# Thread: Could the earth have been made in 7 days

1. I think it is completely plausible. The bible could be completely correct. Science has shown that the earth is billions of YEARS old. 7 billion years can be seven days. This for the simple fact that one year is the earth rotation around the sun. one day is the earths rotation around its own axis. if the earth is not rotating or rotating very slowly one day can be one billion years.

2.

3. Current thought is that one day in biblespeak does not equal one day on Earth.

4. Originally Posted by Chisco1389
I think it is completely plausible. The bible could be completely correct. Science has shown that the earth is billions of YEARS old. 7 billion years can be seven days. This for the simple fact that one year is the earth rotation around the sun. one day is the earths rotation around its own axis. if the earth is not rotating or rotating very slowly one day can be one billion years.
...but its only 4.6 billion years old. Also even if it were 7 billion years old what would happen in a billion years time. Would that mean we would have to add an 8th day to genesis to account for the age?

5. Also, the earth is essentially in free-fall around the sun and if the angular momentum is lowered to allow billion year roundtrips the earth would fall straight into the sun.

6. And to state the obvious: the Earth couldn't be 'made' :wink: Who would make it, how would he do that, how would he combine the raw materials (where did they come from?) into the end product, our Earth?

Anyway I think Kalster's and Robbie's remarks are more interesting, the above is just for completion.

7. Maybe if the person that made it made it in seven years relative to themself, but maybe took seven eons for someobody else. If someone made it, then they would have to be super intelligent almost omniscient being to build. So the Bible could be correct if that it is metaphorical, but you have to remember people live by Bibles in a literal sense so theres number one contradiction, among many .

8. And there the whole problem starts. If one is willing to accept portions of the bible as metaphor for it to be able to fit with current scientific knowledge, where does it stop? From this perspective I can understand the creationist perspective of absolute biblical truth. The only other emotionally and philosophically credible alternative is thinking of the facts and norms in the bible as tenuous and unyealdingly human at best, but still gaining wisdom from the portions that can fit with a more humanist perspective.

9. Originally Posted by Pendragon
And to state the obvious: the Earth couldn't be 'made' :wink: Who would make it, how would he do that, how would he combine the raw materials (where did they come from?) into the end product, our Earth?

Anyway I think Kalster's and Robbie's remarks are more interesting, the above is just for completion.
Much appreciated!!!

And there the whole problem starts. If one is willing to accept portions of the bible as metaphor for it to be able to fit with current scientific knowledge, where does it stop? From this perspective I can understand the creationist perspective of absolute biblical truth. The only other emotionally and philosophically credible alternative is thinking of the facts and norms in the bible as tenuous and unyealdingly human at best, but still gaining wisdom from the portions that can fit with a more humanist perspective.
Yeah true, this is the thing, with science advancing, religion has had to recede considerably but some people refuse to compromise on their religion. Its an interesting thing to observe in debate with a creationist because even when you absolutely tear apart their arguments such as the age of the earth they still somehow cling to it. It must involve some level of doublethink. Even at a humanist level, you still have too pick and choose from the bible.

10. I think then that every religion and its own look at God and life etc is due to one or more persons view of what is metaphor and what is fact. What if it is all metaphor, and what if it all is fact? We'll never know, and its not up to us to decide what is fact and what is metaphorical. Its simply gone too far, for any of us to tell what is literal and what is metaphor. Maybe even if they are half each, we still don't know what is one half and which is the other. So what do we do? If thats the truth, a grey area if you will, I can see where the idea of faith comes from, you say 'God said this', and if He did, we were right to follow Him, the faith in that. If not, and it is wrong, we had faith that it was the truth but were mislead, by those standards, faith seems to be all we have other than doubthing any of it is true. But I for one can't simply doubt it, my heart does not feel right in doing that. As a logical person even to the utmost logic I follow, in this matter, I follow my heart and what feels right. Thats all I can do, and thats really what people and religion comes down to, following your heart or your head. I tried one and the other alone, I tried both together, but the one that feels right, is following my heart and having faith.

But we're only human, and what we believe or not believe is, after all what we choose.

11. For all you christians out there, and atheists, 7 days could of been seen as seven times. so, a day of the creation could have been 2 million years or something like that.

And, pendragon, the Earth could be made. The Lord almighty God took his good ol' mighty hand and made the Earth and everything that lives. You, me and everything.

But, soem contradict me, some are atheists, others are just haters, we all have our own opinion.

12. Originally Posted by Robbie
Originally Posted by Pendragon
And to state the obvious: the Earth couldn't be 'made' :wink: Who would make it, how would he do that, how would he combine the raw materials (where did they come from?) into the end product, our Earth?

Anyway I think Kalster's and Robbie's remarks are more interesting, the above is just for completion.
Much appreciated!!!

And there the whole problem starts. If one is willing to accept portions of the bible as metaphor for it to be able to fit with current scientific knowledge, where does it stop? From this perspective I can understand the creationist perspective of absolute biblical truth. The only other emotionally and philosophically credible alternative is thinking of the facts and norms in the bible as tenuous and unyealdingly human at best, but still gaining wisdom from the portions that can fit with a more humanist perspective.
Yeah true, this is the thing, with science advancing, religion has had to recede considerably but some people refuse to compromise on their religion. Its an interesting thing to observe in debate with a creationist because even when you absolutely tear apart their arguments such as the age of the earth they still somehow cling to it. It must involve some level of doublethink. Even at a humanist level, you still have too pick and choose from the bible.
Ok yeah ever heard of Quantum Physics? I am geussing not, because if you did you would realise that Quantum Physics shows that there is far more to the world than the Physical and "divine" beings are completely plausible. This showing that religion is only an extesnsion of science or vice versa. You cannot use science to disprove religon, because science can only prove or rather disprove what is testable. Religion cannot be tested because it is outside the laws of science.

13. Nobody is trying to use science to disprove religion, as we all agree it can't be done, in the same way (no disrespect meant) you can't disprove fairies and ET. Where science comes in is where religion has held a certain belief about the natural word, only for science to come and disprove that. Science can't speak about god in the same way religion is not supposed to speak about science.

Ok yeah ever heard of Quantum Physics? I am geussing not, because if you did you would realise that Quantum Physics shows that there is far more to the world than the Physical and "divine" beings are completely plausible.
I am sorry, but this shows your lack of understanding concerning QM. While (independent of QM) one could say that ghosts and the like is faintly possible, it does not make them probable by any means. The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and similarly, the absence of refuting evidence is not evidence in favor of the thing in question.

14. Originally Posted by Chisco1389
Originally Posted by Robbie
Originally Posted by Pendragon
And to state the obvious: the Earth couldn't be 'made' :wink: Who would make it, how would he do that, how would he combine the raw materials (where did they come from?) into the end product, our Earth?

Anyway I think Kalster's and Robbie's remarks are more interesting, the above is just for completion.
Much appreciated!!!

And there the whole problem starts. If one is willing to accept portions of the bible as metaphor for it to be able to fit with current scientific knowledge, where does it stop? From this perspective I can understand the creationist perspective of absolute biblical truth. The only other emotionally and philosophically credible alternative is thinking of the facts and norms in the bible as tenuous and unyealdingly human at best, but still gaining wisdom from the portions that can fit with a more humanist perspective.
Yeah true, this is the thing, with science advancing, religion has had to recede considerably but some people refuse to compromise on their religion. Its an interesting thing to observe in debate with a creationist because even when you absolutely tear apart their arguments such as the age of the earth they still somehow cling to it. It must involve some level of doublethink. Even at a humanist level, you still have too pick and choose from the bible.
Ok yeah ever heard of Quantum Physics? I am geussing not, because if you did you would realise that Quantum Physics shows that there is far more to the world than the Physical and "divine" beings are completely plausible. This showing that religion is only an extesnsion of science or vice versa. You cannot use science to disprove religon, because science can only prove or rather disprove what is testable. Religion cannot be tested because it is outside the laws of science.
Then clearly you have only heard of quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics concisely describes the movement of electrons and other subatomic particles. It does not describe angels, prophets or Gods; Heisenberg would have had more trouble getting something like that published. It is unpredictable in terms of individual outcomes at minute levels, not in over all/macroscopic phenomena. If for you religion exists in superposition, that's fine, but it is very different to genesis!

Further more, religion cannot be tested not because it is outside the laws of science, but because it is beyond the realm of reality. You can test religion no more than you can test Harry Potter or Alice in Wonderland... that doesnt mean either of those are real. The only difference is the significance you attribute to whatever sacred text you read.

15. I dont see how the AGE of the Earth has anything to do with how long it would or would not take to create it.

It could been created in 7 days, 8 billion years ago. I mean when you talk that scale, what is another week? really?

I can personally still not get over how an omnipotent God would need time at all to create anything.

16. haha fair enough, I was just pointing out the odd need that one would need exactly 7 billion years to account for 7 days being represented, wasnt to be taken seriously.
Agree wit you dont see why he would need time at all.

17. Currently, the age of the Earth is around 4.55 years...
Now, I'm not that good in math, so I'll make it simple
Lets say the metaphorical week of god is 4.55 years MINUS around 5k years...
Now, lets assume that the Bible is partially true and that there is God... (I dont deny anything :P)
In Exodus God builds Earth in 7 days, when on the 7th day he builds man..
Perhaps the earlier man wasn't human enough to be refered as human so when teh 5k years ago came god took some of them earlier humans and put them into Eden...
That would also explain why there's no reference to any dinosaurs in the bible as the writers of the bible didn't took in account what came b4...
Just my 2 cents... Take it or leave it

18. Originally Posted by Hanuka
Currently, the age of the Earth is around 4.55 years...
Now, I'm not that good in math, so I'll make it simple
Lets say the metaphorical week of god is 4.55 years MINUS around 5k years...
Now, lets assume that the Bible is partially true and that there is God... (I dont deny anything :P)
In Exodus God builds Earth in 7 days, when on the 7th day he builds man..
Perhaps the earlier man wasn't human enough to be refered as human so when teh 5k years ago came god took some of them earlier humans and put them into Eden...
That would also explain why there's no reference to any dinosaurs in the bible as the writers of the bible didn't took in account what came b4...
Just my 2 cents... Take it or leave it
Here's my 10 cents, inflation you know!

I think you need to read the account over!

God created all the animals of the sea, on the fifth day, and all the land creatures of all kinds and man (in his image) and woman in mans image. On the sixth day, They (mankind and animalkind) were created males and females, and all God's work was done. The seventh day God rested, from all His work. The seventh day was Blessed and made it Holy.
The Genesis accounts, for thousands of years were verbal accounts handed down by man. Even today, there are nomadic tribes, that sit around a fire at night, relating the verbal accounts of their ancestors, going back 100 or more generations. And I would think, that even Moses considered them as simplistic accounts, but they were considered sacred accounts, and Moses wrote them down. Being sealed in words, everlasting.
Here is an example of the verbal, noted by Moses in Genesis 4:19, Lamech married two women, one named Adah, and the other Zillah. ( A to Z ) my note !
Now note the following verses. 20. Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was father of those who lived in tents and raised livestock. 21. His brothers name was Jabal; he was the father of all who play the harp and flute.
( And now verse 22, which I find most interesting 22. Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain's sister was Naamah. Why? This written account by Moses, gives all future generations a look back in time.
At first look, its rather simplistic, but consider what they accomplished. Jabal a domesticator of cattle, breeding of sheep and goat herds. Jubal had to be the designer and maker of these instruments, the harp and flute. (the root of MoTown) and music.
And Tubal-Cain, a Blacksmith, a Metallurgist, Metalworker, Miner, taking raw materials, Copper and tin to make bronze and iron ores and meteorite's to form new metals. This account dates the family, dates the period of men, from the Stoneage to the Bronzeage & Ironage. Anthropologist and Archaeologist thrive on finding true Stoneage and Bronzeage tools, these men of 5000 to 6000 years ago or more, were not the simplistic fools, modern man likes to think of them as. The knowledge they passed down to each generation, would be lost if not being written down, and included in our encyclopedia's, and Scriptures.

The Sumerians predate the period of Abraham, its tablets and inscriptions date back to before 4000 B.C. which I think was 500 years before Abraham. The Sumerians knew the cycle of the moon and sun. They named stars, and constellations, and set planting seasons. It may even be plausible that Abram's decendents from the city of Ur, in the Valley of Shinar, previous of Babylonia Valley, were Sumerians. When God called Abram, to show him the land of Canaan. Abram did not have an advanced concepts of time, in terms of thousands and millions of years. But the Chaldean and early Hebrew languages and writing, were used for numeration, and multiples of numbers. Then in the Creation Week, one day could be as a thousand years, or multiples thereof.

But the Creation Week, was not ment to prove or disprove evolution, but only to reveal God's Plan for mankind, the only way to learn and understand, is through reading what is written, and the mystery of Holy Scripture, with discernment is revealed.

19. well the bible says the earth was created in 7 days.

but the bible also says that god is omnipotent meaning he can do anything or he is all powerful etc.

so if we accept the idea that god exists then surely it is easy to accept the idea of earth being created in 7 days.

wasnt it actually 6 days but he spent a day resting hence the sabbath.

personally i don't see why someone all powerful took so long, or why he has to rest

20. this is apologist crock. 600 years ago "everyone" was certain that the earth was made in 7 days, that it was flat, and that crocodiles came from logs floating in rivers, and flies was feces come alive.
i've read more accurate predictions of the future in X-men, than i have in the bible.

21. i've read more accurate predictions of the future in X-men, than i have in the bible.
Good one :-D

22. this is apologist crock. 600 years ago "everyone" was certain that the earth was made in 7 days, that it was flat, and that crocodiles came from logs floating in rivers, and flies was feces come alive.
i've read more accurate predictions of the future in X-men, than i have in the bible.
I could not agree more :wink:

23. Originally Posted by Chisco1389
You cannot use science to disprove religon, because science can only prove or rather disprove what is testable. Religion cannot be tested because it is outside the laws of science.
You can use science to disprove specific claims that specific religions make about the world. If a religion makes a claim about the world that is supposed to be of divine origin - because it came from a holy book, prophet, etc - and that claim turns out to be false, it's good evidence that the holy book/prophet/whatever isn't very reliable.

