Life: Destiny or Chance?

Life: Destiny or Chance?

2014, Science  -   53 Comments
Ratings: 7.47/10 from 136 users.

Life: Destiny or Chance? attempts to answer the fundamental question of whether life is the result of articulate cosmic design, or simply a lucky (for us, anyhow) occurrence predicated solely on chance. Basically, are we a mistake?

Looking at it from a very scientific and objective perspective, the film starts by looking at the processes that create and sustain life, and whether they are actually integral to the universe on a grand scale - or just a little blip on the radar for a relatively unrelated flowchart.

The narrator goes on to explain that stellar explosions (supernovas and the like) that spew forth dust are the catalysts for all forms of matter. A computer-simulated rendering of the evolution of the cosmos is used to demonstrate exactly how the universe took shape from time zero up until present day, and enables the commentary to break down a number of phenomena native to astrophysics - dark matter, black holes, solar winds, etc.

A star cluster called the Trapezium pumps out a wind of ultraviolet radiation that clears out an area where young stars can be born to generate solar nebulae where the early building blocks of life can get a foothold. Dust particles begin to "stick together" by way of gravity, and slowly form masses that eventually become substantial enough to constitute what we know as planets.

Interplanetary dust particles that contain carbon and hydrogen particles, when exposed to oxygen in our atmosphere, create H2O (water) particles that are the building blocks of life. Earth's abundance of water, and the ensuing life that emerged from its presence, is due in large part to this process. Each of the planets in our solar system are then chronicled, with explanations of how water prevails on its surface and the moons that orbit them.

The figure thrown out in the film's closing is that our universe has had over forty billion individual favorable opportunities to spawn life in its history, and Earth is the only data point we have where those efforts resulted in the life that we enjoy - doesn't seem all that favorable that we are the universe's primary objective.

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53 Comments / User Reviews

  1. drmax

    I thought it was all about Adam and Eve....LOL

  2. Casey

    did anyone else see in their sub titles, after the last sentence of the doc " what does it all add up to? " the number 7 appear vry quickly?

    1. Steve

      it for sure had the number 7 after it said, what does it all add up to. crazy!

  3. wrong

    wow so many wrong facts about water on neptune, uranus and europa....they have inner oceans of liquid methane , liquid metals and acids, cant remember what acid exactly, but BIG DIFFERENCE IN H2O AND SULFURIC ACID AND about Enceledeus correct though.

  4. themhz

    From my point of view the answer is destiny all the way. Great doc

  5. Paul Gloor

    We exist in this universe and are able to ask these questions because we are in a universe that has the correct "settings" to make it possible.
    Random chance ? No, Divine purpose ? No... Its an inevitable process of physics and chemistry.

  6. blondemama

    great doc. but the comments...religion vs science; you know, it doesn't have to be a contest. One can be "right" without the need to prove it; and especially not proving it by basing your "rightness" on the grounds that everyone else who thinks differently must be wrong; therefor not only are you "right" you are somehow better than the "wrong" ones. We're here. The how and whys are interesting thoughts to consider, but in the long run; It doesn't matter how it happened. We aren't gonna be here long; the least we can do is enjoy it without wasting time fighting with each other about how it happened. I fail to see the point in fighting about any of it.

    1. madmidgitz

      "One can be "right" without the need to prove it" no, no they cant

      not honestly, if you are "right" you need to be able to show it

    2. blondemama

      i agree. but in this case neither side can prove anything. It comes down to either accepting some facts as gospel, or accepting all gospel as fact. I'm on the side of science; makes more sense to me. But how many times has science been wrong? Or found something that totally disproved facts that they had thought was truth and therefore the facts had to be changed. Science is not infallible ; every discovery changes and sometimes challenges prior thinking. And thats ok with me; its a learning process. Religious folks can't prove anything, but I can not disprove their religious beliefs either! I feel in my heart I am right. But as far as proving it- i couldn't if i wanted to. That does not make me wrong.

    3. madmidgitz

      " But how many times has science been wrong?" the methods? never found a more reliable method yet

      " It comes down to either accepting some facts as gospel" what facts? besides the problem of hard solipsism what do you have to accept as gospel?

      "therefore the facts had to be changed" the facts never change, our understanding of them does

      before we knew the earth orbited the sun that didnt mean that it didnt

      "Religious folks can't prove anything, but I can not disprove their religious beliefs either!"
      yes they cant prove anything, and we CAN disprove specific beliefs

      6 day creation, false, beyond any shadow of any doubt (without invoking solipsism)

      "But as far as proving it- i couldn't if i wanted to. That does not make me wrong." if you say you are right and you cant prove it, you are wrong, its dishonest

      if i yell bomb in an airport for example, oh i cant prove it, and i have no reason to believe there is a bomb at all

      but i feel it in my heart

      wrong! and the airport security and the law would agree

    4. Faded Joke

      I think you may be wrong here. As nothing even scientific theory is not with 100% certainty. Nothing is 100% certain. There are many quotes from very notable scientists and philosophers agreeing that if we lived in 100% certain world we would not be living in reality. Some ideas may be more certain than others but none are 100% certain. So lets just live our lives and let others go about theirs. It's up to each of us to decide what work best for us.

