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#55877 - 05/17/16 07:34 AM A Layperson’s Theory of Creation and Evolution
969264409111 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/11/16
Posts: 21
Loc: California

A Layperson’s Theory of Creation and Evolution.

How did we get here? What is our purpose? Is there a God? Were we created in human
form or did we evolve? Will we ever discover the answers to these and the other paradoxical
questions about our humanity? My guess is yes. And though I have very few facts and virtually
no credentials to write with authority on these subjects, I find them fascinating enough to give it shot, even at the risk of being labeled a kook. So, if you have a little time on your hands (this is not a short read), and you feel like pondering some unsubstantiated and admittedly far out cosmic possibilities, read on.

THEORY

I have a very simple theory.

Our universe came into being with a purpose: To create, sustain
and refine life.

Does the word “purpose” in this statement imply some form of influence with the intent of seeing the purpose fulfilled? A completely random, undirected universe would have no purpose, right? It would simply come into being and exist. Period. So, do the words “purpose” and, in fact, another word, “influence”, in that statement imply a god or religious entity of some kind? That depends on your definition of the word “God”. And that is, at least partially, what this exploration is all about, a new definition of that iconic word.

But to get to get there, we have to start with some basics.

TWO VIEWS: MICRO AND MACRO

In their search for the answers to questions about our origin, scientists often explore the tiniest
bits and pieces of our universe – the atoms we are made of; the particles those atoms are
made of; the particles those particles, or strings or waves, are made of – in other words, the
nearly infinitesimally small states of matter (and anti- or dark matter) in existence. From these
sub-microscopic, unimaginably tiny explorations, scientists have discovered verifiable facts and offered profound, theories about the origin and functions of the universe. I tend to think of this way of exploring our universe as a micro view.

What you will find in this essay is more of a macro view, a discussion of the very large things in our universe and a general notion of how I believe they have evolved and interacted, driven by that purpose I mentioned.

I do realize that formal scientific research, in whatever form it takes, is carried out by men and
women with extraordinary minds, sophisticated equipment and years of education and experience. This is not an attempt to contradict what these professionals have discovered. What you will read here is simply my idea of a universal umbrella design – a very broad description of a model, under which most, if not all, of the current scientific facts and theories remain intact. Particles can still collide, pop in and out of existence, and move in steams and/or waves; Schrodinger’s cat remains alive and dead at the same time in its paradoxical box; all the detailed Relativity and bizarre Quantum Mechanics laws that physicists have developed to define our universe and its mind-bending paradoxes, remain as they are.

I am simply theorizing that all of those things together make up the ingredients in a kind of cosmic recipe. And that recipe does three things spontaneously and unwaveringly:

It creates, sustains and refines living things – by design.

Finally, I’m aware these ideas are, as I’ve said, hugely oversimplified, unsubstantiated, and I accept the likely probability that I am just another overly-inflated weekend warrior who thinks he has figured out something unique, when in reality these ideas are nothing more than “wannabe dribble”. Maybe, but I don’t think so. . .

FROM THE BEGINNING

At some point in the very, very, very distant past, in fact, so far in the past it was before
our universe existed, an explosion (I believe many scientists call it a rapid expansion) of
unimaginable speed, size and power took place. Most scientists agree this is how our universe began, and they have named that expansion the Big Bang. The Big Bang originated from what these scientists call a Singularity. I will not pretend to be smart or educated enough to
explain exactly what a Singularity is, however, I do know that it is described as an incredibly
dense and, in the case of our Big Bang, almost infinitesimally tiny point. A Singularity is also
another name for a Black Hole, by the way, which is an incredibly dense sort of bottomless pit in
the fabric of the universe, pulling in everything nearby with such enormous power that not even
light can escape it.

A TALE OF TWO BANGS

I think we can safely assume there were at least two forms the Big Bang might have taken.
I call these The Straight Bang and The Curved Bang.

THE STRAIGHT BANG

Imagine the Straight Bang as an explosion/expansion that blew enormous amounts of universal material straight out into the nothingness of newly created space. And because in this scenario space truly was nothingness, all those cosmic chunks and blobs and pre-atomic goop blew straight away from the center and kept going in straight lines at incredible speeds. You could imagine this as something like the initial blast of one of those huge, colorful, 4th of July fireworks explosions that sends fiery points of light straight out in a perfect circle.

THE CURVED BANG

Now picture a second version of that expansion. It begins the same, but in this case all that
cosmic stuff does not go straight away from the center. That’s because in this scenario space
is not nothingness. In fact, space, according to Albert Einstein (I think we can trust his
definition) is actually Space-Time. And one characteristic of Space-Time, very loosely
defined, is something like an immense, curved “Gravitational Fabric” stretched tightly across the
entire expanse of the Universe. I have to qualify that statement and say this fabric is not exactly
like a single, two dimensional sheet as you might be thinking. It is actually much more complicated than that, but again, for purposes of this story, if you imagine an enormous taut sheet of fabric, that will do just fine.

THE CRUCIAL DIFFERENCE

Now here is the important distinction between these two versions of that initial expansion.
As this second version (the Curved Bang) takes place, the blast is so powerful, and the chunks of
stuff shot away from the singularity are so huge and dense that they ripple and warp this
Gravitational Fabric, and that causes the materials to arc and swirl and curve in those ripples and
warped areas. You might picture this version of the expansion as something like a tremendous
blast of hot Universal blobs shot away from a center and caught or deflected in the waving
ripples of surrounding, invisible flags.

