I hate doing this, but someone needs our help

I’m loathe to give even negative publicity to that horrific, big screen spew Expelled, but I’ve decided to mention an upcoming event concerning that movie for two reasons. One: a deeply concerned person near where this event is taking place e-mailed me to ask for help/advice on what to do about the event. Two: it pounds yet another nail in the “this in not about religion” coffin. You now what I mean … Florida Representative D. Alan Hays made a big deal out of the movie, exhorting his fellow lawmakers to see it because it supports his reasoning for introducing his dreadful anti-evolution bill. But any talk of connecting religion to his bill was just “hot air.”

On Thursday, May 8, the event Beyond Expelled will be hosted at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center, Okaloosa-Walton College, Niceville, Fl. It looks like the event is sponsored by the Westminster Presbyterian Church, which has this to say:

Westminster holds that Christianity is the only worldview system that is completely consistent and rationally justifiable upon all grounds. We desire to serve our Christian and non-Christian communities in this respect by raising worldview awareness, and our first large-scale effort at reaching these communities will be held on May 8th as we present Beyond Expelled, an evening with author and speaker Nancy Pearcey. Nancy will question the claims of the Darwinian worldview at a foundational level and expose its emptiness, leaving us to consider why this is the only worldview allowed to be taught at many of our higher educational institutions!

So, is anyone going to be in the Niceville area this week? The local woman who e-mailed sounds like she feels isolated. Let’s show her some support. If you want to help in some way, send me an e-mail at bhaught [at] flascience [dot] org, or leave some information in the comments. I will then put you in contact with this concerned citizen.

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
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636 Responses to I hate doing this, but someone needs our help

  1. Ben Abbott says:

    “Niceville”? … seriously?

    Westminster holds that Christianity is the only worldview system that is completely consistent and rationally justifiable upon all grounds.

    Do I infer correctly that these individuals hold that any means is justified in extinguishing suppressing opinions at odds with their own?

  2. Pete Dunkelberg says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Pearcey is a long time creationist.

    It is up to folks there to turn this into an opportunity. The perfidy of Expelled is well established at Expelled Exposed http://www.expelledexposed.com/

    John Derbyshire’s article in the National Review online
    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZGYwMzdjOWRmNGRhOWQ4MTQyZDMxNjNhYTU1YTE5Njk=

    lays out the necessary dishonesty of the creationism movement. Niceville has on opportunity for education.

  3. Kevin F. says:

    It’s a long ride from Gainesville, but if anyone wants to make a road trip I’d think about it… on the other hand this one looks like they have made up their minds. Perhaps it’s best to let them enjoy themselves on their little flat 6K year old earth in the center of the universe. If it were 2h closer I’d give it a shot.

  4. PatrickHenry says:

    Events like this are probably going on in thousands of churches all over America, every weekend. If scientists, science teachers, and other educated people bothered to attend all of these gatherings we’d soon be exhausted. It makes much more sense to conserve one’s efforts for events that matter, mostly political events such as school board meetings and legislative sessions. Also, turning all of these church socials into debates with scientists gives them an importance — and possible press coverage — they don’t deserve.

    So even though it seems uncaring and neglectful, I suggest letting the Niceville event slide by. Personally, I might even ignore a silly event like that if it were in my own neighborhood. But that’s just my opinion.

  5. AlanConwell says:

    I’m local to Niceville. You can assure the lady who emailed you that she most decidedly is not alone. That said, I agree with PatHenry above that this is exclusively a religious, Christian thing (and a minority view, when one counts all Christians). Let them agree with one another that it’s all about their Christian worldview. Let them put a clear sectarian stamp on their side in the battle over science in the public high school biology classroom. Let’s just make sure the legislature is made aware of events like this next session when Storms & Hays try again.

  6. PatrickHenry says:

    I note that this earth-shaking intellectual event is at the Westminster Presbyterian Church. They appear to be at odds with three pro-evolution statements made by their national organization. See: Statements from Religious Organizations. I guess it doesn’t matter.

  7. AlanConwell says:

    PH, it’s actually being held at Niceville’s only major event venue; the Mattie Kelly Arts Center, which is on the campus of Okaloosa-Walton College. While I have reservations about a college campus being even indirectly associated with this event, the Center is available for booking to just about anybody (obviously).

    It is interesting that the local Presbyterian Church is presenting/promoting this, although it doesn’t appear to be as much about the science as it is about the impact of that science on the “worldview” of Christians (the one and only true view, I believe, is their position). I find this discussion considerably less threatening than the insidious attempts at backdoor insertion of their flawed “science” into secular classrooms.

  8. RM says:

    Having spent 3 years doing science in Florida I follow the good work of
    Florida Citizens for Science from across the Atlantic.

    Google and Wikipedia tell me that there are several kinds of Presbyterians.
    It is the main group, Presbyterian Church (USA) with 2.3 million members, which has issued a statement in favor of evolution. The Westminster
    Presbyterian Church belongs to the Presbyterian Church in America,
    a conservative group with some 300,000 members, mostly in the deep south. The Westminster Presbyterians are thus likely to be in line with
    the doctrines of their mother organization.

  9. PatrickHenry says:

    RM said: “Google and Wikipedia tell me that there are several kinds of Presbyterians.”

    Even better. This clearly demonstrates that being anti-evolution (and thus anti-science) is purely a denominational issue. Join one church and evolution is no problem. Join another and evolution is the devil’s work. The so-called “controversy” about rival “scientific theories” is really just a sectarian squabble. It’s priestcraft. Such matters have no place in public school science classes.

  10. S.Scott says:

    It really seems rather UN- Christian to me actually. Stomping one’s foot and proclaiming that everyone else is unworthy.

    Join another and evolution is the devil’s work. The so-called “controversy” about rival “scientific theories” is really just a sectarian squabble. It’s priestcraft.

  11. Joe Meert says:

    IMHO, it’s not worth the trouble. There is no one we will convince with our presence and we’ve bigger fish to fry.