    5. Dan Lennon

      Religion and science represent two fundamentally different ways of thinking. Science is based on evidence and religion is based on faith. These are opposite philosophies. One approach - science - provides accurate information. The other does not.

    6. mikem


  7. jerrymack

    Sorry but the narrator turned me off immediately.

  8. jon jenkins

    it formed the way it did to insure its continued success and growth

    1. Fabien L

      We end up with the same problem as with any supreme god though, self creation.

  9. jon jenkins

    if you thought of the universe as a living entity in its self, then the perfect order it has manifested could be explained as a sort of self intrinsic awareness

    1. Gary

      You can think that way it's simple logic, as long as you remember that we are of the universe then it follows that if were are alive then so is the universe

  10. Fabien L

    Beautiful images but definitely not an answer to the title question.

  11. coryn

    A question from a non-scientist relating to determinism and free-will.

    The narrator brings up the term 'fine-tuned'…… which implies, or suggests, a 'Fine Tuner', and immediately a dichotomy is established -- is what we perceive all around us 'created' by some prior circumstance, or 'Being', or 'not created, but simply 'random''? He asks ' do you explain 'intelligence''? Are things 'meant to be, inevitable', or are they 'gratuitous, random, and not related'? This is often the pattern of thought presented by creationists, as opposed to determinists, those who would insist that all the elements of the universe are related and contiguous. There are no gaps where a 'deity", or a 'freewill' can insert itself and take control.

    Thus we have two possibilities. The first called causality, the idea that each 'event' is related to other prior events, an event is inexorably tied to the events preceding it, and there is absolutely no way for a 'god' to step in and control events. Such as 'God' throwing hailstones down from the heavens to kill the Amorites in the Book of Joshua. The other side being that there is no such 'determinism' operative in existence, and the universe is populated with spirits and ghosts and trolls and deities, all acting ad hoc, at will, indiscriminately, etc...

    Science seems to be based upon the first, and religion, mysticism and superstition upon the latter. In our universe there is no possibility that it could be other than it is, since all is related, and thus there can be no 'fine-tuning', since there is no 'Fine-Tuner".

    1. Insignificantly Significant

      A fine tuner, is something that you added, the film didn't. The earth was fine tuned(in a sense) for life, as it was terraformed, no? Without any deity needed, this still happened.

    2. coryn

      Agreed, I mentioned the idea of a fine tuner as an unreasonable assumption given that we know the world has evolved, and that reality is contiguous, i.e. everything is next to something else, there are no gaps where another system operates, such as 'god's will', where the flow of reality is halted while 'god's will' operates. Such as when a prayer is offered. The contiguous natural events are halted while 'god', or 'fate', a representation of another reality steps in and operates indefinitely.

    3. Pascalore

      How do you make soup? Do you just walk into your house and have hot soup waiting for you (and not because your wife made it - hmm...if she did, is she God?)? Perhaps most of the things in the universe simply exist and interact and always have and for some things someone has to create them in order for them to exist, like soup. All the ingredients exist for soup to exist but they can't put themselves together.

      We also know that creation began with the word. It is the same for science. A scientist begins with a theory (always written down - words) and then tests that theory. An engineer begins with what he wants to build and creates plans (words again) for a builder to create whatever was designed.

      Man was created in Gods' image. What if it was an image (like a blueprint) of what was intended to be created? I don't know any engineer who looks like his creations or any chemist who looks like his concoctions or any scientist who looks like his conclusions.

    4. coryn

      Hmmm...... Hold on there Pascalore, it's not that easy mate..... I don't know that 'creation' began with the word, nor am I convinced that a human was created in 'God's image'. It appears to me that 'God' is entirely different from humans, more often the opposite, not even similar, except in drawings or statues made by man. What is the 'stuff' of God? Not flesh, blood and bones. Does 'God' eat or sleep? Worry or fret? Get ulcers? I suppose if we believe the Bible you could say that both men and God kill other human beings, that's one for starters.

      And soup is like humans, not created in a strict sense, but just the stuff of the universe transformed. Humans are an existing sperm and an existing egg which happen to meet, just as water and peas simmered together we call soup. No, I'm having trouble following you here.... And I was taught that matter and energy could not be created or destroyed, only transformed into one another.

      But then what would I know, I've been brainwashed like everyone else?

    5. Insignificantly Significant

      But, evolution doesn't disprove that there may be forces at work, that we have yet to uncover. In many ways, evolutionary events strongly suggest, there's more to it all, than a bunch of random mutations. We see incredible emergence, on pretty much every level or organization, and much of this, no science has been able to explain, yet. I believe there's some sort of blueprint or direction it's building in, but am not entirely sure.