And this is a crucial distinction, because the idea that these arcs and curves were created in the very beginning sets the stage for everything that followed. In other words, we could think of that one simple word, “curve”, as a metaphor for a cosmic seed taking hold in the womb of a brand new universe. And it was from that seed (though somewhat indirectly) that all life as we know it has sprung. How?

ORBITS!

As I mentioned, these large pieces of stuff slung out into space were very dense. And it is the
density of objects that helps create those pits and ripples and indentions in the Gravitational
Fabric, which, as you may have guessed, are areas of gravitational influence.

Picture a baseball sitting in the center of a blanket that has been stretched very tightly
across something like the opening of a large, round tub or barrel. Its weight and density
creates an indention in the fabric beneath the ball. If you roll a marble out onto this blanket, it’s
path will be bent. It will be drawn toward the baseball and begin to circle in toward its
indention, suggesting an “orbit”. That’s essentially how gravity works in space, and it is why
planets orbit suns and why moons orbit planets, our moon included.

The reason this talk of gravity, indentions and especially curves is so important is because had this not been the case, had all that material blown straight out into nothingness as in the Straight Bang scenario, planetary orbits could not have formed. And without orbits, the conditions that would later allow life as we know it to begin could not have emerged. The stuff of the universe would have simply blown away into a vast empty void, it would still be going today, and we would not be having this conversation!

So, at this point, let me try to lay the foundation of my theory:

The Big Bang: A tremendous explosion/expansion
created and sent massive amounts of dense material
out into the curved Gravitational Fabric of our newly
created, Space-Time Universe.

Chunks and blobs and bits and pieces of this dense,
unimaginably hot cosmic material swirled, rippled,
arced and curved in the fabric.

This “stuff” of the universe began to cool, slowly condensing,
coalescing and solidifying into (amongst many other things)
planetary objects as they circled in around suns, until…

…eventually, in addition to galaxies, nebula, clusters, black holes
and many other cosmic objects, planets formed. And we are
just now beginning to realize that it’s almost certainly countless
planets – orbiting trillions of suns throughout the universe.

I think most scientists would agree this is generally how the Big Bang took place. The critical question is: Did it happen by chance? Was there some plan or reason behind it?

Hold that thought.

THE RECIPE OF LIFE?

Included in these cosmic materials that were forming, coalescing, cooling and orbiting, were
all the basic molecular ingredients of life as we know it. I don’t have a complete list, nor do I have details of exactly how and when they formed. But again, I believe those are facts we can do without. I do know that carbon, liquid water and oxygen are a few of the many key ingredients, and one important fact to keep in mind is that:

Just like the planetary materials, solar materials and their orbits,
these molecular ingredients of life were also created in the cosmos.

In other words, the Big Bang provided all the critical events, materials and conditions in, as I hope to describe, a kind of self-functioning model that, when left alone happens to be a recipe that, as long as it is in existence will continually and incessantly, produce one thing: Life.

Now, here again, is that critical question:

Did all this come about by chance? The curved gravitational fabric,
the essential curved trajectories leading to orbits, the formation
of suns and habitable planets. All the ingredients, materials,
conditions and locations needed for life to begin?

As you will soon learn I am not a religious believer. I do believe in evolution. I do not believe that a god created man, woman and the universe. However, I find it highly unlikely that the sequence I’m beginning to describe could have come about without some form external influence. In my mind that would be the equivalent of saying, numerous exotic ingredients suddenly materialized out of nowhere and combined by themselves in just the right amounts, under just the right temperature conditions, at just the right places, for just the right amount of time, to emerge from an oven as a delicious casserole! I don’t think so. You will form your own opinions, of course, but we’re just getting started on this exploration. Let’s follow the story a little farther down the evolutionary road and see where it leads us.

THE PROBABILITY OF LIFE

Most scientists believe that cosmic history tells us the emergence of life and the process of evolution are completely random, undirected events. They simply happened. But how can that be? How can a chaotic, unsupervised jumble of cosmic rocks and fireballs swirling around in space possibly lead, without the help of a some external influence, to intelligent, self-aware creatures like you and me? Interestingly enough, it appears to be, at least to some degree, a very simple matter of numbers! Really, really big numbers!

BY THE NUMBERS

The ingredients of life as we know it formed and arrived at or appeared and coalesced over time on some of those new planets. And some were orbiting their suns in what scientists call Habitable Zones. That means their orbits were distances from their suns that would create just the right range of stable temperatures so that liquid water, among the other necessities of life as we know it, could exist. And when those and many other conditions came about on one of these habitable zone planets, when everything came together just right, many scientists believe that something amazing happened. A process took place that made certain molecules began to attract, interact and spontaneously multiply. Exactly how this happened it is still a mystery, but many of those scientists believe that out of this process came the first living things.

Now just for a moment, try again to imagine the entire universe. Trillions of suns out there, and
circling around them the virtually countless orbiting planets I’ve been describing. On the vast
majority of those planets the perfect conditions required for the creation and evolution of life as we know it have not materialized and never will. That’s because many are too close to their suns so they are too hot, and many others are so far out they are too cold. Still others are what scientists call gas giants with thick, toxic atmospheres hiding deep solid cores. There are also large and small asteroids, dwarf planets, comets, unstable and elongated orbits, places where the essential ingredients required for the beginning of life are simply not present and many other types of barren, orbiting, unstable planets and planet-like satellites whipping around out there.

