Sunday, February 10, 2008

Darwin Day and SermonAudio

The photo is from Washington university. Since the URL is on the photo, I hope I can use it.
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A commenter, for no good reason, suggested I visit SermonAudio (I discuss religion frequently, so there is good reason to mention such a site, but this was a post about sharing soup, not the body of Christ or Loaves and Fishes or the like). The link was broken but I looked around while I was there. I am uninterested in theological issues in general, but searched for evolution and found a few sermons on the subject.

EDIT: The link was probably fine. Comments cannot exceed a certain number of characters or they get cut off. I could probably read it from inside Blogger and I may do so. My commenter and I need to use 'tinyurl.com' to make the address fit on the blogger comment page.


February 12th is Darwin Day. Charles Darwin (and Abraham Lincoln) were born one hundred and ninety-nine years ago.



I listened to one sermon and considered trying to tear it apart, as a good atheist should, but in honour of Darwin Day, let me instead go over the sermon and point out one particular group of errors in it: evolution is not purely atheistic.



I started listening, intending to hear the whole thing before commenting or the putting finger to keyboard but I felt I wouldn't be able to take another time through. I started writing quotes then started listing where the quotes were as I wrote them down. The first few quotes, then, have no time-stamp, but later ones do.



Dr. Griswold died in 1982 and I don't know when these recordings were made. I still find them relevant because the site felt they were relevant, posting them in 2004. The claims and points of the sermon are similar to those that could be found today. The final third is mostly about the evolutionistic worldview -which he thinks is the same as an atheistic worldview. As I am not defending atheism today, I left that part out.



Selected quotes from the sermon with my commentary in blue:




"Maybe the most subtle, and the dangerous satanic forces to undermine [Christianity] is evolution."



Without question as a believer, as a Christian, we accept what the bible says on the subject about creation.



[scientists] brag about their belief in evolution, not realizing that they are placing their faith in religious and philosophical principles and not in scientific fact.



They are opposed. You can not believe in both.



"The most logical and reasonable place to deal with an atheistic, evolutionary worldview is in the pulpit."



The evolutionary worldview is a non-theistic conception of reality.




Let's start here: evolutionary biologists reference God in their observations just as frequently as other scientists do (which is to say, not at all). I wanted to mention a situation here where a mathematician was explaining his calculations to royalty, but I can't find the details online, I don't remember enough of the story to search for it. Anyway, the King said something like, "you forgot to add God into your explanation", whereupon the mathematician replied, "God wasn't necessary".



Science cannot disprove God. It may be able to disprove certain specific claims made regarding a deity but not against the idea of God. Even disproving specific claims is challenging.



In 2005, there was a trial in Dover, Pennsylvania about Intelligent Design. In it, Michael Behe suggested an experiment that could test his claims for ID. He never actually performed the experiment.



The idea was to culture a group of flagellum-less bacteria and hold them in conditions that would encourage them to evolve flagella. The problem with this experiment is in interpreting any results. Let's see: No flagella appear- that could mean that evolution did not work or that flagella were evolving but the intelligent designer caused a miracle and removed the flagella. Flagella appear - either they evolved or the designer felt they needed them and created flagella for the bacteria. If we accept that no one can know the mind of God or that God works in mysterious ways, no result in such an experiment is meaningful. (Thank you, Richard B. Hoppe )



I suppose that scientists can (and do) argue that no flood of the proportions necessary for Noah occurred. That event might be argued for or against, but if God created such a flood and hid the evidence, we will never know.




9:30 Wherever evolutionists give any place to God, it is an abstract, cosmic mind, or cosmic hand that exploded an egg that came out to be the universes of the world.


A common error for creationists; he is mistaking evolution for all of science here wants to argue against the Big Bang thats the realm of physicists, not biologists. I cheerfully accept his “…the universes of the world remark everyone makes little slips and such. Remember, my choice to not comment negatively means you cant comment negatively on whatever spelling errors and non-content-related problems are found here!





12:___ But wherever evolutionism is accepted the God of the bible, biblical theism must of necessity and logic and philosophically be rejected. God must be eliminated from man's understanding of the world. But, you say, isn't that the scientific view. My dear friends, I do not know of a more loaded world view than evolution.



Any knowledgeable and reasonable evolutionist knows that he operates on presuppositions. That is presuppositions that he accepts by faith which cannot be proven scientifically.



16:25 - Some slime or mud became protoplasm...




Not exactly evolution. Abiogenesis in some form (Gods hand would be fine) had to occur before evolution had material to work on.




17:00 teachers act like red-seated baboons and its hard not to imagine that they might not have evolved from one.



I am reminded of Huxley and Bishop Wilberforce:



the Bishop rose, and in a light scoffing tone, florid and he assured us there was nothing in the idea of evolution; rock-pigeons were what rock-pigeons had always been. Then, turning to his antagonist with a smiling insolence, he begged to know, was it through his grandfather or his grandmother that he claimed his descent from a monkey? On this Mr Huxley slowly and deliberately arose. A slight tall figure stern and pale, very quiet and very grave, he stood before us, and spoke those tremendous words [Kwandongbrian says legend has reshaped the words so often that I dont know what he said exactly, but it boiled down to If you use such a cheap debating technique, I would rather have a monkey than a Bishop for a father]





17:45 The evolutionary worldview is not only non-theistic, ruling out god, but it is an irrational conception of reality. Irrational.


If a scientist should arise on Monday morning, dress himself, drive to his laboratory, or to his university chair, or to his theological field, or whatever endeavour in the name of science and operate on the principles of his evolutionary pre-supposition, he would take his clothes off, go back to bed, take an overdose of sleeping pills and go to Hell. Why? Because, with his concept of reality, the world is irrational. It was only by chance, by luck, that the sun came up. He goes down to that laboratory, its only by chance that it'll be there. And its only by chance that the mathematical formula he used to solve yesterday won't work today.



Here is where I am pissed off. A man totally ignorant of science should be more carefully making arguments based on scientific research.


The main point of this post is to correct creationists on this matter: evolutionists can be religious. See more after the quoted section.




[he is still talking about evolutionary pre-suppositions]...if he is a physician, the prescription he writes today that was usable for a man yesterday for a certain illness will kill him dead: because it is an irrational universe. In a universe without God, without rationality, things will go wild.


Again, I dont know when this sermon was first given. When did scientists and physicians learn about evolved immunity resistance? Quinine was once an anti-malarial drug. Now it has no effect. I still take frequent quinine supplements in a juniper-berry distillation, just in case. They make me feel better; I guess you could call them a tonic or some such thing. Anyway, this is a crazy-bad example.




21:00 presupposition ...blind laws that can not think, they might not know they are laws, and so they might not operate.



They might not know they are laws so they might not operate. A wonderful argument.



Here ends the quoted section



There were a few things later in the sermon I wanted to comment on. Probability. It doesnt directly relate to my main point but creationists misuse probability so much that I must mention it.


Dr. Griswold states that a scientist stated that for humans to evolve from the first living cells was very unlikely. The odds against it were two billion to one. I have heard other, much higher numbers and always the point is to show that evolution couldnt have happened.



Well, outside my apartment building are a row of cars. Lets look at ten of them. Each car has a four digit license plate (there is another set of digits and a Korean syllable, but I will leave them out as I dont know the bounds of those terms). Forty digits then. The odds of guessing, of predicting, what those forty digits are come out to one times ten to the fortieth power against. One followed by forty zeros.



Those odds are so bad that no one could ever guess them. No guess would ever be right. The odds of any forty digit number being right- well, its impossible.



Does that mean the ten parking spaces are empty? No. I could go down there and record those numbers and bring them back to my computer. Lets say they are 4,3,7,5,7,9,3,3,4,1,5,..5. What are the odds of those numbers being right? One hundred percent. I am not predicting anything. It already happened.



Back to evolution, the scientist Dr. Griswold was quoting was not making a prediction at all. Things evolve, occasional catastrophes occur, and certain animals are given a lucky break. The weather is basically random, asteroid hits are random. Although Natural Selection is not random, it is affected by random occurances. There is no reason to expect people to be inevitably created by evolution. We are one possibility of, well, two billion, I guess.



Near the end of the sermon, Dr. Griswold again mistook evolutionists for atheists and atheists for bad people. He claimed Hitler was an evolutionist and that euthanasia was an evolutionist scheme. He apparently never heard of animal husbandry, which was ongoing long before Darwin and which was tied more tightly to these events than evolution (and was misused as well I dont want the animal husbandry people after me). Despite being a clergyman, I guess he never studied Martin Luther - the guy didn't like Jews much and Hitler didn't have to look outside of religion to invent an excuse for his monstrosities (I'm saying Hitler could have misused religion).



Dr. Griswold died more than twenty years ago. He could not have learned of the Clergy Letter Project, in which more than 11,000 Christian clergyfolk signed a letter accepting that evolution and Christianity and evolution are not in conflict and that evolution appears to be the best explanation for lifes diversity.



He did touch on theistic evolution at the end of the sermon, claiming that such a compromise was unacceptable. He is entitled to his view but this brings me back to my point of being unable to know the mind of God. The evidence is clear, the Earth is billions of years old, flowering plants occurred before bees and other pollinating insects did and there was no world-wide flood. There was also no Tower of Babel but I dont know if that is, um, a bible myth, or a no bible myth.



The evidence is compelling: the bible, taken literally, and the evidence dont match. Trying to claim that they do is only going to create atheists.



Happy Darwin Day, everyone!

Darwinday.org

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

1. Christians don't deny natural selection. Obviously there are a lot of different kinds of dog, but they are all 'dog'. What they deny is species mutation, the theory that one species could mutate into another over time.

2. How far do you trust radiometric dating, based on these links?
http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/dating.asp
I don't pretend to be a physicist, so I am relying on the expertise of others in this area.

3. How far do you go along with a Dawkins worldview, in which he denies the possibility of design AND chance? Surely the universe came about by intention. You don't just get something from nothing!

4. Surely probability is not a good way to start analysing the existence of God. Either God exists or God does not exist... 0% or a 100% And if God does exist, then what are we all here for? In other words, who is good enough to get to heaven, and on what basis do we get there... in your opinion?

kwandongbrian said...

1) Look into the genetic differences between dogs- between wolves, foxes, domestic dogs, coyotes and whatever else might be out there. Look at the genetic differences between horses - zebras, horses, donkeys. You will find that the genetic differences inside dog kind or horse kind are greater than those between humans and apes.

2) I wouldn't trust much from Answers in Genesis: not since they posted a picture of a gun either pointing at non-believers or as from a non-believer threatening Christians - That kind of fearmongering is sickening, has no basis in reality and ...well, that fits the whole website.

Or, if we are sharing links (I broke the link in half and you may need to post in Wordpad or something and put it back together - I think long links don't fit into comments - we need to start using 'tinyurl.com':
http://www.talkorigins.org/
origins/faqs-youngearth.html

3) Let me return the question. "You can't get something from nothing"- where did God come from? If you say he came from nothing, then you were lying above.

4) The whole point of this post was that you could be a Christian, could believe in God and still accept religion. I really don't understand your questions here. Either restate your question or let it go as it goes not relate to the post being commented on.

I might be a little cranky - I will reread your comment later and may respond further.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think what we're dealing with here is a worldview. You can't not have one. If you believe in God and the bible then it will be a certain one. If you believe in God but not the bible it will be another. And if you neither believe in God nor the bible it will be another. We start off with our assumptions (even the assumption that we are neutral, impartial observers) and then we look for evidence based on those assumptions. Therefore, of course you would look for a way for humans to have mutated from apes IF your worldview a God who created both humans and apes.

The point about probability is that Dawkins and your good self seem to rely on it an awful lot. It seems to be a highly inappropriate way of talking about these profoundly, earth-shatteringly, mind-blowing questions of existence, since God either exists or He doesn't. He can't both exist and not exist.

The question 'If God exists then who made God?' is another one which Dawkins uses to underpin his whole 'God delusion' thesis. I mean, come on. If God made space, time and matter then God cannot be confined within what He has created. In the bible God is said to be infinite, eternal, spirit. Thus, it is either arrogance to believe we can locate God, and petulance if we believe that such a question needs asking.

Indeed, if God IS God then there can be no way of fathoming God apart from what God chooses to reveal. The reason people ask 'Who made God?' is because they can't conceive of any limitations to their own understanding. In a sense they see themselves as 'God'!

kwandongbrian said...

Again, I am not sure why you are asking about the existence of God in an post pointing out that you can accept both evolution and God.

In this post, at least, I am not calling God into question. I certainly do at other times and in other posts, but not here. One thing I do want is for you to consider why some Christians do accept evolution and others do not.

This one point cuts your comment to almost nothing.

Regarding probability, I was responding to a argument based on probability - too many times I hear Creationists misuse probability to back their message.
"The point about probability is that Dawkins and your good self seem to rely on it an awful lot." I must say, Pot, meet the kettle.

The probability argument simply shows that anything could be improbable if you tried to predict it, but after the fact, the odds are 100% that it happened or didn't. I see no argument in the post about whether God exists 50% of the time or some such thing. your argument is confusing me here.

"The question 'If God exists then who made God?'..."
You brought the point up when you said "You don't just get something from nothing!" I am looking for consistency here. Again, it doesn't relate to the post at hand.

Anonymous said...

An excerpt from AIG, even though I know you don't like them:

"There are many breeds of pigeons, cattle, horses, dogs, etc., but they are all pigeons, cattle, horses, dogs, etc. Recombination of existing genes can produce enormous variety within a kind, but the variation is limited by the genes present. If there are no genes present for producing feathers, you can breed reptiles for a billion years and you will not get anything with feathers! Polyploidy (multiplication of the number of chromosomes), chromosome translocations, recombination and even (possibly) mutations can generate 'new species', but not new information, not new characteristics for which there were no genes to start with.

It is possible for mutation 'breeding' to generate new varieties with traits which are 'improved' from man's point of view (e.g. shorter wheat plants, different protein quality, low levels of toxins, etc.). Where such 'improvements' have been investigated on a molecular basis, researchers have found that the 'new' trait is not due to the appearance of a new protein, but the modification of an existing one, even when it seems to be a new trait, such as herbicide resistance.

Herbicides often work by fitting into an enzyme — a bit like a key in a lock. The presence of the wrong key stops the protein or enzyme from accepting the correct key, the chemical compound that it normally works on, and so the plant dies (see diagram). Herbicide resistance can be due to a mutation in the gene coding for the enzyme so that a slightly modified enzyme is produced which the herbicide molecule no longer fits. The enzyme may still do its usual job sufficiently well for the plant to survive. However, such a mutant is normally less fit to survive in the wild, away from the herbicide, because the modified enzyme is no longer as efficient at doing its normal job.

In the whole creation/evolution debate, keep in mind that variation within a kind, such as through breeding or adaptation, is not evolution. All the biological / genetic 'evidence' for evolution is actually variation within a kind, not evolution at all. This includes peppered moths, bacterial resistance to antibiotics, insecticide resistance, horse 'evolution', Galápagos finches, Arctic terns, etc. Creationists recognize the role of natural selection in today's world, in changing gene frequencies in populations, but this has nothing to do with the evolution of some mythical 'simple' life form into a human over billions of years, because natural selection cannot generate new information. Nor can mutations, polyploidy, etc.

Evolutionists often call the natural variations in living things 'microevolution'. This misleads people into thinking that since such variations are real, therefore evolution itself — from molecules to man — is proven. There is no logical connection between varying gene frequencies in populations of peppered moths, for example, and the origin of the genes themselves, which is what evolutionists claim the theory explains.

In a recent paper, evolutionist Dr George Gabor Miklos summed it up nicely when he said: 'We can go on examining natural variation at all levels ... as well as hypothesising about speciation events in bed bugs, bears and brachiopods until the planet reaches oblivion, but we still only end up with bed bugs, brachiopods and bears. None of these body plans will transform into rotifers, roundworms or rhynchocoels.'5

God created all kinds of living things with the genetic capacity for variation by the rearranging of the genetic information, the genes, through the reproductive process. However, the variation is basically limited to that available in the created genes, with the addition of some extra variation due to non-lethal mutations in the original genes. The extra variations in humans caused by genetic mutations probably include such visible things as freckly skin, blue eyes, blond hair, inability to roll the tongue, lack of ear lobes, and male pattern baldness.

Things reproduce according to their kind, just like the Bible says (Genesis 1:11,12,21,24,25). They always have and they always will—while ever this world exists."

Anonymous said...

These speakers (right hand side) might be more of a challenge for you than Dr. Griswold:

http://www.meta-library.net/perspevo/presmb-frame.html

Anonymous said...

Actually, on second look those speakers are somewhat 'third way', in that they don't espouse the Christ-centred faith which I hold, nor do they agree with Dawkins' bleak atheist fundamentalism. I think they might be very interesting for you, in that they are trying to combine God with evolution!

Anonymous said...

Naturalism, logic and reality
Those arguing against creation may not even be conscious of their most basic presupposition, one which excludes God a priori, namely naturalism/materialism (everything came from matter, there is no supernatural, no prior creative intelligence).2 The following two real-life examples highlight some problems with that assumption:

A young man approached me at a seminar and stated, ‘Well, I still believe in the big bang, and that we arrived here by chance random processes. I don’t believe in God.’ I answered him, ‘Well, then obviously your brain, and your thought processes, are also the product of randomness. So you don’t know whether it evolved the right way, or even what right would mean in that context. Young man, you don’t know if you’re making correct statements or even whether you’re asking me the right questions.’

The young man looked at me and blurted out, ‘What was that book you recommended?’ He finally realized that his belief undercut its own foundations —such ‘reasoning’ destroys the very basis for reason.

