Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:15 pm

The interesting this about ID, even if one could scientifically prove it, what kind of god/intelligent designer do we conclude from its design.




inept, cruel, lazy, indifferent


Yet for some reason people seem to have a wish that said being exists, strange wish IMO



N.B. Applies to Deistic and Theistic God
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:34 pm

“Today, many religious denominations accept that biological evolution has produced the diversity of living things over billions of years of Earth’s history. Many have issued statements observing that evolution and the tenets of their faiths are compatible. Scientists and theologians have written eloquently about their awe and wonder at the history of the universe and of life on this planet, explaining that they see no conflict between their faith in God and the evidence for evolution. Religious denominations that do not accept the occurrence of evolution tend to be those that believe in strictly literal interpretations of religious texts. ”




Evolution and other sciences have practically disproved the God of religions (theism) beyond any hope of bringing it back IMO

The last stronghold for a God belief is Deism, even though this doesnt really hold up to well


The common thing i hear from the religious that accept evolution is that God guided it in some way, however as i said earlier evolution shows how you get complex life without any being or intelligence guiding it. And if he did what a lovely being he is encouraging a system that is built on competition and killing, extinction and suffering



Theism states that God made man, evolution proves that nature and natural selection made man. Evolution and God dont go

To me those who accept evolution but yet also have faith in Theism are fence sitting


In relation to ID and other attempts to put god into nature it seems to come down to "the universe is really complicated and I don't understand it, therefore it must be god"

metta
Last edited by clw_uk on Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:27 pm

Good video related to the topic here






Worth a watch

metta
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:35 pm

christopher::: wrote:Where did Dirac's relativistic quantum mechanics come from, so that electrons spin as they do? You say that these dynamics arise naturally from quantum mechanics. I think for scientists this is enough of an explanation, but there is still the question of why the Universe works the way it does, why these laws and properties exist.

Yes, that's what I said was the problem.

I don't see how to have a coherent discussion about what is and isn't obvious to physicists about that problem unless you actually know what the technical issues are.

And that would be true in other areas of science that I have no expertise in.

It's possible that an amateur could come up with a useful idea, but in physics that probably hasn't happened for well over 100 years.

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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby christopher::: » Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:26 am

Are any of you familiar with Systems science concepts such as self-organization, self-construction, autopoiesis, etc? Chaos theory also relates here, the butterfly effect and such. This is where my interest and studies lie, primarily. I studied Developmental Systems Theory in grad school and apply it constantly in my field, of education and language learning. And unlike physics, where one does need advanced study I think to comprehend many things, systems concepts are more like dharma concepts, something any intelligent person can grasp, imo. You don't need to have a grad school background to understand these concepts, imo, unless you're focused on taking a mathematical approach.

Anyway, the interesting riddle with systems properties is the same with what I was saying about physics. Why does the Universe work this way, how or why are these set laws or principles in place? Cause these properties and principles are universal, they apply to systems of all sizes, from cells to organisms, ecosystems, economic systems, biospheres, solar systems and galaxies. They swirl, self-organize, self-construct, are interdependent, complex systems.

A God or Universal Mind is one possible explanation for why our cosmos works this way. It lies outside Science, surely, but it's still a logical idea, imo. It could also be that our Universe is the child of an earlier Universe, and that Universes themselves evolved over time and that's why our Universe is so fine-tuned. Or perhaps there is Intelligence or Wisdom of sorts in the Field of Energy/Matter from which all forms emerge. We could call this Dharma Nature, Dharmakaya or Tao. It need not be an Intelligence that observes, and isn't Dharma a form of wisdom that is Universal?

Isn't our Universe, with all its compounded systems, an expression of Dharma, from a Buddhist point of view?
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:48 am

Yes, I'm familiar with chaos, emergent properties, and so on. That's part of the background of physics for a few decades now and it helps to solve some things. If you can show me some way that these ideas solve the technical problems, such as why the Dirac equation works so well, that would be useful. Unless there are some actual technical solutions it's just idle speculation from the point of view of physics.

