How Crazy does Evolution Seem?

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How Crazy does Evolution Seem?

Post #1

Post by Purple Knight »

This is not a question of whether or not evolution is crazy, but how crazy it seems at first glance.

That is, when we discard our experiences and look at claims as if through new eyes, what do we find when we look at evolution? I Believe we can find a great deal of common ground with this question, because when I discard my experience as an animal breeder, when I discard my knowledge, and what I've been taught, I might look at evolution with the same skepticism as someone who has either never been taught anything about it, or someone who has been taught to distrust it.

Personally my mind goes to the keratinised spines on the tongues of cats. Yes, cats have fingernails growing out of their tongues! Gross, right? Well, these particular fingernails have evolved into perfect little brushes for the animal's fur. But I think of that first animal with a horrid growth of keratin on its poor tongue. The poor thing didn't die immediately, and this fits perfectly with what I said about two steps back paying for one forward. This detrimental mutation didn't hurt the animal enough for the hapless thing to die of it, but surely it caused some suffering. And persevering thing that he was, he reproduced despite his disability (probably in a time of plenty that allowed that). But did he have the growths anywhere else? It isn't beyond reason to think of them protruding from the corners of his eyes or caking up more and more on the palms of his hands. Perhaps he had them where his eyelashes were, and it hurt him to even blink. As disturbing as my mental picture is of this scenario, this sad creature isn't even as bad off as this boar, whose tusks grew up and curled until they punctured his brain.

Image

Image

This is a perfect example of a detrimental trait being preserved because it doesn't hurt the animal enough to kill it before it mates. So we don't have to jump right from benefit to benefit. The road to a new beneficial trait might be long, going backwards most of the way, and filled with a lot of stabbed brains and eyelids.

Walking backwards most of the time, uphill both ways, and across caltrops almost the entire trip?

I have to admit, thinking about walking along such a path sounds like, at very least, a very depressing way to get from A to B. I would hope there would be a better way.

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Re: How Crazy does Evolution Seem?

Post #251

Post by William »

[Replying to Sherlock Holmes in post #250]
What is your reason for wanting to prevent a biology teacher from bringing alternative views to the attention of students?
Here is my alternative view;

• The Physical Universe is a projection of thought onto the mind screen of a Creator-Being
• Our realty experience is holographic
• What the big bang represents is the germination of The Seed of Origin
• The Seed of Origin contained all the information of the physical Universe birthed from it.
• Mathematics is the device which decodes information and was also contained within The Seed of Origin
• Consciousness is the only real thing which exists
• Consciousness imbues all aspects of the Physical Universe and was present within The Seed of Origin
• Language was also contained within The Seed of Origin
• et al re that...


Would you agree that the above should be brought to the attention of students?

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Re: How Crazy does Evolution Seem?

Post #252

Post by JoeyKnothead »

Sherlock Holmes wrote: Sat Jan 22, 2022 3:02 pm
JoeyKnothead wrote: Sat Jan 22, 2022 2:58 pm
Sherlock Holmes wrote: Sat Jan 22, 2022 12:28 pm So what's wrong with asking the question "Was X designed"?
It presupposes a designer.
No it is not presupposing a designer any more than asking did life evolve presupposes evolution.
I reckon that's fair nuff.

As I note the ID crowd is as chock full of theists as a good chili is full of beans. The question then becomes which of em produces the most hot air.
When one sinks to the level of policing what questions can even be asked, then one has abandoned all pretense of honesty.
I never, NEVER, said folks couldn't ask em a question.

Nor did I say folks shouldn't point and laugh when some folks do.
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Re: How Crazy does Evolution Seem?

Post #253

Post by Purple Knight »

Jose Fly wrote: Sat Jan 22, 2022 2:00 pmNow, I'm not saying that sort of thing never happens. Maybe my specific field is unique, or maybe I'm just fortunate and work with an unusually ethical group of peers.
It's probably both. Ask a sociologist.
Jose Fly wrote: Sat Jan 22, 2022 2:00 pmThat's interesting. Do you think natural selection selects for effects to entropy, rather than for fitness?
With this idea, there doesn't have to be natural selection at all. The more order something destroys, the more likely it will be born. So apparent adaptation occurs, but what is actually occurring is that the current meta, or the environment, has changed, and the organisms born therein will be better at destroying order. They will be able to eat more grass, or kill off more grass-eaters, or even produce the most of itself.

