Notices
Results 1 to 58 of 58

Thread: No evidence

  1. #1 No evidence 
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    North America
    Posts
    49
    I respect what other people believe, but I've tried reading the bible, I also have gone to church before, I honestly find creation hard to believe. Evolution has evidence in the fossil record. I believe that to disbelieve something or to believe it you have to study it, and I have studied both creation and evolution. To me evolution has all the evidence, there is really no evidence behind creation. I really don't see how you can argue with the loads of fossil evidence, and I think it's kind of selfish to think that humans have no connection genetically to other animals on earth. Once again, I respect other people's beliefs, and I would like for others to do the same.


    "Nature is an infinite sphere whos center is everywhere and whose circumferense is nowhere."
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,521
    damm straight...thats why i'm not religious.
    there is no reason for me to be, there is no credibility to anything that comes out of the bible.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4
    Um, I have a question. How do you know if the earth is like, what, "millions and millions of years old?" Uh, were you there? No. And yes I know about carbon dating and such but it isn't even accurate. Not trying to attack anyone.
    My Love For the Lord Will Never Perish...
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,377
    Um, couldn't we, like, um, apply the same logic to creation mythology? I mean, were you, like, there to see Ra bring forth the world? Or Marduk split the god Tiamat in half to create the heavens and the earth during their fight?

    Their stories (and others) exist to us today, but when looking at the volume of scientific evidence, we see that many disciplines converge in the same conclusion: that the planet is over 4.6 billion years old. Carbon is but one radiometric measurement and, indeed, there are many others that suggest the same result. Paleomagnetic dating is another very convincing measurement.

    But the fact that Thamnophis points out is valid: without an education, the information is meaningless. It is far easier to believe the mythology of one's culture which has been taught and reinforced nearly from birth than it is to explore even rudimentary scientific results and conclusions and how they are arrived at.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    651
    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Kitty
    Um, I have a question. How do you know if the earth is like, what, "millions and millions of years old?" Uh, were you there? No.
    I have a question. How do you know anything for sure? Can you tell me when the United States became a country? No. Of course not, as you were not here, were you? Can you tell me anything about China or the people who live in China? No, of course not, as you are not there. Why should we listen to anything that you have to say, as at least some of it is based on events which you base on hearsay, which ccording to your argument has no validity. Do you think that your point is valid as stated?

    And yes I know about carbon dating and such but it isn't even accurate. Not trying to attack anyone.
    I am not trying to attack you either, but I am trying to get you to reconsider your point. Carbon dating is very accurate. It is not accurate back to the time that the earth was created, and it is never used for such time periods. Do you know that about carbon dating?

    Whatever evidence exists for the age of the earth, and however poor you think the quality of the evidence, how could you think that there could possibly be better evidence for the existence of god? After all, have you met god? If not, then you weren't there, were you, and according to your own argument your opinion would be suspect.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,377
    Ironically, "Hermes" is involved in the Greek story of creation!

    It was Hermes, the messenger of the gods, that was sent by Zeus to strike a deal with Hades after Persephone ate the pomegranate seeds thus trapping her in the underworld after Hades kidnapped her. The deal was that Persephone would remain Hades wife and Queen of the underworld, but would return each spring to appease Demeter whose misery was destroying the harvest.

    This is why we have the seasons of spring and summer because the plants bloom and grow in her presence but wilt and disappear in her absense as she returns to the underworld in the fall and through the winter.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    651
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Ironically, "Hermes" is involved in the Greek story of creation!
    I confess.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,521
    you would think that the god of the underworld would be one of those types that would kill the mesenger.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Key West, Florida, Earth
    Posts
    4,788
    Since science hasn't proven how the universe began , other than a theory, then a belief system thinking that a supernaturnatural power created it helps those that don't want to accept the theory belief but instead want to believe in a god of some sort. Nothing wrong with that other than theories are built upon facts but those theories about how it all began are really all just theory without much fact to prove them correct. That's why they are called theories.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,377
    I think I am forced to disagree but only slightly, CT. To the lay person, a "theory" is, indeed, an "idea" or "speculation" on how something is or works. People have "theories" about why McDonald's French Fries never seem to age or become stale, for instance.

    But in science, a "theory" is a bit different. It is a culmination, of one or more tested hypotheses. This means that speculations were made and tested to see if they were valid by either reproducing results or making predictions that were subsequently observed.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Key West, Florida, Earth
    Posts
    4,788
    But in science, a "theory" is a bit different. It is a culmination, of one or more tested hypotheses. This means that speculations were made and tested to see if they were valid by either reproducing results or making predictions that were subsequently observed.
    Your terms are almost the same as for beliefs. How can one test , except by therorizing, the beginning of the universe or for that fact how particles started? I see the terms as the same, theories and beliefs that is but realise there's a slight difference as you suggest. That's where gods and the like can also be added to humankinds thinking to believe in something other than governments or science which are all speculative.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,377
    You make predictions based upon that which has been observed and see if they bear out.

    But are we talking about evolution on this planet or the creation of the universe? These are two distinct, albeit related, things. However, I believe that there are predictions based on observation in each field that have been met.

    Certainly, meeting predictions isn't "proof" of an hypothesis, but it has far more credibility than simply sticking to the belief that the serpent-god Tiamat, in death, became the sky and the earth as she was split in two by Marduk in their battle for domination. The latter is a story passed on for thousands of years, originating from a culture that had limited means to test their observations. The former is based on thousands of years of perfecting the process of observation and testing as well as drawing upon a bank of knowledge that has been, for thousands of years, revised and improved as new knowledge is obtained.

    The former explanation cannot make the claim of revision that the latter can. It's revision relies upon gradual error and attrition of ideas that are deemed no longer important to the societies that passed them from one generation to the next before recording them. This change in the story is an evolution of sorts, but the selection process is based upon the practices and subsistance strategies of the culture at hand to determine what concepts are "fit" enough to survive.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    651
    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler
    [How can one test , except by throrizing, the beginning of the universe
    Theorizing is not testing.

    I see the terms as the same, theories and beliefs that is but realise there's a slight difference as you suggest.
    I agree. If we ignore the fact that theories and beliefs have nothing at all in common, then it is quite easy to come to the notion that they are basically identical.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Forum Sophomore 8873tom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    UK, south-east.
    Posts
    104
    I think this would be a good article to fuel the thread:

    The Improbability of God
    What was God doing before He created the Universe?
    Before He created Heaven and Earth, God created Hell to be used for people such as you who ask this kind of question.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    North America
    Posts
    49
    The fossil record provides snapshots of the past that, when assembled, illustrate a panorama of evolutionary change over the past four billion years. The picture may be smudged in places and may have bits missing, but fossil evidence clearly shows that life is old and has changed over time.

    Evolution sould no longer be a theory, it's fact. If you take the time like I have to study it, you will come to realize that it's fact. The story of evolution makes sence, there are some questions that need to be answered, and fossils that need to be found, but all in all it makes sence.

    I was'nt there Miss Kitty, neither was I there for the assassination of President Lincoln, or the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Why do we believe that these events took place, because just like evolution there is significant evidence that they did take place. And common sence tells us that evolution could not have happened over a matter of thousands of years, instead evolution is told in the layers of deposited rock, and rock does not form over a matter of thousands of years.

    I'm not trying to attack anyone either, I respect other peoples beliefs. I just don't see how you can go to a zoo and look through the glass into the eyes of a chimp, and say that we have nothing to do with them genetically. To me humans are primates, we are highly evolved highly intelligent primates, and you can find evidence in both the fossil record, and more importantly the DNA testing. Go to a zoo and look into the eyes of a primate, you'll see something very familiar staring back at you.
    "Nature is an infinite sphere whos center is everywhere and whose circumferense is nowhere."
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    Quote Originally Posted by Thamnophis
    Evolution sould no longer be a theory, it's fact.
    Part of the difficulty arises from the semantics of the phrase 'The Theory of Evolution'. How much pain would we have avoided had this been named "The current combination of both well tested and novel hypotheses that account for the observed fact of evolution, and which together will henceforth be known as the Theory of Evolution, subject to appropriate amendment in the light of new facts, or more favourable interpretations."
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    The Theory of Evolution, whatever you think it is, has little value in making a religious determination.

    Many of the people who discuss this topic focus their attention on fossil evidence which has at least two problems. Fossil evidence is only a part of the picture in evolutionary studies. Darwin, himself, mainly studied living forms to make the bulk of his observations.

    From those observations, he (and others before and since) made predictions as to what might be found in the history of the development of life forms. Some of these predictions have subsequently been observed and verified via the study of fossil evidence as well as by other means, genetics for example.

    There remain, however, some critical predictions which have not been observed or verified. Two of these are the predicted linkages between different species and, secondly, the prediction of proliferation of life forms.

    When it comes to the predicted linkages and lack of fossil evidence of such linkages, it does not mean that the prediction is wrong, but it does suggest a number of possibilities. It can mean that fossil evidence may be in existence, but has not been found. It can mean that fossil evidence is non-existent and cannot be found. It can mean that fossil evidence is not the proper form of evidence to validate this prediction. The only thing it indicates is that there is insufficient data at this time to conclusively validate this prediction. It does not mean that existing evidence cannot be used to formulate beliefs.

    As to the predicted proliferation of life forms, the current state of our world is that science is concerned, if not quite alarmed, at the rate of decline of existing life forms in every segment of the biological/zoological spectrum. However, even if one concludes that this turn of events suggests an invalid prediction, it does not invalidate anything other than that one prediction. Nor does it preclude the ability of science to readapt the interpretation of the data to a different prediction.

    Yet another mistake is the idea that the Theory of Evolution disproves the existence of some creative agent. It makes no formal prediction as to a cause. The theory, taken as a whole, neither supports nor precludes the possibility that evolution was the process used by some creative agent. Whatever we may believe on that point is belief and should be recognized as such.

    It is a religious issue only to those who insist on making it one by attempting to use evolution to preclude an intelligent creative agency or those who attempt to debunk evolution through Bible thumping.

    The only thing that we currently observe proliferating in our world is the virus, which has shown amazing abilities to adapt or mutate and proliferate. (Is there a thread here on viruses I have not noticed?)

