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1/09/2006                                                                                       View Comments

Creationism by Any Other Name

film review by Charles G. Lambdin

Intelligent design (ID) is a dressing up of the old “argument from design,” with technical jargon added to lend a thin veneer of scientific credibility. ID advocates’ opportunistic tactics, which have more in common with politicians than scientists, have been described as the “wedge” strategy — an attempt to gain academic acceptance by maintaining a presence in academic and scientific venues.

A prime example of this is the film The Privileged Planet, a contemporary classic of pseudoscience. The film was produced by the Discovery Institute, a conservative think-tank whose expressed goal is the promotion of Intelligent Design. The film gained a degree of notoriety when the Discovery Institute boasted that The Privileged Planet was screening at none other than the Smithsonian Institute itself, with the implied endorsement of that august body. In fact, the Discovery Institute donated $16,000 to the Smithsonian, which by policy allowed the Discovery Institute to co-sponsor the film and to use the Smithsonian’s Baird Auditorium for its viewing. This naturally sparked an outcry from the scientific community, which led the Smithsonian to refuse the $16,000 donation, thereby withdrawing their co-sponsorship and any hint of endorsement. Although the Smithsonian was still contractually obliged to show the film, the screening ended up being an invitation-only event attended by ID sympathizers.

The film revolves around the authors of the book of the same title, Guillermo Gonzalez, an astrobiologist, and Jay W. Richards, a philosopher at the Discovery Institute (the book is published by Regnery). Their argument is that life is too improbably to have come about by chance, therefore there must be an Intelligent Designer. The film reviews the standard arguments for the necessary conditions that allow life to exist on Earth or elsewhere, such as that the planet must be in the “Goldilocks Zone” — the distance at which a planet reaches habitable temperatures. The film claims that if the earth were merely five percent closer to the sun temperatures would approach 900° Fahrenheit and all the water would boil off the earth. The type of star also has to be just right. If the sun were smaller, then the “Goldilocks Zone” would have to be closer. But if the earth were closer to the sun then its rotation rate might become fixed with its rate of orbit (as with our own moon), such that the same side of the earth would always face the sun, creating two lifeless sides — a cold, frozen side and a scorched, seared side. (The film ignores the transitional twilight zone between the dark side and light side in which life might exist.) Plate tectonics must diligently operate to recycle carbon; there must be an atmosphere rich in oxygen, liquid water, and a circulating, liquid iron core generating a magnetic field to deflect solar radiation. (Never mind the microbes found at thermal vents in the ocean or at significant depths in mines — which do not require oxygen.) The planet must be orbited by a large moon — our moon stabilizes the tilt of the earth, keeping the seasons temperate. The planet must be surrounded by larger planets in order to protect it from gigantic space debris that are absorbed by these larger planets before they can strike the earth. And the list goes on and on.


In short, a whole lot of things have to be a precise way in order for a planet to be habitable, and all of these factors must be present in order for life to exist on any planet. (Again, it could be argued that these are merely the factors that allow for a very specific type of life and are not even necessary for a number of earth creatures). In The Privileged Planet it is stated that if we assume that the odds of each of these factors occurring are the same, and if we fix these odds at one out of ten, then the odds of all of these conditions coming together in one location are 1/1,000,000,000,000,000. These odds are so remote, the authors conclude, that it is unlikely that a planet would be habitable due to chance alone, and so the best inference is design.

These odds might be remote, to be sure, but there are probably a lot of planets! This simple point is glossed over in the film. Interestingly, the film gives an estimate of more than 10,000 billion billion star systems in the universe, and 10 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Oddly, no one in The Privileged Planet bothers to put such estimates together with the film’s 1/1,000,000,000,000,000 odds of habitability. To do so, we must estimate how many planets there are in the universe: If we assume that the odds that a star system contains one planet are one in a million and that there are 10,000 billion billion star systems, this leaves us with ten million billion planets in the cosmos.

Now if, as stated in The Privileged Planet, the odds that a planet is habitable are 1/1,000,000,000,000,000, or .0000000000001%, then contrary to what is claimed in the film it would be expected that there should be 10 habitable planets due to chance alone (10,000,000,000,000,000 x .000000000000001). However, the one-in-a-million odds that a star system contains at least one planet is a very conservative estimate! Astronomers who search for extra-solar planets find that about one in ten star systems they search contain planets. Using Gonzalez and Richard’s own odds of habitability, this suggests that there may be one billion habitable planets due to chance alone. And even this may be a conservative estimate! The odds of habitability presented in The Privileged Planet are, after all, rather arbitrary given how they were computed. To illustrate, scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, in a paper on “Habitable Zones and the Number of Habitable Planets in the Milky Way,” using only part of the Drake equation estimate that there are 48 million habitable planets in our galaxy alone (http://biospace.nw.ru/astrobiology/Articles2002/Astrobio_franck_22_24.pdf). If this figure is in any way representative of other galaxies, then the number of habitable planets in the universe would be staggering.

