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  1. #1 Evolution 
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    Evolution

    Although this may seem to be off topic, it is indirectly argued to be related to the bibles origin of the human species.

    Are we a unique specie as the bible portrays us or did we evolve from the apes?

    The answer is that we evolved from the apes. More specifically, from the chimpanzees.
    But how did it all start?
    Well my solution to this problem is that it occured as a 'chance' event.

    It all started when a chimpanzee was cornered in a situation by a predator that had no way out. But by a 'chance' occurence, there laid a fallen tree branch nearby. So the chimpanzee grabbed the tree branch and used that as a defensive tool by pointing it toward the predator as a weapon.
    Needless to say, the predator did not relish the idea of having a mouthful of branches shoved in its face, so it left the scene.

    The chimpanzee than returned to its tribe and conveyed by motions and oral sounds what he/she had accomplished.
    So from that point on, tree branches became a valuable tool since they could have had their twigs removed and the tips gnawed to a point as a spear.
    This involved only 'one' chimpanzee tribe in Africa.

    So from this point on over long periods of time, this crude spear progressed to the use of metals and other further improvements.

    NS


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  3. #2  
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    I don't get the connection to the Bible. I don't recall reading in the Bible about chimpanzees and pointy sticks.

    How would a chimpanzee learning to use a tool lead to any genetic changes?


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    How would a chimpanzee learning to use a tool lead to any genetic changes?
    The same way that any trait is selected for in evolution; the ones that were better at using tools would be more likely to survive and pass on the genes that made them better at using tools.
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    don't know what bible you're using, as far as i'm aware evolution first existed as a concept in the 18th century and came of age in the 19th - more than 2 millennia than parts of the OT

    the only link i can see between religion and evolution is with religosos who either try to co-opt it or deny it
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    How would a chimpanzee learning to use a tool lead to any genetic changes?
    The same way that any trait is selected for in evolution; the ones that were better at using tools would be more likely to survive and pass on the genes that made them better at using tools.
    Don't discount learned behavior. Remember the group in Japan that learned to wash their food? A young one figured it out and the whole tribe copied her.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Harold14370 wrote:
    How would a chimpanzee learning to use a tool lead to any genetic changes?
    The same way that any trait is selected for in evolution; the ones that were better at using tools would be more likely to survive and pass on the genes that made them better at using tools.
    The word "survive" can be misleading. It has more to do with having offspring than anything. The ones that were better at making tools had more success with the ladies, and therefore more children.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    I don't get the connection to the Bible. I don't recall reading in the Bible about chimpanzees and pointy sticks.

    How would a chimpanzee learning to use a tool lead to any genetic changes?
    The changes you refer to are extremely minor.

    The bible creates man as a complete created being rather than an evolved creature.

    The bible followers refute this and to counter the evolution process that has more credibility than the biblical 'creation' out of mud, dirt or sand, you name it.
    So 'intelligent design' is now being promoted to counter the evolution concept.

    So now you have the two factions opposing each other.

    I vote for 'Evolution' rather than creation out of nothing or whatever.

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    The whole Bible vs Evolution thing has rubbed me wrong for years

    I'm not going to get into why we evolved as the sentient race rather than another species, because I don't think we fully understand evolution enough to make that determination.

    That said, the only thing in the Bible that goes against any of the Theory of Evolution is the whole "created in his image" part, referring to the idea that humans were created in God's image.

    I guess you could indirectly construe that the Bible could be interpreting the human form as God's desired end-product...but that's really bending a rules a bit.

    Of course, the opposite notion that we (ie - humans) were just created, zip, as is, is clearly incorrect, as we have fossil records (and professional wrestlers) to prove our primitive past.

    But where does that get us? We still don't know some of the answers.

    Stranger still, I suppose you could take the Arthur C. Clarke approach (ie - our primitive ancestors were manipulated by aliens to become the sentient race).

    To the topic at hand, are we unique? Well, if we consider we're the only sentient race on the planet, that does make us rather unique. In regards to the Bible, though...what context are you pointing towards?

    Let us assume that God didn't create everything as it is right now (which we know he didn't because we can show things were different in the past). Let us again assume that God, rather than creating each and every thing, created a method by which life evolved (ie - evolution).

    On one hand, it might be assumed that we, humans, simply are the byproduct of millions of years of evolution, and that we are only unique in so far as we are the first species to develop this level of intelligence and ability.

    On the other hand, it might be assumed that this (ie - humanity) was God's intent all along, and by evolution we have popped out as we are for a reason. Again, we are unique, but the circumstances are a bit different. Not only are we the most advanced species, but our reaching this level was not purely guided by evolution.

    I guess it all depends on how you think God fits into the picture. As divine creator, or divine micro-manager...
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  10. #9 Re: Evolution 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike NS
    The answer is that we evolved from the apes. More specifically, from the chimpanzees.
    Let us be accurate. Chimpanzees and man have a common ancestor. It is as inaccurate to say we evolved from chimps as to say that chimps evolved from us.
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  11. #10 Re: Evolution 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike NS
    The answer is that we evolved from the apes. More specifically, from the chimpanzees.
    Let us be accurate. Chimpanzees and man have a common ancestor. It is as inaccurate to say we evolved from chimps as to say that chimps evolved from us.
    The closest match between our DNA and the chimpanzees is what I would call the final proof of our anscestry.

    Of course our 'hands' are an added proof.

    NS
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    Wolf

    The source of our evolution is our 'hands'.
    The evolution of our brains resulted in both thought and discoveries that contributed to advancement.
    For instance the use of metals as weapons.

    God did not create all the material things we have. That resulted from our greatest tools, our hands.
    That is why we are a unique creation in these times.

    NS
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  13. #12 Re: Evolution 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike NS
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike NS
    The answer is that we evolved from the apes. More specifically, from the chimpanzees.
    Let us be accurate. Chimpanzees and man have a common ancestor. It is as inaccurate to say we evolved from chimps as to say that chimps evolved from us.
    The closest match between our DNA and the chimpanzees is what I would call the final proof of our anscestry.
    Of course our 'hands' are an added proof.
    The similarity of our DNA is evidence of our common ancestor. It is most certainly not evidence that we evolved from chimps, or that they evolved from us.
    If you do not understand this you need to read up on some basic biology. If you do understand it I am at loss to understand why you made your opening post.
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  14. #13 Re: Evolution 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike NS
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike NS
    The answer is that we evolved from the apes. More specifically, from the chimpanzees.
    Let us be accurate. Chimpanzees and man have a common ancestor. It is as inaccurate to say we evolved from chimps as to say that chimps evolved from us.
    The closest match between our DNA and the chimpanzees is what I would call the final proof of our anscestry.

    Of course our 'hands' are an added proof.

    NS
    I can't tell if you are accepting Ophiolite's correction or not (and of course, he is correct). The DNA match is evidence of being closely related and of chimps being our closest living relative, not of humans evolving "from" chimps.
    I imagine you and your cousin have even better DNA match but it's *exactly* the same error to claim that you evolved from your cousin.
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  15. #14 Re: Evolution 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    I imagine you and your cousin have even better DNA match but it's *exactly* the same error to claim that you evolved from your cousin.
    Unless Mike is from bayou country. 8)
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    To Ophi and neutrino

    I just posted this site to counteract the biblical creation of man.

    What type of DNA would that creature have?

    NS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike NS
    What type of DNA would that creature have?
    papier maché ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  18. #17  
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    Neutrino wrote:
    I can't tell if you are accepting Ophiolite's correction or not (and of course, he is correct). The DNA match is evidence of being closely related and of chimps being our closest living relative, not of humans evolving "from" chimps.
    Is it possible that the ancestor animal can coexist with the one evolved from it, e.g. if chimps evolve into men can there be both chimps and men coexisting today?
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Is it possible that the ancestor animal can coexist with the one evolved from it, e.g. if chimps evolve into men can there be both chimps and men coexisting today?
    that is indeed a possibility - however, since a consensus seems to be forming that knuckle walking developed twice (in chimps and gorillas), that would imply that the common ancestor of humans and chimps was not a knuckle walker, hence not a chimp
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    You will notice that I said the human specie evolved from just ONE tribe of chimpanzees.

    That would explain the 'one anscestor DNA'.

    The rest of the chimp tribes did not evolve as humans.

    NS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike NS
    To All

    You will notice that I said the human specie evolved from just ONE tribe of chimpanzees.

    That would explain the 'one anscestor DNA'.

    The rest of the chimp tribes did not evolve as humans.

    NS
    It's still wrong, our common ancestor with chimps would not be classified as a chimp.
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  22. #21  
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    Mike,
    I must repeat and emphasise Neutrino's comments. Chimpanzees and man have a common ancestor. That ancestor was different from chimps and it was different from man. It cannot be called a chimp, and it cannot be called a man.
    It is frustrating to hold these discussions with you because it seems, often, as if you are failing to read (and certainly failing to understand) anything other posters are directing towards you.
    It would be helpful here if you could acknowledge that you understand that the common ancestor of chimps and man was not a chimp. Thanks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Mike,
    I must repeat and emphasise Neutrino's comments. Chimpanzees and man have a common ancestor. That ancestor was different from chimps and it was different from man. It cannot be called a chimp, and it cannot be called a man.
    It is frustrating to hold these discussions with you because it seems, often, as if you are failing to read (and certainly failing to understand) anything other posters are directing towards you.
    It would be helpful here if you could acknowledge that you understand that the common ancestor of chimps and man was not a chimp. Thanks.
    I am aware of this 'one anscestor' DNA match.
    But how far back in time does this 'match' go?
    Does that DNA science give a time table?

