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Author Topic: Theistic Evolution -- or the "Old Earth Creation Model"  (Read 31510 times)
Linda
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« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2012, 09:19:39 am »

Quote from: EAS
I suppose for that reason it does not rattle my cage to realize that Lewis' theology is untrustworthy when compared with biblical precepts.
I don't think any of our cages are rattled. Smiley I don't know of anyone who is trusting Lewis's theology.

And, I do think you made the point that the word "myth" to Lewis is different than what we traditionally think of as a myth, but it's something to remember.

Maybe one of the big questions here is "Do you/we believe in miracles?" If we do, then did the bread that fed the 5,000 look and taste like "normal" bread that had been given time to rise and bake? Did it have the appearance of bread that took time to make without taking the normal amount of time? Transfer that to creation and you could have a young Earth. Just saying. God can make things with the appearance of age. I agree with Agatha. We will never know. We can never witness or repeat Creation.

I believe in miracles.
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FeministRebel
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« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2012, 09:36:24 am »

I was not trying to state that apologetics is 'apologizing' for the Bible. Apologetics is an entire field of discourse, and defense, that is used in ANY area of argumentation, and not just religion. I was merely stating that it comes across, on the part of C.S. Lewis, as though he is apologizing with his argumentation, for the things that do not, logically, make sense in his mind.

I do not think that one can scientifically suggest that being certain there are probably 'aliens' out there is a 'belief' system as believing in a God. The fact is that WE are aliens to someone, somewhere. We are life, in outer space, so already there IS proof of 'aliens.' What scientists posit is that because of the lay of solar systems and galaxies, and statistical probability of the millions and billions of galaxies, that it is more than likely that there is life in some other planet.

Yes -- sending recordings into outer space and things are a little far fetched -- but it does not mean no one ever could ever see or answer those. It's merely far fetched because of the millions of light years of distance between galaxies and our own. By the time light any sound we produce, or light, ever reaches those places -- we will be long dead. Our civilization will be long dead. Our sun will begin warming and enlarging on it's way to becoming a red dwarf, 500 million years from now, and all living things will be gone.

Is there a verifiable -- provable -- god around here we could use as some kind of statistical point of start as reference for anything else in outer space? No. There's not a hint anywhere of intelligent design.

There's a few videos I'll leave here, for the curiosity of others:

Nova's The Bible's Buried Secrets:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qalTJzk4kO0

Neil deGrasse Tyson's lecture on intelligent design:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti3mtDC2fQo

Stephen Hawking's Does God Exist (which talks about the Big Bang, and what was before the Big Bang):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyZxdJRsBUw
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EverAStudent
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« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2012, 11:21:12 am »

Hi Linda.  You wrote that no one you know trusts in Lewis' theology, and yet I have read published books by celebrity pastors who quote from numerous Lewis works attempting to "prove" the orthodoxy of their rather unorthodox new doctrines (John Piper does this rather often trying to try to prove his brand of hedonism is a valid biblical precept).  Trusting Lewis enough to quote him as part of a theological "proof"  is a sure sign of trouble.  I am glad you do not trust in his theology, although he is often entertaining.

Actually, Lewis does not use the word "myth" differently than the rest of us (and if I worded it that way in a post somewhere then it was improper of me to do so).  He does clarify that he thinks myths, while fictional tales, teach true concepts.  His definition of myth is the same as we apply to the word "parable."  For Lewis, the first three chapters of Genesis are a parable, a fictional story that teaches moral truths.  Because he saw creation, Adam, Eve, and the Fall as myth (fiction) then for him there was not a need for a substitutionary sacrifice because there was never an original sin.  Salvation, for Lewis, was grounded in baptism, a work of the individual that of their own volition places them in right standing with Christ.   

Quote from: Linda
Maybe one of the big questions here is "Do you/we believe in miracles?" If we do, then did the bread that fed the 5,000 look and taste like "normal" bread that had been given time to rise and bake? Did it have the appearance of bread that took time to make without taking the normal amount of time? Transfer that to creation and you could have a young Earth. Just saying. God can make things with the appearance of age. I agree with Agatha. We will never know. We can never witness or repeat Creation.

Of course I believe in miracles, else the Resurrection would be a futile hope.  I think your comment would be more appropriate asked of someone who believes in Theistic Evolution (like Lewis had been) than of someone like me who favors a six day creation model.
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FeministRebel
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« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2012, 11:26:00 am »

I do think a lot of folks in GCx were supporters of Lewis. Lots of pastors in Ames read him, quoted him... encouraged people to read him... etc.
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EverAStudent
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« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2012, 11:53:56 am »

I do think a lot of folks in GCx were supporters of Lewis. Lots of pastors in Ames read him, quoted him... encouraged people to read him... etc.

Yes, exactly.  As untrained and undiscerning teachers they thought quoting Lewis gave their unsound points more credibility...which quoting Lewis would do if you thought that Lewis' theology was credible.  These days, when I see a quote from Lewis I ask myself why the speaker or writer could not find a trustworthy source and I wonder what phoney bill of goods he is trying to pass off as genuine.

