A forum for thought provoking questions & answers of a spiritual nature or as pertaining to the Urantia Papers.
Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:55 am +0000
I've never been able to seriously concede Darwinian evolution for the same reason TUB says - "there are no missing links to be found."
I've read about 90% of TUB now parts 1, 2, and 4, and I'm just finishing pt 3. (I skipped ahead to 4 because I couldn't wait
Do the life carriers give any hints as to the mechanism of evolution? I'm particularly interested in the changes in genes that occurred immediately prior to the births of Andon and Fanta. Do we have any clues from TUB as to what exactly occurs in the mechanism of evolution to cause such dramatic changes in one generation?
Wed Dec 23, 2015 7:52 am +0000
The text with your quote:
58:6.2 (669.3) Although the evolution of vegetable life can be traced into animal life, and though there have been found graduated series of plants and animals which progressively lead up from the most simple to the most complex and advanced organisms, you will not be able to find such connecting links between the great divisions of the animal kingdom nor between the highest of the prehuman animal types and the dawn men of the human races. These so-called “missing links” will forever remain missing, for the simple reason that they never existed.
58:6.3 (669.4) From era to era radically new species of animal life arise. They do not evolve as the result of the gradual accumulation of small variations; they appear as full-fledged and new orders of life, and they appear suddenly.
58:6.4 (669.5) The sudden appearance of new species and diversified orders of living organisms is wholly biologic, strictly natural. There is nothing supernatural connected with these genetic mutations.
I think the answer to your questions may be found in Paper 65. The Life Carriers, Physical Controllers, and the Adjutants all work together depending on whether mind is "non-teachable" or "teachable". Remember that the point of all life, from ooze and slime to the first mind to achieve spirit response is that precise result. One point to remember is that in the higher forms of creatures, there are multiple "lines" of such evolution with similar potentials to maximize the success rate and pace of progress without being totally dependent upon anyone line of evolution for ultimate success.
65:0.6 (730.6) The mechanical-nonteachable levels of organismal environmental response are the domains of the physical controllers. The adjutant mind-spirits activate and regulate the adaptative or nonmechanical-teachable types of mind — those response mechanisms of organisms capable of learning from experience. And as the spirit adjutants thus manipulate mind potentials, so do the Life Carriers exercise considerable discretionary control over the environmental aspects of evolutionary processes right up to the time of the appearance of human will — the ability to know God and the power of choosing to worship him.
65:0.7 (730.7) It is the integrated functioning of the Life Carriers, the physical controllers, and the spirit adjutants that conditions the course of organic evolution on the inhabited worlds. And this is why evolution — on Urantia or elsewhere — is always purposeful and never accidental.
1. Life Carrier Functions
The Life Carriers are endowed with potentials of personality metamorphosis which but few orders of creatures possess. These Sons of the local universe are capable of functioning in three diverse phases of being. They ordinarily perform their duties as mid-phase Sons, that being the state of their origin. But a Life Carrier in such a stage of existence could not possibly function in the electrochemical domains as a fabricator of physical energies and material particles into units of living existence.
65:1.2 (730.9) Life Carriers are able to function and do function on the following three levels:
65:1.3 (730.10) 1. The physical level of electrochemistry.
65:1.4 (730.11) 2. The usual mid-phase of quasi-morontial existence.
65:1.5 (730.12) 3. The advanced semispiritual level.
There's much more of interest in this Paper that goes to your question.
Wed Dec 23, 2015 8:21 am +0000
Perhaps the simplest and easiest explanation is that when the life carriers initiate life, as they did here one billion years ago, the DNA of the single celled organisms contained the potential of all life from simple plantlife to dinosaurs and humans; these potential life forms are keyed to environmental factors. There are no missing links, things change from one form to the next according to the established plans set in motion by the life carriers.
Darwinian evolution is at play, but it is under the control of spirit forces which science cannot account for.
Wed Dec 23, 2015 8:25 am +0000
It might be useful to know the definition of evolution, which is the expression of the potentials of creativity within time and space. Evolution is the mechanism by which the universe expands and it does so by actualizing the potentials embedded within it. The germ plasm of life originally implanted on our world contained all the potentials of creativity designed by our Creator. It takes time for those potentials to become actualized, and that is called evolution.