But here’s the caveat, and another aspect of my theory:

The laws of probability would seem to suggest that
because there were virtually countless planets, and
planet-like objects, many swirling around in the stuff
of life, there was a very high probability that, although
in most cases the emergence of life would fail (we’ll
talk about that in a minute ), there was a strong likelihood
that everything would happen just right on at least
a "few” of those planets and life would emerge.

Now, one more time, hold this thought: Virtually countless planets.

“COUNTLESS” YEARS.

Add to those countless planets, the notion that some have been cooling, orbiting and mixing with the stuff of life for virtually countless years – in fact, billions upon billions of years! And what effect does this virtually incomprehensible amount of time have on the probability that life would emerge out of an immense, undirected universe, churning with cosmic chaos?

A little detour will illustrate.

GETTING IT RIGHT ON THE HIGH SEAS!

Imagine a small, specially crafted boat afloat on rolling seas. It has a perfectly flat, smooth deck
that is twenty feet long by ten feet wide. On this deck are a thousand colored marbles: Blue,
green, yellow, brown, black, turquoise, pink, and many other colors. In addition, there is a
single red marble. Let’s assume the colored marbles represent the planets and the ingredients of
life swirling about in the universe. Let’s also assume the red marble is extraordinary. Under
certain conditions it has miraculous, life-producing qualities, and thus it represents the key to
what might be the emergence of first life.

I say “…might be…” because the red marble has another interesting characteristic. It can only
initiate the emergence of life if it touches 10 colored marbles in sequence and a specific order -- blue, green, yellow, brown, black, turquoise, pink, purple, magenta and violet. Touching these marbles in this order – and only in this order – turns on the red marble’s life creating properties, allowing it to go into action.

The boat is tossing on the rolling waves and because the surface of the deck tilts continually in
virtually all directions, marbles are rolling around randomly with no possibility of order or control over their paths. And there is one final aspect to this scenario. The boat will only be afloat on this sea for one hour.

Now, imagine that you have a bird’s-eye-view of this deck. What would you say are the chances
are that at some point the red marble would hit each of the prerequisite 10 colored marbles in the
correct sequence to create life during this short period of time? Pretty slim? In fact, that’s an
understatement. Why? Because there is a very short amount of time and the number of colored
marbles is not, relatively speaking, very large, it would be highly improbable that this sequence
of hits would take place. And that means the probability that life would emerge on this boat is
virtually non-existent.

Now imagine another, much larger boat. In fact this one is a tremendous barge afloat on the
same rolling seas. Like the smaller boat, the deck is a flat, smooth surface, but in this case it is
huge, roughly the size of 100 city blocks. On this immense deck are a billion colored
marbles and a million red marbles. And in this case, instead of an hour, the barge will
be afloat for a billion years. Again, you have a bird’s eye view. Would you say that on this
ship the probability that one of the red marbles will strike 10 specified marbles in the correct
order has increased?

If you said yes, you’re right. Because of the astronomical number of years and the virtually countless number of red and colored marbles rolling roll around on this deck, even though the entire scenario is completely random, and undirected, the probability that at some point a red marble will strike the specified 10 marbles in the correct order and life will emerge increases dramatically.

If we use these sea-going examples as analogies for our universe following the Big Bang we can add the following to my theory:

Although the Big Bang process was chaotic and
undirected, because there were so many possible
planets on which life could emerge, so much fertile
material forming in the universe, and the length of time
they interacted was so incredibly long, it was virtually
inevitable that at some place, or places in the universe
things would happen just right, life would emerge and
evolution would begin.

But what exactly is this process of evolution that allows (as we will see) only a few of many life forms to successfully evolve? And how has it played out in our case?

EVOLUTION ANOTHER VERY LONG JOURNEY

Once life does begin, the process of evolving from tiny single-celled organisms to more complex
life forms also begins spontaneously. And this raises another interesting question: Did
spontaneous evolution just happen by chance? Once life begins (or as it begins), does a functional system of sustaining and refining all living things emerge, again, for no reason and with no purpose? Or did this functional system come about with a purpose? And if so, was it part of an overall design? I’d say, yes. But whatever the answer to this question, there is one thing we can all agree on (excluding those religious believers who deny evolution all together): Evolution adds even more astronomical amounts of time to the process. It is an extremely long, slow and violent process. It is fraught with merciless brutality and constant life or death struggles. In our case, it has taken about 3.5 billion years, and it has progressed by means of the bloody process of change Charles Darwin called Natural Selection. The human evolutionary line has evolved through and survived this process (to this point, at least) but it’s a good bet that most life forms that have sprung up here on Earth and out there on those other likely planets have not. Why?

Over so many years, (yes, there’s that extraordinary time
factor again) natural events like large meteor strikes,
massive volcanic eruptions, exploding suns, escaping
atmospheres and many, many other types of cosmic
catastrophes, not to mention continual battles for species
survival, would almost certainly destroy most fledgling,
planetary life forms before they got too far down the
evolutionary road.

One of many examples right here on Earth is the dinosaurs. Most scientists believe a large
meteor impact changed the temperature and weather patterns on Earth so drastically that the
dinosaurs (and other life forms) could not survive. In fact, scientists have discovered that about
99 percent of all species that have existed on Earth have gone extinct because of catastrophic events or the inability to compete effectively and pass on their genes.

None the less, the Universe seems to be designed to keep trying, time after time, relentlessly attempting to repeat that same life producing process wherever the conditions are right, and the result is that today millions of lifeforms exist on Earth. And how have they managed to survive?

THE SEA TURTLE PARALLEL

As we all know, a process of natural balance exists here on Earth. Here is one, of many, many examples.

