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  • Atheos

    Chapter 3: Origins

    By Punkerslut

    Start Date: 2001
    Finish Date: 2001

    Section I: Introduction

         Since the beginning of time when man could question the reality and origin of his environment, he has come to the conclusion in many cases that there is a supernatural being(s) at work. When one asks why they themselves are here and if they have a purpose, they may often come to religious answers. It is here, by examining the origins of us animals - human and non-human, as they are both equally valuable - that we come to a conclusion that involves some supernatural force. "How did I get here? What's my purpose here?" These are questions asked since the dawn of humanity. Whether a religionist sees design in the Earth or in the stars at night, they see that god was the one who was responsible for the existence of this Universe. And it is this doctrine - that natural phenomenon can satisfactorily be explained with supernatural explanations - that I shall attack.

    Section II: The Nature Of Supernatural Explanations For Natural Phenomena

         Perhaps in the ancient times it would be considered reasonable to use a spirit or a ghost as an explanation to things. If something uncommon or unknown occurred, perhaps an eclipse or a flood, it may be associated with religion or spiritual things; in fact, it may be claimed to be a derivative from spiritual beings. Similarly, where men and women came from, where the Earth came from, and where the animals and plants came from are questions answered by religion in its own way. It is by lack of knowledge, however, that people everywhere point to religious origins. If one does not know the origin of the language, they may point to a god who delivered or may recall how Adam from the Old Testament is responsible for naming various animals. Surely, myths are simply that: theological speculation which attempts to explain natural phenomena with supernatural explanations. The reason why men and women point to supernatural explanations for the existence of natural phenomena is obvious: they do not know the natural explanation, or are at least currently incapable of knowing the natural explanation due to their current technology and knowledge.

         The following is an examination of how various religious books explain the origins and workings of the Universe. They explain how various sciences work, but they do so in a supernatural way. The importance of the Old Testament is significant. It is held as a primary holy book of the Jews, known as the Torah. It is the foundation for the prophecies that Jesus Christ fulfilled in regards to Christianity. And its prophets are considered to be true by the Islamic religion. The Old Testament formed and molded the culture and tradition of the West as it manifested itself into the workings of various religions that many practice today. The Qur'an, however, is a religious book that remains religious only to those who are Islamic (or the Unitarian Universalists who value every religious book). The Vedas are also important, just like the Old Testament. Like the Old Testament, the Vedas manifested themselves into the various religions of the East. The Vedas are the foundation (along with the Upanishads) of Hinduism. Sidartha Gautama, or Buddha, based his religion Buddhism on the scripture of the Vedas. One last look at religion came from the primitive Greek-Roman mythologies - as the Roman mythology are founded on the Greek mythology - as they try to explain the origins and workings of the Universe.

    Old Testament -
    Where did light come from? God made it (Genesis 1:3).
    Where did the sky come from? God made it (Genesis 1:8).
    Where did plants come from? God made them (Genesis 1:12).
    Where did the moon, the Sun, and the stars come from? God made them (Genesis 1:16).
    Why do we have night and day? God made them (Genesis 1:18).
    Where do birds and fish come from? God made them (Genesis 1:21).
    Where do mammals come from? God made them (Genesis 1:25).
    Where do humans come from? God made them in his own image (Genesis 1:26).
    Where did animals get their names? Adam named them (Genesis 2:20).
    Where did the female human come from? She came from the rib of man (Genesis 2:22).
    Why do women feel pain by giving birth? Eve was punished by god and the punishment just went to all of her children (Genesis 3:16).
    Why don't snakes have legs? God punished them by forcing them to crawl on their bellies their whole lives (Genesis 3:4).
    Where did the men and women come from who live in tents and raise livestock? They were born from Jabal (Genesis 4:20).
    Where did the men and women come from who play the harp and the flute? They were born from Jubal (Genesis 4:21).
    Where did the men and women come from who forge metals and make tools? They were born from Tubal-Caine (Genesis 4:22).

    Qur'an -
    Where did the universe come from? Allah made it (Qur'an 2:29).
    Where did man come from? Allah made man (Qur'an 3:59).
    Where do darkness and light come from? Allah made them (Qur'an 6:1).
    Where did the Sun and the moon come from? Allah made them (Qur'an 10:15, Qur'an 13:2).
    Where do thunderbolts come from? Thunderbolts are the result of Allah trying to kill who he pleases (Qur'an 13:13).
    Where do clouds and rain come from? Allah sends them (Qur'an 14:32).
    Where do cattle come from? Allah created them (Qur'an 16:5).
    Where do asses, horses, and mules come from? Allah created them (Qur'an 16:8).
    Why do people die? Allah causes people to die (Qur'an 16:70).

    Vedas -
    Where does fire come from? The god Agni delivers the fire.
    Where does weather come from? The god Indra delivers the rains and thunderstorms.
    Where do streams come from? The god Indra shattered a mountain, releasing streams.
    Where do the Sun and dawn come from? The god Indra gave birth to them.
    Where does the air, the forest, and the village come from? They came from the sacrifice of Purusa.
    Where do the mantras [Rig Veda] and the songs [Samaveda] come from? They came from the sacrifice of Purusa.
    Where do the horses, cows, and sheep come from? They came from the sacrifice of Purusa.
    Where does the moon come from? It was born of Purusa's mind.
    Where does the Sun come from? It was born of Purusa's eye.
    Where do the gods Indra and Agni come from? They are born of Purusa's mouth.
    Where does wind [or the god Vayu] come from? It is born of Purusa's breath.
    Where do the heavens come from? They arose from Purusa's head.
    Where does the Earth come from? It is born of the feet of Purusa. [1]

    Greek-Roman Mythology -
    Why does the Sun go across the sky? The god Apollo pulls it across on his chariot.
    Why do plants grow? The god Ceres causes them to grow.
    Why are there storms and rain? The god Jupiter causes them.
    Where did warriors, poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, crafts, and music come from? The god Minerva created and invented them.
    Where do the precious metals of gold, silver, and tin come from? The god Pluto put them in the Earth.
    Why do people fall in love? The god Cupid is responsible for persons falling in love with each other.
    Where does fire come from? The god Prometheus gave it to man.

