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How did the Universe come about?

I'm wanting answers that have proof and are to the point. You may state any way you believe that the Universe came about.

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    Dec 2 2011: a Cosmic Riddle

    Its always here...
    it isn't His...

    it never was...
    it always is...

    What is it ?





    Its...





    as if this Poem
    had meaning

    as if it had
    an aim

    as if it were
    intended

    by a Poet
    who could claim



    creation
    of its structure

    its rhythm
    and its rhyme

    this singular
    expression of

    the poetry
    of time :

    the uni~Verse !
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      Dec 2 2011: NIce.

      Did you write that?
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        Dec 2 2011: Yeah... that one's mine... just a bit of fun !

        The whole Creationism vs. Big Bang debate used to amuse me because of the inherent mis-reading of symbol as fact, that often occured on both sides !

        I have read lots of your postings...and I really admire your diligence w.r.t. the fundamentals !

        BTW... how's the Orient working out for you ? I live just outside Vancouver !
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          Dec 2 2011: Hey Denis,

          Thanks.

          May I copy your poem to my quote file?

          The Orient is working out very well. It's a cool place. We'll be in Vancouver for the holidays. I'm looking forward to it.
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        Dec 2 2011: Yeah Thomas ... for sure !

        The riddle came to me yesterday... the poem, awhile ago .

        Glad you like it!

        Its been cool here too ... Ha! ... we've had snow already !

        All the Best !
        D.
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          Dec 3 2011: Cheers!

          We had snow here in Taiyuan the day before yesterday.

          Take care.
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    • Nov 30 2011: You bring up good points both Kathy K and Thomas Jones! Very interesting! Keep it up!
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    Dec 5 2011: Blake:

    I really think that this is one of those questions which will never be fully answered. When dealing with the infinite, it doesn’t seem surprising to me that a finite mind would not be capable of grasping it all.

    Nevertheless, it is the nature of science to continually expand our understanding out into the unlimited. One example of this is that as time goes on, technology will develop telescopes capable of detecting ever more distance stars.

    But do you see a problem with this situation? Do you really feel the need to find someone who will give you an answer? Would you prefer a nice, neat story to the messy truth?
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    Nov 30 2011: Hi Blake,

    There is wisdom in the scriptures (which is not to say everyone who reads them is wise.)

    I am not religious. In fact, I personally reject religion while accepting that others do not.

    However, I find many important messages in scripture of all kinds: the Bible, the Quran, the Vedas, even "secular scripture" like psychology, philosophy, and science.

    I have a very wise friend and he once told me something like: "Do not just read the scriptures but strive to have the experience that those who wrote the scriptures had."

    We can do that without reading a single book.

    There are human experiences that, when described, sound supernatural. They are not.

    Apparently, not everyone has such experiences but many of us do "read about them" in all sorts of books. This is a recipe for confusion.

    Let's assume that two different people experience a similar "thing" and one describes it as "God" the other describes it as "Self." Now, let's assume that some other people, who have not had the same experience as the first two, read what they have written, there might be some similarities (describing a sense of wellbeing, purpose, and so on) but there might also be some glaring contradictions, not the least of which is the difference between the idea of God and Self!

    Now let's take one more step, let's say you (somehow) have the same experience as the first two - any confusion that arose from the, apparently, contradictory descriptions would vanish - you would see. And, if you had never read the descriptions, it would not even matter.

    To me, these are the same message:

    - Nosce te ipsum. (Know thyself.)
    - Seek first the kingdom of God and all else we be added unto you.
    - Discover the theory of everything.

    We need never hear them to fulfill them.

    If you were hungry, would you read a cookbook or look for food?

    This is your life. No one can live it for you. And you can not fruitfully live it for anyone else - not for your parents, not for your friends, not for anyone.
  • Nov 29 2011: I don't fully grasp the "Theory" of the Big Bang only because some of it is a little beyond me, but... Once the whole thing gets started, my Chemistry education speaks volumes to me.

    Every element in the periodic table is produced in stars. These stars blow up and spread their treasures across the universe. The same iron (Fe) that is in asteroids is in our blood. The two most abundant elements in our world, hydrogen and oxygen, make up about 75% of what we are (H2O). Organic chemistry is such a huge field of study and basically revolves around just one element (carbon). It just makes sense to me that life forms would be carbon based.