      As when it comes to these big questions, i often say; the only thing I'm sure about, is that I'm not. You sound just as potentially ignorant, as any religious fanatic, who claims with 100%, that some God def exists.

    6. coryn

      That's possibly true..... Yes, and after years of thinking, and arriving at tentative conclusions I am just as likely to 'push' them upon others 'as any religious fanatic'. And I would justify it by saying that beliefs that lack evidence are an impediment to the advancement of knowledge. If there is a better method than the scientific method than it should be brought forth.

      The desire to know, and to be right about it all, seems universal. When I was young I thought if I spent a lifetime trying to solve these riddles I could eventually understand it ...... but that's not so, it just all becomes more complex at a deeper level.

    7. Insignificantly Significant

      My bad, i forgot about this. I'm the same way, and plus, you carry yourself much better, than many do, in regards to this topic.

      But, i'm not anti-science. I do think the system is becoming increasingly corrupted, and we should keep an eye on the system. And many in science, do present themselves, rather dogmatically. Some of why religion has been demonized, is seen in our attitude, regarding science. But, there are questions, that science is unable to answer currently. It's like if you heard a noise around some corner, but were unable to verify what it was or wasn't. Does this mean, you can't even pose a question, about what it may be? People will try and answer these questions, on their own. I think we should remain, as open minded as possible. And both sides are stubborn. Mankind seems unable to simply say, we may not be sure, yet.

      It does get more and more complex. And 2 different people,can look at the same pattern, and see different items with in...esp how complex it all is. So, we should be open minded, not just in regards to what we know, but in regards, to what others "know"...imo.

    8. Bob

      An interesting conversation to read. I'd like to add my 2 cents in reply to your last post, but first I'm not sure what you mean by something you said earlier. "why is any "spiritual"(often derived from scientific findings, such as harmonies in ecologies etc).... " I don't understand exactly what you mean about spiritual often being derived from scientific findings. Do you mean that something like looking at Hubble Telescope pictures is awe inspiring in a spiritual way, which came from science (hubble pic's in that example)?

      Science is a system, a methodology to study the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. By definition it is not some entity in of itself, but rather just a way of investigating our surroundings (and us), a method of thinking about and exploring some things. Because the method is only applicable to the natural and physical world, the whole 'God' question is not a question that science can even begin to ask let alone answer, because 'God' cannot be demonstrated to be a part of our physical and natural world the question is not applicable. It's like trying to use a thermometer and temperature to work out how tall you are... the method just doesn't apply. So it's not so much that the question is not allowed, but rather it's nonsensical and pretty silly to ask a method that doesn't apply to answer a question it cannot even begin to try to ask.

      With your sound around the corner analogy, it'd be like not hearing a sound around the corner and saying 'There is a sound around the corner, we better go taste what it is'. It doesn't really make sense.

      I agree that we need to keep a close eye on how things are used and watch for any corruption, misuse and misrepresentation, but that's not so much the method of science itself, but rather how that is represented and applied. That is one of the reasons why ethics is very important RE science, like any tool it can be used for bad purposes.
      I have often heard good scientists say things like "as far as we know", "from what we can tell", "it seems to be", with the understanding that they could be proven incorrect either with more contrary evidence, or a better more accurate explanation. To me, following where the evidence and logic leads you yet remembering that you could be mistaken is being open minded. All credible scientists would agree that it is not the person but rather the strength of and the supporting evidence for the argument that matters, and all have to accept that they could be shown to be incorrect. There are of course some 'not-so-good' scientists that will prostitute their science for their own gain, that's a fact of life. That's the people, not the method itself. Anyone that doesn't understand that is all that science is, a method of working things out, doesn't really understand science, and unfortunately that seems to be quite a lot of people. Science is often misunderstood and thought of as more than it is.

      The method of science is still the best we have for working out what our senses can detect. (Or extensions of our senses via tools like a telescope), it's the people, egos and sometimes agendas contrary to pure knowledge discovery, that are in and around science that sometime corrupt and bring out the undesirable results of an increased knowledge. Contrary to what many people believe, science doesn't attack religion. Religion feels attacked and reacts the way it does because claims of absolute knowledge on some things are being shown to be incorrect. That's not the fault of the method for discovery, that's the fault of those that claimed absolute knowledge and were wrong.

    9. coryn

      Hello Bob, you said:

      "Because the method is only applicable to the natural and physical world, the whole 'God' question is not a question that science can even begin to ask let alone answer, because 'God' cannot be demonstrated to be a part of our physical and natural world the question is not applicable."

      Yes, I agree, but In truth, the 'God' question is thrust upon those of us who hold a scientific inclination, since 'God' is thought to have 'created' us, and should control us. And this is what is taught in our schools. When I was in grade school we had to say a prayer in the morning. The power structures of the world are using this method to control us, whether knowingly or not. To religious believers, "God" gives them the right to impose religion everywhere, and upon everyone.

