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Thread: The process of evolution

  1. #1 The process of evolution 
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    I admit that I am a Christian, but I insist that I want to know the facts. I have read and listen to many things about evolution and creation. What I can't envision in my mind is how evolution works. So I came here to get some input so I don't walk around saying things that are just not true. All I asked if for honest answers, answers that are base upon truth and not outcome. What I mean by that is most of us believe in things that make that outcome favorable to our philosophies. There are those who don't want to believe in a sovereign God because of what that means and the other way around.

    Irreducible complexity is something that Michael Behe came up with and most scientist disregard it because they say there is no such thing. I think there is. An airplane has certain attributes needed to classify it as an airplane. Once you remove the fundamental attributes it is no longer an airplane. This is irreducible complexity to me. It does not mean you can't reduce the plane into smaller parts, it means it can't be reduce any further or it is no longer an airplane. So it is with life. There are certain attributes that qualify what is living. Once you remove these attributes it is no longer living and therefore has reached irreducible complexity. The simplest cell is so complexed I can't imagine how it could have come to be by no intelligence. I mean I can tell when something is made and the cell is like that to me. We don't believe manmade things can evolve on there own, because the lack the complexity, yet we believe something that can adapt and change it a product of pure chance.

    This leads me to evolution. From what I understand there are basically two forces that bring about evolution; mutation and natural selection. The first living thing would have had to have some system in place at inception to feed. How does evolution account for that? Then there is things like the eye. Can someone even give a sensible picture of how this could form by mutation and natural selection. According to UC Berkeley's website there in no intelligence guiding evolution, something cannot will itself to be something. So say a mutation takes place that is the start of the evolution of the eye, then natural selection removes the living things that do not have this first step. However since there is no intelligence involved why would we believe that the next mutation would lead towards a eye, couldn't the next mutation lead toward hair? When you think of all the components to the eye, the nerves needed to connect to the brain, parts of the brain to process the information and that one without the other is useless--it just seems impossible. That is just the one eye of all the different eyes in the world and one part of millions of parts in living things.

    So I hope you can see my thought processes and help me to understand where I am wrong.


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    Your questions are really too broad to become a thread.

    But we can look at one of them in some detail....the eye's structure which you say "seems impossible." We actually have a pretty good idea of how the eye evolved, but by comparing modern analogs to earlier species and comparing them to numerous "defects" of our own eye which are hold over features from the past. Here's a pretty article that covers the evolution of the eye which I hope you read with an open mind.
    http://physics.okstate.edu/axie/cour...f-eye-2011.pdf


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    There is also the website, "talkorigins," but as you are a Christian, you must read the site with a grain of salt. Many of the contributors have had to hear not just misconceptions, but manipulations and lies for so long that they are not easy with the Hammer.
    TalkOrigins Archive: Exploring the Creation/Evolution Controversy

    While you're researching things, you might also read on the history of Johannes Kepler. You may find it interesting as a man who had to balance his faith against the facts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daystar View Post
    Irreducible complexity is something that Michael Behe came up with and most scientist disregard it because they say there is no such thing. I think there is. An airplane has certain attributes needed to classify it as an airplane. Once you remove the fundamental attributes it is no longer an airplane. This is irreducible complexity to me. It does not mean you can't reduce the plane into smaller parts, it means it can't be reduce any further or it is no longer an airplane. So it is with life. There are certain attributes that qualify what is living. Once you remove these attributes it is no longer living and therefore has reached irreducible complexity. The simplest cell is so complexed I can't imagine how it could have come to be by no intelligence. I mean I can tell when something is made and the cell is like that to me. We don't believe manmade things can evolve on there own, because the lack the complexity, yet we believe something that can adapt and change it a product of pure chance.
    First thing's first: Michael Behe is a clown. It's always wise to consider the source of your information, and it's obvious to anyone with a lick of sense that Behe and his Discovery Institute cronies are propagandists. You can look it up for yourself; there is no legitimate science behind any of their claims.

    Your definition of irreducible complexity is actually incorrect. The claim is that complex biological structures cannot evolve because evolution requires gradual changes and complex systems and structures are non-functional when broken into discrete parts. This video explains why the claim is false:



    This leads me to evolution. From what I understand there are basically two forces that bring about evolution; mutation and natural selection. The first living thing would have had to have some system in place at inception to feed. How does evolution account for that? Then there is things like the eye. Can someone even give a sensible picture of how this could form by mutation and natural selection. According to UC Berkeley's website there in no intelligence guiding evolution, something cannot will itself to be something. So say a mutation takes place that is the start of the evolution of the eye, then natural selection removes the living things that do not have this first step. However since there is no intelligence involved why would we believe that the next mutation would lead towards a eye, couldn't the next mutation lead toward hair? When you think of all the components to the eye, the nerves needed to connect to the brain, parts of the brain to process the information and that one without the other is useless--it just seems impossible. That is just the one eye of all the different eyes in the world and one part of millions of parts in living things.

    So I hope you can see my thought processes and help me to understand where I am wrong.
    The problem here is that you don't understand science. So why don't get out there and learn about it?
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    This video may open your mind to a basic simple fact.
    Men are four: He who knows not and knows not he knows not, he is a fool--shun him; He who knows not and knows he knows not, he is simple--teach him; He who knows and knows not he knows, he is asleep--wake him; He who knows and knows he knows, hi is wise--follow him!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meraxes View Post
    Your definition of irreducible complexity is actually incorrect. The claim is that complex biological structures cannot evolve because evolution requires gradual changes and complex systems and structures are non-functional when broken into discrete parts. This video explains why the claim is false:

    This is like arguing that the motility function of an automobile is not irreducibly complex because the lights still work even if the engine or tires or drive shaft are removed.
    And they call this "science".
    Men are four: He who knows not and knows not he knows not, he is a fool--shun him; He who knows not and knows he knows not, he is simple--teach him; He who knows and knows not he knows, he is asleep--wake him; He who knows and knows he knows, hi is wise--follow him!
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    The first living thing would have had to have some system in place at inception to feed. How does evolution account for that?
    If I recall my David Attenborough correctly, the original animals (for want of a better word) after the small aimlessly floating bacteria/algae forms stayed more or less static and "fed" in much the same way as a lot of reef attached critters now do. Just by being flexible enough to sway, or have bits extended, in a flow of water which passes over them. They simply absorb stuff through their skin / surface / membrane whatever word is best applicable. No need for a mouth, let alone a fully functioning gut.

    If you're really interested, I can recommend potholer54's youtube channel, and any and all of Attenborough's Life series, though for this question the First Life series is terrific. First Life (TV series) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . It's not a collection of scientific papers and it does use a lot of special effects, but it does give a nice, condensed-into-two-hours look at the possibilities of the first billion years or so of living on this planet.

    If it piques your interest or your curiosity it will have done its work.
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    Just a couple of quick points ...

    Quote Originally Posted by daystar View Post
    Irreducible complexity is something that Michael Behe came up with and most scientist disregard it because they say there is no such thing. I think there is.
    One problem here. You say, "I think there is". So you are already assuming a conclusion. Not scientific.

    Scientists don't "disregard it". They analyse how organisms, organs and complex behaviours evolve. In cases like the eye, we have examples of pretty much every level of complexity of sight organs and it is easy to see of any of them can develop in series of steps.

    So every example of so-called "irreducible complexity" is either well-understood or we have plausible explanations of how they could have arisen.

    This leads me to evolution. From what I understand there are basically two forces that bring about evolution; mutation and natural selection.
    Close. I don't know where this idea that mutation causes evolution comes from (bad journalism? bad teaching? creationism?).

    The important factors are population diversity and selection. If you have a varied population and a trait makes some individuals more (or less) likely to survive or have offspring then that trait will be selected for (or against).

    Diversity comes about from "descent with modification". Over generations the genome of the population changes causing increased diversity. selection operates on this.

