You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 07, 2016, 12:26:17 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Evolution and Religion  (Read 16570 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #50 on: December 07, 2010, 02:41:34 PM »
What interests me about this is that it is not as wholly a Middle Ages phenomenon. Take a look at Ket's post:
I asked a friend this question once, wanting to understand his view on evolution vs. creationism. He replied, "What is a day to God? To us, it's 24 hours, but who knows, to God a day could equal a million years or even a billion years. So sure, God could have done it all in seven days if a day to God equals a million years in human created time."

One of the best answers I ever heard. Doesn't quite explain evolution, but puts things in a little bit different perspective.

This is known as day-age creationism, and it has its roots as far back as St. Augustine (~1600 years ago). For a long while it was a dominant theory in Christianity as it helped explain geological records. When Darwin came along his theory was often folded seamlessly into it (with some notable detractors e.g. William Jennings Bryan). However, in recent years (since ~1900) it has been displaced as the prevailing (or at least most visible) view by biblical literalism which had a prodigious and at times incomprehensible rise through the ranks of Christian thought. (See Numbers' Darwinism Comes to America for sources).

What is perhaps more baffling is the way that biblical literalism remains alive in the church as more of a populist rather than dogmatic movement. Theologians and a number of religious leaders do not necessarily see the conflict between the two, yet their congregations persist. For instance a number of Catholics are dead set against evolution despite writings like this:
Quote
We cannot say: creation or evolution, inasmuch as these two things respond to two different realities. The story of the dust of the earth and the breath of God, which we just heard, does not in fact explain how human persons come to be but rather what they are. It explains their inmost origin and casts light on the project that they are. And, vice versa, the theory of evolution seeks to understand and describe biological developments. But in so doing it cannot explain where the 'project' of human persons comes from, nor their inner origin, nor their particular nature. To that extent we are faced here with two complementary -- rather than mutually exclusive -- realities.
-Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI

Theistic evolution remains alive and well as a theory, but it is often crowded out of the public eye by those who would make conflict (presumably because they make more interesting news). However, the trend towards literalism still rises undaunted against the bulwark of common sense and scientific principle. Yet I cannot identify an apparent source.

There are a lot of stories in the Bible. They are many of them good. There are also accounts in the Bible. The historical validity of accounts can be debated, but stories are stories. Where does the desire come from that they be literally true? Where in the Bible does it tell us that we are supposed to take the creation story as literaly true (and if we are, which of the two should we take?). Where does it say that Job is any more than a morality play? Where does it say that Jonah must have survived in the belly of a 'fish' or else the entire premise of Judaism and Christianity is invalidated? We don't send archaeologists hunting for prodigal sons or looking for houses built on sand and rocks. It seems that it misses the point a little to do so.

But what do I know, I'm just an apostate :P
« Last Edit: December 12, 2010, 08:14:47 PM by DarklingAlice »

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #51 on: December 07, 2010, 08:29:12 PM »
And God created dinosaur skeletons to test the faithful.

I can explain that, previous creation to Genesis 1:1 which states the Earth was without form and void so there was substance there just without form and void. So dinosaurs could be billions of years old and since there are no human fossils its clear humans were not around. God just for some reason started over. This is religious conjecture and not necessary for salvation so one can think about such things.

If there is a problem its simple its there, natural law states an ancient age the Bible account says something else so go with the Bible account I'll ask God about this after I get upstairs to Heaven. Its just not an issue that concerns me.

Offline Serephino

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #52 on: December 07, 2010, 09:37:09 PM »
The peanut butter video has a point...  Unless I've missed something, all current life on Earth came from some sort of reproduction.  No one has been able to randomly create life.  Saying that it just randomly happened, and randomly formed a zillion different kinds of sentiment beings who share similarities and differences is no less ridiculous to me than pure Creationism.  It just happened, and here we are....  Seriously? 

