'spiritual' isn't worth a pinch of shit if your version is what we have to go on.
Saint George Added Aug 6, 2017 - 9:08pm
I would be convinced of a deity if there was any evidence at all. I see none.
Have you looked? I don't think so. Seems to me you've decided in advance of looking that there's no evidence without first deciding what such evidence might look like?
What evidence do you think there is for there being a deity? I'm interested to hear
It's easy to provide evidence. You merely have to abandon your purely materialist bias about the universe, and give up any unfounded faith in mathematical miracles:  a physical miracle might, in principle, be possible, given enough knowledge and power on the part of the miracle-worker. A mathematical miracle is simply not possible.
Here's some evidence:
According to our best, most accepted science, the universe somehow came into existence about 14 billion years ago. There's some dispute here and there, but that's the number most scientists accept, so I'm going to go with that.
14 x10^9 years is 10^17 seconds. So, presumably, 10^17 seconds have elapsed since the time of the appearance of the universe (via a Big Bang from a "quantum vacuum fluctuation", or through some other mechanism).
I can show quite easily that 10^17 seconds is far too short of a time for even the simplest protein necessary for self-reproducing life to have appeared by any set of randomly occurring events. It might have occurred within that time period by means of a guided process (that is, guided by an end-goal through the operation of intelligence), but not by means of random events. For a protein to have appeared by chance would require many more years for plausible trial-and-error configurations to form and reject the non-working ones. This is true for a simple protein, and it's even more true of a long, complex molecule such as DNA — mathematically impossible for it to have formed by chance in a time as short as 10^17 seconds without violating some other, known and accepted, laws of physics.
The mathematical arguments also apply to supposed cases of species-evolution on earth, after life already appeared. Plausible estimates of the number of mutations necessary to turn a land-dwelling mammal into an ocean-dwelling mammal like a whale exist. Plausible estimates of the time needed for the beneficial mutation to form, work its way through the land-dwelling mammal population, reproduce, etc., are well known and accepted. Yet the paleontological evidence shows that there's only about a 9 million year time span between the land-dwelling mammal and the first appearance of a supposedly closely-related ocean-dwelling mammal like the whale. Since thousands of mutations in the genotype would have been necessary to change the phenotype of the land mammal into a viable ocean mammal, it turns out that 9 million years is far too short a time for to have happened in any random, unguided manner. (Though, of course, it might have been enough time for such alteration to have occurred by some intelligently guided process.)
In sum:
The fact that the earth is full of living things whose hierarchical organization (one system governing a sub-system, which in turn controls a sub-sub-system, etc.) defies plausible mathematical proof within the time given by paleontology and astrophysics is good prima facie evidence that life, specifically, arose from an intelligently guided process, not any sort of purely materialistic unguided one. There are some non-living phenomena, too, that defy plausible mathematical analysis and proof (e.g., nuclear resonance in the interior of stars, which is responsible for producing the element carbon, essential to the appearance of life).
Admittedly, the suggestion of an intelligently guided process only shows the plausibility of "intelligence" in the universe (perhaps from a super-advanced species); it doesn't prove, per se, the existence of a non-material, creative deity at the helm. However, unless one wishes to get involved in an infinite regress — e.g., humans were designed by some other intelligent species; that species was designed by some other, earlier, species; ad infinitum — then it becomes necessary posit an Aristotelian "Prime Mover", who started the whole process, but which itself was not designed by anything earlier.
That's the basic argument without the math. If you want the math, I'd be happy to provide it.
William Stockton Added Aug 6, 2017 - 10:46pm
Opher.  Thanks for this article.  Very thought-provoking.
I too am an anti-theist.  Stoutly against any 2000-year-old description of a God.  Especially if it condemns me at birth.  I have no proof there is no God, so why can I claim that there is no God?  So I am not an atheist.
Moreso, I too have experiences that were too specific.
Example (I'll keep it brief)
I was vacationing in Las Vegas with friends.  My sister and her husband were not with us as my sister was 8 months pregnant.
One night during that vacation, I had a dream about my sister.  In the dream, I had gone back home to see my sister.  I walked through the door and saw she had a flat stomach.  I asked her, "Oh my gosh Sue.  Where is the baby?"
She said, "Oh Billy, he didn't make it.  But he fought really hard."
In the dream, I dropped to my knees weeping.  The crying woke me up and I sat straight up in the dark, in that hotel room.  Obviously, I had been weeping in my dream.  It took me two hours to calm down.  
It should be noted that I have other sisters and all their births were without complication.
I choose never to tell my sister about the dream.
A month later, Sue gave birth to a baby boy . . . she chose to not know the sex before the birth.  He only survived for a month and never did get to go home.  
I lived in a different state than my sister so I went home to attend the funeral.  Walking into their house, I remembered the dream. There was my sister with her flat stomach and no child.   I hugged my sister tightly and she said, 
"Oh Billy.  He fought so hard".  We both wept deeply.
opher goodwin Added Aug 7, 2017 - 3:48am
Barath - I don't think life is fair or should be fair. But I do believe that human beings evolved as a communal animal, working in collaboration. Helping each other is in our nature. It is the way we became successful and survived. We have an altruistic streak and we have intelligence. We can see the logic of making things better and fairer. I believe by cooperating we can use our intelligence to create a world that is better. That is a rational approach. I also believe that a system of morality that is carefully thought through would be a hundred times better than all the ambiguous, fear-ridden threats and contradictions coming out of medieval religions.
opher goodwin Added Aug 7, 2017 - 3:51am
Sorry Joh I don't agree.
They are two separate evils. And although it is in the capitalist interest to big it up and create the Orwellian enemy I believe they are fundamentally separate and just as bad as each other.
Religion and politics - the two biggest evils.
opher goodwin Added Aug 7, 2017 - 4:10am
Saint - I certainly went through my 'phase' as a youth. I went from someone who had no connection to religion to someone who was rabid about discovering a mystical connection.
Then I began picking it to pieces.
You cite two pieces of evidence, both of which I have looked at. As a biologist I have been involved with studying both the 'creation' of life on this planet and the evolution of life into the myriad forms we see around us.
You are right to point out the incredible unlikelihood of a protein and DNA molecule being formed and coming together meaningfully into a self-replicating organism. There is much we do not know about how this happened. Yet I remain unconvinced of any guided development. I think you conveniently ignore the various catalysers that were present.
As for the speed of evolution - much faster than you think. My own research indicated that it is periods of removal of selection pressure followed by the return of those pressures that create new species. The rate of mutation is high.
But interesting to think about. When I was teaching these areas of the syllabus it was great to have lively debate on these issues. I can see where you are coming from but I simply do not agree.
I a universe as big as this with trillions of galaxies, immense amounts of time, and random chance, it is inevitable that things will combine into the most incredible complexities every now and then, somewhere or other. When that happens, and the creatures who were formed from this process look at themselves with wonder and look at the mathematical probabilities involved, it is no wonder that they believe it to be miraculous.
We may be the only place in the whole universe where something as unlikely as this has occurred. I find that even more incredible than believing that some supernatural deity (who came from where?) did it.
Belief in a deity merely seems to place the mystery a step further away.
Where did the universe come from? Where did man and his/her consciousness come from? What is our purpose?
God made it. God created man. God knows.
Where did god come from? Who made god?
opher goodwin Added Aug 7, 2017 - 4:14am
William - I can see that an experience such as that would have a profound impact on you.
I think it is necessary to divorce all aspects of what I consider to be manmade religions from medieval times with reflections on the incredible mysteries surrounding us.
Thanks for your input.
opher goodwin Added Aug 7, 2017 - 4:26am
Dannl - well that seems to go against the scriptures I presume you believe in - birds of the air and creatures of the field - he cares for every last one - how much more so does he care for you? (I paraphrase).
I don't really care. The whole concept of this malevolent force that dooms people to hell, that demands sacrifice and blind faith, who is vengeful and cruel, seems so psychologically born out of the minds of medieval, misogynistic humans, seems insane. If I met a god like that I'd be appalled. What a horror.
No, if there is any spiritual force, which I doubt, it would be more akin to atomic energy that a guy in the clouds making random judgements on people and torturing them for eternity.
Religion is a relic from our rather unpleasant semi-civilised days of long long ago. It's time we abandoned it for something better.
I'm an antitheist because I believe religion is about power and control, was created by men and does not address the mysteries around us. It is set in times that were violent, cruel and misogynistic and reflects that. It's time we moved on.
Oh - I don't hate god, and I am tolerant of other people's faith (as long as they cease to indoctrinate), I just don't believe he exists.
Saint George Added Aug 7, 2017 - 8:01am
you conveniently ignore the various catalysers
Such as?
Anyway, you're mistaken in principle. "Catalysts" such as, for example, enzymes that speed reactions, are themselves proteins that require genetic instructions (in other words, biological software instructions) to sequence their amino acids in the right order. As far as DNA is concerned, it's a chicken-and-egg conundrum: DNA (especially the ribose double helix) requires enzymes in order to appear; but those enzymes require DNA instructions for their formation. Which came first? Obviously neither. They both require each other.
And finally, you conveniently ignore the many destructive reactions that occur in chemistry, which in fact, are more common in the universe than the creative ones. Without intelligent instructions, any functional chain that might form by chance is quickly undone by those forces. The notion, for example, that there was in prebiotic prehistory an "RNA world", with all of the bases needed for RNA just floating in the early oceans of earth is pure fantasy: for one thing, water is the "universal solvent", quickly reversing any of the bonds that could conceivably form by chance linking the bases to a ribose strand just by the action of good old "Le Chatelier's Principle", in which any chemical system that is already in a comfortable state of equilibrium readjusts itself to remain in that comfortable state of equilibrium whenever anything tries to move it out of that state and into some other state.
Yet moving adenosine, thymine, cytosine, and uracil supposedly dispersed but floating freely in quadrillions of liters of ocean water, out of their present state of equilibrium to some other state attached to a magically-appearing ribose strand (ribose is almost impossible to form without enzymes, but those enzymes, in turn, require genetic instructions from RNA) requires just that: a movement away from comfortable equilibrium toward some state that requires constant maintenance for it to persist through time. It's a nonsensical scenario, and even chemists outspokenly atheistic such as the late Robert Shapiro of New York University, have criticized it for being such. 
Left to its own devices — that is, left to chance — the universe tends toward a bland, uniform, functionless disorder (the great Second Law of thermodynamics in operation); and not toward order, meaningful sequencing of chemical entities such as nitrogenous bases in nucleic acids or amino acids in polypeptide chains. The Second Law disallows functional hierarchies of chemical systems that are governed by an arbitrarily conceived code.
Codes — in which one thing is "mapped to" another, or made to "stand for" another — are always products of intelligence, not chance. Natural languages such as English, French, Latin, etc., are products of intelligence and have end goals for their users. Codes such as Morse Code, ASCII, etc., are also products of intelligence and have end goals for their users.
DNA, as well as RNA, is a code, no different in logical structure — or purpose — from Morse Code or ASCII.
Again, the classic "Argument from Design" doesn't prove the existence of a deity, but it does mathematically rule out chance and strongly suggests intelligence as a guiding principle in the origin of life, and probably in the origin of many non-biological phenomena, too, such as, e.g., the highly unlikely formation of carbon in the interior of stars.
Saint George Added Aug 7, 2017 - 8:15am
I'm an antitheist because I believe religion is about power and control,
Other human institutions are about power and control, too, so you must be against those, as well. Government, for example, is a human institution that's about power and control, so you are probably an "anti-governmentalist"; in other words, to be consistent with your position on rejecting institutions bent on power and control, you must also be an anarchist.
But that's only if you're consistent.
Yet somehow you allow a contradiction to creep in by favoring "socialism", which is not a system in which people voluntarily live in small communes, sharing things with one another, and living their lives the way they want to; it's a system in which a very big, bureaucratic, and powerful central authority with a monopoly on force and coercion tells people how to live their lives and makes them share things with one another whether they want to or not.
That you favor such a system is hard to square with your claim that you reject institutions that crave power and control. The fact is, you reject some institutions bent on power and control, but you favor others for precisely those reasons.
The only explanation I can think of is that you dislike the power and control of organized religion because it provides stiff competition against the power and control of a socialist government.
And if there's one thing socialism doesn't like it's competition.
Saint George Added Aug 7, 2017 - 8:21am
if there is any spiritual force, which I doubt, it would be more akin to atomic energy
Atomic energy — whether fission or fusion — creates disorder around it (i.e., heat). Heat can be a wonderful thing . . . especially when it's cold outside. But heat is the opposite kind of force required for the correct sequencing of amino acids in proteins, or the correct sequencing of bases in DNA. By itself, heat breaks down hierarchical organization of things (which is why astrophysicists ponder the far-off scenario of the "Heat death of the universe").
So if there is a universal "spiritual force", to would be more akin to a thinking, intelligent being capable of building things up; as opposed to atomic energy (fission, fusion, heat), which is very good at breaking things down.