    Cheers

    Joe Meert

  12. ellie says:

    scott, the civil liberty man,
    What’s the matter? I thought civil liberty was about uhpholding everyone’s right to free speech, not just pornographer’s and atheists.

  13. zygosporangia says:

    ellie –

    So, you are for lying to students and forcing religion on them? Is that your idea of “civil liberties”?

  14. Tom Jebb says:

    Free speech means just that – free to say what one wants. But, along with free speech comes responsibility. We are held accountable for what we say. If we are allowed to teach evolution and creation side by side and let the students decide for themselves what to believe, what harm is there? What the Universities are doing by expelling any professor that even mentions intelligent design is practicing dictatorship. They are forcing there belief on others. Universities where meant for a place for people to learn and debate and come to their own conclusions.

    If you don’t want to teach students any lies, then you better make sure what you are teaching them is the absolute truth. It would be a shame if one day you woke up and realized that you have been teaching lies all those years. Worst yet, it would be a shame if you died and realized what you have been living for was nothing but lies. The consequences are eternal.

  15. zygosporangia says:

    If we are allowed to teach evolution and creation side by side and let the students decide for themselves what to believe, what harm is there?

    Universities are free to teach creationism, in a class on religion or mythology. Teaching such nonsense in the science classroom would undermine the very definition of science. Why should something which has absolutely no evidence be taught alongside something that has gone through rigorous scrutiny? Why should creationism be taught in science, completely exempt from the same thorough review that evolution had to go through before being taught?

    What the Universities are doing by expelling any professor that even mentions intelligent design is practicing dictatorship.

    Professors are more than welcome to bring up creationism — in the appropriate class. Teachers are held to standards. When they violate those standards, there are consequences. This is how any school or university ensures a uniform learning experience. If we allow any deranged lunatic to teach their half-baked pseudoscience as fact, then some students would be taught science, and other unfortunate students would be taught complete crap. If they both got degrees, then the value of that degree would be diluted. A university has its own reputation to maintain. Personally, I wish universities would “expel” more professors, especially in the biology and Computer Science departments.

    Worst yet, it would be a shame if you died and realized what you have been living for was nothing but lies. The consequences are eternal.

    For instance, if you woke up and realized how much of your life you wasted on fairy tales?

  16. Mary Shaw says:

    The restriction against creation being allowed to be taught in our schools is an issue. For anyone who believes in creation by an Intelligent Designer, the right to freedom of speach has been halted. Another view supporting creation/intelligent design was presented by biochemist, Michale Behe, who claims that many biological systems are “irreducibly complex”, that in order to evolve, multiple systems would have to arise simultaneously (Darwin’s Black Box (The Free Press, 1996)). Mr. Behe claims that such systems exist in biology and that the existence of “irreducible complexity” argues for an intelligent designer. Again, taught side by side, what would the issue/harm really be? Obvioulsy this issue of creation vs. evolution blocks the right to free speach to those in the Creation Camp. Restoration of free speach to EVERYONE would be good starting point! More issues are also at hand for those of us who are of Christian such as our holidays have become problematic to society, meanwhile tolerating other faiths and their beliefs (e.g, Christmas break changed to Winter break – what is the root to December 25th as a holiday?). I personally hope that not only our Constition, but individual as well, would begin allowing freedom of speach to everyone.

  17. Green Earth says:

    Funny you mention the constitution, and the first amendment, the other part of it being about SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE.

  18. firemancarl says:

    Ouch Mary and Elliee! The stupid burns! Make it stop!

    The reason why ID is not taught in science classes, drum roll if you please!, is that it is not science. Free speech is for philosophy classes and protesting. Science, unfortunately is based, on facts.

    If ID were scientifically sound, then it could be brought up in science class. It isn’t and you know it’s not.

    To paraphrase Richard Dawkins,

    WHy not show the world this new science you have and be hailed as the new Newton or Einstein? The answer is you can’t and we know you can’t

  19. firemancarl says:

    Mr. Behe claims that such systems exist in biology and that the existence of “irreducible complexity” argues for an intelligent designer. Again, taught side by side, what would the issue/harm really be?

    There is no repeat NO scientific evidence for a creator. Behe has had irreucible complexity quite litterally beat down by scientists.

    This has been brought up in many thread here on FCS, if you need, I will post links that destroy IC.

    And Mary, please spell speech correctly!

  20. Green Earth says:

    Hey fc, they are all about free speech, but only if you are white and xtian, right???

  21. Green Earth says:

    Oh yeah, and hold the same views.

  22. firemancarl says:

    Damn it! GE! And here I thought I was part of the club. Though, I suppose we should add and don’t think for yourself to you above statement Oh yeah, and hold the same views.

    Hi, i’m Firemancarl, and I love to feed trolls!

  23. Green Earth says:

    Ha ha! FC- know it’s just SOOO easy!

  24. Green Earth says:

    *you know

  25. S.Scott says:

    Here’s some free speech –

    (what the heck is SPEACH Mary?)

    “Neener, neener, neener” … heeheehee 🙂

  26. Spirula says:

    Again, taught side by side, what would the issue/harm really be?

    None, as long as the teacher is pointing out that ID is not a science but a religious belief, and that ID’s proponents are motivated religion (wedge document), and they want a religious belief inserted into a secular, tax paid educational system, violating the first amendment. That the “no harm” you’re looking for?

    But, hey, if you’re going to insist on teaching creationism in public schools, I think Christian schools should be required to present “alternative” creation stories, like the Egyptian Atum Creation story. Comes with it’s own “big bang”. I bet that’ll wow the kiddies.

    Anyway, teaching the theory of evolution vs creationism has nothing to do with “free speech”. If a public school science teacher teaches creationism and not evolution they should be fired for not doing their job. Creationism is not science. They are hired to teach science. That’s the only issue.