      And that's not right…….

    10. Insignificantly Significant

      First off, thanks for the addition. And to answer your first question about "spirituality". No, I don't mean that stars are awesome, there must be a god, and I don't even mean "god" per se. We know exactly why stars are so awesome. It's a tug of war match, between grav and EM. Nothing to get too gassed about lol. But, when we see so many eco harmonies and all of the self checking mechanisms built into life, that just "serendipitously" arise; it leaves the question on the table: is there something more to it all. What has mainly led me to lean from atheist, back towards an agnostic, is once I found out, that it seems we're not only evolving, but doing so exponentially, from at least the cell. They say evolution has no direction, and i think the science, potentially disagrees with that assessment.

      I think of it as simply a force, or inherent blueprint, that we've yet to fully discover(although some think they have). It's like we understood we fall towards the earth, far prior to having a good explanation of why(gravity). I think there are clearly other forces at work, that we will eventually use science, to uncover.

      You say, it's silly to ask these questions, cuz science can't answer them? Ok, so all of the "acts of god" in the past, were too silly to ask, cuz science couldn't answer them? I thought, science has done the exact opposite. We know why lighting strikes, and hurricanes occur. It was our philosophical curiosity, that drove us to science. And to me, all science is, is an extension of philosophy. We first only had our brain and hands to probe with. We now have an ever growing plethora of other technological appendages or tools to help. But, we still start off with the good ole brain, as we philosophize.

      I'm not anti-science, as I said. When i say science, of course i mean those that are using the method. I don't lump all scientists into the same category; cuz then i would be doing the same thing, i'm accusing so many others of doing, concerning religion.

      Here's some dogmatic quotes, from some respected scientists. First N. D. tyson:
      "The good thing about science, is it's true, whether or not, you believe in it." He also said,
      "once different tests, show the same results, it's no longer subject toy our opinion."

      Richard Dawkins(and many other respected acedmics), say it's silly to even ask, whether or not, there is some larger purpose to it all.

      I'm a fan of Tyson, yet it's phenomenal to me, how people don't see how dogmatic that sounds.

    11. coryn

      Good Morning IS

      You say that "…it's silly to ask these questions, cuz science can't answer them?"……. and, "They say evolution has no direction, and i think the science, potentially disagrees with that assessment."

      My college work was in anthropology, so I would say the following. We have evolved over thousands and thousands of years, most of that time as family and extended family units. That's enough time to establish some habits and customs I'd say, all hopefully to help extend their lifetimes. And likely gods and goddesses followed the pond spirits and the woods and weather spirits, all mind structures organized around extending group solidarity and longevity. And that is what worked, over all those years. Ostracism from your group was very seriously business. Gods became the leaders of the groups in conflicts as well, and the more victories the wider the acceptance of that particular God. We can read it in the Bible. But think about it, whether or not the peoples actually believed that a god was 'real', or not, was secondary to the establishment of group solidarity. This was at a time of near-zero science, and maximum imagination.

      Fast forward to today and we see the opposite. Evidence based science has developed a structure (and yes, certainly a 'work in progress') of the laws of the universe, a deterministic cause and effect world that has only appeared in the last "few" years, as compared to thousands and thousands of years of our 'non fact-based' prior existence. The formula works, and it was utilized likely in nearly every group of humans that has existed. The deity didn't have to be real, but your allegiance to the belief system did.

      Your other excellent question is highly debatable, so I'll fall back on Darwin, who said that the only attribute that influenced evolution was 'adaptability'. Adaptability will trump everything else. But Darwin could be wrong too…… and you could be asking the right questions. I think you're on the right track. Keep at it….

      You said...... "Couldn't it be deterministically occurring, according to some blueprint?" But doesn't a 'blueprint' imply a 'blueprinter'? The eternal question ...... "Who created the creator"?

    12. Insignificantly Significant

      I agree with all of that, and as I said; I’m not
      anti-science(as long as we bear in mind, that scientific findings are not dogmatic, as they’re often portrayed and received by so many). There are just questions, that science can’t answer yet, and those who practice it, often won’t even consider such items, for observation.

      Regarding a blueprintER: in a deterministic universe, can’t we say that there was a blueprint- for stars, galaxies, solar systems, planets, and life(within the big bang particle)? The problem is with the language used. If I say it has a direction, it implies, a director…a plan…planner…and so on. Also, the mainstream idea is that this is all happening serendipitously, and so “life” could all just end, at any time. I think history tells a very different story. But, do I think there is a blueprinter? I have no idea. I can reasonably assume, that the world wasn’t created by a benevolent entity, 6000 years ago. But, what created the universe? I, and no one else, has any idea, at this time.
      It’s not that it’s silly to ask, as it is, silly to answer…cuz we have little to nothing, to base any assumption, off of. I don’t follow any traditional religion; and think religion, has largely been taken out of context, and used to control the masses. But, some items, such as an inherent interconnectedness(that
      was taken out of context), I do subscribe to. As we know, science has confirmed what the ancients already, seemed to be aware of(quantum entanglement and how everything is interconnected).

