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8/29/2007                                                                                       View Comments

Humanity and its relationship to religion

Sent in by Steven Cody

I want credit for my actions. Good or bad I'd like to be acknowledged for what I do and accomplish. I'd thank all those in my life who helped me with any given situation of course. I want to be acknowledged as a human being who deserves better than what we have. We ALL deserve better. I am a human and so are you. We make choices and decisions every second of every waking hour of every single day of our lives. WE are responsible for the lives and deaths of our fellow human beings with every choice we make. We, as human beings, have total control over everything that happens on this planet. WE are responsible.

I wish everyone could see and hear and understand what I'm telling you. Sadly, even though many will agree with me, still more will not hear me. We have ultimate control, but I think we got scared of all the responsibility -- so we out sourced it to an invisible bully in the sky. This will be the part where I think I'll lose a large majority of readers. Bye.

How can we ever accept the responsibility we have for this world if we've given it up to the stars. On our journey to top dog of the hood we, as a species, sought explanation. We are a curious creature that seeks understanding. At first our understanding was placed in the things we couldn't understand. We made the ruler of our days the very thing that gave us day, the sun. This was our first great accomplishment and our worst mistake. We were young as a species and underdeveloped, but we understood that the sun gave us day and when it went away we had darkness. There is a reason why many are afraid of the dark. When we first deified the sun we gave it an opposite and an antagonist in the moon. Light and dark were soon equivalent to good and bad. We gave them names and histories and put them in control of our existence. We gave them the authority to flood our villages and suck up our homes in a mighty whirling wind sphere. We gave them the power to shake the earth and light the sky with fire. We made God's to rule over us and give us meaning.

Now that we explained in our infantile minds how and why things happened we elevated ourselves to a new level. We began our search inward and sought to explain why we are here. If they are gods in the heavens to rule existence then why are we here? What is our purpose? Why do we love and lose? Why do we feel? We decided to apply our celestial rulers to our minds. They are the reason we think and dream and love and kill. We now have discovered our influence, our benefactor. This is where we lost control. We gave up our responsibility for our choices. We evolved.

Mankind has evolved. That fact is undeniable. Our minds have discovered reason and overtime we discovered science. We can split the atom and we know why there are rainbows. Rainbows are light refracting off the moisture in the air. That's pretty simple, right? Why would I even feel the need to explain, or do you know where I'm going with this? We once believe the rainbow to be from our gods. A beautiful promise of brilliant colors that we would never be drowned in a horrible flood. OOPS. We are still young comparatively and we could have a wonderful future if we can shed our naive and false beliefs and continue on our journey of self discovery and evolution.

We once believed that bleeding someone who was sick was an efficient cure-all.

We once believed the world was flat.

We once believed that black men were meant to serve as slaves. Some still do.

We once believed people of different color needed different toilets and schools less than 100 years ago. Some still do.

We once believed Rosa Parks had to give up her seat to a white man less than 100 years ago. Some still do.

We once believed women weren't equal to men less than 100 years ago. Some still do.

We once believed people actively choose who they are sexually and emotionally attracted too like 10 years ago,MANY still do.

I think you can see what I mean by evolution. Oh, I applaud all who are still reading. Thanks.

We have shed our naive past beliefs on many things. We still have a way to go, but we are heading towards being human once again. There is a problem though. Some of our hang-ups with outdated beliefs are actually leading us toward our doom. If we are unable to overcome the affliction we imposed on ourselves when we were young and ignorant then we will die out as a species.

My main question to you is: How can we care enough to save this world if we still believe that what comes after is better?

More people than you know are aware of this. Sadly, some have taken advantage of your ignorance and become the physical manifestation of the invisible god you think has taken the wheel. If you have faith in god then there is no reason to worry. That is so convenient for them, that is what you must overcome.

Your "faith" is destroying your kind. I wouldn't even care so much if it only effected you, but there is a bunch of other people here and you have the fate of our existence in your hands. Your everyday choices are responsible for the lives of every single individual human on this planet.

It won't be easy. You have been programmed to ignore me and your own lingering doubts.

To monitor comments posted to this topic, use .

52 comments:

Nvrgoingbk said...

"How can we care enough to save this world if we still believe that what comes after is better?"

Brilliant point and so fucking obvious it hurts! Apathy is not our enemy. Our enemy is INDIFFERENCE. Too few people actually care about this world, because their gaze is focused upward while they wait for Jesus or Allah to either make it better for them or to teleport them to another.

PureFreedom said...

What a beautiful, moving essay. It says so many things I feel in my heart but don't have the words to articulate. You should adapt this into a monolouge or short film. It would be beautiful.

freethinker05 said...

Very good testimonial StevenCody; and yes, I agree with you nvrgoingbk, But, I'd like to see some christians "telePOLED" to another place.
Peace, Roger, A/A

StevenCody said...

Thanks for the wondeful comments everyone. I am just happy there are people out there that understand. It's frustrating day-2-day having to deal with all the ignorance surrounding religion and blind faith.

I have a blog that pretty much only I read, but it's nice to get stuff off my chest-like an online journal therapy type thing. Stevencody.blogspot.com if you wanna take a gander.

Thanks
Steven

sillywhispers said...

"How can we care enough to save this world if we still believe that what comes after is better?"

That point has bothered me for a long time. Besides, people thinking this world doesn't matter because there is a better one to go to, there are Christians looking forward to horrific end times because that will mean God is returning soon.

So, we have popular TV evangelists and popular fundamentalist mega church leaders preaching their end time prophesies. These are possibly causing great social and political discord, not to mention environmental degradation and lack of concern for animals.

The prophesy about a one world order and it's antiChrist has probably influenced our President in his decisions.

What has it done to undermine support for important organizations like the United Nations or the European Union?

We know Condoleeza Rice has at least once consulted with Jack Van Impe for a timeline of the end-times, which she intended to use to help her with her job!

This guy finds scripture from 1700 years ago and translates it to say it is about particular current events. It would be down right hilarious, if it didn't cause any harm.

Unfortunately, many Christians believe these interpretations are the truth. When people like Condoleeza do too, grave errors can be made.

Huey said...

Sillywhispers said:

"We know Condoleeza Rice has at least once consulted with Jack Van Impe for a timeline of the end-times, which she intended to use to help her with her job!"

I guess I am somewhat naive. I do not know that superstition was this prevalent at the higher eschelons of political offices. I thought it was funny but sad when Nancy Reagan consulted a psykic after the shooting of her husband but this is worse!

Hey Steve! Great post! Look forward to more!

Poltergoost said...

That was a great post!

Too bad that a lot of ignorant people will never be able to grasp it though.

Christians don't live to "live". They live to "die", and their primary focus is looking forward to death. Most of them should go live in a graveyard.

They also think that once someone has left their "Christian Cult" that person is now living in bondage.

I have expressed my anger time after time towards the faith many, many times on here.

It is the "Stupidity" and "Ignorance" christians have that angers me the most. They cannot see just how wrong they are with their stupid fucked up beliefs. I have never dealt with a more "irrational and unreasonable" group of people in my life when it comes to christians.

It's like I always say:

"Christianity does not unite, it causes division, and discrimination among people".

People need to start focusing on taking care of each other, instead of seeking after the ghost of a dead man (Jesus), and stroking God's ego.

Poltergoost said...

And before some "Christian Nut" comes on here quoting scripture from a 2,000 year old text called, the "The Bible, here is some scripture for them:

"Ye shall shove the bible up your ass!" POLTERGOOST 4:23

rick said...

"How can we care enough to save this world if we still believe that what comes after is better?"

Anyone who claims to have timeline to the end of the world is purely speculating, and formulating an anti-christian belief. The Bible, which any true Christian would claim is the ultimate authority in discussing truth, clearly states that no man knows when judgment day will come.

That point aside, if you have met any true Christian, you would know that they care immensely about the world and the lives of others. Sadly, many who claim to be Christians hold insensitive, selfish beliefs, beliefs which are not remotely Christian. However, even true Christians go through personal struggles (as many do) and are susceptible to making irrational, ignorant claims. If humans were omniscient and infallible, there would be no point in debating claims. Aanyone who claims to be perfect or omniscient is not only ignorant, but also arrogant. And unfortunately, many Christians make unbiblical claims, and their statements are taken out of context and blown out of proportion. I did not intend to talk about this point so much, because I think it is mostly irrelevant to my argument.

First of all, just because some people claim to be Christians doesn't mean that they actually hold Christian beliefs. The same goes for any person claiming to belong to a belief system.
Secondly, evolution fails miserably to why human life is important, why humans experience emotion, and why humans have a conscience and an ability to reason extensively (and to my knowledge, the latter is absent in all other living and nonliving things). Evolution also miserably fails to explain how the universe came into existence. If everything can from simple matter, how did that matter come into existence? If simple matter came from ethereal energy, where did that energy come from? All reasoning dealing with the origin of the universe is circular, whether we like to admit it or not, and to reach a conclusion, we must establish an authority. That point aside... The theory of evolution fails to explain entropy. If everything is becoming more and more complex, how then is the second law of thermodynamics true?

Everything tends to a state of disorder when left to itself.

Now, explain to me how complexity is a state of disorder.

Thirdly, athiesm makes a very bold, absolute statement. It claims that there is no God. What is the probability that this is true? Is it really possible to prove--in such a vastly unexplored universe--that something does not exist, especially something which isn't readily identifiable? Especially when all that humans have collectively observed is an extremely, extremely small part of the physical universe (and who is to prove that alternate dimensions do not exist?).

I'm not trying to impose my beliefs on anyone. I hope that I have not offended anyone, because my intention is not to offend. I simply hope that atheists realize, before they claim that other beliefs are absurd, how absurd their beliefs are. The very least an atheist can do is "convert" to agnosticism and claim to be unsure of whether or not a superior being exists. I'm not claiming my beliefs are any less absurd, but at least I'm not claiming that my beliefs are fact and that everyone who disagrees is wrong and clearly ignorant, obstinate, superstitious, and/or unintellectual.

Everything that I have said is an expression of my beliefs. You have every right to disagree; in fact, I would be delighted to hear from someone who can offer a mature, logical rebuttle to the points I have raised.

I would love to hear your input, but please be considerate and respect my right to hold my own beliefs, and I will respect your right to hold your beliefs.

Email: machonguy@aim.com
AIM: machonguy

Hate-mail only proves your immaturity, discredits your beliefs, and brings shame to yourself.

P.S. I apologize for how long my comment is, I tend to go on tangents. =/

.:webmaster:. said...

"athiesm makes a very bold, absolute statement. It claims that there is no God."

Not necessarily. Everyone is born an atheist, because everyone is born without a belief in a god. God belief has to be taught.

But, if you want to insist that atheism is making bold claims that there is no god, then Christianity makes the same bold statement. Christianity says there is not god named Allah or Zeus or RA or...

Can you PROVE there are no gods named Allah or Zeus or RA?

Since you, at least in your mind, are a mature "TRUE CHRISTIAN™," then perhaps you can answer this question: You said "Evolution fails miserably to explain..."

I think you are miserably mistaken, but assuming you are absolutely correct and the science of evolution needs to be scraped, what difference does it make? I mean, no matter how science changes or interprets the world around us, how does it help prove that your god exists and that she is the one true god? Science has nothing to say about metaphysical, immaterial, invisible, intelligent, omnipotent, entities that supposedly magically influence our lives.

If evolution is false, then the default answer is not "Jesus is God!" or "ALLAH is God!"

In other words, whether evolution proves true or false lends nothing toward corroborating your religion. If you don't accept modern science in this matter, then all you can really say is "I don't know" when it comes to life on planet Earth.

Christians don't know how anything came to be. What do I mean? Well, Christians claim that their god created everything, right? But if I were to ask, "How did God create everything?" what do you suppose be the answer?

Oh, and evolution has nothing to do with the beginning of the universe. That's another science all together. And the answer to that question is the same for Christians. Christians have no idea how the universe was created. God did it does nothing toward helping us understand the process. Science attempts to understand the process. It mystifies me as to why that is so offensive to religious believers.

boomSLANG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rick said...

