Is it rational to be atheist?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by dukebound85, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #1
    Idea from the facts thread. I came across this article and it makes the odds of having the right combination for a DNA sequence, non the less, a living organism, so remote, that to think life happened by chance itself requires alot of faith

    here is the article
    http://www.aish.com/ci/sam/48970356.html

    Thoughts?

    I realize the source is of religious backing but the math seems valid
     
  2. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #2
    Not really.

    For us to assume, at our scale of the Cosmos, that there is nothing 'responsible' is just as bad as being Religious.

    No one knows, and I for one am OK with that. :D
     
  3. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

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    #3
    But the combination of DNA was not a random shuffling of proteins. It was a selective process of favoring protein combinations suited for the evolutionary pressures. The analogy is flawed.
     
  4. iStudentUK, Jan 3, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012

    iStudentUK macrumors 65816

    iStudentUK

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    #4
    Borrowing from my example in the fact threads there are about 8x10^67 ways of arranging a deck of cards, that's around (probably slightly more) than the number of atoms in the galaxy.

    Now, nobody has ever exclaimed disbelief at a card game over now improbable the dealt hands were; however, predict what the hands will be and that would be amazing. :eek:

    You can look at the human genome now and say- "that's impossibly improbable!". However, once those first DNA molecules started to assemble and replicate they were on a journey to develop into something through natural selection, this is just the 'hand' nature dealt us.

    The maths may be accurate (as in no mistakes) but that doesn't make it valid. He just seems to have picked numbers out of thin air, and the equations do not reflect how life actually developed. Although I'd genuinely love to see atoms shuffling playing cards...
     
  5. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #5
    Trial & Error, over, to us, an unfathomable length of time.
     
  6. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040

    GfPQqmcRKUvP

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    #6
    Bingo. It's the same tired argument as "It can't all be chance, right?". It's not!
     
  7. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #7
    I will admit to not reading it all in detail but have read many claims of the like in the past. One (of the many) mistakes he makes is the claim "accidental life". You'll notice he then goes on with the maths to calculate the probability of generating a deck of cards at random as analagous to a DNA sequence at random from the basic nucleotides. This is entirely erroneous and ignores the nature of DNA and how evolution works.

    Evolution works over millions of years as the results are non-random. The right sequences are selected. To make his card analogy more accurate one would turn over the next card, and if it were the wrong one reject it and draw another. But of course evolution of DNA is far more complex.

    Where he decided to pull the "1 second per atom shuffle" to come up with the time it would take to generate a string of cards and somehow "disprove " the age of the universe is anyone's guess.


    I would also like to point out that the author singling out atheists as "irrational" for evolutionary theory is also erroneous. Scientist is not synonymous with atheist. Nor does attacking a scientific theory add any weight to alternate theories.
     
  8. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #8
    It never was.

    Unfortunately, it is antithetical to Religion.
     
  9. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #9
    is this a serious question?

    there is no leap of faith required, just chemistry, physics, systems evolution and biological evolution.

    the argument used in this piece, is so disingenuous, so scientifically and logically flawed that it seems to me hard to believe it's made with any honesty (especially since the writer is supposedly a PhD)

    he is throwing out basically random numbers (e.g. 75), a random 'problem' that is completely unrelated to the question in discussion and inferring that because the former supposedly cannot be solved, then the latter one, which bears no connection in terms of numbers involved, 'rules' to be used, or well, anything, also cannot be solved.
    a complete non sequitur.
     
  10. lewis82, Jan 3, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012

    lewis82 macrumors 68000

    lewis82

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    #10
    There are 46 chromosomes in our DNA. So there are, for each sperm and for each ovula, 2^23= 8388608 possibilities (since they only get half of the chromosomes). The foetus's DNA can be one of the 2^46 combinations (70 368 744 177 664), and that is without taking into account the recombinations that can occur between pairs of chromosomes (the chromosomes split up and exchange parts) which happen every time.

    So we have at least a thousand more possibilities. That's 700 000 000 000 000 possible DNA configurations. Each of the spermatozoids in the ejaculate can be one of these, and there are around 39 million spermatozoids in a single ejaculate. I'll leave you crunch the numbers.

    And yet, you are alive. If you hadn't been extremely lucky, you wouldn't read these lines. Same applies with the human species. Nothing but luck.;)
     
  11. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #11
    I doubt they are like snowflakes. ;)

    And one, and only one, gets the job done, usually.
     
