Thursday, August 21, 2008

Richard Dawkins' Central Argument in the God Delusion

By Dr. William Lane Craig

On pages 157-8 (pages 188-9 of the 2008 edition) of his book, Dawkins summarizes what he calls "the central argument of my book." It goes as follows:

  1. One of the greatest challenges to the human intellect has been to explain how the complex, improbable appearance of design in the universe arises.
  2. The natural temptation is to attribute the appearance of design to actual design itself.
  3. The temptation is a false one because the designer hypothesis immediately raises the larger problem of who designed the designer.
  4. The most ingenious and powerful explanation is Darwinian evolution by natural selection.
  5. We don't have an equivalent explanation for physics.
  6. We should not give up the hope of a better explanation arising in physics, something as powerful as Darwinism is for biology.
  7. Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist.

This argument is jarring because the atheistic conclusion that "Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist" seems to come suddenly out of left field. You don't need to be a philosopher to realize that that conclusion doesn't follow from the six previous statements.

Indeed, if we take these six statements as premises of an argument implying the conclusion "Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist," then the argument is patently invalid. No logical rules of inference would permit you to draw this conclusion from the six premises.

A more charitable interpretation would be to take these six statements, not as premises, but as summary statements of six steps in Dawkins' cumulative argument for his conclusion that God does not exist. But even on this charitable construal, the conclusion "Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist" does not follow from these six steps, even if we concede that each of them is true and justified.

What does follow from the six steps of Dawkins' argument? At most, all that follows is that we should not infer God's existence on the basis of the appearance of design in the universe. But that conclusion is quite compatible with God's existence and even with our justifiably believing in God's existence. Maybe we should believe in God on the basis of the cosmological argument or the ontological argument or the moral argument. Maybe our belief in God isn't based on arguments at all but is grounded in religious experience or in divine revelation. Maybe God wants us to believe in Him simply by faith. The point is that rejecting design arguments for God's existence does nothing to prove that God does not exist or even that belief in God is unjustified. Indeed, many Christian theologians have rejected arguments for the existence of God without thereby committing themselves to atheism.

So Dawkins' argument for atheism is a failure even if we concede, for the sake of argument, all its steps. But, in fact, several of these steps are plausibly false. Take just step (3), for example. Dawkins' claim here is that one is not justified in inferring design as the best explanation of the complex order of the universe because then a new problem arises: who designed the designer?

This rejoinder is flawed on at least two counts. First, in order to recognize an explanation as the best, one needn't have an explanation of the explanation. This is an elementary point concerning inference to the best explanation as practiced in the philosophy of science. If archaeologists digging in the earth were to discover things looking like arrowheads and hatchet heads and pottery shards, they would be justified in inferring that these artifacts are not the chance result of sedimentation and metamorphosis, but products of some unknown group of people, even though they had no explanation of who these people were or where they came from. Similarly, if astronauts were to come upon a pile of machinery on the back side of the moon, they would be justified in inferring that it was the product of intelligent, extra-terrestrial agents, even if they had no idea whatsoever who these extra-terrestrial agents were or how they got there. In order to recognize an explanation as the best, one needn't be able to explain the explanation. In fact, so requiring would lead to an infinite regress of explanations, so that nothing could ever be explained and science would be destroyed. So in the case at hand, in order to recognize that intelligent design is the best explanation of the appearance of design in the universe, one needn't be able to explain the designer.

Secondly, Dawkins thinks that in the case of a divine designer of the universe, the designer is just as complex as the thing to be explained, so that no explanatory advance is made. This objection raises all sorts of questions about the role played by simplicity in assessing competing explanations; for example, how simplicity is to be weighted in comparison with other criteria like explanatory power, explanatory scope, and so forth. But leave those questions aside. Dawkins' fundamental mistake lies in his assumption that a divine designer is an entity comparable in complexity to the universe. As an unembodied mind, God is a remarkably simple entity. As a non-physical entity, a mind is not composed of parts, and its salient properties, like self-consciousness, rationality, and volition, are essential to it. In contrast to the contingent and variegated universe with all its inexplicable quantities and constants, a divine mind is startlingly simple. Certainly such a mind may have complex ideas—it may be thinking, for example, of the infinitesimal calculus—, but the mind itself is a remarkably simple entity. Dawkins has evidently confused a mind's ideas, which may, indeed, be complex, with a mind itself, which is an incredibly simple entity. Therefore, postulating a divine mind behind the universe most definitely does represent an advance in simplicity, for whatever that is worth.

Other steps in Dawkins' argument are also problematic; but I think enough has been said to show that his argument does nothing to undermine a design inference based on the universe's complexity, not to speak of its serving as a justification of atheism.

Source: ReasonableFaith.org

148 comments:

  1. This a straw man argument. You have not summarised Dawkins central thesis correctly.

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  2. The God Delusion was a book to introduce these arguments to the masses - it is not a serious attack on theism IMO.

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  3. Introduce fallacious arguments to the masses?

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  4. Its not really fallacious - but clearly not a watertight logical argument. He is saying, we do not know what is out there - we see design - we assume a designer, but, our knowledge of science indicates that no designer is neccesary - Therefore, there is no God.

    I can see where you are coming from, but perhaps a tad too rabid for such a basic argument.

    Remember - Dawkins is of the "You must prove God first" school of atheism. He is a scientist - that is how they work.

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  5. Remember also, Dawkins is not making an argument for the non-existence of God. He clearly states that he does not know (weak atheist position). Nonetheless, he is arguing that the worship of such a God is a delusion, that is why he attacks the arguments put forward for worship.

    Again, Ryan you are too imprecise with your (or should I say Reasonable Faith's) attack.

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  6. >As an unembodied mind, God is a >remarkably simple entity.

    There are two options. God is simple, like the laws of physics or the universe, and then is not worthwhile to worship. Or God is complex and then it does not exist.

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  7. No one denies that Dawkins is a clever chap. However, his poor arguments reveal just how desperate he is to "try" and rubbish away the existence of God. He will never succeed. This comment of his makes me laugh...

    "The natural temptation is to attribute the appearance of design to actual design itself."

    It is not temptation. It's called common sense. We are not so thick that we cannot recognise intelligent design. Some people are guilty of selective hearing. Dawkins is guilty of selective eyesight.

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  8. Actually Rob, I think you missed the point.

    By attributing the appearance of design to design you are ignoring how the thing actually came about and assuming that it was through a process of design. Dawkins points out that such an assumption provides you no clarity as to the truth of the subject. In fact, it only raises the further problem of "where did the designer come from?"

    The power of darwins origin of the species is that it stipulates that the end point may appear with design but through a natural process of selection that does not require a designer to operate.

    Thus,

    1. If there is a class of things which can be said to have the appearance of design; and,

    2. Some of those things we can say appear to have design from a natural process rather than a designer; then,

    3. We cannot assume a designer for any of the things in the class without identifying the designer; because,

    4. All of those things within the class could be the result of natural processes, it is just that we are not aware of all those processes.

    There is a rational behind Dawkins theory - though it does rely on a presupposition or acknowledgement of evolution which we can admit. Of course, we have sufficient scientific data to accept that pre-supposition. We have no scientific data for God.

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  9. In fact, it only raises the further problem of "where did the designer come from?"

    Alex you know enough of the Christian position to no bring such a ignorant comment. We hold to an eternal ever living personal God who is the maker of all things within time and/or space. An eternal creator debunks that simplistic response.

    The power of darwins origin of the species is that it stipulates that the end point may appear with design but through a natural process of selection that does not require a designer to operate. and following points

    You are assuming that if natural selection can possibly explain some parts of the percieved world then this naturally debunks design. This is sloppy thinking Alex! If the burden of evidence in a system is such that the poster boy of your movement says:

    "The natural temptation is to attribute the appearance of design to actual design itself."

    And in addition you have large numbers of scientists claiming this is a more relevant way to interpret the world. This leaves you with a system that is seen by many more qualified than both of us as overwhelmingly in favour of a designer. To find that there are a couple of points that appear to be caused by natural processes is not consistent with evolution but rather consistent with creation with subsequent adaptation at a kinds level only.

    There is a rational behind Dawkins theory - though it does rely on a presupposition or acknowledgement of evolution which we can admit.

    I'm glad you are recognising your presupositions now Alex, its good to be honest isn't it? If the presupposition of your possition is that there is no God and all of life is a miraculous accident; then you have admited your faith at last and I hope you see that this is not a clash of religion and science but rather a clash of two religions. Evolution is consistent in all regards as a religion because of this presupposition.

    Of course, we have sufficient scientific data to accept that pre-supposition. We have no scientific data for God.

    To borrow a friend's question for you Alex (seeing you are arguing that scientific empirical evidence is the only measure of truth). Where is the empirical evidence to support the solitary use of empirical evidence as the sole measure of truth or falsehood. Just in case you don't see the implications of what you are saying Alex, if you hold to this position you are effectively saying that all moral and philosophical discussions and conclusions are meaningless. Thus if you are consistent you will admit that there is no scientific evidence to support the assertion that there is no God and thus remove yourself from further discussion on the matter of faith. You do please need to think things through a little more before posting them.

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  10. Your examples of archeological finds and finding evidence of extra terrestrial life only serve to prove the atheist argument. Even if we ignore that these things are actual evidence, a reasonable person would never say that they definitely knew what the cause of them was. In religion though, a Christian says: "The universe seems as though it has been designed, therefore it has definitely without the slightest doubt been designed by the Christian God."

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  11. Alex you know enough of the Christian position to no bring such a ignorant comment. We hold to an eternal ever living personal God who is the maker of all things within time and/or space. An eternal creator debunks that simplistic response.

    Its a valid question - you just close your eyes to it.

    You are assuming that if natural selection can possibly explain some parts of the percieved world then this naturally debunks design.

    Natural selection works in more than just biology. It works in mathematics, computing, the stock market, etc, etc. Anywhere that there is a large number of replicating or linked series of values that are subject to generational variation and cessation. Its a proven fact.

    As to the rest of your rant, Dawkins is correct in saying that we cannot make an assumption about a designer if we are aware of circumstances that result in the appearance of design without a designer. That is, unless we have actual evidence of a designer, hence the burden is actually on you to prove God.

    I'm glad you are recognising your presupositions now Alex, its good to be honest isn't it? If the presupposition of your possition is that there is no God and all of life is a miraculous accident; then you have admited your faith at last and I hope you see that this is not a clash of religion and science but rather a clash of two religions. Evolution is consistent in all regards as a religion because of this presupposition.

    What a load of garbage. We can accept pre-suppositions that are supported by scientific fact. Faith, such as you have, is blind. Science on the other hand provide accurate predictions about the existence of things. Thus a presupposition in science is vastly superior and likely to be correct then your wild adherence to your ancestors (faulty) belief.

    I have previously discussed this with Ryan, and it appears that you have not comprehended it - but human beings cannot operate without presuppositions. You would, otherwise, have to describe your initial assumptions as nothingness which is impossible when you ask the question - seeing as such requires the implied assumption that you exist. Of course, I don't expect you to understand that.

    To borrow a friend's question for you Alex (seeing you are arguing that scientific empirical evidence is the only measure of truth). Where is the empirical evidence to support the solitary use of empirical evidence as the sole measure of truth or falsehood. Just in case you don't see the implications of what you are saying Alex, if you hold to this position you are effectively saying that all moral and philosophical discussions and conclusions are meaningless. Thus if you are consistent you will admit that there is no scientific evidence to support the assertion that there is no God and thus remove yourself from further discussion on the matter of faith. You do please need to think things through a little more before posting them.

    I assume that you live in a dump given the amount of garbage you put forward.

    As noted above, we have sufficient, independent scientific observations about evolution to state that natural selection can give the appearance of design without a designer. That is, after all, where we commenced from. This is not faith in something because we admit that it could be wrong - but all of our available data indiciates the model of evolution is correct.

    We have no independent data which supports the existence of God. If you say creation - that merely supports the existence of matter and energy etc. You cannot insist that a designer can be inferred from that position because it is circular reasoning - as is all faith. Science, on the other hand, begins from the position of observation about the universe around us. As a pseudo-scientist, I would expect you to appreciate this more.

    I am not attacking the teleological argument from the basis that "no evidence = no God" - I am saying that the evidence at hand does not permit us - scientifically, philosophically, logically or rationally to infer a God, because we have observed systems where natural processes result in such an appearance of design without a designer. Thus, failure to show actual evidence for God means that you can never go further than "it could be God" - instead you go straight to "it must be God" and that is irrational.

    Please look at the argument as a whole and not just the small cherry picked parts that you think are wrong.

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  12. What a load of garbage. We can accept pre-suppositions that are supported by scientific fact. Faith, such as you have, is blind. Science on the other hand provide accurate predictions about the existence of things. Thus a presupposition in science is vastly superior....

    Alex despite your raving and railing against the fact, I am a participating member of the scientific community and as such I can tell you (as anyone with an understanding of what science can and cannot say will) that science is silent on the matter of philosophic, moral and religious truth or untruth.

    You begin with a philosophical/religious presupposition you are bringing to science BEFORE you even begin to look at natural selection (which I believe we have laboured enough to show falls utterly short of evolution). Despite acknowledging that there are by necessity presuppositions that everyone brings, you seem to think that your faith in your own presupposition will not affect the scientific data you assess. This is just lies Alex, either to yourself or everyone else. What you and I begin with affects what we assess when it comes to science - this is what I was refering to in that you will not acknowledge your presuppositions.

    As noted above, we have sufficient, independent scientific observations about evolution to state that natural selection can give the appearance of design without a designer. That is, after all, where we commenced from. This is not faith in something because we admit that it could be wrong - but all of our available data indiciates the model of evolution is correct.

    Alex could you now please bring forward the above mentioned independent scientific observations of evolution? Evolution is by and large a process that has occured in the past - you should know that there is no such thing as objective scientific observations of a past event.

    And while we are on the topic of independence and objectivity. All scientists are human and you have said yourself that all humans come with presupposed ideas. Now when you begin your scientific exploration of a system with the thought, "this could never be the work of my soveriegn all powerful creator", you should never find a conclusion that follows from this saying that this could be a creator's work. The fact that a commited atheist and evolutionist such as Dawkins should ever say that this "could" be the work of a creator would require a staggering amount of evidence because it is working against the thought he has begun with. This only strengthens Rob's point.

    Science, on the other hand, begins from the position of observation about the universe around us. As a pseudo-scientist, I would expect you to appreciate this more.

    So what does science objectively show us that we can infer things from Alex?

    1. The universe is complicated with systems within systems within systems etc all working together with minute accuracy and congruency, without which there would be no us to discuss this. We could infer this is all a wild accident but that is as likely (from a purely physics base perspective - ignoring the biology which only increases the complexity) as me shooting a target the size of an apple on the other side of the universe and hitting it square on.

    2. The universe is filled with beauty and a superabundance of asthetics. It could be infered that this is merely the way the human mind is wired, but that makes as much sense as saying "I don't like what truth might mean so I'll redefine it as my own subjective reality". There is beauty in the world, even an ape or bird will prefer aesthetic settings to live in to sterile ones - even they get aesthetics.

    3. The universe contains moral beings such as you and I who have both an internal and external moral restraint placed on us that we enforce ourselves. You could say this is merely group evolution to protect the whole.... But what will you do with both the truely evil and the heroically good? Surely you cannot tell me there is no difference morally between a parent dying to save their drowning child (the least fit in any biological system and most expendable by your standard) and the same child being tortured to death by a Nazi death camp officer?

    So objectively and rationally now lets look at the above.... The universe is complex and has rational coherence, is full of good and beautiful things, and contains beings that are able to apprehend this and are moral. Which make more sense of this rationally. It's all a miraclous accident and there is no good or evil....? or there is an all powerful, all knowing, good, benevolent, moral, just and personal creator that has made it all?

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  13. Just a quick post script Alex - you can insult me all you will but I am still praying for you. I still love you for the sake of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who shed his blood for people just like you.

    Please try to look past your offence at this and discuss with us, not just use ad hominum arguements.

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  14. Ryan Hemelaar: "How is it a straw man?" If you actually look in the book, you'll find that Dawkin's short summary of the whole book has been further shortened and words changed. Dawkins uses the word "crane" (ant: skyhook) to mean a particular kind of explanation, not just "explanation" in general.

    David Gee: "The universe is filled with beauty and a superabundance of asthetics. It could be infered that this is merely the way the human mind is wired, but that makes as much sense as saying "I don't like what truth might mean so I'll redefine it as my own subjective reality"." You think aesthetics is objective, like truth? Hardly. Fact is, we evolved in this world and our aesthetic sense evolved - and is trained - to suit the world we are in. I'm sure Inuits can appreciate the beauty of snow and ice much more than I can, and Arabs, deserts. We don't all agree about what is beautiful by any means.

    "Jesus Christ, who shed his blood for people just like you." Thanks but no thanks. Substitutionary atonement is an odious doctrine, about as just as a prince's whipping boy - it implies that when someone does wrong, someone must be punished, and the important thing is not who, but the punishing.

    Rob Hughes "We are not so thick that we cannot recognise intelligent design." If we are intelligently designed, why do we have toenails? Why does the trachaea (windpipe) pass through the oesophagus (food pipe), making us subject to choking? And don't even let me start about the urethra and the prostate!

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  15. We don't all agree about what is beautiful by any means.

    You've set up a straw man here. My point was not that there is absolute agreement on what is aesthetic, but rather that there is absolutely a sense of beauty in mankind (and many animals at that). There is no evolutionary benifit in believing that something is beautiful.
    Also Hugh you've failed to show how the other points of cosmology I raised are inadequate.

    Substitutionary atonement is an odious doctrine, about as just as a prince's whipping boy

    You obviously have failed to grasp what substitutionary atonement is hugh. The whipping boy situation would be someone else getting punished for your wrong against your offended soveriegn. Atonement in the case of Jesus is the offended soveriegn stepping down to recieve the punishment that He would justly pour out on your rebellious and unrepentant head. Is God unjust - no for Jesus is God in flesh and He chose to go to the cross!

    If we are intelligently designed, why do we have toenails? Why does the trachaea (windpipe) pass through the oesophagus (food pipe), making us subject to choking? And don't even let me start about the urethra and the prostate!

    With such a simplistic understanding of anatomy hugh it is difficult to know where to begin so I'll try and make it simple.
    Toenails are an important protective mechanism, without which you will be chronically damaging your third palanx of digital bones.
    Secondly the trachea does not pass through the oesophagus but rather has a common area of opening (the nasopharynx). The nasopharynx is complexly arranged with both bone/cartilage and muscle positioning and also involentary reflexes so that it is possible for you to eat and breath without fatal effect. This is made plain by the fact you've eaten thousands of meals and are still here to protest it's an accident. Not only that hugh but your trachea actually needs the oesophagus next to it to clear it of mucous, otherwise you would choke!
    As for the prostate, without it being where it is mate you and your father before you would be sterile. Therefore making this stimulating conversation impossible.
    So I for one among many think that there is much in anatomy alone that requires more than accident.

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  16. As for the prostate, without it being where it is mate you and your father before you would be sterile. Therefore making this stimulating conversation impossible.

    I think Hugh7 was referring to the fact that one of the testes in humans is connected directly to the prostate and the other loops over the connection to the kidneys (I apologise, my sister is the doctor and could explain this with a greater degree of preceision).

    This is true for all mammals with descended testicles, because, our shrew-like ancestors had ascended testicles which, over time (ie evolution) descended because it was more efficient and we were no longer dragging that region of our bodies along the ground (if you catch my drift).

    Hugh7 is merely pointing out that if we were initially designed then we would expect that the testes would be connected directly to the prostate without need for this looping mechanism - that is unless:-

    a. The designer made a bad design; or,
    b. The designer intended to fool us by making a bad design; or,
    c. There is no designer; or,
    d. There is no designer and the appearance of design is the result of natural selection.

    Since natural selection tends to result in jerry-rigged changes because of the incremental muatations, we can posit that d. is most likely.

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  17. Hey there guys! I've been at ISME 12 (international micro conference), have you missed me?

    There is no evolutionary benifit in believing that something is beautiful.

    I cry, peacock! Beauty has evolutionary advantage in attracting mates. Beautiful tail = sexy times with peahen! The same could probably be said for musical ability - what is with chicks and rock stars?

    On the other side, lots of things that are designed (Microsoft Vista, eg) are not beautiful at all...

    In addition to what Alex mentioned about the prostate, I would like to point out that as an organ prone to inflammation, the fact that it encloses the urethra (thus blocking flow of urine when inflamed) is probably not wise. Also, the entire female reproductive system is a disaster waiting to happen. We should have been marsupials. And our upright stance is a mess (my back hurts sometimes, you know?). And our genome... 4% of it is ERV, plus there are all those useless pseudogenes.

    If god is such a creative designer, why did he give us the same coding system (rRNA) as all the other organic life forms? Why not a unique and different one, setting firmly apart as the peak of creation, and preventing us making these links between ourselves and other life? Why did he give us 96% the same genes as chimps? Couldn't he think of a unique genome for us? Why did he give us the same ERVs and the same pseudogenes as them?

    It seems he is not so creative after all, I mean, all he really did was tack a verandah on the house and call it "man!".

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  18. Re the Male Reproductive tract: This is true for all mammals with descended testicles, because, our shrew-like ancestors had ascended testicles which, over time (ie evolution) descended because it was more efficient and we were no longer dragging that region of our bodies along the ground (if you catch my drift).

    Since natural selection tends to result in jerry-rigged changes because of the incremental muatations, we can posit that d. is most likely.


    Are you forgetting Alex that the natural progression of men is from undescended testes to descended? We have the "jerry rigging" to allow us to develope normally as children without the interference of testosterone and then be whole as men so our testes wont cook in our body and we end up sterile! God is wiser than you or I and has allowed for us to develope and thus made us as we are.

    Re beauty I cry, peacock! Beauty has evolutionary advantage in attracting mates.

    Welcome back Kozi, good to 'see' you again. Just one thing mate, my point was not to do with beauty in the manner you mention. Unless you are a peacock mate there is no evolutionary advantage to YOU finding a peacock beautiful! That we find beauty in a desert or artic tundra is equally unadvantagous in the case of Hugh's point.

    Why not a unique and different one, setting firmly apart as the peak of creation, and preventing us making these links between ourselves and other life?

    Thats a great question Kozi! Why did God not make it more physically obvious that mankind were "made in the image of God"? Best to ask the maker Himself I think, so I turn you to the book of genesis for your answer.

    Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. (Gen 2:7)

    “By the sweat of your face
    you shall eat bread,
    till you return to the ground,
    for out of it you were taken;
    for you are dust,
    and to dust you shall return.” (Gen 3:19)

    It is plain from these two verses and the context of God making all the animals likewise from the dust of the earth that man is indeed made in the same way physically. That does not distinquish us from them, then how are we different?

    Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Gen 1:26)

    From this and other parts of scripture it is plain that there is a functional and relational difference between us and the rest of creation. We are different in that we are to act as governors of the world under God and in relationship with God.

    This brings me to address your other point Kozi, the beautifully designed human body fails for one reason only. Sin. Our rebellion against God has broken our access to the source of our life and because of this we all die.... And as I am sure you have heard before, the only way that is offered to restore us is through Jesus Christ. Through repentance and faith in Him alone, the one who is perfect but was punished for our sin.

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  19. Are you forgetting Alex that the natural progression of men is from undescended testes to descended? We have the "jerry rigging" to allow us to develope normally as children without the interference of testosterone and then be whole as men so our testes wont cook in our body and we end up sterile! God is wiser than you or I and has allowed for us to develope and thus made us as we are.

    So God could not allow for testes to both descend so that the connection to the prostate was direct? How powerful can he be if he is constrained by such poor design?

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  20. David, please, stop using vocatives ALL the time, it drives people mad.

    "Alex could you now please bring forward the above mentioned independent scientific observations of evolution?"
    Dude, look at a whale or a dolphin for christ sake.
    If you don't like this argument, please read yours about beauty in the world.

    You know? I really don't get it.
    Why do try to use the tools of reasoning and logic to justify blind belief, as if you had become a christian through careful and analitical reasoning?
    But anyway:

    "Where is the empirical evidence to support the solitary use of empirical evidence as the sole measure of truth or falsehood"

    Good question. Maybe empirical evidence is not enough to determine truth, I can acknowledge that in a universe with wicked laws. Your usage of "sole" suggests you have in mind several ways of providing truth and falsehood. But could you tell me something else that, totally independent of empirical evidence, would be able to determine that? Please don't say faith. Your argument is just a fancy-sounding logic argument in my opinion.

    "this is what I was refering to in that you will not acknowledge your presuppositions"
    If you are suggesting we presuppose evolution to prove evolution, you are plane wrong.

    "Surely you cannot tell[.....]tortured to death by a Nazi death camp officer?

    What's your point? that moral exists? we agree.
    that is comes from god? Hope not, but just in case, I propose something, "Best to ask the maker Himself I think"
    God, what's your moral?

    -"Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass."(II Samuel 12:31)

    -"Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD. Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves." (Numbers 31:16-18)
    Thanks for the answers.

    Looks like your nazi in that example was savvy in the old testament after all, and quite a strict follower of your god!

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  21. Well, David, the Genesis account is a nice idea, but it certainly does not meet scientific criteria. Why should I believe it over any other creation myth? Lots of other myths have man, animals and plants all coming forth from a common origin (an egg or the waters, etc etc ad nauseum) at the behest of a god. All of these kinds of myths are sufficiently vague to allow them to be correct. Besides, I asked you "why do we have the same DNA?" not "how are we different?". You did not really address my question at all.

    And what evidence do you have that sin is the cause of errors and misfortune, or even of death? Do you have any evidence of pre-fall life? No, of course not. So you can make up whatever you like about it.

    David, using scripture to justify your claimed scientific position was not intellectually honest. You basically gave me a fairytale in response to a legitimate scientific question. You quoted some scripture to stroke your own ego, and did not provide any valid answer.

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  22. David, using scripture to justify your claimed scientific position was not intellectually honest.

    How was my answer intellectually dishonest? You were in essence asking why there is no significant difference between mankind and the animals in your line of questioning. You asked why God has done things the way He has, so it appears obvious to me to refer to what He has said. That is not dishonest as far as I can see. Unless you meant something different....?

    You quoted some scripture to stroke your own ego, and did not provide any valid answer.

    If I have come across prideful/condecending in my approach I appologise. I will consider carefully my motives, thank you for raising it.

    And what evidence do you have that sin is the cause of errors and misfortune, or even of death? Do you have any evidence of pre-fall life? No, of course not. So you can make up whatever you like about it.

    I have not made anything up, rather I have referred to a book that predates me by a long way. I don't have any scientific evidences of prefall life this is true but I have the opinion of the one who made the world and was present before and after the fall. I assume His opinion is valid and He is real, you do not and again we come to our differing presupposed ideas BEFORE we come to science.

    Elias: "this is what I was refering to in that you will not acknowledge your presuppositions"
    If you are suggesting we presuppose evolution to prove evolution, you are plane wrong.


    Two words for you - prove it.

    Looks like your nazi in that example was savvy in the old testament after all, and quite a strict follower of your god!

    This Kozi is intellectual dishonesty! Elias you have quoted this command of God with no reference to the context - revealing your pretext (to accuse God of injustice). The context is within the historic nation of Israel where God gave a command to punish (through death) those who had sinned grossly and persistently. This is a single command for a single situation and there is no contextual evidence to support this as the ongoing norm for followers of God. On the contrary we are commanded by Christ as Christians to love our enemies and pray for those who hate us, this is utterly different to the crimes commited in the name of God by hypocrites the world wide.

    You on the other hand Elias are in a different 'world', atheism provides no meaning for good and evil. How do you explain the existence of good and evil? If Dawkins is to be believed you are merely a puppet 'dancing to the tune of DNA which neither knows or cares'.

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  23. How was your answer intellectually dishonest?

    Well, you used the bible to answer the question - a text which we have not agreed as authoritarian. You said (I paraphrase) "let's see what god says about this" when we have not established that the bible is either historically or scientifically accurate or the word of god. You assumed its authority and used it as a validating text. This is dishonest b/c you have slipped in a source without any discussion on the validity of that source, and moreover, you automatically assume (your word) the validity of the source. To assume means "to take for granted without proof" - this definition is straight from dictionary.com.

    I have not made anything up, rather I have referred to a book that predates me by a long way.
    If that is all it takes to validate a source, then, hell, I'll quote anything that was written over 500 yrs before my birth and simply assume it is correct, and you cannot fault me!

    As for Elias, well, anyone can quote out of context, and many many Christians do, in order to justify their position. If you accept a book as the authoritarian, unquestionable word of god, then you should assume responsibility for any and all interpretations thereof.

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  24. This is dishonest b/c you have slipped in a source without any discussion on the validity of that source, and moreover, you automatically assume (your word) the validity of the source.

    Kozi just because we have not discussed the validity of the bible does not mean that it is invalid. I would be astonished to say the least if you (an obviously educated man) were not at least aware of the historical work that has been done regarding the bible's historic authenticity. As for it's scientific authority, there are many examples of the bible alluding (it is not a science text book) to scientific truth. For example the laws given regarding hygeine and food in the old testament are centuries ahead of percieved scientific truth.

    Your real issue with the bible I believe is not it's validity as a source of truth but rather if you accept it as the word of God. On that issue I would call your attention to one particular fact. Man doesn't know the future and as such the historically fulfilled prophecies of the bible are one repeated proof of it's supernatural authorship. To say that the prophecies of Jeremiah, Isiah, Joel, Amos and others like them are purely human in origen is as far fetched as me being able to predict the that the president of the united states is going to be hit by lightning and a meteor simultaineously!

    If you accept a book as the authoritarian, unquestionable word of god, then you should assume responsibility for any and all interpretations thereof.

    Faulty logic Kozi! If you follow that line of thought you have no grounds for disagreeing with creationists like me claiming that science points to the world being made by God. An interpretation like Elias' is not consistent with the context of the entire bible, let alone the context of the books he is quoting from. (Just incase anyone claims the blantantly untrue here, I am not saying there is anything inconsistent with the creationist perspective)

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  25. Bad summary of Dawkin's Ultimate 747 argument. Check Wikipedia, oddly enough they have a far better explanation. Strawman fail.

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  26. "Bad summary of Dawkin's Ultimate 747 argument."

    This summary is based upon Dawkins own summary of his argument in his book. So I can't see how it is a straw man.

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  27. I've read vast a great deal about the bible, both before and after I deconverted from Christianity. I've read the bible itself, all the way through, a couple of times, and I can still quote many passages.
    My reasons for not accepting it as authoritarian are not ideological. Your reasons for accepting it are. Your ideology helps to smooth over the historical inaccuracies, the implausabilities, the contradictions, and the complete fabrications.
    How did Judas die? Hung or disemboweled? When was Jesus born? Before Kind Herod's death (which occured in 4BCE)? Or at the time of the Census of Quirinius (6AD)? What about Matt 5:22 and Matt 23:17? Jesus sinned or contradicted himself?
    And no, the bible does not contain any scientific information that predates the time it was written - and, in fact, it contains information that is erroneous. Women are not "unclean" or infectious, or in any other way vile while they are menstruating. Bats are not birds. Hares do not chew the cud. Cooked pork is perfectly safe to eat. Meat and milk go fine together.

