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Thread: The purpose of life and evolution

  1. #1 The purpose of life and evolution 
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    Is the purpose of life and evolution just to produce life in many forms,
    or to ultimately produce intelligent life forms that can manipulate
    the genetic code, and manipulate evolution at will.
    nokton.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Life and evolution have no purpose. They just are.


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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Life and evolution have no purpose. They just are.
    That seems so sad for some reason.
    "the cake is not a lie, you just won't get any" - girl on the next floor
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    Thanx for that Argon, to deny life and evolution a purpose, is to deny any concept
    of anything not yet understood. So much for the scientific mind of some.
    And you, Skeptic, to come out with such a statement, in mind of your qualifications,
    beggars belief. Isn't progress in science all about exploring everything with an open
    mind? With respect, do you think that ideas presently beyond your comprehension
    have no validity?
    nokton.
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  6. #5  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    on the other hand, what tells you that there is a need for life and evolution to have a purpose ?
    just because you really, really want something to be true doesn't make it so
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Thanx for that Argon, to deny life and evolution a purpose, is to deny any concept
    of anything not yet understood. So much for the scientific mind of some.
    OK. Let me rephrase skeptic's answer:
    Life and evolution have no purpose. They just are. As far as we know.
    Better?
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    Hi marnix, thanx. If I may, I just don't want anything to be true, just want the truth.
    The reason I claim life has a purpose is based upon evolution. There is a drive for
    better adaptation to all and any circumstance, that drive interests me, marnix.
    It is driven, not by mere chance, but by something I have yet to understand.
    I would not presume to comprehend it fully, but begin to grasp the concept of it.
    I can say this, in all honesty, having touched it, I am afraid.
    Thanx your response.
    nokton.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Thanx for that Argon, to deny life and evolution a purpose, is to deny any concept
    of anything not yet understood. So much for the scientific mind of some.
    OK. Let me rephrase skeptic's answer:
    Life and evolution have no purpose. They just are. As far as we know.
    Better?
    Thanx Strange, much better.
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  10. #9  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    The reason I claim life has a purpose is based upon evolution. There is a drive for
    better adaptation to all and any circumstance, that drive interests me, marnix.
    on the other hand, current understanding of evolution is based on the concept of natural selection, which does not contain any "drives", only trial and error, with improvement coming from the pruning of the unfit - presumably this is one of the reasons why so many people feel uneasy about evolution, because it doesn't require or depend on a guiding hand
    Paleoichneum likes this.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Hi marnix, thanx. If I may, I just don't want anything to be true, just want the truth.
    Then why are you inventing arbitrary extensions to evolution with no evidence?

    The reason I claim life has a purpose is based upon evolution.
    Not evolution as understood by science.

    There is a drive for
    better adaptation to all and any circumstance, that drive interests me, marnix.
    There is no "drive" (as far as we know - there is certainly zero evidence for any such thing). It happens as an inevitable result of population diversity and natural selection. It can't help it.

    It is driven, not by mere chance, but by something I have yet to understand.
    I would not presume to comprehend it fully
    , but begin to grasp the concept of it.
    Would that be because you have no evidence?

    I can say this, in all honesty, having touched it, I am afraid.
    Maybe you had better leave those particular fantasies alone then.
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    Hi Strange, you are a sophisticated rhetorician, but your comments betray your intelligence.
    Your convoluted post only serves to tell me that you do not understand the question.
    nokton.
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  13. #12  
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    Thank you. That is very sweet of you.
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    Claiming that life and evolution have a purpose is just wrong.
    However, humans are probably the smartest of all animals. We are highly creative, and have constructed wonderful things, ranging from works of art, to science, to technology, to architecture etc.

    Why can we not simply say that the purpose we live by is something else for us to create? Perhaps we can come up with something truly beautiful.
    Strange likes this.
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    Maybe the purpose of life is to acquire the ability to evolve by means other than natural selection. That'd keep everyone happy, wouldn't it?
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    To claim that evolution and life in general have some absolute, over-arching, purpose implies that someone or something designed it for that purpose. All the evidence suggests that this is not the case, in all likeliness life and evolution were just beautiful freaks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Thank you. That is very sweet of you.
    Strange, I am not in contest with you, rather desire to converse with you.
    My post was not a mere question, but an evaluation leading to a concept.
    That evaluation has taken years of dedicated study. Can your goodself, or
    any other, explain the sudden explosion and diversity of life in the Cambrian
    for example? Evolution progresses in fits and starts, it is not a gradual developement.
    But, my point was, and is, what is driving it? And, after every mass extinction,
    why does life and evolution not return to square one? It doesn't.It just gets better
    in form and adaptation.
    Hope we can find a common ground on this.
    nokton.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Claiming that life and evolution have a purpose is just wrong.
    However, humans are probably the smartest of all animals. We are highly creative, and have constructed wonderful things, ranging from works of art, to science, to technology, to architecture etc.

