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SithRevan
03-14-2007, 08:21 PM
I have been thinking a lot lately about evolution. How our species became what it is today and to tell you the truth A LOT of things just do not make any sense.

Personally I don't care whether or not you share this view with me or not but I am a very religious person, at least I would like to think so, and I go by the story of Adam and Eve but there is one thing I am confused about with that scenario and it is the fact that it doesn't make any sense chronologically and really neither does the scientific scenario. There are huge gaps in both of them. Like with the Adam and Eve scenario God puts Adam on earth in the Garden of Eden then takes one of Adam's rib bones and makes Eve, then the apple thing happens and they are cast out of Eden, then they have two children, Able and Cain, Cain kills Able and is banished into the East of Eden. Now the thing that confuses me about that is if Adam and Eve were the first people on earth, and were very intelligent people how did the cave man come in? Cave men as far as I know were hunter gather's who barely new how to make a fire. Now that is where the scientfic theory comes in. If cave men were the first people how did they get here? That does not make any sense to me. Because if a Higher being, namely God, did not put them here there would be no other way.

Okay now even if the first paragraph did not intregue you lets see if this one can. Now that we have gotten the beginning of life out of the way how about after that when the cave men were dwelling here. Now as you all may or may not know cave men from the point of thier existense evolved very quickly according to historical documentation. They went from barely being able to create fire to building the wheel, socializing, then becoming pharoes and more advanced civilizations within 10,000 years or so. That in my book counts as an extremely odd cycle of evolution.

So anyway here is my theory which you can agree with or not. What I think happened is that our species is much... much older then we ever anticipated it was. What I think might have happened is that our civilization was just as advanced if not more then we are now a long time ago, in a galaxy far... far away ironically. What I think happened is this planet was not our first home. I think we populated another planet at one time, we were on the brink of a war or natural disaster that caused us to try to come to another world and inhabit it, hence the Adam and Eve scenario, then Adam and Eve gave birth to Able and Cain, Cain killed Abel, then was banished into the East of Eden where it was said that he had children. From there though I think something may have wiped out a good number of the population including most of the more intelligent life forms. Leaving the young who eventually became cave men to fend for themselves. That would be a good reason why they were so helpless at first. Then something along the way triggered a chain of events that lead them to create fire, the wheel, civilization and restart our entire population.

Now I know that sounds totally far fetched, even a little stupid but it would explain a lot of things like why we don't have a missing link in our species time line.

So just give me your opinion on my theory or what happend and please feel free to scrutinize my theory openly as I do want to be able to keep an open mind about all of this.:D

SilentScope001
03-14-2007, 08:36 PM
I have always been thinking of a Theory X, that would contradict both Evolution and Creationism. I think you found it...good job.

No proof though, and I do think evolution suffices to say that we are just one species of humans, and there has been numerous species of humans. It's just not needed to go through this route. But it's possible.

Here's how the first cavemen came:

1. There were the first Apes. Apes bred, and mutations occured, creating the first cavemen.
2. These cavemen, after generations of mutations, soon became SMART. That intelligence is what caused for humans to become more powerful.

Achilles
03-14-2007, 08:40 PM
Oh how I hate it when I can't remember a word! There is actually a term for people that hypothesize that the Earth is an alien colony.

(EDIT: Gah! Got it! The group is call Raelians (http://www.rael.org/rael_content/rael_summary.php))

Also, I believe one of the tenets of Scientology is that we are an alien colony. I'm not sure how much that helps. Sorry. :(

If you were also looking for a little bit of an explanation on evolutionary theory, please let me know and I'll try to give you a condensed version.

CountVerilucus
03-14-2007, 09:46 PM
Too be honest, the Bible has great stories you can learn from and use in your own life. But I believe they just made up some of those stories because at the time they did not have any other way to explain the creation of the Universe/Earth/Organisms. Really, that should be left to science to explain.

I honestly believe that evolution is true and that it is a very plausible theory. The only legitimate reason to not believe it is to be skeptical about the evidence behind it. Instead of the theory contradicting 2000 year old religious scripture.

Ambrose
03-15-2007, 12:21 AM
To make a very long story short...

I believe in evolution.

And in case anyone was wondering, the Catholic Church is perfectly ok with that ;)

However, that's certainly not to say that I believe that God didn't have his hand in creation.

SilentScope001
03-15-2007, 12:34 AM
Here's another theory.

Once upon a time, the human race grew to became an advanced race. Colonizing everything, it soon realized that the Universe may die, due to "heat death". So it created a computer and tasked it with the impossible task of finding a way to stop entrophy.

The Computer spents millions of years trying to solve the problem, and JUST before the Universe collaspes, the Computer finally figured out how to resurrect the universe. So it does so, saying "Be!" This Computer became "God".

This is a short story by Issac Asmoiv. I forgot what it was called, but from here, the answer to this delimma is quite clear:

Who made the Human Race? Easy...the Human race.

Ambrose
03-15-2007, 12:35 AM
The story you're referring to is "The Last Question"

I love Isaac Asimov books.

Jae Onasi
03-15-2007, 12:44 AM
The group is call Raelians (http://www.rael.org/rael_content/rael_summary.php))


*Jae wonders when windu6 is going to chime in on this thread*

:D

Achilles
03-15-2007, 12:56 AM
To make a very long story short...

I believe in evolution.

And in case anyone was wondering, the Catholic Church is perfectly ok with that ;)

However, that's certainly not to say that I believe that God didn't have his hand in creation.
Would you still believe in it if the Catholic Church was not ok with it? Should members of other churches believe in it even if their spiritual leaders don't?

Ambrose
03-15-2007, 12:59 AM
Would you still believe in it if the Catholic Church was not ok with it? Should members of other churches believe in it even if their spiritual leaders don't?

The Catholic Church's stance is that religion cannot contradict science (why would God want to hide himself by contradicting science?).

As such, the only reason why the Church would not be ok with it would be if it was proven scientifically unsound.

Achilles
03-15-2007, 01:58 AM
You didn't answer either of my questions :D

Thank in advance for your reply.

Ambrose
03-15-2007, 09:28 AM
Would you still believe in it if the Catholic Church was not ok with it?

In that case I would not believe in it, because it would be scientifically unsound.

Should members of other churches believe in it even if their spiritual leaders don't?

I don't know what protestant belief is on the necessity for following their spiritual leaders, so I couldn't say. But I do find it silly that Protestant sects discredit a perfectly well-supported theory in the 21st century. ;)

JoeDoe 2.0
03-15-2007, 09:43 AM
No offense to anybody, but I do not believe in creationism, only on evolution, and is not because Im an atheist, but Science has proven reliable and there is evidence about evolution, while in creationism I have to take somebody's word for it.

The_Catto
03-15-2007, 09:44 AM
I would laugh if i was to learn that the bible was just written by a couple of old fella's havin a few drinks one night and decided to write a story. That would explain a lot i reckon.

Anyway, i agree with SithRevan.
I do beleive something must have happened thousands and thousands ... (a VERY long time ago) to disrupt the continum of evolution. I am a Raelian :D
I like to think that this is not our original planet and i would very much like to visit our original planet ... someday ...

But i tihnk ill have to be reincarnated for that.

JediMaster12
03-15-2007, 01:11 PM
Oh boy. Evolution...again. I can just hear the call to battle.

Before I begin, I am going to say this: as a Christian, I do believe in the Bible but I am also a scientist who views life as a miracle. Needless to say, the concept of evolution doesn't bother as support the theory behind it. Evidence so far has given me no reason to disbelieve it. Achilles you may ponder all you wish how this is possible since we had a lovely discussion about my two hard hats in this world. So with that said, I'll begin.

Cave men as far as I know were hunter gather's who barely new how to make a fire. Now that is where the scientfic theory comes in. If cave men were the first people how did they get here? That does not make any sense to me. Because if a Higher being, namely God, did not put them here there would be no other way.
That is my friend evolution, a theory that Darwin came up with and attempted to explain in his book The Origin of the Species. First off, cavemen were not the first bipedal persons. The earliest bipedial primates are the Australopithecines. These guys averaged in height of about three feet and were more apelike in appearance. Then we get the genus Homo with Homo habilus (handy man) and Homo erectus which looked more human like and this can be seen most notably on the cranium where you see the reduction of prognathus and the teeth row becoming parabolic like modern humans. Then we get the anomaly, the Neandertals. These guys are human like in appearance but their skeletal structure is heavily built. It is suspected that these guys went out and tackled their food since there is evidence of injuries that are consistent with bronco busting. Then around the same time we have Homo sapiens archaeus (forgive me if I got this wrong), archaic but anatomically modern humans. These guys left behind behavior that is consistent with the behavior of modern humans and then we finally get to us Homo sapiens sapiens which have been around for about 30,000 years.

As to the caveman with a barely workable knowledge of fire, how do you know that? Traditional hunter-gatherer groups do as their name implies, they hunt and gather. They nomadic, moving with the seasons, following the game, often within the area forming migration patterns that have been found in the archaeological record.

So anyway here is my theory which you can agree with or not. What I think happened is that our species is much... much older then we ever anticipated it was. What I think might have happened is that our civilization was just as advanced if not more then we are now a long time ago, in a galaxy far... far away ironically. What I think happened is this planet was not our first home. I think we populated another planet at one time, we were on the brink of a war or natural disaster that caused us to try to come to another world and inhabit it, hence the Adam and Eve scenario, then Adam and Eve gave birth to Able and Cain, Cain killed Abel, then was banished into the East of Eden where it was said that he had children. From there though I think something may have wiped out a good number of the population including most of the more intelligent life forms. Leaving the young who eventually became cave men to fend for themselves. That would be a good reason why they were so helpless at first. Then something along the way triggered a chain of events that lead them to create fire, the wheel, civilization and restart our entire population.
Are you one of those people that believe the Maya pyramids are beacons created by the Mayans to summon the mother ship? Where did you get the idea of cave men? I am not going to rag on you about it but it is one theory that I have been exposed to before.The theory behind archaeology, a 300-level course. Man did not create fire but discovered it first off and the wheel was not invented in all places. In Mesoamerica, the idea of the wheel was never conceived. It wasn't practical.

Ever wonder how civilization began? Well first agriculture had to develop and as far as I can tell, that took quite a long time after the Pleistocene aka the last Ice Age. That is the basis of evolution: time. The changes that we note in the fossil record are what we can see but we have no way of seeing change of the cellular/tissue level.

If you want to apply the Bible to evolution, remember this: a day is but a thousand years and a thousand years is but a day in heaven. I do not take the seven days of creation literally because looking at the geological scale and the fossil record, we can see that it took millions of years for each class of animals like reptiles. They are the oldest dinosaurs if you look at it that way. I study the Bible because I study myth as part of my study field and from experience I know not to take everything literally. With everything that we have up to this point, I think that creation did take place but within the confines of our reality and that was millions of years.

I know that I have been longwinded today and I know it must not make sense to peope who aren't religious and it sound heretical to people who are but that is what I think. I have the science in front of me and I am not going to deny it just because the Church says it's wrong. I know it is hard for people to see that I can accept scientific theory and still cling to Christian ideals and it's difficult for me to explain. I look at life as a miracle. The fact that it exists is a miracle and the more we discover about it is just another door being opened into another world up for interpretation.

Achilles
03-15-2007, 02:26 PM
In that case I would not believe in it, because it would be scientifically unsound. So the "Catholic Church" (I use quotation marks to point out that church leaders number in the hundreds) decides what is scientifically sound and what isn't? Evolution is scientifically sound because they say so, but if tomorrow they we're to reverse their decision (not based on something from the scientific community) it would not be?

I don't know what protestant belief is on the necessity for following their spiritual leaders, so I couldn't say. But I do find it silly that Protestant sects discredit a perfectly well-supported theory in the 21st century. ;) You're still not answering the question. :D

Based on how you responded to the first one, I don't think a response here is necessary.

Ambrose
03-15-2007, 08:00 PM
So the "Catholic Church" (I use quotation marks to point out that church leaders number in the hundreds) decides what is scientifically sound and what isn't? Evolution is scientifically sound because they say so, but if tomorrow they we're to reverse their decision (not based on something from the scientific community) it would not be?

No. I'm saying the Catholic Church wouldn't support it if it wasn't scientifically sound. Not the other way around.

It's not that big of an issue within the Church. We back scientific study (so long as it is moral), because it allows us to better understand the universe and world God created for us. In fact, I don't think there's an official doctrine on evolution. The doctrine is simply that it is good to look at things both scientifically and religiously. For most of us, that means acceptance of a theory which is perfectly scientifically sound.

You're still not answering the question.

Based on how you responded to the first one, I don't think a response here is necessary.

Given that you completely misunderstood my answer to the first one, I guess I can respond again.

And again I must give you the same answer. I don't know what Protestants believe in the first place. If they think that religion and science totally clash and thus science should be shunned, I would question the validity of that doctrine. But I question a lot of Protestant doctrine, so it's really not that big of a deal.

Achilles
03-15-2007, 08:13 PM
No. I'm saying the Catholic Church wouldn't support it if it wasn't scientifically sound. Not the other way around. Sir, I am not interested in what the Catholic Church believes. The specific question was: If the Catholic Church did not endorse the theory of evolution, would you continue to do so? I thought you had answered that in your previous reply but it seems now that I may have misunderstood.

It's not that big of an issue within the Church. We back scientific study (so long as it is moral), because it allows us to better understand the universe and world God created for us. In fact, I don't think there's an official doctrine on evolution. The doctrine is simply that it is good to look at things both scientifically and religiously. For most of us, that means acceptance of a theory which is perfectly scientifically sound. What are the criteria used to determine what is "moral"? If something scientific contradicts something religious, which view is formally adopted?

Given that you completely misunderstood my answer to the first one, I guess I can respond again. Fair enough.