On another occasion, a man came to me after a seminar and said, ‘Actually, I’m an atheist. Because I don’t believe in God, I don’t believe in absolutes, so I recognize that I can’t even be sure of reality.’ I responded, ‘Then how do you know you’re really here making this statement?’ ‘Good point,’ he replied. ‘What point?’ I asked. The man looked at me, smiled, and said, ‘Maybe I should go home.’ I stated, ‘Maybe it won’t be there.’ ‘Good point,’ the man said. ‘What point?’ I replied.

This man certainly got the message. If there is no God, ultimately, philosophically, how can one talk about reality? How can one even rationally believe that there is such a thing as truth, let alone decide what it is?

kwandongbrian said...

I am glad you're keeping busy.

I notice no attempt to comment on why some Christian groups fully embrace evolution and others do not. There is some interesting stuff here about evolution and atheism but I ask you again why is there such controversy inside of Christianity?

Including Catholics as Christians (which I do anyway, but some don't), I would say the majority of Christians can accept evolution, as can Buddhists and Hindus, as well as Jews and Muslims, which share the religious background of Christians.

Maybe that is a good point. you talk of worldviews. People of all religions and none can accept evolution, how much prejudice can they all share?

paka said...

happy darwin day! sorry i didn't read the entire post. anything longer than 2-3 paragraphs and i get a seizure.

Anonymous said...

Well, it's true that many Christians have tried to accommodate evolution into their theological framework. To be honest, this kind of accommodation doesn't mean you're not Christian. But on the other hand, there is a danger of making Christianity so compromised, so fluid and flexible that it ends up diluting the original premise: that God created us, that Christ was God and that through Him alone we can be saved.

Catholics especially, put so much store on their own traditions that they have virtually forfeited the bible's version of creation and Christ. Not only is the pope viewed as the vicar (from the words 'vicarious') or mediator between God and man but there are a whole host of other problematic things they believe in which don't correlate with the bible. Muslims too, say they can accept Judaism and Christianity... but if there is any doubt then they take the Koran as the final authority, so in other words don't believe in the bible at all, since it is so opposed to everything Muhammad was supposed to have said.

It's true there are a number of issues which are ripping the mainstream denominations apart. In Anglicanism, there are extremely unbiblical things coming in, such as the endorsement of the practice of homosexuality even among the clergy, not to mention women vicars, an acceptance of other faiths (which contradict the bible), and a severe undermining of the authority of the scriptures, without which we must rely on tradition, opinion, feelings and spiritual hunches.

All I can say is, I could possibly accept that the earth is older than a most fundamentalists believe it is, but I could never accept that man evolved from different species' over time. I can accept Galileo's discoveries about the earth not being at the centre of the universe because this is not at odds with the bible, especially the older books of Job and Genesis. But I could never accept that God did not create man fully formed for a purpose, and that we were allowed to fall into sin, and that the rest of history has been the story of our redemption.

kwandongbrian said...

Anonymous,

It's been a few days. I've been a little sick, and the little guy is now - he'll be fine.

I got around to listening to the first sermon you suggested: "Conversion of an atheist".
One simple problem I had, or have in discussing his sermon is his timeline - I mean his life. He stated that there are no transitional fossils and I would like to contradict him -and, I believe I can, but most of the fossils I have heard of are relatively recent and I think he went to Princeton a few decades ago.
Perhaps that would make me more understanding in a sort of, "If you went to school today, you would learn about.... We didn't know about these things then" way.

I had to laugh right away at his example of giraffes. He said something like, "scientists think they evolved in drought condition but that is silly because hippos lived alongside giraffes and they didn't evolve long necks."

Boy, I am sure glad Giraffes don't live in drought conditions today - that would make him seem like a bad researcher. That was sarcasm - They do live in drought conditions now - yes, there is a little water in the rivers but months and months go by without any rain.

Anyway, if I spoke to him now, I would mention the variety of whale fossils, Tiktakliuk (sp?) and even the new bat fossil that has been found.Of course, Archeopteryx existed in his time, around six different full body specimens, in fact.

He pointed out, as you did, that we all start from a bias. I did not, as many creation researchers must, sign a paper saying that I would accept the bible (or The Origins of the Species) above all else - my bias is at least less than total. The speaker's claim that there are no transitional fossils at all suggests to me that his bias is also much stronger than mine.
---
You mention that naturalism requires that there be no supernatural events. The fancy word is "a priori". I mentioned the problem in the body of this post. You cannot test for supernatural events. In the flagellum experiment, I pointed out some of the things a supernatural being could do and make the experiment a waste of time.
---
You quote two examples of the problem of not accepting the supernatural (the eighth comment). I'm either not sure I believe they happened or I am not sure what the problem is. No one can deny there is randomness in life (it may be a requirement of free will, I am not sure), but evolution itself is not random - the "selection" in "natural selection" is a non-random component.
God/No God and truth -I don't see the connection.

Anonymous said...

To move things away from evolution per se and into the wider arena of science/faith...

My main point about ‘faith’ is that there is a distinction to be made between irrational ‘blind’
faith, such as someone with mental problems might have when s/he claims there are fairies at the bottom of the garden. And there is rational faith, based on
historical, geographical, archaeological, scriptural
evidence which espouses that there was a man called Jesus who lived in Nazareth. Now, the bit when he
says he was the embodiment of God in the flesh, as it were, is obviously going beyond the rational. That’s where the concept of ‘conversion’ comes in, because it takes God to touch your own life personally before you
can believe in God. Unlike all other religions, Christianity is about what God does for you, not what you do for God. I can't 'will' myself to God, nor can
I rationally explain him.

And this is the chief reason why experiments designed to find, search for or prove God are doomed to failure. Just as all other religions believe they can achieve or merit God’s favour by doing certain things, scientific inquiries which attempts to find God are equally futile. We live by faith (as Christians) precisely because there is nothing we can do to understand God except what he has revealed about himself for our benefit. He may at times use humans in an instrumental way but is not depedent upon our abilities and capacities. Of course, this is all coming from a Christian worldviewpoint, which I know
you don’t fully accept.

As far as I can see, scientifically measurable
evidence is fine up to a point, at least when you are dealing with empirically tangible things. But even then, there are philosophical systems which underpin this whole humanist worldview. Bacon’s empiricism and Descartes ego-centricism immediately spring to mind, neither which are merely neutral or natural, and both
of which take human ability and capacity as their starting points. Experiments are then done based upon what we know (cogito ergo sum), and upon what we have
the capacity to understand (ie. through repeated, observable conditions). But couldn’t there be other assumptions upon which our knowledge and understanding
are based? What if repeated observations aren’t relevant, especially with regard to the so-called ‘big bang’? What if the ‘I’ isn’t as infallible as we like to pretend? What if we take God as the starting-point
and not the hypothesis?

kwandongbrian said...

I searched for your 'two real-life examples'. You started with, "A young man approached me at a seminar and stated..." If you are not Ken Ham, you are a plagiarist, which is another name for a thief.
---
"What if repeated observations aren't relevant, especially with regard to the so-called ‘big bang’? What if the ‘I’ isn’t as infallible as we like to pretend? What if we take God as the starting-point and not the hypothesis?"
I just don't see any reason to do so. "Life is complicated, so let's add another layer of complication that has no evidence for it" seems like a very strange starting-point.

I can understand why cultures of a few hundred or thousand years ago would believe in a god or in gods; lightning, as one example, is a terrifying phenomenon that they would be unable to understand. Now that we know (at least a little) how and why lightning happens, there is no reason to believe in Thor, for example.

As far as I can see, gods were needed to explain the unexplainable but now the unexplainable is no longer so all-encompassing. Enough is explainable to suggest the rest might be as well.

kwandongbrian said...

I'm angry now!

I told you several times in the comments that this post was about Christians accepting evolution and yet you made me defend atheism here.

I'm angry with myself, by the way.

Still, again, remember that this is a post about Christians accepting evolution and not about the existence of God.

Oh, and as I started the previous comment discussing Ken Ham; if you are Ken Ham, why are you hiding behind anonymity?

Anonymous said...

OK, I should have made it explicitly clear that that was following on from my "An excerpt from AIG" post. I refer to the AIG website because I know you don't like it (although it's highly relevant) so wouldn't go there if I provided you with a link. I didn't mean to plagiarise someone else. In any case, their viewpoint concurs with mine.

As regards the 'I' statement, I was trying to show how your worldview is not simply obvious, natural or neutral but has certain, specific assumptions which underlie it. Indeed, your worldview is undeniably human-centred and puts all its trust in the five senses and the power of logical reasoning. Of course, before the point of creation and after the point of physical death it simply cannot go. To believe otherwise is unfounded and wildly, irrationally optimistic.

The human-centred worldview places the human as exclusively qualified to explore life, the universe and everything. In this worldview, morality is constantly changing and ultimately nothing is certain. History teaches us that humans are, at their worst, far more predatorial, vicious and murderous than animals. Christ teaches us that the only way to be redeemed is to admit your limitations and seek God.

There is a massive divide, though, between those who are truly converted and those who are not. But once you are, then the Christ-centred worldview will take God as its starting point and go from there. Morality is fixed and the origin and destination of creation are known by faith and through revelation. Science is useful if it leads to medical advances (so long as these aren't at the expense of morality), and is even wonderful in terms of space exploration. But ultimately we are only describing rather than discovering what God has created.

Without conversion, we can never fathom the depths of the human heart, mind and soul. All we can do is explore the material realm.
I can't over-emphasise the importance of spiritual conversion. Without it it is impossible to know God or even to have the desire to know God.

It takes God to work in your heart before you can be 'born again'. Until that time one is, spiritually speaking, an orphan in the dark. Humans by nature love darkness because it allows us to be morally irresponsible and self-indulgent. Without God, the best we can do is, like the ancient philosophers of old, 'Know thyself'.

kwandongbrian said...

Yeah, my students often plagiarize stuff: I fail them. I think its a form of copyright fraud.

I still don't understand this 'human-centered world' claim.

Sagan, I think, described many scientific discoveries at human demotions. This isn't the centre of the universe, humans are not the most important thing in the universe. Indeed, humans are of vanishingly small importance in the universe.

"Of course, before the point of creation and after the point of physical death it simply cannot go. To believe otherwise is unfounded and wildly, irrationally optimistic."

And also, nothing before creation nor after death can be measured or tested - there is no reason to believe that there is anything before the former or after the later, so imagining that such things are possible is obvious, that such things are likely or certain is ridiculous.

I would like to discuss Ham's rermarks but at a later time.

Anonymous said...

"I think its a form of copyright fraud."

As I said, it was all supposed to be under the umbrella of "An excerpt from AIG, even though I know you don't like them:"

"humans are not the most important thing in the universe"

And yet, in a sense we are, from either a secular humanist or Christian perspective. After all, it's you, a human, declaring this fact ABOUT the universe.

"there is no reason to believe that there is anything before the former or after the later"

Except that everything we can possibly experience has a beginning, middle and end, so it is not unreasonable to suggest that this beginning had an instigator and the end will have a resolution.

In fact, due to our limited, finite mortal natures it would take God to enter into our dimension through revelation and embodiment for us to be able to anything ABOUT God. Exactly the position of bible believing Christians.

Anonymous said...

check this out:

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=218082336407

kwandongbrian said...

Anonymous,
""humans are not the most important thing in the universe"

And yet, in a sense we are.."
In another, more truthful sense, we aren't. Don't include me in your beliefs. The thing about atheism, is that I am not united by a religion, I believe what I do, individually, because that where my understanding has taken me.

Regarding the "5 reasons for anti-evolution" - I have listened to it but I would like your opinions on the subject before I comment. Here are some points I would like to hear about:
1) The speaker spends 5 minutes saying creation is not the 'Genesis account' but the 'biblical account'. What do you say?
2) Do you think the speaker understands evolution?
3) Is man so very different from other animals?
4) anything else about the sermon.

I have that the next comment of yours that I will post will be on this subject.

Anonymous said...

"The thing about atheism, is that I am not united by a religion, I believe what I do, individually, because that where my understanding has taken me."

But the fact is that you are united by a religion. Your religion, secular humanism, places human at the centre of all understanding, rejects the revelations and embodiment of God, while all the while preaching that it is open-minded, progressive, rational and just. The cult of the consumer is the ultimate act of worship, since you are buying into the false relgion that what you personally do matters. The Christian worldview preaches that Christ (God with us) came to save us and that it is not what you do (for God) but who you are (in Christ). Only then can your works be based on faith and gratitude, and not on guilt and debt.

"1) The speaker spends 5 minutes saying creation is not the 'Genesis account' but the 'biblical account'. What do you say?"

I agree. The whole of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation speaks of an omnipotent Creator who created the heavens and the earth which cannot contain Him. It's not the case that only Genesis speaks of creation while the other 65 books talk about something else. There are many parts of the Bible, from beginning to end, which illuminate and add to our understanding of the initial
Genesis account.

"2) Do you think the speaker understands evolution?"

Well I wouldn't say that this speaker is the most intelligent man in the world, or that he has a PhD in 'evolutionary' biology. But what I would say is that he knows enough about the assumptions upon which that theory is built. From my perspective, this theory is not in the same ballpark as Newton's law of gravity or Galileo's discovery of the solar system. Furthermore, it's a theory which goes against what the scriptures say, unlike Newton's and Galileo's discoveries (discounting, of course, the prejudice of the Catholic church)

"3) Is man so very different from other animals?"

In one sense man is fairly similar to animals. They eat, sleep, drink, procreate, experience pain and pleasure just as we do. But in terms of having the capacity for abstract thought, reason, a conscience, and the ability to conduct scientific experiments and artistic expressions, not to mention the ability to worship, humans are utterly different to animals. At our worst we're worse than animals, at our best better than angels!

"4) anything else about the sermon."

Only that this is a preacher I've listened to for a while, and I know he's utterly sincere about the scriptures and never tries to sell scientific or political ideas alongside the inspired word of God. There are a lot of preachers in the States these days who meddle with the affairs of the world, and try to use worldly wisdom and knowledge to convince people that God exists. Big mistake. Any true Christian will start and end with the word of God and won't go beyond what is written. Otherwise you risk the madness of cults, which as you know from your encounters with the Jehovah's Witnesses, are not at all pleasant, godly or welcoming to honest debate. I was watching a documentary about Jim Jones the other day. A real wolf in sheep's clothing!

Anonymous said...

Although I don't really approve of his meddling with worldly wisdom, (since it's by plain preaching that men are saved) you might like to dip into one of these:

http://www.khouse.org/6640/BP089/

kwandongbrian said...

Anonymous,

I don't want you to think I'm changing the rules as I go but I would like to make this more of a two way communication. i feel that I am chasing links without getting much from you.

Thank you for commenting on the recent link (5 reasons to be anti-evolutionist).

I intend soon to comment on the audio, then post some questions for you - some audio for you to listen to and comment on. After that, I will accept more links and requests from you. As I am currently busy, I may not get to it until tomorrow.

Again, although I guess I am changing some rules, or making them up after the fact, I do intend to follow up on most of your requests.

Anonymous said...

Brian,

I appreciate that. Please also appreciate that I'm coming from a biblical position. I won't try to force my own opinions, ideas, experiences, arguments down your metaphorical neck. I'll do my best to give scripturally sound answers to your qusetions, and direct you to links where applicable, although as you've shown, this is perhaps not the best way forward. I'll do my best.

Sincerely,

P

kwandongbrian said...

First, I have been copying our comments and pasting them into Wordpad so that I can read them more easily. I hope you are doing the same or we risk going crazy - four words across for several metres of scrolling is pretty annoying.

"But the fact is that you are united by a religion. Your religion, secular humanism, places human at the centre of all understanding, rejects the revelations and embodiment of God"

I have a religion in exactly the same way not collecting stamps is a hobby. I don't so much reject the revelations of God so much as have seen no reason for a God to exist. I reject God as much as we both reject Thor.

"1) The speaker spends 5 minutes saying creation is not the 'Genesis account' but the 'biblical account'. What do you say?"
Your points may well be valid here: I was interested in the seeming error in logic he made. He quoted many section of the bible saying, "In Isiah ##, 'And god created the heavens and earth..." Christian evolutionists should be able to accept that and that God created man, but using evolution. What Christian evolutionists disagree with is Genesis' timeline of six days (whether that was 6000-odd years ago may be another story). unless Isiah##+1 said, "in six days as described in Genesis". What I see is either bad logic or an attempt at deception. In either case, why listen to the man?

"2) Do you think the speaker understands evolution?"
Well, I don't think you need a PhD in evolution to understand it although it does take a significant amount of study.
7:50 - "It's called a theory..it's a guess, a supposition..." A theory is not a guess, its a well-supported idea that has predictive power.

Quoting you now: "From my perspective, this theory is not in the same ballpark as Newton's law of gravity " - The interesting thing is that no one knows how gravity works (BTW: Gravity, like evolution, is both a fact and a theory) - Evolution is a stronger theory because we understand many of the mechanisms for it, and we don't with gravity.

Back to the speaker: By equating theory with guess, he clearly does not know what he is talking about.

"3) Is man so very different from other animals?"
The speaker comments on how animal parts cannot be transplanted into humans. This is partially true, but so what. Animal parts cannot be transplanted into other species of animals, either.
And, of course, very minor animal - human transplants do occur: "Today, [animal]- human organ transplants are commonplace. For example, more than 10,000 Americans received kidney transplants last year, with a three-year life expectancy of more than 85 percent, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), an organization of transplant programs and laboratories in the United States. Under contract to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, UNOS administers a national organ network, and its members set policies for equitable organ allocation.
http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/596_xeno.html"

The speaker says, animals cannot use tools. Chimps use tools to collect ants, birds use cars to crack nuts for them and even deliberately drop nuts on crosswalks so they can collect the broken nuts undisturbed -that sounds a lot like abstract thought, planning and tool use! Hippos will defend the body of a dead member of their herd from crocodiles, which I see as a remembrance and reverence for a deceased fellow. A chimp was recently tested and able to memorize a deck of cards faster than a champion card-memorizer.
We are different, but mostly in degree.
The speaker says animals have no soul. I dare him, and, I guess, you, to prove that. Define soul so that we can discuss its presence or absence.