Every year, thousands of newly hatched sea turtles break free from their eggs in the sands of tropical beaches. Many immediately become the victims of crabs, fish, powerful currents, weather and other dangers, and as a result, die shortly after their birth. Others last through the initial stages of life and perish in various ways – often as the victims of predators. Only a few make it maturity.

Through this process, nature limits their numbers. In addition, those that die become sustenance for other aquatic travelers in the oceans. In this way, a natural, symbiotic balance is maintained that allows the turtle species to continue to evolve while remaining at proper levels. It also allows the oceans to remain a rich, open environment for all aquatic creatures. By contrast, if all baby turtles grew to maturity, mated and gave birth, it wouldn’t take many years before they would overrun and destroy the oceans.

Now, let’s assume I was correct when I suggested earlier that most of those new life forms
created on orbiting planets out in the universe, would die during their early evolution from
natural events and competition. We can illustrate how these ideas parallel our turtle story:



Because our oceans are very large

(just as the universe is very large)

…and a relatively small number of mature sea turtles move though its vast waters…

(just as a limited number of life’s recipe elements exist
in the immense universe)

…the number of times mature female turtles mate and become fertilized is limited

(just as the number of times the recipe elements merge on an
orbiting planet and life spontaneously begins).

Later, after those females have laid their eggs and hundreds of baby turtles hatch in the sand on tropical islands, as they attempt to reach the sea most become victims of seagulls, crabs, fish, treacherous currents and other natural hazards. Others die at various stages of growth. The result? Only a small number of sea turtles live to maturity…

(just as various cosmic events limit the process of evolution in
the universe, wiping out most “infant” life forms, leaving
only a few to reach maturity, but allowing the cycle to continue).

Assuming this analogy is valid it leads to yet another interesting question: Could those planetary life forms that perish be providing some form of balance and sustenance for other life forms? As an example, had the dinosaurs not emerged and then gone extinct, and as a result we humans had not discovered fossil fuels, would we have been able to progress as we have? Could the remains of the dinosaurs and early plant life be a random form of sustenance that in our case helped further advance our evolution?

As I said, this is a stretch, but I believe the parallels are very similar, and thus possible.

NATURAL SELECTION: THE "ENDLESS" GAUNTLET

According to Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection, the fittest generations of a species benefit
from positive genetic mutations which allow them to evolve and compete more effectively. As just one example, the most aggressive and successful males lions on the African Savannas will be genetically superior to other males, and they will most likely get the best mates. Their cubs will come into the world with superior genes. As they grow up and do the same, and this happens repeatedly over millions of years, the process of evolution produces very slow but steady changes – in some cases advantageous gene mutations that improve the lions’ ability to compete and thus stay successful.

However, the mutation of genes is not always positive for the species. Sometimes it is harmful and those lions who inherit the faulty gene mutations do not fare well in the survival category. Bottom line? The creatures with positive genetic mutations thrive and slowly improve and advance the species. The basic driver of this process of natural selection is competition – simply put, the competitors fight it out and the winners (those genetically gifted) get the prizes – the mates, the food, territory, and of course, the opportunity to pass on those all-important good genes.

As billions of years have passed since life appeared on Earth, the first simple, bacterial
organisms have been competing in life and death struggles and very slowly experiencing both positive and negative genetic mutations. The positive ones, as we’ve noted, have led to successful, increasingly complex life forms, with one culminating 3.5 billion years later as us human beings! And in our case alone, after nearly 4 billion years, we are the only living things we know of in existence that have reached a level of self-awareness. That means at some point in our evolution, tens of thousands of years ago, our primitive ancestors began to the realize that they were living beings under a mysterious, blinding ball of daylight, gleaming points in the night sky, and a silver ball that came in the dark, changing its face and position repeatedly as the weeks passed. In other words they had what must have seemed like an unfathomable mystery on their hands.

RELIGION – A BRIDGE OF HOPE

Imagine what it must have been like for the first primitive humans who began to realize that!
Who were we? Where had we come from? Who or what had created us? What was our
purpose? And the most important one: What happened when we died? It makes sense that
these questions would have been terrifying and overwhelming to our early ancestors (and, in
fact, still are too many people today). It also makes sense that religious beliefs would emerge at
this phase of our evolution, since they could provide the answers to those frightening questions
of origin, purpose and mortality. A belief in the Gods, or a God, resolved these questions for a
still ignorant, adolescent race. It also conveniently placed us humans at the center of
the universe! What more could we have asked for in terms of comfort, security and a way to
alleviate the frightening possibility that we were alone in space? An all-powerful parent-
guardian (a god) to love and guide us – and eternal life-after-death thrown in to boot!

It was just what we needed at the time, and boy did we believe! Gods of the sky, gods of the
earth and sea. Gods of war and the moon. Gods of love. Happy gods and angry gods causing
famines and storms and gods requiring animal and even human sacrifices! Eventually, single
gods, including Christ, Buddha and Allah, became the icons of established religions and symbols
of the sacred truths. Though these icons remain shrouded in mystery to this day, we have
believed ever since those first revelations that these gods have The Answers, and if we abide
by their rules, if we follow their commandments, we imperfect children will be given those
answers someday in a glorious, endless afterlife. Sounds great, right? That’s why it has been our
spiritual cornerstone for thousands of years.