What I have no idea about is the mechanism. We know that in a way, potential energy wants to be lost - the book on the shelf wants to fall - but there has to be some impetus to cause it to fall. It doesn't fall on its own. So maybe in an analogous way the universe wants the perfect destroyer of resources to exist, but that doesn't mean it would have a way to cause it to exist. So that's a hole.

And I'm not saying I believe this happens but it's an alternative.

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Re: How Crazy does Evolution Seem?

Post #254

Post by William »

[Replying to JoeyKnothead in post #252]
As I note the ID crowd is as chock full of theists as a good chili is full of beans. The question then becomes which of em produces the most hot air.
There is knot head to be rude about it, but to answer your observation, ID is likely only containing theists, as a matter of that's the way it only could be.
I think my particular take on ID flies the best, but whether that is because of hot air, or some mysterious perpetual motion gadget, I cannot say for sure.

Which of em produces the most hot air = 362

The evolution of consciousness
It could be Satan trying to fool us

Being rude to theists = 220

This Is Part Of The Job

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Re: How Crazy does Evolution Seem?

Post #255

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to Sherlock Holmes in post #241]
So what's wrong with asking the question "Was X designed"?
It is asked all the time. The problem is that no designer has ever been shown to exist, and the ones that are proposed are gods or similar entities that either cannot be shown to exist due to their definitions, or somehow manage to hide themselves from any discovery by humans. Asking the question is fine ... finding suitable answers has proven to be elusive.
... asking questions underpins science, the freedom to ask any question and question any dogma, underpins scientific inquiry.
Yes ... and again asking questions is fine. I've been a practicing scientist for over 35 years and have asked many of them, and found the answers to some of them (including some that went counter to what was expected after all the data and analysis were in). But asking a question is only part of the process. The question must be investigated and any answers supported by measurements, observation, etc. and subjected to scrutiny. Your suggestion that scientists or other people who challenge evolution are being ignored or not allowed to ask questions is not what is happening. The problem is they are making points and asking questions, but cannot support them sufficiently to show that change to the consensus is warranted.
Discouraging such question, punishing those who ask them, passing laws and regulations designed to stifle open discussion is not the hallmark or attitude of science, ask Galileo.
But Galileo was vindicated by continued observation and measurements that showed he was right. Trailblazers in science often have an uphill battle to fight (especially when they challenge religious doctrine and religious groups hold the levers of power), but if they are genuinely correct this will be supported by other scientists who are trying to solve the same problems and do their own research. Enough of this and you reach a scientific consensus, and if the consensus is eventually shown to need refinement (eg. Relativity vs. Newtonian gravity) that also happens via the same process. Challenges to evolution are constantly being thrown out there, but have yet to topple the basic theory.
What's wrong with not paying attention to confirmatory observations and instead focusing instead on the problem observations?
Nothing. But again the "problem observations" that you constantly reference are evidently not problems to those in the field who study these things and evaluate their validity. You seem to suggest that there is some global consipiracy by biologists to support evolution despite any and all challenges to it, or that such challenges are ignored. There is too much scientific fame and glory for someone who could legitimately topple evolution with an alternative theory that was supported as well as evolution to keep such a person quiet.
It is almost like an instinct among evolutionists, the leap to "the overwhelming evidence for evolution" and blissful disregard for the problems.

Another important point here is that questioning evolution does no societal material harm to anyone anywhere, absolutely no harm yet is treated by some as if it were Fascism or slavery or child labor.
But that is not how it works. Challenges to evolution are not blissfully ignored. They are investigated and found to be wanting.
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Re: How Crazy does Evolution Seem?