    Given those two facts it is hard to imagine how evolution could not happen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    I don't know where this idea that mutation causes evolution comes from (bad journalism? bad teaching? creationism?).
    Comic books, children's cartoons, sci-fi novels, T.V. shows, and last but not least movies on the big screens. I'm guessing everywhere else but science text books and journals.
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    I find it hard with all the arrogance in these post to believe my questions are really being considered and that there is no bias going on.


    I don't know where this idea that mutation causes evolution comes from (bad journalism? bad teaching? creationism?).


    I think the university of Berkeley California gives some authority to use the word mutation. Call it genetic drift or whatever it is still a modifying of genetics. evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/0_0_0/evo_14


    As far as the video goes, it do nothing to answer the question of irreducible complexity. He says he stating a fact, but is placing two arguments against each other. Then goes on and tries to prove his point. The problem is he fail to do so. Why? Because as I said and airplane is made up of parts like and engine, tires, etc. These part can be reduced even further and they perform function on there own. The problem is an airplane must have at least a significant airfoil and a propulsion device. Without either it is not an airplane. So if we go to the single cell it has to have many parts to be a living—functioning. That does not mean that it parts cannot be further reduced.


    To really understand this one has to get a grip about life. Life is not just a combination of things or man can make life at anytime by combining these components. Just as an airplane needs to be assembled so does the a cell. However nonliving things do not have the ability to evolve. To believe a non-living entity can evolve to me is like saying the car evolved on its own. There is no scientific evidence that nonliving things evolve into more complexed things. Therefore once you loose life you have reach irreducible complexity.


    I will now read about the eye.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daystar View Post
    I find it hard with all the arrogance in these post to believe my questions are really being considered and that there is no bias going on.
    I'm sorry you feel that way. I don't really see any arrogance in the responses (apart from Some with his usual dismissal of science).

    There a quite a bit of certainty in the responses because, well, there isn't much to be in doubt about. These issues have been analysed and discussed in detail. There are unknowns and areas of uncertainty in evolution theory, but that is true of all science.

    Mutation is certainly a factor. But it is not the only one or even the main one. As the page you mention points out, it is variation that is fundamental.

    I hate to say this (because he is such a dickhead about religion) but Dawkins does write very well about evolution. I read The Blind Watchmaker years ago and it gives a very clear explanation of how organs which are apparently irreducibly complex can arise.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Some View Post
    This is like arguing that the motility function of an automobile is not irreducibly complex because the lights still work even if the engine or tires or drive shaft are removed.
    And they call this "science".
    An automobile is not created by evolution, so it doesn't work as an analogy.

    We're getting to the point now where the loons don't even understand the concept of irreducible complexity itself, let alone actual evolutionary biology.

    The claim of irreducible complexity is that biological systems could not have evolved because reducing them would make them non-functional and evolution requires functionality at all levels. This video shows that the bacterial flagellum, even when stripped of most of its components, still has a function and is therefore not irreducibly complex. Understand now?
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    Quote Originally Posted by daystar View Post
    Irreducible complexity is something that Michael Behe came up with and most scientist disregard it because they say there is no such thing. I think there is.
    Oh good. You THINK there is.
    Where, exactly?

    Quote Originally Posted by daystar View Post
    I find it hard with all the arrogance in these post to believe my questions are really being considered and that there is no bias going on.
    Of course you do.
    Is that because you think we've never heard, and addressed, these exact same arguments before? And thus know what the answers are?
    Are you being arrogant enough to suppose that what you're presenting here aren't the same tired, multiply-refuted, objections that have been rolled out for years (if not decades)?

    As far as the video goes, it do nothing to answer the question of irreducible complexity.
    Maybe if you'd actually WATCHED that video you'd have seen that irreducible complexity doesn't exist, or, more accurately, there are NO examples of it in nature.

    He says he stating a fact, but is placing two arguments against each other.

    No he isn't.
    Any conflation between the two arguments is a figment of your preconceptions.

    The problem is he fail to do so. Why? Because as I said and airplane is made up of parts like and engine, tires, etc.
    Has no one informed you that an aircraft is NOT an evolved living creature?


    Just as an airplane needs to be assembled so does the a cell.
    Does it?
    Assumption.

    To believe a non-living entity can evolve to me is like saying the car evolved on its own.
    On other words "la la la I'm not listening".

    There is no scientific evidence that nonliving things evolve into more complexed things. Therefore once you loose life you have reach irreducible complexity.
    Er, fail.
    Evolution does not address how life started.

    I will now read about the eye.
    Are you planning to ignore anything that doesn't suit your preconceptions while reading that, too?
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    Quote Originally Posted by daystar View Post
    I find it hard with all the arrogance in these post to believe my questions are really being considered and that there is no bias going on.


    People have tried to help you, and you thank them by calling them arrogant? How can someone be so sensitive and yet so obtuse?

    Here's what you need to know: Arrogance does not invalidate an argument. Even if everyone were calling you stupid while they gave you reasons why you're wrong, those reasons should stand or fall on their own merits, not the attitudes of the people giving them.

    As far as the video goes, it do nothing to answer the question of irreducible complexity. He says he stating a fact, but is placing two arguments against each other. Then goes on and tries to prove his point. The problem is he fail to do so. Why? Because as I said and airplane is made up of parts like and engine, tires, etc. These part can be reduced even further and they perform function on there own. The problem is an airplane must have at least a significant airfoil and a propulsion device. Without either it is not an airplane. So if we go to the single cell it has to have many parts to be a living—functioning. That does not mean that it parts cannot be further reduced.


    No, he proved his point. You were for some reason expecting him to explain how a single cell evolves, but that wasn't the point of the video. He was tackling one of the specific examples of irreducible complexity raised by Behe and proponents of ID. And he does precisely that by showing there is function when the system is reduced. The problem with the airplane analogy is that it misses the point; even though it requires particular parts in order to be "an airplane," the machine can still function without the ability to fly. This is why Behe himself uses the moustrap analogy, as it isn't so easily debunked as being irreducibly complex as something obvious like an airplane--which can be a car, a boat, or a hotel if you took its jet engines away. But even the moustrap is functional without being fully constructed. The argument, as always, boils down to the speaker not being able to imagine how something works when reduced. Of course, not being able to imagine something doesn't mean that it is impossible.


    To really understand this one has to get a grip about life. Life is not just a combination of things or man can make life at anytime by combining these components. Just as an airplane needs to be assembled so does the a cell. However nonliving things do not have the ability to evolve. To believe a non-living entity can evolve to me is like saying the car evolved on its own. There is no scientific evidence that nonliving things evolve into more complexed things. Therefore once you loose life you have reach irreducible complexity.

    Here's what I don't understand: Do you think you have a good grasp of biological science? To me, you seem pretty aware of your own shortcomings here, so why are you so ready to dismiss evolution in favor of irreducible complexity when you know you don't have a proper grasp of science? You feel comfortable taking sides on an issue without being fully informed? That's ridiculous to me.

    Here, watch this video. It does a better job of explaining why irreducible complexity is wrong, and is more comprehensive in scope.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Some View Post
    This is like arguing that the motility function of an automobile is not irreducibly complex because the lights still work even if the engine or tires or drive shaft are removed.
    Er, no. It's not even close to that.

    And they call this "science".
    I have just one question for you:
    Why do you bother posting when you so clearly don't understand the argument as put forward by either side?
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    As far as the video goes, it do nothing to answer the question of irreducible complexity
    Why not? As far as I can tell, it makes the point that the bacterial flagellum can be reduced in various ways by removing, not one or two but dozens of its component parts. Which finishes up with several sets of proteins which are fully functional in their own right.

    You'll need to be a bit more specific about where and how you think the argument in this presentation breaks down. Maybe a timestamp or two?
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post

    Why not? As far as I can tell, it makes the point that the bacterial flagellum can be reduced in various ways by removing, not one or two but dozens of its component parts. Which finishes up with several sets of proteins which are fully functional in their own right.