    Why can we not simply say that the purpose we live by is something else for us to create? Perhaps we can come up with something truly beautiful.
    Oh my Skeptic, did the creation of the universe have a purpose, think on it. There is much we do not
    know, or even begin to understand, a little humility would seem appropriate.
    nokton.
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmboy View Post
    To claim that evolution and life in general have some absolute, over-arching, purpose implies that someone or something designed it for that purpose. All the evidence suggests that this is not the case, in all likeliness life and evolution were just beautiful freaks.
    You just dont get the concept, do you. There is no someone or something, and to suggest that life and evolution is
    a freak betrays your grasp of a fundamental appreciation of the question posed.
    nokton.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    You just dont get the concept, do you. There is no someone or something, and to suggest that life and evolution is
    a freak betrays your grasp of a fundamental appreciation of the question posed.
    nokton.
    Well I agree there is no someone or something, that is why the whole idea of purpose makes little sense. When you say that something has a 'purpose' that implies it was created with a specific intention, which implies that someone or something must have given it that purpose.

    And with regards to my appreciation of the question you asked and my understanding of it, you said...

    ''Is the purpose of life and evolution just to produce life in many forms, or to ultimately produce intelligent life forms that can manipulate the genetic code, and manipulate evolution at will.''

    ..and the answer is that life probably has no purpose. Evolution is certainly a powerful force but it has no intentions. Like the evolutionary process in the first place intelligent life is most probably just a fluke of maths.
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    Have you come across the big squeeze conjecture? Imagine all the physical processes of the universe as an enormous symphonic fart, then the process of evolution by natural selection is a turtle-head emerging blinkingly in the midst of it all.

    The purpose of life is to ride the turtle.
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  22. #21  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMR80606 View Post
    The purpose of life is to ride the turtle.
    what's in it for the turtle ? what's his purpose ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    he just wants to be left alone for a period of quiet introspection and soul-searching.
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Can your goodself, or
    any other, explain the sudden explosion and diversity of life in the Cambrian
    for example?
    I am gonna disillusion you, Nokton. It was oxygen.

    The explosion of life followed the first time the Earth had an appreciable amount of oxygen in its atmosphere. Before that, for about a billion years, cyanobacteria were making oxygen, which was converted by the iron in Earth into iron oxide. This iron oxide is still there, in rock strata, showing this process had occurred. However, with all the iron taking up oxygen, there was essentially almost none left for aerobic life. Then the time came when all the surface iron had reacted with oxygen, and the oxygen then released went into the air, finally providing enough oxygen for aerobic life. At that point, the Cambrian eruption occurred.
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  25. #24  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Actually the life was already there, the "explosion" is due to the increase in usages of minerals like aragonite and calcite in animal bodies. And "explosion" is a bit of a misnomer considering it to took place over about 80 million years.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    My post was not a mere question, but an evaluation leading to a concept.
    But you have no evidence for that concept.

    Can your goodself, or
    any other, explain the sudden explosion and diversity of life in the Cambrian
    for example?
    Evolution. Rapid evolution brought on be ecological change (i.e. an increase in selection pressure). Clearly, there is a lot more to it, but there probably isn't room here for all of it.

    Evolution progresses in fits and starts, it is not a gradual developement.
    Yep.

    But, my point was, and is, what is driving it?
    Population diversity, natural selection and, occasionally, mutation (although that is really just part of diversity).

    And, after every mass extinction,
    why does life and evolution not return to square one?
    Because not all life is destroyed. It is just a "bottleneck".

    It doesn't.It just gets better
    in form and adaptation.
    I would argue with "better"; unless by "better" you mean "adapts to its environment".

    Hope we can find a common ground on this.
    Who knows.
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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Oh my Skeptic, did the creation of the universe have a purpose, think on it.
    Nope.