I think God set it all up and let the world do its thing.  It only makes sense that he would make his creations adaptable.  What isn't adaptable doesn't last very long, and what fun would that be?  If he's smart enough to create the world, he's smart enough to think about such things I would imagine.   

I'm not a fan of Biblical literalism either.  It stifles free thinking, and that's never good.  I'm sorry, but it was written by man, and not by God.  These men wrote what they thought.  It's all well and good to listen to what they had to say, but to accept someone else's beliefs as absolute truth?  No thank you...

Offline Jude

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #53 on: December 07, 2010, 10:27:26 PM »
Evolution hooks into theories about abiogenesis when it comes to explaining how life came to be from the best scientific approximation available, but the two are not the same thing.  Evolution simply states that life has evolved to be more and more adept at survival and explains the mechanism of such.  We know human beings came about through evolution because of all of the data we've acquired, but there's not a whole lot of data when you go so far back that you're dealing with single-celled organisms, and it wouldn't even be appropriate to categorize the shift from nonliving to living as evolution.

Abiogenesis is entirely possible however, and it is the only scientific theory as to how life began.  When you make the claim "I don't think that it happened because of god," you're stepping out of the realm of science and fact and into faith.  That's perfectly acceptable as a personal belief discussed in the setting of religious belief, but it has no place in discussion of fact, science, or even likelihood.  It isn't a evidence-based opinion.

EDIT:  Corrected an accidental inaccuracy.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2010, 10:42:12 PM by Jude »

Offline Noelle

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #54 on: December 07, 2010, 10:39:36 PM »
The peanut butter video, frankly, is a highly absurd, non-scientific crackpot joke, which is why I posted it ;P The man featured does not have what appears to be even a basic understanding of evolution and how it works and also makes the mistake of crossing the theory of evolution with the origin of life, two things that are not necessarily related. Primordial soup was not a jar of chemical-laden plant by-product that has been temperature-controlled and generally unexposed to the elements.

In fact, Serephino, it didn't just magically happen one day and suddenly the earth was populated by a rainbow Noah's Ark variety of flora and fauna, the first life-forms were likely single-cell organisms, bacteria and its kin, things that thrive under extreme conditions that then continued to evolve over millions of years. Hell, when you read about NASA's search for extraterrestrial life, they're not exactly expecting fully-developed sentient bipedals to beam down, they typically search for basic cellular life, especially in planets and satellites that contain water in some form.

I can explain that, previous creation to Genesis 1:1 which states the Earth was without form and void so there was substance there just without form and void. So dinosaurs could be billions of years old and since there are no human fossils its clear humans were not around. God just for some reason started over. This is religious conjecture and not necessary for salvation so one can think about such things.

...So doesn't this kind of go back on your own belief that the earth is only 6,000 years old?


(edited to change origin of species to origin of life -- derrrr)
« Last Edit: December 07, 2010, 11:16:58 PM by Noelle »

Online Doomsday

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #55 on: December 08, 2010, 12:24:44 AM »
The peanut butter video has a point...  Unless I've missed something, all current life on Earth came from some sort of reproduction.  No one has been able to randomly create life.  Saying that it just randomly happened, and randomly formed a zillion different kinds of sentiment beings who share similarities and differences is no less ridiculous to me than pure Creationism.  It just happened, and here we are....  Seriously? 

I think God set it all up and let the world do its thing.  It only makes sense that he would make his creations adaptable.  What isn't adaptable doesn't last very long, and what fun would that be?  If he's smart enough to create the world, he's smart enough to think about such things I would imagine.   

I'm not a fan of Biblical literalism either.  It stifles free thinking, and that's never good.  I'm sorry, but it was written by man, and not by God.  These men wrote what they thought.  It's all well and good to listen to what they had to say, but to accept someone else's beliefs as absolute truth?  No thank you...


The peanut butter video is terrible, flawed, biased, etc...

The origin of life doesn't even pertain to evolution. It's Abiogenesis.