I was merely stating that it comes across, on the part of C.S. Lewis, as though he is apologizing with his argumentation, for the things that do not, logically, make sense in his mind.

Still, that is not the purpose of apologetics.  Apologetics does not offer apologies, even to ourselves.  Apologetics answer the allegations of critics that something does not make sense.  So, of course apologetics center on those things that appear to be the most difficult to answer, not because they really are illogical but because that is where the critics have focused their attention.

I do not think that one can scientifically suggest that being certain there are probably 'aliens' out there is a 'belief' system as believing in a God. The fact is that WE are aliens to someone, somewhere. We are life, in outer space, so already there IS proof of 'aliens.'

That is not a valid definition of "alien."  An alien is a life or object that originates from outside of the home planet.  We have never yet been aliens to any other "peoples" because we have not encountered any.  The "belief" that there are in fact true aliens out in the universe does not somehow make humans into aliens.  

What scientists posit is that because of the lay of solar systems and galaxies, and statistical probability of the millions and billions of galaxies, that it is more than likely that there is life in some other planet.

Whether there are true aliens (non-Earth originated life forms) from a statistical probability perspective depends entirely upon the belief system you use to establish the statics of probability.  If your belief system says "All planets with water can evolve life and all life invariably evolves into sentient life" then your stats will show a high probability because your belief system allows for that.  

If your belief system says, "Sentient life is rare and unique because it must be created by an intelligence," then simply having high numbers of planets and galaxies does not increase the statistical probability of finding alien life.  

The probability of finding alien life, and even whether you are driven to look for it, is entirely the product of a "belief system."  That is why even atheists "believe in" alien life in spite of the fact that there is NO evidence or proof of it whatsoever at present.  

Now, could God have created life on other planets?  Sure.  I do not believe He did, and especially not sentient life, so unlike Hawkings I do not sit here watching the skies for invading hordes of marauding aliens living in mother ships.  That is his belief system, which lacks any physical evidence at all, and mine is different.  We act on our beliefs even in the face of no physical evidence.  

Yes -- sending recordings into outer space and things are a little far fetched -- but it does not mean no one ever could ever see or answer those. It's merely far fetched because of the millions of light years of distance between galaxies and our own. By the time light any sound we produce, or light, ever reaches those places -- we will be long dead. Our civilization will be long dead. Our sun will begin warming and enlarging on it's way to becoming a red dwarf, 500 million years from now, and all living things will be gone.

Then sending these recordings into space is entirely a matter of faith.  It is a faith that states, "We have no evidence of alien life, but we know as a race we will some day die and we want our memory to live on as a form of eternal life, so we are blindly reaching out in faith that some other species will find these artifacts and remember us fondly."  THAT is a belief system in the most profound sense.


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FeministRebel
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« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2012, 12:15:48 pm »

I never stated that apologizing was the purpose of apologetics. I only said that is was C.S. Lewis was doing. There's a difference. I am not attacking apologetics here.

What I tried to convey with my 'we are already aliens' comment... is that we are already proof that there is life in a planet, and there were conditions that had to be met before our species could evolve here. It is not a 'belief' that certain conditions, and elements, are conductive to the fostering of life, or that they have to be present in order for life to be. It is a scientific, and provable, fact. There is plenty of research on this.

Because of the lay of most galaxies, with solar systems within them and the positioning of planets around a star -- it is more than likely that there will be a planet very similar to us out there, with the perfect conditions for evolving through the billions of years, and developing life, just as we have. This is a logical, and statistical, deduction of probability. This is not faith. This is not belief.

Through the same statistical, logical, and deduction of probability... one can say there is no god.

Do some people 'worship' things they don't understand, and form cult followings... or do illogical things centered on those? Sure. And sometimes, some persons within the scientific community are not immune from that. An example of this, are scientists claiming they are creationists. It is usually the lay or fringe person, though, and not science. Science is OKAY with saying 'I don't know.' As science, and our scientific knowledge have evolved through history, so has superstition and poor scientific attempts lessened. The power is in keeping asking questions -- not stopping, and claiming 'God did it.' A god of the gaps. 'I don't understand it, so God did it.' 'I don't know what was before the Big Gang, so God did it.' Scientists have made this error in the past, too -- when they have reached the limit of their knowledge... 'God did it.' But then, someone daring enough to keep asking questions, found the scientific answers.

Everything needs to pass a test. Society had a lot of biases in our time, and the beauty of science is that it keeps weeding those out... saying 'I don't know,' and 'We were wrong,' if something new comes up. Religion doesn't. It is silly to claim that scientists have a 'belief' when they are merely exploring for a hypothesis. Hypothesis are based on probabilities, which are based on facts and observations of how our world and universe are set up. Statistics is NOT a faith.

You can have your own beliefs -- but you can't have your own facts. Facts are NOT beliefs.