    13. coryn

      Pretty much what I've decided. It's so mind-boggeling to try to go back further, my mind simply can't handle it. I can't imagine 'infinite' anything, whether it be in time or space, I can imagine the creation of 350,000 species of Beetles because someone has been out there counting them. But deities that don't show up to be counted will remain dubious. My problem becomes to avoid those humans who want to harm me, or take my life for not believing in their deity or belief system. And indoctrinating children with a belief system could be good or bad, it requires evaluation, and that is best done with a scientific method I think, whereas previously it may have been done by force perhaps, to promote the security of the group.

      Just 50 or 100 years ago we knew so little, but now change occurs so fast. Quantum entanglement means little to me, but to those growing up with it, they'll understand. Being 'interconnected' could mean many things, much as the term 'contiguous', which lacks the connotation of direction, or trend. Can we call everything 'interconnected', if they only are 'juxtaposed', or 'next to' something else? Together with energy and a temporal setting I see a mechanical progression, but not necessarily sentient until humans. My brain is just too limited, meaning I never did have a good imagination. Wish I could hang around for the future......

    14. Insignificantly Significant

      Sorry, i took so long to get back. We disgaree on some, maybe. But, that's ok and i really enjoyed the convo.

    15. Bob

      Gassed about... lol :)
      I think we agree on most points. I too class myself as agnostic, leaning towards atheist. I think with the available evidence, we can at least rule out all religions proposed to date as incorrect. And 'God' as at least not absolutely required as far as we know. But as there is not enough evidence to rule out either reasonable end of the spectrum, we're left in the middle with agnostic.

      Its often hard to know what someone means by the term 'spiritual', I was meaning 'awe' in that sense.

      I am also a fan of Tyson, his passion is contagious. I agree, those statements can be seen as dogmatic in the sense that they make claims of absolute knowledge and therefore fit the definition. I'm no expert on philosophy, but I can see the argument that technically the only thing we can know for sure is "I think therefore I exist." But with Tyson's statements there, they are logically sound, and fit accurately with what we repeatedly observe. So we can say that as far as we know, and CAN know at this time with the available evidence, that is correct.

      I have seen people argue philosophy is 'dead'. I disagree with that, I agree with you that it is still necessary in science to a degree. We need it when thinking about ethics, and when imagining a possible explanation (hypothesis) to observed phenomenon.

      I mostly agree with Dawkins on purpose. Not all philosophical lines of thought are applicable, useful, relevant or even sensible. I think purpose is easy, ours is the same as all complex life on a basic level. First survive, then breed. Anything more I think is a result of having the ability to both reason into the future and past, and introspectively. It's a by-product of our higher reasoning capacity. And therefore I think it's not 'silly' to ask the question, it's quite natural. It is silly to expect science to answer something it can't. 'God', 'higher purpose in life', 'supernatural' hasn't been demonstrated to be anything more than just a philosophical idea, can't be observed or demonstrated to even exist, therefore can't have the scientific method applied. That is why it is silly to ask science to answer those types of questions.

      With complex ecosystems and evolution, it is exactly the same as with your explanation of stars. The more that is understood about the mechanism and contributing factors, the less 'mysterious' it becomes, and the requirement for some 'supernatural' answer reduces towards nil.

      The complex relationships, or "harmonies" we find in ecosystems isn't really surprising once you have the first self replicating life. There is no need for some 'blueprint' to get to what we have now.

      Once you have life, when there is an available fuel source that is not being used, eventually a mutation will throw up a combination that will use the unused fuel source. It multiplies, it's waste becomes a new fuel source, and it becomes a potential food source itself. Eventually one of the life forms throws out another mutation that uses the 2nd life's new, now available fuel source. It repeats, etc etc. This happens more often over time as more and more numerous and diverse life throws up new viable mutations and possible fuel sources. Oxygen was a 'waste' product that was very important, as the element is
      so reactive with so many other elements it is a great fuel. Once that 'waste' product became available, combined with sexual reproduction, it can be seen why diversity exploded.

      Creating over time a very intricate web of connections between multiple, sometimes seemingly unconnected life forms. Some are out competed, or conditions change, and they die off, blurring the easily observable line of increasing complex connections. That is why fossils were/are so important to help fill the gaps. DNA has now proven many connections, and no doubt has much more to reveal to us yet.
      I think it makes complete sense that after so much time we see such complex, inter-reliant and related ecosystems. It would actually be weird if we didn't unless we'd just had an extinction event.

      We're pretty sure that over 98% of life that has evolved here has become extinct. If it turns out there is some guiding force, or 'blueprint', it's pretty crappy for a plan really, all that death just to get to here (and that's assuming this now, us, is the 'end goal'). There is no need to inject a supernatural explanation for the diversity of or the relationship between life (ecosystems). The only hard and fast rule is don't die before breeding.

