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2/21/2008                                                                                       View Comments

The Science Conflict: Should a 21st Century Scientist Believe in God?



A recent debate held at the University of Waterloo, sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ and the Atheists, Agnostics and Free Thinkers Society of Waterloo.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Science will always triumph over a myth.

stronger now said...

So, this man's deity is so concerned that his bull will mate that he helps the guy in a tug-o-war with it, but he doesn't help those children that are being tortured for being witches?

This man's god has the power to bring a child's dead rabbits back to life, but doesn't seem to care about another child's dead parents?

What an idiot.

ex judeo catholic said...

Something resurrected a child’s dead bunny rabbits and suppressed the raging hormones of a raging bull…. therefore Ganesha the elephant headed God of India created the universe. You can Google Ganesha yourself to prove that he and his love for you is real. And yet that Christian debater gives thanks to some despotic tribal desert god of the Middle East. It makes Ganesha so sad. : (

Scientists need to stop letting Biblists get away with this huge leap from questioning a scientific theory to a ridiculous leap to “therefore the Hebrew desert god , is Lord and creator of the Universe and his book the Holy Bible is therefore inerrant. If you are a scientist, its time to get specific. Please try using a more specific term like “Bible God” or “Hebrew God” or “Allah of the Koran” EVERY time you debate religionists of any brand. Don’t allow the gullible in the audience to default to some vague general possibility of a creative force that we might call God for convenience.

Its time to stopping talking about a general “ God “ when we mean Bible God, a brutal vicious tribal god violently imposed on uneducated oppressed desert dwellers. . He/ It is a creation of the crime lords and their preisthoods of that region to control others under penalty of death. In any scientific debate or dialog, be clear what god you are talking about. The Bible god of Christians was created by the early Catholic preisthood using the Hebrew god and Hebrew god is way too Nazi for me.

WhateverLolaWants said...

ex judeo catholic,

Bravo! I'm tired of that leap too. It's not so troubling to me if one believes in a general god, but when they insist that "something extraordinary happened, therefore the Bible-god exists and everything in the Bible is true", they should be called out on it and questioned profusely.

AtheistToothFairy said...

That was a long debate video to watch, but in any case, here's my comments.

I also had to laugh about this magical sky-god taking care of the small-stuff, like dead pet rabbits and a horny bull, but obviously feeling it's just fine and dandy to ignore things like small children dying painful deaths etc..
I'm fairly sure we all can point to some unusual event in our lives that seemed a bit extraordinary, without invoking a god to explain it.

At first I didn't know who-was-who when this video began, and while you later realize the xtian is speaking first, he does AT FIRST sound like he might be the scientist here.

What gave his god-agenda away to me, was when he started talking about probabilities of certain biological things occurring. This is a most common ploy of creationist, where they form some hypothesis that places fantastic odds against something happening, therefore trying to prove their god must have done it instead.
Of course, it's a rare day when they don't twist the facts to make those probability numbers greatly support their god faith.
In one case here, the xtian talks about the chances of a complete '"cell" coming about, but naturally leaves out all the intermediary 'evolutionary' steps, in order to achieve a vastly larger number in his favor.

The xtian debater here loves to say "As a Scientist", when referring to himself.

I think most scientist would have a goal of making new discoveries and/or confirming them.
This so called xtian 'scientist' seems to have one primary goal. That goal being, to cherry pick pieces of knowledge or twist facts around, in order to support some woo-woo biblical creature being responsible for the entire universe. He's not out to discover anything new for the scientific community, as most other scientists do. In fact, he's out to disprove anything of science that would discount a need for his creator god.

This is yet another instance where I've heard a xtian debater say that "time had a beginning".
He then tries to prove the present "hour" of time can't exist if we have an infinite amount of hours in the past, in the equation. He says we could never arrive at the present hour, if reverse time was infinite.

He claims such "infinite sets" only exist in mathematics, but not in reality.
If this time premise were true, well in my mind, we would create another problem then.
You would be hard pressed to find someone who can explain how the space of the universe can have an end (a boundary). Most would agree that space must non-ending, or infinite.

I think we can all agree that the earth exists, yes?
If we draw an infinite line (if one could) that represents the distance of endless space, then we could place objects upon such a line.
Therefore, the earth must exist somewhere along this infinite distance line, as we know the earth exists and most would conclude that space cannot come to an abrupt end.

So if even empty space itself is infinite, then why is it so hard for this xtian to accept that "time" is also infinite? Surely he doesn't claim that time going forward has an ending, so why would time going backwards have an end.

He states time had a beginning for one reason and that reason is because he desires to believe that his god created everything, including time itself.
I wish he would have defined "TIME", but these xtians never do for some reason.

Now if one insist that time and matter/energy are co-dependent on each other, then if one removes all matter/energy from the universe, one could say there was no such thing as time.
However, time is not a tangible thing, like matter is, or even empty space would be to us.
We can touch matter, and we sure can exist in 'space', even if there is nothing but ourselves to touch.

The passage of Time, is more a measurement concept instead.