         There may be arguments, however. Some people, the Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Roman and Greek religionists, etc., may argue that these verses have symbolic meaning. However, I am not arguing for the meaning of the verse, nor am I attempting to point out contradictions. I am simply pointing to statements that indicate a sort of supernatural explanation for natural phenomena that we can explain naturally today. The first believers of these religious verses took their meaning as a literal one. They truly believed that when they saw the Sun, it was the eye of Purusa, if they were to mine silver that it was placed there by Pluto, or that the origin of the female is from the rib bone of man. Surely, no educated man can believe these verses. If a man were to walk into a musical instrument shop and state, "I think my daughter is descended from Jubal, and I want to buy her a flute since she will be able to play it," he certainly would not be considered intelligent. If a man were to witness a fire and proclaim, "The workings of this fire are caused by Agni, let us praise him," he would not be considered intelligent either. The capability of playing an instrument certainly does not come from being descended form Jubal because it is from skill, practice, and talent. Fires do not burn because they are willed to burn by Agni because a fire is caused by molecules and atoms vibrating. Intelligent and learned men and women will not consider these supernatural explanations as satisfactory for natural phenomena. In the ancient times, fire was a mystery. By Hinduism it is claimed that it was caused by a god. By Greek-Roman mythology, it is claimed that it was given to man by Prometheus. Other natural phenomenon, such as lighting bolts, are explained by religions, such as when the Qur'an claims that Allah is the cause of the lightning bolts. However, the truth is that lightning bolts are caused by a build up of positive and negative electrons. Science has discovered natural explanations to natural phenomena whereas religion has discovered superfluous and unfounded explanations of the supernatural to explain natural phenomena. I will choose the truth of science over the dogma of religion.

         Ignorance breeds religion. When men and women do not know what causes natural phenomena, they claim some sort of supernatural explanation. Although no intelligent man will accept literally the origins of any religious scripture, they may claim that a god is responsible for creating the Universe and our origins. To claim that god created the Universe is just one rung on the ladder lower than to claim that a god creates fire, the animals, and love, all through mythological and supernatural assertions. To claim that a god created the Universe is no explanation, certainly, just as to claim that plants growing is the workings of the god Ceres is no explanation at all. Science has discovered that plants certainly do not grow because of a mythological god. Plants grow because they get energy from the Sun and develop with that energy. Science has proved fruitful in the explanations of the Universe. There is no reason to drop science so that one may embrace unfounded theological speculation, as with theological or mythological speculation and assertion, nothing is learned. "Where did we animals come from? Where did the matter come from? Why are we here?" These are answers that only science is capable of answering. All theological efforts to explain natural existence through supernatural speculation have failed and were entirely based on the guesswork of what primitive man could not explain naturally. To quote Baron D'Holbach (1723-1789), "If the ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, the knowledge of nature is calculated to destroy them." [2] Arthur Schopenhauer was one person who was well aware of religion being an inefficient toy of cavemen to explain the origin of the Universe. To quote Schopenhauer...

    Religions are like glowworms; they shine only when it is dark. A certain amount of general ignorance is the condition of all religions, the element in which alone they can exist. And as soon as astronomy, natural science, geology, history, and knowledge of countries and peoples have spread their light broadcast, and philosophy finally is permitted to say a word, every faith founded on miracles and revelation must disappear. [3]

         One of Robert Green Ingersoll's most popular speeches was The Ghosts. In it, he talked of how ghosts and gods were used as explanations to natural phenomenon. The ghosts were used in various fields of knowledge to explain the workings of that field of knowledge. To quote Ingersoll in the speech...

    From these ghosts, our fathers received information. They were the schoolmasters of our ancestors. They were the scientists and philosophers, the geologists, legislators, astronomers, physicians, metaphysicians and historians of the past. For ages these ghosts were supposed to be the only source of real knowledge. They inspired men to write books, and the books were considered sacred. If facts were found to be inconsistent with these books, so much the worse for the facts, and especially for their discoverers. It was then, and still is, believed that these books are the basis of the idea of immortality; that to give up these volumes, or rather the idea that they are inspired, is to renounce the idea of immortality. [4]

    "Let the ghosts go. We will worship them no more. Let them cover their eyeless sockets with their fleshless hands and fade forever from the imaginations of men." - Robert Green Ingersoll [5]

    Section III: The Design And Creation Of And For God

         The origin of the Universe is often attributed to the existence of a god or other supernatural beings. Along with the origin, many purport the design of the Universe is responsible to a deity or other supernatural being. The existence of the Universe is one part attributed to a god and the method of how it exists - its design - is another part attributed to a god. The design and creation of the world are commonly purported reasons to the existence of god. The Deist Ethan Allen (1738-1789) puts it quite eloquently in his book...

    We know that earth, water, fire and air, in their various compositions subserve us, and we also know that these elements are devoid of reflection, reason, or design; from whence we may easily infer, that a wise, understanding, and designing being has ordained them to be thus subservient. Could blind chance constitute order and decorum, and consequently a providence? That wisdom, order, and design should be the production of nonentity, or of chaos, confusion, and old night, is too absurd to deserve a serious confutation, for it supposeth that there may be effects without a cause, viz. produced by nonentity, or that chaos and confusion could produce the effects of power, wisdom, and goodness. Such absurdities as these we must assent to, or subscribe to the doctrine of a self-existent and providential being. [6]

         Despite the fact that Ethan Allen was in err when he believed that matter was in the composition of earth, water, fire, and air, he makes his point clear: the matter in this Universe exists and for matter to exist, it needs a creator. He then associates design with matter by stating that matter can form wisdom, order, and design. If there was not a god, he states, then there would be nothing but "the production of nonentity, or of chaos, confusion, and old night." Allow me to simplify the first proof for god: that the existence of matter indicates a creator of it...

    Premise One: Everything that exists needs a creator.
    Premise Two: Matter exists.
    Conclusion: Therefore, god created matter.