Isn't our Universe, with all its compounded systems, an expression of Dharma, from a Buddhist point of view?

Yes, but you seem to be insisting that it is possible to find a single, universal, point of view. I don't agree that this is necessarily the case.

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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby christopher::: » Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:35 am

Hi Mike. I cannot say how useful systems concepts are in your field, but they definitely are helpful in many fields. Just recognizing that compounded systems work in certain ways helps out a lot i think, whether you're a teacher, parent, economist, office manager, environmental engineer, doctor, band manager, online forum moderator or computer systems engineer. People working with alternative energy systems may be able to benefit by studying the natural energy utilization systems of plants, for example.

My own opinion is that its very useful to make students aware of systems properties. Here's a handout I give to my classes when we study the environmental problems humans are facing now. It helps put everything into a larger context, framework.

ChristophersSystemsScience.jpg
ChristophersSystemsScience.jpg (268.96 KiB) Viewed 305 times


One of my interests is in finding ways to help people break out of dualistic and compartmentalized ways of thinking. Once you become aware of all the various systems in the world, how they are connected, how they work, one can create a unified visual model of everything that exists, that can assist with problem solving...

And is also kind of cool to contemplate.

:smile:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:21 am

christopher::: wrote:Why does the Universe work this way, how or why are these set laws or principles in place? Cause these properties and principles are universal, they apply to systems of all sizes, from cells to organisms, ecosystems, economic systems, biospheres, solar systems and galaxies. They swirl, self-organize, self-construct, are interdependent, complex systems.

A God or Universal Mind is one possible explanation for why our cosmos works this way. It lies outside Science, surely, but it's still a logical idea, imo.


Clearly outside of science, but logical? Once you posit a god, you need to explain all sorts of things, the least of which:

"He who eyes can see the sickening sight, why does not God set his creatures right? If his wide power no limits can restrain, why is his hand so rarely spread to bless? Why are his creatures all condemned to pain? Why does he not to all give happiness? Why do fraud, lies, and ignorance prevail? Why triumphs falsehood, -truth and justice fail? I count your God unjust in making a world in which to shelter wrong." - J VI.208

"If God designs the life of the entire world -- the glory and the misery, the good and the evil acts, man is but an instrument of his will and God alone is responsible." - J V.238.

Try as they might to make sense of the idea of a god, theologians end up with: It is all a deep divine mystery, which, of course, explains nothing.

Even outside of realm of science, what would a god or a supposed “universal mind” logically explain?

Isn't our Universe, with all its compounded systems, an expression of Dharma, from a Buddhist point of view?


Depends upon what you mean by Dhamma. So that is up to you to clarify so that we can see if the question makes sense.
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby clw_uk » Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:37 am

You dont explain anything with a God or universal mind because you are left with explaining that



The video above makes a good point


Lets say that life on earth was created by an intelligent alien species from another planet, that may explain how life came to be on earth but you havent solved much since you then have to explain how that alien species came to be in order to seed life on earth, if you say they were seeded by aliens themselves then you have to explain those aliens that created the aliens that created life on earth


Putting an intelligence behind something doesnt explain that much at all

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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby christopher::: » Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:45 am

Not all explanations are final explanations. The concept of evolution helps to explain how life became so complex and developed on our planet, but we are still left with the riddle of why this process exists, why we live in a Universe where compounded beings evolve in form. I'm not bothered by that. Not all questions will be answered, it doesn't mean you don't consider partial answers that can explain things.

Responding to Tilt...

We've had this discussion already, in the Advaita discussion, and you did not seem to find satisfaction in my response. The metaphor of God presented as an observing father in the sky, is a very limited concept. Alan Watts has explained this at length in his writing. Have you ever read Watts? The God of the bible does not fit well with the evidence of Science, and what we know about Nature...

But there are many other ways a Supreme Intelligence can be conceptualized. Jechbi and others have talked about this. Myself, the concepts of Dharma or Tao make more sense... Dhamma Nature as Ajahn Chah speaks of it, or the "Great Way" as described by Lao Tsu. All That Is being somewhat like a Field of Dharma, from which everything arises. But these are just ideas...