Leroy Added Aug 7, 2017 - 11:16am
Saint, the flaw in your logic is that you say it is mathematically impossible.  That is not true.  It may be improbable, but not impossible.  It may be improbable that a series of improbabilities began life as we know it today, but it is not impossible.  Using your logic, if I have a 1 in 300,000,000 chance of winning the lottery, then it is mathematically impossible, which is not true.  It is improbable but not impossible.  I might win the first time I play.  It is improbable that I win twice in a row, but not impossible.  Once life began, the intelligent force was there to drive it.
I don't buy the argument that evolution is slow.  It can be slow, but it can also be in quantum leaps.
I don't argue religion, only the flaw in your argument in favor of it.
Saint George Added Aug 7, 2017 - 12:47pm
It may be improbable, but not impossible. 
1) I didn't provide any math. The math shows that barring a miracle, the appearance of specific sequences necessary for life — a sequence of amino acids to form a protein, or a sequence of bases on a sugar helix to form a nucleic acid — is not possible. The constraints in the math are: i) a time period of 10^17 seconds from t=0 to the present; ii) the total number of fundamental particles in the universe, estimated at about 10^85; and iii) the shortest possible time for any kind of interaction (atomic or chemical) to occur between one particle and another, known as the "Planck time" (essentially, the shortest possible length of time that has any meaning). Those three things are the constraints I used to show that the total "search space" is too small to accommodate the large number of random trials needed for functional sequences to have occurred. They could occur within those tight parameters only by dint of: a mathematical miracle or a physical miracle. I reject the first out of hand. Mathematical miracles do not occur. Period. I accept the second one tentatively but only by assuming a guiding intelligence as the cause.
2) Statisticians don't work the way you suggest they do. They don't claim that something is "merely improbable but not impossible" if the probability is some infinitesimal fraction greater than zero. What they do is perform "hypothesis testing" (done routinely in the medical/pharmaceutical field) by first defining a threshold — a non-zero threshold — above which, chance rules, but below which, chance is ruled out. Thus, anything below that threshold is defined as being "not possible."
Casinos do essentially the same thing. If a person wins at roulette once, it might very well be chance — pure dumb luck on the part of the gambler. But if he wins a second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth time in a row? Still chance? Absolutely not . . . despite the fact that it's certainly "possible" from a purely mathematical point of view for him to have won strictly by chance alone. However, it's far more likely that he cheated, i.e., won by design. Any security worker in a casino who claims that such a gambler won by chance because it's not strictly impossible for him to have done so deserves to lose his job for incompetence. That includes mathematical incompetence. 
I don't buy the argument that evolution is slow.  It can be slow, but it can also be in quantum leaps.
The point is that if evolution took place in quantum leaps then it certainly could not have been by any Darwinian process, which, by definition, moves slowly: random beneficial mutation by random beneficial mutation, reproductive success by reproductive success. That's an inherently slow process, especially for larger animals, and especially for mammals.
Harvard evolutionist Stephen J. Gould argued for "quantum leaps" in evolution (he called it "punctuated equilibrium"), but also admitted that such a process would have to be explained by a very different mechanism from that of Darwin's hypothesis. For one thing, the mutations involved in changing the genotype of a species could not be random: randomly occurring mutations (e.g., from a stray cosmic ray knocking out a base in DNA, and then a different base being substituted for it during replication) are overwhelmingly injurious to the organism's genotype. The second most common random mutation is a "neutral" one; i.e., it changes nothing but some superficial characteristic (e.g., in humans, recessive mutation causing blue eyes  vs. the more common dominant gene for brown eyes). An actual beneficial mutation that confers some new characteristic to the organism is extremely rare . . . and for one species to "morph" into a very different species would require hundreds, perhaps thousands, of such rare beneficial mutations. The probability that this could happen multiple times and NOT get drowned out by the existing norm of the population is plausibly zero. Again, it's like winning 10 times in a row at roulette. Mathematically possible from a strict point of view? Yes. Do you buy it? Absolutely not.
Gould realized at some point that if evolution "jumped", something other than chance would have to be involved in these mutations. He certainly didn't accept intelligent design as a cause, but he did concede that these mutations might already be in the earlier organism's genome, and are somehow "triggered" to express themselves by something in the environment. That, of course, raises the thorny problem of why those mutations are in there in the first place if they didn't originally confer some survival/reproductive advantage. They were just "in there", latent, waiting for the environment to change so that they could be expressed. But how coul
Saint George Added Aug 7, 2017 - 12:48pm
Gould realized at some point that if evolution "jumped", something other than chance would have to be involved in these mutations. He certainly didn't accept intelligent design as a cause, but he did concede that these mutations might already be in the earlier organism's genome, and are somehow "triggered" to express themselves by something in the environment. That, of course, raises the thorny problem of why those mutations are in there in the first place if they didn't originally confer some survival/reproductive advantage. They were just "in there", latent, waiting for the environment to change so that they could be expressed. But how could the earlier organism's genome "know" or "predict" that the environment might change? From a Darwinian perspective, it doesn't make sense. So punctuated equilibrium is really a tacit rejection of the Darwinian model.
I don't argue religion, only the flaw in your argument in favor of it.
My argument favored nothing about religion. It favored intelligence as a necessary guiding force to overcome the physical constraints and mathematical odds. The idea of a guiding intelligence in the universe is something that might, indeed have religious implications (as does the Big Bang theory); but it doesn't, per se, favor religion, or even a supernatural deity. As stated previously, the argument is satisfied (in the short run) simply by assuming a super-intelligent advanced alien species.
Leroy Added Aug 7, 2017 - 1:38pm
I appreciate the explanation, but I don't agree.  It's like the half life of a radioactive atom.  The half life might be a ten thousand years.  Yet, an individual atom might decay in the Planck time.  The probability of any given atom decaying is the next Planck time may be plausibly zero, but a radioactive atom somewhere will likely decay.  Only in aggregate can we even talk about a half life. 
The odds may be small, but there is always a chance.  It may be plausibly zero, but never zero.
Scientists never rule out chance.  They can only rule out the probability of chance.  The number is an arbitrary scientific norm.  If the probability is nineteen in twenty of it not being chance, there still a one in twenty that it is chance.
Perhaps "religion" is a poor choice of words.  Intelligence would have been better.
Saint George Added Aug 7, 2017 - 1:51pm
If I have a 1 in 300,000,000 chance of winning the lottery, then it is mathematically impossible, which is not true.
You don't understand the nature of the problem.
Suppose you're invalid and transported yourself in a wheelchair, with a top speed of, e.g., 1 mile / hour; and you wish to play every slot machine in a special casino 1 mile long, with one slot machine every foot (so there are 5,280 slot machines stretched out in a row in the entire casino). Suppose it takes zero time for you to insert money into the slot machine, pull the lever, wait for the result, and collect any winnings (though suppose, also, that you cannot play any slot machine more than once while traveling in a given direction; you can only play the same slot machine a second time when you've reversed direction and are headed back to the entrance of the casino). Under these assumptions, it would take you one hour to wheel yourself from one end of the casino to the other, playing every slot machine. Suppose the top payout of each machine is $10.00, so the maximum you could win in a one-way journey through the casino would be $10.00 x 5,280, or $52,800.00. 
Those are the physical constraints in this scenario.
Now suppose there's a friend timing your gambling efforts and confirming any winnings.
If you were to wheel yourself out of the same doorway through which you originally entered, it would mean you made a round trip: you wheeled yourself one mile to the far end of the casino, and one mile back to the entrance. If your top speed is 1 mile / hour, it would require a minimum of 2 hours for a round trip. If you were to play each slot machine in both directions and win the maximum each time, the most you could win within the time constraint of 2 hours would be 2 x $52,800.00, or $105,600.
So "$105,600.00 in 2 hours" establishes our statistical threshold: if you win less than that within the two hours, that's simply luck; if you manage to win more than that, it could only be because you played some or all of the machines more than twice, which would require something more than a round trip . . . which in turn would require more than 2 hours. So if you win, e.g., $200,000 in a 4 hour period, it means you played some or all of the machines more than twice, and you made two round trips. So all of those possibilities are within the threshold which defines "luck" from "cheated."
But what are we to say if you wheel yourself out of the door whence you first entered after 5 minutes, and your friend verifies that you have winnings totaling $52,800,000.00?
Given your limiting speed of one mile an hour, and top payout for all the slot machines combined equaling $52,800 per one way journey, you won a thousand times that amount. That would require 1000 one way journeys through the casino, which equals 500 round trip journeys. Since one round trip requires two hours of time, 500 round trips should have required 1000 hours, or approximately 42 days.
In other words, IF you had the luxury of gambling continuous for 42 days, chance alone could explain how you came by winnings of $52,800,000.00. Yet you emerged with 42 days' worth of top winnings in 5 minutes. 42 days is 151,200 minutes. What should have taken you a minimum of 151,200 minutes you did in 5 minutes, which is less than 1/30,000th of the required time.
Now, either you're able to wheel yourself much faster than 1 mile per hour (ruled out by constraint); or the top payout of each slot machine is far more than $10.00 (ruled out by constraint); or there are far more slot machines than originally thought (ruled out by constraint), or the length of the casino is far shorter than originally thought (ruled out by constraint).
Or . . . you cheated. That is, you employed something that did not rely on chance alone but instead relied on pre-planning and design.
That's an analogy of the origin of life problem within the constraints mentioned earlier: the time it would have taken for chance alone to have "played the slot machines", rearranging a potential 10^85 particles, at interactions happening no faster than 1/10^43 of a second, in a time period of 10^17 seconds ought to have been far, far longer.
Put another way:
Even IF all 10^85 particles were interacting in the shortest possible time of one interaction every 1/10^43rd of a second, and these interactions kept happening over a time period of 10^17 seconds, you still would not be able to account for the appearance of a simple protein of e.g., 100 amino acids, or the appearance of a short strand of DNA. The only way to do so mathematically would be to assume that one or all of your constraints were mistaken: e.g., the universe might be far older than we thought; or the P
Saint George Added Aug 7, 2017 - 1:58pm
Scientists never rule out chance
I'm afraid you're wrong about that. Scientists rule out chance every chance they get (no pun intended).
Forensic scientists, for example, are quick to rule out chance if the evidence points to foul play. In fact, it's their job to rule out chance.
Scientists working on exotic things like S.E.T.I. are quick to rule out chance if the evidence warrants. If they received a signal from space specifying the first 100 prime numbers, that could not be chance; or if the signal specified something like the Fibonacci sequence to 100 integers, that, too, would be ruled as strong evidence favoring intelligence, design, intent, and purpose. Radio pulses from stars, for example, are government by thermodynamic considerations that are ultimately governed by the 2nd Law. The 2nd Law rules out organized, meaningful sequences such as the first 100 primes or the first 100 Fibonacci numbers.
Saint George Added Aug 7, 2017 - 2:01pm
The half life might be a ten thousand years.  Yet, an individual atom might decay in the Planck time.
But in order for a meaningful sequence to appear by chance (e.g., amino acid sequence comprising a functional protein), interactions would have to happen in far shorter time periods than Planck time permits. So either Planck time was incorrectly calculated or the sequence didn't occur by chance.
opher goodwin Added Aug 7, 2017 - 2:42pm
Dannl - me thinks it is you that cherry picks. So you are against war, capital punishment, homosexuals?
The laws as provided by a Middle Eastern tribe are pretty ambiguous. It's a pretty basic list isn't it? I think I could come up with that myself - though I wouldn't tell everyone they can't covet each others asses.
I have no beef at all with not killing, lying, cheating or being jealous. Seems fine with me.
opher goodwin Added Aug 7, 2017 - 2:45pm
Saint - as I said before - you ignore catalysts. You certainly can't make a protein without them but there were plenty of them there. With catalysts you can carry out complicated chemistry in minutes.
What is improbable is not impossible. Much more believable than any supernatural god who came out of nothing and is busy doing all this for no apparent reason, or at least a reason best known to himself.
opher goodwin Added Aug 7, 2017 - 2:47pm
Saint - I understand your view. It is perfectly valid. I don't agree with Gould that evolution jumps. I certainly don't agree with genes being there and not expressed.
I just don't agree with your conclusions.
opher goodwin Added Aug 7, 2017 - 2:49pm
Saint - mutation and evolution do not have to be slow. Sometimes, when conditions are right, it proceeds fast.
opher goodwin Added Aug 7, 2017 - 2:50pm
Leroy - I thoroughly agree. The incredibly awesome arising of life and its evolution to consciousness is astounding - just like the rest of the universe.
opher goodwin Added Aug 7, 2017 - 2:53pm
Saint - scientists have manufactured organic molecules in the laboratory in no time at all using the basic ingredients and conditions back on earth four billion years ago. It can be done.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 7, 2017 - 3:53pm
Saint, Opher:
     By your method of calculation of probability, the Universe favors its non-existence over its existence, if it is by chance it is more probable that it should not exist, but the chance of its existence greatly increases when an intelligent plan or strategy is included.