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Linda
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« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2012, 12:50:27 pm »

A myth can be true. Perhaps we need to dumb down our language for today's audience since today people think of a myth as something that is not true.

http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Books/2001/04/From-Myth-Became-Fact.aspx
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EverAStudent
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« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2012, 12:51:55 pm »

Greetings FeministRebel.

It is a pleasure to dialogue with you.  And I agree, never stop asking questions!

Your comment "we are already aliens" is simply untrue.  Humans are not known as aliens TO any other personage group.  We have not met any extraterrestrial life to which to be known as aliens.  Nor is there one single known planet on which there is sentient life awaiting our introduction as their aliens.  

So from a present day condition, we are not yet known as aliens to anyone or by anyone.  That is a fact.  

The best you can hope to say and still remain factual is that we humans are "potentially" aliens assuming that some day sentient life is found on another planet.  Being a potential alien is not the same as presently proving we are today aliens. 

If, as you believe, some day sentient life is found originating outside our planet, then on that day we will become aliens to them.  If, as I believe, we never find sentient life originating outside of Earth, then we never will be known as the-aliens-from-Earth by others.  

But the assumption of sentient life spontaneously originating outside of Earth is a belief.  Until it is actually demonstrated to have happened outside of Earth it will remain a belief.  That is a fact.

The reality of life on Earth does not make it a "fact" that other planets necessarily have life.  Assuming that some other planets must have the same favorable outcome as Earth is a belief not demonstrated by experimentation or observation.  Because it is not demonstrated by experimentation or observation, it is a hope or a belief, but not a scientific reality.  In other words, a belief in sentient life on other planets is a dream, a hope, a wish, an assumption, and a belief, but it is not a documented FACT.  

I detest using the probability argument in the creation versus evolution debate.  Creationists claim the "probability" of life evolving without the aid of outside intelligence is zero, yet that is not a "proof" but is merely the evidence on one possible statistical model.  Similarly I hate it when evolutionists use but one possible statistical model for possibly finding alien sentient life and then claim that one model is some kind of a proof.  It is not a proof or a fact, nor is it the only possible statistical model, nor is there only one possible interpretation of that model.  

What is needed to "prove" alien sentient life is physical evidence, not statistical probabilities that it theoretically "might" happen.  To believe in alien life is still a belief, however else it may be phrased and however indignant the true believer in aliens might become.  Provide the physical empirical proof and only then does believing become proving.  
« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 12:57:58 pm by EverAStudent » Logged
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« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2012, 01:13:55 pm »

A myth can be true. Perhaps we need to dumb down our language for today's audience since today people think of a myth as something that is not true.

It is quite correct that in general usage the term myth can refer to anything from true historical narratives to utterly fictitious tales.  Therefore, we turn to Lewis to define for himself the way in which he used "myth" when narrowly referring to stories in the first three chapters of Genesis.  He repeatedly states that he found Genesis to be fiction akin to fairytales about "magic" fruit that "did [him] no good," being as they were "fiction." 

Lewis even wrote that Paul's apologetic for the forensic value of Christ as a substitutionary sacrifice is a "legal fiction" that held no weight or value for him, a fiction that used to help the less educated masses of yesteryear but was now proven false and of no use by modern science and academic study.  In other words, Lewis argued that both the Old and New Testaments contained demonstrable errors of fact. 

As I have said before, read Lewis for his entertainment value and for some intriguing philosophical postulations about the human condition, but do not buy into his theology regarding human sin, creation, the trustworthiness of Scriptures, the perfection of God, or the efficacy of Christ's sacrifice.  He is not a credible guide into doctrine or theology.
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FeministRebel
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« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2012, 02:26:54 pm »

Statistics is merely a scientific method in which one can make an educated inference upon a large group, by studying a smaller group, or observable occurrence. However, one has to have an accurate data set, or an accurate grasping of the data of the subject studied, or how the rules work, to even make any inferences on a greater whole. Creationists do not have this data -- they see things through a biased lens in which things seem far fetched and unlikely, and then find similar models in which things would look far fetched and unlikely. They use statistical non-sequiturs to make their cases.  

Statistics is NOT believing something without proof -- it is HYPOTHESIZING something is likely based on some observed data of a smaller, comparable group, or situation. It does NOT say 'I believe in aliens.' It says 'it is very likely that there is life in other planets, outside of our own, in other solar systems and galaxies, if the same type of evolutionary conditions are present.' Nowhere does it even state it has to be intelligent life or evolved life.

Scientists make statistical inferences ALL the time -- which have lead to the puzzle solving of many riddles, including new vaccines and medications, and down to many of the technologies we use today. This is NOT blind faith. It is a poor interpretation of the field to believe it is such.

And while there are many thoughts and hypothesis as to the origins of life on Earth, the one about life spontaneously originating is a widely discredited one. Even if bacteria, or amino acids, etc, had come to Earth by way of a meteorite impact, etc., those things did not originate 'spontaneously.' This idea of 'spontaneous generation' was greatly debunked by Pasteur's experiments, among other scientists of the time.