Sphere Number Four and its tributary satellites are devoted to the study of the evolution of creature life in general and to the evolutionary antecedents of any one life level in particular. The original life plasm of an evolutionary world must contain the full potential for all future developmental variations and for all subsequent evolutionary changes and modifications. The provision for such far-reaching projects of life metamorphosis may require the appearance of many apparently useless forms of animal and vegetable life. Such by-products of planetary evolution, foreseen or unforeseen, appear upon the stage of action only to disappear, but in and through all this long process there runs the thread of the wise and intelligent formulations of the original designers of the planetary life plan and species scheme. The manifold by-products of biologic evolution are all essential to the final and full function of the higher intelligent forms of life, notwithstanding that great outward disharmony may prevail from time to time in the long upward struggle of the higher creatures to effect the mastery of the lower forms of life, many of which are sometimes so antagonistic to the peace and comfort of the evolving will creatures. 36:2:17
Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:31 pm +0000
Thanks everyone for giving such great and well thought out answers!
Van, your verses reminded me of the intent of my question. I had in mind a thought experiment.
Let's say we are scientists with a nice hefty government grant and all the lab equipment we need. How should we set up a series of experiments so that by reproducing the proper living conditions for maximizing the chance of such a dramatic evolutionary adjustment? It could be done with traditional lab rats, and increasingly difficult mazes and other tests of survival and intelligence. This is my question: over several decades, or centuries, how long should we wait until we expect to see a new species of rat emerge?
Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:59 pm +0000
65:3.6 Mankind on Urantia must solve its problems of mortal development with the human stocks it has—no more races will evolve from prehuman sources throughout all future time. But this fact does not preclude the possibility of the attainment of vastly higher levels of human development through the intelligent fostering of the evolutionary potentials still resident in the mortal races. That which we, the Life Carriers, do toward fostering and conserving the life strains before the appearance of human will, man must do for himself after such an event and subsequent to our retirement from active participation in evolution. In a general way, man's evolutionary destiny is in his own hands, and scientific intelligence must sooner or later supersede the random functioning of uncontrolled natural selection and chance survival.
65:3.7 And in discussing the fostering of evolution, it would not be amiss to point out that, in the long future ahead, when you may sometime be attached to a corps of Life Carriers
, you will have abundant and ample opportunity to offer suggestions and make any possible improvements in the plans and technique of life management and transplantation. Be patient! If you have good ideas, if your minds are fertile with better methods of administration for any part of the universal domains, you are certainly going to have an opportunity to present them to your associates and fellow administrators in the ages to come.
Perhaps you will get that grant in the long future ahead.
Wed Dec 23, 2015 3:57 pm +0000
I don't know if mortal science actually can create "new" species. I don't think there is any real purpose or value in "new species" of any kind really....as I said above, the only purpose of ANY species is its supporting, evolutionary role in the ultimate species - spiritized mortal mind....hurray, we made it....about one million years ago. I wonder if any new species has evolved since then?
We are already, in labs, creating new traits, new responses, new treatments, etc. in rats and other species, all designed to improve the potential longevity, disease resistance, immune-treatments/enhancements, and genetic modifications for humanity's "self-improvement" of our own species.
I am too uneducated to speak much on the topic. Are genetically modified seeds "new" species? They don't seem to carry such modifications forward in new generations with such modifications intact...but do deliver new and unpredictable mutations....many of which are often undesirable. Which makes me wonder as to the potential for unintended consequences for such meddling at this time, especially for bacteria, viruses, etc. I just saw a story about a modified and benign HIV based leukemia treatment that is delivering an 85-90% CURE rate for even advanced cancer patients....the new cells eat cancer in the blood like candy gum drops.
As the text Mannie posted above points out, humanity must improve our own species from the time of the Adamic default forward. So, as I understand it, the adjutants and the angels, and the spirits of Father, Mother, and Son are only engaged in spiritualization of the each and the all but no one is working on our bio-upliftment but our own science/scientists.
As far as the personal experience for our passions, talents, and expressions in the life to come:
44:8.4 (508.2) But every human being should remember: Many ambitions to excel which tantalize mortals in the flesh will not persist with these same mortals in the morontia and spirit careers. The ascending morontians learn to socialize their former purely selfish longings and egoistic ambitions. Nevertheless, those things which you so earnestly longed to do on earth and which circumstances so persistently denied you, if, after acquiring true mota insight in the morontia career, you still desire to do, then will you most certainly be granted every opportunity fully to satisfy your long-cherished desires.
44:8.5 (508.3) Before ascending mortals leave the local universe to embark upon their spirit careers, they will be satiated respecting every intellectual, artistic, and social longing or true ambition which ever characterized their mortal or morontia planes of existence. This is the achievement of equality of the satisfaction of self-expression and self-realization but not the attainment of identical experiential status nor the complete obliteration of characteristic individuality in skill, technique, and expression.