    NS
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    Mike NS said:
    I just posted this site to counteract the biblical creation of man.
    Well, not only does Mike seem to be ignorant about what evolution claims, he is also ignorant of the Bible.

    There is no biblical creation of man. The Bible did not create anything. It does claim that God created the universe and living things, including man.

    This issue remains unsettled among open minded people.
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    I am aware of this 'one ancestor' DNA match.
    But how far back in time does this 'match' go?
    Does that DNA science give a time table?
    Between about 5 & 7 million years.
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    The whole Bible vs Evolution thing has rubbed me wrong for years

    I'm not going to get into why we evolved as the sentient race rather than another species, because I don't think we fully understand evolution enough to make that determination.

    That said, the only thing in the Bible that goes against any of the Theory of Evolution is the whole "created in his image" part, referring to the idea that humans were created in God's image.

    I guess you could indirectly construe that the Bible could be interpreting the human form as God's desired end-product...but that's really bending a rules a bit.

    Of course, the opposite notion that we (ie - humans) were just created, zip, as is, is clearly incorrect, as we have fossil records (and professional wrestlers) to prove our primitive past.
    If you've had any experience seeking acceptance from the opposite sex, then you pretty much know most of what there is to know about evolution.

    Females choose what traits will progress and what traits will be lost to time. It's all about who gets to mate and who doesn't. If you don't get to mate, then your DNA is the DNA getting selected against.

    If it's because someone died before they got the chance, that's one way it can happen, but just as often it's more a matter of never even having been likely to get a chance even if they lived forever.
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    You do all realize that by saying something 'is' so you are just being as dogmatic as any religious extremist, right? I assume anything is possible. But right now I see everything as nothing more than theory. In theory evolution could be so, and what we have seen may indeed be evidence. But amazingly, that evidence that you think is proof of evolution could in fact be viewed as religious proof of creation. Every artist takes on a unique style, writers, painters, whatever, religious folks could claim that all those presumed evidence of ancestry could in fact just be a sign of patterns in a creator's style. It's all a bunch of 'he said, she said' shit.

    See both theories make no sense to me, it's either something came out of nothing randomly, and ironically that something randomly innovates rather than reversing or going back and forth, or someone with mystical powers just always was or came about as an oddity who then spawns more oddities. Before we can actually claim what system brought us about I think we'd need to rationalize on just how any of this shit could become real.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie

    I am aware of this 'one ancestor' DNA match.
    But how far back in time does this 'match' go?
    Does that DNA science give a time table?
    Between about 5 & 7 million years.
    Ha ha.
    Assuming that this original creature went through 300,000 generations (20 years) or 6 million years is a miracle.
    The fossil record does not confirm this.
    Instead, the FR shows evolution.

    Also, I am sure the bible does not go back that far.

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    My recollection is that that Bible goes back to "In the beginning. . ." Even by the most conservative scientific guestimates on the age of the Earth, that would be more than 5 to 7 million years ago.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  30. #29  
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    daytonturner wrote:
    The Bible did not create anything. It does claim that God created the universe and living things, including man.

    This issue remains unsettled among open minded people.
    What open-minded people? Only the closed-minded people still doubt the validity of evolution theory.
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  31. #30  
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    What open-minded people? Only the closed-minded people still doubt the validity of evolution theory.
    I think what he might be saying is that the idea that the existence of evolution definitively precludes the existence of a God is still in question. Those who are "open minded" on this subject, recognize that evolution doesn't destroy God.
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    Ha ha.
    Assuming that this original creature went through 300,000 generations (20 years) or 6 million years is a miracle.
    The fossil record does not confirm this.
    Instead, the FR shows evolution.

    Also, I am sure the bible does not go back that far.

    NS
    Yes it did, the earth is around 6 billion years old so 6million years is not even a single percent of the time this earth has been around. Fossil records do confirm the age of the earth by the layer of earth in which they are found and the estimation of the age of the fossil, this is done by many, many tests based on totally different principles which all converge and agree on a planet/fossil of such an age. eg various forms of radiodating.

    The creature did go through 300,000 generations to become us as if it did not, you would not be here to declare it a miracle!

    The bible doesnt go back that far as it doesnt sem to concern itself as to what happened on the planet before mankind arrived/ evolved (which was a lot).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    Yes it did, the earth is around 6 billion years old so 6million years is not even a single percent of the time this earth has been around. Fossil records do confirm the age of the earth by the layer of earth in which they are found and the estimation of the age of the fossil, this is done by many, many tests based on totally different principles which all converge and agree on a planet/fossil of such an age. eg various forms of radiodating.

    The creature did go through 300,000 generations to become us as if it did not, you would not be here to declare it a miracle!

    The bible doesnt go back that far as it doesnt sem to concern itself as to what happened on the planet before mankind arrived/ evolved (which was a lot).
    The generations in the bible were traced back for just 6-7 thousand years.
    The origin as shown in the bible is just a fantasy that was created to answer a childs questions
    You know, "daddy, where did we come from"?.

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    What open-minded people?

    Well that would include anyone who does not fit into one of two main closed-minded groups – virtually all atheists and the strict constructionists among Judo-Christians. I cannot address other religious groups since I have no idea whether some of them even have any minds at all.

    Atheists are almost universally closed minded on this issue of evolution because they have no choice to be otherwise. There is nothing else for them to believe. Their starting point is that God does not exist. Thus, their only possible explanation for the diversity of life on earth is the idea of evolution. For these people, any evidence of evolution, whatsoever, must necessarily be interpreted as supporting evolution. They cannot view the evidences of evolution and concede that some things mitigate against the theory. Anomalies, unexplained gaps, missing linkages are explained away in ever increasing conflicting ideas.

    Strict religious constructionists would include people such as young Earth advocates who are far from representative of all Judo-Christian thinking. They are, at best, straw men for those who delight in suggesting that religious people ignore science.

    Most religious people accept the validity of almost all of science and have few conflicts with anything beyond the highly speculative leaps of scientific faith which are made only in an effort to ignore God’s role in the creation of the universe and life. The only other objections of the religious toward science would be found in some applications of science to life. They question the wisdom and/or the morality of some practices. A classic example would be the wisdom or morality of, say, cloning human beings.

    There are those who erroneously believe that evidence of evolution precludes the existence of God. There are others who believe that the existence of God precludes any and all aspects of evolution. Such people are so closed minded that their opinions and evaluations are worthless and useless and do not contribute to a rational, reasoned discussion on the issue.

    As I have said above and many, many times before -- atheists must believe in evolution – lock, stock and barrel. Atheism and blind belief in evolution go hand in hand. What else can an atheist believe without conceding the possibility of God? A mind closed to God is a mind which cannot rationally evaluate evidence relating to evolution.

    It is only self-delusion that compels some of these people to suggest that they reject God because they first believed evolution. One can believe in God and many aspects of evolution. One cannot reject God and believe in anything other than evolution.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    What open-minded people?

    Well that would include anyone who does not fit into one of two main closed-minded groups – virtually all atheists and the strict constructionists among Judo-Christians. I cannot address other religious groups since I have no idea whether some of them even have any minds at all.

    Atheists are almost universally closed minded on this issue of evolution because they have no choice to be otherwise. There is nothing else for them to believe. Their starting point is that God does not exist.
    Why do theists continually and stubbornly insist on mischaracterizing atheists over and over and over despite being told, probably over and over and over, that they are doing so?
    Atheists do not necessaily say that is no God! Some atheists may, others may say "There's no evidence for God - I don't believe in him. He may or may not exist, though."
    I and many atheists ARE the ones with the open minds - I am the first to admit that God may exist. Or that he may not. We don't know and since I've seen no evidence, I say he probably doesn't.

    Thus, their only possible explanation for the diversity of life on earth is the idea of evolution. For these people, any evidence of evolution, whatsoever, must necessarily be interpreted as supporting evolution. They cannot view the evidences of evolution and concede that some things mitigate against the theory. Anomalies, unexplained gaps, missing linkages are explained away in ever increasing conflicting ideas.
    Atheists don't treat evolution any differently than any other theory - it's you who does. Atheists realize there is tremendous evidence supporting evolution and so treat it as the best explanation for the diversity of life on earth. Same as any other scientific theory. It's the religious who put evolution on special status (or old-earth geology, or whatever else doesn't fit their dogma) and ignorantly pretend that scientists, in this or that particular field, don't know what they're doing.
    The scientific rigor is just as stringent in evolutionary biology as any other branch of science, and the ability of science is self-explanatory given the world around us.

    most religious people accept the validity of almost all of science and have few conflicts with anything beyond the highly speculative leaps of scientific faith which are made only in an effort to ignore God’s role in the creation of the universe and life.
    Which God? People on this planet believe in hundreds of different versions. What makes yours special? Thankfully, science doesn't care what your God says on the matter, it just looks at the evidence.

    As I have said above and many, many times before -- atheists must believe in evolution – lock, stock and barrel. Atheism and blind belief in evolution go hand in hand. What else can an atheist believe without conceding the possibility of God?
    Where do you get this from? Evolution is no different than any other scientific theory for an atheist. Nor should it be for a theist. If another alternative comes along an atheist such as myself would be just as open to it as alternatives to any other theory. Unfortunately for you and what you fail to understand is evolution is backed by so much evidence that anyone being objective and who is sufficiently educated in the matter realizes that evolution isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
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    Alright, so I crack open Genesis, and the Bible (lots of dust, mind you) and I notice one thing in regards to this argument...

    That is, namely, that neither the Bible, nor the book of Genesis, claim to be, or try to be, a complete year by year history of the entire Earth, from Big Bang to present day.