The Origin of Life - Abiogenesis - Dr. Jack Szostak
« Last Edit: December 08, 2010, 12:28:39 AM by Doomsday »

Offline Jude

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #56 on: December 08, 2010, 09:00:22 AM »
There are a lot of stories in the Bible. They are many of them good. There are also accounts in the Bible. The historical validity of accounts can be debated, but stories are stories. Where does the desire come from that they be literally true? Where in the Bible does it tell us that we are supposed to take the creation story as literaly true (and if we are, which of the two should we take?). Where does it say that Job is any more than a morality play? Where does it say that Jonah must have survived in the belly of a 'fish' or else the entire premise of Judaism and Christianity is invalidated? We don't send archaeologists hunting for prodigal sons or looking for houses built on sand and rocks. It seems that it misses the point a little to do so.
I suspect that part of it is that Christians don't actually read the bible in large numbers anymore.  As recent surveys attest, they aren't even more knowledgeable on their own dogma than unbelievers are.  Their religious teachings are coming directly from figures of authority, the communities that they trust, and the ideas in their head that they fill in the gaps in their knowledge in with.

Lets face it, the bible is a very confusing book.  Several translations later, it still contains archaic language, strange word usage, grammatical confusion, and references to cultures that are thousands of years old.  Theologians analyze all of this and come to the table with a greater wealth of understanding.  In looking at the text with educated eyes, it becomes obvious that the bible is not a literalist account due to the style of its portrayal.  They see the nuance and, despite the faith they usually possess, do not delude themselves into washing away the layers of complexity in favor of a more simplistic understanding.

There are of course varying degrees of understanding and literalism.  Young Earth Creationists are on the far end of the spectrum as they seem to believe every single word of the bible (even then the ones they haven't read) is the divine, inspired truth according to the Almighty God.  There's no reaching these people:  they believe words committed to writing by anonymous figures thousands of years ago over active investigations into the nature of the earth and the universe which are replicable, reputable, and numerous.  Thankfully, they do not seem to be the norm in the greater whole of society.

Getting your science from your bible is incredibly backward, just as getting your theology from your science is an abuse of the intent and purpose of science.  There will always be margins that science cannot touch for god to dwell in, because the more that we discover through empiricism, the more questions that arise.  Even if we manage to experimentally verify and understand theories on abiogenesis (which has not yet happened), there will still be questions about the origin of the matter that became life and the universe as a whole.  The ad hoc hypothesis of the soul adds an additional degree of complexity that science will probably never be able to touch -- the idea of dividing reality between the physical and metaphysical is as unprovably absurd from an empirical viewpoint as it is completely immune to scrutiny.

What it all comes down to is that the religious feel threatened because science has succeeded in creating models that explain reality without the need for god.  They assume that this constitutes an attack on god:  it's not.  Science endeavors to understand the universe using observable, independently verifiable, concrete evidence.  That is not the realm of god; of course science's theories will never incorporate a deity.

What this says about the existence of god is not a scientific question, but a religious one.  In that way, this is a conflict of atheism vs. theism, dragging science into the fight does no good.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2010, 09:03:27 AM by Jude »

Offline PeachieTopic starter

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #57 on: December 08, 2010, 12:08:59 PM »
Quote
In fact, Serephino, it didn't just magically happen one day and suddenly the earth was populated by a rainbow Noah's Ark variety of flora and fauna, the first life-forms were likely single-cell organisms, bacteria and its kin, things that thrive under extreme conditions that then continued to evolve over millions of years. Hell, when you read about NASA's search for extraterrestrial life, they're not exactly expecting fully-developed sentient bipedals to beam down, they typically search for basic cellular life, especially in planets and satellites that contain water in some form.

Actually, it was even more basic than that. Probably something as simple as an amino acid. They have done an experiment to recreate how life could have formed in a harsh environment similar to Earth's way back in the day. But I would have to research it a bit more to remember all the hard-core facts.

But I like how we have been separating evolution from the creation of life, because, like it was said before me, they are two completely different things.