    The idea of stars blowing up, creating gaseous clouds that are pulled together again by intermolecular forces and gravity to eventually form planets out of the elements from those clouds is beautiful to me. I have always found the Periodic Table of Elements beautiful on its own. I find beauty in the idea of just how lucky we are to here. To me, the "Goldilocks" conditions for life speak to a complete randomness of it all instead of a God creating all of it with "us" in mind.

    The argument that "GOD" has just been around forever and that the universe could not have been created from nothing has never worked for me. Why is the idea of "GOD" being around forever okay? Why is this the most believable answer for so many? Why isn't it easier to say that we just don't know for sure how it all began, but at least that the Big Bang Theory is the most educated guess we can come up with for now?
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        Nov 30 2011: QUOTE: "Yes, physically we are carbon-based, but we are also more than our physicality. Proof: Our psychology, emotions, thoughts are not carbon-based."

        The brain is carbon-based.

        No brain - no psychology.

        No brain - no emotions.

        No brain - no thoughts.
        • Nov 30 2011: When you say,"(Consciousness is processed through the physical body, not generated by it.)". What is an example of that? Like when a person is in a coma and cannot respond?
        • Dec 2 2011: Hi ! Kathy !!!
          Could you elaborate on "equilibrium" sense.
          In the 'extend version' of human senses / 21/ I found this,
          "The vestibular labyrinthine system (equilibrioception) works by sensing the motion of fluid in three canals in your inner ear, as well as sensing the weight of small crystals of calcium carbonite on tiny hair-like sensory receptors."
          But I am not sure you've meant that.

          Thank you !
        • Dec 3 2011: Thank you, Kathy ! It helps !
          "Equilibrium is a state of grace; harmony; balance; perfection."
          It's 'La Joconde '
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        Nov 30 2011: QUOTE: "Consciousness is varied in its energies; that which we experience as throught is from our MIND, not our BRAIN."

        Kathy,

        Yes, we know, you have an expanded view of the universe, consciousness, and everything but, I assure you, that thoughts, feelings, emotions, pattern-recognition and neurotransmitters require a brain. (Okay, maybe not pattern recognition.)

        For that matter (pun intended) the MIND requires a BRAIN.

        You may have noticed ... you actually have one. A brain, I mean.

        No brain - no whatever it is you think about the universe.
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        Dec 2 2011: QUOTE: "As I understand it, the brain acts like a radio, both a receptor and transmitter of these waves of energy. This energy is consciousness and it is transmitted through varying waves or frequencies (Alpha, Beta, Delta, Theta) which we experience as vibrations, and identify as feelings, thoughts and movement - i.e. the 'senses'."

        So, Kathy, the brain is both the radio receiver and the radio transmitter?

        And if the brain is a useless piece of meat without consciousness (which I agree with, by the way) what does that make consciousness, if a simple impairment of that useless piece of meat "blocks" transmissions?

        No brain (or impaired brain) - no psychology (or "impaired" psychology.)

        No brain (or impaired brain) - no emotions (or impaired emotions.)

        No brain (or impaired brain) - no thoughts (or impaired thoughts.)



        QUOTE: "Modern science contends we have five senses. In fact, we have seven 'main' senses."

        Really? When was the last time you checked how many senses modern science says we have? [The last time I checked, modern science said we have upwards of twenty senses.]
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        Dec 2 2011: Dear Kathy:

        There is a nice lecture from Yale University by Prof. Shelly Kagan ( http://academicearth.org/courses/death ), he specifically discusses the existence of the soul from a philosophical perspective, I think this could change your mind, or at least polish your arguments.

        I really hope you invest a few minutes, he is a fun and fast speaker and discusses Dualism (your perspective) in a very clear fashion.

        Regards!

        JB

        PS I personally dot think we need any supernatural entity nor a soul to be humans (emotions/reason, etc)
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        Dec 2 2011: Dear Kathy:

        The lectures are very nice (I personally enjoyed listening to then while doing exorcise), I think you should try one and see if it makes sense to listen to the rest or not.

        I’m surprised, I’m always interested in changing my mind I find it extremely pleasurable and stimulating.

        I really don’t know what soul means (could quote a dictionary, but still makes no sense to me), as far as I understand, the soul you refer to is something immaterial that is not bound by physics. Depending on the philosophical perspective, it has more or less supernatural proprieties and is eternal.