Here's what I posted before in the other discussion, I'm not sure if I can present it much better...

christopher::: wrote:If you look past differences in terminology and focus instead on methods, the nondual teachings of highly realized beings sound quite similar, imo, whether Hindu, Buddhist, Native American, Kabbalah, Taoist, Gnostic, Sufi, etc..

Most encourage meditation and the cultivation of inner silence, the practice of kindness, generosity, equanimity and compassion. They encourage us to observe the mind and the world carefully, so as to see how we are connected to all that surrounds us, an expression of a deeper shared truth that is everywhere... Separation is the ultimate delusion they say.

How they describe the Universe or "Ultimate Reality" (the words and conceptions) will differ, but most caution that the perceptions we hold in our heads are nothing like that mysterious reality itself, and better to cultivate a still non-egocentric mind and grateful heart then to think too much or become overly analytical.

Let go of all ideas of "you" and return to a "truer" realization of this deeper identity (or non-identity) which is the same for all beings.. Its hard to step into a nondual awareness if one focuses only on differences without keeping in mind connections and shared commonalities.

Each of us is drawn to the spiritual path and to teachers that resonate with our sensibilities. Buddhism, Taoism and Vendanta are not the same, just as Mint Chip differs from Vanilla which is not the same as Strawberry, and yet at a deeper level (beneath differences of flavor) they are all the same in that they are all manifestations of Ice Cream..

:namaste:

Image

"The natural state is a non-state of not-knowing, non-concluding. When there is knowing, there is a state. But your real nature is not-knowing. It is a total absence of all that you think you are, which is all that you are not. In this total absence of what you are not, there is presence. But this presence is not yours. It is the presence of all living beings."

~Jean Klein (Advaita teacher)

"We live in illusion and the appearance of things. There is a reality. We are that reality. When you understand this, you see that you are nothing, and being nothing, you are everything. That is all."

~Kalu Rinpoche (Tibetan Buddhist)

“When I see I am nothing, that is wisdom. When I see I am everything, that is love. Between these two my life moves.”

Sri Nisargadatta (Advaita Vedanta)

"A flower cannot be by herself alone. A flower has to "inter-be" with everything else that is called non-flower. That is what we call inter-being. You cannot be, you can only inter-be... So the true nature of the flower is the nature of inter-being, the nature of no self. The flower is there, beautiful, fragrant, yes, but the flower is empty of a separate self. To be empty is not a negative note. Nagarjuna, of the second century, said that because of emptiness, everything becomes possible. So a flower is described as empty. But I like to say it differently. A flower is empty only of a separate self, but a flower is full of everything else. The whole cosmos can be seen, can be identified, can be touched, in one flower. So to say that the flower is empty of a separate self also means that the flower is full of the cosmos. It’s the same thing. So you are of the same nature as a flower: you are empty of a separate self, but you are full of the cosmos."

~Thich Nhat Hanh (Vietnamese Zen Buddhist)

"All things are linked with one another, and this oneness is sacred; there is nothing that is not interconnected with everything else. For things are interdependent, and they combine to form this universal order."

~Marcus Aurelius

"If we have awareness and understanding, if we study with wisdom and mindfulness, we will see Dhamma as reality. Thus, we sill see people as constantly being born, changing and finally passing away. Everyone is subject to the cycle of birth and death, and because of this, everyone in the universe is as One being. Thus, seeing one person clearly and distinctly is the same as seeing every person in the world.

In the same way, everything is Dhamma. Not only the things we see with our physical eye, but also the things we see in our minds. A thought arises, then changes and passes away. It is ''nāma dhamma'', simply a mental impression that arises and passes away. This is the real nature of the mind. Altogether, this is the noble truth of Dhamma. If one doesn't look and observe in this way, one doesn't really see! If one does see, one will have the wisdom to listen to the Dhamma as proclaimed by the Buddha.