    You'll need to be a bit more specific about where and how you think the argument in this presentation breaks down. Maybe a timestamp or two?
    It comes down to the fact that he doesn't understand irreducible complexity, let alone biological evolution.
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    Sorry I said that about arrogance. There was just a couple of comments that made me feel that way. Meraxes thanks for the second video. I understand all this, and I believe living things can evolve. The movie correctly state that nonliving things cannot evolve. So where I have a question is before we have life there is no evolution so the first living cells had to come into existence as a complete living cell (this is to me the point of irreducible complexity, when it is no longer life). My mention of the car was for just the same reason the movie mention it. Nonliving things cannot evolve so how did the original living cell become functional. I know that there is the argument of precursor, but what is guiding the precursor. Take for instance the arch, it took intelligence to figure out the wood struct to hold the arch in place until it was finished. What made the precursors for the first cell? There is just this assumption that these thing happen.

    I have heard this illustration of how an eye can form. First light sensitive cells, but it fails to mention in order for them to be usable there would have had to be a system to interpret the information they where gathering. Second there where many many steps involved to become an eye. This just does not seem rational to believe that it could have happened with out intelligence. In most of this stuff the words used are as if there was some intelligence guiding the processes. Ears where forming too, so let say some cell became light sensitive, then the next step was for the skin to depress, but what would stop its genetic drift, mutation or whatever you want to call it, to start drifting towards an ear drum. With out intelligence the genetic changes could move toward hair, lungs, muscles, there is nothing to say it has to continue on a path towards becoming an eye. Can you see my point?
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    This just does not seem rational to believe that it could have happened with out intelligence.
    This is just the argument from incredulity.

    The biggest things that this argument overlooks are the huge expanses of time involved, and the fact that we will never know just how many critters (or almost critters) did have those weird variations of eye function and structure .... and disappear. They disappeared because they failed and the species never really had a chance to get going.

    There is nothing sophisticated or planned or one-step-after-another about nature, evolution in particular. It's all pretty much brute force sink or swim. We know that 90+% of all species that have ever lived are extinct. What we don't know is how many more not-quite-species got a tentative start and failed at the first hurdle. Maybe the same number, maybe more - especially back at the beginning when there were all sorts of weird and wonderful things that we do have fossils of.

    Trial and error is time consuming and, in our terms, inefficient. But that's irrelevant when one is concerned neither about time taken nor about what happens.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daystar View Post
    Nonliving things cannot evolve so how did the original living cell become functional.
    We don't know. There are some plausible hypotheses and a ot of research. But the problem of abiogenesis is largely irrelevant to the later process of evolution. Even if the first living cells were put there by aliens or God, it wouldn't change the arguments and evidence for evolution.

    But remember, the first cells were probably very simple: just a membrane containing some chemical reactions including RNA.

    Take for instance the arch, it took intelligence to figure out the wood struct to hold the arch in place until it was finished. What made the precursors for the first cell? There is just this assumption that these thing happen.
    Google "natural stone arch". These structures occur in nature because they are strong and naturaly support themselves. The first chemical precursors to living cells were probably complex systems of mutually supporting chemical reactions.

    I have heard this illustration of how an eye can form. First light sensitive cells, but it fails to mention in order for them to be usable there would have had to be a system to interpret the information they where gathering.
    Even single celled organisms with no nervous system react to their environment, including the presence of light. Some will move away from light to the safety of the shadows. Some will move towards the light because there may be food there. These reactions are not "conscious"; they are just complex chemical reactions: light stimulates the release/manufacture of a chemical which (through a series of steps) eventually triggers the enzymes that cause motion. Similarly for varying concentrations of nutrients or toxins in the environment.

    So, just being sensitive to light can be useful to a cell with no "intelligence". Once we know that cells can be sensitive to light, it is just a large number of very small steps. I know that is hard to conceive, but we have (as far as I know - I may be wrong, I am not a biologist) evidence of every step along the way.

    Second there where many many steps involved to become an eye. This just does not seem rational to believe that it could have happened with out intelligence. In most of this stuff the words used are as if there was some intelligence guiding the processes. Ears where forming too, so let say some cell became light sensitive, then the next step was for the skin to depress, but what would stop its genetic drift, mutation or whatever you want to call it, to start drifting towards an ear drum. With out intelligence the genetic changes could move toward hair, lungs, muscles, there is nothing to say it has to continue on a path towards becoming an eye. Can you see my point?
    Nothing causes or drives it to change in a particular direction. In a population there will be all sorts of different variations going on. In some of these there may be a depression. In others, a raising. In others, the initial light sensitive cells don't work very well. In another, there are two sorts of light sensitive cell so it can begin to see color. Once you have this variation in the population (which is just an inevitable consequence of the way reproduction works) then there is something to be selected. Those variations which do something useful will increase in proportion. Those variations which make the individuals slightly less successful will tend to decrease as a proportion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daystar View Post
    My mention of the car was for just the same reason the movie mention it. Nonliving things cannot evolve so how did the original living cell become functional.
    Non-living things do evolve. By the same process that living things do- Through selection and change.
    Our Universe is evolving- look into the Lambda CDM model.
    Our planet has evolved heavily (referring to nonliving portions of it which make the very massive majority) since the Earth was first recognizable as a planet.
    Beaches were not present 3 billion years ago, even. The mills of grinding stone against stone still had not had enough time to do their work. But over time, rocky and jagged shorelines evolved into sloping easy sandy beaches.
    And through selection certain traits withstand the elements better than they would were they left alone (such as hollowed areas maintained by rodents or other animals for shelter) or certain elements are pressured (such as by beavers building dams.)
    You mention cars. Yet, cars have heavily evolved due to selection and buyer preference as well as marketability and aesthetic appeal. A Chrysler 6 does not closely resemble a Chrysler Sebring.
    Non-living evolution takes even longer than living evolution. For example, mammals are warm blooded and live by a series of oxygenated explosions. Bacteria evolve very quickly because their lifespans are so short and breeding so fast, we can watch hundreds of generations cycle though in a short time, relative to us. Bacterial evolution is observed in the lab regularly and very well documented.
    Quote Originally Posted by daystar View Post
    There is just this assumption that these thing happen.
    It is not an assumption when we see these things happen even now. See above.
    Now, this is not the same as seeing life originate, but if we can see that occurrences against the odds happen (including emergence), it is plausible that it happens and has happened in the past 4.5 billion years.
    Quote Originally Posted by daystar View Post
    there is nothing to say it has to continue on a path towards becoming an eye. Can you see my point?
    No, your point is not so clear because it's based on a false assumption. What you just said was inaccurate- there IS something to pressure it on the path- Advantage. Advantage in being better able to survive and breed. Why did you up and assume that nothing would influence an advantageous trait? That makes no sense at all.
    You might do a search on Precambrian life forms and take a good look at how weird and odd some of the more primitive lifeforms were. With weak predation, some traits lasted for millions of years that today, with more complex predators out there, would be laughable and wouldn't last one generation.
    After having your fill at the weak and primitive, take a good look at the Pleistocene and Miocene where mammals were very tough and rugged, heavy dense bones and even mammals that were osteoderms.
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    there is nothing to say it has to continue on a path towards becoming an eye
    I missed this before.

    This is very important. You are absolutely right: there is nothing to say it has to continue on a path towards becoming an eye. And in many cases it didn't. You are looking at the end result and the single path that led there. You are not considering all the false starts, dead ends, different types of visual systems, etc.

    If you were able to start from the beginning, you would be able to trace a series of random developments heading off in different directions. Some would get cut off early (as being useless or worse), others would continue to branch off in yet more directions. Eventually, you would end up with one or more organisms with sight; possible with quite different types of eyes. Note that there are also animals with almost identical eyes to ours that evolved completely independently (octopus).

