Richard Roose

Reader & Writer, retired

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A scientifically proveable Purpose to Human Life?

I believe the primary purpose of human life is the Unconditional Love, Care, Nourishment and Education of all of Earth's children; and I believe this can be proven scientifically without any reference to any Deity. The proof lays in the scientific evidence found in the 3.8 billion year fossil record of life on Earth. It is simply that life before humans and most of all living organisms today perform no function other that survival to reproduce.

By the definition of the words function and purpose being interchangeable according the both the English dictionary and the English thesaurus, I believe it is reasonable to say (as many of scientist on earth believe) that the purpose of all other lower evolved life forms is simply to "survival to propagate the species".

As human are simply another organism like all others, which just happens to occupy the top link in the Earth's food supply chain, does not mean that the purpose of human life is any different from other life forms. It is just a bit more complicated because of intelligence; and the size of a mature human brain is much larger than the size of a a female virgina, therefore requiring some 15 or so years during which the child needs Unconditional Love, Care, Nourishment and Education in order to mature into a just, moral and productive citizen of society

I believe almost all of humanity's problems stem from the abuse heaped on children by parents who are ignorant of the fact that they are abusing their children.

I also believe the best way to solve most, if not all of humanity's problems is to teach children How to be Parents before they become parents.

My intentions and hope for posting to this forum is scientific verification or rebuttal of these and other connecting hypotheses.

  • Feb 21 2011: ‘God’ is an atom with eight electrons on the outside shell. Everything you see, hear & feel, and everything you can’t, is the result of atoms ‘desperately’ combining and molecules dividing to achieve that result, which doesn’t exist (I may be wrong about the exact number of electrons, but the point is the same).

    This frenetic activity resulted in humans among other things. Humans evolved, for better or worse, with excess cognitive capacity past the requirement needed for ‘simple’ survival. As we’re still wired to seek meaning, which is what enabled us to understand growing seasons and whatnot, we seek to understand our existence. Or at least explain it, thus religions, superstitions, philosophy, culture, and land rovers wandering around Mars taking pictures (or unmanned moon probes as the case may be) etc.

    That’s not to say there isn’t a value in ‘living rightly’, which may change depending on the circumstances, or not, I just don’t think it’s a purpose subject to scientific proof. It would be like saying the purpose of gravity is to keep us from flying off the Earth. That’s not gravity’s purpose; it just happens that gravity is convenient for us, the Wright brothers and NASA excluded.
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      Feb 22 2011: I do not think anyone will get much usefulness from this debate unless they first understand that the words “function” and “purpose” are, by definition of the English dictionary and thesaurus, interchangeable words and connote the same meaning. Much as the function of a hammer is to “pound things”, its purpose is the same regardless of any awareness or intention the hammer might or might not have. The user of the hammer is what gives it intention (i.e. purpose).

      Many scientists who study the fossil record and the many other scientists as well have concluded that prehistoric organisms, and all living organisms except humans, have but a single common function beyond survival and that function is to propagate the species (genes). Since the words “function” and “purpose” are interchangeable words, I believe it is perfectively logical to conclude that the “purpose” of all living things is to survive to propagate.

      I am not implying in any way that this “given” purpose to life requires the existence of any sort of Deity. We can arrive at this conclusion scientifically through the use of the evidence in the fossil record; and the intelligence and logic we are born with, especially since it does not violate any of the “God’s will” I have ever heard about.

      While the majorities of organisms bring their offspring into existence and thereafter ignore them or eat them, it is a different story for humans. Because of the size and complexity of the human brain and necessary functioning of the human body, it requires 15 or more years of unconditional love, care, nourishment and education for a human to successfully propagate one of the species. And as a matter of fact, that is the usually unstated priority function of the majority of humans.

      to be continued in the next reply
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      Feb 22 2011: The only thing I am suggesting is that we make the unconditional love, care, nourishment and education of all children a national priority as it is in most families. I am also suggesting we can best perform this function by teaching children to be parents before they become parents, and thereby eliminate the insidious practice of abusing children through ignorance by passing the ignorance on from generation to generation.
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    Jun 15 2011: In my reading of your question the meaning of one of the pivotal sentences is rather unclear:

    "As human are simply another organism like all others, which just happens to occupy the top link in the Earth's food supply chain, does not mean that the purpose of human life is any different from other life forms."