Signs of fossilized bacteria have already been found in meteorites. Scientists are not 'alien believing' persons who will be emotionally hurt, either way, if there's never any life found anywhere. They don't have a vested interest in it -- other than learning more about the universe, and its origins. Our place in the grand scheme of things.

It dares to say it is wrong, when it is wrong.

I find it troubling that anyone could see this as 'faith.'
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Linda
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« Reply #30 on: December 12, 2012, 03:06:42 pm »

Quote from: EAS
As I have said before, read Lewis for his entertainment value and for some intriguing philosophical postulations about the human condition, but do not buy into his theology regarding human sin, creation, the trustworthiness of Scriptures, the perfection of God, or the efficacy of Christ's sacrifice.  He is not a credible guide into doctrine or theology.
I guess I'm not familiar enough with all of his works to contribute much of value, but I would venture to say, that a significant number of people posting here do not blindly latch on to anyone's theology. I highly doubt that those posting find everything Lewis, Piper, Me, Ever-a-Student, Chesterton, Hopler, Whitney, Darling or Knox says true and perfect theology.


At our GC church, we were encouraged to avail ourselves of the teaching God had ordained for us at our local GC branch through the "recognized" pastors and discouraged from reading the writings of others. We were told that all the teaching we needed was found with our local pastor and, in fact, were once told in a Wednesday night class to stay away from Christian bookstores. This could explain a lot about why the bad teaching continues. No one knows any better. They have learned in a vacuum.

Picking up on Agatha's excellent post, questioning things can be good and helpful in understanding Truth. It is a good thing to know why you believe what you believe and reading what others have written can be helpful in that pursuit.
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« Reply #31 on: December 12, 2012, 04:07:51 pm »

Again, I enjoy discussing the subject with you, FeministRebel.  

Statistics is merely a scientific method in which one can make an educated inference upon a large group, by studying a smaller group, or observable occurrence. However, one has to have an accurate data set, or an accurate grasping of the data of the subject studied, or how the rules work, to even make any inferences on a greater whole. Creationists do not have this data -- they see things through a biased lens in which things seem far fetched and unlikely, and then find similar models in which things would look far fetched and unlikely. They use statistical non-sequiturs to make their cases.

The above quote is not very accurate, which is important because the quote is actually a blanket charge against "creationists" (all?, some?, few?, theistic evolutionists?, six day creationists?) for not being accurate.  I understand the methods of debate, but to converse civily we will need to restrict ourselves from using ad hominems, hyperbole, and incorrect definitions.  

Statistics is not a "scientific method," it is a branch of mathematics.  As such it is a tool used by artists, archeologists, theologians, engineers, sports writers, and scientists.  Scientists are just as famous at abusing mathematics/statistics as are all other fields of study that employ mathematics.  

When you say that statistics must be based on an observable sample size for it to have meaning you neglect to apply this to your own argument.  Life on Earth is the ONLY observable instance of life anywhere in the universe.  In my secular profession in the pharma industry I worked on a regular basis with statisticians.  Any statistician will tell you that a single data point is NOT a valid sample size upon which to base a probabilities model.  One point does not show trend or deviation and so cannot be used for predictive purposes.  Period.  

Evolutionists simply do not have a valid sample size by which to predict life anywhere else.  Any "probabilities" model of finding alien life is pure guesswork because predictive statistical models simply cannot yet be applied on the basis of a single data point.  And as any psyche student will tell you, guesses are more the product of what a human believes and wants than of empirical evidence.

Statistics is NOT believing something without proof -- it is HYPOTHESIZING something

Hypothesis:  1.  theory needing investigation: a tentative explanation for a phenomenon, used as a basis for further investigation  
                   2.  assumption: a statement that is assumed to be true for the sake of argument

The hypothesis is not itself the evidence or the proof.  The mere presence of a hypothesis about alien life says nothing about how much evidence there is available to demonstrate that there is alien life.  

Scientists make statistical inferences ALL the time -- which have lead to the puzzle solving of many riddles, including new vaccines and medications, and down to many of the technologies we use today. This is NOT blind faith. It is a poor interpretation of the field to believe it is such.

Theists believe in God based on a tremendous number of evidences.  Theists do not own a blind faith.  It is poor interpretation of religion and an intentional insult to claim theists have only blind faith and no evidences to support their belief system.  If you are unaware of what those evidences are, that is one thing, but the evidences are rather ubundant and very well documented.  Of course, an abundance of evidences do not dictate that anyone be convinced by them, yet to ignore or deny that they exist is intellecutal dishonesty.

And while there are many thoughts and hypothesis as to the origins of life on Earth, the one about life spontaneously originating is a widely discredited one. Even if bacteria, or amino acids, etc, had come to Earth by way of a meteorite impact, etc., those things did not originate 'spontaneously.' This idea of 'spontaneous generation' was greatly debunked by Pasteur's experiments, among other scientists of the time.