  12. lewis82 macrumors 68000

    lewis82

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    #12
    Well I wasn't saying that they are unique, but since the process is random, there must not be a lot of duplicates. ;)

    EDIT: more than one spermatozoa are involved. The first few die while trying to pierce the barrier of the ovula.
     
  13. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #13
    And yet another fine example of Survival Of The Fittest. :D
     
  14. Abyssgh0st macrumors 68000

    Abyssgh0st

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    #14
    I think the whole "something out of nothing" or the "it happened by accident" concept is a highly manipulated idea, used as a puppet by religious fundies to make atheist logic sound very simplistic or irrational. The way I see it, in an algebraic sense is like:

    Atheist: Nothing -> Something

    Christian: God -> Nothing -> Something

    Ted Haggard and Richard Dawkins briefly talked about this concept here.
     
  15. lewis82 macrumors 68000

    lewis82

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    #15
    Christian: Nothing -> God -> Nothing -> Something.

    It only moves the problem.

    ;)
     
  16. iz2sick macrumors 6502

    iz2sick

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    #16
    I won't even bother reading it as I've already heard the arguments for it in debates. Next will be that DNA carries "digital" information.

    I'm sorry, no amount pointing out the great odds of nature will compare the great odds of the stories in the bible.

    Noah's Ark

    Global Flood

    Giving the first born, including from livestock, to God.

    Creating day before creating the stars

    Creating humans on the 6th day, then resting on the 7th, then creating man from dirt after said rest? Wait, what?

    Remember, the Universe has been around an unfathomable amount of time. The more time you have, the more likely even the rarest events will occur. DNA had millions upon millions of years to develop and evolve.

    Sorry, the evidence sides with science.
     
  17. Papanate macrumors regular

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    #17
    It should be noted that we created science - and thus any 'proof' derived is simply self fulfilling knowledge.
     
  18. CalBoy, Jan 3, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012

    CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #18
    The fallacy in thinking this way is even trying to use a deck of cards as an analogy for life and its origins.

    He assumes that because the odds of getting two exact sequences of cards is 52!, that life operates that way too.

    The problem is, there's more than one sequence that would have qualified for life to start. Early life would have only needed an efficient energy transfer advantage and stability. The full complexity of RNA, DNA, and organelles would have been unnecessary to start the process.

    Also unlike a deck of cards, life builds on itself. Rather than having 10^50 atoms shuffling every second, the analogy would fit better if each successful matching card was removed from the shuffling deck and placed into our master deck. If you use this method, you would only need 52 shufflers drawing every second, and you'd have an exact matching sequence within a minute.
     
  19. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #19
    I read as far as "... essential to their core beliefs." This looks like an attempt to frame atheists (and most agnostics) in a religious context. They do not believe in god and jebus and all that, so the have to believe something else. Because it is just not possible to live without believing something. Right?

    But I have to question the idea of "random". Is there such a thing? To me, it sounds like, "there is no practical way of modeling the complexities of the system, so we will call it 'random' because that makes the eggheads look bad."
     
  20. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #20
    As opposed to the creation of God, a scant few thousand years age.

    We have evolved, over time, and we will evolve past the need to cling to a "God" for solace.

    Solace???? ROTFLOL
     
  21. renewed macrumors 68040

    renewed

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    #21
    No;

    Atheist: Nothing -> Something

    Christian: God (everything) -> Something

    ---

    These discussions are getting old. Look, atheists believe that which was created can explain creation, Christians believe that the creator has explained creation.

    We could argue until the servers crash and it's the same people. Everyone knows what I believe and I know what everyone else believes and it ain't changing it seems.

    Let's go play some WW games.
     
  22. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #22
    You? Is this about you?

    I think the rest of us can make that decision without prompting from the pulpit.
     
  23. renewed macrumors 68040

    renewed

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    #23
    I'm saying it's the exact same people in every single one of these threads arguing over the exact same ideas.

    This could easily of been a post in the Atheist v Christian's thread, the Creationism thread, the Evangelism thread etc..

    Here:

    "Everyone knows what everyone else believes since it is the same people".

    Better sentence, sir cheesiest?
     
  24. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #24
    Enjoy your WW - Spanish Inquisition.
     
  25. McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

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    #25
    Any threads detailing cloning of alien 'prophets/angels/gods'?

    Have you seen the series Ancient Aliens?
     

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