        I’m sorry if my claim sound ridiculous, I would love to hear you provide and argument or proof that changed my mind.
        On the other hand my perspective is simpler, we both believe in physical reality right? But you also believe in what you call “spiritual reality”. One is self evident, the other requires you to believe, why do you do so?

        Regards!

        JB
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          Dec 3 2011: Hi Julian,

          As you're interested in changing your mind that's good for that says you are questioning your believes or opinions but still opinions are what they are.
          If you know a thing, you know.
          You don't have an opinion about the chair you may be sitting on. You know it's a chair.
          If someone in that way knows what you don't know you may question it like you do your opinion but can at the same time respect the other by not implying that he or she may change their mind with new information.
          About matters like soul you can never be informed by anyone. For every individual, it has to be known from personal experience like that chair that holds you from the ground and would fail you if it only was an opinion.
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        Dec 3 2011: QUOTE: "The soul is the subconscious level of the mind. What's so 'supernatural' about that? It is perfectly natural to me."

        There is nothing unnatural about the subconscious mind as it is generally defined. It is the cognitive functions that operate below the threshold of awareness. And it requires a brain.

        So if that' s what you are referring to, yes it's perfectly natural.

        Now, if you are referring to something that operates independently of the brain, that might be considered supernatural.

        QUOTE: "The entire point that brought us to this off-topic discussion was that the brain is a physical, carbon-based 'reality' but the mind is not - does that make it any less 'real'? Our psychology and emotions are not carbon based, they are not physical; does this mean they do they not 'exist'?"

        For someone who has a brain, Kathy, this is a spectacular "leap of faith."

        Can you demonstrate one single instance of a thought, an emotion, or of "psychology" that has taken place without a brain?

        Of course, you cannot.

        Why?

        Because you have a brain.

        No brain - no psychology.

        No brain - no emotions.

        No brain - no thoughts.

        No brain - no mind.

        No brain - no Kathy.

        ---

        So while there may be some "superconsciousness" that floats around without a brain, you Kathy (and I) and every thought, every feeling and every emotion we have ever had, or will ever have, requires a brain.
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        Dec 5 2011: Come on Kathy, you say our brain does not generate thoughts, feelings, emotions, patterns, neurotransmitters, and so on." And that this is all "consciousness working through the brain."

        And thought is "from our MIND, not our BRAIN."

        The implication being (I presume) we do not really need a brain to have a mind, thoughts, feelings and so on.

        Is that correct?

        ----

        QUOTE: ".. a generator of thought, feelings, emotions, patterns, neurotransmitters, and so on." No, this is the consciousness working through the brain, Thomas.

        Consciousness is varied in its energies; that which we experience as thought is from our MIND, not our BRAIN.
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    Nov 29 2011: Shallow stuff to one side, the question is flawed, i.e. "I'm wanting answers that have proof and are to the point. You may state any way you believe that the Universe came about." First, it assumes that there are answers. Second, it assumes that (if there are answers) there are proofs. (What is a proof?) And third it accepts that folks should present how they BELIEVE that the universe came about -- as if human beliefs were relevant to the issue.

    I find it fascinating that space and time are all tied up together and that -- therefore we can trace the origin of our universe back in time toward an asymptote (limit) but that precisely because space-time are both aspects of the universe we can't say 'before the universe existed' or even determine the precise instant of its origin (curved lines never reach their asymptote!).

    I'm content to just live in this enormous mystery, happy (most of the time) that I exist. Well, I do for a micro-second.... I really don't care much why the universe exists. I doubt anything vaguely human-like is responsible. I like to imagine a series of universes born of each other, or multiple universes totally unreachable from my itsy-bitsy perch here on our fly-speck blue-green ball.

    Ultimately, I'm just overwhelmed that I (and you all ) exist. And it's all a bit sad that our little flea-bitten planet will someday be swallowed up by the uncaring universe. But what the heck... we have today!
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    Nov 29 2011: Looks to me that it was designed & built by someone who knew what he was doing.

    :-)
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      Nov 29 2011: Seems to me she didn't really knew what she was doing ;-)
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      Nov 29 2011: So you are saying the Creator actually "sat down" and designed, for example, a fungus (ophiocordyceps camponoti-balzani) that infects ants, takes over their nervous systems, makes them bite the underside of a leaf; and then grows out of the top of their heads as part of the fungus' reproductive cycle?