And again I must give you the same answer. I don't know what Protestants believe in the first place. If they think that religion and science totally clash and thus science should be shunned, I would question the validity of that doctrine. But I question a lot of Protestant doctrine, so it's really not that big of a deal. I'm non concerned with Protestants. Unfortunately, this doesn't answer my question. Please allow me to restate it: Should members of other churches believe in evolution even if their spiritual leaders don't? I'm asking specifically for your opinion. Not your viewpoints on the doctrines of other churches. My apologies if that was not clear before.

Ambrose
03-15-2007, 08:46 PM
What are the criteria used to determine what is "moral"?

As an example, stem cell research. The destruction of a fetus is considered immoral by the Church because it kills a soul, not because it suggest teachings contrary to Christianity. THAT is the moral ground on which the Church stands on science.

If something scientific contradicts something religious, which view is formally adopted?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that reason and faith cannot contradict. That being said, the Church continues to support scientific research in confidence that science cannot tear down the Church. It may change our understanding of God's creation (astronomy and evolution certainly did), but it will never discredit them.

Should members of other churches believe in evolution even if their spiritual leaders don't? I'm asking specifically for your opinion. Not your viewpoints on the doctrines of other churches. My apologies if that was not clear before.

That's a bit of a ridiculous question. Of course I think people should adopt the views that I personally hold in spite of opposition because I, personally, believe that I am right. If I had my way every Muslim would believe that Jesus was the messiah, even if their leaders didn't like it. Likewise, I'd like for every fundamentalist Christian to embrace tangible reason as Catholics do, in spite of what their spiritual leaders may say, because I personally believe that I am right. Not sure where you're going with this.

SilentScope001
03-15-2007, 09:12 PM
That's a bit of a ridiculous question. Of course I think people should adopt the views that I personally hold in spite of opposition because I, personally, believe that I am right. If I had my way every Muslim would believe that Jesus was the messiah, even if their leaders didn't like it. Likewise, I'd like for every fundamentalist Christian to embrace tangible reason as Catholics do, in spite of what their spiritual leaders may say, because I personally believe that I am right. Not sure where you're going with this.

What if you're wrong?

EDIT: What I mean is...prehaps keeping skepticism, in whatever faith, creed, of belief system you have, is always nice. The possibiltiy that you could be proven wrong is indeed a humbling experience one must always take into consideration. This is not meant to attack anyone's beliefs, but I just want to keep that in mind...

Ambrose
03-15-2007, 09:28 PM
What if you're wrong?

If proven wrong I will (and have) change my believe and subsequently wish that everyone else would adopt my newfound position.

Either way, the question was, do I think people should believe in evolution even if their religious leaders denounce it. The answer is, of course I do, because I believe those religious leaders are wrong.

EDIT: What I mean is...prehaps keeping skepticism, in whatever faith, creed, of belief system you have, is always nice. The possibiltiy that you could be proven wrong is indeed a humbling experience one must always take into consideration. This is not meant to attack anyone's beliefs, but I just want to keep that in mind...

He asked for my opinion:

I'm asking specifically for your opinion.

Thus, I gave it.

I've changed my beliefs in the past and expect to in the future. But I'm being honest. Obviously I think that I am right. I wouldn't believe what I believe if I didn't think it was right.

SilentScope001
03-15-2007, 09:35 PM
Ah, okay. My bad. Just a note though:

Either way, the question was, do I think people should believe in evolution even if their religious leaders denounce it. The answer is, of course I do, because I believe those religious leaders are wrong.

Wouldn't those new believers basically creating a brand new religious sect, or even a new religion, somewhat of a schism? Now, creating a brand new religion if you dislike the teachings of the old religion's leaders is pretty good...but it just sounds a bit strange a concept?

Achilles
03-15-2007, 10:23 PM
As an example, stem cell research. The destruction of a fetus is considered immoral by the Church because it kills a soul, not because it suggest teachings contrary to Christianity. THAT is the moral ground on which the Church stands on science. There is no scientific evidence for the existence of anything resembling a soul. It is strictly a religious device.

Here's a question for your regarding souls and stem-cell research: Stem-cell research is considered immoral by religious people but not by scientists. The argument put forth by the religious community is that the soul enters the zygote at the moment of conception. Fine.

The rare (but not incredibly rare) case of identical twins is caused when a embryo splits into two during the first trimester of pregnancy. Where does the 2nd soul come from? In the case of triplets, where does the 3rd soul come from? If new souls are not introduced but the soul is split, what implications does that have on the afterlife? Do all the siblings have to be dead before the soul is allowed into heaven.

Stay with me now. Sometimes twinning can occur when two eggs are fertilized by two sperm. When carried to term, these babies are fraternal twins (born at the same time but not identical). Sometimes, in the early stages of pregnancy, one zygote will be absorbed by the other. The remaining zygote is called a chimera. Does the chimera have two souls? If not, where does the other one go?

Now that we've potentially blown a big hole in the idea that this unproven thing called soul enters the zygote at the moment of conception, when would it enter the embryo?

This is just one of many cases where science does not support the religious doctrine and religion turns its back on science.

This is a great example of one of the conflicts, but does not address my specific question of which criteria are used. If you don't know that's ok. I'm only trying to encourage you to entertain the questions.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that reason and faith cannot contradict. But it happens all the time. The Catholic Church's unreasonable (literal context) stance on contraception is literally life-threatening to the citizens of several third world countries. It's not even a matter of a debate with physicists or biologists, but a debate with medical health professionals and charitable aid workers. Your assertion is not true. Furthermore, the evidence shows that when reason and faith contradict, faith wins.

That being said, the Church continues to support scientific research in confidence that science cannot tear down the Church. It may change our understanding of God's creation (astronomy and evolution certainly did), but it will never discredit them. I think you're being much more charitable than most historians would be.

That's a bit of a ridiculous question. Of course I think people should adopt the views that I personally hold in spite of opposition because I, personally, believe that I am right. If I had my way every Muslim would believe that Jesus was the messiah, even if their leaders didn't like it. Likewise, I'd like for every fundamentalist Christian to embrace tangible reason as Catholics do, in spite of what their spiritual leaders may say, because I personally believe that I am right. Not sure where you're going with this.No sir, I'm afraid you're still missing the question. I'm not concerned with whether or not you think people should adopt your views. I'm asking if you think that other religious people in other churches should go against the doctrines of their church if they don't agree?

Let me try this another way.

If the Catholic Church told you not to believe in the theory of evolution any longer, however you still felt that the theory of evolution was the best explanation for modern biology, would you change your belief? Yes or no?

If another person in another church (say Islam) was in the same situation as above, should that person discontinue their personal believe and adopt that of their church? Yes or no?

JediMaster12
03-16-2007, 03:07 AM
I'm asking if you think that other religious people in other churches should go against the doctrines of their church if they don't agree?
Hell ya I think so Achilles. I was born and raised as a Roman Catholic. Ever since high school, I started rejecting tenets of Catholicism. I don't believe in saying the Hail Mary. I don't believe in appealing to saints. The idea that I have to confess my sins to a priest for forgiveness is laudable. Let's face it, I am no more Catholic than the pope and my family knows it. It doesn't help that I keep bringing in texts like the Gnostics with all intents and purposes of research. While I hold to a few pagan beliefs I am not pagan. Even mach would tell you that. But I think we should not continue along the lines of religion as it brings us dangerously close to being off topic. I would hate to have Mama Jae bring out the beating stick to get us on track.

To bring the subject back to evolution, what are your thoughts on the idea that I presented where there are some correlation to the Bible? I am not saying to take it literally. After all I said my piece on evolution.

Achilles
03-16-2007, 05:48 AM
What are your thoughts on the idea that I presented where there are some correlation to the Bible? I am not saying to take it literally. After all I said my piece on evolution. Unless you can turn to a page in Genesis with a diagram of a double-helix on it, I'd say any reference to evolution is either purely coincidental or wishful thinking.

Considering the bible tells us that the universe is 6,000 years old, but Mitochondrial Eve dates back 140,000 years, I don't think there's a strong case for evolutionary theory in the Bible.

Ambrose
03-16-2007, 09:25 AM
I don't have time to reply to the post in the "atheist" thread, so I'll work with this one for you to chew on til I get home ;)

There is no scientific evidence for the existence of anything resembling a soul. It is strictly a religious device.

And how does the concept of a soul contradict reason?

The rare (but not incredibly rare) case of identical twins is caused when a embryo splits into two during the first trimester of pregnancy. Where does the 2nd soul come from? In the case of triplets, where does the 3rd soul come from? If new souls are not introduced but the soul is split, what implications does that have on the afterlife? Do all the siblings have to be dead before the soul is allowed into heaven.

Stay with me now. Sometimes twinning can occur when two eggs are fertilized by two sperm. When carried to term, these babies are fraternal twins (born at the same time but not identical). Sometimes, in the early stages of pregnancy, one zygote will be absorbed by the other. The remaining zygote is called a chimera. Does the chimera have two souls? If not, where does the other one go?

Now that we've potentially blown a big hole in the idea that this unproven thing called soul enters the zygote at the moment of conception, when would it enter the embryo?

You're thinking of the soul on a far too physical level. The whole "soul" issue isn't really my concern; killing a fetus is simply the destruction of a developing human.

But it happens all the time. The Catholic Church's unreasonable (literal context) stance on contraception is literally life-threatening to the citizens of several third world countries. It's not even a matter of a debate with physicists or biologists, but a debate with medical health professionals and charitable aid workers.

Firstly, condoms have been proven to have an abysmal success rate for preventing STDs. An HIV virus is darned small.

Secondly, the most effective form of contraception has been scientifically proven to be abstinence ;)
Neither of these statements are quite medically accurate, and since the topic of abstinence has come up several times and we all tend to go way off on a tangent, I'm going to open a thread on that topic, and we should continue the discussion of all things birth control-related there. Thanks, Jae

I think you're being much more charitable than most historians would be.

But we're not talking about history. Pope Pius XII was the first to encourage scientific development, and it's been that way ever since.

If the Catholic Church told you not to believe in the theory of evolution any longer, however you still felt that the theory of evolution was the best explanation for modern biology, would you change your belief? Yes or no?

See, but the Church wouldn't do that without first stating why. And the Church wouldn't do something like that without a darned good reason (if you want to be cynical, then they wouldn't do it without a reason because if they did, everyone would leave). I don't know what my belief would be because I don't know what evidence the Church would dictate.

more when i get home.

Achilles
03-16-2007, 02:46 PM
And how does the concept of a soul contradict reason? You quoted my answer when you asked this question :D

You're thinking of the soul on a far too physical level. The whole "soul" issue isn't really my concern; killing a fetus is simply the destruction of a developing human. Actually, I'm not. We can discuss the soul on whatever level you would like to. I stand by my argument that the idea that the soul enters the zygote at the moment of conception offers some problems. Therefore, it it were being offered up as a scientific hypothesis, it wouldn't survive the first pass through the scientific method. In other words, it needs more work.

From a 2nd-trimester abortion standpoint, I don't have any option other than to agree with you: killing a fetus is the destruction of a developing human. From a 1st-trimester abortion standpoint, no fetus is involved so your argument doesn't apply. From stem-cell research perspective, what is "destroyed" is a collection of 150 cells called a blastocyst. This (http://www.eurostemcell.org/images/StemCell/Human-blastocyst.gif) is what a Blastocyst looks like.

The next question is: what reason would a scientist have to destroy a blastocyst? To fulfill their bloodthirsty need to kill developing humans? Or because the evidence leads them to believe that they can save millions of lives with the research that they would be doing?

The point still stands that scientific research in the U.S. has been stymied because of religious concerns.

Firstly, condoms have been proven to have an abysmal success rate for preventing STDs. An HIV virus is darned small. I know what source you are invoking and I would implore you to read this (http://www.guardian.co.uk/aids/story/0,7369,1059068,00.html) article.

Secondly, the most effective form of contraception has been scientifically proven to be abstinence ;) No argument that abstinence is incredibly effective, but I don't know why one would only teach one method of prevention when several were available. If I knew I had three or four ways to prevent getting AIDS I would want to know about all of them.

I want to keep this on a logical train of thought, so I won't be adding any more information about contraception. If you are inclined to do so, I think we should take this part of our conversation over to the new thread.

See, but the Church wouldn't do that without first stating why. And the Church wouldn't do something like that without a darned good reason (if you want to be cynical, then they wouldn't do it without a reason because if they did, everyone would leave). I don't know what my belief would be because I don't know what evidence the Church would dictate. For the sake of argument, let's assume that the Catholic Church and the church you select for the 2nd question both offer a rationale. Neither you nor the other person accept the rationale. Do you keep your belief or do you adopt that of the Church? Should the other person do the same? Yes or no, please.

JediMaster12
03-18-2007, 11:13 PM
Considering the bible tells us that the universe is 6,000 years old, but Mitochondrial Eve dates back 140,000 years, I don't think there's a strong case for evolutionary theory in the Bible.
Like I mentioned before, you don't have to take it literally. I don't believe that everything happened in seven literal days. We have the geological time scale to show that. I am all too well aware that the earth is way older than the race of human beings. And I know that there were specials of bipedal persons before we get to homo sapiens sapiens, which is us. Like I have said before, I have no problem with the evolutionary theory. I just get annoyed when people attempt to misuse science to justify things like capitalism but that is another topic.

Achilles
03-19-2007, 12:35 AM
Like I mentioned before, you don't have to take it literally. I've read the Bible, and I just don't see how it could be taken any other way. If God can write our destinies, police our thoughts, and (occasionally) answer our prayers, I don't see why I shouldn't be inclined to believe that he is capable of creating the universe and everything in it in 6 days.

Empirical evidence that contradicts this should not be taken as a case for moderation.

On the same note, if he says that he wants us to keep slaves and kill our children for following other gods, I don't see why I should assume that he's only joking (especially in light of Deuteronomy 6:15).

