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Just some thought......


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Karl Marx once stated that religion was the opium of the masses.He further went on to say that Religion was created as people were afraid of death and needed Religious belief's which were accepted to make sense of dieing......

Now one of my hobbies is star gazing or astronmy.I'm not into all the technical knowledge of star gazing but enjoy taking one of my 3 telescope's out on a clear night or early morning and looking at the moon ,planet's and star 's.It never fail's to leave me in awe and wonderment and a closer feeling to GOD.I've asked myself if there is no GOD or creator then who invented the GAS or energy to create all that is there.

Like Bruce said in another responce saying there is no GOD or creater that is like saying that all the material to build a house just fell out of no where and assembled it's self.What i've seen of the night skies in all it's magnitude and order make's one say this could not have been a accident that just happened,there had to be a superior intelligence to do all this.

So let me end this by saying why would not a far superior being create this earth and place in it all that is needed for life and a like creation of it's self with limited power's to be with it once it has shown it is capable and willing to be like it.I deliberately kept this writing non any particular Religous ideology so as to make it a open debate.....


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For me, it is time on the beach and the rhythm of the waves imbedded in the rhythm of the tides that helps me regain the rhythm of my own life. Sounds like a similar experience as your telescope.

I think the reason Marx called religion the opiate of the masses was that the current system was corrupt and operated based on the exploitation of the many for the whims of the few. And the only way the few could get the many to cooperate was to get them focused on rewards beyond this existence. By concentrating on the next life, we are more apt to lose attention on whether there is justice in this one.

You have pointed out the biggest problem with evolution as a creation story. I don't think there can be much credible debate about whether evolution has operated on life over the last several million years. But how the stuff of the universe was created is beyond the scope of evolution. Gregg Easterbrook wrote a great article in the new republic a couple of weeks ago about how far from a reasonable explanation of creation of the universe. Here is a link to it: http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=express& ... rook072604

I don't know if you need access to the site to read this article, but it is tremendously interesting. And Gregg is hardly a rabid fundamentalist; rather a liberal Episcopalian. If you cannot read it, let me know and I will copy and paste it into here.


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I am not sure what the copyright issues are, but let me at least give them some free publicity. For my money, the most insightful political discourse in the country comes from the New Republic, and Gregg Easterbrook is the leading light there. His last book, Progress Paradox, is simply fascinating. And here is his article from July 26, 2004:

So Stephen Hawking now says he was completely wrong about black holes--they don't crush reality out of existence, and they aren't doorways to alternate universes. Bear in mind that Hawking also once argued that time may someday run in reverse, with the cosmos getting younger and people able to remember the future but having no knowledge of the past. Later Hawking withdrew that idea, too. Do the hundreds of thousands of people who bought his bestseller A Brief History of Time--which was "sexed up" with speculation that black holes destroy reality and the entire universe may someday operate in reverse-time--now get their money back?

It would be tempting to say that Hawking was able to become internationally famous while saying kooky things because today physicists have the status once held by medieval priests: People don't challenge their mumbo-jumbo. Or perhaps Hawking was able to get away with saying kooky things because knowledge of science is so poor: Book critics and the television newscasters who interviewed him assumed the mumbo-jumbo must make sense and felt insecure about simply saying, "Time moving in reverse, what claptrap." For years the science community has been quietly uneasy about Hawking's high profile, since he's gotten away with asserting considerable nonsense and then defending himself by waving equations. At least he has finally confessed, and presumably in the future will be more circumspect. Unless time begins to run backward, in which case he's already been circumspect, but will, as he grows younger, start shooting from the hip.

Hawking's admission raises a larger issue, which is that while scientists, especially physicists, are today held in priest-like awe, there are a surprisingly large number of questions on which they have little or no idea what's going on. Here's a brief history of areas where science is still stumbling in the dark:

What is gravity? No one has the slightest idea. That gravity exists is indisputable, and the equations by which it functions have been so precisely refined that NASA can guide space probes moving amid the outer planets. But the what of gravity--how it works--is a total unknown. When the apple falls toward the ground, no force, wave, or other carrier of attraction can be detected operating between the two. Many carriers of various kinds of electromagnetic radiation have been identified, such as the photons that mediate light; whatever mediates gravity continues to defy detection. Einstein speculated that the mass of every object causes space-time to curve, and then less massive objects roll downward on the curvature, and that's where gravity comes from. But wait, even if space is curved by mass, why do objects roll down the curvature--what pulls them? Your guess is as good as the next PhD's.

Who lost the missing mass? The galaxies behave as if being acted upon by far more gravity and other forces than could be produced by all the matter and energy in all stars and planets. The current estimate is that 85 percent of the density of the universe is bound up in "dark matter" and "dark energy" that has not been observed but is acting on the galaxies, explaining their motion. Another way to phrase this: Scientists are unable to locate 85 percent of the universe! The latest on this front is this report from the annual meeting of the American Physical Society, at which researchers disclosed that the most advanced search for "dark matter" has drawn a complete blank.