    So it is easy to see a "plan" or "design" with hindsight. But is less obvious that it was arrived at by trial and error.

    This trial and error process (using selection) is actually remarkably efficient. This is why it is used as an engineering design process: it can come up with better solutions, and more quickly, than a human designer (an "intelligent designer") can.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daystar View Post
    I admit that I am a Christian, but I insist that I want to know the facts. I have read and listen to many things about evolution and creation. What I can't envision in my mind is how evolution works.
    Your first two sentences expose your problem. You admit to a faith that does not satisfy your intelligence, and you have read about both creation and evolution. You want facts, so came here for the facts. Daystar, the facts of evolution will conflict with your faith, and you can only have both, if you KNOW that one is a faith and the other is based upon facts, and you can't co-mingle the two. Your faith, christianity ,most likely by birth, must be able to stand alone, for there are no facts to support it. Lot's of hearsay, but no facts have ever been produced to back up the christian faith, or any faith in a supernatural or creation. I don't think that most believers in a religion can accept that, as in my experience only a few I have known have admitted to taking their beliefs on faith alone. Most want some facts to try and co-mingle into the support of their hand me down beliefs. All of this boils down to a satisfaction with your intelligence, and how well your indoctrination is holding up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sampson View Post
    Daystar, the facts of evolution will conflict with your faith, and you can only have both, if you KNOW that one is a faith and the other is based upon facts, and you can't co-mingle the two.
    I don't see why. There are plenty of people who are religious and accept evolution. It is accepted by the Roman Catholic church. There are evolutionary biologists who are Christian (and other religions).

    It is only a peculiar bunch of biblical literalists who have a problem with it. No one normal should do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sampson View Post
    Daystar, the facts of evolution will conflict with your faith, and you can only have both, if you KNOW that one is a faith and the other is based upon facts, and you can't co-mingle the two.
    I don't see why. There are plenty of people who are religious and accept evolution. It is accepted by the Roman Catholic church. There are evolutionary biologists who are Christian (and other religions).

    It is only a peculiar bunch of biblical literalists who have a problem with it. No one normal should do.
    The definition of religion is a belief in the supernatural. How does that fit in with evolution? The RCC is big business and they claim no problem with evolution. They also claim creation, practice shamanism, exorcism, communication with souls, communication with their own god while denying any others. They will annul your marriage for enough money. The RCC is in itself as illogical as the god they claim created it all. The last I heard they claim their god lit the fuse for the Big Bang. So....my question is if you accept evolutionary theory, how can you also accept a supernatural, virgin births, reincarnation, of the Christian etc.etc. and ..... be honest with your own intelligence? You have to accept your religion on faith alone, as any Atheist will rip the facts away from your co-mingle without any effort at all.
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    <sigh> We have been down this road before. I don't really want to go over it all again.

    Quote Originally Posted by sampson View Post
    The definition of religion is a belief in the supernatural.
    (Leaving aside the question of whether it is the definition...)

    If someone believes in the supernatural, does that mean they can only believe in the supernatural?

    Don't you know people who are entirely logical and rational about most things but have some odd superstition, for example?

    People are remarkably complex and are able to hold multiple ideas, some of which may seem contradictory.

    How does that fit in with evolution?
    It seems to be utterly irrelevant.

    The last I heard they claim their god lit the fuse for the Big Bang.
    Maybe he did. It is as good as any other speculation at the moment.

    You have to accept your religion on faith alone
    Agreed. Which is why I don't see that someone of faith should have any problem with the real world.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    <sigh> We have been down this road before. I don't really want to go over it all again.

    Quote Originally Posted by sampson View Post
    The definition of religion is a belief in the supernatural.
    (Leaving aside the question of whether it is the definition...)

    If someone believes in the supernatural, does that mean they can only believe in the supernatural?

    Don't you know people who are entirely logical and rational about most things but have some odd superstition, for example?

    People are remarkably complex and are able to hold multiple ideas, some of which may seem contradictory.

    How does that fit in with evolution?
    It seems to be utterly irrelevant.

    The last I heard they claim their god lit the fuse for the Big Bang.
    Maybe he did. It is as good as any other speculation at the moment.

    You have to accept your religion on faith alone
    Agreed. Which is why I don't see that someone of faith should have any problem with the real world.
    All that .....and then you agree.
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    Thank you guys so much for your help. I understand your thinking. I still think it boils down to interpretation of evidence, just as in a crimes scene. Different people have different thoughts about what happened. I really think that most of the time each one of us chooses the side that conforms to what we want to believe. Darwin had a world view that dictated a need to find an explanation of the existence of world without a God. Others see no such need and therefore can clearly see a guiding hand in all of creation.

    If one does not believe in the supernatural they do not believe there is yet anything undiscovered. Lightning may have been attribute to the supernatural at one time, but know we know how it works. I believe every time science makes a discovery we are just understanding how God created the universe. I have no problem viewing God in a similar way to an atom. At one point we could not see the atom, but we could tell it was there. I can't see God, but to me I see His work everywhere including in life itself. Man is so arrogant in that he thinks he can travel through time some day or create invisibility, but can't seem to believe a God could do things he does not understand. The supernatural is just what man does not understand about God and His creation. I believe that if scientist took this approach that there maybe a Creator, he might progress even faster in discovery, just as we have done when we embraced atomic theory.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daystar View Post
    I understand your thinking.
    This statement is belied by this one:
    I still think it boils down to interpretation of evidence
    Darwin had a world view that dictated a need to find an explanation of the existence of world without a God.
    This is incorrect and displays your own bias.

    Others see no such need and therefore can clearly see a guiding hand in all of creation.
    With zero evidence.

    If one does not believe in the supernatural they do not believe there is yet anything undiscovered.
    I really hope you didn't actually mean to say that. It is, as it stands, false.

    I have no problem viewing God in a similar way to an atom. At one point we could not see the atom, but we could tell it was there.
    Except that an atom (and the concept behind it) explains much and lets us makes predictions of what we will find. An atom, as an explanation, gives us a foundation to understand how and why things are the way they are.
    "God", as an "explanation" does none of this,
    Ergo the analogy is seriously flawed.

    Man is so arrogant in that he thinks he can travel through time some day or create invisibility, but can't seem to believe a God could do things he does not understand.
    Er, yeah.
    In other words: no.

    The supernatural is just what man does not understand about God and His creation.
    No.

    I believe that if scientist took this approach that there maybe a Creator, he might progress even faster in discovery, just as we have done when we embraced atomic theory.
    What utter nonsense. Apart from my previous comment regarding the atom/ god conflation how about you bear in mind that mankind, in general, has spent at least 2,000 years in an effort to find some actual evidence of god.
    Science does not, and can not, investigate things for which there is zero evidence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daystar View Post
    I really think that most of the time each one of us chooses the side that conforms to what we want to believe.
    The whole point of the scientific process is to eliminate those sort of [personal biases.

    Darwin had a world view that dictated a need to find an explanation of the existence of world without a God.
    I don't see that as relevant. As he wasn't the first or the only one to come up with a theory of evolution (and not even the only one to come up with that theory of evolution) it seems that personality is pretty much irrelevant. And, as there have been many biologists who have made major contributions to evolutionary theory (and big bang cosmology, etc) it obviously is irrelevant.

    And note that Darwin didn't invent the idea of evolution; that had been known about for thousands of years - it is a rather inescapable fact of life. He just came up with a practical explanation of how and why it occurs.

    Others see no such need and therefore can clearly see a guiding hand in all of creation.
    Which has nothing to do with the theory of evolution.

    If one does not believe in the supernatural they do not believe there is yet anything undiscovered.
    Surely that is the wrong way round? Scientists know there are always more questions. Only the religious have a ready made answer to everything (God did it) that makes further enquiry unnecessary.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    I don't see why. There are plenty of people who are religious and accept evolution. It is accepted by the Roman Catholic church. There are evolutionary biologists who are Christian (and other religions).
    No, it is not accepted. It's lip service. If they understood it, they wouldn't accept it.