    In fact, the Bible (and Genesis) pretty much skip over the nitty-gritty of the formation of the Earth and everything, right up to the point where humans come into the picture.

    So why are some people in here arguing about the Bible? I don't get the point. If the Bible DID try to explain it all, step by step, layer by layer, then there might be a point in using it in such an argument. But it doesn't. No way around it...it just doesn't. Why? Because it's not supposed to. Not because "the Bible couldn't explain evolution" but because the Bible doesn't cover those topics. If I want to study Napoleon, I don't run around bytching about how some France travel book doesn't give all the grainy details of his entire life. That's nuts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    ...-- atheists must believe in evolution –...
    Where do you get this from? Evolution is no different than any other scientific theory for an atheist....
    Perhaps a better way to put it is that if you are a die-hard atheist who doesn't believe in supernatural (ie - divine) things, you aren't going to choose something like Creation (the theory that God made everything) over the Theory of Evolution. Obviously if you choose to believe in Creation, you are accepting that there was some divine intervention going on. That goes against the standings of atheism.
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    Nutrino says:

    Why do theists continually and stubbornly insist on mischaracterizing atheists over and over and over despite being told, probably over and over and over, that they are doing so?
    Atheists do not necessaily say that is no God! Some atheists may, others may say "There's no evidence for God - I don't believe in him. He may or may not exist, though."
    I and many atheists ARE the ones with the open minds - I am the first to admit that God may exist. Or that he may not. We don't know and since I've seen no evidence, I say he probably doesn't.
    This is a very good example of illogic. A theist believes in God; an atheist does not. Even if you split hairs and establish the subcategory of ignorant, apathetic agnostics who don’t know and don’t care, a person who does not believe in God remains an atheist even while admitting the possibility of His existence.

    By the logic formulated here, if I were to agree that there is the possibility that God does not exist while saying that I believe that He does, that would make me an open minded theist. And, on those terms, I would have to label myself open minded. I do not "know" God exists, but I do believe He does.

    I somehow doubt the atheist would accept this view as being any more open minded than the view of evolution which does not find it as a complete answer to the question on why there has been such a diversity of life on Earth.

    I think the truly open minded person, if he were actually admitting that God might exist, would also have to admit that evolution may be an incomplete answer to diversity.

    Neutrino claims:

    Atheists don't treat evolution any differently than any other theory
    The truth of this claim is also its downfall. The idea that atheists don’t treat evolution any different shows that they fail to recognize that the theory IS different from other theories. Other theories are not used by atheists in an attempt to validate their disbelief in God. Nor is there any other theory which comes so dramatically under scrutiny from the religious segment. The failure of atheists to recognize and acknowledge that there are many problems within the theory is evidence of their inability to see beyond their baseline biases.

    Neutrino also sez:

    If another alternative comes along an atheist such as myself would be just as open to it as alternatives to any other theory.
    Well, yes, so long as the other alternative left God out of the equation. I find the thought intriguing from the stand point that I wonder what would happen if the alternative conflicted with evolution to the extent that to believe the alternative, one would have to abandon evolution to accept it. How many of the people who are now totally convinced that evolution is the absolute ultimate answer would suddenly begin to see the same problems that the religious now try to point out.

    Neutrino concludes:

    what you fail to understand is evolution is backed by so much evidence that anyone being objective and who is sufficiently educated in the matter realizes that evolution isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
    I think the counter argument is that the theory of evolution is so full of holes, flaws and distortions that anyone who accepts it hook, line and sinker is blinded by his own intelligence or ignorance such that he has no ability to analyze information in a discretionary manner.

    My point was not intended to argue the merits or demerits of evolution, but merely to point out that atheists (and that includes agnostics) MUST believe in evolution -- right or wrong. It is their only possible position. To allow evolution to be undermined in any way is a direct attack on their base belief that God is non existent.

    Atheists must believe in evolution -- they have nothing else to believe in.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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    Wolf wrote:
    Obviously if you choose to believe in Creation, you are accepting that there was some divine intervention going on. That goes against the standings of atheism.
    Atheist chooses what to believe based on reality, not feeling. Atheism does not mean denying the existence of God at all cost no matter how many evidence show otherwise. Atheism means unless there is evidence of its existence, there is no reason to believe in God.

    Daytonturner wrote:
    Atheists must believe in evolution -- they have nothing else to believe in.
    They must also believe E=mc**2, earth orbits around the sun, Bin Laden exists, among other things. Evidence are so overwhelming that they have no other intelligent choices but to believe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Atheist chooses what to believe based on reality, not feeling.
    Really? All atheists base their beliefs solely on factual evidence? That's generalizing, and you know it.

    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Atheism does not mean denying the existence of God at all cost no matter how many evidence show otherwise. Atheism means unless there is evidence of its existence, there is no reason to believe in God.
    What's yer point?

    Sure, someone can choose to change from being an atheist to something else, but while they're an atheist, what I said is true.

    Unless, of course, you're implying that someone claiming to be an atheist, isn't.

    If someone claims to be an atheist, thereby stating that they don't believe in God, they cannot at the same time claim to believe that God created the universe. Therefore given the choice between Creationism and Evolution, an atheist would fundamentally have to reject Creationism.

    If they begin to believe in Creationism, they're no longer a true atheist.
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    prasit replied:

    They must also believe E=mc**2, earth orbits around the sun, Bin Laden exists, among other things. Evidence are so overwhelming that they have no other intelligent choices but to believe.
    To the best of my knowledge, there is no known opposition to or disagreement with these concepts, whether theist, atheist or any other persuasion. These things are not a matter of belief. These things are a matter of proven and verified knowledge.

    Evolution is not nearly so well settled as to be similarly verified and universally accepted. To claim otherwise is to turn a blind eye to the many objections raised by evolution detractors.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Give a few examples of the objections
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    If you do not already know what the standard objections to evolution are, you are not informed enough on the issue to have any answers.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    A theist believes in God; an atheist does not. Even if you split hairs and establish the subcategory of ignorant, apathetic agnostics who don’t know and don’t care, a person who does not believe in God remains an atheist even while admitting the possibility of His existence.

    By the logic formulated here, if I were to agree that there is the possibility that God does not exist while saying that I believe that He does, that would make me an open minded theist. And, on those terms, I would have to label myself open minded. I do not "know" God exists, but I do believe He does.
    The difference here is the atheists starting point is generally the evidence. If the evidence leans towards God, I'd start believing. If it leans towards no God (which it currently does) then I say no God.
    The theist starts with something like the Bible and no matter WHAT is put in front of their face, they will continue to believe. Evidence be damned.
    One is open-minded, one is dogma.

    I think the truly open minded person, if he were actually admitting that God might exist, would also have to admit that evolution may be an incomplete answer to diversity.
    Evolution may be "incomplete" in the sense that it doesn't explain 100% of everything with 100% accuracy. But short of that ridiculous standard it does the job as well as any theory in science. So why wouldn't I accept it?

    Quote Originally Posted by dayton
    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    Atheists don't treat evolution any differently than any other theory
    The truth of this claim is also its downfall. The idea that atheists don’t treat evolution any different shows that they fail to recognize that the theory IS different from other theories. Other theories are not used by atheists in an attempt to validate their disbelief in God.
    Well I can't speak for everyone but evolution has nothing to do with me not believing in God. Stop assigning special status to YOUR personal religion - evolution does not conflict with most people's faith and likewise does not scream "no God" to most people either.

    Nor is there any other theory which comes so dramatically under scrutiny from the religious segment. The failure of atheists to recognize and acknowledge that there are many problems within the theory is evidence of their inability to see beyond their baseline biases.
    This is true. It's because the religious treat evolution differently because it violates what some of them believe based off their favorite creation myth. But the science behind evolution is strong regardless of what nonsense you allow yourself to believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dayton
    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    If another alternative comes along an atheist such as myself would be just as open to it as alternatives to any other theory.
    Well, yes, so long as the other alternative left God out of the equation.
    Well, in the context of science - of course. God is outside the scope of science. In a more general context, you'd have to be more specific. Like I said God may exist and if he decided to come down and start raising the dead or something I'd rethink my position on his existence.

    Quote Originally Posted by dayton
    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    what you fail to understand is evolution is backed by so much evidence that anyone being objective and who is sufficiently educated in the matter realizes that evolution isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
    I think the counter argument is that the theory of evolution is so full of holes, flaws and distortions that anyone who accepts it hook, line and sinker is blinded by his own intelligence or ignorance such that he has no ability to analyze information in a discretionary manner.
    No, it's not full of holes, flaws, and distortions. Find me the SCIENTIFIC sources that say this please. AIG for example is not a scientific source. It should tell you something that only religious sources have problems with evolution.
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    neutrino said:
    Like I said God may exist and if he decided to come down and start raising the dead or something I'd rethink my position on his existence.
    God already did that but, apparently, even this is not enough.

    However, again, I am not really discussing the merits of evolution. I am merely pointing out that atheists have no other explanation for diversity. They must agree with evolution, right or wrong, and thus have no reason or need to question it. And don't.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    neutrino said:
    Like I said God may exist and if he decided to come down and start raising the dead or something I'd rethink my position on his existence.
    God already did that but, apparently, even this is not enough.
    Some people say that God did that. Some people also say that Zeus impregnated their daughter. Both, one, or neither could be true.