      Really?

      What kind of designer would design something like that?

      Wouldn't you much rather attribute something as weird as that to, you know, an impersonal natural process - like evolution - rather than to some sentient, supposedly beneficent being? I mean, really, what kind of person would design something like that?
      ----

      http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/03/pictures/110303-zombie-ants-fungus-new-species-fungi-bugs-science-brazil/
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        Nov 29 2011: Hi Thomas

        I can't believe that you do not know my response to this; but I'll give it anyway.

        First off, I am not God; just thought I'd clear that up; so some humility is required. My take is that God designed & built a perfect universe. He warned Adam & Eve that if they disobeyed his one rule that they would die. They did of course & they died. Not right away, but over a period. The universe was originally perfect as well, but was no longer so, thanks to A & E, so it began to die as well. We call it the 2nd law.
        Now I don't pretend to know about all the ins & outs of bacteria etc (although I am working on it), but in general, everything is running down & falling apart. We & our animal friends were initially vegetarian, & now many are carnivorous for instance.
        We can extrapolate this into the future; when God will replace this universe with another one. To save it from the same fate, disobedience will be impossible. Here & now is the opportunity to make the choice of whether we want to live by the rules.

        That's how I see it; just like millions of others. You may not agree?

        :-)
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          Nov 29 2011: It looks like you God didn't made humans as perfect as the rest of the universe.
          Do you think it was a little mistake, or did he put the free will into them to see if they would trust in what they couldn't see?
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          Nov 29 2011: Thank you for your reply Peter. And no, I would not have anticipated it - at least not in content. Theme and thrust, yes, your replies are predictable (which is one reason we can not call you a scientist.)

          You are committed to the Christian interpretation of reality being perfect; as a result, no matter what you see, you will perceive it as confirmation of the Bible's inerrancy.

          If something "good" happens to a particular person, it is "a reward" from God (and predicted by the Bible.)

          If something "bad" happens to a particular person, it is "a punishment" from God (and predicted by the Bible.)

          You are not willing to accept that your interpretation, and your perceptions, are biased. They "cannot be" because God and the Bible are perfect so, any inerrancy - for example that pesky little thing called evolution - must be faulty. Rather than adjust your perceptions and interpretations, you attempt to shoehorn the entire universe into one little small black book.

          This is decidedly unscientific. We do have a word for it: "religious."

          Personally, I have no problem with you being religious, or scientific, I just find it embarrassing that we humans still have a proclivity for placing our understanding at the pinnacle of creation.

          You insinuate you have some humility and yet you imply you have "a working understanding" of God's will. This is the very definition of hubris: Creating an infinite, omniscient God and then presuming to understand even a fraction of His will (a fraction of infinity is still infinite.)

          You either know God's will or you don't.

          If you do, well let us know how the markets are going to turn out.

          If you do not know, practice a little humility and accept the evidence that creation (and therefore your Creator) has made amply available. Not the least of which is a long line of Christian fanatics who believed they had it all figured out (and now YOU just happen to be at the terminus of the ONE "right" thread at the frayed end of a tattered cloth.)
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          Nov 29 2011: So to get back to my question: God did design such a fungus (ophiocordyceps camponoti-balzani) but He, more or less, had to because Adam and Eve screwed up - metaphorically speaking (which presumably He knew about ahead of time.)

          Is that right?

          Adam and Eve mess up and God creates zombie ants - makes lions switch from salad to steak, and creates, amongst other things, reality TV.

          And, of course, you do not really understand why, you just know He did?

          That's religion.
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        Nov 30 2011: Hi Thomas

        You've got it all worked out. Who am I to argue with you.

        :-)
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          Nov 30 2011: QUOTE: "You've got it all worked out. Who am I to argue with you."

          Hi Peter,

          Who are you to argue with me? You're Peter Law.

          And I'm not sure what it is you think I have worked out, I don't recall presenting a hypothesis (but I do forget things from time-to-time.)

          As it appears to me, you seem to be the one who has "it all worked out" - God created the universe in six days, a talking serpent tricked Eve into eating the forbidden fruit, you're going to heaven, and so on* - and I am challenging your assertions.