Post #256

Post by Sherlock Holmes »

William wrote: Sat Jan 22, 2022 5:31 pm [Replying to Sherlock Holmes in post #250]
What is your reason for wanting to prevent a biology teacher from bringing alternative views to the attention of students?
Here is my alternative view;

• The Physical Universe is a projection of thought onto the mind screen of a Creator-Being
• Our realty experience is holographic
• What the big bang represents is the germination of The Seed of Origin
• The Seed of Origin contained all the information of the physical Universe birthed from it.
• Mathematics is the device which decodes information and was also contained within The Seed of Origin
• Consciousness is the only real thing which exists
• Consciousness imbues all aspects of the Physical Universe and was present within The Seed of Origin
• Language was also contained within The Seed of Origin
• et al re that...


Would you agree that the above should be brought to the attention of students?
I see, well some if not most of those are a tad controversial but where there's a controversy there's often a nugget of knowledge waiting to be found.

But it's interesting to contrast with another list, perhaps one you've never really thought about:

• The universe magically sprang into existence all by itself.
• The laws of physics just happened to spring into existence with a wealth of potential.
• The laws of physics just randomly have the ability to form a cosmos with galaxies etc.
• The many constants that we find in the laws of physics were just right to allow the universe to evolve.
• The universe appears to embody laws that can be expressed mathematically with a precision and profundity that's mind boggling.
• Life (astonishingly intricate biomechanical factories that can create other factories) - is just one of the consequences of the laws that just magically appeared billions of years ago.
• Information that's necessary to construct human beings with all that they can do, was incredibly encoded into the laws of physics at the time they popped into existence.
• None of the above needs any sort of explanation, it "just is".
• et al re that...
When one has eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

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Re: How Crazy does Evolution Seem?

Post #257

Post by Sherlock Holmes »

DrNoGods wrote: Sun Jan 23, 2022 11:54 am [Replying to Sherlock Holmes in post #241]
So what's wrong with asking the question "Was X designed"?
It is asked all the time. The problem is that no designer has ever been shown to exist, and the ones that are proposed are gods or similar entities that either cannot be shown to exist due to their definitions, or somehow manage to hide themselves from any discovery by humans. Asking the question is fine ... finding suitable answers has proven to be elusive.
Well if one could show that there are things in nature that really were designed, then by implication we know that there is or was a designer.

Now how do you think we can tell if some "thing" was or was not designed? how can you tell? what exactly is the test for this? if there is no test then you cannot say something was not designed can you?
DrNoGods wrote: Sun Jan 23, 2022 11:54 am
... asking questions underpins science, the freedom to ask any question and question any dogma, underpins scientific inquiry.
Yes ... and again asking questions is fine. I've been a practicing scientist for over 35 years and have asked many of them, and found the answers to some of them (including some that went counter to what was expected after all the data and analysis were in). But asking a question is only part of the process. The question must be investigated and any answers supported by measurements, observation, etc. and subjected to scrutiny. Your suggestion that scientists or other people who challenge evolution are being ignored or not allowed to ask questions is not what is happening. The problem is they are making points and asking questions, but cannot support them sufficiently to show that change to the consensus is warranted.
I never said science does not entail "the question must be investigated and any answers supported by measurements, observation, etc. and subjected to scrutiny" I totally agree and never said otherwise. Anyway you agree that an ability to ask questions and not have the nature of those questions policed by some authority is an essential element if science is to ever progress.

The "consensus" you refer to could be sometimes in danger of becoming that very authority that I'm speaking of.
DrNoGods wrote: Sun Jan 23, 2022 11:54 am
Discouraging such question, punishing those who ask them, passing laws and regulations designed to stifle open discussion is not the hallmark or attitude of science, ask Galileo.
But Galileo was vindicated by continued observation and measurements that showed he was right. Trailblazers in science often have an uphill battle to fight (especially when they challenge religious doctrine and religious groups hold the levers of power), but if they are genuinely correct this will be supported by other scientists who are trying to solve the same problems and do their own research. Enough of this and you reach a scientific consensus, and if the consensus is eventually shown to need refinement (eg. Relativity vs. Newtonian gravity) that also happens via the same process. Challenges to evolution are constantly being thrown out there, but have yet to topple the basic theory.
Galileo and his model was actually recognized as legitimate by some of the Catholic authorities at the time, it was not what he was saying that was the real problem it was how the Church authorities interpreted what he was saying. Nothing Galileo said was at odds with the Bible for example, it was at odd with how Church authority had interpreted the Bible.