Spontaneous origination of life via the evolutionary process is precisely the model embraced by evolutionists.  They are quick to point out that Pasteur's experiments do not mimic the conditions of first life arising spontaneously on Earth, and so does not itself disprove evolution; Pasteur only disproves that life TODAY arises spontaneously because the conditions for generating primitive life are no longer ideal as they once were thought to be.  Without life originally arising spontaneously from Earth's primitive conditions there could be no life on which to apply the theory of evolution.

Signs of fossilized bacteria have already been found in meteorites.

To be specific these "signs of fossilized bacteria" from meteorites have not be proven to be fossilized bacteria, merely that the impressions in the rock look similar to impressions left by fossilized bacteria elsewhere on Earth.  These impressions may well prove out to be from other natural forces entirely unrelated to bacteria.  Many times in the past have scientists wrongly inferred that two things that look alike must have come from similar sources only to find that similar looks are not proof of similar origin.  

Scientists are not 'alien believing' persons who will be emotionally hurt, either way, if there's never any life found anywhere. They don't have a vested interest in it -- other than learning more about the universe, and its origins. Our place in the grand scheme of things.  

It dares to say it is wrong, when it is wrong.

I find it troubling that anyone could see this as 'faith.'

Well, this characterization of scientists is simply hyperbole and rhetoric.  I know many many scientists.  They are all human and have just as much emotion invested in their fondest wishes and beliefs as anyone else.  If it were ever to be demonstrated conclusively that God did create the universe and life itself then many of my friends would be simply crushed and devastated.  Then again, many other of my scientist friends are theists and they will be just as pleased to find their beliefs to be validated.  

No person, no human, regardless of their profession likes to be told they are wrong.  Yet, there are times when I have wrongly interpreted a Scripture and am corrected, being led through the proper interpretation.  At first I am dismayed that I failed to get it right on my own, but later I am pleased that I now have a better understanding.  

So truth is always the goal of religious study, regardless of the silly caricatures of theists as mindless buffoons who turn off their reasoning to blindly follow loonatic rantings of crazed false prophets.  Theists have strong evidences for their belief systems and a whelming craving for truth.  Merely poking fun at them or denying the rational basis for their belief is undignified and unworthy of free thinking persons.

If adherents of evolution can demonstrate concrete proof that God did not create, they will have the ready ear of the majority of theists.  Nothing close to such proof has yet been proffered.  

---

Update: 12/12/12
NASA took the rather unusual step of discrediting their own scientist who made the rash claim to have found bacteria fossils in a meteorite: 
http://articles.latimes.com/2011/mar/08/science/la-sci-alien-life-20110308

The above cited article reads in part, "A report claiming to find remnants of alien life in meteorites has been broadly dismissed by scientists after its publication Friday in an eccentric online journal. ...  'Move along folks. There's nothing to see here,' wrote Rosie Redfield, a microbiologist at the University of British Columbia, saying that it is easy to find structures in nature that appear similar to bacteria.  'This appears to be science by wishful thinking,' Redfield said in a telephone interview."

Even though the scientist was discredited by his peers the day after he published, a tremendous number of the US public to this day continues to believe the original assertion.  "Facts" manufactured by publishing are not always as factual as they may seem.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 04:52:01 pm by EverAStudent » Logged
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« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2012, 05:45:21 pm »

"The above quote is not very accurate, which is important because the quote is actually a blanket charge against "creationists" (all?, some?, few?, theistic evolutionists?, six day creationists?) for not being accurate.  I understand the methods of debate, but to converse civily we will need to restrict ourselves from using ad hominems, hyperbole, and incorrect definitions."  

There is not a single, accurate, creationist. Not one. Yes, I can apply a blanket statement to that. NOT ONE. They can all be discredited, they are none based on factual, scientific, long standing and proven, scientific theory. 

Statistics is more than just a tool. It is not just a 'scientific method.' In fact, is considered as more than just a branch of mathematics. You could read about it in here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statistics. They have plenty of footnotes, and references, if Wikipedia seems too 'unreliable' on it's own... It is in fact, considered as a distinct mathematical science. When used with an accurate data set, and without bias in that data set collection, statistics is a very accurate scientific method of analyzing data. Yes, yes it is.

"When you say that statistics must be based on an observable sample size for it to have meaning you neglect to apply this to your own argument.  Life on Earth is the ONLY observable instance of life anywhere in the universe.  In my secular profession in the pharma industry I worked on a regular basis with statisticians.  Any statistician will tell you that a single data point is NOT a valid sample size upon which to base a probabilities model.  One point does not show trend or deviation and so cannot be used for predictive purposes.  Period."

No, I am not. Many planets have been spotted in solar systems and other galaxies which mimic our own. There are likely billions of planets in 'goldie locks' areas of evolution. We are just now beginning to develop our samples, because what we can see of the observable universe is not much! So, while we can not say right now that 'yes, there is life in outer space,' we CANNOT say that there isn't. And life in outer space is not some belief -- because again -- WE are life in outer space. Have scientists said there is life on outer space? No. They have said the probability is very, very high. We haven't even seen an inch of the universe to know any better. The statistics are based on conditions for life developing -- that life COULD develop.  