The other arguments in The Privileged Planet amount to pointing to coincidences and citing them as evidence of a divine plan, which is, of course, a non sequitur. For example, it is suggested that Saturn and Jupiter were placed where they are so as to protect the earth from asteroids. (This is really no different from Voltaire’s joke in Candide that the Anabaptist drowned in the bay, therefore the bay was created so that the Anabaptist could drown in it! Everything works out for the best in this best of all possible worlds.)

Another claim made in the film is that the position of the earth in the solar system makes for perfect solar eclipses. It is only the perfect solar eclipse that has revealed the atmosphere of the sun to us and further allowed us to confirm Einstein’s idea that the light rays of other stars are bent by the sun’s gravity. A perfect solar eclipse would not be observable from other planets in the solar system. How can it be that the one place in the solar system from which these discoveries could have been made just happens to be the one place where there are observers to make them? Furthermore, one of the factors that contributes to the habitability of earth is its location in the galaxy. This location also makes an ideal place to do astronomy (there’s not a lot to block our view). From this, Gonzalez and Richards argue that there is “a high correlation between life and discovery.” The same factors that contribute to the earth’s habitability also seem to make us able to do science! It must therefore be the case that we were designed so that we could understand the universe and that the universe was designed such that it could be understood by us. (The subtitle of the book is “How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery.”)

I was baffled every time it was stated that there “is a high correlation between life and discovery.” I wanted to shout, “Yeah it’s high; it’s perfect; it’s a correlation of one!” It does not make sense to talk about science and discovery as though they could occur independently of life, which is done in the film by suggesting that the correlation “between life and discovery” could be anything less than perfect. If there is no life, no conscious beings, then who or what is doing the discovering? How can “discovery” exist without discoverers?

The thesis of The Privileged Planet is no different than the classic case of Presidential coincidences: Abraham Lincoln was elected to congress in 1846. John F. Kennedy was elected to congress in 1946. Lincoln was elected President in 1860, Kennedy in 1960. Both of their last names have seven letters. Both of their wives experienced the loss of child in the White House. Both were shot in the head on a Friday. Both were assassinated by Southerners and succeeded by Southerners. Lincoln was succeeded by Andrew Johnson, who was born in 1808. Kennedy was succeeded by Lyndon Johnson, who was born in 1908. Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth, has 15 letters in his name. Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, has 15 letters in his name. Both assassins were known by three names. Booth was born in 1839, Oswald in 1939. As I am unable to imagine otherwise, these coincidences are too great to have occurred due to chance alone, so there must be some Intelligent Assassin behind it. Thus runs the reasoning throughout The Privileged Planet.

Throughout the film much is made of the fact that we can “do” science at all. Why is it so surprising that we can figure things out about the universe? Such statements as, “We evolved to hunt and gather food, not to do astronomy,” display a complete lack of understanding of evolution. It doesn’t really make sense to say that we evolved to do anything. We just evolved. There is no reason to think that evolution is a teleological process and that we are evolving into anything in particular. Similarly, the statement that, “It is just so astounding that we can even understand the universe at all,” is not an observation; it’s a value judgment. If an occurrence seems near impossible to you, this only really says something about your beliefs regarding nature. (Why should one expect things to be other than the way they happen to be?) Coincidences are not evidence of mystical forces. Statistically unlikely events are, in the long run, likely to occur: There are 280 million people in America, therefore one-in-a-million odds will happen 280 times a day in America. It does not make sense to say that 280 miracles happen a day in the United States, any more than it should seem miraculous that someone will win a lottery.

Ignoring such facts, The Privileged Planet repeatedly beats into the viewer that the coincidences in nature require an Intelligent Designer. Intelligent Design theory begs the question by not having set an objective criterion for what is “too rare” or “too unlikely” or “too complex.” As Schopenhauer said, nothing more is implied by a premise than what is already contained in it. To say that habitable planets are uncommon only implies that they’re rare, not that they’re designed. And as we have seen, they may not be that rare.

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16 comments:

Interested Atheist said...