    Besides, protected free speech prevents the government from censoring the citizens and the media, not protecting people from failing to do their job they agreed to do. It protects the right of evangelists to come onto university campuses and actually call students (they don’t know) “evil”, “sluts”, “whores”, and “pagans” (seen it myself). But, hey, guess what? It doesn’t give me the right to come into your churches and interupt your services with my secular beliefs. It doesn’t give you the right to go into public schools and promote religious beliefs or practices. Gettin’ it yet?

  27. Green Earth says:

    I think evolution should get “equal time” in church services and sunday school- how’s that sound, you think the fundies would be okay with that?

  28. firemancarl says:

    Oh no GE, that was not part of the plan!

  29. Ivy Mike says:

    I still have yet to hear from any of our trolls, why they are so enamored of “free speech” and “academic freedom” when it comes to presenting religious doctrine in science classes, but recoil from it when the topic is sex education (“abstinence ONLY”).

    Or, why this concern over “free speech” does not seem to extend to the books school libraries stock…like the “Harry Potter” series.

    In fact, it would seem that in Fundieland the concept of “free speech” only includes preaching their evangelist Biblical interpretation. How often do we see them OPPOSING free speech in, for example, cases like television and movie content?

  30. Spirula says:

    GE,

    Better yet, let’s start an “Evolution Hour” and put it on TV every sunday am. Get Richard Attenborough to narrate it. Would finally put on something worthwhile to watch in that time slot.

  31. Ivy Mike says:

    “If we are allowed to teach evolution and creation side by side and let the students decide for themselves what to believe, what harm is there?”

    The harm is in presenting a scientific theory with mountains of supportive evidence as somehow equivalent in validity to a narrow sect’s religious belief that carries with it NO supportive evidence.

    The scientific method, which is the foundation for all modern science, is rendered useless by such equivalency, an equivalency BTW, that is only demanded because some fringe sects cannot deal with the implications of the findings of science.

    Science teachers are not under any obligation to support and promote your religious beliefs. That is the task of you and your churches.

  32. PaulR says:

    Mary Shaw – enough already with the Discovery Institute talking points. Where were you during the Dover trial? Behe’s hypothesis was completely discredited. Nothing new here.

    As far as December 25th goes, it’s about time we return to the original celebration of Winter Solstice. If you live in the extreme Northern hemisphere, the son does actually rise again after three days! What a miracle that must have been to the indigenous people 2000 years ago.

  33. Green Earth says:

    More issues are also at hand for those of us who are of Christian such as our holidays have become problematic to society, meanwhile tolerating other faiths and their beliefs (e.g, Christmas break changed to Winter break – what is the root to December 25th as a holiday?)

    Seriously? Please tell me you were joking about this?!
    I would like to take this opportunity to remind you this is NOT a christian nation, whether you think it should be/want it to be or not is not the issue. This country was founded on religious freedom. Maybe I see this more rationally/logically because I am not christian.

  34. zygosporangia says:

    Not to mention that there is no evidence that Jesus was even born in December. The December 25th holiday was chosen by the Church to capitalize on solstice celebrations. The “root” of December 25th is the winter solstice celebration.

  35. Foxtail says:

    The attitude of the evolutionists speaks louder than what he is trying to defend. The calm spirit reaches a child more readily than a “reasoned” argument. I know that if evolution and creationism were allowed to be discussed in the classroom the calm demeanor of the creationist would rule the day. That is the main reason you don’t want it in the classroom, because when you look at the attitude of the evolutionist it comes across in a spirit of disrespect, condescending and rude. You can see it in the movie Expelled. children pick up on this attitude more than you think. I’ve taught children for more than 20 years and have even experimented with those on either side of an issue. One was told to behave rudely and the other to behave very calmly. Even though the one who behaved rudely had the right stand the majority of the children took the side of the calm one even though he had the wrong stand. So the message being received by the children is being communicated more by the spirit of the person rather than the words.

  36. Green Earth says:

    Science is based on observations, experiments, data, evidence and conclusions taken from these. If that’s what you consider being rude… I don’t know what to tell you. You know what’s rude? Telling people that your religion/belief is THE only right one, you’re going to hell if you don’t believe as I do, you’re wrong, etc.

  37. zygosporangia says:

    That is the main reason you don’t want it in the classroom, because when you look at the attitude of the evolutionist it comes across in a spirit of disrespect, condescending and rude. You can see it in the movie Expelled.

    Not really, no. I have never experienced a disrespectful or rude evolutionist. I have experienced disrespectful and rude creationists, who feel that their feelings somehow grant them a unique perspective on science.

    Expelled was so heavily edited that they could make the scientists look however they wanted. Each scientist was interviewed for at least an hour or more, and the most incriminating things were kept for the movie. The Expelled producers learned well from Michael Moore: if you get enough footage, you can edit it to support any insane point.

  38. Ivy Mike says:

    Know what else is “rude”?

    Trying to take money confiscated from ME, and use it to preach a narrow, fringe sect of Christianity to MY KIDS as “scientific” “truth”.

    Mythology has absolutely no place in science classes, period. Nor, Fox, does the sort of emotional appeals you seemingly advocate. Science is about facts, evidence, and the meticulous, rigourous study of same. Sometimes, such study can reveal blunt, unpleasant answers. THAT is a worthwhile life lesson for students, not some lame “revelation” that the “calm, nice” presentation of a wrong idea makes it “more acceptable”.

  39. Green Earth says:

    Again the Jon Stewart quote comes to mind:

    “The Christian Right always throws around this term ‘the liberal elite.’ I keep thinking to myself- What’s more elite than believing that only YOU will go to heaven?”

  40. Foxtail says:

    QED

  41. Spirula says:

    I call faux appeal to civility. Age old creationist tactic. Make false claims or misrepresent evolution, science and scientists; get called on it; claim incivility; fly back to flock and claim victory, and offer as proof “they were mean to me just like sky daddy said they would be”.

    I know that if evolution and creationism were allowed to be discussed in the classroom the calm demeanor of the creationist would rule the day.

    Really? This is your criteria for parsing truth and fact? Feelings? Demeanor? Attitude? Temper? Only humble, quiet people are right? Seems that would eliminate a lot of my former pastors (Ex-fundy here).