JediMaster12
03-19-2007, 12:18 PM
Uh, Achilles, he can't really police our thoughts. If you remember, man chose free will over being obedient to God. Now we live in sin and have to try and save ourselves. Of course the only way that happens if we accept Jesus Christ as our savior and the whole kaboodle.
Did you remember what I said about a day being but a thousand years and a thousand years but a day in heaven. Don't we have the geological evidence to show that? We have sent when the different types of animals have risen and there are huge spans of time in between. That's why I say not to take it literally, especially creation because we have empircal evidence ie geological and paleontological record to show that. Nothing has been shown to disprove it so why take it completely at its word?

SilentScope001
03-19-2007, 12:43 PM
I've read the Bible, and I just don't see how it could be taken any other way. If God can write our destinies, police our thoughts, and (occasionally) answer our prayers, I don't see why I shouldn't be inclined to believe that he is capable of creating the universe and everything in it in 6 days.

Empirical evidence that contradicts this should not be taken as a case for moderation.

On the same note, if he says that he wants us to keep slaves and kill our children for following other gods, I don't see why I should assume that he's only joking (especially in light of Deuteronomy 6:15).

I'd venture a guess however that you are not a Chrisitan, and because of that, your interpertion of the Bible is not important at all.

It's rather the Chrisitan's view of the Bible that matters. JediMaster21's view is more important, since he's the one that actually believes in it.

I believe religion can be, somewhat, a construct of man. We create religion, and we can modify religion and our holy books. What do you mean the Bible says "Don't do this!" Well, we can basically go out and interpert it in so many ways that it can turn into "Do this, and do it this much!"

Therefore, if we can change religion, who cares about the proclaimations to go and take slaves? The people who believed in religion changed their religion to say Slavery is wrong. They got good reasons. They may be right. God may be happy. But they did change their religion. You are reading the Bible, but you are not reading the many interpertions of the Bible, which is far, far more important.

I think an atheist would agree that it is man that makes religion, not a holy book. So if a man wants to do something else, he'll just change his religion and change his holy book via changing the intepertions of the Bible.

Achilles
03-19-2007, 12:57 PM
Uh, Achilles, he can't really police our thoughts. Of course he can. He's omniscient. He may opt not to interfere, but he knows what you're thinking and when you're thinking it.

If you remember, man chose free will over being obedient to God. Now we live in sin and have to try and save ourselves. Of course the only way that happens if we accept Jesus Christ as our savior and the whole kaboodle. Who created Free Will? Shouldn't God have to take some responsibility for The Fall?

Did you remember what I said about a day being but a thousand years and a thousand years but a day in heaven. Don't we have the geological evidence to show that? We have sent when the different types of animals have risen and there are huge spans of time in between. I don't think we have any geological evidence that shows that a thousand years is a day in heaven.

Even if we were to accept that God's 6 days were actually 6,000 years here on Earth, we'd still have problems (such as the evidence that Sumerians were using glue and the Mesopotamians were drinking beer 1,000 years before the universe was created, etc.).

That's why I say not to take it literally, especially creation because we have empircal evidence ie geological and paleontological record to show that. Nothing has been shown to disprove it so why take it completely at its word? My apologies. I'm having a difficult time following along here. Would you mind restating your argument?

Thanks in advance.

JediMaster12
03-19-2007, 06:22 PM
I don't think we have any geological evidence that shows that a thousand years is a day in heaven.
What I am saying that if you are trying to justify the scientific world to a religious person, this is but an example. Of course we have no proof that that Bible verse holds true but if you look at it as a means of drawing a conclusion, it might make more sense. That is just a verse. What I am saying is that geological evidence shows us that this earth is millions of years old. The reasoning behind the verse is that the verse supports the notion of time being needed to create something or change something as with evolution. That and it it is goofd if you are trying to put science in a good light with Christian conservatives.

Even if we were to accept that God's 6 days were actually 6,000 years here on Earth, we'd still have problems (such as the evidence that Sumerians were using glue and the Mesopotamians were drinking beer 1,000 years before the universe was created, etc.).
Which is why we go back to the geological time scale. OF course there are things far older than the present race of humans.

believe religion can be, somewhat, a construct of man.
Religion is a construct of man. Religion is part of the bigger system of culture. If we fall back on the basic definition that culture is a series of learned behaviors, moods and motivation , then there you go. Culture can be changed through invention or innovation and is dynamic meaning that it is constantly changing. The rate of change depends on the region and the willingness of people to accept change. Cultural evolution for you folks.

SilentScope001: Perhaps you haven't noticed and maybe my username is arbitrary but for future reference I preferred to be referred to as a member of the female of the species.

Achilles
03-19-2007, 07:00 PM
What I am saying that if you are trying to justify the scientific world to a religious person, this is but an example. That seems dishonest. If I have two opposing explanations for the existence of the universe and everything in it, I don't know why the one that is based on evidence has to twist and turn and hold back in an effort to cater to the explanation that is not.

When my children ask me questions, I try to find language that they will understand to answer their question, but I don't intentionally mislead them or try to make them believe something that I know to be false.

I guess a much shorter way to say that would be: I don't see any reason why science should have to be justified to a religious person. If religious people were interested in science, they would follow science already. Once someone has made up their mind that they've recieved all the information that they need on a subject, there's nothing that's going to change that.

Of course we have no proof that that Bible verse holds true but if you look at it as a means of drawing a conclusion, it might make more sense. I respectfully disagree. The more we try to make religion line up with science, the more extreme the mental gynastics become.

For instance:

The Bible says that the universe was created in 6 days
Scientific evidence shows that the universe is approximately 13.7 billion years old.

Well a day in heaven must equal 2.83 billion years in Earth time (if we are so fluid with our interpretation of the concept of a day, what hope do we have of making any sense out of the rest of the Bible).

or....

God didn't really create the Earth in 6 days.

I would argue that trying to shoe-horn the width and breadth of our scientific understanding of the universe into the Bible generally results in explanations that make less sense rather than more.

That is just a verse. What I am saying is that geological evidence shows us that this earth is millions of years old. 4.5 billion years is the generally accepted age, actually. :D

The reasoning behind the verse is that the verse supports the notion of time being needed to create something or change something as with evolution. But scientists can use mitochondrial DNA (DNA that is only passed down through the mother) to determine that all the humans alive on the planet today have a common female ancestor that lived approximately 140,000 years ago. There's a far cry between 6,000 years and 140,000 years. If the Bible truely wanted to give us a sense of scale, the author would have given us years (in the billions) rather than days.

(Note: Mitochondrial Eve is the most recent common ancestor, not the first or the only. Just wanted to clarify that before the reference got turned into something else).

That and it is good if you are trying to put science in a good light with Christian conservatives. Could you help me understand why you think this is necessary?

Thanks in advance for your reply.

JediMaster12
03-20-2007, 12:10 AM
Achilles: I have Christian conservatives in my family. They believe in a literally seven day creation. They never want to hear about evolution. When I say they, I mean mainly my strongly opinionated grandpa. As far as he is concerned, I could be one of those Leftie Commie Pinko Persons that he talks about. He has a string bias against liberals so you can see why I make the jokes about being interrogated on whether or not I have converted to paganism every other week.

The reason I say that to make correlations with the Bible is necessary is because I see it as a means to trying to get along. I have endured the debates of science versus religion. I have read part of a transcript of the Scopes trial. Call me idealistic but I believe that if we take steps to show that something like science and the theory of evolution is not a threat, we can divert attention away from what I see as petty nonsense and direct our minds to the problems that are necessary.

I would argue that trying to shoe-horn the width and breadth of our scientific understanding of the universe into the Bible generally results in explanations that make less sense rather than more.
Probably that is because you can't see the subtle relationships and that you really don't have religious inclination at all. I am not trying to bad mouth you and I don't intend to. As an anthropologist, I study the relationships between people and society. My actual area of study is within the realm of religions. I have numerous texts on different religious beliefs, mainly from Native North America and Asia. There is also some Wiccan texts that I have, hence the jokes I make about my religious affliation. I actually study codices and myths and lately I have been studying Bible texts hence why I insist upon this idea that the Bible is a representation of what has happened in earth's geological history. I have this tendency to think that the Australopithicines are God's way of a joke until we get the archaic humans.

I hope that makes it easier Achilles.

Achilles
03-20-2007, 01:12 AM
Achilles: I have Christian conservatives in my family. They believe in a literally seven day creation. They never want to hear about evolution. When I say they, I mean mainly my strongly opinionated grandpa. As far as he is concerned, I could be one of those Leftie Commie Pinko Persons that he talks about. He has a string bias against liberals so you can see why I make the jokes about being interrogated on whether or not I have converted to paganism every other week. I'm very lucky that I did not grow up in that environment. I'm sure that it can't be fun.

The reason I say that to make correlations with the Bible is necessary is because I see it as a means to trying to get along. I have endured the debates of science versus religion. I have read part of a transcript of the Scopes trial. Call me idealistic but I believe that if we take steps to show that something like science and the theory of evolution is not a threat, we can divert attention away from what I see as petty nonsense and direct our minds to the problems that are necessary. I appreciate and respect the sentiment of your argument, but I don't agree with it. If religion can offer evidence that refutes science, then science must step aside. At this point, religion offers no evidence at all. I don't think that reason should be forced to take a back seat because it is the will of the majority.

Probably that is because you can't see the subtle relationships and that you really don't have religious inclination at all. Where you see subtle relationships I see special pleading and mental gymnastics. :D

I am not trying to bad mouth you and I don't intend to. No offense taken so far :)

As an anthropologist, I study the relationships between people and society. My actual area of study is within the realm of religions. I have numerous texts on different religious beliefs, mainly from Native North America and Asia. There is also some Wiccan texts that I have, hence the jokes I make about my religious affliation. I have a fairly similar background. I read a lot of mythology as a young adult and studied a lot of sociology and anthropology through high school and junior college (along with more mythology). After a while all the similarities begin to wear down the idea that Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are somehow different from all the other belief systems that came before. After walking around with that in my head for a while, it just made sense to look at modern religion in past tense (which is true anyway, because of when they were developed). Then I developed an interest in science and then all bets were off. Obvious to me because of the books I've read, but not obvious to others, I understand.

I actually study codices and myths and lately I have been studying Bible texts hence why I insist upon this idea that the Bible is a representation of what has happened in earth's geological history. I have this tendency to think that the Australopithicines are God's way of a joke until we get the archaic humans. Well, that certainly is one way to look at it.

Darth InSidious
03-20-2007, 09:09 AM
Achilles, do you have to drag everything on to your own personal agenda? Can you not stay on-topic for once, please? The title of this topic is 'Evolution: The discussion and the thoery...', not 'Is the Catholic Church right?'.

For the record, Achilles, if you want to argue whether or not a Catholic must *always* believe what the Church teaches, I suggest you read some of John Henry, Cardinal Newman's works. In particular, his Letter To The Duke of Norfolk is particularly interesting on Papal authority, at one point commenting that the conscience is the 'aboriginal Vicar of Christ', and that 'The Pope, who comes of Revelation, has no jurisdiction over Nature'. However, I would strongly suggest reading the rest of the Letter before replying to this point.

Furthermore, why should Ambrose know what other faith's should believe, and why are you haranguing him to defend other beliefs? They aren't his, and he has no reason or need to defend them.

On-topic: I believe in evolution.

Furthermore, I fail to see the need for evolution and intelligent design to contradict. As far as I can see, they don't unless you take Genesis 1 literally, when this is thought to be a priestly account written in about 600 BC, and is quite clearly metaphorical. Furthermore, bits are lost in translation.

Did you know, for instance, that before God created Woman, 'Adam' was in fact an asexual clay being, 'Adam' in Hebrew meaning something along the lines of 'clay creature'?

Achilles
03-20-2007, 11:19 AM
Achilles, do you have to drag everything on to your own personal agenda? Can you not stay on-topic for once, please? The title of this topic is 'Evolution: The discussion and the thoery...', not 'Is the Catholic Church right?'. I think if the moderators objected to the sub-topic introduced by Ambrose, they would have addressed the matter several days ago.

For the record, Achilles, if you want to argue whether or not a Catholic must *always* believe what the Church teaches, I suggest you read some of John Henry, Cardinal Newman's works. In particular, his Letter To The Duke of Norfolk is particularly interesting on Papal authority, at one point commenting that the conscience is the 'aboriginal Vicar of Christ', and that 'The Pope, who comes of Revelation, has no jurisdiction over Nature'. However, I would strongly suggest reading the rest of the Letter before replying to this point. Thank you for the recommendations. I'll be sure to look these up.

Furthermore, why should Ambrose know what other faith's should believe, and why are you haranguing him to defend other beliefs? They aren't his, and he has no reason or need to defend them. I asked him for his opinion, not to speak for others. He raised the point that he believed in evolution because the Church did. I simply wanted to find out if he would still believe even if the Church didn't.

Furthermore, I fail to see the need for evolution and intelligent design to contradict. As far as I can see, they don't unless you take Genesis 1 literally, when this is thought to be a priestly account written in about 600 BC, and is quite clearly metaphorical. Furthermore, bits are lost in translation. . Did you mean "guided evolution" rather than "intelligent design"? The former has no emperical evidence which means that it could be true, but it will not be accepted by the scientific community until it can be put through the scientific method (which is likely to be never considering that it is a supernatural explanation). The latter also has these challenges with additonal issues in that it does directly challenge evolution as a scientific theory (even though it has no roots in science itself).

In both cases there is explicit contradiction so long as these untested hypothesises continue to have their roots in creationism. What is dangerous about them is that their supporters are willing to view them as superior explanations to unguided evolution even thought there isn't a shred of science to back them up.