    I do not reject the bible because it tells me that I am a sinner. I do not reject it because it calls me a fool. I reject it b/c of its textual criticisms. That is something that you cannot accept, b/c ideologically, you are bound to it. You need to find a way to rationalize the criticisms.
    And so you do what you just did to Elias - you say "that person quoted out of context, that was a cultural reference, that was mis-translated from the Greek, no "true" christian would think that way!" etc etc. It is your theological attachment to the text that allows you to make these claims, and biblical scholars themselves have expressed how feeble this is as scholarly position.

    http://www.sbl-site.org/publications/article.aspx?articleId=520

    You do not accept the bible quite so literally as you believe.

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  28. And no, the bible does not contain any scientific information that predates the time it was written - and, in fact, it contains information that is erroneous.

    Even more importantly, the bible does not contain any moral or ethical information that predates the time it was written.

    There are no precepts or maxims of christianity that were not already within human knowledge. As the "son of God" you would expect him to be able to give a better moral or ethical stance than a gadfly like Socrates or a government employee like LaoTze. Of course, he fails in this respect - and yet, you still think its the bees knees. Face it - we have moved on from Bronze Age thought, so should you.

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  29. "There are no precepts or maxims of christianity that were not already within human knowledge. As the "son of God" you would expect him to be able to give a better moral or ethical stance than a gadfly like Socrates or a government employee like LaoTze."

    Alex, as for Jesus giving us new morals, we addressed that question the other night while you were raging drunk. In case you forgot the answer or willingly ignored the answer, here it is again.

    The Christian will stand by the truths taught in the Bible, and argue that you cannot have morals or ethics that predate Christ, as Christ is God in flesh. He has always existed, and always will exist. He is an eternal being. So the moral standard that humanity have today, as laid down in the Ten Commandments was given by the Creator.

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  30. As for it's scientific authority, there are many examples of the bible alluding (it is not a science text book) to scientific truth. For example the laws given regarding hygeine and food in the old testament are centuries ahead of percieved scientific truth.

    Yeah. Right. Well, apparently, god, when he was running around in human form as Jesus, somehow forgot that it is important to wash one's hands before eating and claimed that things that go in your mouth can't make you unclean. That's some real nice scientific truth there- especially coming from the creator of the universe (and by extension, the creator of, although undiscovered at the time, microscopic germs).

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  31. My link to Matthew 15:1-20 in my previous post isn't working for me?

    Here's the URL:
    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2015:1-20;&version=31;

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  32. "claimed that things that go in your mouth can't make you unclean"

    Yeah, Jesus is talking about being unclean in terms of sinning (very clear from the context). Jesus' point is that eating a particular type of food (like meat) is not morally corruptable, but 'evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies' (Matt. 15:19) are, and thus defile a man (make unclean in the sight of God).

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  33. You’ve raised a few objections to the bible Kozi, most of them are merely you or others misconstruing what is written. They can often be simply explained.

    How did Judas die? Hung or disemboweled? – There is a simple harmony in these accounts if you are not pre-judging them. Judas died this way: he hung himself and then fell on rocky ground and split open. Church tradition holds that he hung himself on a cliff top which would fit perfectly.

    What about Matt 5:22 and Matt 23:17? Jesus sinned or contradicted himself? – For any of us to call someone a fool is murder of the heart this is true, so why can Jesus do it and remain sinless? Simply put Jesus is God in flesh and as such has the right to call someone a fool because He has absolute knowledge of someone’s mind and heart where as we don’t.

    Women are not "unclean" or infectious, or in any other way vile while they are
    menstruating.
    – There is a distinction to be made between infectious/vile and unclean here, unclean ceromonially is nothing to do with being vile but rather unable to come into the presence of the absolutely perfect God. Similar laws were in place if someone had sexual relations or night emitions in the case of a man. You are attaching unnecessary emotion to the word unclean.

    Hares do not chew the cud. – they do ‘bring back up’ (the literal hebrew meaning of the word) it’s called caecotrophy and all lagomorphs do it as any vet can tell you

    Cooked pork is perfectly safe to eat – Only if gotten from a SPF (specific pathogen free) piggery, when raised in the setting of the command it was impossible to keep free of risk due to both parasites and pathogenic bacteria. There is also risk in keeping pigs (cf birdflu outbreaks) as they act as a reservoir for human contagions, you are quite wrong mate.

    Meat and milk go fine together – Yes but not colostrum and meat (you shall not cook a calf in its mother’s milk), you’re fudging there mate. The colostrum is a bioactive molecule and will most definitely interact with the meat of a calf.

    And no, the bible does not contain any scientific information that predates the time it was written
    The scientific information presented in the bible is far ahead of the science of its time. One example is the world being a sphere (Isaiah 40:22) and floating in space (Job 26:7) compared to popular science which said until the time of Capernicus and Galileo that the world was flat and riding on an animal of some sort!
    For more see: www.livingwaters.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=284

    Biblical scholars themselves have expressed how feeble this is as scholarly position.

    Interesting reference, yes he is a scholar of the bible and a sceptic of it’s truth but while he has stayed true to his presupposition there are many who cannot when faced with the bible. To name a few athiests that came at the bible to disprove it and not only failed but were convinced of it’s authority and truth: Joshua McDowell (historical/literature approach), Sir William Ramsay (archeology), and Frank Morrison (hist/lit).
    I could also point to Antony Flew who recently changed his mind on the existence of God and attacked Dawkins for his poor scholasism and sloppy arguments in regard to Einstein.

    My reasons for not accepting it as authoritarian are not ideological. Your reasons for accepting it are. Your ideology helps to smooth over the historical inaccuracies, the implausabilities, the contradictions, and the complete fabrications….. I do not reject the bible because it tells me that I am a sinner. I do not reject it because it calls me a fool. I reject it b/c of its textual criticisms. That is something that you cannot accept, b/c ideologically, you are bound to it.

    Here you are showing your inconsistency and intellectual dishonesty Kozi, you are accusing me and other Christians of defending the bible because of our assumptions. Yet at the same time give the clear message that your assessment of the bible is objective and without bias which is a bald faced lie. You come with your own scepticism and assumptions (ie the bible is untrustworthy, all Christians regardless of standing are biased and therefore untrustworthy, and there is no God) and follow it to your ideologically bound conclusion.
    And incidentally nothing you have raised really even comes close to discrediting the bible as a textual source of truth. In fact on a purely human level, if the only objections that could be raised against another book were of the minor kind you’ve pointed to I would expect that book would be confirmed as highly authoritarian. Also you say you deconverted from Christianity... the teaching of scripture is clear, you never were a Christian as is made plain by your life now (1 Jn2:19).

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  34. Wow, that is mind-numbingly bad. If the world's leading atheologian has to use a non-sequitur for his central argument then we have to wonder what hope there is for atheism.

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  35. The Christian will stand by the truths taught in the Bible, and argue that you cannot have morals or ethics that predate Christ, as Christ is God in flesh. He has always existed, and always will exist. He is an eternal being. So the moral standard that humanity have today, as laid down in the Ten Commandments was given by the Creator.

    Thats the biggest load of tripe I have ever heard (for the second time). What you are effectively saying is that human beings cannot make up their own mind about things because that knowledge comes from the "creator" anyway. Thus, Im not really too scared about judgement - seeing as it was his decision and not mine for me to make the decisions that I have and will in the future.

    Is that cognitive dissonance I can hear rolling in???

    Look, the day that you want to actually bring forth a consistent view of the universe, please tell me, until then - don't try and sell me that black is white.

    PS- didn't you used to be in the army, never been drunk? Now Im incredulous.

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  36. PS- didn't you used to be in the army, never been drunk? Now Im incredulous.

    That's correct. I have never been drunk.

    Plus my answer still stands that morals come from God.

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  37. How 'bout this saturday I take you to a strip club and you can see what you're missing. You can put it down as "education" in that you should understand what you are putting down before you do so.

    I can already guess the answer, which is good because showgirls has such a high cover charge these days.

    In any event, I am more amused by your lack of response to the issue of personal independence of thought. I can see why you wish for JC to get first preference over the great moral teachings of history - but he wasn't in a temporal way such. Thats ok. You can make up whatever fairy tale gets your man past the line - just remember, you seem to be arguing for the result and not the truth - thats the price of theism.

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  38. With regard to this comment made:

    "The scientific information presented in the bible is far ahead of the science of its time. One example is the world being a sphere (Isaiah 40:22) and floating in space (Job 26:7) compared to popular science which said until the time of Capernicus and Galileo that the world was flat and riding on an animal of some sort!"

    If one is to actually read the passage from Isaiah is reads as thus:

    22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
    and its people are like grasshoppers.
    He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
    and spreads them out like a tent to live in.

    It is nought but prevarication to consider the Bible to support the spherical nature of the account based on this reference. If indeed you wish to be utterly literal, as evidenced by your desire to reconcile the disparate accounts of Judas death, then really one must concede that this verse actually supports a two dimensional world (after all a circle isnt a sphere)

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  39. It is nought but prevarication to consider the Bible to support the spherical nature of the account based on this reference.

    William the hebrew word pronounced 'khoog' is used in this verse and most often translated 'circle'. The hebrew word has a few meanings:

    Circle : could mean the world is flat as you have suggested
    Compass/Circuit/Circumferenc : refering to the percieved horizon of the world
    Arch : refering to the sky often but in this case points to the EARTH being curved
    Globe : obviously refering to the world as a globe!

    So in its fullest sense this word should be taken to refer to a globular world which when you are in it is curved producing a circular horizon.
    The english translation fails to produce the entire meaning that would have been plane to a hebrew speaking audience. You are entirely wrong William, and this refutes nothing from our prior argumentation.

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  40. CASE - now with holiness said...
    Actually Rob, I think you missed the point.

    By attributing the appearance of design to design you are ignoring how the thing actually came about and assuming that it was through a process of design. Dawkins points out that such an assumption provides you no clarity as to the truth of the subject. In fact, it only raises the further problem of "where did the designer come from?"

    Dawkin was redefining God according to his own terms. His terms says God doesn't exist(God must be designed), because of a pre-supposition that God must be in this way. So actually, Dawkins was rejecting a God that the Christians _EONS_ ago rejected.Dawkins was merely creating his own designed God and rejected it. So I therefore conclude that Richard Dawkin's God doesn't exist. Please take your time to study Christian philosophy. One needs to be a biologist to talk to and pro biology. The same thing to Christian theology. Christianity isn't a cheap replacement of your false gods, like zeus, poseidon and others.


    The power of darwins origin of the species is that it stipulates that the end point may appear with design but through a natural process of selection that does not require a designer to operate.


    Given a pre-condition already existed, that is why a "natural-selection" works in nature.

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  41. This argument incorrectly states the criterion for a "best explanation". The PROPER criterion is this: don't unneccessarily multiply entities (after Ockham). In other words, if you can explain something with X, there is no need to postulate both X and Y (or even Y alone), especially if Y carries with it the same problems that X apparently carries. It isn't that we are trying to give an "explanation of an explanation" when we say, "who designed the designer?". It's that the postulation of a designer carries with it the same problems that incline us to abandon Darwinism.

    So the question then becomes (and Dawkins is absolutely right): if Darwinism as an explanation requires an explanation, then why is it that God doesn't need an explanation?

    That, mixed with the fact that we do indeed have a sufficient explanation (Darwinism), means that, so far, there is no good reason to think that nature indicates that there is a God.

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  42. So the question then becomes (and Dawkins is absolutely right): if Darwinism as an explanation requires an explanation, then why is it that God doesn't need an explanation?

    Because Darwinism isn't a religion, if you treat Darwinism as a competing/better theory than Christianity then it will be the time that you need to explain _beyond_ darwinism. Darwinism only tries to explain of _WHAT_ can be explained. _Nothing_ further which means it is good only if there is already a present order.


    That, mixed with the fact that we do indeed have a sufficient explanation (Darwinism), means that, so far, there is no good reason to think that nature indicates that there is a God.


    The argument of non-existent of God does not boils down into merely an _explanation_ to the explanation falsehood. You are comparing God and Darwin's theory. Dawkins merely is an embarrassingly ignorant of Christian philosophy. To explain is beyond the scope of this comment. You need to be _NOT_ an anti-intellectual to study this further. What I mean is you need to consider the _TOUGHEST_ case for Christianity written by reliable theologians before buying into the elementary philosophy of RD in his delusion book. Since the argument for the existence or non-existent of God does _NOT_ revolve only around the arguments purported by Dawkins in his book.

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  43. Who's a reliable theologian then?

    You don't agree with any of the arguments that are said to prove the God Hypothesis; the ones that Dawkins puts forward?

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  44. I think the Theistic Evolutionists undermine Dawkin's "patent" assumption that somehow Darwinian evolution proves the demise of God as being the designer. His "airtight" argument that uses evolution as an argument asset for atheism becomes a liability when one considers the possibility that evolution and natural selection is a process initiated by God without any further intelligent design.

    By imperfect analogy, God's creation of evolution is much like a programmer creating a program that will create more programs - by itself without further intervention by the original designer. In this manner Dawkins clinginess to evolution to support the case against God folds when evolution is seen as the tool of God. The integration of chance into the God initiated process is consistent with his character as depicted by the bible regarding the gift of free will.

    Scripture states God said "I am the alpha and the omega" which if taken as a possibility undermines the "who created the creator" argument as a counter to teh assertions that Theistic evolution puts forth above. Since most atheists dogmatically disregard the Bible as a valid source, I will concede they will not see this point. We will have to agree to disagree then. However, if the atheist is intellectually honest in admitting the possibility that the Bible is the authorship of God, then even with a small possibility Dawkin's argument as it relies on evolution, takes a nosedive.

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  45. "His "airtight" argument that uses evolution as an argument asset for atheism becomes a liability when one considers the possibility that evolution and natural selection is a process initiated by God without any further intelligent design."

    Really? Did you come to this possibility after conducting some kind of experiment or was this from pure speculation? You shouldn't put forth remarks like this since you carry the heavy burden of proof. 'Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.' For you to simply imply that Your God (Probably christian) pushed the wheel of evolution is, again, pure speculation. Someone from ancient Egypt could easily argue that Rah pushed the wheel, others might say that the Almighty Thor pushed the wheel. Of course these selections sound silly if you're not a believer of these faiths. But also you are silly yourself. Not only to them, but you're silly to any thinker who is outside the grip of religious blind faith.

    Your remark can be explained by a section in Dawkins' book called 'The belief in gaps.' He said that creationists like to find gaps in evolution (things that havent yet been explained or things that are still puzzling) and then fill them with the elementary explanation...God.

    Even though there isn't yet a Proven explantion for how evolution started, that does not mean that one should just 'make up the explanation.'

    Find evidence from the natural world

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  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  47. Not only to them, but you're silly to any thinker who is outside the grip of religious blind faith.
    That's a typical comment from an alien of Christian theology. I have never heard an honest commentary from an Atheist's of how Christian thinkers defended Christianity. And this is a typical response from atheist who always think that Christianity's "toughest case" can be easily refuted as though he was refuting the myths of other ancient gods. You must therefore quote the "toughest case" of Christianity, and this your _home work_ to do.
    And consider reading carefully of what we said, the proof of Christianity is not a 1 + 1 equation.

    "Even though there isn't yet a Proven explantion for how evolution started, that does not mean that one should just 'make up the explanation.'
    "

    The same argument that we have. It doesn't mean that when the nation Israel was moving from Egypt to Canaan and there is no historical evidence for it, one should just "make up the explanation in the bible".

    When we will expect the evolutionists began or at least fill in the gaps?

    The moment Evolutionists try to make Evolution theory as though it is a better/superior idea/theory than the theory being upheld by religious orgs, it becomes a religion.
    RD is embarrassingly ignorant of Christian theology. Why? For this simple reason:
    He created his own concept/picture of a Christian God and then he argue against his own creation and after that he said "I won, I won, I won." Beyond that, he doesn't know anything about Christianity, he CREATED HIS OWN _FALSE_ GOD.
    Find evidence from the natural world
    From what? Natural experience of the natural world?

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  48. Besides, I think Evolution theory was not trying to explain the meaning of life, it only tries to trace the origin of where life begins and the process behind it.

    Christianity was beyond that, it tries to explain life and meaning and then the purpose. Therefore, Evolution theory as a tool to be used against Christianity is futile.

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  49. Hahahaha. These arguments are so humorous. People are spending their valuable time trying to show religious nuts (who already have enough blind faith to justify almost anything) why what they read in the bible often makes no sense or is just plain wrong.

    It is a complete and utter waste of time to argue with someone like that. Don't argue points in the bible, they can twist those into oblivion. They retrodict and retrofit a lot. You simply need to inform them that they need to provide evidence that the bible is in fact, the word of "god". That would be an assumption of course, that "god" exists. So they can start by providing evidence of "god" first. Unfortunately they can't use the bible for that as it's a circular argument.

    Again, arguing stupid shit in the bible with morons who think they're being logical and rational. Lol! Agh and please don't give me crap about ad hominums. I can provide solid, rational and logical arguments and still insult you. You would understand if you could see how silly you and your arguments are.

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  50. I agree with you Nevar that these arguements would be stupid if what we hold was blind faith. You would be wasting your time then.
    But I think it is a bit rich when you come in to this discussion with a half-cocked arguement and a whole lot of wind and think that you can disprove the world. You hold to many things purely by faith, firstly that there is no God (an assertion requiring absolute knowledge to back up), secondly that biological evolution is true (if you think that fairy story is science have a read of the post on birds and read through my discussions re evolutionary morality with CASE), and lastly that the universe is all a matter of random chance (which makes your comment and all atheistic philosophy assine).
    Go take a long cold shower and then re-read some of the material on this site. After this come back and try again, politely.
    Thanks and God Bless you.

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  51. who already have enough blind faith to justify almost anything
    That means you did not read of what is "faith" in a Christian perspective. It is not the faith we have is blind, it is your "concept" of faith that is blind. I hope you will find the time to research on the subject. I AM AMAZED THAT ATHEISTS ARE SOOOOOOOO LAZY TO RESEARCH ON WHAT WE EXACTLY BELIEVED. Most atheists(those intolerant of the Christian faith) are a bunch of lazy secularist bigots who always think that their summary arguments are better than the toughest case that we have.
    Don't argue points in the bible, they can twist those into oblivion.
    That means you don't follow the context.
    Again, arguing stupid shit in the bible with morons who think they're being logical and rational.
    It is obvious, according to your foul language you are not a credible opponent.

    Please take time atheist people to research on what you think is a blind faith. Do not make up stories, inventing your own gods and then throw down that gods to us. It seems that your own _words_(foul language) was a bomerrang.

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  52. But I think it is a bit rich when you come in to this discussion with a half-cocked arguement

    Hehehe. I have not presented my argument yet as the burden is not on me. You have to present your argument for the existence of "god". Please start with defining "god". Quoting from the bible is not evidence, as it's a circular argument, it assumes the existence of "god" and quite a number of other things.

    that there is no God (an assertion requiring absolute knowledge to back up),

    Actually, it doesn't. It is possible to prove a negative, obviously. I am merely applying Occam's razor.

    secondly that biological evolution is true

    It is. The debate ended years ago. Only Christians with, yeah I'm gonna say it again even after reading your post, blind faith will fail to see it.

    all a matter of random chance

    I don't think I suggested that anywhere.

    try again, politely.

    As I said, I wasn't trying to be polite.

    it is your "concept" of faith that is blind

    Oh no, it really is blind. Faith is belief without evidence. You probably think you have evidence and therefore state that it's not blind.

    LAZY TO RESEARCH ON WHAT WE EXACTLY BELIEVED.

    You will be amazed at how exstensive some atheists knowledge is. Most of us are just fed up trying to explain things to people who think their knowledge/book trumps everything done by thousands of people so far that dedicated their lives to finding out about the world around us. It's laughable.

    not a credible opponent.

    Sure :)

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  53. Please start with defining "god". Quoting from the bible is not evidence

    You really haven't bothered to read this site's posts have you Navar? We have argued from morality, history, cosmology, litrature and design that there is plenty of evidence for God (and plenty in support of the bible at that). Unless you have something that will refute the arguements we have presented you are just blowing hot air and personal incredulity.

    It is possible to prove a negative, obviously. I am merely applying Occam's razor.

    Obviously it is possible - only issue you have is how you can validate your claim. Possible evidences for God are everywhere in all of time and space, hence the need for absolute knowledge.

    As for O's razor, the theoretical acrobatics that you atheists perform to explain the universe deviod of God make a real carnival but your just so stories are so far fetched that Ockham would be cutting you not me when the chips are down. Unless your unified atheistic theory of everything has suddenly become much more simple. If so bring out this simple theory.

    Re Evolution: You claim the debate has ended, your poster boy makes a liar of you. Why would Dawkins waste valuable time arguing with creation science if it was so conclusively excluded so long ago? Also the scientific community make a liar of you as the discussions still rage back and forward and (as my post shows on something a simple as birds) even the evolutionary experts are unable to defend their own theory regarding much of the biological world. It is plain to most informed people the issue is still open, unless you have something solid asside from scoffs that you don't believe it.

    You will be amazed at how exstensive some atheists knowledge is.

    Yes that is true but you thus far have only scoffed in disbelief. Far from the approach of the informed, let alone the knowledgable.

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  55. You really haven't bothered to read this site's posts have you Navar? We have argued from morality, history, cosmology, litrature and design that there is plenty of evidence for God (and plenty in support of the bible at that).

    LOL! I've read and heard all these arguments before. Pathetic. I didn't come hear to debate. I came hear to laugh. I will debate at a later stage when I think you say anything worth debating, eg. You obviously don't understand my challenge. I said define "god", not provide evidence that "god" exists. Before you provide a meaningful, coherent definition for "god" providing evidence is useless .

    As for O's razor, the theoretical acrobatics that you atheists perform to explain the universe deviod of God ... unified atheistic theory of everything

    What “unified atheistic theory of everything” would that be? I don't think I have one of those. Sounds great.

    bring out this simple theory

    Well, let's say I make no attempt to explain the universe whatsoever. I look around and see no physical evidence of a "god". I see a complicated, vast universe and a couple of stupid religious books all claiming they're the one. I hear philosophical arguments that really don't impress. I still need a definition for “god” before I could even consider such a thing. And now you propose on top of all that, that this "god" in fact, exists. You are making an assumption and jumping to a conclusion. I don't have to explain anything yet to point out that you are wrong right there already.

    Why would Dawkins waste valuable time arguing with creation science

    To explain it to idiots like you.

    Also the scientific community make a liar of you as the discussions still rage back and forward and (as my post shows on something a simple as birds) even the evolutionary experts are unable to defend their own theory regarding much of the biological world.

    Utter rubbish. Your posts don't illustrate the general consensus of the scientific community. There is no contention about evolution in the scientific community. Some of us just think it's worth while debunking all the crap Creationists and ID proponents spew forth. And I'm sure there are still a lot of things that are complicated to explain. Science never claims to know everything, nor do they claim that they have the correct and only answer, merely the best current scientific theory.

    ... scoffed in disbelief.

    No, blatantly laughed at your ridiculous propositions. There are patient people out there who will take the time to debate and debunk your points, I'm not one of them. Start with the definition of “god” already.

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  56. I've read and heard all these arguments before....I came hear to laugh....I said define "god", not provide evidence that "god" exists.

    :) You mentioned people with patience Nevar - lucky for you I am one. I'll repeat incase you are a little slow to understand me.

    R-E-A-D T-H-E P-O-S-T-S.

    The definition as such of God is given in those posts as well as the evidences I mentioned. You would know that if you weren't too arrogant to actually read what your opponent says.
    But given you have proven yourself both lazy and impatient, I'll also give you a potted summary here. God in my simple understanding of His majesty can be "defined" as follows.

    He (a generic 'He' when I say that) is the one independent, beginingless and uncaused being in existence. He is the maker and sustainer of heaven and earth and the rightful ruler there-of. He is infinite, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent (able to all things consistent with His character), and unchanging in person and character. He is one God but equally three persons, Father Son and Holy Spirit. He is by nature Spirit (person without body much like mind - as I discussed with Alex after the Plantiga post.) but at a predicted time became man in the person of Jesus Christ who is both man and God equally and without mixing or confusion. This man according the plan of the Godhead (all three persons) was crucified (after a perfect life) in the place of sinners (breakers of God's law) after three days rose again and lives forever as both man and God.

    A bit of a convoluted but this is a brief "definition" of the person we worship. And yes, before you say it and think you've done something clever, I have referred to the bible and no this is not circular reasoning. Anymore than it is circular reasoning to refer to someone by the name and birth place they have told you. It's called communication, God has spoken we have listened to what He has told us about Himself.
    An infinite being can by definition only be known by finite beings if He reveals Himself to them as they would never arrive at Him only by what their minds can conjure.

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  57. There is no contention about evolution in the scientific community. Some of us just think it's worth while debunking all the crap Creationists and ID proponents spew forth.

    Folk like Dr Anthony Flew perhaps? The same high flying atheist who changed his mind and proceded to tear strips off your high priest for intellectual dishonesty?

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  58. Pathetic. I didn't come hear to debate. I came hear to laugh....

    Now, I have been patient with you Nevar and answered your request. Unless you come up with something other than incredulity and scorn (which means little and proves nothing), I am going to leave it at that and let you continue in your blind faith and obvious ignorance. I will pray for you though.

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  59. Thank you for the definition.

    You mention quite often that God is a person. The criteria for personhood is well established, and God does not fit them.

    ...God has spoken we have listened to what He has told us about Himself.

    How would you identify communication from God? You would have to make a lot of assumptions to even get to that point :

    * That God exists.
    * That God communicates.
    * That we can identify the communication as coming from God vs say, a devil.
    * That we can understand the communication.

    How do you know God exists and has written the bible? You say you're not using a circular argument, but you are indeed:

    The bible says God exists. The bible says what God is and does. But, God wrote the bible. Circular.

    We cannot identify communication from God. It would require the negation of all possible material causes first, which would only be possible if one had no limit of knowledge.

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  60. You would have to make a lot of assumptions to even get to that point.... You say you're not using a circular argument, but you are indeed.

    Just so we can be clear here, I am pointing to the bible as a source of information about God, but not my sole source. The bible is confirmed (as I have said prior) by history, literature, archeology and science. Not only this it is revealed as the word of God through consistent moral truth, fulfilled prophecy, and supernatural acts happening exactly when commanded all of which are impossible for man. On this point your objection fails.

    You also need to admit your own presuppositions here Nevar. You begin with the assumption that all there is in the world is the material and there is no God (unless you are a very unussual atheist...).

    * No God and material universe only
    * Bible refers to God
    * Bible is therefore false
    * In return to your arguement I would say again, circular.

    You have begun by discounting the existance of God and then likewise the bible as a valid source of information because it refers to him.

    We cannot identify communication from God. It would require the negation of all possible material causes first

    False again, all you need to do is show that what is recorded is of a nature impossible for a man to perform/communicate in a purely material world. As I said above, supernatural power, 100% accurate knowledge of the future, consistency (over thousands of years and multiple authors in different locations and often working contemoraneously) and absolute moral purity are things impossible for man (as well as demon).

    The criteria for personhood is well established, and God does not fit them.

    Oh? What are these criteria then (and according to whom) and who says that God doesn't qualify as a person? Asside from you, you don't count because you're biased.

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  61. You will be amazed at how exstensive some atheists knowledge is.
    Most of us are just fed up trying to explain things to people who think their knowledge/book trumps everything done by thousands of people so far that dedicated their lives to fin us. It's ding out about the world around laughable.

    Same here. Being fed up by the atheistic creation of gods to which I we knew DOESN'T EXIST! I don't want to say that your argument is laughable. It is. As we've said, have you read the toughest case? Or did you know what is the "toughest case"? Do you consider Dawkins to be one of the most brilliant atheists to whom you refer as "You will be amazed at how exstensive some atheists knowledge is." And ignore the part I claim that he was blissfully ignorant of Christian theology? Is it you being fed up by such comments and ignore why we claim that he was in that level of ignorance? Or do you admit that wikipedia is not reliable as ever http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_God_Delusion. Or do you research on the subject(Christian theology) based on "selective hearing" fallacy? How can anyone can come up with an honest analysis of Christian theology without knowing the toughest case behind it as what RD did?????
    Are you being FED UP to provide an honest answer this honest question without resorting to scapegoats or being FED UP crap???
    Honestly, I want to listen to the types of you, just to be fair, since we are all the same "THINKING BEINGS". (THAT IS WHY I AM HERE or at DARWINTALK.COM and others, care to visit THEOLOGYWEB.COM)

    You know, I think, that in the Christian thinker circles, if one skeptic will admit that he believed(again through blind faith) that Jesus is a myth figure, he was making himself a laughing clown. You may prove or otherwise provide a scapegoat(as you did above) that you are too lazy to explain everything(feel free to offer a link if you're lazy), but that doesn't change the fact the level of ignorance that you may have. As someone put it, you are entitled to your opinion, but that doesn't change the fact that your subjective reasoning is wrong.

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  62. Ok ok ok... time to throw in my two cents.

    What's obvious here is that most of you have NOT read The God Delusion. It is NOT and evolutionary argument against creation (as so many of you seem pre-occupied with), it is a logical argument against the existence of a supernatural, omnipotent, omniscient, and intelligent creator that concerns itself and interacts with the universe, life, and humanity (i.e. a personal god, e.g. the God of Christianity, and yes, the God defined by Dave Gee just a few comments back). Dawkins does NOT, Caleb, invent a false God then proceed to declare its nonexistence.

    The very first comment is correct - the argument set up by the OP is a strawman argument that relies upon a misinterpretation of the summary of the points addressed in the book and not the actual points themselves. To the members of Apologetics, I invite you to read the book before declaring Dawkins' argument to be moot - it most certainly is not.

    Both sides of this "debate" have indulged in logical fallacies so I won't repeat them here.

    David, you ARE arguing with circular reasoning. You cite prophesy fulfillment as proof of God but quote the Bible as your source. What is so miraculous about the writers of the New Testament being aware of the prophesies of the Old Testament? You ASSUME the literal truth of the Bible without having evidence of its historical accuracy (to anticipate your response and answer it now, the Bible being historically accurate in some aspects does not necessarily mean it is historically accurate in ALL aspects (look no further than the two literarily AND historically contradictory accounts of the nativity). Furthermore, Oliver Twist's depiction of 19th century England is historically accurate despite it being a work of fiction).

    The Bible is NOT scientifically ahead of its time, and even Jesus gets the science wrong when refusing to wash his hands (Ryan argued that Jesus was referring to SIN entering the body, and is correct. However, Ryan is being ignorant of the fact that Jesus believed illness was CAUSED by sin, and so was ALSO of the belief that dirty hands could not make one physically sick).

    The Bible does NOT describe a spherical Earth - this belief rests upon a single interpretation of a single word in a single verse, where many other verses clearly allude to a flat Earth (e.g. Job 38:13, Daniel 4:11, Matthew 4:8, Revelation 1:7, ignoring passages that reference the Earth's "edges", "ends", "pillars", "corners", or immovability). The most honest translation of the Hebrew word would be "dome", and the "dome of the Earth" refers to the sky. When observing the celestial bodies from Earth they appear to move in an overhead arch from horizon to horizon, and stars on the horizon look no different to stars overhead, suggesting equidistance. When observing the Earth from the ground, it appears flat. The most rational model for the Hebrew observers was a dome-shaped Earth with a flat base and a curved sky. This model also satisfies the question of HOW God manages to sit atop it. If we assume that Isaiah 40:22 actually describes the spherical Earth we acknowledge today, how does one sit atop it? Where would you place the "top" on a giant gravitational sphere? Clearly the Earth lacks a top for one to sit. The idea that Isaiah 40:22 desribes a spherical Earth faces far to many problems and has far too little support to be true.