24. whatever the answer is, its still the jews fault

25. Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
Originally Posted by Chisco1389
You cannot use science to disprove religon, because science can only prove or rather disprove what is testable. Religion cannot be tested because it is outside the laws of science.
You can use science to disprove specific claims that specific religions make about the world. If a religion makes a claim about the world that is supposed to be of divine origin - because it came from a holy book, prophet, etc - and that claim turns out to be false, it's good evidence that the holy book/prophet/whatever isn't very reliable.
haha, (not that you're wrong) Im just amused at how exactly you would design an experiment specifically to prove that the world is not of divine origin!!!
(I'm easliy amused :? )

26. Another innocent thread turned into 'witty' remarks at faith. Please try and stick to the OP, or at least keep the jokes to the OQ (original question).
Lets say the metaphorical week of god is 4.55 years MINUS around 5k years...
Which date then does Arnold Schwarznegger come into it?

:wink:

27. Originally Posted by dejawolf
this is apologist crock. 600 years ago "everyone" was certain that the earth was made in 7 days, that it was flat, and that crocodiles came from logs floating in rivers, and flies was feces come alive.
i've read more accurate predictions of the future in X-men, than i have in the bible.
It's not as much a crock, as the old wifes tales and comics you hold as truth. And you don't have a clue, of the certainty "everyone" had 600 years ago.

The 1400's when feudalism was in decline, and a French farm girl, in White armor, riding a black horse, with an army and visions from God, drove the English out of France. Only to be caught by the Burgundians, tried by a court strongly influenced by the English, and found guilty of witchcraft, was burned at the stake, in the market square of Rouen.
The peasantry, common man were totally ignorant, where only the aristocrats and wealthy had hand written books.

Both France and England were becoming nationalistic, and refused paying Peter's Pence, to the Popes. Where the world was blessed with three Popes, in Avignon and Rome. A time when Heresy and Simony walked hand in hand, and Inquisitions were tortuous. In the 12th and 13th centuries, schools were non-secular, to prepare men for the preisthood. By the middle of the 14th c. the corrupt church were building more Universities, of higher learning. Now open to the secular men of wealth.
Landlords granted settlement to merchants and traders, these burgs became towns. Craftsmen built homes and shops, industry and inventiveness flourished, craft guilds formed for every trade. (bakers, butchers, carpenters, clockmakers, foundrymen, gold/silversmiths, etc.) Later came the papermakers, bookbinders, and printers. Where a copyist could handwrite two books a year, a printer could make 2500 books.
With the invasion of Constantinople by the Turks, Greek scholars fled to Italy, bring with them the Greek Classic writings. Ushering in Humanism, the study of Roman and Greek culture, and mans earthly destiny. But the main motive of Italian Humanism, was the search and appreciation for beauty, and it mattered little to them whether this beauty were expressed in religious or pagan themes. Humanism to the English and French, were in nationalistic themes.
By the end of the century, the Germans and Dutch being more serious, they shied away from Greek and Roman mythology, their view of Humanism was more to Theology.
German scholars were concerned with discovering the real truth of the Bible, and with overcoming some of the shallow and corrupt practices of the R.C. Church.
Leading into the 1500's and the Reformation, two voices, one quite, and timid, Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam. The other being loud and couragous, Martin Luther. As Protestant against RCC dogma, while giving the common man and nobility a freer religion, he could not revert 1300 years of Popes decrees, over the Eastern Christian Churches tenets of the first and second centuries. Being the more faithful followers of Christ's teachings. The Reformation Churches and Sects were slaves of the past, and still are.

You can joke and make fun all you want, but won't find prophecies of Christ Jesus, in comics, X-men or otherwise. But understand one thing, of the prophecies, they are 600 years closer to fullfillment then men thought then. Or you realize now without discernment of prophecy ment and proclaimed for all men.

28. Originally Posted by Robbie
haha, (not that you're wrong) Im just amused at how exactly you would design an experiment specifically to prove that the world is not of divine origin!!!
(I'm easliy amused :? )
If someone simply claimes that the world has a divine origin and doesn't go any further, then no, you can't disprove that. But if they claim that the world is of divine origin AND (for example) that it's the center of the solar system, you can prove that the earth isn't the center of the solar system. Of course that won't automatically disprove the first claim, but it will show that the person making the claims isn't a very reliable source of information.

29. Chisco and Boy Genius, both of you are idiots.

......Pendragon (and other admin), is it possible to have a page automatically brought up upon entering the religious section that contains all of my anti-religion posts? I am tired of morons coming on and wasting our time with their moronic logic. All they have to do is read all of my posts, if not many others similar to mine, and they will have access to all of the proof against god that they will ever need.

30. Originally Posted by Robbie
Originally Posted by Chisco1389
Originally Posted by Robbie
Originally Posted by Pendragon
And to state the obvious: the Earth couldn't be 'made' :wink: Who would make it, how would he do that, how would he combine the raw materials (where did they come from?) into the end product, our Earth?

Anyway I think Kalster's and Robbie's remarks are more interesting, the above is just for completion.
Much appreciated!!!

And there the whole problem starts. If one is willing to accept portions of the bible as metaphor for it to be able to fit with current scientific knowledge, where does it stop? From this perspective I can understand the creationist perspective of absolute biblical truth. The only other emotionally and philosophically credible alternative is thinking of the facts and norms in the bible as tenuous and unyealdingly human at best, but still gaining wisdom from the portions that can fit with a more humanist perspective.
Yeah true, this is the thing, with science advancing, religion has had to recede considerably but some people refuse to compromise on their religion. Its an interesting thing to observe in debate with a creationist because even when you absolutely tear apart their arguments such as the age of the earth they still somehow cling to it. It must involve some level of doublethink. Even at a humanist level, you still have too pick and choose from the bible.
Ok yeah ever heard of Quantum Physics? I am geussing not, because if you did you would realise that Quantum Physics shows that there is far more to the world than the Physical and "divine" beings are completely plausible. This showing that religion is only an extesnsion of science or vice versa. You cannot use science to disprove religon, because science can only prove or rather disprove what is testable. Religion cannot be tested because it is outside the laws of science.
Then clearly you have only heard of quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics concisely describes the movement of electrons and other subatomic particles. It does not describe angels, prophets or Gods; Heisenberg would have had more trouble getting something like that published. It is unpredictable in terms of individual outcomes at minute levels, not in over all/macroscopic phenomena. If for you religion exists in superposition, that's fine, but it is very different to genesis!

Further more, religion cannot be tested not because it is outside the laws of science, but because it is beyond the realm of reality. You can test religion no more than you can test Harry Potter or Alice in Wonderland... that doesnt mean either of those are real. The only difference is the significance you attribute to whatever sacred text you read.
Nothing is outside the law's of physics and science. Each has it's piece to play in the puzzle, and god is part of the wrong one. Leave that piece out of my reality.

31. The highest thoughts of mans knowledge, are foolishness to the Creator of all things, the Father of Mankind, God of the Universe.

For today we see in part, and know in part, but when Perfection comes, He will reveal all things, to them that ask, and to whom He calls His sons.

32. Early on, KALSTER said:

Nobody is trying to use science to disprove religion, as we all agree it can't be done, in the same way (no disrespect meant) you can't disprove fairies and ET. Where science comes in is where religion has held a certain belief about the natural word, only for science to come and disprove that. Science can't speak about god in the same way religion is not supposed to speak about science.
I think much of this statement is just plain contrary to fact.

Comparing religion to fairies and ETs is not a valid comparison. There is no significant segment of humanity claiming that either of those exist. There may be a larger contingency claiming ETs than fairies. But in view of the fact that very few people actually take such things seriously, it would be a waste of time to try to prove those things don't exist.

But some do insist that wherein science and the Bible appear to disagree, it is proof that the Bible is wrong and, therefore, it could not have been written by God and, therefore, God does not exist.

I am not sure what beliefs about the natural world found in the Bible have been disproven by science. A literal six 24-hour day creation does not agree with scientific dating. And there may be some discrepancies in just how bio-diversity occurred.

However, many people find Bible accounts and science compatible when each are understood within the perspective of the other.

But other than these two issues, I am uncertain as to what other beliefs or statements about the natural world are in conflict with science.

I think it is sometime imperative that religion comment upon science – not for the purpose of contradicting what science has found, but for the purpose of questioning the advisability and wisdom in the way such information should or should not be implemented.

People here keep trying to paint a picture of the Bible and Christians as being vastly anti-science. The only area where I think there is sharp disagreement is in the area of bio-diversity. Most educated Christians do not see the creation story as having taken place in six 24-hour days.

What is there, after Genesis 3, wherein the Bible expresses something about the natural world that science has disproved?

33. Yeh, I guess I should have said that nobody is trying to use science to disprove God. It can't be done, as with fairies. In terms of religion it might have a say, as the varying tenets held sometimes include obvious fallacies, like the earth being the centre of the universe, young earth creationism, the world wide flood, etc.

PS: Another thing I wanted to add is that it is somewhat inaccurate citing the vast numbers of believers compared to non-believers. In my experience, precious few people are what are called a "true Christian", in the sense that what people say and what they believe is not necessarily the same thing. In my experience the great majority of supposed believers in God view belief (and the confirmation of) as the mark of a good man. So of course they would profess to believe in a God when asked. This person would even tell himself that God exists and that he is a believer (whenever he/she thinks about such things), but 99.9% of each day they don't act as if their creator is eavesdropping on everything they do, say and feel. Does that equal belief? I don't think so.

34. KALSTER observes:
PS: Another thing I wanted to add is that it is somewhat inaccurate citing the vast numbers of believers compared to non-believers. In my experience, precious few people are what are called a "true Christian", in the sense that what people say and what they believe is not necessarily the same thing. In my experience the great majority of supposed believers in God view belief (and the confirmation of) as the mark of a good man. So of course they would profess to believe in a God when asked. This person would even tell himself that God exists and that he is a believer (whenever he/she thinks about such things), but 99.9% of each day they don't act as if their creator is eavesdropping on everything they do, say and feel. Does that equal belief? I don't think so.
I would not particularly disagree with this observation that there are false professions of faith. However, polls and studies are not exactly done in public where people are making "public" professions of faith. Still, that does not keep them from lying to themselves.

I respect the person who says he is an atheist even though I believe he is wrong.

I am not sure that very many false professions of faith are exactly deliberate acts of someone saying outwardly that they believe while inwardly saying no I don't.

I do think there are some who profess belief who do not have nor have they ever had an understanding of what that entails. But I don't think it is a matter of feigning belief. What they actually may believe is difficult to assess.

However, because others do not believe exactly as I do or exactly what KALSTER thinks they should believe, does not make them non-believers. KALSTER's concept of a what appears to be a whip cracking, very intrusive God does not coincide with my concept.

While I think God is aware of our improper thoughts and our misdeeds, I also think he recognizes their inevitibility and, rather than immediately applying justice and sanctions, he allows us the chance to recognize the impropriety of the thoughts or actions and to seek pardon.

It has never been my Christian experience that I need to go around in fear and trembling that God is going to zap me if I do something wrong. If that is KALSTER's idea of how Christians should act, I can understand his rejection.

But is rejection of God based on a misunderstanding any more valid than are the alleged false professions? Can you ever tell if a decision based on misunderstanding is valid?

35. The absence of my belief doesn't have anything to do with a fear of being zapped, nor do I think true believers need feel like that. What I mean is that the common definition of what constitutes being a so called "good person" in most cases include being a christian or similar, and I think that most people like to think that they are good people. One guy asking if you believe in god is bad enough, believe me :wink:
People justify their actions to themselves, even deplorable ones, so these actions need not interfere with their christianity in their minds.

36. I'm still not sure I understand KALSTER's point or how it relates to young earth/old earth discussion.

What we have are a number of stories from ancient literature attempting to explain the source and why things came to be. We also have pieces of information we have gleaned relating to the speed of light and universe expansion and other things from which we attempt to explain when things came to be.

The two, actually, answer two different but somewhat related questions.

With God in the equation, the focus is on the source and why of creation and time is hardly relevant. Creation could have been six days, but it could also have been six quintillion years or it could have been 6 nano seconds. My point here is that a God could have created the universe in whatever time frame he chose and made it appear to be whatever time frame he wanted it to appear. I am pretty certain, however, that Moses nor any other ancient person would have understood the concepts of nano seconds or quintillions of years although they most certainly would have understood the concept of a day or month. This, to me, is why the Bible or any other ancient account is expressed in time concepts those people understood.

Taking God out of the equation requires that we focus on time at the expense of the source and why.

As a person who believes God created the universe and all that is in it, I could care less how long it took him or when he did it. If science wants to estimate that the universe came into being some 13-15 billion years ago and that the earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago, it is close enough to six days for me.

37. id' really like to read some of the papyrus rolls in the ancient library of alexandria. pity it all of it was burned, i heard there was a lot of information about the earlier civilizations of man, including their creation myths and such.

38. The bible has been modified through the ages so we cant be sure it is the exact word of god

39. Originally Posted by dejawolf
id' really like to read some of the papyrus rolls in the ancient library of alexandria. pity it all of it was burned, i heard there was a lot of information about the earlier civilizations of man, including their creation myths and such.
I believe some was saved but a very small amount. I'm pretty sure if you look at it in depth you'll find what was saved and where they are located now. Actually I even think, if I can recall, that some of the items that were saved got stolen later.

40. KALSTER said:

you can't disprove fairies
And why would you even need to try? I mean in view of the fact that no one is seriously advocating their existence? And no one seriously believes there is a teapot out in the asteroid belt, so why would anyone waist time attempting to disprove that.