THE RELIGIOUS SPOILER – INTELLECTUAL AWARENESS

But “lately” things have changed. You see, as the centuries have passed we’ve learned an
enormous amount. We are no longer ignorant, and our intellectual momentum has eroded
religious beliefs. These days proven, scientific facts tell us that the traditional religious answers,
those known only by the gods and kept hidden until our afterlives, do not really exist after all.
They were a form of rationalization and support appearing at a critical time in our evolution.
And they have done their job perfectly, sustaining us and providing a bridge over the dark
uncertainties of our emerging self-awareness, until we reached (in fact, may just now be reaching) the next phase in our evolutionary journey.

Today our heightened intellectual awareness has led to significant discoveries, and these have
compounded in recent years, thus broadening our knowledge on an exponential scale. In short,
we have “suddenly” (over the past few hundred years) begun to understand: DNA, genetic
codes, diseases, the nature of Earth and objects in space, time, motion, physics, relativity, atomic and subatomic particles, quantum mechanics, laws of nature, evolution, and so on, and this
immense wave of understanding continues to broaden our knowledge at an ever accelerating
pace. And with all this new knowledge under our belts, we are fitting the facts together into a much more accurate model of our origin and future path.

Because of this new fact-based model, my guess is that traditional religions will continue
to weaken and slowly become obsolete. This will not be a quick or easy transition. In fact it is likely to be bloody and violent because we’ve practiced religious traditions for thousands of years and they are heavily ingrained in the human psyche -- but the transition is happening and it will continue. One way to possibly limit or eliminate the eminent violence, may be to somehow re-define the word “God”, forming a definition that will satisfy both the scientists and religious believers.

COMPETITION – LIKE RELIGION?

Earlier, we touched on the subject of competition. And you’ll recall, I said that it was part of the
brutal process of Natural Selection and Evolution. But as we have gained knowledge and
become intellectually aware of our world and our nature, we’ve begun to realize that although
competition, just like the gods and traditional religious beliefs, has served a very important
purpose in our evolution, it, too, is becoming obsolete for us humans. Here’s why.

Competition is nature’s evolutionary engine, driving and sustaining an uncontrolled, freely evolving environment, in which wild organisms battle for food, mates (most importantly the
ability to pass on those “best” genes), survival, shelter and so on. As I’ve noted, this is how
species have evolved.

But living in controlled communal societies, and becoming continually less wild over
many milions of years, we humans have been increasingly regulating and limiting the natural
process of competition. For instance, we take care of our weak and defenseless. We allow them
to live longer, more rewarding lives. This is a form of empathy and compassion that doesn’t fit
into the brutal process of competition. We learn to respect and value all life, including animals,
which is also not consistent with the competitive process. We domesticate animals, farm for our
food, and feed the masses. These and many other types of modifications to the natural, “wild” process of competition have been broadening for thousands of years, and they are becoming continually more prevalent and ingrained in our way of life.

REVEALING TRENDS

Here are a few modern trends that illustrate this idea: Think about males and females in today’s global societies. Just as competition is slowly phasing out, aren’t the traditional male and female roles – which, remember, evolved from our ancestral animal origins, that happen to be a major foundational element of the competitive process – slowly becoming intersexual or androgynous? A few examples are the growing numbers of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered individuals being accepted in societies all over the world.

Also, females, once extremely limited by the rules of society, competition and religion, are moving into more powerful, decisive, traditionally “manly” roles (although, admittedly, some societies are far behind on this). Ask yourself these questions:

Aren’t males more likely to be leaders in highly
physical, confrontational, combative environments –
which describes our distant and recent past? And…

…aren’t females more likely to practice leadership
Through compassion and empathy, thus nurturing
peaceful cohabitation – which is what we currently
see emerging and the direction our societies will
likely evolve?

I realize these trends encompass only microscopic periods of time in the immense span of our evolution, but because they fit perfectly with the progression of much larger changes, I’d be willing to bet that as time goes on we will see more and more female leaders (which will be a good thing) and intersexual or androgynous individuals as the years roll on.

Remember, too, divorce rates are roughly 50 percent, and the number of marriages is continually declining. So what about the traditional family unit that follows courtship, marriage and mating? For thousands of years it has been a central, foundational element of our societies, but just as sexual roles have begun to blur, isn’t the family unit – which is based largely on those traditional male-female role-models and competition – becoming increasingly less prevalent in our society? Isn't the traditional family unit slowly disappearing? Though many people, particularly religious conservatives, would tell us that an intersexual society and the loss of the family unit are proof of societal decay, my opinion is just the opposite. I believe these developments, though difficult to accept and no doubt problematic in their early stages, are signs that we are moving in the right, and the inevitable, direction. You’ll understand why shortly.

But what about reproduction, you ask? If it’s true that we’re becoming more androgynous,
how will we eventually pass on those best genes? Well, at this point we can have all the sex
we want for sheer pleasure (in whatever form it takes), and in spite of our increasing
"uniformity", we can conceive babies with harvested sperm and eggs, and if need be implant
them for gestation and birth. As a part of this process, genetic mapping will soon allow
us to choose all the characteristics of our offspring. I realize how heartless and ghastly this may sound today, but when taken in the full context of our evolution, it makes perfect sensed.

My guess is that eventually it will become clear to us that the competitive process, including
its various facets – like male-female roles and the family unit – is one we are phasing out of
simply because we’ve learned we can control the path of our evolution without the bloody,
merciless process of competition in Natural Selection. And if you look around at today’s world,
you will realize that the two primary ways we’re applying that control are through science and
technology.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: THE FINAL STEPS?