    Evolution does not just remove the necessity of a creator- it renders a creator absurd.
    Evolution is unintelligent and a creator is intelligent design. You simply cannot have both.
    If there are people out there trying to have both, then they do not understand evolution and are living in denial.

    This is simply how it is. You don't get to roll it up in bubble wrap to make it more appealing to the faithful.

    And Daystar;
    Everything you just said you invented. You made it up. You worded it such to pander to your own view. You make claims with no support.
    Quote Originally Posted by daystar View Post
    Lightning may have been attribute to the supernatural at one time, but know we know how it works.
    And here's the problem- we keep finding that there's no God involved. At this point, even as young as our knowledge is, God is already so far removed (Keep shifting the goal posts to make him special) that believing in that ancient and primitive superstition, like belief in Santa Clause, has become pointless.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    If there are people out there trying to have both, then they do not understand evolution and are living in denial.
    I'm not going to have this argument again. There are many evolutionary biologists who are religious; some of them have made significant contributions to the science. You can continue to deny the facts. I'm out of here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    You can continue to deny the facts. I'm out of here.
    I'm not the one denying the facts, here. Enjoy your run.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daystar View Post
    If one does not believe in the supernatural they do not believe there is yet anything undiscovered.
    I find this a disturbing assumption. I hope this is not how you view the mentality of the scientific community. We thrive on unanswered questions.

    Even shortly after the Higgs boson was confirmed, there were widespread reports of physicists suffering from mild professional depression due to the fact that the new data fit so neatly into their models. They were hoping it would create more questions rather than answers.

    We seek to answer questions, but simply because the shallow depths of the layman's knowledge have been plumbed, that does not mean there are no more questions to answer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daystar View Post
    Thank you guys so much for your help. I understand your thinking. I still think it boils down to interpretation of evidence, just as in a crimes scene. Different people have different thoughts about what happened. I really think that most of the time each one of us chooses the side that conforms to what we want to believe. Darwin had a world view that dictated a need to find an explanation of the existence of world without a God. Others see no such need and therefore can clearly see a guiding hand in all of creation.

    If one does not believe in the supernatural they do not believe there is yet anything undiscovered. Lightning may have been attribute to the supernatural at one time, but know we know how it works. I believe every time science makes a discovery we are just understanding how God created the universe. I have no problem viewing God in a similar way to an atom. At one point we could not see the atom, but we could tell it was there. I can't see God, but to me I see His work everywhere including in life itself. Man is so arrogant in that he thinks he can travel through time some day or create invisibility, but can't seem to believe a God could do things he does not understand. The supernatural is just what man does not understand about God and His creation. I believe that if scientist took this approach that there maybe a Creator, he might progress even faster in discovery, just as we have done when we embraced atomic theory.
    Now you are trying to justify your hand me down indoctrination. To you the facts are simply confirmation of your guiding hand.
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    It is really darned nice of you all for responding to daystar.
    My hat is off to you all.

    I would not have been so generous with my time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post

    I find this a disturbing assumption. I hope this is not how you view the mentality of the scientific community. We thrive on unanswered questions.
    Sometime I wonder if you guy even really read what I write or I am not stating it clearly. I just said the supernatural is that which cannot yet be explain. Since scientist believe there are thing yet to discover they must believe in the supernatural.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daystar View Post
    Sometime I wonder if you guy even really read what I write or I am not stating it clearly. I just said the supernatural is that which cannot yet be explain. Since scientist believe there are thing yet to discover they must believe in the supernatural.
    Another stunning example of your failure to be rational.

    Scientists "believe" there are things yet to be discovered for two reasons:
    1) they're not arrogant enough to suppose they have all the answers.
    2) they know for a fact that there things yet to be discovered - because they still have questions and things that cannot yet be explained in sufficient detail.
    "Supernatural" has a specific meaning: one that does not apply to science or scientists. And, incidentally, the meaning also happens to be NOT the one you assigned to it.
    Go buy a dictionary, read it. Learn.

    Tell me, if you don't know whether or not, for example, your local shop has run out of bread when you need to buy some do you call that "supernatural"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by daystar View Post
    Sometime I wonder if you guy even really read what I write or I am not stating it clearly. I just said the supernatural is that which cannot yet be explain. Since scientist believe there are thing yet to discover they must believe in the supernatural.
    It does not follow.
    How does the idea that there is more to learn lead to Must believe in the supernatural?

    And the "supernatural" is not stuff which cannot be explained- One "cannot explain" an absurdity other than to point out that it is an absurdity. It is not a failing of the method nor a suggestion that there is something beyond the method to invent an absurdity and then ask others to prove a negative.
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    It's all pretty much brute force sink or swim. We know that 90+% of all that have ever lived are extinct. What we don't know is how many more not-quite-species got a tentative start and failed at the first hurdle. Maybe the same number, maybe more - especially back at the beginning when there were all sorts of weird and wonderful things that we do have fossils of..
    It seem to me this would be graphs of this as compared to evolution

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    Quote Originally Posted by daystar View Post
    It seem to me this would be graphs of this as compared to evolution
    Well seem is pretty scientific, isn't it? Especially when you add the "to me" part.
    Comparing those graphs is pure nonsense - at least one of one of them uses entirely fictional numbers.
    You might as well use this:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    I'm not going to have this argument again. There are many evolutionary biologists who are religious; some of them have made significant contributions to the science. You can continue to deny the facts. I'm out of here.
    What point are you trying to make? So what if there are some evolutionary biologists that believe in God? It doesn't put God in science or science into God so it's rather irrelevant. Let's be honest, such people as you describe are apologists, they'll study evolution, but no doubt think God was the first cause that started evolutionary processes., and that is where they are ultimately paying lip service to the scientific method to accommodate their apologetics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogistician View Post
    What point are you trying to make? So what if there are some evolutionary biologists that believe in God? It doesn't put God in science or science into God so it's rather irrelevant.
    That is exactly the point I was making. It is irrelevant. Unless you are a biblical literalist (which is just insane).
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    Quote Originally Posted by daystar View Post

    Sometime I wonder if you guy even really read what I write or I am not stating it clearly. I just said the supernatural is that which cannot yet be explain. Since scientist believe there are thing yet to discover they must believe in the supernatural.
    Nope. Scientists would not refer to things we do not yet understand as supernatural. If things happen they are natural, whether we understand it fully, in part, or not at all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    That is exactly the point I was making. It is irrelevant. Unless you are a biblical literalist (which is just insane).
    So you are saying being an apologetic is a superior position to being a fundamentalist? I would argue both are equally as flawed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogistician View Post
    So you are saying being an apologetic is a superior position to being a fundamentalist? I would argue both are equally as flawed.
    No, I am saying you can be a scientist and religious. See long list of religious scientists for evidence; and it is hard to believe they are all just "paying lip service" when some of them have made fundamental and important contributions to various branches of science.

    Unless you are one of those crazy people who think that if the facts contradict the bible then the facts must be wrong. That would make being a scientist rather difficult.
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    Most Christians, being Roman Catholics, have no problem with the idea of the old testament as story telling by poetry and myth.

    That doesn't mean that they ignore bible texts. They just don't pretend that they're relevant to scientific knowledge in any way - except as backing up certain events as miraculous. The stuff that strikes us all as unrealistic or silly they just attribute to miracles. No need for them to be evidence of anything except their supernatural god being willing to do something against ordinary nature, whether that's known scientifically or not at all.

    The idea that the bible is a scientifically correct, accurately detailed description of the world is a fairly recent obsession.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    The idea that the bible is a scientifically correct, accurately detailed description of the world is a fairly recent obsession.
    Go argue that with a fundie.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    No, I am saying you can be a scientist and religious.
    The scientific method is however compromised when the person performing the science has a preconceived idea of the result. So researching evolutionary biology while maintaining the thought it doesn't matter what one discovers, that 'God did it' will ultimately sacrifice a truth in favour of dogma.