    However, again, I am not really discussing the merits of evolution. I am merely pointing out that atheists have no other explanation for diversity. They must agree with evolution, right or wrong, and thus have no reason or need to question it. And don't.
    I'm not sure why anyone would have reason or need to question it. It works brilliantly at describing life on earth. As REASONS crop up to question some or all of the theory, it happens. Largely though those reasons do not exist. Scientifically, of course.
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    neutrino said:

    Some people say that God did that. Some people also say that Zeus impregnated their daughter. Both, one, or neither could be true.
    I find this very immature and silly. neutrino is comparing something he knows not to be and which is not believed by anyone who is rational to something he admits may or may not be true and which is believed by many. The implication is that what is known to be untrue confirms the likelihood that the other is not true. This is an example of intelligence and rational reasoning? And with this type of thinking I should trust that person to rationally analyze data concerning evolution?
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    neutrino said:

    Some people say that God did that. Some people also say that Zeus impregnated their daughter. Both, one, or neither could be true.
    I find this very immature and silly. neutrino is comparing something he knows not to be and which is not believed by anyone who is rational to something he admits may or may not be true and which is believed by many. The implication is that what is known to be untrue confirms the likelihood that the other is not true. This is an example of intelligence and rational reasoning? And with this type of thinking I should trust that person to rationally analyze data concerning evolution?
    The POINT was that you may be in error as presumably the ancient Greeks were about Zeus. So you saying "God already did that" holds little weight because we do not know if in fact any of the miracles in the Bible occured.
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    If you do not already know what the standard objections to evolution are, you are not informed enough on the issue to have any answers.
    My point is are there any objections which are not raised by fanatical creationists which reasonably contest the theory without questioning the validity of the data (ie the age of fossils and the planet) or the technicalities of calling evolution a "theory"!

    However, again, I am not really discussing the merits of evolution. I am merely pointing out that atheists have no other explanation for diversity. They must agree with evolution, right or wrong, and thus have no reason or need to question it. And don't.
    I think you are confusing evolution and religion, atheists do not believe in a god, this, by no form of logic implies that they do believe in evolution (as by that logic one would have to be theist or darwinist!) They may have other reasons for being atheist besides evolution.

    Also lease stop undermining all the people on this forum! It makes for a terrible debate! :-D
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    robbie sez:


    I think you are confusing evolution and religion, atheists do not believe in a god, this, by no form of logic implies that they do believe in evolution (as by that logic one would have to be theist or darwinist!) They may have other reasons for being atheist besides evolution.
    This just goes to show how you guys manage to twist things around. You have taken what I said was the cause and made it the effect.

    My point was just the exact opposite. I was saying that atheists must believe in evolution because it is their only possible explanation of bio-diversity. I have never claimed anyone was an atheist because of his prior belief in evolution. I suppose, however, that may be possible, but it is just not my point.

    Are there any atheists on this forum who do not believe in evolution? Speak up!
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    Fair point!

    But I think atheism may be older than evolution and I doubt atheists who dont believe in evolution would enroll themselves on a science forum!
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Are there any atheists on this forum who do not believe in evolution? Speak up!
    I certainly hope not, what with the overwhelming amount of evidence and all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    The POINT was that you may be in error as presumably the ancient Greeks were about Zeus. So you saying "God already did that" holds little weight because we do not know if in fact any of the miracles in the Bible occurred.
    Oooh...the dilemma of history...

    Two things with this (and other posts of the same light made by others):

    1. If we assume that religion is a man-made thing, used to describe or interact with something divine, then religion becomes more an angle of interpretation rather than the object itself. If that is the case, then if one system of interpretation (ie - religion) disappears, for whatever reason, why does that mean that the object of interpretation disappears with it?

    In a way, religious struggles are no different from groups of scientists fighting over who has the correct theory explaining some phenomenon...but when one theory is destroyed, it doesn't not mean the phenomena was destroyed with it.

    2. I hear people complaining about wanting God (or whoever) to make some kind of appearance to prove his existence. I also hear some stating that this has happened already, yet others calling bunk on it.

    So lets think about that for a second. What if God comes to Earth himself, or sends a representative. He does some miracles, etc, and everyone's like "Yay! God!"

    Then, a thousand years later, people look back at history and see that a bunch of people claimed God showed up and did some miracles. These miracles we can't explain, and God hasn't visited us at this point (1000-years in the future), so what are we to think?

    As an experiment, lets say God really does show up tomorrow, but the only way you can record his visit is through written and verbal communication. What would you do to prove to generations 1000+ years from now, that what you saw happened, and was true?

    People begging for God to appear, and someone noting that God already has, is a very valid point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    If it leans towards no God (which it currently does)...
    Where did you find that? I haven't seen any overwhelming evidence that leans towards a no God position.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    Two things with this (and other posts of the same light made by others):

    1. If we assume that religion is a man-made thing, used to describe or interact with something divine, then religion becomes more an angle of interpretation rather than the object itself. If that is the case, then if one system of interpretation (ie - religion) disappears, for whatever reason, why does that mean that the object of interpretation disappears with it?

    In a way, religious struggles are no different from groups of scientists fighting over who has the correct theory explaining some phenomenon...but when one theory is destroyed, it doesn't not mean the phenomena was destroyed with it.
    Not getting your point here - rephrase if you want a response from me I suppose.

    2. I hear people complaining about wanting God (or whoever) to make some kind of appearance to prove his existence. I also hear some stating that this has happened already, yet others calling bunk on it.

    So lets think about that for a second. What if God comes to Earth himself, or sends a representative. He does some miracles, etc, and everyone's like "Yay! God!"

    Then, a thousand years later, people look back at history and see that a bunch of people claimed God showed up and did some miracles. These miracles we can't explain, and God hasn't visited us at this point (1000-years in the future), so what are we to think?

    As an experiment, lets say God really does show up tomorrow, but the only way you can record his visit is through written and verbal communication. What would you do to prove to generations 1000+ years from now, that what you saw happened, and was true?
    I'm not sure how this point helps at all. We have no way of knowing if it happened whether it did or did not and given the fact that there is no evidence whatsoever that any of it DID, there's no reason to presume that it did.

    People begging for God to appear, and someone noting that God already has, is a very valid point.
    No, it's not. So who are we supposed to believe - just the Christians? They don't even agree with themselves over what happened, why should I?

    If it leans towards no God (which it currently does)...
    Where did you find that? I haven't seen any overwhelming evidence that leans towards a no God position.
    Yeah I mispoke a bit here. There isn't any positive evidence for the non-existence of God but if you talk about any particular God like that of the Bible, the lack of evidence to me suggests there probably isn't one. That's just a personal opinion though, we can't tell one way or the other.
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    nutrino said:

    I'm not sure how this point helps at all. We have no way of knowing if it happened whether it did or did not and given the fact that there is no evidence whatsoever that any of it DID, there's no reason to presume that it did.
    neutrino obviously does not understand "evidence."

    Actually, the only "evidence" we have is that it did happen. There is no "evidence" to the contrary.

    We have people who were not there, did not see it, did not talk to the witnesses, who have not presented any other writings from the era or reports of other people who were there who say none of the things in the Bible did not happen.

    Actually, in a court of law, the evidence we have would provide what is considered substantial evidence, if only because there is no testimony or evidence to the contrary.

    We only have people who question the credibility of the testimony.

    So we do not have to presume it happened. To deny that it happened is what takes a presumption. It is these same kinds of foundless presumptions that allow evolution advocates to skip over the anomalies in the theory.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Actually, the only "evidence" we have is that it did happen. There is no "evidence" to the contrary.
    <snip>
    So we do not have to presume it happened. To deny that it happened is what takes a presumption. It is these same kinds of foundless presumptions that allow evolution advocates to skip over the anomalies in the theory.
    There is no evidence that Zeus didn't have a thousand babies with mortal women either. I suppose we had better suppose that happened, too.
    *Clearly* you have a very poor idea of what constitutes good evidence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    There is no evidence that Zeus didn't have a thousand babies with mortal women either. I suppose we had better suppose that happened, too.
    The points I was making above are this:

    1. The death of Zeus: If you accept that religion is just an interpretation of something, then if that interpretation stops being used, it doesn't mean the subject of the interpretation suddenly vanishes.

    If I ask two artists to draw the tree outside, I'll get two different artistic interpretations of that tree. If I destroy one of the artist's pictures and keep the other, the tree outside doesn't disappear.

    So if we assume for the sake of argument that there is some divine object (God, whatever) and humanity sets out to describe it, and we call those descriptions religions, what happens when one of those religions goes away? Does that prove that the divine subject of that religion is gone, too? I'd say it doesn't. The only thing lost is that particular group of people's interpretation. Their picture is gone, but the original subject remains.

    That's my argument concerning the whole coming and going of different religions (such as the ancient Greek religions). Religions, just like art, are very susceptible to the desires, understandings, and interpretations of the people who create them. Pa'tay'toh pa'tah'toe.

    2. Historical events: As I said above, too, we can't rule out past events simply because they didn't have access to video and whatnot.

    It may be difficult to conceive how someone is supposed to prove that Jesus really did come to Earth 2000 years ago using just written and verbal communication, but that doesn't mean we can just so easily dismiss that as all false.

    To that end, what kind of evidence would you want that would prove to you and those 2000 years from now that Jesus came to Earth, if he came again tomorrow? Assuming you had access to every possible method known to mankind today, how would you prove to future scrutiny that Jesus showed up?

    There's other problems, too. Given that the religious texts and teachings have been carried over 2000 years, and were re-written countless times to fit in with currently upheld beliefs and interpretations, it's rather safe to assume that religious texts (such as the current version of the Bible) are highly corrupted (both from a data and idealogical perspective). So we can't use the literal translations of the religious texts in our search for confirmation. I'm not saying the Bible is worthless as a text, but as far as historical accounts go, a White-House report would be more accurate.