Technology, as we know, is progressing at an incredible pace and accelerating almost
daily. We are now able to communicate with our hand-held devices at the touch of a graphic
screen. Human thoughts have been transmitted wirelessly across long distances, between human brains. We are creating more and more “spare bodily parts” and implants. These days we have robots that serve as butlers and doctors and tiny cameras in capsules that move through our bodies “filming” our digestive systems. We also have cars that can drive themselves. We've produced clones and mapped the human genome. Computer technology is rapidly shrinking in size, while at the same time becoming more sophisticated and powerful, and Cyberspace is becoming a seamless and integral part of our existence, especially for the younger generation.

Meanwhile, we are depending less on our bodies for survival. Obesity is increasing, partly because we move much less than we used to, and my guess is that this trend of increasing physical sedation and deterioration will continue (in spite of all those gym memberships). The good news is scientific breakthroughs are now allowing us to repair, transplant and create body parts. Synthetic tissues are being produced in labs as I write this. Diseases like Cancer, Alzheimer’s and Aids will soon be cured or fully controlled. Life will be sustainable for much longer periods of time – possibly exponentially. Computers and other technological advancements will continue to become increasingly prevalent, concentrated and integrated into our lives.

And where is all this leading us? Consider one very possible, profound eventuality:

HUMANS OR MACHINES?

In the near future, the line between natural humanity and manufactured life will become
blurred. I recently had two shoulder replacement surgeries. Both of my shoulder joints
now consist of titanium balls and plastic sockets. That’s not much in relation to my
overall body mass – maybe 1 percent? But at what point is a person still a natural human being
if, say, 50 percent of man-made elements make up his or her body – bones, joints, skin, organs,
muscles tendons, etc.? How about 70 percent? 90 percent? Suppose it reaches 95 percent –
which it could! Suppose at some point the only non-manmade element inside a human being is
the brain? Is he or she still a “human” being? Or, perhaps a “humanly-made” being? Or an
android with a human brain? And this begs yet another question: What exactly is “humanity”?
Body and mind? Only mind? Suppose something equivalent to the human brain can eventually
be manufactured? Computer science is making incredible advancements, and even today
computers are capable of learning and reasoning. What then would humanity be? A digital,
synaptic consciousness of some sort? Would we even need our bodies in this advanced
technologically-driven future – be they robotic, man-made or natural – since we are finding less
and less use for them?

A “SECOND LIFE” IN A CYBER-WORLD

Wikipedia describes the online game known as “Second Life” this way:

“Second Life is an online virtual world, developed by Linden Lab, launched on June 23, 2003. The users in Second Life, called Residents, can interact with each other through avatars. Residents can explore the world (known as the grid), meet other residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, and create and trade virtual property and services with one another…”

“Built into the software is a three-dimensional modeling tool based on simple geometric shapes that allows residents to build virtual objects. There is also a procedural scripting language, Linden Scripting Language, which can be used to add interactivity to objects. Sculpted prims (sculpties), mesh, textures for clothing or other objects, animations, and gestures can be created using external {and imported} software.”

Right. A computer video game.

Now imagine a futuristic, highly advanced version not of, this game, but of a virtual reality experience that offers total immersion achieved through technology. If you decide to “play” you experience a complete disconnect from life as we normally live it. Sound good?

Well, before you embark on your personal journey, stop and think about the ramifications this
presents. If the world you enter can become a kind of sanctuary of your own design, a place
you’ve actually been able to create and construct exactly to your liking, if you meet others like
yourself and interact in this “other” life, wouldn’t you want to stay awhile? Wander this
incredible world? Check things out? Return often? Might we as a race, begin to migrate over a long time into such virtual worlds? Would we decide to enter and stay for longer and longer periods of time, creating our alternate lives to our liking?

And could more advanced technologies evolve and lead to freeing us first from our bodies, and then releasing our consciousness into the Space-Time dimension to travel unencumbered in the Universe? Could we eventually find a way to free the essence of what we are – even without the fleshy gray matter of our brains and the role-play game software? Could our intelligence and personal essence exist in, say, cubes of light or a concentrated free-form energy source? Could the “game” itself evolve and somehow carry us on cross-cosmos journeys through Space-Time – approaching the speed of light?

If you are chuckling and shaking your head at this point, I can’t blame you. But stop
and think about your consciousness right now. You perceive and experience your world through the senses and consciousness created by your mind – extremely sophisticated “flesh computer”. How much different would it be if our perception were provided by non-flesh, but equally sophisticated flesh-like computers?

Far out? An unbelievable leap of the imagination? Maybe. But if you’re willing to take that leap – if you can let your imagination “out of the box” and envision what incredible advancements we’ve evolved through up to this point along with those that are likely on the near horizon – a progression something like this becomes much less bizarre.


FITTING THE PIECES TOGETHER

As I’ve said, I’ll be the first to admit these ideas are enormous stretches of the imagination, hugely over-simplified, based on minimal knowledge and probably sound virtually bizarre. So what draws a regular guy me to these conclusions? When I envision the full sequence of the Big Bang and subsequent evolutionally events, along with historic and current patterns and trends happening around us in life, they seem to form a perfectly logical, and I believe highly likely, sequence of events encapsulating the creation and sustenance of life. At the risk of a little more repetition, here it is one last time:

A tremendous explosion/expansion produces a random,
ungoverned, self-functioning model designed for one
reason and with a single purpose -- to create and refine
virtually countless living organisms throughout the new
Universe.

Though the vast majority of those organisms fail and disappear,
given virtually countless planets, and taking place over the
course of billions of years, a “few” evolve through more and
sophisticated forms. And this universal, undirected model,
eventually produces a species that evolves to a state
of self-awareness.