UFOs and ETs may be a different matter in that there are people who seriously believe they exist and report personal eyewitness experiences.

I think talking fairies and ETs in the same breath is not a legitimate comparison. There is the implication that since fairies are known not exist, it is equally likely that ETs do not exist and, by implication, God is on no more solid footing.

The fact that no one here actually speaks out against the idea of fairies is because no one tries to present any level of evidence of their existence -- neither physical nor experiential. The same would be true of the gods of the Norse, the Greeks and the Romans. There is just no credible movement advocating their existence.

Those who say ETs and UFOs exist claim to have seen or have had physical contact with actual physical, tangible evidence but are not able to produce it for anyone else to see. (As an aside, some think a similar lack of physical evidence, transitional fossils, works against evolution.)

Those who promote a God present mostly experiential evidence which is unique to each person. No one can share an experience with another person in the same way he might a sandwich.

Whether a person believes or disbelieves in any of these things is based on reactions to different promotions of their existence.

While a person may no more believe in God or ETs than he believes in fairies, the disbelief is arrived at in the face of different considerations and disbelief in one does not validate or necessitate disbelief in the others.

You need not reject someone else's assertions relating to fairies. You must reject that there is physical evidence of ETs and UFOs. And you must reject the experiential evidence of those who believe in God.

These are not comparable rejections, though the result may be the same.

41. assassin claimed:

The bible has been modified through the ages so we cant be sure it is the exact word of god
Ohhhhhh, crap! Here we have this lame assertion again wherein someone shows his ignorance of textual criticism.

I have no idea what kind of thinking process would get someone to that conclusion. This is a nonsense claim from the standpoint that unless we have the unmodified text, how would we know it has been modified? And if we had the unmodified text, why would we use a modified text? There is no logic in this claim. We cannot know it has been modified without knowing what the modifications were.

It would be interesting to know what modifications to the Bible assassin is aware of and how he became aware of them.

The discipline of textual criticism has developed rules and techniques of determining how reliable the current versions of various ancient texts are when the original texts are missing which is the case with just about all literature prior to the invention of the printing press.

The main criteria for making these determinations are: 1. The number of copies available; 2. The proximity in age of the earliest existing copy as compared to the original. These rules apply to all literature, both sacred and secular. Here, we are speaking only as to the accuracy of the transmission of the documents from their original text, not as to the accuracy or truthfulness of the text.

For example, if I had a recipe of my own and I wrote it down and then made five copies of it and gave to five friends, there would not be six copies of it. If, in turn, they each made five copies of it and gave to five friends, we would now have 31 total copies.

If I then lost my personal copy and my five friends had also lost their copies, we would have only what remained of the third generation copies to work from. With as few as five of those copies, we could reasonably expect to reproduce the original document even if none of them was 100 percent accurate. This is because it is highly unlikely that each of the documents would contain the exact same error. It is helpful if the third generation copies are from different second generation sources.

That should be simple to see. But the same theory holds true for copies that are several generations removed from the original. The more copies you have from different sources, the more likely you are to be able to create the original document. That would have nothing to do with whether it was a good recipe or not.

It is not like there was one copy of the Bible from which a second copy was made and then from that copy, a third copy was made and from the third copy, a fourth copy was made. It was more like the recipe example. They had people, whose job it was to produce many copies. And from those copies, many more copies were produced. This was because as copies began to become unreadable, they would destroy them so they could not be copied from their now questionable appearance.

And, basically, this is the way all literature was reproduced for centuries, whether you are talking about the Bible or classic Greek and Roman literature. The only literature currently available which we can be sure is original are the Egyptian writings which are carved in stone. But even much of their literature, like that of other civilizations, was placed on scrolls and papyrus after its invention.

In the process of textual criticism, when you have several copies of a document available to view, it is not difficult to find textual discrepancies if they exist and to eliminate them from your reconstructed copy. There are more copies of texts and fragments of texts of the Bible, especially the New Testament, than any other ancient documents.

Even if your assertion that modifications were ever made to the Bible, they would be easy to detect because of the large numbers of copies which are available from a broad range of different sources. Since copies are made from different source documents, they could not all have the modified materials.

If you are actually interested in learning something about textual criticism and the accuracy of the texts of the Bible, may I suggest an article by Greg Koukl found at http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=6068

Otherwise one must assume assassin prefers to continue to assassinate himself with this kind of uninformed statement.

42. Originally Posted by daytonturner
Comparing religion to fairies and ETs is not a valid comparison. There is no significant segment of humanity claiming that either of those exist. There may be a larger contingency claiming ETs than fairies. But in view of the fact that very few people actually take such things seriously, it would be a waste of time to try to prove those things don't exist.
I appologize for breaking into the discussion with something that's late and only marginally topical, but I just wanted to point out that the vast majority of people do believe in ETs, at least in the U.S.
Nearly 50 years since an alleged UFO was sighted at Roswell, New Mexico, a new CNN/Time poll released Sunday shows that 80 percent of Americans think the government is hiding knowledge of the existence of extraterrestrial life forms.
http://www.cnn.com/US/9706/15/ufo.poll/

80% is about the same as the percentage of the U.S. population that identify themselves as Christian, so you can't say that it's trivial belief.

/end of off-topic trivia

43. Originally Posted by Chisco1389
I think it is completely plausible. The bible could be completely correct. Science has shown that the earth is billions of YEARS old. 7 billion years can be seven days. This for the simple fact that one year is the earth rotation around the sun. one day is the earths rotation around its own axis. if the earth is not rotating or rotating very slowly one day can be one billion years.
The entire universe could have been created yesterday just as it is with all our memories as they are. But the usefulness of this possibility is pretty small. The usefulness of your idea is likewise extremely lacking for many people who study the world around us because it is much more useful to presume that all the evidence to the contrary was not put there to deceive us.

44. Daytona, I believe the only PhD you could recieve would be bestowed upon you by a chat forum unless you paid tuition to a second rate bible college.

Your argument about textual accuracy of bible is jaded. There are clear contradictions in the text showing direct human error (which should be infalliable if written under the direction of god) suggesting that the text is indeed in need of serious validation. Validation that clearly cannot be substantiated by the evidence at hand.

Most importantly, you've clearly latched onto an Einstein quote to underscore your belief system without actually understanding Einstein at all! He clearly did not believe in a personal god! Science without religions thrives and prospers!
Perhaps you should enlighten yourself with a bit of Dawkins, sir. Might I suggest the god delusion for starters?

45. Originally Posted by coltbishop
Perhaps you should enlighten yourself with a bit of Dawkins, sir. Might I suggest the god delusion for starters?
On the contrary, however good Dawkins may be at massaging the ego of atheists, he has no more to offer the serious religious person than the self-congratulatory works of religous people called "inspirational literature" has to offer the skeptic. Those who do not understand the people they seek to educate make very poor educators. Furthermore, the most delusional people in the world are those that have to think that, those who disagree with them, are delusional.

Originally Posted by coltbishop
Most importantly, you've clearly latched onto an Einstein quote to underscore your belief system without actually understanding Einstein at all! He clearly did not believe in a personal god! Science without religions thrives and prospers!
No Einstein did not believe in a personal God but yes Einstein did in fact say what Dayton quotes, which basically says that Dawkins is lame, and that is something I can certainly agree with. With his vain hope and boast that the theist who reads his GD book would be an atheist by the time he finishes, Dawkin's proves just how lame a spokesman he is on the topic of religion. I am surprised just how many religious people I know who have read the GD book, and they have not changed their religious conviction by the smallest bit. Quite obviously the clear perception which Dawkins has been able to bring to the topic of biology is entirely missing when it comes to the topic religion. He proves that he should stick to the topic where he has some understanding, biology, for on the topic of religion he hasn't a clue.

Originally Posted by coltbishop
Daytona, I believe the only PhD you could recieve would be bestowed upon you by a chat forum unless you paid tuition to a second rate bible college.
Ahh... I feel sorry for you. The ignorance in such a statement is profound. There are some people that never get any wiser no matter how much education they receive.

Originally Posted by coltbishop
Your argument about textual accuracy of bible is jaded. There are clear contradictions in the text showing direct human error (which should be infalliable if written under the direction of god) suggesting that the text is indeed in need of serious validation. Validation that clearly cannot be substantiated by the evidence at hand.
I don't know Dayton's exact view of the Bible or his hermeneutical principles but I couldn't find the word infallible in any of this posts in this thread (even using your mispelling). Personally I object to the words infallible or inerrant as applicable to the Bible, on the other hand, I also think "inspired by God" is too weak. I think lots of books are inspired by God. But the Bible I believe is written by God. Written using human beings as his writing instruments, with all that may entail and yet the result is what He intends. Efforts by others to "sanitize" the Bible such as Mormon gospel found in 3rd Nephi of the Book of Mormon I find to be quite sterile, devoid of the character of the living God.

If you find "errors" and "discrepancies" in the Bible that cause you to disregard what the Bible says then I believe that God intends these to do exactly that. God may very well want you not to believe in Him because I do not think that a belief in God is of universal benefit to all people. It is better for some people to stay focused on and undistracted from the fundamental truth that life is only what they can make of it themselves.

46. coltbishop said:

Well, actually, this is not MY argument about textual accuracy of the Bible. This is the finding of many a scholars in the field of textual criticism of ancient literature.

Josh McDowell's 1973 book Evidence that Demands a Verdict has a bibliography of 97 books for his chapter on Reliability of the Bible, much of which is devoted to textual criticism. And trust me, the subsequent 35 years have produce considerable more study in this area much of which solidifies the findings of earlier scholars.

Greg Koukl, whose article I provided a link to in that post has a Sunday call in show on KBRT in the Los Angeles area from 3-5 p.m. (PDT). You can contact him during the live broadcast at (800) 227-5278 or (714) 754-4450 with any question on ethics, values, and religion.

I certainly agree that I do not have a PhD in Bible studies although I do hold a doctorate degree in another field unrelated to religion. What are your credentials, high school drop out?

coltbishop also said:

There are clear contradictions in the text showing direct human error
This has nothing to do with textual criticism. You are challenging the validity of the information contained in the text. That is a completely different question and completely different study.

But just for the sake of humoring you, it would be interesting to see what "clear contradictions" you have found in the text.

And, actually, I have read Dawkins and find his drivel to be basic anti-religious rhetoric rather than substantial and factual argument. He is one of the current anti religious promoters along with Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens all of whom are quoted here quite extensively as though they had the authority of the Bible.

The Bible will be around long after their books have been lost in antiquity.

47. Ooops, this little quip by coltbishop, evaded me at first.

Science without religions thrives and prospers!
Apparently not in the U.S. where 2/3 of people considered to be scientists profess to be believers as reported in a poll previously discussed on a different thread.

48. Originally Posted by daytonturner
The Bible will be around long after (Dawkins') books have been lost in antiquity.
You're probably right, though (kinda like Chomsky) he's done some unrelated good science builds upon. I see Dawkins plugged on this forum like the man is Jesus Christ, so much, I resolved to never touch that anti-theist pander. I may be an atheist but not that kind of atheist!

49. Originally Posted by daytonturner
Ooops, this little quip by coltbishop, evaded me at first.

Science without religions thrives and prospers!
Apparently not in the U.S. where 2/3 of people considered to be scientists profess to be believers as reported in a poll previously discussed on a different thread.
I think it's important to recognize the important distinction between religion and science, which is that they are two completely different things. Whether or not they work together is beyond the point. Alone they both seem to work very well. Together might depend. Religion might work as a motivator to do science and it may very well supress and misuse it.

In short, they are two different things which works with our without eachother. Either way they are two different things.

Science might as well work with a cheeseburger or something else, I really don't see why it matters.

50. Originally Posted by daytonturner
The Bible will be around long after (Dawkins') books have been lost in antiquity.
Any of Dawkins books are nowhere near the 'atheist' form of bible. If I were to label anything anywhere near a bible for atheists I'd call the four Darwin books 'The Voyage of the Beagle', 'On the Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection', 'The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex' and 'The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animal'.

51. Originally Posted by daytonturner
Ooops, this little quip by coltbishop, evaded me at first.

Science without religions thrives and prospers!
Apparently not in the U.S. where 2/3 of people considered to be scientists profess to be believers as reported in a poll previously discussed on a different thread.
Also important to note: The people of the United States are less than educated in terms of science and mathematics. I venture to say they still believe because they lack a proper knowledge base to shed their religious beliefs and embrace scientific, rational thought. I know few believers in the scientific community, and it's is quite refreshing!

52. Originally Posted by Pong
Originally Posted by daytonturner
The Bible will be around long after (Dawkins') books have been lost in antiquity.
You're probably right, though (kinda like Chomsky) he's done some unrelated good science builds upon. I see Dawkins plugged on this forum like the man is Jesus Christ, so much, I resolved to never touch that anti-theist pander. I may be an atheist but not that kind of atheist!
I find Dawkins, not as a Christ figure, but as an individual who has consolidated mounds of material into something easily digested by young atheists, theists, or even hardened, battle weary atheist like yourself.

The theists use a book of ancient fairytales and nonsense to base their ignorance upon. Atheist must pull from many piles of evidence to support their claim of godlessness which can be a difficult task for most. Dawkins has simply made it easier to defend a well reinforced position.

He's hardly pretends to be a christ figure.

53. Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
Originally Posted by coltbishop
Perhaps you should enlighten yourself with a bit of Dawkins, sir. Might I suggest the god delusion for starters?
Furthermore, the most delusional people in the world are those that have to think that, those who disagree with them, are delusional.
Hardly the case! I simply cannot ignore a mound of facts to surmise a brilliant case of logically proposed hypothsis. Whether the religion be scientology ,mormonism (the scientology of the 19th century), christianity etc. it is delusion to ignore evidence neatly laid out before you.