Absolutely! "If we had been five percent closer, or whatever, what would have happened?" Well, dummy, just look at the other planets which weren't lucky enough. THAT'S what would have happened to us! And you know how much the universe would care? Not at all!

The question isn't whether these criminal idiots are right or wrong. The question is - do they do this innocently, or do they know it's nonsense but just not care as long as it can win souls?

Jim Lee said...

There is not a single person on this planet that has any idea how the universe came to be. If Christianity wants to adopt Intelligent Design as the reason, then it has to accept that Christianity is not the one true religion, and that every other religion of the face of this planet can use the same concept. In addition if they want to adopt this concept then they must acknowledge that this supposed Intelligent Design does not give people instructions on how they should conduct themselves in everyday living. If Intelligent Design was that smart then Christianity would not need a supposed Jesus born of a supposed virgin 2000 years ago as a supposed saviour for mankind. In my humble view Christianity it trying to expand its mythology even further. The simple fact is, it's all crap.

Dave8 said...

Charles G. Lambdin Film Review: "In The Privileged Planet it is stated that if we assume that the odds of each of these factors occurring are the same, and if we fix these odds at one out of ten, then the odds of all of these conditions coming together in one location are 1/1,000,000,000,000,000. These odds are so remote, the authors conclude, that it is unlikely that a planet would be habitable due to chance alone, and so the best inference is design."

Truth be told, statistics are used to show deviation from a "known" mean. Chance and odds, are used to show probability of an action in relation to a "known", non-chance event.

To apply statistics to a Universal premise... one by default implies they have Universal "knowledge" by which they can show deviation from a Universal mean...

To apply probability in a Universal context, one by default implies that they have complete "knowledge", of the entire Universe, and therefore, know, every possible Universal combination of factors that can be derived to create an "expected" end result... Probability is based on chance, where chance is defined as; "opportunity: a possibility due to a favorable combination of circumstances".

When people attempt to use Universal probability, statistics, etc., etc., what they are really saying, is... they're omniscient... Anything less than omniscience, places their 'Universal' statistics, probability, etc., as nothing more than fantastical thinking, i.e., fantasy...

How exactly does a "finite" mind, create "infinite" wisdom, with the possibilities available in an "infinite" Universe... I am sure there is a supporter for ID out there who must know the answer to this question... Perhaps its not possible...

The probability that one "finite" idiot sitting with a math book, making Universal claims, and being correct, is like 1/Infinity... if the Universe is indeed "infinite"...

Mike said...

This is the first time I have actually bothered to look further into the claims of ID. It really sounds to me like this would be what the fundamentalist's arguments will evolve into in another thousand years or so. Just like when they finally consented that the world was not flat.

I think the ID folks are on the right track but not quite there yet. There are still a lot more questions to ask and answer.

I will never be smart enough to make any of these grand theories myself but I like to keep it kind of simple. We're all talking abou life. God is life and life is intelligent.

I do read just enough hebrew and greek to know that Jesus was not born of a virgin but of a young woman.

Madbuni said...

I have been reading today about a spacecraft called Stardust that is to land on earth January 15, after being in space since 1999.

It has been collecting particles of space dust that will be brought back and studied. Scientists are hoping the samples will"...provide key information on the formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago and possibly to shed light on the origins of life on Earth. Scientists are likely to study Stardust's treasure for decades to come." (University of Washington news website).

I was fascinated by this story even though I do not understand it all. (Maybe Dave8 can help out here). I have not heard about this, and think it is fascinating. I am hoping missions of this kind will help loosen the grip christianity has on the world and people will get the clue that the universe is the most awesome mystery of all.

Don Daniels said...

Even the tone of the comments I am reading reveals some real frustration with the spin creationists, evolutionists, and intelligent design people put on their positions. The problem is none of us are free of presuppositions. Evolutionists clearly have a religion. It pops out everywhere. I am a Christian. I also have some biases. Everyone I know has them. If I look at the articles or the comments I see people resorting to their religions to defend their positions, I see little of what the world would call real science. This is especially true of evolution. Genesis gives an accurate account of why we are all here and to Whom we must give account. This is a prime reason atheists cannot give even a minimal bow of the knee to God. If they lose evolution, there is no other real alternative than belief in the God Who tells us clearly in Romans that we should be persuaded about Who He is by the things we see all around us. Atheists say they know there is no God. How interesting, a religion that necessitates that the individual atheist knows everything there is to know in the universe.

