I dare you to read it all...

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Re: I dare you to read it all...

Postby Horcrux » Sun Mar 09, 2008 2:36 pm

Bilnick wrote:It seems to me that most of the "scientific" pro-creationism arguments I have read are more about finding holes in Evolutionary theory, rather than proving Creation.

A logical argument that supports Creation would not even have to mention Evolutionary theory.

I would like to see a Creation theory that all people of faith could support, but I do not think that is possible.


Evolution can't even be used to prove or disprove anything "scientifically", because, currently, Evolution takes as much faith to believe as does religion. What I did my talk on, and what I do my research on, are strong, accepted scientific fields. Such as Astronomy, Mathematics, Radiation Technology, and Logic Theory, to just name the specific ones I touched on, but theres others too. Having one right theory that all faiths could accept will never happen. Hell, we will never have a system of government accepted by all people in the world, goes in the same line. I don't believe there will ever be a 100% proof of creation using only empirical evidence (evidence of the 5 senses). To be so, to me, would be biblical and against my beliefs of free will.

Worff wrote:Who's to say that evolution wasn't simply part of the creation process. It's possible they can exist together.


Bingo. Too many people think these two cannot coexist. Simple Evolution is proven just in the fact that we have multiple breeds of dogs. Chihuahuas weren't in the wild, they are a product of select breeding, proof of a changed species. However, it is the cross-species leaps which create holes in evolution. Amphibians to Birds, Apes to Humans, etc.

cliffy wrote:So according to the student all atheists are evil since they don't have the love of God in their hearts? I know that I lead a life that is has far less evil in it than many of the "Christians" that I know. The professor's argument isn't the only one that is flawed here.


Biblically, Christians have no right to judge non-Christians on the basis of sin. There are many Christians who would argue with me over that, but to me, its a simple fact easily proven. However, biblically, God has given an ultimatum. Every type of sin is still sin, to God they are all on the same level. Stealing and Lying are equivalent to Murder. God cannot be in the presence of sin, no matter what kind, so differentiating between more or less sin, or more or less evil, in the end is a worthless debate. Thus the necessity of accepting forgiveness to erase the sin. A murderer turned Christian (and I have a good friend who is a great example of that very thing) will enter heaven while a non-Christian who never came close to the "evil" that the murderer did, will not.

As to Christians doing evil, I'll agree that is happening. While Christians are instructed not to judge non-Christians on the basis of sin, they are given every right to judge each other (in the right ways). The bull-horn people in the free speech squares on campus, the signs saying "Turn or Burn" or "God hates fags". They are not representing the Christianity I know from the bible. They care nothing for people, and they even make me uncomfortable to be around. While most (I won't say all, many may not even be truly Christian) will be in heaven with me, having turned more people away from Christianity than anything else, I sincerely believe they will be humbled and brought down from their high pedestal on judgment day. The bible says that Christians will be rewarded in heaven for what they have done on Earth, so that some will enter heaven with crowns of jewels, and others will go in as if through a fire, everything burned away but their soul. Those will be the bull-horn and sign people. It's just too bad that it will take so long for them to realize "oh crap, I'm wrong", and by then it will be too late to take back their actions.
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Re: I dare you to read it all...

Postby Jahras » Sun Mar 09, 2008 5:55 pm

The one thing that gets me in a lot of these discussions is when people talk about proof of nonexistence, which is a fool's task. Anyone can show that there is no evidence for the existence of Thor, but to then say he never existed is a logical fallacy at the most elementary level, and that's more of an issue for the philosophers. But what I am more interested is actual evidence people use behind reasoning for what DID happen, rather than what didn't. I really love to see the empirical evidence people use to justify all explanations of our origins and the age of the planet.