    3. Other religions: I took Christianity in my arguments because it's more readily understandable to this audience (IMO) but the same could go for virtually any religion.

    Each religious group has its own handed-down teachings and writings, and none of them have any modern methods of "evidence" for proving their stories. They're all in the same boat as Christianity. If we assume that each religious area (Christianity, Buddhism, Islamic, etc) is merely a large-scale interpretation of a single phenomena, then it doesn't matter. It's all in what flavor you like best.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    There is no evidence that Zeus didn't have a thousand babies with mortal women either. I suppose we had better suppose that happened, too.
    The points I was making above are this:

    1. The death of Zeus: If you accept that religion is just an interpretation of something, then if that interpretation stops being used, it doesn't mean the subject of the interpretation suddenly vanishes.

    If I ask two artists to draw the tree outside, I'll get two different artistic interpretations of that tree. If I destroy one of the artist's pictures and keep the other, the tree outside doesn't disappear.

    So if we assume for the sake of argument that there is some divine object (God, whatever) and humanity sets out to describe it, and we call those descriptions religions, what happens when one of those religions goes away? Does that prove that the divine subject of that religion is gone, too? I'd say it doesn't. The only thing lost is that particular group of people's interpretation. Their picture is gone, but the original subject remains.
    Gotcha. I thought this is what you were saying but I don't disagree with it so I was a little confused about why you were raising the point. I think the only issue I have is while God or some such may exist, I don't think a lot of religious people really view their beliefs as mere interpretations - they view them as truths. If you brought a modern Christian and an ancient Greek into the same room and they discussed the nature of God (or the Pantheon, or whatever) they would not agree that they are viewing the same thing in different ways. They'll both say "You're wrong".
    However I do agree with your overall point that just because a religion goes away it doesn't mean that the subject of that religion (if it exists) goes away too.

    2. Historical events: As I said above, too, we can't rule out past events simply because they didn't have access to video and whatnot.
    Well you have to have a default position when it comes to historical events. It can be you believe everything ever recorded, you don't believe anything recorded, or like most people something in between - you believe them given some standard of evidence.
    What is your standard of evidence for which you will believe historically recorded events as actually having happened versus probably not having happened?
    For me, miracles in the Bible don't meet any credible standard. It IS called "faith" for a reason - if we knew with reasonable certainty that these events happened it wouldn't require much faith to believe in God. but we don't, and it does require faith for that reason.

    It may be difficult to conceive how someone is supposed to prove that Jesus really did come to Earth 2000 years ago using just written and verbal communication, but that doesn't mean we can just so easily dismiss that as all false.
    I don't know for certain that it's false but I don't know it's any more likely than Zeus or anything else - so the default position is skepticism for the reasons I stated above.

    To that end, what kind of evidence would you want that would prove to you and those 2000 years from now that Jesus came to Earth, if he came again tomorrow? Assuming you had access to every possible method known to mankind today, how would you prove to future scrutiny that Jesus showed up?
    I honestly do not know. I'd evaluate the evidence as was presented and I really can't say what I'd find convincing and what I wouldn't.

    There's other problems, too. Given that the religious texts and teachings have been carried over 2000 years, and were re-written countless times to fit in with currently upheld beliefs and interpretations, it's rather safe to assume that religious texts (such as the current version of the Bible) are highly corrupted (both from a data and idealogical perspective). So we can't use the literal translations of the religious texts in our search for confirmation. I'm not saying the Bible is worthless as a text, but as far as historical accounts go, a White-House report would be more accurate.
    I agree with you and that's one reason why you can't just accept what's written in such texts as true.
    I don't think I disagree with you in any major areas here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    If you brought a modern Christian and an ancient Greek into the same room and they discussed the nature of God (or the Pantheon, or whatever) they would not agree that they are viewing the same thing in different ways. They'll both say "You're wrong".
    I guess that's the real problem with religions. So few seem to be willing to coexist, tolerate, or learn about others around them.

    At the same time, this hampers exploration of religious history.

    The Native Americans have some interesting viewpoints on other religions. Some tribes readily accepted the existence of Christianity, with its one-God theme, despite their own multiple-deity beliefs. They recognized that both could be discussing the same thing, only in two different ways. For the Native Americans, God's anger, benevolence, instincts, luck, etc, was represented by various figures. For Christians, all those things are part of a whole. Whichever way you look at it, you pretty much get the same end result. The only difference was that for the Native Americans, multiple deities made more sense, and for Christians there was a strong sense of need for a single figure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    However I do agree with your overall point that just because a religion goes away it doesn't mean that the subject of that religion (if it exists) goes away too.
    Cool.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    Well you have to have a default position when it comes to historical events. It can be you believe everything ever recorded, you don't believe anything recorded, or like most people something in between - you believe them given some standard of evidence.
    True, our understandings are based on whatever foundation we currently accept as part of our rational processes. The problem often occurs, though, when we try to apply the current foundation of science, to something that doesn't necessarily have to obey the laws of science. I agree, though, that some standard of experimentation needs to be formed (and I don't think it has yet).

    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    What is your standard of evidence for which you will believe historically recorded events as actually having happened versus probably not having happened?
    Good question, I don't know. (That's one reason why I jump on people who claim to come from a solid foundation on the subject. )

    Personally, I think that there's almost a certain probability that something happened back then, in regards to Biblical events, but as to what actually happened, why, and how, I don't know. I don't think there's enough evidence in both the texts and standard history to claim that nothing happened, but at the same time I can't honestly say I believe things happened exactly as in the texts.

    I have to see both the written histories, understand the nature of the people writing them, their possible motives, the implications of the outcomes of both the events and writings, present social evidence, and also the probability that the events in history are farces or normal phenomena not understood by the writer(s).

    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    For me, miracles in the Bible don't meet any credible standard. It IS called "faith" for a reason - if we knew with reasonable certainty that these events happened it wouldn't require much faith to believe in God. but we don't, and it does require faith for that reason.
    Good point. A lot of things surrounding belief requires faith, because science fails us in trying to prove it exists.

    On the flip side, however, this very notion has led a lot of the recent explorations of Biblical history through archeology. People trying to find physical proof of events, places, and people. When we read about some famous character, yet can't find any evidence he existed, and then someone finds his tomb, it lends credibility to that character.

    I'm not saying we're going to turn a rock and find some tomb with Jesus in it (yes, I'm aware of that recent Jesus-tomb debacle), but there is a level at which science can assist in our exploration of faith and fact.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    To that end, what kind of evidence would you want that would prove to you and those 2000 years from now that Jesus came to Earth, if he came again tomorrow? Assuming you had access to every possible method known to mankind today, how would you prove to future scrutiny that Jesus showed up?
    I honestly do not know. I'd evaluate the evidence as was presented and I really can't say what I'd find convincing and what I wouldn't.
    I think you've hit upon the same argument I've ranted about on several other threads. There's not much in the physical world (if anything at all) that can help us make a decision for or against the existence of God (or whatever divine entity there might be). By the very nature of God and other divine events/entities, there's no way to use any currently understood testing methods to prove it exists or not. You can't poke it, sample it, taste it, or take a picture of it.

    It defies our understandings of the workings of the universe...but then again who are we to believe we can understand God?
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    neutrino said:
    There is no evidence that Zeus didn't have a thousand babies with mortal women either. I suppose we had better suppose that happened, too.
    The difference here is that no one actually believes Zeus existed and had children with human wives. Although perhaps some credibility is rendered in what is referenced by Gen. 6:4, "There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men, which were of old, men of renown."

    But there neutrino goes again using something that no one believes to refute that which many people believe in.

    This is sort of like saying because Aristotle was wrong about the elements, therefore the periodic chart cannot be accurate.

    "Clearly," this form of argument is illogical and without merit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    But there neutrino goes again using something that no one believes to refute that which many people believe in.

    "Clearly," this form of argument is illogical and without merit.
    Funny, I thought it wasn't so bad. Of course I refuted it, but still it's not that bad of an approach. A lot of people throughout history have pointed out the "dead" religions and made mention that Christianity is still around.

    From a religious integrity perspective, it's a valid argument, but against the existence of a divine source, it's not. To that end, it's easy to get the lines crossed, so although I argued against it, I don't have any grief over it popping up in here. It's all a matter of perspective, anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    The difference here is that no one actually believes Zeus existed and had children with human wives. Although perhaps some credibility is rendered in what is referenced by Gen. 6:4, "There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men, which were of old, men of renown."
    At one point, people DID believe that though. And they claim to have seen evidence for it. According to you, we should just accept it because there's no evidence it didn't happen (or are you special pleading for Jesus only?). That's a horrible way to go about choosing your beliefs because you'd end up a member of every religion.
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    Well, cr*p! At one point people believed the elements were earth, water, air and fire. Now we know that is not true. Based on neutrino's reasoning, we must come to the conclusion that there are no elements and the ones which have been identified do not really exist. Since Aristotle was wrong, anything to do with elements must also be wrong.

    Base on that argument one should also completely reject evolution because a large portion of Darwin's theory has been repudiated.

    This is a fallacious argument devoid of intellect and totally ineffective.

    I have never suggested that we should believe in something because there is no controverting evidence. I have attempted to show that the lack of controverting evidence makes rejection of the supporting evidence more difficult than when we have some actual refutation or valid, reasonable objections.

    We believe things based on our observations and life experiences and evaluating those things along with the reported observations and life experiences of others. No one claims to have "experienced" Zeus, but many claim to have "experienced" Jesus. Many claim to have "experienced" UFO's.