    Caleb, you continually bring up the "toughest case" of Christianity and that every atheist you've met has been so ignorant of it. You must be familiar with it since you recognise the atheist's ability to fall short of it, so may I ask what this "toughest case" is?

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  63. For clarity, since I mentioned the falibility of the nativity I'll detail how grieviously erroneous it is.

    Matthew 2:5-6(KJV) – (5) And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, (6) And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

    According to Matthew Jesus is fulfilling the prophecy that the Messiah will be born in King David's land - Bethlehem. But which prophecy was that? Apologists point to Micah 5:1-2:

    "But you, Bethlehem Ephrath, who are little to be among the thousands of Judah, out of you shall come forth to Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth are from of old, from ancient days."

    This does not necessarily mean that the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem, but will follow the lineage of David. Luke acknowledges this when referencing the census of Quirinius, where everyone had to return to their place of origin - and Joseph is a decendant of David, so goes to Bethlehem. But think about the silliness of that for a while. Can you imagine ANY census that would require you to travel to the birthplace of an ancestor from 1000 years ago? Your parents or grandparents, maybe, but "x" generations ago (I say "x" because Matthew and Luke present different geneologies of Joseph with a different number of generations seperating him from David... and for what? Jesus was God's son anyway, not Joseph's)? The answer as to why Luke fabricated this idea was to fulfil the IMAGINED prophecy of Micah.

    So Luke tells us that Joseph lived in Nazareth but travelled to Bethlehem for a census in 6 AD, whilst still under the rule of the Zombie King Herod that died ten years before in 4 BC. But what does Matthew (the only other gospel writer that mentions the nativity) say about it?

    Matthew never mentions Joseph and Mary's trek to Bethlehem or the birth of Jesus in a stable, rather he implies that they were residents of Bethlehem all along. They flee to Egypt after learning that Herod the Great (who, according to Luke, should have been long dead) has issued a death warrant for the baby, and then moved to Nazareth after his death.

    Other than the glaring inconsistencies (of which I've barely scratched the surface) presented by the authors, what else is there to cast doubt on the truth of the nativity?

    It is worth noting that the two earlier gospels of John and Mark do not make reference to Jesus' birth. On top of that, John appears to maintain the idea that Jesus was from Galilee, and the public bewilderment that the Messiah was NOT from Bethlehem as "prophesised" by Micah.

    Then there are the striking similarities between the birth of Jesus (and in many cases, his life and death also) and the other religious deities around at the time - the virgin birth, wise men following a star to their king, etc. It's not an unreasonable assumption that the nativity (and perhaps even the crucifixion?) was invented later and included in the latter two gospels to gain favour amongst the pagan gentiles.

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  64. ATTENTION! THIS SUMMARY BY Dr. William Lane Craig IS NOT THE SUMMARY PRESENTED BY RICHARD DAWKINS, ONLY THE FIRST SENTENCE OF EACH POINT! IT HAS BEEN SHORTENED TO THE POINT OF REMOVING ALL REASONING BEHIND DAWKINS' CLAIMS!

    I have the book open right in front of me, on pages 188-189 of the 2008 edition (as referenced by Craig), and it is FAR more encompassing than the dishonest summary presented here! I will quote here the REAL summary (parts in bold were ommited by Craig):

    1. One of the greatest challanges to the human intellect, over the centuries, has been to explain how the complex, improbable appearance of design in the universe arises.

    2. The natural temptation is to attribute the appearance of design to actual design itself. In the case of a man-made artefact such as a watch, the designer really was an intelligent engineer. It is tempting to apply the same logic to an eye or a wing, a spider or a person.

    3. The temptation is a false one because the designer hypothesis immediately raises the larger problem of who designed the designer. The whole problem we started out with was the problem of explaining statistical improbability. It is obviously no solution to postulate something even more improbable. We need a 'crane', not a 'skyhook', for only a crane can do the business of working up gradually and plausibly from simplicity to otherwise improbably complexity.

    4. The most ingenious and powerful explanation is Darwinian evolution by natural selection. Darwin and his successors have shown how living creatures, with their spectacular statistical improbability and appearance of design, have evolved by slow, gradual degrees from simple beginnings. We can now safely say that the illusion of design in living creatures is just that - an illusion.

    5. We don't have an equivalent explanation for physics. Some kind of multiverse theory could in principle do for physics the same explanitory work as Darwinism does for biology. This kind of explanation is superficially less satisfying than the biological version of Darwinism, because it makes heavier demands on luck. But the anthropic principle entitles us to postulate far more luck than our limited human intuition is comfortable with.

    6. We should not give up the hope of a better explanation arising in physics, something as powerful as Darwinism is for biology. But even in the absence of a strongly satisfying crane to match the biological one, the relatively weak cranes we have at present are, when abetted by the anthropic principle, self-evidently better than the self-defeating skyhook hypothesis of an intellegient designer.

    Dawkins does NOT include a seventh point stating "Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist", he simply adds in the statements following his summary:

    "If the argument of this chapter is accepted, the factual premise of religion - the God Hypothesis - is untenable. God almost certainly does not exist."

    Also note that this is the summary of a SINGLE CHAPTER as to why g/God(s) (i.e., god, gods, or God) is no more probable than talking cheese sandwiches.

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  65. Jeram: The very first comment is correct - the argument set up by the OP is a strawman argument that relies upon a misinterpretation of the summary of the points addressed in the book and not the actual points themselves.

    Caleb:
    Did you really think the author of the OP did not read the whole book? What you said I think is that all the commenters have not read the book, does it mean to say you included William Lane Craig? You need to know WLC first before accusing us, after all it is his blog that we made our comments.

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  66. It is so tempting to say that WLC does not read the whole book because as Jeram stated, he did not include the whole summary presented by RD. Here is one I quote:

    "The temptation is a false one because the designer hypothesis immediately raises the larger problem of who designed the designer. The whole problem we started out with was the problem of explaining statistical improbability. It is obviously no solution to postulate something even more improbable. We need a 'crane', not a 'skyhook', for only a crane can do the business of working up gradually and plausibly from simplicity to otherwise improbably complexity."

    It is not therefore necessarily to include the whole thing because what the words in bold were saying is the same thing with the first sentence. The first sentence only summarizes the whole point to which is WLC argues is false. For example, RD argues that it is impossible to postulate something even more improbable are just other "terms" he was using out of the first sentence with the same meaning. Naturally everything if can be explained naturally is natural in our thoughts, but even if what is natural can be deemed impossible to explain because of the complexity and there is no possible solution to explain it beyond meaningless babbling. That is why, I don't believe either that RD existed, for the fact that his book is not anymore complex than what we have seen in nature. It is just an arrangement of ABCs, especial characters and numbers. The atheist forces his mind to be confined in a single "natural" box, while a theist simply confined his mind from natural to the supernatural. Most atheist folks consider supernatural as comparable to magic making themselves a bunch of ignorants. The fact is Christianity prohibits magics and other ancient cults practices.

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  67. Caleb, I'm not saying the OP hasn't read the book (though I suspect if he did he didn't take the time to consider the points raised - was just in one ear and out the other), I'm not saying he was dishonest for removing the examples given by Dawkins (though I felt they should be included to give a little bit more perspective as to what Dawkins is talking about), I AM saying he is dishonest for basing his argument on a summary of a summary of a chapter of Richard Dawkins' book.

    "This argument is jarring because the atheistic conclusion that "Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist" seems to come suddenly out of left field. You don't need to be a philosopher to realize that that conclusion doesn't follow from the six previous statements."

    THIS is a dishonest statement and creates a strawman argument against Richard Dawkins' central idea. It argues because point 7 cannot logically follow from a SUMMARY of a SUMMARY of a chapter that the ENTIRE argument is false. It does not address the incredibly TRUE points that are fleshed out by Dawkins in the rest of the chapter, and for this reason I find it hard to believe even the OP has read the book.

    Your argument about not believing in Dawkins completely misses the point. We KNOW that complex books cannot write themselves (or the chance of such is negligible), we KNOW that Richard Dawkins is alive (people routinely see, hear, touch, smell, and some even taste him), and we KNOW that Richard Dawkins can write a book because he has done so in the past. It is therefore entirely reasonable to believe that The God Delusion is a book written by Richard Dawkins because it is supported by all the evidence.

    The point you're missing is that we DON'T KNOW if a complex universe can form by itself, we DON'T KNOW if a creator-being exists, and we DON'T KNOW if that creator-being could have created the universe. So it is therefore UNREASONABLE to believe that the universe was created by a creator-being because it is not supported by evidence.

    But Dawkins isn't arguing against the existence of a deist God (i.e. a God that made the universe but does not intervene after that), he is arguing against a THEIST God, such as the God of the Bible, and uses the above principle to demonstrate not that God doesn't exist, but that it is UNREASONABLE to believe He does. He praises Darwin's theory of natural selection because it provides a perfect explanation of how complexity CAN come from simplicity. He argues that - at the very least - we should recognise that because such a mechanism exists for biology it may very well exist for other aspects of science.

    Before Darwin nobody could explain how complexity could form from simplicity so they assumed it MUST have to be the other way around - one argument being that an infinitely complex being MUST exist to form the complex structures of nature. Darwin showed that it CAN work the other way around, completely erradicating the need for the infinite being hypothesis.

    And THIS is the central argument of the book, not that chapter summary. It first proves, through natural selection, that we don't NEED a supercomplexity working down (i.e. a "skyhook") to achieve complexity, but that it can work UP from simplicity (i.e. a "crane"). This is often the sole argument for the existence of God and it has just been shattered by natural selection. The rest of the book talks about how the other aspects of a personal God can be explained naturally.

    The end result is that everything attributed to a personal God can be better explained by nature, and that nothing believed to REQUIRE a God actually does.

    Just a question to get you thinking... does a God that knows the future (omniscient) have the power to change his mind (omnipotent)? Omniscience and omnipotence are exclusive terms - nothing can be both.

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  68. Jerram I will have to answer you in stages so bear with me, I've a newborn to care for so priorities are elsewhere.

    You cite prophesy fulfillment as proof of God but quote the Bible as your source. What is so miraculous about the writers of the New Testament being aware of the prophesies of the Old Testament?

    You didn't read my post well did you Jerram? As I have said before history confirms the bible and I wasn't refering to New Testament history. Here is a few biblical prophecies confirmed in non-biblical historical accounts.

    1. Fall of Tyre and Sidon and scraping of one city into the sea - fulfilled by Alexander
    2. Exile of Jew to Babylon and subsequent return under Cyrus
    3. Rebuilding of Jerusalem's walls and temple 70 years after their destruction by the Babylonians
    4. Death and resurrection of Jesus Christ

    So that argument is flawed fatally.

    The most rational model for the Hebrew observers was a dome-shaped Earth with a flat base and a curved sky.

    The reference in Isa 40:22 is rational, especially when you have quoted in every count Hebrew or Greek idioms that are used to express an idea of the full extent of the world not its "edges/pillars/ends/corners". We have similar comments we make - "the ends of the earth". The authors you quoted make no comment on the shape of the earth rather are commenting on its solidity and extent. Your assessment of Isa 40:20 mearly imports what you assume to be the bronze age mentality and then reads the verse according to that. BTW the verse says that God is seated ABOVE the circle of the earth not ON TOP as you falsely asserted.

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  69. Okay, WLC needs not to quote the entire book in a blog wouldn't he?
    Maybe you can ask him a full article or published material in printing on his critique of the book. If his response is negative, and that he can't create one then that would be the safe time to conclude that he was dishonest. Remember one of Christianity's teaching is not to lie, or else WLC committed that sin.
    Jerram:
    Your argument about not believing in Dawkins completely misses the point. We KNOW that complex books cannot write themselves (or the chance of such is negligible)
    If the point being made is the level of complexity, then Dawkin's creation is not anymore complex than the working ant. The ant is a million light-years(at least to my estimate) ahead than RD's creative works. Yes, I know that RD did exist, in fact, I saw him on youtube.(Unfortunately, no WLC vs. RD on God's existence debate so far, RD's scapegoat for not debating WLC is laughable/childish(my interpretation), pls see that on youtube according to WLC.)
    Jerram, my point is kinda rhetorical in regards to the complexity of things.

    Jerram:

    The point you're missing is that we DON'T KNOW if a complex universe can form by itself, we DON'T KNOW if a creator-being exists, and we DON'T KNOW if that creator-being could have created the universe. So it is therefore UNREASONABLE to believe that the universe was created by a creator-being because it is not supported by evidence.

    That's it. YOU don't know. So how can you reasonably say that the God we believed doesn't exist? Your reasons below?!? The lack of evidence doesn't demand that the being actually exist.

    Jerram:

    But Dawkins isn't arguing against the existence of a deist God (i.e. a God that made the universe but does not intervene after that), he is arguing against a THEIST God, such as the God of the Bible, and uses the above principle to demonstrate not that God doesn't exist, but that it is UNREASONABLE to believe He does. He praises Darwin's theory of natural selection because it provides a perfect explanation of how complexity CAN come from simplicity. He argues that - at the very least - we should recognise that because such a mechanism exists for biology it may very well exist for other aspects of science.

    Are you saying that Dawkins has an actual problem of the Christian doctrine and not actually of God's existence? Einstein must have been believing of a deist God, so Einstein view of complexity must be different than that of Dawkins. Regardless of what Dawkins think about a deist God, if he accepted it, then his argument against Christian's God existence contradicts his own argument. The point is EXISTENCE, not DOCTRINE. I think the major difference of a deist and a theist is the doctrine, remember Einstein is of Jewish heritage(Remember Holocaust, why God has forsaken his people?) In REALITY most Jewish atheists abandoned their faith because not of evidence but of bad feeling, their persecuted nation, hatred etc. And Christianity's teaching was to believe in God in TRUTH not on feelings. Yeah, I've meet many atheist folks(internet) who have hatred especially for Christianity providing not of evidence but HATRED(biblical genocide, the problem of suffering for example).

    Jerram:

    Before Darwin nobody could explain how complexity could form from simplicity so they assumed it MUST have to be the other way around - one argument being that an infinitely complex being MUST exist to form the complex structures of nature. Darwin showed that it CAN work the other way around, completely erradicating the need for the infinite being hypothesis.

    Wrong. The Creator is remarkably a simple entity as indicated by WLC. Please read his articles on the existence of God, I have no time to offer the link to you save this one:
    http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/menus/articles.html

    Jerram:

    And THIS is the central argument of the book, not that chapter summary. It first proves, through natural selection, that we don't NEED a supercomplexity working down (i.e. a "skyhook") to achieve complexity, but that it can work UP from simplicity (i.e. a "crane"). This is often the sole argument for the existence of God and it has just been shattered by natural selection. The rest of the book talks about how the other aspects of a personal God can be explained naturally.
    There is no supercomplexity created by super-supercomplexity created by super-super-super-complexity. It is illogical. If I understood of what you've just said. At least read some of WLC's article on this subject. I think that is also the problem of the book. If Dawkin's actual problem of Christianity's God is doctrine, at least he needs to research on these subjects and then argue all along, before he will reach into the conclusion of non-existence. His problem is he only quote the evidence from a materialistic worldview. Christian doctrines are not complex to believe but when criticize, it becomes a very complex subject than you can ever imagine. MANY BOOKS have been written by scholars about it. If you are interested.
    Jerram:

    The end result is that everything attributed to a personal God can be better explained by nature, and that nothing believed to REQUIRE a God actually does.

    At least according to your faith of the evidence.
    Jerram:

    Just a question to get you thinking...
    I am actually, or else I can't get my finger on the keyboards.

    does a God that knows the future (omniscient) have the power to change his mind (omnipotent)? Omniscience and omnipotence are exclusive terms - nothing can be both.

    Indeed you do have a Christian doctrine problem. How can I explain to you spiritual terms if you are not a spiritual man? Remember, things will get more complex. It is not that all Christians has no answer to your question, if I can't satisfy your curiosity. Have you read anything about Kenotic Theology?
    Why Jesus(the 2nd person of the Trinity) had to limit Himself for a time-being while He was on earth? Or consider first the historical Jesus if you think He did not exist either so that my first answer/question to your question will make sense to you. (Which will require at least dozen of books to read(my hyperbole)). A little more complex? You see, the atheists' mind was like being confined into a box, when he will not honestly address this issue before arriving and asking THE SAME QUESTIONS THAT you have... If you don't know about these things, no wonder you ask that questions.
    Have a nice day...

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  70. Error in my post:
    Kenotic

    it is Kenosis.

    ReplyDelete
  71. @ David Gee:

    1. Fall of Tyre and Sidon and scraping of one city into the sea - fulfilled by Alexander
    2. Exile of Jew to Babylon and subsequent return under Cyrus
    3. Rebuilding of Jerusalem's walls and temple 70 years after their destruction by the Babylonians
    4. Death and resurrection of Jesus Christ


    Had you not included point 4 your argument would have been much more credible. I'm willing to overlook that blunder and fully consider your argument though. Would you please give me the chapter:verse numbers of the prophecies so that I may look into them?

    The reference in Isa 40:22... verse according to that.

    ... in all that you didn't present ANY positive argument as to why Isaiah is right and the rest are wrong? You said it yourself that the Hebrew word has many possible meanings - only one of which is "sphere". You have yet to show anything that would make any reasonable person believe the author actually meant "sphere", though I have provided ample evidence elsewhere in the Bible that would suggest the author did NOT mean "sphere" - even if they are Greek translations. If you think I'm wrong, by all means find me some credible proof of your assertion, I'm willing to hear it (just don't make the mistake of thinking me close-minded if I decide the evidence isn't strong enough. After all, extaordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence, and you have to look at the facts at face value. I'm not your enemy, I'm just sceptical).

    BTW the verse says that God is seated ABOVE the circle of the earth not ON TOP as you falsely asserted.

    In what translation? I did some looking around and found this site:

    http://scripturetext.com/isaiah/40-22.htm

    The Hebrew word for "sitteth" (yashab) can mean: to sit down (specifically as judge. in ambush, in quiet); by implication, to dwell, to remain; causatively, to settle, to marry. From all I can gather the Hebrw text says that God dwells upon the Earth. Also, most English translations use the words "upon" or "on" - only the American Standard Version and World English Bible use the word "above". It makes no mention here of any Hebrew word that would draw a distinction between "above" and "upon", as the different translations appear to indicate... but yes, I was wrong too, the Bible doesn't say "atop" it says "upon". My mistake.

    It's also worth mentioning that according to this site "chuwg (khoog)" means: a circle -- circle, circuit, compass. ... hmm, no mention of "sphere" there... nor here. Where did you pull the "globe" translation from? A Creationist site intent on proving the Hebrews knew the Earth was spherical to support their beliefs that the Bible is 100% accurate?

    So I guess apart from the possible prophecies (which I'm keen to look into) your post really did nothing to further your point... but yeah, like I said, hit me up with those prophecy verses!

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  72. @ Caleb:
    You seem to be very adversarial... like I said to David, I'm not your enemy, I'm just trying to have an open discussion here :)

    Okay, WLC needs not to quote the entire book in a blog wouldn't he?

    Of course not, I'm not suggesting that he should have. But what he presented on the blog is more than enough to show his argument is a straw man argument, and a dishonest one at that. He shows little understanding of any of the arguments raised by Dawkins yet claims he has a flawed central argument - and this is based on a summary of premises that Craig chooses to redefine as "steps" to make his own argument make sense to him. Craig makes his misunderstanding very clear here, and I strongly doubt that the rest of his book contradicts the argument he posted here on the blog. Why would you suggest it would? Furthermore, how does lying being a sin have any relevance here? Are you suggesting Christians never sin?

    If the point being made is the level of complexity, then Dawkin's creation is not anymore complex than the working ant. The ant is a million light-years(at least to my estimate) ahead than RD's creative works.

    ... are you suggesting ants can write? I really do struggle to see the point you're trying to make here... or are you suggesting that the ant making an anthill is vastly more "complex" than Dawkins writing a book? While I disagree there, you're point is way off the target anyway. What would it matter if ants can create something more complex than Dawkins? The premise is that the ant is making something SIMPLER than the ant itself. Dawkins is making something SIMPLER than Dawkins himself. Pre-Darwin people ASSUMED (and many theists still do) that because ants make simpler anthills, and people write simpler books, that life - despite its complexity - MUST be simpler than whatever created it. Darwin showed that this is a false assumption by creating a logical model whereby things COULD create things more complex than themselves.

    Yes, I know that RD did exist, in fact, I saw him on youtube.(Unfortunately, no WLC vs. RD on God's existence debate so far, RD's scapegoat for not debating WLC is laughable/childish(my interpretation), pls see that on youtube according to WLC.)

    Well, in Dawkins' defense, why should he debate someone that clearly does not understand the arguments he presented? Would you debate someone that believed Christianity was all about alien invasions, and was arguing to you that Christianity contradicts itself because the Bible makes no mention of aliens? Of course not, you'd tell him to go away until he learns what Christianity is REALLY about. Same thing here.

    Jerram, my point is kinda rhetorical in regards to the complexity of things.

    ... what point was that? And why is it rhetorical?

    That's it. YOU don't know. So how can you reasonably say that the God we believed doesn't exist?

    No no no, I'm saying that YOU don't know, so YOU can't say that God DOES exist. You assume, you believe, you have faith, but KNOWING requires objective evidence, and you don't have any. By "we" I meant "human beings", not "athiests".

    The lack of evidence doesn't demand that the being actually exist.

    I assume you meant to say "doesn't exist"? And yes, I totally agree with you. I'm not saying, nor are 99% of atheists saying "God certainly does not exist". I'm saying that I do not believe He does because there is no evidence to support that belief, and that you, as a theist, should be aware that the probability of you being right is incredibly slim. And such being the case, theits have no authority to impose their dogma as truth - the whole reason atheists are fighting against religion is that religion is impeding our human rights and spreading bigotry and prejudice like a wildfire. We don't really care what you believe, as long as you don't impose illogical and unfounded dogma on the rest of us.

    Are you saying that Dawkins has an actual problem of the Christian doctrine and not actually of God's existence?

    Of course (see above for more clarification)! Not only Christian, but ALL intolerant religions. If God could be proven to exist and his message to humanity clearly displayed, a huge majority of humanists would follow God's will and atheists would become the ignorant ones.

    And I apologise for the confusion, Dawkins rejects a complex, personal, theistic god as being the creator of the universe, but argues that a deist god - should it exist - cannot be more complex than the universe unless ITS source was something simpler (and applies Occam's Razor to dismiss that god, arguing that it's more likely that the universe has a simple cause than the universe having a complex creator who had a simple cause). So sorry about that, what I meant was that Dawkins argues against the idea that the universe was created by an infinite and all powerful creator-being. I guess he does argue against both deism and theism, but the book is mainly concerned with the theist god.

    Einstein must have been believing of a deist God, so Einstein view of complexity must be different than that of Dawkins.

    Einstein wasn't a deist, he was a pantheist. Deists believe a god (i.e. a being of unlimited power) created the universe, pantheists just live in awe of the "godly" arrangement of the universe. A being of unlimited power must be more complex than the universe it created, but a miraculous universe could just be the result of some unknown - yet simpler - cause. There is no discrepancy between Einstein's understanding and Dawkins', but even if there was why would it matter? You're commiting a logical fallacy known as an "appeal to authority" - saying that since Einstein was smart, and Einstein doesn't agree with Dawkins, Dawkins is wrong. This is a false assumption.

    I think the major difference of a deist and a theist is the doctrine

    Nah, one believes God is just the cause, the other believes He is still around. Doctrine is the difference between theistic religions. As for the atheists' hatred of religion - Christianity and Islam in particular - can you blame them? Those religions are directly responsible for some dispicable bigotry and human rights violations, but the real kicker is that they commit these attrocities without a shred of evidence to justify the actions!

    So with regard to atheists hating those religions, it's not JUST because they're evil, but because they're unjustifiably evil - and the "unjustifiable" part directly relates to the lack of supporting evidence. So don't be so quick to assume that a person's faith is based solely on what they think of a group of people - I know mine certainly isn't.

    Wrong. The Creator is remarkably a simple entity as indicated by WLC.

    *reads* ... Craig makes no comment on the complexity of God. In fact, the word "complex" doesn't even appear, so I don't know why you linked me to that.

    But I've heard this argument many times and it does not make logical sense. Most of the time it's the theist misidentifying the shortest explanation as the simplest one. If you were to ask why water boils at 100 degrees celcius the shorter and easier to understand answer would be "godditit", yet the SIMPLER answer would be that at that temperature the water molecules are vibrating so vigorously that they seperate from one another and become a gas rather than a liquid. It's simpler because it's a theory based on pre-known evidence.

    Regarding the creation of the universe the God hypothesis is NOT a simpler answer because it rests on the unverified assumption that God exists - something which there is no evidence for, and nothing that REQUIRES such a hypothetical cause. On top of that, if we were to dismiss the idea as God as a creator it would be justified because an omnipotent, omniscient God can ONLY be infinitely complex, and cannot be simple. If God had the power to intelligently design and then create a universe from this design, then He REQUIRES more complexity than the resulting universe. He has to have the INTENT to forge the universe, instantly making Him MORE complex. A simple bacteria can evolve into a more complex jellyfish, but it cannot do so with the INTENT of evolving into a jellyfish. An intelligent designer CANNOT be simpler than the resulting design, and so an intelligent designer MUST have also been created by something, and that something had to have been created by something else, and the problem goes into infinite regress.

    The argument that the universe was intelligently designed by an uncreated infinite being MUST be false because such a creator CANNOT be simpler than the universe it created, and so must also require a creator.

    There is no supercomplexity created by super-supercomplexity created by super-super-super-complexity. It is illogical.

    Glad we agree on something!

    If Dawkin's actual problem of Christianity's God is doctrine, at least he needs to research on these subjects and then argue all along, before he will reach into the conclusion of non-existence.

    Haha! That's a bit rich I must say :P He is quite familiar with Christian doctrine, as well as all the biggest arguments for it (he even argues the "God is simpler than the universe" argument, much as I have just done now). But I have to correct you, his argument is (mainly) against theism. He mainly argues against the idea of a Christian God because he's the most familiar with it, but his arguments apply to all theistic beliefs.

    His problem is he only quote the evidence from a materialistic worldview.

    The theists problem is that they fail to recognise that the material universe is all we can ever know.

    Let's assume that God exists outside of the materialistic worldview... how would we know about Him? How could he answer prayers, or make miracles happen? Truth be told, God couldn't do any of that without influencing the material world. If God performs a miracle, he is performing it in the material world. If it's happening in the material world, it can be observed, and studied, and tested, and explained. If God cannot be tested, then God cannot answer prayers or perform miracles, because doing so would allow Him to be tested. And if God cannot answer prayers or perform miracles... then your faith is based on a lie. If your faith is based on a lie, then how can you trust the rest of it? The only rational conclusion is to realise you're beliefs are wrong and go back to the drawing board of atheism. Welcome to the scientific method :)

    Indeed you do have a Christian doctrine problem. How can I explain to you spiritual terms if you are not a spiritual man? Remember, things will get more complex. It is not that all Christians has no answer to your question, if I can't satisfy your curiosity. Have you read anything about Kenotic Theology?

    Everything in life - even the spiritual side of life - relies on logic. If anyone claims something cannot be explained logically then they are a fool.

    As for Kenosis Theology, I haven't heard of it but if it has to do with what you proceed to say about Jesus it's just dodging the contradiction - not answering it.

    Heh, it's actually quite funny that you accuse the atheist of being confined to a box whilst remaining in your cozy little box of Christianity. I'll leave you with a nice little quote to mull over:

    I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

    - Sir Stephen Henry Roberts


    Have a nice day too :)

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  73. Oh and Caleb, just to repeat myself:

    Caleb, you continually bring up the "toughest case" of Christianity and that every atheist you've met has been so ignorant of it. You must be familiar with it since you recognise the atheist's ability to fall short of it, so may I ask what this "toughest case" is?

    I'm still waiting for a response on that one.

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  74. Take note that I stripped some of your arguments, for simplicity and to shorten my time here.
    Me:If the point being made is the level of complexity, then Dawkin's creation is not anymore complex than the working ant. The ant is a million light-years(at least to my estimate) ahead than RD's creative works.
    Jerram:
    ... are you suggesting ants can write? I really do struggle to see the point you're trying to make here... or are you suggesting that the ant making an anthill is vastly more "complex" than Dawkins writing a book?

    No. The ant as a creature vs. the book of dawkins. Which is more complex? If we speak of complexity.
    Jerram:

    Well, in Dawkins' defense, why should he debate someone that clearly does not understand the arguments he presented?

    Did you mean you know WLC very well? Dawkins stated that a debate of the existence of God he must have an opponent at the level of a bishop. He said he doesn't know WLC, besides, your point here is moot due to your conclusive argument.
    Jerram:


    The lack of evidence doesn't demand that the being actually exist.

    I assume you meant to say "doesn't exist"?

    Yes. I don't have time to answer all your arguments.

    Jerram:

    Are you saying that Dawkins has an actual problem of the Christian doctrine and not actually of God's existence?

    Of course (see above for more clarification)! Not only Christian, but ALL intolerant religions.

    Ah i see, Christianity is an intolerant religion. That's your faith.

    Jerram:

    Nah, one believes God is just the cause, the other believes He is still around. Doctrine is the difference between theistic religions. As for the atheists' hatred of religion - Christianity and Islam in particular - can you blame them? Those religions are directly responsible for some dispicable bigotry and human rights violations, but the real kicker is that they commit these attrocities without a shred of evidence to justify the actions!
    Consider researching Christian history, Jewish history and the real motives of world wars, genocides etc. There are so many good arguments against your belief that religion causes much war than politics. I don't have to argue with you on this as I don't agree with you, as per evidence.

    Jerram:

    Regarding the creation of the universe the God hypothesis is NOT a simpler answer because it rests on the unverified assumption that God exists - something which there is no evidence for, and nothing that REQUIRES such a hypothetical cause.

    Haven't you notice that a clay can't possibly ask the potter "Why you made me this way"?
    Jerram:

    The argument that the universe was intelligently designed by an uncreated infinite being MUST be false because such a creator CANNOT be simpler than the universe it created, and so must also require a creator.

    You see, the refutation for this is that we don't need an explanation to the explanation or else we would have an infinite regression.
    Jerram:

    Haha! That's a bit rich I must say :P He is quite familiar with Christian doctrine, as well as all the biggest arguments for it (he even argues the "God is simpler than the universe" argument, much as I have just done now). But I have to correct you, his argument is (mainly) against theism. He mainly argues against the idea of a Christian God because he's the most familiar with it, but his arguments apply to all theistic beliefs.

    An expert of the Christian doctrine must argue according to the concept of God being held by Christians. Agree? Else someone who wants to deny the Christian God by creating his own god doesn't falls down flat.
    Jerram:

    The theists problem is that they fail to recognise that the material universe is all we can ever know.