          ---

          * I am assuming you believe all of the Bible to be factually correct. Please correct me if I am wrong.
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        Dec 1 2011: Hi Thomas

        Like many you employ a list of stereotypes & apply them to me. It's a bit of a conversation-stopper as even I weary of it. Ok I'll try & answer.

        Yes I assume the bible to be factually correct.

        I understand the Will of God in as much as I understand the Bible.

        I guess the dna coding for Zombie Ants was in the original ants. (opinion)

        I guess God knows everything from the beginning to end . (opinion based on Biblical understanding)

        Yes I am biased. Most thinking people are.

        I believe evolution is limited, by the original programming, to alterations within the same kinds of animals.

        Does that help ?

        :-)
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          Dec 1 2011: Hi Peter,

          Yes that helps.

          If it appears to you I am responding to a "stereotype" forgive me for that - I am attempting to respond to you: as a person.

          I base my comments directly on what you have said in this thread, and, to a certain extent, on what we may have discussed before. (But I don't actually remember what we discussed before beyond the general theme. ... I do recall you thinking the Bible is inerrant.)

          I assume you are here to "be challenged" ... I know you are also proselytizing in a "Peter Law" kind of way ... but I trust you do expect to be challenged.
        • Dec 1 2011: Hi Peter, Did you know that the crossing of the Red Sea actually happenned? The Bible is factually correct in only some spots, the crossing of the Red Sea was a natural ocurring event caused by 1 of 3 things
          1) Volcanic Eruption, which can turn the Seas Red
          2)The Biblical times Red Sea isn't the present day Red Sea
          3)Heavy droughts can cause the sea to "split in half" if you will, and where the Biblical Red Sea is, it is dated that a Monsoon can cause heavy rain and bad flooding.
          http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=parting+of+the+red+sea+evidence&view=detail&id=6AD4E257440B2E7D61692BEEEEB9D44E471A4C2C&first=31&FORM=IDFRIR&adlt=strict
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        Dec 1 2011: Hi Blake

        I don't understand. You give me 3 options for a non-miraculous parting & then a link which seems to confirm the biblical account. Which one are you happy with ?

        :-)
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          Dec 1 2011: Hi Peter,

          I think what he might be saying is there are natural explanations for what are referred to as miracles in the Bible; and that, at the time the Bible was written, a local flood would be seen as global (the world was still flat back then, you know?)

          So, did the sea "part" ... sure (maybe) Did God part it? (Maybe) Would Moses and the guys see it as a miracle if it parted just when they needed to cross? (Probably.)

          Was there a flood? Yes. Did it appear to cover the whole world? Probably.

          Would people who heard about these stories use them to "make a point?" I would.



          .
        • Dec 2 2011: Thank you Thomas,
          That is exactly what I am trying to get across!
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        Dec 2 2011: Hi Blake/Thomas

        I am sure that many of the 'miracles' had natural causes which we understand better now. There have been many attempts at rationalising the parting of the Red Sea. At the end of the day, the Jews made it across & the Egyptian army drowned; which was the object of the exercise. If you want to put it down to a fortunate coincidence, feel free. By the time you get through the whole bible, you will have a very long list.

        The bible talks about the fountains of the deep causing the flood. We now know that there is/was a large quantity of subterranean water. We also understand about tectonics & sea floor spreading. So it doesn't take a genius to put it together. The worldwide deposition of water deposited silt full of dead animals, coal, & oil does lead me to a worldwide flood however. As far as water is concerned the earth is flat, & if the water is a mile deep at New York, then it will be a mile deep at London; excluding tidal effects. The bible says that the land rose up & the seabed dropped at the end. The rapid run-off would doubtless have formed massive canyons as it carved the still soft deposited layers.

        That makes sense to me & it is all by natural, understood, forces of nature. Many disagree, but why not, that's what makes life interesting.

        :-)
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          Dec 2 2011: Hi Peter,

          Let me see what we're working with here:

          1) How many years ago did the flood occur (roughly speaking)?
          2) How old is the earth?
          3) How long ago did dinosaurs roam the earth?
          4) How old is the universe?

          ----

          Is your faith in Biblical accounts predicated on the premise that God can do anything?

          That is, whatever is in the Bible must be true because, one, it's in the Bible; and, two, God can do anything (so whatever He does does not have to conform to natural observable laws of nature?)
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        Dec 2 2011: Hi Thomas

        1) 2500BC
        2) 6000yrs
        3) A few hundred years ago. They were called Dragons.
        4) Solar system 600yrs. Universe very likely the same, but older biblically possible.