4) Other points:
Quoting you: " Otherwise you risk the madness of cults, which as you know from your encounters with the Jehovah's Witnesses, are not at all pleasant, godly or welcoming to honest debate." The speaker called in the children to listen (around 10:30 in the audio). I have pointed out that he did not describe evolution accurately and used logical errors. More than that, he did not speak to children (in a style they would understand, I mean) so they simply heard him thunder incomprehensible stuff against evolution. This authority figure, who they could not understand, but who them parents paid rapt attention to, was against evolution.
I think poisoning the minds of children so that when they are old enough to make decisions themselves, they are already locked into a demonstratably false viewpoint is evil!
This man may not be as bad at the JWs, but again, I see a difference only of degree.

My other points:
5:00 "I will" vs. "God's will" - I am confused. Is he making a joke? Clearly (I am an English teacher, after all) 'will' has two distinct meanings -focused attention (will power) and future tense).

7:00 "Sin brought disease" - So, there was no disease before that? God then did not finish creation in six days - he made disease on a separate, later day? This might make sense because every animal with a vertebrae has perhaps thousands of other other animals living on and in it.
7:50 "The other explanation..." Really? There are no other explanations? In one sentence, he ignores Native American creation stories, a variety of Asian Creation stories and more. He also ignores the difference between so-called 'Old-earth' and 'young-Earth' creationists.

8:00 "Let me read you a paragraph from one of the books on evolution...Sometime, somewhere...." I think the man is lying. I do not believe that an evolutionist wrote that. If I could, I would challenge him to find out who said that and when. Actually, it is possible that, I don't know, a 15 year old might have said that.
17:20 " Evolution says... he will eventually evolve into an archangel...he'll continue to get better" - I dare him to find an evolutionist who says that!

Accountability: (18:??) Since Christians can be evolutionists, this doesn't make sense - again.
---___---___
I have some requests for you and some may be hard to follow. First, if you post another bit of audio with a man saying 'Evolution is not a fact, only a theory, a guess..." I will not listen further. Find someone who knows what they are talking about or stop.
Second, same thing, Find speakers (or speak for yourself) who do not think evolutionists want to destroy God. I have been over that subject enough that you must understand that it is unreasonable and also false.
Thirdly, I do not believe that Creationists are any more moral than evolutionists so I don't want to hear about evil evolutionists.
Fourth, there are transitional fossils. If someone wants to argue about one specific fossil, fine. If they say, "There are no transitional fossils", I stop listening.

Okay, those are my main points. Here are some links regarding transitional fossils (I live in a small town in Korea and cannot actually go to a library for more formal material). If the URLs are too long, you may have to put them in a word processor, then copy them over to your browser.

Audio:
Tiktaalik (Note that this is one of the researchers who found the fossil. He doesn't have a special axe to grind, he is just using evolution to make predictions and follow up on them -successfully, in this case).
http://www.cbc.ca/quirks/archives/05-06/apr08.html

early bird fossil
http://www.cbc.ca/quirks/archives/05-06/jun17.html

Crater Lake in Quebec (Pingualuit Lake) (This lake may not have fossils in it but it is measurably older than 6000 years)
http://www.cbc.ca/quirks/archives/07-08/jan12.html

Text and such:

feather fossils -transitionals
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/02/20/scidino120.xml

The link below goes to an article on hominid fossil skull sizes (note the smooth transition through time) and Padian's testimony at the Kitzmiller trial. Slide 37, I think shows what ID Creationists claim, while Slides 38-4? show what actually exists.
http://pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-search.fcgi?IncludeBlogs=2&search=matzke+fossil+skull

kwandongbrian said...

Your link to Khouse requires Real-player, which I don't have at home. I may try from work next week.

kwandongbrian said...

I've been thinking about our conversation here (I guess the modern term in fashion is "going meta"). As I see it, I've been thinking that a win for me would be convincing you to become an evolutionist (you could still remain a Christian, though). At the current time, you would consider this a loss for you, although if you converted, you would consider it a win.

I guess you feel the same about the opposite position. You want me to become a Christian. I, at this time, consider that a loss, but if I converted, I would agree that it would be a win.

Either of us convert:
Now- before the event: (Win/loss)
Future -after the event (Win/win).


I think this is not going to happen.

Is there anything else that might count as a win?
Well, I would consider it a win if you became more discriminating in your choice of arguments. If you agreed to discourage the use of some tired, worn out arguments, I think the whole debate might move forward.

First, Evolutionists are not bad, stupid people. The speakers you asked me to listen to, all misrepresented evolution; they made it sound as if evolutionists must be stupid to believe what they do, or else are lying and engaging in wishful thinking -lying to ourselves, basically.

Evolution is not a simple subject but there is significant evidence for it. Evolutionary scientists did not think, "I hate God, can I make up a new concept to escape believing in him?" Darwin found legitimate evidence and thought carefully about what he would say and what arguments would be brought against his theory. Evolution may not be perfect, but most evolutionary scientists are in it because they put years of research into the idea, not for any dishonourable reason.

You are welcome to disagree about evolution, but please encourage others to stop painting evolutionists as idiots or deceivers. (Actually, you are welcome to to continue painting evolutionists as idiots or the like, but I will stop listening).

Second, When describing what's wrong with evolution, discourage others from mentioning the Big Bang. That is physics, not biology -and usually misrepresented as badly as evolution is. Discourage others from discussing evolution is wrong because planets would not form that way. Again, that's physics, specifically astronomy.

Third, suggest that others learn what a theory is. It is not a guess, or a supposition, except maybe in crime novels or the like.

Well, if you agreed, or looked into, these things; whether you would actually encourage others to at least investigate them or not, I would consider that a win.

You are also welcome to tell me what you would consider a win. What arguments am I using falsely? If I want you to accept my arguments, I must at least look into yours (in listening to several (but not all, sorry) of the recordings you have suggested, I think I am acting, so far, in good faith).

Anonymous said...

“I have a religion in exactly the same way not collecting stamps is a hobby. I don't so much reject the revelations of God so much as have seen no reason for a God to exist. I reject God as much as we both reject Thor.”

OK, then let’s define religion as ‘worldview’ for the sake of argument. You and I don’t live in a vacuum. We have certain values, assumptions and priorities which are specific, not neutral. You don’t just live, you live by certain codes, rules and assumptions. As far as I know Thor has never developed into a worldview in the last millenium. Let’s take the scriptures seriously, as they have had a massive impact on western civilisation. It’s an honest statement that you have no reason to accept God. That’s because you haven’t been converted. However, there is hope for every human being as long as they are alive. Even the fact that you can be bothered with this dialogue shows that something in you is intrigued by Christ. Some of the greatest proponents of Christ have at one time been his most vociferous opponents.

”Your points may well be valid here: I was interested in the seeming error in logic he made. He quoted many section of the bible saying, "In Isiah ##, 'And god created the heavens and earth..." Christian evolutionists should be able to accept that and that God created man, but using evolution. What Christian evolutionists disagree with is Genesis' timeline of six days (whether that was 6000-odd years ago may be another story). unless Isiah##+1 said, "in six days as described in Genesis". What I see is either bad logic or an attempt at deception. In either case, why listen to the man?”

There is no bad logic. You are just describing Christian evolutionists’ misapplication of the scriptures in order to accommodate the theory of 'species mutation'. They’re trying to please the world AND please God, and it just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Unlike previous and subsequent discoveries (eg. gravity, DNA), the theory of 'species mutation' just will not and cannot be found in the scriptures. To be honest with you, it’s surprising that God took six days to create earth. Why not six minutes or six seconds!

”Quoting you now: "From my perspective, this theory is not in the same ballpark as Newton's law of gravity " - The interesting thing is that no one knows how gravity works (BTW: Gravity, like evolution, is both a fact and a theory) - Evolution is a stronger theory because we understand many of the mechanisms for it, and we don't with gravity.”

Except that we can all see and understand gravity, whereas evolution is supposed to have happened over billions of years and rests on a lot of geological and nuclear calculation. If it’s so well proven, then why the controversy, why the hoaxes, why the search for the missing link? Is is not possible that 'natural selection' has been confused with 'species mutation'? Even Christian fundamentalists don’t deny natural selection.

”The speaker comments on how animal parts cannot be transplanted into humans. This is partially true, but so what. Animal parts cannot be transplanted into other species of animals, either […….] The speaker says, animals cannot use tools. Chimps use tools to collect ants, birds use cars to crack nuts for them and even deliberately drop nuts on crosswalks so they can collect the broken nuts undisturbed -that sounds a lot like abstract thought, planning and tool use!”

So logically we should treat animals as humans, humans as animals? Why not endorse cannibalism, incest, murder? Why do we have a conscience which makes us feel guilt. Why do we even worship God? These things are not the actions of nut-cracking monkeys or tree climbing apes. Yes, there are enormous similarities between animals and humans, even genetic similarities. But that’s because we share the same creator. We were made by the same hand, so to speak. To cite a few examples of human-like behaviour by certain animals doesn’t convince me that humans are just animals, after all.

”The speaker says animals have no soul. I dare him, and, I guess, you, to prove that. Define soul so that we can discuss its presence or absence.”

Animals have no capacity to understand or commune with God. There may or may not be animals in heaven (I think there will), but they were not made in God’s image. They have no civilisation, no language, no culture, no worship and no conscience. All these things come from the soul. What is the soul? It’s the part of us which is capable of understanding God. A human can be converted because he or she has a soul. An animal cannot be converted because they lack that capacity.

”…. I think poisoning the minds of children so that when they are old enough to make decisions themselves, they are already locked into a demonstratably false viewpoint is evil!”

Humans have the capacity to reason with what they have been told. No Christian is born a Christian. They come to Christ at different ages, some never at all! That’s the one big difference between Christianity and other religions. In other religions, simply by following the external traditions and rituals makes you a member of that religion. Not so with Christianity. And as for attacking science. Well, as I’m sure you’ll appreciate, the jury’s still out on ‘species mutation’. We’re still awaiting the missing link, the fossil record is not conclusive, and the discovery of DNA put a serious dent in the the traditional Darwinist project. And yet it’s become such a big part of our western, secular humanist worldview!!!

"I will" vs. "God's will" - I am confused. Is he making a joke? Clearly (I am an English teacher, after all) 'will' has two distinct meanings -focused attention (will power) and future tense).

I’m also an English teacher, and I can tell you that words in the scriptures aren’t always bound by the same rules as normal, newspaper english. Will carries a special meaning. Even for philosophers this is so. You will not do something unless it’s in your will to do so. You will not do something that’s against your will. Humans are extremely wilful, stubborn and slow to the see the truth which came through the scriptures and culminated in Christ.

"Sin brought disease" - So, there was no disease before that?”

That’s right. With sin came disease.

“God then did not finish creation in six days - he made disease on a separate, later day?”

No, disease and decay were a judgement on the sin which human allowed himself to bring into the world. If we had obeyed God perfectly, no judgement would have come. But we’re so incapable of obeying God that it came sooner rather than later.

"The other explanation..." Really? There are no other explanations? In one sentence, he ignores Native American creation stories, a variety of Asian Creation stories and more. He also ignores the difference between so-called 'Old-earth' and 'young-Earth' creationists.”

Well, you’re not a believer are you? These kind of sermons are aimed at people who have crossed over from doubt, guilt and endless open-mindedness into the saving grace of God. I too used to be endlessly fascinated by all the various myths, philosophies and religions of the world. But when I started taking the bible seriously, things changed.

"Evolution says... he will eventually evolve into an archangel...he'll continue to get better" - I dare him to find an evolutionist who says that!”

Well perhaps it’s an implied paraphrase of where the evolutionary mindset is taking us. We’re so determined to progress, improve, change and evolve that we have this utopian kind of optimism that things can only get better. Again, history teaches us different. The twentieth century was the result of such thinking. A dystopian nightmare!!

”Since Christians can be evolutionists, this doesn't make sense - again.”

Christians come under all shapes and sizes. Anyone who calls himself a Christian is a Christian. Let God judge between false and true believers.

”First, if you post another bit of audio with a man saying 'Evolution is not a fact, only a theory, a guess..." I will not listen further.”

Not a problem

“Second, same thing, Find speakers (or speak for yourself) who do not think evolutionists want to destroy God. I have been over that subject enough that you must understand that it is unreasonable and also false.”

Well, what I’m trying to argue is that, unlike most other scientific discoveries of the world, this one (which is technically unproven) stands firmly against the authority and power the scriptures. I can’t compromise on this. God created humans different from animals. I’m open to new evidence being discovered, but I don’t think it will be. Perhaps we should differentiate between 'natural selection' (upon which all and sundry agree) and 'species mutation, esp. to ape-human' (upon which there is so much controversy)

”Thirdly, I do not believe that Creationists are any more moral than evolutionists so I don't want to hear about evil evolutionists.”

From a Christian perspective, we’re all sinners, guilty before God and there’s only one way to be forgiven and redeemed.

“Fourth, there are transitional fossils. If someone wants to argue about one specific fossil, fine. If they say, "There are no transitional fossils", I stop listening.”

Well so far as I am aware, we still haven’t found the ‘missing link’ between humans and apes. There have been plenty of hoaxes throughout the twentieth century, but no conclusive, categorical absolutely proven finds. I’m a bit slow. Can you direct me to the exact part where such proof has been found.

”I guess you feel the same about the opposite position. You want me to become a Christian. I, at this time, consider that a loss, but if I converted, I would agree that it would be a win.”

I’m not playing a game, Brian. For me it’s about the salvation of souls. Now whether or not this happens between now and judgement day is between you and God.

”First, Evolutionists are not bad, stupid people.”

I never said they were. I don’t discriminate between people. I pray for friends, foes and ex colleagues alike.

”Second, When describing what's wrong with evolution, discourage others from mentioning the Big Bang. That is physics, not biology -and usually misrepresented as badly as evolution is.”

But you can’t just restrict yourself to one scientific discipline. Surely the discoveries of physics, chemistry and biology are all interrelated. They’re all looking at the material universe in order to discover deeper truths about it.

”Third, suggest that others learn what a theory is. It is not a guess, or a supposition, except maybe in crime novels or the like.”

That’s a fair enough comment, although you yourself have just said that you want not to be associated with other scientific disciplines. Maybe you should invent a new word for 'theory' so we don’t get confused with the type of discoveries made by Newton and Einstein. ‘Worldview’, perhaps?

”Well, if you agreed, or looked into, these things; whether you would actually encourage others to at least investigate them or not, I would consider that a win.”

I promise you I’ll check out those links.

”You are also welcome to tell me what you would consider a win. What arguments am I using falsely? If I want you to accept my arguments, I must at least look into yours.”

To be honest, I feel you’re being quite sincere and are a reasonable person who’s open to reading the bible. This, of course, would be a win for me. To get you to read the bible slowly, seriously and with an open heart.

kwandongbrian said...

There is no bad logic. You are just describing Christian evolutionists’ misapplication of the scriptures in order to accommodate the theory of 'species mutation'"
There is either bad logic or the speaker did not read a sufficiently long quote. If the quoted text says Name #: and God created man, Name (#+1) as described in Genesis, I would give up the point. If that second line is not there, why couldn't God have used evolution? I don't see the tie to the Genesis timeline and because I don't, I can see a Christian saying, "I reject Genesis, but not the whole bible. Other chapters say God created man but not how or when so I can accept evolution". That may be right or wrong, but it is a logical statement. I stated that the speaker was illogical, and I stand by that claim.
---___---

"Except that we can all see and understand gravity" You understand gravity? Please tell me how it works. Be sure to share that with the Nobel committee, you could be in for some big bucks!
---___---

"why the hoaxes" I said that evolutionists are as moral (or as immoral) as any other group. There have been hoaxes. I am not aware of any by evolutionary scientists although there may have been.

I believe it was a poor farmer or scheming businessman who made the Archeoraptor (spelling may be off).
The one or two hoaxes from North America were also carried out by non-scientists, although some scientists may have been fooled.

Someone is currently selling Christ's cruxifiction nails on E-bay, by the way. One creationist hoax that has horribly insulted me is the supposed connection between evolution and Hitler. Mein Kampf references God at least once and evolution never (I do NOT claim that Hitler ever did anything but MISuse religion). This is an ongoing hoax. People reshaped ground impressions to make it appear that humans walked with dinosaurs. Dr Duane Gish falsely claimed that Human proteins were more similar to bullfrog proteins than to other primate proteins. Right back at ya; why the hoaxes?
---___---

"why the search for the missing link?" I don't know what you mean. Many transitional fossils have been found (ironically, the one gap then becomes two gaps, albeit smaller ones). The most famous, and definitely not a hoax, is Archeopteryx, of which there are more than 6 specimens. Well, I listed some links with links.

Perhaps you are discussing the poor fossil record and think scientists hide behind it. You may well have heard of the 'passenger pigeon', an extinct bird of North America. Around the time of the American civil war, reliable reports put the number of passenger pigeons at five billion individuals. Presumably, there were a similar number in the previous generation. There is not one passenger pigeon fossil to be found. Not one.
---___---

"Why not endorse cannibalism, incest, murder?" Now the insults and deliberate misunderstandings begin. Do you think I mean that? Do you think I am suggesting that? Are you that stu...no, I won't sink to your level.