The Catholic authorities were wrong in that they tried to impose their interpretation on Galileo just as evolution advocates try to impose their interpretation on things, for example the fossil record, this is routinely interpreted by them as evidence for evolution when a better correlation is found when we interpret it a record of a discontinuous process of some kind.
DrNoGods wrote: Sun Jan 23, 2022 11:54 am
What's wrong with not paying attention to confirmatory observations and instead focusing instead on the problem observations?
Nothing. But again the "problem observations" that you constantly reference are evidently not problems to those in the field who study these things and evaluate their validity.
How did you establish that there are no people in the relevant fields of study who are skeptical of evolution? please tell me on what basis you assert that?
DrNoGods wrote: Sun Jan 23, 2022 11:54 am You seem to suggest that there is some global consipiracy by biologists to support evolution despite any and all challenges to it, or that such challenges are ignored.
I have not suggested a conspiracy although there might be some truth to that. What we do have is a system that refers to evolution as a "fact" rather than a theory, model, hypothesis. As soon as you tell students "X is a fact" you are actually saying "It is not permitted to question X, there is no reason, basis or scope to question X, do not under any circumstances question X" because that is exactly what a fact means - beyond question.

Once that is drummed into young minds, repeated and hammered in over and over and over you do create a system where nobody can question X without becoming ostracized, ridiculed, rejected and penalized. There's no real need to objectively consider what they say, why would we? after all we know X is a fact already so the one questioning X must, absolutely, without any doubt be wrong.
DrNoGods wrote: Sun Jan 23, 2022 11:54 am There is too much scientific fame and glory for someone who could legitimately topple evolution with an alternative theory that was supported as well as evolution to keep such a person quiet.
Not if evolution were referred to as a fact, and taught to be a fact, in such a situation no fame awaits, no medals await, only isolation, attack and damage to one's career for being stupid enough to publicly question a fact.
DrNoGods wrote: Sun Jan 23, 2022 11:54 am
It is almost like an instinct among evolutionists, the leap to "the overwhelming evidence for evolution" and blissful disregard for the problems.

Another important point here is that questioning evolution does no societal material harm to anyone anywhere, absolutely no harm yet is treated by some as if it were Fascism or slavery or child labor.
But that is not how it works. Challenges to evolution are not blissfully ignored. They are investigated and found to be wanting.
Of course they are found wanting!!! they will be so long as the lie "evolution is a fact" is taught and drummed into people's minds year in year out.

The "theory" of evolution has been elevated to the status of a dogma, a doctrine, not to be questioned, that is not science, no other area or theory in the sciences is afforded the same special status.
When one has eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

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Re: How Crazy does Evolution Seem?

Post #258

Post by Jose Fly »

Sherlock Holmes wrote: Sat Jan 22, 2022 4:14 pmScientists who express skepticism about evolution and have also signed some form of contract agreeing to work, study in some specific way.
Well that's kinda the point. Although the people who work at AiG and ICR express skepticism about evolution ("denial" is more accurate), they aren't scientists. They agreed to work under a specifically anti-scientific framework, which excludes them from the category of "scientists". Given the nature of those frameworks they're more accurately described as Christian apologists.
What is your reason for wanting to prevent a biology teacher from bringing alternative views to the attention of students?
For the same reason I don't want geography teachers to teach flat-earthism, a history teacher to teach holocaust denialism, a health teacher to teach that storks bring babies, or any other K-12 teacher to do anything like that.....it's not their job and it's not how K-12 education works. Specific to science, the job of a K-12 science teacher is to make sure the students get a good basic understanding of 1) how science works, and 2) what the state of the current science is.

And really, I think #2 is the key point here. Whether folks like you like it or not, the fact is creationism has absolutely zero standing in science (and that includes ID creationism). None. Nada. Zip. The world's earth and life sciences community has operated under an old earth, evolutionary history framework for well over a century, while creationism hasn't contributed a single thing to our understanding of the world in at least 100 years.