    That is the main reason you don’t want it in the classroom, because when you look at the attitude of the evolutionist it comes across in a spirit of disrespect, condescending and rude.

    Aside from the non-sequitor in this sentence, I’m glad you avoid stereotyping and impugning motives, but just stick to arguing the actual evidence. You know, for the kids.

    I’ve taught college biology classes (including Evolution) for over 10 years. I even received a “Teacher of The Year” award (prompted by student input). Who knew my condenscending, rude, and disrespectful behavior (according to Foxtails claim of evolutionists) is what garnered all that postive sentiment in my students?

  42. Paulr says:

    Paulr says, “the son does actually rise again after three days! What a miracle that must have been to the indigenous people 2000 years ago.”

    That should have read SUN, as in the Scandinavian sun sets on December 22nd and does not rise again until December 25th.

    All this “God done it” is infecting my brain…and keyboard!

  43. ThatWomanInNiceville says:

    Brandon – thanks for bringing this up on the blog. I’m the “lone voice” in the wilderness of Niceville (yeah, the name’s for real…) who first told you about the Pearcey presentation.

    It’s nice to see some support from the folks here, because it does help me feel less isolated. This event wouldn’t bother me half as much if it were being held at a church, but it’s being held at the local college, for whom I work. I find it difficult to reconcile that something as unscientific as ID is being presented on a college campus as a viable alternative to evolution (or, as ID proponents like to call it, “Darwinism”, as though it’s just one individual’s personal ideology and not a discipline-spanning well-founded structure of observations and experimentations of natural phenomenon).

    As I said in my initial email to Brandon, I’m distressed. I dislike seeing science attacked and degraded in the service of one religion’s POV. Religious freedom is a vital right in this country. I don’t want to suppress other people’s beliefs. But ID is not science. And that it’s being promoted in Pearcey’s presentation as such is a major disservice to the OWC students, who are here to gain understanding and knowledge about the world.

    This is not a fight about “academic freedom”. It has been couched in those terms as a rallying cry; it is a very effective rhetorical device to promote oneself as being self-righteously fighting the good fight (against tyranny, dogma, immoral precepts, etcetcetc ad nauseam). People love a good cause and most are quick to full-heartedly respond when a tale of oppression is told.

    But science is not some vain 3rd grade teacher who has class pets she won’t let be picked on: aspects of evolution are open to debate, and if there ever comes a time when a serious contender challenges neo-Darwinian thought, it will be subject to rigorous examination without prejudice. That’s the beautiful nature of science (forgive my misty-eyed prose) – it isn’t blinded by its own claims of “Truth”. In the end, ID is not science*.

    *Don’t take my word on it, I’m not a scientist. But they are:
    Statement from the National Academy of Science
    Statement by 68 International Academies of Science, in support of evolution
    Statement from the Union of Concerned Scientists
    Wikipedia list of scientific societies rejecting intelligent design
    NCSE’s Steve Project, described by American Scientist Online
    What a scientific “theory” is

  44. Tom says:

    Looks like my comments have been expelled!

    Why am I not surprised.

  45. Wolfhound says:

    Um, Tom, your idiotic spew appears to still be where you excreted it in this thread.

  46. Well, first of all, the evolutionists replying here are simply doing so as a result of a chemical reaction in their brains. They glory in evolution, but are not cognizant of the reality that if everything is the result of chance random processes, their brains/minds are as well, and cannot be trusted. Thus, they cannot be sure that what their minds represent to them is actually true. Neither can they control their actions or their thoughts, as their celebrated Provine is so apt to point out. Sorry fellows, but your naturalism fails to give you an adequate epistemology.

    Many of you have made fun of what others have written, especially if they did not spell correctly. Well, Mr. Green Earth, your lack of education is repugnant, for if you would read carefully, you will not find the words “separation of church and state” in the Constitution or Declaration. That is found in a letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association, and the way the phrase is used in that letter is a one way street forbidding government to interfere in establishing a national Christian denomination.

    Mr. Green Earth, your ignorance is even more apparent when you blast Christians for saying that they believe that they alone have the truth, when you are just as dogmatic when you cry that evolution is a fact and it alone is true.

    You ask for evidence for intelligent design, but I ask for evidence for evolution. There are no transitional forms, mutations always result in a loss of genetic information, fossilization does not require long periods of time as we have evidence of rapid fossilization, and even Crick admitted that DNA must have been designed by an intelligence. We even have Dawkins himself admit on video that there could be an intelligent designer (just not God). I don’t see the mountains of evidence you claim for evolution. I just see many problems in the theory. And by the way, it still is just a theory. Once again you show your ignorance in trying to claim it as a fact.

    I am sure this little post will be a catalyst to a chemical reaction in your brain, causing you to type. So when I read your response, I can be sure you are not truly reponsible, and as far as it concerns you as well as this debate, all that you write is really meaningless.

  47. Karl says:

    At this rate, you don’t seem to be seeing much of anything if you aren’t aware that YES, transitional fossils have been found in numerous cases (fish to amphibian, reptile to proto-avian forms, etc), and mutations do sometimes result in the addition of genetic info (substitutions, deletions, and insertions are all possible). You and others are parroting the same outdated propaganda which has already been disproved by fairly dated evolution research and you get all indignant when a few of us make fun of you?

    The scientific community has in fact provided the evidence on evolution, and to no surprise, the religious fundamentalists dismiss it without argument, consideration, or research. We at least were willing to entertain the notion of analyzing whatever evidence you can provide(manufacture) regarding Intelligent Design and then pick it apart through actual research with detailed examples (I’m assuming you are familiar with Behe’s work and the manner in which his theories have been debunked – here’s a hint: actual research including documented examples of the biochemical processes that contradicted his theories were used). As for Dawkins et al, I recall that quote was grossly taken out of context, but I suppose this little fact wouldn’t matter to YOUR kind anyways given how we perceive YOUR brains to work.