Thank you for your response webmaster, despite the scattered lame attempts at cynical humor.

First of all, you're assuming that I intended to prove Christianity by disproving evolution. That wasn't my intention at all. There is no way to prove Christianity true. Even if you did research and proved every historical account in the Bible true, there would still be parts which couldn't be proven scientifically. That is precisely what faith is about.

When you say, "If evolution is false, then the default answer is not 'Jesus is God!' or 'ALLAH is God!' I agree with you completely. It simply means that it is a possible answer. The point I was trying to convey was, "Why do scientists so devoutly support evolution as if it were fact, when it can be proven wrong by basic scientific laws?"

I have yet to see an answer to how evolution complies with the second law of thermodynamics.

You raise a good point--no, I can't prove that there isn't a God named Allah or Zeus or Ra. All I can say about that, without quoting the Bible which you don't believe is true, is that I don't know. I can't prove their non-existance. The one thing I can speculate is: if the Bible is true, then there is only one God. Anyone who knows logic and the basics beliefs of biblical Christianity knows that this is a valid statement. Whether or not it is truthful is certainly debatable.

"I think you are miserably mistaken, but assuming you are absolutely correct and the science of evolution needs to be scraped, what difference does it make? I mean, no matter how science changes or interprets the world around us, how does it help prove that your god exists and that she is the one true god?"

The difference is that evolution would be wrong, and scientists would have to find another theory. Obviously, this does nothing to prove Christianity. Nowhere in my comment did I endeavour to prove Christianity, because proving Christianity true or false requires someone to die and find out if there really is an afterlife. Or one could instead resort to faith, but I wouldn't expect that to happen, which is why I made no effort to support my beliefs. Christian beliefs cannot be proved scientifically. Even if someone dies and goes to heaven, there's no way for the living to find out what happened. I know how absurd what I'm saying sounds--it seems so obviously convenient that Christianity can neither be proved wrong nor right. But simply put, Creation or any spiritual matter is not something that can be experimentally reproduced. And neither is evolution (Macroevolution, that is; I personally believe that microevolution does occur.) There is no way to experimentally show that one species can turn into another species. Allegedly, that would take millions of years--how convenient. Evolution is just as much of a belief as Creation is. You can deny it all day long, but it doesn't change that fact.

Christians don't know how anything came to be. What do I mean? Well, Christians claim that their god created everything, right? But if I were to ask, "How did God create everything?" what do you suppose be the answer?

Suddenly there's a science that deals with the beginning of the universe? Why have I never heard of this... sounds like someone is making things up.

"Christians have no idea how the universe was created."

God, who exists eternally, who has no beginning or end, created the world "ex nihilo," out of nothing. Still not good enough for you? "God said let there be light, and there was light." I can go down the entire list: birds, creeping things, animals, separating water from land, light from darkness, creating man from dust... Creation was six days of God breathing the world into existence by His omnipotent command, followed by a seventh day of rest.

"Science attempts to understand the process. It mystifies me as to why that is so offensive to religious believers."

Science's attempts to understand the origin of the universe is not offensive to me. In fact, it would be ignorant of anyone not to try to explain the origin of the universe, and simply accept things as they are. What I find offensive is when arrogant evolutionists talk shit to Christians for believing in Creation, when evolutionists' idea of primordial slime or simple organisms or energy falls under the same argument, that something either came from nothing or has been in existance eternally. Matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed. The only possible explanation for how the universe could be created without breaking that law is when the being (who made the universe that abides by that law) put that law into existance (after defying the law by creating something out of nothing).

I don't plan on believing any aspect of evolution, regardless of how much "evidence" is presented, until someone explains to me how evolution:
1) does not defy the second law of thermodynamics.
2) does not explain its origin without first creating matter or energy out of nothing.

And if your alleged science that deals with the origin of the universe really exists, then just answering 1) is good enough for me.

boomSLANG said...

Rick: The Bible, which any true Christian would claim is the ultimate authority in discussing truth, clearly states that no man knows when judgment day will come.

Christianity is a belief; a philosophy. One either accepts it, or they deny it.

***Since it's a safe bet that "Rick"---a person who apparently "believes" and "accepts" Christianity---would never in his wildest dreams leave it up to another individual, or group of individuals, to determine whether he was a "True Christian", or not...likewise, "Rick" doesn't have the authority to determine whether another individual, or group of individuals, qualify as "True Christian(s)", or not.

Baring that in mind for a minute---further, we see that no two sects/denominations of Christianity are in complete agreement when it comes to interpreting scripture, thus, it's impossible to say, with any objectivity whatsoever, who is being a "false", or a hypocritical Christian, and who is not. Therefore, the Christian believer cannot qualify the charge that those "other guys" are hypocrites, therefore, not "True Christians".

In conclusion---ALL religious belief is subjective, and until there is ONE objective/Universal version of Christianity that all Christians agree on, then either every Christian is a "True Believer", or there are no "True Believers".

Rick: That point aside, if you have met any true Christian[i.e..anyone who says to themselves, "I believe in Christianity"], you would know that they care immensely about the world and the lives of others.

Excuse me, but people of all faiths, and even no faith at all, can, and do, care about the world and the lives of others. How ridiculous and arrogant to insinuate that the only people who "care" are limited to being "True Christians". Absurd.

Rick: Sadly, many who claim to be Christians hold insensitive, selfish beliefs, beliefs which are not remotely Christian. However, even true Christians[i.e..anyone who says to themselves, "I believe in Christianity"] go through personal struggles (as many do) and are susceptible to making irrational, ignorant claims.

Let's review. See here***, above.

Rick: First of all, just because some people claim to be Christians doesn't mean that they actually hold Christian beliefs. The same goes for any person claiming to belong to a belief system.

Again, see here***.

Rick: Secondly, evolution fails miserably to why human life is important, why humans experience emotion, and why humans have a conscience and an ability to reason extensively (and to my knowledge, the latter is absent in all other living and nonliving things).

Um, evolution doesn't seek to explain "why human life is important", anymore than does Atomic theory seek to explain why life is important. Such a statement on your part shows how little you know, if anything, about what evolution does mean. In any event, as already pointed out to you, even if evolution were removed from the equation, "GODDIDIT!" is not a plausible alternative; 'magic' isn't "true", by default.

Rick: If everything can from simple matter, how did that matter come into existence? If simple matter came from ethereal energy, where did that energy come from?

If "GODDIDIT!", where did "God" come from? If it's plausible to accept that "God" is uncaused, then it's just as plausible to accept the singularity as uncaused.

Rick: All reasoning dealing with the origin of the universe is circular, whether we like to admit it or not, and to reach a conclusion, we must establish an authority.

Here's the authority: Nature.

Rick: ...athiesm makes a very bold, absolute statement. It claims that there is no God. What is the probability that this is true?

Again, when you make such statements, you only show that you don't know your opponent's argument. "Atheism" is not about knowledge; it is NOT a proclamation that "there is no God". That is patently false. Atheism concerns itself with belief, specifically, non-belief. It is the lack of belief, in not only the Christian god, but all gods. In other words, it is the denial of all the same gods that you deny, just one extra. Now, it doesn't seem so far-fetched when put into those terms, does it?(rhetorical)

Rick: Is it really possible to prove--in such a vastly unexplored universe--that something does not exist, especially something which isn't readily identifiable?

No, it is not possible to prove that a self-existing disembodied "mind" isn't flying around in the depths of the universe somewhere. Similarly, it is not possible to prove that transparent unicorns aren't circling Uranus, either. So?..does the lack of knowledge affirm such a notion? Does it make it anymore likely? No..and no.

Rick: I'm not trying to impose my beliefs on anyone.

Yes, yes you are. You implicitly imposing your beliefs on us by attempting to shoot holes in Atheism/naturalism, as if, out of the THOUSANDS of religious beliefs, Christianity would be "The One Truth" by default, if Atheism were not valid. You are merely attempting to shift the burden of proof, like so many Christians do. You are further implicitly imposing your beliefs because your belief, itself, is imposing. Your belief condones the killing of non-believers; it promises hellfire to those who don't accept it. If that's not imposing, I don't know what is.

Rick: The very least an atheist can do is "convert" to agnosticism and claim to be unsure of whether or not a superior being exists.

Okay, here...I believe in a superior being, and His name is Allah. 'Happy? No, I'll bet not. You see, again, this has NOTHING to do with Atheism; this is about the denial of YOUR god, specifically; your precious "Jesus". If you were not bumping heads with Atheists, you'd be bumping heads with Muslims. So on top of your ignorance as to what Atheism means, you are being disingenuous. Again, Atheism is not any kind of absolute claim about gods not existing. It is about lack of belief. 'Follow? As stated earlier, no one can prove with absolute certainty that "gods" don't exist. However, we can prove that certain concepts do not/cannot exist, such as "square circles", thus, such a thing cannot exist in reality. A circle with corners is a contradiction, just like a being who is purportedly "ALL-loving", but who sends people to "hell", is a contradiction; just like a being who purportedly has "freewill", but who is "omniscient", is a contradiction. If you can reason these things out. I'd be interested to hear it, but so far, no Christian, "True", or not, ever has, that I know of.

Rick: I would love to hear your input, but please be considerate and respect my right to hold my own beliefs, and I will respect your right to hold your beliefs.

Atheism isn't a "belief". If Atheism is a "belief", then NOT collecting baseball cards is a hobby.

Remember, the only thing that makes my being Atheist necessary, is YOU, the Theist. Theists are the ones who insist that their respective gods exist, while offering zero evidence to substantiate said beliefs.

Notwithstanding, I still respect your right to believe what you wish, but only until your personal beliefs become collective beliefs that endanger my well-being and/or freedom. To that end, I will respect nothing of the kind, and fight it, tooth, and nail. Get ready.....and BTW, there's no reason to not have the discussion right here.

.:webmaster:. said...

Rick,

Perhaps you didn't understand me. Christians have no idea "HOW" their deity did what they purport that HE did.

What was the process? Science seeks to understand the processes. Religion maintains that humankind can never understand the process because "God's ways are not our ways." Saying, “Super-duper-man did it” doesn’t explain HOW it was done.

You asked, “Why do scientists so devoutly support evolution as if it were fact, when it can be proven wrong by basic scientific laws?"

And why do YOU think they promote evolution? Do you think they possessed by demons? Do you think they are evil deceivers, bent on the destruction of all that is good in the world? Have you studied or read anything by evolutionary scientists, or is your reading confined to anti-evolutionary apologists?

You find it an unreasonable assertion by modern scientists that the variety and proliferation of life on this planet came about through natural causes. Yet, you find it reasonable to accept supernatural creation myths invented by Bronze Age primitives who believed thunder was a god’s voice. I find that lamely humorous, but you are in good company. For centuries anyone who said the Earth was not the center of the universe was denigrated as heretical and godless by Catholics and Protestants. Geo-centricity was defended with a vengeance. Your hatred of modern science is every bit as silly as those who condemned Copernicus and Galileo.

boomSLANG said...

Rick retorts: There is no way to prove Christianity true. Even if you did research and proved every historical account in the Bible true, there would still be parts which couldn't be proven scientifically. That is precisely what faith is about.[bold added]

The minute that one accepts a belief as "true" based on "faith", is the minute that they, usually unknowingly, open up the possibility for virtually anything to be accepted as "true", provided that one has "faith" that it's true.

For instance, the "Heaven's Gate" bunch believed that if they killed themselves, their "souls" could ride on a spaceship that was purportedly carrying "Jesus". While the Heaven's Gate cult cannot/could not prove this hypothesis of theirs, they, too, used "faith" to validate their belief, just like you have alluded to having "faith" that your Christian beliefs are valid.

Now, that might seem harmless enough, after all, they are not offering their belief with conditions attached; you are perfectly free to reject it---it just means that you'll be "left behind", while they get wisked away to "heaven"(according to their "faith")

On the other hand, where "faith" is most certainly harmful, is when people kill each other over their "faith". In fact, the three major religious "Faiths" are blowing themselves up, and each other, over different interpretations of the same "God"..i.e..the God of Abraham. Mind you, none of said faiths can prove their beliefs valid with empirical evidence.