Where is the Buddha? The Buddha is in the Dhamma. Where is the Dhamma? The Dhamma is in the Buddha. Right here, now! Where is the Sangha? The Sangha is in the Dhamma. The Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha exist in our minds, but we have to see it clearly. Some people just pick this up casually saying, ''Oh! The Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha exist in my mind''. Yet their own practice is not suitable or appropriate. It is thus not befitting that the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha should be found in their minds, namely, because the ''mind'' must first be that mind which knows the Dhamma. Bringing everything back to this point of Dhamma, we will come to know that, in the world, truth does exist, and thus it is possible for us to practice to realize it.

Whether a tree, a mountain or an animal, it's all Dhamma, everything is Dhamma. Where is this Dhamma? Speaking simply, that which is not Dhamma doesn't exist. Dhamma is nature. This is called the ''Sacca Dhamma'', the True Dhamma. If one sees nature, one sees Dhamma; if one sees Dhamma, one sees nature. Seeing nature, one knows the Dhamma.

And so, what is the use of a lot of study when the ultimate reality of life, in its every moment, in its every act, is just an endless cycle of births and deaths? If we are mindful and clearly aware when in all postures (sitting, standing, walking, lying), then self-knowledge is ready to be born; that is, knowing the truth of Dhamma already in existence right here and now."


~Ajahn Chah, Dhamma Nature

"To say ‘I am not this’ or ‘I am that’ there must be the ‘I’. This ‘I’ is only the ego or the ‘I’-thought. After the rising up of this ‘I’-thought, all other thoughts arise. The ‘I’-thought is therefore the root-thought. If the root is pulled out, all others are at the same time uprooted. Therefore seek the root-’I’, question yourself ‘Who am I ?‘, find out its source. Then all these will vanish and the pure Self will remain over... There is no investigation into the Atman. The investigation can only be into the non-Self. Elimination of the non-Self is alone possible. The Self being always self-evident will shine forth of itself. Self-surrender leads to realisation just as inquiry does.."

~Ramana Maharshi (Advaita Vedanta)

"When we practice zazen, all that exists is the movement of the breathing, but we are aware of this movement. You should not be absent-minded. But to be aware of the movement does not mean to be aware of your small self, but rather your universal nature, or Buddha nature. This kind of awareness is very important, because we are usually so one-sided. Our usual understanding of life is dualistic: you and I, this and that, good and bad. But actually these discriminations are themselves the awareness of the universal existance. "You" means to be aware of the universe in the form of you, and "I" means to be aware of it in the form of I. You and I are just swinging doors. This kind of understanding is necessary. This should not even be called understanding; it is actually the true experience of life through Zen practice."

- Shunryu Suzuki (Zen Buddhist)

"If you are seeking liberation, my son, avoid the objects of the senses like poison and cultivate tolerance, sincerity, compassion, contentment, and truthfulness as the antidote. You do not consist of any of the elements -- earth, water, fire, air, or even ether. To be liberated, know yourself as consisting of consciousness, the witness of these. If only you will remain resting in consciousness, seeing yourself as distinct from the body, then even now you will become happy, peaceful and free from bonds. You do not belong to the brahmin or any other caste, you are not at any stage, nor are you anything that the eye can see. You are unattached and formless, the witness of everything -- so be happy."

~The Ashtavakra Gita (Advaita Vedanta)

"Empty yourself of everything. Let the mind become still. The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return. They grow and flourish and then return to the source. Returning to the source is stillness, which is the way of nature."

~Lao Tsu, Tao te Ching

:heart:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:12 am

christopher::: wrote: but we are still left with the riddle of why this process exists, why we live in a Universe where compounded beings evolve in form. I'm not bothered by that. Not all questions will be answered, it doesn't mean you don't consider partial answers that can explain things.


If you are not bothered by the fact that this is a question that likely never will be answered, why try to layer over it with a god notion or some sort of universal mind notion which when pushed answers nothing?

Responding to Tilt...

