Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Does God really answer prayers?

Living in Utah, I am always hearing of experiences where God has answered someone's prayers. Of course the answer might not be what they wanted to hear, but the prayer was answered nonetheless.

My personal view is that God does not answer prayers. I feel that we are placed here on earth to make our way through on our own. In other words, God does not interfere.

Take the example of the little girl that is kidnapped, abused, and then killed. She prays to God to save her, or for her parents to find her, but nothing happens. This is a sincere prayer from a trusting innocent child. This story is all over the news until finally a lifeless body is found with signs of what happened in the last moments of life. The family members are devistated. Months later, a young boy goes missing during a camping trip. For days the family and volunteers search for him to no avail. After a couple of days, he is found safe and uninjured though dehydrated and hungry. He says he prayed that he would be found and God answered his prayers.

I don't think God interfered in either case (these are both fictional cases). How could a loving God interfere in some cases and ignore others. How could so many innocent children die of starvation or disease in 3rd world countries if there was a God that could/would interfere on occasion? In my oppinion, he doesn't interfere at all. We are on our own in this world.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Did mankind start with Adam and Eve?

Well, how to begin. It is common belief that the first 5 books of the Old Testament (or Torah) were written by Moses. Nowadays we know that is not true. These books were written down many hundreds of years after the time of Moses. It is possible that these stories or teachings were first told by Moses and then handed down thru the generations told as various stories by the Hebrew faithful, until they were one day written down to finally be shared with common content. Who knows how the stories changed from the originals after being passed down only verbally, with each retelling containing a bit of the current author's own embellishment.

At any rate, the timeline set up in the book of Genesis regarding the creation, and Adam and Eve, just don't stand up to modern day anthropology, which poses a very interesting question...Did mankind start with Adam and Eve?

In my opinion, it most certainly did not, at least not as depicted in the book of Genesis. Mitochondrial Eve is now thought to have lived over 150,000 years ago, and even she was not the first female human, or even the only female of the day to have living decendants. What makes her Mitochondrial Eve is the fact that she is the most recent female to have an unbroken line of mitochondrial DNA that exists today.

By contrast, Y-chromosome Adam lived about 60,000 years ago. Please note that Mitochondrial Eve and Y-Chromosome Adam will likely not be in 1000 years, who they are today, because as male and female lines die out, chains are broken and the most recent becomes, well, more recent.

Okay, none of this procludes the possibility of a Single Adam and Eve that at some point in the history of world, started the first line of homo sapiens. But there is more than theory on this. There is the multi-regional theory which suggests that homo sapiens arose in different regions of the world simultaneously from lower homonid forms. Then there is the out of africa theory that supposes they rose up from a single line homonid and migrated throughout Europe and Asia. Then of course there is the theory of creationism which tells the history of mankind through tales handed down from generation to generation, whose origin we really don't know for sure.

I tend to lean in the direction of the multi-regional theory.

Friday, June 09, 2006

What is the origin of religion?

Did religion develop during prehistoric times simply to explain things that could not otherwise be answered? Like worshipping the Sun God, or God of the Harvest, or God of the sea. Is this really how Paganism developed? If so, and there really is one true God out there, then why did he wait so long to reveal himself, and why did he only originally reveal himself to the Hebrews ignoring all other populations of the earth, while allowing Paganism and other religious beliefs to rise? None of this makes sense when stepping back and looking at the eternal plan of salvation.