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6546Re: Evolution

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  • lady_caritas
    Sep 5, 2002
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      --- In gnosticism2@y..., incognito_lightbringer <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > <<"Gnostics, when they stand up to identify themselves, would
      > have to agree to the majority of these tenets, but whether the
      > interpretation of them would be literal, psychological,
      > philosophical, or other must be left to the individual." (p. 190)
      >>>
      >
      > Gnosticism can be interpreted on all the above levels. I know
      > involving science in the mix has been labeled "new age" by more
      than
      > a few people. Also, science is a function of material universe, and
      > thus any conclusions drawn could be said to lead to nothing more
      than
      > the demiurge. But, quite obviously, we live in this world and are
      > under it's physical laws, and the experience of it is highly
      > unpleasant (that whole death and suffering and eating business),
      > which prompts us to search for answers to our questions. The
      ancients
      > were not above using science as allegory.

      I would agree that the function of science relates to the material
      universe. And that is still demiurgic territory wherein we exist.
      Incognita, you also mention:

      "One theory I've heard is that all possible universes exist
      simultaneously, thus all possible combinations of things, and we just
      happen to be in the one that supports life and thus it *appears* to
      us to be ordered by intelligence whereas it might not necessarily be
      so. At least it's a valid counter argument."

      I have also heard this. It has been posited, I believe, that if all
      other possible universes coexist simultaneously, that it is likewise
      possible that the physical nature of these universes could be
      entirely different than ours, whether or not potentially
      incorporating different laws (intelligent design?) or perhaps in
      chaos. We would still have the question as to the source of these
      universes, ordered or not.

      > I suppose if you want, the demiurge starts with the formation
      > space/time/matter; the big bang. (Although the big bang as just a
      > theory is constantly refined and altered as new phenomena are
      > discovered). No one will argue that DNA is a code, highly complex
      and
      > specific. That this code could have developed randomly *seems*
      > impossible, and that's the major argument used in the creationism.
      > The problem with creationism is that it's not just about proposing
      a
      > theory that incorporates seeding or some kind of intelligence. The
      > theory also has to adhere to whatever scriptural dogma, and with
      any
      > contradiction real science is dismissed while pseudo science and
      > charlatanism takes its place.

      I believe you have hit on a key point here, Incognita. Especially
      dogma found in modern religions that rely primarily on literalistic
      interpretations has swung the creationist pole so far to the right
      that scientists (many or most atheists or agnostics) often tend to
      react by associating any ideas of "creation" with fundamentalism.
      And, truly, fundamentalists can be very vocal. An acquaintance
      mentioned that one such person recently tried to post in a club
      some "pseudo science" mumbo-jumbo flatly lambasting evolution
      theories, stating (of course, replete with scriptural quotes) how the
      Bible literally predicted "modern" scientific findings. A few club
      members who were biologists, anthropologists and the like quickly
      refuted her unsubstantiated claims in fine form with very little
      effort, simply using common sense in many cases. Yet, that still
      leaves life's origin a mystery, as even admitted by John Rennie in
      his article. Wherefrom come "primitive nucleic acids, amino acids
      and other building blocks of life" he mentions. Space? Still the
      physical realm. And what about this "space"? And on we go ad
      infinitum ...

      > Rennie: <<"Thus, science welcomes the possibility of evolution
      > resulting from forces beyond natural selection. ..>>
      >
      > What I don't like about this is the word "natural". Natural is more
      a
      > term used to define not what *is* but rather *what we know so far*.
      > It's bogus, IMHO.

      Well, yes, I think most scientists would agree that "natural" is
      *what we know so far*. Yet, according to scientists, acceptable
      explanation for "forces" would need to comply with, well, …
      naturalism. As Rennie says, "A central tenet of modern science is
      methodological naturalism--it seeks to explain the universe purely in
      terms of observed or testable natural mechanisms." So, modern
      science at best can only explain our material world based on
      empirical evidence *we know so far*. When scientists have discovered
      all there is to know about life and our world and universe(s), what
      then?

      Likewise, I think fundamentalist creationists are doing themselves a
      disservice by trying to explain God and creation in materialistic,
      anthropomorphic ways, and letting emotionalism override common sense
      when discussing things of our material world. No wonder what they
      call "spiritual" is so easily discounted by materialists as
      superstition.

      While Rennie complains about religionists filling in the blanks with
      nonsensical beliefs, it is very possible that admonitions from both
      evolution and creationist camps are tending to fuel extreme,
      exclusive views in the process. It's all or none? As Corax pointed
      out (#6540), we humans have brains, intelligence, can reason. Why
      not the possibility of a greater Mind? Well, sure, scientists
      wouldn't discount that if we could prove it empirically. So, let's
      leave fundamentalism for a moment. How about Gnosis? What, someone
      can claim to KNOW?? Know what? ;-) Ah, . . . back to the drawing
      table . . .

      Now we get to that psychic/pneumatic dilemma you addressed,
      Incognita. Is there in fact "nothing but spirit" surmised by Bishop
      Berkley (Corax, Post #6540)? Is the reality of this world "a
      similitude of a greater ground of being"? What about the Gnostic
      concept of the flaw of our material/psychic world? More later . . .
      (and hopefully from lots of other members as well).
      Gotta go now.

      Cari

      P. S. Almost forgot ~ I wanted to comment on that computer program
      by Richard Hardison you mentioned. Not being familiar with the
      details of the study, I still certainly have the same reservations
      about possible high-order assumptions coded into that program by the
      researcher(s) (intentionally or not), . . . especially, *if* as your
      web search showed, the program included "right spots."
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