Friday, April 18, 2008

Thoughts on 'God Created Man?'

Disclaimer: This post is not written to hurt anybody's feelings about God, religion or anything else related to them whatsoever. We live in a free world, expressing ourselves within our own dogma.

In my previous post I was asked to pen my ideas and thoughts on the issue of whether God created Man. So here they go.

I keep on returning to this topic in my thoughts very often - question myself and seek answers, read extensively on the recent developments in Physics and Philosophy that might reflect on this issue even remotely. So my thoughts are really diverse in this matter. But in a one liner, I don't think God created Man.

We can think human beings to be complex molecules that generated on Earth due to evolution - we are just like any complex machine, but with some characteristic traits like the ability to think, to reproduce and reason. And we are ridiculously intelligent - any complex molecule that can reach a zenith of who created him has to be really smart!

Now comes the question of why we were created - also why are we the way we are. The question draws back to why and how the universe was created. There are contradicting arguments among physicists about it, but the most widely accepted idea is that the universe was created out of a singularity, like the Big Bang. Of course the probability of a singularity occurring and the creation of complex molecules on one of the zillions of planets does not really sound like a planned Godly creation!

There is also the theory of multiverse, a hypothetical set of multiple possible universes (including our universe) that together comprise all of reality - every dimension could be explained by a different universe governed by its own set of laws. Hence in our perceived sense of three spacial dimensions and the fourth dimension time, it is possible to think that things of life occurring on Earth could have been a planned approach and describe the way things fell in place. But the reality we might might just be an illusion and could possibly have several dimensions (unknown to us) which could explain the possible creation of universe and the subsequent origin of life. So sitting in some remote corner on Earth, the chances that the millions of physical and chemical interactions would result into some complex intelligent molecules seem rather coincidental from our limited perspective!

The other side of the debate believing in the Godly creation might resort of ideas such as the anthropic principles that constitutes a "lazy way out" of accounting for features such as the apparent fine-tuning of parameters in relation to the existence of life. However, I believe the frame of reference matters. Anthropic principle saying that everything was created with a purpose in mind - a purpose to explain the existence of life on Earth, seems to be rather conditionally biased by our identity. If we could change our frame of reference and forget for a moment that we are a part of the principle's purpose itself, we might see the degree of randomness.

However we tend to observe that many real life problems could be solves deterministically and aren't very random (chaos theory). This beats the idea of a chance and advocates the anthropic principles of existence of life. The principle says that:

  • If there were a large number (possibly infinite) of different physical laws (or fundamental constants) in as many universes, some of these would have laws that were suitable for stars, planets and life to exist. The anthropic principle could then be applied to conclude that we would only consciously exist in those universes which were finely-tuned for our conscious existence. Thus, while the probability might be extremely small that there is life in most of the multiverses, this scarcity of life-supporting universes does not imply intelligent design as the only explanation of our existence. Critics of this argument point outthat the cause and the effect have been reversed by those who claim that the universe seems to be fine-tuned for our benefit. Critics cite the vast store of evolutionary evidence which shows that life is perfectly and naturally tuned to the universe it arose in. Fossil, genetic and other biological evidence abundantly supports the observation that life adapts to physics, not the other way around. **
I am not trying to place any sort of convincing idea here that God does not exist, and that obviously could not have created Man. But as the scientific arguments say, there isn't enough evidence to support the presence of a super power. But I am not demeaning the readers who think otherwise. It is a free world and everyone has the right to cherish his or her own set of beliefs. The catch being, none of the schools of thought have much clinching evidence to support their beliefs.

There is a thin line of difference between belief and truth. Who knows what the truth is! It is our beliefs for now, and as far as they take us! To quote what Wikipedia says, "The hope is sometimes expressed that once a grand unified theory of everything s achieved, it will turn out to have a unique "solution" corresponding to the observed universe."

However, it seems less likely that all the physical laws were intentionally fine-tuned for conscious life as we experience it - ruling out the possibility (as of now) of God having created Man with any conscious purpose.

** Wikipedia: Multiverse


A.Jay said...

Good one Lady !
Well I am a person who started studying other religion for its unique scientific purposes. From the chants of the OM to the numerous poojas has its own scientific reasons Mind boggling i would say.
Now i am researching on spirits, karma and rebirth which still brings questions in my mind .I stil have no evidences but on the contrary say If something calld spirits exists then is ther a supreme power?!?!?
or is ther a scientific approach on explaining these paranormal activities

Munmun said...