Did you know, for instance, that before God created Woman, 'Adam' was in fact an asexual clay being, 'Adam' in Hebrew meaning something along the lines of 'clay creature'? Yep. Several creation myths have deities creating their followers out of the dirt, clay, dust, etc. It's a common theme.

Darth InSidious
03-20-2007, 11:41 AM
I asked him for his opinion, not to speak for others. He raised the point that he believed in evolution because the Church did. I simply wanted to find out if he would still believe even if the Church didn't.

I'm asking if you think that other religious people in other churches should go against the doctrines of their church if they don't agree?
Looks like asking him to speak for others to me.]

I hope that my above references will help to elucidate you on this point.

Did you mean "guided evolution" rather than "intelligent design"?

Err, probably. Basically, I meant that I support the midway point between pure evolution and pure intelligent design. My belief is rather that God set evolution in motion. Whether He did anything along the way is an open point, as far as I'm concerned.

The former has no emperical evidence which means that it could be true, but it will not be accepted by the scientific community until it can be put through the scientific method

Naturally. We're dealing with the realm of noumena at this point.

(which is likely to be never considering that it is a supernatural explanation). The latter also has these challenges with additonal issues in that it does directly challenge evolution as a scientific theory (even though it has no roots in science itself).

There is my most basic problem with Intelligent Design.

In both cases there is explicit contradiction so long as these untested hypothesises continue to have their roots in creationism.

Sorry, I don't see the contradiction in guided evolution...?

What is dangerous about them is that their supporters are willing to view them as superior explanations to unguided evolution even thought there isn't a shred of science to back them up.
Well of course there isn't empirical evidence. We have a chalk and cheese situation - or in this case, phenomena and noumena. It is much the same situation as when scientists try to use phenomenal empiricism to disprove the existence of the supernatural - you can't.

Yep. Several creation myths have deities creating their followers out of the dirt, clay, dust, etc. It's a common theme.
The point was not that God created humanity out of clay, but that in this version, before God created man from one of his ribs (may also be translated as 'side' - roughly means anything between the two, though rib is the most usual anatomically accepted version), Adam was *asexual* - there was no man and woman, and thus man and woman were created equal...It was meant to highlight the loss of nuances in translation.

JediMaster12
03-20-2007, 12:05 PM
Where you see subtle relationships I see special pleading and mental gymnastics.
A feat that I have been able to do since kindergarden :D

Adam was *asexual* - there was no man and woman, and thus man and woman were created equal...It was meant to highlight the loss of nuances in translation.
That is an interesting take and would throw into chaos the whole male dominance complex. Us females could take a stand and...well you point is taken and you make a good one. Especially the nuances of translation which I have stressed to my friends when dealing subjects like these.

he believed in evolution because the Church did. I simply wanted to find out if he would still believe even if the Church didn't.
I don't think this is right. Maybe that's because the church my family attends is conservative. I would think the Scopes trial would prove that the Church has a low opinion of evolution.

Achilles
03-20-2007, 12:21 PM
Looks like asking him to speak for others to me. If you look at the quote again, you'll see that I'm asking him for his opinion.

Err, probably. Basically, I meant that I support the midway point between pure evolution and pure intelligent design. My belief is rather that God set evolution in motion. Whether He did anything along the way is an open point, as far as I'm concerned. That would be guided evolution.

I disagree that it's a non-point, because there is no evidence to support the idea that evolution is guided and there are mountains of examples that show that evolution is almost certainly not-guided (the poor design of the human eye, shared holes for eating and breathing, the appendix, and wisdom teeth are just a few examples that I'm taking specifically from humans).

Guided evolution would seem to be the tool of the God of the Gaps. A creator god has no use for guided evolution, nor does the scientific theory of evolution.

Naturally. We're dealing with the realm of noumena at this point. Right. I believe I illustrated that in this (http://lucasforums.com/showpost.php?p=2271931&postcount=115) post.

There is my most basic problem with Intelligent Design. Agreed :D

Sorry, I don't see the contradiction in guided evolution...? Guided evolution = supernatural causation = non-emperical = not science.

An explanation not grounded in science (even when it tries to manipulate legitimate science to argue its point) is always going to be at odds with an actual scientific explanation.

Well of course there isn't empirical evidence. We have a chalk and cheese situation - or in this case, phenomena and noumena. It is much the same situation as when scientists try to use phenomenal empiricism to disprove the existence of the supernatural - you can't. I'm glad to see you agree. I hope that you're just as outraged by the Dover trials and the antics that took place with the Kansas School Board as I am. ID has no place in a science classroom.

As for scientists trying to disprove the supernatural; seems like a fool's errand. Trying to offer scientific explanations for alleged "supernatural" phenomena on the hand....

The point was not that God created humanity out of clay, but that in this version, before God created man from one of his ribs (may also be translated as 'side' - roughly means anything between the two, though rib is the most usual anatomically accepted version), Adam was *asexual* - there was no man and woman, and thus man and woman were created equal...It was meant to highlight the loss of nuances in translation. I think this highlights critical problems with religion that I have tried to discuss in other threads. I doubt repeating them here will accomplish anything. The fact remains that that we seem to apply reason to some parts of the Bible but not others and that process fascinates me.

I don't think this is right. Maybe that's because the church my family attends is conservative. I would think the Scopes trial would prove that the Church has a low opinion of evolution. The example that Ambrose pointed to for his argument that Catholocism embraced evolution was a Pope that reigned a few decades after the Scopes trial. In other words, the Catholic Church appears to have had a change of heart.

Darth InSidious
03-20-2007, 04:27 PM
If you look at the quote again, you'll see that I'm asking him for his opinion.
OK. Having looked at it again, you are correct.

That would be guided evolution.

Thanks for clearing that up.

I disagree that it's a non-point, because there is no evidence to support the idea that evolution is guided and there are mountains of examples that show that evolution is almost certainly not-guided (the poor design of the human eye, shared holes for eating and breathing, the appendix, and wisdom teeth are just a few examples that I'm taking specifically from humans).

Perhaps, or perhaps they served a purpose in the past that, because of changes in our society from hunter-gatherers, foragers etc, they have become no longer necessary and nuisances? I'm not sure - anatomy eating habits of Pre-Dynastic Egyptian Man (from the Early Neolithic to ~3100 BC, when Egypt became unified) isn't really my speciality :)

Guided evolution would seem to be the tool of the God of the Gaps. A creator god has no use for guided evolution, nor does the scientific theory of evolution.
I would posit that if we fully understood God, we would be God, also, I draw your attention to the Five Minute Hypothesis, Last Thursdayism, etc., not as evidence, but to illustrate a possibility other than the scientific theory. God may have created Earth over a period of billions of years for a reason we cannot yet grasp - perhaps because of the mechanics of the universe, perhaps because God wanted to do it that way. Who can really say on something some 6 (?) bn years ago?

Right. I believe I illustrated that in this (http://lucasforums.com/showpost.php?p=2271931&postcount=115) post.

Absolutely.

Agreed :D

Hold up - we agree on something?

O_o

The end is nigh!

:p

Guided evolution = supernatural causation = non-emperical = not science.

An explanation not grounded in science (even when it tries to manipulate legitimate science to argue its point) is always going to be at odds with an actual scientific explanation.

I suppose, but then the two are not actually incompatible - I mean to say, does evolution as a scientific theory necessarily preclude God?

I'm glad to see you agree. I hope that you're just as outraged by the Dover trials and the antics that took place with the Kansas School Board as I am. ID has no place in a science classroom.

I'm not sure I am familiar with those, however I would say that ID would be worth a 'however, some people do argue that...'. I think it is often good to show both sides of an argument. Too many kids come out of school now with the idea that Science Is Law and Fact, and are unable to comprehend the idea of multiple, equally valid theories...

As for scientists trying to disprove the supernatural; seems like a fool's errand.

Absolutely.

Trying to offer scientific explanations for alleged "supernatural" phenomena on the hand....

...I fail to see the point of. Even if there is a scientific explanation, does that lessen the reality of it? And if so, why are scientists so bothered by the sign that they feel the need to disprove it? It seems very much to be Dawkins-esque obsession, to me...

I think this highlights critical problems with religion that I have tried to discuss in other threads. I doubt repeating them here will accomplish anything. The fact remains that that we seem to apply reason to some parts of the Bible but not others and that process fascinates me.
Not quite true. We refer to some events as metaphorical and others as literal, yes, but it is generally divided between the events which are descriptions of events that are purely religious texts - say, Genesis, and the historical accounts - say, Daniel.

The example that Ambrose pointed to for his argument that Catholocism embraced evolution was a Pope that reigned a few decades after the Scopes trial. In other words, the Catholic Church appears to have had a change of heart.
It's been a while since I delved into this, but as I recall, the Church didn't make any decision in regards to whether or not to accept evolution as valid until about 1950...

Achilles
03-20-2007, 05:37 PM
Perhaps, or perhaps they served a purpose in the past that, because of changes in our society from hunter-gatherers, foragers etc, they have become no longer necessary and nuisances? I'm not sure - anatomy eating habits of Pre-Dynastic Egyptian Man (from the Early Neolithic to ~3100 BC, when Egypt became unified) isn't really my speciality :) No argument from me. But realize that we're now talking about evolution over time as a result of a changing envirornment. In other words, we're talking about evolution as a natural process. We see similar changed in plant and animal species. This is evidence of a process that does not need supernatural causation. Trying to attribute it to one is similar to forcing a healthy man to walk with crutches.

I would posit that if we fully understood God, we would be God, also, I draw your attention to the Five Minute Hypothesis, Last Thursdayism, etc., not as evidence, but to illustrate a possibility other than the scientific theory. Yes, I'm familiar with Russell :D

Steping outside the realm of science, we are then left with reason. Applying Occam's Razor, which makes more sense: That the universe actually is billions of years old or that it is magically generated in the not-too-distant past with all the evidence of being billions of years old?

As an argument for God, even if we ignore Occam's Razor and accept Last Thursdayism, we're still assuming that the default answer is God. Based on the evidence, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is just as legitimate of an option. We can't have our cake and eat it too.

God may have created Earth over a period of billions of years for a reason we cannot yet grasp - perhaps because of the mechanics of the universe, perhaps because God wanted to do it that way. Who can really say on something some 6 (?) bn years ago? Yes, he may have. But we have no evidence that he did, so I don't understand why I should be inclined to entertain such a thought.

Hold up - we agree on something? It's happened before. We're done for the month though. :D

I suppose, but then the two are not actually incompatible - I mean to say, does evolution as a scientific theory necessarily preclude God? Until we have some way to emperically measure God, I'm afraid it does.

Let me try this another way: no scientist can tell you with any degree of certainty that there is no God. What anyone can say with absolute confidence is that there is currently no evidence for God.

So it's not so much that scientists are trying to keep God out of science because they don't like Him, they just refuse to consider any explanation invokes Him because there is no evidence for His existence. If at some point that changes, then scientists will be able relax that stance to the degree that the evidence will allow them to do so.

The rub comes in that once we have some emperical evidence for Him, he automatically loses His status as a Supernatural Being, and scientists will begin looking for a natural-world explanation for His existence and we can start the process over with God's creator.

I'm not sure I am familiar with those, however I would say that ID would be worth a 'however, some people do argue that...'. I think it is often good to show both sides of an argument. Too many kids come out of school now with the idea that Science Is Law and Fact, and are unable to comprehend the idea of multiple, equally valid theories... Science is a process that can be used to tell us more about the natural world. That this seems to be lost in the current education system is a case for more science in our schools not less. I'm not sure what the numbers look like in Europe but 83% of U.S. citizens are scientifically illiterate.

There are scientific laws and science is based on accepted facts, but no one that is familiar with science will tell you that any theory is impervious to scrutiny.

With that said, I have no problem with ID being taught in school, however it should not be done in a science class. If schools want to include it as part of a philosophy course, then that's fine, but it has not earned the right to be considered science.

...I fail to see the point of. Even if there is a scientific explanation, does that lessen the reality of it? And if so, why are scientists so bothered by the sign that they feel the need to disprove it? It seems very much to be Dawkins-esque obsession, to me... People in the Middle Ages blamed the Bubonic plague on God's wrath. Surely you would agree that having the scientific explanation for the disease would have been more beneficial than the supernatural one.

I think if we lived in a world were everyone was an island unto themselves, it would be easier to just shrug and say, "well if he wants to believe that fairies make his plants grow, then that's his problem". Unfortunately, that's not the world we live in.

For example just over a year ago people that believe that killing infidels assures them a place in Paradise, complete with 72 virgins, decided to practice their religious beliefs on some public transit vehicles on your side of the pond.

On this side, we have people with similarly radical (similar in there degree of radicalness, not in their display) ideas creating public policy that affects everyone in our country. So the intense desire to dispell the supernatural is 1 part altruism and 3 parts self-preservation. The fact that we have Christian leaders publicly stating that recent natural disasters are evidence of God's displeasure with homosexuals and atheists should give you some insight into the dilemma.

Not quite true. We refer to some events as metaphorical and others as literal, yes, but it is generally divided between the events which are descriptions of events that are purely religious texts - say, Genesis, and the historical accounts - say, Daniel. Ok, then how would you categorize Exodus? Or G.John? Leviticus?

I think you feel comfortable categorizing these books because of your modern viewpoints. The study of ethics has advanced much in 2000 years, but these books have not changed at all (KJV excluded). One has to be plied to provide context for the other while keeping both relevant. Luckily, we choose to bend our interpretation of the Bible to match our ethics and not vice versa (for the most part), but I don't think that's a testimony to value of the Bible.

You seem rather comfortable identifying Genesis as fable, but accept The Sermon on the Mount as historically accurate (I'm assuming that you do anyway) even though there is no evidence that it ever took place. I don't understand how that works.

I appreciate you taking the time to have this discussion with me. I've enjoyed reading your responses.