Of course, you Rick, admit this, which is why you, like so many Christian apologists, are intent on arguing that naturalism/evolution require "faith" because macroevolution has "gaps", and is thus, "only a theory".....therefore, "Atheism"..i.e..the lack of belief in "gods", is a "faith".

Not true.

Might I suggest clicking here, just for starters.

Rick asks: Why do scientists so devoutly support evolution as if it were fact, when it can be proven wrong by basic scientific laws?

I'll play along---here's a couple of "possibilities":

1) Because all scientists are stupid?

2) Since science is allegedly unreliable, then the "scientific laws" that "prove evolution wrong" are probably unreliable too, right?...right, so maybe scientists are practicing science for the money, when they would rather revert back to the bible for finding answers.

'These answers sound plausible?

Rick: I have yet to see an answer to how evolution complies with the second law of thermodynamics.

bingo!

Rick assertively asks: Suddenly there's a science that deals with the beginning of the universe? Why have I never heard of this... sounds like someone is making things up.

How typical---you've never heard of it, so someone must be making it up.

See abiogenesis for the topic of the "origin of life".

alanh said...

rick wrote:

I don't plan on believing any aspect of evolution, regardless of how much "evidence" is presented, until someone explains to me how evolution:
1) does not defy the second law of thermodynamics.


Rick, that one's easy. The second law of thermodynamics refers to a closed system. From Wikipedia:

"In simple terms, the second law is an expression of the fact that over time, differences in temperature, pressure, and density tend to even out in a physical system that is isolated from the outside world."

The Earth is not, and never has been, a closed system. We receive huge amounts of energy from the sun, along with tons of space dust and the occasional meteorite, and things weren't this quiet in the early solar system.

2) does not explain its origin without first creating matter or energy out of nothing.

You are talking about cosmology here, evolution is a biological process. The universe appears to have begun as a quantum singularity, what came "before" the singularity may or may not be knowable. We do know that particles can indeed come into existence from nothing in a process known as vacuum fluctuation, and the big bang may have been the result of a vacuum fluctuation.

Jim Arvo said...

I've been quite tied up today so I did not get a chance to post this until now. In the interim, it looks like others have addressed most of Rick's misconceptions. At the risk of being repetitive, I'll go ahead and post what I wrote earlier anyway...

Rick said "Secondly, evolution fails miserably to why human life is important, why humans experience emotion, and why humans have a conscience and an ability to reason extensively..."

Why would you expect a theory such as evolution to explain why human life is "important". That's a normative statement. Evolution is purely descriptive. Similarly, chemistry does not tell us that chemicals are important--it simply helps us to explain how they behave. As for emotions, evolution has a great deal to say about them. Darwin wrote a book specifically on that topic, and it remains a burgeoning area of science to this day. As for our superior reasoning ability, there are a number of hypotheses but nothing close to a consensus within the scientific community at present. However, even if it were a complete mystery, I don't see how that helps your position.

Rick: "Evolution also miserably fails to explain how the universe came into existence."

That's called cosmology, not evolution. You might claim that evolution also fails to articulate the proper way to darn socks, which is equally correct, and equally silly.

Rick: "If everything can [came] from simple matter, how did that matter come into existence? If simple matter came from ethereal energy, where did that energy come from?"

Again, that's cosmology. Evolution addresses the question of how life transforms over time. Analogously, the theory of electricity deals with the flow of electrons, not where the electrons ultimately came from. But, to (partially) answer your question, it appears that the entire universe is a zero-energy system. That is, it appears (to the degree that it can be measured today) that the positive energy of matter & motion are exactly counterbalanced by the "negative" energy of gravity. Look it up. Quantum mechanics also provides some tantalizing clues; look up vacuum fluctuations, as someone mentioned earlier. Please do some reading before you assert what is known and what is not.

Rick: "All reasoning dealing with the origin of the universe is circular, whether we like to admit it or not, and to reach a conclusion, we must establish an authority."

That's absolutely ridiculous. This tells me you have no inkling how science works. It's not driven by authority at all. Also, you might wish to inform modern cosmologists that their reasoning is circular; that may come as a surprise to them. (I'd love to watch that exchange, by the way.)

Rick: "The theory of evolution fails to explain entropy."

Right. That's thermodynamics. Evolution does not attempt to explain thermodynamics. Again, you are mixing disciplines. Various aspects of the theory of evolution MAKE USE OF thermodynamics, however, such as molecular biology. For example, when one studies large self-assembling organic molecules (of which there are thousands), it's important to account for the accompanying increase in the entropy of the surroundings, such as the water molecules.

Rick: "If everything is becoming more and more complex, how then is the second law of thermodynamics true?"

Do you know what the 2nd law (SLT) states? Please look it up. If you're still unclear how to answer your question above I'll be happy to go through it with you. However, I request that you first provide a clear and concise statement of SLT to prove that you actually looked it up. Deal?

Rick: "Everything tends to a state of disorder when left to itself."

That's a sloppy statement of STL. Look up SLT.

Rick: "Now, explain to me how complexity is a state of disorder."

Complexity is not a "state of disorder", whatever that means. Complexity generally correlates with a (local) decrease in entropy. If you state your assertions carefully, and employ correct definitions, you'll find that whatever problem you think exists between evolution and thermodynamics vanishes.

Jim Arvo said...

Back on September 13 Rick said "I have yet to see an answer to how evolution complies with the second law of thermodynamics."

Are you still unclear about that Rick, or is that issue now closed (pun intended)? I'd hate to think that you are now saying the same thing at some other web site, and nobody is explaining SLT to you.

As I've said a million times here, this is a trivial concept to grasp, and there are countless books and web sites that explain it in detail; many of them are even accessible to the science-fearing layman. Why, I ask, if creationists cannot come to terms with such simple ideas (by doing a little bit of homework) should we expect that they have anything of value to say on much more complex and nuanced matters, such as theology? (The answer to that one is very simple IMHO.)

To the regulars here: Is it my imagination, or has there been an unusually large number of Christian visitors lately who suddenly disappear without addressing any of the questions put to them? What a strange religion...

Jim Arvo said...

Rick,

I have one more question for you (if you ever decide to come back here). Please consider, for a moment, the group of scientists whom we might label "evolutionary biologists". There are perhaps tens of thousands of them world-wide, each having earned an advanced degree in biology and/or some related physical science. I can state with near certainty that 99% of these well-educated people can articulate the second law of thermodynamics (SLT), understand what it means, and have made use of it at least once, even if only academically. (This is because thermodynamics is such a fundamental tool that virtually all physical scientists are expected to be conversant with it.)

Here is my question to you. If indeed SLT fundamentally contradicts the very science they participate in, why do you suppose that NOT ONE of them has ever noticed this disturbing fact? I am not attempting to sway you on their authority; I'm simply asking you to explain an anomaly. Do you attribute this to a gap in their education? Is it perhaps some kind of conspiracy? Is Satan behind it? Surely, you must be a little curious, no?

rick said...

i haven't left, i just haven't had time to respond to all of the messages left, including jim arvo's... many i haven't even read, but because college takes priority, i may not be able to respond until this coming weekend.

as for all the snide comments regarding my recent absence, i suggest you lighten up and stop being so cynical. there's no point in unjustly accusing people who are preoccupied with more important matters. yes, these discussions are important, but i have a life outside of debating.

but then again, if you enjoy being hostile, go ahead, i won't stop you. in my opinion, debating with hostility is simply a product of narrow-mindedness and/or inexperience. the same goes for being mad at the opposite party for disagreeing, or being threatened at the notion of being proved wrong. whatever the case may be, with the comments that have been left, it's obvious that some of you need therapy. and if i come across as no different, i apologize. it can be hard not to get caught up in a heated discussion. regardless of our differences in opinions, i still have a respect for you as a fellow human being, and i hope that respect is mutual.

rick said...

ok for now, answer this. i will get back to your questions later when i have more time. i'm still reading the comments and the links inside.

"To say there are no transitional fossils is simply false. Paleontology has progressed a bit since Origin of Species was published, uncovering thousands of transitional fossils, by both the temporally restrictive and the less restrictive definitions. The fossil record is still spotty and always will be; erosion and the rarity of conditions favorable to fossilization make that inevitable. Also, transitions may occur in a small population, in a small area, and/or in a relatively short amount of time; when any of these conditions hold, the chances of finding the transitional fossils goes down. Still, there are still many instances where excellent sequences of transitional fossils exist. Some notable examples are the transitions from reptile to mammal, from land animal to early whale, and from early ape to human. For many more examples, see the transitional fossils FAQ in the talk.origins archive, and see http://www.geo.ucalgary.ca/~macrae/talk_origins.html for sample images for some invertebrate groups."

I've heard claims that evolution occurs over millions and millions of years, but if that is true, how can evolution occur over short intervals of time, and is there any proof that such is the case? How long is a "short" interval of time? If insects are indeed capable of accelerated evolution, there are so many species that it would be extremely difficult to prove that a new species has arisen, because the allegedly new species simply may be an undiscovered species. Is there any evidence of accelerated evolution among any division of the animal kingdom that is for the most part extensively classified, to the extent that it can be proven that one species didn't exist in the recent past?

And finally, I don't think that scientists are Satanists or possessed by demons or anything of the sort; I'm offended that you would think that I'm that ignorant.

I do admit, however, that in some cases I am ignorant. I often fail to distinguish between hypotheses and experimentally proven facts, and make ignorant claims based on those misconceptions. But with your input, those misconceptions are being eradicated. In that aspect, thank you for bearing with me.

rick said...

ok, this will be my last comment for about a week... here is the argument of a creationist, and i would like to hear your rebuttal(s), but you can skip 3 and 9, because, based on what has been mentioned already, i already know that these are weak/invalid arguments.

"1. Never any fossils found below the Cambrian layer. This means that complex life forms suddenly appeared on earth, just as Genesis teaches
2. The Law of Biogenesis -life only comes from life and can not come from non-life.
3. The 2nd Law of thermodynamics
4. Nothing is evolving today -ascending from a lower form to a higher form -and no evidence exists that it ever did.
5. T-Rex bones found that were not completely fossilized and contained red blood cells and hemoglobin. If T-Rex lived and became extinct millions of years ago there is no way this would be possible
6. Photographic evidence sent back by the Hubble Space Telescope that clearly shows that the universe is very young and photographic evidence which decimates Hubble Law -upon which the Big Bang theory is founded
7. More than 80 geological clocks which show the earth is only thousands of years old, not billions
8. The unreliability and extreme fallibility of dating methods
9. It is impossible for the highly intricate and extremely complex life forms which exist to come into being from nothing, all by themselves and by accident
10. Mutations -which evolution teaches were part of evolution processes- are harmful, and even fatal, more than 99.9 percent of the time.
11. Natural selection -which evolution teaches was also a part of the evolutionary process- weeds out mutations.
12. Even evoutionary scientists have admitted that the hypothesis of evolution is based entirely upon guess work, conjecture, assumptions and the bias of evolutionists."

rick said...

ok i lied, this is the last for now...

"For centuries anyone who said the Earth was not the center of the universe was denigrated as heretical and godless by Catholics and Protestants. Geo-centricity was defended with a vengeance. Your hatred of modern science is every bit as silly as those who condemned Copernicus and Galileo."

1) I'm not Catholic or Protestant.
2) I'm not sure, but I highly doubt Protestants called people "heretics" or "godless."
3) I don't hate modern science, I simply disagree with certain theories of modern science.

boomSLANG said...

Oh, good grief! Okay, let's assume points "1 through 12" disprove macro-evolution, m' kay? Let's say macro-evolution is a faulty scientific theory. 'Happy?

Okay, now.... listen closely:

Where is the >>>>SCIENCE<<<< in "creationism"? WHERE is the >>>>EVIDENCE<<<< that creationism is TRUE!?!?!?!?! Aaaarg! I can't take it! lol

stronger now said...

Rick,

I'm no scientist but I can shed light on some of the statements/questions you posted.