What I have a hard time doing is explaining to my friends who are vehemently Christians, that evolution is a scientific theory, and that even though I understand that and believe in it, I still believe in God. It is so hard to listen to them lecture me on how 'we didn't come from a monkey' when they have done no research on the topic at all! It's so frustrating, and I don't know how to deal with people like that without getting in a heated argument.

Offline Noelle

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #58 on: December 08, 2010, 02:05:21 PM »
Thanks for the minor add-in about amino acids; admittedly, my own knowledge of evolution isn't detailed. Enough to know generally how it all works, that fully sentient bipedals are not an instantaneous by-product of evolution, and that peanut butter doesn't disprove anything :P
« Last Edit: December 08, 2010, 02:06:46 PM by Noelle »

Offline mystictiger

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #59 on: December 08, 2010, 03:11:47 PM »
Thanks for the minor add-in about amino acids; admittedly, my own knowledge of evolution isn't detailed. Enough to know generally how it all works, that fully sentient bipedals are not an instantaneous by-product of evolution, and that peanut butter doesn't disprove anything :P

Well, peanut butter did disprove that we arose spontaneously from peanut butter.

That would certainly make explaining unexpected pregnancies much easier...

"John - it was terrible! I was just sitting down to make a peanut butter sandwhich during an electrical storm, and that's where little Timmy came from! The fact that he looks like the milkman is entirely coincidental"

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #60 on: December 08, 2010, 03:17:05 PM »
Well, peanut butter did disprove that we arose spontaneously from peanut butter.

That would certainly make explaining unexpected pregnancies much easier...

"John - it was terrible! I was just sitting down to make a peanut butter sandwhich during an electrical storm, and that's where little Timmy came from! The fact that he looks like the milkman is entirely coincidental"

Dammit, I was hoping that could explain the cravings.  Any word on the pickle theory?

Offline Inkidu

  • E's Resident Girlomancer, Dedicated Philogynist, The Compartive of a Superlative, SLG's Sammich Life-Giver
  • Lord
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2008
  • Location: In a staring contest with the Void.
  • Gender: Male
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #61 on: December 08, 2010, 03:21:10 PM »
When you can imagine a being that can think in the contexts of time or space (or neither actually) and not both then you know what God is and then the idea of the Big Bang Theory, Evolution, and Creationism they all make sense together. :)

Offline Acinonyx

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #62 on: December 08, 2010, 03:47:34 PM »
I love you explanation Jude, but just to be a smart-ass, I'd change/clarify two or three things.

1. Evolution is not (only) about survival, but (a lot) about reproduction. The successful ones are the ones who have successful offspring, not necessarily the ones that live the longest. But of course being good at surviving helps a lot with producing many offspring that'll also have many offspring and so on.

2. And it's about reproductive success in a specific environment, not in general. And since environments are subject to changes, sometimes sudden ones, and are vastly different, depending on where you are, this is an important matter.

3. DNA mutations occur all the time, regardless of radiation and other influences. Even though the DNA copying process is very good and even actually proofreads, mutations are natural occurrences. This helps producing a variety of DNA codes upon which evolution can act. I just thought this was an important emphasis to mention.

And just something I'd like to throw out there: What do you think happens when there is something - anything - among variety of chemicals that begins replicating itself by using the chemicals around it (maybe a chemical compound of some sort itself)? What if there's nothing there to stop it from replicating as it pleases, even if its doing a slightly bad job at making exact copies? What if some of these copies are faster, better or more flexible, when the resources for the replication or the space become limited? What if the copies don't hold forever and end up becoming new fodder for the other copies to copy themselves? What if the cycle of imperfect, non-lasting copies and competition goes on and on?

In other words, if there's just one simple, boring, imperfect and completely unspectacular replicator, how could evolution not just happen? I mean that thing doesn't even have to be good at what it is doing. Stopping evolution seems to be a much more difficult thing to accomplish.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2010, 03:52:25 PM by Acinonyx »

Offline Jude

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #63 on: December 08, 2010, 04:55:43 PM »
Thanks for fixing my points of inaccuracy, all of your corrections seem very sound.