    You don't believe in spirits or ghosts? Now consider so many stories about it. NAH. Those were myths and illusions, then try it yourself.
    That is why an Atheist's mind was being confined inside a box.
    Jerram:
    As for Kenosis Theology, I haven't heard of it but if it has to do with what you proceed to say about Jesus it's just dodging the contradiction - not answering it.
    Please don't talk to subjects or provide conlusion w/o first doing research on it first.

    Regarding the toughest case, have you read books from Christian thinkers? To quote from wikipedia as being written in the London Review of Books: A question being ask for RD:

    What, one wonders, are Dawkins's views on the epistemological differences between Aquinas and Duns Scotus? Has he read Eriugena on subjectivity, Rahner on grace or Moltmann on hope? Has he even heard of them? Or does he imagine like a bumptious young barrister that you can defeat the opposition while being complacently ignorant of its toughest case?

    have you read these things? Surely, Christianity isn't a simple thing to deny as you would like to think.

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  75. No. The ant as a creature vs. the book of dawkins. Which is more complex? If we speak of complexity.

    I thought you might have meant that reading it back a second time, but still have no idea why you'd ask. In terms of engineering, the ant is obviously much more complex than Dawkins' book. What's your point? That things have varying degrees of complexity? I see no relevance in comparing the complexity between an ant and a book.

    Did you mean you know WLC very well? Dawkins stated that a debate of the existence of God he must have an opponent at the level of a bishop. He said he doesn't know WLC, besides, your point here is moot due to your conclusive argument.

    I don't know Craig very well, no, but all I need to know about him is his argument against Dawkins' argument - something which I can know, at least in part, from reading what has been posted in this blog. From what I DO know of Craig, is that he has gravely misunderstood Dawkins' summary as to why God almost certainly does not exist. What more do I need to know to argue his point on the matter? Nothing.

    As for Dawkins, if he knew nothing of Craig's argument before deeming it unworthy then yes, that was very ignorant of him. But again, in his defense, he's a busy man, and again AGAIN in his defense, Craig appears to have very little to bring to the debate anyway. Anyone else can easily point out the errors in Craig's position, why should Dawkins himself take the time to do so himself?

    Ah i see, Christianity is an intolerant religion. That's your faith.

    No, that's the facts. Christians are intolerant of: homosexuals, non-Christians, atheists, adulterers, masturbators, blasphemers, kids who disrespect their parents, lusting after anyone you're not married to, premarital sex... fig trees that don't bear fruit! The list goes on. I'm not saying that everyone who calls themselves a Christian is intolerant of all these, but the basis of the Christian religion - the Bible - says a Christian SHOULD be intolerant of these things, because God himself clearly is. I know you'd hate to admit it, but the God you worship is incredibly intolerant, and since you're supposed to aspire to be as holy as God, your religion preaches intolerance. These are the facts, sorry if you can't stomach them.

    Consider researching Christian history, Jewish history and the real motives of world wars, genocides etc. There are so many good arguments against your belief that religion causes much war than politics. I don't have to argue with you on this as I don't agree with you, as per evidence.

    Oh, I wish you would argue against me, since I clearly am uneducated on your position.

    As for MY position, I can only laugh at your ridiculous notion that religion is not a significant cause of war. Have you ever heard of the Crusades? I guess you must also be totally oblivious to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict? How about the Spanish Inquisition? Let's not also forget (while not really a war) the tens of thousands of innocent people executed for anti-Christian witchcraft (there's another thing to add to Christian intolerance!), and I'm sure you can imagine how many stonings would have occurred directly due to disobedience of the Biblical laws. Whether it be all out war or just civil oppression, you simply cannot deny that religion and religious conflict are pertinent to much fighting throughout history, and even today. Are politics a bigger factor? In most cases, yes, but politics is often directly influenced by religious officials (the dominion of the Church during the middle ages, and even in America today the public will never elect a known atheist to office).

    Regarding the creation of the universe the God hypothesis is NOT a simpler answer because it rests on the unverified assumption that God exists - something which there is no evidence for, and nothing that REQUIRES such a hypothetical cause.
    Haven't you notice that a clay can't possibly ask the potter "Why you made me this way"?


    ... and clay's ability to think is relevant to the creation of the universe... how exactly? God exists because clay can't think? You need to try to explain your points a little better.

    The argument that the universe was intelligently designed by an uncreated infinite being MUST be false because such a creator CANNOT be simpler than the universe it created, and so must also require a creator.
    You see, the refutation for this is that we don't need an explanation to the explanation or else we would have an infinite regression.


    ... that's not a very convincing refutation. Why not say that we don't need an explanation for the universe, because that explanation would demand an explanation? By your own logic we don't need God as a creator.

    An expert of the Christian doctrine must argue according to the concept of God being held by Christians. Agree? Else someone who wants to deny the Christian God by creating his own god doesn't falls down flat.

    No, I don't agree... not really anyway, you're oversimplifying. You can argue directly against the Christian God from purely Christian doctrine, but that's not the ONLY way to argue against the Christian God.

    The Christian God is a theistic god, yes? He is a personal God that interacts with humanity, and we can communicate with Him through prayer and such. Do those statements apply to your God? If they do, then I need not argue against EVERY attribute of the Christian God because arguing these key points will be enough to expose the Christian God as false. Given that the Christian God is a theistic god, one can argue against the attributes of a theistic god and thereby argue against the Christian God.

    For example, if one was to argue that citrus fruits are acidic, they wouldn't have to also argue against the "lime doctrine" that a lime is small, green, and acidic. Since a lime is a citrus fruit, any arguments that apply to citrus fruits AUTOMATICALLY apply to limes.

    If one was to argue that citris fruits are sweet, then as a Grapefruitist you could argue that the argument doesn't apply to grapefruits because grapefruits are bitter. Unfortunately for you, the Christian God can't be exempt from any (or at the very least the vast majority) of Dawkins' arguments against theistic gods. His arguments - whilst not being specific to your God - are inclusive of Him.

    You don't believe in spirits or ghosts? Now consider so many stories about it. NAH. Those were myths and illusions, then try it yourself.

    No, I don't believe in spirits or ghosts for the same reason I don't believe in gods - there is no objective evidence to support the claim.

    You're commiting another logical fallacy known as an argumentum ad populum. Just because a position is widely held does not make the position correct. It was once a widely held viewpoint that the Earth was flat. It was once a widely held viewpoint that the Earth was the centre of the universe. It was once a widely held viewpoint that maggots formed from rotting meat. It was once a widely held viewpoint that mental illness was caused by demons. It was once a widely held viewpoint that space was full of material "aether" which was a medium for light waves. It was once a widely held viewpoint that God exists... oh wait, that still seems to be around in certain areas. But you can see my point, right?

    That is why an Atheist's mind was being confined inside a box.

    On the contrary I would argue that YOU are confining yourself to a box by believing something just because everyone else does (whether it be ghosts, angels, or God). It was only by stepping OUT of the box that we realised these commonly held beliefs were wrong. This is something that theists ALWAYS get wrong. Atheists are stepping OUT of the box that assumes a god, and looking to find the truth (which may very well be that God exists, though it seems very improbable at the moment). Atheism isn't steering away from gods, it's steering away from the ASSUMPTION of gods.

    As for Kenosis Theology, I haven't heard of it but if it has to do with what you proceed to say about Jesus it's just dodging the contradiction - not answering it.
    Please don't talk to subjects or provide conlusion w/o first doing research on it first.


    Please don't be so snobby. I said "IF it has to do with...", and the way you structured your argument suggested to me that that was what you were implying. I made no conclusions about Kenosis Theology, you just failed to show that it would be worth my time to learn about it.

    What, one wonders, are Dawkins's views on the epistemological differences between Aquinas and Duns Scotus? Has he read Eriugena on subjectivity, Rahner on grace or Moltmann on hope? Has he even heard of them? Or does he imagine like a bumptious young barrister that you can defeat the opposition while being complacently ignorant of its toughest case?

    have you read these things? Surely, Christianity isn't a simple thing to deny as you would like to think.


    I have not read these things, have you? However, IF (note: IF) they are theological arguments pertaining to the subjectivity of "grace" and "hope" (as the wiki quote would seem to imply) they are all completely irrelevant to Dawkins' argument. Dawkins does not concern himself with arguments on theology - nor is he required to do so to present his argument against deities. It comes back to the whole cirtus fruit argument - if God isn't there then all theological arguments fall to shit and needn't be considered further.

    IF, on the other hand, the authors make logical and rational arguments - backed by evidence - on the existence of ANY deity (doesn't have to specifically be the Christian version) that really do demand answers that Dawkins hasn't given, they are certianly worth being heard.

    So what are the books about? Theological discussions assuming God's existence, or empirical study to confirm the God hypothesis? I ask you first to save me the trouble, but if you don't know I guess I'll have to research them myself.

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  76. Oh, I just noticed that you TOTALLY missed the point here:

    Nah, one believes God is just the cause, the other believes He is still around. Doctrine is the difference between theistic religions. As for the atheists' hatred of religion - Christianity and Islam in particular - can you blame them? Those religions are directly responsible for some dispicable bigotry and human rights violations, but the real kicker is that they commit these attrocities without a shred of evidence to justify the actions!

    Consider researching Christian history, Jewish history and the real motives of world wars, genocides etc. There are so many good arguments against your belief that religion causes much war than politics. I don't have to argue with you on this as I don't agree with you, as per evidence.


    I wasn't talking specifically about WARS, I was talking about things like the witch-hunts and stonings I mentioned earlier, and the Islamic treatment of women and their obscene violence towards infidels, and the Christian American restriction on same-sex marriage and the possible ban on abortion - all DIRECTLY stemming from religious doctrine.

    You seem to quite regularly miss the point on what I say and respond with an answer that doesn't relate at all to the point I was making. Please take more time to read my arguments before replying.

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  77. I only need to address two points, as I said, my time here is limited.
    Jerram:
    No, that's the facts. Christians are intolerant of: homosexuals, non-Christians, atheists, adulterers, masturbators, blasphemers, kids who disrespect their parents, lusting after anyone you're not married to, premarital sex... fig trees that don't bear fruit! The list goes on.

    Intolerance of what level? If you say a Christian ministering to an unbeliever, is that intolerance?
    And how do you judge moral things, example, is an adulterer a righteous man or an upright man according to your standard?
    What is your "current" standard of morality? It seems that your idea is far-fetched and too abstract for anyone to grasp. You must have defined your own standard of morality and compare it against Christian standards and based on that comparison you can have a clear and concise argument for accusing Christians as being intolerants. The argument is half-truth. Why? Because there are certain portion of people who claimed to be Christians but are ferocious wolves, the Christian Bible told these people will exist as part of the prophesy. And some sincere and honest Christians who are peaceful and righteous men, even to those who oppose them they are so kind that even you will treat them as good men. Do not stereotype people if they claimed to be in that group while doing things you don't like and judge that entire group as their standard way of doing the things you do not like. Again, first state your standard on these things. Explain them why you believe that way and why it can brought good or evil things to humanity and then ask Christians why their moral standards are destructive to humanity.

    Example:
    Can masturbators, blasphemers and kids who disrespect their parents are healthy to a given society? Why?
    If you found a community with these kind of people, is there community peaceful? Why?
    Have you conducted experiments? Science says so to conduct experiments before ARRIVING into any conclusion. You trust science don't you.

    That is not intolerant if someone will preach that what they did was wrong. In fact a human conscience exist that if you kill an innocent man is an evil thing and should not be done and you don't have to call a judge or a preacher to determine that killing an innocent man is wrong or right, your conscience will tell you it is not right. Consider Jonah preaching to the Nineveh people(here you need to accept this regardless of your belief that Jonah existed at all for the sake of the argument), the people of Nineveh repented immediately because once they received the call to repentance(at least they've receive the sermon from Jonah), because they have two witnesses to determine if what they were doing was evil: Jonah and their own conscience.


    I'm not saying that everyone who calls themselves a Christian is intolerant of all these, but the basis of the Christian religion - the Bible - says a Christian SHOULD be intolerant of these things, because God himself clearly is. I know you'd hate to admit it, but the God you worship is incredibly intolerant, and since you're supposed to aspire to be as holy as God, your religion preaches intolerance. These are the facts, sorry if you can't stomach them.


    God will impose Justice. He justify the sinner as righteous through the sacrifice of His Son on the cross. It is like this way: A judge will condemn the accused person as guilty. But someone save the guilty person by accepting the punishment instead.
    There are varying methods of interpreting the Scripture and you must understand the way Christians interpret the Scripture, do not based your own argument from your "MERE interpretations" of the Scripture. Often some people are misguided and need to interpret the ancient the text the way IT SHOULD BE. Please take note that it is an ancient book written in the span of 1500 years by more than 40 different authors. Almost all of these 40 doesn't know each other since each live on a different timeframe. I think your argument here of intolerance will be best suited to some Islam fundamentalists and some quasi-christian groups. You need to research on this subject or else you will be just ignored or banned in most Christian forums because of your ignorance.


    As for MY position, I can only laugh at your ridiculous notion that religion is not a significant cause of war. Have you ever heard of the Crusades? I guess you must also be totally oblivious to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict? How about the Spanish Inquisition? Let's not also forget (while not really a war) the tens of thousands of innocent people executed for anti-Christian witchcraft (there's another thing to add to Christian intolerance!), and I'm sure you can imagine how many stonings would have occurred directly due to disobedience of the Biblical laws. Whether it be all out war or just civil oppression, you simply cannot deny that religion and religious conflict are pertinent to much fighting throughout history, and even today. Are politics a bigger factor? In most cases, yes, but politics is often directly influenced by religious officials (the dominion of the Church during the middle ages, and even in America today the public will never elect a known atheist to office).
    Crusades, what were the motives behind it? Just to capture Jerusalem from Islam? Haven't the Scripture(Bible) told the Pope to do so? It is not religion per se, but politics and the love of money.
    Israel-Palestinian conflict? Just ask the Hamas, they will not say "because they are Judaism" they will say they NEED THEIR LANDS because they've owned it. It is not again religion, Judaism or Islam.
    Spanish INquisition again? The question is what is the motive? Of course, they bring themselves crosses that symbolizes Christianity and documents from religious authorities to conduct such evil acts like killing. How did you know that it really comes from God? The human behavior factor. Humans tends to listen to their own voice than God's. Correct? If you study carefully on this field(you must do this) then you should find the truth. Half-truth is more evil than a plain lie, remember.

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  78. Ok, it's very clear from your arguments that you are willing to adopt Christianity when it fits you, but dispose of it when it goes against YOUR conscience. This goes well to support the theory that morality has nothing to do with religion - in is hardwired into us as evolutionary instinct. I'll get onto that in a second.

    Crusades, what were the motives behind it? Just to capture Jerusalem from Islam? Haven't the Scripture(Bible) told the Pope to do so? It is not religion per se, but politics and the love of money.

    Just like Jonah preached to the Nineveh not because of God, but his own selfish desires to impose his belief system on the masses in order to control them, right? Stop making excuses! The fact that the Crusades were done in the NAME of religion means they had religious motivation, REGARDLESS of whether or not God would have done the same (he certainly didn't stop it the way he stopped the Baal worshippers now did he?).

    Israel-Palestinian conflict? Just ask the Hamas, they will not say "because they are Judaism" they will say they NEED THEIR LANDS because they've owned it. It is not again religion, Judaism or Islam.

    It is "their land" BECAUSE it was given to them by God in the Old Testament. God PROMISED them this land so they fight to control it. Ask ANY group and they will say Jerusalem is important to them because of their cultural and RELIGIOUS heritage.

    Spanish INquisition again? The question is what is the motive? Of course, they bring themselves crosses that symbolizes Christianity and documents from religious authorities to conduct such evil acts like killing. How did you know that it really comes from God?

    How do you know Moses's actions really came from God? How about Jesus'? Paul's? Any biblical figure in the Bible - how do you know God really spoke to them? Jack the Ripper believed God spoke directly to him and told him to kill those women. How do we know God didn't?

    You're employing a dishonest double standard here, you're arguing who did or did not speak with God based solely on whether you agree with their actions! What about the ancient Jews going to war with their neighbours because God told them to? Did God really speak to them, or was that all politics and money too?

    Intolerance of what level? If you say a Christian ministering to an unbeliever, is that intolerance?

    If a Christian is persecuting, or denying human rights to an unbeliever, THAT is intolerance. A preaching minister is planting the seeds of intolerance until someone says "you know what, those evil faggots don't deserve to live their sinful lives" and goes on a homosexual slaughter. Or more realistically, someone going "Homosexuality is a sin! We can't allow them to get married!". THAT is intolerance.

    And how do you judge moral things, example, is an adulterer a righteous man or an upright man according to your standard?

    Simply put, a righteous man is someone that helps to serve the community, promotes justice, and preaches tolerance of anything that is harmless to others. An "adulterer" can either "good" or "bad" based on the circumstances, and it's intolerant of the Bible to assign such a black and white good/evil status on the act.

    For example, a woman is married to an abusive husband who she stopped loving a long time ago. By my "moral code" there would be nothing wrong with her filing for divorce and trying to find happiness elsewhere. According to you she would be sinning (aka evil) to do so. If someone gave into temptation and cheated on their spouse, and REGRETTED it, that would be construed as a lapse in morality.

    Can masturbators, blasphemers and kids who disrespect their parents are healthy to a given society? Why?
    If you found a community with these kind of people, is there community peaceful? Why?
    Have you conducted experiments? Science says so to conduct experiments before ARRIVING into any conclusion. You trust science don't you.


    Experiments regarding this are immensely easy, all you have to do is observe and record. I haven't done a solid data analysis because the truth speaks for itself.

    Christian morality doesn't dominate the world. All you need to do is observe Christian societies against non-Christian societies and weigh up the social health of each. For example, let's observe the technological advancements between pre-Enlightenment Christian Europe (1000-16000 AD) and China around the same time.

    Whilst the Chinese were developing medicines and furthering their scientific understanding, the Christian Church were burning people at the stake for "witchcraft" if they tried to do the same. When the Church was in power technology stood still. What did they get for it? The Black Death.

    But let's forget the past and observe the present societies. Let's look at a secular country like Norway versus a heavily religious country like Afganistan. Norway has a very pulic-need oriented government, with free schooling and healthcare, excellent hygeine, and a happy and healthy population. Afganistan - under the guidance of a book - has halted technological advancement, oppressed women's rights, severed social ties with the rest of the world, and live in poverty. Who is better off?

    Let's bring it closer to home though. Compare Norway with America. Norwegians are friendly, respectful, and tolerant of each other. They can accept that if actions aren't hurting others then there's nothing wrong with them. There's no social taboo about masturbating - people do it and people don't mind if others do. It's not hurting anybody so what's the big deal? Exactly the same with "disrespecting your parents". People have the RIGHT to challange the views of their elders. A lot of the time the grown-ups can't adjust their worldview to keep up with the changing society, and so NEED the younger generation to step up and say "hey, this kind of thinking is outdated and doesn't work in this day and age, we need to change our attitudes to fit the times". Maybe that's why America is still living in the clunky past of the imperical system - no one has "disrespected" their parents by saying "you know, switching to the metric system will make things so much easier".

    Back on track though, while America is living in hate and intolerance, fighting to suppress the rights of homosexuals, preaching the evils of masturbation, and denoucing the credibility of scientific discovery, they're breeding a generation of people wracked with guilt for not being able to control their NATURAL sexual urges to masturbate, or have sexual thoughts for the same sex, and fighting to keep people's minds confined to the box of Biblical Creation as opposed to the apparant truth of naturalism. And you think that's healthy for the community? A society of scientifically ignorant, sexually repressed, superstitious bigots? Just look at what Islam has done to the world! The Christian world USED to be like that until people adopted secularism. And now people are trying to get it back that way? What is wrong with you!

    In fact a human conscience exist that if you kill an innocent man is an evil thing and should not be done and you don't have to call a judge or a preacher to determine that killing an innocent man is wrong or right, your conscience will tell you it is not right.

    EXACTLY! We already KNOW that murdering is wrong WITHOUT people telling us! We don't NEED a religious list of right vs wrong because we already KNOW! It is INSTINCTUAL! The reason secular societies are happier than religious ones is because religious lists of right vs wrong are often at odds with our built-in sense of morality.

    Let's look at two examples, masturbation and theft. Secular morals would say masturbation is ok, theft is not. Christian morals would say they're equally as bad as each other. Now, you don't have to be a genius to see the fault in the Christian moral code. Most people, even most CHRISTIAN people, masturbate. Masturbation is a common and natural urge with a natural purpose - to relieve sexual tension and (in males) to keep the sperm "fresh" so that you don't try to impregnate a woman with a load of dead swimmers. A wet dream is the body's response to a lack of orgasm. People who regularly masturbate or have sex do not have wet dreams. It's only when you stop the act does the subconscious take over and do what NEEDS to be done whether you want it to or not. Studies have shown that if you DON'T ejaculate regularly you are more prone to developing testicular cancer. The bottom line, masturbation is natural and it doesn't hurt anybody (unless you overindulge so much it has a negative effect on your social skills, but this is no more harmful than abstinence. Balance is key).

    Now let's look at theft. For most of us it's hard to commit theft because of altruism - care of our fellow humans. We KNOW that it sucks to be robbed, and because we care about each other we don't want to inflict that pain on others for our own benefit. There are some cases where we weigh our personal benfit higher than others, such as stealing a loaf of bread to feed your starving family. In many cases we will willingly give up our own luxuries to help people like that, it's called "charity". There are also cases where an individual values his own benefit above others, but it is out of greed rather than need - for example a kid stealing a video game he wants to play. In these cases the theft is immoral because the common public consensus will be that the kids motives are not good enough to justify the theft. We won't give charity to the kid, we'll punish him and teach him to conform to society.

    And what do you know? It would seem that theft is considered immoral WORLDWIDE, even among the animal kingdom, yet masturbation is only immoral in the eyes of a few religions. Morality is hardwired into us and many other animals, and is a product of EVOLUTION, not God.

    God will impose Justice. He justify the sinner as righteous through the sacrifice of His Son on the cross. It is like this way: A judge will condemn the accused person as guilty. But someone save the guilty person by accepting the punishment instead.

    Yet, strangely enough, we don't allow this in the secular legal system! If a person is found guilty THEY must serve the sentence. You can't have someone volunteer to serve it for them. The whole point of punishment is to TEACH and CONDITION people into upholding the law. If you think it's ok to murder someone, you are subjected to punishment so that it might sink in "hey, maybe it's not ok to kill people". This arguably isn't the best way, but it works.

    Even more strangely, Christians KNOW that it is up to God to impose justice, and that Jesus has paid for the sinners already... yet STILL seek to impose their justice here on Earth! They try to stop people from sinning, yet claim that it doesn't matter if we do because Jesus paid our sins for us. THIS is intolerance. So why don't they get off our backs, let us turn the Earth into a pool of sin, since in the end the only thing that matters is faith in Christ, right?

    I think your argument here of intolerance will be best suited to some Islam fundamentalists and some quasi-christian groups.

    I couldn't agree more. It does however extend to the roots of Christianity, which is why I would label the tolerant Christians that say masturbation, homosexuality, premarital sex, tattoos and piercings are ok just as "quasi-Christian" as the Westborough Baptist Church, who at least have Biblical verses to support their actions.

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  79. Well, no one has responded for some time, and I'm bored... so I think I'll adress some of the points raised by the OP.

    The point is that rejecting design arguments for God's existence does nothing to prove that God does not exist or even that belief in God is unjustified.

    No, but it goes a long way to prove that if such a god exists it is not the designer/creator of the universe.

    So Dawkins' argument for atheism is a failure even if we concede, for the sake of argument, all its steps.

    Argument for atheism a failure? Well, as an argument against an intelligent designer it is a success. As an argument against a moral dictator it is a success. As an argument against prayer-answerer it is a success. So sure, Dawkins' argument doesn't rule out a god, but if that god:
    a) didn't create the universe
    b) didn't give us morality, and
    c) does not answer prayers
    ... why would anyone still cling to such a useless belief? Seems rather odd that you would call Dawkins' argument for atheism a "failure"...

    First, in order to recognize an explanation as the best, one needn't have an explanation of the explanation.
    Hmm... only when every other explanation lacks an explanation of the explanation - something I'll illustrate using your examples.

    If archaeologists digging in the earth were to discover things looking like arrowheads and hatchet heads and pottery shards, they would be justified in inferring that these artifacts are not the chance result of sedimentation and metamorphosis, but products of some unknown group of people, even though they had no explanation of who these people were or where they came from.

    Correct, however not knowing the culture behind the artefact creators is not the same as not having an explanation for concluding the artefacts are man-made - contrary to your point we DO have a very good explanation for the explanation. Archaeologists are justified in their assumption because we KNOW that humans make arrowheads and hatchet heads and pottery. The rationale for that justification is that we have a near-perfect understanding of natural vs man-made phenomenon here on Earth. It's simply a matter of examining the available evidence (museums full of similar artefacts known to be man-made, and a world seemingly devoid of similar objects being formed by nature) and drawing the most rational conclusion: they're man-made artefacts.

    Similarly, if astronauts were to come upon a pile of machinery on the back side of the moon, they would be justified in inferring that it was the product of intelligent, extra-terrestrial agents, even if they had no idea whatsoever who these extra-terrestrial agents were or how they got there.

    Yes, but again this assumption is justified because the moon is just a big dead rock, and the chances of a pile of machinery forming naturally is vastly more improbable than someone putting it there. This is, again, because we have an explanation for the explanation - our understanding of rocks. Given what we know to be true about rocks, the extra-terrestrial hypothesis is more valid than a natural explanation.

    So in the case at hand, in order to recognize that intelligent design is the best explanation of the appearance of design in the universe, one needn't be able to explain the designer.

    No. To assume intelligent design over naturalism REQUIRES an explanation for the explanation (in your two examples, the explanations being our knowledge of ancient human artefacts and moon geology respectively). To say that intelligent design is a better explanation than a natural one you need to have a reason NOT to assume naturalism, as naturalism is a much simpler explanation that requires fewer assumptions. For example, were the craters on the moon formed by asteroids crashing into it or an undefined "intelligent designer"? The natural explanation is clearly the better one.

    To make an analogy using your example (let's say, a clay pot), for us to be justified in assuming an intelligent designer we must first understand the difference between undesigned clay (say, clay in a riverbank), and designed clay (clay in the form of a pot). Likewise, for us to be justified in assuming an intelligent designer for the universe we must understand the difference between an undesigned universe and a designed universe. So the question then becomes, what undesigned universes are you comparing this one against to assume design?

    Dawkins' fundamental mistake lies in his assumption that a divine designer is an entity comparable in complexity to the universe. As an unembodied mind, God is a remarkably simple entity. As a non-physical entity, a mind is not composed of parts, and its salient properties, like self-consciousness, rationality, and volition, are essential to it.

    Do you have any evidence to suggest a simple mind can exist without a complex brain? Every single organism we've ever encountered that displays any sign of intelligence is more complex than anything that doesn't show intelligence; every single organism that displays self-preservation is more complex than that which doesn't. A bacteria, or even a virus - the most basic and simple "minds" (if you can call them that) show vastly more physical complexity than a rock. This argument for a simple god is very weak.

    A "mind" is not a tangible entity, it is a construct. In the same way a projection requires a projector, a mind requires a "mind projector" (e.g. a brain, or any other hardware that illicits a self-benefiting effect). The more complex the brain (projector) the more complex the mind (projection).

    Self-awareness and intelligence are only found in animals with brains (or an equivalent processory nervous system like that of a starfish). Bacteria and plants are biological machines that lack a self-aware, intelligent mind, and it could even be argued that low-level animals like insects do not have self-awareness either. As brains become more complex we find minds that are able to learn and display an awareness of the world around them (e.g. fish, crabs, snakes); even more complex still we find minds that THINK (e.g. birds, rats); and deeper, critical thought (e.g. dogs, porpoises, monkeys); and then the highest intelligence on Earth (e.g. atheists :D jk. I mean humans in general).

    Case in point, there's a strong correlation between brain complexity and mind complexity - even to the point that no brain = no mind (e.g. a rock). It just seems a bit weak to say "no brain = supercomplex, perfect, infinite mind" and use that contrary-to-all-evidence assumption to say that an intelligent designer does not violate the naturalistic principle of complexity forming from noncomplexity.

    Therefore, postulating a divine mind behind the universe most definitely does represent an advance in simplicity, for whatever that is worth.

    Not until you can show that minds exist independent of brains, and preferably (though not necessary) explain why such a strong correlation between mind and brain exists. If you have evidence of this, by all means make it known. Until then your idea is worthless.

    Other steps in Dawkins' argument are also problematic; but I think enough has been said to show that his argument does nothing to undermine a design inference based on the universe's complexity, not to speak of its serving as a justification of atheism.

    Unfortunately for you the universe doesn't contort itself to fit what you "think". That said, I don't think you've really said anything - clearly nothing that hasn't been said before, and clearly nothing that any objective mind cannot easily refute. Try to direct your energy towards understanding the facts rather than fighting them. Don't you wonder why practically all secularists reject intelligent design? It's not because they hate your religion (isn't ID supposed to be a secularist theory?), it's because it's a lousy theory - and it's not even a scientific theory, it's a gap theory. Sometimes you just have to cut your losses.

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  80. So sure, Dawkins' argument doesn't rule out a god, but if that god:
    a) didn't create the universe
    b) didn't give us morality, and
    c) does not answer prayers


    Your last two points are far from proven by either you or dick, I've been reading through a few of your posts and the replies and you have mentioned several times that morality is hardwired evolutionarily into us. Mind telling me how? I would like you to focus on this one becaus no evolutionist has given me naturalistically science driven support for their own morality yet. Normally the answer will be something poor alone the lines of social or relational evolutionary theory.

    As for unanswered prayer how on earth have you proven that beyond a doubt? Just because some people don't recieve what they ask for? Any wise parent will not give their children everything they ask for but say no some times. Or do you have a better arguement than the lack of an answer every time?

    To say that intelligent design is a better explanation than a natural one you need to have a reason NOT to assume naturalism, as naturalism is a much simpler explanation that requires fewer assumptions.

    Why not to assume naturalism..... well there is the magical life from non-life fairy that you need and the magical nothing to everything bang fairy you need. That aside there is the presence of impossible forms, the lack of time, the complex forms that appear in geological "time" too early and without precursor, the paucity of explanation for the human drive for meaning and purpose. Really why not assume naturalism???? Simply because it is inconsistent with reality!

    Do you have any evidence to suggest a simple mind can exist without a complex brain?....In the same way a projection requires a projector, a mind requires a "mind projector" (e.g. a brain, or any other hardware that illicits a self-benefiting effect). The more complex the brain (projector) the more complex the mind (projection).....until you can show that minds exist independent of brains, and preferably (though not necessary) explain why such a strong correlation between mind and brain exists.