      I think an adaption requirement and element is a natural result of living on a constantly changing environment/planet. The ones that couldn't are gone, the ones here that won't will go too with enough change. I think increased complexity is a natural result of the way it seems to work, as more options become available, more results appear. Many reliant on earlier changes. No guiding hand or blueprint needed for that. Possible, but not required.

    16. Insignificantly Significant

      Yea that was one of the main points, is that I don’t think philosophy is dead. It’s built into the S method, as any hypothesis, is essentially…philosophy lol. I do think those statements (Tyson) stifle creativity(even though he more than balances it out, with his contagious personality), and are fundamentally anti-science. The pursuit of science means to question everything, all of the time. Just because someone else has done tests, doesn’t mean that you will get the same results etc, esp as tools to test with, evolve. Also, people interpret results differently, and your theory, may be entirely wrong, to begin with. We should never say things, like it’s true, and that’s it, or it’s not subject to your opinion. People are so scared of religion, but religion has been losing power, for quite some time. What I think we need to keep our eye on, is those in science. They are the modern day priests or power wielders. In this corporate world, like in every other facet, it’s being manipulated…like religion was.

      You say there is no guiding hand needed. I’ll say this, let’s assume there def is no deity of any sort. Aren’t all of the forces, as we know them, guiding the development of complexity, as we know it? After all, as I’ve said, there is a blueprint or set of ingredients or instructions, for life as we know it, because it’s happened. I think there is more to it, though yes.

      Before we understood what EM And gravity were, we saw these as divine forces. My personal definition of divinity is this- that which is, outside of the realm of understanding(esp the collective societal scope). I think there are other forces at work, that science will eventually uncover, and we won’t see them as being divine, once it does. It’s like, if there is a creator(s), and we come to understand them more, or whatever created our universe, we will no longer see it as being “supernatural”. Like if dogs, were somehow granted the capacity to understand evolution(maybe they evolved lol), and why man has domain over them; they wouldn’t see us as gods or some of what we can do as godlike, in the same sense they may now. I know the theory, everything from nothing, and am interested by it. But, I don't think the verdict is in on it, yet.

      I do see the kind of awe you spoke of, in regards to how ancients saw stars…in many eco systems, and emergence, in general. Well, many eco systems, we still have little info on, as is. We’ve come to understand much, but still see it all as being happenstance; as in, it wasn’t building towards something bigger. This is hard for me to state with just words, so I’ll post these vids, that I made to help explain some of my views…in these kinds of convos. But, in short, it’s because we not only evolved from star dust to have this convo(which at least borders miraculous as is lol), but we appear to be doing so, exponentially. Nothing in science, can explain this, and it demands a new look at the results…imo.

      A respected member on this site critiqued me, and I’m glad he did. But, I mainly feel he was missing my point; and also, he didn’t see the second vid.

      You say mass extinctions are crappy, and that’s looking at it, from our self-righteous or individualistic modes of thinking(we all have). We see the world as we do, in part, because we’re fed a model of a chaotic, randomly occurring universe. Some of the ancient religions(esp shamanic, but in buddhism and hinduism and different native american religions), saw things differently, and is why I don’t count all of them out. But yes, all can be brought up to date. But, as I express here in the vid, mass death is very important. Also, please read the description. And I’d stop at 14 minutes. The rest I think is interesting; but I was rambling, and left it in. It needs to be much more, well thought out.

      The vids could be shortened I suppose, so sorry for making you sit through it. But, if ya could, check em out over the next few weeks or so. I’m in no hurry.

    17. Bob

      Thank you for your reply IS. Wow, you've made some videos? You must have made a big effort to help explain your argument, that is more than I can claim. I will watch them as soon as I finish typing this, thank you, I'm very interested to watch them.

      I would just say about the forces of nature and evolution before I do, we have to be careful what terms / labels that are used, and I agree, proper communication also involves the receiver getting the same idea as intended, so interpretation must often be considered. I agree with, I think it was coryn, that said earlier something like the term 'blueprint' implies a blueprinter. The term 'guide' RE forces implies a guiding hand I think, I feel a more accurate term is influence. And I agree, they must have an influence on evolution. For example, I recall hearing in school (too long ago) that if a pig was scaled up to the size of an elephant, it's bones couldn't support it's weight and they'd break. Obviously that's gravity. I vaguely recall hearing somewhere a Blue Whale couldn't survive on land because of it's size and weight too, I'd have to check both to be sure though.
      Yes, you are correct about extinction events, I did bring my own prejudice in that thinking. If the earlier events hadn't happened we wouldn't be here as we are now, so I guess on thinking about it, you're right, they're all good except if one happens to us, that one would be crappy. :)

    18. Insignificantly Significant

      Yes, there are a few things I'd like to add, but the mod put a damper on my mood. Thanks, for the intriguing talk, none the less!

    19. Vlatko

      Please refrain from advertising your videos on the site. Thanks.