         On the first premise, it claims that everything that exists needs a creator. If that is true, then what conceivable being could have created god? Certainly, whereas I am left to explain the origin of this tangible and natural Universe, the Theist is left to explain the origin of a god who may create a slew of Universes at the whim of his will! What is more probable? A simple Universe constituted of natural and explainable matter, or an infinitely complex god constituted of supernatural and unexplainable matter? If I were to pick what is more likely to exist, then certainly I would assume that it is more likely for there to be a natural and explainable Universe than this unexplainable and supernatural god. The error with claiming that god is responsible for creating the Universe is that it creates a larger hole than it intended to fill: in explaining the origin and workings of the Universe, it holds no explanation for itself. To quote Percy Bysshe Shelley, "It is easier to suppose that the universe has existed from all eternity than to conceive of a Being beyond its limits capable of creating ." [7] I have two questions. First, who created god? Second, why may not this explanation be held to the existence of the Universe?

         There will be those who argue that god has always existed for eternity. However, that answers nothing, as I could place the same explanation to the origin and existence of the Universe. The first premise of the creation argument is that everything that exists needs a creator. There may be those testimonies that claim, "I cannot conceive that this world is without a creator or author," but these bother me little. It is simply a confession of ignorance. If it happens that the world is without a creator or author, would that go so far as to be disregarded by the believer and would they continue to believe in a god despite lack of evidence? Possibly so, but it is all a question of how open minded the individual is. The fact of the matter is, if someone is incapable of believing this Universe exists without a god, then how intelligible would be the idea that this god who is infinitely beyond the Universe can exist without being created? Quite unintelligible.

         There is the more common and more popular explanation of god by stating god had created himself. The ancient myth of the Sun god Ra goes to say that Ra was a dung beetle who rolled himself (as dung beetles reproduce by a mother dung beetle rolling her eggs in a dung ball). However, this explanation for a god falls victim to numerous problems. Have you ever witnessed abstruse creatures appearing from nowhere and then after interrogating them, they claimed to have created themselves? I seriously doubt that anyone can lay claim to such phenomenon. To create something is an action and before any action is committed by any entity, this entity must first exist. A god cannot create himself, as to create anything the god must already be in existence, and if the god were to create himself it would mean that he was not in existence to create, and therefore could not create himself. A similar analogy can be brought between a person and their car. If you wish to get to your car, would you drive your car to your car? You could not, as you would not have your car. Before you could drive, you would need to be at your car, and say that you drove to your car would imply that you did not have your car (as you drove to your car), and therefore you could not drive to your car. Similarly, could someone exist to create themselves, by creating themselves? Certainly not.

         There is one last argument that claims a god can exist independent of other gods yet a Universe can only exist as dependent upon a god - or that god doesn't need a creator and the Universe does -, but this is through an illogical course of reasoning. This argument goes so far as to say that god has created the laws of logic and therefore he may break these laws of logic as well. However, I believe this argument is reserved for the mentally inept, as many of the people who purport this argument know nothing on the workings of logic or mechanics in this Universe. At the National Academy of Science, 95% of the biologists, 90% of the scientists, and 85% of the mathematicians do not believe in a personal god that answers prayers. [8] Assuming that god did create the laws of logic, in no way does this entitle him to break them. Can the man who invented the guillotine go through the process of guillotining and survive? Can the man who invented the gun shoot himself in the head and survive? If not, why may not a god create the laws of logic without thus killing himself in the process? Certainly, a god could not break the laws of logic simply because he is the creator of them. And just what would we hold the creation of these laws to be? Certainly, to create is a naturally action accountable through scientific laws. If god creates these laws of logic, is it not the usage of a law already in effect - the law of creation? Such a law may not exist today, but for a god to create the laws of science and logic is a demonstration of the currently existing laws of science and logic, and therefore it is not necessarily an original creation. The flaw remains, however: a god cannot break the laws of logic simply because he had created them, just as the man who invented the gun may not shoot himself and survive.

         One last argument offered for the idea that god existed and the Universe needed a creator is not to claim that god did something special, but to separate god from the Universe. The argument claims that god is supernatural whereas the Universe is natural and this difference is enough for god to need no creator and matter to need a creator. However, the error in this argument should be obvious: it presupposes the nature of the very thing that is in question! I could say, for example, the difference between invisible, pink unicorns (IPUs) and the Earth is that the IPU is magical and therefore could create itself and the Earth. Certainly, there could be a god who is supernatural and created the world just like there could be an invisible, pink unicorn that is magical and created the world. However, modern science is yet to come across anything that is either supernatural or magical. The difference of one being supernatural and one being natural is certainly no difference at all. A difference, yes, but not a relevant difference, nor even an evidenced or proven difference. There is no proof of a god existing because this god is supernatural. I defined the characteristic of a god in chapter one as being a supernatural being, but being supernatural does not entail in any way the lack of necessity to have a creator. The term 'supernatural' simply indicates being beyond nature.

         The existence of the Universe cannot prove the existence of a god, for such a connection would be the beginning of an infinite line of gods, all having created one another. The existence of matter, objects, and atoms is no reason to believe that it had to be created by a god or other form of supernaturality. Theism and supernatural creation, in this matter, are spawned by tradition and ignorance: people are taught to believe in the existence of supernaturality on account of the existence of the natural world, and the ignorance of the natural explanation for the natural world also spurs on religious sentiments. Supernatural phenomenon is yet to be discovered in the Universe, so to claim that god is supernatural and capable of creating himself is too much baseless guesswork. By accepting an unknown, unseen god for the existence of the Universe, then we can rest assured that the true, scientific explanation for the origin of the Universe will remain undiscovered.

         The argument from design can come in various forms, but it fails to the same error as does the argument from creation. If existence requires a creator, just like the Universe exists and many purport that god created this Universe, then god himself must have a creator. Similarly, if existence requires a designer, just like the Universe may have a particular design and many purport that god designed this Universe, then god himself must have a designer. Where this design may be found lies within many fields. Some suggest that the way life exists suggests design, but Charles Darwin has refuted that position and reasonably well. To quote him...