An example of animal behavior I studied somewhat is found in gulls. If a gull senses danger, it will cry out and all the gulls will take wing to go to safety. Some gulls abuse this alarm cry. When Alpha (I wrote this a few times and felt naming the birds cleared things up) see Beta about to get some food that Alpha wants, Alpha gives the alarm cry and Beta flies away and Alpha gets the food.
Now, if all the birds are like Alpha, the alarm cry is useless or even costly and the whole society suffers. If only a few birds are like Alpha, then the Beta types suffer a tiny bit, while the Alpha types reap great rewards. There is some point where the number of Alphas grows high enough to damage the flock, harming all and so an equilibrium point is reached. No one plans it but it occurs naturally.
This is an observed effect but also a metaphor for human society. Most humans help each other but a few take advantage. I realize from your earlier response that I must spell this part out: I do not think we should all live on the beach and eat what the tide brings. I do think that we should be monogamous, unlike gulls. Still, the behaviors are remarkable similar. We display animal behavior or they display human behavior.
---___---

"Animals have no capacity to understand or commune with God". Show me how you commune with God and show me that animals do not do that. Do you meditate? Can we be sure that animals are not praying silently? I am uncertain of the meaning of 'commune' in this case and do not believe in God but I do not think you can demonstrate your case as an experiment. If you cannot, you are making empty, meaningless assertions. Oh, and demonstrate that you have a soul in a measurable way. Then, we can test to see whether animals have a soul. Good luck with that.
---___---

"I’m sure you’ll appreciate, the jury’s still out on ‘species mutation’...discovery of DNA put a serious dent in the traditional Darwinist project."

I think DNA has caused Darwin's theory to be changed, but I know of no dent. Darwin pretty much predicted a material with the properties of DNA.

Here's something interesting: Chromosomes have little markers at their beginning and end. Chimps have 48 chromosomes while we have only 46. This would be a big problem for evolution. Predictions were made that we would find a human chromosomes with start and end markers in the middle. It was found and the double size chromosome matched the two chromosomes in the chimp. Score one for DNA.

Bacteria sometimes insert their own DNA into animal nuclei. Such DNA usually does nothing and is unaffected by evolution so it is preserved. We can see that we have bacterial DNA that is identical to what's found in chimps and in the exact same place. Very unlikely to happen by chance. Score two for DNA!
I know of nothing negative to evolution regarding DNA. Please enlighten me.
---___---

"I’m also an English teacher, and I can tell you that words in the scriptures aren’t always bound by the same rules as normal, newspaper english. Will carries a special meaning. "

Okay. I felt the speaker was describing modern people using the word, but I can accept that I was nitpicking.
---___---

"That’s right. With sin came disease.

“God then did not finish creation in six days - he made disease on a separate, later day?”

No, disease and decay were a judgement on the sin which human allowed himself to bring into the world. If we had obeyed God perfectly, no judgement would have come"
Please point out in scripture that He created things at any time other than the original six days. You may have me on this as I am not knowledgeable on the bible.
---___---

"He also ignores the difference between so-called 'Old-earth' and 'young-Earth' creationists.”

Well, you’re not a believer are you? "
But, there are believers of Asian creation stories. To me, there are no explanations other than evolution that make sense, but if someone were to catalog alternate beliefs, I can think of more than one - another example of bad logic, in my opinion.
--___---

"Evolution says... he will eventually evolve into an archangel...he'll continue to get better" - I dare him to find an evolutionist who says that!” "Well perhaps it’s an implied paraphrase of where the evolutionary mindset is taking us"

Well, the mindset can take us anywhere it wants, that is not what evolutionary theory describes. I found out about the Mien Kampf thing from a Christian White Supremacy group - I do not think that is the majority viewpoint but if the speaker is willing to describe a minority, outdated view, why shouldn't I?
---___---

". A dystopian nightmare!!"
Yeah, it sure is horrible, what with the lifespan beyond forty years, having good teeth for life, not carrying parasites, working a forty hour week rather than sixty + hours....

Again, optimism isn't a scientific viewpoint, but I would rather live now than one hundred or more years ago.
---___---

"unlike most other scientific discoveries of the world, this one (which is technically unproven) "
Tell me one discovery in the world that is proven. Gravity is not proven. The wave theory of light is known to be wrong. Electron theory is not proven.

Proof is for math and alcohol.

Ironically, evolution is one of the best supported theories. I have been told that the Big Bang is also well supported but, since I already said I didn't want to defend it, let's leave that alone.
---___---

"Perhaps we should differentiate between 'natural selection' (upon which all and sundry agree) and 'species mutation, esp. to ape-human' (upon which there is so much controversy)"

Perhaps you should catch up on the controversy. The problem is the evolutionary tree has so many branches that it is hard to say which one is right. There is almost too much evidence right now.
---___---

"From a Christian perspective, we’re all sinners"
I'm with you. This is one thing we agree on.
---___---

", I would agree that it would be a win.”
I’m not playing a game, Brian. "

'Game Theory' - which is mathematical, and might be provable, I don't know - is relevant for most negotiations. If I cannot get everything I want and you cannot get everything you want, we will have to compromise.
---___---

”First, Evolutionists are not bad, stupid people.”

I never said they were."
Except in this comment where you claimed I was suggesting incest, cannibalism and murder. You must think I am a bad person to make that claim.
Actually, I was referring mostly to Dr. Griswold, but every speaker you have sent me to has misrepresented evolution to make evolutionists look stupid. I wasn't previously referring to you.
---___---

"”Second, When describing what's wrong with evolution, discourage others from mentioning the Big Bang. That is physics, not biology -and usually misrepresented as badly as evolution is.”

But you can't just restrict yourself to one scientific discipline..."

I am saying that evolution is one discipline. If someone wants to critique the Big Bang, they should criticize the people properly defending it. The Big Bang is not evolution.

I would agree that all science is physics. Physics handles one or two or a few items at a time. To deal with large numbers of interacting items, chemistry is used. When large groups of large numbers of interacting items are studied, biology is used.

I feel that some creationists like to claim the argument is one -to-one. Evolution -vs-creation, while I feel the argument is much of science vs creation. Physics; nuclear, planetary and astronomical; geology and biology are all counter creation.

I guess I mean that evolutionists (I am trying to define the term) do accept the Big Bang, an ancient Earth and evolution. Evolutionary scientists may accept these things but only study evolution. I just want it clear that when someone says evolution says that out of nothing the universe appeared, they are misrepresenting the case. I suppose Big Bang theorists say that but evolution is a discipline that starts after life begins. To be a hairsplitter, the creation of the first life form is not evolution.

Also, I don't have much of an education regarding the Big Bang. I know the basics and the evidence claimed for it but I have not studied nuclear physics, nor radio telecopy. I stand by my statement that evolution is not the Big Bang, but also I do understand the basics of evolution so I am more comfortable arguing the point.
---___---

”Third, suggest that others learn what a theory is. It is not a guess, or a supposition, except maybe in crime novels or the like.”
"That’s a fair enough comment, although you yourself have just said that you want not to be associated with other scientific disciplines. Maybe you should invent a new word for 'theory' so we don’t get confused with the type of discoveries made by Newton and Einstein. ‘Worldview’, perhaps?"

Perhaps not. The word theory is used in all disciplines with the same meaning. People on the street may use it differently, I agree to that. I really don't understand the difference between the theory of evolution and any theory that Newton or Einstein made.

Well-supported? Check. Predictive power? Check.

Really. Evolutionary scientists use the word just as physicists do.
---___---

"To be honest, I feel you’re being quite sincere and are a reasonable person who’s open to reading the bible. This, of course, would be a win for me. To get you to read the bible slowly, seriously and with an open heart."

Well, thanks. I must admit that I tried to read the bible recently but my eyes got awful sore reading the computer screen. There are a few copies at my university and I need to pick one up.

I can accept that atheism is a worldview, rather than a religion - is that a middle ground we can agree on?

I’m looking forward to hearing your comments on the transitional fossils.

kwandongbrian said...

Back to this remark:
"So logically we should treat animals as humans, humans as animals? Why not endorse cannibalism, incest, murder?"

Firstly, evolution is about what is, not what is right. In many cases, the Darwinian struggle is an unpleasant one. Wolves kill caribou, sometimes in gristly ways, often the poor, helpless babies. It is very sad. I don't want that to happen, but it does happen.

Secondly, "cannibalism, incest, murder": How many animals do these things?

I guess the Donner Party engaged in cannibalism, when they had no choice -I am not sure, but I think I would have chosen to starve -its easy to say that from my comfortable chair, just having eaten Green Tea Ice Cream.

I think some animals do commit cannibalism, but not many.

Incest: It does happen in humans. Recently, a pair of long separated twins unaware of their relationship, got married. It has also happened in worse situations. I think that in animals, it happens when other breeding candidates are unavailable. Do you know of any animals that regularly have sex within the family.
Boy, I sure hope no one in the bible had sex within their family, especially not in a tale where such behaviour appeared to be condoned. Yep, Even one story would be enough to make me sick, not a LOT of stories.

Murder: People do murder each other. I am not at all condoning it, but it does happen. I wonder what the murder rate for people is compared to that of other animals. I honestly don't know but I think people have the higher rate. Who suggested this was an animal behaviour, I guess the onus is on you to find the rate for any species of animal that is higher than that for people. Good luck with that.

kwandongbrian said...

"...but I think people have the higher rate. Who suggested this was an animal behaviour,..."

That should be:
...You suggested this was an animal behaviour..."

Anonymous said...

There is either bad logic or the speaker did not read a sufficiently long quote. If the quoted text says Name #: and God created man, Name (#+1) as described in Genesis, I would give up the point.

Exodus 20:11, Exodus 31:17, Deut 4:32, Psalm 148:5, Isaiah 43:7
1 Cor 11:9, 1 Cor 15:45, 1 Tim 2:13, 1 Tim 2:14

"Except that we can all see and understand gravity" You understand gravity? Please tell me how it works.”

An apple falls to the ground. That’s gravity. A telescope sees the planets. That’s the solar system. You find some bones in the ground. That becomes a theory in which we evolved from mud.

"why the hoaxes" I said that evolutionists are as moral (or as immoral) as any other group. There have been hoaxes. I am not aware of any by evolutionary scientists although there may have been.”

There have been numerous hoaxes concerning ‘species mutation’. Why haven’t there been numerous hoaxes regarding ‘gravity’?

”I believe it was a poor farmer or scheming businessman who made the Archeoraptor (spelling may be off). The one or two hoaxes from North America were also carried out by non-scientists, although some scientists may have been fooled.”

http://www.nwcreation.net/evolutionfraud.html

”Right back at ya; why the hoaxes?”

Matt 24:24, Mark 13:22

"why the search for the missing link?" I don't know what you mean. Many transitional fossils have been found (ironically, the one gap then becomes two gaps, albeit smaller ones). The most famous, and definitely not a hoax, is Archeopteryx, of which there are more than 6 specimens. Well, I listed some links with links.”

But as far as I could see, nothing definitive and conclusive. You’d think there would be something, perhaps a large number of finds which would put the matter beyond doubt. We’ve had the time and technology.

”Perhaps you are discussing the poor fossil record and think scientists hide behind it. You may well have heard of the 'passenger pigeon', an extinct bird of North America. Around the time of the American civil war, reliable reports put the number of passenger pigeons at five billion individuals. Presumably, there were a similar number in the previous generation. There is not one passenger pigeon fossil to be found. Not one.”

Er, it’s hard for fossils to get fossilized in the first place, maybe, and you need the right conditions?

"Why not endorse cannibalism, incest, murder?" Now the insults and deliberate misunderstandings begin.”

I wasn’t meaning to lower the tone, but seriously wonder why humans don’t, as a whole, do these things, and have developed specific laws and moral codes, which more or less tally up with the ten commandments. I mean, when you talk about morality, conscience and guilt I can’t help but wonder why we’re so different to every other ‘species’.

”I do not think we should all live on the beach and eat what the tide brings. I do think that we should be monogamous, unlike gulls. Still, the behaviors are remarkable similar. We display animal behavior or they display human behavior.”

But there is a huge difference between the ‘herd’ or ‘pack’ mentality, and an abstract code of moral conscience, whereby it is wrong to steal, cheat, covet, lust etc. I’m not denying there are similarities between humans and animals. After all, they’re sentient, breathing, living beings with lifeblood as are we. What I’m suggesting is that our innate sense of guilt and need for worship comes from God, not self- or group-presevation.

"Animals have no capacity to understand or commune with God". Show me how you commune with God and show me that animals do not do that.”

Animals do not do things for reasons other than survival (self-group-preservation). Humans do things for reasons other than survival. There is no point in going to church or going for long, meditative walks but humans do them. To show you my communion with God is impossible because you are not converted or born again. It’s like a blind man and a man with sight having a conversation about colour.

”Darwin pretty much predicted a material with the properties of DNA.”

Pretty much predicted doesn’t sound very scientific to me. I wonder if you can provide any transcripts where Darwin pretty much predicts the discovery of DNA, and thus the miniscule complexity and organised information of cells.

”I know of nothing negative to evolution regarding DNA. Please enlighten me.”

“The most frequently cited example of DNA commonality is the human/chimpanzee "similarity," noting that chimpanzees have more than 90% of their DNA the same as humans. This is hardly surprising, however, considering the many physiological resemblances between people and chimpanzees. Why shouldn't they have similar DNA structures in comparison, say, to the DNA differences between men and spiders?”
(http://www.icr.org/home/resources/resources_tracts_scientificcaseagainstevolution/)

”Please point out in scripture that He created things at any time other than the original six days.”

I can’t. There IS, however, a ‘gap theory’ which postulates that there was a massive gap between the creation of heaven and the creation earth… but this is not widely accepted because there is not enough said about it. The bible is what God wants us to know. There were, for example, thousands maybe millions of good deeds that Christ did while on earth, but we are not privy to them. (John 21:25)

”Well, you’re not a believer are you? But, there are believers of Asian creation stories. To me, there are no explanations other than evolution that make sense, but if someone were to catalog alternate beliefs, I can think of more than one - another example of bad logic, in my opinion.”

Interestingly, there are numerous flood myths around the world. Now to a believer that indicates that the ‘flood’ was global and entered into the consciousness of all people. To an unbeliever it might trivialize the flood myth of the bible, betraying some deep underlying psychological insecurity about birth and death. In my opinion it’s become both easier and harder to believe in Christ over the centuries. We have more bibles, archaeological and historical evidence than every before, as well as the freedom to worship. But we also have the myth of 'species mutation' and unparalleled freedom to live however we want. Left to our own devices we will never repent and turn to God.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flood_myths

”Well, the mindset can take us anywhere it wants, that is not what evolutionary theory describes. I found out about the Mien Kampf thing from a Christian White Supremacy group - I do not think that is the majority viewpoint but if the speaker is willing to describe a minority, outdated view, why shouldn't I?”

Feel free. But we live in an incredibly arrogant, cynical age which denigrates and distrusts history, and thinks that science is the only hope we have.

". A dystopian nightmare!!"
Yeah, it sure is horrible, what with the lifespan beyond forty years, having good teeth for life, not carrying parasites, working a forty hour week rather than sixty + hours”

The most brutal, destructive century ever, both in terms of premature, war-related death but also in terms of political persecution and personal immorality. It was all supposed to be so different.

”Again, optimism isn't a scientific viewpoint, but I would rather live now than one hundred or more years ago.”

Life is very short, Brian. It’s a waiting room with only two destinations. Not to seek God is to gamble with your eternal soul.
Christ came so that you might have salvation. But you won't have it unless you seek it.

”Ironically, evolution is one of the best supported theories.”

It rests on a bunch of old bones and the theory of radio-carbon decay!

”The problem is the evolutionary tree has so many branches that it is hard to say which one is right.”

We cannot see the wood for the trees, as it were.

”If I cannot get everything I want and you cannot get everything you want, we will have to compromise.”

I won’t compromise on God. He’s omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. Humans are incredibly creative but also amazingly sinful and arrogant.

”Except in this comment where you claimed I was suggesting incest, cannibalism and murder.”

But aren’t these just socially constructed ‘mores’ which have no ultimate value. Who are we to judge or impose our western imperial baggage on those poor, unfortunate victims who are just slightly lower down on the evolutionary scale?

”I feel that some creationists like to claim the argument is one -to-one. Evolution -vs-creation, while I feel the argument is much of science vs creation. Physics; nuclear, planetary and astronomical; geology and biology are all counter creation.”

I agree, and so is most art, literature, media, lifestyle, attitude and culture. By nature men love darkness. We will not come to the light (John 1). You might find Dr John Polkinghorne’s work of interest, since you were just discussing physics.

”Really. Evolutionary scientists use the word just as physicists do.”

Well, what ‘laws’ have you come up with?

"Cannibalism, incest, murder": How many animals do these things?

I don’t know. You’re the biologist. I’ve really touched a nerve here, haven’t I!

“Boy, I sure hope no one in the bible had sex within their family, especially not in a tale where such behaviour appeared to be condoned. Yep, Even one story would be enough to make me sick, not a LOT of stories.”

Mark 10:1-9

“Murder: People do murder each other. I am not at all condoning it, but it does happen. I wonder what the murder rate for people is compared to that of other animals. I honestly don't know but I think people have the higher rate. Who suggested this was an animal behaviour, I guess the onus is on you to find the rate for any species of animal that is higher than that for people. Good luck with that.”

You’ve got me on this one. Of course animals don’t murder. They have no concept of justice or morality. They kill to survive. Only the wicked heart of man can conceive of, commit and feel guilt about ‘murder.’

”Well, thanks. I must admit that I tried to read the bible recently but my eyes got awful sore reading the computer screen. There are a few copies at my university and I need to pick one up.”

If nothing else, it gives you an enormous insight into the literature, art and music of the last millenium. Even Dawkins appreciates its artistic merit and believes it should be taught in schools.

”I can accept that atheism is a worldview, rather than a religion - is that a middle ground we can agree on?”

I can accept that…. I’ve checked out some of those links you sent me. The birds and feather stuff I found a bit unintereting. The ‘panda’ court case was quite interesting. It made me realise that people don’t come to faith in Christ through rational, scientific debate but solely through the power of the bible, prayer and self-reflection.