    20. Insignificantly Significant

      I made those vids, specifically to compensate in convos, where words just don't suffice, to get the info across. I carry wipeboards around with me, in person lol. It's the future of net responses, i think. You simply have so many more tools at your disposal, to illustrate points. I wasn't advertising, but thanks for leaving up the comment, anyways. I will refrain from now on, from commenting on these types of threads all together, i guess.

    21. Bob

      I started the first one, which jogged my memory, but it froze up after about 2 minutes, just getting into the diagram. I got to about the 15 minute mark of the second and it froze up, (my internet I'm pretty sure). I am downloading them, which will work, and I will finish watching them later. First I have some information to add. I don't know about how respected he was, but that poster you mentioned got banned. I thought your name was familiar when I was reading your posts, I don't fully recall the whole conversation, but you are correct, I didn't see the 2nd video then. I also don't recall my take on your idea then, but from what I just saw of the 2nd video I can give you some fresh perspective. I hope he wasn't rude to you, my apologies if I was. Hey, as you said, information is becoming more interconnected, and what was once not possible now sometimes is in the digital age. ;)

      You are also correct, he didn't fully understand all of your point. I'm not sure if it is a fresh perspective, or if it's the 2nd video, but I feel I heard some ideas for the first time then. (which would mean I didn't understand it fully the first time). I liked that first half of the 2nd one, it felt more like having a conversation with you, and a couple times a question popped into my head that you answered shortly after. You, myself and my brother could talk for hours. He's the math brain, does the math he likes for entertainment, he's not into talking online though :(

      One idea I understood much better is how extinction events not only free up 'slots' with newly available resources and room, I think the term you used was 'clear the path', but also how some of the event survivors now maintain the more complex, more recent adaptions. Which combined with the new available 'slots', allows an ever more complex round of new 'slot holders' to evolve. Which has the effect of helping to increase the level of complexity, which helps drive a growth in even more complex and diverse interactions. There is still the same room or 'slots', give or take, but the starting base is possibly more diverse, but most probably, (almost definitely depending on the nature of the extinction event) more complex / advanced. (along with the less complex survivors like phages etc.)

      I have to go get some sleep now, I will watch both of your videos soon and get back to you. I hope my input was constructive, or at least revealing. :) Good to talk to ya again IS, I'll get back to ya about the rest of your videos.

    22. Vlatko

      This thread is not about those videos on YT. It's about the documentary above. If you wish to discuss the videos in question you can do that on YT. Thanks.

    23. Insignificantly Significant

      edit-the dog analogy isn't good, and even if the universe came from nothing(or was cyclical or created by a creator[s]), it wouldn't change my argument...of what seems to be unfolding.

    24. coryn

      Hello Insignificantly Significant, good to hear from you again. I went ahead and watched the doc again, and wow, I was more impressed than the first time. Awesome, just awesome, and the scope of it all just seems to be infinite, something I really can't imagine. The human mind, I think, is too small to comprehend it all, I realize I can barely understand small parts of it ....... But, another part of me wants badly to understand it. My mind is just not capable....... The original question Destiny or Chance? is a question which takes me directly to determinism and 'free will', of how everything 'seems' connected, contiguous I would say, there are no gaps, and if there is no supernatural then the other alternative must be correct, and there is no 'free will' either, whatever that means. I remember a book, 'Society of Mind', by Marvin Minsky of Harvard, which explains 'freedom of will" like this: "Everything that happens in our universe is either completely determined by what's already happened, or else depends, in part, on random chance........ There is no room on either side for any third alternative. Whatever actions we may 'choose', they cannot make the slightest change in what otherwise have been -- because those rigid, natural laws already caused the states of mind that caused us to decide that way. And if that choice was in part made by chance -- it still leaves nothing for us to decide."

      As hard as it is for me to imagine, since it 'feels' like I'm free to choose at any time, I conclude that there is no such thing as 'free will', and that decisions are made deep within our minds, each decision a result of a multitude of prior decisions, all the way back to our birth.

      It then occurred to me that our minds are quite limited. For example, a friend once told me that he thought that the universe, matter and energy, had always existed, and that there never was any "creation". How could we ever know? As much as science knows, it still knows very little it seems........ It boggles my mind......

    25. Insignificantly Significant

      Yea, that's just it, how can we know fully...yet. We don't and can't. For all we know, some alien form, created the entire universe(simulation theory). We're probably not too far, from being able to create a simulation, similarly. Would those in the model, even know? Could they change the programming...well probably, if they could create it. Would we even know, if they did? lol that last part is far too speculative, to even get into, but i just constantly remind myself, how little we actually opposed to the opposite.

      I lean towards determinism, as well. Couldn't it be deterministically occurring, according to some blueprint? We can't know. We're left to look for clues. I think the clues point in that direction. I try to look at the world through different randomly occurring(no direction), and one that isn't. The scientific community, generally seems to only consider the first.

