Monday, July 12, 2010 8:33:01 PM
I am awed by nature as well, but I don't attribute it to an intelligent creator. The universe did not come about in a "random" manner; it follows causality. It has specific rules for how it functions and every action sets off a reaction that follows these rules. Everything that happened in the universe up until life evolved happened the way it had to happen. Whether sapient beings have the ability to actually choose their actions, or whether they are subject to the same determinism is a matter still up for debate among philosophers, though current science would suggest that we don`t truly have choice.
Monday, July 12, 2010 8:32:52 PM
iluvsporks: I am aware of all of those functions, but the difference is that those organs don't have the same function in other animals. The tailbone typically is much longer, comprising an actual tail. The appendix is used to store bacteria that digest cellulose in herbivorous animals. The tonsils simply don`t function as well as the once did, being susceptible to infection and generally not functioning particularly well.
He isn`t unusual in that attitude. It`s normal for scientists, especially those involved in astrophysics and astronomy. Nor is it recent - it goes back to the very beginnings of science and continues throughout it.
Trying to explain how the universe works doesn`t diminish awe at its existence, nor does knowing the scale of it diminish humanity.
Stephen Hawking on humanity:
[quote">We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the universe. That makes us something very special.[/quote">
The universe is spectacular and staggering and genuinely awesome. The more I learn about it, the more a
Sunday, July 11, 2010 9:14:56 PM
tailbones aren't useless. they are a connection point for several muscles that aid in well, defecation, and they also help us sit properly and remain balanced.
Which in no way requires them to be a vestigal tail.
But it goes much further than that. Human embryos have tails. Some humans have tails. They`re usually removed by surgery, but the point is that humans still have the genetic coding for tails.
It`s not an isolated example, either. Whales still have the genetic coding for legs. Horses still have the genetic coding for toes. Many animals carry genetic coding from species they evolved from. It`s just not used any more.