    See long list of religious scientists for evidence;
    Evidence of what? That people are flawed, emotional human beings who cling to the dogma they were indoctrinated with?

    and it is hard to believe they are all just "paying lip service" when some of them have made fundamental and important contributions to various branches of science.
    I still don't really get your point. Some people cannot see the inherent contradiction in being a scientist and being religious, the rest of us can. That's their failure, not ours. While they may make discoveries along the way, ultimately they are looking for proof of their preconceived notion, that God started it all off. Not a self replicating protein assembled due to chemical affinity, abundance of the appropriate elements, and conducive reaction conditions. Ah, no wait, they'd say God provided all that too. This is the problem of the apologist, wherever science looks, well, God is beyond that. Religious scientists therefore aren't even sure what the heck they believe in, other than they'll never find it using science, because that would demystify the whole concept.

    Unless you are one of those crazy people who think that if the facts contradict the bible then the facts must be wrong. That would make being a scientist rather difficult.
    Nope, I'm one of those people that see the bible as a flawed work of men, used to deceive and control other men. I would have thought that obvious from my opinion about fundies being as bad as apologetics, but never mind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogistician View Post
    Unless you are one of those crazy people who think that if the facts contradict the bible then the facts must be wrong. That would make being a scientist rather difficult.
    Nope, I'm one of those people that see the bible as a flawed work of men, used to deceive and control other men. I would have thought that obvious from my opinion about fundies being as bad as apologetics, but never mind.
    Good grief. I obviously wasn't talking about you.

    As you say, never mind. It is not worth wasting time on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Good grief. I obviously wasn't talking about you.

    As you say, never mind. It is not worth wasting time on.
    You said in a reply to me:

    Unless you are one of those crazy people
    (emphasis mine)
    You should have said 'they' if you didn't mean to imply you were talking about me. It was not obvious. Using the correct word would have made it obvious. English can be a very precise language, if used correctly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daystar View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post

    I find this a disturbing assumption. I hope this is not how you view the mentality of the scientific community. We thrive on unanswered questions.
    Sometime I wonder if you guy even really read what I write or I am not stating it clearly. I just said the supernatural is that which cannot yet be explain. Since scientist believe there are thing yet to discover they must believe in the supernatural.
    I think I'm reading your point clearly, but I disagree with your conclusion.

    Scientists don't attribute the unknown to supernatural forces. By its very definition, supernatural is that outside the explanation of normal science. That is NOT the same as not understanding how something works. I would argue that attributing the unknown to the unknowable is acceptance of willful ignorance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogistician View Post
    You should have said 'they' if you didn't mean to imply you were talking about me. It was not obvious. Using the correct word would have made it obvious. English can be a very precise language, if used correctly.
    Generic you - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogistician View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Good grief. I obviously wasn't talking about you.

    As you say, never mind. It is not worth wasting time on.
    You said in a reply to me:

    Unless you are one of those crazy people
    (emphasis mine)
    You should have said 'they' if you didn't mean to imply you were talking about me. It was not obvious. Using the correct word would have made it obvious. English can be a very precise language, if used correctly.
    The way I read it, Strange merely fell into the literary trap of using "you" in place of "one".

    His point is still valid.

    Does a scientist who does his work exploring God's mysteries have less credibility than one exploring nature's mysteries?
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    The way I read it, Strange merely fell into the literary trap of using "you" in place of "one".
    Exactly. One felt that using "one" might have made one sound a little pretentious. And one is fully aware that some readers object to the use of "singular they," so one though it best avoided.

    Does a scientist who does his work exploring God's mysteries have less credibility than one exploring nature's mysteries?
    A frequent crackpot objection to the big bang theory is that it was made up by a Belgian priest to support the creation myth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    .

    Does a scientist who does his work exploring God's mysteries have less credibility than one exploring nature's mysteries?
    One exploring god's mysteries is a Scientist? I would think the Vatican a good place to seek employment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sampson View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    .

    Does a scientist who does his work exploring God's mysteries have less credibility than one exploring nature's mysteries?
    One exploring god's mysteries is a Scientist? I would think the Vatican a good place to seek employment.
    Sure. Why can't a scientist do his work for the glory of God? If the results are the same, are we obligated somehow to judge his belief system?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Sure. Why can't a scientist do his work for the glory of God? If the results are the same, are we obligated somehow to judge his belief system?
    Sure if the Scientist can accept hearsay as fact, why not?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogistician View Post
    You should have said 'they' if you didn't mean to imply you were talking about me. It was not obvious. Using the correct word would have made it obvious. English can be a very precise language, if used correctly.
    Generic you - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Which would be fine on a blog, where you weren't specifically addressing anyone. It is not however correct when replying to an individual. Now stop digging.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sampson View Post
    Sure if the Scientist can accept hearsay as fact, why not?
    Do you think that would pass peer review?

    See also: shortage of peer-reviewed "creation science" papers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    And one is fully aware that some readers object to the use of "singular they,"
    So you are saying there's only one religious scientist who has ever made a significant contribution to science? No you weren't, you stated there were many. Try structuring your sentences.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post

    Does a scientist who does his work exploring God's mysteries have less credibility than one exploring nature's mysteries?
    A scientist exploring 'God's mysteries' has no credibility at all. Starting with an assumption that everything you are studying is due to God is absurd.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sampson View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Sure. Why can't a scientist do his work for the glory of God? If the results are the same, are we obligated somehow to judge his belief system?
    Sure if the Scientist can accept hearsay as fact, why not?
    Should scientific fields exclude those of different beliefs from participating?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogistician View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post

    Does a scientist who does his work exploring God's mysteries have less credibility than one exploring nature's mysteries?
    A scientist exploring 'God's mysteries' has no credibility at all. Starting with an assumption that everything you are studying is due to God is absurd.
    You're presuming to understand their belief system.
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    Well, I'm so pleased to see the high quality of debate going on here that is so tightly focussed on the OP's question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogistician View Post
    So you are saying there's only one religious scientist who has ever made a significant contribution to science? No you weren't, you stated there were many. Try structuring your sentences.
    The sentence you criticised was about biblical literalists, not scientists. It would be nice to think that there was only one of those, but sadly ...

    As I was referring to one such (generic) person as an example then it seemed that any generic singular pronoun would do. I chose the "wrong" one. Gosh. I can't remember now if Dante had an outer circle of hell reserved for those who make minor infractions of someone else's grammar or style rules.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogistician View Post
    A scientist exploring 'God's mysteries' has no credibility at all.
    I agree with Strange that this is getting off topic, but I want to leave it with this on my part; I do not believe in God or heaven and hell or any of those things. I also don't appreciate it when my worth is judged based on my beliefs (or lack thereof). So why, in any right state of mind, would I pass judgement on the value of someone else due to their beliefs? How does that make me better than them?

    It doesn't.
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    Ooh, open a thread on that!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    So why, in any right state of mind, would I pass judgement on the value of someone else due to their beliefs? How does that make me better than them?

    It doesn't.
    Oh please, if someone believed it was OK to abduct and torture people I hope you would judge that belief, and consider yourself better than them. So don't lose credibility when it comes to judging religious beliefs, they are not to be held up to any less scrutiny or standard than any other.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post

    You're presuming to understand their belief system.
    No I'm not. Scientific method is not a belief system, and to do science, all you need to do is follow the method, inserting unsubstantiated beliefs and preconceptions is not the way science should be conducted.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogistician View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    So why, in any right state of mind, would I pass judgement on the value of someone else due to their beliefs? How does that make me better than them?

