A Response to Sustenance

Jeremy Sig
I agree with Dan that this could be an interesting topic. However, I have my doubts as to the true value that this discussion can bring. The reality of the situation is that attempts to explain or accept others explanations of the origin of mankind, the universe, etc. will all be based on conjecture. Furthermore, this is quite a convoluted topic as the question can not be answered by one theory. As such I must preface  the rest of my response by stating that I am rather agnostic when it comes to the issues surrounding origins. While I find it fascinating fodder for debate, I see no real value either theologically or pragmatically.

Contrary to Dan’s broad almost bigoted over generalization I do not actually find myself drawn to evolution as a convincing model for the origins of man. I am sure this will disappoint some as I am probably the only hope for a liberal evolutionist that can be tarred and feathered in the pseudo scientific world of argumentation.

While I would love to be the enemy of the group on this topic I cannot bring myself to ascribe to evolution based on, what I deem to be, a plethora of holes in the logic and facts.

I will not mention all of them, however, the biggest issue for me with this theory is the apparent lack of evidence involving the “missing link” and the presence of modern paleontology that suggests that mankind in his present form has existed for several millenia making the time table for evolution astronomically higher than most are willing to accept.

Before I continue on with the revelation of which conjectured theory I prefer, I believe it wise to identify the various sub topics that must be addressed in this debate. I do this not only for myself but also others who plan on posting on this topic as it might serve as a blueprint for further discussion. When discussing theories of creation there are four basic sub divisions that must be addressed. While these will sometimes overlap depending on which theories one ascribes to, they are all important and should be individually addressed. The four sub divisions as I see it are Mathematics, Science, Religion, and Mythology. While some of these can be mixed and matched many of the theories within these divisions require a mutually exclusive response to the questions surrounding our origins. While each of these divisions hold theories which deal with the entirety of human origin, mathematics is unique in that it focuses almost entirely on sustenance and often avoids conjecture of the actual originating event. As such I will save that topic for the end of this post.

Within the world of science lies the much maligned theory of evolution. While this theory is often coupled with another scientific theory known as “the big bang”, the reality is that these are two distinct theories. While I have no affinity for evolution in as much as it tries to explain man’s origins, I do appreciate some of the aspects of “the big bang theory”. In as much as all of these theories are conjecture this one makes the most logical sense within the current frame work of human knowledge. While this theory by itself seems logical to explain the originating event for the universe, it is inadequate to explain to progressive existence of mankind. This is why it is often pared with evolution, and this is where my affinity for this theory wanes. Also within this sub division are various theories produced by the field of paleontology as well as astronomy specifically equinoxical processions. Many of these theories are extremely intricate and difficult to  fully comprehend, and many in my opinion fall short of providing a holistic answer to the various questions of origins.

Many of the theories within the worlds of mythology and religion are seen as similar. However, there is a distinction between these two divisions. While mythology speaks metaphorically of creation, religion speaks literally to the issues much like science. The many theories of mythology are not attempting to reveal the facts of creation but rather using creation stories as a mechanism for relaying other truths about the world. One of the biggest attributes of mythologies is there tendency to be political in their approach. Theories within this division include: Adam and Eve, Gilgamesh, Hermeticism, and many Native American and tribal creation stories. Since non of these theories attempts to provide facts for debate in regards to creation I find no need to choose one over the other. Each is distinctive and representative of the culture from which it originated. As such they should be seen more as wisdom proverbs than explanation and are often similar in the messages they portray.

Within the world of religions lie many theories which attempt to offer a logical presentation of argumentation and facts outside of the world of science. This is not to say that they are reactionary, rather science is a reaction to them. Theories within this division include: creationism, intelligent design, UFO seeding, and other divine interventionist models. I find these explanations often difficult to accept. While science attempts to align itself with information which can be verified and validated, these religious answers often throw proof to the side and instead require faith to believe. This isn’t to say that they are opposed to being backed by facts, but they do not use facts as a barometer for validity. This makes it nearly impossible to evaluate and distinguish between the various options as one is left to arbitrarily choose based on preference. While I do not discount the entirety of these positions, I find many of their tenants to be troubling for my analytical mind to accept.

I am not opposed to the existence of an intelligent God figure, in fact I am strongly in favor of inclusion of this character to the equation. However, this predisposition for me is based on desire more than conclusion and as such I find it difficult to choose a specific divine representation.

The final and most confusing of division is that of mathematics. As I previously stated most of theories within this realm seek not to answer the questions surrounding origin but rather those surrounding sustenance. While many within the religious answer camp are threatened by mathematics often attaching it to the world of science, this is often an unnecessary fear. Because mathematics focuses primarily on sustenance it can easily be attached to either the religious or scientific models of explanation for origins. There are too many theories within this field to list them all. however, the four most prominent are the chaos theory, Ellie’s theory (which was the basis for the movie the Matrix), sacred geometry (otherwise known as fractal geometry), and the holographic universe theory. There is also a wide range of theories surrounding dimensional mathematics which are more and more popular among those attempting to marry mathematics with religious theory.

I am aware that I have done an inadequate job of fully presenting each of these theories, although this was not my goal. I hope, however, that this shows just how large and confusing this topic really is. As I said at the beginning of this post I am truly agnostic to which of these theories one chooses. My personal affinity is for a theory which aligns itself with man’s current knowledge while still leaving room for an intelligent designer. I look forward to seeing where each of you land and your reasoning for excluding some of these theories.