     Take for example a game of blackjack, what are the chances of winning 10,000$ if I start with 100$ and can only bet 10% of the money I have on any given hand?(given the rules proper to Casino blackjack)
    I would tell you, your chances of losing money are greater than winning it without employing any strategy. In fact even employing correct strategy, without card counting, the probability is you will win only 99/200 hands(based on billions of computer simulations, and rules of probability).
    Probability favors the existence of God. That's proof.
But the Universe is 13.7 billion years old, the earth only 4.5 billion, the sun most likely pulled the Earth(and moon) into it's orbit, in any case how many days are there between creation of the Universe and creation of the World? More than 6 right?
     Which does the bible talk about creation of the World or creation of the Universe?
John G Added Aug 7, 2017 - 6:02pm
Sorry Joh I don't agree.
They are two separate evils. And although it is in the capitalist interest to big it up and create the Orwellian enemy I believe they are fundamentally separate and just as bad as each other.
Religion and politics - the two biggest evils.
Then you are part of the problem and carrying water for your oppressors.
Leroy Added Aug 7, 2017 - 6:51pm
I hear what you are saying, Saint, but I don't buy the analogy.  I believe mind was better.  I get that the probability is so incredibly low that it is next to zero; I really do.  But who says it has to happen all at once?  Who says it has to be sequential?  Why not simultanteous trials of chance?  I recently read that the smallest self-replicating peptide might be as little as 32 amino acids long.  Compared to a 300 molecule long chain, the odds are much better--much, much better.  In fact, they might be happening all the time with all the chance encounters.
I did a little searching and I stumbled across this article.  It does a fair job at countering your arguments.  You may want to give it a read. 
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 7, 2017 - 7:03pm
If you say the Universe created itself and the orderly arrangement of life occurred in the world( that made living things possible) and both happened by chance, the probabilities taken together make it less probable without an intelligent force.
Leroy Added Aug 7, 2017 - 7:21pm
Less probable but not impossible.
Saint George Added Aug 7, 2017 - 7:56pm
I get that the probability is so incredibly low that it is next to zero
1) Statisticians usually define a certain probability as a threshold, below which is defined as "zero probability." Sorry, but that's what they do.
2) Unless any of the constraints I mentioned earlier are incorrect (age of the universe, number of particles in the universe, and Planck time), then there is zero probability that a functionally correct sequence of e.g., 100 amino acids, could form randomly. None. The reasons were explained by the analogy of the wheelchair and the casino.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 7, 2017 - 8:14pm
I'll have to go over rules of probability again, but it is not possible to determine the probability of the Universe creating itself because it's not possible. 
In any case since for life to create itself the Universe has to create itself first also, so I'm going to say it has the same probability. 
    Thus the chance both events occurred by chance independently is the multiplication of both probabilities.
Leroy Added Aug 7, 2017 - 8:19pm
Saint, you are free to declare victory, but I have not changed my mind.
George N Romey Added Aug 7, 2017 - 8:28pm
My sense is that the unthinkable becomes reality.  Around 1800 would someone thought it would it be possible to fly to Europe like a bird?  Yes. Yet they could not have imagined a jet.
I think time travel will one day possible.  Already we are developing virtual reality.  I think its very possible man was created by some other deity.  Whether that deity will ever come back to Earth, who knows? (Maybe one look at the world today and they won't want to).
Man shows an uncanny ability to reinvent himself.  Do I see a major global reset coming yes but I doubt it will be the end of the world so many claim.  We've had dark ages and enlightenment before and we will have them again.  50 years for now people will talk about those horrible years from 2008 to 2025 the way we talked about 1929 to 1945.  
John Minehan Added Aug 7, 2017 - 8:42pm
We are all fugitives from the law of averages.
The world is probabilistic, not deterministic.  However, the things with the books are all things that were  choices were made by people with similar backgrounds, with similar interests, who know each other, which makes the outcome more likely.
But, this kind of things is always interesting and takes you aback.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 7, 2017 - 8:56pm
I'll conclude with the usual quantum paradigm:
   You have ten marbles in each hand. One hand is open and in it you have 5 blue and 5red. In the other you have blue and red Marbles but I don't know how many of each.
You want to pick a blue marble, in which hand is there a better probability of getting one?
It's a trick question, if it's simply by chance, the probabilities are the same.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 7, 2017 - 9:02pm
Sorry, I should fix that. You know there are 5blue, 5red in one hand, you have to choose blindlly,  the other you don't know, but you have to pick blindly. 
Obviously, if you could see what was in either hand you would just pick a blue one.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 7, 2017 - 9:23pm
Therefore the probability that there is no Lord, or no Creator, no God, is pretty much zero.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 7, 2017 - 10:06pm
You can correct my math but:
If we assign Probability of A= the Universe creating itself by chance.
Probability of B= amino acids forming randomly to create life by chance combination
The probability of B happening after A is the probability of B.
But the probability that both happened by chance is actually the probability of A times the probability of B.
Thus I assigned A the same probability as B since the probability of A is unknown and actually zero.
opher goodwin Added Aug 8, 2017 - 4:03am
Dannl - you are right - we are in big doodoo. We are making a complete mess of the planet and one of the reasons for that is that as a race we still have a medieval mentality. We cling to tribalism, race and religion instead of using our intelligence.
You obviously did not read my post on the state of the human body. If that has been designed by a deity then he is a lousy designer. I could do fifty times better without even trying.
opher goodwin Added Aug 8, 2017 - 4:04am
Dannl - the whole planet is a crime scene - no sign of god sorting any of it out though - in fact no sign of god at all.
opher goodwin Added Aug 8, 2017 - 4:08am
Barath - as primitive Middle Easter Tribes had very little understanding of the universe they wrote about what they knew. The early Christian church believed that the earth was flat and that the sun and moon moved around it. They believed the sky was a dome and that God's light shone through pinpricks, that were stars, from heaven above. We now know this was all bollocks but they actually burnt people at the stake for believing otherwise.
Saint George Added Aug 8, 2017 - 4:13am
Saint - as I said before - you ignore catalysts.
No, I didn't ignore them. I spent a lot time and space writing about them. You ignored what I wrote. Catalysts — enzymes — are PROTEINS, which themselves require genetic instructions from DNA for their construction. DNA requires enzymes; enzymes require DNA. Chicken and egg paradox. They are products of genetic instructions; they don't appear out of nowhere, in a vacuum, by chance, any more than any other protein appears out of nowhere, in a vacuum, by chance.
Saint George Added Aug 8, 2017 - 4:15am
Therefore the probability that there is no Lord, or no Creator, no God, is pretty much zero.
Sir Fred Hoyle, an astrophysicist who claimed to be atheist, also claimed that the universe gave every indication of having been "monkeyed with by a super-intellect."
opher goodwin Added Aug 8, 2017 - 4:16am
Barath/Leroy - Leroy is right. In an infinite system the most improbable of things will occur an infinite number of times. In our system, our universe, of such immensity (Trillions of galaxies - 2 trillion and counting - 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars - at a conservative estimate) and given 14 billion years, the most unlikely of events is certain to have happened somewhere at some time. To the people who arose out of this most unlikely event that would seem miraculous but in reality it is nothing more than random chance.
That's the way it is.
Stephen Hawking - probably the greatest mind on the planet - stated that there is no need for a god in this system. It is capable of running itself.
opher goodwin Added Aug 8, 2017 - 4:24am
Saint - you are simply wrong. Protein molecules do not form in that way. They are catalysed. I repeat myself but you are bustling down a meaningless dead-end. The rate of chemical reaction exceeds our understanding it is so fast. Adsorption on to a surface will create reactions occurring at thousands of times a second. You theory is flawed. Give a billion years of high heat, electrical storm, methane, water, hydrogen, carbon dioxide and silica clay to adsorb and catalyse and you'd have oceans of rich organic soup - as seen by spectrometers in the atmosphere of other planets.
opher goodwin Added Aug 8, 2017 - 4:26am
Barath/Saint - as the laws of the universe do not pertain to the conditions of the Big Bang it is impossible for anyone to apply any laws or probabilities to it. What occurred and why and what was before it are all impossible to speculate on.
opher goodwin Added Aug 8, 2017 - 4:29am
Barath/Saint - I do not think anybody is disputing what an incredibly awesome thing the creation of life was and human intelligence even more so. The probabilities of something like this happening are spectacularly small - but not impossible.
The fact that it happened should be celebrated and, whatever the cause (god or chance), it should be respected and nurtured. Life and consciousness are wondrous.
I don't need a god to tell me that.
opher goodwin Added Aug 8, 2017 - 4:31am
Barath - the laws of probability do not prove a single thing. You believe in it if you like but it is unsubstantiated belief.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 8, 2017 - 6:08am
My argument:
Einstein famously said, " God does not play dice with the Universe" because that's exactly what Quantum mechanics does assign probabilities to the unknown(based on what is known).
Take the Schrodinger's Cat in the Box thought experiment( based on the probability of an element's radioactive decay).
The Universe had a beginning, about 13.7 billion years ago with evidence that evolutionary theory agrees with. Nothing can be known mathamamatically before the Planck time in Physics because it is beyond measurement by the multiplication of constants used in physics(it's too short a time).
In actuality the probability the Universe emerged on its own from nothing is zero since non existence is not a real thing but a negation( non-existence is not real).
Division by zero in a conditional probability of two independent events is undefined therefore the probability we exist would then be impossible. To be fair I'll assign event B(synthesis of amino acids into proteins by chance combination or permutations) a small probability like 1/trillion, the probability of event A is not knowable( elementary particles like up quarks, right handed neutrinos, the particle soup, cannot even be generated in a particle collider)but to be fair if determined by chance I'll give it the same probability as event B. 
    The probability the both A and B happened by chance will be greater than the chance only event B did.
So the probability would 1/trillion trillion, ( the result of probability of A times probability of B) or some very small probability.
    In any case the Lord is omniscient, but the Lord is Merciful so you don't have to believe in the Lord if you don't want to because it is like asking God if it is possible that he doesn't know something. The Lord is all-knowing, but if he doesn't know something then how would he know that he doesn't know something?
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 8, 2017 - 6:17am
Sorry, I meant the chance Event A and B both happened by chance will be more improbable but have a larger number in the denominator and so be a longer decimal.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 8, 2017 - 8:47am
Note: I chose to solve the problem the way I did because the answer should be fair.
If you say the probability that both events A and B occurred by chance is simply the probability of B I will say the probability of A is zero and division by zero is disallowed.
If you say the probability of B statistically is zero then I say there is some small possibility it could happen by chance.
In actuality the probability of Event A happening by chance is zero, but to be fair I'll assign it the same probability as Event B since it is undetermined, and unknown.
Thus the probability of both events occurring is the probability of Event A times probability of Event B.
Mathematics follows theory, but if their is no God why should I be fair? Zero times zero =zero.
opher goodwin Added Aug 8, 2017 - 1:29pm
Barath - that's good to hear - but it is what I figured. The existence of god is immaterial to how a man should live his life. If there is a god, and he is good and sane, then there will be no judgement. If he isn't either of those then everything is lost anyway.
opher goodwin Added Aug 8, 2017 - 1:31pm
Dannl - thought about it. Still true.
mark henry smith Added Aug 8, 2017 - 2:04pm
Wow, did this post go viral?
I'd just like to add that if all of these things we see in this universe came out of a space the size of a pin head, then at some point in the past they were all the same thing. The reality would be that they are all still the same thing but have been acted upon to make them appear different, like humans. We're all the same thing. We act upon ourselves to make ourselves feel different, but we're not.
The fact that Bohr imagined it was chance at play does not mean it is chance only that we can't explain it any other way. The fact that at the subatomic level anything is possible, as stated above, things arriving before they've left, things existing in several states at once, but not being any of them until we tweak them, the spooky force, doesn't mean that what happens is random.
I too have felt the presence of God in my life. I too hate institutionalized religion because at the point a religious concept becomes an institution it becomes a political entity. Buddha never wanted his ideas to become a religion like Hinduism filled with superstitions. He was trying to figure out a better understanding for human enlightenment, not a system for better control.
John, loved the Saul Bellow story. Cried at William's story. Sometimes dislike myself when I can't control my anger. Sometimes dislike myself when I don't stand up to bullying and ignorance. We are all works in progress and those who say they aren't aren't breathing. And I like myself because I don't judge anybody by the standards of religion. I judge everybody by the parable of The Good Samaritan. Good people do good wherever they get a chance.     
mark henry smith Added Aug 8, 2017 - 2:09pm
Oh, and bad people don't let them.