    It doesn't.
    Oh please, if someone believed it was OK to abduct and torture people I hope you would judge that belief, and consider yourself better than them. So don't lose credibility when it comes to judging religious beliefs, they are not to be held up to any less scrutiny or standard than any other.
    That's a REALLY big strawman you're building there. Religion = torture?

    No, I judge a person by their acts, not their beliefs. Credibility is not something inherent in a person. It is earned through hard work. If someone discovers a treatment that can cause remission in 90% of pancreatic cancer patients, that person's credibility is not dismissed if they belong to a church.

    And if some mod does want to split this off, I have no objection. My problem is not with religious people, but with judgmental people. For me, you're in the same category as those who call scientists atheists and tell us we're going to hell.
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    people who think you can't be religious while also understanding, accepting, or working in science show some similarity to the close-minded religious zealots.
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    There is nothing particularly wrong with being judgmental. I agree that some scientists who are also religious do good work. But there are still many that are- biased.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogistician View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post

    You're presuming to understand their belief system.
    Scientific method is not a belief system
    Exactly. So why should a methodology conflict with a belief system?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    There is nothing particularly wrong with being judgmental. I agree that some scientists who are also religious do good work. But there are still many that are- biased.
    There are just as many science-minded atheists or agnostics who are judgmental of religious people. So long as we aren't painting with broad strokes, I don't disagree with you. I simply found the notion that someone who believes in God automatically has no credibility to be a laughable and purely judgmental attack on those of faith.

    I have more contempt for those who try to use scientific discovery to reinforce the idea that we should believe in God than most people (probably excluding Dyw and yourself). But if someone wants to advance the sciences and does so while believing in a higher power, I am not one to judge them.
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    Looking back- we have Kepler. So, no, it does not automatically exclude someone. I can see how some people might think that a far-fetched belief might influence how well they practice a method that does not support that belief. But that's not evidence of credibility.
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    Maybe because a pre-existing belief "helps" form conclusions that are unwarranted.
    It lends a definite bias to the the proceedings.


    @ Matt -people who think you can't be religious while also understanding, accepting, or working in science show some similarity to the close-minded religious zealots.
    I've pointed this out before: anyone who holds religious belief while working in science in either not doing science correctly, not actually believing, OR suffering from severe cognitive dissonance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    I can see how some people might think that a far-fetcdhed belief might influence how well they practice a method that does not support that belief.
    I can as well. I wouldn't even argue that it isn't the case most of the time (I honestly don't have any stats on the topic), but to assume that it must be so was an arrogant move by Phlog and I think reflects poorly on those in the sciences.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    @ Matt -people who think you can't be religious while also understanding, accepting, or working in science show some similarity to the close-minded religious zealots.I've pointed this out before: anyone who holds religious belief while working in science in either not doing science correctly, not actually believing, OR suffering from severe cognitive dissonance.
    Not sure where you pulled that other t from I understand where you're coming from but will have to respectfully disagree.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    Not sure where you pulled that other t from
    I promoted you.

    I understand where you're coming from but will have to respectfully disagree.
    Fair enough. I don't mind you being wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daystar View Post
    I admit that I am a Christian, but I insist that I want to know the facts. I have read and listen to many things about evolution and creation.
    I'm an atheist, but there are a number of things I like about Christianity.
    If, tomorrow, a series of events convinced me that God existed, and was the creator of the Universe, I would still believe in evolution!
    I would, I suppose, have to admit that this all-powerful entity could step into the process whenever it wanted.
    I just don't understand why some individuals have a problem with evolution because of their religious beliefs.
    Last edited by Halliday; April 17th, 2013 at 04:48 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halliday View Post
    I would, I suppose, have to admit that this all-powerful entity could step into the process whenever it wanted.
    Although, as far as we can tell, she has never done so.

    (I'm probably going to get hammered for my pronoun choice again.)
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    I think we all make judgments based on our own intelligence. I admit that I do. I consider the source,....and that is judging. I also know that many folks can have faith and still be honest to their intelligence , ...but they take their beliefs on faith alone. They do not need logic, and that belief satisfies the human instinct of the fear of death, or the need to participate in society at some level that requires religion. The problem arises when as Strange said, "let's set aside the definition of religion". Your honesty in your own intelligence is reflected in your religion, lack of belief, or an ability to shut down the cerebrum on the question of a supernatural. Let's change the idea of a christian version god to the idea of a twelve eyed whale that lives in the methane sea of Jupiter, yet rules over our Solar System and has unlimited power and commands that you can't put the christian god before it. Now, make your judgement , ...or lie and say you do not judge religion.
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    All hail the Cryogenic Dodecocular Cetacean!
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    if we cloud source it
    I got the feeling that your Cryogenic Dodecocular Cetacean ain't gonna be in the running

    so
    personal judgement or defference to cloud sourcing

    with personal judgement do we not run into the confusion of "free will"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post

    Exactly. So why should a methodology conflict with a belief system?
    It doesn't, the belief system conflicts with the methodology, the relationship between the two is not a bijection. Try to grasp that.
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    Daystar, I think yesterday thread from this forum, entitled "Begining of the End of the teheory of evolution", could be interesting for you. Link Beginning of the End of the theory of evolution?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Musla View Post
    Daystar, I think yesterday thread from this forum, entitled "Begining of the End of the teheory of evolution", could be interesting for you. Link Beginning of the End of the theory of evolution?
    Huge fail!
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    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogistician View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post

    Exactly. So why should a methodology conflict with a belief system?
    It doesn't, the belief system conflicts with the methodology, the relationship between the two is not a bijection. Try to grasp that.
    This was posted up some time ago on a site called War on faith, which has either gone down or changed it's name.

    I've bolded the parts most poignant.

    "Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable. A man full of faith is simply one who has lost (or never had) the capacity for clear and realistic thought. He is not a mere ass; he is actually ill."
    H.L. Mencken

    Faith:.There has never existed in the world anything more intensely vile, contemptuous, and dangerous to freedom, peace and progress as deeply held blind faith in organized religions and holy dogmas. The religious dominated societies of the world has painted a lovely picture of the faithful flock and how deserving faithful people are of praise and respect. Beneath this whitewash is the plain hard truth. If a person treated his children half as cruelly as the supposedly divine and omni-benevolent blood god/gods has treated his children, the Religious would be out to give him the death penalty. Does belief in cruel gods create cruel people, or do cruel people simply make their gods in their own likeness?

    Faith is the nemesis of logic. Where there is religious faith, there can not be logic. The two are quite completely mutually exclusive. In every endeavor other than religion, if a person accepts things as being true with no quality evidence to support such beliefs, then the person is considered foolish and even contemptible by society. When acting exactly the same way regarding religion, the person is considered as perfectly normal. There is in faith an immunity to reality.

    Faith is the destroyer of science and progress. Faith in gods creates a horrible aversion to change. The status quo is the rule of thumb and the "faithful" conservative religious morals are the worn out morals of liberals from forty or so years before him. Yet along he goes dragging his feet. "Why free the slaves? It's in the holy books." The faithful were enraged when Ben Franklin invented the lightning rod. "It's a sin" they screamed. "God surely controls the lightning and who are you to interfere?" There was Galileo who was tried by the Catholic Church for sacrilege because he claimed the world was round and that the earth orbited the sun, and not the other way around as the bible says. The Fundies are this very minute all across the country attempting to remove evolution from the science books, even though it is established as fact. The list is endless. Religion and science are mutually exclusive. And Christian Science is nothing but an oxymoron.

    Faith is the slaughterer of freedom. If there is a concept more hateful to the hearts of the faithful flock than freedom, then it is unimaginable what it would be. Truly the flock pays due lip service to freedom, but their every endeavor is to control and outlaw it. To pass laws to prohibit sexual preferences in the bedroom of two adults is nothing but pure tyranny. Why do these people care who you're sleeping with? What business is it of there's? The faithful claim that they simply want to live life according to the rules of their god, but they want nothing short of making everyone live by those exact rules. Everywhere you find these faithful people you will see them attempting to control the other people around them. They even have the audacity to claim they are persecuted, simply because people resist them and rail against their bids for totalitarian control. The faithful claim they are patriots, but they resemble old Russian Communism much more closely than capitalism.