Originally Posted by coltbishop
Most importantly, you've clearly latched onto an Einstein quote to underscore your belief system without actually understanding Einstein at all! He clearly did not believe in a personal god! Science without religions thrives and prospers!
Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
No Einstein did not believe in a personal God but yes Einstein did in fact say what Dayton quotes,
Another fine example of how the religious can take text out of context (the context of Einstein's entire life of agnosticism)

Originally Posted by coltbishop
Your argument about textual accuracy of bible is jaded. There are clear contradictions in the text showing direct human error (which should be infalliable if written under the direction of god) suggesting that the text is indeed in need of serious validation. Validation that clearly cannot be substantiated by the evidence at hand.
Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
I don't know Dayton's exact view of the Bible or his hermeneutical principles but I couldn't find the word infallible in any of this posts in this thread (even using your mispelling). Personally I object to the words infallible or inerrant as applicable to the Bible, on the other hand, I also think "inspired by God" is too weak. I think lots of books are inspired by God. But the Bible I believe is written by God. Written using human beings as his writing instruments, with all that may entail and yet the result is what He intends.
Pardon me, sir for my wicked, grammatical ways. Perhaps you would like to pick at my many other petty flaws. I shall list them if you need something to preoccupy your time considering you have not taken time to use your well evolved brain.

You could very well make the argument that tiny, green men from jupiter hand delivered the text we know as the bible and I couldn't dispute your belief. It's highly unlikely, but if you chose to continue believing the matter I couldn't stop you from doing so.

I do believe you have an obligation as a thinking, rational being (I'll grant you that capacity until I have confirmed my newest hypothesis) to deeply check the evidence laid out about the bible (not just the committee trimmed KJV used today) carefully using independent sources.

54. Originally Posted by coltbishop
Hardly the case! I simply cannot ignore a mound of facts to surmise a brilliant case of logically proposed hypothsis. Whether the religion be scientology ,mormonism (the scientology of the 19th century), christianity etc. it is delusion to ignore evidence neatly laid out before you.
When talking about religion the evidence in question is highly subjective and I have no desire to poke my nose into your business of evaluating such evidence and making your own decisions. I just cannot help but to point out the fundamentalist type behavior that makes ones own decisions and thinking about such things the standard by which to measure the rationality of others. All such people ignore the plain evidence that the majority of the world do not think like they do, which is rather compelling evidence that these things are not a matter of objective evidence no matter how much they might like to think so. A decision to ignore such plain facts by simply saying that everyone who disagrees with you is delusional is a rather willful approach to the perception of the world and that is a rather good definition of delusion.

It is not necessary to adopt such a fundamentalist mode of thought that judges everyone who thinks differently than you to be delusional, whether your thinking is atheist or some other type of religious thinking. And I think the rather clear evidence of diversity in human thought makes those who avoid this fallacy of fundamentalist thinking, the people who are the more rational and sane.

Originally Posted by coltbishop
Another fine example of how the religious can take text out of context (the context of Einstein's entire life of agnosticism)
Another fine attempt to divert clear thinking with a red herring. Sure we can discuss whether you have any proof of your dubious hypothesis that Einstein was agnostic, but I have no reason to concede the premise that being an agnostic, in any way changes the obvious meaning of Einstein's words in this case, which by the way is that science is the means to truth and thus without which religion is blind, but that religion is one of the important guides to progress, for without religion science is lame. The implication is that being lame does not prevent science from accomplishing things but it is hindered by the lack of religion. Einstein was very much a critic of the use of science and technology without some kind of moral compass to guide the use of it. He certainly did not believe that a belief in a personal God was necessary for such a moral compass any more than I do, but I think his statement makes it clear that in regards to religion, throwing the baby out with the bathwater is unwise.

Originally Posted by coltbishop
Pardon me, sir for my wicked, grammatical ways. Perhaps you would like to pick at my many other petty flaws. I shall list them if you need something to preoccupy your time considering you have not taken time to use your well evolved brain.
I don't know about any wicked gramatical ways but putting words into people's mouth to make a strawman you can tear down is not only a rather rude piece of rhetoric but boils your comments down to hot air without content or meaning.

Originally Posted by coltbishop
You could very well make the argument that tiny, green men from jupiter hand delivered the text we know as the bible and I couldn't dispute your belief. It's highly unlikely, but if you chose to continue believing the matter I couldn't stop you from doing so.
The types of arguments that you think are good are rather peculiar. But I agree that if you choose raise the issue of little green men to support your contentions then I quite agree that there is little that I can say to you.

Originally Posted by coltbishop
I do believe you have an obligation as a thinking, rational being (I'll grant you that capacity until I have confirmed my newest hypothesis) to deeply check the evidence laid out about the bible (not just the committee trimmed KJV used today) carefully using independent sources.
Obligation to who? My obligation is to myself. And it is to make my own investigations and not to follow blindly after anyone's opinions. If you had been paying attention, you might have observed that my own views concerning the Bible are highly subjective and unverifiable. I have no problem with this because it is my judgement that those who try to pretend that their opinions concerning such religious matters are not subjective and unverifiable, are deluding themselves.

I am a scientist and so I know very well what the methods of modern science are, and will defend those methods quite strenously. My condemnations of ID and tripe like that in the Expelled film are the strongest of any in this forum - made all that more effective BECAUSE I am a Christian. But those people who make the pretense that this scientific methodology is the only methodology by which they make any decisions in their life appear quite ridiculous to me.

55. Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
When talking about religion the evidence in question is highly subjective and I have no desire to poke my nose into your business of evaluating such evidence and making your own decisions. I just cannot help but to point out the fundamentalist type behavior that makes ones own decisions and thinking about such things the standard by which to measure the rationality of others. All such people ignore the plain evidence that the majority of the world do not think like they do, which is rather compelling evidence that these things are not a matter of objective evidence no matter how much they might like to think so. A decision to ignore such plain facts by simply saying that everyone who disagrees with you is delusional is a rather willful approach to the perception of the world and that is a rather good definition of delusion.

It is not necessary to adopt such a fundamentalist mode of thought that judges everyone who thinks differently than you to be delusional, whether your thinking is atheist or some other type of religious thinking. And I think the rather clear evidence of diversity in human thought makes those who avoid this fallacy of fundamentalist thinking, the people who are the more rational and sane.
I have yet to see a more blatant case of BS from you. Atheist thinking? In other words, it's wrong to call anyone who brings whatever invisible, undetectable, fantastic supernatural entity to the table, delusional, and they are the ones who are MORE rational and sane than those who disagree with those claims?

Obligation to who? My obligation is to myself. And it is to make my own investigations and not to follow blindly after anyone's opinions. If you had been paying attention, you might have observed that my own views concerning the Bible are highly subjective and unverifiable. I have no problem with this because it is my judgement that those who try to pretend that their opinions concerning such religious matters are not subjective and unverifiable, are deluding themselves.
Ah, so there is room for delusion, despite your previous response?

Isn't is somewhat of a contradiction to call yourself a Christian and then state the bible is "highly subjective and unverifiable?"

I am a scientist and so I know very well what the methods of modern science are, and will defend those methods quite strenously
WERE a scientist, perhaps. I see no consistency or rationale in your methods.

But those people who make the pretense that this scientific methodology is the only methodology by which they make any decisions in their life appear quite ridiculous to me.
And, you demonstrate this lack of consistency clearly.

56. Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
I am a scientist and so I know very well what the methods of modern science are, and will defend those methods quite strenously. My condemnations of ID and tripe like that in the Expelled film are the strongest of any in this forum - made all that more effective BECAUSE I am a Christian. But those people who make the pretense that this scientific methodology is the only methodology by which they make any decisions in their life appear quite ridiculous to me.
Then you, sir, are a poor scientist indeed. Defending the scientific method in one instance and refusing to do so in another, above all, asinine. You've mentioned an obligation to yourself, but you've failed to uphold the obligation by outsourcing your senses to the scribblings of an ancient, confused peoplse. Bravo, sir.

As far as fundamentalism is concerned, you may have correctly labeled me. I am a fundamentalist serving logic, reason, and data. My observations and conclusions are based on reality and quantifiable measures as a real scientist must do. You, my dear man, have done little to uphold your end of the requirement to stand in the same ranks. Anecdotes do not constitute fact. I was raised a christian but I have come to my senses thanks to my evolved brain capable of seeing past human fears to confront the unknown. It's a shame we have the same physiological capability, similar educations (I assume), and yet you've neglected to realize the obvious.

57. Originally Posted by coltbishop
Then you, sir, are a poor scientist indeed. Defending the scientific method in one instance and refusing to do so in another, above all, asinine. You've mentioned an obligation to yourself, but you've failed to uphold the obligation by outsourcing your senses to the scribblings of an ancient, confused peoplse. Bravo, sir.
On the contrary it is you who are assine and ignorant because you delude yourself into thinking that being an atheist makes you a scientist. Thinking that just makes you an ignoramous. It is just as much a subversion of science as ID, pretending that your subjective philosophical outlook and theological opinions can be called science. A good scientist must not only understand the method and a remain true to it but also understand what it is applicable to for that is a part of the methodology. Imagining that one is applying a scientific method to subjects about which only subjective judgements are possible AND calling that science is just as much pseudo-science as ID.

Science works because it acts as a filter on our perceptions only considering that which observer independent. Science therefore has a built in restriction of subject matter. To disregard that restriction is to step outside the bounds of science. The metaphysical naturalist can certainly decide that only what science describes is real, but that decision is not a scientific one - it is metaphysics not science. Science does not talk about metaphysical philosophical topics like what is real, but stays focused on its task of explaining objective observations.

Now I do believe that most scientists are critical realists though some are logicial positivists and certainly many are metaphysical naturalsists. Some kind of philosophical approach to the metaphysical question of what is reality is unavoidable, though the logical positivist one of denying the meaningfulness of metaphysical questions comes closest, and you may want to look into that if you are unfamiliar with it. But in any case, to be a good scientist only requires that one be a methodological naturalist.

Originally Posted by coltbishop
As far as fundamentalism is concerned, you may have correctly labeled me. I am a fundamentalist serving logic, reason, and data. My observations and conclusions are based on reality and quantifiable measures as a real scientist must do.
Yes indeed you are. The one thing that every fundamentalist is absolutely convinced of is their own righteousness (whatever their measure of that may be). Thus it seems perfectly natural to them to use their own thinking as the measure of everyone else. You have simply substituted, "you cannot be a good scientist" for "you are going to hell". I am sorry, but I cannot help being terribly amused by it.

Originally Posted by coltbishop
You, my dear man, have done little to uphold your end of the requirement to stand in the same ranks.
I have absolutely no intention of standing in the ranks of irrational fundamentalists of any kind. I stand in opposition to every kind of fundamentalism - I stand for pluralism - for the diversity of human thought as the only possibility for the salvation of mankind.

Originally Posted by coltbishop
I was raised a christian but I have come to my senses thanks to my evolved brain capable of seeing past human fears to confront the unknown.
I congratulate you on your liberation from institutional religion and welcome you to higher acheivements and spirituality of skeptical thought. I certainly wish you well in the advancement of your learning process and I have high hopes that you may one day free yourself from fundamentalism altogether. A human fear that you may want to contemplate at this time is the fear of uncertainty, for that is one of the most common fears that fundamentalism is reacting to.

Originally Posted by coltbishop
It's a shame we have the same physiological capability, similar educations (I assume), and yet you've neglected to realize the obvious.
To aid you in your progress in skeptical thought let me caution you from leaping to unwarranted conclusions. It is impossible that you should have sufficient evidence to conclude that we have the same physiological capabilities or similar educations. Nor is wise to jump to conclusions about what other people have realized based on the rather flimsy evidence of a different conclusion about a particular issue, because the fact is that people make their conclusions about some issues based on reasons of such great diversity that they defy classification and so their reasons are often beyond your capacity to even imagine.

58. Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
On the contrary it is you who are assine and ignorant because you delude yourself into thinking that being an atheist makes you a scientist. Thinking that just makes you an ignoramous.
Enter argument of "NO I'M NOT...YOU ARE" Well played, my eight year old friend.
I am a scientist by trade and education. It is through education I have become atheistic.

Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
Science does not talk about metaphysical philosophical topics like what is real, but stays focused on its task of explaining objective observations.
Metaphysical is a way to intellectually say fairytales. Science has a history of taking objective observations and, through those observations, disproving many myths of humanity proving what is real. Neptune doesn't make waves in the sea, parthenogenesis has yet to be documented in humans, and lightning is certainly not cast from the sky by Zeus. Science has certain done wonders to explain most of these phenomenon. Science is exactly purposed to dispel such delusional thought by building facts we can accept in their place. I completely reject the notion that science has no place explaining the "metaphysical". Science is necessary in showing that the "metaphysical" has little probability of occuring.

Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
Yes indeed you are. The one thing that every fundamentalist is absolutely convinced of is their own righteousness (whatever their measure of that may be). Thus it seems perfectly natural to them to use their own thinking as the measure of everyone else. You have simply substituted, "you cannot be a good scientist" for "you are going to hell". I am sorry, but I cannot help being terribly amused by it.
It's not that I boast about being correct, but I seem to be looking at the data. Being fundamentally dedicated to objective, measurable data and rejecting the notion the Earth was formed in seven days, six if you ignore god's lazy seventh day, is far from hubrus, you twat.

Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
To aid you in your progress in skeptical thought let me caution you from leaping to unwarranted conclusions. It is impossible that you should have sufficient evidence to conclude that we have the same physiological capabilities or similar educations.
Allow me to apologize for giving you the benefit of the doubt. I did mention it was an assumption to credit you with an education or with average physiological capability. I had no idea I have been conversing with a intellectually handicapped boob. Looking back, I am sure the evidence was there to support my conclusion several posts ago.