Oh, and science and chance are opposites. Science denies that chance exists. The entire history of science is figuring out the processes by which change happens. When you say chance did it, or the devil, you're pretty much just throwing up your hands in defeat of reason. 
opher goodwin Added Aug 8, 2017 - 2:17pm
Thanks Mark - that makes for interesting reading. I'm not sure about the god thing but there is sure a lot of weirdness to the universe. In fact it gets weirder by the minute.
I agree with you. It doesn't really matter what a person believes; it is what they do that counts. We all need to stand up to bullies and the vicious ones and make the world a better place.
Science tries to find out why and what, how things work and understand the universe. A fascinating, impossible task but one which we have made astounding progress in.
Saint George Added Aug 9, 2017 - 3:05am
Saint - you are simply wrong. Protein molecules do not form in that way. They are catalysed.
You are mistaken. Catalysts are themselves proteins. They are formed in a cell exactly the same as all other proteins: by means of DNA (and RNA) instructing the ribosome which amino acids to put where in a polypeptide chain. Outside of a cell, functional proteins have no chance at all of forming. Look up "protein synthesis", since you appear to have forgotten the basics.
opher goodwin Added Aug 9, 2017 - 4:07am
No Saint - catalysts are usually inorganic molecules - enzymes are protein catalysts. The first catalysed reactions to create polypeptides will have probably been by adsorption on to the surface of natural silicates. It is a speedy process and completely undermines your theory. It has been successfully carried out in the laboratory using the ingredients found around 3-4 billion years ago and works quickly to produce polypeptides and all bases for DNA and RNA nucleotides. If that can be achieved in a tiny flask in no time at all just by mimicking conditions back then think what could be achieved on a planetary scale in a billion years or so. These protein polypeptides can be induced to form secondary structures by alterations in ph.
I have not forgotten the basics - this is what I taught for 36 years and studied up to research level. I'm a biologist.
The present system of protein synthesis in a cell is the result of a couple of billion years of evolution. The first simple organisms were heterotrophs incapable of using protein synthesis in the manner you suggest. These coercervates were basic protein blobs. They did not possess DNA, ribosomes or mitochondria. Most of these organelles developed in bacteria that were incorporated later into eukaryotic cells as symbionts. The huge complexity and interconnected biochemistry of the simplest cell probably took a billion years to painfully evolve. The incorporation of DNA occurred later.
Unfortunately, like most religious people, you look at the complexity of the end product - such as an eye - and cannot conceive how anything as complex and interlinked could possibly evolve. It can through a series of intermediaries. As a biologist it is easy to see these stages. Organs are preserved in the fossil record. Unfortunately biochemistry isn't. We have to work that out by other means.
Yes Saint - it is wondrous - it is incredible - but not impossible and
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 9, 2017 - 9:03am
     You say the first polypeptide chains could have evolved by chance, that does not mean it is probable.
      I gave it some possibility. But, the probability that the Universe came into being from into being from non existence by chance is not determinable or impossible.
     It's like spinning a roulette wheel, and putting all your money on 'red 22'. Let's say you win 10,000$. You spin again, are your odds of getting red 22 better or worse? 
     If you do billions of simulations by the law of large numbers you'll find it doesn't change the probability, you have just as good a chance of getting red 22 as any other number, since the roulette ball doesn't know that it landed on red 22 the last time. But, what is the probability of landing on red 22 twice in a row? The multiplication of the two probabilities.
    No matter how big the Universe is does not change the improbability of a functional cell emerging on its own in this world by chance.
     If you give a monkey infinite time at a typewriter will it eventually type the complete works of Shakespeare? Not without some intelligent guidae Lord's Spiritual guidance. What is arbitrary does not produce order even given infinite time.
mark henry smith Added Aug 9, 2017 - 1:43pm
Now there is an interesting thought. Are there cells, or viruses, moving through space looking for places to colonize? Could life on this planet be the product of evolution on another? We don't know and we can't know. Even if we find life in space, and I imagine it will be simple life forms, or on Mars, it would not prove how life got here.
Opher, my mother is a micro-biologist and I grew up in the era of Watson and Crick, the double helix, the synthesis of organic molecules from inorganic compounds, from what I remember I think methane was involved and lightening, all of the ingredients floating in a primordial stew seemed primed to make life happen.
I think that is the most intriguing question? Why is life so determined to exist? That's the biological question that doesn't make sense without some force injecting that motivation. Or then again, it could just be the same reason we climb the mountain. We do it because it's there and we can. Life could just exist because it can exist and it promotes its own existence because no mechanism came along to stop it, yet.
But that we are collections of one-celled organisms that can think, sing, dance, imagine, love makes me optimistic that we can mimic the best features our own bodies in world politics over time. Or perhaps that's what we're already doing.      
opher goodwin Added Aug 9, 2017 - 4:59pm
Barath - I totally agree. It is all highly improbable. It is of such a tiny magnitude of probability that it almost seems a miracle. Yet it happened. Infinity is quite big. 14.5 billion years is a long time. Even the most miniscule probability will occur somewhere. It occurred here.
opher goodwin Added Aug 9, 2017 - 5:03pm
Dannl - your understanding of science is none too hot. It is very easy to work out conditions present on earth 4 billion years ago and replicate it.
Those conditions back then were created by chance.
That small scale gives an accurate picture of what took place to create life. It was fantastic.
Your analogies simply are silly.
opher goodwin Added Aug 9, 2017 - 5:05pm
Mark - a fascinating comment. Amazing isn't it - and how it produces so many intriguing questions - most of which do not have an inkling of an answer yet.
That is what our minds do. We look for answers to impossible questions and strangely, we find some.
John Minehan Added Aug 9, 2017 - 5:46pm
"Dannl - your understanding of science is none too hot. It is very easy to work out conditions present on earth 4 billion years ago and replicate it.
Those conditions back then were created by chance.
That small scale gives an accurate picture of what took place to create life. It was fantastic.
Your analogies simply are silly."
Fairly easy to "work out" hard to "replicate," largely because we don't have enough time or the scale  to duplicate the "chance" that took a lot of timeand an entire planet to play out.  (Which may be why Miller & Urey's experiment did not produce "life" per se.)
John Minehan Added Aug 9, 2017 - 5:50pm
"That's the biological question that doesn't make sense without some force injecting that motivation."
It does not require "motivation" just certain chemical properties working out over large (but finite) amounts of time and a vast (but finite) scale.
But there is something rather than nothing and a bias towards process . . . .   
John Minehan Added Aug 9, 2017 - 5:55pm
"If you do billions of simulations by the law of large numbers you'll find it doesn't change the probability, you have just as good a chance of getting red 22 as any other number, since the roulette ball doesn't know that it landed on red 22 the last time. But, what is the probability of landing on red 22 twice in a row?" 
On the other hand, the fact that it is rare does not mean it is impossible.  And the more trials the more opportunity (not probability) for it to happen, as each trial is statistically independent.  This is Taleb's "Black Swan."
John Minehan Added Aug 9, 2017 - 5:59pm
"Oh, and science and chance are opposites. Science denies that chance exists. The entire history of science is figuring out the processes by which change happens. When you say chance did it, or the devil, you're pretty much just throwing up your hands in defeat of reason."
Quite the opposite. 
Science seeks to discover how chance (probability) works.  The more we look, the more probabilistic everything looks, as opposed to deterministic.  
opher goodwin Added Aug 9, 2017 - 7:09pm
Scientic experiment is not silly Dannl. We live in a technology created by scientific experiment. It works.
opher goodwin Added Aug 9, 2017 - 7:11pm
John - you are right - if we had a planet and a billion years there is a good chance we could have replicated life in the 'laboratory'.
The probability does not change - as you point out - but do it often enough and you are going to hit lucky. Each time is an opportunity. Sooner or later - by chance - the most unlikely event will occur - an infinity of monkeys and typewriters will eventually produce the complete works of Shakespeare.
Saint George Added Aug 10, 2017 - 4:04am
from what I remember I think methane was involved and lightening, all of the ingredients floating in a primordial stew seemed primed to make life happen
You might be thinking of the famous "Miller-Urey experiment", in which a mixture of gases like hydrogen and methane was exposed to electricity and some amino acids were formed.
A few weeks after Stanley Miller performed that experiment, the geochemists down the hall from his laboratory knocked on his door and gave him the bad news: the geochemical evidence does NOT point to an early atmosphere of gases like methane and hydrogen, but a more humdrum, boring mixture of CO2 and some oxygen, and lots and lots of water vapor. Lightning can strike all you want in THAT mixture and nothing will form. 
Miller, in fact, published a statement sometime after his experiment amending the results and "curbing his enthusiasm" somewhat.
In any case, even if lots of amino acids could form that way, there are still four basic problems that have to be solved before you can claim that those amino acids (which, by themselves, do nothing) can link into long chains called proteins:
1) all of the amino acids have to be of the left-hand variety, not the right-hand kind. In nature, however, approximately equal numbers of left-hand and right-hand molecules will form, so you'll have to think up a plausible way for the right-hand and left-hand forms of the molecule to segregate from each other. Living organisms only use the left-hand form of amino acids.
2) Think of amino acids like letters on Scrabble chips, and think of proteins like whole words or sentences on a Scrabble board. If you shake a box of Scrabble pieces, toss them in the air, and let them fall to the ground, you have a pile of letters that don't form any meaningful pattern. That's analogous to amino acids forming randomly by means of Stanley Miller's experiment. To go from individual amino acids to functioning protein strings is very much like going from individual Scrabble pieces lying haphazardly on the floor to meaningful words and sentences on a Scrabble board: you have to sequence the individual elements in very specific ways. In Scrabble, the sequencing is done by a human player, using his mind, and the order of the pieces on the board is determined by the rules of English spelling. In a living cell, amino acids are sequenced by means of genetic instructions on a biological "hard drive" — a strand of DNA — that instructs the ribosome what amino acids to fetch from the body of the cell, and in what order. Outside of a cell, without genetic instructions from a master code-storage device like DNA, you'll have to contrive some other plausible way to put the amino acids in the correct order to form specific kinds of proteins. Any old order won't work, just as any old order for Scrabble pieces won't work.
3) Scrabble pieces can simply be put on a board, one next to the other, to form words. Amino acids, however, need to connect with one another by means of a specific kind of bond called a "peptide bond", and the water molecule that would naturally be there has to be driven out, or it will dissolve the bond and the protein chain will fall apart. Since there are many different kinds of bonds that can form between one amino acid and another, you'll have to find a plausible mechanism outside of a cell which would guarantee that ONLY a peptide bond would form between one amino acid and the next. Any old bond won't do; only peptide bonds will work.
4) After a chain of amino acids is formed, it still isn't, technically, a protein. It's simply a "polypeptide." It becomes a protein when that chain folds into a complicated 3-D configuration. That configuration is now a "protein" and is transported by other molecules ("chaperones") to specific places in the organism, where the folded protein technically fits into place. If a polypeptide doesn't fold correctly, it's useless as a protein, and a healthy organism finds ways of excreting it.
Left-Right problem;
Sequencing problem;
Peptide bond problem;
Folding problem.
That doesn't completely exhaust the list of problems that have to be addressed in going from amino acids to proteins, but it'll do for now.
Saint George Added Aug 10, 2017 - 4:22am
The first catalysed reactions to create polypeptides will have probably been by adsorption on to the surface of natural silicates. It is a speedy process and completely undermines your theory.
No it doesn't, and you are quite wrong. The nucleic-acid base cytosine is not found anywhere naturally outside of a cell. It's not in meteorites and it doesn't form from silicates here on earth. Look it up.
Without cytosine, you don't have a functioning DNA or RNA molecule. Without a functioning DNA or RNA molecule, you don't have functioning proteins. 
2) whether with bases or amino acids, sequencing is everything: like letters in words, bases have to be in the correct order, one next to the other, so that the amino acids can be sequenced in the correct order. Silicates do nothing for sequencing.
3) The helix-spine of DNA is ribose, a sugar that's very difficult to create without the specific enzyme used by the cell for just that purpose. Without the enzyme, ribose synthesis requires both the absence of water and the presence of formaldehyde — both highly unlikely in an early earth scenario.
To date, there are no experiments plausibly showing where the elements of living organisms came from, or how they came to be sequenced in the order they have to be in for life to arise and reproduce. There are no experiments that plausibly explain how left-handed molecules became segregated from their mirror-image right-handed molecules; in nature — in silicates, for example — all mixtures are racemic: approximately equal amounts of left-handed and right-handed molecules. Racemic mixtures are useless for creating life.
Living organisms are extremely specific as to their molecular requirements: all amino acids must be left-handed, and all nucleic-acid bases and sugars (adenosine, cytosine, thymine, guanine, uracil, ribose) must only be right-handed.
As experiments have shown, silicates explain nothing. 
opher goodwin Added Aug 10, 2017 - 5:49am
Dannl - but we do have an infinite universe and infinite possibility and all the time in the world.
opher goodwin Added Aug 10, 2017 - 5:59am
Saint - very good - it is nice to know that some elementary understanding of what I spent thirty six years teaching is out there in the world. If you like I can give you a whole lecture on peptide links, isomerism and its application to living organisms. I doubt many people know more.