If you hit me with all that pain and suffering stuff, please read Genesis first and you will see God has this covered. Next, go to Romans and see what this has produced in human minds and cultures. The degradation or devolution of mankind is predicated on man's attempt to erase God.

We will all stand before our Creator someday to give an account of how we have treated His Son. I see some pretty tough language in the comments and a whole lot of emptiness. It doesn't have to be that way. Seek God and you shall find him. He has also read the content of these blogsites.

I expect someone to pour bile on my words. That is your perogative, but you are doing it because of religious zeal.

Please visit me at http://commissioned1.blogspot.com

John Lennon said...

Don Daniels: "Evolutionists clearly have a religion. It pops out everywhere. I am a Christian. I also have some biases. Everyone I know has them."

Does is hurt to learn how to read and write, before you come onto this site and attempt to appear as if you have something intelligent to say.

Belief: "Any cognitive content held as true."
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Religion: "A strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny;"
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Evolution doesn't speak of a SuperNatural power, and, if you were in the least bit literate, you'd know that there are many religions who back evolution as the means by which their higher power created mankind. Of course, since that's not your brand of religion, they're wrong according to your belief and hatred towards evolution which is nothing but a theory based on physical evidence.

Presupposition: "The act of presupposing; a supposition made prior to having knowledge (as for the purpose of argument)."
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Don, I have many beliefs, but they are based on "knowledge" obtained through life and physical evidence. You, have beliefs without "knowledge". Most religions belief god resides in an entirely different reality, call it perfect heaven, which means it must be removed and transcendent from this sinful physical reality per christian tradition. Therefore, Don, you "hope" that your presuppositions are true, but you will "never" know if they are or aren't until you pass away from this physical reality. However, there are many people more than capable of living a life based on "knowledge", and without presupposition. Perhaps, you should learn the definitions of words prior to using them.

Again, everyone has beliefs, however, some beliefs are grounded in this physical reality with knowledge, and then there are those who choose to believe in that of another reality which they can never have knowledge of, uh, that would be all of those who believe in; heaven, hell, angels, imps, demi-gods (Jesus), devil (choose one of the many names available), etc., etc.

I don't like having to refer to a self-authoritative book, call it the bible if you want, where its obvious that biasness entered into those writings. You did say everyone has "bias", right, what about the authors of the bible. It would possibly be more believable if there were other writings that corroborated the stories of the bible, but, "no", there aren't. As a matter of fact, many documents found regarding other beliefs of that era a Jesus was to have lived, portray entirely different accounts regarding Jesus, god, Mary, heaven, hell, etc.

As for you genesis creationist theory, based solely on "faith", and presupposition, there are "two" accounts of genesis. Which of the two would you prefer us to observe;

**********************************************************************
Gen.1:25-27
(Humans were created after the other animals.)

And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image.... So God created man in his own image.

contradicts with;

Gen.2:18-19
(Humans were created before the other animals.)

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

**********************************************************************
Also, to ensure you see two different accounts;

Gen.1:27
(The first man and woman were created simultaneously.)

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Contradicts with;

Gen.2:18-22
(The man was created first, then the animals, then the woman from the man's rib.)

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them.... And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

**********************************************************************

Don Daniels: "I expect someone to pour bile on my words. That is your perogative, but you are doing it because of religious zeal."

No need Don, most of us know the truth, about religion and their presuppositions regarding a metaphysical objective reality, where some perfect object called "god" resides. Many just don't feel the need to sacrifice oneself, based on someone elses' words. Show me a god, and I'll agree that a god exists. I don't presuppose the christian "god", I have no need. Perhaps, you should go find those who don't know their bible, and have no idea about philosophy, comparitive religion, history in general, etc., to prey on. These would be the ones capable of believing in something, without nothing.

Oh, and using "religion" as a label, at least towards me, is a pathetic insult. If you label me again, it just shows your insolence. Your bible literally, is a guidebook for large scale bigotry, I would presuppose that the bible is where you picked up your demeanor. However, after reviewing you comments on Genesis, it would be presumptious of me to assert that you have actually read the bible. Unless, you knew of two accounts, and were attempting to pass off a half-truth, and then, a lie would fit in nicely with your religious affairs.

Rick said...

Don Daniels said : "I expect someone to pour bile on my words. That is your perogative, but you are doing it because of religious zeal."

Comments like this are quite humorous to me. It is like a cheap parting shot that is made in an argument where the weaker side says "well, you do the same thing that you accuse me of" as a means of justifying their own actions. Rest assured that evolution and athiesm are not religions. From the definition of the words to the reality behind the science, there is ample evidence that religion they are not.