59. I must say, I am strangely enjoying this battle of wits. Throwing around ill-disguised ad hominems though doesn’t get anyone anywhere. Coltbishop, for some reason I keep reading your name “Codswallop”. Don’t know why . Anyway, Coltbishop, if you had been a member long enough you would have gotten to know Mitch as a staunch defender of the scientific method and as someone that has the proper meaning of it at heart. The point you seem to be missing is that the things you classify as metaphysical cannot really be scrutinized by the scientific method, since the core of it, as far as religion is concerned, is solely based on faith: the existence of a creator. Whether he/she/it was involved in the big bang, with evolution or in our lives, the evaluation of the evidence is largely subjective and hugely influenced by emotion. It is pertinent that it is influenced by emotion, since it deals with emotional issues of moral obligation and the somewhat abstract idea of being involved in some kind of plan by a Creator/Guide/Father figure. The whole of that, though maybe nonsense to us, is an issue of fact and one that is subjectively spiritually confirmed by the theist individual. It is part of who they are.

Mitch is a good example of the healthy co-existence of sound scientific thought and belief in a higher being. I too question the involvement of a God in the events and writing of the Bible and indeed reality, to the tune of being an atheist myself. But I still remember vividly the rationalisations I undertook as a theist. Mitch believes in God and Jesus, for whatever reason, and has had to do some rationalisations of the Bible himself as a necessity. He is plainly aware of the lack of objective proof of a god’s existence, but I venture that he does recognise some subjective evidence that adds up to a subjective proof. The popular adage has relevance: Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Any evaluation of possible evidence of the metaphysical is ultimately subject only to subjective interpretation, since the only person capable of a truly objective view is, ironically, a god.

PS: Mitch, my intention was to use you as an example of someone in whom theism and scientific thinking can co-exist healthily and I do not presume to understand you fully or to have the unwarranted obligation to defend you. You can do it pretty well yourself and don’t hesitate to correct any misrepresentations I might have perpetrated.

60. Originally Posted by coltbishop
Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
Originally Posted by coltbishop
Perhaps you should enlighten yourself with a bit of Dawkins, sir. Might I suggest the god delusion for starters?
Furthermore, the most delusional people in the world are those that have to think that, those who disagree with them, are delusional.
Hardly the case! I simply cannot ignore a mound of facts to surmise a brilliant case of logically proposed hypothsis. Whether the religion be scientology ,mormonism (the scientology of the 19th century), christianity etc. it is delusion to ignore evidence neatly laid out before you.

Originally Posted by coltbishop
Most importantly, you've clearly latched onto an Einstein quote to underscore your belief system without actually understanding Einstein at all! He clearly did not believe in a personal god! Science without religions thrives and prospers!
Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
No Einstein did not believe in a personal God but yes Einstein did in fact say what Dayton quotes,
Another fine example of how the religious can take text out of context (the context of Einstein's entire life of agnosticism)

Originally Posted by coltbishop
Your argument about textual accuracy of bible is jaded. There are clear contradictions in the text showing direct human error (which should be infalliable if written under the direction of god) suggesting that the text is indeed in need of serious validation. Validation that clearly cannot be substantiated by the evidence at hand.
Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
I don't know Dayton's exact view of the Bible or his hermeneutical principles but I couldn't find the word infallible in any of this posts in this thread (even using your mispelling). Personally I object to the words infallible or inerrant as applicable to the Bible, on the other hand, I also think "inspired by God" is too weak. I think lots of books are inspired by God. But the Bible I believe is written by God. Written using human beings as his writing instruments, with all that may entail and yet the result is what He intends.
Pardon me, sir for my wicked, grammatical ways. Perhaps you would like to pick at my many other petty flaws. I shall list them if you need something to preoccupy your time considering you have not taken time to use your well evolved brain.

You could very well make the argument that tiny, green men from jupiter hand delivered the text we know as the bible and I couldn't dispute your belief. It's highly unlikely, but if you chose to continue believing the matter I couldn't stop you from doing so.

I do believe you have an obligation as a thinking, rational being (I'll grant you that capacity until I have confirmed my newest hypothesis) to deeply check the evidence laid out about the bible (not just the committee trimmed KJV used today) carefully using independent sources.
I'm reading a book by Machio Kaku that deals with the inner most working of Einsteins life. He was a devout Jewish follower for about half a year when he was in his early teens. He then realized that the bible and the experimental evidence were in conflict. He chose the experimental evidence over the bible. And actually, alter in his life, he received a few letters from the pope denouncing his findings.

61. coltbiship said:

He's (Dawkins) hardly pretends to be a christ figure.
And, thank God, he has no claim to the title.

62. daytonturner wrote (sometime ago)
And, actually, I have read Dawkins and find his drivel to be basic anti-religious rhetoric rather than substantial and factual argument. He is one of the current anti religious promoters along with Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens all of whom are quoted here quite extensively as though they had the authority of the Bible.
Please explain which of Dawkins' statements make you come to that conclusion. I have read God Delusions and find it reasonable and entertaining. However, I am open to learn about his rhetoric and unscientific bias as well.
About the accuracy of Bible, Dawkins mentions in one of his books that the 'virgin' (of the Holy Mother) was translated from the old language which actually means young maiden (or something like that). Is that true?

63. Originally Posted by prasit
daytonturner wrote (sometime ago)
And, actually, I have read Dawkins and find his drivel to be basic anti-religious rhetoric rather than substantial and factual argument. He is one of the current anti religious promoters along with Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens all of whom are quoted here quite extensively as though they had the authority of the Bible.
Please explain which of Dawkins' statements make you come to that conclusion. I have read God Delusions and find it reasonable and entertaining. However, I am open to learn about his rhetoric and unscientific bias as well.
About the accuracy of Bible, Dawkins mentions in one of his books that the 'virgin' (of the Holy Mother) was translated from the old language which actually means young maiden (or something like that). Is that true?
I am pretty sure you don't want any of these gentlemen guiding you on your quest to further your understanding rhetoric. They would say the same about me actually. Do yourself a favor and check out the Harris, Dennett, Hitchens, or Dawkins publications and then check the other side of the story. Don't get caught up in our lost debate.

64. Originally Posted by coltbishop
I am a scientist by trade and education.
Glad to hear it. You should tell me about your area of expertise so I know how to properly gauge the value of your opinion on various topics. I assume you know where my expertise lies since I make that pretty clear in my signature.

It would also be interesting if you have an any education in philosophy for I do not detect any, but it is possible that you have simply studied or been interested in different areas of philosophy than I have.

Originally Posted by coltbishop
It is through education I have become atheistic.
My sympathies. I am aware that there are parts of the world where they indoctrinated people into atheism, but is not that common and so I would have assumed otherwise. It is much better to make such decisions for yourself.

Originally Posted by coltbishop
Metaphysical is a way to intellectually say fairytales. Science has a history of taking objective observations and, through those observations, disproving many myths of humanity proving what is real. Neptune doesn't make waves in the sea, parthenogenesis has yet to be documented in humans, and lightning is certainly not cast from the sky by Zeus. Science has certain done wonders to explain most of these phenomenon. Science is exactly purposed to dispel such delusional thought by building facts we can accept in their place. I completely reject the notion that science has no place explaining the "metaphysical". Science is necessary in showing that the "metaphysical" has little probability of occuring.
It is disappointing that you latch onto this meaning of "metaphysics" which has currently been popular among the uneducated. It suggests that my explanation may have gone completely over your head. But you may want to google "metaphysics" to improve your understanding a little. Of course the meaning of words like "science" and "metaphysics" have undergone some changes since the middle ages. "Science" now refers to modern science as defined by the scientific method rather than simply knowledge or study as might be implied by its history or etymology. Likewise, "metaphysics" in academic circles generally refers to the philosophical task of understanding the nature of reality.

I repeat my recommendation that you investigate logical positivism since I think you may like it and if you don't like it, that would be even more interesting to me since I very much disagree with it. My philosophical perspective tends more towards existentialism and pragmatism.

Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
It's not that I boast about being correct, but I seem to be looking at the data. Being fundamentally dedicated to objective, measurable data and rejecting the notion the Earth was formed in seven days, six if you ignore god's lazy seventh day, is far from hubrus, you twat.
Ah... sigh... people are confident of all sorts of viewpoints. Some of them are really strange too. But what is a little more rare are those capable of reflecting carefully on the relative objective merits of different viewpoints. Just because I agree with fundamentalists on various issues doesn't make me a fundmentalist, because the reasons for my agreement is what is important. The fundamentalist typically say something is true just because some authority says so. That is not an approach that is adequate for the methodological naturalist, who expects there to be good reasons. So I may generally be in more agreement with you when it comes to the age of the earth and evolution but be in more agreement with a fundamentalist Christian on other issues.

As an interesting aside you should take a look at the thread "physical description to God" where zhang zhi qiang is convinced that he too is fundamentally dedicated to objective measurable data. It is his inability to see the subjective aspect of his thinking or clearly distinguish this from the scientific method that has him lost in pseudo-science.

Originally Posted by coltbishop
Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
To aid you in your progress in skeptical thought let me caution you from leaping to unwarranted conclusions. It is impossible that you should have sufficient evidence to conclude that we have the same physiological capabilities or similar educations.
Allow me to apologize for giving you the benefit of the doubt. I did mention it was an assumption to credit you with an education or with average physiological capability. I had no idea I have been conversing with a intellectually handicapped boob. Looking back, I am sure the evidence was there to support my conclusion several posts ago.
Sigh... Well you can't say I didn't try to warn you. But in the midst of what one percieves to be all out battle one has a habit of interpreting everything as an attack, as plebian as that really is.

Replacing the unwarranted assumption of equality with the unwarranted assumption of superiority only demonstrates that your thinking really is ruled by wishful thinking after all. I on the other hand continue to make no such assumptions for no matter how much a boob someone makes of himself, I am quite aware of how little correlation this might have with an acutal education and ability. You see, more important than the advantages one may have, is how one actually makes use of them. But I haven't yet completely given up hope in you so I shall try one more piece of advice: An actual demonstration of an ability is worth ten thousand claims to such an ability.

Kalster has indeed taken the time to understand me to some degree, so I have comments on only a few minor details.

Originally Posted by KALSTER
The point you seem to be missing is that the things you classify as metaphysical cannot really be scrutinized by the scientific method, since the core of it, as far as religion is concerned, is solely based on faith: the existence of a creator.
First of all, metaphysics is primarily a philosophical issue not a religious one because the nature of reality is not a topic that is generally addressed in religion any more than it is directly addressed in science (though it is of course possible that some religions may do so). Unexamined presumptions about the nature of reality may be made by either of these, but science, especially physics, has had a tendency to challenge such presumptions and thus has made the scientist more ready to examine and discard such presumptions. Which certainly goes to show that the modern discoveries of science, especially physics certainly has some definite implications concerning this topic.

Second, religion is not based solely on faith any more than science is devoid of any dependence on faith. Faith is an unavoidable component in everything we call knowledge. Reason is simply incapable of deriving is own premises and thus every human activity must rest on premises that are accepted on faith. Again let me repeat the difference between science and religion is this technique that science has for filtering out the subjective so that it bases its conclusions on evidence which is observer independent.

Originally Posted by KALSTER
Mitch believes in God and Jesus, for whatever reason, and has had to do some rationalisations of the Bible himself as a necessity.
This is quite correct, but some caution on the meaning of "rationalize" is warranted here. First of all, it is foolish for any person to pretend that they do not rationalize their beliefs. The only people who do not rationalize their beliefs are those who make no reflections on themselves or the world and thus cannot properly be said to have any beliefs of their own (social programming might be a better word for their unexamined operating assumptions). Rationalization is simply the use of logic to explore the implications or consequences of ones beliefs and the attempt to find consistency between the various things one believes. For the sake of finding that consistency a person will abandon some beliefs and adopt others.

We are all aware of negative connotations of the word "rationalize" in which a person will use logic to justify bad (even criminal) behavior. In fact, people seem to have a rather enormous capability to rationalize doing the most horrendous things. But this is very different from, for example, the kind of rationalization that an atheist might use for justifying a moral code that is independent from some relgious or cultural tradition. This latter is a thoughtful consideration of what one should do and not simply an attempt to construct rhetoric that says I'm OK. The distinction between the two is the recognition of error, for a proper use of rationalization should enhance the recognition of when one has erred and thus help in the learning process, and not insulate one from error with pretenses so that one never learns anything.

65. Yeh, I seem to have confused metaphysical with supernatural, as in what an atheist deems outside of nature/reality and the part that is specifically immune to scientific investigation is the existence of a god. The scientific method might disprove certain dogma related tenets as in the case of ID, but the idea of the existence of a creator cannot be totally disproved, even if we understood all the laws of the universe. So any atheistic view can only come as a result of the considerations of the subjective inprobability of a gods existence.

So I agree that rationalisation is a part of everyone's life, since no single person can independantly test every question that needs an answer. It does get more accurate though when as large as is possible a set of contributing factors is examined for the rationalisaton and an attempt is made to judge the objective validity each factor to the best of one's ability.

66. Coltbishop wrote:
am pretty sure you don't want any of these gentlemen guiding you on your quest to further your understanding rhetoric. They would say the same about me actually. Do yourself a favor and check out the Harris, Dennett, Hitchens, or Dawkins publications and then check the other side of the story. Don't get caught up in our lost debate.
I have read Dawkins and Dennett and I am inclined to believe them. So I would like to understand more why Daytonturner and Mitch don't. So if they can point out what is wrong in Dawkins' publication (not just saying it is wrong) I hope would gain some insights.

67. Originally Posted by prasit
I have read Dawkins and Dennett and I am inclined to believe them. So I would like to understand more why Daytonturner and Mitch don't. So if they can point out what is wrong in Dawkins' publication (not just saying it is wrong) I hope would gain some insights.
I don't know anything about Dennet. As for Dawkins, there are things we agree about and things we disagree about. I am not only an evolutionist but I believe in abiogenesis, and so on this we agree. I am a very strong opponent of ID and hate the idea of design when it comes to living things so I loved Dawkins use of the word "designoid" in his book "Climbing Mount Improbable". That book caused me to recognize that Dawkins had some valuable insights to offer in biology.