In terms of the early Miller/Urey experiments - that has been greatly superseded by subsequent experiments. To correct you - the atmosphere back then was mainly nitrogen, carbon dioxide and methane with some hydrogen and water thrown in. There was hardly any oxygen. Nearly all our oxygen has come from photosynthesis. I think you've been cribbing from a nutty creationist text. 
Ribose and deoxyribose sugars were easily created in subsequent experiments as well as long polypeptide chains that assumed secondary formation.
Quite sophisticated, self-replicating coercervates have been created in the laboratory. Not bad for just what - 50 years of research.
It is true that there is still much to be understood. I have no doubt that in another five hundred years or so they'll have worked it all out.
opher goodwin Added Aug 10, 2017 - 6:03am
Saint - cytosine is just one of the five nitrogenous bases found in DNA/RNA. All are perfectly able to be made synthetically.
Silicates do not form anything. They, like many other substances, are an inorganic catalyst. They adsorb substances on to their surface and align them for rapid chemical reaction. The same principle as applied to catalytic converters in cars.
mark henry smith Added Aug 10, 2017 - 1:40pm
I don't know about the rest of you, but I find these discussions fascinating since I'm not a scientist and don't have the bio-chemical background to fully comprehend the details of all that is being claimed, but in terms of the word chance, I think we're diverging in our interpretations of the meaning of chance.
John Minehan says that science and chance are not opposites, but it depends on what you mean by chance. I mean it in the grand sense, of chance being any system in which the variables that produce a result are beyond understanding, thus cannot be reproduced. I do not believe such a system exists, just that the variables are either not understood yet, or are too complex for our current technology.
I am not talking about the chance bringing together of the variables required for a reaction to occur. In nature chance is happening all the time, but if we could understand every component that went into making a decision, making an earthquake, making a hurricane, making anything, we could predict with complete accuracy when events would occur, we could then predict what effects it would have.
This may never happen, that we have the computational power to coordinate and use all of the data required, but that does not mean it couldn't happen. And if human history is any guide to the future, our curiosity and ingenuity will lead us closer and closer to prevailing over chance. But then again, knowing what will happen and having the wisdom to use that knowledge efficaciously are two different things. Look at the atom and our ability to harness the energy inside those structures. In that area we've learned how to harness chance.
Left and right handed amino acids? Could this be because of the orientation of the magnetic poles at the time? Just asking, if this sounds like a stupid question.
Saint George Added Aug 10, 2017 - 6:42pm
All are perfectly able to be made synthetically.
So what. That proves only that an intelligent designer known as a "Lab Technician" can intelligently (by design) construct cytosine in a laboratory by NOT having to make repeated random trials of incorrect ingredients that way nature would have to. Your job as an atheist is to prove that it can occur in nature by repeated trials of random processes. Furthermore, whatever natural scenario you imagine has to be plausible. If it's just a series of highly unlikely "lucky coincidences", then you're not doing science . . . you're writing fiction.
Once more: without cytosine, you don't have a functional DNA or RNA molecule capable of storing genetic information or providing genetic instructions on how to correctly sequence amino acids. And without that, you don't have proteins.
So far, your silicates hypothesis proves nothing.
Saint George Added Aug 10, 2017 - 7:31pm
if we could understand every component that went into making a decision, making an earthquake, making a hurricane, making anything, we could predict with complete accuracy when events would occur, we could then predict what effects it would have.
I believe that is incorrect, though it's not an uncommon view. I'll explain more fully in another next post.
Left and right handed amino acids? Could this be because of the orientation of the magnetic poles at the time? Just asking, if this sounds like a stupid question.
No, it's not a stupid question. The truth is that no one knows why there are two mirror-image forms of organic molecules (technically called "enantiomers", but more casually called "optical isomers", the characteristic itself being called "chirality", which means "handedness". "Chiromancy", for example, is the "reading of palms" for predicting your fortune . . .).
Additionally, given that outside of a living organism, one always finds left-handed and right-handed molecules in about equal amounts randomly mixed together (known as a "racemic" [3 syllables] mixture), no one knows how or why the left-handed and right-handed molecules segregated from each other. It can be done in a laboratory at rather great expense. Lots of pharmaceuticals now use only the left or right orientation of molecules. Also, when you go to a health food store and buy, e.g., an amino acid supplement (let's say, cysteine), the bottle will most likely specify "L-cysteine". "L" stands for "Levo-", which is the Latin prefix for "Left" (sometimes spelled "Laevo"). A right-hand molecule would be specified as "D-", standing for "Dextro-" which is the Latin for "right." For example, you might buy a supplement like "D-Ribose", which is the right-hand form of the sugar "ribose."
I don't think the segregation occurred for any reason having to do with magnetism. Some chemists have posited a physical-chemistry effect called "steric hindrance", in which molecules get pushed out of place (or pushed into place) by means of physical pressure between molecules. It's a bit far-fetched, I think. Steric hindrance might account for very short chains of molecules all having the same chirality; but long chains? Here's an example of what I mean by the unlikelihood of it:
Suppose you had the 26 capital letters of the English alphabet made of wood or plastic (not printed on wood or plastic, but whole letters constructed out of wood or plastic). You can see that the latter "A" has sloping sides, as do the letters "W" and "Y". So through some random process — let's say, a very powerful electric fan blowing the letters randomly around a room — it might (conceivably) happen that a chain of letters could form in which the slopes of the letters "tuck" into one another in a snug way. For example, a "W" might start a chain, and be followed immediately by an "A", whose left side "tucks" snugly against the right side of the "W". Then, after the "A", perhaps a "Y" follows; the left side of the "Y" sort of tucks snugly against the right side of the "A". So that would construct a functional (that is, meaningful) chain spelling the word "WAY". The reverse of that might happen, too, spelling the word "YAW."
OK. So through random action alone, we might get two functional chains, "WAY" and "YAW". But so what. How would that explain where long chains of meaningful letters come from, such as in a novel? Randomness can't even explain where fairly short chains come from, such as the text of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Here's the calculation of that:
The Gettysburg Address has a mere 263 words.
Counting spaces (but not punctuation), it has 1,450 characters (that is, letters + spaces between words and sentences).
What would the chances be of generating that precise string of 1,450 characters, in that order, by random methods? It's easy to calculate:
If a powerful fan were blowing the 26 letters of the English alphabet (and some symbol representing a space), making a total of 27 characters, there's an even chance that any one of those 27 characters could land in the first position (where Lincoln starts off with an "F", i.e., "Four score . . ."). So the chance of that occurring randomly is 1-in-27, or 1/27. The chances of Lincoln's 2nd letter, "o", occurring by chance are again, 1-in-27, or 1/27. The odds of BOTH the "F" AND the "o" occurring by chance, one right after the other, are therefore, 1/27 x 1/27, or 1/27^2. The chances are obviously the same for each letter or space Lincoln used; since there are 1,450 characters (including spaces, but excluding punctuation for simplicity),
Saint George Added Aug 10, 2017 - 7:32pm
If a powerful fan were blowing the 26 letters of the English alphabet (and some symbol representing a space), making a total of 27 characters, there's an even chance that any one of those 27 characters could land in the first position (where Lincoln starts off with an "F", i.e., "Four score . . ."). So the chance of that occurring randomly is 1-in-27, or 1/27. The chances of Lincoln's 2nd letter, "o", occurring by chance are again, 1-in-27, or 1/27. The odds of BOTH the "F" AND the "o" occurring by chance, one right after the other, are therefore, 1/27 x 1/27, or 1/27^2. The chances are obviously the same for each letter or space Lincoln used; since there are 1,450 characters (including spaces, but excluding punctuation for simplicity), the odds of producing Lincoln's Gettysburg address by chance alone are 1/27^1,450.
Converting 27^1,450 to a more convenient power of 10, we use simple logs:
27^1,450 =  1,450*log[10]27.
The log (base 10) of 27 is about 1.43;
So the total is:
27^1,450 is approximately equal to 10^1,450*1.43; or
27^1,450 is approximately equal to 10^2,074; or,
1/27^1,450 is about equal to 1/10^2,074.
Any idea how small that probability is? Let's put it this way:
The number of fundamental particles in the known universe is estimated to be about 10^85. So the chances of your grabbing one specific particle is 1/10^85. If we had ten times as many particles, the exponent in the denominator would only increase by "1", i.e., 1/10^86.
Compare the exponents of 1/10^85 to 1/10^2,074.
The odds of grabbing one specific particle in the known universe are greater than the odds of a powerful electric fan generating Lincoln's Gettysburg Address by chance. The latter is more improbably by many, many orders of magnitude.
opher goodwin Added Aug 11, 2017 - 3:33am
Saint - rubbish. It shows that by recreating conditions back on earth the building blocks for life can all be made. There is no intelligent design. It is a replication of conditions.
Silica has been demonstrated to be a very good absorption catalyst for these type of reactions and, as it is the main ingredient of sand, was present in enormous quantities at the beginning.
Lucky coincidences are unlikely events. They happen all the time. There is nothing unscientific about serendipity. Science recognises it completely in both creation and evolution as well as most other events. Nuclear physics is full of it. Radioactivity and chain reactions. I don't know why you think science would have a problem with chance?
opher goodwin Added Aug 11, 2017 - 3:37am
Mark - unfortunately no. The isomerism of organic molecules has nothing to do with magnetic fields. It is the way the molecules have been created.
Saint makes a big deal out of it but in actual fact it is of little significance. The beginning of life was such an unlikely event in terms of probability that in all that time and space it only occurred once. We are all related to that one instance and stem from it. Hence we all share the attributes of that first organism that came about through random chance and it just happened to have that particular isomer as its basis - hence the rest of us do.
opher goodwin Added Aug 11, 2017 - 3:43am
Saint - yes I agree - the level of improbability is mind blowing. That is what makes us, and all life, such a fabulous event. Going on about how improbable a thing is does not prove anything. It just says that it is remarkably unlikely. Yet any mathematician will tell you that the most improbable event is still possible.
Given time and space beyond our ability to imagine those probabilities become less improbable - though still utterly boggling.
If you had a one-arm bandit with a billion drums the changes of lining up your cherries are remarkably small. Yet you could do it on the first pull of the arm. That is what Las Vegas is built on.
opher goodwin Added Aug 11, 2017 - 4:51am
Dannl - your indoctrinated belief is what you hold. Of course there is chance. What on earth is the purpose of life if everything is ordained? That is absurd.
You choose to believe that there is a god organising everything. If you'd have been born a few thousand years ago you'd probably believe in Zeus or if you were in the Amazon jungle you'd be believing in what the shaman tells you. That's your choice.
I never said that it was probable that life began by chance. The likelihood is incredibly improbably. I said it was possible despite the fantastic odds. I believe that is much more probable than inventing another unknown.
Where does this 'supernatural creature' you call god come from? Was he created out of nothing? Did another god create him? Why does he want to create a universe and people?
All you are doing is replacing one fantastic event with something even more farfetched straight out of human imagination.
If that makes you feel good then fair enough. I don't swallow it and fortunately I wasn't brought up with those ideas impregnated into my mind.
I think there is chance. You not believing in chance doesn't make it so either.
We are products of our upbringing I think?
So now I am to be compared with another medieval fictional entity - the devil. I guess so. I stand for fairness, love and equality. I stand for freedom and an end to control from the greedy superrich. I stand against the destruction of the planet and the extinction of the animals I love. I stand against the abuse and indoctrination of children. I stand against war, poverty and overpopulation. I strive for a better world I guess that makes me a devil. After all, they crucified Jesus for pretty much the same, didn't they?
opher goodwin Added Aug 11, 2017 - 5:34am
Dannl - Oh I can quite identify with the things Jesus said and stood for. He was an historical person of some note. The leader of what was described as a small jewish cult at the time. What I don't accept is claims he purportedly made to be the messiah, son of god. Perhaps he was misquoted? It was Paul who built up the supernatural side, the mystical element, in order to sell it, and Constantine who raised it out of the ashes of obscurity. But what Jesus stood for was pretty much the same as me - peace, love and harmony. And the reaction to him was just as hysterical.
Saint George Added Aug 11, 2017 - 5:41am
rubbish. It shows that by recreating conditions back on earth the building blocks for life can all be made.
Wrong again. Conditions on early, pre-biotic earth were, in fact, HOSTILE to the formation of life, including any meaningful sequences of amino acids or nucleic acid bases. You probably don't realize this because you have no training or background in science, but raw nature is utterly unlike the carefully controlled conditions that an intelligent designer known as a "lab technician" works so hard to maintain in a laboratory.
What the lab technician is doing is working hard to EXCLUDE all of those conditions that we already know existed on pre-biotic earth, and which would simply reverse and undo any constructive results of random associations. Lab technicians work hard to EXCLUDE chance, especially those chance events that are destructive.