Anonymous said...

Stepping away from the whole scientific debate for a moment, the ultimate question is "Do you think you're good enough to get into heaven by yourself?" If not, then you need Christ. And only those who find Christ will go to heaven, regardless of anything you might think, do or say. I'd stake my life on this.

Anonymous said...

Another few questions which you might like to think about are "What would it take for you to believe in God?" And "How else could God have gone about preserving perfect justice AND justifying fallen sinners at the same time?"

kwandongbrian said...

"Except that we can all see and understand gravity" You understand gravity? Please tell me how it works.”

An apple falls to the ground. That’s gravity."

Again, why or how does gravity work?

Anonymous said...

Put another way, you could see it like this. Sanding at the judgment throne at the end of time. There, it won't be what scientific theories you had a handle on, which church or temple you attended, what good deeds you did, how much you loved so and so in such and such a place etc. etc.
There will be only one issue. Do you know, love and trust in Christ? If not, why not? You had everything opportunity. Why didn't you accept the free gift of salvation while you had time? "Depart from me, I never knew you!"

kwandongbrian said...

" Exodus 20:11, Exodus 31:17, Deut 4:32, Psalm 148:5, Isaiah 43:7
1 Cor 11:9, 1 Cor 15:45, 1 Tim 2:13, 1 Tim 2:14"
Thank you. As a salve to my pride, the speaker did not state these things.
---

" http://www.nwcreation.net/evolutionfraud.html"
"much of the evidence now suggests that Neanderthal was just as human as us"/ I don't believe this is the case; I note there is no link to such evidence.
---
" ”Right back at ya; why the hoaxes?”

Matt 24:24, Mark 13:22
Are we agreed that bad people take advantage of others? You brought the point up, not me. I would not use the phrase 'false prophets' - but only men who desired to make extra money.
---
" "why the search for the missing link?" I don't know what you mean. Many transitional fossils have been found (ironically, the one gap then becomes two gaps, albeit smaller ones). The most famous, and definitely not a hoax, is Archeopteryx, of which there are more than 6 specimens. Well, I listed some links with links.”

But as far as I could see, nothing definitive and conclusive. You’d think there would be something, perhaps a large number of finds which would put the matter beyond doubt. We’ve had the time and technology."

Maybe you could do some research then. There are horse fossils, whale fossils, bony fish to amphibian fossils, bat fossils, feathered dinosaur fossils and hominid fossils that are all transitional. I can't help it if you ignore them. There are others, and technically, most are transitional, but I don't know them offhand.

The fossil record, even in its basic form, seems anti-creation. I am not interested in looking them up now, but at one level we find trilobites, above that armored fish, bony fish, other fish, amphibians, early reptiles, dinosaurs, different dinosaurs, early mammals, us. We never find trilobites with dinosaurs and we never find dinosaurs with humans. Never. That's a hard thing to explain according to creation. If we all lived together, remains should be found together.
---
" ”Perhaps you are discussing the poor fossil record and think scientists hide behind it. You may well have heard of the 'passenger pigeon', an extinct bird of North America. Around the time of the American civil war, reliable reports put the number of passenger pigeons at five billion individuals. Presumably, there were a similar number in the previous generation. There is not one passenger pigeon fossil to be found. Not one.”

Er, it’s hard for fossils to get fossilized in the first place, maybe, and you need the right conditions?"

Yeah, I was trying to be pre-emptive. A common creationist claim is that evolutionists hide behind a claim of a poor fossil record.
---
" "Why not endorse cannibalism, incest, murder?" Now the insults and deliberate misunderstandings begin.”

I wasn’t meaning to lower the tone, but seriously wonder why humans don’t, as a whole, do these things, and have developed specific laws and moral codes, which more or less tally up with the ten commandments. I mean, when you talk about morality, conscience and guilt I can’t help but wonder why we’re so different to every other ‘species’."
I still don't understand our differences in this regard. Animals don't do these things any more than we do.
---

" our innate sense of guilt and need for worship comes from God, not self- or group-presevation."

Your innate need for worship - I'm okay.
---
"Animals have no capacity to understand or commune with God". Show me how you commune with God and show me that animals do not do that.”

Animals do not do things for reasons other than survival (self-group-preservation). Humans do things for reasons other than survival. There is no point in going to church or going for long, meditative walks but humans do them. To show you my communion with God is impossible because you are not converted or born again. It’s like a blind man and a man with sight having a conversation about colour."

Yes, it is untestable You cannot possibly prove that animals do not commune with God. If you can't show that you do, you can't show that they don't.
Going to church is, for many, at least partially, a social experience. It ingratiates you with your community. I see value in meditation and in walking, you don't?
---
" ”Darwin pretty much predicted a material with the properties of DNA.”

Pretty much predicted doesn’t sound very scientific to me. I wonder if you can provide any transcripts where Darwin pretty much predicts the discovery of DNA, and thus the miniscule complexity and organised information of cells."

”I know of nothing negative to evolution regarding DNA. Please enlighten me.”
Alright, I may be overreaching here. I think he described something of the sort -I'll look into it.
---
" “The most frequently cited example of DNA commonality is the human/chimpanzee "similarity," noting that chimpanzees have more than 90% of their DNA the same as humans. This is hardly surprising, however, considering the many physiological resemblances between people and chimpanzees. Why shouldn't they have similar DNA structures in comparison, say, to the DNA differences between men and spiders?”
(http://www.icr.org/home/resources/resources_tracts_scientificcaseagainstevolution/)"

Do you feel that bacteria inserted the exact same DNA into human and chimp nuclei and that DNA adhered to the exact same place? Of all the DNA that a bacterium might have and in all the genes humans and chimps have, it all ended up the same. Finding bacterial DNA is not proof (nothing is, as I said earlier), but it is more supportive of evolution than creation.
Do you feel that humans should have beginning and end points in the middle of a chromosome, in such a way that mimics the DNA of chimps? That sounds like terribly inelegant design to include unnecessary stuff like that.
Or maybe, God is being deceptive - he is trying to trick us.
---

" ”Please point out in scripture that He created things at any time other than the original six days.”

I can’t. There IS, however, a ‘gap theory’ which postulates that there was a massive gap between the creation of heaven and the creation earth… but this is not widely accepted because there is not enough said about it. The bible is what God wants us to know. There were, for example, thousands maybe millions of good deeds that Christ did while on earth, but we are not privy to them. (John 21:25)"

So you are not depending only on the bible, but adding stuff to the contents and claiming biblical authority.
---

" Interestingly, there are numerous flood myths around the world. Now to a believer that indicates that the ‘flood’ was global and entered into the consciousness of all people. To an unbeliever it might trivialize the flood myth of the bible, betraying some deep underlying psychological insecurity about birth and death. In my opinion it’s become both easier and harder to believe in Christ over the centuries. We have more bibles, archaeological and historical evidence than every before, as well as the freedom to worship. But we also have the myth of 'species mutation' and unparallelled freedom to live however we want. Left to our own devices we will never repent and turn to God.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flood_myths"
I would like to know a little about where you live. I live in an area that has an average of a flood every few years. Almost everyone has seen a flood. The Korean flood myth has two people swept downstream, I think, and they eventually land on a shore and meet an old man. I don't see much supernatural about that.
Dragons are a different and interest case. I don't know why so many cultures have dragon stories.

Native American and Korean (and probably other, if I look) have creation myths that involve animals taking human form to begin the race. I don't take this as an example of evolution at all, but it is interesting that so many cultures believe the first man or woman was a bear or something. If you accept the truth behind flood myths, dragon myths and animals turning into humans to start whole races also have to be looked at.
---

”Well, the mindset can take us anywhere it wants, that is not what evolutionary theory describes. I found out about the Mien Kampf thing from a Christian White Supremacy group - I do not think that is the majority viewpoint but if the speaker is willing to describe a minority, outdated view, why shouldn't I?”

Feel free. But we live in an incredibly arrogant, cynical age which denigrates and distrusts history, and thinks that science is the only hope we have.

Again, common perception or misperception is not science.

My point, I think, was critics unhappy with evolution should criticize evolution, not a minority viewpoint of it.
---

" Life is very short, Brian. It’s a waiting room with only two destinations. Not to seek God is to gamble with your eternal soul.
Christ came so that you might have salvation. But you won't have it unless you seek it."

No, its a waiting room with a hole in the ground to be buried in at the end of it. I am not afraid.
---

”Ironically, evolution is one of the best supported theories.”

It rests on a bunch of old bones and the theory of radio-carbon decay,"

... and DNA, and behaviour and fits with the other theories, as you stated earlier. The spread of animals around the world are explained by evolution - please explain how marsupials are primarily in Australia and not in Europe in a creationist way.
---
" I won’t compromise on God. He’s omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient.

You can keep God, but you are likely to compromise on your goals with me for the short term.
---

" ”Except in this comment where you claimed I was suggesting incest, cannibalism and murder.”

But aren’t these just socially constructed ‘mores’ which have no ultimate value. Who are we to judge or impose our western imperial baggage on those poor, unfortunate victims who are just slightly lower down on the evolutionary scale?"

No idea what you are talking about. When I compared us to animals, you brought up murder and the rest. This is your job to explain.
----

”I feel that some creationists like to claim the argument is one -to-one. Evolution -vs-creation, while I feel the argument is much of science vs creation. Physics; nuclear, planetary and astronomical; geology and biology are all counter creation.”

" ”Really. Evolutionary scientists use the word just as physicists do.”

Well, what ‘laws’ have you come up with?"

Again, please learn a little science. I have no idea what you are talking about, here. Theory means a well-supported concept with explanatory power. From the Dover Trial: a well-substantiated explanation of some aspects of the natural world.
---
"Cannibalism, incest, murder": How many animals do these things?

I don’t know. You’re the biologist. I’ve really touched a nerve here, haven’t I!

Well, you put those words into my mouth. You take no responsibility for me being angry about it? You really think that's what I meant? I can't hold back, maybe you are stupid.
---
" “Boy, I sure hope no one in the bible had sex within their family, especially not in a tale where such behaviour appeared to be condoned. Yep, Even one story would be enough to make me sick, not a LOT of stories.”

Mark 10:1-9"
I don't see your point here. Was I too subtle. This is what I was referring to:
"our father will soon be too old to have children. Come, let’s get him drunk with wine, and then we will sleep with him. That way we will preserve our family line through our father." So that night they got him drunk, and the older daughter went in and slept with her father. He was unaware of her lying down or getting up again.

"The next morning the older daughter said to her younger sister, "I slept with our father last night. Let’s get him drunk with wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him. That way our family line will be preserved." So that night they got him drunk again, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. As before, he was unaware of her lying down or getting up again. So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father." (Genesis 19:23-25, 30-36 , NLT) "

---



“Murder: People do murder each other. I am not at all condoning it, but it does happen. I wonder what the murder rate for people is compared to that of other animals. I honestly don't know but I think people have the higher rate. Who suggested this was an animal behaviour, I guess the onus is on you to find the rate for any species of animal that is higher than that for people. Good luck with that.”

You’ve got me on this one. Of course animals don’t murder. They have no concept of justice or morality. They kill to survive. Only the wicked heart of man can conceive of, commit and feel guilt about ‘murder.’"

Animals don't kill their own species normally. That was my point. I wasn't describing killing for food, for example.
----

I can accept that…. I’ve checked out some of those links you sent me. The birds and feather stuff I found a bit unintereting. The ‘panda’ court case was quite interesting. It made me realise that people don’t come to faith in Christ through rational, scientific debate but solely through the power of the bible, prayer and self-reflection.

Padian's science slides are famous for their clear explanatory power. Please recognize that the transition from aquatic animal to land animal is wonderfully laid out for you. Tiktaalik was discovered after the trial but fits in there as well.
Again, think about Tiktaalik. Evolutionists saw there was a gap between fish and amphibians. The timeline meant that a transitional species should be found at one specific time period. They spoke to geologists, asking where they would find an area that was swampy at that time. They went they and found the fossil. The theories of two different disciplines fit together beautifully.
---

" Stepping away from the whole scientific debate for a moment, the ultimate question is "Do you think you're good enough to get into heaven by yourself?" If not, then you need Christ. And only those who find Christ will go to heaven, regardless of anything you might think, do or say. I'd stake my life on this."

I sure hope you are not praying to the wrong god, making, him angrier and angrier.

Anonymous said...

“Matt 24:24, Mark 13:22 Are we agreed that bad people take advantage of others? You brought the point up, not me. I would not use the phrase 'false prophets' - but only men who desired to make extra money.”

I would absolutely bring up this point. There are wolves in sheep’s clothing. We know this from the bible (John 10) and just looking from the awful evil of cults over time. There is a great need for wisdom, humility and patience with regard to the bible. We each need to trust God more and be very discerning about who we will listen to and take seriously)

“We never find trilobites with dinosaurs and we never find dinosaurs with humans. Never. That's a hard thing to explain according to creation. If we all lived together, remains should be found together.”

Well I’m not sure about this, and I’m sure many creationist scientists would disagree. But you have to remember that the human populated world was much smaller in those days. Far, far fewer people than there are now.

Yeah, I was trying to be pre-emptive. A common creationist claim is that evolutionists hide behind a claim of a poor fossil record.

But as far as I know the fossil record is open to interpretation. And if there was a huge, catastrophic flood, then wouldn’t this have shaken things up a bit? It might explain various gaps and disparities in the record.

”I still don't understand our differences in this regard. Animals don't do these things any more than we do.”

Animals will kill and be killed, it’s the law of the jungle. They have no morality and just eat to live and live to eat. Humans have to have a higher purpose, unlike beasts.

”Your innate need for worship - I'm okay.”

Yeah, you worship your life and your lifestyle. I’m sure that’s ok from your point of view. But God requires you to worship him through Christ.

”Going to church is, for many, at least partially, a social experience. It ingratiates you with your community. I see value in meditation and in walking, you don't?”

My point was really about the fact that humans do things which are not strictly necessary for survival. We do things that animals have never done and will never do. We have language, arts, science, worship and a conscience. There’s no evidence that animals have these things in any meaningful way. Please don’t suggest that monkeys cracking nuts fulfils this criteria.

”I know of nothing negative to evolution regarding DNA. Please enlighten me.”

Irreducible complexity, the whole ‘information’ movement which contradicts the theory that simple cells evolve into more complex cells.

“Or maybe, God is being deceptive - he is trying to trick us.”

I wouldn’t want to say that about God. But as I said, all living things come from the same source so there are bound to be commonalities. Humans, though, were created for a different purpose. Perhaps God allowed monkeys and apes to exist to make fools of those who don’t believe in God?

”So you are not depending only on the bible, but adding stuff to the contents and claiming biblical authority.”

Not at all. I’m just pointing out that there are tantalizing glimpses into things beyond what we can safely say from the scriptures. The fall of Lucifer, the childhood and many other works of Jesus and the vision of ‘end times’, for example. All are mentioned but not dwelt upon. The overarching message of the bible is salvation and redemption. It’s relevant for humans now. The rest is for God to know and us to find out after we die.

”Native American and Korean (and probably other, if I look) have creation myths that involve animals taking human form to begin the race. I don't take this as an example of evolution at all, but it is interesting that so many cultures believe the first man or woman was a bear or something. If you accept the truth behind flood myths, dragon myths and animals turning into humans to start whole races also have to be looked at.”

Well, all I can say is, that these things were infinitely more interesting to me before I became converted and ‘born again’. I live in the UK, by the way. Furthermore, the pre-flood world was very different to the post-flood world, in terms of climate, life expectancy and a whole host of other things. It must have been a radical transformation!

”Again, common perception or misperception is not science.”

But the twentieth century WAS an overwhelmingly atheistic century. Who could have predicted 9-11 and the effect it would have on the global state of things?

“My point, I think, was critics unhappy with evolution should criticize evolution, not a minority viewpoint of it.”

Fair enough.

”No, its a waiting room with a hole in the ground to be buried in at the end of it. I am not afraid.”

Well, the “fear of God is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1) But God is also love and takes no pleasure in sending souls to hell (2 Peter 3:9-10)

”marsupials are primarily in Australia and not in Europe in a creationist way.

I’m sure the ‘Answers In Genesis’ folk can give a better answer than I can. Ken Ham, after all, is Australian. I’m sure he would have done a lot of research on the animals and mammals of his country.

”No idea what you are talking about. When I compared us to animals, you brought up murder and the rest. This is your job to explain.”

Well, unlike humans, animals live by no moral code and will do whatever it takes to survive. Uncivilized humans, moreover, will similarly live in an ungodly, immoral way if given half a chance. Hence things like cannibalism, incest and ritual sacrifices, which used to be run of the mill in the Americas, Africa and elsewhere before the Christianizing influence of more developed countries. Of course, there were abuses by these people too. Humans are so corrupt!

”Again, please learn a little science. I have no idea what you are talking about, here. Theory means a well-supported concept with explanatory power. From the Dover Trial: a well-substantiated explanation of some aspects of the natural world.”

I was referring to laws, such as the Newtonian laws or the second law of thermodynamics.

"Cannibalism, incest, murder": How many animals do these things?

Birds, dogs, pretty much any animal. I’ve revised the murder charge to killing.

”Well, you put those words into my mouth. You take no responsibility for me being angry about it? You really think that's what I meant? I can't hold back, maybe you are stupid.”

Well let’s not get carried away. My main thesis is to argue that animals are different to humans. I’m not a scientist. In fact, we’re both english teachers.

”I don't see your point here. Was I too subtle. This is what I was referring to:
"our father will soon be too old to have children. Come, let’s get him drunk with wine, and then we will sleep with him. That way we will preserve our family line through our father." So that night they got him drunk, and the older daughter went in and slept with her father. He was unaware of her lying down or getting up again.”