We've had this discussion already, in the Advaita discussion, and you did not seem to find satisfaction in my response.


Because they really explain nothing.

The metaphor of God presented as an observing father in the sky, is a very limited concept. Alan Watts has explained this at length in his writing. Have you ever read Watts? The God of the bible does not fit well with the evidence of Science, and what we know about Nature...


I am not talking about any sort of big daddy in the sky. I have yet to see a god notion, however refined, that really explains anything.

Have you ever read Watts? The God of the bible does not fit well with the evidence of Science, and what we know about Nature...


If we are to derive a god notion from science, it would be a horrifying god.

But there are many other ways a Supreme Intelligence can be conceptualized.


One can conceptualize anything, but that does not mean that such a conceptualization offers a reasonable or useful explanation of how things are or why things are.

Myself, the concepts of Dharma or Tao make more sense...


These are the same thing - Dhamma and Tao?

christopher::: wrote:If you look past differences in terminology and focus instead on methods, the nondual teachings of highly realized beings sound quite similar, imo, whether Hindu, Buddhist, Native American, Kabbalah, Taoist, Gnostic, Sufi, etc..


But in doing that, far too much is ignored for your claim to hold any real water. What is in the terminology and behind the terminology are very different assumptions.

How they describe the Universe or "Ultimate Reality" (the words and conceptions) will differ, but most caution that the perceptions we hold in our heads are nothing like that mysterious reality itself, and better to cultivate a still non-egocentric mind and grateful heart then to think too much or become overly analytical.


Mysterious reality. That is pretty much it, which is why I prefer the Buddha’s teachings.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby christopher::: » Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:14 am

Most people that I have met, or read, who pondered the Universe deeply come eventually to that same conclusion. Not of Buddhism, but of a very Mysterious Reality. The Native American Indians used terms such as Great Spirit and Great Mystery interchangably. I am not trying to "layer things over" with a God notion or Universal Mind concept.

I haven't been sharing all these ideas to try and convince you to give up the beliefs and ideas that make the most sense to you, but rather to try and point out that different conceptions can be highly meaningful, and even very helpful, for others. I don't have an expectation that everyone in the world will see things the same way, and so have great respect for the variety. People of various faiths go for refuge in different ways. If someone finds comfort and guidance by believing in a higher power, God bless em, lol.

No offense, but what I sense at times in your posts, Tilt, as well as those of a few others here, is a lack of respect for how others view the world, for the spiritual beliefs of others. That's fine, actually. We all have different backgrounds. You said I think that you were raised Roman Catholic and used to believe in God. That has probably effected how you view Christianity. No one can force you to respect the views and beliefs of others and we all should be able to speak freely.

I feel differently, however, and was raised differently. My parents were agnostic, and I was raised as a Unitarian Universalist. I had some brief periods where God made sense to me as a concept, but those were fleeting. But when I see variety in spiritual beliefs, it all looks fine to me. Like flowers in fields, animals in a forest. Variety is one of the manifestations of Life, of the Great Mystery.

:namaste:

"The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. He who knows it not and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle.

It was the experience of mystery-- even if mixed with fear-- that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which are only accessible to our reason in their most elementary forms-- it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man.

I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves. An individual who should survive his physical death is also beyond my comprehension, nor do I wish it otherwise; such notions are for the fears or absurd egoism of feeble souls. Enough for me the mystery of the eternity of life, and the inkling of the marvellous structure of reality, together with the single-hearted endeavour to comprehend a portion, be it never so tiny, of the reason that manifests itself in nature."


~Albert Einstein
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:30 pm

christopher::: wrote:
No offense, but what I sense at times in your posts, Tilt, as well as those of a few others here, is a lack of respect for how others view the world, for the spiritual beliefs of others.