    I think humanity (and the rest of life forms) has far more to fear from viral based diseases such as avian flu than from Bible-thumping evangelicals or leaping-to-conclusions evolutionists
    Reply With Quote  
     

  19. #18 Re: No evidence 
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    50
    Quote Originally Posted by Thamnophis
    I respect what other people believe, but I've tried reading the bible, I also have gone to church before, I honestly find creation hard to believe. Evolution has evidence in the fossil record. I believe that to disbelieve something or to believe it you have to study it, and I have studied both creation and evolution. To me evolution has all the evidence, there is really no evidence behind creation. I really don't see how you can argue with the loads of fossil evidence, and I think it's kind of selfish to think that humans have no connection genetically to other animals on earth. Once again, I respect other people's beliefs, and I would like for others to do the same.
    Hi Thamnophis, 8)

    Creation is(!) hard to believe, the bible has been written by people, thousands of years ago. and they had a knowledge of science not as we do today. Man was just learning and had "fresh" minds not like us wacko's in the 21st century. First I have to say is that the bible has stories, which they are, not poems or documenteries, no , just stories.
    And they (I think) had the same feeling maybe as we are doing today but in a far more modest way : trying to get a message through.
    We don't have the luxioury of believing it literally anymore, but thats good, cause the ones that wrote it would understand, I think.
    But we can take the "good" out of it, which is what they wanted.
    Only man creates, is my belief. "God" certainly doesn't. God is not "One".
    Or that corny saying "The One". But one saying I still like, and that is "Be Good".
    So evolution is wonderfull and exactly true, but you can look farther away can't you? Why do you think you are here? Well at least first of all you have to conseave offspring. "He" made sure of that .
    "He" made "it" real good for you, otherwise you might forget, or just didn't feel like it. But there are billions of other's like you, and you can't all be good souls. That would create real chaos.So don't forget: We just "popped out", and were going down too, not under(weird place), just down. God is ALL, not ONE. And only man can create; a basket, a table, etc and that is all.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  20. #19  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    So, Awareness, may we take it that you are a pantheist?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  21. #20  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Key West, Florida, Earth
    Posts
    4,788
    Isn't it strange that only one book was written at that time about god and a few thousand years later only that book was added to about Jesus' coming to Earth. I find that highly unusual that no other books were written about Jesus and his miricles even for thousands of years after he died, don't you all too?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  22. #21  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    50
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    So, Awareness, may we take it that you are a pantheist?
    And what is that may I ask? Ophiolite.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  23. #22  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    50
    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler
    Isn't it strange that only one book was written at that time about god and a few thousand years later only that book was added to about Jesus' coming to Earth. I find that highly unusual that no other books were written about Jesus and his miricles even for thousands of years after he died, don't you all too?
    There are also other Books which spread the word of lets just say the word of "God". And that is being "Good".
    And about Jesus Christ, that's the only recording they had of Jesus in the form of a book.The only media. And after all these times he is still here
    Thank your BROTHER for that.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  24. #23  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,377
    Quote Originally Posted by Awareness_truth
    And about Jesus Christ, that's the only recording they had of Jesus in the form of a book.The only media. And after all these times he is still here
    Thank your BROTHER for that.
    There's a guy named Jesus that cuts my grass twice a month for $60. I thank HIS brother for that. Juan is the one that recommended him.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  25. #24  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    Quote Originally Posted by Awareness_truth
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    So, Awareness, may we take it that you are a pantheist?
    And what is that may I ask? Ophiolite.
    A pantheist is one who believes that God exists in everything. That's my definition. Here are some more from online sources.
    From the Greek words "pan" (all) and "theos" (God). God is all. The belief that every existing entity (humans, animals, etc.) together, is a part of God. The entire universe is divine. They do not view God in personal terms, as having a personality, having the ability to make decisions, able to interact with humans, etc.
    www.religioustolerance.org/gl_p.htm

    One who identifies God with nature and vice versa. If we have to regard Deity as an infinite and omnipresent Principle, this can hardly be otherwise; nature being thus simply the physical aspect of Deity, or its body.
    www.theosociety.org/pasadena/key/key-glo3.htm

    someone who believes that God and the universe are the same
    of or relating to pantheism
    http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

    Pantheism (Greek: pan = all and Theos = God) literally means "God is All" and "All is God". It is the view that everything is of an all-encompassing immanent God; or that the universe, or nature, and God are equivalent. More detailed definitions tend to emphasize the idea that natural law, existence and/or the universe (the sum total of all that is was and shall be) is represented or personified in the theological principle of 'God'. ...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantheist

    This seemed to match your statement that "God is all, not one."
    Reply With Quote  
     

  26. #25  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    50
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by Awareness_truth
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    So, Awareness, may we take it that you are a pantheist?
    And what is that may I ask? Ophiolite.
    A pantheist is one who believes that God exists in everything. That's my definition. Here are some more from online sources.
    From the Greek words "pan" (all) and "theos" (God). God is all. The belief that every existing entity (humans, animals, etc.) together, is a part of God. The entire universe is divine. They do not view God in personal terms, as having a personality, having the ability to make decisions, able to interact with humans, etc.
    www.religioustolerance.org/gl_p.htm

    One who identifies God with nature and vice versa. If we have to regard Deity as an infinite and omnipresent Principle, this can hardly be otherwise; nature being thus simply the physical aspect of Deity, or its body.
    www.theosociety.org/pasadena/key/key-glo3.htm

    someone who believes that God and the universe are the same
    of or relating to pantheism
    http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

    Pantheism (Greek: pan = all and Theos = God) literally means "God is All" and "All is God". It is the view that everything is of an all-encompassing immanent God; or that the universe, or nature, and God are equivalent. More detailed definitions tend to emphasize the idea that natural law, existence and/or the universe (the sum total of all that is was and shall be) is represented or personified in the theological principle of 'God'. ...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantheist

    This seemed to match your statement that "God is all, not one."
    Thank you for your explanations, and what is your view of life?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  27. #26  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    I think I just answered that on another thread or in another forum: an agnostic pantheistic multi-person solopsist (courtesy of Robert Heinlein).
    Reply With Quote  
     

  28. #27  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    50
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by Awareness_truth
    And about Jesus Christ, that's the only recording they had of Jesus in the form of a book.The only media. And after all these times he is still here
    Thank your BROTHER for that.
    There's a guy named Jesus that cuts my grass twice a month for $60. I thank HIS brother for that. Juan is the one that recommended him.
    It's no use, right? To say somethin. OR IS THERE? SKINWALKER
    Reply With Quote  
     

  29. #28 Re: No evidence 
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    North America
    Posts
    49
    Quote Originally Posted by Awareness_truth
    Quote Originally Posted by Thamnophis
    I respect what other people believe, but I've tried reading the bible, I also have gone to church before, I honestly find creation hard to believe. Evolution has evidence in the fossil record. I believe that to disbelieve something or to believe it you have to study it, and I have studied both creation and evolution. To me evolution has all the evidence, there is really no evidence behind creation. I really don't see how you can argue with the loads of fossil evidence, and I think it's kind of selfish to think that humans have no connection genetically to other animals on earth. Once again, I respect other people's beliefs, and I would like for others to do the same.
    Hi Thamnophis, 8)

    Creation is(!) hard to believe, the bible has been written by people, thousands of years ago. and they had a knowledge of science not as we do today. Man was just learning and had "fresh" minds not like us wacko's in the 21st century. First I have to say is that the bible has stories, which they are, not poems or documenteries, no , just stories.
    And they (I think) had the same feeling maybe as we are doing today but in a far more modest way : trying to get a message through.
    We don't have the luxioury of believing it literally anymore, but thats good, cause the ones that wrote it would understand, I think.
    But we can take the "good" out of it, which is what they wanted.
    Only man creates, is my belief. "God" certainly doesn't. God is not "One".
    Or that corny saying "The One". But one saying I still like, and that is "Be Good".
    So evolution is wonderfull and exactly true, but you can look farther away can't you? Why do you think you are here? Well at least first of all you have to conseave offspring. "He" made sure of that .
    "He" made "it" real good for you, otherwise you might forget, or just didn't feel like it. But there are billions of other's like you, and you can't all be good souls. That would create real chaos.So don't forget: We just "popped out", and were going down too, not under(weird place), just down. God is ALL, not ONE. And only man can create; a basket, a table, etc and that is all.
    Who is "He"? Where did "He" come from? Your talking about god I assume. What do you mean by "He" made "it" real good for you? Made what? Have you studied evolution, especially human evolution? Because like I said it's hard to believe in something if you have not studied it in detail.
    "Nature is an infinite sphere whos center is everywhere and whose circumferense is nowhere."
    Reply With Quote  
     

  30. #29 Re: No evidence 
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    50
    [/quote]

    Who is "He"? Where did "He" come from? Your talking about god I assume. What do you mean by "He" made "it" real good for you? Made what? Have you studied evolution, especially human evolution? Because like I said it's hard to believe in something if you have not studied it in detail.[/quote]

    "He" can you see, how I wrote it.
    It is the mysterious, not a being. I just gave IT a reference.

    "Studied in detail": be aware first of life, for I am sure you are not.

    Did you know that the air has a sweet smell?

    "GOD" or "He" or "IT" made it REAL GOOD, TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE OFFSPRING, because we are a destructive and murderous being.
    AND NO MATCH FOR NATURE. SO HENCEFORTH A BALANCE.
    "IT" made it quiet, so you can be at ease, "IT" made it tastefull so you can eat, "IT" made it real good so you can make a lot, and make your blood boil, so you can simmer down.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  31. #30  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    North America
    Posts
    49
    Okay, whatever you say. :wink:
    "Nature is an infinite sphere whos center is everywhere and whose circumferense is nowhere."
    Reply With Quote  
     

  32. #31  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    Thamnopholis originally wrote:

    I respect what other people believe, but I've tried reading the bible, I also have gone to church before, I honestly find creation hard to believe. Evolution has evidence in the fossil record. I believe that to disbelieve something or to believe it you have to study it, and I have studied both creation and evolution. To me evolution has all the evidence, there is really no evidence behind creation. I really don't see how you can argue with the loads of fossil evidence, and I think it's kind of selfish to think that humans have no connection genetically to other animals on earth. Once again, I respect other people's beliefs, and I would like for others to do the same.

    I agree, creation is difficult to believe. But then, so is the big bang. And so is, “it was always here.”

    Whether evolution is fact or fiction, however, has nothing to do with creation. Evolution is an attempt to explain how things changed, not where they came from before they made their changes. Even if every facet and nuance to evolution were verified and validated, it would not answer the questions of how the universe originated or how the first spark of life was kindled.

    I am not sure of what you mean “argue with loads of fossil evidence.” The fact that fossils exist and have been recovered is indisputable. There is no argument about whether there is evidence, the discussion revolves around what that evidence shows and what conclusions can be drawn from it.

    Also if evolution is a matter of science, then it is a not so much a matter of beliefs as it is a matter of testing and validating certain assumptions from which a new set of assumptions can be made.

    Beliefs, in contrast, are related to those things which cannot be tested and which cannot be explained by means of scientific method.

    Science does not, generally, respect beliefs but only those things which can be tested and validated.

