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The Origin of the Universe

Understanding the origin of the Universe is not a terribly useful skill; it confers no reproductive advantage, so there is no reason we should have evolved brain capable of thinking about such a question.

Nature is too good an economist to invest in such frivolities.

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  1. 2011/04/01 at 05:52

    1) You need to define “useful”. (When you do, you’ll see you’ve gamed the issue.) 2) There are plenty of reasons why we have evolved brains with such capabilities. You’ve just made the common creationist error of confusing the ability to do something with the evolutionary need to do something.

  2. 2011/04/01 at 07:43

    Yes, humans do a lot of things which exceed mere survival and reproduction; like our tendency to wrangle over our origins despite the fact that such knowledge has no real bearing on our ability to survive or reproduce.

  3. 2011/04/01 at 09:26

    Oh I’m not so sure.

    The tendency to wrangle and complain and fight and ponder over such things is of the greatest importance to us social creatures.

    The fact that we can squabble is a useful trait.
    The fact that we can do so about our origins is a useless byproduct. After all, we are unable to even come close to comprehending the size and scale of just our galaxy. A million years is beyond our grasp. Oh we can build computers, yes, and they don’t have issues with big numbers and those kind of concepts. Computers are a byproduct of our intelligence, but we still have practically no ability to think about such things.

    I think you have assumed that we do have the ability to do something, Michael. While telling me than I have forgotten that we don’t always have a need to be be able to do what we can do. I didn’t though.

  4. 2011/04/02 at 14:02

    Two things. 1) For an example of a common creationist, see post below my previous post. 2) I would respond to you, Nate, but I’m not sure what your next to last sentence means. Reminds me of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ve0FQS1DLs4

  5. 2011/04/02 at 18:20

    I don’t presume that we have the ability to even begin to comprehend the origins of the universe, you do. That’s all. I was pretty sleep deprived at that point, but I think I did alright.

  6. 2011/04/03 at 19:32

    It the development of life was merely the product of an effort to increase reproductive fitness, there would be little reason for any life to exist beyond bacteria. As a group, they are certainly more capable than many higher animals in terms of adapting to a variety of environments. They outnumber other organisms exponentially, and they are highly resistant to environments other organisms can’t exist in.

    Most life appears to be mere extravagance, especially human life.

  7. 2011/04/03 at 19:44

    Hey, hey, hey…

    I think you’ll both agree that some humans are less extravagant than others, lol.

  8. 2011/04/04 at 12:16

    I am only extravagant when it comes to power tools.

  9. 2011/04/05 at 00:20

    It the development of life was merely the product of an effort to increase reproductive fitness, there would be little reason for any life to exist beyond bacteria.

    You don’t get to lie about having a biology degree based upon a few courses you could barely handle in a program from 25 years ago and then go and demonstrate such a jaw-dropping poverty of understanding without someone noticing, Jack.

    Nate, the Universe is ordered by laws. We can understand laws. We can also use those laws to help us understand the origins of the Universe. There are limits upon how far they can take us, but they have given us a great understanding. I suppose it doesn’t make any sense to me when you say you don’t think we have the ability to even begin to comprehend the origin of the Universe – we’re already doing it.

  10. 2011/04/05 at 00:28

    I don’t know about that. We’ll see in future years, but I would make a bet that we hit a wall at some point.

  11. 2011/04/05 at 01:17

    I don’t think it’s really neccesary for a bank teller to tell anyone the obvious fact the universe is governed by laws. It doesn’t really change anything said thus far.

  12. 2011/04/05 at 12:17

    Nate, I’m not arguing that we’ll ever have a full understanding. That is possible, at least since the Big Bang, thanks to the power of science, but human limitations will probably get in the way.

    Jack, your zingers don’t zing. Go back to college. A lot has changed since you waddled into the three biology courses you could barely handle 25 years ago.

  13. 2011/04/05 at 12:22

    That’s all I was really getting at, practically what I said in fact.

    Once they computers take over (after they kill us all) they can figure it out.

  14. 2011/04/05 at 13:51

    I am sure at some point the computers will deny they were ever created in the first place, and yet wonder why they care about their origins.

  15. 2011/04/05 at 13:58

    Haha.

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