    I've spoken to Alex about this one before, on this post even perhaps.... evidence for mind without brain? The Vandal family in america for a start, all the kids have whats called anencephaly (they have no brain, literally), the children are people and though retarded are despite your brain machine model people with a mind that functions. The second was a young man in the UK (Simon I think?) who was even more remarkable. No brain and not only was he a functioning personality, he was perfectly normal and passed his seniour exams with flying colours.
    So there is evidence from the natural world which completely contradicts you and the Russellian idea that the brain is a mind machine like a projector. Likewise the neurologist of our would are completely unable to determine what section of the brain is necessary for consciousness as they keep getting cases where that part is destroyed or absent and still have functioning persons. Seeing mind/consciousness is so poorly understood by the experts you are overstepping yourself by a long way to assume that such a simple brain=mind theory would hold up.
    It follows there for FROM SCIENCE that there is the possiblity of unembodied mind in the case of God.

    Don't you wonder why practically all secularists reject intelligent design? It's not because they hate your religion (isn't ID supposed to be a secularist theory?), it's because it's a lousy theory - and it's not even a scientific theory, it's a gap theory. Sometimes you just have to cut your losses.

    Have you recently looked at the evolutionary tree and considered how much of the tree is supported by fossil evidence (any evidence not just good evidence)? If it was set up with each segment of evidence as being on a "base level" then you would have a forest of small trees not one unified tree. The gaps in evolutionary theory are so huge that it is laughable really.

    Comments on Crusades/Inquistion/Christian injustice generally

    The issue is not if they were done on religious ground or not Jeram, the issue is if they were done on CONSISTENT CHRISTIAN grounds. You have come up with a lot of questions on if people know what God has told them. None of which you have supported.
    On the grounds of support, the inquistion and crusades and witch hunts where all lacking the support of the revealed word of God, ie the bible. The acts of these people are not instep with the one they claim to follow - this is plain from the bible when Jesus said "But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you."(Luke 6:27-28) These people were not consistent with what they believed, thus their inconsistency raises the question are they Christian at all if they are prepared to cast asside their Lord for some other gain?

    Consistent atheism on the other hand is clearly seen when it was applied to Stalinist Russia, there were millions of people that were exterminated for the regime's ends, why? When Stalin himself was asked why he hurt the people so much he illustrated it this way. Asking for a live chicken he took the bird and methodically plucked it bald feather by feather and then placed it on the floor and walked away a few steps then offered it some food which the bird took and then huddled up to him for warmth. "Inflict pain on a bird and it will follow you for food all its life, inflict pain on a people and they will follow you for food also". The simple application of atheism is that if people are material accidents that are nothing more valuable than any animal there is nothing wrong with exploiting them, butchering them or torturing them. As long as there is a sound material gain it appears you can justify anything consistently within atheism.
    So Jeram before you start throwing stone from your glass house how about explaining the great attrocities done CONSISTENTLY with atheism in the last 100 odd years then?

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  81. Wow, David, that last part left me speechless... wow... I'll get to that later though.

    Your last two points are far from proven by either you or dick, I've been reading through a few of your posts and the replies and you have mentioned several times that morality is hardwired evolutionarily into us. Mind telling me how? I would like you to focus on this one becaus no evolutionist has given me naturalistically science driven support for their own morality yet. Normally the answer will be something poor alone the lines of social or relational evolutionary theory.

    Why is social evolution a poor theory? Oh wait, because you don't believe in evolution, and so anything that bases itself upon that premise is "poor", right? So antibiotics are a waste of time, because nasty bacteria don't really evolve immunities to earlier antibiotics, do they? Forgetting the fossils and looking only at the last 150 years of biological research, evolution is a fact. It's been tested, verified, simulated, observed, and practically all fields of biology rest on this known fact that biological reproductive organisms evolve. There really is no denying this fact (indeed, latest poll sayd 99.98% of scientists accept evolution as fact). So, starting with the premise that we know evolution exists today, and making the assumption that evolution also existed in the past (why wouldn't you?), archaeologists have uncovered a vast array of fossils that, predictably, fit with evolution. So, we have the fact of evolution existing today, nothing to suggest it didn't happen in the past, and a fossil record that suggests it did. We can rationally conclude that evolution existed before the present.

    Morality clearly isn't restricted to humans - all social animals seem to have it, particularly the great apes. Even if you were to maintain that humans are seperate from other Earthly animals, we can still reasonably assume that morality evolved like anything else. There really is a LOT to be said on the subject - Dawkins devotes an entire chapter to it (though I know it would be like getting trying to get water from a stone trying to convince you to actually read it before concluding "Dick" is wrong). Rather than type up the extensive theories on how morality evolved naturally I'd ask that you do a little research yourself rather than waiting for an evolutionist to take the time to spell it out for you.

    You said it was poor, so please tell me what areas you disagree with - save me the time of regurgitating it in its entirety. Please do a bit of research and get an understanding of the evolutionary explanation for morality before replying, I couldn't be bothered burning strawmen anymore.

    As for unanswered prayer how on earth have you proven that beyond a doubt? Just because some people don't recieve what they ask for? Any wise parent will not give their children everything they ask for but say no some times. Or do you have a better arguement than the lack of an answer every time?

    I do have a better answer - a vastly better answer in fact. I say prayer has been disproven on two factors:

    1) Many studies have assessed the influence of praying for the sick.
    (Most extensive study to date gives null result - please read)
    2) Prayer can never give a negative result.

    Point 1 speaks for itself, so let me talk about point 2 for a bit.

    Let's say little Jimmy prays to God to fall sick so that he can skip school because he didn't study for a test. The next morning Jimmy wakes up with a fever, and praises God for answering his prayer.

    A month later Jimmy finds himself in the same situation, so he prays again, but wakes up healthy. God obviously said no that time.

    Can you see anything wrong with this scenario? Other than God apparantly helping the boy cheat the first time (although, since people usually pray for personal gain anyway, what's the difference?), do you see anything wrong here?

    The problem is that the conclusions you draw from the events (God says yes; God says no) are absurd. To illustrate this:

    Let's say little Jimmy prays to a golden calf to fall sick so that he can skip school because he didn't study for a test. The next morning Jimmy wakes up with a fever, and praises the golden calf for answering his prayer.

    A month later Jimmy finds himself in the same situation, so he prays again, but wakes up healthy. The golden calf obviously said no that time.

    Would you conclude the golden calf made Jimmy sick, or would you say that it was a coincidence, and Jimmy probably ate some bad chicken or something? Would you conclude that the golden calf PREVENTED Jimmy from falling ill, or was again just a coincidence? Are you starting to see what I'm getting at here? You said it yourself that God doesn't give us what we want all the time, yet you are convinced that when we DO get what we want it's because God is giving it to us.

    Another situation, two rival football teams (let's call them the Flies and the Frogs) are about to play. Before the match both quarterbacks pray to God to help their team win, but the Frogs beat the Flies. The Frog's quarterback believes God helped him win - the Flies quarterback believes God said no, or that it was part of His plan that they lose. So here we have a clear case of prayer working and prayer not working, yet neither quarterback believes the result was anything less than God's will, and so the result does not prove prayer doesn't work - because God says it does.

    Prayer is an illusion - nothing is answering your prayers, it's just coincidence backed up by wishful thinking. Whether you get what you want or you don't, you conclude that God is saying "yes" or "no" regardless, and so are fooled into believing a supernatural puppet-master heard your prayer and changed the universe in accordance, where there is absolutely no physical evidence to suggest so - only words in an old book.

    The bottom line is that - as studies have indicated - prayer has no bearing on achieving a desired outcome. Whether you pray or not you have the same odds of getting what you want. Therefore, prayer does not work.

    There is, however, a psychosomatic effect to prayer, much like the placebo effect. It can be calming to believe an immortal father is in charge of your destiny, and so prayer can have therapeudic effects in the absense of an actual god. The study I posted above also shows a negative side. The patients that knew they were being prayed for recovered slower and had more surgical complications than those that either were not being prayed for, or were not aware they were being prayed for. Initial thoughts are that it was some kind of performance anxiety that was a hinderence to their recovery.

    Why not to assume naturalism..... well there is the magical life from non-life fairy that you need and the magical nothing to everything bang fairy you need.

    There is not a magical life-from-non-life fairy, there is a scientific hypothesis of how different chemical elements formed basic amino acids - the building blocks of life.

    Oh, and the magical nothing to everything big bang fairy... nothing to everything is YOUR theory, not the big bang theory! The big bang is an EXPANSION of a singularity, not matter exploding from nothing! This expansion marked the beginning of our universe, and spacetime itself, and so there literally is no "before" the big bang. Whatever caused the expansion is still unknown, though physicists are working on a multiverse theory. God creating everything from nothing though... I mean come on, you can't get stuff from nothing! Durr!

    Why do you think scientific experts - people that have devoted their lives to studying this kind of stuff, are somehow so stupid as to be proven wrong so smugly by someone like you, who obviously doesn't know the first thing about bio-chemistry? Your strawmen arguments are tedious, DO SOME RESEARCH!

    That aside there is the presence of impossible forms, the lack of time, the complex forms that appear in geological "time" too early and without precursor, the paucity of explanation for the human drive for meaning and purpose.

    Presence of impossible forms? Lack of time? Complex forms that appear in geological "time" too early and without precursor? Show me the evidence, please, as they don't appear in any textbook I've ever read.

    It's funny you should mention lack of time... how does the Creation Museum explain the post-flood diversity? Super evolution. This requires mutation to occur 250,000 times FASTER than normal!

    Really why not assume naturalism???? Simply because it is inconsistent with reality!

    ... what kind of delusional, topsy-turvy reality do you live in? Again, PLEASE, do a little study on the areas you're trying to refute! Your strawmen arguments are old, and false, and have nothing to do with reality. I don't mind people questioning evolution, in fact I encourage it! But if you don't understand what evolution is you cannot argue against it. If you really want to become an influential, respected person, whose questions actually pose good points, then you NEED to do the research.

    I am telling you right here and now, you do not have an adequate understanding of evolution or big bang theory to be refuting their validity, and so your arguments make you look like an idiot. So please, to strengthen YOUR argument, learn what it is you're fighting against.

    evidence for mind without brain? The Vandal family in america for a start, all the kids have whats called anencephaly (they have no brain, literally), the children are people and though retarded are despite your brain machine model people with a mind that functions.

    Now this was interesting - I've never heard of the Vandals so I did some research (note: I'm researching your claim, not arguing against it out of ignorance). I only found one anencephalic child by the name of Vandal, and he was adopted, so you might be mistaken when you say "all the kids" (all 1 of them?). Please send me some sources if I'm mistaken. Even so, it's certainly a remarkable case... far from an unembodied mind though. You have to factor in also that anencephalic newborns have a 90% mortality rate, and are just about always complete vegetables, devoid of any consciousness. The Vandal case shows the remarkable adaptive ability of the brain (he had no cortex but still had a stem and some grey matter). It goes to show how little we understand about where consciousness is housed in the brain, but it's far from evidence of an unembodied mind.

    The second was a young man in the UK (Simon I think?) who was even more remarkable. No brain and not only was he a functioning personality, he was perfectly normal and passed his seniour exams with flying colours.

    Source? I looked around for this and couldn't find anything. It sounds a little far fetched.

    So there is evidence from the natural world which completely contradicts you and the Russellian idea that the brain is a mind machine like a projector.

    Completely contradicts? Hardly! If anything anencephaly shows that the mind IS a product of the brain. The Vandal case shows that the "mind projector" is larger than just the cortex, and extends further into the brain stem than initially thought.

    Seeing mind/consciousness is so poorly understood by the experts you are overstepping yourself by a long way to assume that such a simple brain=mind theory would hold up.

    Perhaps, but even Vandal had part of a brain, just no cortex. An inch of grey matter is hardly a "long way" to overstep. It's certainly ridiculous to say that since we set the limit a little too high in the past there is no limit at all.

    It follows there for FROM SCIENCE that there is the possiblity of unembodied mind in the case of God.

    No, it certainly does not:

    1) No scientific evidence of unembodied mind.
    2) No scientific evidence of God.

    Therefore, the hypothesis that a God exists as an unembodied mind is unscientific. On top of that, how do you suppose an mind could manipulate the universe WITHOUT a body? Is God some kind of poltergeist?

    And you said it yourself, Vandal was mentally retarded due to a lack of a brain - diminished brain = diminished mind. Wouldn't you then conclude, FROM SCIENCE, that as the brain approcahes zero so too does the mind? Wouldn't the total absense of a brain/nervous system indicate the total absense of a mind? If God has no brain he must be completely retarded, not some engineering genius!

    Have you recently looked at the evolutionary tree and considered how much of the tree is supported by fossil evidence (any evidence not just good evidence)? If it was set up with each segment of evidence as being on a "base level" then you would have a forest of small trees not one unified tree. The gaps in evolutionary theory are so huge that it is laughable really.

    The fact that your understanding of evolution ends with the fossil record is laughable. If there were no fossils at all evolution would still be a fact.

    If it was set up with each segment of evidence as being on a "base level" then you would have a forest of small trees not one unified tree.

    Umm... yeah... but we don't set up each segment of evidence as a "base level"... which is why it's a tree. Seriously, what are you trying to say? Archaeologists find twigs and leaves, and find where they join the branch, then find where the branch attatches to the trunk. The fossil record is just a puzzle, and we haven't found all the pieces - hence the gaps. The reason we keep building the puzzle is because the pieces we've found really do show what we would expect, and the peices fit. The fossil record supports the theory of evolution because we've found thousands of pieces that fit the puzzle and none that don't. The fossil record is NOT the backbone of evolutionary theory though. We fill the gaps with fossils - and continue to do so. To say the puzzle in incomplete is not the same as saying the pieces don't exist.

    The issue is not if they were done on religious ground or not Jeram, the issue is if they were done on CONSISTENT CHRISTIAN grounds. You have come up with a lot of questions on if people know what God has told them. None of which you have supported.

    No true Scotsman fallacy. You're arguing that they're not true Christians because their actions are allegedly unbiblical. In many of the cases this simply isn't true and purpotraters DO have biblical grounds for their actions. Unfortunately the Bible is so ambiguous and contradictory that you could find a Biblical passage to condone almost any action, and another passage to forbid it.

    Take the Westboro Baptist Church for example - Fred Phelps constantly reads quotes from the Bible to justify his actions. Phelps believes in God.

    The Crusaders and the Inquisitors believed in God, and that Christ was their saviour. What else does it take to be a Christian? They may not have upheld Biblically Christian ideals, but show me someone that does! If being a Christian requires following Jesus' teachings as per the Bible, then it's unChristian to wash your hands before you eat. Indeed, your hostility towards science and atheism is unChristian - why not turn the other cheek? You are not a true Christian.

    [Offensive, nonsensical blabber about Stalin]

    ... wow... you have got a screw loose my friend. "Consistent atheism"? What the hell is that? Always disbelieving in gods? How is Stalin's chicken plucking related to atheism is ANY way? Stalin's actions more closely mirror God himself!

    The simple application of atheism is that if people are material accidents that are nothing more valuable than any animal there is nothing wrong with exploiting them, butchering them or torturing them.

    Yes, that would explain why atheism is an even greater minority in prison than out. That would explain why believing in a god makes it unable to do horrific acts (the Crusaders and Inquisitors must have really been atheists). Phelps is an atheist? Jack the Ripper was an atheist? God - the biggest mass murderer of all time - is an atheist?

    You are so far off the mark... how can you honestly believe that an atheist has no respect for life when it is YOU that believe life is just temporary and meaningless considering the afterlife?

    It's so fucking offensive when theists try to use this argument. Why would an atheist - who believes that we only have one life - conclude that it is meaningless and ok to rob people of it? If anything, atheists find life MORE precious than theists! They are LESS inclined to harm others! Life is a precious gift, and to take it away from someone requires a very good reason. You Christians of the other hand can sleep easy knowing that your murder victim has gone to "a better place". You are a fucking disgrace, and I really hope you recognise how ridiculously false and offensive your statements were.

    So Jeram before you start throwing stone from your glass house how about explaining the great attrocities done CONSISTENTLY with atheism in the last 100 odd years then?

    Has any of these great attrocities been done IN THE NAME OF atheism? Didn't Stalin do what he did BECAUSE he didn't believe in gods? Did he do it to PROMOTE atheism? Did Stalin go around toting "I'll show you the power of atheism!"? There's NOTHING "consistently atheist" about ANYTHING Stalin, or Pot, or Hitler (arguably a Catholic) did, other than their disbelief in gods.

    What is the greatest danger to the western world today? Atheists? No. It is Islamic extremists. Have you noticed that religions lose direction and disperse over the centuries? Judaism used to be dominant, and wars waged in the name of YHWH. Then people started realising that war is a bad thing, and along came Jesus with an updated, more sophisticated philosophy of peace... and it worked... until it was used as a justification against MORE war (the Crusades). It again died out and the warmongering was replaced by peace (and secularism)... then came Islam, and wars rage once again. Islam follows their Bible very closely and engages in war where the Koran endorses it. Islam is new, and violent, but in time they will realise that their lifestyle is destructive and Islam will lapse into a more peaceful religion.

    New religions - especially ones that condone violence - are very dangerous. Even Scientology, which preaches violence against those that say Scientology is false, is dangerous.

    Atheism is not a religion. There is no doctrine, no Bible, and nothing that can be used to justify war. And what we see in society and in history is that atheists are often more peaceful, more tolerant, and more intelligent than theists.

    You mentioned before that it's unjustified to blame the Crusades on Christianity, and I agree, the PEOPLE are to blame - the greedy governments and dictators. By the same token it's completely unjustified to blame the actions of Stalin and co. on atheism. The Crusaders do NOT represent Christianity, and Stalin does NOT represent atheism, despite the fact that the Crusaders were Christian and Stalin was an atheist.

    That said, religion is a BREEDING GROUND for violence. All religions say "be intolerant of x", and it's this direct heavenly order to be intolerant that has spawned countless conflicts over the years. Even Christianity: don't tolerate homosexuals, don't tolerate tattoos/piercings, don't tolerate pre-marital sex, don't tolerate adultery, don't tolerate unbelievers, etc... it's these things, which are private and harmless, that are really no one elses business and don't deserve to be persecuted. It's this kind of unjustified intolerance that gives people justifucation for immoral acts - for example teaching abstinence instead of sexual education, or teaching creation instead of evolution. Creationists LIE and DECEIVE others to get them to join them - Kent Hovind is a prime example, as is VenomFangX.

    I urge you to watch this video:
    Creationism's Damage to Christianity

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  82. It's been tested, verified, simulated, observed, and practically all fields of biology rest on this known fact that biological reproductive organisms evolve...Morality clearly isn't restricted to humans - all social animals seem to have it, particularly the great apes....You said it was poor, so please tell me what areas you disagree with - save me the time of regurgitating it in its entirety. Please do a bit of research and get an understanding of the evolutionary explanation for morality before replying.

    Lol, really Jerram? Evolution has been tested, verified and observed in all fields of biology? Really? How on earth can you defend that position mate? The evolution of any single characteristic is purported to take millions of generations! So that is just a straw man, what scientists have observed is adaptation without any truly novel characteristics being formed. Don't bother quoting Lenski at this point because the Cit+ change has not been proven by a long way to be new information rather than modification. What scientists have got 100% certainty of is mutation producing variation within set limits of adaptation, there is no current evidence that there is unlimited ability to adapt leading to new traits and thus species.
    You like most who support this ailing theory claim very proudly that it is bullet proof, the truth is that you are presupposing evolution before you even begin doing science. This is shown all too clearly by the acrobatics that are done to do away with the problem of the sudden unprecedented appearance of insects (highly complex with wings and compound eyes and tracheal respiratory systems) in the fossil record. Likewise it is very amusing to listen to the musings of evolutionary faithful on how a bird lung could evolve, or the flight feather. These are the impossible forms I referred to (by no means exhaustive either).
    I will be brief on your great apes straw man and the social theory of evolutionary morality. My first issue is that Darwin was right, nature is red in tooth and claw! There is supposedly been the same amount of time for their social structures to evolve as ours and they have very similar social structures to ours. Yet oddly enough they have no moral code that reigns over their world, it is a case of the mighty rule and the rest lump it and stuff any chance at justice.
    Now answer the question – where do you get your morality from – by what mechanism do you receive it and what is your support for the theory you hold?

    1) Many studies have assessed the influence of praying for the sick.
    (Most extensive study to date gives null result - please read)
    2) Prayer can never give a negative result.


    :) right… so because there is no measurable improvement in the lives of those who are prayed for in what is obviously not a double blinded study within 30d we can thus say that God does not exist. Oh please, that is puerile in the extreme.

    There is not a magical life-from-non-life fairy, there is a scientific hypothesis of how different chemical elements formed basic amino acids - the building blocks of life....Why do you think scientific experts - people that have devoted their lives to studying this kind of stuff, are somehow so stupid as to be proven wrong so smugly by someone like you, who obviously doesn't know the first thing about bio-chemistry?

    Evolutionists put together a complex laboratory set up and applied focused energy to a prearranged soup of chemicals that they theorised would be present at the beginning and they got amino acids. Horray there is proof that there is no intelligence needed to produce life!
    HUH???? What kind of conclusion is that?
    Don’t know anything about bio-chemistry…. :) whatever you need to think to defend your faith. What is needed for life is for the amino acids or nucleotides (RNA/DNA components) to actually bond together in a coordinated fashion. And they are far from proven to have even been theoretically able to arrise themselves due to current evidence in the lab regarding oxygen interactions with the above. Evolutionists are fond of probability, on a statistical probability scale, the chances that your presupposed components for life would form a coherent whole organism is all but impossible. You’ve got more chance to aim and shoot a laser to hit a 1m target on the other side of the universe first time.
    Biochemistry is wonderful and enjoyable topic to study and though it would be interesting to talk with you about the beauty of protein folding, RNA and DNA internal regulation and modulation; it would be spitting in the wind. Despite your voluminous responses Jerram you betray a certain desperation in what you say and there is little desire to interact, you appear only interested in smack down arguments and those without much substance when examined.

    This expansion marked the beginning of our universe, and spacetime itself, and so there literally is no "before" the big bang. Whatever caused the expansion is still unknown, though physicists are working on a multiverse theory.

    Right and here I was thinking that you materialist didn't believe in eternal things! Matter is eternal in the form of this singularity? Go and have a chat to a philosopher and ask them why infinite regress is a problem then say that again. Or alternately you have a greater problem, claiming that there was no time before the singularity and then you’ve got a beginning with loads of presuppositions as to what couldn’t happen and no idea what actually did happen!
    On the big bang you develop some simple problems, one in preservation of angular momentum and the other is the first law of motion. i.e. things keep spinning or moving in the direction they were moving/spinning in in a vacumn until something acts on them to change that. Why then would matter clump together to form anything (as apposed to galaxies/stars/planets and us) rather than keep on moving outwards from the expansion/bang and form a uniform dust filled universe? Likewise if the singluarity was spinning and thus produced spining galaxies and solar systems why do you have planets that have opposite directions of spin? It is no were near as simple as your just so story!

    Presence of impossible forms? Lack of time? Complex forms that appear in geological "time" too early and without precursor? Show me the evidence, please, as they don't appear in any textbook I've ever read.

    That may have something to do with the fact you would never read the creationist publications you make clear you hate with a passion. This is unbecoming for someone who loves science by the way, at least as a creationist I have read your books before arguing you are wrong. Also you wont see it in any journal due to the effective thought police that you would entitle peer review. Peer review has become an old boy's club where freedom of thought is being increasingly limited and those who step outside the limits will never see publication let alone tenure.
    Scientific exploration is a robust discipline but despite this those in current power in the intelectual world seem to think that if a debate is begun in the journals over different causes for life and explanations of the universe then we will be going backwards rather than forwards. Sounds like protectionism to me not science.
    As for evidences please read the rest of the posts on this website re birds and diamonds and radiometric dating. You will find plenty to read there.

    The Vandal case

    Cant find all that I looked up originally but a quick look produced the below – cant seem to find Lorber's studies into hydrocephalus but the implications still stand. Where does consciousness come from as it is not related to the brain being intact necessarily. It wont do just to say well that shows how amazing the brain is! What is it that makes up a person? Where is a person based?
    How can you possibly say knowing so little of these answers that; 1) it is impossible for God to be a person without a body and 2) that personhood does not continue after death of the body?

    http://www.flatrock.org.nz/topics/science/is_the_brain_really_necessary.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lorber
    http://www.mysteries.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/6,2.htm

    No true Scotsman fallacy. You're arguing that they're not true Christians because their actions are allegedly unbiblical. In many of the cases this simply isn't true and purpotraters DO have biblical grounds for their actions. Unfortunately the Bible is so ambiguous and contradictory that you could find a Biblical passage to condone almost any action, and another passage to forbid it.

    Your understanding of the bible is frighteningly simplistic and literalistic, have you never encountered anything like figures of speech and metaphor or hyperbole before? Go away and learn some basic hermeneutics before you start making embarrassing comments like the above.
    As for Christians, and biblical ground, there is a difference between citing the bible and being consistent with it, that is the point. Those who did those evil acts during the inquisition etc were either a) deluded/deceived or b) acting deliberately outside of what they knew the bible taught. The first group could be genuine Christians but deceived into acts their consciences condemned, they would later repent and hate the things they had done. The second group are hypocrites.

    Has any of these great attrocities been done IN THE NAME OF atheism? Didn't Stalin do what he did BECAUSE he didn't believe in gods? Did he do it to PROMOTE atheism? Did Stalin go around toting "I'll show you the power of atheism!"? There's NOTHING "consistently atheist" about ANYTHING Stalin, or Pot, or Hitler (arguably a Catholic) did, other than their disbelief in gods.

    Lots of wind and not much substance, these men set out to build states that systematically removed God from national life. They wanted ATHEISTIC states, the actions of the state then comes from the philosophy it was built on. Stalin was a commited atheist and worked out his atheism on a national scale, he applied the philosophy of atheism to national Russia. That is what consistency means, you apply what you hold to over all of your life. If you don't like what Stalinist Russia, Mao's China, or Hilter's Germany looked like then have a look at the philosophy you are following, have a read of Nietzsche's writings (which all of them did and then followed) and think through what that looks like on a national scale. Read what Darwin wrote on the origin of species about what races were more evolved and then move onto the works regarding eugenics and man driven manipulation of human genetics. The evils of these states were consistent with the philosophy you claim to follow. Think about it.

    You are so far off the mark... how can you honestly believe that an atheist has no respect for life when it is YOU that believe life is just temporary and meaningless considering the afterlife?

    That is so wrong headed that it is amazing! Where we come from and where we are going gives meaning and context to what we are now and what we do. Now let me see.... materialistic atheism believes that you and I are cosmic accidents brought about by biological messing about for millions of years and when we die there is nothing more than a rotting corpse. Christianity claims that the God who made us made us deliberately to achieve certain things and live constructively and in a moral way, and when we die we believe that there is eternal joy or eternal hell which is a direct result of what we choose in this life.
    You may have respect for life Jerram and I applaud that in you if you do. But does atheism produce a basis for this, no. Does atheism if followed consistently produce respect for life, no. You are living a contradiction of atheism and definitely of evolution, none the less I applaud you for it.

    It's so f****g offensive when theists try to use this argument. You Christians of the other hand can sleep easy knowing that your murder victim has gone to "a better place". You are a f****g disgrace, and I really hope you recognise how ridiculously false and offensive your statements were.

    Tut, tut, calm down, what happened to not wanting to fight Jerram? You’re not adversarial you said earlier – lies!
    You are a hypocrite Jerram, you will gladly run through the mud anything that you like among the doctrines and events and persons that we as Christians hold dear. Then when anything is said that offends your beliefs, you stomp and shout like a small child!

    Atheism is not a religion. There is no doctrine, no Bible, and nothing that can be used to justify war. And what we see in society and in history is that atheists are often more peaceful, more tolerant, and more intelligent than theists.

    Hmmm.... lets try a few examples here….

    Hilter, Stalin, Nietzsche, Mao, Pol Pot, Richard Dawkins, and Mussolini vs Mother Teresa, Francis of Assisi, Newton, William Wilberforce, Pascal and Jesus Christ.

    Right…..definitely.

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  83. Lol, really Jerram? Evolution has been tested, verified and observed in all fields of biology? Really? How on earth can you defend that position mate? The evolution of any single characteristic is purported to take millions of generations!

    Incorrect. The kind of large-scale evolution that Creationists are demanding to see takes millions of years, yet all the mechanisms that would predict such large scale evolution have been proven to exist. Indeed, saying "The evolution of any single characteristic is purported to take millions of generations" is just plain false - a genetic characteristic forms with just one generation; one mutation.

    As for evolution not being verified... take a look at the AIDS virus! That evolves and adapts to vaccines so well that we're having such a hard time getting rid of it. As I said before, because viruses and bacteria have such short life spans we can watch "macroevolution" in real-time. We can see them mutate and evolve and adapt and become resistant over the span of a few years rather than the millions of years it would take to observe a larger organism do exactly the same thing.

    I would like to bring up Pluto for a second. Pluto orbits the sun once every 248 Earth years... but we've only known about Pluto for 70 years. We've never ever witnessed Pluto make a full orbit around the sun, so how can we know how long it takes? What we do, is observe the motion of planetary bodies we CAN directly observe and determine all the forces at play, and then map the distance to Pluto and how we've observed Pluto to move, and calculate how long it would take for Pluto to orbit the sun based on the proven physics that influence celestial bodies in their orbits (namely gravity).

    So I ask you, what's a more reasonable assumption: Pluto has a 248 year orbit, or there are unknown forces that hinder the movement of Pluto and give it an erratic orbit, whilst keeping it within orbit of the sun? This is essentially what you're suggesting when you say that evolution is impossible; you're assuming that there is an unknown influence preventing what we KNOW to exist today from happening in the past - despite fossilised evidence SUPPORTING it. What justification can you possibly have for assuming this?

    What scientists have got 100% certainty of is mutation producing variation within set limits of adaptation,

    Ok... there are no set limits to "adaption". If you disagree, please, show me a scientific, testable limit of adaption. When does an organism cease to be able to mutate and adapt?

    there is no current evidence that there is unlimited ability to adapt leading to new traits and thus species.

    Mutation = unlimited adaptive ability. We have observed MANY cases of speciation (adaption leading to new traits and thus new species). This is why Creationists fail so hard, because they DON'T understand the mechanics of evolution. They'll say something like "you can't get new information" when the term "information" is foreign to evolution. There is mutation - a change in the genetic code. It's often (though not always) physically detrimental, but in the cases where the mutation actually works to the advantage of the organism within its environment, that animal has a better chance of surviving, thus reproducing, thus passing on the mutation, and so forth. You ADMIT that this happens - you call it "adaptation" or "microevolution". The problem is that you assert that it STOPS happening - and no Creationist has ever presented any biological mechanism that causes adaptation to stop.

    You like most who support this ailing theory claim very proudly that it is bullet proof, the truth is that you are presupposing evolution before you even begin doing science.

    You are completely wrong, and what you've stated here is mind-blowingly stupid. Why would science adopt an unscientific basis for their scientific study? Can you not see how ridiculous that sounds? (btw, I love how you call it "ailing" despite the fact it's been gaining momentum every since it was proposed, and all new evidence just coinsidentally fits perfectly with the theory... hmm, yeah, I'd call that "ailing")

    There is supposedly been the same amount of time for their social structures to evolve as ours and they have very similar social structures to ours. Yet oddly enough they have no moral code that reigns over their world, it is a case of the mighty rule and the rest lump it and stuff any chance at justice.