Wed Dec 23, 2015 9:25 pm +0000
Great answers again, thanks!
Here is why I ask. I would like to eventually be a philosopher, or at the very least a writer and contributor to the field of philosophy. As much as I'd like to be the next Immanuel Kant, I really don't care what I accomplish as long as I get to philosophize and do it professionally.
As I said in my OP I've never been able to concede to Darwinian evolution. But that is something which I'm well aware will be detrimental to my career of writing, especially in an academic field. The fundamentalist materialist mindset that pervades academia has no room for someone who is agnostic in regard to evolution.
But TUB is so common-sensical about issues that have confused humanity for millennia, I've already found several ways I can integrate its teachings on the evolution of religion and culture into my philosophy.
Incidentally I also find its description of biological evolution to be just a lot more plausible to my "BS detector" than Darwinian evolution by random mutation. It would be nice if I could describe the view of evolution that it puts forth in terms that are vague enough that I won't need to rely on direct quotes from the book to explicate it, but specific enough that the curious searcher could be pointed more in the direction of TUB's description of evolution than relying on modern Darwinism.
Every time I crack open a book or visit a website to try and learn more about Darwinian evolution it's just a lot of really fancy talk built on a shoddy foundation. This is evidenced by the fact of my thought experiment above. If any scientist had yet managed to create a bonafide new creature in a lab from a genetically disparate species through nothing but selecting the circumstances to optimize mutation, and selecting those with potentially beneficial mutations for survival and reproduction, they would be receiving their nomination for the Nobel Prize on the same day it was published, we all know it.
And in Darwinian evolution it's not guided in nature, so anything can turn into anything else given enough time and the right circumstances. But a scientist selecting the circumstances could theoretically extremely reduce the amount of time it takes by simply meticulously picking the circumstances and forcing the beneficial mutants to reproduce with each other. I'm sure this has been attempted but obviously it has failed or it would be on the front page of every newspaper in the world.
If, according to Darwinism, all the forms of life on Earth, from giant gray-skinned elephants with endoskeletons, to swarming flying locusts with exoskeletons, can appear in 3.5 billion years by random chance mutations, (and chance reproductions) think how much this time could be saved if it were a controlled experiment! Instead of the majority of beneficial mutations being lost, and instead of being rare, we could apply selected radiation or something else to force mutations to different groups of rats, observe the effects, weed out the 999 mutations that are disadvantageous and keep the 1 mutation that is advantageous.
Next we breed the good mutants together until we have a nice population of their stock. Force more mutations. throw out the 999 that are worse off from the mutations, and keep the ones that are good. Next breed those. Maybe experiment with some of their ancestral stock just to see what happens when adding the old genes back into the pool, but keep the good stock separate.
More mutations, throw out the bad keep the good, etc. rinse and repeat.
According to Darwinism we should be able to determine the adaptations that emerge by changing the conditions of the test subjects. If we take Darwinism at face value, then with enough guided evolution, we should be able to turn a common lab rat into something that is entirely different from a common lab rat; as different as an elephant is from a locust. Something that eventually is not even "rat" anymore, but an entirely new thing.
Therefore it would be just peachy if I could somehow take TUB's view of evolution and use that, since it makes a lot more sense, in my academic papers, but I have no idea how I'd go about providing a positive case (in an academic paper) for TUB's form of evolution, that stands up to the rigorous standards of academic journalism.
Thu Dec 24, 2015 5:48 am +0000
The problem here is that Darwinian evolution is man's theory of how life evolves. As we know, the truth of how everything evolves, involves the Creator. An atheistic scientist will reject out of hand any suggestion of the overcontrol of evolution by God. That's the problem. Not until the atheist wakes up from the fog will he ever be open to something like the Urantia Book. I have dealt with this phenomenon since the beginning of my time of reading the Urantia Book, with absolutely no luck. There is a pride and determination in most scientist/atheist types that boggles the mind, but on the other hand, makes perfect sense. There are a lot of lies told in traditional religion. The atheist mindset needs to be tempered with a humbling disappointment experience in order to move towards a philosophy which includes God, otherwise they tend to keep regarding themselves as being superior to what they have been told is God.
(48:7.14) 12. The greatest affliction of the cosmos is never to have been afflicted. Mortals only learn wisdom by experiencing tribulation.
Believe me, no matter how artful a writing which extols the virtue of the idea one ought to believe in God, the atheistic scientist will never accept what you have to say.