"Then why argue so vehemently against God?" they ask. "Why is it that you hate god so much?". Again, a vain attempt to shunt an argument away from the topic and make an advesary question their own motives. Why pick on the poor ole christians who just mind their own business? Why single out those believers in god and his almighty love and infinate mercy?

We are not speaking out against god; he doesn't exist. To speak out to god simply speaks to nothing. To shake our fists in anger and curse this "almighty creator" for what he allows to pass is also just as pointless. Again, there is simply nothing there. I could begin berating maple syrup and have just as much effect as shaking my fist at god. Or sending well intentioned prayers.

The anger and zeal of those who would speak against religion is against the people who continue to perpetuate it, not against their imaginary god. It is the people of religion that do the damage. It is the constant invasion of religion into everyone's daily lives, the incessant need to control what people think, do, and believe, and that mind numbing drive to ignore truths so evident before them just to hang onto their dogma.

History is awash with death and abuse, crime and controversy, destruction and invasion, and in many of those situation you will find some form of religion involved with it. We are tired of it. Tired of the ignorance. Tired of the mallace, the hypocracy, the corruption, the prejudice, the denial of rights, suppression of knowledge; the list goes on.

It is that what drives us Mr. Daniels. For too many years this ancient fable has been allowed to go on. And it needs to stop. But do you know the most ironic thing? More often than not you will find those religious believers resorting to violence, bile, and humiliation in their attempts to supress and combat any truths. Bombing abortion clinics, beheadings, beatings, burnings, etc. The most common weapon used against believers? Knowledge. Truth and Fact. It really stirs them up.

You tell me. Who's the devil?

MadBuni said...

Don Daniels: "Genesis gives an accurate account of why we are all here and to Whom we must give account." LMAO!

You have to be kidding, please say you're kidding about that statement! How can anyone put such a spin and twist on black and white text and decide Genesis is accurate, when you can't even get past the first 3 chapters without finding so many contradictions it makes the fable of god laughable.

Thanks to john lennon and rick for the outstanding comments, btw!

Speaking of John Lennon, imagine there's no heaven, imagine there's no hell, it's easy if you try Don.

Dave8 said...

Hey MadBuni, I agree that the Stardust mission is exciting. I found the following when I looked up the mission review on NASA'site.

"The spacecraft's camera saw stars 1,500 times dimmer than a human eye can see on a clear night, and was able to photograph the comet, 15 and a half million miles away. Additional images taken over the next four weeks will increase Stardust's success to rendezvous with the comet."
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/stardust/news/stardust04.html

The pictures obtained, show deep space information, that can not be obtained from terrestrial (earth based) telescopes. Interestingly enough, there are many observatories popping up in Hawaii, that search for objects that have the potential to impact the earth. I just left there, Hawaii is growing in space technology, it is an ideal place based on location.

http://starbulletin.com/2004/07/25/news/story4.html

Regarding, the data brought back from stardust. The origins of comets are a mystery, there is speculation that comets are released from an Oort cloud that sits between our sun and Proxima Centauri, the star nearest the Sun.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oort_cloud

"A comet (denoted by ?) is a small body in the solar system that orbits the sun and (at least occasionally) exhibits a coma (or atmosphere) and/or a tail — both due primarily to the effects of solar radiation upon the comet's nucleus, which itself is a minor planet composed of rock, dust, and ices. Due to their origins in the outer solar system and their propensity to be highly affected by relatively close approaches to the major planets, comets' orbits are constantly evolving. Some are moved into sungrazing orbits that destroy the comets when they near the sun, while others are thrown out of the solar system forever."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comets

In theory, if the enigma of how comets are created, on a recurring basis, can be obtained, it will potentially provide information on how the planets in our solar system formed as well. There are many similarities between our planet and a comet's structure, with the exception of our sizes.