    Are you suggesting that animals don't have morals? (Monkeys have a sense of morality, say scientists) Honestly, have you never seen a documentary on gorillas, or chimps?

    But yes, I'll agree, human morality is much more advanced than any other in the animal kingdom. How can this be, if we've had the same time to evolve? That's like saying how come bears have evolved teeth but ducks haven't? Or how come fish have evolved gills but beavers haven't? It's because not all life evolves in unison - I can put the same question to you, if big cats were one "kind" of animal on the ark, why do we have different species today? They've had the same time to evolve, why aren't they the same?

    It's because evolution is an open market; species evolve to fill gaps in the market. For example, if an animal evolved a slightly longer neck it could eat higher leaves, opening up a new market and a chance for long-necks to flourish and prosper, seperating themselves from the short-necks and becoming a new species. In just the way these physical traits evolve in different ways, so too does intelligence. The great apes, and humans in particular have evolved into the intelligence market, and our intelligence gives us a survival advantage. With this greater intelligence comes greater morality as we are better equipped mentally to understand the consequences of our actions.

    Now answer the question – where do you get your morality from – by what mechanism do you receive it and what is your support for the theory you hold?

    *sigh* didn't I just tell you it would take forever to type it out? Let me try and dig up some sources for you to read at your own lesuire...
    Where does morality come from, if not from God?
    DOES MORALITY REQUIRE GOD?
    I really am sorry about the copypasta, but there's just so much to say on the topic I could never do it justice without writing you an entire essay, and there's no point as others have already done so. Enjoy.

    :) right… so because there is no measurable improvement in the lives of those who are prayed for in what is obviously not a double blinded study within 30d we can thus say that God does not exist.

    No, it proves that prayer does not work, so a prayer-answering god does not exist. This isn't the only study, there have been many similar ones done before this - all showing no or insignificant support for the power of prayer.

    Evolutionists are fond of probability, on a statistical probability scale, the chances that your presupposed components for life would form a coherent whole organism is all but impossible. You’ve got more chance to aim and shoot a laser to hit a 1m target on the other side of the universe first time.

    XD First time? Are you saying that Earth is the ONLY planet in the universe? Assuming you DIDN'T just pull those statistics straight out of your arse, it'd be more like hitting the same target given a a zillion shots (I pulled that stat out of my arse, guessing the number of planets in the universe). Suddenly the odds aren't so implausible.

    You're right, the odds against life forming may be miniscule, but given the probable enormous amount of life-sustainable planets, and only requiring the event to happen ONCE in the entire history of the universe to create us... it's plausible.

    Right and here I was thinking that you materialist didn't believe in eternal things! Matter is eternal in the form of this singularity? Go and have a chat to a philosopher and ask them why infinite regress is a problem then say that again.

    When did I ever say the singularity was eternal? I said the singularity was the beginning of the universe - whatever the cause was exists beyond the universe and is likely unknowable. There's string theory, and the multiverse, and all kinds of mathematical models physicists are toying with, but the reality is that we clearly do not know, and maybe never will know. What we DO know is that a personal god and biblical Creation do not conform to the observable reality, and thus are - in all likelyhood - false.

    Or alternately you have a greater problem, claiming that there was no time before the singularity and then you’ve got a beginning with loads of presuppositions as to what couldn’t happen and no idea what actually did happen!

    And what's wrong with saying "I do not know"? Let me remind you that YOU are the one claiming to have all the answers whilst offering no explanation as to how they fit with reality. You're making a huge logical mistake saying "you don't know, therefore I'm right". You are not right until you can present positive proof of your claim - something that NO theist has ever been able to do. The difference is that we're being HONEST about it. We will freely admit that we don't yet have all the answers, whilst year after year proving the arrogance of theists saying "Ha! You can't explain that so I win!" by finding a scientific explanation to the thing the theist claimed trumps on. Science has been discrediting religious superstition for centuries, and we don't plan on stopping anytime soon.

    As for the problems with the Big Bang, I'm no astrophysicist so I can't comment, though I would suggest you address these questions to someone that knows more before claiming you've one-upped the experts. It's very hard to believe that such a theory would hold so strongly if the problems were so easy to spot. If your limited knowledge of evolution in any way mirrors your knowledge of astrophysics then I wouldn't claim victory just yet.

    That may have something to do with the fact you would never read the creationist publications you make clear you hate with a passion.

    HAHA! You're not serious? I have read a few publications in the past, yes, but their fallacious arguments just got tedious... they are just so wrong and clearly have no intent to clarify their misconceptions. I think saying I "hate [them] with a passion" is a slight exaggeration, but I do find the majority of the content to be intellectually dishonest. The fact that you mention Creationist publications does shed some light as to why you're so unforgivably misinformed on the theory of evolution - if not big bang and abiogenesis also (I'm not as knowledgable in those areas).

    This is unbecoming for someone who loves science by the way, at least as a creationist I have read your books before arguing you are wrong.

    Unbecoming for a scientist to read trash fiction? Creation magazines are not scientific journals, and most do nothing but find the holes in scientific theories and say "Ha! They can't explain this! God is real!", or worse - vastly misunderstand the scientific explanations and make strawmen arguments showing their impossibility in terms that are so simplistic it's impossible to imagine someone who has spent their entire life researching the theory could not have spotted such an obvious hole. It's just insulting, really.

    As for you "reading [our] books" I strongly suggest you re-read them, as all the answers to your "problems" are found therein. Stop wasting your time reading Creation trash expecting to find scientific validity.

    Also you wont see it in any journal due to the effective thought police that you would entitle peer review. Peer review has become an old boy's club where freedom of thought is being increasingly limited and those who step outside the limits will never see publication let alone tenure.

    The reason you won't find pro-Creation in peer reviewed journals is because every study done by Creationists to show Creation has been a bullshit study. It's the same thing with ID in schools - Creationists are having a bitch because ID is being treated as if it WERE an actual science! All scientific theories have to go through the same brutally rigorous sceptical peer review, where everyone is trying their absolute hardest to rip the theory to shreds. Only the theories that withstand this onslaught are even CONSIDERED for teaching in schools. Creationists expect special treatment for ID/Creation Science where no special treatment is warranted! If it claims to be a science it deserves the same scrutiny all sciences do. ID has been reviewed, scrutinised, and it has failed miserably as a scientific theory - just like thousands of theories before it, and thousands more after it.

    As for evidences please read the rest of the posts on this website re birds and diamonds and radiometric dating. You will find plenty to read there.

    Links?

    It wont do just to say well that shows how amazing the brain is! What is it that makes up a person? Where is a person based?

    I wouldn't say that the "person" is located in one specific part of the brain, but rather all aspects of the person cover the entire brain, to a degree. You should take a course in biological psychology - we've clearly identified parts of the brain that control certain parts of our personality.

    How can you possibly say knowing so little of these answers that; 1) it is impossible for God to be a person without a body and 2) that personhood does not continue after death of the body?

    I would try to avoid the word "impossible", but:
    1) No evidence for gods, no evidence for mind without at least a semblance of a brain
    2) Again, no evidence for mind without at least a semblance of a brain

    I'd ask you what evidence you have to suggest there IS life after death, but I have a good feeling you'll give me nothing but subjective experience.

    Your understanding of the bible is frighteningly simplistic and literalistic, have you never encountered anything like figures of speech and metaphor or hyperbole before? Go away and learn some basic hermeneutics before you start making embarrassing comments like the above.

    So your bible is being metaphoric when it instructs you to stone sinners to death? Or Jesus was being metaphoric when he said washing your hands before eating was a waste of time?

    Lots of wind and not much substance, these men set out to build states that systematically removed God from national life. They wanted ATHEISTIC states, the actions of the state then comes from the philosophy it was built on

    What a load of garbage! They wanted to abolish FREE THOUGHT, not create atheistic states! They got rid of religion, science, economics... anything that could overturn their rule. It was never about enforcing atheism, it was about silencing rebellion. Can you not say the same about the Crusades and the Inquisition, and the Jews of the old conquoring nations to make them CHRISTIAN, or JEWISH? That may be the case, but it's clearly not the purpose of their actions (or rather, there's nothing worse about what Stalin did compared to Christian travesties).

    Anyway, enough with this blame game, it has no bearing on Dawkins and his argument for atheism.

    That is so wrong headed that it is amazing!

    Now you know how I felt when I read your statement! XD

    Where we come from and where we are going gives meaning and context to what we are now and what we do. Now let me see.... materialistic atheism believes that you and I are cosmic accidents brought about by biological messing about for millions of years and when we die there is nothing more than a rotting corpse.

    That's an overly-cynical view, and I don't agree for a second that where we come from and where we go before and after life has any meaning whatsoever. Furthermore, it's just plain silly to give up your life because you're delusional enough to believe there's something after it.

    Christianity claims that the God who made us made us deliberately to achieve certain things and live constructively and in a moral way, and when we die we believe that there is eternal joy or eternal hell which is a direct result of what we choose in this life.

    I find that immensly more terrifying than non-existence. The options of your afterlife are both torture compared to life on Earth. Both of which contain eternity - a hell in itself. You might enjoy the first thousand, ten thousand, maybe even million years... but after doing the same things over and over and over again, with no end in sight, and not being allowed to end it... even if it was the most joyous thing imaginable, it'd be sheer torture to NEVER be able to end it. Furthermore, what are the options? Eternal slavery or eternal pain... awesome choice! We can live serving God for eternity in a land free of sin (we lose our Earthly free will), not even capable of doing ANYTHING God dispproves of... or we have an eternity of constant pain and torment, all for so much as not believing Jesus was God. On top of that, who decides our fate? God. God created us knowing full well that 80% of us would NOT accept Christ, and so made Hell with the INTENTION of torturing 80% of His creations for eternity, whilst enslaving the other 20%. The very concept of eternal life is nothing more than a mortal man + greed. The primitive minds who wrote the Bible said "hey, wouldn't eternal life be cool?" without thinking it through. Eternal life would be the biggest curse one could have!

    I'm sorry, but this is why atheists aren't pursuaded by threats/promises of the afterlife. Eternal life, in any form, is CERTAINLY worse than non-existence. At least when I die, that's it - finito. To think that I would have to go on living, on, and on, and on, and on, and on... THAT is fucking scary.

    You may have respect for life Jerram and I applaud that in you if you do. But does atheism produce a basis for this, no. Does atheism if followed consistently produce respect for life, no. You are living a contradiction of atheism and definitely of evolution, none the less I applaud you for it.

    What the hell are you talking about? Does a lack in a belief of unicorns consistently produce disrespect for life? You don't believe in Zeus, right? Therefore, you have no respect for life. Can you not see how ridiculous what you're saying is? Furthermore, the fact that you only have respect for life BECAUSE of God makes me pity you. The fact that you cannot look at the achievements of your fellow man, and respect them on that alone... it's sad, it truly is.

    So keep your applause. Someone that needs a god to respect his fellow man... it's just sad.

    Tut, tut, calm down, what happened to not wanting to fight Jerram? You’re not adversarial you said earlier – lies!You’re not adversarial you said earlier – lies!
    You are a hypocrite Jerram, you will gladly run through the mud anything that you like among the doctrines and events and persons that we as Christians hold dear. Then when anything is said that offends your beliefs, you stomp and shout like a small child!


    Forgive the outburst, but I hope such a display of passion might have encouraged you to re-think your comments.

    Hmmm.... lets try a few examples here….

    Hilter, Stalin, Nietzsche, Mao, Pol Pot, Richard Dawkins, and Mussolini vs Mother Teresa, Francis of Assisi, Newton, William Wilberforce, Pascal and Jesus Christ.


    ... you're comparing atheist tyrants to theist saints? (though I wouldn't call Dawkins a tyrant) You're a dickhead, seriously.

    Secular Norway vs Islamic Afganistan.

    Right... definitely.




    Also, I've kinda had enough of this :S My mind can only handle so much blatant ignorance, and my replies are becoming far too long. I might be back when I feel like hurting myself again, otherwise good luck and Satan bless.

    ReplyDelete
  84. My time here is again limited for it takes longer to post an answer after analyzing one's argument.

    Jerram posted:
    "It's been tested, verified, simulated, observed, and practically all fields of biology rest on this known fact that biological reproductive organisms evolve...Morality clearly isn't restricted to humans - all social animals seem to have it, particularly the great apes.."

    I turn your "opinion/facts" to you, is your argument against Christianity was well tested, verified, simulated, observed by practically all fields of Biblical knowledge and thus you already have read vast amounts of Christian thinkers' works from classics to modern?

    Please avoid using a strawman like RD's no need to become a theologian to demolish theologians. As knowledge is knowledge and it needs to be known first before you _get_ something from it.

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  85. Dawkin's comment about theology was not a strawman because the existence of g/God(s) isn't a theological question - it's a scientific question.

    The problem is defining God - as everyone seems to have a vastly differing opinion as to WHAT "God" is. Dawkins took the idea of an actual personal god that created the universe and talks to people (a definition which extents to many, though not all, religious folk) and said the probability of such a god existing is next to zero, and no more plausible than the existence of unicorns - and backs up his argument with evidence every step of the way.

    So any theology who's basis is a god that fulfils any of these qualities is automatically destroyed. No god = no theology. Basically, your argument that one cannot argue against "God" without arguing theology is a false one.

    The only plausible theology of a god I've ever heard is God as the bedrock of reality. "I think therefore I am" proves that you are real, and hence reality exists - maybe different layers of reality used to seperate existence from non-existence. The absolute bedrock - that which exists uncaused and is seperate from fantasy, is God. It doesn't follow that this God is intelligent or conscious or anything like that, and the only justification for the word "God" is that many definitions of the word, across different religions, has a quality of infinity and prime precursor to all reality which follows. I think the label of "God" is dangerously misdirective and not a very good label at all, but it's a justified label.

    As for ME using strawmen, you're arguing that evolution being verified by scientists is akin to Christianity being verified by theologians? In some way it is, but in a very important way it is not. Science deals with objective fact and discerns what is ACTUALLY real. It observes phenomenon that is aparant to everyone (i.e. objective) and seeks to understand it.

    Theology, on the other hand, deals with philosophy and logic - neither of which are tools which can identify objective reality. You can't prove the existence of something with mere logic - you can prove that an idea is logically sound, but it REQUIRES objective evidence to be real. For example, the Flying Spaghetti Monster can be theologically studied and proven to be logically consistent with reality. You can take the idea of the FSM, deconstruct it, and conclude that it CAN exist - exactly the same as theology does with God. But theology does not determine REALITY - only science can.

    What people have done in the past, and today, is mistake an unrelated, natural, physical phenomenon and claim it to be scientific evidence of God. What Dawkins has done with his book is collaborate all these things where people have claimed "goddidit" and so "no, this can be better explained THIS way, and is not in fact evidence of God".

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  86. Prove to me scientifically that killing an innocent person is wrong. Or that raping and killing a woman is scientifically wrong.

    Please don't use logic and reason, only scientific method.

    (Contradiction detected)
    If scientific inquiry was built using logic and reasoning, how do you define science then?

    I pity you..

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  87. Logic and reason is NOT the same as morality. You really have made no argument here, and I honestly don't understand why you would then pity me.

    If scientific inquiry was built using logic and reasoning, how do you define science then?

    Science is the investigation of reality via observation, and the employment of logic and reason to deduce plausible explanations of HOW reality works.

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  88. Prove to me scientifically that killing an innocent person is wrong. Or that raping and killing a woman is scientifically wrong.

    Please don't use logic and reason, only scientific method.


    You obviously realise that logic and reason are REQUIREMENTS of the scientific method (not the only requirements) and so it's impossible to scientifically prove ANYTHING without logic and reason.

    To answer your ridiculous question though, before any scientific answer can be made you must have clearly defined concepts. You must clearly define the concept of "wrong", as it is an ambiguous term. Furthermore, the idea of something like rape being "scientifically wrong" just seems absurd to me. Are you suggesting that science is some kind of moral compass? Or that rapists don't employ science? Really, it's absurd.

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  89. Prove to me that you aren't using reasons and logic to prove us wrong.

    I pity you.

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  90. Prove to me that you aren't using reasons and logic to prove us wrong.

    I pity you.


    I never said I WASN'T using reason and logic! I was, and I admitted that! You are still not understanding the difference between science and theology.

    Look, theology/philosophy works with reason and logic. Science works with OBSERVATION, reason and logic. The difference between theology and science is OBSERVATION. Theology starts with an assumed premise, science starts with a verified observation.

    Furthermore, I never claimed to prove you wrong, only stated that your conclusions are UNJUSTIFIED. You CANNOT start with an assumption and logically prove its existence, and that is what you are doing. You're ASSUMING God's existence and using theology to justify it by showing the premise to be logically sound. This DOES NOT prove that God exists, only that the presumption of God is possible within the bounds of logic. As I said before, you can do exactly the same with ANY premise as long as the premise is not logically flawed.

    For example, if I was to say I had an apple in my hand, but it was coated in a paint that prevented me from seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, or touching it, that is a LOGICALLY SOUND premise. There is no error in logic that makes the assumption an impossibility, and so you CANNOT prove that the apple does not exist. So this obviously means that the apple DOES exist, right? I know you're not stupid enough to suggest that it really does exist.

    THIS is the error in your argument, and unless you're willing to say something more intelligent than "I pity you" I'm not wasting any more time with you, because you are a moron.

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  91. I am travelling to Australia so this will be my last response for the next month, I will try to reply again after I am back. Because my time is short and your replies are long I will do this bullet point wise.

    Re Evolution:

    *The mechanisms for evolution are already known? Right that’s why no decent response to the problems raised by creationists is to be found anywhere – you and other bloggers scoff but there is yet to be any rational response refuting the problems we raise
    *The links to those articles:
    http://operation513.blogspot.com/2009/02/diamonds-creationists-best-friend.html
    http://operation513.blogspot.com/2009/01/radiometric-dating-breakthroughs.html
    http://operation513.blogspot.com/2008/10/neo-darwinism-is-dying-with-chicken.html

    “As I said before, because viruses and bacteria have such short life spans we can watch "macroevolution" in real-time.”
    *Evidence? – that’s just a claim, there is no new genetic information to be found in HIV in all its mutations

    “despite fossilised evidence SUPPORTING it “
    *right – fragments and a non-existent “geological column” support your theory – some support
    *Give me just for curiosity sake a couple of transitional forms, say for the major changes between phylogenetic groups:
    Fish to amphibians
    Reptiles/dinosaurs to mammals
    Reptiles/dinosaurs to birds
    Or even better the precursors to insects

    “Pluto orbits the sun once every 248 Earth years...”
    *false analogy: you are assuming that there as much evidence and support for evolution as there is for planetary motion
    *we watch planets move and have solid laws of physics that govern them and pluto thus extrapolate to Pluto – no such thing for evolution which contradicts itself internally (birds and insects) and lacks evidence

    “When does an organism cease to be able to mutate and adapt? Etc”
    *What mechanism is put forward by creationists? You really are ignorant of your opponent aren’t you Jerram?
    *Here it is in simple form:
    *Evolution is driven by mutation (as claimed by yourself and others)
    *All forms of adaptation have been shown to be a loss of or modification of the information found in genetic material which is distinct from:
    *The addition of new genetic information leading to novel traits and thus moving through the evolutionary progression – it is this that is not substantiated in ANY modern or dated works re evolution
    *A very simple example is found in size re breeding of dogs/cattle/chickens
    *All of these animals reach a maximal size at which point their bodies break down regardless of further attempts at breeding eg the great dane and the holstein cow

    “Why would science adopt an unscientific basis for their scientific study?”
    *Don’t know – I think it was imported into science by a failed theology student with an axe to grind!
    *Does naturalistic evolution support science though?
    *Science presupposes that the universe is a knowable place with certain constants and rules that govern the way things work
    *N. evolution presupposes that the universe is closed and random chance and unguided selection govern biological/chemical/physical etc realms
    *Therefore n. evolution undercuts the very foundation for science

    “Are you suggesting that animals don't have morals?”
    *What I’m suggesting is that they reflect the beneficence of God rather than a stepping stone to human morality
    *The only thing that that article gets you to is subjective morality, every time you claim something is “wrong” you confirm my point that there is absolute morality
    *There is no evidence to bridge that gap of subjective to objective and absolute, unless the giver of that is outside us and absolutely able to legislate what is right and wrong

    “With this greater intelligence comes greater morality”
    *Ha! Germany was the most intellectually advanced and educated culture in Europe before and during the holocaust – intelligence = morality is a fallacy!

    “You're right, the odds against life forming may be minuscule” etc
    *You missed the point again
    *Every time life was to form by the process you claim it faces those odds – virtually impossible except in fairy tales EVERY TIME, the number of repetitions does not reduce impossibility

    “When did I ever say the singularity was eternal?” Etc
    *Right so we’re back to a causeless beginning – something from nothing
    *You cant have it both ways Jerram

    “Science has been discrediting religious superstition for centuries, and we don't plan on stopping any time soon.” Etc
    *Science is still born in atheistic societies as it provides no foundation for it
    *Science was the realm of the religiously devout for centuries and many of the early bright lights of science were Christians – Newton for example
    *Christian faith is not debunked by science rather it is supported by science, natural truth is consisent with theological truth

    “As for you "reading [our] books" I strongly suggest you re-read them, as all the answers to your "problems" are found therein”
    *Have repeatedly and found nothing. There was nothing in the 1990’s or 2000’s when I studied at university either

    Re: Brains and a Personal God

    “You should take a course in biological psychology - we've clearly identified parts of the brain that control certain parts of our personality.”
    *Which were completely lacking in the people I mentioned and they have far more personality than you could expect from your model - so no that doesn’t cut it

    "I'd ask you what evidence you have to suggest there IS life after death"
    *The historical occurrence of Jesus Christ rising from the dead
    *Witnesses – over 300 Christians, negative witness of failure of Jewish authorities to squash Christianity when they could at the start, witness to Jesus in Josephus/Pliney/Tacitus
    *He rose from the dead (yes he was dead) 3 days after crucifixion – find some historical evidence to contradict and I’ll give you some credence, scepticism doesn’t cut it.

    Re The Bible:

    “Or Jesus was being metaphoric when he said washing your hands before eating was a waste of time?”
    *Here is a wonderful example of ignorance and simplistic literalism
    *Jesus was referring to the Jewish tradition of washing away the moral contamination of contact with non-Jews (which they thought would separate them from God)
    *This is made clear by the context which I suspect you’ve never read but rather are regurgitating pre-chewed atheistic weblog garbage!

    “That's an overly-cynical view, and I don't agree for a second that where we come from and where we go before and after life has any meaning whatsoever.”
    *Of course not! But ultimate meaning in and to life has been the quest of philosophers for the last centuries before now. They and millions of others think contrary to you that there needs to be meaning to life and that origin and destiny relate directly to that meaning.

    “but after doing the same things over and over and over again, with no end in sight, and not being allowed to end it...”
    *Again a simplistic understanding of what the bible teaches
    *The primary joy of heaven is God Himself not the eternity to live in/explore the universe
    *Facination and joy found in knowing and having fellowship with another person are well attested to, the joy of heaven is found primarily in knowing and being known by God who is infinite – thus the joy is eternal and never palls because there is always something new in God to know

    “At least when I die, that's it – finito”
    *if you are right you mean – if you're wrong then you lose on every level
    *If Christians are wrong they mearly cease to exist and then there is no loss!

    “Furthermore, the fact that you only have respect for life BECAUSE of God makes me pity you.”
    *Keep your pity, at least my perspective as a Christian is consistent with reality

    Re Tyrants vs Saints:

    “There is no doctrine, no Bible, and nothing that can be used to justify war. And what we see in society and in history is that atheists are often more peaceful, more tolerant, and more intelligent than theists.”
    *The whole point of my comment was that these tyrants are excellent examples of people that had the opportunity and power to implement atheism (their foundational philosophy on life).
    *The people I listed where not all catholic saints but rather all Christian and their worldview is reflected in their actions. You think all Christianity is a joke and fairy tales, why should a “saint” be any different a prospect to other Christians? Shouldn’t the best of the deluded and mentally retarded (as you and your fellows seem to view all Christians) be less intelligent/tolerant/peaceful than all athiests?

    Secular Norway vs Islamic Afganistan
    *How many times does it need to be said before an athiest will get it? I am not, we are not Muslims!!!! We do not support the Muslim approach to life as it contradicts the bible on many fronts (one of the problems that muslims have since they claim the bible as the measure of truth).
    *You cannot just bundle all theists into one basket and claim we are responsible for each other’s beliefs – it is the height of ignorance to think along those lines

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  92. Re: Problems with evolution

    Link 1) Has nothing to do with evolution.
    Link 2) Has nothing to do with evolution.
    Link 3) Makes the claim that because soft tissue transition of bellows to flow through lungs was not preserved in the fossil record, and creationists cannot think of how this could have happened, it COULD NOT have happened. Fail.

    Re: Macroevolution of HIV virus

    "Information" is not a recognisable term regarding evolution, it's a common creationist misunderstanding as to the mechanism of evolution.

    HIV virus was attcked, the 1% that was resistent to the antiviral survived and multiplied, creating a HIV strain immune to the antiviral. The exact same thing can be witnessed with antibiotics or chemical pest control. This is proof of evolution. Fail.

    Re: Further evolutionary shortcomings

    You are wrong. Ignoring evidence and saying it doesn't exist does not make it true. Read a fucking textbook - all your answers are there. Fail.

    Re: Pluto's orbit

    you are assuming that there as much evidence and support for evolution as there is for planetary motion

    My mistake - there is MORE. Our understanding of evolution is vastly more complete than our understanding of gravity. Fail.

    Re: Limits of adaption

    All forms of adaptation have been shown to be a loss of or modification of the information found in genetic material which is distinct from:

    FALSE! You are WRONG! You have been brainwashed into believing this is true - you have NO understanding of the scientific theory of evolution. HUGE Fail!

    I want you to explain to me the theory of evolution in as much detail as you can, and I will gladly show you exactly where your understanding is flawed.

    *A very simple example is found in size re breeding of dogs/cattle/chickens
    *All of these animals reach a maximal size at which point their bodies break down regardless of further attempts at breeding eg the great dane and the holstein cow


    These limits are due to rapid SELECTIVE BREEDING! Selective breeding does not have the selection against WEAK genes that natural selection does, and so "unfit" breeds exist where natural evolution would have selected against them. This explains why less-wolfy breeds of dog are more prone to physical disorders - had they came to be via natural selection rather than human selection THEY WOULD NOT EXIST! THEY WOULD BE DEAD!

    The limits of size exist for a similar reason. The body of a wolf has evolved to benefit an animal the size of a wolf. Once you get beyond great dane or chihuahua size the biology of the dog cannot support itself and the animal dies. Leaving great danes and chihuahuas to natural selection evolution will favour biology better suited to the animal's size (or size better suited to the animal's biology, or something else entirely), and after a million years or so the biology of great danes and chihuahuas will become stable enough to selectively breed larger/smaller dogs. Think of it like an elastic strap. You can stretch it out as far as you can, and cannot go any further. However, continual stretching will loosen the elastic and you will soon be able to stretch the elastic FURTHER than you could initially (this is a terrible analogy as the strap will eventually hit a limit where it snaps, which isn't the case for evolution)

    Selective breeding is THE HUMAN APPLICATION OF THE MECHANISMS OF EVOLUTION. The only difference is the SELECTION CRITERIA - natural selection selects based on survival, selective breeding selects based on aesthetics.

    Re: Why scientists would build upon a faulty premise

    *Don’t know – I think it was imported into science by a failed theology student with an axe to grind!

    Bravo, that is the most PISS WEAK argument yet! :D How did this failed theology student make it through the malisciousness of peer review? Was he also a billionare that paid off every other scientist to turn the other cheek? Your answer is essentially "It's a giant conspiracy against God". You sir, are an IDIOT!

    Re: more bullshit

    *N. evolution presupposes that the universe is closed and random chance and unguided selection govern biological/chemical/physical etc realms
    *Therefore n. evolution undercuts the very foundation for science


    /facepalm. "Natural selection" is "unguided"? Fail.

    Re: morality

    *The only thing that that article gets you to is subjective morality, every time you claim something is “wrong” you confirm my point that there is absolute morality

    That's because morality IS subjective. Whenever we claim something is "wrong" we are claiming it is "wrong in the eyes of [insert whatever community the act exists in]"

    Re: Hitler (again -_-!)

    “With this greater intelligence comes greater morality”
    *Ha! Germany was the most intellectually advanced and educated culture in Europe before and during the holocaust – intelligence = morality is a fallacy!


    Greater =/= better, it means larger in scope. The intellectual differences between 1930's Europe are negligible - I'm refering to humans compared to chimps, or chimps compared to hyenas. Fail.

    Re: Abiogenesis + your stupidity

    *Every time life was to form by the process you claim it faces those odds – virtually impossible except in fairy tales EVERY TIME, the number of repetitions does not reduce impossibility

    Life on Earth only needed to form from non life ONCE! EVERY TIME = one time!

    *Right so we’re back to a causeless beginning – something from nothing

    /facepalm. Stop being a fucking idiot! Singularity =/= causlessness! The universe may very well have had an extrauniversal cause, but this caue does NOT necessitate God!

    Re: WTF?

    *The historical occurrence of Jesus Christ rising from the dead

    Give me a source outside the bible - books written decades after Jesus supposedly lived based on hearsay evidence. You cannot. Jesus cannot be historically verified.

    *He rose from the dead (yes he was dead) 3 days after crucifixion – find some historical evidence to contradict and I’ll give you some credence, scepticism doesn’t cut it.

    Oh my fucking god, BURDEN OF PROOF ANYONE!? You are making an assertion that has NO evidence to back it up! The onus is on YOU, fucktard! Find some historical evidence to support and I’ll give you some credence, delusion doesn’t cut it.

    *sigh*... that's it, I'm fucking done with you.

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    ReplyDelete
  94. Sigh!! After a month away I've finally gotten to read your response Jerram. And if the vitreol, childish allusions to violence, groundless assertions and denials are anything to go off you are one very troubled person.

    I will try to say this gently - you have no concept of what intelligent discussion and debate actually is. You have shown no attempt at answering any point raise in anything more than an ad hock manner. Your constant use of ad hominem and abuse reveals a very weak position you are arguing from.

    Two final points, the relative ages of different geological components has everything to do with evolution (otherwise the debate about changes over time is useless). Secondly the burden of proof for your position is far greater than mine seeing you are positing an absolute negative (ie no God).

    Grow up Jerram, do some primary school biology and when you have some measure of restraint and rationality get back to me.

    God bless you and goodbye.

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  95. "Secondly the burden of proof for your position is far greater than mine seeing you are positing an absolute negative (ie no God)"

    Oh fuck me sideways... *hangs head in disbelief*

    The burden of proof is ALWAYS - note A-L-W-A-Y-S - on the person making a POSITIVE CLAIM TO TRUTH!

    Even if I was taking the position "there certainly is no God" (which I AM NOT) the burden of proof is STILL on you since YOU are the one making the POSITIVE CLAIM OF TRUTH (i.e. the existence of God). The position "there is no God" is a REJECTION of the POSITIVE claim - as you pointed out, it is a NEGATIVE claim to truth - a claim that something ISN'T truth.