Well this is not condoned and even Moses’ compromise on divorce was due to the hard-heartedness of the Jews (God’s representative people), as Jesus refers to in
Mark 10:1-9. The people of the bible were not perfect, but they were God’s chosen people. God’s grace was greater and more magnanimous than their own sinful shortcomings.

“Animals don't kill their own species normally. That was my point. I wasn't describing killing for food, for example.”

But if push comes to shove they surely will.

”I sure hope you are not praying to the wrong god, making, him angrier and angrier.”
Me too!

kwandongbrian said...

Another few questions which you might like to think about are "What would it take for you to believe in God?" And "How else could God have gone about preserving perfect justice AND justifying fallen sinners at the same time?"

Well, to believe in the god of the Christian creation myth and the flood myth would be very difficult as there is no evidence for either.

Preserving perfect justice….: Well, an omnipotent, omniscient being should have no trouble doing it any way he wants. Instead of a Flood which killed all, a reverse rapture, where all the evil people went to Hell and the children under a certain age all survived – Moses could have run a soup kitchen or an orphanage. Or, God could wait ‘til sinners die and send them to Hell. God could make the evil ones unable to speak or to speak in unknown tongues. Destroying the children in a flood does not seem like perfect justice. I think abortion is wrong but God apparently had no qualms about killing innocent children, why shouldn’t people do the same ( Again, I do NOT think abortion is normally justifiable, I am simply comparing God’s actions, killing children, to the act of abortion – killing children).
---
Put another way, you could see it like this. Standing at the judgment throne at the end of time. There, it won't be what scientific theories you had a handle on, which church or temple you attended, what good deeds you did, how much you loved so and so in such and such a place etc. etc.
There will be only one issue. Do you know, love and trust in Christ? If not, why not? You had everything opportunity. Why didn't you accept the free gift of salvation while you had time? "Depart from me, I never knew you!"

“If not, why not?” – Well, God will know. God already knows. He knows what evidence it would take to convince me and has not reached that level. He has himself to blame. However, since there is no judgement throne at the end of time, I don’t see much to worry about.
---
“Matt 24:24, Mark 13:22 Are we agreed that bad people take advantage of others? You brought the point up, not me. I would not use the phrase 'false prophets' - but only men who desired to make extra money.”
I would absolutely bring up this point. There are wolves in sheep’s clothing. We know this from the bible (John 10) and just looking from the awful evil of cults over time.

I am confused. You questioned me about hoaxes as if they made the theory weaker. When I asked you about hoaxes, which come from Christian folk, you brushed it off. As I see it, you are not being consistent. There are evil people, there are people who are no more evil than you or I (no less evil, either) and there are people who are desperate for money for whatever reason. They cheat and affect most areas of commercial value. Hey, that’s almost like this group of gulls I know. Wow, humans displaying animal behaviour, imagine that!
---

“We never find trilobites with dinosaurs and we never find dinosaurs with humans. Never. That's a hard thing to explain according to creation. If we all lived together, remains should be found together.”
Well I’m not sure about this, and I’m sure many creationist scientists would disagree. But you have to remember that the human populated world was much smaller in those days. Far, far fewer people than there are now.
But as far as I know the fossil record is open to interpretation. And if there was a huge, catastrophic flood, then wouldn’t this have shaken things up a bit? It might explain various gaps and disparities in the record.

I love the hydraulic sorting claim. The claim that big heavy bones sank in the flood and so appear deeper than mammalian bones. It’s almost as if creationists don’t know that many dinosaurs were smaller than humans and, in this kind of sorting, would appear higher in the column – they don’t, by the way.
You might be able to argue one part of a fossil means one thing or another. The fossil layers show no humans with dinosaurs, no dinosaurs nor humans with trilobites. Interpret that for me. Please remember, we cannot prove any theory, but this is suggestive or supportive of evolution.
---

”Your innate need for worship - I'm okay.”
Yeah, you worship your life and your lifestyle. I’m sure that’s ok from your point of view. But God requires you to worship him through Christ.

God does not exist so his requirements are easy to fulfill. Worship my life?

”Going to church is, for many, at least partially, a social experience. It ingratiates you with your community. I see value in meditation and in walking, you don't?”
My point was really about the fact that humans do things which are not strictly necessary for survival.

My point was, social animals need to renew and strengthen social bonds. Monkeys don’t need to groom each other but the ones that do are better supported (alarm calls, other assistance) than the ones that don’t. It is known that the strength and number of social bonds a person has is related to increased lifespan.
---


”I know of nothing negative to evolution regarding DNA. Please enlighten me.”
Irreducible complexity, the whole ‘information’ movement which contradicts the theory that simple cells evolve into more complex cells.

Read the Dover trial and see where irreducible complexity gets you. The IDists have no scientific theory because nothing they say can be tested. I pointed that out in the body of this post.
You earlier said, no new information can be created. Well, if we have a gene of, say five units, one unit could mutate into something different. You might argue, there are still only five units. Well, other mutations or copy errors include repeat the gene. Now we have two identical genes of five units. You might say they are the same, there is no new information. Now a point mutation occurs and one of the genes changes. This is new information by any definition and is known to occur –although the five units bit is meaningless, just a hypothetical example. Now you know that the theory is not contradicted.
---

”Native American and Korean (and probably other, if I look) have creation myths that involve animals taking human form to begin the race. I don't take this as an example of evolution at all, but it is interesting that so many cultures believe the first man or woman was a bear or something. If you accept the truth behind flood myths, dragon myths and animals turning into humans to start whole races also have to be looked at.”

Well, all I can say is, that these things were infinitely more interesting to me before I became converted and ‘born again’. I live in the UK, by the way. Furthermore, the pre-flood world was very different to the post-flood world, in terms of climate, life expectancy and a whole host of other things. It must have been a radical transformation!

I request that you recall you brought up the point of myth. Now you are not defending it? Thanks for conceding the point to me.
---

But the twentieth century WAS an overwhelmingly atheistic century. Who could have predicted 9-11 and the effect it would have on the global state of things?
Interesting that you say 9/11 and atheism. You might want to think about that a little. I don’t notice many problems with northern European countries, which have a higher rate of atheism than those involved in the fighting.
The twentieth century was the one, so far, with the biggest weapons. Do you think that the American civil war or Cromwell’s war in England, various inter-European wars or the Crusades would not have been fought with these weapons if they existed?
This point does not relate directly to evolution nor the existence of God, but is an interesting part of the “science is a tool, neither good, nor bad” debate.
---
”marsupials are primarily in Australia and not in Europe in a creationist way.

I’m sure the ‘Answers In Genesis’ folk can give a better answer than I can. Ken Ham, after all, is Australian. I’m sure he would have done a lot of research on the animals and mammals of his country.

What I understand of Creationists claims about marsupials being found only in Australia, South and North America is that they apparently ran down there using landbridges. I see no explanation for why there are no fossils near Turkey or the like, in the general area of Noah’s landing. It is a strange claim, because many animals are faster than marsupials over a variety of distances so the questions become 1) Why no marsupials in Eur-asia? 2) Why no placental mammals in Australia’s history and 3) Landbridges? When? Where? If marsupials could have walked to Australia, Australia’s position would have to have been very different. You might say, plate techtonics. I agree but that requires millions of year. There is no way that Australia could have moved so far in the 4000 years generally given as a time for the flood.
Please, enlighten me about the flood. Evolutionists love the flood because it is impossible in so many ways and it is claimed to have happened so recently.

Let’s stick to time related issues for now.
4) 8 people four thousand years ago. The pyramids were built soon thereafter and Greece had enough people to become civilized. China and India had measurable populations. Did people have babies on the run as they crossed continents?

5) Two wolves, two sheep. What did the wolves do while waiting for enough baby sheep to be born to feed them? Extrapolate this among all predators and prey and eight humans. Also consider that wherever the ark landed, there would be no vegetation as that would be killed by a year of brackish water so humans would have to keep feeding the sheep and such.

6) Army ants are not found anywhere but in South America, I think. How did they get there. If they evolved within their kind, recognize that humans were in South America a thousand or more years ago and saw army ants. Do you think evolution is that fast while at the same time denying is exists at all?

Not related to time exactly, you talk about a pre-flood environment. Give evidence that a flood occurred and what the environment was like.
---

[shifted to another part of the thread with the same subject] ”I still don't understand our differences in this regard. Animals don't do these things any more than we do.”
Animals will kill and be killed, it’s the law of the jungle. They have no morality and just eat to live and live to eat. Humans have to have a higher purpose, unlike beasts.
”No idea what you are talking about. When I compared us to animals, you brought up murder and the rest. This is your job to explain.”
Well, unlike humans, animals live by no moral code and will do whatever it takes to survive. Uncivilized humans, moreover, will similarly live in an ungodly, immoral way if given half a chance. Hence things like cannibalism, incest and ritual sacrifices, which used to be run of the mill in the Americas, Africa and elsewhere before the Christianizing influence of more developed countries. Of course, there were abuses by these people too. Humans are so corrupt!
[shifted to a different point in the thread] "Cannibalism, incest, murder": How many animals do these things?
Birds, dogs, pretty much any animal. I’ve revised the murder charge to killing.
”Well, you put those words into my mouth. You take no responsibility for me being angry about it? You really think that's what I meant? I can't hold back, maybe you are stupid.”
Well let’s not get carried away. My main thesis is to argue that animals are different to humans. I’m not a scientist. In fact, we’re both english teachers.
[shifted] “Animals don't kill their own species normally. That was my point. I wasn't describing killing for food, for example.”
But if push comes to shove they surely will.


“My main thesis is to argue that animals are different to humans”. I would say this as humans are different to the other animals. When I mentioned that animals have behaviours similar to human behaviours, you immediately asked if I was condoning incest, cannibalism, and murder. My main thesis in responding to such a horrific claim (I do feel you owe me an apology) is that Humans do these same things. I, and evolution, does not deal in what people, or animals should do, it deals in what people and animals do. If you think I am condone these things, you are horribly wrong and I think you making that claim is far worse than me calling you stupid. I would prefer to be stupid than a proponent of murder, incest and cannibalism. Once again, cannibalism: Humans have done this. I am not talking about Jeffrey Dahmer here, but the Donner Party or the rugby players from the movie alive. These were starving people who had to choose between death by starvation or eating dead people. Again, I would like to think I would choose to starve, but I don’t know. MOST ANIMALS DO NOT COMMIT CANNIBALISM! I am shouting because I already told you this. Animals live by no moral code, but disease can come from dead animals, especially ones closely related to you. Cannibalism is a good way to pick up disease. Monkeys, for example, can carry disease that affects humans. They, or humans are a bad thing for humans to eat. Cattle, which are very distantly related to humans, carry few diseases which affect humans and are safer to eat.
MOST ANIMALS DO NOT COMMIT INCEST! I am shouting because you seem to not have heard me previously. Lot’s daughters felt they had no alternative so they slept with their own father. Dogs might commit incest, but mostly only because no unrelated dogs are around. Genetically, incest is bad. Animals that regularly engage in incest don’t do so well.

To paraphrase you, Cannibalism, incest, murder"Birds, dogs, pretty much any animal does these things. NO THEY DON’T. A few do but not many and those that do, do so only in the case of need, much as I clearly pointed out that humans have done so. The murder rate killing within one’s species, is much lower in most animals than in humans.

Again, you claimed I was advocating these horrible things. You should be happy I only called you stupid. I am willing to take that back, by the way, if you did not know the American story of the Donners. Maybe that is not so well known in Britain.

I accidentally cut the bit about Lot. This story seems to suggest that if need be, in dire circumstances, incest is okay.



”Again, please learn a little science. I have no idea what you are talking about, here. Theory means a well-supported concept with explanatory power. From the Dover Trial: a well-substantiated explanation of some aspects of the natural world.”

I was referring to laws, such as the Newtonian laws or the second law of thermodynamics.
I am still lost. Why would I make laws? Of course, Newton’s laws are no longer watertight. They don’t work so well with the very small or the very fast. Submicroscopic particles, like electrons, can be in two places at once, conflicting for brief periods with whichever law states ‘matter cannot be created nor destroyed’.

kwandongbrian said...

"The ‘panda’ court case was quite interesting. It made me realise that people don’t come to faith in Christ through rational, scientific debate but solely through the power of the bible, prayer and self-reflection."

Funny, the Panda court case made me realize how much some Christian Creationists would lie, lie and lie some more to try to achieve their ends.

I followed the case closely and would love to share comments with you on it.

Anonymous said...

“Well, to believe in the god of the Christian creation myth and the flood myth would be very difficult as there is no evidence for either.”

Well, what evidence would satisfy you, considering that we ARE a part of creation and that water tends to evaporate from the scene of the crime?

”Instead of a Flood which killed all, a reverse rapture, where all the evil people went to Hell and the children under a certain age all survived”

But you yourself admitted that we’re ALL sinners. Given this fact, how can any of us deserve NOT to be judged, since we've all come short of the perfection required by the law. By the way, the bible says nothing about sending children to hell. The majority of heaven may well be made up of the souls of children. By referring to the ‘soup kitchen’ I’m assuming that you don’t believe God has the right to redeem whomsoever he will. You’re defining a social gospel by which people earn their way to heaven through doing good deeds.

“He knows what evidence it would take to convince me and has not reached that level.”

So the onus is on God to seek you, even if you’re not bothered about seeking him? God’s existence is guilty until proven innocent in your books, eh!

“There are evil people, there are people who are no more evil than you or I (no less evil, either) and there are people who are desperate for money for whatever reason.”

No, there are only evil peole. The world is a fallen world, inhabited by fallen humanity. We are all as evil as each other, that is, until we are ‘born again’ and forgiven for our sin.

”The fossil layers show no humans with dinosaurs, no dinosaurs nor humans with trilobites. Interpret that for me. Please remember, we cannot prove any theory, but this is suggestive or supportive of evolution.”

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/what-happened-to-the-dinosaurs

”God does not exist so his requirements are easy to fulfill.”

That’s something you can’t prove and won’t know until your physical death or spiritual birth.

“Worship my life?”

Things you live for, whatever they are.

”My point was, social animals need to renew and strengthen social bonds.”

But this is not the same as worship. You’re suggesting that church = social club. I’m telling you from experience that it’s not (at least for truly born again believers)

”Now you know that the theory is not contradicted.”

But you still haven’t explained how we got those cells in the first place. How is it that the basic building blocks of life are so utterly and extraordinarily complex?

”I request that you recall you brought up the point of myth. Now you are not defending it? Thanks for conceding the point to me.”

Of course it’s a myth to those who believe it’s a myth. 9-11's a myth in the eyes of some.

”The twentieth century was the one, so far, with the biggest weapons.”

And with the first ever worldview based exclusively on atheism, ie. communism.

”You might say, plate techtonics. I agree but that requires millions of year.”

Not if God had a hand in it.

“Evolutionists love the flood because it is impossible in so many ways and it is claimed to have happened so recently.”

And floods are so immensely destructive, water being such an extremely powerful force.

”8 people four thousand years ago.”

No… about 4500 years ago.

“The pyramids were built soon thereafter”

Not that soon after.

“Greece had enough people to become civilized.”

So you’re saying Greece became civilized around 2500 BC!

“China and India had measurable populations.”

Population growth doesn’t take that long.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v22/i2/recovery.asp

”Not related to time exactly, you talk about a pre-flood environment. Give evidence that a flood occurred and what the environment was like.”

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v15/i1/flood.asp

http://www.biblestudy.org/basicart/longpatr.html

ANIMAL CANNIBALISM

Unlike previously believed, cannibalism is not just a result of extreme food shortage or artificial conditions, but commonly occurs under natural conditions in a variety of species[1].[2] [3]In fact, scientists have acknowledged that it is ubiquitous in natural communities. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannibalism_%28zoology%29

ANIMAL SEXUALITY

Researchers have observed monogamy, promiscuity, sex between species, sexual arousal from objects or places, sex apparently via duress or coercion, copulation with dead animals, homosexual, heterosexual and bisexual sexual behaviour, and situational sexual behaviour and a range of other practices among animals other than humans. Related studies have noted diversity in sexed bodies and gendered behaviour, such as intersex and transgender animals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_sexuality#Types_of_activity

ANIMALS KILLING

Surplus killing is the behavior predators exhibit when they kill more prey than they can immediately use. They may partially consume, cache, or abandon intact prey. This behavior has been observed in zooplankton, damselfly naiads, predaceous mites, weasels, wolves, orcas, red foxes, spotted hyenas, spiders, brown bear, lynx, and mink.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surplus_killing

”This story seems to suggest that if need be, in dire circumstances, incest is okay.”

It’s never condoned. It was Lot’s daughters, not Lot, who were guilty of this act. Lot's family line gave rise to the doomed Moabites, and played no part the formation and promises of Israel. Remember, there's only one person in the bible who's perfect. The rest of us are saved by grace through faith (or not, as the case may be).

Regarding court cases, isn’t it more about the US’s constitution separation of church and state?

On December 20, 2005, Judge John E. Jones III ruled in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania that the Dover Area School District cannot teach Intelligent Design in a science class room, due to its religious origins. The separation of church and state, as required by the first amendment in the United States Constitution, prohibits any government agency from endorsing religious points of view.[9][10]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dover%2C_Pennsylvania#Intelligent_design_controversy

kwandongbrian said...

Cannibalism
Your Wikipedia link suggested that 1500 species or likely more engage in cannibalism. Seeing as there are more than one million species, with some estimates as high as fifty million, I stand by my statement that cannibalism in humans is probably more common than in other animals.
http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2003/FelixNisimov.shtml

Animal sexuality
Since that wasn't what we were discussing (I did not notice incest mentioned although I read only the first few paragraphs), what you are doing is called 'moving the goalposts' and strikes me another example of dishonest behaviour. I wonder why you didn't link to the incest page at wikipedia - oh, right, because it vindicates my position and my point.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incest
"Presumably because of the genetic harm done, animals inbreed only in extremely unusual circumstances: major population bottlenecks and forced artificial selection by animal husbandry. Pusey & Worf (1996) and Penn & Potts (1999) both found evidence that some species possess evolved psychological aversions to inbreeding, via kin-recognition heuristics."