"The Giotto probe found that Comet Halley's nucleus reflects approximately 4% of the light that falls on it, and Deep Space 1 discovered that Comet Borrelly's surface reflects only 2.4% to 3% of the light that falls on it; by comparison, asphalt reflects 7% of the light that falls on it. It is thought that complex organic compounds are the dark surface material."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comets

"An organic compound is any member of a large class of chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon, with the exception of carbides, carbonates, carbon oxides and gases containing carbon.The study of organic compounds is termed organic chemistry. Many of these compounds, such as proteins, fats, and carbohydrates (sugars), are also of prime importance in biochemistry."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_compound

Comets are classified according to their orbital periods, between short period and long period orbits. Which denotes by default its trajectory path in space. Some comets, enter our solar system and then, exit, bringing with them, potentially "organic" material. In short, a comet, based on composition, could become a theory for celestial biogenesis. Comets, taking organic compounds from one solar system to another, where some planets in their forming process foster the growth of organic life. Take earth as an example... :-)

"Before the invention of the telescope, comets seemed to appear out of nowhere in the sky and gradually vanish out of sight. They were usually considered bad omens of deaths of kings or noble men, or coming catastrophes. From ancient sources, such as Chinese oracle bones, it is known that their appearance have been noticed by humans for millennia. One very famous old recording of a comet is the appearance of Halley's Comet on the Bayeux Tapestry, which records the Norman conquest of England in 1066."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comets

So, back in the day, Genesis was written to explain organic life, with two accounts. Also, any space activity not understood became an "omen", or "sign" from god. Well, it appears as if humanity, is about to reverse engineer "gods'", "omen", by lab analysis. Even after all the analysis, and exploration reveals answers, there will still be people who attribute "something" to a god(s). Those who lived a thousand years ago, would be banktupt today, if they banked their "faith" and belief in a god(s), because of their "perceived" supernatural "experience", i.e., comets...

Science has destroyed the credibility of the bible as a "literal" word from a "god", i.e., flat earth, talking vegetation, animals, signs from heaven, etc. Science, is pushing the religious, slowly, towards having to accept on a wider scale, that their "beliefs" are truly based on presupposition and "faith"... which is nothing but a reflection of "desire" and "expectations"...

Psychologically, someone who is attempting to establish an "identity", will always find a way to "support" their "need". One day they say the book of Daniel is the foundation to prove they have the right identity (a christian), and when the book of Daniel, is brought under analysis and found inconclusive, etc., then they bring up Genesis, and continue going through the bible until they can find "one" passage that they can "rely" on. A pragmatic person would suggest that even if "one" passage is faulty based on knowledge of today, that the entire bible be discounted as a perfect "god" guidebook. However, there are people, who need an identity so bad, they are willing to ignore scientific evidence, linguistic evidence, etc., etc., in order to "believe" what they want.

Thanks MadBuni for posting :-) I haven't been able to keep up with all of the scientific research going on, but its great to see that my old buddies are still cracking away at they mysteries of the universe. Take care...

Madbuni said...

Hi, and thank you Dave8 for the information. I will cut/paste your post to a document so I can save all the information you gave me.

You are right of course, I think there will always be stubborn people who will never accept scienctific reasoning for our existence.

I especially appreciated it when you said, "Well, it appears as if humanity, is about to reverse engineer "gods'", "omen", by lab analysis."

I hate to admit it but I didn't pay very much attention in history class or science class (well, I went to fundy schools all my life lol), so I am trying after all these years to expand my horizons and read and learn about science, government and history.

I plan to follow Stardust after it's entry to earth, and hope it arrives safely with all of the data and samples.

Take it easy,

SpaceMonk said...

Maybe it will contain some kind of space virus left over from the origin of life in the universe
- and wipe us all out?
:)

- or mutate human DNA to the next level of evolution so that a new race is born and competes with humanity for dominance of the planet? :0

Or maybe I need to get some sleep.
:(

Anonymous said...

What does it matter if we allow ID to be taught along with evolution? Some Christians believe in theistic evolution-that would be ID. We just need to ensure that ID is taught so that room is left for the Goddess to be the creatrix. Or Allah to be the Creator, the Hindu gods, Cthulu or the Cosmic (Un)Consciousness. Whatever floats anyones boat.

Anonymous said...

I doubt anyone will actually read this sice it is a little past date, but I would like to say one thing. Both Evolution and Creationism are THEORIES. Neither can be disproved or proved. Just try to keep that in mind for the future.

freeman said...

Sorry Anonymous,
Creationism is not a theory, but a belief! Two totally different things!

.:webmaster:. said...

Evolution is a theory.

Creationism is a religious belief.

Thunder and lightning are natural phenomena caused by static electricity, colliding fronts of air with different temperatures, and so on.

Now if I were to say that thunder and lightning were the sounds of a war in the heavenlies, then that would be a religious statement — a statement that just so happened to be believed by mankind for thousands of years.

Creationism assumes that which it attempts to prove. First you have to prove that there is a god before you can theorize that a god created the Universe. You can't use the Universe to prove the existence of a god any more than you can use thunder and lightning to prove the existence of Thor.