"1. Never any fossils found below the Cambrian layer."

Stromatolite fossils are found in precambrian layers. see here:

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

"5. T-Rex bones found that were not completely fossilized and contained red blood cells and hemoglobin..."

So?

"5 cont:... If T-Rex lived and became extinct millions of years ago there is no way this would be possible"

How do you know it wouldn't be possible?

"10. Mutations -which evolution teaches were part of evolution processes- are harmful, and even fatal, more than 99.9 percent of the time."
"11. Natural selection -which evolution teaches was also a part of the evolutionary process- weeds out mutations."


Number 11 answers number 10. It's plainly evident in fact. If most mutations(99.9%) are harmful, then predation/natural selection will tend to weed out the harmful ones making it unlikely that the mutation gets passed down to offspring. If a mutation is neither harmful nor beneficial(part of that0.1%) the odds of it being weeded out by predation/natural selection are the same as if there were no mutation. However, if the mutation is benificial(still part of that 0.1%) then the organism is more likely to survive and reproduce others that have that beneficial mutation than if there was no mutation.


"12. Even evoutionary scientists have admitted that the hypothesis of evolution is based entirely upon guess work, conjecture, assumptions and the bias of evolutionists"

And some evolutionists are christians.

Even some christians admit that the bible is metaphor and that evolution explains the development of man. This is a weak argument at best.

Of course this is only my uneducated response to some of your questions.

I'll respond to more as time permits.

Boomslang has a good point. Where is the evidence of creationism?

Jim Arvo said...

1 "Never any fossils found below the Cambrian layer. This means that complex life forms suddenly appeared on earth, just as Genesis teaches"

The Vendean period, which predates the Cambrian, definitely shows signs of life. There were worm-like creatures and matted algae-like creatures.

2 "The Law of Biogenesis -life only comes from life and can not come from non-life."

This is not a "law" in the sense that gravitation is. It's an observation that the organisms that we see around us all come from other organisms; we have never seen one pop into existence, or "spontaneously generate". Don't confuse this with the assertion that life has never come from non-life. Such an would be mere dogma as there is no clear demonstration one way or the other at present.

3 "The 2nd Law of thermodynamics"

Look up the second law of thermodynamics (SLT). Read my comments above.

4 "Nothing is evolving today -ascending from a lower form to a higher form -and no evidence exists that it ever did."

Both assertions are categorically false. 1) Bacteria has been observed to evolve on very short time scales, including a complex mechanism for digesting a novel substance (nylon). Speciation has been observed in fish, plants, and insects. 2) There are hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific journals published every year with extensive detailed evidence corroborating evolution. Pseudo-genes are routinely predicted and identified. The assertion that there is "no evidence" is the fallacy of invincible ignorance.

5 "T-Rex bones found that were not completely fossilized and contained red blood cells and hemoglobin. If T-Rex lived and became extinct millions of years ago there is no way this would be possible"

Explain why this is not possible. Scientists have made various assumptions about the longevity of certain biological constituents (long organic molecules in particular). Some of these assumptions are now being challenged. Don't jump to conclusions.

6 "Photographic evidence sent back by the Hubble Space Telescope that clearly shows that the universe is very young and photographic evidence which decimates Hubble Law -upon which the Big Bang theory is founded"

"Young" is a relative term, and this is still being hotly debated. What, exactly, are you asserting has been established? Also, there are as many theists who point to the Big Bang theory as confirmation as those who disregard it. Let's just continue to gather evidence, build models, make predictions, and try to figure it out. The evidence will lead wherever it will lead.

7 "More than 80 geological clocks which show the earth is only thousands of years old, not billions"

Please cite the sources.

8 "The unreliability and extreme fallibility of dating methods"

Each dating method has its own difficulties, yes. That's why things are tested repeatedly, using a variety of methods, and all conclusions are held as tentative, pending corroboration (and even then). However, the overall time scale for the various epochs is on a very firm foundation, owing to approximate agreement among a diversity of methods.

9 "It is impossible for the highly intricate and extremely complex life forms which exist to come into being from nothing, all by themselves and by accident"

Right. Has anyone claimed otherwise? Protobiologists study life forms, or potential life forms, that are radically simpler than what we see today. Numerous organic (non-living) molecules can demonstrably self-replicate. So, you attack a straw man here.

10 "Mutations -which evolution teaches were part of evolution processes- are harmful, and even fatal, more than 99.9 percent of the time."

Where did you get that number from? Statistically, each of us has a number of unique mutations, and the vast majority of them have no discernible effect whatsoever. But regardless, that's only part of an argument. What do you conclude from that, even if your number is accurate?

11 "Natural selection -which evolution teaches was also a part of the evolutionary process- weeds out mutations."

It tends to weed out mutations that are detrimental, yes. And?

12 "Even evoutionary scientists have admitted that the hypothesis of evolution is based entirely upon guess work, conjecture, assumptions and the bias of evolutionists."

Who are these "evolutionary scientists" you speak of? No doubt there is a repository of cherry-picked out-of-context quotes somewhere. Here's a thought experiment for you. Suppose you were to perform a survey of all living evolutionary biologists: "The hypothesis of evolution is based entirely upon guess work, conjecture, and assumptions. Agree or disagree." What do you suppose the response would be? Maybe that's an unfair question of you. Let me tell you, you would get perplexed looks from 99.99% of them. That assertion is nothing more than an ill-informed creationist line.

rick closed with "I do admit, however, that in some cases I am ignorant. I often fail to distinguish between hypotheses and experimentally proven facts, and make ignorant claims based on those misconceptions. But with your input, those misconceptions are being eradicated. In that aspect, thank you for bearing with me."

Bravo! That was one of the most mature things I've seen written by someone challenging evolution here. Kudos on that.

Jim Arvo said...

rick said "...you can skip 3 and 9, because, based on what has been mentioned already, i already know that these are weak/invalid arguments."

Ooops. I responded to 3 and 9. Disregard my replies to those if you wish.

Jim Arvo said...

rick asked "Is there any evidence of accelerated evolution among any division of the animal kingdom that is for the most part extensively classified, to the extent that it can be proven that one species didn't exist in the recent past?"

Start here.

rick said...

Thanks boomSLANG, stronger now, and jim arvo for responding. I've had time to read your responses, but with how many papers and essays my English composition class has been assigning lately, I don't think I'll have time to contribute my own input this weekend. But I plan to respond as soon as I can. For future reference, in response to previous statements, if it ever seems as if I've left the debate, it is more a result of absent-mindedness rather than from a decision to flee from argument. Also, I'm currently a full-time college student working a part-time job, so as some of you may know, the 168-hour week has never seemed "shorter."

Also, two issues which arise from debating this topic are, in my opinion, rather distasteful:
1) Unintellectual banter raised with no intention of debating
2) Scientists who approach their work with a biased view, seeking to prove how evolution fits into their observations, rather than how their observations fit into evolution or scientific theory.

Unfortunately, this site, being on the internet, needless to say, is subject to spam, as is any other site.
Obviously, the second point only applies to a part of the scientific community, and is simply a statement, not mentioned with the intention of being accusatory at any individual in particular.

Second, when evidence about evolution is raised, I inevitably have a sense of uncertainty and/or distrust in the reliability of that evidence, for three reasons:
1) There have been cases where evidence was fabricated to prove the existence of a "missing link."
2) Some observations/hypotheses fail to, whether inadequately or completely, state the involved uncertainties.
3) There are some issues, whose discussion seems to require a certain extent to which, "You would have to be a scientist to fully comprehend what is being discussed."

As implied in point 3, I'm not an informed scientific scholar. Nor am I an experienced debater. Thus, to an extent, I feel that what I am arguing should be left in the hands of those better equipped (with scientific knowledge and experience in discussion) to debate.

There is also the possibility that Creation does not rule out the possibility of macroevolution. However, I'm not very sure about this, as I have heard of several different theories of evolution, and am uncertain about certain topics (how can man come from monkeys if the Bible says each kind after its own. Obviously, Creation does not rule out microevolution. Regardless, my educational curriculum focuses more on logical arguments in programming, rather than analytical arguments in science. Thus, I'm too inexperienced to debate this topic. But, since that hasn't stopped me yet, it won't stop me now. But keep that fact in mind.

I have time for one short response, the rest will come later.

boomSLANG:
"Where is the >>>>SCIENCE<<<< in "creationism"? WHERE is the >>>>EVIDENCE<<<< that creationism is TRUE!?!?!?!?! Aaaarg! I can't take it! lol"

Creation cannot, and does not, seek to scientifically, or through any means, "prove" that it took place, just as evolution does not seek to prove how matter and energy came into existence. This topic simply cannot be proven until some anomaly is found where the FLT is proven wrong, or, less seriously, an extremely old eyewitness of the beginning of the universe is found. In my opinion, both are absurd to consider as possible, so for now there is no scientific evidence that explains the origins of the universe.

Where is the science in Creationism? Well, Creationism states that God created the universe, which operates according to scientific laws. There is one instance of science in Creationism. God told man to subdue the earth. With invention and science, man has used technology to improve the world around him. Unless there is some undiscovered race on earth that is as intellectually developed as humans, mankind is certainly fulfilling the commandment of subduing the earth.

Obviously, there are other cases which could be raised. But if I am correct, your question is more focused on how science fits into Creationism, rather than what instances of science exist in Creationism. The truth is, Creation doesn't seek to explain things scientifically. Just as evolution seeks to answer how the world works, rather than how it was created, Creation seeks to answer how it was created, rather than how it works. According to Creationism, Creation created the universe, which to our knowledge operates in a chaotic yet consistent fashion that can be explained according to scientific law--the world operates according to how it was created.

Furtermore, I personally don't believe that science and Creationism contradict (with the exception of God's interactions, i.e. Creation, miracles). I believe that wherever contradictions are found, they are raised from a misconception of science, Creation, or both.

As for the Bible, it's validity can be debated scientifically. Obviously, Creation isn't something that can be scientifically proven, to our knowledge, or reproduced. But evolution cannot reproduce the Big Bang, or how matter and energy came into being. But other historical accounts in the Bible can be proven--there are records of Roman executions that prove Jesus was crucified. Some parts of the Bible allude to ideas which were not scientifically discovered/proven until much later, e.g. the circulation of blood, blood sustains life, currents and underwater movement in the ocean, the earth is round and suspended in space. The uncertainty lies not so much in the historical validity of the document (*see below), but rather in whether or not the present can prove the past, particularly the fossil record (the scientific interpretation of which has significantly changed several times).

*The Bible, in comparison to works by famous authors of ancient literatute, has significantly more evidence regarding its textual accuracy. Iliad, by the famous poet Homer, has about 643 known manuscripts, while the New Testament has 24,000 manuscripts. These manuscripts have been compared, and few discrepancies exist. Thus, the only question lies in whether the text is true.

Yet the Bible, like other literary works, it can be interpreted symbolically and literally, and many fail to recognize this. There is still much debate over whether Creation lasted for 6 days or 6 "periods." Maybe these six periods where the time during which God created the universe, and the process of evolution began.

"WHERE is the >>>>EVIDENCE<<<< that creationism is TRUE!?!?!?!?!"

I mentioned this earlier when I referred to the very old eyewitness that most likely doesn't exist. Even if you could prove every story in the Bible true, I highly doubt it's possible to scientifically prove that the universe was created by a supernatural being. That's what makes Creationism a belief related to science, not a science.

As jim arvo put it, "Don't confuse this with the assertion that life has never come from non-life. Such an [assertion(?)] would be mere dogma as there is no clear demonstration one way or the other at present." Just because Creation or "spontaneous generation" can't be proven to have happened, that does not mean that it couldn't have happened. In other words, if science attempts to describe the universe, but fails to make an exception where the universe "defies" science, the fault lies in science, not the universe. This is because science is a changing explanation of an unchanging (in operational boundary), extremely complex entity.

Wow, this is much larger than I intended it to be. However, as unsatisfied with my response as I am, it's rather early in the morning and I must be going.

rick said...

P.S.