"Hypothesis:  1.  theory needing investigation: a tentative explanation for a phenomenon, used as a basis for further investigation  
                   2.  assumption: a statement that is assumed to be true for the sake of argument

The hypothesis is not itself the evidence or the proof.  The mere presence of a hypothesis about alien life says nothing about how much evidence there is available to demonstrate that there is alien life."

I never said that a hypothesis was the evidence or the proof. But what it is is a lead. Scientists observe what's around them, and that might lead them to developing hypotheses based on other observable evidence out there. If x + y = z, then maybe z - y might equal x. It is a following of the logic, in many situations. They don't just, usually, out of nothing, come up with any idea, and search for proof for it. That's an empty goose chase.

"Theists believe in God based on a tremendous number of evidences.  Theists do not own a blind faith.  It is poor interpretation of religion and an intentional insult to claim theists have only blind faith and no evidences to support their belief system.  If you are unaware of what those evidences are, that is one thing, but the evidences are rather ubundant and very well documented.  Of course, an abundance of evidences do not dictate that anyone be convinced by them, yet to ignore or deny that they exist is intellecutal dishonesty."

Show me ONE piece of real, measurable evidence, that scientifically and UNEQUIVOCALLY says God exists. And for the record, I did not say theists own blind faith -- I made the comment in reply to 'Scientists having faith in aliens' as if though it WERE blind faith.

"Spontaneous origination of life via the evolutionary process is precisely the model embraced by evolutionists.  They are quick to point out that Pasteur's experiments do not mimic the conditions of first life arising spontaneously on Earth, and so does not itself disprove evolution; Pasteur only disproves that life TODAY arises spontaneously because the conditions for generating primitive life are no longer ideal as they once were thought to be.  Without life originally arising spontaneously from Earth's primitive conditions there could be no life on which to apply the theory of evolution."

You're speaking of abiogenesis, and not spontaneous origin. They are NOT the same thing. Spontaneous origin is not embraced by the whole of the scientific community. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spontaneous_generationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis

"To be specific these "signs of fossilized bacteria" from meteorites have not be proven to be fossilized bacteria, merely that the impressions in the rock look similar to impressions left by fossilized bacteria elsewhere on Earth.  These impressions may well prove out to be from other natural forces entirely unrelated to bacteria.  Many times in the past have scientists wrongly inferred that two things that look alike must have come from similar sources only to find that similar looks are not proof of similar origin."

It could very well be... as I said, they were 'signs,' which is why these research events are generally open to hundreds to thousands of scientists to come and investigate, and participate. Science keeps itself accountable to skepticism.

"Well, this characterization of scientists is simply hyperbole and rhetoric.  I know many many scientists.  They are all human and have just as much emotion invested in their fondest wishes and beliefs as anyone else.  If it were ever to be demonstrated conclusively that God did create the universe and life itself then many of my friends would be simply crushed and devastated.  Then again, many other of my scientist friends are theists and they will be just as pleased to find their beliefs to be validated."

Science as a whole, is widely characterized as 'believing' in things, or 'pushing' an agenda when they impartially try to look for the truth. While, on the personal level, folks will have their beliefs, a true scientists leaves his biases at the door... and holds NO PERSONAL AGENDA, but only holds on to whatever the evidence tells them, even if it's to their 'emotional' discontent. Many great scientists have passed on into obscurity because whatever hypothesis they truly wanted to be validated as theory, never came to be, and were put aside in favor of others with solid evidence... and yes, it may have been personally crushing to them -- but down it went, with other obsolete ideas. There's no SCIENTIFIC organization for keeping up with the hypothesis of a flat Earth, or true SCIENTIFIC organization that believes aliens are kidnapping people, and doing x, y, z, on them, to persist in 'BELIEF' over reason. Any organization claiming both this, and science, is NOT truly scientific. Scientists, as a whole, look for consensus, accountability, impartiality -- they are not pent up in 'pain' over not finding an alien hiding behind a bush, somewhere.

Science is not going to start crying if aliens are never found -- nor if a god is ever proven. If a god was proven, today, they'd just move on with the new information. If person x, or y, cries... those are personal unresolved issues, and not an 'agenda.'

"No person, no human, regardless of their profession likes to be told they are wrong.  Yet, there are times when I have wrongly interpreted a Scripture and am corrected, being led through the proper interpretation.  At first I am dismayed that I failed to get it right on my own, but later I am pleased that I now have a better understanding."

Want confusion? Put a large number of Christian apologists in a room, and ask them to give their correct interpretation of a controversial passage in Scripture. Heck, sometimes even any passage. One's interpretation is correct according to WHO? Truth has always been relative in religious study -- according to whatever 'expert' one favors, or sounds 'right' to one's world view. The quest for truth is the quest for balancing the logical gaps and contradictions, which are many. 
 
"If adherents of evolution can demonstrate concrete proof that God did not create, they will have the ready ear of the majority of theists.  Nothing close to such proof has yet been proffered."

