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Sun, August 04, 2013

'Evolution will punish you if you're selfish and mean'

By Layne Cameron, Christoph Adami  

Two Michigan State University evolutionary biologists offer new evidence that evolution doesn’t favor the selfish, disproving a theory popularized in 2012.

“We found evolution will punish you if you’re selfish and mean,” said lead author Christoph Adami, MSU professor of microbiology and molecular genetics. “For a short time and against a specific set of opponents, some selfish organisms may come out ahead. But selfishness isn’t evolutionarily sustainable.”

The paper appears in the current issue of Nature Communications and focuses on game theory, which is used in biology, economics, political science and other disciplines. Much of the last 30 years of research has focused on how cooperation came to be, since it’s found in many forms of life, from single-cell organisms to people.

See "Link to External Source Article" below to read further.


Interesting article...another validation of Urantia Book teachings, in this instance the teachings on the ultimate triumph of the good, true and beautiful through the long process of evolution. I found these inspiring quotes that support the idea that goodness IS the ultimate aim of evolution...co-operation and prayer (among other factors) are key elements of successful evolution.

These first 2 are from Jesus;

2:3.5 Undiluted evil, complete error, willful sin, and unmitigated iniquity are inherently and automatically suicidal. Such attitudes of cosmic unreality can survive in the universe only because of transient mercy-tolerance pending the action of the justice-determining and fairness-finding mechanisms of the universe tribunals of righteous adjudication.

132:3.8 Spiritual evolution is an experience of the increasing and voluntary choice of goodness attended by an equal and progressive diminution of the possibility of evil. With the attainment of finality of choice for goodness and of completed capacity for truth appreciation, there comes into existence a perfection of beauty and holiness whose righteousness eternally inhibits the possibility of the emergence of even the concept of potential evil. Such a God-knowing soul casts no shadow of doubting evil when functioning on such a high spirit level of divine goodness.

148:4.9 “The Greeks and others have taught you that man is descending from godly perfection steadily down toward oblivion or destruction; I have come to show that man, by entrance into the kingdom, is ascending certainly and surely up to God and divine perfection. Any being who in any manner falls short of the divine and spiritual ideals of the eternal Father’s will is potentially evil...

And also from UB teachings:

71:5.3 Throughout the earlier ages of any world, competition is essential to progressive civilization. As the evolution of man progresses, co-operation becomes increasingly effective. In advanced civilizations co-operation is more efficient than competition. Early man is stimulated by competition. Early evolution is characterized by the survival of the biologically fit, but later civilizations are the better promoted by intelligent co-operation, understanding fraternity, and spiritual brotherhood.

71:3.1 It is not what a state is but what it does that determines the course of social evolution. And after all, no state can transcend the moral values of its citizenry as exemplified in their chosen leaders. Ignorance and selfishness will insure the downfall of even the highest type of government.

89:3.3 Self-denial and self-control were two of the greatest social gains from early evolutionary religion. Self-control gave man a new philosophy of life; it taught him the art of augmenting life’s fraction by lowering the denominator of personal demands instead of always attempting to increase the numerator of selfish gratification.

91:1.2 Religion and its agencies, the chief of which is prayer, are allied only with those values which have general social recognition, group approval. Therefore, when primitive man attempted to gratify his baser emotions or to achieve unmitigated selfish ambitions, he was deprived of the consolation of religion and the assistance of prayer. If the individual sought to accomplish anything antisocial, he was obliged to seek the aid of nonreligious magic, resort to sorcerers, and thus be deprived of the assistance of prayer. Prayer, therefore, very early became a mighty promoter of social evolution, moral progress, and spiritual attainment.

4:2.4 Continuing evolution modifies nature by augmenting the content of Paradise perfection and by diminishing the content of the evil, error, and disharmony of relative reality.