    Are you saying the purpose of human life IS different or IS NOT different than other life forms?
  • Jun 15 2011: '' Do you suppose that you are but a small mass, while the reality is: the whole universe is contained in you. Your remedy is from you, but you cannot see it?!......your remedy is in you, but you do not feel it?!''

    -Ali bin Abi Talib.... describing the human...


    Every one of us, has the same one goal....that is, reaching our true human potential....being a human....the soul....which contains wonders which surpass the wonders of the universe......once we realize what we truly are,what our reality is, the potential we have in us..... that we are not just bodies.....then we can begin to walk on the never ending road of perfection...
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    Mar 16 2011: It's up to the individual to make the decision what their purpose in life is. We are on this planet and that is that, whether you you have a creationist point of view or an evolutionary point of you, those are the facts. It's up to our cognitive ability to decide what our purpose to life is. Some may say their purpose is to develop technology to treat/cure cancer. While others may think their purpose in life is to be happy. The idea of a "purpose" is something designed by the human mind to make sense of everything. We create our own purposes, as they are purely subjective.
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    Feb 26 2011: Hi All,

    I found out that the double right arrow, the double left arrow and the parentheses mark all prohibit the proper display of a pasted text.
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    Feb 26 2011: Hi Kathy,
    -Where do YOU think 'unconditional love' comes from?-
    Unconditional Love comes from the basic instinct all living organisms possess. That ultimate (otherwise there would be nothing) instinct is simple the basic instinct to survive and propagate. Parents, especially mothers are driven by this instinct to care and nurture their offspring to the very best they are capable, regardless of the shape that organism comes into being with. This capability is missing in some lower evolved organisms, but is fully achieved through the free will and intelligence we humans posse. This is why parents, again usually mothers, Unconditionally (i.e. despite any defects they may have) Love their children.

    -ethereal-
    While science in some fields propose that there may be other dimensions to the universe other that the 4 commonly accepted dimensions (i.e, “X” horizontal, “Y” vertical, “Z” depth and time), this proposal is usually given as support for the “String Theory” of everything. These proposals are in no way proved or accepted by the majority of science.In fact, dimensions other than the four generally known and accepted dimensions, are considered impossible according to our present understanding of the Laws of Nature. The Laws of Nature quite emphatically forbid any additional dimensions including spiritual. The reason for this is that for anything to exist it must me composed of either matter or energy which are different forms of the same thing. With out present understanding of the Laws of Nature and given the present state of our technology, science cannot probe or inspect any property without mass or energy. Therefore all notions of things spiritual fall into the same unknowable, unprovable morass of religion (i.e. fantasy). Science simply cannot find any evidence of a spirit in humans other than basic instinct.
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        Feb 27 2011: Hi Kathy,

        Why then do scientist universally accept as fact that matter and energy are in fact forms of the same thing? (i.e. Energy = Mass times (the speed of light times the speed of light.))
        Each unit of mass can be concerted to 90,000,000,000 units of energy.