However since I am a Christian and a pluralist, while Dawkins is not only an atheist but I would even say an anti-theist, there is much we disagree on. I did not read all of "The God Delusion" but I read enough to see that we agree on much of what he wrote, because I don't believe in any of the proofs for God's existence. One thing we absolutely disagree on is the his idea that God should be treated as a scientific hypothesis - I believe that is impossible and that it also undercuts the reasons why ID must be utterly rejected as any kind of science. Anyway here is some links to previous discussions involving Dawkins that may be helpful as well.

http://www.thescienceforum.com/viewt...hlight=dawkins

http://www.thescienceforum.com/viewt...r=asc&start=15

About the accuracy of Bible, Dawkins mentions in one of his books that the 'virgin' (of the Holy Mother) was translated from the old language which actually means young maiden (or something like that). Is that true?
First of all, this question does not originate with Dawkins, as it has been discussed for many years.

The Bible uses two different Hebrew words and one Greek word which are (sometimes) translated virgin. The most often used Hebrew word is bthuwlah which can mean virgin or bride and perhaps maid. A dirivitive word, bthuwliyn means virginity.

However, in Isaiah 7:14 where the Bible says, "Behold, a virgin shall conceive. . ." the word used is 'almah. This word carries less of our connotation of virgin though it can mean virgin. It can also mean damsel or maid. 'Almah is the feminine form of 'elem which means lad, young man or stripling.

The only Greek word used is parthenos which, like the first Hebrew word has derivitive that means virginity. But, again, parthenos can be translated either virgin or maiden.

So what you have is the Hebrew word which has less of the connotation of virgin and the Greek word which has more of the connotation of virgin. The fact that the New Testament writers used a word which more strongly connotes virgin would suggest that "virgin" was traditional understanding of that day.

My feeling is that if one is going to translate the Hebrew word as maiden, one must follow up by translating the Greek word as maiden. Or, if one considers the Hebrew word as meaning virgin, one must assign the same meaning to the Greek word.

Whether one believes virgin is the proper translation and that Mary was a virgin is, I suppose, up to the person. However, if one believes Mary was not a virgin, one must assume maiden is the proper translation in which case she is still qualified to be the mother of God's son.

Please explain which of Dawkins' statements make you come to that conclusion. I have read God Delusions and find it reasonable and entertaining. However, I am open to learn about his rhetoric and unscientific bias as well.
First of all, it might be wise to have a mutual understanding as to the meaning of the word rhetoric.

To me, rhetoric is an argument or presentation style which appeals to emotion rather than rational thought. This is not ALWAYS bad, but it is most often observed by an opponent of the presentation.

As an example of what I am talking about: If you are applying for a job and you go to your interview in dark (power color) suit, you have on a tie which matches the prospective employers known conservative or liberal bent, your hair also to match, that is a form or rhetorical presentation. Your presentation is designed to appeal the the interveiwer's emotional reaction to you while it has absolutely nothing to do with your capability to do the job.

One of the Dawkins quotes I have pointed to in the past is his opening sentence of Chapter 2 where he says (page 31 if you have the book) "The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction" followed by the highly emotionally charged list of characteristics, "jealous and proud of it, a petty, unjust unforgiving control freak. . ." etc., etc., etc.

This is his undocumented opinon which he never really explains in the book although a number of people here have shown what they believe to be examples, Dawkins never does. He merely spews out this emotionally charged tirade of anti-God characterizations.

Another place where I consider his words to be rhetorical is near the start of Chapter 5 where he says, "Knowing we are products of Darwinian evolution. . ."

This is a very subtle form of emotional rehetoric. People who agree with this statement and are saying, "Yeah! Yeah! Go gettem' Richey" will eat up everything that follows this introductory phrase.

Meanwhile, those who do not agree with that statement (and this could even include some evolutionists who no longer support Darwinism) will be repelled by the statement even to the point of rejecting anything that follows.

And, lest we forget Dawkins' self admission starting on page 360, "This is a matter of tastes or private judgement, which has the slightly unfortunate effect that the method of argument I must employ is rhetoric rather than logic." Translation: he must use emotion rather than rationale.

None of us is immune to using rhetoric from time to time. But for some such as (Q) and coldbishop, this is, unfortunately, their only tactic in discussion.

69. Originally Posted by prasit
About the accuracy of Bible, Dawkins mentions in one of his books that the 'virgin' (of the Holy Mother) was translated from the old language which actually means young maiden (or something like that). Is that true?
Well since we are on this topic, I might as well give my thoughts on the matter, although they are not much. My opinion on this are much like those about the Christian belief in the physical resurrection of Jesus body. The methodological naturalist in me find these things to be very unlikely for I do think that God tends to act within the confines of natural law and I see no compelling reason why He should not. However, for someone like me who believes that Jesus was God the creator of the universe who made Himelf a man, these things (resurrection and virgin birth) are hardly what I would call impossible. For the most part, historical facts of whether such a thing did or did not happen are of little concern to me and I see no reason why I should not simply acquiesce to the consensus of the body of Christ on these matters.

My biggest difficulty is that I cannot see much reason for God doing either of these things - no reason for going so far outside the course of natural law to do such things. If there is any reason that I can credit at all, it is as a sign to people that Jesus was in fact God. Yet even as such they do not seem to be very effective to me in making people believe. I can certainly say that somehow finding out that Mary was not a virgin or finding out where Jesus body was burried, would have no impact on my belief in Christianity whatsoever. But finding out that these extraordinary claims are in fact true would have little impact on me either and so my attitude is ambivalence EXCEPT that I do find troubling the kind of theologies that these doctrines tend to imply.

In the case of the virgin birth, what gives me pause, is the tendencies of this doctrine to give rise to theologies which associate sin with biological function or even worse with a genetic inheritance. I must oppose such directions in theology absolutely and utterly as both completely absurd and as contemptable as well. I am tempted to call this a materialistic Christian theology which I think is a nice contradiction in terms that explains why it renders Christianity completely devoid of meaning for me.

The "physical" resurrection of Jesus implies that our future hope also lies in such a "physical" resurrection. However, I find the idea of "physical" resurection not only to be quite absurd but also something repellent and not something that I would hope for at all. But I think that I should explain somewhat for I think there is some confusion of terms involved (which is why I have quoted the word physical in these statements). For me the word "physical" is inseperable from the study of physics, while it seems that for many this word means something more like substantial, and so it is that I have been in arguments where the person I was talking to (even non-Chrisitan) who claimed that things like light and magnetism were not physical, as utterly bizzare as that seems to me. So the point is that when I say that I do not believe in a "physical" resurrection, I do not mean that I do not believe in a restoration of a substantial body, which should according to scripture be called a "spiritual body" (1 Cor 15).

The difference has everything to do with physics in my mind, according to which I do not believe in a restoration of the human body that requires hunting up decayed remnants and atoms that were at one time present in the body in order to put the body back together as a collection of physical particles. The logical contradictions in such a proposition is extreme. Furthermore, it seems quite clear to me that the body of the resurrected Jesus was beyond any physical law and thus the idea that God would need physical particles to make such a body seems quite ridiculous to me.

70. daytonturner wrote
To me, rhetoric is an argument or presentation style which appeals to emotion rather than rational thought. This is not ALWAYS bad, but it is most often observed by an opponent of the presentation.
rhet·o·ric n.
1.a The art or study of using language effectively and persuasively.
1.b A treatise or book discussing this art.
2. Skill in using language effectively and persuasively.
3.a A style of speaking or writing, especially the language of a particular subject e.g. fiery political rhetoric.
3.b Language that is elaborate, pretentious, insincere, or intellectually vacuous e.g. His offers of compromise were mere rhetoric.
4. Verbal communication; discourse.

I suppose you mean 3.b, because other meanings of rhetoric are not negative.

But Dawkins' attack on the the God of the Old Testament is not pretentious, insincere or vacuous. If necessary, he must be able to quote the related paragraph in the OT that show God's behaviour to match his claim.
Or saying that we are products of Darwinian Evolution is not pretentious either, considering near-universal acceptance of the theory.
And I think dressing dark suit for a job interview is not rhetoric, especially if you actually are conservative type.

Whether one believes virgin is the proper translation and that Mary was a virgin is, I suppose, up to the person. However, if one believes Mary was not a virgin, one must assume maiden is the proper translation in which case she is still qualified to be the mother of God's son.
I think it is an example of how the bible can be translated, interpreted, or even copied differently from the original version over time.

71. Originally Posted by prasit
rhet·o·ric n.
1.a The art or study of using language effectively and persuasively.
1.b A treatise or book discussing this art.
2. Skill in using language effectively and persuasively.
3.a A style of speaking or writing, especially the language of a particular subject e.g. fiery political rhetoric.
3.b Language that is elaborate, pretentious, insincere, or intellectually vacuous e.g. His offers of compromise were mere rhetoric.
4. Verbal communication; discourse.

I suppose you mean 3.b, because other meanings of rhetoric are not negative.
Indeed. Rhetoric is an indispensible part of our political, legislative, judicial and even economic systems. It is an unavoidable part of philosophical, theological and religious discourse as well. It so saturates our society that sometimes people fail to comprehend that there are activities where it has no place, such as in modern science.

An accusation of rhetoric practically amounts to saying that the arguments of your opposition are effectively delivered, which can only be a compliment. To make it a truly negative accusation one should more properly say that your opponent's rhetoric is vacuuous, which is to say his effective tricks of speech are without the substance of any logic from reasonable premises. If however, there is any logic from reasonable premises then it is the accusation which is the empty rhetoric, for in that case it is these premises and logic that should be addressed.

Originally Posted by prasit
I think it is an example of how the bible can be translated, interpreted, or even copied differently from the original version over time.
Actually I think this claim is quite wrong. Instead what it indicates is a rather faithful reproduction of the text that refused to do any editing. Any writer knows that his text has the most errors when it first written and it is only with careful editing by many other people that these errors are gradually removed.

72. Mitch wrote
Any writer knows that his text has the most errors when it first written and it is only with careful editing by many other people that these errors are gradually removed.
I think you are referring to the digital age, when duplication is done through high precision tools. Copying by hand or by verbal citation are much more prone to errors.
Even in the modern time, readers of Lord of the Rings complained about many typos in the books printed by certain publishing house. (Which will not be recognized by the first-time readers) So I am still very doubtful that the Bible can still be the same as the original text a thousand years ago.

73. Originally Posted by prasit
Mitch wrote
Any writer knows that his text has the most errors when it first written and it is only with careful editing by many other people that these errors are gradually removed.
I think you are referring to the digital age, when duplication is done through high precision tools. Copying by hand or by verbal citation are much more prone to errors.
Even in the modern time, readers of Lord of the Rings complained about many typos in the books printed by certain publishing house. (Which will not be recognized by the first-time readers) So I am still very doubtful that the Bible can still be the same as the original text a thousand years ago.
What original text a thousand years ago are you talking about? The Bible was created by the agreement of eccumenical councils of the fourth century (1600 years ago) from manuscripts which already had thousands of copies. Not only that but there was so many independent corroborations from quotations in the writings of early church fathers that all but 11 verses of the New Testament could reconstructed from these, and the copies and comentaries on the Old Testament were even more numerous because that had an even longer history. There were certainly many manuscripts/version which the eccumenical councils decided were unreliable and did not used. So I think it is pretty clear that any errors in the text would have to have come from the early period before the fourth century and thus before the Bible existed as a book.

On the contrary, again I think you are quite incorrect. It is in our age of mass production where a single error is mindlessly reproduced in hundreds of thousands of copies. When copying is done by hand this is impossible because each copy is made independently by many different people so it is unlikely that the same error is made by all these different people. When discrepancies found, not only will the majority of texts be correct, but they always could check older manuscripts from which the copies were made as well.

Furthermore the idea that the belief in a virgin birth could arise from the error in a text alone is absurd. It is much more likely to arise as part of the homiletic traditions and the convictions of the body of believers. People pretty much decide what they are going to believe and the texts reflect those beliefs rather than the other way around. Whether Mary was a virgin is a difficult enough thing for anyone but Mary to know for sure (and it is even conceivable that Mary would not have the facts straight). So regardless of what the truth actually is, I think that this is something that the body of early Christians chose to believe and was thus written into the gospels by their writers because of this.

Originally Posted by http://www.slideshare.net/guest9006ab/the-abcs-of-the-bible/
Famous Bible Typo's ● “Thou shalt commit adultery.” Ex. 20:18 – Known as the “Wicked Bible” ● “Printers have persecuted me.” Ps. 119:161 – Known as the “Printers Bible” ● “... the unrighteous shall inherit the kingdom of God” 1 Cor. 6:9 – Known as the “Unrighteous Bible” ● Most of these have been destroyed

74. Sort of got behind here. Some of us have other things to do and need sleep, you know.

As to rhetoric: if rhetoric is such a good thing, why do we use the term in a pajoritive sense almost every time we use it?

Let's look for a moment at the definition prasit provided:

rhet·o·ric n.
1.a The art or study of using language effectively and persuasively.
1.b A treatise or book discussing this art.
2. Skill in using language effectively and persuasively.
3.a A style of speaking or writing, especially the language of a particular subject e.g. fiery political rhetoric.
3.b Language that is elaborate, pretentious, insincere, or intellectually vacuous e.g. His offers of compromise were mere rhetoric.
4. Verbal communication; discourse.
You will note that at no point in the definition of rhetoric does it mention the use of truth, facts, logic or rationale. This is because rhetoric is the effective and persuasive use of language no matter the content. It is like a writer who never lets the facts get in the way of a good story. He effectively uses language.

Rhetoric is effective and persuasive, not because it has solid foundation, but only because it sounds good. Whether it is right or wrong is of no consequence, the important aspect is that it is persuasive.