    SND(1): not as far as we know, there is no evidence of it.

    (1) Special Nokton Disclaimer
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Can your goodself, or
    any other, explain the sudden explosion and diversity of life in the Cambrian
    for example?
    I am gonna disillusion you, Nokton. It was oxygen.

    The explosion of life followed the first time the Earth had an appreciable amount of oxygen in its atmosphere. Before that, for about a billion years, cyanobacteria were making oxygen, which was converted by the iron in Earth into iron oxide. This iron oxide is still there, in rock strata, showing this process had occurred. However, with all the iron taking up oxygen, there was essentially almost none left for aerobic life. Then the time came when all the surface iron had reacted with oxygen, and the oxygen then released went into the air, finally providing enough oxygen for aerobic life. At that point, the Cambrian eruption occurred.
    .

    Hi Skeptic, thanx you post.
    Then what about the Cretaceous period, when flowering plants emerged, and insects began a sybiosis with
    them and the dinosaurs evolved more complex forms, all though some returned to the sea as plesiosaurs
    in the Mesozoic era. Just a point my friend, thought it was alge that first produced oxygen on this planet,
    if I am wrong, I stand to be corrected.
    nokton.
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  29. #28  
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    Insects already had a symbiosis with plants, many of the Carboniferous and early Mesozoic insects such as Mecopterans were adapted to feed and pollinate on the pollen cones of Gymnosperms, the advent of angiosperms resulted in a shift and continuation of the same.


    What about the dinosaurs, they formed a number of different forms, yes, but by the middle of the Cretaceous the overall number of genera and species were notably declining. oh by the way Plesiosarus' are not actually part of the Dinosauria clade, but belong to the Superorder Sauropterygia, which is in a different branch of the Diapsids.

    it was bacterial mats and other stromatolite producing organisms which contributed much of the early oxygen to the atmosphere.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Just a point my friend, thought it was alge that first produced oxygen on this planet, if I am wrong, I stand to be corrected.
    nokton.
    in the vernacular cyanobacteria may be called blue-green algae, but they're still bacteria, and in no way related to algae as in sea weed
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  31. #30  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Insects already had a symbiosis with plants, many of the Carboniferous and early Mesozoic insects such as Mecopterans were adapted to feed and pollinate on the pollen cones of Gymnosperms, the advent of angiosperms resulted in a shift and continuation of the same.


    What about the dinosaurs, they formed a number of different forms, yes, but by the middle of the Cretaceous the overall number of genera and species were notably declining. oh by the way Plesiosarus' are not actually part of the Dinosauria clade, but belong to the Superorder Sauropterygia, which is in a different branch of the Diapsids.

    it was bacterial mats and other stromatolite producing organisms which contributed much of the early oxygen to the atmosphere.
    Thanx for the insight Paleo, appreciate.
    nokton.
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    the purpose of life is to live.

    does that purpose have a purpose?
    no.
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    Quote Originally Posted by granpa View Post
    the purpose of life is to live.

    does that purpose have a purpose?
    no.
    Hi granpa, how can you be so arrogent as to know the meaning or understandiong
    of the question, it is clear, with respect, you understand nothing of both the
    question, nor the concept of the thinking that poses the question.
    Demonstrate to me that life has no purpose.
    Indulge me, please,
    nokton.
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  34. #33  
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Hi granpa, how can you be so arrogent as to know the meaning or understandiong
    of the question, it is clear, with respect, you understand nothing of both the
    question, nor the concept of the thinking that poses the question.
    This is the second time you have accused someone of not understanding your question. Perhaps you should phrase the question more carefully so that everyone can understand it. The question, as phrased, is about the purpose of life and evolution. These have no inherent purpose; purpose is something that we invent. Pick your own.
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  35. #34  
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by granpa View Post
    the purpose of life is to live.

    does that purpose have a purpose?
    no.
    Hi granpa, how can you be so arrogent as to know the meaning or understandiong
    of the question, it is clear, with respect, you understand nothing of both the
    question, nor the concept of the thinking that poses the question.
    Demonstrate to me that life has no purpose.
    Indulge me, please,
    nokton.
    I very clearly stated that the purpose of life is to live.
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    Meaning is the real elephant in the room. Without it, things don't seem to matter, with it, they matter too much!
    Why did God give me nipples?
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