That self-awareness launches us humans on an irreversible
pursue to gain more and more knowledge and eventually discover
our origin, purpose and the answers to the questions of existence.

And if all this is true, I consider it extremely unlikely that this multi-faceted, purpose-driven universal model would come about simply by chance. The big question this raises, of course, is:
If not by chance, then why?

Why would a sequence of events so immense and
perfectly choreographed to constantly produce and
refine living things come about? Events that seem to
be preparing and leading us to experience some future
change? For no reason? Just because the universe exists?

As I’ve said, I am not religious. But if not by chance and not by a God, then how…? Get Ready. Here comes the biggest stretch of all:

If there is no god controlling us or the process we’ve been
discussing, could our Big Bang itself have been the single
“controlled” event – an intended, predetermined sequence
in which all the elements required for life and evolution were
“thrown” together into a kind of immense cosmic recipe
designed to create and refine life spontaneously with no
external control or direction?

We have recipes for making many things, everything from glue to perfume. Most common for most of us are food recipes which can be prepared anyplace on earth at any time, and achieve the same result. Where or when these recipes first appeared we may not know, but we know that if cooks in, say, ten different countries on earth combine the same ingredients (flour, yeast, eggs, etc.) under the same conditions (including time for the yeast to rise and a specific temperature maintained inside an oven) the result will always be bread. In such cases, the process and end result are common denominators wherever and regardless of how many times the recipe may be used. The creators are not actually creators at all, but users of a recipe in a secondary sense. And they did not directly guide or shape the individual elements during the creation of life. They simply put into motion a recipe which combined and processed specific ingredients under certain conditions they knew would take care of that.

In other words, in the grand, universal scheme of things, the creation of life may simply be
the desired output of some entity or influence, and our Big Bang may simply be the model event or recipe that gets the job done.

As we’ve noted, one key attribute that makes this recipe so amazingly simple, is that even through it is a completely unsupervised, random process, with virtually “endless” amounts of time (billions of years), “countless” opportunities for life to begin (billions of planets), and an “endless” supply of essential molecular materials, the probability that the recipe will eventually produce, sustain and refine intelligent, self-aware living things, seems virtually assured. Where and when the recipe came into being who knows, and then there’s big one: Why.

Why the intense focus on creating, sustaining
and refining life?

That, of course, is the crucial question and the one to which we seek “The Answers”. And provided we survive, given enough time, logic tells us we will eventually discover those Answers. However, that undirected giant meteor or comet could appear out of nowhere any time and wipe us out completely – which means we would become another one of those failed attempts at life. But since the Universe keeps trying regardless of the number of failures and close calls, I’d bet some other species or race in another corner of the universe will get farther than us and perhaps discover The Answers.

Possible? Plausible? A-1 Kook status confirmed? You decide. But as I’ve said, in my mind there seems to be no other conclusion. Logic tells us that continual refinement of a species without extinction, has to eventually lead to perfection, right? And then, perhaps, having discovered The Answers, and undergone some form of evolutionary “Cyber-reboot”, we will travel the vast oceans of Space-Time in some ethereal, perhaps “free post-digital”, form, helping to watch over the natural balance of all things and assuring that the recipe of life remains intact.

THE CRITICAL CAVEAT

There is one potentially tragic, but very possible variation, of this theory of life forms
being destroyed by natural events. We might just destroy ourselves! Most people who lived
through the nuclear build-up during the Cold War of the fifties and sixties would likely agree we
came close to wiping humanity off the face of the earth. Today, the possibility of a global
nuclear wars is (let’s hope) history. Instead, most scientists worry about CO2 emissions and the
Green House Effect causing Global Warming. And they tell us that if we do not stop polluting
our atmosphere, we will pay a heavy price – perhaps the ultimate price.

GLOBAL WARMING, POLITICS AND THE END?

I remember watching Discovery Channel’s wonderful series, “Cosmos”. In a program
entitled “The World Set Free”, the host, Neil deGRASSE Tyson, began with an image of
the sweltering cloud-covered surface of Venus. He explained that scientists believe the planet
may have been very much like Earth in its distant past – until something catastrophic happened.
The Greenhouse Effect, caused by Global Warming, turned Venus into an uninhabitable
hothouse, literally “boiling” in its own lethal gasses. Global Warming? The same Global
Warming we are currently arguing about in Washington? That’s the one….

Whatever the future holds, one thing is for sure. Given how far we've come, we may just be on the verge of achieving our ultimate goal, learning the answers to all the paradoxical questions about our origin. And it would be an unimaginably shameful waste of nearly 4 billion years of evolution and genetic refinement if we do ourselves in now!

NOW, ABOUT THAT PURPOSE:

At the outset of this essay, I proposed a theory:

Our universe has a purpose: To create, sustain and
refine living things.

I suspect many people did, and still do, take issue with that statement – especially the second part. We’ll get to that shortly, but let’s ask a few questions, starting with the first part:

Our Universe has a purpose:

Instead of asking, “Is anything in our universe created with a purpose?”, the more accurate question is: “Is anything created without a purpose?

Think about it, everything we know of in our world has purpose. The seas provide water, food, ecosystems and weather patterns, the land provides food and sustenance, animals provide food and keep a natural balance intact, plants provide food and oxygen, the sun provides warmth and energy, and the list goes on. And how about us? Do we have a purpose? In a strictly utilitarian sense, our purpose is to:

Reproduce and continue the species.