Thu Dec 24, 2015 6:54 am +0000
Perhaps they will believe me, and perhaps not
I'm about 98% certain that Atheism is an evolutionary religion like all the others, and that when most atheists realize that what they are rejecting about God is not the True God, but culturally false views about God, many will be brought around.
Most atheists would be shocked and appalled to know that all the reasons they denounce God for are reasons which I simply don't attribute to God. Therefore they are rejecting a false
"God," out of their sense
of what a true God would/should be like, if he were to exist, which ironically makes these atheists (I'm sure they would be remiss to know) more like the good kings of Israel who tore down all the idols and high places for their sense of what was right.
Also, a lot of what is fueling the atheistic movement is the failures of religion to demonstrate God. When religion stops repeating the same failures, atheism will lose all of its momentum and peter out like a car running out of gas.
This video is long so I don't blame you if you don't have time to watch it, but it's about anatheism, which is a return to God. Highly recommended! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxsNpMpPT3Q
Thu Dec 24, 2015 8:07 am +0000
Redtread wrote: I would like to eventually be a philosopher, or at the very least a writer and contributor to the field of philosophy.
Perhaps you should begin your quest by familiarizing yourself with how the Papers present the purpose of philosophy. Philosophy is meant to harmonize the discrepancies between science and religion, aided by revelation (living truth). Philosophy is the mediator between the outer and inner worlds. Its goal is to unify the two types of human experience by making them compatible. After all, the outer world is perceived and evaluated within the inner world of an individual. The inner world cannot be denied; the observer cannot be the thing observed. For the sake of sanity, philosophy must coordinate and balance these divergent views of reality. To view the world from either a wholly material or wholly spiritual viewpoint is mentally destabilizing.The union of the scientific attitude and the religious insight by the mediation of experiential philosophy is part of man's long Paradise-ascension experience. The approximations of mathematics and the certainties of insight will always require the harmonizing function of mind logic on all levels of experience short of the maximum attainment of the Supreme.
But logic can never succeed in harmonizing the findings of science and the insights of religion unless both the scientific and the religious aspects of a personality are truth dominated, sincerely desirous of following the truth wherever it may lead regardless of the conclusions which it may reach. 103:7:4-5
Reason grows out of material awareness, faith out of spiritual awareness, but through the mediation of a philosophy strengthened by revelation, logic may confirm both the inward and the outward view, thereby effecting the stabilization of both science and religion. Thus, through common contact with the logic of philosophy, may both science and religion become increasingly tolerant of each other, less and less skeptical. 103:7:6Philosophy is man's attempt at the unification of human experience.196:3:30
Philosophy is inevitably superscientific. 195:7:9
Last edited by Rexford
on Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:00 am +0000, edited 1 time in total.
Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:00 am +0000
I failed to mention another avenue of study that might be useful to you, and that is Papers 160 & 161, discussions with the philosopher Rodan. When it all boiled down, Rodan was having difficulty accepting the personality of God. I find that atheists and most agnostics fail to comprehend the phenomenon of personality.
Rodan did not believe that God is a person and the apostles had difficulty proving that he was; but of greater import was the fact that they were able to magnify Rodan's inability to prove that the personality of God did not exist.
Perhaps this same line of reasoning can be utilized when discussing evolution. Change the topic to LIFE. There isn't a scientist today that can prove that Deity did not have a hand in life manifestation on this planet. Likewise, I have yet to see any proof that life appeared here by chance from the combination of various chemicals and electromechanical forces. Even if life arrived here on an asteroid or comet, where did that life originate from? Although natural selection exists, it does not explain the problem of the very first selection; there was only one primal germ plasm to chose from. Natural selection would have you believe that life began with two simultaneous life forms fighting for dominance. These questions have not been answered, nor can they ever be answered by science alone.
The secret of evolution has to do with the pre-existence of potentials as well as the pre-knowledge of their inevitable activation from a given germ plasm which was created on satellite number one. Pre-existence and pre-knowledge must involve the presence of some kind of mind and free-will (which can only accompany personality). Traditional evolution leaves no room for either the creative personality or the free will of a pre-existent, pre-knowing cosmic source.
Thu Dec 24, 2015 2:30 pm +0000
for what it's worth, this article and some others mentioned in the comments section there indicate mutations aren't so random after all:Are mutations truly random?
...or you could just argue that random events are what we call the ones for which we dont have enough info to know the causes
Thu Dec 24, 2015 9:58 pm +0000
I couldn't agree more. This is one of the reasons why I think I'm starting to love TUB and talking to you guys.
