Posts Tagged ‘ Science and Evolution ’

Why Do We Believe In God?

Theory of Mind

This is the capacity of a human mind to figure out how another organism thinks or feels. It’s not mind-reading, per se, but a set of accurate assumptions about the cognition of another being. Our mind achieves this by generating a secondary mind and associating it with the person we’re concerned with. And whatever thought processes are carried out by the secondary mind, we assume that they are the thoughts of the person in front of us. This is how we are able to tell if another person is feeling angry, or sad, or bored etc.

The problem is that sometimes, our mind tends to apply the theory of mind on non-living, inanimate objects and forces, and treats them as living beings who can think and feel different things. An example is a guy who’s computer hangs up, and in anger, he strikes the keyboard or starts clicking furiously. The guy knows that doing this won’t make the problem disappear, but his mind has tricked him into temporarily believing that the computer is a living being that is trying to mock or deliberately annoy its user.

Just like that, when we see powerful acts being carried out by insensible forces of nature, like earthquakes, or lethal diseases resolving by themselves, we generate a “mind” for these forces as well. We think that nature is angry at us and that’s why its sending down earthquakes. We think that nature is happy with the way we have behaved and is blessing us by curing our diseases. We call this self-generated secondary mind “God”. Continue reading

A Brief History of Everything

The Big Bang: About 13.75 billion years ago, the vast oceans of space and time were all condensed into something believed to be the size of a pinhead. Though the scientists have plentiful evidence to support the Big Bang theory, the origin of it is still shrouded in mystery.

Inflation: The universe began to expand at an exponential rate, driven by negative-pressure.of the vacuum in space. As it expanded, it began to cool as the energy was thinned out.

Earth forms: From a gigantic molecular cloud forming a protoplanetary plate, a red-hot blob appeared 4.54 billion years ago, a baby later to be called “Earth”.

Asteroid hits the Earth: A gigantic asteroid strikes the infant, tilting its axis by 23.5 degrees.This tilt is crucial to our planet because it is what grants us our different seasons.

Abiogenesis: About 3.5 billion years ago, life began from what’s referred to as the “primordial soup”. Life, in scientific terms, is defined as a piece of information capable of maintaining its own progeny through self-replication. The primordial replicator is believed to be a crude form of RNA (a bit like DNA, but simpler), which originated from clay crystals.

Bacteria develop: The new DNA acquires a wall of fatty acids and other cell-components to form a bacterium, the simplest organism known to man.

Evolution: A fascinating journey which led to the existence of the vast number of living species we see in the world today. The bacteria evolved into tiny underwater creatures, who evolved to fish, then ambhibians, land animals, and finally, primates.

Anthropogenesis: From Australopithicines, the genus “Homo” began to branch out about 2.4 million years ago. The other branch led to chimpanzees (who are now our cousins in the ancestral tree, with their DNA varying from our own by only 2.5%). The Homos evolved further into what we are today, the Homo Sapiens.

What it Means to be a Homo Sapien: We come from a long line of winners. Each one of our ancestors, from the bacteria 3.5 billion years ago to us now, has been a survivor who has managed to successful propagate its genes forward. If any one of them had failed nature’s test of survivability, the progeny would have been broken and we would never have come into existence.

In our long journey, we’ve acquired the kind of evolutionary baggage that is shared by no other species on Earth. A sense of altruism. Love and compassion for our children, not because they are the carriers of our genes, but out of our own selflessness. A curious organism contemplating its own origin. An organism whose aim is no longer just “survival”, but something more. A person sitting on his/her computer wondering how far we’ve come since that tiny speck of gases glowing in the middle of space 14 billion years ago.