Offline mystictiger

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #64 on: December 08, 2010, 05:23:13 PM »
The 'imperfection' of the genetic material always gives me pause for thought. The beauty and wonder of everything that is alive (and going down further to pseudo-living things like transposons) is due to how crap our hardware is. Think of how boring things would be if there were no errors, and the only mutagens were due to external sources.

Wow.

I am pleased to be imperfect.

Now, I just wish that other people would recognise how great my imperfections are ;)

Offline Inkidu

  • E's Resident Girlomancer, Dedicated Philogynist, The Compartive of a Superlative, SLG's Sammich Life-Giver
  • Lord
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2008
  • Location: In a staring contest with the Void.
  • Gender: Male
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #65 on: December 08, 2010, 06:07:10 PM »
The 'imperfection' of the genetic material always gives me pause for thought. The beauty and wonder of everything that is alive (and going down further to pseudo-living things like transposons) is due to how crap our hardware is. Think of how boring things would be if there were no errors, and the only mutagens were due to external sources.

Wow.

I am pleased to be imperfect.

Now, I just wish that other people would recognise how great my imperfections are ;)
I like to look at it this way. The human is the world's (because I can't say universe's... yet) most sophisticated biological computer. We're running so many programs that there can't help but be little ghosts in the machine. :)

Offline PeachieTopic starter

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #66 on: December 08, 2010, 07:28:28 PM »
Quote
3. DNA mutations occur all the time, regardless of radiation and other influences. Even though the DNA copying process is very good and even actually proofreads, mutations are natural occurrences. This helps producing a variety of DNA codes upon which evolution can act. I just thought this was an important emphasis to mention.

Well said! And also, our genes everyday encode many splice variants for different proteins, making each and every person unique. It really is so cool to think about how our bodies work and how they have evolved that way!

Offline Scott

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #67 on: December 09, 2010, 02:48:59 AM »
Maybe were just God's playdough, and when he finally got us into the shape he wanted he put the first two in the the garden of Eden. Then Eve screwed up, and now I have to go to work in the morning when I should be frolicking around naked eating fruit and berries?

Thanks a bunch Eve. 

Offline Muninn

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #68 on: December 09, 2010, 06:07:30 AM »
Maybe were just God's playdough, and when he finally got us into the shape he wanted he put the first two in the the garden of Eden. Then Eve screwed up, and now I have to go to work in the morning when I should be frolicking around naked eating fruit and berries?

Thanks a bunch Eve.

This reminded me of a film I love and I'm just gonna take a moment of off-topicness and post this quote in reply:

Quote
What kind of god creates Adam in his image and then pulls Eve out of him to keep him company? 
And then tells them not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge?
 He was so micromanaging.
So was Adam.
But Eve...
Eve just wanted to know shit.
-Hedwig and the Angry Inch


But back on topic!

I am not the greatest source of knowledge when it comes to evolution but I remember in my classes and in readings that we can see evolution at work in simple things like pest control.  Companies have to keep changing the formulas of their poisons because pests they affect are adapting to whatever killed them before (or, rather, their offspring are). I look to my brother as an example, his apartment complex is currently infested with roaches (not his fault) and he has had his place fumigated twice and directly after the fumigation the roaches were still running around and unaffected.  I think it's about time that company changed things up (If someone would prefer some links and sources I'll gladly hunt them down when I have more time).

Offline Zakharra

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #69 on: December 09, 2010, 08:27:10 AM »
Maybe were just God's playdough, and when he finally got us into the shape he wanted he put the first two in the the garden of Eden. Then Eve screwed up, and now I have to go to work in the morning when I should be frolicking around naked eating fruit and berries?

Thanks a bunch Eve.

 The man was still stupid enough to take a bite out of the apple.

 /shrug

Offline Acinonyx

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #70 on: December 09, 2010, 08:27:57 AM »
The peanut butter video is terrible, flawed, biased, etc...