The thing is, as I tried to say before, we immediately recognize this when we hear or read something with which we disagree. This is because we know the other side of the story and can see the facts that have been ignored or omitted and how the conclusion just does not quite fit into reality.

prasit resorts to rhetoric with his statement, "Or saying that we are products of Darwinian Evolution is not pretentious either, considering near-universal acceptance of the theory."

A couple of things here: What constitutes "near-universal acceptance?" And is the universal acceptance of the concept of Darwinism or the idea that we are the products of Darwinism? Near-universal acceptance of Darwinism on the micro-evolution scale does not necessarily translate into similar acceptance of Darwinism as an explanation for macro-evolution. It sounds good, but it (near-universal acceptance of the idea that we are products of Darwinian evolution) is just not fact.

We all use rhetoric and mostly because it is more effective than just laying out the facts and drawing logical and rational conclusions. People respond to their emotions more than to logic and rationale. This is why rhetoric is a more effective and persuasive use of language.

As to the discussion on the accuracy of the text of the Bible, I think prasit could definitely use some study in the area of scholarly textual criticism as it relates to ancient literature along with some understanding of the difference between textual accuracy as compared to accuracy of the information.

Our modern ability to mass produce anything makes the possibility of the mass production of errors. Whether we are talking literature or something else. If a person bakes cakes one by one, an error made in one cake is hardly likely to show up in another one. When you mass produce cakes by mixing up a batch of 100 cakes to be baked at the same time, an error in mixing will show up in every cake in that batch.

Mitchell is absolutely correct that one-by-one copies of ancient texts makes for greater ability to produce the originals than current mass production if only because of the ability to compare many different copies.

The truth is that there are more controversies and more questions among scholars as to what Shakespeare originally wrote down some 400 years ago than there is about what the writers of the New Testament wrote down some 2000 years ago or what the Old Testament writers wrote 2,500 to 4,000 years ago.

Textual controversy relating to the Bible is not over what the text said when written as compare to what extant copies said years later, but rather over what it meant to the writers and how it relates to today.

My feeling is that most of us whose native language is English still have difficulty reading Shakespeare and fully comprehending the English he used only 400 years ago. It is no wonder we have difficulty understanding a book written 2,000 to 4,000 years ago in three different languages. We know what the writers said, but we are not always sure what they meant.

75. Originally Posted by daytonturner

The truth is that there are more controversies and more questions among scholars as to what Shakespeare originally wrote down some 400 years ago than there is about what the writers of the New Testament wrote down some 2000 years ago or what the Old Testament writers wrote 2,500 to 4,000 years ago.
No Dayton, that is not the truth. Theists clearly do not question their own doctrines or that of another cult.

Of course, we are to wonder what "scholars" you refer? Theologians, perhaps?

76. daytonturner wrote
rhetoric is the effective and persuasive use of language no matter the content. It is like a writer who never lets the facts get in the way of a good story. He effectively uses language.
Then in your context, the meaning in 3.b is definitely applicable.

prasit resorts to rhetoric with his statement, "Or saying that we are products of Darwinian Evolution is not pretentious either, considering near-universal acceptance of the theory."
From Wikipedia
Some creationists have also adopted the term "macroevolution" to describe the form of evolution that they reject. They may accept that evolutionary change is possible within species ("microevolution"), but deny that one species can evolve into another ("macroevolution").[1] These arguments are rejected by mainstream science, which holds that there is ample evidence that macroevolution has occurred in the past

Of course, we are to wonder what "scholars" you refer? Theologians, perhaps?
William F. Albright, J.N.D. Anderson, F.F. Bruce, Sidney Collett, Robert D. Culver, C.H. Dodd, Ralph Earle, Norman Geisler, William E. Nix, Nelson Gleuck, F.C. Grant, Michael Green, William Henry Green, J. Harold, Frederic G. Kenyon, Joseph Klausner, Kenneth Scott Latourette, John W. Lee, Thomas Liplady, Cleland B. McAfee, Bruce M. Metzger, John Warwick Montgomery, R. H. Pfeiffer, Bernard Ramm, Archibald T. Robertson, C. Sanders, Philip Schaff, Wilbur M. Smith, Alexander Souter, John R. W. Stott, Burnett Hillman Streeter, H.E.W. Turner, Robert Dick Wilson, Stanley Lawrence Gleenslade, Merrill F. Unger, Edward J. Young, John Murray, Benjamin B. Warfield, John H. Skilton, Gleason Archer, Robert M. Horn, Elgin S. Moyer, Donald F. Wiseman, Millar Burrows, Donald Collier, John Elder, Henry Thomas Frank, Joseph Free, D.N. Freedman, J.C. Greenfield, Alexander Heidel, M.G. Kline, Paul W. Lapp, Jerry Vardaman, Howard Vos, John C. Whitcomb, Jr., G.E. Wright, Merrill C. Tenney, John Garstang, Sir W.M. Ramsay, E.M. Blaiklock, M.W. Ramsay, Henry Morris and Ned B. Stonehouse.

78. prasit quotes wikipedia:

These arguments are rejected by mainstream science, which holds that there is ample evidence that macroevolution has occurred in the past
Like as though mainstream science is ALWAYS 100 percent right?

What is it prasit's signature says? Oh, yes.

Einstein is not always right.

79. daytonturner wrote
Like as though mainstream science is ALWAYS 100 percent right?
No. May be 99%.
But that is not the intention of the quote. I quote it to respond to your saying that my claim of 'near-universal acceptance' is without evidence, hence, is not rhetoric.

80. Originally Posted by daytonturner
Of course, we are to wonder what "scholars" you refer? Theologians, perhaps?
William F. Albright, J.N.D. Anderson, F.F. Bruce, Sidney Collett, Robert D. Culver, C.H. Dodd, Ralph Earle, Norman Geisler, William E. Nix, Nelson Gleuck, F.C. Grant, Michael Green, William Henry Green, J. Harold, Frederic G. Kenyon, Joseph Klausner, Kenneth Scott Latourette, John W. Lee, Thomas Liplady, Cleland B. McAfee, Bruce M. Metzger, John Warwick Montgomery, R. H. Pfeiffer, Bernard Ramm, Archibald T. Robertson, C. Sanders, Philip Schaff, Wilbur M. Smith, Alexander Souter, John R. W. Stott, Burnett Hillman Streeter, H.E.W. Turner, Robert Dick Wilson, Stanley Lawrence Gleenslade, Merrill F. Unger, Edward J. Young, John Murray, Benjamin B. Warfield, John H. Skilton, Gleason Archer, Robert M. Horn, Elgin S. Moyer, Donald F. Wiseman, Millar Burrows, Donald Collier, John Elder, Henry Thomas Frank, Joseph Free, D.N. Freedman, J.C. Greenfield, Alexander Heidel, M.G. Kline, Paul W. Lapp, Jerry Vardaman, Howard Vos, John C. Whitcomb, Jr., G.E. Wright, Merrill C. Tenney, John Garstang, Sir W.M. Ramsay, E.M. Blaiklock, M.W. Ramsay, Henry Morris and Ned B. Stonehouse.
Biblical scholars? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

These clowns wasted their lives on studying a book a fairy tales. Useless assholes.

81. Originally Posted by daytonturner
prasit quotes wikipedia:

These arguments are rejected by mainstream science, which holds that there is ample evidence that macroevolution has occurred in the past
Like as though mainstream science is ALWAYS 100 percent right?
Like YOUR religion has ever been right about anything, even once?

82. Originally Posted by daytonturner
prasit quotes wikipedia:

These arguments are rejected by mainstream science, which holds that there is ample evidence that macroevolution has occurred in the past
Like as though mainstream science is ALWAYS 100 percent right?

What is it prasit's signature says? Oh, yes.

Einstein is not always right.
The difference between science and religion is that science knows it is wrong unless it is demonstrated time and time again with tests upon tests while religion claims it is always right regardless if the tests show otherwise.

83. Originally Posted by BumFluff
The difference between science and religion is that science knows it is wrong unless it is demonstrated time and time again with tests upon tests while religion claims it is always right regardless if the tests show otherwise.
This is not true at all. In the things that religion really cares about, what you say of science is just as true of religion, and what you say of religion is just as true of assholes who think that being atheists elevates their opinions to statements of fact in science. (I apologize for the "a" word, but sometimes Q "inspires" me)

Part of the problem here is that while science has a well defined methodology with built in restrictions about what it can speak about with authority, religion does not. It may seem unfair and fustrating that religion can claim authority when speaking about anything. However this is balanced out by the fact that science can legitimately criticize the claims of religion while religion cannot criticize the claims of science. In other words, science can NEVER recognize the authority of religion in speaking about anything it studies, but religion would be extremely foolish not to recognize the authority of science, when it speaks. This seems very unfair to the religious, but I think they must choose between living with this reality or making fools of themselves.

For example, a wierd religion could claim that protons are messengers of God and that electrons are messengers of the devil. Science will have no interest in such claims but WILL make the claim that electrons repel other electrons and protons repel other protons and that electrons and protons attract one another. It would be foolish for this weird religion to contradict such claims of science and if it doesn't like the implications of what science is saying then it would do far better to abandon its claims about electrons and protons than to dispute the claims of science about them.

84. prasit said:

But that is not the intention of the quote. I quote it to respond to your saying that my claim of 'near-universal acceptance' is without evidence, hence, is not rhetoric.
According to a 2005 CBS poll, 51 percent of people in U.S. believe God created humans as they now appear.
(CBS) Most Americans do not accept the theory of evolution. Instead, 51 percent of Americans say God created humans in their present form, and another three in 10 say that while humans evolved, God guided the process. Just 15 percent say humans evolved, and that God was not involved.
Somehow, this does not seem to support a claim of "near-universal" acceptance. The last time I computed it out, 51 percent was more than half, leaving less than half to agree, hardly near-universal.

The point I am trying to make is that the thing which differentiates rhetoric is that it is designed to appeal to the emotions rather than rationale. Even my paragraph above this one is a form of rhetoric as its flavor is to ridicule what you have said rather than merely providing a counterpoint. Rhetoric is filled with adjectives and adverbs and emotional implications.

If I say, "There is a big grizzley bear," that is different even from "There is a BIG GRIZZLY BEAR!" Or if I should say, "Wow! There is one big mean, nasty grizzley bear." All of the statements may be absolutely true, but the latter two include rhetoric.

If I were then to insist that you do something like shoot the bear which was 100 yards away and minding it own business, I would then be using rhetoric to convince and persuade you to do something inappropriate. Or I could suggest we get the heck out of there in which rhetoric would emphasize the urgency.

But this sort of gets us back to where we started on the Dawkins quote. His words are inflamitory even if they were completely true. What he is saying is what scifor was agreeing with: Here is a God, I don't believe in, who is described as XYZ in a book that I don't believe in and because he is so described, no one else should believe in him either.

Scifor tries to deny this by saying they are merely pointing out what kind of a God they think we believe in. The fact that neither Dawkins nor scifor add the phrase, "Therefore, you shouldn't believe either," does not negate the obvious unstated conclusion. Or was that on another thread -- I can't keep up.

It is not the fact that 92 percent of the people in the U.S. disagree that makes Dawkins' statement rhetoric, it is his use of inflamatory, highly emotional words in an attempt to convince and persuade people to agree with him. But, with such rhetoric, he only succeeds in pleasing the few who agree with him while alienating those who do not.

If you want to read rhetoric in its most pernicious assinity, just read a bunch of (Q)'s posts. If you strip the rhetoric out of his posts, there is nothing left to comment on, other than rhetorically. (Pernicious, of course, being a rhetorical comment!)

85. Originally Posted by daytonturner
If you want to read rhetoric in its most pernicious assinity, just read a bunch of (Q)'s posts. If you strip the rhetoric out of his posts, there is nothing left to comment on, other than rhetorically. (Pernicious, of course, being a rhetorical comment!)
Yes it is very convenient that Q provides such a ready and stark example of so many things. LOL

86. daytonturner say
The point I am trying to make is that the thing which differentiates rhetoric is that it is designed to appeal to the emotions rather than rationale. Even my paragraph above this one is a form of rhetoric as its flavor is to ridicule what you have said rather than merely providing a counterpoint. Rhetoric is filled with adjectives and adverbs and emotional implications.
As long as it is based on fact I do not mind whether the rhetoric is intended to appeal to emotions or rationale. This is the 'effective' part. You can also say that the 'I have a dream' speech by Mr. King is rhetoric. But that is not a bad thing.

Back to the claim by Dawkins that human is the product of evolution, I think we can agree that the claim is not pretentious nor vacuous (as it is supported by mainstream science community). It is merely effective.

87. prasit said:

Back to the claim by Dawkins that human is the product of evolution, I think we can agree that the claim is not pretentious nor vacuous (as it is supported by mainstream science community). It is merely effective.
Well, actually, it is hardly effective at all, since most people do not agree with it. I do hope you realize that the community here is dominated by atheists and agnostics and I hope it does not give you some false sense of security that atheists and agnostics are the majority of people. They aren't. They are a very small minority of the population in the U.S. and remain a small minority world wide.

Look at the poll results again. Fifty one percent of people in the U.S. do not believe in evolution at all. Thirty percent believe in God directed (not Darwinian natural directed) evolution. Thus 81 percent do not believe Darwinian thinking accounts for bio-diversity -- let alone the evolution of humanity. Two thirds of all scientist in the U.S. are believers, suggesting they believe at least in God directed evolution and some must completely disbelieve evolution whatsover. Even eliminating the one third of the scientists who are non believers, a sizeable chunk of scientists would have to be in the group who do not believe in evolution at all or believe in God directed evolution. Whatever that number might be, I suggest it absolutely negates the claim of near-unanimous support by the scientific community. No rhetoric involved, I don't think the numbers support that claim.

The vehemently anti-religious sentiment expressed by Dawkins, Dennett, and others, is a de minimus amount of the world's population.