        If you have time there are some major fulfillment's in this video, verified by mainstream history. The vid is about 1.5hrs. These things take time to explain.

        http://www.blinkx.com/watch-video/the-bible-the-word-of-god-extraordinary-claims-demand-extraordinary-evidence/l7wZggDt0b6ymNbNJcXG6g

        My faith is built on the accuracy of the bible describing the world in which I live. It has grown through practical experience of following God day to day & watching Him working in my life & the lives of others. Mostly he obeys his own natural laws, which a sceptic will put down to coincidence. The trick is to know when he is trying to tell you something.

        :-)
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          Dec 2 2011: Thank you Peter. I'll get back to you. (It's 1:40 a.m. in China.)
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          Dec 3 2011: Hi Peter,

          Thanks again for your answer (and just to make the point very clear - these answers make it quite evident you do not have a "scientific mind.")

          So let me check a couple of things with you:

          God created the universe, solar system, and the earth 6000 years ago. (And the universe might be a bit older.)

          Because He is God, He can do that. He can create something that is really 6000 years old but gives the appearance of being, say, 13.75 billion years old.

          Is that correct?

          And you know this is true because you have read it in the Bible (confirming the world is 6000 years old); and you have read in the science books that the universe appears to be 13.75 billion years old.

          And you know the Bible must be true based on what?

          It describes the world you live in?

          You'll need to explain that one to me because it quite clearly does not explain the world I live in and, I assume, you and I live in the same world.

          Are you referring to "a world" or to "the earth and natural history?" Or both?
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          Dec 3 2011: Skeptics are seeing God's work in my life as coincidences you say.
          It doesn’t matter for that what happened in your life if one calls it a coincidence or the work of some God.
          They are both non explanations.
          Those things you describe that you attribute to your God are happening with me all the time and with many, many people.
          It happens to theists and atheists, it happens to Buddhists and communists, for that part anyway that live a healthy, happy life in trust and without anxiety. It is the normal human state of being.
          Some religions claim to have a God that give people all kind of things they from nature already had, always possessed. They claim to have a God of salvation that take the sins they put first in the shoes of those poor believers. Is that your religion, Peter?
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        Dec 3 2011: Hi Thomas

        My daughter is a violinist, she will be in China for the new year as she is most years.

        The universe does not look 13.5 billion years old to me. This estimated age has more than doubled in my lifetime, so I guess whoever comes up with this stuff isn't so sure either.

        eg.
        The earth's rotation is slowing, even millions of years ago it would have been spinning too fast.
        The current estimated half life of the magnetic field is 1400yrs. Millions of years back would take us into neutron star territory.
        The seas would be solid silt.
        The mountains would be eroded flat.
        We would be digging up bodies everywhere.
        etc...etc.

        All of these of course have rebuttals, you takes your pick.

        The main reasons that some accept long ages are 1) To allow for evolution, & 2) Radiometric dating.

        I don't believe for a minute that the complexity in nature occurred without intelligent input. Radiometric dating relies on too many estimated variables; one being that there was never a flood. C14 in coal, oil, & diamonds would indicate a young age for these items. Also C14 in the atmosphere has not reached equilibrium as yet, indicating a young earth.

        These are all well tried & rebutted arguments; there are good men on both sides as evidenced by our good selves.

        If you watch the vid you will start to see that the world of today is as prophesied. Especially the increase in technology, unbelief, social unrest, promiscuity, and the evolving politics of the Middle East, & a drive towards one world government & a cashless society.

        One final point. I came to these conclusions before I started to take the bible seriously. The science was a hurdle for me, but once understood in context, the bible made perfect sense.

        We both live in the same world, but one of us is looking through the wrong end of the telescope.

        :-)
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          Dec 3 2011: One of is looking through the wrong end of the telescope?

          And which one of us would that be Peter?

          ---

          So, as I said in another conversation, your science sucks (it really does) but let's leave the science out of it for a while.

          Give me this one: The universe is accepted to be 13.75-billion-years-old by mainstream scientists and by most people who do not live in The United States.

          Now, we may all be mistaken but you have to admit there are a lot of people to whom the universe at least appears to be 13.75-billion-years-old.