    Thamnopholis later wrote

    Evolution sould no longer be a theory, it's fact.
    Christianity is also a fact.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  33. #32  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    I was intrigued by the unusual contrast in dayturner's last reply. Replying to the claim that evolution is a fact he states that Christianity is a fact. Now aside from the immediate response that one might have that these are apples and oranges, I would like to consider the question of why he did not say that "creation is a fact." I would also like to consider whether in fact creation is even a theory.

    Well in the ordinary course of thought of a Christian, Muslim or Jew, I do not think they would think of creation as a theory. After all a theory is a term of science, and it is the essence of science that its claims are subject to further evidence, and that is why it calls things like evolution a theory. Creation however is a story in scripture and it is accepted as fact as a matter of faith and is not generally subject to evidence. Therefore it would be perfectly natural for a Christian to say that "creation is a fact," while it would be a bit improper for a scientist to say that "evolution is a fact and not a theory" (it is more proper to say that the theory of evolution is supported by many facts).

    Now what about dayturner's statement? "Christianity is a fact." Well this is undeniably true, and the existence of Christianity may be considered reliable data in a few sciences such as sociology, psychology and political science. So is dayturner making a socialogical, psychological or political statement?

    More importantly, why did dayturner not say "creation is a fact"? These days there are a lot of Christians involved in something called "creation science." Christians so engaged in this activity may have responded in dayturner's stead that the theory of creation has even more evidence to support it than the theory of evolution. Is it possible that dayturner hesitated to put creation directly in contrast to evolution implying that it is in the same category as evolution, a theory subject to evidence? I would.

    My overall impression of this thread is that Thamnopholis is proposing a new religion in which evolution is an article of faith. He talks a lot about the need to study things and claims to have studied both creation and evolution. My reply is that I think he need to study a lot more, not because of his conclusions, but because his arguments are thin and the understanding of both evolution and creation displayed in his comments are rather weak.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thamnopholis
    I think it's kind of selfish to think that humans have no connection genetically to other animals on earth.
    Beneath the obvious ignorance displayed by this statement are many profound truths that could be expressed much more clearly. Christianity displays a gaping moral void where it comes to the care of earth and the other living things which inhabit it. His statement also suggests that Christian theology fosters a fundamental alienation between man and the natural world. But I think that the religion of the Native Americans, for example, does a much better job at addressing this alienation, than the genetic relationship we share with other living things.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  34. #33  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    North America
    Posts
    49
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    I was intrigued by the unusual contrast in dayturner's last reply. Replying to the claim that evolution is a fact he states that Christianity is a fact. Now aside from the immediate response that one might have that these are apples and oranges, I would like to consider the question of why he did not say that "creation is a fact." I would also like to consider whether in fact creation is even a theory.

    Well in the ordinary course of thought of a Christian, Muslim or Jew, I do not think they would think of creation as a theory. After all a theory is a term of science, and it is the essence of science that its claims are subject to further evidence, and that is why it calls things like evolution a theory. Creation however is a story in scripture and it is accepted as fact as a matter of faith and is not generally subject to evidence. Therefore it would be perfectly natural for a Christian to say that "creation is a fact," while it would be a bit improper for a scientist to say that "evolution is a fact and not a theory" (it is more proper to say that the theory of evolution is supported by many facts).

    Now what about dayturner's statement? "Christianity is a fact." Well this is undeniably true, and the existence of Christianity may be considered reliable data in a few sciences such as sociology, psychology and political science. So is dayturner making a socialogical, psychological or political statement?

    More importantly, why did dayturner not say "creation is a fact"? These days there are a lot of Christians involved in something called "creation science." Christians so engaged in this activity may have responded in dayturner's stead that the theory of creation has even more evidence to support it than the theory of evolution. Is it possible that dayturner hesitated to put creation directly in contrast to evolution implying that it is in the same category as evolution, a theory subject to evidence? I would.

    My overall impression of this thread is that Thamnopholis is proposing a new religion in which evolution is an article of faith. He talks a lot about the need to study things and claims to have studied both creation and evolution. My reply is that I think he need to study a lot more, not because of his conclusions, but because his arguments are thin and the understanding of both evolution and creation displayed in his comments are rather weak.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thamnopholis
    I think it's kind of selfish to think that humans have no connection genetically to other animals on earth.
    Beneath the obvious ignorance displayed by this statement are many profound truths that could be expressed much more clearly. Christianity displays a gaping moral void where it comes to the care of earth and the other living things which inhabit it. His statement also suggests that Christian theology fosters a fundamental alienation between man and the natural world. But I think that the religion of the Native Americans, for example, does a much better job at addressing this alienation, than the genetic relationship we share with other living things.
    I'm not a he, I'm a she.
    "Nature is an infinite sphere whos center is everywhere and whose circumferense is nowhere."
    Reply With Quote  
     

  35. #34  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by Thamnophis
    I'm not a he, I'm a she.
    Oops in that case I withdraw my criticism.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  36. #35  
    Forum Freshman cs-comm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    42
    Christianity is also a fact.
    How can a religion be a fact? Do you mean that Christianity is real? If so I can you respond to the billions of people who belive that other religion are real when their religion is fundamentally incompatible with your own? When someone says that evolution is a fact they mean that there is no other way to consistently explain the data other then evolution. Are you telling me that there is no other way to explain the world then within the framework of Christianity?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  37. #36  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    Actually, my intent was to show the inadequacy of using the term “fact” to describe something that remains reasonably questionable or about which there is less than a reasonable consensus.

    It puts the person who disagrees in a position of not being able to argue since the statement can be both true and false.

    For those who may believe the core tenets of Christianity, it is fact. For those who believe the core tenets of evolution, it is fact.

    However, neither of these concepts has cowed its opposition into submission.

    The idea that mankind is at odds with God and that He sent an emissary (His own son) to provide an atoning sacrifice to restore that relationship is nothing less than absolute fact to any Christian believer. While history, even beyond the Bible, records the facts of the life and death of that emissary, it is only Christians who attach this significance to those events. While it may be possible to dispute their significance, the facts are quite well established in history.

    In much the same way, evolution is based on a collection of facts and the significance which is attached to them. For some, those facts, or bits of information, provide sufficient data to lead them to believe that certain conclusions drawn from those facts are rational and reasonable. No one can dispute the existence of fossils and no one can fail to see physical similarities among various animals nor can anyone deny genetic similarities. However, not all people attach the same significance to those facts.

    Your suggestion, cs-comm, that evolution is the only “way to consistently explain the data” is no different than one who says Christianity is the only “way to consistently explain the data” surrounding the life and death of one Jesus of Nazareth.

    To whatever extent evolution can be considered fact, so also is Christianity.
    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
    Reply With Quote  
     

  38. #37  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    No. No. No. No. No.
    The 'facts' of science are ultimately based upon repeated observations, made under rigorously controlled conditions, and are open to anyone to seek to duplicate.
    The 'facts' of religion are ultimately based upon faith.
    The 'facts' of religion do not change. They are the absolutes upon which the religion is based.
    The 'facts' of science stand ready to be dropped in the face of observations that run counter to those 'facts'.
    So, we are faced with the odd situation that science 'facts' are based upon a more solid foundation - repeatable observation - yet are more fluid and dynamic than the immutable 'facts' of religion.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  39. #38  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    I agree with most of your post, Ophiolite. But my point was not about the nature of the facts, but rather to the significance and interpretations attached to the facts. My main point was that not all people who view a given set of facts will give them the same significance and meaning.

    I would kinda nitpickingly disagree with your statement: "The 'facts' of religion are ultimately based upon faith." I think it the reverse, the faith is based upon the facts. But there may be a degree to which one's faith affects how he looks at the facts -- a chicken or the egg dilemma.

    There is a sense in which I admire the ability of science to alter itself to fit new and better information. But there is a sense in which some people in science have a tendency to cling to current "knowledge" as though it beyond reproach and immutable.

    Few seem to realize that science is continually in the process of attempting to disprove itself. And that its greatest victories come when it does disprove itself.
    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
    Reply With Quote  
     

  40. #39  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    But there is a sense in which some people in science have a tendency to cling to current "knowledge" as though it beyond reproach and immutable.

    Few seem to realize that science is continually in the process of attempting to disprove itself. And that its greatest victories come when it does disprove itself.
    You make two very important points here. They are worth expanding on a little.

    I have made the point often before, I think in debate with you for example, that science and scientists are two different things. Scientists are also human. They do not wear the mantle of the scientist 24/7. They can be guilty of self deception, blindness, pettiness, dishonesty. The list is long. But science is a consensus affair. More than that it is a testable consensus affair. Cold fusion fell not just because it was wrong, but because multiple scientists were unable to duplicate it. [If it rises again, it will be because multiple scientists have found the 'loopholes'.]
    It also needs to be said - and it rarely is - that most scientists are pretty well crap. They can carry out standard procedures in a half assed competent fashion, but they wouldn't recognise a ground breaking result if it jumped up and bit them in the unmentionables. These same scientists will defend the status quo with a knee jerk reaction that will be the right one 99.9% of the time, not because they are good at discerning crap, but because most of the alternatives on offer are crap.

    And many of those weak scientists from the previous paragraph forget that it is in overturning 'truths' that science has its greatest success.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  41. #40  
    Forum Freshman cs-comm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    42
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Actually, my intent was to show the inadequacy of using the term “fact” to describe something that remains reasonably questionable or about which there is less than a reasonable consensus.
    What do you mean by reasonable? Do you mean that there are other legitimite theories that could take evolution place? Because there aren't any. Creationism isn't consistent with the fossil record which shows the gradual development from one form to another.

    All ideas have opposition. They should be grateful that scientist don't burn people at the stake.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    It puts the person who disagrees in a position of not being able to argue since the statement can be both true and false.
    I don't understand what you're trying to say in the paragraph. Yes a statement can be true or false but I'm not sure why that affects a person's ability to argue against that statement.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    However, neither of these concepts has cowed its opposition into submission.
    Just becaue an idea has opposition doesn't mean that idea isn't true. No Europeans believed that the Earth was round in the 16th century but that doesn't mean that they were right.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    The idea that mankind is at odds with God and that He sent an emissary (His own son) to provide an atoning sacrifice to restore that relationship is nothing less than absolute fact to any Christian believer. While history, even beyond the Bible, records the facts of the life and death of that emissary, it is only Christians who attach this significance to those events. While it may be possible to dispute their significance, the facts are quite well established in history.
    To what "facts" are you refering? The "fact" that there ever was a Jesus Christ? The "fact" that he was crucified? The "fact" that he rose from the dead after three days in hell?