To paraphrase astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle, "There are no random results in nature worth speaking about. The universe is one big 'put up job', and the laws of nature (especially the appearance of life, and the non-arbitrary characteristics of physical constants) appear to have been monkeyed with by a super-intellect." Hoyle was right. He was also an atheist, by the way.
For every beneficial effect in nature, there are dozens of destructive ones that simply UNDO whatever was initially created. The odds of constructing a functional informational molecule like DNA or RNA by chance are even less than the odds of creating the text of the Gettysburg Address by random means that I calculated above. Most of the chemical reactions involved in biochemistry are "reversible reactions"; there's not the slightest reason the reaction should only go in one direction and simply stay there, especially in the presence of solvents like water. 
Also, I should point out, that if indeed there was some sort of naturalistic evolution of the living cell, it would require FIRST the appearance of DNA or RNA, and THEN the appearance of the amino acids. This follows from considerations of basic code theory: there are 20 amino acids essential for life; they are coded for by DNA using 4 bases (A, C, G, T) in a triplet along the ribose molecule, the triplet being known as a "codon"; each triplet is the biochemical equivalent of a code-word for one amino acid. The total number of 3-letter code-words from an alphabet comprising "A, C, G, T" is 4x4x4=64. There are 4 possibilities for the first letter of a code word (an A, a C, a G, or a T), the same 4 possibilities for the second and third letters; so the total number of code words ("codons") that can exist is 64. Now, there are only 20 essential amino acids, so it appears that some of those 64 code-words are redundant: several different codons code for the same amino acid. Nothing wrong with that. In coding theory, it's known as "redundancy" and helps to make the code "robust." But the reverse could not have happened: you cannot have an alphabet of 20 (amino acids) somehow creating an alphabet of 64 codons, because some of those 20 amino acids would have to be used more than once to create different base triplets. In coding theory, this is the reverse of "redundancy"; it's called "ambiguity" (one and the same symbol from one alphabet representing two or more different symbols in another alphabet). Imagine if when hitting the "E" key on your computer keyboard, it would sometimes give you an "E" onscreen and other times — at random — give you a "W"; it would slow down your coding (typing) considerably.
So Stanley Miller was wrong about the early Earth atmosphere, and amino acids would not have appeared fortuitously as he originally claimed from his famous experiment. If anything formed by chance, it would first have to be an information-bearing molecule like DNA or RNA. But cytosine isn't found anywhere in nature outside of a cell, and the laboratory synthesis is so fragile and difficult that it's less likely to have formed on its own than the text of the Gettysburg Address could have formed on its own from Scrabble squares dropped randomly on the floor. The same can be said for ribose: without the enzyme specific to create ribose, it would never have formed on its own in nature, outside of the genome, just by chance.
Your position is as cute as claiming that a laptop computer — something that is far less complex than a living cell — could be created by random association of metallic ores and other naturally occurring items because all these things can be easily put together on a production line at Apple, Microsoft, or Dell. The purpose of that production line is precisely to exclude random elements by means of intelligence and design so that something functional appears at the end of it. 
Your naive faith in chance
Saint George Added Aug 11, 2017 - 5:42am
Your naive faith in chance is no different in principle from a religion; in fact, it IS religion, which is the reason I posted earlier that we cannot really define "atheism" by what it is NOT, i.e., a non-belief in God. Atheism, in fact, is the religion of naive materialism, similar to that of the Greek poet and philosopher, Lucretius, who wrote a poem about the birth of the universe titled "De Rerum Natura," "On the Nature of Things". He claimed that the only things which exist are "Matter, Motion, and the Void"; in modern terms, "Matter, Energy, and Space," and that those three things are enough to account for the existence of everything else in the universe, including life.
But of course, Lucretius was unacquainted with biochemistry, molecular biology, and most importantly, the laws of probability, which simply rule out mathematical miracles.
opher goodwin Added Aug 11, 2017 - 6:07am
Saint - I have a degree in Zoology and three years research behind me as well as thirty six years lecturing on biochemistry and genetics. I think I am trained and conversant with scientific method. I lectured on protein synthesis, DNA/RNA replication, genetics and the creation of life. It is no good you churning out facts that I already know inside out.
Miller was not wrong about the early atmosphere. I don't know where you get that from. They have a whole body of research that stemmed from Miller that made much more sophisticated experiments and proved that much more complicated molecules could be formed.
I think you confuse a controlled experiment, which deliberately removes chance, with what occurs in nature. Science does not deny chance. It tries to eliminate it in controlled experiments in order to see the effects of controlled variables. Totally different.
I don't know what your scientific background is but your understanding of the facts is lacking.
opher goodwin Added Aug 11, 2017 - 6:13am
Saint - ludicrous assertions. I have no religion. I do not worship any superior force. I do not worship science. In my world there are no facts. There are no certainties. There is wonder, awe and possibility.
I'm an atheist because I do not see any evidence for god or basis for religion.
I do accept that there might be a spiritual element. But I do not have a clue what that might be - probably nothing.
I choose not to follow an indoctrinated path and kowtow to the prevailing religious view. Science is about investigation and finding out how, when, where and why. It's not a religion and it comes up with no ultimate answers. But it tells us a lot more about the universe, in my opinion, than belief in supernatural twaddle ever did.
opher goodwin Added Aug 11, 2017 - 6:13am
22 amino acids in life BTW.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 11, 2017 - 7:31am
   How about the Life Principle? That nature has a tendency towards the creation of life, that guides it?I believe we see this in nature all the time and that there are scientific experiments  that confirm it?(It's an aspect of God too).
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 11, 2017 - 12:27pm
I think Danny boy has finally slipped his moorings. You evidence that Christ is Messiah can't just be Christ said he was, or he said this or that.
    Does Mr. D. Yoder claim Jesus was omniscient?Based on what?
opher goodwin Added Aug 11, 2017 - 3:25pm
Barath - I'm not sure I understand what you mean - please elucidate. Maybe I'm just dense today?
opher goodwin Added Aug 11, 2017 - 3:33pm
Dannl - he also said 'My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?' I take what he said with a pinch of salt and weight it up for its content. He said some great things and some not so great. I also have absolutely no faith in the reporting of him or what he was supposed to have said. It was all written long after the death of him and his disciples from second, third, fourth, five hand accounts passed down verbally. A lot of the contradictory material was burnt at the council of Nicea where they sorted out what they termed heretical material.
Even if what he said was accurately recorded it does not give it any gravitas. One has to believe in a lot of things to accept what he said was right. I don't. And I think when he was on that cross he came to realise that it wasn't what he'd imagined.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 11, 2017 - 3:37pm
I would suggest that there has to be some other proof that the bible is right other than using one biblical statement to prove the validity of another. For example ethical arguments derived from logic or metaphysics a priori. Or some other kind of evidence, e.g. , Harmonization with all other (accepted) religious texts.
    The conclusion that Jesus said he was Messiah isn't proven logically by agreement with another statement that he made.
opher goodwin Added Aug 11, 2017 - 3:37pm
Dannl - that is plain weird. So Jerusalem was in Russia. Jesus and his brother and family weren't Jewish.  Bears in caves with apples in their mouth?
Have you been dropping acid?
opher goodwin Added Aug 11, 2017 - 3:38pm
Barath - I think he is on something.
Saint George Added Aug 12, 2017 - 12:33am
ludicrous assertions. I have no religion. I do not worship any superior force.
That's not necessary for you to have a religious faith. 
Saint George Added Aug 12, 2017 - 1:03am

I choose not to follow an indoctrinated path and kowtow to the prevailing religious view.
Every religious person makes the same claim. Naive materialism is not unique in that regard. When it comes to blind faith (in "matter, energy, and the void," just as Lucretius wrote over two millennia ago), you're no different from a fundamentalist Christian. They're actually in a better position epistemologically because at least they have some skepticism about the claims of naive materialism. You grant it exclusive power over everything. That you call your god "Chance" in no way changes the fact that your views are matters of blind faith. Your faith-filled statements above concerning the origin-of-life indicate that clearly.
Science is about investigation and finding out how, when, where and why.
Actually, no it isn't. That view is a neat bit of propaganda. Paraphrasing Karl Popper on the fact that scientific investigation must first have a hypothesis, then empirical data (not the other way around), he wrote, "Many people claim that science is the process of explaining the unknown by means of the known. It's actually the other way around: science progresses and advances our knowledge of the world by means of explaining the known by means of the unknown."
It's not a religion and it comes up with no ultimate answers.
That's true in an ideal sense, only. Science ought not come up with ultimate answers because it's incapable of doing so; but that has never prevented scientists from coming up with ultimate answers. Naive materialism (especially in origin-of-life studies, but also in psychology, would be examples of that.
But it tells us a lot more about the universe, in my opinion, than belief in supernatural twaddle ever did.
That depends on the sort of knowledge you're interested in getting. Science has nothing to say on the knowledge of "right" and "wrong", for example, or indeed, any knowledge about the universe in which the word "ought" appears in the conclusion. That's because the statements science deals with are "is" statements, and there's no way to go from a series of "is" statements to a conclusion with "ought" in it. Logic forbids it.

opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 5:45am
Saint - interesting but flawed. You have a tendency to talk as if you know my inner thoughts, motives and feelings. You don't. You only know what you have superficially gleaned from a few articles I have written and some responses.
The basis of science is observation not hypothesis. The first thing I taught my students was that there is no such thing as a fact.
I am a scientist and I do not believe in anything from a quasar to a black hole.
I have no religion - just a faith in certain principles of tolerance, freedom, respect, responsibility, empathy, compassion, altruism, intelligence and enquiry. I celebrate life and the wonder and awe of being in this universe. If you want to call that religion then by all means. I don't.
I know that in a thousand years time, if we are lucky enough to survive that long, science will have moved on and our present understanding will have changed.
AJP Taylor, the famous historian, was once asked when the Dark Ages finished. He said that they hadn't; we're still living them. He was right.
Hopefully one day we will, as a culture, grow up.
Science has lots to say on 'right and wrong'. I have participated in many lively debates about ethics in science and held lively debates. Topics such as abortion and genetic engineering, eugenics, sex education and brain death, involve scientists in discussing morality and making decisions. Religion certainly has no monopoly on morality - far from it - its vague contradictory language provides ample room for anybody to wriggle. For every thou shalt not kill there are a number of go out and smites. You choose what you want. Scientific ethics is not as ambiguous.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 12, 2017 - 6:39am
Well as Pauli once said, it seems our friend Opher has a religion too " There is no God and Opher is his prophet"
See Wolfgang Pauli, Solvay Conference.
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 6:41am
Barath - I merely state the obvious and am prophet of nothing.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 12, 2017 - 6:45am
.  Science deals with the objective, material world. It invites us to make accurate statements about objective reality and to grasp its interconnections. Religion, on the other hand, deals with the world of values. It considers what ought to be or what we ought to do, not what is. In science we are concerned to discover what is true or false; in religion with what is good or evil, noble or base. Science is the basis of technology, religion the basis of ethics.
Opher you said:
       Science has lots to say on 'right and wrong'. I have participated in many lively debates about ethics in science and held lively debates. Topics such as abortion and genetic engineering, eugenics, sex education and brain death, involve scientists in discussing morality and making decisions.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 12, 2017 - 6:48am
    You don't see a contradiction between what you argued and what Nobel scientists discussed and debated at Solvay?
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 6:53am
Barath - I do not agree at all with your words on science or religion.
Science is about observing the world (and the human mind) and trying to understand how it works. Religion is a manmade construction that purports to stem from a supernatural being, who was the supposed creator of the universe (and people), but for whom there is no evidence.
Both are concerned with morality and ethics but from different perspectives.
BTW - I think the boundary between 'the material world' and reality is breaking down. Quantum theory open up a realm of possibility.
Religion require faith. Science requires wonder.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 12, 2017 - 7:11am
   Science is material and its use is for technology. It doesn't have anything to do with telling us how to create and noble or good society. The minute God is an explanation it is not science. That is unless you understand science from a perspective of trying to determine ethical truth about God which is religion.
    I've argued this before in my own article, " The Answer is Simple..."
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 12, 2017 - 7:15am
Sorry Opher scientists should stay within ethical bounds, and not try to tell people the right way to live their lives. Otherwise it's just a power grab.
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 8:58am
Barath - Surely scientists have as much right as anybody to have a say in ethics, morality and how we should live our lives? They tend to be intelligent individuals with consciences.
When it comes to religion one can look all around the world and see the hypocrisy, greed, fanaticism and violence. Indoctrinating children is not a moral act - it is all about power. Perhaps religion should stay well clear of dealing with ethics and morality? It has failed miserably.
John Minehan Added Aug 12, 2017 - 9:25am
"Tiger got to hunt,
Bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder, "Why, why, why?"