Labels:   Layne Cameron    Christoph Adami    evolution    goodness    urantia Book    meanness    selfishness   

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Fri, March 22, 2013

Universe ages 80M years; Big Bang gets clearer


The "big bang" is a concept that makes sense to most science-minded persons; evidently, the explanation for the entire universe is that it all was created in an instant from one subatomic particle.

Leaving the logic of the big bang for the moment, it was refreshing and exciting to discover this article about the new scientific thinking regarding the age of the universe.

See "Link to External Source Article" below to read further.


Essentially, the scientists have redated the age of the universe to about 13 billion years. And, interestingly enough, The Urantia Book is in agreement. Here are the pertinent dates, which I took from our Timeline feature

200,000,000,000 B.C. - A time of contraction and condensation in the Andronover nuclear mass. Some planets revolving around the newborn suns have cooled sufficiently to be suitable for life implantation. The oldest inhabited planets of Nebadon date from these times. The completed universe mechanism of Nebadon first begins to function; Michael's creation is registered on Uversa as a universe of inhabitation - (The Urantia Book, 57:3.10; 57:3.11)

75,000,000,000 B.C. - The Andronover nebula has attained the height of its sun-family stage. The majority of these suns have since developed extensive systems of planets, satellites, dark islands, comets, meteors, and cosmic dust clouds - (The Urantia Book, 57:4.2)

50,000,000,000 B.C. - The first period of sun dispersion in the Andronovre nebula is completed, giving origin to 876,926 sun systems - (The Urantia Book, 57:4.3)

7,000,000,000 B.C. - The height of the Andronover terminal breakup, the period of the birth of the larger terminal suns and the apex of the local physical disturbances. The Milky Way galaxy is composed of vast numbers of former spiral and other nebulae, and many still retain their original configuration. But as the result of internal catastrophes and external attraction, many are so distorted and rearranged that these enormous aggregations appear as gigantic luminous masses of blazing suns, like the Magellanic Cloud. - (The Urantia Book, 15:4.8; 57:4.7)

You'll see that these quotes cover the times between 7 billion years to 200 billion years, and I think you'll find it all fits quite nicely...with those immense time spans, I think we can allow a bit of leeway...

Labels:   LORI HINNANT    SETH BORENSTEIN    astronomy    big bang    Urantia Book    universe age   

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Fri, March 15, 2013

Wacky Physics: The Coolest Little Particles in Nature

By LiveScience Staff  

They come in different flavors and sizes, some come in destructive duos that essentially vaporize each other, and many have fantastical names like sparticles and neutrolinos. Here are the tiny particles that leave even physicists drooling - terms like: God Particle, Quarks, Neutrinos, and Antimatter

See "Link to External Source Article" below to read further.


The Urantia Book has a LOT to say about "particles." Here's just a sampling:

41:4.2 Gaseous, liquid, and solid states are matters of atomic-molecular relationships, but density is a relationship of space and mass. Density varies directly with the quantity of mass in space and inversely with the amount of space in mass, the space between the central cores of matter and the particles which whirl around these centers as well as the space within such material particles.

41:5.6 Energy, whether as light or in other forms, in its flight through space moves straight forward. The actual particles of material existence traverse space like a fusillade. They go in a straight and unbroken line or procession except as they are acted on by superior forces, and except as they ever obey the linear-gravity pull inherent in material mass and the circular-gravity presence of the Isle of Paradise.

42:5.14 The so-called ether is merely a collective name to designate a group of force and energy activities occurring in space. Ultimatons, electrons, and other mass aggregations of energy are uniform particles of matter, and in their transit through space they really proceed in direct lines. Light and all other forms of recognizable energy manifestations consist of a succession of definite energy particles which proceed in direct lines except as modified by gravity and other intervening forces. That these processions of energy particles appear as wave phenomena when subjected to certain observations is due to the resistance of the undifferentiated force blanket of all space, the hypothetical ether, and to the intergravity tension of the associated aggregations of matter. The spacing of the particle-intervals of matter, together with the initial velocity of the energy beams, establishes the undulatory appearance of many forms of energy-matter.