One of the more interesting things that I've seen for tracing back and dating human and animal lineages is the statistical analysis of mitochondrial DNA mutations in current species vs ones excavated, and even vs other similar species to estimate when they diverged from a common mtDNA source. It's fascinating to read into, but is very intensive in the statistical analysis where is where books like Syke's kinda falter. It seems ironic to me that so many people are looking for their origins everywhere, but one of the biggest recent clues was just road mapping their own genetic mutation rate compared to their neighbors'. One great tidbit I didn't know until some courses on human genetics was that Neandertal mtDNA was successfully extracted from one of the ones found in Germany, and the evidence showed that contrary to popular belief, Neandertals were not our ancestors, their genetic makeup was instead a separate offshoot of a common humanoid ancestor. There's some really neat research going on now that is trying to map the actual genome of a neandertal with enough remnant DNA to be sampled, in hopes of exploring the possibility and extent of historical interbreeding between them and H. sapiens. I've seen the data used to try and support all kinds of theories, aside from young-earth creationism which typically rejects anything suggesting that life has been here for more than ~8,000 years. I specified young-earth because a lot of creationists that support an older age of the earth use it as evidence for an eve figure, while evolutionists use it to map and get a very rough date for divergence between the apes. I only wish I had more drive for statistics to really get into the grit of the field.

Also you're right we will never have a completely scientifically proven explanation for the end-all origin of the universe and all, just theories supported by evidence; and I think that's what is important for people to keep distinguished. There are matters of faith, and then there is scientific theory completely separate. When the two get intermingled on the subject, things tend to degrade into attacks, fallacies and mixing emotional and objective arguments (aka it turns into politics haha). I'd be interested in some of the summaries of the studies you're using for your talks, not to attack them, but just because it's extremely rare that that I come across credible creationist studies on biodiversity and origins that don't just attack evolution, or astrophysical theories. Information from all sides is usually fun to read and consider when it's well thought out.

Edit: btw on the topic of crossing species lines in evolution, we actually have an example something real close that happened under observation in less than 60 years. You may want to read a bit on the HeLa cell line, to summarize, it was a cell sample taken from a cervical cancer patient, but the cell line was unusually strong and immortal. But it also differs in chromosomal number from the human genome, or the HPV one, despite being human cells who's growth was caused by HPV. It may not but a full fledged new species by all definitions, but it changed its chromosomal number, and replicates itself as long as it has food and good living conditions, which is a pretty big step in our understanding of genetic variability.
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Re: I dare you to read it all...

Postby Horcrux » Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:22 pm

Wuupas wrote:The one thing that gets me in a lot of these discussions is when people talk about proof of nonexistence, which is a fool's task


Yup, we can never prove or disprove the existence of being(s) who dwell outside our universe by using empirical evidence from within the universe (which is all we can rely on).

What I try and focus on is the research which surrounds the current state of the universe, the theoretical models defining it's history and future, and the scientific evidence which support or hurt each one. For example, radiation technology shows us that the universe was once in a much more dense and hot state than it currently is, and astronomical evidence shows that the universe is currently expanding. This evidence supports both the Big Bang theory and the Cyclical theory (in which the universe blows up, expands, contracts back to a single point, blows up again, and repeats for eternity). The Big Bang being the one pointing primarily at creationism (note, I'm saying Creationism, not Christianity, which just falls into the Creationism category), as it assumes an absolute beginning to the universe, which means that time and space, and all matter and energy, were created from nothing.

Interesting comments on the young-earth theory though. Personally, I don't take the first chapter of Genesis literally (creation in 6 days). Biblically, He created the heavens and the earth before he created day/night. Time having no meaning for God, it could have taking millions, maybe billions of years to create the universe before he defined day/night in order to end the first "day". Also, biblically, the first generations of humans lived upwards of 1000 years almost. Adam died at 930 years old, and Noah was 600 years old when the flood hit. A generation would encompass 500-1000 years, instead of the 20-40 we think of today.
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Re: I dare you to read it all...

Postby Bilnick » Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:05 pm

Horcrux wrote:Interesting comments on the young-earth theory though. Personally, I don't take the first chapter of Genesis literally (creation in 6 days). Biblically, He created the heavens and the earth before he created day/night. Time having no meaning for God, it could have taking millions, maybe billions of years to create the universe before he defined day/night in order to end the first "day". Also, biblically, the first generations of humans lived upwards of 1000 years almost. Adam died at 930 years old, and Noah was 600 years old when the flood hit. A generation would encompass 500-1000 years, instead of the 20-40 we think of today.


Isn't that being a bit selective? Seems like adjusting the "facts" to fit the theory to me. You dont take the creation of the universe/life in 7 days literally, but then later state that Adam lived 930 years. If time has no meaning for god then why does Genesis mention any time at all? If it took god billions of years to create the heavens and earth then the Bible should just say that.
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Re: I dare you to read it all...

Postby Horcrux » Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:05 pm

Bilnick wrote:If time has no meaning for god then why does Genesis mention any time at all? If it took god billions of years to create the heavens and earth then the Bible should just say that.


I think the reason it doesn't state the amount of time it may have really taken is the same reason it doesn't state how God programmed the laws of physics to run the universe, or the nucular physics that power the sun and make it not just "light". Moses is believed the be the author of Genesis, and thus it was written by a man around 1400 BC. Moses didn't know about the laws of physics, probably didn't know the moon reflected light and was not a light source itself, and I'm pretty sure there were no concept of numbers so large back then either. Math in that day was only practical, there was no theoretical math yet. Thus, numbers only went so high as needed to be able to calculate censuses, merchant trading, pyramid calculations, etc. A million may be pushing it, but might have been thought of. I would think the concept of a billion was still many years away. However, numbers in the thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands, were fully capable of being written down.

On the other hand, I could give you the cop out reason (which I don't believe). That God created the earth with a history embedded that was never lived. A great example of this is the end of the movie "A Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" (I've never read the book, just commenting on part of the movie), where the mice recreated Earth exactly as it was the moment it exploded, then poof, it's in motion with millions of people with programmed memories, and fossilized history that never happened.

You have to remember when reading the bible that each book was written to be understood by the people of the time it was written, written with the vocabulary and understanding of the average person of the time. A great example of this is the whole book of Revelations. Revelations was written in the first century, and yet the author, John, had to use his first century vocabulary and understanding to describe visions of events 2+ thousand years into the future.

As long as it remains civil, I love debating this kind of stuff. Theres a lot to be gained from both sides of the conversation. However, I chose to become a Christian on purely non scientific reasons.
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Re: I dare you to read it all...

Postby Bilnick » Sun Mar 09, 2008 11:45 pm

Greek culture had a pretty decent level of mathematic knowledge before Christ was born, so I guess I would disagree that someone who could read the Bible would not have been able to understand what a billion or a million was.

Evolutionary thoery is a relatively new science. 150 years or so? The theory is really like trying to figure out the picture of a 10,000 piece puzzle with only 50 pieces. The thing is that new pieces are being found continuously.

People should be questioning and re examining all theories of origin whether they be evolutionary or creationary.

I enjoy most debates too Horcrux :) .
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Re: I dare you to read it all...

Postby Fnord Shoggothslayer » Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:11 pm

Horcrux wrote:
I think the reason it doesn't state the amount of time it may have really taken is the same reason it doesn't state how God programmed the laws of physics to run the universe, or the nucular physics that power the sun and make it not just "light".


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Re: I dare you to read it all...

Postby Lyannah » Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:19 am

Horcrux wrote:Personally, I don't take the first chapter of Genesis literally (creation in 6 days). Biblically, He created the heavens and the earth before he created day/night. Time having no meaning for God, it could have taking millions, maybe billions of years to create the universe before he defined day/night in order to end the first "day".


Are you assuming God did not know what a day would be before he made it? Made the universe in 7 days just sounds so much more like an omnipotent act of God than billions of years? Why would he not just say it took 7 billion years?
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Re: I dare you to read it all...

Postby Horcrux » Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:22 pm

Are you assuming God did not know what a day would be before he made it? Made the universe in 7 days just sounds so much more like an omnipotent act of God than billions of years? Why would he not just say it took 7 billion years?[/quote]

I allready answered that, to the best of my knowledge, about 4 posts up.

Horcrux wrote:I think the reason it doesn't state the amount of time it may have really taken is the same reason it doesn't state how God programmed the laws of physics to run the universe, or the nucular physics that power the sun and make it not just "light". Moses is believed the be the author of Genesis, and thus it was written by a man around 1400 BC. Moses didn't know about the laws of physics, probably didn't know the moon reflected light and was not a light source itself, and I'm pretty sure there were no concept of numbers so large back then either. Math in that day was only practical, there was no theoretical math yet. Thus, numbers only went so high as needed to be able to calculate censuses, merchant trading, pyramid calculations, etc. A million may be pushing it, but might have been thought of. I would think the concept of a billion was still many years away. However, numbers in the thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands, were fully capable of being written down.


I'm in no way assuming that God didn't know about night and day before He created them. Just pointing out that, in the order of creation, the heavens and the earth were created before night and day were differentiated. On the other hand, the whole idea of creation in 7 days could be purely symbolic. If you look in Revelations, 7 is everywhere. The idea of creation is so far beyond our knowledge (creation out of nothing), that for God to have given every single detail about it would probably have taken multiple bibles, and 3400 years after Genesis was written I highly doubt we would even still be able to understand it. Genesis was written for the common Jew of 1400 BC to understand. Given the choice of a full description of creation, or a symbolic representation of creation, I'm pretty sure only a symbolic representation would meet those needs.
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Re: I dare you to read it all...

Postby Ceruis » Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:13 pm

BTW, the bible was written by man, not God. So the old testment and the new testment are essentially history and ethical text. Only Revelations and a couple of parts in the old testment deal with actual prophecy and I very much doubt the dudes who wrote understood much of what they were seeing.

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Re: I dare you to read it all...

Postby Lyannah » Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:58 pm

Horcrux wrote:Given the choice of a full description of creation, or a symbolic representation of creation, I'm pretty sure only a symbolic representation would meet those needs.


OK, but where can you draw the line between symbolism and reality in a book full of feats performed that go against the laws of science? (ie walking on water, raising the dead etc.)
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Re: I dare you to read it all...

Postby Horcrux » Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:14 pm

Lyannah wrote:
Horcrux wrote:Given the choice of a full description of creation, or a symbolic representation of creation, I'm pretty sure only a symbolic representation would meet those needs.


OK, but where can you draw the line between symbolism and reality in a book full of feats performed that go against the laws of science? (ie walking on water, raising the dead etc.)


That is a good question, and I'll try and do it justice based on what I believe.

Anyone who believes in a creator must, consequently, believe in miracles. A miracle being anything that goes against the natural laws (such as the examples you gave, walking on water and raising the dead). According to the natural laws, something can not be made from nothing. That would go against the conservation of matter and energy. However, the act of creation is a miracle, because everything was made from nothing. Because believing in a creator requires the belief of the act of creation, the belief in miracles must follow. Therefore, I believe that every miraculous act described in the bible is possible for God to commit. The miraculous act of creation did happen. Neither describing it in a detailed scientific analysis rather than a symbolic representation, nor vice versa, would change the fact that the miraculous event happened.

So, where do you draw the line between events being symbolism or actually occurring? I'm not 100% sure. It does seem, however, that symbolism appears heavily when the bible describes events which were not witnessed physically by any human being or events which are given in a vision of the future. The perfect example of the first is the event of creation. The second I would associate heavily with John describing his visions of the end of days in the book of revelations. An example of this is him describing the beasts. I'm more apt to believe that a seven headed beast rising from the sea is either symbolic, or the result of a 1st century mind trying to describe some machine of war that wouldn't be invented for 2000+ years. Now, the events that I believe can be taken literally revolve around those events which were witnessed by man. The life of Jesus was witnessed (and even the existence of the man of Jesus can be proven by non-Biblical sources), and thus was easier for the writers of the new testament to describe.

I hope I did your question justice, and didn't go off on some tangent. Tried to answer it according to my beliefs as good as I could without much preparation.
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Re: I dare you to read it all...

Postby Lyannah » Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:00 am

While various feats of Jesus were witnessed by many, so are the feats of many kings and conquerers. There are a few stories of ancient conquerers that were written to have slain thousands etc, but nowadays these stories are not considered to be strictly accurate testimonials of the events that took place because it just isn't realistic. But throw a little faith into the mix and anything is possible.

Was Samson able to slay hundreds with a donkey jawbone - because he had long hair? Or was that some overexaggerated story-telling? Or Sodom and Gomorrah? Did God really rain fire and sulfur down to punish the wicked and turn Lot's wife to a pillar of salt, or was it a nearby volcanic eruption?

If you look at many stories with tribal cultures, they associate various natural disasters with a God-figure being angry with them. How can we be sure the events in the Bible are nothing more than exaggerated story-telling and an undying faith by so many believers resulting in a perpetuated omnipotent God?

I appreciate this debate will not convince any party of the others point of view, but food for thought is always nice.

At the end of the day, science cannot prove the existence of God. Nor can it prove the non-existence of God. So the only question remaining is the need for God. Can the world be as it is without him? To some people it can, to others it can't. From my perspective I can't conceive any reason to "need" a God for existence to be, but my reason is not based on science any more than yours is Horc, its a matter of faith for both of us.
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Re: I dare you to read it all...

Postby Antok » Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:03 am

Horcrux wrote:I'm actually putting the finishing touches right now on my lecture for tonight. I'm giving a lecture on the debate between Creationism and Evolution tonight, defending the side of Creationism using purely scientific evidence based in on a foundation of mathematical logic. It's something I will eventually do my Masters, and possibly a Doctorate, on if I have the opportunity. It's the most fascinating thing in the world to me.

haha, funny to come across this thread now -- last weekend I organized an event with richard dawkins.

(and even the existence of the man of Jesus can be proven by non-Biblical sources)

It's widely accepted by nonreligious scholars that the man of Jesus probably existed -- but it is not at all proven. It's not something I would dispute -- but there are holes in non-biblical sourcing of jesus bigger than I initially imagined.

Evolution can't even be used to prove or disprove anything "scientifically", because, currently, Evolution takes as much faith to believe as does religion.

Gravity can't be used to absolutely prove or disprove anything, either, but both evolution and gravity have predictive value -- which creationism lacks completely.

I'm too tired to go further tonight, so I'm going to just link a talkorigins summary -- albeit an incomplete one: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA612.html
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Re: I dare you to read it all...

Postby Horcrux » Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:47 pm

To Lyannah's comment...

Like I said, believing in a creator consequently requires the belief in miracles. To judge whether or not God would or could perform specific miracles, or His motives or methods of creating these miracles, would be to put oneself above God. The idea of Samson having great strength because of his long hair is a weird one to me, but I believe it is a possible miracle.

Antok wrote:
Evolution can't even be used to prove or disprove anything "scientifically", because, currently, Evolution takes as much faith to believe as does religion.

Gravity can't be used to absolutely prove or disprove anything, either, but both evolution and gravity have predictive value -- which creationism lacks completely.

I'm too tired to go further tonight, so I'm going to just link a talkorigins summary -- albeit an incomplete one: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA612.html


My comment was faulty in that it assumes certain definitions for specific words.

That is an interesting link Antok, spent a lot of time browsing some of the claims and rebuttals. I need to read through some more, but I'm only on a quick break between classes so don't have the time right this moment.
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