        -When you're experiencing unconditional love, you're experiencing God. -
        is a lovely and comforting notion and shows that you understand the meaning of unconditional love. This notion of unconditional love is probably one of the biggest reasons most people are religious in the first place. It is also an indication of the strength of the human instinct to desire to want and to give unconditional love. Unconditional love is more valuable and is more sought after than gold.
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        Mar 2 2011: Hi Kathy K,You are one very intelligent, well educated lady. But you have not convinced me of anything. However you have caused me to rethink my whole approach to this notion of reality and religion/spiritualism. The difference between the two is that reality (i.e. The Laws of Nature) can predict the future infallibly because they have been tested and shown to do so many times by many people. The Laws of Nature are the basis for our technology. Without our understanding of the Laws of Nature we would still be living in caves and savaging for our food. On the other hand religion/spiritualism (i.e. fantasy) has no predictive ability that has ever been exhibited and certainly not proved. It is like the movies of Superman, a nice, comfortable notion with a man with superpowers and then some. But Superman does not exist in the physical world we can experience, rather the notion of a super power, like God or a sprit only exist in our imagination. Because all of life is experienced through the electro/chemical actions and reactions of a huge computer we call the "brain"; and all experiences are processed through the same channels of the brain, it is sometimes difficult for humans to tell the difference between reality and fantasy. Then given that the fantasy is more exciting and comforting than dull old reality, many people choose to believe and live in a world based on their fantasy.I have come to believe that there is nothing much wrong with this so long as it makes you just, moral, happy and productive; and you do not try to force your fantasy on others who have different fantasies as in religious wars or preaching.There is much in religion and spiritualism which is wise in terms of living one's life, I just feel that it is wiser to base one's life on something tangible and proved. Building a life on fantasy is like trying to build a tall building on shifting sand of opinion rather than the bedrock of reality.
      • Mar 13 2011: Hi, where does wisdom come from? Our experiences, our intelligence, the suggestion of others, or our own ignorance? What I am about to say has never been told before, as far as I know. Science describes it in terms of a time warp, religion puts it down to something spiritual. Many Ted readers who have these experiences which I am about to describe will confirm what I am about to say. This is to prove that what seems, is not what is. I researched what are called dreams of the future; there is no such thing! A dreamer dreamt of an atrocity and the level of emotion felt on a scale of 1-10, was 9-10. The second dreamer dreamt of a similar atrocity and the emotional level was 3-4. WHY? It just so happened that the first dreamer, dreamt of the atrocity has it happened, the second dreamer dreamt of the happenning has it was being planned. This gave the second dreamer the illusion of seeing into the future because the event happened 9 wks later. None of the dreamers knew when the incident was going to take place, so where did the different levels of emotion come from? They could have only come from the perpetrators of the atrocities themselves. I have just started a debate of my own, ( The start of life and its meaning.) you may find it of some interest.
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    Feb 26 2011: Why can I not paste comments or replies from my word processor into this forum? I need a spell checker and this forum does not have one.
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    Feb 23 2011: BTW – Can anyone on this forum tell me why, specifically, they think teaching human children how to be parents before they become parents; and teaching them the art of wisdom and the self control necessary for wisdom, (so that they would have a sound, scientific foundation for what ever life style or purpose they choose), could in any way be harmful to society?

    The fact is that in order to teach human children in the public education system these arts, we would not need to teach the children anything that was not scientifically verified and verifiable. This is exactly the way Darwin’s evolution theory is now taught as fact regardless of whatever fantasies their parents want to teach them about where humans came from.
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    Feb 23 2011: Hi All,

    Would anyone on this forum deny that all living organisms have a built in instinct to survive and propagate?

    If so, why do all livings things do so with such tenacity?

    Do you deny the notion that the only function for any organism that science can prove from the study of the fossil record is the function of survival to reproduce?

    If so, why?

    Instinct is defined as a “tendency” toward survival and propagation. This is definition (I believe strongly) is wrong. I believe “instinct” is a biological dictator from which no lower evolved organisms can escape.

    Even though lower evolved organisms have no ability for will or intention, evolution selected for this instinct to insure propagation of the species. For all intents and purposes this instinctual urge is identical to what we humans call will or purpose. Probably the reason evolution selected for humans was that “intelligence” and “free will” were the best function possible for survival and propagation of the species. Although we have not yet fully evolved, we still lack the “wisdom” necessary to put our intelligence and free will toward its best possible outcome (i.e. a just, moral, happy and productive human society).

    The “reason” for this universal instinct tendency is in fact that evolution selected for this instinct universally among all living organisms. Again we have no proof of where evolution came from, it is as difficult a question as where did all of the Laws of Nature come from. We understand and accept the Laws of Nature to be true because science has tested them through their ability to predict future events or happenings. If it can predict the future error free, it must be true.
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    Feb 23 2011: Hi All,

    I was taught very early in school that many English words have multiple meanings depending on the context in which they are use; and that the first definition presented in the dictionary is generally the most commonly used. I in every English dictionary I have seen the first or most common connotation of the word purpose is (from Dictionary.com)…

    “Purpose –noun
    the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.”

    There is nothing in this first (i.e. most common) which implies any kind of intention. Are you all suggesting that we change all dictionaries to match your misconceived definition of the word purpose?

    Also the dictionary definition of “function” is quite definite in that function defines the purpose as the “function…

    “function –noun
    the kind of action or activity proper to a person, thing, or institution; the purpose for which something is designed or exists; role.”

    How can so many reach the conclusions presented here and that have been reached in light of these dictionary definitions of the words “purpose” and “function”. Again, are you all suggesting that we change all dictionaries to match your misconceived definition of the word function?