    I have "experienced" Jesus, but not UFO's. I am as skeptical about UFO's as atheists are about Jesus. But I do know that those who claim UFO experiences and out-of-body experiences and back-from-the-dead experiences are as firm in their belief as are religious people in their beliefs.

    I do not know whether the acient Greeks actually "believed" in their Gods or the Norse people in their Gods or if they merely responded out of social pressure or fear of reprisal. I get the feeling that with the Greeks it was something of an intellectual validation to be able to explain the unknown by use of the gods while with the Norse it was more a matter of fear of the unexplained.

    It may also have been because, as atheists with evolution, they had nothing else to believe.

    That, of course has been my point all along -- that atheists must believe in evolution because it is the only offered explanation of bio-diversity which excludes a supernatural participant.

    Most atheist would like to believe they have weighed the "evidence" of evolution and found it overwhelmingly convincing. And some may have done that. My point is that if your starting point is that God is not in the picture, even the flimsiest of evidence would be overwhelmingly convincing. And for many atheists, that is the case.

    For many people in the middle, regardless their religious position, the evidence is somewhat convincing and for others it is not sufficently convincing.

    My experience in discussing these things with atheists is that the most adamant advocates of evolution know the least about it -- only that whatever is said in favor of evolution has to be correct because there is no God who could have had a hand in it.

    For some (maybe most), their rejection of God it is far more important than a critical evaluation of the information concerning evolution.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Well, cr*p! At one point people believed the elements were earth, water, air and fire. Now we know that is not true. Based on neutrino's reasoning, we must come to the conclusion that there are no elements and the ones which have been identified do not really exist. Since Aristotle was wrong, anything to do with elements must also be wrong.
    No offense, daytonturner, but I think we already hashed that out.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    That, of course has been my point all along -- that atheists must believe in evolution because it is the only offered explanation of bio-diversity which excludes a supernatural participant.
    I understand that being an atheist means you can't accept a theory that involves God, by definition. But I am curious as why atheists (not all, of course) believe that bio-diversity can't be a creation of a divine, godlike entity. They (atheists) use it so often as "evidence" that God doesn't exist, but that makes no sense to me. Wouldn't such a thing as bio-diversity be within the powers of a god? Or, at least, partially?

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Most atheist would like to believe they have weighed the "evidence" of evolution and found it overwhelmingly convincing. And some may have done that. My point is that if your starting point is that God is not in the picture, even the flimsiest of evidence would be overwhelmingly convincing. And for many atheists, that is the case.

    For many people in the middle, regardless their religious position, the evidence is somewhat convincing and for others it is not sufficently convincing.
    Agreed.

    Outside of plain choice, though, I would be interested to hear how some of those atheists decided to be so sure about the absence of a divine creator. I'm not being argumentative when I say that, I'm being genuinely curious, because as a fence-sitter myself, I've often confronted the idea of simply completely giving up on the idea of God...and I haven't been able to justify it yet (if I ever will).

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    My experience in discussing these things with atheists is that the most adamant advocates of evolution know the least about it
    From what I've seen, that's pretty true. Especially those who claim that the existence of evolution means that God can't exist. Even after it's explained that there's little to no conflict between Genesis and the existence of evolution, there's still people who hide behind brick walls, believing there can't possibly be any coexistence. For those folks, I like to load a special kind of hypothetical bullet...

    Ready!...Aim!...FIRE!!!

    "What if God created evolution?"

    Wooo! What now? Huh?

    Of course, that gets back to the whole faith or no faith issue...

    Sometimes I chuck rocks over both sides of the fence.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    For some (maybe most), their rejection of God it is far more important than a critical evaluation of the information concerning evolution.
    I wonder why people are so eager to find ways to shoot down the concept of God? Even to the point of being "irrational" themselves.
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    Wolf wrote:
    But I am curious as why atheists (not all, of course) believe that bio-diversity can't be a creation of a divine, godlike entity
    When I accidentally dropped a glass of water on a hard floor, it broke into many pieces. All broken pieces did not have the same shape, showing the charisteristic of non-bio-diversity. I wonder whether this is caused by divine creation.

    I would be interested to hear how some of those atheists decided to be so sure about the absence of a divine creator.
    Not credible, in logical, lack of evidence, useless.
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    prasit wrote:

    When I accidentally dropped a glass of water on a hard floor, it broke into many pieces. All broken pieces did not have the same shape, showing the charisteristic of non-bio-diversity. I wonder whether this is caused by divine creation.
    Has prasit been taking silliness arguements lessons from neutrino?
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    Wolf:

    I'm being genuinely curious, because as a fence-sitter myself, I've often confronted the idea of simply completely giving up on the idea of God...and I haven't been able to justify it yet (if I ever will).
    I used to be a fence sitter as well and I still consider myself to be agnostic. It is impossible to prove or disprove the existence of God, because it is a multifaceted concept that means different things to different people.

    I also consider myself an atheist in the sense that I believe the existence of a theistic God is very unlikely because the sources we have to believe in such a thing is flawed or dependant on subjective experience interpreted through the cultural environment. I think a significant number of people are born with a mystical orientation which is then conditioned through society to become a specific form of God belief, such as polytheism, monotheism or deism to name a few.

    I mainly decided to finally take a stand as an atheist because of the almost inherent nature of proselytizing invoked in the two offspring of Judaism, both of which use intimidation and a screwed sense of reality as methods of recruitment. Please note I'm talking almost exclusively about fundamentalist versions of these religions.



    Daytonturner:

    I consider evolution to be the mechanism which accounts for diversity. Evolution is natural selection working on genetic diversity and mutations. As for the specifics of how it works, as in the [apparent] linear causality in a question such as what gave rise to mammals, and how it adds information in the DNA sequence I have no clear understanding. I just have a degree of faith that the people who have researched into this aren't talking out of their ass, I admit they're talking based on presuppositions. These presuppositions (that there is causality, induction, uniformitarianism, a theistic creator god doesn't exist) I happen to agree with.

    And so do individuals who take the bible literally, except for the last presupposition of course. They just assume that everything has run as it has till the global flood of Noah, before which it again largely ran as science describes it till the fall from Eden.

    I do not know whether the acient Greeks actually "believed" in their Gods or the Norse people in their Gods or if they merely responded out of social pressure or fear of reprisal. I get the feeling that with the Greeks it was something of an intellectual validation to be able to explain the unknown by use of the gods while with the Norse it was more a matter of fear of the unexplained.
    The greeks weren't the only ones to be polytheistic, what about the Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians, Hindu and various others. I feel it is almost safe to conclude that the vast majority of cultures experience a stage of polytheism (which isn't to say it's a phase that'll end). Even the Israelites were largely polytheistic to start with. And of course they believed that, it's like saying
    "I don't know whether people now actually believe in their God or if they are merely responding out of social pressure or because of pascals wager argument."
    Some of them probably don't, some of them do. People will believe all sorts of things.

    That, of course has been my point all along -- that atheists must believe in evolution because it is the only offered explanation of bio-diversity which excludes a supernatural participant.

    Most atheist would like to believe they have weighed the "evidence" of evolution and found it overwhelmingly convincing. And some may have done that.
    I would agree with the first paragraph. In regards to the second I admit that there are gaps in the explanatory power of evolution as a mechanism (like the almost fundamental gulf between subjective consciousness and objective reality). However it is a mechanism that has largely stood the test of time and doesn't appear to be going anywhere soon.

    Think about this if you would. Your conception of God is based on the Christian Bible, this is a part of your/our culture. If you had grown up in Afghanistan your conception of God would be Islamic. If you had grown up in India you would have been Hindu. Malaysia, Buddhist. Israel, Jewish. This must at least seem to point that there is a large social factor involved in which conception of God you will have. Of course this is open to personal reflection and charismatic individuals. In considering this how can we know which God is the true God? Surely the number of people believing in something is no evidence at all. The majority of people used to believe in polytheism, or that slavery is moral, that women were inferior, it doesn't add one iota to the truth value of each of these statements.


    At one point people believed the elements were earth, water, air and fire.
    Interestingly enough, this was a popular belief during the time that the New Testament was being constructed, and Irenaeus who was a significant defender of the four gospels used the 'fact' that there were four elements as further proof that there should only be four gospels. I wonder how much this thought was influencing the others that concluded in a four-fold gospel. All I'm suggesting here is that this shows how peoples conceptions of God and what is God's truth is shaped by the cultural conditions in which they live.
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Not credible, in logical, lack of evidence, useless.
    That doesn't make any sense. Those are just statements, not reasonings.

    Why do you think it's not credible?

    Why do you think it's illogical?

    What kind of evidence would you have?

    Why do you think it's useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flip McWho
    Wolf:
    I mainly decided to finally take a stand as an atheist because of the almost inherent nature of proselytizing invoked in the two offspring of Judaism, both of which use intimidation and a screwed sense of reality as methods of recruitment.
    I think that's why I don't regard religion as intrinsically linked to faith, or even the existence of a God. Religion is entirely human interpretation and subjective to the beliefs of a surprising few amongst the religious.

    I instead tend to view religions as a whole, taking what makes sense in my search for whatever there is to be said for truth. It seems odd to me that there would be absolutely nothing to any of it, and truth be told, there are some worldly goods in religion, too. I take the viewpoint that many religions describe the same thing, only in different ways, so analyzing them all together makes more sense to me. You can't get an accurate picture by viewing only in one shade.

