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Nura: Darwinism is dead. Long live Nuraism!

Reader comment on item: Counting Islamists
in response to reader comment: Alas! Plato believes in an unseen god, Evolution!

Submitted by Plato (India), Nov 2, 2008 at 04:33

Nura, you wrote:

>>Existence is miraculous, do you deny that?<<

Nura, people who have religion on their brains think that anything they cannot understand is miraculous.This is one way you smuggle god into the picture. As more and more natural phenomena got explained, Allah began to fade from the picture. What is left now is Allah of the gaps; believers smuggle Him in through the gaps in our understanding of the universe. The gaps are getting few and far between and also narrower and smaller. Allah is having a tough time showing Himself through them. In just 2000 years humans have reduced the yawning gaps in our understanding of nature. I feel sorry for your Allah. He has to flit from gap to gap in the hope of finding one from which He can squeeze through.

You ask your question ( you think it is a trick question) believing my answer has to be yes. It is yes, existence is miraculous only till the time we explain it scientifically.

>>The existence of bacteria is also miraculous despite not having a "perceived" conscious.<<

It is miraculous (to you) only to the extent that you have no explanation for its existence except Allah. You smuggle in Allah because the original few steps to its existence are still murky.

>>You use the term conscious too freely. There is no definitive definition for it and in the realm of science it is often rejected, because it cannot be observed.<<

That is why science rejects the concept of god, because there is no ‘definitive definition' (should you not have said evidence?) for god. And where can I observe Allah? (in the signs given in the Koran? i.e. the sun, moon, bees, sailing ships – LOL). You can do better than the Koran, Nura.

>> Your argument is based on the assumption that humans are the only beings who experience consciousness.<<

Re-read my post. Where have I claimed anything that ridiculous? I have said humans have the special property of being self-conscious or self-awareness. There is as yet no definitive evidence for any animal possessing it. Self-awareness is probably the crucial difference between us and animals.

>>Let's go with your understanding of the word consciousness, to be conscious is greater than existence in only one circumstance, if you are a believer.<<

That, Nura, is not my understanding. I never brought belief. First of all from the foregoing you seem not to have understood what I mean by consciousness (An alert cognitive state in which you are aware of yourself and your situation - Wordweb). Read my post again. Have I said anywhere that consciousness is greater than existence? How can one be conscious without existence? Existence is a necessary condition for being conscious. You said in your post that the greatest gift is existence. You seem not to have understood that without consciousness existence is a useless gift. Stones, water, the moon, computers also exist. They are useful only to conscious beings (during the short period of their existence as conscious beings) and not to themselves.

>> I view consciousness and belief, not merely being "awake", eating, and drinking. Animals do the same, why then are they not considered for consciousness? This is not consciousness but merely existence.<<

What gives you the idea they are not considered conscious? A dog can distinguish between its master and an intruder. If it had been without this property why would it react? It feels anger and fear of the intruder, and love for its master and happiness in his presence. Does a bacterium have that? There is a fine line between being a conscious being and mere existence. It probably needs a critical mass of neurons and their connections.

>>It is only through the religion of God does mankind receive different levels of consciousness.<<

You have done it again. You have smuggled in God for no particular reason by making a statement without any basis.

>> The most conscious person would live his life as though each minute would be his last; this level of consciousness is rare. <<

That kind of consciousness is surely very, very rare. Any one who thought like that would go stark raving made within a few hours.

>>This mirage of this world is nothing more than an illusion within a thought.We are all a thought.<<

Ah. I see. A sort of enigma wrapped in a mystery? I am shocked to hear a monotheist say what the idol-worshipping Hindus have been saying. The world is an illusion. Saying we are all a thought is sailing close to the Hindu concept of monism (The doctrine that reality consists of a single basic substance or element - Wordweb).Your madrassa instructor will not approve. You are dispensing with the need for a creator.

>>The reality, where humans experience the "supreme consciousness" happens at death. This is when humans will realize the errors of their lives.<<

What remains of heaven and hell now? What more than "supreme consciousness" is there to experience? I would think that when you experience this "supreme consciousness" you will be free of all errors past or present.

>>Many atheists do but no atheists will admit that existence is a gift to the suffering little girl whose example I gave you.

If I were that little girl I would gladly choose not to exist.

How? You have a very closed understanding of existence. After your dead will not your bones still exist? <<

What if my bones continue to exist? Does the ‘I' in me consist of my vertebral column, thigh bone or thumb bone? Just existence does not interest me. The experience of existence or being alive and being able to think is what interests me. Muslims apparently are not interested in this as they think Allah is the arbiter of all that happens and have given up the hard job of thinking to Allah. If you believe in Islam your existence is just a thought in Allah's mind. This cannot be ruled out but there is no shred of evidence yet.