Tiger got to sleep,
Bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand."  Kurt Vonnergott
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 12, 2017 - 9:34am
     Material reality is built on levels and levels of spiritual reality. Scientists tend to limit reality to a finite conception of what they can control and understand. They represent that what science says is irrefutable truth. The Lord only shows them part of reality because their attempt is to try to discredit what they don't want to be true.
   In any case scientists can have opinions about moral ethics, but they shouldn't represent them as scientific truth.
    Like Harry Houdini going around trying to prove mediums and magicians and anything supernatural was a fraud, they would have us believe that we emerge from non existence, and then return to non existence, but non existence is simply a negation of existence, it is not real. If we disappear into the void of non existence then who is to say we ever were?What record is there that we ever were? What they believe in is non existence.
    Something always exists, or nothing is real. Yet, we do exist, so how can we disappear from existence into unreality?
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 12, 2017 - 9:45am
People believe in Jesus, they find out there is a Spirit, he takes them a mile they say, " Awesome there's a God, he took me mile". They stop there without finding out there is much more to know. There is much more to Spiritual reality then what they know, it goes on to infinite depth.
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 10:23am
Dannl - you are so full of hatred. I think your religion is fucking you up.
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 10:24am
John M - Kurt was a wonder - I miss him and his gentle manner, wisdom and humour. Thanks for that.
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 10:26am
Barath - your logic is amazingly flawed. We were born into this world. Before we were born we didn't exist - at least our consciousness didn't.
I'm glad you find religion fulfilling. It fills me with horror.
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 10:27am
Barath - and what is the nature of this spirituality? Where did it come from? Who made it? Where did they come from?
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 11:09am
Dannl - not being a Sodomite I wouldn't know - but it is hard to discern your meaning from your appalling English. But yes - you are obviously a religious fanatic consumed by hatred and fury - similar to ISIS. They run on the same fuel.
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 11:34am
Dannl - I see that explains it.
And how would you measure such a fantastic leap?
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 1:06pm
Dannl - Fantastic. The title of this post, in case you were wondering, was Synchronicity - Great Minds Think Alike.
You are in tune with many others. I saw them bellowing at Trump rallies in their baseball caps.
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 1:36pm
Dannl - you are a brainwashed clown. Of course I've heard of Chris Rock. He's very funny. But so are you.
What on earth is all this stuff about niggers? You are a classic unreformed racist homophobe. The sad thing is that you're proud of it - as if you are so superior. It is a sad arrogance that reduces you.
Jesus wasn't a racist. That's in your head. You can twist the bible to back anything you like. That's one reason why it's a pile of rubbish.
I think your religion is doing nothing more than reinforcing your negative attributes. It's bringing out the hate-filled arrogance. Lighten up dude. Realise your place. You're no better than anyone else. Learn to love people like Jesus told you to do.
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 1:37pm
Dannl - only religious fanatics, like the madmen of ISIS, take all this medieval shit literally.
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 1:56pm
Dannl - you pontificating about Egyptian hieroglyphs would be heaps better than you brand of racist homophobia tinged with hate and fury that you've been touting.
I'd quite like Egyptiam hieroglyphs. That's another culture consumed and ruined by religion. What it could have done if they weren't hampered by that crap.
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 1:58pm
Dannl - what on earth is there to copy and paste? That's your province isn't it? Selecting little quotes from medieval texts thousands of years old and passing them off as literal instructions. We could all do that from the same book to prove diametrically opposite positions.
Well you believe what you like. Just don't stew in the juices of your hatred.
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 2:27pm
Dannl - well it's been nice talking to you. I've got to go now and fix a meal for the grandchildren. I'll let you get back to your superior ways where you don't piss in any pool.
I'm sure your culture has some nice sides.
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 3:38pm
btw - no Dannl - I'm most definitely male the last time I looked.
No Dannl - religion is not law. Law is, and should be, completely apart from religion.
I'm English but I see quite clearly that the founding fathers of the USA, who were largely atheist, took great care to separate religion from the state. They saw the terrible effect of a theocracy with its hatred and intolerance. They went to America to escape the intolerance of theocracy. Ironically we in England are free of it and America is ridden.
Thank you for the lessons. I hadn't realised the darker side of Amish.
Saint George Added Aug 13, 2017 - 10:01am
founding fathers who were largely atheist
Wrong. They were committed Christians who occasionally flirted with deism.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 13, 2017 - 10:21am
Check Mahabharata:
Story of Bharata
     And as the swine always look for dirt and filth even when in the midst of a flower-garden, so the wicked always choose the evil out of both evil and good..
Bad people always try to find fault even with those that are virtuous.
     When even atheists fear  those that have fallen off from truth and virtue who are like angry snakes of virulent poison, what shall I say of myself who am nurtured in faith?
      Everyone fears a liar even a heretic; a liar is worse than an heretic, or atheist.
     There is no virtue equal to Truth: there is nothing superior to Truth. O king, Truth is God himself; Truth is the highest vow.
Dannl says religion is law. Whose religion?
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 13, 2017 - 12:44pm
Dannl Yoder:
    So your position is if someone doesn't believe in your God then they're not a person, but you love the Devil and worship him as God and spread that evil belief to everyone. Then you're not a human by the same standard.
Saint George Added Aug 13, 2017 - 6:38pm
22 amino acids in life BTW.                                        
Not exactly. See,
"Twenty-two amino acids are naturally incorporated into polypeptides and are called proteinogenic or natural amino acids. Of these, 20 are encoded by the universal genetic code."
Life requires those 20 amino acids.
opher goodwin Added Aug 14, 2017 - 4:59am
Saint - perhaps you should read more about your founding fathers.
opher goodwin Added Aug 14, 2017 - 5:05am
Dannl - as I keep pointing out - I'm British. I'm no yank.
Yes - genocide of the Indians was deplorable as is the way the US runs its foreign policy. We are in agreement on something.
No we did not invent torture. That is present throughout history in all cultures. William Wallace was one example among billions.
The Bible reeks with torture and violence - that's Arab culture.
opher goodwin Added Aug 14, 2017 - 5:07am
Barath - law is what is created out of the civilised behaviour of people working together to create fairness and harmony in society.
Religious law is none other than medieval, early thoughts. We've got better at it since then.
opher goodwin Added Aug 14, 2017 - 5:10am
saint - so, as I said, 22 naturally occurring amino acids in living organisms.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 8:07am
   I don't agree with you. The purpose of law is justice. If the Lord finds one righteous man, and the rest of humanity is corrupt, then he would save the righteous man and let humanity destroy itself.
     When law is used to perpetrate injustice then even the bonds in nature that may compel you to obey it are dissolved. 
     In fact the Lord could dissolve this whole Universe if the world became corrupt an no sin would ever touch him.
   It is only you that believes what your primitive Christian minds have created is civilized. What you've created are the societies of the Basta Mukha. Look at what goes on in what you primitive men have created.
     Every sin becomes acceptable when the defense is the common good, which is simply utilitarianism, then there is no morality or Justice.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 8:24am
It's really simple stuff; be good, be honest, be fair, worship God for the sake of being good, not for ruling the world or something material.
    In the end those who worship God for sake of being good win. 
    Jesus never intended to save you.  He intended to destroy you especially since his experience of crucifixion. If you worship God not tone good but to rule the world then you worship the devil. 
    Commit all the evil you want you'll go to Heaven if you believe in Jesus. He was the devil. You believed in the Devil.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 10:53am
    Imagine reality is not as you think or believe. Imagine that it really has a particle and wave duality. Like waves in a pond caused by dropping a pebble our realities all overlap. Injustice to one man, and to a greater degree a righteous man, affects all men.
    For example, if I introduce an exotic tropical tree to my garden, it attracts different kinds of birds from far off places, it's flowers and fruits produce pollen and seeds, the wind, bees and birds propagate it. That tree provides food, shelter and shade for many other animals.
     By introducing a new species to my back yard I have changed the whole ecosystem.
      Nature tells us we are interconnected. Injustice to one man affects all men.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 11:01am
Yoder, you're an immature low life. Grow up!
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 11:12am
It's easier to think of reality as being like particles, not all interconnected, and only acting upon those it affects directly, like gravity in Newton's laws, but in reality it's more like wave interaction.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 11:27am
Mr. Yoder:
    Name calling is very productive and mature. You're still part animal Spirit, pig head.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 12:03pm
Or take it this way. 
We have Independent bodies A, B, C. We are interested in the force exerted on A. We can see that A exerts a force on B, B on A, A on C, C on A, A on B and C, C and B on A.
     Now imagine in ethics these are people. If B and C did something unjust to A, but A was good to B and good to C, then the unjust action(s) of B and C are independent of A( what A  does).
    Thus in ethics one cannot blame a wrongful action, e.g. lying or cheating, on someone else being sinful, because that action is independent of the other.
   Newton's laws are useful because they give us the right answer, not because they are theoretically correct.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 12:12pm
Particle reality is material reality. Wave reality is Spiritual reality. One could never hope to understand the totality of interactions and overlapping realities between all individuals other than the Lord, so we rely on material reality. 
   The actions of each individual are generally considered independent of others( one cannot blame their wrongful actions on others).
  Though I'm not an absolutist.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 12:28pm
Thus the ethical proposition is that each person is responsible for their own actions.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 3:21pm
On philosophy:
Check out the movie Flatliners:
  Philosophy failed. Religion failed. Now it's up to the physical sciences.
Wave reality is the true reality, everything is made from it, everything comes from it, but we are limited by material reality; that's why they can't do it. There is a rule which prevents mortal people from escaping material reality, when we try to the Universe says ," No". 
    The best you can hope for is to understand particle/wave duality, we are both Spiritual and material.
opher goodwin Added Aug 14, 2017 - 5:31pm
No Barath - I don't believe in any Lord or God - so no laws emanating from some supernatural force. Laws are made by men and that's how it should be.
Saint George Added Aug 14, 2017 - 6:31pm
Particle reality is material reality
But most of the volume of a physical object (e.g., a chair) comprises empty space between particles, and not the particles themselves.
What reality is empty space?
Saint George Added Aug 14, 2017 - 6:32pm
Saint - perhaps you should read more about your founding fathers.
Opher – perhaps you shouldn't opine on topics about which you know nothing.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 6:34pm
    The Constitution of the United States of America is the law in the United States.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 6:37pm
    I contend empty space is not created. On this I do not wish to compromise. But, empty space in an electron cloud is different than empty space in the Universe, one is contained within the atom(electron cloud, shell)the other is not.
opher goodwin Added Aug 16, 2017 - 4:45am
Saint - what reality is empty space? Is any space empty? It is surely full of forces and energy.
What is the reality of anything. Nobody knows.
opher goodwin Added Aug 16, 2017 - 4:49am
Saint - I only talk on matters that I know something about.
target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow">Thomas Paine was about as close to an atheist as one came back then. He was a naturalist-deist-panatheist. (His views shifted throughout his life). At the end of his life, he was increasingly an anti-theist and certainly a loather of Christianity. He was so adamant and vociferous in these beliefs that few people attended his funeral given many of them felt insulted by his statements about their cherished faith.
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were Christian-Deists. They believed in the social-cultural attitudes of Christianity, but mostly rejected things that were fantastical or unnatural/superstitious. Both rejected the doctrine of the Trinity and the virgin birth. Jefferson especially rejected most of the really extreme "miracles" and other "magical" assertions in the bible as ridiculous and unbelievable. But neither would fit into the category of "atheist". They were secular-Christian-deists.
Perhaps you should learn more.
opher goodwin Added Aug 16, 2017 - 4:50am
Barath - yes the constitution of America forms the basis of law - it is secular.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 16, 2017 - 11:41pm
I'm not denying General Relativity, but if space is created then it is not infinite, since space cannot be contained in anything other than space, then there is not anything outside of space, so there must be a better answer. If space is created then we exist inside a finite volume of space, or we are like people trapped inside cell walls, that can't be true.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 12:20am
I argue that Space is not created. What exists is probably like a web, or fabric within Space. The Lord created the Universe out of his consciousness, which has infinite depth, like the ocean, but no one knows how many dimensions of reality are real. Material Reality is built on levels upon levels of Spiritual reality. It is all wave reality, since everything comes from energy, but we are limited by particle matter (or material) reality.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 12:30am
The Lord created time and dimensions in Space from himself, not from Space.
opher goodwin Added Aug 17, 2017 - 7:48am
Barath - why should you assume space was created? It wasn't.  All this stuff on spiritual reality has no basis. That is just you playing with your ideas.
There is no lord to create anything from. Why would you believe there is?
All this conjecture is sophistry.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 7:58am
    Your atheist beliefs in science have no value to me. Show me how they profit me?
mark henry smith Added Aug 17, 2017 - 12:29pm
Barath, why couldn't it be the other way, that spirituality was spread over a network of materialism? Do you think all life was sentient from the beginning? Or did it have to attain the ability to think and then use this ability to figure out that it had something called spirit and that this force was shared with all the universe, the beginning of scientific inquiry?