This is, no offense meant, an ad hominem. Because I can be, within a particular context, critical of a particular position does not mean I lack respect for other religions. A question for you, Christopher, what is the point of your statement? Does it move the dialogue along? Does explain a point? Does it refute a point? Does it add a point?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:33 pm

christopher::: wrote:Most people that I have met, or read, who pondered the Universe deeply come eventually to that same conclusion. Not of Buddhism, but of a very Mysterious Reality. The Native American Indians used terms such as Great Spirit and Great Mystery interchangably. I am not trying to "layer things over" with a God notion or Universal Mind concept.


Of course the universe is a mystery, that does not mean we must deify the mystery, or try to add another level of mystery on top of it. If you want to, that is your choice, but in the context of this thread, it is not science.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby christopher::: » Thu Jul 30, 2009 4:02 pm

I started to respond to you in detail Tilt, but I really don't know what to say. I've tried to show there are other ways of conceptualizing God, but you simply dismiss those as well.

If this is not intolerance of other's belief, then I am in error.
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 30, 2009 4:10 pm

christopher::: wrote:I started to respond to you in detail Tilt, but I really don't know what to say.


Which is likely why you resorted to an ad hominem response.

I've tried to show there are other ways of conceptualizing God, but you simply dismiss those as well.


Of course there are other way of conceptualing the notion of a god. I am well aware of them, but they are not any less open to criticism. You do not have to accept my critique. I certainly do not expect that anyone believes the way I do.

If your god notions works for you, fine. If, however, you put it out there, especially in terms of Buddhism, then do not be surprised if it elicits a response, and maybe one not necessarily to your liking. In the end, however, we can simply disagree with each other. Ad hominems add nothing positive to the discussion and they make you look bad.

If this is not intolerance of other's belief, then I am in error.


If my critique is intolerant, you might want to consider how very intolerant you are here in your insistent that some sort of god notion can be better explain things, or your insustence that the Dhamma really should be seen in a different light from how it is traditionally understood.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby Individual » Thu Jul 30, 2009 4:20 pm

christopher::: wrote:Hi Mike. I cannot say how useful systems concepts are in your field, but they definitely are helpful in many fields. Just recognizing that compounded systems work in certain ways helps out a lot i think, whether you're a teacher, parent, economist, office manager, environmental engineer, doctor, band manager, online forum moderator or computer systems engineer. People working with alternative energy systems may be able to benefit by studying the natural energy utilization systems of plants, for example.

My own opinion is that its very useful to make students aware of systems properties. Here's a handout I give to my classes when we study the environmental problems humans are facing now. It helps put everything into a larger context, framework.

ChristophersSystemsScience.jpg


One of my interests is in finding ways to help people break out of dualistic and compartmentalized ways of thinking. Once you become aware of all the various systems in the world, how they are connected, how they work, one can create a unified visual model of everything that exists, that can assist with problem solving...

And is also kind of cool to contemplate.

:smile:

Is the universe actually composed of seemingly well-ordered "systems" of emergent properties, or is that just the way we reduce them in order to understand how they work, condensing them into terms and generalizations our brains can manage?
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby chicka-Dee » Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:48 pm

christopher::: wrote:One of my interests is in finding ways to help people break out of dualistic and compartmentalized ways of thinking. Once you become aware of all the various systems in the world, how they are connected, how they work, one can create a unified visual model of everything that exists, that can assist with problem solving...

And is also kind of cool to contemplate.

:smile:


This really caught my attention.. My first thought was, this is something that we seem to naturally progress towards (becoming more deeply aware of the interconnectivity of everything) through our spiritual practice. We have an effective "inner" method of achieving such awareness (through meditative practice). But what are the more "outwards" ways of increasing such awareness? This is a very interesting question. And a very important one, imo. Because this lack of awareness is, perhaps, the root of most (if not all) of our major problems in this world. Starting with our education systems, which serve to fragment learning by dividing everything up into bits and pieces of learning (now we're learning about Math, later we'll do Language Arts, then after lunch we'll do Art..), and in turn serve to fragment our thinking (I go shopping, come home and throw away the packaging - or if I am more conscious, recycle what I can - the garbage man comes along and conveniently picks up my garbage so I don't have to think about it anymore, it ends up in the landfill and becomes the problem of city administrators... just one small example). Further, if I develop an "inner" awareness of such interconnectivity and do nothing to change my "outer" behaviour, then have I really learned this deeply? No, not very likely.

