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Atheists, what is the driving force of nature?

If there is no god, as you say, what is the driving force behind nature. Why is the earth at the perfect spot in the solar system to sustain life. Furthermore, why is there life at all?

Posted: May 28th 2011

George Locke

The rest of your question is clear enough, but what does the phrase “driving force of nature” even mean? Once you establish what you mean by those words, perhaps you can explain why you think that such a thing should exist?

Why is the earth at the perfect spot in the solar system to sustain life.

The literal answer to your question is that the same forces responsible for Neptune being further away put the Earth where it is. The question you ought to ask is, given an enormous universe with about a trillion galaxies, each with about a trillion stars, do we expect to find at least one planet capable of sustaining life? Getting a quantitative answer is surely tricky, but with around 10^24 stars to work with, my hunch is that at least one earth-like planet is bound to show up.

Furthermore, why is there life at all?

My understanding of the science of abiogenesis is that we’ve identified many ways that life could have originated, but we don’t have enough information to know whether which if any of them is correct. Every theory of abiogenesis follows the same pattern: a simple self-replicating molecule or system of molecules arose, and this system slowly accrued parts, a lipid membrane, etc. After a long, long time, the system grew to resemble a proto-bacterium. That’s basically how life arose in this planet.

Posted: May 31st 2011

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logicel

How soon they forget. It was just awhile back in human history, that Thorists were asking aThorists a similar question: If Thor did not produce thunder, then who/what did? We now know there is not a god of thunder, that this natural event is not supernaturally caused and that it is non-intended as it does not happen for a deliberate purpose set in motion by a supernatural being each and every time it occurs.

In other words, your reason to believe in gods is simply the god of the gaps approach. We don’t know everything, therefore goddidit. How very intellectually unappealing and emotionally disappointing. Maybe you can help Thor locate his missing hammer?

Scientific research, even though we certainly do not know everything about it, shows that nature could very well exist without gods (Stephen Hawking). Another physicist, Victor Stenger, has pointed out the god hypothesis is a failed one, it has no predicting or explanatory power. Who made god?

Since nature is possible without gods and there is no evidence for gods, but there is a great body of evidence showing that gods are a man-made, anthropomorphic (hence the focus on intention and driving) concept, we can spend our time better by increasing our understanding of nature through science and not religion.

Note: Most atheists don’t say there is no gods, just that there is not enough evidence to bother with them.

Posted: May 30th 2011

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Blaise www

You have fallen for the logical fallacy known as “the Anthropic Principle”. You think that because we fit our conditions, they must have been made for us, rather than us having been fitted to them. I can’t put it any better than this quote from Douglas Adams:

Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, “This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!”

The fact is, if the conditions here were wrong for our current kind of life, we would have evolved to fit those conditions instead, or not at all. You cannot have life that doesn’t fit it’s conditions, so by definition, if you can ask the question, you were a part of the random set of circumstances that allowed you to exist in the first place.

If you think the earth was made just for us, consider this. Human life can only exist in a strip of the earth’s atmosphere immediately above the land’s surface, between about +- 75 degrees of latitude (~10^8 cubic miles). Percentage-wise, this means that compared to the total volume of the earth, including it’s atmosphere ( ~3*10^12 cubic miles), only about 0.03 percent is habitable, with the rest being deadly to humans in very short order. Does that really sound like an efficient plan, if all of this is for us?

The driving force behind nature is the laws of physics.

Posted: May 30th 2011

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