    There are a large number of "reasonable questions" that must be answered before any one of these "facts" can be considered a fact by anyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    In much the same way, evolution is based on a collection of facts and the significance which is attached to them.
    I don't see how significance has anything to do with it. Evolution is important but that doesn't affect its truthfulness.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    For some, those facts, or bits of information, provide sufficient data to lead them to believe that certain conclusions drawn from those facts are rational and reasonable. No one can dispute the existence of fossils and no one can fail to see physical similarities among various animals nor can anyone deny genetic similarities. However, not all people attach the same significance to those facts.
    So even though all the evidence points towards evolution, some people aren't smart enough to see that connection and thus evolution can't be considered a fact. Interesting. I guess you're saying that because

    By "not all people attach the same significance to those facts" are you saying that they choose to ignore them? That simply makes them ignorant. Ignorance of the facts isn't an excuse. The information is freely available.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Your suggestion, cs-comm, that evolution is the only “way to consistently explain the data” is no different than one who says Christianity is the only “way to consistently explain the data” surrounding the life and death of one Jesus of Nazareth.

    To whatever extent evolution can be considered fact, so also is Christianity.
    There are many ways to consistently explain the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth. The only evidence for any of Jesus' miracles including his resurrection is found in the Bible. We are then left with the life of an normal human male who had several interesting ideas and was killed because of them.

    Facts aren't subjective. A fact must be supported by evidence from the real world. The core tenant of Christianity, Christ's resurrection, isn't therefore Christianity isn't a fact. It's that simple.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  42. #41  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    But there is a sense in which some people in science have a tendency to cling to current "knowledge" as though it beyond reproach and immutable.

    Few seem to realize that science is continually in the process of attempting to disprove itself. And that its greatest victories come when it does disprove itself.
    You make two very important points here. They are worth expanding on a little.

    But science is a consensus affair. More than that it is a testable consensus affair. Cold fusion fell not just because it was wrong, but because multiple scientists were unable to duplicate it.
    These same scientists will defend the status quo with a knee jerk reaction that will be the right one 99.9% of the time, not because they are good at discerning crap, but because most of the alternatives on offer are crap.
    I have quoted the portions of Ophiolite's response that I think are well worth repeating but would like to add to the last point and expand on it. In physics the 0.1% missing from above is the frontier. It is in the minutest details. These scientists are right 99.9% of the time in their rejection because the old theories on which they rely are 99.9% correct. Although they may open up huge new areas of physics, new theories patch up only very tiny holes in previous areas and theories of physics. So in a small sense dayturner is correct, but the challenge and hope of today's physicists is not to disprove current theory it is to find the small detail and rare exception where the Standard Model fails.

    The General Theory of Relativity for example made only the tiniest corrections in our understanding of gravity. There are no great new technologies because of it. The only technological impact at all is a correction for time dilation in GPS satalites that I dont think is even used anymore. So I think that people expectations for things like anti-gravity and ftl travel from new theories of physics is very unrealistic (more like day dreaming). The real accomplishment of the General Theory of Relativity is a sophisticated mathematical language for describing space, time and the interaction of matter with it. It also has broadened our idea of what is possible in the universe in terms of the existence of the stellar remnants: white dwarves, neutron stars and black holes.

    Quantum theory was far more revolutionary and opened up a whole new are of physics giving us the ability to describe and understand much smaller object than we ever could before. But quantum theory is also inherently self limiting, describing the very limits to which the physics of the very small is capable of reaching. It has produced the most astonishingly accurate theory in physics we have ever had, predicting the results of measurements to many significant figures. While the implications and understand of this theory is still in a process of digestion the technological results have been far reaching but largely in unexpected directions (look at science fiction from a century ago).

    If we learn anything from these developments it is that a breakthrough in Unified Field Theory is likely to be a purely academic accomplishment with practically no technological advances resulting from it, at all. The real advances of technology of the future lie in the application of current theory in materials sciences (like physical and organic chemistry), and biological sciences (like medicine and genetics). Nano-engineering and quantum computing are promising but may or may not amount to anything.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  43. #42  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    cs-comm wrote:

    Just becaue an idea has opposition doesn't mean that idea isn't true. No Europeans believed that the Earth was round in the 16th century but that doesn't mean that they were right.
    I start with the first half of this comment because it seems to show your inability to see both sides of a coin. You are correct that opposition does not invalidate an idea. But neither does the fact that an idea has a following validate the idea.

    And the second half is just downright careless misstatement of fact. Columbus believed the world was round and he lived in both the 15th and 16th centuries. Galileo also believed the world was round and he also lived in the 16th century. While perhaps a large percentage of Europeans assumed the world was flat because that was how it appeared, the statement that “no” European believed the Earth was round is just plain contrary to fact. Making such a careless comment casts a shadow on the credibility of your information.

    cs-comm also said:

    There are many ways to consistently explain the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth. The only evidence for any of Jesus' miracles including his resurrection is found in the Bible. We are then left with the life of an normal human male who had several interesting ideas and was killed because of them.
    Again, your statement is quite contrary to fact. There are many extra Biblical references to Jesus and events that surrounded his life and death. Here are a two of many web sites which discuss extra Biblical references:
    http://www.westarkchurchofchrist.org...rabiblical.htm
    http://www.rationalchristianity.net/jesus_extrabib.html

    I find it interesting that you can state that there are many ways to explain His life and death while maintaining that only evolution explains fossil evidence.

    The fossils themselves are subject to several interpretations. When you say, “the fossil record which shows the gradual development from one form to another,” it would appear that you take a linear or continuous approach to evolution.

    It is my understanding that the current vogue of interpretation is that of orthogenesis or the somewhat less favored scheme called punctuated equilibrium.

    Each of these interpretations flies the flag of evolution but each of them plots a very different path which paths are not compatible with one another.

    My point is that even where the facts are indisputable, what those facts indicate can be a matter of disagreement.

    But I think the most objectionable thing in your post is this:

    So even though all the evidence points towards evolution, some people aren't smart enough to see that connection and thus evolution can't be considered a fact. Interesting. I guess you're saying that because

    By "not all people attach the same significance to those facts" are you saying that they choose to ignore them? That simply makes them ignorant. Ignorance of the facts isn't an excuse. The information is freely available
    I don’t think it appropriate to attack the intelligence of one’s opposition. In fact, the worst thing one can ever do in life is under estimate the intelligence of others. I have friends who are doctors, lawyers and college professors who are creationists and I hardly think you can attach the label ignorant to them. Well, you can, but not convincingly.

    When people of reasonably similar education and similar backgrounds and similar intelligence can look at a given set of facts and disagree on their meaning, it is a far from settled issue, no matter the topic.
    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
    Reply With Quote  
     

  44. #43  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,377
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Again, your statement is quite contrary to fact. There are many extra Biblical references to Jesus and events that surrounded his life and death.
    But there are none that are contemporary to the alleged christ.

    There is only the word of a small handful of apparent believers to the figure. Much in the same way there are a handful of believers who claim Elvis is still alive.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    The fossils themselves are subject to several interpretations. When you say, “the fossil record which shows the gradual development from one form to another,” it would appear that you take a linear or continuous approach to evolution.
    Gradual development from one form to another would be a statement of fact. The fossil record very consistently demonstrates a gradual progression of morphology from earliest strata to the latest. This is deniable only by those that refuse to look at the data. And the statement in no way implies a linear progression.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    It is my understanding that the current vogue of interpretation is that of orthogenesis or the somewhat less favored scheme called punctuated equilibrium.
    Orthogenesis is by no means in "vogue." There are few if any who study evolutionary sciences that maintain evolution is unilinear or that some force is pushing it toward a progression of perfection. The gradual changes in morphology present in the fossil record aren't necessarily in a particularly direction of development. But they do, however, show clear progression into niches as adaptive radiation and competitive release takes place at various points in time.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    My point is that even where the facts are indisputable, what those facts indicate can be a matter of disagreement.
    Perhaps you could be more specific. Did you have a particular line of fossils in mind?

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I don’t think it appropriate to attack the intelligence of one’s opposition. In fact, the worst thing one can ever do in life is under estimate the intelligence of others. I have friends who are doctors, lawyers and college professors who are creationists and I hardly think you can attach the label ignorant to them. Well, you can, but not convincingly.
    Their ignorance is clear. The evidence of evolution far outweighs that of creationist mythology, yet their beliefs are given more credibility. One can only assume that these people are ignorant -without the education that provides the knowledge- but they're most likely willingly ignorant.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    When people of reasonably similar education and similar backgrounds and similar intelligence can look at a given set of facts and disagree on their meaning, it is a far from settled issue, no matter the topic.
    Poppycock. The differences that these people of similar education quibble over is not whether evolution occured, but what some of the finer details of evolutions mechanisms are. The argument that because there are those who disagree within evolutionary sciences about certain details means evolution is invalid is a spurious one. One that reveals ignorance not wisdom.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  45. #44  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    Responding to skinwalker.

    Lets first look at similarities and differences among the three interpretations of evolutionary paths I mentioned.

    My simplistic understanding of the path most people seem to accept is the continuous or linear path which, as it would relate to animals, is as follows. Animal A became animal B which became animal C which became animal D and so on down the line. In the process, it is possible that animal C, for example, may have remained as a viable resident of earth or may have become extinct. This path takes place slowly, but surely, and fairly regularly over the eons of time that life has been present on earth.

    Orthogenesis, differs by suggesting that Animal A became animals B, F, L, and R. Animal B then became animals C and E and so on in a paths which more resemble a spreading family tree.

    The continuous path would suggest, as to primates, a chain which starts with lesser primates such a lemurs which evolved into the lower forms of monkeys which evolved into monkeys of higher intelligence such as baboons and then, say, to orangutans, to chimpanzees and then to the great apes and finally into homo sapiens.

    The major problem with this interpretation is that there remain questions at many points as to which animal is the parent and which is the descendant.

    This problem is solved to some degree by the orthogenisis interpretation which would suggest, for example, that some primate in the past was the antecedent to several different primates which developed separately into baboons, orangutans, chimpanzees, great apes and homo sapiens.

    The continuous, or linear, path suggests that homo sapiens is a direct evolutionary descendant of apes while orthogenesis suggests that we are evolutionary cousins.

    These two interpretations both envision a slow, methodical, gradual, deliberate, continual process of change.

    Each of these interpretations have some difficulty with fossil evidence which seems to show long periods of time when very few new life forms develop and then other rather short periods of time when new life forms proliferate quite rapidly. These observations have given rise to the punctuated equilibrium interpretation.

    Punctuated equilibrium suggests that external influences such as rapid dramatic climatic changes or infusions of radiation from outer space or other types of influence trigger massive and rapid changes which then taper off as the external influence abates or stabilizes.

    It is not my point that these different interpretations invalidate evolution. My point is that we do not clearly understand how or why many of these changes occurred and at many places the time lines and paths of change are far from settled.

    Evolutionists tend to attempt to present a united front of total agreement, erroneously believing that the appearance of unity strengthens their case. In reality, their attempts to squelch open discussion on the discrepancies and differing approaches abets the opposition.

    skinwalker says:

    daytonturner wrote:

    Again, your statement is quite contrary to fact. There are many extra Biblical references to Jesus and events that surrounded his life and death.