42:6.2 Local or linear gravity becomes fully operative with the appearance of the atomic organization of matter. Preatomic matter becomes slightly gravity responsive when activated by X ray and other similar energies, but no measurable linear-gravity pull is exerted on free, unattached, and uncharged electronic-energy particles or on unassociated ultimatons.

42:8.3 The charged protons and the uncharged neutrons of the nucleus of the atom are held together by the reciprocating function of the mesotron, a particle of matter 180 times as heavy as the electron. Without this arrangement the electric charge carried by the protons would be disruptive of the atomic nucleus.

...Makes one wonder whether any of the particles in the article correspond to any of these from the book...try our search feature!

Labels:   particle physics    Urantia Book    atomic particles    neutrons    matter    space energies    density    mass      

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Fri, March 01, 2013

Colorful Map of Mercury Snapped by NASA Spacecraft (Video)

By Miriam Kramer  

A new video by a NASA spacecraft orbiting Mercury is showing the closest planet to the sun like never before, revealing the rocky world as an oddly colorful planet.

Scientists created the new video of Mercury from space using images captured by NASA's Messenger spacecraft, which has been studying the small planet from orbit since 2011. The video shows a complete global map of Mercury as it spins on its axis and was assembled using thousands of photos into a single view.

See "Link to External Source Article" below to read further, where you'll also find a short video of the enhanced views of Mercury obtained by NASA's Messenger spacecraft (the name is short for the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging)


From The Urantia Book, we learn that Mercury always shows only one side of its surface to earth, similar to our moon. How lucky that we can now get a full view of this lovely planet!

57:6.2 The planets nearest the sun were the first to have their revolutions slowed down by tidal friction. Such gravitational influences also contribute to the stabilization of planetary orbits while acting as a brake on the rate of planetary- axial revolution, causing a planet to revolve ever slower until axial revolution ceases, leaving one hemisphere of the planet always turned toward the sun or larger body, as is illustrated by the planet Mercury and by the moon, which always turns the same face toward Urantia.

Labels:   Miriam Kramer    NASA    messenger spacecraft    astronomy    Mercury    planets    solar system    Urantia Book   

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Fri, February 15, 2013

Earth-like Planets Are Right Next Door

By Center for Astrophysics Press Release  

Cambridge, MA - Using publicly available data from NASA's Kepler space telescope, astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) have found that six percent of red dwarf stars have habitable, Earth-sized planets. Since red dwarfs are the most common stars in our galaxy, the closest Earth-like planet could be just 13 light-years away.

"We thought we would have to search vast distances to find an Earth-like planet. Now we realize another Earth is probably in our own backyard, waiting to be spotted," said Harvard astronomer and lead author Courtney Dressing (CfA).

See "Link to External Source Article" below to read further.


Again, we who read and study The Urantia Book are heartened and encouraged by these newest findings from the scientific world...

Who knows for sure just how many of the planets that we'll find are "habitable?"

15:2.3 1. The System. The basic unit of the supergovernment consists of about one thousand inhabited or inhabitable worlds. Blazing suns, cold worlds, planets too near the hot suns, and other spheres not suitable for creature habitation are not included in this group. These one thousand worlds adapted to support life are called a system, but in the younger systems only a comparatively small number of these worlds may be inhabited. Each inhabited planet is presided over by a Planetary Prince, and each local system has an architectural sphere as its headquarters and is ruled by a System Sovereign.

49:0.4 Not all planets are suited to harbor mortal life. Small ones having a high rate of axial revolution are wholly unsuited for life habitats. In several of the physical systems of Satania the planets revolving around the central sun are too large for habitation, their great mass occasioning oppressive gravity. Many of these enormous spheres have satellites, sometimes a half dozen or more, and these moons are often in size very near that of Urantia, so that they are almost ideal for habitation.

In any event, we love to hear about these new discoveries, and look forward to many more...

