The impossible question about evolution?
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21-12-2013, 07:03 PM
The impossible question about evolution?
Hi everyone,
For many years I've thought about the question of evolution. I can understand that it does happen, and I can understand the mechanics of allowing the fittest of every generation to procreate.

However I've never understood the underlying reason for evolution, or even the underlying reason for life itself to exist. I suppose it's the age-old question of what is the meaning of life, albeit from a scientifically-minded curiosity. Why did life start, and why did evolution bring us to today -- where we can look up at the stars and dream about reaching them, where our brains can study other brains to try and understand how they work, or where the subatomic particles in our body can work together to try and understand what subatomic particles are.

I see myself as an atheist, but over the years this question has caused a growing feeling that there might be more to it than that. Certainly not religion in any form humans have imagined, but what secret is there about the universe that ultimately brought about the existence of human beings? What made the universe bring about the spark of life to begin with, and what made the universe seem to favor evolution to the point where we can consciously observe that universe and try to understand it.

I think there has to be a reason, albeit shrouded in mystery from us. In my opinion the pursuit of that reason would be a fruitful endeavour for atheists to explore, because theists certainly wouldn't -- their view of the meaning of life seems to be about pleasing God in some fashion, making it a moot point. At the same time it's a question everyone can relate to in some way, since almost everyone has or have had the urge to pair up with a wife or husband to raise a child -- we can all think of a lot of reasons why we do that, but the basic question of "why" seems to elude us.

I wouldn't dare to begin speculate about the underlying reason, but sometimes I like thinking about the basic urge of organisms to spread to new areas and consume new resources to create more offspring and the way us humans are on the verge of taking a major new step in "spreading our genes" to other worlds in the solar system. Isn't that the ultimate victory of evolution, to escape the bonds of the origin world? And as we continue to spread out, perhaps the veil of mystery behind life will be lifted one step at a time.

Looking forward to hearing your own thoughts and theories on this subject Smile
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21-12-2013, 07:17 PM
RE: The impossible question about evolution?
(21-12-2013 07:03 PM)slimlover360 Wrote:  Hi everyone,
For many years I've thought about the question of evolution. I can understand that it does happen, and I can understand the mechanics of allowing the fittest of every generation to procreate.

However I've never understood the underlying reason for evolution, or even the underlying reason for life itself to exist. I suppose it's the age-old question of what is the meaning of life, albeit from a scientifically-minded curiosity. Why did life start, and why did evolution bring us to today -- where we can look up at the stars and dream about reaching them, where our brains can study other brains to try and understand how they work, or where the subatomic particles in our body can work together to try and understand what subatomic particles are.

I see myself as an atheist, but over the years this question has caused a growing feeling that there might be more to it than that. Certainly not religion in any form humans have imagined, but what secret is there about the universe that ultimately brought about the existence of human beings? What made the universe bring about the spark of life to begin with, and what made the universe seem to favor evolution to the point where we can consciously observe that universe and try to understand it.

I think there has to be a reason, albeit shrouded in mystery from us. In my opinion the pursuit of that reason would be a fruitful endeavour for atheists to explore, because theists certainly wouldn't -- their view of the meaning of life seems to be about pleasing God in some fashion, making it a moot point. At the same time it's a question everyone can relate to in some way, since almost everyone has or have had the urge to pair up with a wife or husband to raise a child -- we can all think of a lot of reasons why we do that, but the basic question of "why" seems to elude us.

I wouldn't dare to begin speculate about the underlying reason, but sometimes I like thinking about the basic urge of organisms to spread to new areas and consume new resources to create more offspring and the way us humans are on the verge of taking a major new step in "spreading our genes" to other worlds in the solar system. Isn't that the ultimate victory of evolution, to escape the bonds of the origin world? And as we continue to spread out, perhaps the veil of mystery behind life will be lifted one step at a time.

Looking forward to hearing your own thoughts and theories on this subject Smile

What is the reason of gravity? Does it have a meaning?

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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21-12-2013, 07:28 PM
RE: The impossible question about evolution?
(21-12-2013 07:03 PM)slimlover360 Wrote:  Hi everyone,
For many years I've thought about the question of evolution. I can understand that it does happen, and I can understand the mechanics of allowing the fittest of every generation to procreate.

However I've never understood the underlying reason for evolution, or even the underlying reason for life itself to exist. I suppose it's the age-old question of what is the meaning of life, albeit from a scientifically-minded curiosity. Why did life start, and why did evolution bring us to today -- where we can look up at the stars and dream about reaching them, where our brains can study other brains to try and understand how they work, or where the subatomic particles in our body can work together to try and understand what subatomic particles are.