    26. Insignificantly Significant

      And why is any "spiritual"(often derived from scientific findings, such as harmonies in ecologies etc) or "contemporary religious" question(with or without a "deity"), automatically associated with ancient religions? It's like, ping pong must be a deadly sport, because gladiator sports in rome were so barbaric. You see the same in politics. Communism is evil, and will never work, because the soviet union already tried it(even though it wasn't truly communism that was practiced, just like many ancient religions were bs used to manipulate the public, as well). The issue, is with our superficial obsession with titles of, rather than the underlying content.

      Science doesn't have all of the answers yet, why is that so hard for people to come to terms with? And not all "religions" are the same.

      For the rec, i lean towards determinism, as well. So, does that mean you think, everything happens, for a reason? Lol

    27. coryn

      Why? Isn't it from our knowledge and sense of continuity, from evolution, from knowing we learn from the past. Read the history of ancient religions and see how they fulfilled the wants of the tribe, how a storm 'spirit' or a water spirit became the answer, the cause of their contemporary problems, a force that a leader could claim to control, or influence. And we're talking about hundreds of thousands of years of this evolution, from spirits to unicorns to trolls to superhumans, such as our gods today. Think of a child, is it going to accept what parents, relatives and friends tell it, or start from the git-go to figure out what is really happening? We seem to be programmed to live in the knowledge of the past.......

    28. Insignificantly Significant

      I'm not sure what you mean, or maybe you're not sure of what I meant. We used to call forces of nature, acts of god. It's understandable, considering the tools we were working with. We have much better tools to probe now, but there are still questions, that can't be answered, scientifically. When people attempt to, and philosophize, to try and fill in blanks, still left by science, it shouldn't generally be compared to those who philosophized, with only ancient knowledge. Yet, it always is. Funny, in some ways, modern science validates certain aspects of different older religions, but this still doesn't mean, that modern philosophizing, is the same, as ancient phil.

    29. coryn

      Interesting, yes, I see what you're saying, I've never thought of it that way. And as an 'old' person I remember many of the ideas of the past that simply haven't worked out, so I assume the scientific point of view that our current knowledge may, or may not, be correct..... But to me the structure of society is basically the same, then and now, of a leader who accepts a doctrine which is claimed to be 'absolute', or absolutely true, with a Book that proves it, etc., etc. My feelings and research tell me these absolute 'gods' may or may not be real, etc., etc...... that we have no proof that all can accept, and that while I agree that religion does considerable good for society, there is still another side to the coin. Belief systems are static, and science is dynamic. The former claim to know the truth, while the latter accept that they don't, and are still searching.

    30. Insignificantly Significant

      We may categorize our worldviews differently, but it sounds like we are on similar wavelengths. A few little things, we don't agree on, maybe.

      You say that beliefs are static, and so far as i can tell,nothing in the universe is truly static. Some of the best evidence for an evolutionary universe, is the evo of language. Now, some doctrines have been amended or updated over time, literally. But, even the ones that have remained the "same"(islam for one), they're still mot static. They continue to be re-interpreted, over time, as the words take on new meaning. As we know, most christian folk, far from interpret the bible, literally.

      And yes, religion can be used for good or bad, but the same can be said for any tool, such as science, as well. Monsanto, by itself, makes a pretty scary case of this. We see conflicts of interest in the epa, fda, and the sci journals, are becoming more and more suspect. People seem to think that science can't be corrupted, but i see many striking similarities, between how science is being used to sway the public, like religion was. If a "scientist" says it, we blindly follow. The world is at it's most artificially processed state, as every facet of it, has been tainted by money. The publish or perish mentality, that is getting worse and worse, has been increasingly turning science into a racket, just like religion. And often, scientific results, are heralded, as dogmatic sounding, as any religion.

      You seemed like you were winding it down, sorry, i had to add that, though

  12. Insignificantly Significant

    It was alright, but didn't push many boundaries. I liked the visual of asteroids raining down on the earth. Nebulae are recycling centers of the universe. Stars are a result of gravity vs electromagnetism. Clouds are a result of gravity vs EM, as well. When resources are expelled from the star, EM has won. When they're expelled from clouds...whoops gravity has won. Ok, so it's not a perfect analogy, but still interesting lol. "History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes"(Twain).

    Fractalized Universe...


  13. sharpstuff

    Total bovine excrement from start to finish. The Universe is electric, no beginning, no end. How Man seems to love to invent the invisible, then he won't have to explain anything, he can make it up as he goes along (virus/germ theory, big bang theory, terrorism theory and so on).

    And the cretinati believe this nonsense because they have never been taught how to learn.

    1. Insignificantly Significant

      I hear ya. Ideas sometime seem concocted, solely to compensate for the absence of understanding(or in the case of "terrorism", for ulterior reasons). But, when they say that the bang began the uni or existence; they mean "existence", as we "know" it.

      What was so outlandish, about this piece? It made rather safe assumptions. Or are you just completely against all or most science?