This issue (of awareness of interconnectivity) just seems to get right at the heart of 'curing' so many problems.. the golden key, perhaps?

Image

One bright light: the education program at our local university has wholistic learning and making connections as a major focus. Still, most schools here continue to fragment learning to a large degree. This movement (towards wholistic learning) has been around for decades, but fragmentation is so entrenched that the system is very slow to respond.. likely because we have to convince everyone that it 'works' and of the beneficial effects. This requires the public to have certain level of awareness, the very same group that was raised to think compartmentally... and so the cycle continues...

Anyways, sorry if I got off topic.. I just had to work that out for myself, lol...
Last edited by chicka-Dee on Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"The image is a dream. The beauty is real. Can you see the difference?" ~Richard Bach from "Illusions"
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby chicka-Dee » Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:03 pm

Individual wrote:Is the universe actually composed of seemingly well-ordered "systems" of emergent properties, or is that just the way we reduce them in order to understand how they work, condensing them into terms and generalizations our brains can manage?


These are interesting questions. Do we approach things by breaking them down into 'bits and pieces' because this is what we've been conditioned to do? Or is this the way our brains 'work best'? I tend to think that breaking everything down and compartmentalizing things is more "unnatural" and a result of how we were taught to think and learn. But then it seems I may be naturally more of a "global" thinker. Some people are more "linear" thinkers and learn best when information is presented in a linear fashion. There are individual differences here, and it seems the way our brains are wired to process information has a lot to do with how we best learn and the 'type' of thinking we perform. I'm certainly no expert, but I have done some personal investigating into this area.

You say, "is that just the way we reduce them".. I would say the opposite.. that by fragmenting we reduce the aspects of the whole. By looking at overall 'systems' we are looking at how the world operates in it's natural form...
"The image is a dream. The beauty is real. Can you see the difference?" ~Richard Bach from "Illusions"
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby mindfullmom » Wed Aug 05, 2009 1:49 pm

Each time a thread appears on this topic it ends up going on for miles and miles. I think it's a wonderful example of our collective conscious EVOLVING forward in an effort to CREATE something new. I chose those words carefully as I have been condititioned (up to this moment) to believe that creationism and evolution are one in the same. They are both empty of a separate existence aren't they?

If god created the universe, who created god? And if the big bang created the universe, what created the big bang? Isn't this emptiness at its best? Or is my understanding off?

I agree when the Buddha says that sometimes we are asking the wrong question. I can't find the story but it is about the man struck with an arrow and as he lays there bleeding to death, he demands to know from which direction the arrow was shot, what it was made of, how fast it was travelling, etc. While all that is being investigated, he dies because he does nothing to tend to the wound. Isn't that what we are doing here? There is suffering (the arrow) and then more suffering created from the first suffering (death from the arrow). Since there doesn't seem to be any way to really know either way, why not focus ourselves on the present moment, on the breath, on the rise and fall?

I agree with Chickadee. Our understanding of interconnectedness (emptiness) is the key to it all. We may know it on an intellectual level but do we know it in the way we think, speak and act? And we all arrive at it in different ways. The linear thinker might want to pull apart the whole and separate it out into little "bits and pieces" (like quantum physics) and in doing so may penetrate the true nature of reality. The global thinker might not need to do that and might find analyzing systems a better way to see our interconnectedness. Either way you have made it there. Our schools and our workplaces compartmentalize because there is a need to do so, imo. There is so much to learn and so much to know, we have to start somewhere. It's up to each one of us to pursue a more global view indivdually whether we are talking about school subjects or work skills.

But I went off topic. Don't most religions believe that god is in us, we are in god? I'm not of the belief that a personal god exists, but isn't that the same as emptiness? :shrug:

And I would like to thank all of you here, as a result of reading this thread I am now different then I was before and you are all part of me now :bow:
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