We really are dodging the original point here.
"So logically we should treat animals as humans, humans as animals? Why not endorse cannibalism, incest, murder? " Anonymous 9:02pm (Blogger is strange in providing a timestamp, but not a date.)

You claimed that by treating humans as animals, I was implicitly condoning these things. I have already mentioned that evolution, as with most sciences, is a study of what is, not what should be. You like physics examples; we can make nuclear weapons but that has no bearing on whether we should or should use them."

You have not tried to correct that impression. Do you think I endorse cannibalism or incest? You changed the other category so I'm leaving it out. Please respond to this one point before we go further.

kwandongbrian said...

Cannibalism:
"I stand by my statement that cannibalism in humans is probably more common than in other animals."
Maybe I don't quite stand by the point as written above.

To compare one species (humans) to 50 million species is a little crazy.

Let me try this:
Humans do engage in cannibalism and a large number of animal species, in my opinion a majority, do not. Yeah, I can stand behind that.

Anonymous said...

I'm saying that, logically speaking, you're endorsing a worldview in which there is no difference between humans and animals. Such a worldview has led to and will lead to more and more immoral, degrading behaviour. Abortion, euthanasia and homosexuality are just the tip of the iceberg. When human life is no longer sacred and an atheistic system is in place, we have seen and will see far worse than these. Incest, cannibalism were problems of the past. Genetic engineering and sexual perversions will be problems of the future. I'm not saying you personally endorse all these things, you probably don't. But in terms of a Christian worldview, it's pretty clear what God demands. Whether or not certain biblical characters transgressed these demands is another matter and not really relevant. The point is, only through Christ can a human be saved from condemnation and be truly pleasing to God.

kwandongbrian said...

I'm saying that, logically speaking, you're endorsing a worldview in which there is no difference between humans and animals.
Absolutely. Although our understanding or opinion on what that means differs.
Such a worldview has led to and will lead to more and more immoral, degrading behaviour. Abortion, euthanasia and homosexuality are just the tip of the iceberg.
I wish those immoral animals would stop aborting their foetuses. Damn animal abortionists!

Hopefully for the second -last time, I am describing what is, not what should be. I personally believe that abortion is a bad thing although when the mother's health is at risk, I think it is less bad than the alternative -one death rather than two. Probably I would accept a greater number of reasons or rationales for abortion than you would but do not imagine that I consider it a reasonable form of birth control, for example. I actually have not thought enough about euthanasia to defend any position. Not homosexual myself, I would have trouble describing my feelings on the subject when my point, now for the last time, is that evolution has nothing to do with what people or other animals should or should not do.


When human life is no longer sacred and an atheistic system is in place, we have seen and will see far worse than these.
Here's the thing. I, as an atheist, do think life is sacred. After all, we have nothing but this life.

Incest, cannibalism were problems of the past. Genetic engineering and sexual perversions will be problems of the future. I'm not saying you personally endorse all these things, you probably don't.
I guess this is as close as you'll get to an apology.

But in terms of a Christian worldview, it's pretty clear what God demands. Whether or not certain biblical characters transgressed these demands is another matter and not really relevant. The point is, only through Christ can a human be saved from condemnation and be truly pleasing to God.
If one believes in your religion.

I'll post commentary on the other points of your previous post shortly.

kwandongbrian said...

“Well, to believe in the god of the Christian creation myth and the flood myth would be very difficult as there is no evidence for either.

Well, what evidence would satisfy you, considering that we ARE a part of creation and that water tends to evaporate from the scene of the crime?

Okay, water evaporates- where did sufficient water to cover the globe evaporate to? On the same subject, where was the water before the flood?

”Instead of a Flood which killed all, a reverse rapture, where all the evil people went to Hell and the children under a certain age all survived”

But you yourself admitted that we’re ALL sinners. Given this fact, how can any of us deserve NOT to be judged, since we've all come short of the perfection required by the law. By the way, the bible says nothing about sending children to hell. The majority of heaven may well be made up of the souls of children. By referring to the ‘soup kitchen’ I’m assuming that you don’t believe God has the right to redeem whomsoever he will. You’re defining a social gospel by which people earn their way to heaven through doing good deeds."


Did you or did you not ask me what I thought God could have done instead of flooding the planet and killing all? God apparently felt that some people were more wicked than others or he would not have sent the flood. I responded to a question you asked. If you don't like the answer, don't ask.
---___---
“He knows what evidence it would take to convince me and has not reached that level.”

So the onus is on God to seek you, even if you’re not bothered about seeking him? God’s existence is guilty until proven innocent in your books, eh!


Try this logic chain and point out a fault in my logic: God knows everything including what it would take for me to believe in him. I do not see evidence to believe in him. He knows that . He knew that before I was born. If I don't believe in him, he cannot be surprised by the fact.

If I gave you a test regarding points of historic interest in Sokcho, South Korea and you failed, I would not think you stupid or particularly ignorant as I have no reason to expect you to know about Sokcho.
---___---

“There are evil people, there are people who are no more evil than you or I (no less evil, either) and there are people who are desperate for money for whatever reason.”
No, there are only evil people. The world is a fallen world, inhabited by fallen humanity. We are all as evil as each other, that is, until we are ‘born again’ and forgiven for our sin."


This was in response to a discussion of hoaxes. You asked, "Why the hoaxes?" We agree that every man is a sinner (that was my 'no more and no less evil than you or I' comment) so why did you ask about hoaxes? In the context you asked it (or possibly in the context that other creationists have asked it and I wrongly attributed the same motive to you), you were implying that the hoaxes meant evolution was false. When I then asked about hoaxes Christian Creationists perpetrated, you retreated to a 'well, everyone is evil' view. If that is your view, why did you ask about hoaxes based on evolution?
You seem to want it both ways. If I question you on an ethical subject, you respond, "all men are sinners". At the same time, you expect me to believe that an atheistic worldview leads to moral degradation. So, do you feel God creates moral behaviour on Earth or not? If not, enough with the moralizing.


”The fossil layers show no humans with dinosaurs, no dinosaurs nor humans with trilobites. Interpret that for me. Please remember, we cannot prove any theory, but this is suggestive or supportive of evolution."

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/what-happened-to-the-dinosaurs

From AIG:There is also physical evidence that dinosaur bones are not millions of years old. Scientists from Montana State University found T. rex bones that were not totally fossilized. Sections of the bones were like fresh bone and contained what seems to be blood cells and hemoglobin. If these bones really were tens of millions of years old, then the blood cells and hemoglobin would have totally disintegrated.26 Also, there should not be “fresh” bones if they were really millions of years old.

I think you should listen to what one of the original discoverers has to say:
http://www.cbc.ca/quirks/archives/04-05/apr02.html
---___---

”You might say, plate tectonics. I agree but that requires millions of year.”

Not if God had a hand in it.


Again, then you can throw science out the window and you are back to faith and I am back to the evidence. You have mentioned physics in the past as a more real science (my phrasing, I know, not yours). The physical laws tell us that if the plates moved so fast, the rock would have melted.
---___---

“Evolutionists love the flood because it is impossible in so many ways and it is claimed to have happened so recently.”

And floods are so immensely destructive, water being such an extremely powerful force.
”8 people four thousand years ago.”
No… about 4500 years ago.
“The pyramids were built soon thereafter”
Not that soon after.


you're right. I should have said during the flood.
2700-1640 BC
Pyramid-building period; largest pyramids built for Cheops, Chephren, and Mycerinus
2550-2490 BC
Building of the pyramid tombs for Khufu (Cheops) and Khephren (Chephren), the largest of the Egyptian pyramids

http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/EGYPT/TIMELINE.HTM
---___---
http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v22/i2/recovery.asp
Interestingly, reproductive rates of elk (large herbivores) early in the recovery period at Mount St Helens were among the highest ever seen, probably due to availability of high-quality forage from recovering vegetation. Survival of offspring also increased, probably a reflection of the low numbers of predators, which only moved in and multiplied later once herbivore herd numbers had increased.
So, tell me about the vegetation after salt water covered the earth for one year. A lot of coconuts, were there? Even if the water were not that salty, most vegetation dies during a prolonged soak. Mangrove are remarkable because they do live with their roots submerged -of course they have 'breathing tubes' coming up from their roots. Tell me also about the low numbers of predators that got off the ark right next to their food supplies.

Here is an interesting attempt to model population growth after the flood:
The reproduction was [assumed to be] divinely supported to be as effective as possible. Here are the groundrules, as optimistic as I could imagine them being:

- The maximum human lifespan is over 120 years old
- All women who are between the ages of 13 and 55 have sex once every single week that they do not have their period or are currently pregnant, on average 90% of all potentially pregnant women are pregnant at any given time
- Their odds of successful fertilization per attempt are 1 in 3
- As soon as a girl turns 13, she begins producing children, no exceptions and she stays active producing children until the age of 55
- There is no infant mortality
- There are no deaths during childbirth
...
After 180 years from the Flood, at approximately the time period of the Tower of Babel, the population of the Earth the app comes up with numbers in the following ballpark (these are from a specific run, random factors lead to slightly different numbers with each run through):

- Population of the Earth: 61,162

Hey, not bad, I thought when I ran it the first time. A decent seed population for Babel, and only about 500 years after the claimed Egyptian dates... Then, I decided to break it down and I found something fascinating... They're almost all children under the age of 12:

- Girls under 12: 25,989
- Boys under 12: 21,446
- Adults (over age 12 qualifies as an adult here): 13,727

Also, at the time I stopped my simulation at 180 years, there were 6,694 women over the age of 13 of whom 5,291 were currently pregnant.
The rest were adult men.
..a world made up of only about 7,000 "adult" males, 5,300 pregnant women and 48,000 kids is not one in which the population would spread out, build massive cities and monuments, develop writing and all that because they'd be spending all their time raising children

---___---
" Regarding court cases, isn’t it more about the US’s constitution separation of church and state?

On December 20, 2005, Judge John E. Jones III ruled in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania that the Dover Area School District cannot teach Intelligent Design in a science class room, due to its religious origins. The separation of church and state, as required by the first amendment in the United States Constitution, prohibits any government agency from endorsing religious points of view.[9][10]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dover%2C_Pennsylvania#Intelligent_design_controversy"

Yes, that's true. However, to try to avoid the separation of church and state, the creationists lied and lied again to claim their views were not religious. Buckingham and Bonsell lied about where the money came from, and what they said to other board members. The publisher lied about the Christian nature of his organization and, my favourite part: early versions of the book gave a definition for creation science, while recent versions gave the same definition for Intelligent Design. In one wonderful example, version A said, "Creation scientists", version C said, "Design proponents" and version B said, "Cdesign Proponentists" - a fine transitional species, indeed.

An interesting sideline to the trial; all the evolution supporting expert witnesses gave their time freely (they almost definitely accepted travel expenses, accommodation and the like, but took not one cent for their time), while the ID expert witnesses all took and cashed their checks.

We agree that all men are sinners so I have to admit that all I get from this is a petty sort of satisfaction, as opposed to real, useful data.

Anonymous said...

“now for the last time, is that evolution has nothing to do with what people or other animals should or should not do.”

But as you’ve just demonstrated, it affects your moral judgements about ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. We’re only able to make moral judgements because we have a God-given conscience. The more you ignor it the less sensitive it speaks, but nevertheless it is there, and it’s not for us to condone immoral behaviour at any time. Of course, due to our sinful natures, it is impossible to obey God and lead a perfect life until you’re born again, at which time Christ replaces your old self and gives you the power to fight against personal sin.

“Here's the thing. I, as an atheist, do think life is sacred. After all, we have nothing but this life.”

But the ‘sacred’ realm, by definition, belongs to God. I think ‘valuable’ is what you mean, since of course your life is valuable to you, especially if you believe it finishes at physical death.

”Okay, water evaporates- where did sufficient water to cover the globe evaporate to? On the same subject, where was the water before the flood?”

The water most probably came from large subterraneous caverns and from the atmosphere above earth.

”God apparently felt that some people were more wicked than others or he would not have sent the flood.”

According to the bible, he felt that we were all as wicked as each other and deemed Noah to have ‘found grace’ in His eyes, grace being that which you receive from God, not that which you possess by yourself.

”I do not see evidence to believe in him. He knows that . He knew that before I was born. If I don't believe in him, he cannot be surprised by the fact.”

You’re right. God cannot be surprised at anything.

”If I gave you a test regarding points of historic interest in Sokcho, South Korea and you failed, I would not think you stupid or particularly ignorant as I have no reason to expect you to know about Sokcho.”

But I could search for information about Sokcho or trust in someone who had come from there. Similarly, God wants us to search the scriptures and our hearts. If you don’t have access to the scriptures then your heart will do. Anyone who realises the extent of their own sinfulness and turns to God will be saved. It’s not a petty, fault-finding mission, but a magnanimous outpouting of saving grace.

”So, do you feel God creates moral behaviour on Earth or not? If not, enough with the moralizing.”

God created us perfect, but we were not long out of the blocks before we decided to go our own way. God created the capacity for us to obey and to reason, which also means we have the capacity to do the opposite. However, since none of us can truly obey (as we demonstrate day to day), God came in person, to sacrifice His perfection for us, that it might be imputed to those who seek it.

”I think you should listen to what one of the original discoverers has to say: http://www.cbc.ca/quirks/archives/04-05/apr02.html”

OK, I’ll check it out when I have time enough to do it justice. Ultimately, though, all the wisdom in the world cannot discover God. God must reveal himself to us, since He is not bound by space, time and matter.

”The physical laws tell us that if the plates moved so fast, the rock would have melted.”

I’d like a few links for this.

http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/EGYPT/TIMELINE.HTM

And why is it you trust this particular link? In any case, Brian, I’ll concede that even Christians disagree about time. Some think each creation day was a thousand years, others that there was a huge time lapse between the angelic ‘fall’ and the human ‘fall’. It doesn’t ultimately matter. What ultimately matters is whether you know Jesus Christ. There may be many things we got wrong and which we’ll only find out after death, but this knowledge of Christ through conversion is the only way to enter God’s kingdom, which is ‘not of this world’.

”So, tell me about the vegetation after salt water covered the earth for one year. A lot of coconuts, were there? Even if the water were not that salty, most vegetation dies during a prolonged soak. Mangrove are remarkable because they do live with their roots submerged -of course they have 'breathing tubes' coming up from their roots. Tell me also about the low numbers of predators that got off the ark right next to their food supplies.”

You’d have to check out various creationist sites to get this. As I said, I don’t pretend to know everything… just enough to get to heaven.

”..a world made up of only about 7,000 "adult" males, 5,300 pregnant women and 48,000 kids is not one in which the population would spread out, build massive cities and monuments, develop writing and all that because they'd be spending all their time raising children.”

But it’s not impossible, and if our dates are wrong and the bible’s correct then it’s certainly possible. I mean, the great wall of China was built pretty swiftly and without modern technology (and with much barbarity!)

”The publisher lied about the Christian nature of his organization and, my favourite part: early versions of the book gave a definition for creation science, while recent versions gave the same definition for Intelligent Design.”

I’m sure the most mediocre of lawyers could turn the best of us into liars. And even if they did lie, perhaps it was more about interpretation and definition than calculated deception. Of course, if it was calculated deception then it’s inexcusable.

”An interesting sideline to the trial; all the evolution supporting expert witnesses gave their time freely (they almost definitely accepted travel expenses, accommodation and the like, but took not one cent for their time), while the ID expert witnesses all took and cashed their checks.”

Maybe the evolution supporting experts were significantly richer. Maybe the ID experts gave their checks to charity. But even if the evolutionists were ‘good’ people while the ID people were ‘bad’ people, that still doesn’t make God any less true. Unfortunately, there are billions of so-called ‘good’ people in the world. But if they haven’t turned to God at any point in their life, then they are attributing their goodness to themselves and not to God. Furthermore, it’s impossible to please God with good works without faith. It’s bad news for those who earnestly believe they are ‘good’, but good news for those who sorrowfully recognise they’re ‘bad’. Did the repentant thief next to Christ on the cross deserve to go to heaven, above the earnest do-gooder who hadn’t sought God. Of course not. But that’s why we call it the ‘gospel’. It’s good news for those who’ve seen their fundamental sinfulness, and bad news for those who’ve thought they were living a good life but were in fact rejecting Christ every step of the way!

kwandongbrian said...

“Here's the thing. I, as an atheist, do think life is sacred. After all, we have nothing but this life.”

But the ‘sacred’ realm, by definition, belongs to God. I think ‘valuable’ is what you mean, since of course your life is valuable to you, especially if you believe it finishes at physical death.


Okay - but you're dodging the point. By any logical measure, life should be more valuable to an atheist than to a Christian.
---

”Okay, water evaporates- where did sufficient water to cover the globe evaporate to? On the same subject, where was the water before the flood?”

The water most probably came from large subterraneous caverns and from the atmosphere above earth.


Back to physics or chemistry. Back to gas laws. Water in liquid form doesn't compress or expand. Small, hot caverns, as I think 'Old Faithful' in the US is, can emit a little steam. Water under pressure from rock will be forced out of the ground but once the pressure is released, no more water. As Americans in the western plains are finding out, when you remove the water, you get sink holes. If we have a subterraneous cavern and the roof is breached, we will have a lake, not a flooding of the ground.