    Faith is the destructor of individuality. Everywhere the faithful are trying to enact their version of God's word into law and force the rest of society to be just like them. The faithful proudly claim the title of "Sheep". What more needs be said?

    Faith is the fountainhead of ignorance. The faithful everywhere cast off logic and science as the temptations of Satan. Any science, theory, or fact which contradicts their religion is perceived to be purely evil. This inevitably leads to the embracing of myths and ignorance and the shunning of rational thinking.

    Faith is the procreator of intolerance. Faith like nothing else strengthens intolerance and helps it breed and spread. What else would come about from people who claim as divinely inspired books which espouses slavery, homophobia, murder, infanticide, genocide, racism, rape and kidnapping in the name of a loving god?


    Thanks wherever you are, to War on Faith.
    That not to say that a person can't be both religious and a scientist, but to me it isn't a good starting block. but it does depend on the science the believer chooses, if he say for instance chooses maths, there is not much he can mess up, but still I would have my reservations.
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    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogistician View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post

    Exactly. So why should a methodology conflict with a belief system?
    It doesn't, the belief system conflicts with the methodology, the relationship between the two is not a bijection. Try to grasp that.
    You're again assuming to understand the depth of their faith as well as its nuances.

    Believe me, I completely grasp what you're saying. You don't need to pretend as though I'm a simpleton. I simply disagree with your suggestion that someone cannot accept something, not as fact, but as the higher probability and still function at a scientific level. Perhaps they simply wish to believe that God is real, but they accept their ignorance as to his workings. They don't have to be a biblical literalist.

    The bottom line for me is that I am willing to regard a person's professional capabilities based upon the work they demonstrate to me. I do not dismiss their ability to conduct scientific research simply because they believe in God. God has many definitions and for you to assume that you know them all so completely that you can pre-judge someone without seeing anything they have to offer is very arrogant.
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    This essay might be of interest to the OP. It was written by Theodosius Dobzhansky, who was a prominent geneticist, and a central figure in the field of evolutionary biology for his work in shaping the unifying modern evolutionary synthesis. He shows how any sort of religious literalism is incompatible with science, with a short explanation of the nature of scientific theories, and why we can only make sense of what we see around us in terms of evolution.

    Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution


    Oh, sorry, forget that. He is a Christian. It must be a load of nonsense.
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  92. #91  
    Forum Sophomore Phlogistician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    God has many definitions and for you to assume that you know them all so completely that you can pre-judge someone without seeing anything they have to offer is very arrogant.
    God may have many definitions, so what? They are all supernatural, and a belief in the supernatural contradicts scientific methodology. Belief in the supernatural leads to stories such as this;

    Doctor 'prescribed an exorcism'
    BBC NEWS | UK | England | London | Doctor 'prescribed an exorcism'

    So by indulging the religious with your apologetics, you are enabling such behaviour.
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  93. #92  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogistician View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    God has many definitions and for you to assume that you know them all so completely that you can pre-judge someone without seeing anything they have to offer is very arrogant.
    God may have many definitions, so what? They are all supernatural, and a belief in the supernatural contradicts scientific methodology. Belief in the supernatural leads to stories such as this;

    Doctor 'prescribed an exorcism'
    BBC NEWS | UK | England | London | Doctor 'prescribed an exorcism'

    So by indulging the religious with your apologetics, you are enabling such behaviour.
    Again with the wild leaps. Someone who believes in God and wishes to conduct science is bound to perform exorcisms?

    I love that science does NOT practice the exlusionary tactics of many churches. We let ANYONE in who is willing to contribute in a meaningful way. Let's not make faith judgments on people to determine who belongs and who doesn't. Their work can speak for itself.

    That does NOT mean that I have tolerance for abusing science for a religious goal. As I have said before, I don't allow for that kind of thing. However, I believe it should be dealt with on a case by case basis, not by denying anyone with religious beliefs access to scientific research.

    I get that you want to protect the integrity of the fields, but you're doing so with napalm.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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  94. #93  
    Forum Sophomore Phlogistician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    This essay might be of interest to the OP. It was written by Theodosius Dobzhansky, ..... He shows how any sort of religious literalism is incompatible with science,
    So he's an apologetic. How much of a dogma can one abandon, but still apply the label to one's self?
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  95. #94  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogistician View Post
    How much of a dogma can one abandon, but still apply the label to one's self?
    He doesn't have to abandon anything, his objectivity and methodology in his work can be and has been evaluated by his peers. I'm tempted to say more, but this thread has been derailed enough with what I suspect to be more than half the posts within being unrelated to the thread topic.
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  96. #95  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogistician View Post
    So he's an apologetic.
    You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it does.

    If anything, in that article he is an apologist (defender) of science in general and evolution specifically.
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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  97. #96  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    @Phlogistician

    Your type of atheism with positions like "no-one can do science unless they agree with me" is just as dogmatic as the worst types of fundamentalism. It's as pointless to argue with you as it is some of the cranks we regularly get here - your position is a fixed as theirs.
    Exactly. The whole purpose of the scientific method is to eliminate whatever personal biases people have. Einstein never liked quantum theory and kept trying to disprove it. Should we therefore be doubtful of all his other work?

    What about an atheist scientist who wants to disprove GR as a Jewish concept and the big bang as a Catholic invention; should we distrust his work?

    Well, in a sense, yes. Science is all bout being doubtful of other experts. It doesn't (shouldn't) matter what an individual's motives or personal idiosyncrasies are. The processes of objective evidence, replication, peer review, etc. should mean that (in the long run, at least) it is all irrelevant.
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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  98. #97  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    It's important to note that data can be corrupted, but reality cannot. Even the most determined Catholic spy doing bogus science will NOT be able to get faulty work past the rest of the field. It's a fruitless endeavor. No scientist practicing that kind of work ethic will last or remain credible. Again, their work will speak for itself.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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  99. #98  
    Forum Masters Degree mat5592's Avatar
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    how would a person's belief in a god affect their pursuit in a treatment for HIV, testing for the higgs-boson, or landing a man on mars? why does it matter? or are we just limiting science to things like evolution so it fits an argument?
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    Ah.. the Resurrection of the Reason vs faith. hmmm.... came up early, wasn't supposed to appear for another two days. jesus, can't you folks realize your very own 'conditioning'? You are conditioned to accept the idiocy of christianity .......because you are surrounded by it, grew up in it, born into it(be careful or you may be born again), and have friends and family that would be insulted if you really told them what most anyone NOT conditioned would tell them. My 12 eyed whale didn't phase you? Go and study Mythology before reading your bible and count the similarities. OK, a weak mind can do science, get over it and move on. But.....don't forget to consider your source.
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  101. #100  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sampson View Post
    Ah.. the Resurrection of the Reason vs faith. hmmm.... came up early, wasn't supposed to appear for another two days. jesus, can't you folks realize your very own 'conditioning'? You are conditioned to accept the idiocy of christianity .......because you are surrounded by it, grew up in it, born into it(be careful or you may be born again), and have friends and family that would be insulted if you really told them what most anyone NOT conditioned would tell them. My 12 eyed whale didn't phase you? Go and study Mythology before reading your bible and count the similarities. OK, a weak mind can do science, get over it and move on. But.....don't forget to consider your source.
    Who is that little rant addressed to? Who are you claiming is "conditioned"? Are you claiming that only Christians are unable to do science? How do you know how many of the people on this forum were surrounded by or born into Christianity? How do you know what any of their friends and family would think? How do you know who has or has not studied mythology? How do you know who has or has not read the bible? Who are you accusing of having a weak mind? Why is your ability to be rational being overridden by your emotions?
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