>> Rodents, insect life, bacteria, and fungus, will be feasting on your existing flesh and organs. You cannot make you self- non-existent even through death.<<

D you believe that the rodents, insects and bacteria that consume the molecules of my body are now transformed into me or part of me? My body consists of atoms that have been in the bodies of a good percentage of those who have ever lived. Nice thought. We are all linked by our physical body with almost all of humanity. Why then does Allah ask only Muslims to be brothers (and as an after thought sisters) among themselves?

>>Epicurus said. "The sum total of things was always such as it is now, and such it will ever remain," and that nothing is created from nothing, and nothing that disappears ceases to exist.<<

You quote Epicurus with approval. He anticipated modern science by two thousand years. He anticipated more and better science than you can find in the Koran.

If the sum total of things was always such as it is now where does Allah's creation with/in time come into the picture?

>>If we cannot make ourselves non-existent, than what can? How is it possible that something created everything from nothing? <<

Just as before we were born we did not exist in a similar fashion we cease to exist when we die. The elementary particles in our bodies have existed since time began (if time had a beginning) they will continue to exist till the universe exists. The bricks that make up a building cannot be mistaken for the building itself. When the building falls apart the bricks can be reused to construct another building very different from the one of which they were a part. When I die my body is torn apart and used to build other bodies very different from the ‘I' that existed before I died. Nature is very economical. It does not allow anything to go waste.

According to Islam I and all who ever lived will be reconstituted with their original bodies (which is impossible because there will be millions of atoms which are common to all). A question that arises is if I died a raving maniac will I be reconstituted to be one in heaven/hell too?

Epicurus has nothing to say about something creating everything. Again you are trying to smuggle Allah in by talking of ‘something' doing the creation. Interestingly you have said something rather than someone. That is something with which I could agree. Creation could be because of laws that exist by themselves without having any consciousness that flies into a rage because its creatures don't exactly follow its rules.

>>It would be assumed that the force creating a source of matter could surely uncreated it.<<

What about the Force that created Allah? Islam claims He is uncreated. There can be nothing that is uncreated except laws that are not physical entities. Allah is a physical entity as he flies into a rage, is jealous of associate gods, is pleased when He is worshipped, and such other human qualities that only created things can feel.

>> It's a preposterous idea right, un-creating matter?<<

Not if the laws of nature allow for it.

>>Atheists following the Darwin theory will say the harshest words. According to Darwin, survival of the fittest is not only the "rule" of nature but it should be supported by higher intelligent beings. I am not surprised that you used Darwin.<<

Scientific theories, including the theory of evolution, are not concerned with adjectives like harsh. They merely describe the facts and adduce theories from them which may or many not be confirmed by the phenomena they are able to predict.

>>Of course I can, I did not exist before I was conceived in my mother's womb.

My question was can you imagine not existing. How is the above an answer to that question? You can't remember when you didn't exist! You can't even remember when you were a year old.<<

Can you imagine nothing? I can. I did not exist before I was conceived. Instead of being a ‘someone' I was a ‘no one'. Remembering is a property of the brain, and the connections its neurons form. How can the brain I have any memory of anything that existed before the neurons and connections formed?

>> When did your existence become "Conscious"?<<

When sufficient (I am not a brain scientist to quantify sufficient) neurons and connections had formed in my brain.

>>Despite the fact that you cannot remember yourself in the womb, as an infant, you still cannot imagine yourself away.<<

I can. I can't help it if people of religion cannot. You need to think out of your book of ancient balderdash.

I did once. But having read a little of evolution I now understand why. Evolution has ingrained in us the fear of death without which you and I will not be here discussing it. Evolution has also ingrained in all living beings a sense of purpose, for again without this we would not exist. A tiger forages far and wide with a purpose. To find food. It wouldn't move an inch otherwise and would perish and leave no progeny.

>>Evolution! It sounds like a "conscious" entity!<<

You have correctly put it in inverted commas. Evolutionary laws are deduced from observed phenomena. Because Newton's law of gravitation does its job of holding our solar system and the universe together does not mean gravity is a "conscious" entity. So too for Darwin's theory of evolution.

>> How can "nothing" ingrain anything? Evolution is nothing, it is an invisible force! Soubanna –Allah, you believe in the unseen!<<

The nothing of the void (the space free, matter free, time free entity) ingrains the universe. That is, ‘nothing' ingrains everything we know.

The invisible force of gravity is ‘visible' from the job it does of keeping us in orbit around the sun. The ‘invisible' force of Darwinian evolution gave rise to all the diversity of organisms that you see around you, including yourself. So in that sense I believe in the unseen. Not in an raging, jealous, invisible Being with a bloated ego.