Response to an earlier comment I missed:

"
Rick assertively asks: Suddenly there's a science that deals with the beginning of the universe? Why have I never heard of this... sounds like someone is making things up.

How typical---you've never heard of it, so someone must be making it up.

See abiogenesis for the topic of the "origin of life".
"

Abiogenesis doesn't explain how non-living matter or energy came into existence...

AtheistToothFairy said...

Rick said:

"Where is the science in Creationism? Well, Creationism states that God created the universe, which operates according to scientific laws. There is one instance of science in Creationism. God told man to subdue the earth. With invention and science, man has used technology to improve the world around him. Unless there is some undiscovered race on earth that is as intellectually developed as humans, mankind is certainly fulfilling the commandment of subduing the earth"
---
To all,

Am I the only one that see's the weaknesses and/or flaws in this above paragraph?

Rick...please define exactly what it means to "SUBDUE the earth"?
Would that be to subdue the simple DIRT we farm with, or were we suppose to subdue things like volcano's and hurricanes and earthquakes as well?
Just how far does this subduing go, from god's bible usage of the word to us mortals?

Also, perhaps the earth was considered subdued already, a few thousand years ago by humans (per your god's command). It's not so hard to subdue dirt and farm animals, really it's not.
So maybe it was AFTER these sheep herders felt they had 'subdued the earth', that they then made their god give a 'command' to do what they already felt they had accomplished.

In other words, it's like forming the prophecy AFTER the event has already occurred.
It wasn't like anything in the bible can be shown to be written BEFORE the events actually took place, right. Save yourself the trouble of trying to refute this, please.


I think what concerns me about you Rick, is that your communication skills indicate you are quite intelligent, indeed.
That someone of your caliber could still be buying into this bible story creation idea, just proves to me that this brainwashing stuff works really really well, even for those with your IQ.

As skeptic Mike Shermer is so fond of saying, "Even smart people like scientists believe weird things, because they are highly skilled at rationalizing beliefs that they arrived at for nonsmart reasons"

I'm thinking his suggestion would apply to you, young Rick.


ATF

boomSLANG said...

Rick,

I've read your rebuttle only twice, and frankly, so far I feel it's a lot weasle-wording--meaning, you are simply restating your original arugments, having not really resolved any of the original flaws in your logic. Nonetheless, I'll touch on few things:

Rick: ...when evidence about evolution is raised, I inevitably have a sense of uncertainty and/or distrust in the reliability of that evidence, for three reasons: 1) There have been cases where evidence was fabricated to prove the existence of a "missing link."
2) Some observations/hypotheses fail to, whether inadequately or completely, state the involved uncertainties.
3) There are some issues, whose discussion seems to require a certain extent to which, "You would have to be a scientist to fully comprehend what is being discussed."


1) Let me ask you, do you have a "sense of uncertainty and/or distrust in the reliability" of Atomic theory"? How about the Law of Gravity? If not, why not?

2) What methodology do you use to dismiss the "evidence" that Muslims offer that the Creator of the Universe is Allah? Certainly, you don't just "speculate" that they are in error, right? Don't you know they are in error? How? In other words, like most of the Christian creationists I come across, science is reliable and trustworthy as a methodology for determining truth, but only until it points to evolutionary theory being truth over creationism. Then science suddenly and mysteriously becomes "untrustworthy". Of course, you see the problem with that, right? How do you solve the double-standard?

Rick: Where is the science in Creationism? Well, Creationism states that God created the universe, which operates according to scientific laws.

Oh, good grief! Can you NOT see that you are merely affirming the consequence? You have committed the bare assertion fallacy. "Creationism states that God created the Universe, (so then)"[insert conclusion]

So whAT?

BTW, since you are so busy, I find it hard to believe that you've thoroughly investigated those recommended links.

rick said...

Previous comment by alanh, Sept. 13:
"We do know that particles can indeed come into existence from nothing in a process known as vacuum fluctuation."

OK, particles coming in and out of existence is one thing. Using that possibility as an explanation for how the entire universe, which comprises who knows how many googols and googols of particles, came into being is a bit of a stretch to me.

ATF:

Honestly I don't think the extent to which the earth should be subdued is relevant to the argument. Regardless, subduing means "to bring under control especially by exertion of the will." To what extent should we take control? I think it would be absurd to attempt to draw some imaginary line or goal. Instead, it should be thought of as a perpetual process, just as in the medical field, surgeons strive for perfection, though it may not be attainable. The important concept of both scenarios is a sincere attempt, or exertion of the will, to bring improvement.

"1) Let me ask you, do you have a "sense of uncertainty and/or distrust in the reliability" of Atomic theory"? How about the Law of Gravity? If not, why not?"

Atomic theory and gravity both deal primarily with fact, not interpretation of fact. My distrust lies in interpreted fact, or to be fair, what I believe to be interpreted fact. For example, the age of organic substances is estimated by carbon-14 dating, which measures the radioactive decay of the carbon-14 isotope. There is a certain extent to which this can be considered accurate. However, if you look at the exponential graph of radioactive decay, as the independent variable (time) approaches large values, the change in the dependent variable (number of radiocarbon atoms) becomes smaller. Thus, even a measurement with negligible systematic or random error, the margin of error can be extremely unreliable. Now this is just one example, but a simple error could easily add thousands of years to the estimated age.

I'm not arguing any sides here; I'm not trying to prove the Earth is "young" (*see below); I'm simply stating the reasons for my distrust/uncertainty.

*A side note about "young" Earth theories: I don't know if Earth was created (making the assumption that Creation did occur) 6,000-15,000 years ago, or millions of years ago. In my opinion, both are plausible, regardless of dating estimates, because if God created man, animals, plants, etc. in the midst of development, then there's no reason why the same couldn't apply to radioactive materials or any other process. Then again, this is just a theory of mine, and I'm not really sure how valid it is, I'm simply putting it out there.

"2) What methodology do you use to dismiss the "evidence" that Muslims offer that the Creator of the Universe is Allah? Certainly, you don't just "speculate" that they are in error, right? Don't you know they are in error? How? In other words, like most of the Christian creationists I come across, science is reliable and trustworthy as a methodology for determining truth, but only until it points to evolutionary theory being truth over creationism. Then science suddenly and mysteriously becomes "untrustworthy". Of course, you see the problem with that, right? How do you solve the double-standard?..."

Islam believes in Allah. Both Allah and God refer to the God in the monotheistic faith of Adam, Abraham, et al. Yet Islam believes the Qur'an is the word of God. If Islam believes in Allah, the same God as Christianity, then they believe in a God which cannot lie, and a God who exalts the Bible above His own name. The Bible clearly states in Revelation (written in the first century A.D.), "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and the things which are written in this book." If this is true, then the Qur'an is heretical, because it is adding to the word of Allah/God, which is forbidden. In short, I "know" that Muslims are in error because: if adding to the Bible was permissible, surely Allah/God wouldn't punish so harshly for it. Which is why I believe that Muhammad/Mohammed/Muhammed/Mahomet, who came along five centuries after Revelation was written, is a false prophet, and Islam is a flawed religion because it greatly contradicts itself.

"Oh, good grief! Can you NOT see that you are merely affirming the consequence? You have committed the bare assertion fallacy. "Creationism states that God created the Universe, (so then)"[insert conclusion]"

I wasn't making a conclusion. A conclusion would have involved claiming that whatever succeeded the statement is true. But I wasn't concluding; I was explaining a certain belief according to an assumption that the statement is true, for purely hypothetical reasons. I wasn't making a "because I said so" statement.

Furthermore, creationism is a belief, not a science, which is why those who don't believe in faith find it so detestable. And because I know that this is the case for many of you, I have no intentions of attempting to "spread" my religion, instead I simply intend to defend it.

"BTW, since you are so busy, I find it hard to believe that you've thoroughly investigated those recommended links."

I never said I investigated anything; I said I read. And unfortunately, you are entirely correct. I have read parts of the links, but not quite adequately. Again, I'm just working with what little time I have.

.:webmaster:. said...

Being skeptical is not a bad trait. Skepticism allows us to better access the truth of various claims. Faith disallows skepticism. "Don't doubt -- only believe!"

As far as I am concerned, you could scrap all of modern science and go back to the Stone Age, but that wouldn't make Christianity true. By way of analogy, saying Republicans are bad doesn't by default make Democrats good, or vice versa.

The point is, regardless of whether or not a particular scientific theory is accurate in all points is immaterial to the claims of Christianity. "See, evolution has holes," is not evidence for Christianity's truth. "See, evolution has holes," is evidence that evolution may have holes, or that a person's education level or comprehension skills are lacking, but nothing else. To be clearer, "See, evolution has holes," in no way supports the Muslim claim that Allah created the world.

boomSLANG said...

Rick: I'm not arguing any sides here; I'm not trying to prove the Earth is "young" (*see below); I'm simply stating the reasons for my distrust/uncertainty.

Yes, I saw "below"...and in my opinion, you've failed in providing a solid argument for your apparent distrust in science/reason. You haven't eliminated the double-standard.

Rick: Atomic theory and gravity both deal primarily with fact, not interpretation of fact.

Right, right, right...and AGAIN, creationism, on the other hand, does not deal "primarily with fact"; it deals with the interpretation of revelation, along with one's intuition. History shows which methodology is clearly a more realiable way to determine what applies to a mind-independent reality, and what does not. Hint: That methodology is NOT religion/revelation.

I asked: "2) What methodology do you use to dismiss the 'evidence' that Muslims offer that the Creator of the Universe is Allah? Certainly, you don't just 'speculate' that they are in error, right? Don't you know they are in error? How? In other words, like most of the Christian creationists I come across, science is reliable and trustworthy as a methodology for determining truth, but only until it points to evolutionary theory being truth over creationism. Then science suddenly and mysteriously becomes 'untrustworthy'. Of course, you see the problem with that, right? How do you solve the double-standard?..."

Rick answers: Islam believes in Allah. Both Allah and God refer to the God in the monotheistic faith of Adam, Abraham, et al. Yet Islam believes the Qur'an is the word of God. If Islam believes in Allah, the same God as Christianity, then they believe in a God which cannot lie, and a God who exalts the Bible above His own name.

There you go again, affirming the consequence. Furthermore, one minute you're saying that Muslims believe in the same God as Christianity, then later you say they believe in false prophet. WTF? If A = B, and B = C, then A = C. Thus, you have basically just stated that the Christian biblegod is a false prophet. Agreed.

Rick continues: The Bible clearly states...(CUT!!!!!!)

What the bible "states" is immaterial to me, unless/until you first provide evidence that it is objectively/universally true. Hint: The bible cannot be it's OWN evidence. It doesn't quite work that simply.

Rick: In short, I "know" that Muslims are in error because: if adding to the Bible was permissible, surely Allah/God wouldn't punish so harshly for it. Which is why I believe that Muhammad/Mohammed/Muhammed/Mahomet, who came along five centuries after Revelation was written, is a false prophet, and Islam is a flawed religion because it greatly contradicts itself.

Yet, you miss the point of the question, entirely. We're focused on the METHOD. You used deductive reasoning as a methodology to determine your conclusion. You did not use "faith", in simply saying, "I believe it is false....I don't need a reason".

But perhaps my example, "Allah", wasn't he best choice. So here, let's apply the same question to "invisible pixies":

What methodology do you use to dismiss the existence of invisible pixies? Certainly, you don't just "speculate" that they don't exist, right? Don't you know they don't exist? >>>How?<<<

rick said...

webmaster: " "See, evolution has holes," is not evidence for Christianity's truth."

How many times do I have to say I'm not trying to prove Christianity right... I've said several times, that I know none of you will believe, so I don't even try. I'm just defending my beliefs.

boomslang: "There you go again, affirming the consequence."

I have no idea what you're talking about. I'm simply using logic. If Muslims believe in Allah/God, who places the authority of the Bible above all else, then the Qur'an is extrabiblical, and should not be considered a holy book. I'm not arguing logically about truthfulness, I'm arguing about validity. If you've ever learned how logic works, you certainly would understand.