    I’m surprised that with your degree of blindness, you can still read and comprehend the runes from that ole’ bible-ly spellbook of yours…

  48. Ivy Mike says:

    “You ask for evidence for intelligent design, but I ask for evidence for evolution. ”

    Okay!

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

    That’s a small sampling of what we’ve got. A smart guy like you should be able to cover all that in a week, ten days tops.

    “There are no transitional forms, mutations always result in a loss of genetic information, fossilization does not require long periods of time as we have evidence of rapid fossilization, and even Crick admitted that DNA must have been designed by an intelligence. ”

    Read on…

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/index.html

    …and quit repeating points we’ve already refuted. You know, a bit of research into the evidence that REALLY exists, instead of simply regurgitating talking points from radio hosts, religious charlatans, and shills would go a long way towards sparing you some embarassment.

  49. Tom Jebb says:

    Teachers are held to standards. When they violate those standards, there are consequences. This is how any school or university ensures a uniform learning experience. If we allow any deranged lunatic to teach their half-baked pseudoscience as fact, then some students would be taught science, and other unfortunate students would be taught complete crap. If they both got degrees, then the value of that degree would be diluted. A university has its own reputation to maintain.

    Zygosporangia, you are absolutely correct in your above reply. We have deranged lunatics now teaching their half-baked pseudoscience as fact. They are teaching evolution. If they were teaching it just as a theory, that would be a different story.

    If evolution is all about survival of the fittest and getting better, how come we are spending billions of dollars on research to find cures for diseases? Feed the poor? Care for the elderly? Would it not be better to let “nature” take its course and let the weak die out so our species can become even better and stronger? Would you care if you were in one of these catoegories and be willing to give up your life for the benefit of others?Think of all the billions of dollars we could save.

    As for wasting my life on fairy tales – Yes I did wake up on day and found myself living a life of fairy tales. (I prefer to call them lies, because I lived a life full of lies aka sin.) When I embraced the Truth is when my eyes where opened to the truth. Now I live in the world of reality.

  50. zygosporangia says:

    Sorry fellows, but your naturalism fails to give you an adequate epistemology.

    Neither does your bible. How can one derive a true epistemology from faith? It sounds like you need to look up the definition of epistemology, because you are using words too big for your head.

    Next, you are going to claim that the only way one can derive morality is through a 3000 year old fairy tale. I’ve heard these same tired old arguments again and again. Your arguments are from ignorance.

    We even have Dawkins himself admit on video that there could be an intelligent designer (just not God).

    You are either misinformed, or lying for Jesus. The so-called video was edited down. If you watched the original interview in context, you’d see that his example of aliens being the intelligent designer was used purposefully so he could extend the problem of where those aliens came from. Which are you? A sheep for the producers of Expelled, or one of the wolves corrupting the other sheep?

    And by the way, it still is just a theory.

    Here’s a newsflash: DI and the other fundies have moved away from claiming “it’s just a theory”. Making such statements make you look ignorant, it shows that you do not know the difference between a theory and a scientific theory. Try looking up the respective definitions.

    So when I read your response, I can be sure you are not truly reponsible, and as far as it concerns you as well as this debate, all that you write is really meaningless.

    Likewise, your response was designed by an omnipotent god who already knows the outcome of what you will type… so what you actually type is not your own anyway. You are nothing more than a marionette. Of course, with the way you are parroting talking points from DI, you could very well be a puppet for Jesus.

    Just because life evolved doesn’t mean that there can be no basis for morality, nor does it mean that people cannot be held accountable for their actions. Of course, I understand that such things are probably beyond your understanding, as you must look to mythology for your own morality. If your god wasn’t holding the keys to the afterlife, you’d be able to do whatever you want. Who is the bigger person, one who does right because it is right, or one who does right expecting an eternal reward. I find this sort of argument childish myself.

  51. zygosporangia says:

    Tom Jebb –

    Zygosporangia, you are absolutely correct in your above reply. We have deranged lunatics now teaching their half-baked pseudoscience as fact. They are teaching evolution. If they were teaching it just as a theory, that would be a different story.

    Wow… is that the best you can do, turn around what I said? You honestly aren’t even going to try to argue a single one of my points, are you? You must think you are clever.

    If evolution is all about survival of the fittest and getting better, how come we are spending billions of dollars on research to find cures for diseases?

    Evolution explains how we got here, not how we should develop social policies. Your point is inane. Like a typical fundie, you are attempting to extend evolution into a meaningless strawman.

    When I embraced the Truth is when my eyes where opened to the truth. Now I live in the world of reality.

    If you want to believe your fairy tales as fact, all the more power to you. You are free to believe whatever you want. However, your delusions don’t belong in the science classroom, which has a different standard for what is considered truth. Your “truth” has absolutely no evidence to support it, other than words written thousands of years ago. You blindly believe these words without evidence, and that’s your right. However, science is not about blind belief.

  52. Green Earth says:

    Well, Mr. Green Earth, your lack of education is repugnant, for if you would read carefully, you will not find the words “separation of church and state” in the Constitution or Declaration.

    First, it’s Ms. Green, I like how you assume I’m a man, very sexist. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, and I’m working on a Master’s. I would also like to speak for several others in here who are highly educated scientists and say that clearly we have a much better understanding of how evolution works, hence our position on the issue. I would never try to argue with you, or anyone about scripture, one because I’m not christian and two it is not my area of study, I would never claim to be an expert. Now I’m not saying you couldn’t come here and have a meaningful discussion, but all you do is spew the same DI/ID/creation talking points, that as others have already pointed out HAVE been answered/refuted, they’ve even provided references for you to see for yourself.

    Again I think the biggest problem is a clear lack of understanding of HOW evolution works. Check out the references provided for you, really good information.

    You are correct, the exact phrase of “separation of church and state” is not in the constitution, however, as I have already answered this in other threads, by word and deed this was the intention of the founding fathers. The Supreme Court, the judicial branch of that whole checks and balances system, has interpreted the first amendment as such throughout our nation’s history.