I see myself as an atheist, but over the years this question has caused a growing feeling that there might be more to it than that. Certainly not religion in any form humans have imagined, but what secret is there about the universe that ultimately brought about the existence of human beings? What made the universe bring about the spark of life to begin with, and what made the universe seem to favor evolution to the point where we can consciously observe that universe and try to understand it.

I think there has to be a reason, albeit shrouded in mystery from us. In my opinion the pursuit of that reason would be a fruitful endeavour for atheists to explore, because theists certainly wouldn't -- their view of the meaning of life seems to be about pleasing God in some fashion, making it a moot point. At the same time it's a question everyone can relate to in some way, since almost everyone has or have had the urge to pair up with a wife or husband to raise a child -- we can all think of a lot of reasons why we do that, but the basic question of "why" seems to elude us.

I wouldn't dare to begin speculate about the underlying reason, but sometimes I like thinking about the basic urge of organisms to spread to new areas and consume new resources to create more offspring and the way us humans are on the verge of taking a major new step in "spreading our genes" to other worlds in the solar system. Isn't that the ultimate victory of evolution, to escape the bonds of the origin world? And as we continue to spread out, perhaps the veil of mystery behind life will be lifted one step at a time.

Looking forward to hearing your own thoughts and theories on this subject Smile

What do you mean by 'a reason'? Whose reason would that be?

There is no evidence of any reason. There may well be none.

Look into the abyss and make peace with it. Drinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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21-12-2013, 07:37 PM
RE: The impossible question about evolution?
Well you are certainly in the right threadSmile
We don't know if there is a meaning beyond the one we create for ourselves. The universe seems vastly indifferent if we live or die. You seem the type who would appreciate Adam Watts, he's very good.

"I don't have to have faith, I have experience." Joseph Campbell
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21-12-2013, 07:45 PM
RE: The impossible question about evolution?
(21-12-2013 07:03 PM)slimlover360 Wrote:  Hi everyone,
For many years I've thought about the question of evolution. I can understand that it does happen, and I can understand the mechanics of allowing the fittest of every generation to procreate.

However I've never understood the underlying reason for evolution, or even the underlying reason for life itself to exist. I suppose it's the age-old question of what is the meaning of life, albeit from a scientifically-minded curiosity. Why did life start, and why did evolution bring us to today -- where we can look up at the stars and dream about reaching them, where our brains can study other brains to try and understand how they work, or where the subatomic particles in our body can work together to try and understand what subatomic particles are.

I see myself as an atheist, but over the years this question has caused a growing feeling that there might be more to it than that. Certainly not religion in any form humans have imagined, but what secret is there about the universe that ultimately brought about the existence of human beings? What made the universe bring about the spark of life to begin with, and what made the universe seem to favor evolution to the point where we can consciously observe that universe and try to understand it.

I think there has to be a reason, albeit shrouded in mystery from us. In my opinion the pursuit of that reason would be a fruitful endeavour for atheists to explore, because theists certainly wouldn't -- their view of the meaning of life seems to be about pleasing God in some fashion, making it a moot point. At the same time it's a question everyone can relate to in some way, since almost everyone has or have had the urge to pair up with a wife or husband to raise a child -- we can all think of a lot of reasons why we do that, but the basic question of "why" seems to elude us.

I wouldn't dare to begin speculate about the underlying reason, but sometimes I like thinking about the basic urge of organisms to spread to new areas and consume new resources to create more offspring and the way us humans are on the verge of taking a major new step in "spreading our genes" to other worlds in the solar system. Isn't that the ultimate victory of evolution, to escape the bonds of the origin world? And as we continue to spread out, perhaps the veil of mystery behind life will be lifted one step at a time.

Looking forward to hearing your own thoughts and theories on this subject Smile
There is no reason, there is no end goal. Evolution is just a mechanism, not means to an end. It doesn't have a plan, it doesn't want anything.
And universe is not favoring the evolution in any way.
Life as we know it is just one of countless possibilities in universe, any desolate planet or moon in the universe is another of those possibilities. Any other form of life that may exist in the universe is again just another one of all those possibilities.
You ask "why?" Because it was possible. And universe is big enough and old enough to allow for many many possibilities to come to be.

. . . ................................ ......................................... . [Image: 2dsmnow.gif] Eat at Joe's
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21-12-2013, 08:04 PM
RE: The impossible question about evolution?
(21-12-2013 07:28 PM)Chas Wrote:  ...
Look into the abyss and make peace with it. Drinking Beverage

Yup, that about says it all.

We are dust that sings.

The rules for the Game Of Life are to me, as fixed as the laws of physics and they seem to apply at various levels of existence: Grow and Divide.

These apply to chemistry, biology, families, businesses, religions, states etc. etc.

Why those rules and not others?

Good question.

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21-12-2013, 08:32 PM
RE: The impossible question about evolution?
Revenant77x's reply is interesting, especially since we dont fully understand the mechanics of gravity either, albeit i fail to see other ways to compare the subjects.