    The old argument of design in nature, as given by Paley, which formerly seemed to me so conclusive, fails, now that the law of natural selection has been discovered. We can no longer argue that, for instance, the beautiful hinge of a bivalve shell must have been made by an intelligent being, like the hinge of a door by a man. There seems to be no more design in the variability of organic beings and in the action of natural selection, than in the course which the wind blows. Everything in nature is a result of fixed laws. [9]

         Everything within the world of life exists through the law of Natural Selection. There is also a Teleological argument. The Teleological argument goes so far as to claim that everything wishes to obtain an end. It also fails the same flaw: those organisms which did not wish to obtain the proper ends, such as food and mating that would progress their species, perished and their genes did not survive their death. If working towards a goal is a sign or proof that there is someone who created you, and god similarly worked toward the goal and end of creating us animals, would that not stand enough as ample evidence of a god having created the god who created us? Surely, it ends up with an endless line of different gods, all responsible for creating each other that goes on indefinitely.

         The Analogical argument is another poorly construed argument for proof on the design of the Universe. It goes so far as to claim that man-made items resemble natural items. However, this is just not so. Rocks are formed by volcanoes spewing magma and the lava then hardening. Plants and animals are formed through the processes of Evolution and Natural Selection. The Sun formed by large masses of Hydrogen and Helium atoms being drawn together through the law of universal gravitation and the atoms were placed there through the Big Bang. However, a hammer is formed by a smelter having smelted a hammer, or through a modern assembly line. Books are made by trees being manufactured into paper, then printed on, and finally being glued together. Certainly, there is no correlation between these man-made objects and these naturally-made objects that would prove that there is design in nature that can be attributed to a god or any supernatural being, and even if so, it would lie open the question of who had designed god so capable of designing this Universe.

         A final argument of design goes to claim that if the Universe exists because of chance and not divinity, then the Universe could have taken on any form. The Universe, this argument claims, could be one of billions of possibilities. Perhaps instead of the Earth being the 7,926.41 miles (12,756.32 kilometers) in diameter at the Equator that it is today, it may have been 9,000 miles in diameter at the Equator. Perhaps instead of there being 24 hours in a day, there would be 28. These are all possibilities that the Universe could have taken on. This argument furthers itself by stating that simply because a possibility of the nature of the Universe is chosen, because the Universe is the way it is and not one of the billions of other possibilities it is not, there is enough proof for a divine being having intervened and designed it. The Universe could have been one of billions of things and therefore, claims this argument, and since it is one of these things, it is therefore designed. Consider this, however: if it rains, a drop of rain has the probability to land almost anywhere. Since there are so many possibilities as to where it may land, does that mean that divine intervention is necessary to direct each drop of water, since it has so many possibilities? It would be quite irrational and credulous to say so. [10]

         The design and creation arguments fail insomuch that they firstly claim that everything needs a designer or creator and then purport that god is this designer and creator of the Universe, yet it fails to analyze the error that if the Universe needs a creator, then certainly a god would need a creator or designer. Even if a god or form of supernaturality is responsible for creating or designing this Universe, there is no proof that this god is a conscious or animate being, and there is certainly no proof that this god is still alive today. The animalia of Earth could simply be an experiment by a highly advanced alien race. The error with these arguments that the Universe is proof of god is that they create a larger hole than they were initially trying to fill: if everything existent needs an explanation, and the explanation of an existent Universe is an existent god, then what explanation is there for this existent god? God may become the temporary explanation to, "Who created and designed the Universe?" But then god becomes the item of question of, "Who created and designed god?" God, being infinitely more powerful than this Universe, would also require a grand and magnificent explanation, one that has not yet been provided and one that I am sure will not come about. To claim that lightning is the result of Allah trying to smite his opponents is ignorance. Similarly, to claim that the Universe is the result of god trying to create a world is also ignorance.

    Section IV: First Cause

         There are arguments that stem from the idea that there must have been a First Cause or a beginning point in time and substance. The supposed First Cause was what started everything. It was the "first domino" in the line of dominoes that is the physical workings of the world. To quote Saint Thomas Aquinas...

    The first and more manifest way is the argument from motion. It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another, for nothing can be in motion except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is in motion; whereas a thing moves inasmuch as it is in act. For motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality... Therefore, whatever is in motion must be put in motion by another. If that by which it is put in motion be itself put in motion, then this also must needs be put in motion by another, and that by another again. But this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover, and, consequently, no other mover; seeing that subsequent movers move only inasmuch as they are put in motion by the first mover; as the staff moves only because it is put in motion by the hand. Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God. [11]

         Here is a more simplified version of the First Cause argument...

    Premise 1: Everything is caused by something.
    Premise 2: There is a First Cause not caused by something.
    Conclusion: God is that First Cause.

         The error with this should be obvious. The first and second premise so decisively contradict each other that it is a mystery that the First Cause argument was ever given any weight whatsoever. If everything is caused by something (as stated by the first premise), then the "First Cause" must have been caused by something. If not, then the necessity of a First Cause is invalid. Complete contradiction to the point of unbelievable absurdity!

         There are, however, a few arguments posed in defense of the First Cause argument. Some say that "every action, except the First Cause" needs a cause. However, the First Cause is based on every action needing a cause. If the First Cause is simply an effect that had no cause, then why should other effects need a cause? The First Cause argument is founded on the basis that everything needs a cause, thus implicating a first one. However, if a First Cause needs nothing to cause it, then certainly, nothing else will be needed to be caused. Things will just happen without cause. In a line of a dominoes, for example, one of them may fall without being pushed; therefore there cannot be a first cause, because every effect needs a cause.

         Things in this world do not move unless given power. Will a train go unless powered with energy? Will a car go unless powered with gas? Things do not simply move without cause. The "First Cause" - also known as "Unmoved Mover" or "Uncaused Cause" - is therefore a breach in the laws of physics. A First Cause would certainly be impossible, thus implicating god as impossible. However, it renders god impossible because god is claimed to be the unmoved mover, or the First Cause. If an effect may occur, it is because it is caused. No effect may occur unless with a cause. A First Cause breaks the foundation that it wishes to be founded on. It is commonly accepted knowledge that ever effect has a cause. The First Cause argument accepts this, but then destroys its foundation by claiming that there must be an effect without a cause - a First Cause - and thus contradicts the science of Cause-And-Effect. Even if a god or a form of supernaturality is the effect without a cause - the First Cause - there is still no proof that this god is necessarily conscious or alive at all.