    Mr. Green Earth, your ignorance is even more apparent when you blast Christians for saying that they believe that they alone have the truth, when you are just as dogmatic when you cry that evolution is a fact and it alone is true.

    I am not ignorant for making an observation. Many (not all) christians believe that they alone have the right religion, christianity is it. I’ve heard people say this, so I’m ignorant for repeating that many christians think they are the only people who have the truth?

    I do not claim that evolution alone is true, again as others have previously stated, it’s just the best answer we have so far from all of the evidence we have. There is no goal to evolution- based on environmental conditions animals and plants better adapted are more likely to survive and produce more offspring, so on and so forth (thats very oversimplified, but I think it’s a good generalization).

    Evolution is science, it is hypothesis-based and can be tested. Religion is not, and therefore ID is in no way “equal” to the Scientific Theory of Evolution.

  53. firemancarl says:

    Oy! Teh stupid burns so bad it hurts! Make it stop!

    John McDonald,

    We have, on countless occasions offered up proof of evolution-sorry, evilution-and not once did any of your ilk offer any scientific data to refute evolution. the onus is on you the believer to show the proof of your deity. Heck, if your deity were call me on the fone and then show up at my door and say ‘Hi carl! I’m God!” welp, I would change my way in a heartbeat. Yet, all we have are stories and fairytales of days gone by. Didja ever wonder why god only spoke to people in private? Maybe they were all loony. Hey, as far as church and state ad nauseum, lets look at what’s not in the bible!

    The next time believers tell you that ‘separation of church and state’ does not appear in our founding document, tell them to stop using the word ‘trinity.’ The word ‘trinity’ appears nowhere in the bible. Neither does Rapture, or Second Coming, or Original Sin. If they are still unfazed (or unphrased), by this, then add Omniscience, Omnipresence, Supernatural,Transcendence, Afterlife, Deity, Divinity, Theology, Monotheism, Missionary, Immaculate Conception, Christmas, Christianity, Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Methodist, Catholic, Pope, Cardinal, Catechism, Purgatory, Penance, Transubstantiation, Excommunication, Dogma, Chastity, Unpardonable Sin, Infallibility, Inerrancy, Incarnation, Epiphany, Sermon, Eucharist, the Lord’s Prayer, Good Friday, Doubting Thomas, Advent, Sunday School, Dead Sea, Golden Rule, Moral, Morality, Ethics, Patriotism, Education, Atheism, Apostasy, Conservative (Liberal is in), Capital Punishment, Monogamy, Abortion, Pornography, Homosexual, Lesbian, Fairness, Logic, Republic, Democracy, Capitalism, Funeral, Decalogue, or Bible.

    Dan Barker, Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist (Madison, WI: FFRF, 1992), p. 109.

    Oh and one last thing my friend, and it’s only one word tiktaalik

  54. firemancarl says:

    Oh, I forgot to add something John,

    If you still feel the need to suffer from HiCs ( Head in Cement Syndrome) despite the mountains of evidence that we put forth on this here page, then there truly is no hope for you and your ilk.

  55. The appelation “Mr.” is fine for abstract characters like “Green Earth”. Besides, for all I know, this name might refer to a transitional form of human….

    I love how you guys think you can get an “ought” from an “is” and come up with some groundless and baseless morality all from matter and randomness. You forget that science is descriptive, but purely descriptive data cannot produce normative moral standards.

    You use scientific “theory” as if it were scientific “law”, quite a jump.

    And please state how evolution can give you an adequate epistemology, because without doing this, all that you believe is useless, and your time in the lab has all been in vain.

    I will wait for your chemical reactions.

  56. Firemancarl,

    Your ignorance of the teaching of Scripture is understandable, but God did speak to many people at once, for example at the baptism of Jesus.

    Christianity does not teach that the word “Trinity” etc. is in the Bible, but only that the concept or doctrine is found there. Theologians can call the doctrine whatever they wish. And some identical doctrines have been called different things, e.g. total depravity/total inability.

    By the way, the burden of proof is on anyone who makes a truth claim, so that means we both have to justify our positions.

  57. Green Earth says:

    Again I will say- evolution is NOT a belief system the way religion is. I do not “believe” in evolution. I UNDERSTAND the scientific theory and how it works, and (again) from the evidence, data, testing, observations, evolution is the best answer we have for how life has progressed on this planet.

    The big issues: people do not understand the difference between a theory (in the everyday sense) and a scientific theory, they do not understand evolution, they do not understand WHY there is a difference between science and religion.

  58. zygosporangia says:

    I love how you guys think you can get an “ought” from an “is” and come up with some groundless and baseless morality all from matter and randomness. You forget that science is descriptive, but purely descriptive data cannot produce normative moral standards.

    Morality comes from philosophy, not the natural world. We don’t look to rocks, matter, or other animals for morality. Morality existed long before your bible, so apparently we didn’t look there for it either.

  59. zygosporangia says:

    You use scientific “theory” as if it were scientific “law”, quite a jump.

    Thanks for further exposing your ignorance of science. I will wait for your god to pull on the marionette strings that makes your mouth flap uselessly.

  60. What is ignorant about making a distinction between the gradations of observation, hypothesis, theory, and law? Law cannot be identical with theory, so it seems you are ignorant in equating the two. You are also mistaken, because in this entire exchange I have not opened my mouth. I have only typed. But I can understand your error since you admit that your brain is so flawed from the chance random processes of nature that you cannot really be sure you are speaking intelligibly about anything. And I am still waiting for an answer in regards to this epistemological problem which your system has. Christianity can justify epistemology, but secular humanism simply can’t. Why won’t you answer this issue? It is because you cannot from the plausibility structure of your worldview.

  61. Hey Zygo, wrong again, philosophy also cannot establish normative standards. In philosophy you find positions like that of existentialism (ethical relativists) all the way to say Kant with his categorical imperative, which although it is very interesting, still fails to arrive at an ought. And you also have Deism with it’s ethical objectivism. So which moral system in philosophy do with wish to pick from???? It also shows you to be an inconsistent empiricist, because if you refer to philosophy to solve your moral questions, then you have just departed from empirical verification. You are a traitor to your own worldview.

