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Can evolution produce a Supreme Being?


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Showing 126-150 of 722 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 17, 2011 3:21:02 PM PDT
D. Thomas says:
It's a nonsense question, so we've got a stack of posts that ask "What does the OP mean?"

Evolution is a NATURAL process. A "supreme being" is a supernatural being. It makes no sense to ask whether the latter can evolve from the former. It would be like asking "Can a tennis shoe produce a stopwatch?"

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 17, 2011 3:26:06 PM PDT
D. Thomas says:
It does not take any imagination to throw mud at a wall.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 17, 2011 3:26:47 PM PDT
Seeker says:
Evolution is natural, yes. Natural evolution isn't the only form of evolution, though. We have evolved to the point that we can learn to manipulate our own genes. How far can that take us? We have evolved to the point that we can combine technology and our minds. How far will that go? At some point, artificial evolution may take us beyond anything possible with natural evolution.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 17, 2011 3:29:06 PM PDT
Seeker says:
Or to denigrate an idea that doesn't make sense to you because you don't understand it.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 17, 2011 3:30:07 PM PDT
D. Thomas says:
How is this thread "logically probable"? That makes no sense.

Maybe it's a language problem.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 17, 2011 3:32:48 PM PDT
D. Thomas says:
LDV wrote: "Until we can address the premises that were in the original post, there is nothing except speculation."

"Premises"? What premises?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 17, 2011 3:32:56 PM PDT
Seeker says:
Start at the beginning and read the discussion. I'm tired of people making statements about the issue without understanding the parameters......

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 17, 2011 3:34:20 PM PDT
Seeker says:
Are you related to computroll?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 17, 2011 3:41:44 PM PDT
D. Thomas says:
Whatever.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 17, 2011 4:46:20 PM PDT
mark says:
LDV,

Wherein lies the value of the immortal words of Paul Simon: "....a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest, umm ummmm um..."

Just sayin'.... Restraint is such an admirable quality, ne c'est pas?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 18, 2011 9:00:41 AM PDT
Seeker says:
Yeah mark.....apparently DT has an axe to grind, so no interest in the discussion, only in denigration.....so.....whatever.....LOL

By the way, there has been some very interesting discussion here, your's in particular amoung others. You and Charles and the other Mark have made me think.....thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 18, 2011 9:44:04 AM PDT
True enough, I was thinking in terms of biological evolution. If the original question had included a clause such as, "taking into consideration the possibilities of cultural, cybernetic, and other forms of evolution..."

An intriguing speculation, but this has largely been a guessing game, or "twenty questions."

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 18, 2011 9:46:53 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 18, 2011 9:48:27 AM PDT
Seeker says:
True, there is no proof. I'm just pointing out an alternative to the typical theological and atheistic arguments. We don't have to fall into one camp or the other......

And neither of those camps have any proof, either.....at least mine has some logic involved instead of just demanding belief based on nothing....

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 18, 2011 10:31:42 AM PDT
LDV,

Simple logic: when a premise is wrong, the reasoning is useless as _any_ outcome can then be logically justified.

You have made it clear that you won't accept any outcome that doesn't permit a deity. You should have introduced this thought on the religion forum, as it is not a scientific discussion under the premises you present.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 18, 2011 10:39:46 AM PDT
Seeker says:
You haven't defined how infinity is an unreal assumption. Can you do that?

Until you do, my premise stands. Simple logic.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 18, 2011 10:56:59 AM PDT
mark says:
LDV,

Ahhhh. Perhaps we've missed a valuable clue here. Or at least I did. We're talking of a sub-system; the sub-system of living beings within a universal system.

The term entropy was coined as a statistical description of the dynamics of heat transfer. It was figured out that heat is some degree of excitation of electrons, so higher electron excitation equates to more heat, which means electrons are in a high state of disorder, or, having high entropy. When the excitation, or disorder, of the electrons of any given physical system, which is whatever object or environment the group of electrons is in, changes, then some other system must also change in the opposite way. Either another subsystem, or the entire universal system.

Realizing this, and applying it to the sub-system of evolving beings of any kind, in any environment, within it's own universal system, it can be seen as going from highly disordered, in that there is a huge number of individual components contained in that system, to low disorder, in that this particular set of beings has evolved into a single supreme type of being. It can be said that the evolving system went from high entropy to low entropy.

This is a violation of the principle of entropy. A physical system will naturally go from low to high disorder, for no other reason than there are immeasurably more ways for a system to BE disordered, than there are ways to have great order. We can see this in the individual components of the evolving set of beings as having low entropy, meaning only one set of conditions allows the existence of Bob, one set for Sally, one set for Fido, ad infinitum. But taken as a whole, the system of evolving beings, which includes all those component beings, is highly disordered, because so MANY sets of conditions are required to make up that system.

But entropy is not a law, and it is not temporally restrictive. There is nothing in the concept of entropy that prohibits a change of state of order from high to low, which can be allowed as grounds for affirming the original post.

But you are saying entropy, in effect, WILL go from high to low, while our laws of physics only says it CAN. In other words, you truthfully cannot say evolution WILL create a supreme being, but only that it might.

So does an infinite amount of time increase the chances of "can" becoming "will"? I would say no, because, using your example, just as there is equal probability of any number of heads in a row coming up, there is an equal probability of any number of tails in a row coming up. Meaning the probability of yes and no results of evolutionary supremacy are equal, so infinity does nothing to change the ratio.

(Subtle nod to those who mentioned entropy first)

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 18, 2011 12:11:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 18, 2011 12:12:20 PM PDT
Seeker says:
Your use of entropy is not the intent of the "(Subtle nod to those who mentioned entropy first). He was mentioning it in the context of all things coming to an eventual conclusion....and then nothing past that conclusion. He was using it as the end to time.....that infinity doesn't exist.