         If a First Cause even existed, there is certainly no proof for one god of any religion reflective to be the First Cause. In fact, the First Cause is simply a First Cause and there is no proof if it is conscious, animate, and - if it was alive - if it still is alive. Certainly, the obvious and numerous contradictions of the First Cause and the countless errors, there is certainly no reason to purport that a god exists because of this poorly construed First Cause argument.

    Section V: Natural Origins

         Where, if not from divine graces, did matter and the universe originate from? Perhaps the first law of Thermodynamics may provide an answer...

    First Law Of Thermodynamics: The total energy of a system plus the surroundings is constant.

         The first law of Thermodynamics may also be interpreted as, "energy is conserved." It states that matter cannot be created or destroyed. However, Einstein's later theory of E=MC? claimed that matter could be destroyed, but if matter was destroyed it was converted into a proportional amount of energy, which could then be converted back into the same amount of matter. The basic concept of the first law of Thermodynamics is that matter cannot be created from nothing and matter cannot be destroyed into nothing. From this proven, scientific concept I believe it is reasonable to conclude that matter - the substance of the Universe and the world of nature - has always existed forever and shall continue to exist forever in one of many various forms. My conclusion is based on the fact that we know matter exists today. We also know an attribute of matter: it cannot be created or destroyed. From this conclusion, we know it was not created and we know that it cannot be destroyed. Matter, as we know it, then inherits the nature of being eternal.

         The Big Bang Theory is not a theory based on the origin of matter. The Big Bang Theory is based on how matter was spread across the Universe and how particular elements were formed. The question of "Where did matter come from?" is not what the Big Bang Theory attempts to answer (this is a common misconception of the Big Bang Theory). To quote a scientific article by Chris LaRocco and Blair Rothstein in regards to the Big Bang Theory...

    About 15 billion years ago a tremendous explosion started the expansion of the universe. This explosion is known as the Big Bang. At the point of this event all of the matter and energy of space was contained at one point. What existed prior to this event is completely unknown and is a matter of pure speculation. This occurrence was not a conventional explosion but rather an event filling all of space with all of the particles of the embryonic universe rushing away from each other. The Big Bang actually consisted of an explosion of space within itself unlike an explosion of a bomb were fragments are thrown outward. The galaxies were not all clumped together, but rather the Big Bang lay the foundations for the universe.

    The origin of the Big Bang theory can be credited to Edwin Hubble. Hubble made the observation that the universe is continuously expanding. He discovered that a galaxy's velocity is proportional to its distance. Galaxies that are twice as far from us move twice as fast. Another consequence is that the universe is expanding in every direction. This observation means that it has taken every galaxy the same amount of time to move from a common starting position to its current position. Just as the Big Bang provided for the foundation of the universe, Hubble's observations provided for the foundation of the Big Bang theory.

    Since the Big Bang, the universe has been continuously expanding and, thus, there has been more and more distance between clusters of galaxies. This phenomenon of galaxies moving farther away from each other is known as the red shift. As light from distant galaxies approach earth there is an increase of space between earth and the galaxy, which leads to wavelengths being stretched. [12]

         In regards to how matter has managed to spread itself across the universe, this is all fine and good. However, how exactly did life form? In 1952, Stanley L. Miller and Harold C. Urey, working at the University of Chicago, conducted an experiment that attempted and succeeded to reproduce the elements necessary to create life. The two scientists took a flask and reconstructed the conditions of the early Earth. When they waited a week after having added energy to the flask - which could easily have been produced on Earth through lightning or through the ultraviolet radiation of the sun -, the flask produced organic matter that was the building blocks of life. To quote Professor Fred L. Wilson at the Rochester Institute of Technology...

    H. C. Urey felt life started in Atmosphere I. In 1952, Stanley Lloyd Miller, then a graduate student in Urey's laboratories, circulated water, plus ammonia, methane and hydrogen, past an electric discharge (to simulate the ultraviolet radiation of the sun). At the end of a week, he analyzed his solution by paper chromatography and found that, in addition to the simple substances without nitrogen atoms, he also had glycine and alanine, the two simplest of the amino acids, plus some indication of one or two more complicated ones.

    Miller's experiment was significant in several ways. In the first place, these compounds had formed quickly and in surprisingly large quantities. One-sixth of the methane with which he had started had gone into the formation of more complex organic compounds; yet the experiment had only been in operation for a week.

    Then, too, the kind of organic molecules formed in Miller's experiments were just those present in living tissue. The path taken by the simple molecules, as they grew more complex, seemed pointed directly toward life. This pointing-toward-life continued consistently in later, more elaborate experiments. At no time were molecules formed in significant quantity that see to point in an unfamiliar nonlife direction. [13]

         How, though, did complex matter form into cells? Professor Wilson goes on to state proof that complex matter can form into cells.

    Of course, the step from a living molecule to the kind of life we know today is still an enormous one. Except for the viruses, all life is organized into cells; and a cell, however small it may seem by human standards, is enormously complex in its chemical structure and interrelationships. How did that start?

    The question of the origin of cells was illuminated by the researches of the American biochemist Sidney Walter Fox. It seemed to him that early Earth must have been quite hot, and that the energy of heat alone could be sufficient to form complex compounds out of simple ones. In 1958, to test this theory, Fox heated a mixture of amino acids and found they formed long chains that resembled those in protein molecules. These proteinoids were digested by enzymes that digested ordinary proteins, and could be used as food by bacteria.