I've been philosophizing according to TUBs definition my entire life. I didn't excel in grade school because I was always putting all my energy towards integrating the concepts I was learning before I would actually try to learn them as they were taught.
If a human personality was capable of formulating TUB then he or she wouldn't pass away in obscurity, we'd have more evidence of their works somewhere.
Here's why it seems unreasonable to me to think it's a fabrication: If we got 100 of the best writers, historians, and philosophers together and say have them formulate a book that's kinda half Christian but half sci-fi, and make it agreeable with common sense and profoundly wise and unsurpassed in philosophical insight ( especially as far as modern philosophy is concerned.) Furthermore we make it so that it can be a complete work of fabrication, they can tell as many lies as they want and make them sound real, would they produce anything near TUB? Those of us who've been changed by the truths in it know that would be an impossible task.
When you read the book it sounds exactly like you'd expect a book written by higher celestial beings to sound. They look down at us, but don't talk down to us. Would a crazy aspiring cult leader produce this work? How could someone craving power over others produce a work like this? Show me the cult it has inspired, or the power it has given to egocentric psychopaths. It hasn't. The group that "wrote" it doesn't even claim authorship.
So why would someone produce this work? There's only one reason. It is sustained by a fundamental element of truth. I don't know what that element is yet, I know there are some basic or possibly even substantial inaccuracies in the book, but that pales in comparison to the sense of life that the book presents.
When I say sense of life, I mean the overall view of the universe, of everything that we encounter. Even the fact that it's as obscure as it is even after 71 years of being in existence, it's almost as though only the people who are ready to confront the truths seem to end up reading it.
Most books appeal to some kind of common denominator of person that would read it. But TUB has no common denominator that is the same as any other book. It's equally relevant to every tradition and religion. It shamelessly proclaims truths in a matter of fact sense as if there was never really any doubting them, then it goes on to answer the questions raised by such proclamations before you even realize it's a question you had. It feels like it's reading your mind and saying "Rest easy child, I've got this."
It denounces all of the least important doctrines of Christianity to me and strengthens the most important and central doctrines that have made Christianity a reliable religion for my life.
I've read Mary Baker Eddy, I've read the book of Mormon, I've read the apocrypha and the pseudepigrapha. I've been to four years of Bible college. I've studied the Talmud. I've ingested the origin, source, and apoligetics defending the writings of the New Testament and the received canon. I've studied western and eastern philosophy from Confucius to Aristotle to Sartre. I've read Calvin and Wesley. I've visited dozens of kinds of churches and studied their worship services. I know all of the ways the new testament can be days to fulfill the old covenant. I know more of the Bible by heart than is even useful to me.
Yet in spite of all of this, I have never in my entire life read or studied a more cogent, complete, or full example of the best of human religion, philosophy, science, and history, brought into one work, while simultaneously giving a plausible explanation for a universe of universes that is more vast, enthralling, full and satisfying than any revealed religion has ever come close to.
I will admit that I wish there was more clarity as to the genesis of the Book. It's difficult to accept another new revelation when I can't even analyze the source because it all happened in a private room with only 150 other people who I don't know and never will.
But the text speaks for itself. It's not the spiritual words in the physical book, but the spiritual book in the physical words. It stands alone there is no other book that has the same sense of life. Regardless of the origin, or of its minor scientific discrepancies, I can't deny what I've seen with my own eyes. And what I've seen with my own eyes is deeper than the ocean, wider than the earth, and greater than the worldviews that currently pervade.
Say what you will about the Urantia Book, but at the end of the day it's the most plausible and universally satisfying worldview in existence today. Perhaps my statement will be proven wrong in the next few years as I continue to study, but I highly doubt it. The best of the philosophers and worldviews I know of are merely apprentices to apprentices to understudies of The Urantia Book.
At risk of repeating myself, I'll say again that it takes the best aspects of Christian theology and reinterprets them while leaving the worst aspects of Christianity in particular and religion in general out.
Fri Dec 25, 2015 12:52 am +0000
Redtread wrote: as to the genesis of the Book. It's difficult to accept another new revelation when I can't even analyze the source because it all happened in a private room with only 150 other people who I don't know and never will.
Your exaggerations and innuendos are hurtful.
I believe the number of humans involved in the Revelatory Commission 533 Diversey St. Chicago was closer to 70.
Do you believe this is how it happened? The source, in your opinion, was a human collaboration?
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