While your argument is valid in many ways, it is making an attempt at negating the original premise by concluding that it negates the possibility. It does not. Regardless of how many different outcomes there are in the equation, as long as they are restricted to what IS possible, every outcome will eventually occur. The coin only needs to land heads up once to establish that it is possible, from there it is a matter of probability in a system with no boundaries in time. Only one evolutionary success, to the point of involving the ability to self manipulate genetics and technologies, and resulting in a Being of omnipotence, need result in order to establish that it is possible. From there, it is a valid assumption that others can take the same road.

So is it possible? Without being able to prove it, I think it is possible. We are getting there, and have a long way to go, but I can see the end result.....eventually.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 18, 2011 1:57:48 PM PDT
mark says:
I agree: the concept of entropy does not negate the possibility, and I said as much. There is nothing in the principle, mathematically, that eliminates it's contradiction, nothing saying a highly improbable event cannot happen. In that regard, evolution can result in supremacy.

The concept of an infinity of time, which does indeed exist, does nothing but prevent a single termination, conceptually, to the multiple empirical frameworks an eventuality must occur within. With that in mind, if evolution goes on indefinitely with no supremacy coming from it, then the arbitration of infinity of time must be invoked to justify the positive results assumed to eventually come from a continuation of evolution. This conflict, using strictly non-empirical concepts to justify empirical eventualities, is not correct. Because we cannot know whether time is empirically infinite or not, such concept cannot be used in an argument as an empirical premise.

Which means supremacy must evolve within a finite amount of time. How much is that? If we cannot know how much time, we cannot know if it was enough. So there is no justification for saying any possible eventuality WILL occur.

Do you think this is a valid point? The mass quantities of caffeine says it is. (grin)

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 18, 2011 2:56:10 PM PDT
Seeker says:
I have found that a shot of rum in the caffeine delivery system makes anything seem more cogent.....LOL

I'm not sure I follow you, so let me paraphrase. You are saying that because infinity cannot be proven to exist, it cannot be used as a valid premise in any valid evidence based argument, yes? That is a conflict? And because we have no evidence of a Supreme that we should assume there is none?

There is no conflict. First, this whole discussion is based on conjecture. I have never claimed any factual evidence pertaining to either the existence of a Supreme or to the actuality of infinity. They are both suppositions based on logic, but unproven. There is no empirical framework to bring clarity to the actuality. And I am not claiming empirical conclusions need be drawn. I AM claiming that the concept has merit, nothing more......

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 18, 2011 5:14:59 PM PDT
mark says:
Pretty close on the paraphrase.

I would say, from my personal non-theologically based worldview, that because there is no evidence of a supreme, we have no justification for assuming there is one. The subjectivity of the definition of a supreme being allows for the proclamation there is no evidence needed for a supreme to exist. Hell, we could be surrounded by them, and never know it. Every single aspect of every single thing we think we know could be governed by them. Even so.....life goes on.

OK, I understand that conjecture does not imply Empiricism, which enables the concept of infinite time to be a premise of the argument. In addition, conjecture also mandates that evolution of supremacy does not imply an empirical actuality. So we are left with an argument based on two non-empirical premises, resulting in a conclusion we should describe as having some form of conceptual validity.

I don't know how to counterpoint using only conjecture, so I cannot say your claim has no merit. But does it have any meaning? Is there any information in a conjectural, conceptual argument that serves a purpose? Does there have to be?

(assumes the pose of Rodin's legacy....please excuse the cigarette)

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 18, 2011 7:29:49 PM PDT
barbW says:
No, a supreme being is an alien advanced of us. Because we assume that we're far apart developmentally and therefore, an advanced alien will be as little understood - as our ways are to a wolf or a tiger.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 18, 2011 7:31:05 PM PDT
barbW says:
It seems that you'll need to post something more controversial than that..

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 18, 2011 7:35:33 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 19, 2011 7:46:15 AM PDT]

Posted on Oct 18, 2011 9:05:44 PM PDT
Dojo Master says:
Perhaps if supreme being were instead phrased as the highest possible achievable form by way of evolution, it would be less "supernatural."

Posted on Oct 18, 2011 10:23:10 PM PDT
There may, or may not, be such a "highest achievable form." Consider these way oversimplified toy models:

1) The natural numbers (1, 2, 3,...) spaced out on the positive part of a number line.
Pretend that they correspond to evolved complexity, in which each generation consists of a jump to the adjacent integer in a random walk, with equal probability in each direction (except no going below 1.) After n jumps, this process yields on average a complexity proportional to sqrt n. In this case, the sky's the limit, even though sqrt n grows progressively more slowly. If we define "Supreme" as complexity m, it will take on the order of m^2 steps to get there.

2) Another number line model, but this time the maximum upward step is 1/n. If we ignore negative steps, the complexity grows as 1/1 + 1/2 + 1/3 + 1/4,.... This growth (harmonic progression) is slower than the previous one, but still is unlimited.

3) Yet a third model, but now the max upward step is 1/(2^n). This gives the geometric series 1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8..., which never reaches 2 (but gets arbitrarily close.) If "Supreme" is any number >2, you never get there.

Which of these (or other) models apply seems to be an empirical question. Just because we can conceive of something doesn't mean that it can actually happen. Sometimes the reasons are known, but there may also be as yet unknown reasons.
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Discussion in:  Science forum
Participants:  83
Total posts:  722
Initial post:  Oct 7, 2011
Latest post:  Sep 5, 2012

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