    But there are none that are contemporary to the alleged christ.
    To the best of my knowledge, they did not have cameras and recording devices available in those days to make contemporaneous records of events.

    Three of the Gospels were written by contemporaries of Jesus. Both Matthew and John were apostles who traveled with Jesus throughout most of His ministry. Mark was a friend and protégé of Peter and also traveled with the entourage in the last year. The last of them, the Gospel of John, has to have been written no later than 60 years after the crucifixion. Each of them wrote first hand accounts which is about as contemporaneous as one can get. Luke apparently interviewed a number of Jesus contemporaries to collected the information that he used in his historical account. That is a normal way for historians to collect data from which to write.

    I am unaware of any ancient historical accounts which were written as the events were unfolding. So when it comes to poppycock, the idea that the Bibilical accounts of Jesus are not contempory to Him, is a classic example in the first degree. There is nothing more contemporaneous to an event than an eyewitness.
    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
    Reply With Quote  
     

  46. #45  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    Crapster, I forgot my zinger which is:

    Any writing about Jesus would be more contemporaneous to the events of His life than would be any writing about the unknown date of the last incident of evolution.
    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
    Reply With Quote  
     

  47. #46  
    Forum Freshman cs-comm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    42
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    cs-comm wrote:

    Just becaue an idea has opposition doesn't mean that idea isn't true. No Europeans believed that the Earth was round in the 16th century but that doesn't mean that they were right.
    You are correct that opposition does not invalidate an idea. But neither does the fact that an idea has a following validate the idea.
    I don't recall saying that the fact that an idea has a following validates the idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    And the second half is just downright careless misstatement of fact. Columbus believed the world was round and he lived in both the 15th and 16th centuries. Galileo also believed the world was round and he also lived in the 16th century. While perhaps a large percentage of Europeans assumed the world was flat because that was how it appeared, the statement that “no” European believed the Earth was round is just plain contrary to fact. Making such a careless comment casts a shadow on the credibility of your information.
    I apologize then. I'm not has knowledgable about history as I am about other disciplines.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    cs-comm also said:

    There are many ways to consistently explain the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth. The only evidence for any of Jesus' miracles including his resurrection is found in the Bible. We are then left with the life of an normal human male who had several interesting ideas and was killed because of them.
    Again, your statement is quite contrary to fact. There are many extra Biblical references to Jesus and events that surrounded his life and death. Here are a two of many web sites which discuss extra Biblical references:
    http://www.westarkchurchofchrist.org...rabiblical.htm
    http://www.rationalchristianity.net/jesus_extrabib.html
    These quotes seem to be enough to justify saying that there was in fact a Jesus in the early 1st century who was killed for his teachings.

    However the core tenent of Christianity, that is the resurrection of Jesus Christ, is lacking.

    Those that do mention the resurrection are merely historians discussing the claims of Christians. In other words "I heard these Christians talking about the resurrection of there leader after three days".

    Using these quotes as evidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ can't be trusted because they come from "unreliable" sources ie. people who already believe that Jesus rose from the dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    The fossils themselves are subject to several interpretations. When you say, “the fossil record which shows the gradual development from one form to another,” it would appear that you take a linear or continuous approach to evolution.
    I don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    By "not all people attach the same significance to those facts" are you saying that they choose to ignore them? That simply makes them ignorant. Ignorance of the facts isn't an excuse. The information is freely available
    I have friends who are doctors, lawyers and college professors who are creationists and I hardly think you can attach the label ignorant to them. Well, you can, but not convincingly.
    You're right. It is difficult to label these people as ignorant. I assume that because they're so smart that they have seen the evidence for evolution and also seen the evidence creationism. Thus they aren't ignorant because they havn't bothered to investigate.

    However creationism is contradicted by observation. Therefore there can be no defence other then ignoring those observations. Thus they are ignorant.

    No idea, theory, hypothesis etc. can survive direct contradiction by an observation. That fact that creationism as is only evidence that its proponents are ignorant.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    When people of reasonably similar education and similar backgrounds and similar intelligence can look at a given set of facts and disagree on their meaning, it is a far from settled issue, no matter the topic.
    True. Except when the people who disagree (ie creationists) are contradicted by those facts.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  48. #47  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    cs-comm commented:


    However the core tenent of Christianity, that is the resurrection of Jesus Christ, is lacking.

    Those that do mention the resurrection are merely historians discussing the claims of Christians. In other words "I heard these Christians talking about the resurrection of there leader after three days".

    Using these quotes as evidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ can't be trusted because they come from "unreliable" sources ie. people who already believe that Jesus rose from the dead.
    And also:

    However creationism is contradicted by observation. Therefore there can be no defence other then ignoring those observations. Thus they are ignorant.

    No idea, theory, hypothesis etc. can survive direct contradiction by an observation. That fact that creationism as is only evidence that its proponents are ignorant.
    First of all, ignorance denotes a lack of exposure to information. If, for example, a person has never been exposed to the concept of lift, he is ignorant of why airplanes fly. If he has been exposed to the concept of lift and does not accept that as an explanation for flight, then he is stupid. Evolution does not lend itself to such clear cut divisions. See my previous response to skinwalker.

    Intelligence is much more than a quantum of knowledge. My computer is a repository of far more information than my brain. However, my computer is not intelligent. An important aspect of intelligence is knowing what you don’t know. It also involves being able to process information from various sources, and then being able to synthesize and organize that information into meaningful relationships and ideas.

    cs is correct that Christianity rises or falls on the validity of the resurrection. (I assume the end of that first sentence should have said, “is lacking of supporting evidence.”) I will assume your claim that evidence of the resurrection is lacking is due to ignorance of that evidence.

    To suggest there no evidence of the resurrection is no more true than if I said there no evidence to support evolution. Hundreds of Christian apologists have mounted apologies of the resurrection such that no one need be ignorant of the evidence available to support for the fact of the resurrection.

    Space here does not allow me to go into depth on the subject. The following link goes to an article by one of the leading Christian apologists, Josh McDowell who as a non-believer set out to prove the resurrection could not have happened and ended up becoming a believer. So there is at least one example of a person whose belief was not clouded by a previous mind-set bias.

    http://www.leaderu.com/everystudent/...les/josh2.html

    If, however, I accept you hypothesis that evidence from people who already believe something is “unreliable,” it would mean that I can immediately label as “unreliable” anything about evolution that comes from someone who wholeheartedly believes in it.

    The extra-Biblical mentions of a reported resurrection are not in an of themselves proofs of the resurrection. Rather, they show that this was a well known item even back in the first and second centuries and not something that was circulated exclusively among a small group of followers as either you or skinwalker suggested earlier.

    The concept of evidence is bandied about here a lot. The fact that there are fossils is not evidence of evolution. Being able to show relationships between those fossils is what constitutes some evidence of evolution. Fossils, by themselves, show only that there are a lot of dead plants and animals lying around.
    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
    Reply With Quote  
     

  49. #48  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,377
    Quote Originally Posted by DaytonTurner
    My simplistic understanding of the path most people seem to accept is the continuous or linear path which,
    This may be true with regard to "most" people, however, it is untrue with regard to those educated in evolution. Evolutionary sciences all agree that life evolves to fill niches not in a unilinear fashion. If the advantage for the niche is to be of limited intelligence and physical ability, then the organism that makes the most efficient use of that niche will dominate. Many would consider the redwood to be a vastly superior and more complex organism than the creosote bush, but the a redwood seedling wouldn't have a chance to survive in the arid and salty terrain of West Texas where the creosote flourishes. Likewise, the creosote would not be able to compete with the diversity that exists in ecological systems of the North Pacific. "Most" people have a misconception of evolution and a lack of education in it. All the more reason to ensure that it is taught properly and not muddled with the pseudoscientific nonsense of creationist poppycock like 'intelligent' design.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaytonTurner
    Orthogenesis, differs by suggesting that Animal A became animals B, F, L, and R. Animal B then became animals C and E and so on in a paths which more resemble a spreading family tree.
    More specifically, orthogenesis dictates in untenable fashion that life is the result of unilinear progression. It suggests that each new organism is more advanced and is reaching a finer point of perfection. Orthogenesis is a flawed hypothesis, though there are examples of orthogenic processes at work from time to time in evolution. It is never strictly orthogenic, however, and ultimately environmental pressures determine whether or not an organism or line of organisms are appropriately adapted to fill niches.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaytonTurner
    The continuous path would suggest, as to primates, a chain which starts with lesser primates such a lemurs which evolved into the lower forms of monkeys which evolved into monkeys of higher intelligence such as baboons and then, say, to orangutans, to chimpanzees and then to the great apes and finally into homo sapiens.
    This is a flawed reasoning if only because to consider one primate to be superior to another is an anthropocentric perspective. We tend to rate primates which are closer to humans in behavior or morphology to be more superior than those that are not, but the gibbon succeeds in a niche where the mountain gorilla could never. Likewise species of lemur survive in niches that no other primate appears to have adapted for, not even humans. If there was such a thing as orthogenesis, primates like marmosets would have long ago evolved to become something far more intelligent and morphologically complex. This primate, however, is in many ways very much representative of some of the earliest primates none to the fossil record. Evolution is about adapting to the environment and passing on characters that are best capable of allowing for continued survival of a species and its progeny.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaytonTurner
    The major problem with this interpretation is that there remain questions at many points as to which animal is the parent and which is the descendant.
    In the examples of primates you mentioned, the answer is simple: none are the parent species of any other.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaytonTurner
    This problem is solved to some degree by the orthogenisis interpretation which would suggest, for example, that some primate in the past was the antecedent to several different primates which developed separately into baboons, orangutans, chimpanzees, great apes and homo sapiens.
    That simply isn't orthogenesis. You apparently have the wrong definition in mind. You're thinking of cladogenesis.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaytonTurner
    The continuous, or linear, path suggests that homo sapiens is a direct evolutionary descendant of apes while orthogenesis suggests that we are evolutionary cousins.
    Again, you are incorrect in your terminology. Just to be clear, as I've already stated, orthogenesis is the idea that a evolutionary path is unilinear. Cladogenesis is the idea that a path splits in to at least two separate paths, potentially leaving contemporaneous species with a common ancestor. That all species on the planet (people, goats, trees, grass, etc) have a common ancestor is a demonstrable fact.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaytonTurner
    It is not my point that these different interpretations invalidate evolution. My point is that we do not clearly understand how or why many of these changes occurred and at many places the time lines and paths of change are far from settled.
    Science is rarely concerned with the "whys" of nature, but with regard to the "hows," it's certainly true that there are many unanswered questions. That in no way suggests that scientists and academics involved with sciences related to evolution are in disagreements that create a problem for the fact of evolution. That some fundamentalists who believe in creation myths suggest otherwise is testament to either their ignorance or their desire to create the appearance of disagreement with the lay-public they seek to influence and indoctrinate. Influence and indoctrination isn't necessarily a bad thing unless it is done with pseudoscience, deceit, and dishonor in the manner conducted by creationists who back the 'intelligent' design fallacy.