  62. zygosporangia says:

    Law cannot be identical with theory, so it seems you are ignorant in equating the two.

    I never equated the two. However, you are making some pretty ignorant assumptions about how evolution is treated. You also keep coming back to the whole “it’s just a theory” creationist talking point.

    …from the chance random processes of nature…

    As I said, you are ignorant of evolution. Nothing about natural selection is chance or random.

    And I am still waiting for an answer in regards to this epistemological problem which your system has.

    There is no problem, other than the problem that you have made up. Epistemology is an important part of philosophy, which has to do with thought and thinking. None of these have anything to do with natural selection or evolution, other than the fact that our brains evolved.

    Christianity can justify epistemology,

    Really? What empirical evidence do you have for your justification. What evidence do you have for your creation myth. Your epistemological roots are no different than epistemology based on philosophy. Mythology is an ignorant man’s philosophy. That’s the only difference.

    Why won’t you answer this issue?

    I think I just did. However, it’s not the answer you are expecting on your talking point script, so you probably won’t be able to ape a response to it.

    It is because you cannot from the plausibility structure of your worldview.

    I’d say that my world view is far more plausible than sitting around waiting for a 2000-year-old zombie to return.

  63. zygosporangia says:

    It also shows you to be an inconsistent empiricist, because if you refer to philosophy to solve your moral questions, then you have just departed from empirical verification.

    No, it shows that unlike you, I am not an extremist. You must look to your mythology for all of your answers. I can use more than a single tool to find mine.

    Evolution has absolutely nothing to do with morality. To boil morality down to its simplest purpose, it deals with how to reduce suffering and how for members of society to cooperate together. That which reduces suffering is moral. That which inflicts suffering is immoral. It does not take mythology to discover this. Humans are born with empathy.

  64. firemancarl says:

    Yes, the is just shit full of good advice, everything from God hates fags to turn the other cheek. Hey, are you sure you don’t want xtianity to take credit for all of the things that have been handed down over the centuries? I mean, after the Code of Hamurabi and the lack of any historical record of a place called Nazareth until the 2nd century CE, surely there must be something xtianity didn’t steal from the pagans. Hey, I dig your religion, I really do. If you don’t like what it says, just tell us common sinners what it really means.

  65. firemancarl says:

    Oh, before I forget. John, i don’t suppose you’re going to read any of those links posted for your edification, are you?

  66. Karl says:

    Churchy McChurch posted:

    By the way, the burden of proof is on anyone who makes a truth claim, so that means we both have to justify our positions.

    Problem is, the scientific community has justified their claims regarding evolution theory while all the religious fundamentalists have done is dismiss these claims outright or attempt to contradict the evidence with outright lies, misinformation, and other very un-Christian like forms of deception.

    It’s no surprise that you follow the path of the classic religious blowhard on this issue:

    First you repeat the (outdated but classic) lie that there is no evidence to support evolution, get confronted with the actual evidence that you claim to be missing, try to make it appear that you know what your talking about by throwing a few big scientific terms out there, get called out again for using these terms incorrectly, and then break down into a rant on morals, God, and all sorts of religious nonsense which ARE the actual issues you and your ilk have with evolution. Usually, at this point, the religious bigotry and intolerance that has no place in modern society begins to come out and we all become aware of what a dark-age witch-burning relic you are with the ideas that you are pushing. Your kind of faith is a degenerate disease.

  67. Wolfhound says:

    It always amazes me (although I suppose it shouldn’t) that people who believe in talking snakes, flying men, talking donkeys, giants, unicorns, 200+ year old men, corpses coming back to life, a 6k year old universe, and innumerable other irrational things written down in a book of Bronze Age goatherder stories can think that they have “The Truth” which trumps the whole of scientific knowledge based on real-world observation. Oh, and then act like arrogant prigs, offering up nothing but the same, tired old cannards and strawmen.

    This is site about science, guys. Not philosophy. That you find it unacceptable for science teachers to spend a couple of hours per year on a universally accepted scientific theory which contradicts your religious dogma when parents are free to teach their children whatever mythology they see fit at home and in tax-exempt houses of worship speaks volumes as to your insecurity.

    Believe in Allah, Jehovah, Zeus, Shiva, Coyote, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster; I don’t care. Shackle your own benighted offspring to ignorance; I don’t care (although I weep for the future of this country in terms of the global marketplace). But don’t you DARE try to push your religion into my public school. John McDonald is a fine example of why the morons pushing “academic freedom” are lying when they say that it’s not about religion.

  68. S.Scott says:

    Ditto!

  69. To Wolfhound:
    Ok, but don’t YOU dare push your secular humanism into public school. By the way, the use of the term “my” public school would cancel out the concept of public wouldn’t it?

    To zygo:

    I don’t care how you and others treat evolution…until it is a scientific law it remains a theory. It still does not have the status of say the law of biogenesis, etc. You can treat it like a law, but that doesn’t make it a scientific law.

    Nothing about natural selection adds genetic information, it only reduces it.

    Science has to do with thought and thinking, so I suggest you best be concerned with epistemology. If you cannot show how you know what you know and how you know that what you know is true, you are wasting your time in argument. Stop compartmentalizing truth and you will see that if your brain evolved, you cannot be sure it produces accurate representations of reality. One mutation could have forever ended your chance of understanding reality as it really is.

    And in regard to justifying epistemology, that is the point. You presuppose empiricism as your epistemological methodology, and I don’t. But this is the way I would answer you: Scripture, which is attested to by empirical events which cannot be explained on the grounds of naturalistic process because they are ex nihilo actions which require infinite power, teaches that our minds are created with rationality and with the concepts of space and time and causality, and that our senses provide the data which is interpreted by the mental constitution. God wants us to know truth so he furnishes us with the necessary equipment to know truth. Knowledge is possible. Your worldview however cannot say that knowledge is possible.