Labels:   Center for Astrophysics Press Release    habitable planets    solar system    red dwarfs    astronomy    Urantia Book      

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Fri, January 18, 2013

Milky Way Galaxy May Be Less Massive Than Thought

By Mike Wall  

The Milky Way galaxy, home of Earth's solar system, may actually be only half as massive as currently thought, scientists say.

Stars in the far outer reaches of the Milky Way, between 260,000 and 490,000 light-years from the galactic center, are cruising around surprisingly slowly, researchers found. Galactic mass and star velocities are linked, so the results could have big implications.

See "Link to External Source Article" below to read further.


I am nowhere near a talented astronomy student, but on the face of it, it seems that these outer-lying space bodies may in fact be a part of the outer space levels, and not part and parcel of the Milky Way. None of these systems is clear-cut, but blend into one another...and present-day astronomers appear to have no idea of these levels at this time

11:7.7 The relatively quiet zones between the space levels, such as the one separating the seven superuniverses from the first outer space level, are enormous elliptical regions of quiescent space activities. These zones separate the vast galaxies which race around Paradise in orderly procession. You may visualize the first outer space level, where untold universes are now in process of formation, as a vast procession of galaxies swinging around Paradise, bounded above and below by the midspace zones of quiescence and bounded on the inner and outer margins by relatively quiet space zones. *

Labels:   Mike Wall    Urantia Book    astronomy    science Milky Way    galaxy    stellar mass      

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Fri, January 11, 2013

Earth-Like Alien Planet May Be Good Candidate For Hosting Life, NASA Says

By Clara Moskowitz  

LONG BEACH, Calif. — A possible alien planet discovered by NASA's Kepler space telescope is the most Earth-like world yet detected beyond our solar system, scientists say.

The possible planet is called KOI 172.02 (KOI stands for Kepler Object of Interest, a designation assigned to all planet candidates found by the telescope until they are confirmed as planets). The discovery was announced at the meeting Monday (Jan. 7) by Christopher Burke of the SETI Institute as part of a batch of 461 new planet candidates found by Kepler.

See "Link to External Source Article" below to read further.


From The Urantia Book:

15:6.15 In your superuniverse not one cool planet in forty is habitable by beings of your order. And, of course, the superheated suns and the frigid outlying worlds are unfit to harbor higher life. In your solar system only three planets are at present suited to harbor life. Urantia, in size, density, and location, is in many respects ideal for human habitation.

Labels:   Clara Moskowitz    NASA    Planets    astronomy    Kepler telescope    Urantia Book   

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Fri, January 11, 2013

The Heart of Why Nature Matters

By Sarah Hauck  

Coral reefs provide medicines that save lives. Forests give us wood for shelter and heat. Rivers provide fish to eat and jobs for fisherman. Through the Conservancy’s special feature on why Nature Matters, you can hear directly from people who depend on a healthy environment for their food, livelihood or medication.

Reading these inspiring stories and watching the videos got me to thinking… why does nature matter to our own Conservancy scientists? What has motivated them to do the work they do? So, I reached out to a few and asked them just that.

See "Link to External Source Article" below to read further.


Nature is a part of our world - more accurately, we are part of Nature - and it is such a beautiful, majestic, and sometimes mysterious part of life. Many people find God in nature...and these people in the article seem to feel that kind of reverence for it...maybe you do, too

Nature plays a large part in The Urantia Book, too. For some of its teachings regarding Nature, please see HERE, for our topical study on the subject.

Nature can make us think about Mother Spirit as well. After all, she does breathe life on the natural world of things and beings - the original "Mother Nature."

Labels:   Sarah Hauck    nature    Urantia Book    science    scientists    conservation. Nature Conservancy      

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Fri, January 11, 2013

Was Jesus' First Miracle a Mistake?

By Corey Landreth  

Have you ever wondered this? I mean, God sends His One and Only Son to earth as a baby with the purpose of saving every person ever born, or to be born, from their sins. Hebrews says He is the creator and sustainer of all things. Jesus, who healed the lame, gave sight to the blind, cured leprosy and sent demons packing comes to the critical moment of his first miracle and... let down.