    Nice response, btw, Flip.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Well, cr*p! At one point people believed the elements were earth, water, air and fire. Now we know that is not true. Based on neutrino's reasoning, we must come to the conclusion that there are no elements and the ones which have been identified do not really exist. Since Aristotle was wrong, anything to do with elements must also be wrong.
    I never said anything of the sort, you are making tremendous leaps of logic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dayton
    I have never suggested that we should believe in something because there is no controverting evidence.
    Then what are you saying here exactly?
    Quote Originally Posted by dayton
    neutrino obviously does not understand "evidence."

    Actually, the only "evidence" we have is that it did happen. There is no "evidence" to the contrary.

    We have people who were not there, did not see it, did not talk to the witnesses, who have not presented any other writings from the era or reports of other people who were there who say none of the things in the Bible did not happen.
    Actually, in a court of law, the evidence we have would provide what is considered substantial evidence, if only because there is no testimony or evidence to the contrary.
    We only have people who question the credibility of the testimony.
    So we do not have to presume it happened. To deny that it happened is what takes a presumption.
    We believe things based on our observations and life experiences and evaluating those things along with the reported observations and life experiences of others. No one claims to have "experienced" Zeus, but many claim to have "experienced" Jesus. Many claim to have "experienced" UFO's.
    So you place more weight on present day experience than past experience? If that's the case why are you putting all your eggs in the basket of events and testimony that happened 2000 years ago? On one hand you reject my Zeus argument because nobody today experiences Zeus. On the other hand you base your entire world view on events that happened 2000 years ago - events the likes of which are not seen today.
    You can't have it both ways.

    That, of course has been my point all along -- that atheists must believe in evolution because it is the only offered explanation of bio-diversity which excludes a supernatural participant.
    Like I said it's the same with any theory. The only "theory" an atheist is going to reject is one which involves God (or the supernatural in general for many atheists) which makes it unscientific anyway. So what's the problem? Other scientific alternates could be considered if there were any but like I said, the evidence for evolution is so conclusive that I won't be holding my breath.

    Most atheist would like to believe they have weighed the "evidence" of evolution and found it overwhelmingly convincing. And some may have done that. My point is that if your starting point is that God is not in the picture, even the flimsiest of evidence would be overwhelmingly convincing. And for many atheists, that is the case.
    This is very far from the truth. There's plenty of scientific ideas that don't have much evidence and it's very easy to look at it and say "There isn't much evidence here." That's just not the case with evolution, I think you are denial about the amount of evidence it has.

    My experience in discussing these things with atheists is that the most adamant advocates of evolution know the least about it -- only that whatever is said in favor of evolution has to be correct because there is no God who could have had a hand in it.

    For some (maybe most), their rejection of God it is far more important than a critical evaluation of the information concerning evolution.
    God may have a hand in it, but it's not a scientific position and there's no way to verify it so there's no reason to consider it given the consistency of existing evidence that does NOT require Magic to explain.
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    Many people have a slightly skewed view of evolution. We did not evolve from chimpanzees; both chimpanzees and humans evolved from a common ancestor. In other words, after diverging from one another, we each continue to evolve separately.

    You can read an excellent series of articles on evolution here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Actually, in a court of law, the evidence we have would provide what is considered substantial evidence, if only because there is no testimony or evidence to the contrary.
    Criminal court or civil court? In criminal court, the burden of evidence is deliberately set in favour of the defendant. In civil court neither side has any more burden than the other.

    I would suggest the most honest way to approach evolution is via the civil court approach.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Most atheist would like to believe they have weighed the "evidence" of evolution and found it overwhelmingly convincing. And some may have done that. My point is that if your starting point is that God is not in the picture, even the flimsiest of evidence would be overwhelmingly convincing. And for many atheists, that is the case.
    I would consider myself to fall into this group more, though I actually consider myself agnostic with respect to the existence of God.

    I have some understanding of statistics and probability, and though it's possible to skew a statistical analysis any number of directions when you're trying to disinform someone, I wouldn't skew things to disinform myself.

    The rules or probability fully allow for evolution. In fact, by some interpretations, it would almost favour it to the point of making it inevitable. I fully expect every world with conditions similar to ours (if those conditions have prevailed over a very long time at all) to have life on it just like ours does. (Though maybe not intelligent life yet)
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    kojax is barking up a different tree. Evolution has absolutely nothing at all to do with the origins of life, but rather is a theory to explain bio-diversity. Prime example of someone who believes something and doesn't even know what it is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    That's just a personal opinion though, we can't tell one way or the other.
    Sure you can. Just do what I do ever since I was little.... Sit back and take a good hard look at the entire world and ask yourself...What would this world be like if there was no God.

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    Wolf:

    Thank you.

    I agree. I think of religion to be broadly humans emotional involvement in reality.




    What would this world be like if there was no God.
    The exact same.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flip McWho
    Quote Originally Posted by Bettina
    What would this world be like if there was no God.
    The exact same.
    Exactly. :wink: There is no evidence for a God.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettina
    Exactly. :wink: There is no evidence for a God.
    There is no evidence against a God, either.

    Wheeee!!! This is fun!
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    Eh, what do you mean when you say God?

    A monotheistic God or a polytheistic God?
    A pantheist God or maybe a panentheistic God?
    Maybe you're inclined towards a deistic understanding of God. Or you're a mysticist.

    All of which have different consequences for what can be used as evidence for or against.
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    Wolf wrote:
    Why do you think it's not credible?

    Why do you think it's illogical?

    What kind of evidence would you have?

    Why do you think it's useless?
    Not credible: The story is not consistent. The interpretation of the story keeps changing when new evidence does not support it.
    Illogical: The cause of anything is bundle to one Entity: God, which does not need further explanation of its existence.

    Evidence: Evidence that cannot be explained by any other way. Evidence that shows that direct link to the supreme creator. For example, if a man suddenly woke up after presumed dead for three days, we cannot say that it is the work of an entity who created the whole universe million light-years across. It has not shown direct link.

    Useless: I don't see how it is useful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    kojax is barking up a different tree. Evolution has absolutely nothing at all to do with the origins of life, but rather is a theory to explain bio-diversity. Prime example of someone who believes something and doesn't even know what it is.
    Whatever... it explains both equally well.

    I guess what I mean is that we should expect to see evolved life on any planet we find that is similar to ours and has been for a long time. It may not reach human intelligence, but it will most likely have animals on it.
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    Of course, you must consider the possibility that without God, the world wouldn't be here at all.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Wolf wrote:
    Why do you think it's not credible?

    Why do you think it's illogical?

    What kind of evidence would you have?

    Why do you think it's useless?
    Not credible: The story is not consistent. The interpretation of the story keeps changing when new evidence does not support it.
    That's not really a good reason to say it's not credible. That just means that there is really no correct interpretation of it (at least not yet). Anyway, the general story has never been re-interpreted, only relatively insignificant specifics.

    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Illogical: The cause of anything is bundle to one Entity: God, which does not need further explanation of its existence.
    You're using circular logic here. "It is illogical because it's illogical" is what you're basically saying.

    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Evidence: Evidence that cannot be explained by any other way. Evidence that shows that direct link to the supreme creator. For example, if a man suddenly woke up after presumed dead for three days, we cannot say that it is the work of an entity who created the whole universe million light-years across. It has not shown direct link.
    Again, you're begging the question, as well as using non-sequitur logic. "We can't say a man rising from the dead was the work of God." Why? "because God is an entity who created the whole universe millions of light years across." In any case, your evidence is crap. You're simply jumping around, trying to avoid simply saying 'there isn't any'.

    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Useless: I don't see how it is useful.
    That doesn't say it's useless, now does it? It just means you haven't as yet found its use. Perhaps others have?
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    prasit said:
    Not credible: The story is not consistent. The interpretation of the story keeps changing when new evidence does not support it.
    Geeze, is that not the way we treat any question in which we are taking bits and pieces of information and trying to understand them. If science was unable to readapt whenever we find new information that contradicts what we thought was true, we would still be bumping along on square wheels.

    Honestly, are you that unaware of the changes which have occurred in the laws of thermodynamics?

    If we are allowed to change our understanding of basic laws of science which we think we know pretty good, why should we not also be allowed to change our understanding of God, whom we readily admit we do not fully understand?
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    It's true that it's ok to morph your belief to fit evidence. I'll agree there. I think most people believe against evolution simply because they really really want to.

    I'm not sure how many people genuinely find it illogical. All I ever get is people who are just so sure God did everything the bible says (merely because the bible has to be true, and it said so), they don't even bother to seek or look at any real evidence. They just assume all the scientists out there are anti-christs trying to fool the world.
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    spt wrote:
    That's not really a good reason to say it's not credible. That just means that there is really no correct interpretation of it (at least not yet). Anyway, the general story has never been re-interpreted, only relatively insignificant specifics.
    OK. I concede with you that the true essence of religion, whatever it is, may be credible, but the current interpretation is not.

    You're using circular logic here. "It is illogical because it's illogical" is what you're basically saying.
    No, I don't. I say it is illogical when someone try to point the cause of everything to an entity, and not pursue further for the cause of that entity.

    Again, you're begging the question, as well as using non-sequitur logic. "We can't say a man rising from the dead was the work of God." Why? "because God is an entity who created the whole universe millions of light years across." In any case, your evidence is crap. You're simply jumping around, trying to avoid simply saying 'there isn't any'.
    Of course I don't have any evidence of God existence, and it is not Wolf has asked for. What I try to say that if you see a man lighting a cigarette, you should not say that it is the evidence of him making an atomic bomb.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flip McWho
    Eh, what do you mean when you say God?

    ...

    All of which have different consequences for what can be used as evidence for or against.
    Interesting viewpoint. Can you extrapolate?

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Whatever... it explains both equally well.
    How does evolution explain the origin of life? Are you saying that organic lumps of amino acids 'n such adapted to form life? How does evolution explain where life came from?

    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Anyway, the general story has never been re-interpreted, only relatively insignificant specifics.
    I beg to differ. In Christianity, the Catholic Church seems willing to change the details of the story whenever the social/political beliefs change. For instance, the removal of female characters, the degradation of the angel-concept, the concepts of heaven, hell, and entrance into each, etc..

    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Useless: I don't see how it is useful.
    That doesn't say it's useless, now does it? It just means you haven't as yet found its use. Perhaps others have?
    Nicely put.

    I think there's a few hundred million, if not a few billion, who could give reasons why their faith is useful to them.

    Those who refuse to consider, examine, or try religion...or better yet, faith...don't surprise me that they fail to see anything in it. There's a lot of things in life that seem pointless until you examine them further, or try them. Faith is by far probably the hardest, and most complex facet of life to deal with, but it can be very rewarding.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I think most people believe against evolution simply because they really really want to.

    I'm not sure how many people genuinely find it illogical. All I ever get is people who are just so sure God did everything the bible says (merely because the bible has to be true, and it said so), they don't even bother to seek or look at any real evidence.
    Heh, yep. Idiocy isn't relegated only to those who aren't religious or faithful. There's a lot (a whole lot, actually) of people who thump the Bible claiming it totally refutes evolution. We call those people Illiterate Morons. Illiterate because they obviously can't read, and morons because they thump without reading.

    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    OK. I concede with you that the true essence of religion, whatever it is, may be credible, but the current interpretation is not.
    So what you're really balking is religion, not faith.

    Since you can have faith without religion, and you can change and/or remove a religion without effecting the existence and/or properties of the divine entity, using religion as an argument for or against faith and/or the existence of a God entity is pointless.

    That's getting somewhere! Bravo, mein Freund!

    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    I say it is illogical when someone try to point the cause of everything to an entity, and not pursue further for the cause of that entity.
    Personally, science is the pursuit of the what and how, and faith is the pursuit of the why.

    There's no reason to not pursue science just because of a belief in God (or other faith). If you believe in God, it doesn't mean you have to (or should) give up studying the world around you. We have a brain, and use it.

    The crux of the issue comes when we ask "why is something the way it is?" Science helps us answer a lot. We know a lot of things about the world, and we're continuing to figure stuff out, but there's some things in life that are harder to understand. Like, why are we all here? Where is the universe and what does it mean? What is the nature of individuality, and further, our own conscience? Why do men have nipples? Heh.

    I guess the point I'm trying to make (I'm too hungry to think straight, it's dinner time!) is that science and faith can go together, and one doesn't stop the other. On the subject, if you have an entity as powerful as a god, then although evolution exists and you can study it and figure it out, it doesn't mean that a god couldn't have created it. The flip side is, can you have a god and have something like evolution not be created by that god?

    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Of course I don't have any evidence of God existence, and it is not Wolf has asked for. What I try to say that if you see a man lighting a cigarette, you should not say that it is the evidence of him making an atomic bomb.
    ...

    I'll admit I was curious about your response to my evidence request. "Evidence that cannot be explained by any other way."

    I don't mean to sound snotty when I say this, but what makes you think that there is any evidence to be had at all?

    So far we've found that nothing really in the natural world can be used as evidence for or against God. We've also found that it's intrinsically difficult (or impossible) to derive faith and confirmation through someone else.

    So you're left only with what you, personally (as in: your conscience) has.

    Unless someone has a different viewpoint on that. I'd love to hear it. Honestly.
    Wolf
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    wolf wrote:
    So what you're really balking is religion, not faith.
    I just respond to your question why I don't believe in God's existence. no more, no less.

    So far we've found that nothing really in the natural world can be used as evidence for or against God. We've also found that it's intrinsically difficult (or impossible) to derive faith and confirmation through someone else.

    So you're left only with what you, personally (as in: your conscience) has.
    If there is no evidence 'for' the existence of something, it is reasonable to presume that that 'something' does not exist, without having to find the evidence 'against' its existence.

    Wolf wrote:
    I think there's a few hundred million, if not a few billion, who could give reasons why their faith is useful to them.
    OK. I retract my statement that believing in God is useless. I think the term 'useless' and 'useful' are dependent on how people feel about particular thing. Drunkards think alcohol is useful. Taliban think kidnapping is useful. Ancient people think sacrificing virgin is useful. Chinese think the chinese language is useful, but pidgin is useless. So I retract my statement.
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    prasit said:

    If there is no evidence 'for' the existence of something, it is reasonable to presume that that 'something' does not exist, without having to find the evidence 'against' its existence.
    Thank God, science has not adopted this as its overall policy. I am of the opinion that science has gone on many fishing trips looking for things there was no direct proof of and found it. I am thinking of sub-atomic particles and things like anti matter and gray matter -- things which we believed could be there because we observed something which did not quite add up. Just because those who believe in God do not produce tangible, physical evidence does not preclude His existence.

    I agree with Wolf in his assessment that there does not seem to be any recognized tangible, physical "evidence" of the existence of God. We have not always recognized the tangible, physical evidence of protons and electrons, but that did not disprove their existence.

    Quite often, when we have questions about something for which there is either no evidence or only flimsy evidence, part of the process of "proving" it involves trying to disprove it.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    daytonturner wrote:
    Thank God, science has not adopted this as its overall policy.
    So God did it again.
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    I am thinking of sub-atomic particles and things like anti matter and gray matter -- things which we believed could be there because we observed something which did not quite add up.
    'Speculate 'or 'Hypothesize' is more fitting than 'believe'. And the scientists never speculate that it is the work of a divine being. And they search for an alternative theory because the present one does not quite explain fully the observed evidence, not because of no evidence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    kojax wrote:
    Whatever... it explains both equally well.
    How does evolution explain the origin of life? Are you saying that organic lumps of amino acids 'n such adapted to form life? How does evolution explain where life came from?
    This is a very productive question, and the answer is that it explains it using the likelihood that matter will continue to remain in a given state vs. the odds that it will change states again. A state of matter that is better adapted to a situation will remain in that state longer than a state of matter that is poorly adapted.

    If you're randomly rolling the dice, and each new outcome is a new state for the matter to be in, those states which are poorly adapted will cause the die to be rerolled. Those states which are well adapted will never be rerolled.

    Even if you have to roll a billion-trillion-zillion times before you get a life form (and that life form is able to replicate itself enough times to get a sure foothold) , that one die roll is all you need. It's the only time nature ever has to get it right. It can get it flat wrong all the other billion-trillion-zillion (-1) other times.
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    Wolf:

    Interesting viewpoint. Can you extrapolate?
    Whenever anybody mentions that they believe in God the first question you need to ask is which conception of God. The majority of 'lay' believers in the Christian religion will probably stick with the concept of God found in the OT. This is the monotheistic concept, where God is an individual entity with it's own personality who created the universe and has providence over it and is capable of having personal relationships with any number of people at any time.

    The next concept is the deistic God which is basically the same but doesn't have any involvement with the universe at all, essentially this God set the dials at the beginning of creation and then has let everything go about it's own business according to the rules of the game that God set at the beginning.

    Then you get into the concepts of what I think largely belong under the collective title of mysticism. You firstly have pantheism which was made famous by Spinoza and essentially states that everything in the universe is a finite appearance/mode/part of one ultimate being. There's also panentheism which states that God is penetrating into everything in the universe but God itself is more than just the universe. Lastly there's mysticism itself which is the belief that reality is one undiversified being.

    As you move from each particular concept of God you discard certain bits of evidence, for example the deist does not require the infalliability of the bible whereas for a theist some form of revelation is essential. Physical/scientific evidence can be of some use in weighing the truth of the revelations but all other conceptions of God besides theism aren't that reliant on revelation and instead work of subjective experience.
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    I'm not sure I'd agree that the appearance of life was a chance adaptation to the environment.

    The behavior of the chemicals before the creation of life is (relatively) simple chemistry, not evolution or even adaptation.

    There's a fine line between there, I realize that, but I'm still not seeing how the Theory of Evolution explains the first creation of life.

    If it's true that the chemical compounds found before the beginning of life adapted into life in order to benefit greater from their surroundings, wouldn't it also hold true that other chemicals are doing the same thing? Or rather, what mechanism within chemistry is causing compounds to selectively build in one way, verses another? What provoked the lumps of matter at the beginning to form life, rather than just another simple, non-living derivation?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    The behavior of the chemicals before the creation of life is (relatively) simple chemistry, not evolution or even adaptation.
    No sufficiently chaotic system is ever simple. (Or at least not for very long. A lottery could, theorhetically draw the numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6 but it wouldn't happen twice in a row very likely. Most lottery numbers are complex numbers that don't fall into much of a pattern.)

    There are entirely inorganic swirls of chemicals all over the place that are insanely complex (In the way that a campfire is complex, or a bomb blowing up is complex. Unordered, but complex).

    If it's true that the chemical compounds found before the beginning of life adapted into life in order to benefit greater from their surroundings, wouldn't it also hold true that other chemicals are doing the same thing? Or rather, what mechanism within chemistry is causing compounds to selectively build in one way, verses another? What provoked the lumps of matter at the beginning to form life, rather than just another simple, non-living derivation?
    Random chaos is continually causing matter to build in all directions equally. But, when they happen to build in a direction that is more adapted to self-perpetuation. (Not "survival", obviously, because we're talking about pre-organic matter) the fact that it's perpetuating itself causes it to keep on building that direction.

    A chemical process that isn't perpetuating itself stops, and those chemicals move onto another process and another... etc until the dice land on a process that self perpetuates.
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