The atmosphere does indeed hold water. On a relatively hot day, you get around 30grams of water per cubic meters of air. 30 grams = 30ml - 30cubic centimeters. To have a meter of liquid water, we then need (33.33cc is easier) 30,000 cubic meters of atmosphere. So, have a meter of water on the ground, we need all the vapour from a column 30 km tall (accepting that pressure would be constant, which we know it isn't ,which means the column would have to be taller - much taller).
My calculations: one cubic meter =100cm*100cm*100cm =1,000,000cc.
1,000,000/33.3333 =30,0000
This is following what you consider real scientific laws and theories. I told you that it is not creationism vs evolution but rather most of science vs. creationism.

---
”God apparently felt that some people were more wicked than others or he would not have sent the flood.”

According to the bible, he felt that we were all as wicked as each other and deemed Noah to have ‘found grace’ in His eyes, grace being that which you receive from God, not that which you possess by yourself.
-
Another few questions which you might like to think about are "What would it take for you to believe in God?" And "How else could God have gone about preserving perfect justice AND justifying fallen sinners at the same time?"
(This comment from you was timestamped 1:16- its about halfway down the page.)
You asked me "how else God could have gone about preserving perfect justice". I feel that not killing all the children would be a great way to preserve justice.
We have more or less agreed that all people are sinners. Actually, we said, 'men', but we both agreed that we meant all humankind (I think we implicitly agreed). I am changing my stance here. You, as a Christian, may believe that we are born sinners or conceived as sinners, while I believe that we are all born innocent. All babies have the capacity for evil and are certainly covetous, but they cannot know any better. I don't know what the earliest age a person can informedly decide to be Christian. Let me pick an arbitrarily low number; 2 years old. I cannot accept that God flooding and killing babies under two years of age can be considered perfect justice.

In response to your specific question, I suggested a way for them to be saved. You then went about good works not being the way to heaven (in regard to my 'Noah could run a soup kitchen or orphanage' suggestion). I feel I answered your question honestly and correctly. Your God killed innocent babies and you want me to think that is perfect justice. You asked the question and I answered it, then you tried to change the question. I accuse you of back-pedalling.

---___---

”I do not see evidence to believe in him. He knows that . He knew that before I was born. If I don't believe in him, he cannot be surprised by the fact.”
You’re right. God cannot be surprised at anything.
”If I gave you a test regarding points of historic interest in Sokcho, South Korea and you failed, I would not think you stupid or particularly ignorant as I have no reason to expect you to know about Sokcho.”
But I could search for information about Sokcho or trust in someone who had come from there. Similarly, God wants us to search the scriptures and our hearts. If you don’t have access to the scriptures then your heart will do. Anyone who realizes the extent of their own sinfulness and turns to God will be saved. It’s not a petty, fault-finding mission, but a magnanimous outpouting of saving grace.


I have searched for information and it contradicts the bible. I have read parts of the bible and was required to read it in my childhood. I am still unconvinced. I have put the work in, trying to learn about a being for which their is no evidence. Should I also read about Thor and consider the evidence for him? I have seen lightning, after all, and he thought to be the God of lightning.
---___---

”So, do you feel God creates moral behaviour on Earth or not? If not, enough with the moralizing.”

God created us perfect, but we were not long out of the blocks before we decided to go our own way. God created the capacity for us to obey and to reason, which also means we have the capacity to do the opposite. However, since none of us can truly obey (as we demonstrate day to day), God came in person, to sacrifice His perfection for us, that it might be imputed to those who seek it.
--
This shifted from the beginning of the comment. it seems to fit here: "now for the last time, is that evolution has nothing to do with what people or other animals should or should not do.”

But as you’ve just demonstrated, it affects your moral judgements about ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. We’re only able to make moral judgements because we have a God-given conscience. The more you ignor it the less sensitive it speaks, but nevertheless it is there, and it’s not for us to condone immoral behaviour at any time. Of course, due to our sinful natures, it is impossible to obey God and lead a perfect life until you’re born again, at which time Christ replaces your old self and gives you the power to fight against personal sin.


You are assuming facts not in evidence. I see no reason God created us perfect or otherwise. I do see moral behaviour, but I see it from people of all sorts: atheists, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and others. I see it in all people. I might be able to accept this as neutral evidence: If all people act this way, that could mean we evolved those behaviours or it could mean God put those morals into all people. I don not see any reason to automatically give this point to God, though.

---___---

”I think you should listen to what one of the original discoverers has to say: http://www.cbc.ca/quirks/archives/04-05/apr02.html”

OK, I’ll check it out when I have time enough to do it justice. Ultimately, though, all the wisdom in the world cannot discover God. God must reveal himself to us, since He is not bound by space, time and matter.

Back to throwing the evidence out. You can believe that God did it, or even that you personally did it, then forgot. Until you can give a satisfactory reason for believing it, you have not reason for others to even consider your ideas.

”The physical laws tell us that if the plates moved so fast, the rock would have melted.”
---___---
I’d like a few links for this.

http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/EGYPT/TIMELINE.HTM

And why is it you trust this particular link? In any case, Brian, I’ll concede that even Christians disagree about time. Some think each creation day was a thousand years, others that there was a huge time lapse between the angelic ‘fall’ and the human ‘fall’. It doesn’t ultimately matter. What ultimately matters is whether you know Jesus Christ. There may be many things we got wrong and which we’ll only find out after death, but this knowledge of Christ through conversion is the only way to enter God’s kingdom, which is ‘not of this world’.


A few other sites listed similar start dates (around 4600 years ago) but this was the first site I came to that had start and end dates clearly visible. We have moved to the flood now, not creation. It sounds like you are trying to ignore the evidence again. Again, that is your choice, but please stop bothering me with your irrational choices.
---___---

”So, tell me about the vegetation after salt water covered the earth for one year. A lot of coconuts, were there? Even if the water were not that salty, most vegetation dies during a prolonged soak. Mangrove are remarkable because they do live with their roots submerged -of course they have 'breathing tubes' coming up from their roots. Tell me also about the low numbers of predators that got off the ark right next to their food supplies.”

You’d have to check out various creationist sites to get this. As I said, I don’t pretend to know everything… just enough to get to heaven.

If you mention a site for me to check, then run away when questioned on it, well, why should I listen to you any further? You believe, that's fine. You cannot defend your beliefs; that's fine, too. However, if you cannot or are unwilling to defend them, stop waving them in my face, please.
---___---

”..a world made up of only about 7,000 "adult" males, 5,300 pregnant women and 48,000 kids is not one in which the population would spread out, build massive cities and monuments, develop writing and all that because they'd be spending all their time raising children.”

But it’s not impossible, and if our dates are wrong and the bible’s correct then it’s certainly possible. I mean, the great wall of China was built pretty swiftly and without modern technology (and with much barbarity!)


http://home.earthlink.net/~swier/pyramid.html
The original paper used the surviving intact Old Kingdom Pyramids of Egypt as examples. Manpower to build the pyramid of Khufu, the largest pyramid, was found to be roughly 8000 to 10000 men over some 23 years. (The article relates to further studies, which may change these numbers).
Please recall that the simulation considered boys over 12 year of age to be men. The paper I am linking to now, reminds us that this number is only for men working on the pyramid, not for farmers, or other personnel. Do you think five thousand pregnant women, each caring for nine children, could also do the farming and feed the workers?

As you say, the Great Wall was built swiftly, but by a workforce that was surplus to the day to day needs of their communities.
---___---

”The publisher lied about the Christian nature of his organization and, my favourite part: early versions of the book gave a definition for creation science, while recent versions gave the same definition for Intelligent Design.”

I’m sure the most mediocre of lawyers could turn the best of us into liars. And even if they did lie, perhaps it was more about interpretation and definition than calculated deception. Of course, if it was calculated deception then it’s inexcusable.

”An interesting sideline to the trial; all the evolution supporting expert witnesses gave their time freely (they almost definitely accepted travel expenses, accommodation and the like, but took not one cent for their time), while the ID expert witnesses all took and cashed their checks.”

Maybe the evolution supporting experts were significantly richer. Maybe the ID experts gave their checks to charity. But even if the evolutionists were ‘good’ people while the ID people were ‘bad’ people, that still doesn’t make God any less true. Unfortunately, there are billions of so-called ‘good’ people in the world. But if they haven’t turned to God at any point in their life, then they are attributing their goodness to themselves and not to God. Furthermore, it’s impossible to please God with good works without faith. It’s bad news for those who earnestly believe they are ‘good’, but good news for those who sorrowfully recognize they’re ‘bad’. Did the repentant thief next to Christ on the cross deserve to go to heaven, above the earnest do-gooder who hadn’t sought God. Of course not. But that’s why we call it the ‘gospel’. It’s good news for those who’ve seen their fundamental sinfulness, and bad news for those who’ve thought they were living a good life but were in fact rejecting Christ every step of the way!


I think you are weakening your earlier argument about belief in God gives our society moral values.
---__---

I have not seen you offer any evidence for your beliefs. You have asked me to listen to various sermons. I have listened to some of them, by no means all, and considered what you have said.
You have made claims and after considering them and reading your links, I attempted to rebut them. You have immediately hidden behind a claim that it doesn't matter, only God knows.
That is your choice and you are welcome to it, but if you continue to run from your own claims or the evidence I provide, I see no reason to listen to you. You have, so far, driven me further from any interest in becoming a Christian than I previously had. Um, I may have overstated my point there. I other words, I had no intention of becoming a Christian and you reinforced that decision with your lack of logic and poor arguments. I'll give you a few more days but this discussion is soon coming to an end and I feel my choices to be the rational ones.

Anonymous said...

Brian,

I think you're right... we're coming to the natural end of our respective arguments and reasons for believing in God or not. Regarding the death of babies, God never punishes anyone who doesn't have the capacity to seek Him. That includes babies and the handicapped. So they're in heaven now. Other than that, I would urge to you to consider the temporary nature of physical existence, the sincerity of Christians' testimonies about being 'born again', the fact of your conscience and the power of the scriptures. I'll leave you with the words of Jesus:

"I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."

(Revelation 3:18-22)

kwandongbrian said...

You've thrown a lot of links at me and I've tried to read them (or listen to them).

I'm tired of it. Please respond to the links I sent you and/or explain the point of your recent links -which I rejected.

I may publish them if you send them again, but only with some explanation.

I sort-of know you, but those two comments seemed spam to me - a like with no context.

kwandongbrian said...

Wait a minute:

England...
English Teacher...
One initial is 'P'
----
Patrick, is that you? If it is, how are you since you left Kwandong?

Anonymous said...

Hi Brian,

Yes, things are well. I'm training to be a secondary school english teacher and my wife's expecting! Actually, becoming a Christian was one of the things that helped me decide to leave Korea, but that's a whole other story. I didn't mean to use my 'anonymity' as a cloak, but kind of didn't want 'me' to get in the way of the robust argument at hand.

I do intend to read up a bit more on evolution, and your links are useful. The links I sent most recently are good because they represent that 'third way' we talked about a while ago... gap theory, progressive creationism and theistic evolution all to some extent depart from a literal reading of Genesis so I thought you might like to read about them.

hope you, your wife and son are all well,

Patrick.

kwandongbrian said...

I feel like a detective or something.

I also feel that your anonymity gave you some kind of advantage - although I cannot see how, exactly. Still, that you knew very well who I was and didn't let me know who you were - well, it probably didn't make much of a difference.
It does explain why a Britisher would use so many American links - your major was American Studies, as I recall.

I am troubled that you, who knew me, would make that incest, cannibalism and murder remark. I can just barely understand that a faceless creationist and a faceless evolutionist might cover that ground, but not two friends or at least semi-respected acquaintances.

If you resend those links, with a little more explanation, I will allow them.

I hope you and your wife and the wee one are all well.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Brian,

You too. Well, I didn't mean to offend with the anonymity and cannibalism stuff... I was just trying to make a point about the logical implications of a worldview, and wanted to keep as objective, impersonal and rugged as possible, allowing you not to spare my feelings by knowing who I was (although I thought you might have known)!

www.reasons.org is a site run by Hugh Ross, a respected thinker who doesn't hold to the young earth position

www.godandscience.org has a lot of good apologetics which again don't try to impose literality on those who are seeking to understand science and Christianity

www.answersincreation.org is again by Hugh Ross, and is in some sense a reply to Ken Ham answersingenesis project, so it might be of interest.

The point is, everything comes down to Jesus Christ. The various viewpoints and theories are all, to some extent, of secondary importance. If you die tomorrow, it's your view of Christ which will be of utmost importance.

sincerely,

P

kwandongbrian said...

I had no idea who you were until just before I wrote that comment. I had actually figured on emailing you to say I had mentioned you in my blog.

Our arguments have covered 'argument through science' which I think you are weak on, 'argument by Christianity', which I am clearly weak on and which you are consistent and clear about although I discount your initial starting point and 'argument by consequences' which I think you have been inconsistent.

My problem with argument by consequences is that evolution describes what is, not what it means. Nuclear physicists can make horrible weapons but that does not mean nuclear physics is wrong. If evolution is correct and humans act out all the worst examples of behaviour of the animal kingdom, well, evolution is still correct.

Of course I don't think that humans would act like the worst examples of animals - or that only a tiny percentage of humans will. In fact, humans already do. Incest appears to be as common (or as uncommon) in humans as it is in most other species. Murder appears to be more common in humans than in other animals. Homosexuality is a tough one- I am not convinced that it is bad; some animals do engage in homosexual-type behaviour but their motivations appear to be different that human's motivations for the act.

In looking at the actions of countries current and past, I see at least three variables.
Political style: Democratic and open or tyrannical and closed (I think these are the extremes, but I am not particularly knowledgeable about politics)
Religiosity: How religious the people of the country, in average, tend to be.
Temperature: This is meant to be a little humorous.
The USSR committed great horrors and was atheistic, but it was also a closed and tyrannical society. Pre revolutionary Russia was Christian but not a wonderful place then either.
North Korea is atheistic but also a tyranny.

When we look at democracies and compare the religiosity (is that even a word?) I would say northern European countries like Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland and Denmark are very open, very democratic societies and also relatively non-violent, and peaceful.
The US is an open society, but very religious. It has a huge percentage of their it's in prison and tends to accept higher amounts of violence from it's citizens. I understand that crime does not exactly equal sin, but it's a fair correlation.

Clearly being from a cold country emphasizes political positions!

I do not see particularly negative logical implications of an atheist worldview.

I think you have inconsistent because in the past, when we argued the point, you would ask, "Why the hoaxes?" When I asked, "Why the hoaxes?", you responded that all men are sinners.

I agree (we might argue the meaning of sin, but we would agree on at least half of the ten commandments), but if you agree with your own statement, the logical consequences of atheism on society are the same as theism.

Humans are social animals and need to follow social rules to live long, productive lives. There are cheaters (you may recall that I compared gull behaviour to human behaviour on the subject) but even atheists need to keep the number of cheaters low or the whole system falls apart.

The point is, everything comes down to Jesus Christ. The various viewpoints and theories are all, to some extent, of secondary importance. If you die tomorrow, it's your view of Christ which will be of utmost importance.
One thing I dislike about atheism: This is admittedly a petty point and probably brings shame on me. I am sufficiently confident of my position to not worry about what happens after death. I do wish that I were holding a viewpoint that did include it's own kind of afterlife, so I could laugh at the Christians who go on and on about their views of the afterlife. This is petty, and reflects purely on me, but I imagine, somewhere inside of some Christians, that after they die they will expect to be in a position to look down on atheists with superiority in their eyes. Atheists don't have that comfort.

kwandongbrian said...

"It has a huge percentage of their it's in prison"

Should be:
It has a huge percentage of its population in prison.

Anonymous said...

Brian,

Interesting stuff! I like the way you've analysed different factors, including climate, history, politics and all the rest. I'm not saying that atheism necessarily leads to horrible, corrupt societies. Indeed, humans are very good at getting along with each other, coming together to do remarkable things and generally being very kind, considerate, intelligent and perceptive.

But what I am talking about is 'knowing God', which I know sounds like a staggeringly presumptuous, arrogant, irrational thing to say. Nevertheless, that is the whole Christian project, and what the New Testament in particular is banging on about, again and again... God made manifest in the flesh, forgiveness of sins and communion with God through Christ.

Now, as regards looking down on people, that should be the very opposite. True Christians are the most humble, contrite people because they know they have something they don't deserve, and they will not get something they do deserve. The only thing any Christian wants is for others to receive the same 'conversional' experience.

Then again, you're right to say no one truly knows. No regular human has died and come back to tell the tale. No one can know in a categorical, conclusive, complete way until death. There is much need for humility. I have faith in life after death just as an atheist has faith in nothing after death.

P

kwandongbrian said...

We have been arguing about, among other things, the "logical implications" of my world-view.

Here is a blog, reviewing a newspaper article, about prisoners and religious beliefs. The atheist population, about 10% in the US is well below 1% in prisons.
http://friendlyatheist.com/2008/03/01/prisoners-and-spritual-guidance/

kwandongbrian said...

That link again,
http://tiny.cc/DcnQQ

Anonymous said...

Interesting, Brian...

Firstly, being nominally religious, ie. I'm Catholic, I'm Muslim whatever is not the same as considering oneself to be a believer and having been converted. Most people, when ticking forms, would tend to just put down what tradition they've come from. Then again, there is that old saying, 'no atheists in foxholes'. I guess being in prison may lead many people to question and confront themselves like little else would.

Secondly, I'm not trying to suggest that all atheists are bad and all Christians good. Au contraire, I'm talking specifically about implications of a worldview for personal and social morality. What offends society are lawbreakers in an obvious, litigious sense. What offends God are lawbreakers in an inner, 'heart' sense.

In one sense, to talk of a Christian worldview is slightly misleading. As Christ said, 'my kingdom is not of this world.' But a worldview which excludes the possibility of God is surely more frightening that one that allows it. Just look at America and the old Soviet Union as examples of that.

P