    Most startling of all, when Fox dissolved the proteinoids in hot water and let the solution cool, he found they would cling together in little microspheres about the size of small bacteria. These microspheres were not alive by the usual standards but behaved as cells do, in some respects at least (they are surrounded by a kind of membrane, for instance). By adding certain chemicals to the solution, Fox could make the microspheres swell or shrink, much as ordinary cells do. They can produce buds, which sometimes seem to grow larger and then break off. Microspheres can separate, divide in two, or cling together in chains. [14]

         If animals - human and non-human - are not originated from a god's will, then where did we animals come from? I believe that the origins of cows, dogs, cats, humans, and other animals may be explained scientifically. The origin of these animals can be explained through Evolution. There are a few individuals who disbelieve in Evolution. There are Creationists who believe that the Bible should be interpreted literally as I described in section II of this chapter. I shall quote authoritative references in regards to the Evolution Theory. It is imperative to note that Evolution is based on Survival of the Fittest, or Natural Selection. To quote Charles Darwin...

    Can it, then, be thought improbable, seeing that variations useful to man have undoubtedly occurred, that other variations useful in some way to each being in the great and complex battle of life, should occur in the course of many successive generations? If such do occur, can we doubt (remembering that many more individuals are born than can possibly survive) that individuals having any advantage, however slight, over others, would have the best chance of surviving and of procreating their kind? On the other hand, we may feel sure that any variation in the least degree injurious would be rigidly destroyed. This preservation of favourable individual differences and variations, and the destruction of those which are injurious, I have called Natural Selection, or the Survival of the Fittest. Variations neither useful nor injurious would not be affected by natural selection, and would be left either a fluctuating element, as perhaps we see in certain polymorphic species, or would ultimately become fixed, owing to the nature of the organism and the nature of the conditions. [15]

         The point of Natural Selection that Charles Darwin was trying to make plainly clear was that organisms that have advantages fit to their environment will most likely live longer than the organisms lacking those advantages. Similarly, organisms with disadvantages of their environment will most likely live shorter than the organisms who are not disadvantaged. From the analysis of the longevity of life based on advantages and disadvantages of the body, it is conclusive that if the probability of mating and how many offspring one has is based on time, then those who live longer will have more offspring; thus meaning that the newer generation will be outfitted with those advantageous characteristics. The more offspring, the more they will live and the longer they will survive, until there are battles over resources and then organisms will fight each other for these resources. Through this process of Natural Selection, of the fit surviving over the unfit, we come to Evolution, which is the history of the process of Natural Selection.

         However, as one species or race changes to become fit to its environment, it may take on entirely new characteristics. If an environment, for example, has a food source located deep inside the trunks of trees, then the birds that have long, tough beaks will survive as they can dig deep into trees and get food; whereas the birds that have short, weak beaks will be unable to get the food and they will die and be unable to reproduce. (In fact, Charles Darwin made similar notes on the variations of birds when he traveled to the Galapagos Islands.) As organisms evolve and change over the millenniums, sometimes an organ of their previous species will be left intact and untouched. These organs and biological tissues are known as vestiges, sometimes called rudimentary conditions, rudimentary organs, or vestigial organs. For example, if there is a bird that flies in the air and eats flying beetles and the food source of the beetles becomes extinct, then the birds will need to find a new method of getting a food source. They will evolve. If this bird starts eating fish in shallow streams and through Natural Selection gains a better beak for catching fish, then that would be an example of Evolution. However, if the bird retained its wings - which it would have no use for since its prey before flew in the air whereas now it swims in the water - then the wings could count as a vestige, or a vestigial organ. There is, however, the possibly that the wings would aid in escaping predators, but I am excluding that possibility for the sake of establishing an example. To quote Charles Robert Darwin, "Organs or parts in this strange condition, bearing the plain stamp of inutility, are extremely common, or even general, throughout nature. It would be impossible to name one of the higher animals in which some part or other is not in a rudimentary condition." [16] In regards to these vestigial organs, he has also noted some of their existence...

    In the mammalia, for instance, the males possess rudimentary mammae; in snakes one lobe of the lungs is rudimentary; in birds the "bastardwing" may safely be considered as a rudimentary digit, and in some species the whole wing is so far rudimentary that it cannot be used for flight. What can be more curious than the presence of teeth in foetal whales, which when grown up have not a tooth in their heads; or the teeth, which never cut through the gums, in the upper jaws of unborn calves? [17]

         The book On the Origin of the Species through Natural Selection (1859) by Charles Darwin was full of an endless amount of evidence in regards to proof of Evolution. This proof can certainly be found in the amount of vestiges found in nature. To quote Darwin...

    Rudimentary organs plainly declare their origin and meaning in various ways. There are beetles belonging to closely allied species, or even to the same identical species, which have either full-sized and perfect wings, or mere rudiments of membrane, which not rarely lie under wing-covers firmly soldered together; and in these cases it is impossible to doubt, that the rudiments represent wings. Rudimentary organs sometimes retain their potentiality: this occasionally occurs with the mammae of male mammals, which have been known to become well developed and to secrete milk. So again in the udders in the genus Bos, there are normally four developed and two rudimentary teats; but the latter in our domestic cows sometimes become well developed and yield milk. In regard to plants the petals are sometimes rudimentary, and sometimes well-developed in the individuals of the same species. In certain plants having separated sexes Kolreuter found that by crossing a species, in which the male flowers included a rudiment of a pistil, with an hermaphrodite species, having of course a well-developed pistil, the rudiment in the hybrid offspring was much increased in size; and this clearly shows that the rudimentary and perfect pistils are essentially alike in nature. An animal may possess various parts in a perfect state, and yet they may in one sense be rudimentary, for they are useless: thus the tadpole of the common salamander or water-newt, as Mr. G. H. Lewes remarks, "has gills, and passes its existence in the water; but the Salamandra atra, which lives high up among the mountains, brings forth its young full-formed. This animal never lives in the water. Yet if we open a gravid female, we find tadpoles inside her with exquisitely feathered gills; and when placed in water they swim about like the tadpoles of the water-newt. Obviously this aquatic organisation has no reference to the future life of the animal, nor has it any adaptation to its embryonic condition; it has solely reference to ancestral adaptations, it repeats a phase in the development of its progenitors." [18]

         Some may argue, however, that we as humans have no true rights over animals now. Instead of being god's chosen beings - us having been made in his image - we are now animals equal to other animals. They may even argue further that humans are equal to plants, but I hardly find this acceptable: a dividing line between animals and plants is that animals are sentient beings capable of feeling suffering and joy, desire and pain. A religionist may argue that it was the fact that humans are spiritual and other animals are not that separates us, but clearly this is more of a reason why non-human animals are more advanced in this area. There will be those who claim that it since there is no god, that all animalia are equal. However, I shall answer: it is correct that all animalia ought to have equal consideration of their rights; regardless if a god does exist or not.