Jae Onasi
03-20-2007, 10:00 PM
It's happened before. We're done for the month though. :D
.

Humor mode way on:
Jae's not sure whether to laugh at the 'we're done for the month' thing or have a heart attack that you all agreed on something. Someone mark this day in history.... :xp:

BruceLee_Reborn
04-15-2007, 05:43 PM
hey Achilles, i warned you about the stalking. it's a habit. sorry. it's nice to see you agree, though i've only been here for a short time.:) i clicked the link to wiki, and i must say, crude. i've been using that word wrong all my life. eh. oh well. ok, so, if you were born in 1907, what would you believe?

Achilles
04-15-2007, 06:41 PM
I don't know. I imagine I would believe whatever I was enculturated to believe. Evolution was already fairly established and Scopes would've been happening right about the time I would have been getting to university. I'd like to think that I'd still be science-minded, but really it just depends on what you're exposed to in your formative years (largely).

So, does this mean you buy into the "evolution" thing now?

BruceLee_Reborn
04-15-2007, 06:45 PM
what do you think of us religious people?

hm. no, i don't buy into it. you haven't proved anything, but then, neither have i.

Achilles
04-15-2007, 07:00 PM
what do you think of us religious people? I think that your brains are running bad software called "religion". That's the nicest, most clinical way I can think of to phrase it.

hm. no, i don't buy into it. you haven't proved anything, but then, neither have i.It was a pretty compelling case from where I was sitting :)

Where are the holes?

BruceLee_Reborn
04-15-2007, 07:13 PM
a better question would be where aren't there. which would be the part where the origion of every thing cannot be proven


http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/michael_martin/fernandes-martin/fernandes3.html

http://atheism.about.com/library/weekly/aa100798.htm



top one seems to be theist, bottom atheist. i read them over, and wasn't moved, you should read them too. maybe you will be moved.

Achilles
04-15-2007, 07:32 PM
a better question would be where aren't there. That isn't very specific. If you're interested in learning more about evolution so that you can make your own decision, I can help. If you're just here to take pot-shots at something you don't understand...well, I'm already juggling enough of those, so wait your turn. :)

which would be the part where the origion of every thing cannot be proven Indeed. As it stands now, you are absolutely correct. One of group of people accepts this while another group has a completely fabricated answer that they feel is infallible. If you choose to believe in a doctrine that claims to have answers but provides none, then that's certainly your right. However, such a choice seems rather foolish.

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/michael_martin/fernandes-martin/fernandes3.html
http://atheism.about.com/library/weekly/aa100798.htm
These links do not address evolution, rather theism vs. atheism. If you would like to pick 2 or 3 key arguments from each of these links for me to address, please post them over in the appropriate thread and I'll post my thoughts? Sound reasonable?

EDIT: Actually, I was inspired to respond to the first link and have sent a critique to you via PM. Have fun :)

top one seems to be theist, bottom atheist. i read them over, and wasn't moved, you should read them too. maybe you will be moved.The only things that moves me when I read these debates is the number of logical fallacies people with Ph.Ds try to base their arguments on. All in due time though.

Something to keep in mind: Evolution is completely separate from Origins. Some theists believe that god created the universe and uses evolution to create life. I point this out because they are separate topics. Most of your response deals with theism/atheism and almost none of it with evolution. I don't mind debating, but let's try to keep some measure of structure please. TIA.

I look forward to your response.

BruceLee_Reborn
04-15-2007, 08:50 PM
hey, i didn't write those. sorry, i'll be more specific next time. i must admit, though. i used to think atheists were brain dead idiots, but you seem to have disproven that. now i just consider you all to be mislead, intelligent beings.:)

Indeed. As it stands now, you are absolutely correct. One of group of people accepts this while another group has a completely fabricated answer that they feel is infallible. If you choose to believe in a doctrine that claims to have answers but provides none, then that's certainly your right. However, such a choice seems rather foolish.

The Bible does have answers, and i was refering to the fact that no one can go back in time, and watch the creation of the universe, whether by "big bang"(such a sophisticated and developed term:)) or God.

when did you chose to believe in atheism?

Achilles
04-15-2007, 11:01 PM
hey, i didn't write those. sorry, i'll be more specific next time. Actually, I was quoting the section that you wrote :)

i must admit, though. i used to think atheists were brain dead idiots, but you seem to have disproven that. now i just consider you all to be mislead, intelligent beings.:) I'll take that as a compliment.

The Bible does have answers Well, I think we should first establish the question first before presume that we have answers. The bible has a lot of stories about the world and the universe, but those stories conflict with what we can observe empirically. Some attempts are made at modernity, however they usually involve a lot of mental gymnastics and rational people tend to prefer simpler answers rather than complicated ones, so they reject religion.

and i was refering to the fact that no one can go back in time, and watch the creation of the universe, whether by "big bang"(such a sophisticated and developed term:)) or God. No we can't. Not in the way that you're describing. Consider the speed of light. It is a measurable constant and as far as we can tell, is the fastest thing in the universe (nothing, not even gravity, travels faster than light).

When we look at the moon, we don't see it as it is now rather as it was 1 second ago. If the moon magically disappeared, we wouldn't notice until 1 second after it happened. This is because it take the light from the moon 1 second to travel down to earth and into our eyeballs.

Now, let's take a look at the other bright thing in our sky: the Sun. The sun is so far away that it takes the light 8 minutes to travel here. Same thing as before; if the sun were to magically disappear it would take 8 minutes for us to find out (btw, make those 8 minutes count because at 8:01 you can kiss your @$$ goodbye).

So we play this "what's the next brightest things we can see in our sky" game until we get to stuff that is thousands of light years away (a light year is a measure of distance signifying the amount of space light will traverse in a year). Using observatories and Hubble (but mostly Hubble) we can see billions of years into the past. The further out we look, the further into the past we can see because just as the light that leaves the sun takes 8 minutes to get here, light from far away places take years...billions and billions of years. So we see these things, not as they are now, but as they were billions of years ago.

With spectroscopy and Doppler Effect, we know that these bodies are moving away from us and those that are further away are moving faster than those that are closer to us. In other words, the universe is expanding. If you run the movie backwards, then eventually all the time, matter, and energy in the universe are condensed into a single point, called a singularity.

What caused this singularity is unknown. It very well may have been a god, but since we can't test for it and the physical laws of our universe rule out the need for one, it makes absolutely no sense to arbitrarily decide that this is the correct answer. It could have just likely been the collision of two branes as hypothesized by M-theory, the natural progression of a big crunch as hypothesized by the Big Crunch theory, or some other things that none of us will be able to comprehend for a thousand years.

Just as we could make predictions with the ToE, we can make predictions with BBT. Increase rate of expansion, background radiation, dark matter, etc are all predictions that came out of BBT. Predictions that were later found to be true.

So after all that: yes. Maybe god. But not very necessary, not even slightly likely, and impossible to prove.

PS: "Big Bang" was a label tacked on by a detractor. For whatever reason it stuck and that's what we call it today. It's a little bit of a misnomer though because there was no "bang" (it wasn't an explosion like you see in all those documentaries). It would be much more accurate to call it the "Big Expansion" or even the "Big Suck" :D

when did you chose to believe in atheism?Right after I realized that almost all the religions that have ever existed are pretty much exactly the same and that christianity was the equivalent of a new version of AOL.

BruceLee_Reborn
04-15-2007, 11:58 PM
well, wadaya know, it was me. oops. my bad.:(

as you well should:)

are you calling me irrational?? huh????? i will now go stick gum in my ears so i don't have to read this.:jester1:

Right after I realized that almost all the religions that have ever existed are pretty much exactly the same and that christianity was the equivalent of a new version of AOL.

well, lets say God DID create the universe, but by, instead of going to each and every place in the universe, just created that "expansion" and made it expand, much as one would program a computer. and let's say that same God created all living things, and gave them the ability to adapt, and therefore survive(cause if we(every living thing) were incapable of adaptation, we would die pretty fast). it seems reasonable to me, and satisfies me pretty well, your thoughts?

then YOU get to be windows "security":)

Achilles
04-16-2007, 12:50 AM
well, lets say God DID create the universe, but by, instead of going to each and every place in the universe, just created that "expansion" and made it expand, much as one would program a computer. and let's say that same God created all living things, and gave them the ability to adapt, and therefore survive(cause if we(every living thing) were incapable of adaptation, we would die pretty fast). it seems reasonable to me, and satisfies me pretty well, your thoughts? That's one possible explanation, but it's way too unnecessarily complex.

Let's examine our three options:

supernaturalism (aka theism/deism)

Inefficient - Which system is more efficient: one that needs to be monitored or one that is self-correcting within the laws of the system? Sure, it's possible that a supernatural being could hypothetically create a perfect system that doesn't need to be monitored, but that creates a couple of problems. First, it eliminates the need for a gods continued presence ("my work here is done, guess I'll head home and catch Infinite Idol"). Second, this option is makes the existence of a god even more improbable (as I will point out shortly).

Highly improbable - Ok which of these two things are more likely: that the universe just happened all by itself or that a perfect, supernatural being capable of creating the universe just happened all by itself and then created the universe? At some point, you have to accept that "something" happened without a first cause. Why does it make more sense that that "something" is a perfect supernatural being? Not only would the existence of god be orders of magnitude more improbable than a self-creating universe, it's also an incredibly sloppy explanation. Hypothesizing that this being has sufficient complexity to create a perfect system just makes that being statistically more impossible.

Untestable - Because this option is supernatural, it is therefore untestable. It exists outside the realm of the universe therefore we could not possibly know its nature which makes it even more irrational that some of us pretend to. Accepting this option means that we will never, ever get to know the whole story, which would directly contradict the centuries of scientific progress that we have made which seem to indicate that we can.

naturalism (aka science)

Efficient - The first law of thermodynamics is extremely efficient considering that only a (relatively) small amount of energy is lost to heat when energy and matter are converted. Stars, planets, comets...everything is recycled. Little is wasted. If the system were perfect, then it might actually be an argument of a deity. That it is not tells us that it is a natural system.

Moderately improbable - Yep, no matter what we can't escape that fact that we are still dealing with a universe that just seems to have appeared out of nothing. We don't have an answer for this one yet, but considering that we've only had electricity for about 150 years (out of 4.5 billion), I'm willing to give it some more time. So, yes, it is still improbable but if it were impossible we wouldn't be here to talk about it, would we? It's also far more probable than the invisible skydaddy hypothesis.

Testable - We've been able to empirically test just about everything we've discovered in the universe thus far. We still bewildered by quantum mechanics, but again, we're still sucking our thumbs as a civilization so this shouldn't be surprising to anyone.

something else entirely (aka "wow, never saw that comin'")

Efficiency - ???
Probability - ...actually not half-bad now that I think about it.
Testable - I certainly hope so.

Is naturalism a "perfect" answer? No and it really doesn't need to be. It only needs to be a little more probable than impossible until we mature enough as a civilization to become better acquainted with the natural laws that govern our universe. Thus far we seem to be well ahead of that curve.

To presume to know something that you cannot and to accept as fact that which cannot be tested seems like intellectual dishonesty to me, therefore I subscribe to the option that embraces discovery and rejects dogma.

Thanks for reading.

Jae Onasi
04-16-2007, 12:58 AM
All right, folks, general note to everyone here: keep it civil. I'm not feeling well enough at the moment to stay up late to edit out the rudeness and/or issue flame warnings--I'll evaluate that tomorrow, likely after I get home late from work so it'll be nearly 24 hours before I can get to the egregious parts.

However, do not add to the rudeness unless you really want to end up on the warned user list, and I'll lock it if this doesn't get under control now. Read the general forum rules and Kavar's Corner rules if you have not already done so.

This is supposed to be a 'friendly discussion' place that's safe from flaming. The moderators intend on keeping it that way.

Achilles
04-16-2007, 01:03 AM
I certainly don't feel like Mr. Lee is flaming and I don't get the impression that he feels as though I'm flaming him. If our tone is too informal, then I'm sure we can just merge this is with the PM dialog that we've already established and save you some heartache :)

Either way, I'm sure you'll do what's right.

Titanius Anglesmith
04-16-2007, 03:15 PM
The way I see it, neither Evolution nor Creationism, in the context of the beginnings of life, will ever be scientifically proven, so I choose to believe the one that isn't so "scientifically based." My question is, why trust in "proof" so heavily when the theory in question can never be proven?

I actually find supernaturalism to be very much more believable than naturalism. Ever since the first time I heard about Evolution, which was before I became a Christian, I always though it was incredibly far-fetched. The universe simply creating itself by blind chance? I uphold the belief that God has existed forever - He had no beginning and will have no end, so it's not like He suddenly appeared and thought, "Hey, I'm bored, why don't I create a universe I can rule over."

Achilles
04-16-2007, 03:33 PM
The way I see it, neither Evolution nor Creationism, in the context of the beginnings of life, will ever be scientifically proven, so I choose to believe the one that isn't so "scientifically based." My question is, why trust in "proof" so heavily when the theory in question can never be proven?uh huh... (http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?SID=mail&articleID=9952573C-E7F2-99DF-32F2928046329479&chanID=sa004)

I actually find supernaturalism to be very much more believable than naturalism. Ever since the first time I heard about Evolution, which was before I became a Christian, I always though it was incredibly far-fetched. Fair enough. Which part specifically do you find hard to believe? Which part of the theory do you feel is not sufficiently supported by the evidence? If (and I do mean if) you're just forming your opinion based on...well...nothing, don't you think you should make some effort to understand it before you sign it off as preposterous?

The universe simply creating itself by blind chance? I uphold the belief that God has existed forever - He had no beginning and will have no end, so it's not like He suddenly appeared and thought, "Hey, I'm bored, why don't I create a universe I can rule over." So the universe (which we can see) couldn't have possibly "just happened" but a perfect intelligence capable of creating the universe with its will (which we can't see) happening by chance makes sense to you? The idea that time did not exist before the big bang is too much (as it should be. It's a whopper to wrap your head around), but the idea that god has existed "forever" is perfectly within the realm of reason?