Surely He knew that for the rest of time this particular miracle would bring stark disagreement and even violent debate. This one story, recorded only in John's Gospel has sparked much debate over the centuries. What does the word translated "wine" mean? It can mean fermented or unfermented, so no conclusive evidence there. Teetotalers believe it MUST mean grape juice and others assume it means an alcoholic beverage. Was the "grape juice" saved for the last of the party or the "alcohol"? I just heard an argument that it MUST have been grape juice they were drinking because how could a drunk person tell if the "wine" was good or not? Of course, the counterpoint is that if the master of the ceremony was hammered he wouldn't have been very good at his job.

See "Link to External Source Article" below to read further.


Evidently, Biblical scholars have a problem with Jesus' first miracle having to do with wine, which many Christian religions prohibit. At the end of the article, the author wonders whether Mary was "showing off," and why Jesus performed this feat, when he has just told Mary that his time had not yet come...?

Both, good questions...and The Urantia Book has answers.

On this topic, The Urantia Book is very clear. The turning of the water into wine is not considered a miracle at all, even though it appears to be. Here, we are told why:

137:4.13 But this was in no sense a miracle. No law of nature was modified, abrogated, or even transcended. Nothing happened but the abrogation of time in association with the celestial assembly of the chemical elements requisite for the elaboration of the wine. At Cana on this occasion the agents of the Creator made wine just as they do by the ordinary natural processes except that they did it independently of time and with the intervention of superhuman agencies in the matter of the space assembly of the necessary chemical ingredients.

Jesus himself was surprised at this turn of events:

137:4.12 It was gradually dawning upon Jesus what had happened. Of all persons present at the marriage feast of Cana, Jesus was the most surprised. Others had expected him to work a wonder, but that was just what he had purposed not to do. And then the Son of Man recalled the admonition of his Personalized Thought Adjuster in the hills. He recounted how the Adjuster had warned him about the inability of any power or personality to deprive him of the creator prerogative of independence of time. On this occasion power transformers, midwayers, and all other required personalities were assembled near the water and other necessary elements, and in the face of the expressed wish of the Universe Creator Sovereign, there was no escaping the instantaneous appearance of wine. And this occurrence was made doubly certain since the Personalized Adjuster had signified that the execution of the Son’s desire was in no way a contravention of the Father’s will.

In other words, it was simply the power of Jesus desiring to fulfill his mother's request, coupled with this desire not going against God's will that made it happen. After this, Jesus was more careful about what he thought and when...

Read the whole story in The Urantia Book HERE

Labels:   Corey Landreth    water into wine    Cana    wedding at Cana    Jesus    Christianity    Urantia Book    miracles of Jesus   

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Fri, January 11, 2013

Billions and Billions of Planets

By Whitney Clavin  

A new analysis of data from NASA's Kepler mission finds evidence for at least 100 billion planets in our galaxy. An assortment of planets beyond our solar system is depicted in this artist's concept. Image credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech

Look up at the night sky and you'll see stars, sure. But the sky is also filled with planets -- billions and billions of them at least.

"There are at least 100 billion planets in the galaxy, just our galaxy," says John Johnson, assistant professor of planetary astronomy at Caltech and coauthor of the study, which was recently accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal. "That's mind-boggling."

See "Link to External Source Article" below to read further.


...but just in case you've forgotten:

15:6.10 The superuniverse of Orvonton is illuminated and warmed by more than ten trillion blazing suns. These suns are the stars of your observable astronomic system. More than two trillion are too distant and too small ever to be seen from Urantia. But in the master universe there are as many suns as there are glasses of water in the oceans of your world.

...and if around each of these suns (stars) there are planets, we can expect to find out about even more "out there..."

Labels:   Whitney Clavin    astronomy    suns    stars    planets    Urantia Book      

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