"Furthermore, one minute you're saying that Muslims believe in the same God as Christianity, then later you say they believe in false prophet. WTF? If A = B, and B = C, then A = C. Thus, you have basically just stated that the Christian biblegod is a false prophet. Agreed."

You misread what I said. Muhammed is a false prophet, because he exalts the Qur'an as a holy book, yet believes in Allah/God who says that the Bible is the final authority, and that nothing can be added or subtracted to it. Muhammed being a false prophet disproves Islam, and has no correlation to Christianity because Christianity does not acknowledge Muhammed as a prophet.

"Rick continues: The Bible clearly states...(CUT!!!!!!)

What the bible "states" is immaterial to me, unless/until you first provide evidence that it is objectively/universally true. Hint: The bible cannot be it's OWN evidence. It doesn't quite work that simply."

It doesn't matter what you believe or don't believe. The fact is, Islam contradicts itself, whether or not its beliefs are true. End of story.

"Yet, you miss the point of the question, entirely. We're focused on the METHOD. You used deductive reasoning as a methodology to determine your conclusion. You did not use "faith", in simply saying, "I believe it is false....I don't need a reason"."

I might not have answered your question directly, but I did use a methodology. I wouldn't quite call that missing the point of the question.

"What methodology do you use to dismiss the existence of invisible pixies? Certainly, you don't just "speculate" that they don't exist, right? Don't you know they don't exist? >>>How?<<<"

Absence of evidence doesn't necessitate evidence of absence. You can't disprove the existence of something unless it is self-contradictory, or defies universal laws. For "invisible pixies," disproving their existence requires a definition of pixies, because there certainly are invisible things, therefore invisible pixies aren't necessarily impossible, though common sense suggests their nonexistance.

Your argument simply seeks to disprove the validity of beliefs, but until you can empirically or logically verify that they are false, you have no authority to claim they are false, only to express doubt in their truthfulness.

Now you can think of every absurd thing you can imagine, but the difference between that absurd entity and God, is that God, according to Creationism, is a supernatural being, existing independently of the physical universe, therefore, according to Creationism, the laws of the universe do not apply to God. But again, I don't expect you to believe me, as my beliefs contradict your materialistic views.

rick said...

"In other words, like most of the Christian creationists I come across, science is reliable and trustworthy as a methodology for determining truth, but only until it points to evolutionary theory being truth over creationism. Then science suddenly and mysteriously becomes "untrustworthy". Of course, you see the problem with that, right? How do you solve the double-standard?"

"Rick: I'm not arguing any sides here; I'm not trying to prove the Earth is "young" (*see below); I'm simply stating the reasons for my distrust/uncertainty.

Yes, I saw "below"...and in my opinion, you've failed in providing a solid argument for your apparent distrust in science/reason. You haven't eliminated the double-standard."

From my perspective, there is no double standard in my beliefs. The parts of science which I don't agree with are parts which haven't been proven true beyond reasonable doubt, and are blatantly contradictory to Creationism, such as macroevolution. From my perspective, Creationism does not contradict with science, because Creationism deals with the origin of the universe, whereas science deals with the existence of the universe. Yes it's possible for mutations and microevolution, but there is no definitive proof of macroevolution.

In short, I disagree with science far less than many Christians do, because I believe that Creationism doesn't always rule out possibilities that others think are ruled out, because there is room for interpretation of what is said.

I completely lost my train of thought, got sidetracked with something else. I hope that adressed the issues that were raised... if not, feel free to point it out.

Dave8 said...

Rick: "In short, I disagree with science far less than many Christians do, because I believe that Creationism doesn't always rule out possibilities that others think are ruled out, because there is room for interpretation of what is said."

Let’s say that the theory of macroevolution is stricken from the record as a viable theory, surrounded by mounds of scientific facts. What does that do, to support your theological first principle that validates the “existence” and “Identity” of a God?

In short, how do you move from skepticism of how scientific theories are formed… to your “belief” in a meta-natural deity… I'd like to hear how you came to arrive at a non-Natural explanation for a first cause (while living in your natural body), and further, how you extrapolated the identity of a "particular" God type from such a meta-natural "cause".

More directly, if you were approached “today”, by “some-thing” meta-natural, can you please describe what such an experience would be like? Thanks.

.:webmaster:. said...

How many times do I have to say I'm not trying to prove Christianity right...

Apparently many more times since every one one of your posts is nothing but a parroting of popular Christian apologetics.

If Muslims believe in Allah/God, who places the authority of the Bible above all else...

Where did you get the idea that the God of the Bible places the authority of the Christian Bible above all else? Your god purportedly puts HIS WORD above all else, but HIS WORD isn't necessarily confined to the few manuscripts that comprise your hackneyed book.

Here's a link that explains what Affirming the Consequent means. I suggest you read it: LINK.

Muhammed is a false prophet, because he exalts the Qur'an as a holy book, yet believes in Allah/God who says that the Bible is the final authority, and that nothing can be added or subtracted to it.

Again, nothing purportedly from your god's lips says that HIS WORD is confined to the manuscripts some Fourth Century clerics bound together at the order of the Roman Emperor. And your little quip about "adding and subtracting" is from the Book of Revelation. The verse ONLY APPLIES to the Book of Revelation. Until the Fourth Century there was no "CHRISTIAN BIBLE." There was only the Jewish Scriptures and various Christian writings.

It doesn't matter what you believe or don't believe. The fact is, Islam contradicts itself, whether or not its beliefs are true. End of story.

Honestly now. Have you actually studied Islam at all? Come on. Be honest. Millions of people on this planet believe Islam is "THE TRUTH™." How could so many millions be wrong? Besides, Christianity is full of contradictions. Why else would there be 33,000 different Christian denominations if everything in Christianity is so crystal clear?

Absence of evidence doesn't necessitate evidence of absence.

Fine. Where's the evidence for your invisible, immaterial, ghostly trio of divinity? Hmm? But you have a point, just because there is no evidence that the Olympian Gods were anything more than constructs of human imagination, that doesn't mean they ain't still up there, right?

Until you can empirically or logically verify that they are false, you have no authority to claim they are false, only to express doubt in their truthfulness.

You, therefore, cannot claim that UFOs, Leprechauns, ancient astronauts, Unicorns (That one is in the Bible.) Dragons (That on is in the Bible, too.), the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Zeus, RA, and any other goofy story from our history is false. All you can do is express doubt in those things, right?

Well, here goes: There is no such thing as leprechauns and all that other stuff. I just made a reasonable statement based on available evidence. Now, if Zeus shows up as a golden shower in house today, then I might have to change my assessment. Until then, ZEUS does not exist!!!

The parts of science which I don't agree with are parts which haven't been proven true beyond reasonable doubt, and are blatantly contradictory to Creationism..."

Yes, well, if I receive evidence that my doubt of Zeus is incorrect, I'll gladly change my views. I won't stubbornly hold tight to my personal opinion that Zeus is made up if Zeus knocks on the door. However, I can see that you will maintain your view because anything that contradicts in any way "Creationism" is false without a second thought. Did you know that the early Reformers of the Church, Martin Luther and John Calvin, violently opposed the teachings of Copernicus? Luther and Calvin maintained that the Earth was the center of the universe because in the Bible Joshua told the Sun to stand still. Luther and Calvin both maintained until their deaths that the Sun revolves around the Earth and taught others that any other doctrine was heresy.

Finally, you have an idea that your god is outside the laws of physics, but you haven't shared why you think there is such a being in existence at all. What brought you to the conclusion that extra-dimensional beings exist?

stronger now said...

Rick:"For "invisible pixies," disproving their existence requires a definition of pixies, because there certainly are invisible things, therefore invisible pixies aren't necessarily impossible, though common sense suggests their nonexistance."

Why does common sense suggest their(invisible pixies) nonexistance but not the biblegods nonexistance?

boomSLANG said...

Looks like I'm late for the triple-slam. Ouch! Oh well, here we go...

Rick: How many times do I have to say I'm not trying to prove Christianity right... I've said several times, that I know none of you will believe, so I don't even try. I'm just defending my beliefs.

Honestly, your "defense" is a basically a carbon copy of the same apologetics we hear on a daily basis. Logical fallacies, bare assertion fallacies, and appeals to emotion, abound. And BTW, if you're here to "defend your beliefs", then it's implicit that you are here to prove said beliefs true. Duh. So I guess we can add disingenuous to the list, then?

boomslang(previously): "There you go again, affirming the consequence."

Response: I have no idea what you're talking about.

Please see the link that the webmaster provided for you. Thanks.

I'm simply using logic.

No shit, Sherlock....once again, that's my whole point. Let's review: Before, you expressed your "distrust"/"uncertainy" in deductive reasoning, AKA 'logic'---LOGIC, which is the cornerstone of the SCIENTIFIC method. Repeat--you DISTRUST it..but yet, you just admitted to using it to conclude that some other religion is false..hence, the double standard that you evidently refuse to see.

Rick: If Muslims believe in Allah/God, who places the authority of the Bible above all else.....[edit]

Did you reference the supplied link for affiriming the consequence? Again, you are simply asserting that the ONLY "God" is the Christian biblegod(bare assertion fallacy), and in turn, asserting that Muslims, "unbeknownst to them", believe in the Christian biblegod, as opposed to the "God" they really believe in, which is the "God" of the Holy Qur'an...."Allah". Again....AFFIRMING THE CONSEQUENCE.

Rick: If you've ever learned how logic works, you certainly would understand.

Good grief!...I implore you to take your own advice, would you please?

Rick thoughtlessly blathers:

You misread what I said. Muhammed is a false prophet, because he exalts the Qur'an as a holy book, yet believes in Allah/God who says that the Bible is the final authority, and that nothing can be added or subtracted to it. Muhammed being a false prophet disproves Islam, and has no correlation to Christianity because Christianity does not acknowledge Muhammed as a prophet.

Okay, NOW... here is what Muslim, "Rick Abdul Aleem", might say on the matter:

"You misread what I said! Jesus is a false prophet, because he exalts the Bible as a holy book, yet believes in God/Allah who says that the Holy Qur'an is the final authority, and that nothing can be added or subtracted to it. Jesus, being a false prophet, disproves Christianity, and has no correlation to Islam, because Islam does not acknowledge Jesus as a prophet."

Now, do you like the way "Rick Abdul Aleem" AFFIRMS THE CONSEQUENCE???? I'll bet not.

Rick: It doesn't matter what you believe or don't believe. The fact is, Islam contradicts itself, whether or not its beliefs are true. End of story.

It doesn't matter what you believe or don't believe. The fact is, Christianity contradicts itself, whether or not its beliefs are true. End of story.

Rick: I might not have answered your question directly, but I did use a methodology. I wouldn't quite call that missing the point of the question.

Hello? Yoo hoo? DiNg DoNg? That was the POINT of my question!... to illustrate that you DID use a logical methodology, when previously you admonished the use of logic. Holy cheese-n-crackers!!!!

I'm stopping here!....I can't take it anymore!! Aaaaaaaaaaahhh! lol!

J. C. Samuelson said...

Rick,

Since the others have addressed your other arguments, I'd like to pick up on Stronger Now's line of thinking...

For "invisible pixies," disproving their existence requires a definition of pixies, because there certainly are invisible things, therefore invisible pixies aren't necessarily impossible, though common sense suggests their nonexistance.

If I may suggest, apply that same logic to God. Christians are quick to argue (and non-believers tend to agree) that God's existence is neither provable nor disprovable. If all we're dealing with is possibilities, I would agree. However, if God were to acquire a clear definition - a hypothesis, if you will - in principle it could be then falsifiable, at least as a probable explanation. In fact, this is the premise of Victor Stenger's book, "God: The Failed Hypothesis." Sadly, the definition of God keeps changing, and mostly depends on who you ask.

Going back to the pixies, before continuing to develop the hypothesis it would pay to address those "invisible things." They too require a definition, a separate but complimentary hypothesis that delineates precisely what "invisible" means. Does it include only those things the naked eye can't see? What about under a microscope? Does it include things that can be indirectly and experimentally observed, in spite of their apparent invisibility? Hopefully you get the idea. Once that part is worked out, then go on to define pixies, and develop a method for detecting the results of their interactions with the world.