         Matter has always existed, as far as science can tell us. The placement, location, and future destination of this matter can be known through the Big Bang Theory with its many evidences. The rising of life can be detected and known through the many experiments conducted by scientists, such as Urey, Miller, and Fox. The origin of organic matter used by life was existent on Earth in its beginning phases and this has been proven. The development of complex material to life occurred through extreme heat which causes this organic matter to bind together, almost forming cells. This life divides, reproduces, reacts to their environment, obtains energy and uses energy, and is composed of a cell or cells. The life forms evolve and adapt to their environment through Natural Selection and mutations which give them advantageous benefits (while those who have disadvantageous traits died and did not reproduce). Through the lines of rudimentary and vestigial organs, we can trace the line from where animals have come from; we have evolved from these lower life forms. Through these clear demonstrations, it is obvious that we can only know truth through science and not religion. Our origins were discovered by a scientific laboratory, not a religious church, mosque, or temple.

    Section VI: Conclusion

         We - as animals, not humans, nor as whites or blacks, or males or females, but as animals - must conclude that these divine methods for explaining our origins are completely inadequate. When early man decided that woman came from his rib bone, that light and darkness were formed by Allah, that fire is the result of the god Agni, or that the god Apollo is responsible for pulling the Sun across the sky, these men were dogmatic and could not explain the natural world with natural explanations. Man was incapable of explaining natural phenomena then through natural explanations, and therefore explained it through supernatural explanations. Certainly, however, today we may explain the origin and the scientific workings of the Universe through natural methods and there is no need for a god or a supernatural entity whatsoever. Science has been conclusive and provable in demonstrating the origin and distribution of matter, as well as the origin and distribution of life. John Burroughs (1837-1921) puts it quite clearly when he states, "If we take science as our sole guide, if we accept and hold fast that alone which is verifiable, the old theology must go." [19] Another impressive quote by Burroughs is the following, "Science has done more for the development of Western civilization in 100 years than Christianity did in 1,800 years." [20] Robert Green Ingersoll speaks with triumph and glory when he addresses the Brooklyn ministers!

    Only a few years ago science was superstition's hired man. The scientific men apologized for every fact they happened to find. With hat in hand they begged pardon of the parson for finding a fossil, and asked the forgiveness of God for making any discovery in nature. At that time every scientific discovery was something to be pardoned. Moses was authority in geology, and Joshua was considered the first astronomer of the world. Now everything has changed, and everybody knows it except the clergy. Now religion is taking off its hat to science. Religion is finding out new meanings for old texts. We are told that God spoke in the language of the common people; that he was not teaching any science; that he allowed his children not only to remain in error, but kept them there. It is now admitted that the Bible is no authority on any question of natural fact; it is inspired only in morality, in a spiritual way. All, except the Brooklyn ministers, see that the Bible has ceased to be regarded as authority. Nobody appeals to a passage to settle a dispute of fact. The most intellectual men of the world laugh at the idea of inspiration. Men of the greatest reputations hold all supernaturalism in contempt. Millions of people are reading the opinions of men who combat and deny the foundation of orthodox Christianity. Humboldt stands higher than all the apostles. Darwin has done more to change human thought than all the priests who have existed. Where there was one infidel twenty-five years ago, there are one hundred now. I can remember when I would be the only infidel in the town. Now I meet them thick as autumn leaves; they are everywhere. In all the professions, trades, and employments, the orthodox creeds are despised. They are not simply disbelieved; they are execrated. They are regarded, not with indifference, but with passionate hatred. Thousands and hundreds of thousands of mechanics in this country abhor orthodox Christianity. Millions of educated men hold in immeasurable contempt the doctrine of eternal punishment. The doctrine of atonement is regarded as absurd by millions. So with the dogma of imputed guilt, vicarious virtue. and vicarious vice.


    I see that the Rev. Dr. Eddy advises ministers not to answer the arguments of infidels in the pulpit, and gives this wonderful reason: That the hearers will get more doubts from the answer than from reading the original arguments. So the Rev. Dr. Hawkins admits that he cannot defend Christianity from infidel attacks without creating more infidelity. So the Rev. Dr. Haynes admits that he cannot answer the theories of Robertson Smith in popular addresses. The only minister who feels absolutely safe on this subject, so far as his congregation is concerned, seems to be the Rev. Joseph Pullman. He declares that the young people in his church don't know enough to have intelligent doubts, and that the old people are substantially in the same condition. Mr. Pullman feels that he is behind a breastwork so strong that other defence is unnecessary. So the Rev. Mr. Foote thinks that infidelity should never be refuted in the pulpit. I admit that it never has been successfully done, but I did not suppose so many ministers admitted the impossibility. Mr. Foote is opposed to all public discussion. Dr. Wells tells us that scientific atheism should be ignored; that it should not be spoken of in the pulpit. The Rev, Dr. Van Dyke has the same feeling of security enjoyed by Dr. Pullman, and he declares that the great majority of the Christian people of to-day know nothing about current infidel theories. His idea is to let them remain in ignorance; that it would be dangerous for the Christian minister even to state the position of the infidel; that, after stating it, he might not, even with the help of God, successfully combat the theory. These ministers do not agree. Dr. Carpenter accounts for infidelity by nicotine in the blood. It is all smoke, He thinks the blood of the human family has deteriorated. He thinks that the church is safe because the Christians read. He differs with his brothers Pullman and Van Dyke. So the Rev. George E. Reed believes that infidelity should be discussed in the pulpit. He has more confidence in his general and in the weapons of his warfare than some of his brethren. His confidence may arise from the fact that he has never had a discussion. The Rev. Dr. McClelland thinks the remedy is to stick by the catechism; that there is not now enough of authority; not enough of the brute force; thinks that the family, the church, and the state ought to use the rod; that the rod is the salvation of the world; that the rod is a divine institution; that fathers ought to have it for their children; that mothers ought to use it.