Is it the same throughout the Universe? Does everything out there have a purpose? I believe so. But it’s the second part of the statement that probably elicits the most skepticism:

To create, sustain and refine living things.

Again, isn’t that what has been happening continually over the past 3.5 billion years, bringing us to this point in our evolution?

If you think about what is happening in the Universe, you may come to the conclusion (as I did) that the only thing it produces of consequence or meaning is life. The rest, as fascinating and complex as it may be, is, to the best of our knowledge, an immense, mindboggling fireworks show – swirling, burning, exploding and dazzling in support of one purpose – life. Other than to create, sustain and refine living things: Do we know of another purpose for the stars to form and planetary objects to orbit around them? Do we know of another purpose for the ingredients of life – water, carbon, oxygen and many others – to form and coalesce? Do we know of another purpose for stars to explode in supernovas and send the stuff of life spewing out into the Universe? Do we know of another purpose for the Universe to be interwoven with a space-time gravitational fabric that makes orbits, galaxies and solar systems possible?

We can ask these questions about any and everything that happens in the Universe, from the smallest and most complex actions, to the largest and simplest events – and for me it will always produce these answers:

Nothing that we know of exists without a purpose.

The purpose of our Universe is to: Create, sustain and refine
living things…

…which brings us, once again, to the 64 Thousand Dollar Question -- the big one, the most important unknown of all, and the one for which we have no answer: WHY?


NINE PREDICTIONS

Scientific theories are supposed to be accompanied by predictions that bear out the ideas being proposed. The following are my predictions. Although they are very general, and in many cases not provable for many years, they seem to me to fit naturally and reasonably with the ideas I’ve proposed.

Prediction #1:

In the “near” future, scientists and
astronomers will confirm virtually countless
numbers of planets circling the trillions of
suns in our universe.

Prediction #2:

Scientists and Astronomers will discover
no reason or purpose that would cause
the birth and evolution of our universe
other than the creation, sustenance and
refinement of life.

Prediction #3:

Traditional religious beliefs will continue
to wane as our knowledge of the Cosmos
increases exponentially. This may lead to
a period of violent conflict unless the word
“God” can be re-defined.

Prediction #4:

Competition in all forms will slowly fade
from the lives of current and future
generations.

Prediction #5:

The numbers of marriages and
traditional family units will continue
to drop substantially in this century
and beyond.

Prediction #6:

Male and female roles in our society,
and eventually globally, will slowly
coalesce, leading to an intersexual
and eventually androgynous, race.

Prediction #7:

This is a critically important prediction.
Developments in computer science and
digital technology will lead to a melding
of human consciousness with digital
sources.

Prediction #8:

If we survive what may be the final stages
of our earthly evolution, we will undergo a new
form of change that will eliminate the cumbersome,
limiting aspects our animal ancestry (our current-day
bodies) and leave us more suitably prepared to
complete the final phase(s) of our journey.

Prediction #9

In our final “human animal” phase, (which I
believe is “close” at hand), we will discover the
answers we seek:

Why the immense, relentless effort to create and refine life?
What is out there behind this effort?
What is the designer?

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#55881 - 05/17/16 03:17 PM Re: A Layperson’s Theory of Creation and Evolution [Re: 969264409111]
Tutor Turtle Offline
Megastar

Registered: 06/19/08
Posts: 1249
Loc: Everywhere and nowhere
The interesting thing about sight, is that it is limited by understanding. If the senses are strictly directed outward based on what you can see, what becomes possible is going to be restrained by the limits of sight and the imagination that is attached to conjecture formed around the outward oriented senses.
The human eye can't see infrared nor light waves beyond certain levels of frequency. One would have to first imagine beyond what the eye can see and begin to explore the way to experience what the eye is limited by in its construction or its focus based on its training to focus within limits.

Time is a funny thing, and the outward going senses can only follow a sequence fitting within the idea of past present and future. Physics is beginning to see time as something that is not so rigid. Science imagines time travel and the possibility of even changing time by interjecting certain changes which would have an effect on futures where anomalies occur within the fabric of possible pasts. Some theorize time as something like a film strip where one could travel in either direction and experience any event without being limited by the past present future lane of one direction only travel that the mind perceives. Add the possibility of multiple universes where similar realities exist but with different outcomes and experiences, and Time becomes something other than linear progression.

If such a multiverse exists where time is ultimately flexible then whatever governs it would also be infinitely flexible. The Bang as you describe it as both "with" and "without" purpose, would exist in the infinite now, constantly being recreated and redefined by someone or something thru the activity of interaction. Anything with the ability to have any force or intelligence that has manifest itself within the universe might also have its counterpart within the unmanifest, but it would be less defined by its manifest appearances. The limits of science and religion simply focus their lines of sight within boundaries of belief and understanding. What it, (the believer) seems to see and understand, the universe supports and allows, until something other is conjured within the intellect and its attachments to the reality as it is experienced (this is the natural law of evolution in belief and sensory attachment).
For example the world was once believed to be Flat. Man allowed their beliefs and emotions to drive them towards acceptance of this fact, yet the Universe was much bigger than mans belief and the Earth remained as it does now, a sphere.

The Universe is possibly both caring enough to allow what man applies to it as purpose and principle and yet big enough to change with mans ideas. Yet it is also something other in which the senses of all sentient and insentient beings, beyond the realms of human belief interact and experience themselves in the same way humans do while imposing themselves upon the universe to define it within their limits of belief and understanding.
_________________________
I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but then I turned myself around!!





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