Huge amounts of dark matter are believed to be present, far more than the normal ("luminous") matter that forms the galaxies. Huge amounts of dark energy are believed to be present--powerful dark energy may be coursing through your body right now. Yet not only can science not explain what dark energy and dark matter are, it can't even locate them. Currently astronomers estimate that there are a minimum of 50 billion galaxies, containing on average 100 billion stars each. If these galaxies represent just 15 percent of creation, then somewhere in space are the equivalent of 325 billion galaxies that science can't find. If you find 325 billion missing galaxies, please return them.

What caused life? Darwinian mechanics explain how organisms that already exist respond to changes in the environment. That such evolution occurs is open and shut, but natural-selection theory is totally silent on the origin of life, the most important unknown in science. All conjecture about the beginning of life is very vague, and it's hard to imagine even in concept how the jump from an inanimate primordial world to living chemistry could have happened. The famous Miller-Urey experiment of the 1950s, in which researchers mixed the compounds believed to have existed in the primordial atmosphere, then zapped them with electricity to simulate lightning and observed that amino acids formed, tells nothing about how life began. The amino acids of the Miller-Urey experiment are compounds used by life, but nothing in their test tubes came to life. (For instance, magnesium is used by life but isn't alive.)

Consider that if life began spontaneously in primordial conditions of zero knowledge, it should be possible to create life again today, making life from scratch in a laboratory. For that matter it should be easy to create life--a spontaneous origin of life seems more probable if causing inanimate substances to begin living is easy rather than difficult. But attempts to create life in the laboratory have all failed, and they have failed though researchers are acting with substantial advance knowledge of biology, not with the zero knowledge that would have existed if life began naturally in a wholly spontaneous way.

What came before the Big Bang? Cosmologists hate this question, but it's haunting nonetheless. There must have been some prior condition. Big Bang theorists pretty much contend that all the material of the entire universe sprang from a point with no content and no dimensions. "Negative energy" or "vacuum density" and other mumbo-jumbo terms are employed to justify this, but purported explanations of how entire galaxies could emanate from nowhere don't do especially well on the common-sense test. Maybe there was a Big Bang, but until cosmologists can offer some depiction of the prior condition, the line of thought is suspect. I've got five bucks that says that in 100 years, people will chortle, "Can you believe professors at MIT and Princeton once thought the entire universe came out of an empty point with no dimensions?"

Why does the universe like us? If gravity had turned out just slightly different, planets would not stay in orbit around stars, and presumably there would be no life. If the "strong" force that binds the nucleus of atoms (preventing positively charged protons from repelling each other) had been only a tiny bit less strong, most elements could not form, and presumably there would be no life. So far there seems no immutable reason why the values and constants of gravity, the strong force, and other aspects of natural law had to favor an "anthropogenic" cosmos in which our form of life was able to come into existence. Maybe it was simply coincidence. The seeming unlikelihood that the universe would, by coincidence, be formed with natural laws that favor our kind of life has caused cosmologists to speculate that actually there are thousands, billions, or even an infinite number of universes: Most come out with physical laws inhospitable to life, so the fact that our universe is habitable is just a meaningless quirk of chance.

This idea, the "multiverse" theory, is now receiving a perfectly serious hearing in the Ivy League, at Cal Tech, and so on--despite the fact that there is not one "scintilla" of evidence, as lawyers like to say, that other universes exist. Some perfectly respectable academic proponents of multiverse theory, such as Lee Smolin of Penn State and Andre Linde of Stanford, maintain that of course there is no evidence of other universes because they exist in other dimensions and therefore can never be detected. So if a religious person maintains that the cosmos is hospitable to life because a higher power chose physical law, in today's academia that's considered superstition; but if physics professors assert, based on no evidence, that there are billions of unobservable universes, that's science. Trust us, we're experts.

Science mystery bonus! You don't want to hear this, but Earth's magnetic field may be collapsing. In the past there appear to have been field collapses or pole shifts for natural reasons that are not well understood: The last one appears to have happened about 780,000 years ago, and prior to then a compass needle would have pointed at the South Pole, not the North. Scientists began to worry about a pole shift after the publication in 2002 of these papers, which suggest Earth's magnetic field has weakened by at least 10 percent since the mid-1800s. Here, a doomsday theorist proposes that field collapses are much more common and deadly than mainstream science thinks.

The big question is whether a cycle of magnetic field collapse and renewal will take centuries or happen suddenly. If it's the latter, we are in for trouble. Earth's magnetic field protects the planet from solar and cosmic radiation: Should the field weaken significantly, it might become dangerous to be outdoors for more than a few moments, and crops might fail. Power lines sometimes fritz out when storms on the sun increase solar radiation; significant weakening of Earth's magnetic field could be much more injurious to the electricity grid, causing protracted power failures. Harm done to power transmission and farming by any substantial weakening of Earth's magnetic field might result in a long global depression, plus a public-health emergency in the developing world, where huge numbers of people work outside in agriculture. Probably the magnetic field will be fine--but if it does falter, global warming will suddenly look like a trivial concern.

Gregg Easterbrook is a senior editor at TNR.

Again, if you like this article, it is the tip of the iceberg for Gregg. Buy his books. (I don't have any monetary interest, but I do feel a certain esprit with him because he wrote me a very nice note after Becky died.)


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