          So (if you'll give me that one ... and you pretty much have to) we can say that God created a universe about 6000 years ago that looks like it is 13.75-billion-years-old (but not to you.)

          And God can do that because He is God and God can do anything.

          And you know the world is really 6000 years old because the Bible says so.

          And you know the Bible is true ... how?

          Because it describes the world you live in? Because the Bible says the Bible is true? Because there are no errors in the Bible?

          How do YOU know the Bible is true?

          ---

          Peter, I think mentioned i do not watch links provided in posts. I have been studying religion (as a hobby) for 40 years there is nothing "new" to me when it comes to Christian prophesy from Hal Lindsay to Harold Camping. (You guys should be starting to get at least a little red in the face by now ... but no, we "misread the signs" or "none will know the hour" etc., etc., etc. There's going to be another Camping (and Peter Law) in 1000 years, who will be saying the world is about to end and it was created 6000 years ago. Or do you think we'll get add the next 1000 and make it 7000?)

          But let's stay focussed.

          God can create a universe that looks to some people to be 13.75-billion-years-old because He is God and God can do anything.

          And you know the world is really 6000 years old because the Bible says so.

          And you know the Bible is true ... how?

          Because it describes the world you live in?

          Is that correct?
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          Dec 3 2011: Hi Peter,

          When and were will your daughter be playing? I think we'll likely still be in Canada then but if she's playing nearby when we get back to China, maybe we could attend a recital and/or give her a bit of a tour.

          Thomas
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        Dec 3 2011: Hi Thomas

        E-mailed daughter for schedule.

        Yes a lot of people believe the world is old. A lot used to believe the world was flat & blood had to be drained to cure illness. The long age was determined in order to accommodate evolution. Evolution is the preferred subject in our centres of learning; that's how we are educated, so that's what we believe. It's not easy to think out of the box, especially if your livelihood depends on it.
        As a child I lived in an area with lots of landslides. I 'knew' the world was millions of years old, but wondered why the land was still sliding. I still do.

        How can you learn if you don't check links? Do you honestly expect me to type out prophecies? As my study time is short, I use the computer to keep up to date; on both sides of the debate. The evolution-creation debates are great, & occasionally I learn something. BTW I watched the link right through to make sure it was worthwhile; I always do.
        I watched another one recently which started by quoting mainstream geology that there were no archeological sites in & around Jerusalem. It then took us on a grand tour of a dozen or so directly spoken of in the bible. Either the video was baloney, or someone is messing with the facts.

        Hal Lindsay, that's an memory that brings a tear to my eye; never heard of the other guy. I did go through an Erik von Daniken phase I must admit. Often one has to turn over many rocks to find a crab. Saw one the other day where they guy reckoned that sea floor spreading was happening, but not subduction. The end result being the earth is getting larger. He might be right, who knows ?

        I guess what I'm saying is that I believe the bible to be true, but if something more convincing comes along, I'd go with that. Todays mainstream scientists are materialist; they cannot even contemplate non-materialism.. If you had to explain the existence of a computer, but were barred from positing an electronics factory; you would have to say it evolved.
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          Dec 3 2011: Hi Peter,

          Thank you for your reply. As I mentioned there are many reasons I do not check links, not the least of which is I am conversing with you ... not a search engine. I assure you I am very familiar with Christian prophesy and while it may be "updated" from time to time to "include" some new occurrence, it's all of a type. The intent is the same; to confirm the Bible's inerrancy and legitimacy.

          You, my good sir, are a bit of a contradiction - you identify as objective but present as subjective. You assert we do not know and then claim to know. You reject "science" as ambiguous, if it supports evolution, but compelling, if it supports a young earth hypothesis.

          If you would be so kind, would you please proffer answers to these questions:

          Do you believe God created a universe about 6000 years ago that looks like it is 13.75-billion-years-old (to some people but not to you?)

          Do you believe God can do that because He is God and God can do anything?

          Do you know the world is really 6000 years old because the Bible says so?

          And you know the Bible is true ... how?

          Because it describes the world you live in? Because the Bible says the Bible is true? Because there are no errors in the Bible?

          How do YOU know the Bible is true?
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        Dec 4 2011: Hi Thomas

        "Do you believe God created a universe about 6000 years ago that looks like it is 13.75-billion-years-old (to some people but not to you?)"
        Yes.