Chas' reply is interesting as well, and asks the same question I did -- whose reason would it be? Although I wouldn't attribute it to an entity, and I'm sure Chas isn't either. But a reason the same way there's a reason apples fall to the ground, to connect with what Revenant77x said.

grizzlysnake brings up interesting points, and I certainly agree the universe didn't set out to create human beings or would care about our survival. Cognitive reasoning does seem to be a feature of evolution though and is seen in many species, even if us humans are miles ahead of other species when it comes to sentience.

Slowminded seem to touch on common arguments about evolution. To a large extent I would agree evolution doesn't have a plan, if the famous asteroid hadn't struck 65 million years ago whose to say we wouldn't have sentient descendants of dinosaurs ruling the earth instead of us. Still, I can't agree that evolution or more specifically the existence of life doesn't want anything, because it doesn't seem logical that the universe invented competition for resources and the resulting survival of the fittest purely by chance. (I hope I'm not clouding the issue by suggesting the existence of a God or Gods in any sense of the word us humans could understand it.)
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21-12-2013, 08:34 PM (This post was last modified: 21-12-2013 08:54 PM by sporehux.)
RE: The impossible question about evolution?
There is no reason for evolution, its like asking if there's a reason for consequence.
What you are asking is why do we live in a universe with seemingly hard wired laws of physics.

So far the answer to your question as much our species has discovered is that as above mentioned,
Gravity is your bitch. Why is it just the correct amount of time space sinkhole per fermions, hadrons, bosons, (very small shit). To allow the bb as we know it and the cyclic action of stars, baking and dispersing higher elements that allows life as we know it, to evolve.

And as billions of research dollars are spent each year on QM quantum mechanic study and particle accelerator construction and maintenence.
Its not like we are not asking the very question you are putting forward.

I'm not a big fan of woo science, like deciding thete is an infinite variety of universes with infinite laws of physics there fore ours would have to exist by inevitable probability. Its weird when people like Hawkins behave as if this is more than a hypothisis.
Even if that or any hypothesis were true the answer will always be why?

Why did stuff happen so stuff could happen ?

At least the question of god is answerable,
Why did gods happen ?, evolutionary processes lead to creature who could invent them.

.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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21-12-2013, 08:44 PM
RE: The impossible question about evolution?
Evolution isn't about allowing the fittest of every generation to survive. It is about allowing individuals with the best fit to their environment to have the most offspring or equivalently the few percentage of individuals with the worst fit to the environment to be effectively removed from the gene pool.

Why are we intelligent? Because at the appropriate time in our past that was what gave us the best fit to our environment.

As for how life began (ie Abiogenesis) - we don't really know. Maybe we'll never know. It's hard to get definitive evidence of what happened so long ago and has been overwritten so many times by subsequent generations. Did life emerge on earth or in the stars? Did live emerge on the bottom of the ocean in some volcanic vent or in some murky pool? We can spontaneously produce many building blocks of life (eg amino acids) with very simple chemical reactions, suggesting abiogenesis is plausible. We don't know all the steps required the process yet, though. It sits as a field between chemistry and biology as a bit of a fringe science. It doesn't get all that much mainstream attention. I think we'll crack it one day though, at least we'll crack a plausible pathway from non-life to simple self-replicating cells. After that point evolution takes over to produce what we have today.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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21-12-2013, 09:55 PM
RE: The impossible question about evolution?
(21-12-2013 08:32 PM)slimlover360 Wrote:  Revenant77x's reply is interesting, especially since we dont fully understand the mechanics of gravity either, albeit i fail to see other ways to compare the subjects.

Chas' reply is interesting as well, and asks the same question I did -- whose reason would it be? Although I wouldn't attribute it to an entity, and I'm sure Chas isn't either. But a reason the same way there's a reason apples fall to the ground, to connect with what Revenant77x said.

grizzlysnake brings up interesting points, and I certainly agree the universe didn't set out to create human beings or would care about our survival. Cognitive reasoning does seem to be a feature of evolution though and is seen in many species, even if us humans are miles ahead of other species when it comes to sentience.

Slowminded seem to touch on common arguments about evolution. To a large extent I would agree evolution doesn't have a plan, if the famous asteroid hadn't struck 65 million years ago whose to say we wouldn't have sentient descendants of dinosaurs ruling the earth instead of us. Still, I can't agree that evolution or more specifically the existence of life doesn't want anything, because it doesn't seem logical that the universe invented competition for resources and the resulting survival of the fittest purely by chance. (I hope I'm not clouding the issue by suggesting the existence of a God or Gods in any sense of the word us humans could understand it.)

The universe didn't invent anything - that's an odd way to look at it.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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