I can see no other explanation for why it is so important for humans to figure out questions than we hope to be able to understand this spiritual component that guides life at some point in the future and use it to make peace with ourselves and possibly more advanced creatures. 
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 12:35pm
It is more difficult to create matter from energy, than energy from matter. But, what is energy or Spirit exists before and after the dissolution of the body. Material things are impermanent.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 12:41pm
Light has no real mass, only relativistic mass due to the motion of its particles, matter has real mass, therefore it is harder to create.
opher goodwin Added Aug 17, 2017 - 1:26pm
Barath - what does it matter? You have beliefs that don't profit me at all.
Atheism can't profit you individually - it merely creates a better society and you profit from that. All this pointless waste of energy spent praying and worshipping a non-existent god could be put to use caring for people. 
opher goodwin Added Aug 17, 2017 - 1:27pm
Mark - that's interesting.
opher goodwin Added Aug 17, 2017 - 1:28pm
Barath - matter is only energy harnessed.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 2:42pm
    Okay, have it your way. Jesus and Moses never existed. They are just fictional characters. But, truth and justice exist as concepts that are real.
   I object to what the Christian world both secular and religious has done. Nature rejects injustice and you have caused suffering to the being of the World.
  I conscientiously object to your asshole God Jehovah. I conscientiously object to your evil and crooked Christ. And I conscientiously object to your Godless atheism.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 3:16pm
There is a commandment against stealing, and a commandment against adultery. Which is the worse offense? Adultery, because when you have sex with someone's wife in essence you kill them.
    Some say to violate any commandment is to violate the whole of the law, but this is foolishness, since then if one steals a dollar and it is forgiven then the whole is the law can be forgiven and so is made void.
     Still further, stealing ten dollars from a friend for a couple of beers, is different than stealing or defrauding people of their pensions or life savings.
    Bernie Madoff got sentenced to more than 100 years in prison. Then there are different degrees to the offense sold stealing, and it is in that case worse than adultery for which the punishment was death.
  Believe in your infantile biblical law if you want to, but it's not God 
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 5:15pm
Forgiveness was a religious scam from the beginning, since Jesus knew you would use it to defraud people and sin against them and then say "Convert to Jesus". 
Nothing wrong with it when it's fair, though. 
How about conciliation? You can't coerce it and be fair.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 6:11pm
I prefer the ignorant, puerile perverts like you who don't know good from evil should dwell in hell indefinitely.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 18, 2017 - 8:30am
    Observation of pulsars show the existence of gravitational radiation:
    gravitational waves  emanating from a body and propagating at the speed of light as Predicted by Albert Einstein on the basis of his theory of General Relativity, gravitational radiation, a form of radiant energy similar to electromagnetic radiation.[7] Gravitational waves cannot exist under Newton's law of universal gravitation since that law is predicated on the assumption that physical interactions propagate at infinite speed.
Newtonian theory was wrong.
opher goodwin Added Aug 18, 2017 - 10:12am
Barath - Jesus, Moses and Mary all existed. They are all historical figures. I just don't believe they were aspects of any god. IMO god does not exit. It was a concept that was invented.
All religions have caused immense trouble, violence, torture and repression. I despise them all.
I note you carefully avoid saying what belief you follow.
opher goodwin Added Aug 18, 2017 - 10:14am
Barath - object all you like to my atheism. I object to your pushing some obscure god. Who is it? Shiva? Brahma? Allah?
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 18, 2017 - 2:41pm
     If you want to deny the Lord Shiva exists, then I deny that Jesus or Moses existed. But, then you're an atheist,so why object?
   The God of Israel or Moses is not real and Christianity is not a religion. It's a delusion, it's a false belief that will be dissolved.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 18, 2017 - 2:45pm
  I object to you insulting Lord Shiva for your asinine religion of Jesus, Mary and Moshe.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 18, 2017 - 2:49pm
   Okay, what evidence do you have that they existed, and were anyone with any religious merit?
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 18, 2017 - 3:24pm
Anyway, I think Gravity is on the opposite end of the electromagnetic spectrum from light or photons, they are opposite, energy, but really waves, not particles.
   Pulsars are neutron stars, stars that have collapsed and have hundreds of times more gravity than the Earth. They Spin, and are polarized and release electromagnetic radiation. 
    By studying Pulsars we can learn about gravitational electromagnetism.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 18, 2017 - 5:12pm
In a Pulsar Gravity pushes out light causing the star to pulse; in a black hole gravity pulls in light causing a black hole.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 18, 2017 - 5:20pm
Pulsars and black holes are opposites. Pulsars are good, black holes are evil. In a Pulsar Gravity pushes out light causing the star to pulse. In a black hole gravity pulls in light causing darkness or
" blackness"
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 18, 2017 - 5:48pm
A Pulsar is a star after a it explodes in a supernova, it collapses, but the high pressure creating super density causes the Pulsar gravity(electromagnetic energy) to push the light out. Gravity usually pulls light in but under extreme pressure at the center of the neutron star it pushes light out and so it creates a Pulsar.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 18, 2017 - 6:18pm
  My point of view for 21 years has been that Jesus was the devil, but also a bad God, a liar and unjust and crooked. You evil boy.
    Why you can say Jesus is good but not bad? Your God is a wimp and you're a bunch of Christian Cowards.
Put up the ante or shut up. You cowards never risk anything.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 18, 2017 - 6:25pm
Your God is a bully and a cheater. A Cruel and despicable character and a bad God, if he ever was one.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 18, 2017 - 6:28pm
Mr. D. Yoder:
    You shouldn't use racially offensive insults against a person in a written debate.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 18, 2017 - 6:39pm
See Justice Jackson, West Virginia v. Barnett
    Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.
It seems trite but necessary to say that the First Amendment to our Constitution was designed to avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings...We set up government by consent of the governed, and the Bill of Rights denies those in power any legal opportunity to coerce that consent.
opher goodwin Added Aug 19, 2017 - 6:47am
Barath - I don't have any religion. I thought I made that clear. I believe all gods are false.
Jesus was mentioned by Roman historians. There is sufficient historical evidence to show they existed. It is their claims of being divine that I disagree with.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 19, 2017 - 8:55pm
    Actually my point is that people deny anything they don't want to believe is true. So I can deny there was ever a Jesus, Jehovah or Moses, since they aren't true Gods or prophets. 
   There is only one name of God everything else is false and so unreal. Everything is only him and nothing else. Jesus and Moses were never real, believe in them if it makes you  happy.
  They will disappear, and only one name will be left.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 19, 2017 - 8:57pm
They were contrivances to rule the world for material purposes. They were never real.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 19, 2017 - 9:05pm
People placed faith in s finite thing that is not good. It is not true, he was not good. Worship a tree, it's the same thing. The Lord will save you through whatever you worship for the sake of being good. The Lord has one name forever. That's all.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 19, 2017 - 10:10pm
    Christianity isn't a real religion, it never was and never will be. Have faith in it if you like, real religion believes the Lord as having omnipotence, Truth, Justice and goodness.
 The Lord has no limitation. He has all powers and weapons of salvation. 
     The Lord has no limitation, he is not limited to your texts or rules, neither science nor your bible comprehend him. He is beyond your understanding or comprehension.He is the Lord who has no Lord, who is said to be beginningless, who is the Lord of the Earth, and the Lord of all Gods, the Lord of all.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 20, 2017 - 8:09am
     The Lord Shiva is the most powerful male being in this Universe. You are really an immature boy. One like you who is a child, and of a low mind and a laggard in argument should never contest with one like me. Go worship your god of Frogs.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 20, 2017 - 9:04am
   Your God was never a God. He was just imaginary, you stupid boy. Go play with clay and crayons you puerile child.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 20, 2017 - 11:13am
That's the problem it is isn't just my God, it's God for everyone. Your God doesn't exist, he never did. He's a manifestation of unreality, his nature is nothing. At your core Danny your a zero.
     My parents didn't flee, my Father came here to do his Ph.D.   in physics at Carnegie Mellon on a scholarship from the Indian government. 
   Your country is 242 years old, mine last as long as civilization lasts. The Lord started civilization in India, not here, that's why he always protects it.
    That's why my people are superior to all other peoples.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 20, 2017 - 11:15am
That's why Christians are materialists because at its heart your Spirit is empty, zero, nothingness.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 20, 2017 - 11:21am
The Lord is where righteousness is, or with whom righteousness is with. Righteousness always protects those who protect it. If the Lord departed the land it is only because it no longer observes righteousness, but the Lord always protects it as long as it believes in righteousness.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 20, 2017 - 11:38am
Danny, your religion was never supposed to last forever, it was just a contrivance of the Lord to defeat you.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 20, 2017 - 11:49am
Danny, think of your God on his cross. Then reflect. He never intended to save you, but to defeat you. He was simply a contrivance of the Lord.
  The world is only for those who believe in being good, not for those who believe in injustice.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 20, 2017 - 12:17pm
G-O-D -GOD 3letters, one syllable. The only word.
Why 3letters couldn't he afford anymore?
Why only One syllable couldn't think of anything more majestic?
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 20, 2017 - 1:27pm
Anyone who contrives to Worship the Lord for any other reason than being good or just is really just believing in the devil for the purposes of gain. That is how the devil takes advantage of people's sinfulness to their destruction.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 20, 2017 - 1:38pm
Yudhisthira said:
       Doubt not, O Krishna Draupadi, the ancient religion that is practised by the good and framed by Rishis of universal knowledge and capable of seeing all things! O daughter of Drupada, religion is the only raft for those desirous of going to heaven, like a ship to merchants desirous of crossing the ocean. O thou faultless one, if the virtues that are practised by the virtuous had no fruits, this universe then would be enveloped in infamous darkness.
Mahabharata, Ganguli Translation.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 20, 2017 - 1:45pm
Sounds like your an ignoble devil worshipping child. You liberal white Christians were always the puerile infantile men. Stupid, ignorant pig heads.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 20, 2017 - 1:48pm
Sorry you infantile men have ignorant spiritual retardation. I don't tolerate moral retardation in people well.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 20, 2017 - 2:03pm
I'm tired of your morally degenerate religion and ignorant pig headed men that worship the devil as their Lord.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 20, 2017 - 2:50pm
.   “So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light. 9“And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.
.   Why would you want to be shrewd? The good children of light don't keep the company of the wicked and unjust. Surely, you must know your God was the Devil? Why would you want to worship an unjust and crooked God, who taught you to be clever? Are you idiots or ignoramuses?
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 20, 2017 - 3:26pm
Your a devil worshipper, Danny.
Your ignorance makes your ability to understand a sacred language like that of an imbecile.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 20, 2017 - 4:07pm
Human beings aren't good anymore, you took vengeance on a hippopotamus in a zoo. Your a bunch of evil idiots. Nature hates you devil worshippers.
The Bears hate you, the sea lions hate you, the hippopotamuses hate you. 
 Hippopotamuses are descended from Dolphins, whales and porpoises, ocean mammals, but they can live on land. They are more advanced than Dolphins that can only live in water. 
   Land life came after sea life, after the waters receded, sea mammals came before land mammals.
    Your human beings why take revenge on a Hippopotamus or a bear? Because you're a bunch of ignoramuses.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 20, 2017 - 4:10pm
   What's the difference between a Hippopotamus and an ignoramus?
   A Hippopotamus is smarter.
mark henry smith Added Aug 21, 2017 - 1:13pm
Wow. Maybe doctors shouldn't take the Hippocratic oath, but the hippopotamus oath? Don't sit on a patient.
Why can't we just love Jesus for what was allegedly said by him? These are smart, kind and decent ideas to live by. And we're either all divine or none of us divine. You can't have it both ways.
I've never believed there was only one God. That would just be so boring. And we're no help since God is omnicient in regards to us. I believe humans are a vehicle through which the Gods express their desire for control over the other Gods, since we are the only holders of their identities that we know of. It would not be unreasonable to just let that go and begin living for ourselves, Opher.  
opher goodwin Added Aug 21, 2017 - 4:17pm
Mark - I'm happy with a lot of the stuff Jesus supposedly said. Not all of it. I'm all for living a positive life with maximum fulfilment. The universe is a marvellous place to spend a bit of time. I don't need any gods to do that. Life is simply divine.
I love that hippopotamus oath!
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 21, 2017 - 4:45pm
   That's not rational, not everyone is equal in righteousness and the Lord is where righteousness is. 
   Jesus didn't believe in Truth or Justice and was crooked S.O.B. that exploited people. Why can't you worship the devil? Because he made 85% of the people in the world suffer, he even made the animals suffer, while you sang How beautiful is the body of Christ in church and denied reality.
opher goodwin Added Aug 22, 2017 - 8:25am
Barath - there is no Lord - that's all a con. Don't fall for it.