So there's absolutely no legitimate scientific or educational reason for a teacher to bring it into he classroom. I know Christians like you really would like them to, just as I'm sure there are flat-earth believing parents who'd like the geography teacher to introduce their beliefs into the classroom as well, but just because you believe something that doesn't justify teaching it in schools.
So a "creationist organization" is simply a collective that advocates that the universe was created? or does your definition require that it also has some statement of beliefs too?
No they don't have to have a statement of beliefs in order to be a creationist organization.
Indeed, rather than on whether they have or have not agreed to some statement of beliefs, the merits of their cases is the only thing that matters, agreed?
It depends on the audience. If we're talking about scientists, then yes the only thing that matters is the case a person makes. If Joe Schmoe off the street submits a good manuscript to a journal, they will evaluate it based on its contents rather than on who wrote it.

However, when it comes to the general public and who they trust, then from a practical standpoint most of the time the identity, background, and qualifications of the person will matter. That's because most people have neither the expertise nor the time to fully and properly evaluate Joe Schmoe's arguments. Instead they'll see that he's just some guy off the street with no background, experience, or education in the field of science he's speaking to, and so they'll just stick with the general view of the actual experts.
No, and I never suggested that.
So you do think there should be limits on what sort of "alternative views" teachers can bring into the classroom? Okay, then perhaps you can describe how that should work. Who sets these limits? What should those limits be based on?
I asked if you think there should be some official definition of what is truth when it comes to science and that questioning that truth should be discouraged. I do not see how encouraging questions can be equated to a "free-for-all, where teachers can teach anything and everything they personally want".
No, there's no official definition of "truth" in science. And no, questions from students should not be discouraged.
I think that it is the place do it, how else can students get familiarized with what it means to think, to question authority, to probe and challenge.
It's one thing for the students to ask questions, it's something else entirely for a teacher to prod them into questioning scientific conclusions that have been agreed to for well over a century, thereby giving the students the false impression that those conclusions aren't really solid.

Just as I don't want a history teacher giving students the impression that maybe the holocaust didn't really happen, I don't want a biology teacher giving students the impression that maybe evolution doesn't happen. Both would be a terrible disservice to the students.
Tell me what do you mean by "convincing the scientists" when the teachers might themselves be scientists?
If creationists want their ideas to be taught in schools, then they need to do what all others have done, i.e., convince the scientific community first. They need to submit manuscripts to relevant journals, present at scientific conferences, and the like. Then if they manage to convince the scientific community that they're correct, it will become the current state of the science and schools will eagerly teach it.

But for decades, creationists have been trying to do an end-run around that process and take their talking points straight to schools even though they've not managed to convince the scientific community of their validity, and in some cases the scientific community has resoundingly rejected them (e.g., ID creationism). IOW, they want their stuff taught as science even though the world's scientists have rejected it.
Of course it's subjective, everything I experience is subjective and this is true for all of us, all our experiences are subjective and we must rely on our own reasoning and knowledge to make decisions including decisions as to who we agree or disagree with, I do not delegate my decision making to others, if I am going to believe some proposition is true then I am the one forming that belief not someone else, not some book, not some authority and not some pop-scientist.
That's why it's important to gauge your level of bias on this issue.
I don't know the answer to that question.
I find that difficult to believe. You honestly have no idea whether you agree with AiG about rejecting any and all data that conflicts with the Bible? Do you realize how that alone indicates a level of bias on this issue? A truly scientific approach is to evaluate data on its own merits; whether that data conflicts with the Bible or not is 100% irrelevant.
There is no continuity, only claims that the fossil record is evidence of evolution. I've looked at these claims for decades and I do not see the evidence, I have no reason whatsoever for example to believe that Anomalocaris or Trilobites actually had ancestors, or common ancestry.

Anomalocaris had a complicated compound eye, as complicated as any organism that lives today and there is no fossil evidence whatsoever that the structure "evolved". This is just one of many claims made by evolution advocates.
Well to be honest, given the above your opinions on those issues aren't really of consequence. You're free to have and express them of course, but I wouldn't expect very many people to take them seriously.
If you'd like to learn more about the magnitude of this glaring problem with the fossil record I'd encourage to read Darwin's Doubt by Stephen Meyer, that has a wealth of scientific detail and scholarship that you can scrutinize.

Image

I am of the view the fossil record is evidence of discontinuity not continuity, the abrupt appearance in the fossil record of fully formed, already "evolved" organisms with mineralized shells, compound eyes, brains, limbs etc actually typifies the fossil record, it is not the exception. The fossil record looks exactly as one would expect it to look if these animals had not evolved, this is the point so many are missing or even unaware of.
I've read the book. Tell me, why do you think Meyer put his arguments in a book, rather than a manuscript submitted to a paleontology journal, or in an abstract as part of a presentation at a paleontology conference?
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Re: How Crazy does Evolution Seem?

Post #259

Post by Jose Fly »

Purple Knight wrote: Sat Jan 22, 2022 7:39 pmIt's probably both. Ask a sociologist.
Next chance I get, I will.
With this idea, there doesn't have to be natural selection at all.
But natural selection is something we observe and even quantify.
The more order something destroys, the more likely it will be born. So apparent adaptation occurs, but what is actually occurring is that the current meta, or the environment, has changed, and the organisms born therein will be better at destroying order. They will be able to eat more grass, or kill off more grass-eaters, or even produce the most of itself.
That should be relatively easy to test in a lab. First define and quantify "order" and "destroy", then get some mono-clonal strains of something like E. coli, breed them in separate environments, identify variants that arise, and see if the variants that destroy more order come to dominate the population.
What I have no idea about is the mechanism. We know that in a way, potential energy wants to be lost - the book on the shelf wants to fall - but there has to be some impetus to cause it to fall. It doesn't fall on its own. So maybe in an analogous way the universe wants the perfect destroyer of resources to exist, but that doesn't mean it would have a way to cause it to exist. So that's a hole.
First establish that the process and outcomes are real, then try and identify the causes.
And I'm not saying I believe this happens but it's an alternative.
Right now it's an untested idea. That's okay, but if you want it to go anywhere you'll have to do some work. Good luck.
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Re: How Crazy does Evolution Seem?

Post #260

Post by William »

Sherlock Holmes wrote: Sun Jan 23, 2022 12:13 pm
William wrote: Sat Jan 22, 2022 5:31 pm [Replying to Sherlock Holmes in post #250]
What is your reason for wanting to prevent a biology teacher from bringing alternative views to the attention of students?
Here is my alternative view;

• The Physical Universe is a projection of thought onto the mind screen of a Creator-Being
• Our realty experience is holographic
• What the big bang represents is the germination of The Seed of Origin
• The Seed of Origin contained all the information of the physical Universe birthed from it.
• Mathematics is the device which decodes information and was also contained within The Seed of Origin
• Consciousness is the only real thing which exists
• Consciousness imbues all aspects of the Physical Universe and was present within The Seed of Origin
• Language was also contained within The Seed of Origin
• et al re that...


Would you agree that the above should be brought to the attention of students?
I see, well some if not most of those are a tad controversial but where there's a controversy there's often a nugget of knowledge waiting to be found.

But it's interesting to contrast with another list, perhaps one you've never really thought about:

• The universe magically sprang into existence all by itself.
• The laws of physics just happened to spring into existence with a wealth of potential.
• The laws of physics just randomly have the ability to form a cosmos with galaxies etc.
• The many constants that we find in the laws of physics were just right to allow the universe to evolve.
• The universe appears to embody laws that can be expressed mathematically with a precision and profundity that's mind boggling.
• Life (astonishingly intricate biomechanical factories that can create other factories) - is just one of the consequences of the laws that just magically appeared billions of years ago.
• Information that's necessary to construct human beings with all that they can do, was incredibly encoded into the laws of physics at the time they popped into existence.
• None of the above needs any sort of explanation, it "just is".
• et al re that...
Problematic to magical explanations is that both materialists and certain types of theists believe in this idea.

Whereas my approach simply explains that everything knowable can be sourced to The Seed of Origin re the object which existed before exploding in germination as the growing universe we currently witness through experience.

It answers the how.

Explaining the why is a story related...by does not begin with "God created the universe from nothing."

Rather, the idea we are experiencing something created of the substance of a Creators Mind, is far more reasonable.

Unless one is a materialist or a certain type of theist...whereby the thought of that is seen as unreasonable, because it threatens major belief systems which depend upon the magical explanation of Ex nihilo

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