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Before Life, After Death and Religion

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Droopy, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. Droopy

    Droopy Founder & Former Admin V.I.P Member

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    Thanks for the explanations guys, it's interesting.

    One thought though:

    How come we are the most intelligent of all? Correct me if I am wrong but no other animal or animal group has things like: currency, cars, planes, financial systems, democracy, government, been to space, music, computers, telephones, can start fire, medicine, television, police/justice systems, employment/jobs, education/schools and the list goes on...

    Why are we so much more advanced when compared to other animals? Is it right to place humans in the same league as animals given our evident and overwhelming superiority and advancements?
     
  2. . . .

    . . . Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    The human brain grew rapidly through careful natural selection.

    And I wouldn't say that we're totally out of the same league as the great apes. Great apes are capable of being taught sign language while other animals aren't. Some scientists think that apes could actually be smart enough to learn sign language from humans and pass it onto their ape families who could then pass it onto future generations of apes. Sign language may not sound very advanced, but how many animals can you teach sign language to? When an animal can be taught a language by a human, it's considered as being a very unique thing.

    They say that evolution isn't truly a theory but that it's fact. I used to not want to believe it because I disliked the thought that we came from "lower" creatures and because it contracted religious texts. But by the time I reached my teens, I started believing it. I felt it was more important to believe what was strongly backed up by science and likely to be true than to simply believe what I wanted to believe.

    Even though I accept evolution, I still think there could be a god out there. There are actually quite a few Christians out there who accept evolution and even pastors who tell their congregation that evolution is fact.
     
  3. 142857

    142857 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Some interesting links on the subject of human intelligence:
    http://library.thinkquest.org/C003763/index.php?page=origin10
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_human_intelligence

    Obviously there are multiple theories on exactly why and how human intelligence evolved.

    Human intelligence evolved because intelligence was a survival advantage during our evolution. Intelligence could also have been selected for through sexual selection - earlier human females may have been attracted to men who showed intelligence above and beyond what was needed for pure survival.

    Having a large brain is an impediment to survival. It greatly increases the rate of deaths during childbirth (for both mother and child). A human child is born with the brain only partly developed and the skull not yet fused, so raising a child to the point where it can take care of itself is exponentially more difficult for humans than it is for other species. So intelligence must have offered a huge advantage.

    Early humans, like us, were relatively slow and weak compared to other animals, and they had almost no natural defences from large carnivores. So intelligence was our one real means of survival.

    We also had hands, which made the development of technology possible (by technology I include things like the development of wooden and stone tools and weapons, and making clothing). A horse (for example) would struggle to make a stone axe using its hooves, even if it were intelligent enough to figure it out. Our hands are very similar to a monkey's hand, or an ape's hand - they evolved for climbing.

    We also had the most effective and efficient temperature control system, by far, of any animal - which is important when you have a large and complex brain to look after. The possible reason we evolved this cooling system is that this cooling system made it possible for humans to run down animals which were able to run more than twice as fast as they could - keep just about any animal running for a couple of miles during the heat of the day in tropical Africa and it will overheat and collapse.
     
  4. 142857

    142857 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    What I find interesting is that our brains have shrunk by 25% compared to how big they were pre-civilization. Both neanderthals and our more direct ancestors (cro magnons) had significantly larger brains than ours.

    When you think about it, a farmer or a soldier doesn't necessarily need to be as intelligent as a hunter-gatherer just in order to survive. In an environment where superior intelligence is not as crucial to survival, humans with smaller brains have a survival advantage because of a lower rate of death during childbirth.

    Some scientists like to believe that our brains got more efficient and were therefore able to fit into a smaller volume. Other (perhaps more realistic) scientists point out that a domesticated dog's brain is 25% smaller than its wild cousins of roughly the same size. And yet there is no indication that a domestic dog's brain is more efficient than a wolf's brain or a coyote's brain - the domestic dog simply doesn't need to be as smart in order to survive.
     
  5. jaws

    jaws Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I've often thought on this issue, and why we consider the modern era more advanced than times past (perhaps lost histories that were destroyed in wars). My argument is, just because we were able to do something doesn't mean we should have done it. I'm thinking specifically of industrialization and its current impact on our planet...not just global warming, as that may be a planetary cycle that extends beyond written history (though I think we contributed)...but also the poisoning of most of our water sources, destroying forests and jungles that provide oxygen and medicines, etc. Maybe we are not the "most" intelligent creatures on the planet (either now or in the past). Maybe others thought of the same things and had the forethought to not do them due their destructive effects.

    I'm not stating this as an actual fact or even really arguing, I just thought these odd ideas I've had fit nicely into this line of discussion.
     
  6. Odd Duck 1357

    Odd Duck 1357 Member

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    I pressed my biology professors to show one example of a beneficial, hereditary mutation. The best I got was the botany professor's: the Jonathan (I think) apple has extra chromosomes and wasn't harmed by this mutation. He did admit that this variety is sterile and can only reproduce through artificial means.

    An advantage of being an Aspie was that I collected facts and stuck to my guns; my college profs hated me. Knowing Christ has helped temper my anger and helplessness and give me purpose. I hated myself for being different because the world treated me like a pariah, to the point that I wished I would die after my s.o. told me my family would be better off without me. Then I heard a gentle whisper tell me, "and yet you have so much value that I died for you!" That pretty much ended the self-hatred. A lot of these posts talk about wishing we were normal, wanting acceptance, hating being different; yet God not only chose to place people like us in this world but did not leave us out when Christ shed his blood. I have tremendous peace now because, while the world may dislike me intensely, the only One whose opinion has any sway over my eternal state chooses to love me. And that is enough.
     
  7. Odd Duck 1357

    Odd Duck 1357 Member

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