    This is a part of the religion of universal love. The man who cannot raise children without whipping them ought not to have them. The man who would mar the flesh of a boy or girl is unfit to have the control of a human being. The father who keeps a rod in his house keeps a relic of barbarism in his heart. There is nothing reformatory in punishment; nothing reformatory in fear. Kindness, guided by intelligence, is me only reforming force. An appeal to brute force is an abandonment of love and reason, and puts father and child upon a savage equality; the savageness in the heart of the father prompting the use of the rod or club, produces a like savageness in the victim. The old idea that a child's spirit must be broken is infamous. All this is passing away, however, with orthodox Christianity. That children are treated better than formerly shows conclusively the increase of what is called infidelity. Infidelity has always been a protest against tyranny in the state, against intolerance in the church, against barbarism in the family. It has always been an appeal for light, for justice, for universal kindness and tenderness. [21]

         In regards to the scientific evidence I gave to Natural Origins, it is best to note that I gave only an iota of all the science in the field of cosmology, Evolution, and the other various fields of information. I only gave what was necessary. Had I listed every available evidence in regards to Evolution, it would take up hundreds of endless pages. However, to those who are genuinely interested in Evolution, I have provided a suggested reading list at the end of this chapter.

         The concept of design and creation through a god or supernatural entity is ridiculous and unfounded. They are first based on the necessity of being created or designed, but then claim that god is uncreated or undesigned. Contradictions galore rest within the theology that claims a god is known by the existence of matter, or the design of that matter. The First Cause argument fails from the same error. It is firstly based on the necessity of causes and effects claiming that every effect has a cause, but a First Cause does not. It creates contradictions and discrepancies that are irreconcilable with rational reasoning and logic.

         There is no reason to assume that there are supernatural causes to natural events, and certainly no reason to assume we exist because a supernatural deity created us. We can explain our own origins naturally and logically. To invoke a god is to invoke superstition, and superstition certainly holds no truth or validity. As a scientist, a philosopher, and an animal who agrees with logic and reason, I find no reason whatsoever to claim god is responsible for the existence of this Universe. It is dogmatic to make such assertions of a god.

    "Give me the storm and tempest of thought and action, rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith!" - Robert Green Ingersoll [22]


    1. The scripture I received these Vedic answers in is the Rig Veda, translated by Michael Myers. However, I am sure that there are many who will disagree with my interpretation of the Rig Veda. The error is that the contradictions and the discrepancies of this religious book are overflowing. It states clearly that Agni creates fire, but then it later says that Indra creates the fire between two stones. It also states that from the sacrifice of Purusa came air, but then later states that Purusa created air from his nostrils. I interpreted it as best as I could.
    2. The System of Nature, by Baron D'Holbach, page 49.
    3. "Religion -- A Dialogue," reprinted in The Works of Schopenhauer, edited by Will Durant (New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing, 1955), page 485.
    4. The Ghosts, by Robert Green Ingersoll, 1877
    5. Ibidem
    6. Reason: The Only Oracle Of Man, Chapter 1, Section 2, by Ethan Allen, 1852.
    7. Percy Bysshe Shelley, Shelley's Notes to Queen Mab.
    8. Scientific American, "Scientists and Religion in America," by Edward J Larson and Larry Witham, September 1999 edition, page 89.
    9. The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, by Charles Darwin, Edited by Nora Barlow, page 87, Section: "Religious Belief" (Norton & Company: New York and London, 1959).
    10. Argument from: Atheism: The Case Against God, chapter 10, section III, page 271, by George H. Smith (Prometheus Books, New York: 1989).
    11. Summa Theologica, by Saint Thomas Aquinas, First Part, Q. 2, A. 3.
    12. The Big Bang: It sure was BIG!!, by Chris LaRocco and Blair Rothstein. Original Resources: Galaxies and Quasars, by William Kaufmann J. III. San Fransisco: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1979. A Short History of the Universe, by Joseph Silk. New York: Scientific American Library, 1994. When the Clock Struck Zero, by John Taylor. New York: St. Martins Press, 1993. The Birth of the Universe: The Big Bang and After, by Xuan Thuan Trinh. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1993. Also, NASA online.
    13. The History of Science, 17. ("Biology and the Origin of Life"), section: "Chemical Evolution," by Professor Fred L. Wilson at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
    14. The History of Science, 17. ("Biology and the Origin of Life"), section: "The First Cells," by Professor Fred L. Wilson at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
    15. The Origin of the Species through Natural Selection, chapter 4, first paragraph, by Charles Robert Darwin.
    16. The Origin of the Species through Natural Selection, chapter 14, section: "Rudimentary, Atrophied, and Aborted Organs", first paragraph, by Charles Robert Darwin.
    17. Ibidem
    18. The Origin of the Species through Natural Selection, chapter 14, section: "Rudimentary, Atrophied, and Aborted Organs", second paragraph, by Charles Robert Darwin.
    19. The Light of Day, by John Burroughs, 1900.
    20. Ibidem
    21. The Brooklyn Divines, by Robert Green Ingersoll, 1883.
    22. The Gods, by Robert Green Ingersoll, 1872.

    Suggested Reading For Evolution

    On the Origin of the Species through Natural Selection, by Charles Darwin.

    The Descent of Man, by Charles Darwin.

    One Long Argument: Charles Darwin and the Genesis of Modern Evolutionary Thought, by Ernst Mayr.

    Charles Darwin: A New Life, by John Bowlby.

    The Darwin Reader (2nd. Edition), by Mark Ridley, Ed.

    Darwin, Adrian Desmond and James Moore.

    Evolution: The History of an Idea, by Peter J. Bowler

    On the Law that has Regulated the Introduction of New Species, by Alfred Wallace Russel.

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