Sorry about the long post 🙂

Jeremy

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10 Comments

  1. (Jeremy, I hop you don’t mind but I prettied up your post a bit just like I did Tony’s. I didn’t change any of your words or thoughts at all—only the layout. Change anything if you don’t like it.)

    I agree that pure conjecture on this subject will lead us nowhere but I still think it’s worthwhile to discuss. For this reason, I propose that those of us who want to can write a post similar to what Jeremy has done here. Rather than attempt a total explanation, we can discuss our own personal approach to this problem, and explain what we think our view means to contemporary culture.

    I have created a Category called “Sustenance” hint: the default Category is “Opinion.”

    If you would like to contribute to this discussion, write a new post under this category. In this way, we can leave the comment spaces open for discussion on each particular post. I will write my own “Sustenance” post some time this week.

    Reply

  2. “However, I have my doubts as to the true value that this discussion can bring”…” While I find it fascinating fodder for debate, I see no real value either theologically or pragmatically.”

    If you really feel that way, then why bother. And who says something must have ‘value.’ I find the discussion enjoyable and it’s good enough for me. I don’t think anyone is claiming to be able to solve the problem of origins on a blog.

    As an aside what does the word ‘sustenance’ have to do with origins or creation?

    Reply

  3. Tony I feel as though you took my comments out of context. I agree that this is an enjoyable topic and that is good enough that is why I said I found it fascinating fodder for debate. I simply question how much value beyond that of entertainment this topic brings due to the high level of conjecture that is required. I am not complaining about the topic in any way. In fact, I am quite excited to discuss it.
    As far as sustenance goes I am simply following the format of the question Dan proposed. While they are two seperate topics they, like many theological issues, are interelated. If you have a problem with these two topics being discussed together take it up with Dan

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  4. The last question was for Dan, I was assuming that he would read the comments for your post as well. I guess that it wasn’t that clear so I will attempt to be clearer next time.

    And again I do not see that our discussions need to have ‘value.’ The other night you also commented that the topic of Christian Identity is rather pointless to you but you will discuss it anyway. I just hope it doesn’t become a pattern that because you are a relativistic pluralist all conversation framed in a Christian context becomes not important enough because it is not addressing the issues that you feel they should be addressing.

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  5. My statements about the value of this topic have nothing to do with my relativistic views. I was simply stating that since we are covering a topic for which there are little facts to back our positions, that any conclusions that we may come to will be simple conjecture in the most primative of forms. This doesnt mean that I begrudge this topic or that I feel there are other issues that we should be addressing. To be honest I am a bit surprised at your comments on this as I don’t feel like I said anything that was inflamatory. I am saving those remarks for when we actually begin choosing sides. Just to be clear, I believe that this is a fascinating topic and I look forward to discussing it. If you disagree with my statement that these arguments are based primarily on conjecture then I am intrigued to here your reasoning for such a stance.

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  6. Because I believe in the literal story of at least one of the creations in Genesis, that’s not conjecture it’s the word of God 😉

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  7. My question then for you is what verifiable proof do you draw on for making that conclusion? Is your proof simply that the Bible is the word of God? If that is the case then what proof do you have for that claim? I understand that these are questions which go beyond the scope of this debate. I don’t expect you to defend your views on the Bible, although my guess is that your answer would entail something about faith. My point is simply that there are an apparent lack of facts for which to base any position on (other than Billy Graham said so). Ultimately, we are all going to come to the positions for which we are predisposed to. That isn’t to say that all positions are equally correct. I know you can’t agree with that statement. I am simply saying that I fail to see the objective facts which would point to one position moving past conjecture more than another. In my opinion the only varifiable fact in this debate is that your new shorts that you wore on Sunday were hot 🙂

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  8. I am hoping you realize that I was being sarcastic about being literal concerning Genesis, I’ve haven’t been that conservative for years now. Tell you what give me a day or two and I will write a more formal response to the two of you.

    And thank you, but they weren’t even new 🙂

    Reply

  9. OK
    1. Sustenance is where we will be going with this idea of origins. The idea will be what sustains us what brings us life, motivates us anthropologically. I will explain more later, but we will have to build upon our origins statements.

    2. Jeremy, deconstruct, deconstruct deconstruct and you will find as the teacher did that everything is meaningless. However in my pursuit of god and love of polemics, we carry on in our effervescent ways.

    3. TONY! Don’t fight someone’s basis upon their argument. Especially since relative pluralism is ten times as logical as your and my “I take it by faith” claim. And you don’t see Jeremy pull that out every 10 seconds. Stay at the argument and the argument can carry on. … please

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  10. Dan I was not fighting Jeremy’s premise, and he even said that pluralism was not his premise for origins. I was merely attempting to communicate to Jeremy some of my frustrations with the idea of conversations needing to be ‘valuable.’ He corrected me and told me what he meant and all is well on the western front as far as I can tell.

    And to comment further, an agnostic pluralism may be more respectable to some but I fail to see how it is ‘ten times more logical’. And I do not assert a plain and unsophisticated ‘take it by faith’ approach, although faith is a part of it I am not running from any problems that arise from real scientific inquiry.

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