Time marches on, regardless of whether someone is there to measure it or not.
Is there anything wrong with the statement of "One billion years before the universe existed"?
We all know what one billion years is to us. While there was nothing to actually measure the time within the empty space of a non-matter universe, that doesn't mean time in reverse suddenly hits a brick wall, anymore than space itself could have a brick wall to mark it's own boundaries.

If time was caused by god (as this xtian asserts in this video) and had a beginning (a zero hour), then did god exists before that zero hour?
Would it then be wrong to say that god existed at time-zero minus one hour?
If it is wrong to say this, then god couldn't have existed before time-zero, yes?
If god did exists, then there had to be a THING of reality always around to sense time passing by, regardless of how such a thing might sense that time passing. If even only god could sense the passing of time, then time just had to have always existed.

I guess my point here is that time-before-now had to be as infinite as time-going-forward must be. Neither direction can have an end, nor can we say that time itself was created.
If time has some ending, then space also must as well, and I have yet to see xtian or non-xtian demonstrate how either these things can possibly have an ending, in any direction one travels it.

In my definition of 'time', no one has to be around at a certain point in time, to measure it's passage, for it to be a valid concept. We can always count back as far as we wish to, with or without the universe being anything more than a vacuum of emptiness.

Okay, are there flaws in my reasoning here, and if so, what are they?
Is there any way some super being had to create time itself, for us to exists within some measure of time?


ATF(Who hopes his post here on this website will be ummm, TIMELESS to)

Linus said...

Can you talk us through the evolutionary steps in the development of a complete cell?

couple of thoughts. Big bang theory would suggest both that time had a starting point (or at least that the universe had a starting point) so that is a boundary line in the past if you like. It does very much depend on the way that you define time.

Is there anything wrong with the statement one billion metres away from where the big bang is happening?

I dimly remember the idea that space does have a boundary that is expanding outwards as a result of the big bang. So if that's true then space also is not infinite. Would need someone with more scientific knowledge to confirm or correct me on that tho.

All this is important because if the universe has a defined starting point in the past, theres a strong argument for the existence of something beyond/around/foundational to this universe that caused it to come into existence (based on the premise that everything that has a beginning must have a cause). There are both theistic and non-theistic attempts to explain this

The non-theistic attempts centre on the idea of a multiverse that spawns lots of universes - but i don't think there is any scientific data to back up these ideas - they are philosophical in nature rather than conclusions based on observation and experimentation. There are some questions as to whether multiverses could exist and function in the ways that have been proposed, and whether they too would require a cause. This is where the discussion starts to go way over my head)

If time is a function or process or dimension within our universe, then such a thing would not operate outside it. So there would not be a passage of time for anything that existed outside our universe to be aware of. Existence outside of our universe would operate under different rules to the universe specific ones we experience.

Anonymous said...

Linus said:

"but i don't think there is any scientific data to back up these ideas - they are philosophical in nature rather than conclusions based on observation and experimentation."

Actually, yes there is scientific data and observation on which the multiverse conclusions are based. Astrophysicists have been working on it for years.

Ruby

Linus said...

Ruby - such as?

(preferably in as layman as possible terminology - i'm no astrophysicist)

cheers

Anonymous said...

Quote on science and religion from http://books.guardian.co.uk/reviews/politicsphilosophyandsociety/0,,2223841,00.html:

"It is perfectly rational to propose that the universe is indeed without purpose - that what we see is all there is. But to assert that this is so, as Dawkins and Atkins do, is not at all "rational". It is merely a piece of dogma. Indeed, atheism - when you boil it down - is little more than dogma: simple denial, a refusal to take seriously the proposition that there could be more to the universe than meets the eye. To use science to justify such dogma, as these professors do, is a gross misuse of their own trade."

Jim Arvo said...

So, Anonymous, what's the point of that quote? That theists erect lots of straw men? If so, I wholeheartedly agree. If not, then you got tome 'splainin to do. Okay?

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...
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Stephen_Richard_Webb said...
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Stephen_Richard_Webb said...

The opening argument concerning time having a beginning and a timeless entity being the cause of time is absurd, a simple philosophical question concerning this matter was posed in ages past, "Was there ever a time when time did not exist?". Not to mention that the nature of time itself implies constant fluxuation, and if the cause [god] exists in a timeless realm as a timeless entity [that is in a place where nothing changes], how is it possible for anything to be created from it? [creation implies a change in state [from nothing to something in this case implies change]which contradicts the nature of the unchanging creator]

boomSLANG said...

Kudos, Richard-Webb. To "create" is a temporal act; to decide to "create" is a temporal act. Yes. That a timeless entity "decided" to create prior to "time", is an absurd and impossible concept.

'Got that Theists?

Linus said...

sorry, haven't checked back for a while...

"Was there ever a time when time did not exist?"

This is a nonsensical question - was there ever a yellow that wasn't yellow? no. so what? doesn't mean there aren't reds and greens.

How about "is there any existence without time?" that's a more reasonable question.

Its important here to be careful not to assume time affects evrything, and is experienced by everything in the same way we experience it.

As i said before, it depends very much on your definition of time. Whether or not time is a peculiarity of our universe or something more universal(!), there is still a need for an eternal first cause. So i think that leads on logically to: what is the nature of that first cause?