    Your pitiful attempts to sideskirt my criticisms by using ad hominems against me only serves to show what little argument you have - and if you're going to say things that are BLATANTLY false (e.g. regarding the burden of truth) it just goes to show that YOU have no concept of what you're talking about.

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  96. I remember you said that reason and logic is not enough to prove something as I understood it. So therefore, your reason here and logic is not enough, and it can't be taken as truth. So why posting your opinion with your alleged logic and reasoning? You defeated and contradicted your own purpose here, regardless of who IS IN THE SIDE of truth, we won't ever know it according to your own argument.

    Nevertheless, the belief of God can be traced back "even" before the cave men learn to hit things with their sticks and learn to use fire. Therefore the "newcomer" who oppose that ancient belief must therefore come up with a new evidence to disprove the "there is God" camp. The bible even doesn't have the subject/discussion of "God exist or he is not?" Therefore the notion that there is no God is a new comer and therefore must bring on the table the evidence needed. The burden of proof is still at the atheist disposal, not us since we already have the evidence. YOU ONLY did not accept it, and that is FINE. As long as there is NO FOUL language from you Jerram otherwise I will claim that atheists often have LOW moral values (I'm not saying all, but most are subject to it).

    The evidence that an all-knowing, all-God powerful almighty God cannot exist with all these suffering, therefore he cannot exist is blatantly flawed and weak. As WLC noted, "RD is so good in his own field, but in Theology and Philosophy he was just a layman." He must first finish a degree on theology and philosophy(while still not believing in any god) and be done with it, wrote and publish a book and then let us see. The reason why there are scientists who love RD's Delusion book is that like RD, them(scientists) are like-minded people who are almost have no formal degree in theology and philosophy(site me one). Imagine writing in a scientific journal when you lack the credentials, your article will be dismissed outright. The same in the opposite field > Theology/Philosophy.
    That is why, RD's delusion book have been largely dismissed by philosophers and theologians(christian or non-christians). NO WONDER you love his book?

    Therefore Jerram, even if the belief in NO God is an ancient practice, the belief in a monotheistic God was even more ancient(my argument), so therefore the burden of proof lies in your heads. We already have it.

    Example, if a man pulled the trigger and killed a woman, in return her husband suffered(SUFFERING AGAIN), who pulled the trigger? The man or God?

    You might otherwise site the cruelty of nature as an scapegoat! And for that it demands another subject of theology to which you cannot comprehend at this time.

    As an additional exercise:

    Who killed the 6 million Jews? Hitler or God?
    Who triggered the 1st and 2nd world wars? (The most brutal wars in human history)
    Man or God?
    Who made the decision to kill all suspected witches in a steak?
    Man or God?
    Who is behind the Spanish Inquisition?
    The catholic monarchs or God?
    Who initiated the Crusades?
    The popes or God?

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  97. If in some point you suffered because of the decision you made previously,
    who made that decision?
    You or God?

    Or you might object, if God is an all-powerful he won't let us make decisions that leads to suffering. Indeed, God did intervened sometimes to prevent us from totally annihilating each other and then to total extinction.

    And we are not Robots who have no freedom. We have our own freedom, even posting in this blog is a freedom I am enjoying right now.

    You might otherwise create a virtual universe(you can do this in a PC game) in which you can create a creature programmed to behave exactly what you want. You have to restrict their movements, their behavior and overall their freedom. If there is no cliff in your universe, you can otherwise permit them to roam anywhere they want. Or if there is a cliff and they fall, they won't get hurt then allow them to fall whatever. Watch them grow. Watch them matured if they ever matured in your universe. Watch them learn from their mistakes (AHEM, in the first place they can't make a choice to make mistakes.)
    Remember they cannot make BAD choices that leads them to suffer. There is no TREE of Life and there is no Tree of the knowledge of good and evil in your virtual universe. Imagine now and watch them grow.

    According to WLC, God wants us to know Him and love Him and be with Him forever(PERSONALLY) and that reflects of what the Bible has said, therefore God does not expect all of us to live a good life(free from suffering) in this world(except after death), suffering is at hand(The NT have tons of testimonies for this).

    So the question of suffering as an evidence regarding the non-existence of God has been debunked.

    Good day Jerram, hope to find your reply with NO FOUL language.

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  98. I never said I WASN'T using reason and logic! I was, and I admitted that! You are still not understanding the difference between science and theology.I missed this one, so might as well ignore my previous post on this subject.

    To answer your ridiculous question though, before any scientific answer can be made you must have clearly defined concepts. You must clearly define the concept of "wrong", as it is an ambiguous term. Furthermore, the idea of something like rape being "scientifically wrong" just seems absurd to me. Are you suggesting that science is some kind of moral compass? Or that rapists don't employ science? Really, it's absurd.So where did you based your moral values? If not from science.
    By your own subjective experience or from the society from the human law? Please site and explain.

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  99. In addition to Caleb's comments there is something that you should be honest about here Jerram. You are not positing just a negation of God (though it doesn't appear a simple atheism based on your comments).

    You are putting forward a naturalistic/materialistic worldview! Now you are right in that our Theocentric world view needs defence and rebutal of all the many objections that come against it. Likewise though your worldview needs to answer questions that arrise very validly when we look at what you believe. So quit with the arrogant - "the burden of proof is all on you, I'm not asserting anything" routine and try again.

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  100. Re Adaptation

    FALSE! You are WRONG! You have been brainwashed into believing this is true - you have NO understanding of the scientific theory of evolution.Ha! that is just an arguement from authority, mine verse yours. Tell me why you think it is incorrect if in your humble opinion it is false.

    I liked these the best, they made me smile at your comments regarding my supposed ignorance of evolution.

    Link 1) Has nothing to do with evolution.
    Link 2) Has nothing to do with evolution.
    Link 3) Makes the claim that because soft tissue transition of bellows to flow through lungs was not preserved in the fossil record, and creationists cannot think of how this could have happened, it COULD NOT have happened. Fail.
    Link one and two are to with the validity of dating fossils and the relative geological age of the earth - go chat to a palentologist and ask if aging things is important and relevant to evolution.
    :D link three is about how no evolutionists can see how birds could evolve a lung like they have. Added to the available veterinary knowledge of avian and mammalian lungs (which unless I am much mistaken you have no standing to disregard!). This together refutes the possibility of avian lung evolution (in addition to the comments on feathers). If you are so informed let me know how it is possible to happen.

    Re probability

    Life on Earth only needed to form from non life ONCE! EVERY TIME = one time!You have either never done a course in statistics or you slept through it Jerram. You imply that it is obvious to everyone that life need only occur once and therefore it is clearly possible. In doing this you show that you don't understand science (let alone the evolution that you claim to know so well). All results in science are statistically tested to see if it could be just chance, in saying that the occurance of life by chance (read statistically impossible) is possible you may as well ignore all the rest of the scientific community entirely and follow your flawed conclusions to there end and say the flying spagetti monster is not only possible but rationally expected to occur.

    That will do for now - more later perhaps.

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  101. Caleb... how old are you again? Nevermind.

    The existence of God doesn't lie in the field of theology/philosophy, it is science. Theology and philosophy is all about "what if". Once you get into the field of determining what does and does not exist, it's science. The question of the existence of God is a scientific one.

    Caleb, the burden of proof is STILL on you. YOU are the one making the POSITIVE claim to truth - why is that so hard to understand? It doesn't matter who came up with an idea first, it has to do with WHO IS ASSERTING A POSITIVE TRUTH. To demonstrate this, I am making the claim that the Fantasmagorical Albatross of Doom exists on Mars. Since I got in first, the burden of proof is on YOU to prove me wrong, right? Of course not. Being the first to make a claim does NOT relieve you of the burden of proof.

    And what are you talking about cave men? I thought you Creationists didn't believe in them?

    I'm going to ignore most of what you said since it's mindless jabbering that's completely off-topic (as most of your posts seem to be). Sorry about that, but you should take a little time to focus your thoughts better before you start typing - and take some time after you're done to re-read and fix up errors or try to get a decent flow going.

    You ask where I base my moral values, if not science... well, I guess I DO base them in science - in sociology. But you have to understand that there's no kind of universal list of "rights" and "wrongs", every action needs to be judged on its own merit. For example, you might say killing someone is wrong, but killing someone is self-defense is ok. It's not the actual act of killing that can be deemed right or wrong, it all depends on context. The same with stealing. Stealing a handbag is wrong, but stealing a baby's fork before they jam it in an electrical socket is good, or stealing an emo's razor to stop them from killing themself (that one's debatable).

    My "moral foundations" would be altruism, empathy, compassion, and respect. Understand where other people's emotional state of mind is, try to minimise harm to others - even if it requires some self-sacrifice sometimes, respect people (until they personally show themselves to be undeserving of that), show even more respect to those with greater knowledge than you, and overall be conscious of how the consequences of your actions can affect others.

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  102. On to David... [PART 1]

    No, I'm sorry. I'm not putting forward a naturalistic/materialistic worldview, I'm putting forwards a truthful one. I am using scientific knowledge and theory only to refute those claims of God that rely on the subject. For example, regarding the claim that evolution never happened (not everyone parters this idea with their belief in God, but specifically Young Earth Creationists), there is abundant scientific evidence to the contrary and nothing that upholds this denial. Even if, for the sake of argument, we have no idea how reptile lungs (not mammalian lungs, but I know what you meant :P) became bird lungs, that is not evidence against evolution - that is an argument from ignorance. Unless you can show why it would be IMPOSSIBLE, the claim that not knowing is evidence against evolution is false.

    For the record, I'm no biologist so I have no idea myself, but I had a read of this and got little bit more of an understand of how it could have happened - I suggest you take a look:

    http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=5&t=593&m=1

    "Ha! that is just an arguement from authority, mine verse yours. Tell me why you think it is incorrect if in your humble opinion it is false."

    It's not about me THINKING you're incorrect, it's me KNOWING you're incorrect. You think evolution states one thing, when in fact it says something completely different. Once you decide to actually learn about what you're trying to disprove (learn from a SCIENCE book, not Creationist propaganda. I don't go to a scientist to find out the Creationist point of view, do I?). To be fair, the actual portion I quoted from you was correct, but the next point you made (which I missed quoting) was where my real objection was.

    You said:

    "*All forms of adaptation have been shown to be a loss of or modification of the information found in genetic material which is distinct from:
    *The addition of new genetic information leading to novel traits and thus moving through the evolutionary progression – it is this that is not substantiated in ANY modern or dated works re evolution"

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  103. [PART 2]

    You're wrong because what you are calling "information" and what geneticists call "information" are completely different things. Let's say we have a piece of code in the genome that says "CARP". A mutation causes the new gene to read "CAP" (the R wasn't copied). Now, YOU would say "this isn't new information, since it's losing code", but it IS new information. It used to say "CARP" but now it says "CAP". "CARP" has changed into something new - "CAP". Now let's say, for the point of this example, that survival is selected on the ability to make literary sense (in nature it would be different environmental factors driving the survival). We have a population of sentences where the average genome is "HE HAD TO REPLACE THE FUEL CARP", and a new sentence is born with the above mutation, his genome now reading "HE HAD TO REPLACE THE FUEL CAP". Because this mutation makes more literary sense, this particular sentence out-lives and out-procreates the others, his "CAP" mutation passing to his offspring, giving them the survival advantage, and they reproduce, and so on until the average genome reads "HE HAD TO REPLACE THE FUEL CAP". The population has evolved into something that it wasn't before - it is something new.

    Now, I'm sure you're shaking your head going "you idiot! There was nothing new - the sentence already existed, you just took something away!", so let me explain further.

    Mutation doesn't always lose a piece of code (e.g CARP -> CAP). It can also change code (CARP -> CARE), duplicate code (CARP -> CARRP), or duplicate AND change code (CARP -> CAROP). It also doesn't act just on single letters, but entire sections of DNA can mutate like this at once (CARP -> CARPCARP (duplication)). It's this ability to change and dupliate that leads to the emergence of new characteristics (what you would call "new information"). Now, these distinct features don't just appear all at once (like a rhino being born with a trunk), they happen in baby steps - and if each baby step gives a slight survival advantage it will be selected by nature, and over successive generations of mutations being selected the average genome of the population can be quite different to what it was 100,000 years ago (you have to consider the immense timeframes involved here).

    Let's use our previous example, but in reverse. Let's say the average genome of our sentence creatures is "HE HAD TO REPLACE THE FUEL CAP". Now, these sentences have natural predators, however the predators are very picky eaters and won't eat anything that looks like feces. One sentence is born with a mutation - "HE HAD TO REPLACE THE FUEL CRAP". A predator comes along and thinks "hmm, you resemble poo a little bit, I'm not going to eat another sentence". And so having this mutation is beneficial to the organisms survival, he has more baby sentences that inherit this mutation. Eventually the predators are forced to eat the "CRAP"s because there isn't enough "CAP"s to go around. There is another mutation: "HE HAD PO REPLACE THE FUEL CRAP". A predator comes along and says "hmm, "po" is like "poo", so I'm not gunna eat this, I'm gunna eat one of the other CRAPs". Soon the process of natural selection again makes the sentences "evolve" into "HE HAD PO REPLACE THE FUEL CRAP", and the predators are again facing starvation and need to eat the POs. There is ANOTHER mutation, this time changing "PO" into "POO", and AGAIN this mutation deters the predators. And so what was once originally "HE HAD TO REPLACE THE FUEL CAP" has EVOLVED into "HE HAD POO REPLACE THE FUEL CRAP" - NEW INFORMATION!!!

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  104. [PART 3]

    Let's say there is another mutation, this time "CRAP" mutates into "CRAW". This sentence looses some of its resemblance to shit, and so becomes a tastier looking target for the predators. This is an example of a mutation that ISN'T beneficial, but since ONLY the beneficial mutations can drive evolution, this mutation is killed off before it can spread throughout the population. The sentences DO NOT evolve into "HE HAD POO REPLACE THE FUEL CRAW". If the predators died out and new predators came that LOVED eating shit but HATED shellfish, that mutation would be likely to be selected by nature, and the sentences may very well evolve in that direction.

    And THAT, my friend, is why you are INCORRECT.

    You know what really bugs me? It's not so much that I had to spell it out to you, it's your lack of initiative to look for yourself. I bet you've never once looked to see if mutation CAN produce new information, you just read somewhere that it can't and assumed evolution was beaten. All you had to do was type something like "how does evolution create new information?" into Google and I'm sure you would have found many sources - probably articulated much better than my example - explaining not only how mutation and natural selection CAN create new information, but that evolution is the PREDICTED outcome given what we KNOW (mutation occurs. Competition occurs. The predicted outcome is that beneficial mutations are naturally selected, and populations of organisms evolve dependant on that). This is why I've hammered you with the "ignorant" label so much in the past - you have no desire to actually LOOK for answers, it's just a constant smear campaign against evolution! It's frustrating!

    "Link one and two are to with the validity of dating fossils and the relative geological age of the earth - go chat to a palentologist and ask if aging things is important and relevant to evolution."

    Go chat to a biologist and they'll tell you geological dating is irrelevant to evolution.

    The first link was about DIAMONDS! What do DIAMONDS have to do with life? With evolution? NOTHING! If RATE is finding weird shit in diamonds, maybe it's because we're wrong about how DIAMONDS form? Or - more likely - the RATE research team are unfamiliar with how the types of diamonds they were testing form. RATE are very unreliable, and never publish anything they do for peer review. I remember years ago reading something they wrote on radiohalos, and further investigation led me to discover that the results they gave were utter nonsense, and also to the dubious nature of RATE (not publishing their results for peer review, etc etc). So I'm sorry, I cannot accept any findings from RATE unless they've been peer reviewed and verified. They simply aren't trustworthy. But my point still stands - even if RATE's results ARE accurate, they're investigating DIAMONDS! It has NOTHING to do with evolution, and if you're targetting the dating method, te vast majority of fossils aren't carbon dated anyway! They use different isotopes with longer half-lives.

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  105. [PART 4]

    The second link was, again, about ROCKS, and AGAIN, done by RATE - a particularly dubious and overtly Creationist institution. If you can find some legitimate, peer reviewed and validated sources, I'm all ears.

    If you doubt my claims against the disingenuity of RATE, see here:

    http://www.noanswersingenesis.org.au/RATES_research_henke.htm

    "Unlike the Geological Society of Australia, the American Chemical Society and other professional science associations, the Creation "Research" Society (CRS), the Institute for Creation "Research" (ICR), "Answers" in Genesis (AiG) and other YEC organizations commonly require their members, students and/or employees to sign or affirm their sectarian "statements of faith".

    ...

    Any scientist that is willing to sign away his/her integrity and freedom to explore nature for the sake of a political and/or religious cause does not deserve to be called a scientist. These oath-takers are promising not to accept any results or perform any research that challenges the credibility of the official political and/or religious dogma

    ...

    Because the members of the RATE committee have signed away their academic freedom for the comfort of Biblical dogmatism, it's not surprising that their "research" plans, as outlined in Vardiman et al. (2000), are crippled and full of faulty arguments and flawed experimental procedures."

    And here: http://gondwanaresearch.com/rate.htm


    Like it or not, on top of neither of those links having ANYTHING to do with evolution, RATE are known frauds pushing a political agenda. They are NOT scientists.



    "You imply that it is obvious to everyone that life need only occur once and therefore it is clearly possible. In doing this you show that you don't understand science (let alone the evolution that you claim to know so well)"

    /facepalm

    ... and you wonder why I get so annoyed with you... I don't know how many times I've said it, but EVOLUTION HAS -NOTHING- TO DO WITH THE ORIGIN OF LIFE!!! This is the very reason I decided to go away months ago - you don't fucking READ what I write! NOTHING I say can change your minds, they are CLOSED! You've crammed all the bullshit in and sealed it tight!

    Evolution starts AFTER life has been formed. Life only needs to arise from non-life ONCE. Once that life is there, it can multiply and evolve.

    "All results in science are statistically tested to see if it could be just chance, in saying that the occurance of life by chance (read statistically impossible) is possible you may as well ignore all the rest of the scientific community entirely and follow your flawed conclusions to there end and say the flying spagetti monster is not only possible but rationally expected to occur."

    Statistically impossible???

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6QYDdgP9eg

    Watch and learn. You haven't got a clue mate.

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  106. Not much time today, will get back to on the rest of your unfounded waffle (especially your "solid science" (rolling on the floor laughing) on youtube).

    On the Meert/Henke issues - the researchers have refuted them on all points they raised and really you are placing your trust in a pair of academics commenting outside their field of specialty (in the best peer-reviewed place of all - the internet!. Not only that but if they really wanted to proove what they claim about sample issues (the other concerns are really them just misunderstanding the paper and nature of the experiments).

    The refutations for you, so I don't have to repeat it...

    http://creation.com/russ-humphreys-refutes-joe-meerts-false-claims-about-helium-diffusion

    http://creation.com/helium-evidence-for-a-young-world-continues-to-confound-critics
    (this one covers others you've not even mentioned yet)

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  107. One other thing on the youtube video:

    You are right in claiming that Abiogenisis is different to evolution, BUT it is the logical outworking of the evolutionary scheme.

    Who on earth is the mentioned Dr Szostak????? and why is there no sight of any cited research - or is this just more atheistic theorising?

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  108. "Who on earth is the mentioned Dr Szostak????? and why is there no sight of any cited research - or is this just more atheistic theorising?"

    Yes, it's just more atheistic theorising and the overall reluctance of you to do ANY investigation yourself - it really shits me when you turn your nose up at something without making the slightest effort to look for yourself... but I guess if you were the kind of person that LOOKED for answers you wouldn't be a Creationist.

    I pumped "Dr Szostak" into Goggle - first hit:

    http://www.hhmi.org/research/investigators/szostak_bio.htmlI'll wait for you to respond in full, though if the only refutations you could pull are from creation.com (who clearly have a religious agenda to push) I'm not going to waste my time READING it, let alone respond to it.

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  109. Cant be bothered doing any research of my own... Hmm, as opposed to you who cannot even be bothered to read articles written on the site you are claiming to refute. Hypocrite.

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  110. Sorry, I didn't finish my comment on Henke/Meert this morning.

    If they wanted to refute the "sampling problem" they raised, the only real issue according to the primary researchers - they they could easily submit an appropriate sample and blast this paper out of the water. Yet they rather waste their time commenting on atheistic internet sites, suspect to say the least.

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  111. "they they could easily submit an appropriate sample and blast this paper out of the water. Yet they rather waste their time commenting on atheistic internet sites, suspect to say the least."

    The paper isn't even IN the water! Why is it someone elses duty to waste their time and money refuting a claim that has come from an institution with a clear religious agenda, has not been verified by peer-review, and is full of experimental errors? The paper is worthless.

    And atheistic internet sites? Give me a break! Just because someone points out the methodical flaws of a Creationist research team doesn't make them atheist. Hell, there's a shitload of CHRISTIANS criticising these Creationist movements because they make Christians look like total morons! Have you heard Hovind's ice canopy theory? Freaking ridiculous!



    "Cant be bothered doing any research of my own... Hmm, as opposed to you who cannot even be bothered to read articles written on the site you are claiming to refute. Hypocrite."

    Yes, because typing a name into Google and wading through mountains of bullshit religious propaganda are totally the same thing. Provide me a REAL source to back up your claim and I'll gladly look at it.

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  112. Jerram :
    Caleb... how old are you again? Nevermind.
    What's your point?

    Jerram:
    The existence of God doesn't lie in the field of theology/philosophy, it is science.
    Who said that?

    Theology and philosophy is all about "what if".
    Can you prove to me that you are the one who is _authoritative_ on that subjects you mentioned? Or have you been in London lately? Please check their castles. Science itself must investigate ghost appearances before making any ridiculous claims that it can investigate God, and since science was unable to do so, you said he doesn't exist. Elementary philosophy.
    Do you think even at your own CAMP will going to agree with you? Check them. Honestly check their opinion. You defined your own SCIENCE. Hehehe. Theology/philosophy is ALL ABOUT WHAT IF!!!!

    It is a pity.

    Once you get into the field of determining what does and does not exist, it's science. The question of the existence of God is a scientific one.
    Ah, a scientific hypothesis, at least you believe you have in RD's delusion.
    Bravo,,, please don't make any excuses by salivating foul language.





    Jerram:

    Your answer must be yes or no.

    Can we take someone's argument as absolute truth without checking his credentials or background?

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  113. Jerram you really need to do some reading before you believe the hip hip horay reports from the media regarding CHEMICAL EVOLUTION / PREBIOTIC EVOLUTION / ABIOGENESIS (I take it back, it appears even your own camp seem to disagree on your definition of evolution). On a bit of reflection and further reading on what is being done I come back to my statement that you are relying on the utterly fantastical for your origins of life.
    Some comments on this experiment by other evolutionists:

    "The flaw with this kind of research is not in the chemistry. The flaw is in the logic - that this experimental control by researchers in a modern laboratory could have been available on the early Earth," says Robert Shapiro, a chemist at New York University.
    [and]
    Dr. Robert Shapiro [. . .] said the recipe "definitely does not meet my criteria for a plausible pathway to the RNA world." He said that cyano-acetylene, one of Dr. Sutherland's assumed starting materials, is quickly destroyed by other chemicals and its appearance in pure form on the early earth "could be considered a fantasy."
    [and]
    "But while this is a step forward, it's not the whole picture," [James] Ferris [of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y.] points out. "It's not as simple as putting compounds in a beaker and mixing it up. It's a series of steps. You still have to stop and purify and then do the next step, and that probably didn't happen in the ancient world."
    ‘Although at the beginning the paradigm was worth consideration, now the entire effort in the primeval soup paradigm is self-deception on the ideology of its champions.’ And ‘Belief in a primeval soup on the grounds that no other paradigm is available is an example of the logical fallacy of the false alternative. In science it is a virtue to acknowledge ignorance. This has been universally the case in the history of science as Kuhn (1970) has discussed in detail. There is no reason that this should be different in the research on the origin of life.’
    Hubert P. Yockey, 1992 (a non-creationist). Information Theory and Molecular Biology, Cambridge University Press, UK, p. 336.

    Just so that you have a convenient list to look at in addition to the links (I know how unlikely you are to actually read them anyway - you've commited to your "honest" worldview and will not even look...) here are a few of the many complex chemical problems for this senario you touted from youtube (hehe!):
    1. Insufficient concentration, all these experiments increased the concentration of nucleotide bases far in excess of what would be possible in a hydrothermal vent situation.
    2. hugely unlikely occurance of ribose (backbone of DNA) which breaks down in the presence of water and other organic material
    3. Cytosine is virtually impossible to arise in a prebiotic setting (Shapiro, R., Prebiotic cytosine synthesis: A critical analysis and implications for the origin of life, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 96(8):4396–4401, 1999.)
    4. Ditto Adenosine (Shapiro, R., The prebiotic role of adenine: A critical analysis, Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere 25:83–98, 1995.)
    5. Multiple reactions that took place in your cited experiment needed to exclude water from the prevesicular phase of developement because water is a product of the reaction and thus its presence drives the reaction in reverse (breaking down any components down that do happen to form) - the mass effect its called.
    6. The reactions where the replication of RNA base pairs were found to "spontaenously bind together" were done in solutions with huge concentrations of high energy phosphate compounds (GTP, ATP, ADP etc) there is absolutely no grounds to suggest these compounds would be present in a non-biological setting in anything but trace amounts.

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  114. There is much much more but I wont keep on so just read the links.

    http://creation.com/origin-of-life-instability-of-building-blocks

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4702336.stm

    http://creation.com/cairns-smith-detailed-criticisms-of-the-rna-world-hypothesis**** very good

    http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.php/literature/2009/05/19/ribonucleotides_and_the_revival_of_the_w

    http://www.arn.org/docs/odesign/od171/rnaworld171.htm

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  115. Re Your comments on Bird lung evolution:

    I read the linked opinion blog and the suggestion that evolving valves to solve the mechanical issues associated with theropod to avian evolution is ridiculous in the extreme. You are right in that you are not a biologist - otherwise you would know that even the most basic of biological valves known are complex affairs. To suggest what this guy does is increasing the improbability not decreasing it! No mate that one is definitely a fail as you would put it.

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  116. BTW your constant arrogant fail/pass like comments do nothing to commend you. Rather when your comments turn out to be wrong you appear quite foolish.
    For goodness sake just try and discuss this with us! Rather than thinking you have all the cards and need only smack them down and then vent your spleen.

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  117. @ Caleb:

    "What's your point?"

    The point is, to be brutally honest, that you are an intellectual juvenile. Your arguments are consistently ridiculous and miss the point, and not to speak on behalf of David, but he'd probably appreciate you removing yourself from the discussion, as you only serve to make your own side look bad. It would be a waste of everyone's time for me to further comment on your post.

    Sorry kiddo, that's just the way it is.

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  118. @ David:

    Well done! You're starting to learn how to present a decent argument - I'm impressed. One thing you forgot was to reference those quotes (unless you pulled them from the links you posted - I haven't read them yet, though they really are irrelevant. I apologise for inviting you to criticise them (good job though!). I will definately have a look at them anyway, but I'm not going to debate it).

    The reason I'm not going to debate the point and say that it's irrelevant because the only thing we're talking about is the validity of an experiment and the validity of a particular hypothesis of the origin of life. Even if we assume your argument, and say that Szostak (or should I say Sutherland, since the quote from Shapiro was talking about a recent experiment where Sutherland et. al. managed to create two of the nucleotides found in RNA, and not Szostak) is wrong, and that the conditions where the nucleotides were formed either could not have existed on early Earth, or it's ridiculously improbable that they could, all you're doing is pointing out the shortcomings of a particular experiment/hypothesis. You are STILL in the position where you have no evidence, and no reasonable justification to assert life was created by magic... excuse me, an "intelligent designer". You can rip abiogenesis and evolution to shreds as long as you want - you're STILL not getting any closer to proving your point.


    Moving onto evolution of the bird lung...

    "To suggest what this guy does"

    This guy? How many comments did you read exactly? There's many different people presenting different hypotheses - only one of which is the evolution of a seperate valve. There's also the hypothesis that the two types of lungs evolved seperately, and that this flow-through lung design could have arisen in dinosaurs (which evolved into birds), whilst the bellows system arose in lizards (which evolved into mammals). If we look at the closest surviving relatives to the dinosaurs other than birds - crocodiles - we see they possess "complex, multichambered lungs, which in the arrangement of their tubular chambers display an unmistakable similarity to developmental stages of the avian lung-airsac system" (from: http://www.springerlink.com/content/j84x315148980070/). They also possess sophisticated four-chambered hearts just like mammals and birds as well as a diaphragmaticus, a muscle which acts like a diaphragm. Lizards and snakes only have a three-chambered heart, and lack a diaphragmaticus. They inflate and deflate their lungs by moving their ribs.

    So, if both birds and crocodiles evolved from dinosaurs rather than lizards or turtles (as the bone morphology indicates), and we can see that crocodiles have bird-like respiratory and cardiovascular systems not found in other living reptiles (http://pharyngula.org/index/science/hot_blooded_crocodiles/), it's reasonable to assume that these kind of systems evolved in the dinosaurs, and there's even some evidence to suggest dinosaurs may have been warm-blooded themselves. The reason you can't find a link between bird and reptile lungs isn't because it's not there, it's because you're looking in the wrong place.

    "No mate that one is definitely a fail as you would put it."

    I disagree =)



    And again I should point out that what you're arguing is irrelevant to your cause. Like I said way back, just because we've yet to come up with a good explanation does not suddenly prove that a magic man in the sky zapped all life into existence!



    "BTW your constant arrogant fail/pass like comments do nothing to commend you"

    Lol, I did it once =P Lighten up.

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  119. Give me a source outside the bible... You cannot. Jesus cannot be historically verified.Now this comment and your many other unfounded assertions about the inconsistencies and contradictions in the bible is also ridiculous!

    You are not only out of step with the majority of the historical community but also the archaeological community. Seeing you don't seem to get the historical significance of the manuscriptic evidence I'll list for you some of the MAJOR historians (not to mention most others) who assert the historicity of not only Jesus Christ but also the New Testament.
    FF Bruce MA DD "Some writers may toy with the fancy of a 'Christ-myth' but they do not do so on the ground of historical evidence. The historicity of Christ is axiomatic for an unbiased historian as the historicity of Julius Caesar. It is not historians who propagate the 'Christ-myth' theories"
    D Hagner, Otto Betz "No serios scholar has ventured to postulate the non-historicity of Jesus", Norman Anderson, Gary Habermas, William Albright Ph.D Litt D, Prof J H Greenlee, Bruce Metzger, FJA Hort, Norman L Giesler.

    Some books for you: "Christianity: the witness of history" JND Anderson, "The New Testaments: are they reliable?" FF Bruce, "Jesus and Christian Origins outside the New Testament" FF Bruce, "The historical Jesus" G Habermas, "The new evidence that demands a verdict" J McDowell

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  120. Some comments from the archaeolgical world:
    Nelson Glueck "It may be stated categorically that no archeological discovery has every controverted a biblical fact."
    WF Albright "The excessive scepticism shown toward the bible by important historical schools of the 18th and 19th centuries... has been progressively discredited. Discovery after discovery has established the accuracy of the innumberable details, and has brought increased recognition to the value of the bible as a source of history"
    Millar Burrows "Archaeology has in many cases refuted the views of modern critics. It has shown in a number of instances that these views rest on false assumptions and unreal, artificial schemes of historical developement." And "the excessive scepticism of many liberal theologians stems not from a careful evaluation of the available data, but from an enormous predisposition against the supernatural"Similar comments are made by the likes of Sir William Ramsay, John Montgomery, and Merrill Unger

    Jerram, you are much like the last comment re liberal theologians by Burrows - you disbelieve I suspect not on the grounds of excessive amounts of evidence contradicting the bible but due to prejudice against what it has to say. You've said it to me numerous times and I'll say it to you. Go do some research!! Read a few books on the history of Jesus Christ and you will find that what we've presented is mainstream historical data and evidence that places the historicity of Jesus Christ firmly above any historical fact in the ancient world.