        "Do you believe God can do that because He is God and God can do anything?"
        Yes.

        "Do you know the world is really 6000 years old because the Bible says so?"
        Yes.

        "And you know the Bible is true ... how?"
        I don't 'know' it is true; I believe it is true. I believe it because I have found it accurate, & for a book so old it has stood the test of time.

        The only reason I can see to disbelieve is if you want to deny God.

        Daughter not sure where she is playing; probably Beijing ; will try & find out. Off to the States today.

        :-)
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          Dec 5 2011: QUOTE: "The only reason I can see to disbelieve is if you want to deny God."

          Can you see how this might create a bit of a problem?

          For you you to find any fault in the Bible, you believe you have to deny God.

          If you deny God (and all that means to you ... Christ, salvation, heaven, etc.) you will, amongst other things, very likely end up in hell for all of eternity.

          That is a very powerful motivation not to deny God which in turn is a powerful motivator not to find fault in the Bible (even if there might be ... you know, one or two mistakes in there.)

          How about this: You consider God might not have to be denied regardless of whether the Bible is inerrant or not?

          Lot's of people believe in God and do not have to believe the Bible is inerrant to do so (and many of them are good Christians like yourself.)

          The Bible you read did not even exist when Christ, Peter (your namesake) and the guys walked the earth and they did okay.
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      Dec 5 2011: Hi Peter,

      I just want to check in with you: You do know this is a TED forum and not Focus on the Family or some such site, right?

      [You're doing a very good job of keeping in a good humour even though we're all ganging up on you.]
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        Dec 5 2011: Hi Thomas

        Funnily enough I am very fond of you guys. Especially the one's who give me a hard time. Occasionally I get pissed, but give me anger over apathy any day. Like the apostle Paul, very many Christians were seriously anti beforehand.

        I think TED should give me points for keeping the pot boiling.

        Peter & Crew had the Old Testament, & they wrote the New Testament, so I guess they were up to speed by the end.

        :-)
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          Dec 5 2011: QUOTE: "Peter & Crew had the Old Testament, & they wrote the New Testament"

          No they didn't.
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        Dec 5 2011: Didn't have the OT; or didn't write the NT; or both?
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          Dec 5 2011: Didn't have the OT. Didn't write the NT.

          They had a collection of "books" from which the OT was eventually selected by what we now call the Catholic Church (a Church you probably reject); and they did not write the NT.

          They MIGHT have written parts of it; they did NOT write much of it; and MAY not have written any of it. The dates do not coincide with their lives, they were fishermen at a time when most people could not write, etc.

          I trust you are aware of the history, not just the theology of the book that governs your life, your intellect, and your destiny.

          If nothing else, I recommend reading Elaine Pagels' "The Gnostic Gospels." It is wonderful reading.

          Another good book is Constantine's Sword by James Carroll. It is more general in it's coverage but beautifully written and very informative.
  • Dec 2 2011: I believe that the Universe may have been created by a White hole... a new theory leds to the possibility of life coming OUT OF a black hole, a "white" hole.
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    Nov 29 2011: It had no other options.
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    Nov 29 2011: It never did, always was.
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      Nov 29 2011: I think he may be referring to the physical manifestation that we "see." (But it's just a guess.)
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    Nov 29 2011: With you; or without you?

    For you, the universe began several decades ago (probably - maybe only a couple) and it was the result of biological process that evolved over a long, long time.

    If you figure out the "you" part, the rest, more or less, takes care of itself.

    ---

    Without you, it doesn't really matter, does it? But if you're interested, see Christophe Cop's reply for direction.
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    Nov 29 2011: I guess you'll need to understand biology, calculus and history first ;-)

    As for proof: try and find out what "inductive reasoning" means; and "epistemology"
    Then learn calculus, evolution theory, some astronomy, physics, chemistry,...
    I guess the proof will never be definite...

    fast answer: google "big bang"
    • Nov 29 2011: Thank you for the response... I do understand Biology and Calculus, but I'm torn. My parents are Chrstian and I am going down the path towards atheism. I understand the big bang, evolution, some astronomy, and chemistry. I've gotten to the point in my research where stars can create elements up until Iron, Fe. Also, the discovery of Glucose traveling on comets and asteroids is ridiculus. I just don't know where to go because for me, God sounds ridiculus, and so does the big bang...