One can't prove a negative. Science says 'I don't know,' and that's an honest answer. Claiming a god did it is cheeky and presumptuous -- as a claim to information only the religious are privy to. A 'god' does not get a free pass. There is nothing to disprove because there is NOTHING. I can't disprove there isn't a Flying Spaghetti Monster, and neither can you. You can't disprove all the other gods of all the other religions, so that yours is THE one. There is a plethora of unfalsifiable statements to convince folks that one's OWN particular god view, which we only embrace because of the chance of where we were born, is factual. This is extremely flawed, and problematic logic.

The burden of evidence lies on who makes a claim of existence for something -- not on those who say 'show me your evidence.'

'God did it.'
'It was God's plan.'
'The devil confounded it.'

The God of gaps. Whatever gaps in knowledge we have -- a god must have done it. This, a god does not make. All manner of scientific lack of knowledge has been attributed to 'God did it,' in the past... and now is no longer so.

We don't know yet... is not 'it can never be explained, because God did it.'
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TheAtheist
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« Reply #33 on: December 12, 2012, 06:22:15 pm »

I think that there is a certain wigglyness with the term logic (e.g.: "seems logical") whereas formal logic has rules and informal logic has certain principles which hold up in other forms of discourse. Knowledge is helpful in making predictions, and for the past 500 years (and much further back in some instances) the scientific method has an excellent and proven record in providing helpful predictions. Those using the bible to make predictions, far less so, though I do concede it has been helpful in identifying some archaeological finds. Thus, its relevance is limited to reliability for finding places where humans were.

I must confess, I doubt I will be able to engage in a constructive debate with someone when not only the disagreement is over epistemology (how do we know what is true?) but also what constitutes logic. How do we evaluate generalities based on specifics? (inductive reasoning) How do we evaluate specifics based on generalities? (deductive reasoning) And, the most difficult, how do we orient our thinking when presented with specifics which may or may not be related? (abductive reasoning)

Using the bible to predict the emergence of camels might lead one to believe that they originated in the Tigris-Euphrates area in Iraq (Eden), or at least the Ararat area in Turkey. Relying on observation of the fossil record and using the scientific method not only bears out that camel's forebears originated in Western North America, and additionally shows that they share a common ancestor with the llamas of South America, but also knowing this and taking the other lessons learned withing the greater study of evolution helps advance modern biology with better predictions. Thus, for purposes of understanding biology, the scientific method is useful and the bible is useless. Please correct me if I have overlooked some helpful contribution the bible has made to the field of biology in making useful predictions.
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« Reply #34 on: December 12, 2012, 10:17:44 pm »

There is not a single, accurate, creationist. Not one. Yes, I can apply a blanket statement to that. NOT ONE. They can all be discredited, they are none based on factual, scientific, long standing and proven, scientific theory.

Excellent!  Honesty is appreciated. 

Your comment quoted above states that you have decided in advance that not one single believer in creation can advance credible, factual, or scientific arguments to you.  For that reason you have obviously closed your mind to entertaining challenging ideas and contrary arguments on the subject if they come from a believer in creation. 

Since you have made up your mind and closed it so thoroughly, then I would guess you are no longer actually engaged in a give-and-take dialogue on the issue, interested in talking but little else.  I will not bother you further with facts and reality, like pointing out to you the error you made when you asserted that fossilized bacteria had actually been found in meteorites or when you incorrectly stated that scientists are devoid of human bias.  I will not provoke you further to evaluate your pre-made conclusions.

I wonder, would a scientist intentionally lump all creation believers into one category and preclude that they had nothing left to offer simply because they believed in a creative God, or would a scientist be eager to hear opposing views so as to sharpen his knowledge base and refine his theoretical models and perhaps even to have to correct those models?
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« Reply #35 on: December 12, 2012, 10:20:55 pm »

I think that there is a certain wigglyness with the term logic (e.g.: "seems logical") whereas formal logic has rules and informal logic has certain principles which hold up in other forms of discourse. Knowledge is helpful in making predictions, and for the past 500 years (and much further back in some instances) the scientific method has an excellent and proven record in providing helpful predictions. Those using the bible to make predictions, far less so, though I do concede it has been helpful in identifying some archaeological finds. Thus, its relevance is limited to reliability for finding places where humans were.

I must confess, I doubt I will be able to engage in a constructive debate with someone when not only the disagreement is over epistemology (how do we know what is true?) but also what constitutes logic. How do we evaluate generalities based on specifics? (inductive reasoning) How do we evaluate specifics based on generalities? (deductive reasoning) And, the most difficult, how do we orient our thinking when presented with specifics which may or may not be related? (abductive reasoning)

Using the bible to predict the emergence of camels might lead one to believe that they originated in the Tigris-Euphrates area in Iraq (Eden), or at least the Ararat area in Turkey. Relying on observation of the fossil record and using the scientific method not only bears out that camel's forebears originated in Western North America, and additionally shows that they share a common ancestor with the llamas of South America, but also knowing this and taking the other lessons learned withing the greater study of evolution helps advance modern biology with better predictions. Thus, for purposes of understanding biology, the scientific method is useful and the bible is useless. Please correct me if I have overlooked some helpful contribution the bible has made to the field of biology in making useful predictions.