    Why is it that so many keep insisting that the “purpose of life” lies exclusively in the domain of religion? Baring any factual evidence except what I have presented here, (according to my interpretation of the words function and purpose) there in no factual basis for any kind of “purpose of life” anywhere in human history. That is why human societies have never succeeded beyond where the US and a few other countries have arrived in the notion of a just, moral and productive society.

    With our “free will”, “intelligence” and logic is it not possible that we could collectively define a justifiable “purpose of life” that does not depend on the authority of any Deity but rather on the instinctual good will of the majority of humans? Would such a purpose not be better for all humans.
    • Mar 15 2011: Hi, I feel that your explanations are of someone who has tried as hard as he can to sort out the mystery of life and finally took the easy way out, which is understandable, the meaning of life is a daunting challenge. Many have tried and as many have failed. The laws of nature and man are open to suggestion, suggestion takes us down many different paths and we are persuaded at times to accept the impossible. I beg of you to keep an open mind, it is the only way you can travel the right road. You may find that road is just around the bend.
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        Mar 16 2011: Hi Derek,

        Considering the amount of work I have put into my small book"http://thefifthrevolution.org, it was not the easy way out. Writing the book was the hardest thing I have ever attempted.

        You write as if you have taken the hard way, and already know the "Purpose of Life. If so please share it with the rest of us. If you do not know and you have an open mind, I suggest you read my book, It goes much deeper into the subject and, I believe, provides convincing proof that "Unconditional Love, Care, Nourishment and Education of human children are in fact the "Purpose of Human Life".

        I agree there are many paths to enlightenment and some lead to the impossible. However, it is a fact that humans are instinctively driven to have a purpose for everything they do, whether that purpose is stated, unstated, implied or ignored (as is usually the case). In the absents of any substantial evidence human are driven to invent a purpose. I propose that unless one is in direct contact with God, one can have have no better evidence of Life's purpose than anyone else.

        All Life's purposes from the beginning of humanity to the present have been "invented" purposes, invented by humans to fulfill the instinctual need for purpose that all humans have.

        Although I believe I have stumbled on to verifiable scientific evidence for the "Purpose of Life", if one were to try to invent a Purpose for human Life, it would be difficult to invent a better purpose that the Unconditional Love, Care, Nourishment and Education of Earth's children. Children, after all, are the only real future we have.
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          Mar 16 2011: Richard, my view is that the purpose of life varies from person to person. It's something very personal.
          If we try to look at it as an observer, we probably must come to the conclusion, that, beside the subjective purpose every person might or might not assign to his/her life, there is no apparent OBJECTIVE purpose to life.
          Life just is, and it's up to each of us to make the best out of it.
        • Mar 17 2011: Hello again Richard, your description of unconditional love etc, are very meaningfull in their own way and produce a multitude of different emotions. Evolution only progresses for the benefit of the species and because this is the case, the information that feeds evolution must come from the species. The species feeds on emotions and emotions are who we are and what we are. Evolution is just another word for ability and ability without some kind of guidance would spiral out of control. It's finding the source of that guidance that will eventually give us some purpose in life. The reality that will explain the whole. You won't believe what I have written in answer to Kathy K. 3 March 20/11. However it is true and I think it is about time evolution was rewritten.
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    Feb 22 2011: I'm having difficulty in understanding "purpose". My dictionary links it closely to "intention". So the purpose of a watch may be to tell the time, but you need somebody to own the purpose. So my purpose for the one on my wrist is to tell the time, but for the old, no-longer-functioning one in the drawer, it may be to remind me of my grandfather who used to own it.
    So as a being with intentions, I can have purposes for my life, but I don't see how there can be "a purpose to human life" unless some being intends that purpose. The advantage of a deity in this type of discussion is that it provides the being. However, we could be more abstract and acknowledge that we can treat evolution as if it designed us, even without imputing conscious intention. In that case, your question could be rephrased as "what are we well-designed to do". In this sense, I would agree that as we are "designed" (whether you think it is a god or evolution that did the design work) to be intelligent social animals that one of our purposes would be to go beyond mere reproduction and be useful, creative members of a community and one of those uses would be to teach our children what they need to know. However, we can't limit it to just that, as we also have our own purposes which we can create for ourselves, and what there is also we owe to the rest of our community (however widely defined), and in this sense an abstraction of that community is the being which has the purpose.
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      Feb 27 2011: You do not need to see a clock for it to tell the time of day. It keeps sitting there keeping time even if you put it in a drawer. Looking at the clock is YOUR intention and purpose of know the time of day as displayed there.