Do you see the principle at work here? What applies to pixies - or pink unicorns, dragons, talking bushes, and so forth - equally applies to any god. Disproving the existence of any of these things requires a clear hypothesis, one that is amenable to testing and consistent with respect to what observations are expected. To say that there is something different about God that makes It somehow exempt is to venture outside the realm of reason and science, and into the world of fantasy.

Incidentally, common sense suggests God doesn't exist either. Just my opinion, of course.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Rick had said:
>"Where is the science in Creationism? Well, Creationism states that God created the universe, which operates according to scientific laws. There is one instance of science in Creationism. God told man to subdue the earth. With invention and science, man has used technology to improve the world around him. Unless there is some undiscovered race on earth that is as intellectually developed as humans, mankind is certainly fulfilling the commandment of subduing the earth."

Rick replied to ATF comment on this "subdue" issue:

"Honestly I don't think the extent to which the earth should be subdued is relevant to the argument. Regardless, subduing means "to bring under control especially by exertion of the will." To what extent should we take control? I think it would be absurd to attempt to draw some imaginary line or goal. Instead, it should be thought of as a perpetual process, just as in the medical field, surgeons strive for perfection, though it may not be attainable. The important concept of both scenarios is a sincere attempt, or exertion of the will, to bring improvement"
----

Rick,
Okay Rick, I won't debate with you, the extent of what your god's command to 'subdue the earth' actually meant for us humans. Obvioulsy the word 'subdue' is quite subjective in this god-usage.

However, whether it means to subdue the dirt under our feet, or to subdue any other aspect of our earth, where does one inject the idea of 'science' into this subduing idea?
How is subduing a thing, the same as doing science?

Many believe they have subdued a certain thing on earth and they didn't know a thing about science to achieve their results.
e.g.
I could subdue a snake by putting my foot upon it's head, but is that really science or is that something that any caveman would have figured out by experience?

Perhaps you should define what you consider "science" to be, for all of us, as it's possible you believe the study of science would include the accidental discovery of stepping upon a snakes head, to stop it from attacking.
Sure, I can use science to subdue a thing, but on the other hand, just because I subdued a thing, doesn't mean I used real science to do so.

I would also speculate that our universe operates according the laws of science, because it MUST DO SO. Even if the our universe had been 'created' differently, there would still be laws of science that reveal it's nature.

Suppose your god had made non-carbon based humans, then the laws of science for us might be different than they are now, but that doesn't mean there would be no laws of science that would apply to our nature.
So no matter what type of universe would be created, surely there would still be laws of science that would apply to such a universe.

I'm willing to bet that if there was a spiritual plane of existence, it would also have it's own laws of science as well.
Even if it were constantly in some ever-changing dynamic mode, some laws of science would apply for any given moment in time of it's existence.

Therefore, just because there are laws of science that apply to our universe, says NOTHING about whether your god caused it's creation or not.
Just because your god uttered the command for humans to subdue the earth, doesn't automatically include any aspect of true science to reach that goal. That is reading between the lines of a god issued command, if you ask me.
It wasn't like god was big on the sciences, as we know the bible contains many wrong facts about our earth and it's creatures, so really, accurate science results to your god just take a back-burner to telling a good story to gullible humans.


>"According to Creationism, Creation created the universe, which to our knowledge operates in a chaotic yet consistent fashion that can be explained according to scientific law--the world operates according to how it was created"

Rick,

And just how else might the universe operate then?
If we had a purely consistent universe around us, then we'd see that as the norm and not question it.
If we had a totally chaotic universe instead, but somehow we were still here to live in it, we'd again just accept it as the 'norm'.
So no matter what type of universe would be formed, as long as we were alive to live in it, we would accept it as-is.

That being said, where is the evidence that your god did his creation thing to form the universe we live in.
The truth is, if the universe formed and was unable to sustain human life, we wouldn't be sitting here debating anything, as we just would have never existed in the first place.

In fact, what makes you think that in the infinite past, that there haven't been several formed universes and some were able to sustain life, while others were not.
Maybe we just got lucky this time around that a universe formed from the big-bang that resulted in it's ability to generate thinking life forms, like us.
It's no miracle that we came to be, but we came to be only because the conditions this time around were right for us to form and exist in this particular universe.

While billions of years may sound like an awfully long time and humans have only been around a small fraction of that time, it wouldn't matter if over many trillion years we had a few other previous universes or not, for we wouldn't have known about them, nor would we have any concept of such a huge quantity of time ever having passed by.

To us, we perceive that we each came to life when we were born and before we were born, nothing existed for us personally.
Science tells us that the universe started X-billion years ago and we have good evidence this is factual, yet while we can get a sense of the time this universe has been around, we have no conception of what other universes might have existed before this one came to be.

Heck, I bet some out there might even speculate that this universe is nothing more than a 'ditto' of the previous one that formed and later terminated itself into a single point.
Who knows, maybe we all existed a few times before in time past, but have no way to know we are doing a repeat performance.
I don't really by this 'ditto' idea, but it's as viable as your super god idea, don't ya think?

My point here is that there are many possibilities for a universe and it's resulting life forms, none of which demand some supernatural god to explain how it all got here.
In fact, doesn't it bother you that an entity that had the power to create such a huge complex universe, would surely have to be vastly more complex itself?
If you can't accept that our present universe got started without your god, then how is it so easy for you to believe that your far more complex god being just 'happened along'.

Such problems don't bother xtians, because they put their faith FIRST and ignore such begging questions about their god.
Truly it's a matter of deciding what one DESIRES to believe, then cherry picking the evidence to support that desire, rather than taking the facts as-is and living with the results, NO MATTER WHAT THEY ARE.

That is what science really is Rick.....it doesn't ignore what it doesn't 'like', but has to deal with it. Any person doing science knows full well that their conclusions will be put under a microscope and they will greatly have to defend those conclusions to their peers.

Who is overseeing the conclusions that xtians have for their god's existence?
Frankly, xtians never put their god on trial to see if it really exists, they just assume he does. (Need I tell you what happens when you assume?)
God is NEVER tested by believers to prove he exists, other than in their own minds.


>But other historical accounts in the Bible can be proven--there are records of Roman executions that prove Jesus was crucified

Rick,
If what you say is true, then you are the very FIRST to cite such historical records to us.
In all I've read on the subject of trying to prove jesus existed in secular history, I've not seen a single record that supports his god like existence on earth.
In fact, many have searched these roman records, over the eons, just to prove jesus was real and I know of no historian that actually found a VALID record to prove he was real.

So please, enlighten us all by showing us this historical document of the Romans who killed your Jesus.
Perhaps you found a dead sea scroll in your own backyard that provides this greatly missing puzzle piece?

ATF (who wonders how long it'll be before Rick wakes up from his god dream?)

Jim Arvo said...

rick said "...there are records of Roman executions that prove Jesus was crucified"

I'll echo ATF's request to cite a source through which we might verify the existence of such records. As far as I have been able to ascertain, those "Roman records" are nothing more than an urban legend.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Jim Arvo wrote:
"I'll echo ATF's request to cite a source through which we might verify the existence of such records. As far as I have been able to ascertain, those "Roman records" are nothing more than an urban legend"
--
Hi Jim,
I've been wondering where you have been. Nice to see you here again!

Face it Jim, even though most of the urban legends today are false, many folks believe in them because they WANT TO, or they FEAR if they're not careful, that same bad thing of the legend might happen to them also.

Oddly enough a xtian believes, because they WANT to, or they FEAR the consequences of not believing (e.g. hell).

Just as the woo-woo folks of anything supernatural, will 'bend the rules' (cheat) to give credence to their beliefs, I have no doubt that some over zealous xtians would start a legend that the romans had records of the xtian jesus.
It's not very difficult to start rumors that then become full blown legends of such, and frankly, most xtians wouldn't bother to verify this legend 'evidence', as they already assume their jesus was real, so why would they bother to do so?

I have found that when a skeptic finally disproves some xtian claim, that the word never reaches most xtians and they'll continue to parrot the same-ole-songs to us ex-xtians.
If it sounds good to use in their argument to support their Christianity, then it must be okay to use, regardless whether it's been proven out or not.
It's only when it's been disproven in a very public way, that the xtians back-off from using these 'fun-facts' they toss out--- like ten day old fish.

I'm pretty sure xtian Rick will NOT be back to show us this roman evidence, or perhaps he'll point us at some apologetic xtian website that also parrots this sentiment of his, but without any secular references to validate them.


ATF

rick said...

"I'm stopping here!....I can't take it anymore!! Aaaaaaaaaaahhh! lol!"

Well put.

Assuming that I'm terribly wrong, and that I am completely ignorant, which wouldn't surprise me, and is what I'm sure all of you believe, and is recently what I myself am led to believe, if there is no God, why are truth and the reason we are here so important? Why does it matter if science is correct and religion is wrong? What's the point of existing just to further our existence?

Let's just say that Creationism, Christianity, everything except science is wrong. Why don't we all go shoot ourselves? And why is that such a terrible thing to say? And why do you get irritated when I make ignorant claims such as these?

Oh, I'm sorry, I appealed to emotion. Oh wait... Half of your arguments are filled with hatred, anger, and impatience--except for jim arvo, whom I thank for being consistently mature and patient.

I don't know about you, but I'm not scared of hell, I'm scared of being some unimportant biological organism that happens to be capable of somewhat intelligent thought. And if I am some unimportant biological organism, I honestly don't care if you think I'm stupid for being afraid of being that. And if I'm not, then I'd be right after all.

If you're so certain science is the only thing worth believing, stop wasting your time debating it. With that being said, I think I'll take my own advice (especially since this is quite possibly the worst post I've made) for the meanwhile, until I find some source of time, energy, and patience to help deal with all the hostility.

Oh, and just an FYI, I started out only arguing against evolution, NOT creationism, until there were specific attacks on creationism, for which I felt compelled to provide a rebuttal. Furthermore, in simple terms, apologetics is "defense," evangelism is "offense." Therefore, I was simply defending my beliefs, as you defend yours.

ATF:
"It wasn't like god was big on the sciences, as we know the bible contains many wrong facts about our earth and it's creatures, so really, accurate science results to your god just take a back-burner to telling a good story to gullible humans."

Let me hear everything you got. I bet you 99% of your accusations are literal interpretations of text that should be interpreted symbolically. I know that might sound absurd to you, but the Bible isn't a science book, it doesn't have to be literal all of the time.

.:webmaster:. said...

"What's the point of existing just to further our existence?"

And if you are completely correct and religion is the most important thing in the world, what is the point of existing? Is it just to kiss some god's ass?

The point of life is life. Ask your cat why he doesn't off itself. Ask your dog why it is happy. Ask the trees why they stretch to the sky. Ask the grass why it keeps growing. Then go to the zoo and ask each and every animal why it simply doesn't die and have done with its meaningless life.

I do understand what you are talking about, Rick. When I left Christianity (and before I left), I imagined there was no reason to live if this life was all there is. Then guess what, I finally came to the realization that this life is all there is. And you know what I found out? I found out that life is chocked full of meaning! Even though I am mortal, even though I no longer worry about a god, and even though I will not live forever, my life is filled with purpose and meaning and joy and love and happiness and adventure and sadness and on and on. The difference is, I determine my purpose and I assign meaning to my life. I'm no longer sneezing my way through a dusty, moldering tome filled with incoherent myths trying to puzzle out my assignment for life as supposedly dictated by an illusionary ghost.

stronger now said...

"What's the point of existing just to further our existence?"


Ever see Bill & Ted's excellent adventure? It spells out the reason to exist quite nicely:

"Be excellent to each other...and...PARTY ON DUDES!!!"

(I know it's hokey but what the hell.)

boomSLANG said...

Rick: ... if there is no God, why are truth and the reason we are here so important?