If God is all the things Dawkins says He is, I would suggest that God is just licking His chops waiting to get ahold of him. If God is the way I think He is, then God is hoping that Dawkins, along with the rest of the atheists and agnostics here, will repent and turn to Jesus. I may not ever know, but my bet is that some will.

88. daytonturner wrote
Well, actually, it is hardly effective at all, since most people do not agree with it.
So when you say Dawkins is rhetoric you do not mean his communication is effective, but rather not fact-based, which the human-descend-by-evolution claim is an example. I get your point.

Two thirds of all scientist in the U.S. are believers, suggesting they believe at least in God directed evolution
God-directed evolution is self-contradictory term.
Don't know whether Mitch is the exception or the norm.
I retract my claim of near-universal acceptance of macro-evolution theory, since the number of ignorance always exceed the number of pundits.

89. Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
Originally Posted by BumFluff
The difference between science and religion is that science knows it is wrong unless it is demonstrated time and time again with tests upon tests while religion claims it is always right regardless if the tests show otherwise.
This is not true at all. In the things that religion really cares about, what you say of science is just as true of religion, and what you say of religion is just as true of assholes who think that being atheists elevates their opinions to statements of fact in science. (I apologize for the "a" word, but sometimes Q "inspires" me)

Part of the problem here is that while science has a well defined methodology with built in restrictions about what it can speak about with authority, religion does not. It may seem unfair and fustrating that religion can claim authority when speaking about anything. However this is balanced out by the fact that science can legitimately criticize the claims of religion while religion cannot criticize the claims of science. In other words, science can NEVER recognize the authority of religion in speaking about anything it studies, but religion would be extremely foolish not to recognize the authority of science, when it speaks. This seems very unfair to the religious, but I think they must choose between living with this reality or making fools of themselves.

For example, a weird religion could claim that protons are messengers of God and that electrons are messengers of the devil. Science will have no interest in such claims but WILL make the claim that electrons repel other electrons and protons repel other protons and that electrons and protons attract one another. It would be foolish for this weird religion to contradict such claims of science and if it doesn't like the implications of what science is saying then it would do far better to abandon its claims about electrons and protons than to dispute the claims of science about them.
Why do you keep stating that because one is an atheist that automatically makes them think they are scientists? You've said numerous times before that because of the philosophical arguments I make in the religion forum that makes me think I'm a scientist when I have never said any such thing nor have many of the other atheists in this forum (unless it is true). Quite frankly it's a little frustrating.

That being said... it is well known the differences between scientific proof and religious proof. You being a scientist yourself I'm sure knows this. Here's a question. I don't think, from your posts, that you believe in the bible 100%. What makes you believe that some there was an all powerful being that made us? How do you come to that conclusion? And to those that believe in the words of the bible, why do the vast majority of people who believe in it only believe in parts of it while other parts, such as murdering homosexuals and such, are thrown away? If it is truely God's word what gives anyone the right to only accept in parts of it?

90. Originally Posted by daytonturner
Look at the poll results again. Fifty one percent of people in the U.S. do not believe in evolution at all. Thirty percent believe in God directed (not Darwinian natural directed) evolution. Thus 81 percent do not believe Darwinian thinking accounts for bio-diversity -- let alone the evolution of humanity. Two thirds of all scientist in the U.S. are believers, suggesting they believe at least in God directed evolution and some must completely disbelieve evolution whatsover. Even eliminating the one third of the scientists who are non believers, a sizeable chunk of scientists would have to be in the group who do not believe in evolution at all or believe in God directed evolution. Whatever that number might be, I suggest it absolutely negates the claim of near-unanimous support by the scientific community. No rhetoric involved, I don't think the numbers support that claim.
NO IT DOES NOT! There are so many things wrong with what you are saying, it is nearly overwhelming. But let me focus on what I think is the most important one, and that is that science does not operate as a democracy. A democracy is ruled by rhetoric, science is not. Evolution and abiogenesis are the scientific theories concerning the origins of life (PERIOD). Yes this theory has come a long way since the origin of the species and it is lot more than just survival of the fittest. But the consensus of the scientific community supports these theories absolutely - because they support the scientfic endeavor. Whatever else they may believe in, they do believe in the effectiveness of the scientific method. What may differ are their philosophical interpretations of this theory which has no bearing on the scientific conclusions.

I for example think that evolution is nothing more than the learning capability of life in action. But just as I believe that God plays a critical role in my experiences, influencing what I learn in life, so also do I think that God played such a critical role in the learning of all living things. But God playing a critical role is NOT the same thing as God directed. There is a difference between God stimulating and God planning and controling and it is the difference between life and design. There is simply no place for design in the process of life.

I know Christians want to want to look at everything and say how wonderful God is because God made things the way they are by His ingenious design. But what they fail to comprehend is just how much more wonderful and amazing it is that God did all this by a much more difficult process. If the Universe and all the living things really were just artistic creations then they would have been a trivial accomplishment that God could create in an instant. Instead God sought to create something infinitely more difficult -- to create something outside of his absolute control -- to create something that would be responsible for itself -- to create LIFE!

Originally Posted by daytonturner
If God is all the things Dawkins says He is, I would suggest that God is just licking His chops waiting to get ahold of him. If God is the way I think He is, then God is hoping that Dawkins, along with the rest of the atheists and agnostics here, will repent and turn to Jesus. I may not ever know, but my bet is that some will.
And if God is the way I think He is then God inspired Dawkins to write what he did in order for Dawkins to help God in His efforts to save the Christians from themselves. LOL Well actually I am sure God wants to save everyone from the Christians. LOL BUT, perhaps if God can succeed in His work on Christians, then the Christians can one day become witnesses to Him rather than witnesses to themselves.

91. A day in the life of God is not the same as a day in the life of a man anymore than a day in the life of a flea is the same as a day in the life of a man.

What I mean by this is

Forget the way time is calculated now

Consider a day instead being related to the bodily functions of the creatures, in terms of rest and activity.

We rest and rise in conjunction with the sun rising and falling, thus we calculate a day based upon our relationship with that event.

However, to other creatures who rest and rise in a different pattern, based on other factors may (if they had the ability to do so) calculate a day by those factors.

Not sure how often a flea rests and rises but it doesn't live very long, so it's lifetime is not remotely comparable to ours and yet it remains a FULL lifetime to the flea.

Thus

A day in the life of God could represent a billion years in our time or a milli second. We cannot say as we do not know how he measures time (if at all) or what his pattern of existence is.

Capiche?

92. Originally Posted by mitchellmckain

This is not true at all. In the things that religion really cares about, what you say of science is just as true of religion, and what you say of religion is just as true of assholes who think that being atheists elevates their opinions to statements of fact in science. (I apologize for the "a" word, but sometimes Q "inspires" me)
Come now, Mitchell, religion only cares about it's own propagation and it's control of the masses.

I would apologize profusely for those atheists, if you in turn would apologize for elevating fairy tales to statement of fact.

Part of the problem here is that while science has a well defined methodology with built in restrictions about what it can speak about with authority, religion does not. It may seem unfair and fustrating that religion can claim authority when speaking about anything.
Of course, whenever religion speaks about anything, it speaks with complete absolution, without alternatives, and you must believe it or else you may wind up in a fiery lake for eternity.

Yeah, science must take a back seat to that kind of "authority" without too much frustration, and a little bit of chuckles.

However this is balanced out by the fact that science can legitimately criticize the claims of religion while religion cannot criticize the claims of science. In other words, science can NEVER recognize the authority of religion in speaking about anything it studies, but religion would be extremely foolish not to recognize the authority of science, when it speaks. This seems very unfair to the religious, but I think they must choose between living with this reality or making fools of themselves.
And they always choose the latter, eh Mitchell?

For example, a wierd religion could claim that protons are messengers of God and that electrons are messengers of the devil. Science will have no interest in such claims but WILL make the claim that electrons repel other electrons and protons repel other protons and that electrons and protons attract one another. It would be foolish for this weird religion to contradict such claims of science and if it doesn't like the implications of what science is saying then it would do far better to abandon its claims about electrons and protons than to dispute the claims of science about them.
Why go that far? Simply have a look of the cargo cults of the South Pacific to understand just how simple it is to create a religion from the simple beginnings of a plane delivering cargo to a remote location.

Science need not enter such an arena when simple common sense would prevail. However, no such common sense prevails in Christianity and the like.

Comically, one native was asked why they still waited 19 years for the return of the cargo plane that would bring their messiah back to them again, he replied, "If you have been waiting for 2000 years for the return of Jesus, I can wait 19 years".

Hilarious, and fitting.

93. Originally Posted by daytonturner

But this sort of gets us back to where we started on the Dawkins quote. His words are inflamitory even if they were completely true. What he is saying is what scifor was agreeing with: Here is a God, I don't believe in, who is described as XYZ in a book that I don't believe in and because he is so described, no one else should believe in him either.

Scifor tries to deny this by saying they are merely pointing out what kind of a God they think we believe in. The fact that neither Dawkins nor scifor add the phrase, "Therefore, you shouldn't believe either," does not negate the obvious unstated conclusion. Or was that on another thread -- I can't keep up.
Or, you are just making it up as you go along. Dawkins does not state that others should not believe simply because he does not believe it.

It is not the fact that 92 percent of the people in the U.S. disagree that makes Dawkins' statement rhetoric, it is his use of inflamatory, highly emotional words in an attempt to convince and persuade people to agree with him. But, with such rhetoric, he only succeeds in pleasing the few who agree with him while alienating those who do not.
It would appear that you are the emotional charged victim of Dawkins works as he digs deep into your childish beliefs to reveal them as the fairy tales they are, and that is why you opine of "inflammatory, highly emotional words".

If you want to read rhetoric in its most pernicious assinity, just read a bunch of (Q)'s posts. If you strip the rhetoric out of his posts, there is nothing left to comment on, other than rhetorically. (Pernicious, of course, being a rhetorical comment!)
What's left of you, Dayton, when your fairy tale beliefs are stripped away?

94. Originally Posted by daytonturner
If God is all the things Dawkins says He is, I would suggest that God is just licking His chops waiting to get ahold of him. If God is the way I think He is, then God is hoping that Dawkins, along with the rest of the atheists and agnostics here, will repent and turn to Jesus. I may not ever know, but my bet is that some will.
And there it is again, the fairy tales of children and the gullibility of the indoctrinated.

Yes Dayton, your over-indulgent, lip-smacking sky daddy will get the bad man and smack his behind. Does that make you feel better? Do you need a soother, too? Would you like your nappy changed?

95. Responding to both prasit and Mitchell:

The wonderful and fun thing about statistics is that they seem amenable to almost any use one wants to put them to.

We are blessed or cursed with a huge number of diverging opinions which we try to decipher using a relatively few questions. The questions in polls never provide the latititude to measure nuances in beliefs and opinions.

While all of Western Civilization has been culturally impacted by Christianity, it has manifested itself quite differently in the U.S. as opposed to Europe. Likely, this is because much of the reformation movement was forced to move to the New World where it has thrived while what remained in Europe was the rejection of Roman Catholicism with nothing to replace it other than non-belief.

The one thing we do hold in common throughout Western Civilization is a deep regard for the sanctity of life, the importance of the individual, and the right of the individual to freedom of thought and expression.

96. Daytonturner say
The wonderful and fun thing about statistics is that they seem amenable to almost any use one wants to put them to.
Please be more direct. Do you mean that we should not quote statistics because they can be interpreted any way we want?

We are blessed or cursed with a huge number of diverging opinions which we try to decipher using a relatively few questions. The questions in polls never provide the latitude to measure nuances in beliefs and opinions.
Are we still talking about the validity of macro-evolution? Or have you changed the subject altogether?

97. I am saying statistic need to be taken with a grain of salt. The latest Pew Poll which said 21 percent of atheists believe in God tells you something about the reliability of polls. Maybe I really meant polls, not exactly statistics.

I think I was making a generalized comment about polls and the difficulty of trying to actually draw definitive conclusions from them. Even so, polls do have margins of error such that if they say 80 percent with a margin of error of 5 percent, you can assume a minimum of 75 percent and a maximum of 85 percent. So, as to the poll I referred to earlier, with 51 percent disbelieving evolution whatsover and another 30 percent believing in God directed evolution, I think the amount is so large as to certainly suggest that a large majority of the people in the U.S. would not agree with Dawkins' statement.

But we just can't know how many people would have answered in the cracks, so to speak, if there had been such a possibility. I don't speak for Mitchell, but I doubt the questionaire would have provided an answer which fits his belief so it is hard to guess where his choice would have fit.

I seriously doubt that any poll has ever actually broken down evolution by the micro and macro differentiations. And probably most people would not even know the distinction between the two.

98. I do believe that half of the USA population do not believe in evolution theory (Not Dawkins' in particular but Darwin's in general). That tells us something about the people, the culture and the religion.

99. Originally Posted by prasit
I do believe that half of the USA population do not believe in evolution theory (Not Dawkins' in particular but Darwin's in general). That tells us something about the people, the culture and the religion.
Not just the USA population but the population of most of the world, where religion and NOT science is their life.

100. Actually, I found an interesting story which uses beliefs toward evolution as a jumping off point to talk about religious differences between the U.S. and Europe in general. It may be where I picked up a couple of things I said earlier.

Anyway, here is the link: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...evolution.html

101. From an article referred by Daytonturner
The most startling thing about these poll numbers is not that so many Americans reject evolution, but that the statistical breakdown hasn't changed much in two decades. Gallup interviewers posed exactly the same choices in 1982, 1993, 1997, and 1999. The creationist conviction—that God alone, and not evolution, produced humans—has never drawn less than 44 percent. In other words, nearly half the American populace prefers to believe that Charles Darwin was wrong where it mattered most
This reminds me of what Robert A Heinlein once wrote
Do not underestimate the power of ignorance

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