      Dick Roose
      The most important criteria for all human decisions is...
      "Is it good for children of Earth?"
      http://realityfound.org
      philosophy@realityfound.org
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      Feb 22 2011: Hi Kathy,Thanks for joining the conversation. I have only one comment. Do you have or know of any physical evidence to support your opinion...

      >>"That we are spiritual beings incorporating a physical vehicle and the main purpose in life is to re-connect with our spiritual source while we are still incarnate?"
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    • Mar 14 2011: The laws of nature go far and reach the parts that others cannot reach. What about the mutations we see happening around us: the cormorants on the Galapogos islands, where feathers are turning to down, their tails disappearing along with their beak shape. The mud skipper, where its gills are being replaced with lungs. Unconditional love could not exist without intelligence! When we do something wrong, our consciousness digs deep down into our emotions of what is right and what is wrong and we try to put things right. It's these emotions that give us the knowledge and also the stimulation that an intelligent species needs to feed on.
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    Feb 21 2011: For those who are interested in a more thourough discussion concerningt the "Scientifically Provable Purpose of Life", you are invited to the blog (http://thefifthrevolution.org/forum/) created for such in depth discussions.
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      Feb 21 2011: I found this reply just as problematic - your last sentence is just your value judgment and although I don't agree with much of what loop johnny said, I did think his reply has a place in this legitimate debate because it sparked many relevant thoughts. For example, his analogy of the apple, was useful if only because it provokes further analysis. The "purposes" of the apple are in fact not the apple's purposes at all, they are the purposes of the humans and more dimly and less obviously the "purposes" of the worm and the plant and this can illuminate the meaning of your entire topic.
      Thank you for starting the conversation, but it would serve us better if we either directly addressed the arguments of others or ignored them than if we discourage contributions by denigrating the author.
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        Feb 22 2011: Hi Eric,

        I take your point and I have deleted the offensive reply. Thank you for the criticism and for reading my hypotheses. I look forward to further replies from you concerning my theories.

        For my education - I did not think I was "denigrating the author", rather I was just voicing an opinion for which I provided some justification. Does every one agree with Eric?
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    Feb 20 2011: The answer is circular, unfortunately. The purpose to life is to live. To reproduce and spread our gene pool. But that is not very fulfilling, I think.

    I live to leave a 'mark' for the generations to come. I am aware in the world I live in and, compared to let say the Middle Ages, the times I am experiencing now are way better than in the past because the people that lived before me have left a 'mark'. The sum of those 'marks' have changed the world to what it is today and I want to continue this path of improvement.

    A 'mark' can be an achievement, discovery, a child, a work of art, pretty much anything that influences the future, preferably in the interest of the world as a whole.

    And that is why I live life. To make it better. My purpose in life is no longer survival ( since that is trivial in a society like this ) but rather, prosperity.

    Also, the purpose is what we make of it. For example, an apple has many purposes/functions depending on the context. A human can eat it. A worm can shelter in it. A plant can use its nutrients. Newton might use it as inspiration. And I can use it to throw it at somebody.

    It is all subjective. The universe is random chaos. We, humans, like to find order in things.
    • Feb 20 2011: I have similar thoughts about life. However I see additional reasons to live. What about pursuit of knowledge and understanding of this Universe?

      My own theory is that we have two-fold purpose. One is to reproduce, have families, friends, happiness and the second is to explore our world, progress our knowledge and technology until we either contact a supreme being or creator of this Universe or become one. =)
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        Feb 21 2011: I would interested to know what your simular thoughts are specifically.

        Where do you see thatI limit human purpose to one thing. Humans have many purposes which change hourly or sooner.

        Why do you think what I have written oposes any search for understanding and knowledge?

        Does it not require a common purpose for all people to come together as one?
        • Feb 22 2011: I think I see "unconditional Love, Care, Nourishment and Education of all of Earth's children" as being our ultimate goal rather than a purpose. I agree we should strive for such environment as it allows everyone to live fulfilling and happy life.

          I definitely agree with the importance of education in parenting and education in general.

          In my previous post I outlined my thinking in terms of purpose the Universe might have for us, as human kind, rather than purposes we believe in or we strive for.