Many of the great questions of life trace back to issues of origins. Every culture has oral stories that detail supposed origin events and some of these were eventually written and codified into a grand narrative of scriptures we associate with the major religions. These collections of writings make claims that there is another realm, the supernatural, which is normally not perceived unless it interacts with our material world through miracles, visions, etc.
For thousands of years potential answers to how life and the universe originated was primarily if not solely the domain of religion and later philosophy. In contrast, there has emerged during the last four hundred years another approach to truth seeking that has attempted to impose more rigorous standards as to what sources of information are reliable and admissible for consideration in deciding these ultimate questions. In many cases, this newcomer - science - has claimed discoveries that appear to conflict with stories in various scriptures.
This site is dedicated to exploring areas of interest that touch upon issues of origins of the universe, our solar system and life on our planet. Since many scriptures have written origin narratives, these too would be available for critical examination. What tools should be used? One of the most useful is science, since it has developed methods for testing claims that have been extremely fruitful. Religious scholars have also developed techniques for evaluating scriptural texts during the past two hundred years. Unfortunately, many persons are unaware of higher and lower biblical criticism that is commonly accepted at universities around the world. Many persons are also unaware of the incredible scientific discoveries during the past 10 - 20 years in astronomy, genetics, and paleontology to name a few that should erase any doubt about the validity of deep ages, deep time, and the strength of evolutionary theory, including what many term macroevolution. Some of these scientific findings are extremely robust and when they obviously conflict with certain religious statements, the believer will need to make a decision as to which is better supported. In many cases, in an attempt to harmonize scripture with sound scientific evidence, theists have reinterpreted their scriptures as allegory, poetry, or other modifications. However, in many circumstances if one takes the written text in it's original form and in the context of the times, this only serves to weaken the proposition that scripture is inspired since it begins to look more and more like the product of human culture with the errors and misconceptions of its time. In many cases, the scriptures also go against common sense and it diminishes the believer's credibility to ignore those parts that are embarrassing or simply are in disagreement with scientific or historical findings.
Those who seek understanding must first try and find truths to lay the foundation for later synthesis and hopefully eventually wisdom. Only if one is willing to follow the evidence wherever it leads will we gain true understanding. We must want to know, even if it goes against what we hold dear. If our beliefs are erroneous, the true seeker will embrace new confirmed findings and be willing to discard that which does not hold up to critical thinking and sound discoveries. As Descartes said,
" If you would be a real seeker after truth,
it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt,
as far as possible, all things."
The INDEX PAGE on this site may be helpful.
ORIGIN - Middle English (the earliest use being in the phrase original sin). early 16th century: from French origine, from Latin origo, origin-, from oriri ‘to rise.’
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