The subject matter of the Bible is predominantly religion.  If it is not too far a stretch, one might even call it a textbook or a tutorial on the Judeo-Christian religion(s).  Therefore its predictions relate to religion. 

If it had been a book about mathematics I might expect it to express predictions about the upcoming advancements in math.  If it had been a book about meteorology I would expect prognostications on anticipated new developments in weather forecasting.

As it is, why would one demand a tutorial on religion to provide predictions about microbiology, math, or meteorology?  Such a non sequitur makes one think the inquirer who demands such predictions does not grasp the theme or general content of the Bible. 

Now, since you ask, what does the Bible predict with regard to religion?  The Bible predicted that the people of the Jewish bloodline and their tiny postage stamp-sized nation of Israel would both be major players in the last days of ordinary human society (as laymen we might refer to it as the last days of the church age).  When the Romans destroyed national Israel in A.D. 70 and scattered its population across the planet it seemed that the Bible failed this dramatic prediction, and the Bible was often ridiculed over the centuries on that matter.  In the 1940’s national Israel re-emerged.  It may yet be that Israel will once again be lost, but if the prophecy is true Israel will once again re-emerge in the future.

The ancient Jews predicted a coming Messiah from the family bloodline of King David.  Those predictions occurred from as long ago as 2000 B.C. to as recently as 100 B.C.  Copies of the ancient Jewish Bible were literally buried at that time, making it impossible to tamper with those predictions.  At A.D. 30 the Jewish Messiah from the bloodline of King David manifested Himself in the form of Jesus.  No other such “Messiah” has emerged before or since.  Today, with the destruction of the Jewish family archives in A.D. 70 it is impossible to trace any Jewish person’s lineage, so no such new Messiah can be expected any longer.  In the 1940’s the buried Jewish Bibles were recovered and demonstrate that the predictions of the Messiah are genuine, having been penned before Jesus was born, not afterward.

In the 1st Century Jesus and the apostles were recorded as having predicted that the tiny “church” of just a few hundred people that He was starting would not simply survive throughout history, but would thrive into a global religion.  That prediction has also demonstrated validity across the centuries. 

So, what is next, staying within the topic of religion?  Sometime in the future (a day?, a year?, a thousand years?) the Messiah named Jesus will return to claim the planet as a seated King.  His throne and His administration will be established on Mount Zion, also known today as the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  I would watch for that big prediction. 

Now, I have answered your question with respect and sobriety.  Please answer mine:  Where in the Bible do you think it “predicts the emergence of camels…in the Tigris-Euphrates area,” or were you perhaps offering up a faked “prophecy” example, a straw man, so that you could ridicule the Bible mercilessly instead of trying to find actual predictions and content from which to make a reference?

Have a good day.
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FeministRebel
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« Reply #36 on: December 12, 2012, 10:44:40 pm »

Creationist scientists offer nothing because they have no science to back them up, no solid, verifiable, peer reviewed and irrefutable, solid science of any kind. Not because they believe in anything. I can confidently make that statement.

Being open minded means being open minded to fact and truth, so that I can change my mind -- not willing to just let anything in, unchecked and untested. If it makes me close minded to not accept any type of potential bunk, including a copied Sun deity from other past Sun deities, with almost the exact same crucifixion/salvation stories, then so be it.

I further clarified my points  in which you argue I erred -- which while probably very clear to anyone else -- I could concede they were not clear to you. If you want to persist that I was in error when I made them, well... That's your thing. If I err, it makes me imperfect... and imperfection should never come from perfection -- not even the possibility of corruption of the said perfection. So, my even existing as an imperfect being disproves the god concept. I won't attempt to rile YOU up more with those simple observations in logic. We have nothing more to discuss. Smiley I prefer science, you prefer myth.

Good day, indeed.
 
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Linda
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« Reply #37 on: December 13, 2012, 07:19:08 am »

Quote from: FR
There is not a single, accurate, creationist. Not one. Yes, I can apply a blanket statement to that. NOT ONE. They can all be discredited, they are none based on factual, scientific, long standing and proven, scientific theory.
Evolution is also a theory that cannot be proven.
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FeministRebel
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« Reply #38 on: December 13, 2012, 08:15:54 am »

That is absolutely not true. In science, theory does not mean what it means for us. Theory is not a hunch, it is actually "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment." Facts get promoted to theories; theories do not get promoted to facts. Another "theory" is the "theory" of gravity -- but no one goes and jumps out of buildings because they don't 'believe' in that one, or is 'unproven.'

Here are a good set of explanatory videos on evolution and irreducible complexity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdddbYILel0&list=PL202A5088113EFC28
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Linda
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« Reply #39 on: December 13, 2012, 09:31:08 am »

My post was absolutely true. Smiley
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