    But to suggest that those who are educated in the science the (you referred to them as 'evolutionists') seek to "squelch open discussion on the discrepancies and differing approaches…" is simply nonsense. Science is very much open to discussion of tenable ideas and reasoned hypotheses. That the pseudoscientific nonsense of 'intelligent' design is dismissed is *not* evidence for your faulty assertion. The assertion is faulty because there is clear evidence of discussion and disagreement within the sciences and among individuals in science regarding various mechanisms involved in evolution. That evolution occurred is *not* disagreed upon by scientists (with exception of a very, very small minority of people who are educated in the sciences but have agendas that are grounded in their supernatural beliefs).

    Some processes of evolution are, however, in disagreement, such as gradualism versus punctuated equilibrium as hypotheses. The late Stephen J. Gould asserted that PE was the primary evolutionary mechanism. Zoologist Richard Dawkins has publicly opposed this position. These two luminaries in evolutionary science have far, far more that they agree upon than disagree. I've read several works of both and, I, like most others educated in the sciences, consider both positions to be likely: an overall gradual process of change with occasional, rapid periods of adaptation and change. The explanation for this is that environments generally change very gradually but occasionally have rapid changes. These rapid changes create environments that may be hostile to one species but suitable for others and adaptive radiation and competitive releases can occur in very short order.

    In addition, the fossil record really isn't as problematic for gradualists as creationist fundamentalists would like to encourage the under-educated to believe. Fossilization is a rare event in nature. The conditions must be just right for an organism to die and create a fossil that will be discovered millions of years later. Fossils in regions that remained moist, fertile, and overgrown (i.e. jungles & rainforests where species diversity is the highest) are rare. Most are discovered in regions that are arid and mineral rich where the remains could be desiccated quickly. That so-called 'gaps' exist is not a problem for evolution. It *is* a problem for the scientist that wants to find the points at which a particular lineage began to have a fused mandibular synthesis or a subtle change in the tubular ectotympanic between to species that are otherwise morphologically identical.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaytonTurner
    To the best of my knowledge, they did not have cameras and recording devices available in those days to make contemporaneous records of events.
    Other, older, civilizations were capable of recording events. Literacy was invented long before the alleged Christ. One need not a camera or tape recorder to capture the moment. One need only write it down. Countless tablets and ostraca with personal letters and lists from the first century CE back through the third millennium BCE exist. None appear to mention who is alleged to be the single most important figure in "history" by believers.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaytonTurner
    Three of the Gospels were written by contemporaries of Jesus. Both Matthew and John were apostles who traveled with Jesus throughout most of His ministry. Mark was a friend and protégé of Peter and also traveled with the entourage in the last year. The last of them, the Gospel of John, has to have been written no later than 60 years after the crucifixion.
    The only thing that's clear with regard to the "gospels" is that each was written by a single author and each was meant to be a stand-alone account. There is no real evidence to suggest that either of the authors were disciples. The names Luke, Mark, Matthew, and John were common of the day and none of the "gospels" mentions an author in-text. All four are essentially anonymous works, possibly even fictional.

    The purpose of the "gospels" would logically be one of two things: 1) the contemporaries of the alleged Christ were dying and they wanted to preserve their "witness" to his career as a cult figure. This assumes that there was a cult figure named Jesus Christ and, quite frankly, assumes a lot. 2) The infant Christian church needed propaganda to increase membership. Circulating such documents to would be converts is a mechanism for "spreading the word."

    If 1) is correct, then we would expect to see some evidence in the early Christian church documents that a written account, a historical account, was needed to preserve the history of Jesus. The main place we would expect to see such evidence would be in the letters of Paul, yet we don't see it. Indeed, the church of Paul's time had no "gospels."

    If 2) is correct, then we would expect to see duplication, evolution of literary theme, and dating that is after the Jesus.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaytonTurner
    Each of them wrote first hand accounts which is about as contemporaneous as one can get. Luke apparently interviewed a number of Jesus contemporaries to collected the information that he used in his historical account. That is a normal way for historians to collect data from which to write.
    That the accounts were first hand is doubtful and is un-evidenced. Biblical scholars are nearly unanimous that the first account is Mark and dated at 70 CE. The second is Luke from between 80-90 CE and John is generally dated for 100 CE. I'm not sure what Matthew is dated to, but since it clearly uses elements from both Mark and "Q", it logically follows that the date is after 70 CE. "Q" refers to one of the authors of an as yet undiscovered source but is inferred to exist since elements from this single source are present in both Luke and Matthew. Luke and Matthew also both have elements which are derived from Mark, but the "Q" elements do not exist in Mark. Mark and "Q" are completely independent.

    Clearly, the authors of Luke and Matthew wanted to supplant or succeed Mark, which was not canonical to them. They obviously felt free to change the details as it suited them, but the author of John went his own way entirely. The four authors of the "gospels" were rivals, not collaborators! Mark's source was the church tradition - what the believers passed on from one to another as true.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaytonTurner
    I am unaware of any ancient historical accounts which were written as the events were unfolding. So when it comes to poppycock, the idea that the Biblical accounts of Jesus are not contempory to Him, is a classic example in the first degree. There is nothing more contemporaneous to an event than an eyewitness.
    Ah, but to assert that the "gospels" are contemporaneous to the alleged Christ is poppycock itself, since no evidence exists to demonstrate it. That you are unaware of ancient historical accounts "written as the events" unfolded only demonstrates your ignorance, not that the accounts do not exist. Very notable, the Armarna letters of ancient Egypt were exactly the type of account one might expect to find of a significant event or set of events in a culture. One should think that a messiah, if it actually existed, would have been notable and worth writing about, even if the messiah weren't favored by the established cultures. After all, this alleged Christ was alleged by the apparent propaganda that was produced after his alleged death and alleged resurrection to have walked on water, healed the blind, etc.

    All the evidence (and lack of evidence that you would expect to see if the accounts were true) point to a cult of personality; a "rock star" figure that was aggrandized by loyal fans for their own agenda in creating a larger cult. One that grew into the mainstream, modern religion we have today that calls itself Christianity.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  50. #49  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker

    Quote Originally Posted by DaytonTurner
    It is not my point that these different interpretations invalidate evolution. My point is that we do not clearly understand how or why many of these changes occurred and at many places the time lines and paths of change are far from settled.
    Science is rarely concerned with the "whys" of nature, but with regard to the "hows," it's certainly true that there are many unanswered questions. That in no way suggests that scientists and academics involved with sciences related to evolution are in disagreements that create a problem for the fact of evolution. That some fundamentalists who believe in creation myths suggest otherwise is testament to either their ignorance or their desire to create the appearance of disagreement with the lay-public they seek to influence and indoctrinate. Influence and indoctrination isn't necessarily a bad thing unless it is done with pseudoscience, deceit, and dishonor in the manner conducted by creationists who back the 'intelligent' design fallacy.
    Whereas religion is more concerned with why and not so much with how. I think it would be quite presumptuous and even a bit ridiculous for a Christian to use scripture to explain how God created the world. It is a failing of western culture that it tends to swing to unreasonable extremes. Fundamentalism has reacted to the liberal use of historical and literary criticisms of the Bible (which have gone to such extreme that they have become indistinguishable from an attempt to discredit the Bible) by refusing to see any informational limits in the Bible at all. Surely it is not reasonable to think that the Bible was intended to be interpreted as a scientific thesis or a step by step manual on how God created the world.
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    But to suggest that those who are educated in the science the (you referred to them as 'evolutionists') seek to "squelch open discussion on the discrepancies and differing approaches…" is simply nonsense. Science is very much open to discussion of tenable ideas and reasoned hypotheses. That the pseudoscientific nonsense of 'intelligent' design is dismissed is *not* evidence for your faulty assertion. The assertion is faulty because there is clear evidence of discussion and disagreement within the sciences and among individuals in science regarding various mechanisms involved in evolution. That evolution occurred is *not* disagreed upon by scientists (with exception of a very, very small minority of people who are educated in the sciences but have agendas that are grounded in their supernatural beliefs).
    For the most part I agree with you, but you must remember that science is an ideal we try to live up to and human beings invariably fail to live up to ideals. The sciences are amply sprinkled with people who do not carefuly separate scientific fact and techniques from atheistic beliefs and rhetoric. These people often act like science and atheism are the same thing in spite of the fact that the sciences are equally populated by religious people who are excellent scientists.
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Some processes of evolution are, however, in disagreement, such as gradualism versus punctuated equilibrium as hypotheses. The late Stephen J. Gould asserted that PE was the primary evolutionary mechanism. Zoologist Richard Dawkins has publicly opposed this position. These two luminaries in evolutionary science have far, far more that they agree upon than disagree. I've read several works of both and, I, like most others educated in the sciences, consider both positions to be likely: an overall gradual process of change with occasional, rapid periods of adaptation and change. The explanation for this is that environments generally change very gradually but occasionally have rapid changes. These rapid changes create environments that may be hostile to one species but suitable for others and adaptive radiation and competitive releases can occur in very short order.
    In fact, I believe that the biggest evolutionary changes must occur comparatively rapidly in small populations on the brink of extinction where a fossil record is unlikely. The gene pool of a large population is too stable to support much change. The most significant changes will occur when a catastrophic number of deaths eliminate the majority of the gene pool to strongly bias the gene pool, in a remnant population, towards certain characteristics.
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    In addition, the fossil record really isn't as problematic for gradualists as creationist fundamentalists would like to encourage the under-educated to believe. Fossilization is a rare event in nature. The conditions must be just right for an organism to die and create a fossil that will be discovered millions of years later. Fossils in regions that remained moist, fertile, and overgrown (i.e. jungles & rainforests where species diversity is the highest) are rare. Most are discovered in regions that are arid and mineral rich where the remains could be desiccated quickly. That so-called 'gaps' exist is not a problem for evolution. It *is* a problem for the scientist that wants to find the points at which a particular lineage began to have a fused mandibular synthesis or a subtle change in the tubular ectotympanic between to species that are otherwise morphologically identical.
    Yes, I don't know how scientists can even begin to get a handle on the systematic errors inherent in using the fossil record as evidence of evolutionary history. Are fossils only formed by the evolutionary dead ends that have been pushed out of the fertile lands into the arid wastes?
    Probably not anything so extreme, but the bias introduce by the process of fossilization is certainly a real problem. When only a small remnant population survives a catastrophe and stuggle to survive on the brink of extinction, are they likely to be in locations where fossilization will occur?
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  51. #50  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,377
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    The sciences are amply sprinkled with people who do not carefuly separate scientific fact and techniques from atheistic beliefs and rhetoric. These people often act like science and atheism are the same thing in spite of the fact that the sciences are equally populated by religious people who are excellent scientists.
    This is perhaps the only thing in your post that I have any disagreement with. Such people may exists, but I've not seen the evidence that one could quantify them as "amply sprinkled" in the sciences. Indeed, I've yet to meet such a person. As an atheist, I'm very aware that science and atheism are separate things. I've interacted with scientists and atheists alike, and I've encountered none that believe they aren't.