This seems very much like special pleading. "That can't possibly be true". "It's true within your belief". "Well that's different".

Can't have it both ways, my friend :D

Another thing to keep in mind: Even if we were to accept that the universe has supernatural causation, you have absolutely zero evidence to support the hypothesis that it's your god that did it. Pastafarians (http://www.venganza.org/images/wallpapers/noodlycreation.jpg), ftw!!!

BruceLee_Reborn
04-16-2007, 09:18 PM
All right, folks, general note to everyone here: keep it civil. I'm not feeling well enough at the moment to stay up late to edit out the rudeness and/or issue flame warnings--I'll evaluate that tomorrow, likely after I get home late from work so it'll be nearly 24 hours before I can get to the egregious parts.

However, do not add to the rudeness unless you really want to end up on the warned user list, and I'll lock it if this doesn't get under control now. Read the general forum rules and Kavar's Corner rules if you have not already done so.

This is supposed to be a 'friendly discussion' place that's safe from flaming. The moderators intend on keeping it that way.

He's right, we're just...animately discussing the differences in our points of view, though we will take it to pm. as to not frustrate your work of keeping the threads civilized.

Jae Onasi
04-16-2007, 11:47 PM
He's right, we're just...animately discussing the differences in our points of view, though we will take it to pm. as to not frustrate your work of keeping the threads civilized.

You and Achilles obviously thought it was good-natured ribbing, but other readers (including me) didn't have that same reaction initially, especially when reading up from the bottom rather than from earlier to later posts. If you all make it clear when you're joking (especially if you're fake-harassing someone else), it'll help prevent misunderstandings. Thanks for clearing that up, too.

BruceLee_Reborn
04-17-2007, 11:27 PM
i looked back at the posts, and you're right, it does look rather...agressive. i'll keep what you said in mind, thanks.

Ray Jones
04-20-2007, 08:07 AM
They went from barely being able to create fire to building the wheel, socializing, then becoming pharoes and more advanced civilizations within 10,000 years or so.Mankind uses fire for much longer than just 10000 years. Also socialising happened since before the existence of humans, simply because they and their ancestors tend to live in groups like since forever now. And if you take a look on what we've achieved within the last 100 or even 50 years, then that's the I don't know how much fold of what happened within the last 10000 years. I mean it took not even 10 years of manned "space travel" for us to go to the moon.

I don't think technological advance and social development contradict the theory of evolution.

JediMaster12
04-20-2007, 02:57 PM
I don't think technological advance and social development contradict the theory of evolution.
It is part of cultural evolution since it implies learned behaviors which is a basic tenet for culture.

The way I see it, neither Evolution nor Creationism, in the context of the beginnings of life, will ever be scientifically proven, so I choose to believe the one that isn't so "scientifically based." My question is, why trust in "proof" so heavily when the theory in question can never be proven?
Uh evolution has not been disproven. In fact the evidence, the physical evidence that we have uncovered has given the theory of evolution more support.

I have said it before and I'll say it again: Man I love being a turtle. Wait wrong line!

Anyway the goal of science is to disprove not prove a hypothesis. Evolution becam a theory because it has explanation power and really I haven't seen anything that would contradict the idea of natural selection and differential reproductive success. In fact what I have seen in my local museum about the evolution of horses goes to support it. That and the information about the Pleistocene and a whole bunch of other things have been grounded into my brain since day one of my time spent in anthropology.

ET Warrior
04-24-2007, 03:07 AM
My question is, why trust in "proof" so heavily when the theory in question can never be proven?I think one might find life a bit difficult if we are to live by that tenet, as it would force us not to trust in pretty much anything and everything.

I also find it an odd conundrum that you would chastise scientific theories for being 'unprovable' and yet you choose to believe in things that can't even be TESTED. I find sometimes that I simply do not understand people.

SilentScope001
04-24-2007, 10:21 AM
I think one might find life a bit difficult if we are to live by that tenet, as it would force us not to trust in pretty much anything and everything.

I also find it an odd conundrum that you would chastise scientific theories for being 'unprovable' and yet you choose to believe in things that can't even be TESTED. I find sometimes that I simply do not understand people.

Well, because neither religion and science can be unprovable...or provable for that matter. Might as well trust in SOMETHING, by your standards. (And I am disappointed in telling people to rely on "tests", since they can be seen as basically being holy books, and some people may not like trusting tests, since there is no proof the tests are right)

Prime
04-24-2007, 11:16 AM
Well, because neither religion and science can be unprovable...or provable for that matter. Might as well trust in SOMETHING, by your standards.But science incorporates new information as it comes to light, whether it helps strengthen the theory or requires it to change. "Trust" isn't really the right word for what science is trying to accomplish since it attempts to disprove existing theories in order to improve them. Trust or faith is a religious concept in this case.

(And I am disappointed in telling people to rely on "tests", since they can be seen as basically being holy books, and some people may not like trusting tests, since there is no proof the tests are right)For science, if it is determined that the tests are not right, then new tests are formulated.

As for those who do not like trusting tests, I don't understand the mentality of saying that theories are invalid because the tests could be wrong, and then turn right around and claim that religious teachings must be true without any tests at all at best or contradictory evidence at worst. Isn't that hypocritical?

SilentScope001
04-24-2007, 12:19 PM
But science incorporates new information as it comes to light, whether it helps strengthen the theory or requires it to change. "Trust" isn't really the right word for what science is trying to accomplish since it attempts to disprove existing theories in order to improve them. Trust or faith is a religious concept in this case.

But Science trust the framework is correct, and Science trust that the information it has gotten is correct. It trusts, for instance, that our senses can be relied on. This is all trust, this is all faith.

For science, if it is determined that the tests are not right, then new tests are formulated.

Science trusts that tests, in general, can prove certain stuff. There is no reason to assume this is all correct.

As for those who do not like trusting tests, I don't understand the mentality of saying that theories are invalid because the tests could be wrong, and then turn right around and claim that religious teachings must be true without any tests at all at best or contradictory evidence at worst. Isn't that hypocritical?

Because how in the world can you prove anything at all, as long as you can question the proof? You can't at all. People trust Science, but there is no proof Science is correct. If we really are so interested in gaining proof, we should trust nothing, we should believe in nothing. The fact that we don't shows that no matter if we believe in religion or in science, we still believe, and the act of believing is, in itself, must be wrong.

Samuel Dravis
04-24-2007, 01:55 PM
Because how in the world can you prove anything at all, as long as you can question the proof? You can't at all. People trust Science, but there is no proof Science is correct. If we really are so interested in gaining proof, we should trust nothing, we should believe in nothing. The fact that we don't shows that no matter if we believe in religion or in science, we still believe, and the act of believing is, in itself, must be wrong.Proof science is correct is that it doesn't contradict our senses. That's all it needs anyway - that's the whole point. Science is descriptive. It's not "truth" per se - it is our representation of what we see as truth. There's plenty of reason to use it, plenty of reason to find it more worthy than other options. The very fact that of all the alternate "explanations" cannot, by their very nature, come up with useful new ideas and applications of the natural world like science does already puts it far in the lead of other (religious or otherwise) descriptions of the world.

SilentScope001
04-24-2007, 03:17 PM
Proof science is correct is that it doesn't contradict our senses. That's all it needs anyway - that's the whole point. Science is descriptive. It's not "truth" per se - it is our representation of what we see as truth.

Why should we trust our senses? There is no reason to, at all.

I am not saying belief is wrong, far from it. If a person believes that the senses can give him what the truth is, then he should believe in the senses. But, if a person does not wish to believe in the senses, because there is no reason to believe, then why would you hold that against him?

There's plenty of reason to use it, plenty of reason to find it more worthy than other options. The very fact that of all the alternate "explanations" cannot, by their very nature, come up with useful new ideas and applications of the natural world like science does already puts it far in the lead of other (religious or otherwise) descriptions of the world.

1) "Want to heal yourself? Pray to God!"---Church Doctrine
2) "Everything must relate to 5 in some way, shape, or form! Just think, and you will be able to relate everything to the number 5!"---Rule of Five
3) "This Earthquake was caused by God, he wants to punish us for our sins!"---Pakistani preacher after an earthquake
4) "Aliens rule the media! Look at the media, you can determine what the media will say because that what aliens want you to believe!"--Conspiracy Theorist
5) "These stars indicate you will have a good life. Just wait, live your life, and you will have a good life. Oh, and want a palm reading before you go?"--Psychic

All of them are new ideas and applications of the natural world. To all these people, they seem to be "useful". Are they useful? I do not know. But all these things are NOT Science, that's for sure. I am not going to call them Science. But whatever framework generated this sort of nonsense/aboustley true truth, these things too can create these sort of random babble that could sastify what you say is correct.

Dagobahn Eagle
04-24-2007, 09:12 PM
Because how in the world can you prove anything at all, as long as you can question the proof?Much of the evidence cannot be questioned in a logical, rational way. For example, we can't question that 2+2=4 intelligently in any way I can think of.

You can't at all. People trust Science, but there is no proof Science is correct.There's plenty of proof to those of us who don't carry around this eternal fear that we may live in some unproven, undetectable Matrix. There are so many billions of corresponding observations of our world that there's no way we can honestly wonder if it's all just faulty senses. There's also no evidence at all for it being an illusion, and thus there's no reason to believe it.

If we really are so interested in gaining proof, we should trust nothing, we should believe in nothing.And this would gain us proof how?

The fact that we don't shows that no matter if we believe in religion or in science, we still believe, and the act of believing is, in itself, must be wrong.Shades of grey. Believing in God without any evidence at all is vastly different from believing in gravity because we observe it every single milliseconds of our lives, from birth to death, and have massive amounts of evidence supporting it. You eventually reach a point where you know more than you believe. I don't believe that the Sun exists. I know it.

Why should we trust our senses? There is no reason to, at all.Nonsense. We all, you included, trust your senses, or you'd be unable to carry out any action at all. You'd be unable to get up in the morning because you wouldn't trust your senses of sight and feeling to tell you where the bed, floor, etc. were. Not to mention that you'd be unable to feel your arms and legs and thus wouldn't be able to move them, or know how they moved. If your senses were null and void, you'd live in the Vacuum of Indescribable Boredom.

We all trust our senses. And no one has given any evidence whatsoever that we are currently in a state of mass psychosis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychosis). On the other hand, the idea that we all see the world as it is... is backed up by billions of observations every single millisecond.

Technically we may live in a computer simulation and be harvested for electricity by aliens. Technically I could in reality be a smelly iron-skin monster with sixteen eyes, seven heads, eighty armpits and twenty thumbs. But do I hear anyone say, 'nah, I can't trust people, we don't know they're not smelly iron monsters'? Of course not.

ET Warrior
04-25-2007, 12:27 AM
there is no proof Science is correct.The computer you're typing on begs to differ. The airplanes you may or may not have flown in, satellites that orbit the earth, and any other technological or medical marvel you can possibly think of implies the opposite.

The results of scientific study and progress have quite obviously yielded results. I feel fairly confident that no amount of praying would have created cellular telephones.

Jae Onasi
04-25-2007, 12:40 AM
No, but some of us pray that they'd never been invented, especially after I have a patient sitting in the middle of an exam taking a phone call to discuss pizza toppings with her boyfriend.

Achilles
04-27-2007, 07:48 PM
I also find it an odd conundrum that you would chastise scientific theories for being 'unprovable' and yet you choose to believe in things that can't even be TESTED. I find sometimes that I simply do not understand people.As for those who do not like trusting tests, I don't understand the mentality of saying that theories are invalid because the tests could be wrong, and then turn right around and claim that religious teachings must be true without any tests at all at best or contradictory evidence at worst. Isn't that hypocritical? Well put!

Sorry I missed all the great dialog last week. I finally got Oblivion working and lets just say I've been preoccupied. I'm leaving for Vegas in about an hour and won't be back until next Friday. I'm looking forward to catching up on all the goodies in Kavar's Corner when I get back.

Everyone have a great week.

Prime
04-28-2007, 11:16 AM
But Science trust the framework is correctBut there isn't a trust element there in the first place. All the Scientific Method framework really says is "attempt to explain what you observe." What is the trust here? That we trust we are going to attempt to explain what we observe?

Science trust that the information it has gotten is correct. It trusts, for instance, that our senses can be relied on. But that is exactly what it doesn't do. It doesn't trust that the information that was observed was correct. It doesn't trust that someone's senses are reliable. That is why it has to stand up to peer scrutiny. That is why results need to be reproducable. Now, if you are going to say that we trust that everyone's sense are accurate, then that is outside the realm of science and moving into the realm of philosophy.

Science trusts that tests, in general, can prove certain stuff. Science doesn't attempt to prove anything. Mathamatics does. All science attempts to do is to construct a working model to explain current observations and predict future ones.

People trust Science, but there is no proof Science is correct. If we really are so interested in gaining proof, we should trust nothing, we should believe in nothing. But that would apply equally to religion as well.

Why should we trust our senses? There is no reason to, at all.The reason is that they have been shown to allow us to function in the world we percieve.

I am not saying belief is wrong, far from it. If a person believes that the senses can give him what the truth is, then he should believe in the senses. But, if a person does not wish to believe in the senses, because there is no reason to believe, then why would you hold that against him?Because that in essense makes them hypocritical, IMO, since they say that they cannot trust or do not believe what their senses tell them, and then go right on to rely on them.

In any event, this is kind not really a relevant point, since if saying trusting incorrectly in our senses invalidates science (which it doesn't anyway), it equally invalidates religion and people's trust in that. The mere knowledge of religion was obtained through the senses in the first place.