@ A.Jay
Thanks ! I don't have much idea about paranormal activities or parapsychology or notion of spirits. But even if these do make sense, the connection to religion or God seems far. The human being is amazing with capabilities we could possibly perceive of. The idea of spirits seems to me to be a part of our more nurtured segment of the brain!
Religion (though I don't follow any religion but respect all) is another topic of my interest. You can find a link here:

Madhuri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Madhuri said...

Hey Munmun,

I have been reading your blog for a while and I pretty find your thoughts similar to mine. But this time,our thoughts don't match You say, you don't believe in Godly creations and stuff.
As far as my knowledge suggests, we have always seen, that from the ruins of explosion, we can't build a flourished city. (take the example of nuclear struck places, people there still suffer from ailments.) Earth is also said to be formed after explosion in some celestial body. Is that possible for only an exception here ?

I also, like you don't believe in Religion, though I respect all. But I still do believe that there is some Super-Natural Power beyond Humans' eruditeness . Or we would have filled this Earth with their self-made clones.

Truth is, we conclude by experimenting on limited number of resources. The moment, we find a change, we redesign the Theorem. If Einstein would have been perfect with E=mc^2, it should not have to be re-researched. Humans are intelligent but not perfect to understand every secrets of this Universe !

Take Care

Munmun said...

@ Madhuri,
Exactly, we are very limited in our knowledge about the origin of life and the universe. I left the question of God creating Man therefore, open, because neither you (who believes it) nor me (who doesn't believe it) can provide any clinching evidence. I impress about my idea of disbelieving because I think none of our physical laws explain it - though our physical laws might be wrong altogether, but as of now, seem to be true.

I am not saying life on Earth was created as an exception. If you perform an experiment several times, the result everytime could be different. It seems the universe has been experimenting the creation of life all the time till circumstances on Earth were friendly. It is not exception, but a chance. There could be several other planets with life, which we aren't aware of. Does that make life seem less anthropic?

But I agree the existence of a Super power is an open question. Nobody knows, and I don't know if we will ever know. But as the theory of relativity goes, super power could also be relative, not necessarily "God". For example, we are super power to ants and cockroaches - does that make us God? No, right! The whole idea of universe following a certain set of laws and generating a species of intelligent beings could as well be a super powerly illusion!

Anyway, thanks for generating a nice discussion!

Madhuri said...

Hey Munmun,

Well, I did not say that I believe in God (it becomes localised pertaining to one religion). But, I believe in the existence of Supreme Power. I do agree that we seem to be supreme powers to ant & cockroaches, but have you ever heard saying that we created them ? No. To be precise, we even say 'God created this whole Universe' rather than 'God created Humans'.
If we operate a machine or if we solve any mathematical theorem, we follow the law that we made. And then can we proceed systematically. So, what is or who is it that made these set of laws?

I don't accede that it is just a 'Super Powerly Illusion'. But anyway, perceptions may differ !

Nikesh Rathi said...

"Man-a mistake of god, or god- a mistake of man" - Nietzsche

I am of opinion that god is an assumption that makes our lives more comfortabe as we get someone to blame for all ungood things (... athough more often than not it end up complicating things' rather than making them comfortable)

I posted some thoughts of mine on similar topic around a year ago -

Munmun said...

@ Madhuri
:) Interesting conversation! Well, about the set of laws we follow, if there was "someone" who created those laws, who created that Super Power itself? Why does that super power exist? Why can't any of our laws explain its presence? Does it not become a perpetual loop?

Munmun said...

@ Nikesh
Yes, I know many people who resort to believing in God because it makes explaining unfavorable events easier. Though I am not sure how that helps; I never did that. I am reading your "God" post :P

Madhuri said...

Hey Munmun,

You are absolutely right! Its like "hen came first or the egg ?"
Lets not get into it. It is more about our Belief. And its a vicious loop.

If you argue on the existence of Super Power, then you should also corroborate your veiws reasoning on - what was in the beginning of this whole loop or say creation phenomenon ?

But as for human, I think there must have been an intelligent brain to create us which made us superior from any other species as while creating them too. Isn't it like, before making a Super Computer, we evolved thousands of models in that process?