    I think, however, that it is popular among the religious to assert that there are atheists who believe true understanding of science cannot be had by the religious and that atheism uses science as its main weapon. This is true for the activist atheist, but not true for the scientist who happens to be atheist.

    But I'm rambling. Sorry.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  52. #51  
    Forum Freshman cs-comm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    42
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    cs is correct that Christianity rises or falls on the validity of the resurrection. (I assume the end of that first sentence should have said, “is lacking of supporting evidence.”) I will assume your claim that evidence of the resurrection is lacking is due to ignorance of that evidence.
    I read the information in the link you provided me and while it was very interesting it still doesn't provide definitive evidence of the resurrection. Although the arguments used by the author are convincing they are still flawed.

    1) Just because the gospels provide an account of the time of Jesus doesn't mean that they are contemporary to him. As SkinWalker said, there isn't any evidence that they were written by the disciples Matthew, Mark and John. And the fact the titles of these books is a name doesn't necessarily mean that they were even written by people with those names.

    2) quote from the website:
    Those findings increased scholarly confidence in the reliability of the Bible. William F. Albright, who in his day was the world's foremost biblical archaeologist, said: "We can already say emphatically that there is no longer any solid basis for dating any book of the New Testament after about A.D. 80, two full generations before the date between 130 and 150 given by the more radical New Testament critics of today."

    In a previous paragraph the author of the site says that the gospels were circulating while eyewitneses of the resurrection were still alive. If a child who was attending one of Jesus' appearences was only 1 year old at the time (AD 30), he would be probably have died before he was 50 since the life expectancy in those days was shorter than it is today.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    To suggest there no evidence of the resurrection is no more true than if I said there no evidence to support evolution. Hundreds of Christian apologists have mounted apologies of the resurrection such that no one need be ignorant of the evidence available to support for the fact of the resurrection.

    If, however, I accept you hypothesis that evidence from people who already believe something is “unreliable,” it would mean that I can immediately label as “unreliable” anything about evolution that comes from someone who wholeheartedly believes in it.
    The difference between the evidence for evolution and the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is that one is repeatedly confirmed observation and the other is uncorroborated testimony.

    If someone comes up to you and says "Evolution is true" you don't have to believe them. Just like when someone says "Jesus rose from the dead" I don't have to believe them.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    The extra-Biblical mentions of a reported resurrection are not in an of themselves proofs of the resurrection. Rather, they show that this was a well known item even back in the first and second centuries and not something that was circulated exclusively among a small group of followers as either you or skinwalker suggested earlier.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    The concept of evidence is bandied about here a lot. The fact that there are fossils is not evidence of evolution. Being able to show relationships between those fossils is what constitutes some evidence of evolution. Fossils, by themselves, show only that there are a lot of dead plants and animals lying around.
    Whenever I mention fossils again please sub in "progressionism ie the deeper you dig the simpler the fossils and homology ie the similarities between species exhibited by fossils".
    Reply With Quote  
     

  53. #52  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    It would appear that skinwalker basically confirmed and expanded on my explanations of some of the evolutionary interpretations while correcting some of my terminology by adding another term. I accept his restructuring of the terminologies while maintaining that my simplistic explanations of the concepts (such as they were) were fairly and competently presented.

    I do not consider the differences of interpretation as significant of anything other than differences of interpretation. They do not invalidate the entirety of evolutionist thinking.

    skinwalker points to various differences in life forms brought about through adaptation and natural selection. About these kinds of changes there is very little argument from any corner. There remains dispute (well founded or not) as to whether these kinds of changes produced new species or merely variations within a specie.

    Mankind’s studies and observations on this topic have taken place virtually between ticks of the geological clock. As a result, and to the best of my inquiry, we have not knowingly observed the natural development of a new specie nor have we been able to directly induce the development of a new specie.

    What we have observed is life forms that are very, very similar in structure and genetic make up. From those observations some have inferred (within the bounds of rationality and logic) that they are related in such a way that one of the life forms perhaps begat the other or that some other life form begat both of the observed life forms.

    Some people find such an inference clearly obvious and reasonable. Other suggest that our limited information and observations do not resoundingly support such inferences.

    I am not herein arguing creationism or intelligent design (although I could), but rather that, taken as a whole, evolution has internal problems which should foster some skepticism and realization that there is much more to be revealed than has yet been found. This is as opposed to blind acceptance of an incomplete study on life forms of the earth.

    Now then as to skinwalker’s discussion of the historicity of the New Testament:

    The information you share is not widely or generally accepted and most certainly not by reputable and learned Bible scholars.

    The only book of the New Testament for which there is any question among scholars as to authorship is the book of Hebrews. While various scholars build cases to suggest particular authorship of Hebrews, few of them are adamant in their position.

    There is very little disagreement among Christian technicians as to the earlier datings of the Gospel writings and virtually no argument as to authorship. (I am assuming skinwalker’s year 1 CE corresponds to the year 1 AD.)

    Are we to believe a book written today about Abraham Lincoln would be a pack of lies merely because it was not written within some artificial time period contemporaneous to the events?

    There remains some discussion as to whether one or another writer (and which) may have been aware of the others’ writings. If four people sat down to write an account of the same events, it is only natural that there would be similarities and differences in their accounts even if produced independently and unbeknownst to each other. So I am not sure what negative inferences can be drawn from that.

    Secondarily, there is nothing anyplace to suggest that these men did not keep some sort of diary. Nor does anything suggest that they did. To say they did or didn’t is pure guess. It is possible that they were writing from notes, though I am more of a belief that they wrote from recollections.

    Scribes who kept up to date records of events in the courts of the rulers of ancient days operated under a severe bias. Their accounts were necessarily slanted to show their ruler in good stead for fear of their life.
    Most, and I mean a very huge, monstrous percentage, of the history of western civilization was compiled at a time far more removed from the recorded events than even the later dates you ascribe to the writers of the Gospels.

    Assuming for the sake of comment that the information skinwalker espouses were 100 per cent accurate, it would still not detract one whit from the fact of the resurrection and the Gospel’s message of redemption and eternal life. I also suspect that if the information presented was 100 percent accurate, skinwalker would now be advancing a different set of speculations which disagreed with 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
    Reply With Quote  
     

  54. #53  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,377
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    The information you share is not widely or generally accepted and most certainly not by reputable and learned Bible scholars.
    [b]Sources Dating Mark[b]

    57 to 63 CE -

    Scofield, C. I. (1967) The New Scofield Reference Bible. New York: Oxford University Press

    "The date of the Gospel of Mark is generally set a few years either side of
    the destruction of the Second Temple on the 9th of Av, 70 C.E."

    Kloppenborg, John S. (2005). Evocatio Deorum And The Date Of Mark. Journal of Biblical Literature, 124(3), 419-450

    The prediction in Mark of the destruction of the temple in Jeruselum is often cited as evidence that the work was written prior to 70 CE, but I contend that if this was meant to be a "prophecy," then it is proof that it was written after 70 CE, since divination of the future has no basis in fact and has historically been a feat that humans claim to be able to do, but can never actually demonstrate. But the alleged ability gives them power and status, so they perpetuate the claim. Certainly a prophecy made after the fact but alleged to have been made prior to the event can offer some credibility with believers and potential believers to the overall claims.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    The only book of the New Testament for which there is any question among scholars as to authorship is the book of Hebrews.
    A point of contention here: "scholars" should be amended to "believing scholars." I can think of a half-dozen scholars off the top of my head that question most if not all books of the bible, the new testament included.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    There is very little disagreement among Christian technicians as to the earlier datings of the Gospel writings and virtually no argument as to authorship. (I am assuming skinwalker’s year 1 CE corresponds to the year 1 AD.)
    It would seem that there is considerable disagreement among 'biblical' scholars. Ironically, there appears to be much more disagreement in the field in which you claim there is none (gospel date/authorship), and little disagreement in the field (evolution) where you claim it exists.

    http://www.andrews.edu/~jmcvay/puc_c...8/Synoptic.htm

    I offer the above link because it is available on the internet and thus accessable to all who read this. There are countless biblical scholars who have written on the subject of the 'gospels' and have wide ranges of disagreement regarding their dating and authorship.

    The bottom line is this: there is not one shred of evidence that supports the gospels, dates them to be contemporaneous with the alleged christ, or demonstrates their authorship with confidence. For all intents and purposes, the 'gospels' exist as propaganda for a fledgling religion created around 100 CE and written by anonymous authors. There is no mention of 'gospels' or their content in letters and texts earlier than that.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Are we to believe a book written today about Abraham Lincoln would be a pack of lies merely because it was not written within some artificial time period contemporaneous to the events?
    We should indeed be suspicious of it if it fails to cite primary sources. Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Scribes who kept up to date records of events in the courts of the rulers of ancient days operated under a severe bias. Their accounts were necessarily slanted to show their ruler in good stead for fear of their life.
    Though I will agree that this is most often true, you apparently have not read the Armarna Letters. It isn't always true. Indeed, even the Egyptians wrote of others contemporaneous to them, but no mention of Moses and his merry men unless you consider the expulsion of the Hyksos (which is a likely source of the exodus myth).

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Most, and I mean a very huge, monstrous percentage, of the history of western civilization was compiled at a time far more removed from the recorded events than even the later dates you ascribe to the writers of the Gospels.
    Histories that are supported by various primary sources. Histories that are revised when evidence is discovered that demonstrates a new, more credible version. Histories that are very often supported by archaeological record as well as the epigraphical.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Assuming for the sake of comment that the information skinwalker espouses were 100 per cent accurate, it would still not detract one whit from the fact of the resurrection and the Gospel’s message of redemption and eternal life. I also suspect that if the information presented was 100 percent accurate, skinwalker would now be advancing a different set of speculations which disagreed with it.
    I only provide the information to demonstrate that there is quite a bit of dissention even within the so-called biblical scholarship community. *My* "speculations" are supported by evidence. The believer speculation is supported only by petitio principii: the accounts are true because the accounts say they're true.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  55. #54  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    I love skinwalker’s double standard here.

    When it comes to Bible historicity, Bible believers are generally not to be trusted in their scholarly treatises because they are biased in their studies while non-believers are better able to provide critical analysis.