1) "Want to heal yourself? Pray to God!"---Church Doctrine
2) "Everything must relate to 5 in some way, shape, or form! Just think, and you will be able to relate everything to the number 5!"---Rule of Five
3) "This Earthquake was caused by God, he wants to punish us for our sins!"---Pakistani preacher after an earthquake
4) "Aliens rule the media! Look at the media, you can determine what the media will say because that what aliens want you to believe!"--Conspiracy Theorist
5) "These stars indicate you will have a good life. Just wait, live your life, and you will have a good life. Oh, and want a palm reading before you go?"--Psychic
All of them are new ideas and applications of the natural world. To all these people, they seem to be "useful"...But whatever framework generated this sort of nonsense/aboustley true truth, these things too can create these sort of random babble that could sastify what you say is correct.But these are great examples that show the point! Each of these are not based on observations, nor do they attempt to disprove the theories they have put forward. They do not attempt to explain all evidence, nor do they allow alterations to their theories when conflicting observations are presented. They do not seek to be peer reviewed and refuted. Their ideas are not useful precisely for that reason. They cannot be used to predict future observations.

The difference is that science takes what is observed and attempts to construct a theory. The above takes a theory and attempts to make the observations fit, and ignores those observations if they do not.

But IIRC the original point was that science can't be trusted because our senses/observations can't be trusted. But if that is true, then it could be argued that equally invalidates religion as well as science. So let's move on. :)

JediMaster12
04-30-2007, 12:29 PM
All the Scientific Method framework really says is "attempt to explain what you observe."
Isn't that what it is?

Science doesn't attempt to prove anything. Mathamatics does. All science attempts to do is to construct a working model to explain current observations and predict future ones.
It thought Science was a means to disprove things? I know with math you can prove things which is why we have these things called proofs. I remember how much I hated writing them. I thought that by using the scientific method, it can disprove the hypothesis that was established through observatin. Under a categorization scheme it is considered a natural science like the others like chemistry and biology. So doesn't that make math a science?

Darth InSidious
04-30-2007, 04:41 PM
No argument from me. But realize that we're now talking about evolution over time as a result of a changing envirornment. In other words, we're talking about evolution as a natural process. We see similar changed in plant and animal species. This is evidence of a process that does not need supernatural causation. Trying to attribute it to one is similar to forcing a healthy man to walk with crutches.
Simply due to the process being ongoing does not prove that it did not have a supernatural causation. For example, if I throw the switch on a simple lamp-switch-battery circuit (like the type you construct in primary school science- you know the ones), and leave it running for a time, the fact that it continues to run does not mean that I did not throw the switch, even if the electrons were sentient and incapable of determining it. Even if they could not to the satisfaction of science determine that I had flipped the switch, or that the switch existed, would that mean that I did not, or that both I and the switch do not exist?

Yes, I'm familiar with Russell :D

Steping outside the realm of science, we are then left with reason. Applying Occam's Razor, which makes more sense: That the universe actually is billions of years old or that it is magically generated in the not-too-distant past with all the evidence of being billions of years old?
That depends on your starting point.

IF:

a) There is no God, then situation two is impossible.
b) There may be a God, the situation is possible.
c) There is a God, the situation is possible.
d) The universe began, the situation is possible.
e) The universe did not begin, the situation is impossible

I believe I have covered all bases? Note that 'God' here refers to any supernatural origin/creator.

As an argument for God, even if we ignore Occam's Razor and accept Last Thursdayism, we're still assuming that the default answer is God. Based on the evidence, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is just as legitimate of an option. We can't have our cake and eat it too.
Absolutely. Faith does play an important role in religion :)

Nonetheless, I believe that through prayer, meditation and by observing the universe, the twist and turn of events in my own life and throughout history, that I have seen what sort of a mind God has, and it is one that best fits, IMO, with the Christian God, and not, for example, Iuppiter Optimus Maximus.

Yes, he may have. But we have no evidence that he did, so I don't understand why I should be inclined to entertain such a thought.
It all rests on the belief in an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God. If you find that you can't have faith in this for whatever reason, that's fine by me :)

It's happened before. We're done for the month though. :D
It's nearly a new month :)

Until we have some way to emperically measure God, I'm afraid it does.

Let me try this another way: no scientist can tell you with any degree of certainty that there is no God. What anyone can say with absolute confidence is that there is currently no evidence for God.

...Or against. On this we agree.
So it's not so much that scientists are trying to keep God out of science because they don't like Him, they just refuse to consider any explanation invokes Him because there is no evidence for His existence. If at some point that changes, then scientists will be able relax that stance to the degree that the evidence will allow them to do so.
No disputation of that in this camp :)

The rub comes in that once we have some emperical evidence for Him, he automatically loses His status as a Supernatural Being, and scientists will begin looking for a natural-world explanation for His existence and we can start the process over with God's creator.

`I refuse to prove that I exist,' says God, `for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.'
"`But,' says Man, `The Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED.'
'Oh dear, I hadn't thought of that' says God, and he disappears in a puff of logic.
'Oh, that was easy', says man, and for an encore he proves that black is white, and gets killed on the next zebra crossing."
I think we've exceeded our quota. Incidentally, I apologise for the long delay,I was under a hell of a lot of pressure to get first of all up to date on the 26th Dynasty, the Late Period, et al., and also to do some write-ups of some excavations last year.
Science is a process that can be used to tell us more about the natural world. That this seems to be lost in the current education system is a case for more science in our schools not less. I'm not sure what the numbers look like in Europe but 83% of U.S. citizens are scientifically illiterate.
Not sure of the numbers either, but we do teach the three sciences up until year 9 (at year 10 they choose), but the British petrochemicals industry is running short on science graduates, the government is pulling science teachers from wherever it can get them from, and we're certainly not pumping enough cash into research.
There are scientific laws and science is based on accepted facts, but no one that is familiar with science will tell you that any theory is impervious to scrutiny.
The problem is that science is often given to be infallible, at least over here. TV programmes, radio, websites, even some scientists all the time give scientific theory the aura of fact and elevate scientific theories - such as evolution - as absolute and undeniable fact.

With that said, I have no problem with ID being taught in school, however it should not be done in a science class. If schools want to include it as part of a philosophy course, then that's fine, but it has not earned the right to be considered science.
I agree that it isn't science.

People in the Middle Ages blamed the Bubonic plague on God's wrath. Surely you would agree that having the scientific explanation for the disease would have been more beneficial than the supernatural one.
I would posit that both have benefits, and that the one should not necessarily deny the other. Furthermore, at this point science had not developed. The ideas that would go into the foundation of the scientific method later on were still in their infancy. I'm not too sure about the dates of the bubonic plague, but IIRC it's barely two/three centuries after the death of Aquinas...?

I think if we lived in a world were everyone was an island unto themselves, it would be easier to just shrug and say, "well if he wants to believe that fairies make his plants grow, then that's his problem". Unfortunately, that's not the world we live in.

For example just over a year ago people that believe that killing infidels assures them a place in Paradise, complete with 72 virgins, decided to practice their religious beliefs on some public transit vehicles on your side of the pond.
I would posit that a) we cannot know for certain why they did it, and b) that it had far more to do with indoctrination in ideas quite separate from faith and morals, and that they might well have done it whether they were religious or not, because some people have that in them, regardless of belief.

On this side, we have people with similarly radical (similar in there degree of radicalness, not in their display) ideas creating public policy that affects everyone in our country. So the intense desire to dispell the supernatural is 1 part altruism and 3 parts self-preservation. The fact that we have Christian leaders publicly stating that recent natural disasters are evidence of God's displeasure with homosexuals and atheists should give you some insight into the dilemma.
I see a lot of idiots of all beliefs or non-beliefs. I don't think that it's just Christians and Muslims who have crackpots and extremists. And if they weren't Christian or Muslim, I'm sure they'd find something else to push.

Ok, then how would you categorize Exodus? Or G.John? Leviticus?
Exodus is an oral history. Leviticus is in effect a collation of laws ( I think - haven't read it, I must admit. When I tried to read through the whole Bible, I gave up during the numerous begattings...). John is possibly the hardest to classify. I would say it is a historical account, possibly drawing on numerous previous accounts and lists of sayings, miracles, etc to make a specific theological point. I would also say it is one of the greatest literary pieces ever.

I think you feel comfortable categorizing these books because of your modern viewpoints. The study of ethics has advanced much in 2000 years, but these books have not changed at all (KJV excluded). One has to be plied to provide context for the other while keeping both relevant. Luckily, we choose to bend our interpretation of the Bible to match our ethics and not vice versa (for the most part), but I don't think that's a testimony to value of the Bible.
For me, this is not an issue. The Sacred Tradition laid down by the Magisterium of the Church, being (we believe) inspired by God also, is of equal importance and relevance, and in a symbiotic relationship with the Sacred Scripture.

You seem rather comfortable identifying Genesis as fable, but accept The Sermon on the Mount as historically accurate (I'm assuming that you do anyway) even though there is no evidence that it ever took place. I don't understand how that works.
Very simply, for the same reason that I accept Tacitus, Suetonius, Thucydides, elements of Herodotos, etc etc etc.

I appreciate you taking the time to have this discussion with me. I've enjoyed reading your responses.
It has been a stimulating discussion so far :)

ET Warrior
05-01-2007, 09:52 AM
I have seen what sort of a mind God has, and it is one that best fits, IMO, with the Christian God,This quote doth confuse me some, as in nearly every debate I've ever had with religious folk one common thread seems to be that it is entirely impossible to understand the mind of god, and we cannot hope to begin to comprehend something as timeless and infinite as 'god'. Are you professing to have determined this, or simply stating that you've gotten a general gist from the way the world works? Just trying to clarify.

I would posit that both have benefits,I would LOVE to hear what possible benefit can be had from stating that a disease was caused because god is mad at his little childrens.

Prime
05-01-2007, 01:51 PM
Nonetheless, I believe that through prayer, meditation and by observing the universe, the twist and turn of events in my own life and throughout history, that I have seen what sort of a mind God has, and it is one that best fits, IMO, with the Christian God, and not, for example, Iuppiter Optimus Maximus.Based on what? The "definition" (not sure of a better term!) of what God is and how he functions that were told to you? Every religion tells its followers the definition of their god. Every religious person claims that their version explains what they see in the world. Why is the Christian God more accurate than Buddha, Allah, or any other god? What have you experienced that eliminates (or makes less likely) all the other gods as possibilities and points to God?

...Or against. Well, the evidence against is really more the evidence against the claims of the church (generalizing of course) as being fact. I agree that there is no evidence against God in heaven and having created the universe and so on. The against part comes when the chuch says that the earth is 6000 years old and the Bible is a literal truth, when the observable evidence is against that.

The church claims that the Bible is the word of God (I have no issue with that) and everything in it is literal fact (I know not all do). When the Bible's explanation of certain events doesn't hold up to factual scrutiny, then that implies that God may be wrong in the sense that His version of events is inaccruate which shouldn't be possible. So in that sense the evidence is "against" him on the assumption that the Bible contains historical fact.

I would posit that both have benefits, and that the one should not necessarily deny the other. I have the same question as ET. What is the benefit of claiming that a disease is caused by God?

I would posit that a) we cannot know for certain why they did itWe can't see inside someone's head of course. We can only go by what they say. And we know for a fact that many say that they were going to do things because their religion taught them that there would be a benefit to doing so in the afterlife, or that they believed that what their victims were doing is evil. A Muslim may claim to perform suicide bombing because they believe infidels are evil on religious grounds, just as a Christian bay bomb a abortion clinic because they feel that is evil or attack gays because they feel they are evil on religious grounds.

b) that it had far more to do with indoctrination in ideas quite separate from faith and moralsBut by definition Christians are indoctrinated into their religion just like any other person is indoctrinated into theirs, and much of their morality is defined by the religion they belong to.

I would argue that their would be less suicide bombings if the teachings of their leaders didn't promote the notion that other people are infidels that their gods demand them to destroy. Similarly, many Christians may not view gays as immoral if their teachings did not claim them to be so. If you ask many Christians who oppose gays, most often the reponse to why they think that way is that God and the Bible tell them that they are evil, and not because they have logically come to the conclusion that they are.

and that they might well have done it whether they were religious or not, because some people have that in them, regardless of belief. Possibly. But if they claim that they are doing things on religious grounds, some weight has to be given to that.

Darth Kalverys
05-02-2007, 08:34 AM
There's a funny thing about Evolution... have you ever noticed that the order of Evolution, is the same as that of Creationism? You know God created this, and this, and this... (I don't remember what order, and I don't feel like looking it up, nor do I have the time to.) and that Evolution goes in the exact same order? That first there was this, then we "evolved" into this, then this?

I personally think it's funny... that the evolutionist don't believe in Creationism, but base their hypothesis' on the order of Creationism. Tell me... did they read a bible and not agree with what the apostles wrote? Or was it some freak accident that it ended up that way. I truely don't know... but I still think it's rather funny.

Ray Jones
05-02-2007, 08:53 AM
Nah. Evolution has no particular order. It's more like a logical reasoning. It's seems rather impossible to claim there were birds before the first lifeforms even left the oceans. And according to the idea that underwater had a somewhat more stable environment to provide than land, it makes only sense to assume life developed there first.

And basically even creationists should see a flaw in reasoning if they'd state mankind came before earth was made.

Rather funny is the thought, if man is made after gods image, does god make poo, too? What would he eat? People from heaven? And has he 'the manly attachment' there where it belongs? Why?

Jae Onasi
05-02-2007, 09:27 AM
Since God is perfect, I doubt He has to worry about digestion and elimination. If I hadn't seen your name attached to that post, I'd still guess it could only be you asking the question 'Does God have a penis?" ;P

Ray Jones
05-02-2007, 09:50 AM
Yayaya you know me I gotta get paid. XD

But really, as far as I know, it says "god made the man after his image" or like that. So he must have a dongle, and also a negative end of the pharynx.