I love the peanut butter video for three reasons.

1. It's not about evolution, it's about abiogenesis.
2. Peanut butter =/= Primordial Soup
3. If you let it stand long enough, stuff actually will grow in there - probably Clostrdium botulinum which wouldn't prove abiogensis, but certainly disprove this experiment.
(I'd like to dare this guy to eat from an old jar of peanut butter, but then, he'll be too dead to realize that he was wrong).



Quote
Saying that it just randomly happened, and randomly formed a zillion different kinds of sentiment beings who share similarities and differences is no less ridiculous to me than pure Creationism.

On a zillon planets in a billion years, the origin of life (merely an inefficient replicon!) has to happen exactly once. Where's the problem?
It doesn't even need to randomly form sentiment beings because then evolution comes into play which is likely, given enough time, to do exactly that.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2010, 08:31:08 AM by Acinonyx »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #71 on: December 10, 2010, 01:52:59 AM »
 I have always had a problem with the use of “random” as an explanation for the origin of anything.  That seems to be side stepping the question of how with something that is illogical and does not fit into the world as seen now.  To say this amount of heat, this amount of carbon, this amount of this or that and randomly something was crafted seems absurd.  From there the designer argument seems a bit more logical to my mind.

Online Vekseid

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #72 on: December 10, 2010, 03:18:27 AM »
The random argument is a Creationist, one, Pumpkin. Of course it's a poor argument - it's a strawman, and is no longer even very accurate as mechanisms for homochirality are now being uncovered. It is simply attacking scientists who are honest enough to say 'I don't know, let's find out!' for their own honesty. Evidence now suggests that some chiralities (depending on the type of molecule) are more prone to decay, and that once an imbalance begins, it reinforces itself.

Acinonyx's point is that it's quite irrelevant given the scope of the Universe is, quite possibly, infinite.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #73 on: December 10, 2010, 03:39:59 AM »
I do not often hear Creationists use the random statement to describe the process.  More often than not I hear people who do not believe in God stating that randomness, chance and luck were involved in what is here today.  Our planet being at its location to support the life here, the conditions being just the way they are a result of chance.  Luck of the draw and repetition leading to an eventual conclusion of “something had to happen.”  Perhaps Creationists are picking at a bad theory or bad wording, but that is the first time I have heard the random argument attributed to them.

Online Vekseid

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #74 on: December 10, 2010, 04:40:24 AM »
I do not often hear Creationists use the random statement to describe the process.  More often than not I hear people who do not believe in God stating that randomness, chance and luck were involved in what is here today.  Our planet being at its location to support the life here, the conditions being just the way they are a result of chance.  Luck of the draw and repetition leading to an eventual conclusion of “something had to happen.”  Perhaps Creationists are picking at a bad theory or bad wording, but that is the first time I have heard the random argument attributed to them.

I thought you were referring to the chirality argument, which is where the 10^50 or other such ridiculous numbers comes from.

You're making a rather confused statement about the idea of random, there.

You filter the available data for stars that can support a habitable zone for an extended period. Bound them for metallicity and a suitable galactic environment.

Alright, that's still billions of stars in our galaxy alone. And there are trillions of galaxies in the observable Universe, and the observable Universe may be an insignificant fraction of what actually exists. That we are on one such of these trillions upon trillions of suitable stars is 'random', but it's silly to wonder why we didn't evolve around some other star when that is not possible.

We don't know how common circularized planetary systems are, particularly with a friendly jupiter. We have found other such systems, however - even if they're not suited for Earthlike life, they do exist in quantity. Again, it's 'random', but it shouldn't surprise us that we are where we are since otherwise we wouldn't be around to observe it. It's like wondering why your egg wasn't fertilized with a different sperm.

Those questions can really only be answered as more data on extrasolar terrestrial worlds becomes available, however. If it turns out that Earth is rare that it should only show up in one out of a million Milky Way sized galaxies - well, that still means there are trillions of alien worlds out there.