    When it comes to evolution interpretations, believers must be fully trusted and supported in their studies while non believers cannot be trusted because they have bias.

    Debating the dates and authorship of the Gospels is something of a rabbit trail. The estimated dates of the writings differ only a few years and generally, even the latest datings are still in the first century and within 70 years of the events. The dates of their writing is a really insignificant factor in judging the accuracy of their information. Nor is it significant whether Matthew actually penned the Gospel attributed to him or if it was compiled by one of the members of his entourage who may have taken notes as he went along. In such a case, I doubt you would write it down and call it the Gospel of skinwalker, but would attribute it to the person from whom you got it. It never ceases to amaze me how Bible detractors can take these things which would be the normal course of action and somehow turn them suspicious circumstances which cast doubt.

    If only you were so eager to find and resolve the flaws in evolution thinking.

    Taken in a worst case scenario, the Gospels, if not written by the actual eye-witnesses, were written by person who were very familiar with them and probably heard the stories of the events many times or took notes.

    In contrast, there are no eyewitnesses (not one) to any act of evolution. In a different thread, cs-comm provides a link to a site which purports to list actual observed cases of speciation.

    None of the examples is an example of speciation under the generally accepted definition of a separate specie – that it must be able to reproduce its own specie and is not capable of reproducing with another specie. (Caveats exist to explain hybridization.)

    The examples seemed to fall into three categories of faux speciation. 1. The serendipitous discovery of a new specie with no explanation as to how it had developed. 2. Hybrids which were infertile or capable of reproduction only with one or both of the parent species. 3. Mutations which did not survive or could not reproduce. What this person was describing as speciation was nothing more variations within a specie.
    If his examples were actual cases of speciation, they would dominate chapter one of every book on evolution.

    If any biologist were actually able to create, observe, duplicate and document the emergence of a new specie, it would be the cover story of every biology publication on earth and would probably be the top banner story on most newspapers of the world.

    At some point in this thread cs-comm wrote:

    Whenever I mention fossils again please sub in "progressionism ie the deeper you dig the simpler the fossils and homology ie the similarities between species exhibited by fossils".
    Well, this is true depending on who chooses the fossils to represent the various layers and periods. One, by carefully selecting his fossils representing each layer or period, can show devolution through fossils just as easily as one can show evolution.

    This approach to evolution always runs into problems when it comes to the cambrian layer and cambrian explosion. This approach (which I believe employs slow evolution) also runs afoul of scientific speculation that there have been a number catastrophic events in earth’s past which wiped out a majority of life forms, thus making the slow evolution time lines improbable. Thus, an evolutionist must ignore the evidence of catastrophic kill offs, or abandon evidence of slow evolution. These two diametrically opposed concepts are, well, diametrically opposed.
    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
    Reply With Quote  
     

  56. #55  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,377
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I love skinwalker’s double standard here.

    When it comes to Bible historicity, Bible believers are generally not to be trusted in their scholarly treatises because they are biased in their studies while non-believers are better able to provide critical analysis.

    When it comes to evolution interpretations, believers must be fully trusted and supported in their studies while non believers cannot be trusted because they have bias.
    I think you've misread what I've posted. My standard is the same and it is related to the thread topic: "no evidence." Evolution has evidence. The gospels have none. Those who study sciences related to evolution have examined the evidence that supports the conclusions. Those that believe the mythology of early christian literature, have conclusions and seek evidence. The evidence, however, is not forthcoming.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    If only you were so eager to find and resolve the flaws in evolution thinking.
    Ah, but I am. As are those that are involved in the sciences related to evolution. This is of utmost importance, and if a problem with an accepted fact of evolution is found, researchers work to resolve it. I've yet to see where you cite an instance in which this isn't done. You've stated there are problems that are unresolved and indicated that these problems can potentially invalidate evolutionary theory, but you have yet to spell this out. If you did, I apparently missed it. Perhaps you could cite the post # and paragraph for me to review.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Taken in a worst case scenario, the Gospels, if not written by the actual eye-witnesses, were written by person who were very familiar with them and probably heard the stories of the events many times or took notes.
    That would be the only acceptable worst-case scenario for the believer. For the impartial observer, the possibility remains (and appears likely) that the 'gospels' were simply propaganda created by the infant christian church and based upon a generation or two of oral history.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    In contrast, there are no eyewitnesses (not one) to any act of evolution.
    Untrue. There are many eyewitnesses to evolution. The witnesses are looking at the forensic evidence, making inferences, and making predictions that hold true. This is a process good enough to investigate a homicide and put a murderer on death row, but not good enough to arrive at conclusions about the evolution of life on the planet? Conclusions that are arrived at independently in many fields of science and converge in the same result? Is it it willing ignorance or bias to a belief system that some religious people fear will collapse because of the acceptance of evolution? Is your god so shallow and incompetent that it could not have put into motion at the beginning of the universe the precise mechanisms to create the evolution scientists have concluded occurred? Is it only capable of creating that is in final form? I think if I were religious, I would consider all that rejected evolution to be blasphemous and I would be proud of a god that could create such a universe. But I really don't give two shits about all that.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Well, this is true depending on who chooses the fossils to represent the various layers and periods. One, by carefully selecting his fossils representing each layer or period, can show devolution through fossils just as easily as one can show evolution.
    I challenge you to do so.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    This approach to evolution always runs into problems when it comes to the cambrian layer and cambrian explosion. This approach (which I believe employs slow evolution) also runs afoul of scientific speculation that there have been a number catastrophic events in earth’s past which wiped out a majority of life forms, thus making the slow evolution time lines improbable. Thus, an evolutionist must ignore the evidence of catastrophic kill offs, or abandon evidence of slow evolution. These two diametrically opposed concepts are, well, diametrically opposed.
    And, as I stated earlier, they are not. They are quite easily accepted by most who are educated in the sciences concerned with evolution. Gradual changes over time with occasional, rapid adaptations as niches of competitive release are created. The only people that appear to have a problem with it are those that oppose the "evil institution of evolutionary science" to begin with.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  57. #56  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    Your thinking on this is lacking in reason, logic or substance.

    Any prosecutor would prefer eyewitness testimony to trying to convince a jury with after the fact circumstantial evidence.

    Inferences drawn from circumstantial evidence are not 100 per cent accurate in all cases. Nor are they facts. If they were facts, we would call them facts, not inferences or deductions.

    If you cannot understand the difference, no wonder you can't see the many flaws, problems and discrepancies in the theories of evolution.

    I repeat, inferences (which make up the conclusions of the theories of evolution) are not facts, never have been, never will be.
    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
    Reply With Quote  
     

  58. #57  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,377
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Your thinking on this is lacking in reason, logic or substance.
    Saying it doesn't make it true. You'll need to qualify and/or quantify that assertion for it to hold any validity.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Any prosecutor would prefer eyewitness testimony to trying to convince a jury with after the fact circumstantial evidence.
    I disagree. And so do many who have made it their business to study the subject (Connell 2002; Hulse, Memon, & Allan 2003; Wells & Olsen 2003). Each of these research teams, along with many others, concluded that eye-witness accounts are generally unreliable, particularly with regard to extraordinary or unusual events. Belief creates bias right off the bat. Another caveat to eyewitness testimony is that witnesses will very often share information, so that in the final testimony, what they actually observed and what they testify to are different. The perceptions as well as the misperceptions of the other witnesses are used to fill in the gaps of their own observations. When they get information from one another and from investigators, their own memory becomes contaminated.

    But just seeing an event that is emotionally arousing can interfere with both memory and attention to detail (Hulse, Memon, & Allan, 2003) due to chemical substances released in the brain during states of arousal and stress.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Inferences drawn from circumstantial evidence are not 100 per cent accurate in all cases. Nor are they facts. If they were facts, we would call them facts, not inferences or deductions.
    It is a good thing, then, that inferences in evolutionary sciences are drawn from empirical observation, then. The evidence is only circumstantial if it cannot be positively correlated to the hypotheses or if the evidence fails to live up to predictions derived from it. The evidence associated with evolution is significant in quantity and quality. From the evidence produced, predicitons have been made. Just as the criminalist uses DNA to isolate individuals associated with a crime and to eliminate suspects, so does science use DNA, fossils, stratigraphy, dating techniques, and predictions derived from hypotheses to compile the immense body of evidence that supports evolution as a fact. Which it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    If you cannot understand the difference, no wonder you can't see the many flaws, problems and discrepancies in the theories of evolution.
    I'm still waiting for you to point out these alleged flaws. You keep saying they're present, but I don't see you citing them.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I repeat, inferences (which make up the conclusions of the theories of evolution) are not facts, never have been, never will be.
    They are. The inferences produced from the immense body of evidence that exists in the many fields of science that all point to a common convergence of evolutionary theory are factual. They are testable observations objectively made on the physical evidence.

    References:

    Connell, Mary (2002)The Use of Eyewitness Research in the Courts. presented at training seminars for Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Project

    Hulse L, Memon, A & Allan, K (2003) "Affecting memories: Emotional arousal and eyewitness testimony". Fifth Biennial Meeting of SARMAC, Aberdeen, Scotland

    Wells, Gary L. and Olson, Elizabeth A.. (2003). "Eyewitness Testimony," Annual Review of Psychology, Vol. 54, pp. 277-295.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  59. #58  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    The sciences are amply sprinkled with people who do not carefuly separate scientific fact and techniques from atheistic beliefs and rhetoric. These people often act like science and atheism are the same thing in spite of the fact that the sciences are equally populated by religious people who are excellent scientists.
    This is perhaps the only thing in your post that I have any disagreement with. Such people may exists, but I've not seen the evidence that one could quantify them as "amply sprinkled" in the sciences. Indeed, I've yet to meet such a person. As an atheist, I'm very aware that science and atheism are separate things. I've interacted with scientists and atheists alike, and I've encountered none that believe they aren't.
    Well I think you may be over-reacting to the word "amply" which is a fairly ambiguous term. Encouters which reveal such attitudes will tend to be rare because for the most part the topic does not arise. It is also something a Christian in the sciences is more like to encounter than an atheist. I have encountered this and I was surprised by the statement, by a postdoc in the physics department, that "if you believe in God, you cannot be a very good physicist." If I was to guess, I would suggest that this attitude is probably most common among eastern Europeans.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    I think, however, that it is popular among the religious to assert that there are atheists who believe true understanding of science cannot be had by the religious and that atheism uses science as its main weapon. This is true for the activist atheist, but not true for the scientist who happens to be atheist.
    I don't thinks so. I have been to many different churches and religious groups and I have never heard such a sentiment expressed. I was truly surprised to hear it expressed by the post-doc, when I did -- but I thought it was hilarious. I think there is a good deal of alienation between the scientist and the non-scientist regardless of whether either is religious.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •