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PaulS

Evolution and God

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I read an article today about an almost complete fossil of the giant 'lizard fish' Ichthyosaur being unearthed in India.  This fish-like reptile is dated at about 150 million years old. 

For me, reminders like this of how old the earth and the existence upon it really is, make it very hard to contemplate a God particularly interested or invested in the human species.  Terms like 'God-is-love' and recent discussions about Jesus breaking down barriers between man and God, mean little to me when I stop and think that if there was a creator God, our supposed involvement in his creation represents only 0.0004% of existence (earth being about 4.5 billion years old and human beings about 200,000yrs). 

For around 4.5 billion years, this God did not seem to care for the existence of humanity.  Often I hear God being portrayed as wanting to be in close relationship with us, so I wonder what anybody who leans toward that sort of view of God might think in relation to God's apparent lack of interest in having any such relationship (for the bulk of time) since he first created earth.

 

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10 hours ago, PaulS said:

I read an article today about an almost complete fossil of the giant 'lizard fish' Ichthyosaur being unearthed in India.  This fish-like reptile is dated at about 150 million years old. 

For me, reminders like this of how old the earth and the existence upon it really is, make it very hard to contemplate a God particularly interested or invested in the human species.  Terms like 'God-is-love' and recent discussions about Jesus breaking down barriers between man and God, mean little to me when I stop and think that if there was a creator God, our supposed involvement in his creation represents only 0.0004% of existence (earth being about 4.5 billion years old and human beings about 200,000yrs). 

For around 4.5 billion years, this God did not seem to care for the existence of humanity.  Often I hear God being portrayed as wanting to be in close relationship with us, so I wonder what anybody who leans toward that sort of view of God might think in relation to God's apparent lack of interest in having any such relationship (for the bulk of time) since he first created earth.

 

Yes I must admit tying God to Love is a strange concept to me. Why just love and not hate or indifference as they are of the same substrate. OK that love thing might make us feel happier, but then ...

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59 minutes ago, romansh said:

Can you give the gist of the video please ... as I really do not want to open a facebook account.

As far as I am aware clicking the link given will allow you to access the video irrespective of whether or not you have a Facebook account. 

PS if not, you can google BBC Blue Planet 2 and select the "Fish that uses tools" video.

 

Edited by tariki
Added PS

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9 hours ago, PaulS said:

I read an article today about an almost complete fossil of the giant 'lizard fish' Ichthyosaur being unearthed in India.  This fish-like reptile is dated at about 150 million years old. 

For me, reminders like this of how old the earth and the existence upon it really is, make it very hard to contemplate a God particularly interested or invested in the human species.  Terms like 'God-is-love' and recent discussions about Jesus breaking down barriers between man and God, mean little to me when I stop and think that if there was a creator God, our supposed involvement in his creation represents only 0.0004% of existence (earth being about 4.5 billion years old and human beings about 200,000yrs). 

For around 4.5 billion years, this God did not seem to care for the existence of humanity.  Often I hear God being portrayed as wanting to be in close relationship with us, so I wonder what anybody who leans toward that sort of view of God might think in relation to God's apparent lack of interest in having any such relationship (for the bulk of time) since he first created earth.

 

I remember the days as a little kid when I played with my dinosaurs even as I 'studied' the story of Adam & Eve: we had pictures (larger than life picture books mounted in front of the classroom - obviously authentic :+}) and we took it very literally - but we still had our toy dinosaurs.  I look at such amazing finds in a completely different way. Even, in Genesis, which I don't take literally (anymore), we are presented with a 'world' and then man is placed in or becomes part of it. I look upon the story as a tale or belief that God had a relationship with the created order - before man even made his appearance. It seemed to line up nicely with science and also provided a possible rationale for concern for the earth (mirroring God's initial relationship with mother earth).

Many of us move among theism, denim and other isms when it comes to creation. Even though I'm not a deist, but seemingly God 'sets things in motion' or give the 'word' and then existence, time and space begin to unfold (so to speak). But as a former theist, I don't believe that God merely sits back and as a panentheist, I believe that all 'this' exists in God or, conversely, that God (unlike deism) is intimately involved in the ongoing creation. 

So my completely different take is that God was/is completely interested or invested in all creation with particular emphasis on the human who is meant (from the faith perspective) to share the fullness of Life and, as Teilhard, says, reach back and pull all of creation along with it. I have no other term for it than (God-is)-Love.

I have always loved trees - when my house was being built, we were insistent, unlike some neighbors, that most of the trees remain. And I have always been a dog lover (they loved to chew on the dinosaur toys) but all this was nothing compared to having a friend, falling for a girl, marrying my wife or having a child. There is, as I'm sure many would agree, a 'difference' in being in (and enjoying) the world and sharing it with human beings than seems to make the love of trees and the dogs - even better. So, reflecting on love, I get why God could 'love' creation with all it has to offer, but still love even more, human beings: we are worth the wait.

Plus, we are bodily creatures that need a 'home' in which to grow: the earth and the universe is the 'place' where man and woman (and perhaps other intelligible life?) are given the chance to become. The idea, which I always thought the believers in evolution among us understood, was that 'all this' took time: there was evolution, the laws of nature rule and we were part of that development - albeit and naturally, at a much later date. But worth the wait! The 'caring' was always there but so was the 'letting be' for the natural process that we so value.

 

 

 

 

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What is time to an eternal being?  There is a real question.

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12 minutes ago, Burl said:

What is time to an eternal being?  There is a real question.

Must admit I thought much the same when reading about "us" being "worth the wait".

 

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3 hours ago, Burl said:

What is time to an eternal being?

Now

 

from my favourite comparative mythologist:

“Eternity isn't some later time. Eternity isn't even a long time. Eternity has nothing to do with time. Eternity is that dimension of here and now that all thinking in temporal terms cuts off.... the experience of eternity right here and now, in all things, whether thought of as good or as evil, is the function of life.”

Edited by romansh

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3 hours ago, Burl said:

What is time to an eternal being?  There is a real question.

 

3 hours ago, tariki said:

Must admit I thought much the same when reading about "us" being "worth the wait".

 

My first reaction is, who knows? And I mean that seriously. My take is that 'in the beginning' God created time and space: man is a historical being, that is part of the reality of our being and if we find our being in God (or, if God is redemptively present) then in some way God is 'in time.' 

Further I was trying to relate the belief that most men probably don't fully become the 'likeness of God' in a short 90 years or so, or far, far less for some of us. So, believing that the fullness of our humanity is what we are born for and that it is, in some real way, our responsibility and our achievement (in relation with God), if it is not achieved, the journey continues. I think some theologians believe this and I think the idea of purgatory (not a place, not taken literally) is an attempt to articulate this belief. So, if there is a continued purging of selfishness to become Human, the question is how/where does this happen. If it does, I believe God waits for all time (agains suggesting our continued bodily existence in achieving Humanity) until this is done and then, time ends - and all is the Eternity of God/One.

So the time/eternity piece is an attempt to find some way to articulate this belief. But, who knows??  Perhaps with death, there is a separation and traditional heaven and hell. However, the reality is most of us have not become truly Human. Is it automatic when we die, we instantly close the gap? But if so, it is no longer our responsibility, never our achievement. And, what of the worst of us? Automatic forgiveness and entry into heaven? Or it it to hell for the prodigals who run out of time before they turn back to the Father? 

I do not believe in hell (for eternity), I do believe in the promise of the PS parable, and I believe 'achieving' our humanity is our responsibility (in response to God) - which takes time, sometimes more than we have here. So, I believe God waits for all time, for as much time as it takes - and then time melts into eternity. But, as I began, who knows, I leave the details to God.

Note: the being worth the wait was to acknowledge the reality that we 'arrived' late to the universe - and that, if Being/God/Reality 'created' then this was the evolutionary process by which we came to be. But we're worth it, don't you think?

Edited by thormas

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The latest on "time" from the quantum world seems to suggest that our own default linear experience is not the final word. Apart from that, I'm back with "I teach this and this alone, suffering and the ending of suffering" ( Buddha )

Meanwhile there is speculation to while away the hours. 

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2 hours ago, tariki said:

The latest on "time" from the quantum world seems to suggest that our own default linear experience is not the final word. Apart from that, I'm back with "I teach this and this alone, suffering and the ending of suffering" ( Buddha )

Meanwhile there is speculation to while away the hours. 

Well, that's a ray of sunshine from Buddha.

One suspects our experience is not the final word but fun to speculate when time permits.

But what is the latest from Quantum?

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12 hours ago, romansh said:

Now

 

from my favourite comparative mythologist:

“Eternity isn't some later time. Eternity isn't even a long time. Eternity has nothing to do with time. Eternity is that dimension of here and now that all thinking in temporal terms cuts off.... the experience of eternity right here and now, in all things, whether thought of as good or as evil, is the function of life.”

Good stuff, who is the mythologist?

How or what does the mythologist say about existence itself (mistake, happenstance, purpose) and what does he/she say about the here and now dimension called eternity? It seems fine to define it so, but what is it or what does it mean? What is the 'function' of life in good and evil, in all things?

 

Edited by thormas

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5 hours ago, thormas said:

Well, that's a ray of sunshine from Buddha.

One suspects our experience is not the final word but fun to speculate when time permits.

But what is the latest from Quantum?

I suppose Christianity could be called "sin and the ending of sin", possibly the sunshine is in the ending.

The "latest" is as I said, drawn from one or two excellent little books. Also included were cats ( either dead or alive ),  things in two places at once, influence from a distance.........all under the proviso that if you think you understand it you don't understand it. Quite a helpful tip.

:D

 

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6 minutes ago, tariki said:

I suppose Christianity could be called "sin and the ending of sin", possibly the sunshine is in the ending.

The "latest" is as I said, drawn from one or two excellent little books. Also included were cats ( either dead or alive ),  things in two places at once, influence from a distance.........all under the proviso that if you think you understand it you don't understand it. Quite a helpful tip.

:D

 

Haven't heard that one about Christianity but it is catchy :+}  With the end of expecting the apocalyptic time and with a more progressive take, Christianity is more about "human and becoming human' with the accompanying ending of sin: one can hope.

And what are the little books? 

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Christianity works pretty well if you see time as a force pulling us towards a predetermined future instead of a collection of actions and souvenirs.

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50 minutes ago, thormas said:

 

And what are the little books? 

One was "The Quantum Astrologer's Handbook" by Michael Brook. Rather than write anything new  about this book, I will regurgitate previous waffle as per my review on Amazon:-

 

Entertaining
 
Possibly this book could be described as whimsical. It seeks to combine the life of Jerome Cardano, a sixteenth century Italian polymath, with the latest understanding of quantum mechanics. Personally I was totally lost amid the quantum sections and reveled in the often lecherous life of Cardano, a man involved with probability theory as well as the Inquisition, who dabbled in medicine and astrology. A man of his age no less ( like all of us, as Michael Brooks suggests ). The word "probability" provides some sort of link between the biographical sections and those on quantum physics - Michael Brooks ends by calling us "travellers in the dark" , thus dealing at times only with probabilities.

While we can say with some degree of statistical certainty that say, a set percentage of those in their nineties will die in any one year, it remains uncertain as to the fate of any particular nonagenarian. That I can understand. Large, predictable. Small, apparently random. After which I am lost. Extrapositional, entanglement, photons in two positions at once - and one or two algebraic equations did not help my understanding, particularly when a x b was, as far as the quantum world is concerned, definitely not the same as b x a. Still, fear not, we are all in "travellers in the dark".

Mr Brooks in fact tells us that we are all left to our own interpretations and he implies - I think - this has a correspondence with the fact that any measurement at the quantum level effects the position of whatever is being measured. Something to do with a cat, but as I say, I was lost. The cat was either dead or alive.

All is random? "Love has no why" says Meister Echart. The observer is king? What are the teachings of a lifetime? "An appropriate statement" says Yun-men. I see all this combined and inter-relational.

Constantly entertaining. I read it in a couple of days and enjoyed it a lot. Thank you
 
 
Another was a Graphic Guide, "Introducing Quantum Theory". Never actually reviewed this but I liked the pictures, especially the cat on the cover

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Somehow the act of attempting to educate yourself on quantum physics makes it not understandable.

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On ‎2017‎-‎10‎-‎31 at 5:45 AM, thormas said:

Good stuff, who is the mythologist?

How or what does the mythologist say about existence itself (mistake, happenstance, purpose) and what does he/she say about the here and now dimension called eternity? It seems fine to define it so, but what is it or what does it mean? What is the 'function' of life in good and evil, in all things?

 

It is Joseph Campbell of course:

  • People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive

Here is a nice selection of quotes.

If you had not read Power of Myth I strongly recommend it. If you do get the Coffee Table version. You can get it on DVD but I preferred the book.

  • Religion turns poetry into prose.

 

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3 hours ago, romansh said:

It is Joseph Campbell of course:

  • People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive

Here is a nice selection of quotes.

If you had not read Power of Myth I strongly recommend it. If you do get the Coffee Table version. You can get it on DVD but I preferred the book.

  • Religion turns poetry into prose.

 

Read Campbell and also Armstrong's 'A Short History of Myth.'

Not sure there is a divide between seeking meaning and (truly experiencing life) being alive: if one has a meaning (whatever it is, although probably life enhancing works best) then, I think, one can 'experience life' or live that life more deeply. Seems that those who can't find meaning, also don't have deep or 'healthy' lives (this is obviously not the case with atheists or agnostics). I agree with Andrew Greeley (priest, Sociologist, novelist and writer on religion) when he wrote in 'The Jesus Myth' that we all need some rough and ready answers to the questions posed by the mere fact of being alive. 

I prefer books also and thanks.

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