ET Warrior
05-02-2007, 11:09 AM
There's a funny thing about Evolution... have you ever noticed that the order of Evolution, is the same as that of Creationism? Actually no...I've noticed that creationism has quite a few things in very much the wrong order.

On the third day God creates vegetation, seed-bearing plants, and trees that bear fruit. Of course, fruit bearing plants are flowering plants, and they most certainly did not come before all animal life on the planet.

On the fourth day God creates the sun and the moon. I don't think I need to elaborate on that...

On the fifth day God creates the sea creatures and the birds. Again, birds most CERTAINLY came after land creatures.

Science most assuredly did not base the theory of evolution off of creationism.

JediMaster12
05-02-2007, 01:43 PM
Science most assuredly did not base the theory of evolution off of creationism.
I would say so considering that we have geological and fossil evidence of when say the bony fishes appeared and when the reptiles appeared. Personally I am more willing to believe in the geological evidence.

Besides the theory of evolution was based off of Darwin's observations on his famous trip to the Galapagos. He had other things like early genetics that he was aware of but mostly it stemed from observing his famous finches and the beak sizes.

Darth Kalverys
05-02-2007, 05:43 PM
But really, as far as I know, it says "god made the man after his image" or like that. So he must have a dongle, and also a negative end of the pharynx.


That is a hard... hard thing to discuss. God said we were made in his image, but that doesn't mean he "modeled" humans after him, if that makes any sense. When Adam and Eve were first created, they were made to be perfect... like God... but that doesn't mean he held a mirror up to his face and made us look exactly like him. God may not even look like a human, for all we know.

Emperor Devon
05-02-2007, 07:35 PM
When Adam and Eve were first created, they were made to be perfect... like God...

Untrue. Without having eaten from the tree of life and the tree of knowledge they were extraordinarily different, never mind what they looked like.

I find the idea that Adam was conjured up from the earth and Eve from his rib it to be extremely silly, however. Sounds more like a spell from Dungeons & Dragons that something someone would actually believe.

God may not even look like a human, for all we know.

I would guess that a being supposedly capable of creating the universe could look however he so pleases.

Dagobahn Eagle
05-02-2007, 08:46 PM
That is a hard... hard thing to discuss.And why on Earth is that? So what if God has a penis? Who the Heck cares for a second? Should it change anyone's image of Him? Does it make him less divine?

Yes, humans were made in God's image, and thus look like God, and thus God has a penis. Problem solved.

God said we were made in his image, but that doesn't mean he "modeled" humans after him, if that makes any sense.Actually, I'd say it does. Even if you don't like it and it means God has a private organ. Not that it matters the slightest.

There's a funny thing about Evolution... have you ever noticed that the order of Evolution, is the same as that of Creationism?Order according to science:
1. Stars, including Sol. Other planets, moons, asteroids, etc.
2. The Earth.
3. More asteroids, moons, and so on.
4. Primitive one-celled organisms.
5. Primitive one-celled organisms evolve into plants, animals, bacteria, etc.
6. Primitive predecessor evolves into today's homo sapiens.

Order according to the Bible:
1. The Sun (light).
2. The Earth.
3. Plants.
4. The other stars.
5. Fishes, birds and animals (<- bacteria and viruses created here?).
6. Human male and female.
7. Human male.
8. Human female.

Yes, they are fairly similar. But no, the order is not the same, and quite frankly the Genesis Creation account makes it abundantly clear that astronomy was not exactly a big science at the time.

Darth Kalverys
05-02-2007, 09:15 PM
That's... that's not what I meant. What I meant was we may not LOOK like him...

and ED

Adam and Eve were created to be perfect... it's just when they ate from the "Tree of Knowledge" that Sin entered the world... but this is getting way off topic... I'll leave this discussion... sorry for takin it off topic.

Achilles
05-16-2007, 12:31 PM
My turn to apologize for the delayed response. I was out of town on business, and I'm just now getting back to "normal" after my trip (just in time to begin class on Tuesday :().

Looking at the thread, I see that about another page has been tacked on. I want to respond to your points even though, at a glance, I see that other have as well (no idea what they say, only that they responded). I don't do this in the spirit of "piling on" rather to address the points that you have made to me. If it seems like I'm ganging up, then please know this isn't my intention.

Ok....

Simply due to the process being ongoing does not prove that it did not have a supernatural causation. Agreed, it does not "prove". It makes the likelihood of supernatural causation (especially supernatural causation as defined by those that advocate it) extremely unnecessary and unlikely. If some supreme being were capable of creating every thing in the universe with a though, then surely he/she/it should have been capable of getting it right the first time. The fact that everything is changing an adapting would lend itself toward a world-view that doesn't require (or support) supernatural causation.

In other words: it's possible but not likely. And it certainly isn't support by evidence.

For example, if I throw the switch on a simple lamp-switch-battery circuit (like the type you construct in primary school science- you know the ones), and leave it running for a time, the fact that it continues to run does not mean that I did not throw the switch, even if the electrons were sentient and incapable of determining it. Even if they could not to the satisfaction of science determine that I had flipped the switch, or that the switch existed, would that mean that I did not, or that both I and the switch do not exist?But the switch doesn't evolve into a desklamp over hundreds of thousands of years. I take your point, but it's a poor analogy.


That depends on your starting point.

IF:

a) There is no God, then situation two is impossible.
b) There may be a God, the situation is possible.
c) There is a God, the situation is possible.
d) The universe began, the situation is possible.
e) The universe did not begin, the situation is impossible

I believe I have covered all bases? Note that 'God' here refers to any supernatural origin/creator.It looks as though you have. You haven't committed to a response though. If you believe in god, then some of these options are possible. The question is what's likely.

Absolutely. Faith does play an important role in religion :)

Nonetheless, I believe that through prayer, meditation and by observing the universe, the twist and turn of events in my own life and throughout history, that I have seen what sort of a mind God has, and it is one that best fits, IMO, with the Christian God, and not, for example, Iuppiter Optimus Maximus. I think this response largely misses my point though. It perfectly reasonable that your spiritual experience have led you to god in a judeo-christian society, just as they would have led you to allah if you lived in a muslim society. This is not a strong argument for the veracity of either "god" or "allah", rather a testimony of the importance of our spiritual experiences.

The nuts and bolts of the matter are unchanged: If you accept that god is real, then you have to accept the FSM too. Because your "test" is not emperical, then there is no evidence to show that your conclusion is the correct one. Personally, I think that you're entirely too intelligent to settle for conclusions based on such poor logic, but I understand that indoctrination is a powerful force.

...Or against. On this we agree. Indeed we do, however this leaves untouched the question of why it is wise to believe, with certainty, something for which we have no evidence. Trying to spin this into a "you can't prove he doesn't exist" argument is a fallacy because the burden of proof is on the believer, not the non-believer.

Not sure of the numbers either, but we do teach the three sciences up until year 9 (at year 10 they choose), but the British petrochemicals industry is running short on science graduates, the government is pulling science teachers from wherever it can get them from, and we're certainly not pumping enough cash into research. Sounds like you have similar problems over there also. Ouch.

The problem is that science is often given to be infallible, at least over here. TV programmes, radio, websites, even some scientists all the time give scientific theory the aura of fact and elevate scientific theories - such as evolution - as absolute and undeniable fact. At the risk of splitting hairs, I would say that people need to better understand what "science" is. It is a process. The process itself is infallable. The results (what people generally, erroneously refer to as "science") of the process are not. The problem comes when people forget about the GIGO principle (garbage in, garbage out). If some group tries to manipulate the process to achieve a specific result, they will succeed, but then, they aren't really doing science in the first place.

Any person committed to true science will tell you to question everything. They will also tell you that theories offer the best possible explanation that we have based on the evidence that available. Does that mean it's completely made up? Not at all. If/when evidence changes, then the theory might be subject to change. This lack of certainty is not a fallability of "science" rather an simple and honest admission that we don't know everything and therefore some things might be subject to change.

As for evolution specifically, there might be future revisions to the theory, but there is no better explanation that supports the evidence. It's possible that there may be a better explanation someday, but it will most likely be an enhancement of the current theory. By way of comparison, creationism can't even be considered science, so to say it's a superior explanation is simply incorrect.

I agree that it isn't science. Glad to hear we're of the same mind. We might give Jae a heart attack with all the agreement here.

I would posit that both have benefits, and that the one should not necessarily deny the other. Furthermore, at this point science had not developed. The ideas that would go into the foundation of the scientific method later on were still in their infancy. I'm not too sure about the dates of the bubonic plague, but IIRC it's barely two/three centuries after the death of Aquinas...? I have to disagree. I'm not sure what benefit could be gleened from thinking that god was punishing the human species...especially for those of us that do not believe in god. Might as well chalk up plane crashes to animal spirits.

I agree that science had not sufficiently developed to understand the true cause of the plague, but I'm not sure how they would have not benefitted from science if they had (which was my point). The alternative explanation did not help them at all.

I would posit that a) we cannot know for certain why they did it, and b) that it had far more to do with indoctrination in ideas quite separate from faith and morals, and that they might well have done it whether they were religious or not, because some people have that in them, regardless of belief. Of course we do. Many suicide bombers tape themselves before their acts.

Your indoctrination is preventing you from seeing that their acts were completely within the doctrine of their religions. Just as murdering people for working on the sabbath is within yours. You (hopefully) choose not to follow that doctrine, but some might say that's because you aren't as devout within your religion as these people are within theirs. I can't argue that their behavior is immoral, but I do disagree with the assertion that it's because their acts fall outside Islam.

Furthermore, I disagree that this is something that "they just have in them". Not all oppressed people people become suicide bombers, yet some oppressed muslims become suicide bombers and their holy text promotes such behavior. I do not consider this a coincidence. If it's not "nurture", then it has to be "nature" and I think you'd have a very difficult time building a case for an arab genetic pre-disposition for murder/suicide.

I see a lot of idiots of all beliefs or non-beliefs. I don't think that it's just Christians and Muslims who have crackpots and extremists. And if they weren't Christian or Muslim, I'm sure they'd find something else to push. No argument. However one should not put dangerous to themselves or others in room full of sharp things. Similarly, we shouldn't expose dangerous people to philosophical systems that promote murder, especially when the consquence of such murder is god's everlasting love.

The cultural eradication of religion won't rid the world of crackpots and lunatics, it will simply give them fewer places to hide.

Exodus is an oral history. Leviticus is in effect a collation of laws ( I think - haven't read it, I must admit. When I tried to read through the whole Bible, I gave up during the numerous begattings...). John is possibly the hardest to classify. I would say it is a historical account, possibly drawing on numerous previous accounts and lists of sayings, miracles, etc to make a specific theological point. I would also say it is one of the greatest literary pieces ever. Exodus is not an accurate history, Leviticus is a largly a collect of laws, and John is widely considered to be a gnostic work. My point was is that we seem to be pretty comfortable picking and choosing which part of the bible to take literally (like Exodus) and which to ignore (like Leviticus) and are fuzzy about others (like G.John). So how is it that we mere mortals think we have the ability to understand god's intent (remember that the opening lines of G.John are the ones that tell us that the bible is the literal word of god)?

It seems that "we cannot know the will of god" gets tossed around pretty comfortably whenever we find a question that stumps religion, however we presume to know it quite well when it suits our needs. You might be tempted to point to canonical updates via revelation, but I would have to ask you to present a logically-sound argument for why such meanderings should be taken seriously.

For me, this is not an issue. The Sacred Tradition laid down by the Magisterium of the Church, being (we believe) inspired by God also, is of equal importance and relevance, and in a symbiotic relationship with the Sacred Scripture.I will say nothing more than to point out that this is all based on supposition. In the mean time, the mental gymnastics remain.

Very simply, for the same reason that I accept Tacitus, Suetonius, Thucydides, elements of Herodotos, etc etc etc. None of them were contemporaries of Jesus and their references to Christ or Christianity only show their familiarity with the cult. They do not make (nor could they make) any statements regarding the validity of the story.

It has been a stimulating discussion so far :) Indeed. Take care :D

Emperor Devon
05-16-2007, 04:02 PM
Adam and Eve were created to be perfect... it's just when they ate from the "Tree of Knowledge" that Sin entered the world...

That is entirely incorrect. But to avoid dragging the thread off-topic I'll just quote myself and drop this.

No, we would not have been better staying in the garden at all. One of the prime reasons is ignorance: before Adam and Eve ate from the tree, that is what they were. They didn't even know they were naked, for crying out loud.

But more importantly, they had no distinction between good and evil.

Thus, before consuming the fruit, man was not a moral agent. Logically, a rock, a tornado, or a dog cannot be considered moral agents. Intelligence is not the prime factor for such a thing, (great geniuses and fools can make moral decisions) but the ability to realize the morality of one's own actions. If a tornado destroys a house, did it commit an immoral act? No. It isn't a moral agent. Likewise, if a man set the same house on fire, would that have been immoral? Obviously, as he possessed the knowledge to know if it was immoral or not.

Thus, before they ate from the tree of knowledge, Adam and Eve could not be considered fully moral, fully human beings. If you can't tell what's evil and what's good, is it possible for you to condemn immoral acts? To a dog, Stalin's brutal tortures would be equal morally to punishing someone for rape.

Before Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge, they were little different from a dog or a rock in terms of morals. The Bible itself says they only learned the distinction between good and evil upon consuming the fruit from it. As I explained earlier, being aware of the distinction between that is essential to being a moral person.

So what exactly was wrong with eating from the tree? Before they did, Adam and Eve were just as moral as a rock. After it, they were able to develop at least a basic set of ethics.

Totenkopf
05-19-2007, 03:25 AM
Well, ED, if ignorance is bliss, I guess they were "perfectly" happy (at least till the serpant got in on the act). ;)