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  121. Re the bird lung issue

    The articles you cited, while interesting do not support your case for divergent evolutionary lines. The clincher is in the fact that the crocodile has a diaphragmaticus (ie diaphragm) - this reptile breaths via a belows method and the complex lung is irrelevant.

    As an asside you note that the crocodilian "ancestor" could have been endothermic. Odd isn't it Jerram that science is finding that the supposedly "primative characteristics" do not hold up in many cases?

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  122. Now onto the whole mess of your theory of origin. I must admit I admire your faith Jerram!

    In the face of no support for your worldview you continue to hold to it regardless of the facts. Not only that you continue to approach the world with an evolutionary bent. Now I believe you are acting here with absolute blind faith - why? Because like Richard Dawkins you can see that the world has all the evidences any rational being would want that it is designed and by faith alone you choose to embrace evolution as your explanation and continue on regardless of any evidence to the contrary.
    This is the reason that I and many others say that you and others treat evolution as a religion. It may have begun as a theory but you have enshrined it as holy because the existance of a holy God who made you is abborent to you (see your earlier posts). You will not even look at the evidence most of the time and when you do you say things like you did in your last post:

    You are STILL in the position where you have no evidence, and no reasonable justification to assert life was created by magic... excuse me, an "intelligent designer". You can rip abiogenesis and evolution to shreds as long as you want - you're STILL not getting any closer to proving your point.What is more rational? A worldview entirely inconsistent with reality. Or a worldview that follows the causality and design present in the world to a "causer" and that believes the testimony of history and archaeology? If you have any accademic honesty you need at very least to start again and re-assess the claims of what Christians have to say without your dogmatism.

    Think about it Jerram.

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  123. Okay, good.

    Then Jerram,

    hy you did not answer my questions?
    Even if I am just a kiddo, you need to be brutally honest here as you've said.

    My question was simple, I will limit the question to ONE (1) only, forget about the ridiculous arguments I've made.

    Is okay to accept someone's argument as ABSOLUTE truth without first checking his credibility?

    And I am serious here, I am not acting like a kiddo. Please remember your claims of theology and philosophy EARLIER! Now I need a brutal honest answer.

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  124. David... are you kidding me? Honestly? Is this all just some prank? Your ignorance is, quite frankly, mindblowing.

    First of all, it's great that all these historians agree with you, it really is... now present some evidence that shows not only that Jesus was a real man, but that he was the divine son/embodiment of a supernatural god.

    "you disbelieve I suspect not on the grounds of excessive amounts of evidence contradicting the bible but due to prejudice against what it has to say"

    Damn straight. The stories of miracles we see in the Bible are unlike anything we see today, and more closely resemble fiction than fact. My primary reason for doubting it isn't a lack of evidenciary support for it, but the fact it's patently absurd. My SECONDARY reason is that there's insufficient extra-biblical evidence to support its claims to history.


    "The articles you cited, while interesting do not support your case for divergent evolutionary lines. The clincher is in the fact that the crocodile has a diaphragmaticus (ie diaphragm) - this reptile breaths via a belows method and the complex lung is irrelevant."

    Or perhaps the crocodile evolved a diaphragm later, after it became low and flat? No clincher I'm afraid. Dinosaurs could have had a primitive kind of flow-through lungs that became bellows-ish with crocodiles and more perfected in birds. Birds don't come from crocodiles.

    "In the face of no support for your worldview you continue to hold to it regardless of the facts"

    /facepalm... I could slap you so hard for that... honestly, you moron.

    There is no "worldview" here! There is no "religion" on my side! Are you SERIOUSLY this daft!? I know you expect everyone to cling religiously to an idea because that's what you do, but that's NOT the case! When a theory get's rejected I have no problem rejecting it also - even if it was a theory I felt was a good one.

    The reason why I believe evolution to be true is because it's a damn solid theory, that has proved itself worthy in lab experiments, natural observation, and archaeologically. The reason I believe some manner of abiogenesis is because the alternative is absurd and has no evidence to support it. As crazy and unlikely as a lot of abiogenesis theories are, they're STILL all better than yours!

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  125. "This is the reason that I and many others say that you and others treat evolution as a religion. It may have begun as a theory but you have enshrined it as holy because the existance of a holy God who made you is abborent to you (see your earlier posts)"

    NO! You call it a religion because this is one of the few times in history your faith has been challenged by something that ISN'T a religion. You don't know how to handle the idea of objective fact clashing with your religion, so you try to disguise evolution as a kind of religion in itself in an attempt to sheild yourself from reality. By calling evolution a religion it's far easier for you to assume it's all mythological nonsense - as all religions are. We haven't made it "holy" in any way, the theory has proven itself to be a very good theory! Our only reason for defending it is because Creationists are abusing people by convincing them it's all voodoo garbage, and "just another religion". When you're teaching kids to forsake science and sacrifice critical thought you're breeding idiots. You are intentionally keeping people dumb for the sake of controlling them, and it's fucking sickening. We would be doing exactly the same thing if the Flat Earth movement was an actual threat - would you then accuse us of making "round Earth theory" a religion?

    "What is more rational? A worldview entirely inconsistent with reality. Or a worldview that follows the causality and design present in the world to a "causer" and that believes the testimony of history and archaeology?"

    Well DDUUUUHHH!!! Clearly a worldview inconsistent with reality is a waste of time - it's funny why you still hold one! This idea that "the universe shows design" is just stupid, and very much inconsistent with reality. The idea that the universe is 6000 years old is again stupid, and completely inconsistent with everything we know about astronomy and geology.

    But I'm going to say it again, just to make sure it sinks in...

    THERE IS NO "WORLDVIEW" OR "RELIGION" ON MY SIDE OF THE ARGUMENT!

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  126. I forgot to hit the preview button, sorry.

    Jerram:
    "THERE IS NO "WORLDVIEW" OR "RELIGION" ON MY SIDE OF THE ARGUMENT! "

    Caleb:
    So what you've got is only science. Am I correct, or did I missed something again.
    I hope you do have a scientific diet every now and then. Everything you do in your own world minus view is science. I see. At least.
    Please kindly check your arguments with Dr. Bart D. Ehrman.
    At least this man was honest enough.

    How do you define worldview? Am I just curious.

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  127. "So what you've got is only science. Am I correct, or did I missed something again."

    Yes and no. Regarding the origin of life it's all science, regarding the origin of the universe the actual science is pretty flaky (as you'd expect - figuring out where the universe came from is a HUGE question to answer) and I myself tend to have a degree of speculation in my own thoughts. Regarding more common events like debating which celebrities have fake boobs it's not solid, empirical science, but the fundamentals are kinda similar (observe, compare and report... just no direct testing).

    The big thing that seperates my from you, and the reason I kicked up a big stink, is because my beliefs are FLEXIBLE. I have the luxury of being able to adopt a better answer when it comes along - I'm not tied down to any dogma. You guys, when something like evolution comes along that has such overwhelming evidence to support it, and is so clearly the truth, don't have the option of saying "well, it's kind of impossible to deny, so I'm gunna accept evolution" (though the Catholics have... don't ask me how). Because of your religious dogma you are FORCED to cling to old beliefs, no matter how outdated or how often they're shown to be wrong. The only thing you can do is cling to this miniscule chance that we've somehow got it all wrong.

    "Please kindly check your arguments with Dr. Bart D. Ehrman."

    *googles*

    He argues the Bible has been changed and altered many times over the course of its life, and that the words we have today are unreliable... I agree. That Jesus, Interrupted book sounds like a decent read.

    "How do you define worldview? Am I just curious."

    My personal worldview or just worldview in general?

    In general, I'd say a worldview is a collection of dogmatic statements a person holds to be true about the world around them. Religion is clearly a big influence on that, since it's a kind of supplement worldview on its own.

    I do have a worldview, as everyone does, but it does NOT include any particular theory of abiogenesis. You can't pick a part a theory and claim that my worldview is wrong, because that theory was never a part of my worldview. Science in general is part of my worldview, as I dogmatically believe that the scientific method is the best known method of aquiring truth. That's NOT to say that I dogmatically accept all scientific THEORIES, only that science is the most reliable path to the truth, because it's the only one that can find LIES. If you're about to say something like "science isn't reliable, it changes all the time", don't bother. Science is reliable BECAUSE it changes all the time. We are constantly learning more and more about our universe, and the only way to be sure we have the best possible idea is to update the science to fit the universe.

    It's like an operating system. You can keep it how it was out of the box, or you can let it update itself over time, to fix bugs and allow new features, and IMPROVE. Religion is like Windows 3.1, and science is like Windows 7, plus all future versions.

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  128. Just a quick query for you Jerram - I'll get back to you on your rantings re my last post later.

    What evidence do you have for evolution? Aside from the crap theoretical analogy which isn't evidence but rather a massive oversimplification which overlooks many issues.

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  129. "What evidence do you have for evolution?"

    Phew! That really is a HUUUUGE question to answer, since there's so much of it.

    Probably the most comprehensive summary is here:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

    It's an awful lot to read - there really is so much to talk about regarding evolution - the fact you call it an "oversimplification" is because that's most likely all you've ever heard about it. There really is enough to say on the subject that it could fill an entire course. Needless to say, evolution is literally the backbone of modern biology - that's how well it's accepted.

    If I WAS to summarise the evidence, I would say:

    * It's blindingly obvious that all living organisms have parents, simple creatures existed well before complex creatures, and that complex creatures exist today. If complex creatures need parents, and long ago only simple creatures existed, then the complex creatures MUST have somehow come from the simple creatures. It's that - fucking - simple (until you start researching HOW this happened).
    * Discovery of DNA pretty much confirmed Darwin's hypothesis. DNA fits perfectly with exactly what Darwin predicted. What are the odds of that?
    * Archaeological discoveries (fossil record) also align perfectly with Darwin's theory of natural selection, and we tend to find exactly what we'd expect, exactly where we expect to find it.
    * The theory of gene selection and heredity moulding anatomy has been confirmed in the labs as well as through the selective breeding of many animals.
    * Viruses and bacteria allow us to see evolution in real time - e.g. the swine influenza virus used to only affect swine, but it EVOLVED into a strain that affects humans as well.
    * Ring species suggest migration and evolution patterns that lead to eventual genetic incompatibility.
    * The Creation Museum actually AGREES with evolution, to a point (though their concept of "superevolution" requires evolution to happen 250,000 times faster than conventional evolution, which makes it even more ridiculous).
    * It's the logical outcome of what we know about mutation, heredity, and competition.


    What evidence do you have to suggest otherwise?

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  130. Jerram: degree of speculation in my own thoughts

    caleb:
    Is that faith? Speculation is what is left when the evidence points to nowhere.

    Jerram:
    ""Please kindly check your arguments with Dr. Bart D. Ehrman."

    *googles*

    He argues the Bible has been changed and altered many times over the course of its life, and that the words we have today are unreliable... I agree. That Jesus, Interrupted book sounds like a decent read."

    Caleb:
    At least he was credible enough to say that Jesus existed in history, his arguments that the Bible was being altered is not relevant to the discussion.

    Jerram:
    My personal worldview or just worldview in general?

    In general, I'd say a worldview is a collection of dogmatic statements a person holds to be true about the world around them. Religion is clearly a big influence on that, since it's a kind of supplement worldview on its own.

    Caleb:
    I think most scientists have their own worldview as I am. I see the world around me and interpret it, equals my worldview. That's the way I interpret the word, it doesn't mean dogma per se.

    Jerram:
    Science in general is part of my worldview, as I dogmatically believe that the scientific method is the best known method of aquiring truth//

    Caleb:
    I don't think science is powerful enough even to investigate the appearance of ghosts. How much more of the Creator! If you doubt their existence, go to haunted houses, offices at hospitals at mid night or just visit England's castles.
    You might even visit the catacombs in Rome where some Christians have been murdered and buried there.
    Don't forget to bring scientific instruments.

    Jerram:
    That's NOT to say that I dogmatically accept all scientific THEORIES, only that science is the most reliable path to the truth, because it's the only one that can find LIES.

    Caleb:
    There are liar scientists, be warned.
    I don't think Ida is credible enough.

    Jerram:
    Science is reliable BECAUSE it changes all the time. We are constantly learning more and more about our universe, and the only way to be sure we have the best possible idea is to update the science to fit the universe.

    Caleb:
    That is true. Science indeed changed lives, and it also kills. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the result of science. W/o science there is not enough destruction. Yet I believe science do more good than bad. But as Luther has said: "Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."

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  131. Jerram: * It's blindingly obvious that all living organisms have parents, simple creatures existed well before complex creatures, and that complex creatures exist today. If complex creatures need parents, and long ago only simple creatures existed, then the complex creatures MUST have somehow come from the simple creatures. It's that - ********- simple (until you start researching HOW this happened).

    Caleb:
    I don't trust summary arguments. There is no such a thing as simple creature if you look at the micro level.

    Jerram:
    * Discovery of DNA pretty much confirmed Darwin's hypothesis. DNA fits perfectly with exactly what Darwin predicted. What are the odds of that?

    Caleb: My opinion: All living things shared in common is obvious. We all live on planet earth so it is pretty obvious. We must have something similar to other plants/animal kingdom, parasites etc. I breath air and so the rest of the animals. It doesn't prove anything Darwin predicted.

    Jerram:
    * Archaeological discoveries (fossil record) also align perfectly with Darwin's theory of natural selection, and we tend to find exactly what we'd expect, exactly where we expect to find it.

    Caleb:
    No comment to the rest. I am trying not to be a person who will comment and dictate the so called absolute "TRUTH" on subjects to which he knew he was ignorant.

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  132. The difference between Jerram's Speculation" and "Christian Faith".

    Speculation occurs when you have different set of choices but you know that these choices are not trustworthy and the probability that these choices can't solve to the problem at hand is very high.

    Christian faith, again to quote from Martin Luther King Jr. "Faith is taking that first step without ever seeing the staircase."
    Yet you know that the staircase leads you to the upper room/or somewhere up there.

    Please consider to be a historian someday, Jerram.

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  133. "Is that faith? Speculation is what is left when the evidence points to nowhere."

    No, it's not quite the same as faith. Faith is believing something to be true in lue of evidence. Speculation is positing a probable scenario based on what evidence we do have, in lue of direct evidence to support. The things I speculate on I do not believe to be true - I believe them to be plausible.

    "At least he was credible enough to say that Jesus existed in history, his arguments that the Bible was being altered is not relevant to the discussion."

    There are heaps of historians that believe Jesus existed. I myself think he PROBABLY existed (though I think there is a reasonable case against that). What I - as well as many of those historians - believe is that he was just a man. He had no divine powers, he may or may not have healed people, and he certainly wasn't the son of a god. There's even speculation he may have been a hypnotist, as hypnotists can "change water into wine" (it's usually onions into apples), and can even heal people - particulary "lepers", which in those days referred to anyone with a skin condition, not necessarily leprosy.

    What Ehrman points out is that the Bible today is unreliable. It's quite different to the original sources, and as I said the earliest gospel wasn't written for forty years after Jesus' death - plenty of time for fact to get interspersed with fiction. It may - and probably does - contain elements of history, but to argue that it's a direct recap of historical events you're just deluding yourself. There's even discrepancies between the gospels themselves, so they can't all be historically accurate.



    "I don't think science is powerful enough even to investigate the appearance of ghosts."

    Well sorry, but it is =P I think it's pretty obvious that ghosts don't exist, but even if they do, just because we are unable to detect them at present doesn't mean that we won't be able to in the future. And once we discover how to detect them, the only way to study them is to apply the scientific method.

    "If you doubt their existence, go to haunted houses, offices at hospitals at mid night or just visit England's castles."

    HAHAHA! It's just your mind playing tricks on you dude =P Or, if it's a commercial "haunted house", a lot of the "ghosts" are fabricated by management to make the experience seem more real and reel in more customers. Lol, you're so gullible =P

    "Don't forget to bring scientific instruments."

    Like what?



    "There are liar scientists, be warned."

    Yep - pretty much all kinds of Christian or Creation scientists for a start. The beauty of peer review is that a person can't just lie about the results and not be caught out by some other unbiased reviewer. It happens constantly, where one scientist will make a bogus claim and the flaws are pointed out by other scientists. Peer review allows us to find these "liar scientists" or even just clumsy or deludes ones. Peer review is viscious, with every other scientist trying to rip your experiment to shreds. Only the experiments and theories that no one can tear apart become accepted, and only the most accepted of the accepted get taught in schools. So if you're worried about a lie making it's way into accepted science, don't be. Never trust studies that haven't been peer reviewed - like anything published by RATE.

    "I don't think Ida is credible enough."

    What's Ida?



    "That is true. Science indeed changed lives, and it also kills."

    Meh, it's not the time or place to debate ethics of learning, or how that learning should be applied.

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  134. "I don't trust summary arguments."

    So DON'T! I provided a pretty comprehensive explanation of the theory of common descent - by all means read it.

    "There is no such a thing as simple creature if you look at the micro level."

    DEEERRRRR!!! You idiot, they're simple RELATIVE to the complex creatures!

    "My opinion: All living things shared in common is obvious. We all live on planet earth so it is pretty obvious. We must have something similar to other plants/animal kingdom, parasites etc. I breath air and so the rest of the animals. It doesn't prove anything Darwin predicted."

    HAHA! What a fucking stupid thing to say. Way to embarrass yourself! XD Please, dude... shut the fuck up, learn a little about natural selection, and learn a little about genome sequencing. THEN come back and tell me it doesn't prove Darwin's predictions XD You're doing nothing but exposing your VAST ignorance on one of the most elementary levels of natural selection... this is why I previously referred to you an an intellectual juvenile.

    Go study up, and then rejoin the conversation when you're in a position to add something that ISN'T laughable.

    "No comment to the rest. I am trying not to be a person who will comment and dictate the so called absolute "TRUTH" on subjects to which he knew he was ignorant."

    That's very admirable of you... now you need to realise that you are ignorant of evolution/natural selection/genetics and refrain from commenting there. Like I said, you're welcome to go away and learn the material, and then return.



    "Christian faith, again to quote from Martin Luther King Jr. "Faith is taking that first step without ever seeing the staircase."
    Yet you know that the staircase leads you to the upper room/or somewhere up there."

    If you don't even know the staircase exists, you can't know it leads anywhere. Christian faith is stupid, and just begging people to step off a cliff, with "faith" there's an invisible stair there.

    "Please consider to be a historian someday, Jerram."

    Nah, doesn't interest me that much.

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  135. """".................aled people, and he certainly wasn't the son of a god. There's even speculation he may have been a hypnotist, as hypnotists can "change water into wine" (it's usually onions into apples), and can even heal people - particulary "lepers", which in those days referred to anyone with a skin condition, not necessarily leprosy."""

    Caleb:
    Speculations = imaginations.

    "and as I said the earliest gospel wasn't written for forty years after Jesus' death - plenty of time for fact to get interspersed with fiction"

    Caleb:
    Be a historian first to be credible enough. It is not easy.

    "HAHAHA! It's just your mind playing tricks on you dude"

    Caleb: you won't regret if you try it.

    "Yep - pretty much all kinds of Christian or Creation scientists for a start."

    Caleb: A truth can be established by a two witnesses. You are merely speaking by your own authority, so called.

    "DEEERRRRR!!! You idiot, they're simple RELATIVE to the complex creatures!"

    Caleb: If Michael Denton is at least correct on this passage: "To grasp the reality of life as it has been revealed by molecular biology, we must magnify a cell a thousand million times until it is twenty kilometers in diameter and resembles a giant airship large enough to cover a great city like London or New York. What we would then see would be an object of unparalleled complexity and adaptive design. On the surface of the cell we would see millions of openings, like the port holes of a vast space ship, opening and closing to allow a continual stream of materials to flow in and out. If we were to enter one of these openings we would find ourselves in a world of supreme technology and bewildering complexity. We would see endless highly organized corridors and conduits branching in every direction away from the perimeter of the cell, some leading to the central memory bank in the nucleus and others to assembly plants and processing units. The nucleus itself would be a vast spherical chamber more than a kilometer in diameter, resembling a geodesic cone inside of which we would see all neatly stacked together in ordered arrays, the miles of coiled chains of the DNA molecules"
    is not a sign of simplicity.

    "Go study up, and then rejoin the conversation when you're in a position to add something that ISN'T laughable."

    Caleb: I simply said "my opinion", I agree I am not educated on that part, UNLIKE you, who talk to much about theology and philosophy as though you are still in grade school. Remember, I am not even studying theology & philosophy and can easily detect your blunder on it.
    Question again(pls do no evade), to whom we can trust, to the one who are DEEP on the subject or to the one who is a hypocrite? I am not saying you are.
    Please stay on your field, and here we are in this thread, and the OP the topic is theology.

    "If you don't even know the staircase exists, you can't know it leads anywhere."

    Caleb: Are you deaf? HOW CAN I take "THAT FIRST STEP" if the staircase didn't exist at ALL? Read again. Remember I am taking now the first step in the staircase, so obviously I can see the staircase but not the whole of it.

    "
    Christian faith is stupid, and just begging people to step off a cliff,

    Caleb: Actually you look like one. That is why we separate ourselves from worldly people because we don't talk the way they talk, eg foul languages.

    "
    with "faith" there's an invisible stair there."

    caleb: Read again. Christian faith was based on the historical existence of Jesus Christ.

    ""Please consider to be a historian someday, Jerram."

    Nah, doesn't interest me that much.
    "

    Caleb: So don't talk about history.

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  136. ....learn a little about natural selection, and learn a little about genome sequencing. THEN come back and tell me it doesn't prove Darwin's predictions XD You're doing nothing but exposing your VAST ignorance on one of the most elementary levels of natural selection... this is why I previously referred to you an an intellectual juvenile.OK Jerram, time for some homespun truths. You are a fool, pure and simple. You are tearing strips of caleb on the one hand, foul language doesn't come close to describing your gutter scum excuse for communication. While on the other hand you an admitted non-biologist (what is your field of study if you have one?) spout authoritative statements regarding topics you clearly have no indepth knowledge of. You have called me everything from idiot to the unrepeatable and yet both caleb and I have been nothing but civil to you and tried to discuss the matter in a rational way. If this keeps up I will appeal to the moderator of the site to have you (and your expletives) expunged.

    Regarding your extensive list of "29 reasons why evolution is true" on that "tome of all knowledge" the talk origins site (suppressed laughter...).

    *the palentological (not archaeological!) evidence is a joke. reading down the list of "undisputed" transitional forms from reptiles to mammals and and the most common point I saw was "known by teeth only" or "known from one specimen" or "fragmentary"
    * transition from land mammals to whales was the best one! :D :D Daryl Domnings walking sea cows is an embarassment to the poor reviewers who peer reviewed his work.
    * the discussion on the common nature of cytochrome C is likewise very conjectural - what is the point? Common use of a mechanism (which is what Cyt C is, a protein mechanism) equally could be common design. Its called economy of design and used even by human designers
    * use of common phyolgenetally calculated DNA code again is irrelevant - common design is my response
    * use of embriological characteristics is laughable - please Haeckel's embryo's was at this level - again common design I say
    * the arguement re redundant DNA, endogenous retroviruses etc - largely disproven now as non coding sections of DNA have a modulatory mode of action and are not "junk DNA" as some have asserted

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  137. To quote a very embarassing (and embaressed if his response is anything to go off) evolutionist and palentologist Dr Colin Patterson:

    "One of the reasons I started taking this anti-evolutionary view, or let's call it a non- evolutionary view, was last year I had a sudden realization for over twenty years I had thought I was working on evolution in some way. One morning I woke up and something had happened in the night and it struck me that I had been working on this stuff for twenty years and there was not one thing I knew about it. That's quite a shock to learn that one can be so misled so long. Either there was something wrong with me or there was something wrong with evolutionary theory. Naturally, I know there is nothing wrong with me, so for the last few weeks I've tried putting a simple question to various people and groups of people.

    Question is: Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing, that is true? I tried that question on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology Seminar in the University of Chicago, a very prestigious body of evolutionists, and all I got there was silence for a long time and eventually one person said, "I do know one thing - it ought not to be taught in high school."

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  138. Or better yet Steven J Gould:

    "The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils." “Evolution’s erratic pace” Natural History May 1977 p.14

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  139. Re History:

    Jerram you really should quit while you're ahead. You have your own opinion against most of accademia in the historical field. You clearly do not even understand the historical relevance of the evidences we've given you, let alone given a refutation of them.

    Your contradictions list I can address from historian's comments on them if you wish. But really the available data out there is so overwhelming that I'd say you're regurgitating someone else's thoughts not your own based on an honest reading of the new testament.

    Sigh, really Caleb is right, you have no interest in the history and no desire to listen so why enter the debate at all. You have your dogmatic blind faith and you will not be shifted regardless what is said. I pity you for that really.

    None the less I will be continuing to pray for you and I urge you to repent and put your trust in Jesus Christ before it is too late for you.

    God Bless Jerram
    Bye for now

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  140. Just another quick note:

    Daryl Domning's deception is one of the many examples of peer reviewed papers that support the prejudices of the reviewers and turns out to be very poor science or worse a complete fabrication. Java man, Piltdown man, Peking man - all hoaxes or no evidence to be found and peer reviewed!!!!

    Your faith in these people while endearing to some is naive in the extreem. And you have the gall to call us simple for trusting in a real man who proved he was God to over 500 witnesses!

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  141. Pfft... whatever Dave.

    You guys enjoy yourselves, I'm bailing. If you consider saying stupid shit over and over again until your opponent /facepalms themself out, then congratulations - you win. Quite frankly, I have better shit to do than bang my head against a wall.

    Adios!

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  142. You guys enjoy yourselves, I'm bailing. If you consider saying stupid ********** over and over again until your opponent /facepalms themself out, then congratulations - you win. Quite frankly, I have better ***********to do than bang my head against a wall.

    Adios!

    caleb: A graceful exit? Or a shameful one? Out of logic? Trust your science.

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  143. Jerram, if you still reading this, I will retract my suggestion to go on castles, catacombs or any haunted houses. I know you will laugh at this, but I am serious. It is not right regardless if you recognize them or not.
    Do not go there. But for the sake of the evidence, you can watch documentary videos, but do not trust youtube.

    You said earlier that science maybe in the near future can investigate ghosts. I am thinking that you defined science in the wrong way in that case, at least in our era. As I understood, given if I am correct, science deals heavily on the physical realm. Ghosts if they exist, are in the spiritual realm to which you did not believe. Do not put yourself on contradictory position.
    Still, you are using foul language in your posts. I don't know if it is common to say that in your country, but at least not for us here.

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  144. The pro-evolution mob asks us to believe that it is scientific to believe that dead matter can produce living organisms. It is scientific to believe this. If we, as benighted unbelievers, ask these enlightened ones to explain even in a computer simulation how whole populations of living beings living in groups were created from dead matter and then were able to replicate by bonding sexually, then we are told that creationism is wrong and that we need to grow up.
    We have only asked for some clarity of thought and they have accused us of believing in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy and well, that dead matter could engender whole populations of beings capable of replicating themselves. Silly us.

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  145. "The pro-evolution mob asks us to believe that it is scientific to believe that dead matter can produce living organisms."

    Be careful with your terminology. It's not DEAD matter it's "non-living" matter. For something to be dead it must have first been alive. A rock is not dead, it's non-living.

    Secondly, it's scientifically possible (and this has been done in the lab) to synthesise amino acids, which are the building blocks of all living organisms, from non-living matter.



    "If we, as benighted unbelievers, ask these enlightened ones to explain even in a computer simulation how whole populations of living beings living in groups were created from dead matter and then were able to replicate by bonding sexually, then we are told that creationism is wrong and that we need to grow up."

    You've been asking the wrong people then (or maybe they just see through your faked interest and know than no proof will convince you because you have too much at stake to alter your worldview).

    First of all, not all life reproduces sexually. A lot of organisms are asexual (their offspring are clones of themself), and organisms like viruses, while not considered "alive", can only reproduce by injecting their DNA into a host cell. Sexual reproduction evolved later (before you say "the males and females would have to evolve independently!" do a Google search on the evolution of sexual reproduction) and became the dominant reproductive mechanism because sexual reproduction adds a heap more variety to the gene pool and allows organisms to adapt to their environment faster.

    So you're really just asking how abiogenesis works. Now you know the term you can research that for yourself. It'll do you good to start looking for the answers to your questions instead of waiting for people to put them under your nose. If you don't understand the scientific literature then by all means ask someone to help clarify it for you.


    "We have only asked for some clarity of thought"

    But you haven't, really, and you know that. You ask these questions (I doubt you even HAVE asked them) presuming we don't have an answer for them, so you can pretend you've outsmarted over 150 years worth of evolutionary science with your bronze age story book (and bronze age ignorance).

    Now, I may be being unfair here since I don't know you personally, but your demenour certainly REEKS of your common creationus ignoramus. You have no understanding of evolutionary theory, and no DESIRE to understand it. You've taken a position on faith that the Earth is 6000 years old, that God made everything individually, and that evolution must be some global conspiracy in cahoots with geochronology, astronomy and every other discipline of science that conforms to an old-Earth model. You believe this ON FAITH, and so are FORCED to ignore any an all contradictory data (of which there are mountains). NO MATTER WHAT evidence for evolution was presented, no matter how compelling, you would be forced to reject it. And that, my friend, is why I - and many many more - have stopped trying to talk science with you types. You have no desire to learn the truth, only to display your own laughable ignorance.

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  146. Jerram

    You are in no position to be making comment on the ignorance of others when you have proudly paraded your own on this very blog.

    When it comes to research on issues you claim to make authoritative comment on your position is clear: you cannot be bothered reading through our paltry couple of pages of "religious propaganda". From this it is clear you certaintly have not done any real research into Christianity but rather regurgitate vitreol from athiest websites.

    When it comes to speaking on issues that someone knows little about, it is tempting to repeat your own comments back to you regards your understanding of the bible. But that would be largely pointless.

    Your condescending comments on abiogenesis are absurd in the extreme; especially in light of the impossibility of protein or RNA (let alone DNA) formation. The current available research reveals the problems of the water mass effect, browning of sugars with amino acids, cystine's instability and the massive solute binding issues. But you would be aware of that wouldn't you? Or are you loudly claiming answers when ignorant of these commonly published facts?

    I have tried to engage you in discussion Jerram, it appears you are in this for nothing other than your pride. Roderic at least has something greater than himself in the equation. This is a pity really. Fair well and God bless you. I'm sure you will want to post something back but there is not much more to say.

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  147. This central argument was laughable. I bought it back in 2007 when I was 18 years old before I was exposed seriously to Aristotelian logic. Now I know way better. I've become a Deist.

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