Why?..because if you factor in the trillions of potential human lives that could exist, but may never get that chance, for instance, due to human extinction from a cataclysmic event, then we are pretty lucky to be here. Furthermore, that death is part of life; that life ENDS, makes it all the more precious. Since this life is so precious, then honestly.... who would want to spend it believing a lie?

Now, no disrespect, but being where you currently are, that being, presumably in "limbo", I don't expect you to grasp much, if any of that.... and that goes for the Webmaster's post, which was very comprehensive, BTW.

Why does it matter if science is correct and religion is wrong?

Here's a possible short answer: Because science contibutes to the advancement of humankind; religion keeps humankind cemented in superstition. Notice, too, that when we view humanity from a humanistic/naturalist POV, we also consider future generations, not just ourselves, and such things as getting into the "next life".

What's the point of existing just to further our existence

If to "exist", in and of itself, is lacking in some way, then let me ask you: What is the point of doing it eternally? Rick: If you somehow cannot find meaning in "living", what sense does it make to seek to do it forever?

This is the whole point: no-thing; no-body(including deities), can transfer meaning and purpose to you......you have to want if for yourself, and make it for yourself.

Let's just say that Creationism, Christianity, everything except science is wrong. Why don't we all go shoot ourselves?

Firstly, I've had good friends and a family member who believed that "Christianity" and "Creationism" were right, go shoot themselves. Now, what does that say? It says a lot---it says that religious believe and happiness/contentment with life are NOT mutually inclusive. Please remember that.

Secondly, I'd like you to answer Web/Dave's question: Why don't you kill your family pets? After all, they aren't going to live forever in kittie or doggie heaven, so?..... by your philosophy, aren't their lives meaningless?

And why do you get irritated when I make ignorant claims such as these?

On the one hand, you seem to be admitting your ignorance; on the other.....you don't seem to want to listen to anyone. That's irritating.

Oh, I'm sorry, I appealed to emotion. Oh wait... Half of your arguments are filled with hatred, anger, and impatience

No---appeals to emotion are when you arrive at certain conclusions based purely on emotion and/or intuition. Plain ol' "emotions" are part of human nature. I'm not saying that "Atheism is true" because "Rick makes me frustrated"

I don't know about you, but I'm not scared of hell, I'm scared of being some unimportant biological organism that happens to be capable of somewhat intelligent thought.

Who, exactly, said you are "unimportant"?

If you're so certain science is the only thing worth believing, stop wasting your time debating it.

Who said science in the "only" thing worth believing? It seems you've got yourself cornered with a false dichotomy. There are more things to believe in than "religion" and "science". How about "family"? How about "humanity"?

Oh, and just an FYI, I started out only arguing against evolution, NOT creationism, until there were specific attacks on creationism, for which I felt compelled to provide a rebuttal.

And you commit the same fallacy that all Creationists commit, and that is, you think that if can knock enough holes in the Theory of Evolution, that "Creationism"..i.e.."magic", will be the default winner. Untrue. I hope you've learned at least that much.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Rick wrote to ATF:
ATF had said:
"It wasn't like god was big on the sciences, as we know the bible contains many wrong facts about our earth and it's creatures, so really, accurate science results to your god just take a back-burner to telling a good story to gullible humans."

Rick retorted:
"Let me hear everything you got. I bet you 99% of your accusations are literal interpretations of text that should be interpreted symbolically. I know that might sound absurd to you, but the Bible isn't a science book, it doesn't have to be literal all of the time."
---
Rick,

The EXCUSE you make here, is one that ex-xtians and atheist hear all the time from bible worshipers. If one accepts what you say as being true here, then one is left with a HUGE problem of what is to be taken literally and what is to be taken symbolically, in your 'story book of old'.

You say that I should take these false-science 'facts' as being only symbolic, right.
This would be a more liberal xtian point of view and while some sects of your religion would agree with this idea, there are many sects that would harshly disagree with taking such 'facts' as being merely symbolic and not literal.

Putting aside, for a moment, WHICH of these science facts should be taken literally or symbolically, why did your god not make it CLEAR to his believers of his time (and our time) which things in his 'word' were factual and which 'facts' were only being used to embellish his stories or parables?

If one tosses out some of these things as being non-factual, then that leaves others as still being in the factual realm of things. Because it's not clear many times in your story book, which would be which, then surely there is some god instructions in your bible that explains how to tell the difference between fact and fiction, yes?

Perhaps there is an 'Appendix' or 'Forward' to your bible that gives the sacred 'Key' for the reader to know these differences?
If not, then wouldn't it be a matter of opinion, of interpretation alone?
Wouldn't this non-clarity explain why xtians sects bicker amongst themselves, where these 'facts' belong in the realms of fiction vs non-fiction.

Also, you do realize that throughout history, most churches held fast to these bible science beliefs that your bible seems to proclaim as being quite factual in nature, and did not see them as symbolic.
I suspect it's only when science proves in a very public way that some 'fact' is clearly wrong in your bible, that a lot of you xtians will back off from a thing being factual and toss it into the symbolic container instead.


So let's see what you Rick, FEEL the following items belong to...Fact or Fable.

1. Was it really possible for god at the tower of Bable, to suddenly create many new languages, when formerly all humans on earth spoke a common language?
While such a miracle defies known science, it also defies secular history records as well.

2. Did god ever cause the sun to stand still or even move backwards, so the daylight hours were increased? If this is symbolic, then why doesn't your bible say so and if it's to be taken literally, are we suppose to believe the earth was made to come to an abrupt halt, and in one case was made to rotate in reverse?
Do you have any idea what the oceans of the world would do if one could suddenly stop the earth from spinning?

3. Do you believe the Noah Ark story was fact or just a story? Clearly there are MANY science and logistics problems, with the entire story.

4. What does science tell us about the possibility of turning Lot's wife into a pillar of salt?
Is this just one of those symbolic stories or do you perhaps know some means via science that such an act would be possible?
(Not to mention it shows one heck of an unjust god who would turn Lot's wife into salt just for PEEKING at the destruction behind her)

5. Does a hare chew the cud, as your bible says it does?
I've had rabbits as pets and I can tell you from personal experience that while they will at times eat their own feces, they do NOT chew their cud. So I guess this fun fact isn't a fact at all and we, for SOME reason, should take this as some symbolic lesson to be learned...but WHAT lesson?
It also says that rabbits have HOVES.....ummm, WRONG, they do not.

6. How many fowl have you encountered, in your lifetime, that have FOUR LEGS, like your bible cites? Gosh, perhaps they all died off and left no fossils behind for us to see?

7. Speaking of FOUR LEGS.....your bible cites insects with FOUR legs. I can tell you we know of no such insect, so I guess again, these four legged insects were killed off by your god huh?

8. Why did Eagles stop carrying their young on their wings, like god says they did way back when? Perhaps they were a different eagle 'kind' in those days, hmm.

9. Where are the pillars that our earth sits upon?
Why does the bible say the earth is FIRM and IMMOVABLE and has FOUR CORNERS?
In many places your bible infers the earth is FLAT and one can see the whole world from it's tallest mountain tops.
Let me guess, because we know with 100% certainty that these old beliefs were wrong, xtians have now moved these literal passages into the symbolic container these days?


Gee, maybe we can move your whole bible in the symbolic container and then you won't have to fight about what is literal vs symbolic anymore.


10. I could argue about the value of PI being implied as exactly 3, and while some fundie xtians actually wanted schools to change it from 3.14xxxx to an even 3, I'll accept that your bible was just using round numbers.

Note...It is a known historical fact that both the Egyptians and Babylonians had approximated PI to a few decimal places, long before the oldest books of the Bible were even written.
Wouldn't it have benefited god to show his wisdom of math skills to show us he could calculate PI to several places. I guess he wasn't feeling very mathematical that day.

11. Why is the mustard seed NOT the smallest of seeds, but yet the bible states this.
Even if it was the smallest seed known to those sheep herders of those days, god could have showed off his great knowledge but instead told a FIB to his followers.

12. Stars can fall from heaven.
Easy to believe if you think stars are tiny points of light pasted onto a firmament, but not so easy to buy if one knows stars are far larger than the earth itself. If god meant meteors, or comets falling to earth at times, then why didn't he explain they weren't really 'stars' but say they are sky rocks or something similar.

13. How about this one from your bible....
"Your gold and silver are cankered, and the rust on them shall be witness against you".

I can tell you that my occupation involves both these metals, and neither of them will ever have RUST on them. Rust happens when iron oxidizes and gold does NOT oxidize.
Oops, guess god didn't understand that back in those days huh.

14. While Bats may fly like Birds and your bible thinks they are, I assure you they are NOT birds.

15. How about bible medicine. Here's a lovely cure for the Lepers out there....

"Get two birds. Kill one. Dip the live bird in the blood of the dead one. Sprinkle the blood on the leper seven times, and then let the blood-soaked bird fly off. Next find a lamb and kill it. Wipe some of its blood on the patient's right ear, thumb, and big toe. Sprinkle seven times with oil and wipe some of the oil on his right ear, thumb and big toe. Repeat. Finally kill a couple doves and offer one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering"

I wonder how many other diseases this cure is good for these days.
Does it have a patent yet?

Oh, how about this one.....
God's cure for snakebite: a "brass serpent on a pole"
Why isn't this in the Boyscout handbook yet?


16. What science does god use in reproduction to increase his 'fold' so quickly, such as this fun fact?
"The Israelite population went from seventy (Ex.1:5) to several million (over 600,000 adult males) in just a few generations"

17. How do you explain 'GIANTS' in your bible, which seem to have been about 100 feet tall.
Why don't we find the fossils of such giant 'men'. Using the laws of physics, such a man would not even be able to stand upon his legs, if they were anything resembling our own.

18. How strong is your god?
I have the answer.
"God has "the strength of a unicorn"
Now THAT is very very strong, as we all know.

19. Where are the dragons of the bible and did they really breathe fire from their mouths?
Maybe god was really this dragon, for we read in this verse....
"The earth shakes, the foundations of heaven move, smoke comes out of God's nostrils, and fire out of his mouth"

20. The bible is wrong about ostriches being cruel and inattentive parents...period !!

21. All our Doctors are wrong, for the bible says this about disease.
"Diseases are sent by God to punish sin"

22. Daniel's tree (4:10-11, 20) is tall enough to be seen from "the end of all the earth.

23. When Jesus was crucified, there was three hours of complete darkness "over all the land." And when he died, there was a great earthquake with many corpses walking the streets of Jerusalem. Isn't it quite strange that there is no record of any of these extraordinary events, outside of the bible gospels?

24. Based on an old article I wrote for this website, I'll ask you by what science people before the great flood managed to live for hundreds of years, and if true, then what special kind of teeth did they have that could last such a long time, when today we have to visit dentist frequently to keep our teeth from rotting in our mouths?

Well, that should do for starters, Rick.
How many of these things from your bible are symbolic to YOU.
I'm sure everyone here is dying to know how Rick reconciles them all in his god blessed mind.


ATF (Who wonders how modern science ever got off the ground, with the majority population of xtians in our history, thwarting it's every advance?)

Rick said...

Hmm...just back read this. I guess I should point out that this rick and me are different entities. I try and provide a link to the name, but I guess that isn't foolproof either. Guess I'm going to have to remember my login and pw for ExChristian and use that so's not to get confused with someone else's writing.

Anonymous said...

"the word "corners" as given in the above translation is from the hebrew word kanaph and generally means extremity.
thus the passage could properly be refering to the "ends" of the earth or it's furthest reaches.

in revelation 7-1 "corners" is translated from the greek word gonia, if i remember correctly, and here the passage seems to suggest the cardinal points.

lastly, 40:22 it is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers,

(however i will grant that the circle of the earth is being viewed from above and so a flat earth would still be possible.)"

"isaiah 40:22 for the above omission

Any of the following Hebrew words could have been used for corner;

Pinoh is used in reference to the cornerstone.
Paioh means "a geometric corner"
Ziovyoh means "right angle" or "corner"
Krnouth refers to a projecting corner.

If the idea of a square, four-cornered earth were needed the Hebrew word paamouth could have been used. Paamouth means square.

taken in part from a "godly" source."