>>According to Darwin, everything was "designed" by evolution and natural selection. The sole purpose of this design is for survival. Tell me, why does the evolutionary force or natural selection care if we survive?<<

You need to brush up on evolutionary theory. Evolution does not have any ‘purpose', nor does it go about designing anything. Just as the blowing wind ‘designs' patterns in the sand without any purpose of its own so evolution has without thought or purpose worked on chemicals/organisms and brought you and me into existence. Isn't this a more believable solution than postulating an Allah who claims to be merciful and yet massacres thousands without a thought, an Allah who claims to be all powerful yet is unable to show Himself to everyone except a chosen few? And evolution does not care whether you live or die. Nor does Allah for that matter. In fact Allah prefers that you die, see 6:32, 14:3.

>>Why does it have this task to make sure that life is on earth? <<

You are smuggling in Allah again into the picture. Evolution has not set itself any task, least of bringing about life.

>>In caring out this task, "It" designed the most intricate, sophisticated, ingenious, PERFECT, systems of life down to the cell in which "IT" has not been repeated anywhere else in the universe.<<

Evolution does not care about anything or anyone. Nor does Allah for that matter. All He cares about is whether you have associated partners with Him for which he has designed excruciating punishment for the guilty. Evolution leaves you alone when you are dead. The cells which exist because of the laws of evolution are not perfect, they keep dying and have to be replaced many times in a body. Would a perfect cell die or become cancerous?

We have not yet examined the rest of the universe to come to the conclusion that life does not exist anywhere else.

>> What sense does this make? How a can force that has no form, no place, no consciousness, create the majesty of life as we know it?<<

What form does Allah have, where does He live? Will a conscious Being allow the pain and distress that leaves shattered bodies and minds on the earth? Oh, yes, of course there is paradise waiting for those who are believers and have suffered the worst tortures for no reason. ROTFL!

>>Furthermore, to create anything, you need ingredients. Nothing is created from nothing Even if that ingredient is just hydrogen gas, it an ingredient that aids in life.. <<

From what ingredients was Allah created? If nothing is created from nothing where did He appear from? Allah does seem to be a lot of gas of an unknown kind for Him to have appeared from nowhere. The stuff of the universe we know exists and we are working on why it exists.

>>Let's say evolution created everything, what created IT and the ingredients that it used to make life on earth.<<

Brush up your knowledge of Darwin, evolution never created any matter. It just worked, given favourable conditions, on replicating matter to reorganize it to the various living forms we find today. Who created the ingredients to create Allah?

>>"All those whom you call out to besides Him, they cannot even create a fly."(Quran)

This is a wonderful yet simple statement that applies in the 21 first century!<<

This wonderful internet and the computer you use came out of people's minds, not Allah's. The computer is much more useful to us than the disease-spreading fly. (Silly me, I should have known Allah created our minds. LOL)

Now compare the boastful Allah with something from the Hindu scripture:

Then there was neither Aught nor Nought, no air nor sky beyond.
What covered all? Where rested all? In watery gulf profound?
Nor death was then, nor deathlessness, nor change of night and day.
That One breathed calmly, self-sustained; nought else beyond it lay.

Gloom hid in gloom existed first - one sea, eluding view.
That One, a void in chaos wrapt, by inward fervour grew.
Within it first arose desire, the primal germ of mind,
Which nothing with existence links, as sages searching find.

The kindling ray that shot across the dark and drear abyss-
Was it beneath? or high aloft? What bard can answer this?
There fecundating powers were found, and mighty forces strove-
A self-supporting mass beneath, and energy above.

Who knows, who ever told, from whence this vast creation rose?
No gods had then been born - who then can e'er the truth disclose?
Whence sprang this world, and whether framed by hand divine or no-
Its lord in heaven alone can tell, if even he can show.

-- Anon. (The Rig Veda)

Translated by John Muir, in 'Original Sankrit Texts', volume 5.

Even translated from a dead language the wisdom and beauty of thought comes through. This is no hectoring Allah telling in crude and abusive language to believe in Him as the creator.

>>You need ingredients to make life. Only Allah knows what they are.<<

Who knows what ingredients were used to make Allah?

>>Allah is the only one who can create them. <<

Once more, who created the ingredients that went into Allah's design?

>>Allah created evolution, one of his names Al- Bari, it is translated as "The evolver".<<

I now give the name Allah to evolution. And hey presto and evolution IS Allah.

>>It only makes sense that the design of evolution had to be created by a superior intelligence, or there would be many flaws in the system.<<

Evolution is superior "intelligence", only it is not aware of its superiority.

Regards

Plato

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