    Evidence for Creation: http://www.answersingenesis.org

    Evolution does not have anything to do with morality – and that’s the point. Something can’t give what it doesn’t have, and evolution cannot give any “oughtness” to any action. Also, you cannot say that that which reduces suffering is moral, because now you have justified euthanasia. Besides, according to your own worldview, you cannot speak of anything being moral or immoral, only action. Even if humans are born with empathy (which I would contend that some have not) that still would not make empathy something we “ought” to practice.

    To firemancarl
    I will look at this website.

    To Karl,
    Has the scientific community really justified evolutionary theory? Why are even secular scientists dismissing the theory then? I have seen the scientific community produce hoaxes like piltdown man and so on to justify their claims, but never see them using observation to do it.

    I find your ad hominem attacks amusing, but ad hominem arguments never win. You might as well just say, yo mamma…

  70. firemancarl says:

    Gosh, I guess all I can add then is this.. WIZARD!!!!!!!!

  71. firemancarl says:

    John,

    I have seen the scientific community produce hoaxes like piltdown man and so on to justify their claims, but never see them using observation to do it.

    Funny you mention that. It was “outed” by scientists.

    Here, try these 2 videos for evolution.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGND4bEOtS8

  72. zygosporangia says:

    I don’t care how you and others treat evolution…until it is a scientific law it remains a theory. It still does not have the status of say the law of biogenesis, etc. You can treat it like a law, but that doesn’t make it a scientific law.

    Once again, you are exposing your ignorance of the definitions here. A scientific law is something very specific, not the final destination for a scientific theory that has been proved like evolution. You toss around these words, but you don’t actually know what they mean. I understand. Your forte is obviously Christian mythology, not science. Stick to what you know.

    Nothing about natural selection adds genetic information, it only reduces it.

    Natural selection either promotes or punishes characteristics in a species. It has nothing to do with adding or removing genetic information. You are arguing from ignorance as usual.

    Science has to do with thought and thinking, so I suggest you best be concerned with epistemology.

    I am concerned with epistemology. Unlike you, however, I don’t believe that knowledge or the ability to obtain knowledge came from a magic fruit in a garden. I have a much more practical understanding of reality than relying on silly myths.

    Stop compartmentalizing truth and you will see that if your brain evolved, you cannot be sure it produces accurate representations of reality.

    Well, maybe you can’t, but you obviously don’t understand evolution or science.

    Scripture, which is attested to by empirical events which cannot be explained on the grounds of naturalistic process because they are ex nihilo actions which require infinite power, teaches that our minds are created with rationality and with the concepts of space and time and causality, and that our senses provide the data which is interpreted by the mental constitution.

    So… words on a parchment provide you with evidence as to how you were created? Are you even reading the drivel you are spewing here? I asked for evidence. You give me fairy tales.

    Also, you cannot say that that which reduces suffering is moral,

    So, when you see a bird that has been hit by a car and is in the spasms of death, you don’t feel compelled to end its suffering? When you see a person who is hungry, you don’t feel compelled to feed them? It doesn’t take scripture to discern right and wrong. If you believe so, then you are truly pathetic. You only do right because you fear punishment by a sky fairy if you do wrong. You need your bible, because without it you would be lost, you would be unable to figure out right from wrong.

  73. Karl Marx said: “…we all become aware of what a dark-age witch-burning relic you are with the ideas that you are pushing. Your kind of faith is a degenerate disease.”

    If I am such a relic with a degenerate disease, and not the “fittest” then why don’t you come kill me then? Your worldview requires it. Get me out of the way as soon as you can. Your worldview allows it, because killing me is just an action. There is no right or wrong involved. Please come and do something you might call “moral” by reducing my suffering from my degenerate disease. Well?

  74. zygosporangia says:

    If I am such a relic with a degenerate disease, and not the “fittest” then why don’t you come kill me then? Your worldview requires it. Get me out of the way as soon as you can. Your worldview allows it, because killing me is just an action. There is no right or wrong involved. Please come and do something you might call “moral” by reducing my suffering from my degenerate disease. Well?

    Would you stop it with the evolution leads to evil canard? No one anywhere bases their morality or world view on evolution. It would make as much sense to someone properly educated in science as basing one’s world view on fusion reactions in a star. “If you believe that stars fuse hydrogen into helium, then you must believe that the hot air I’m spewing is creating energy.”

  75. Zygo, you take evolutionary THEORY and treat it as FACT. That is the problem. A theory is an explanation, but a fact is reality. I can grant theory status to evolution, but it has not been shown to be a fact of reality.

  76. concerned says:

    Suprees and and silence the chirsitans. There can only be one voice in our freedom.

  77. zygosporangia says:

    As before, you are confusing Scientific Theory with the common English definition. I’m not going to try to explain it to you, you obviously think your pun is cute. If you would bother to read other books than Christian mythology, you might realize just how ridiculous your comment sounds.

  78. Evolution cannot be removed from your worlview of Secular Humanism, aka Darwinism, Naturalism, Materialism, Philosophical Materialism, Secularism, Atheism, Scientism, goo to you via the zoo, particles to people. It’s all the same. Your worldview incorporates your every assumption concerning reality.

  79. zygosporangia says:

    I just hope you teach your students better than your argue here, otherwise they will see right through your deception.

  80. zygosporangia says:

    As for your worldview, it is blinded by fairy tales. You take something written by sheep herders as a more reliable explanation of reality than what modern scientists can discover. You openly dismiss facts when they don’t match up with your faith.

    If you wish to live that way, all the more power to you. However, your backwards double-think doesn’t belong in the science classroom.

  81. To concerned:

    Well, come silence and suppress me then. You guys, girls, and transitional forms talk a good game, but you can’t live out your worldview. Come remove me as a degenerate disease. Be consistent and live out your worldview.

    To Zygo

    Is evolution a fact of reality or is it only an explanation regarding reality? Answer the question or lose your credibility.

  82. zygosporangia says:

    Is evolution a fact of reality or is it only an explanation regarding reality?

    Neither. Reality is a very broad term, and more metaphysical than evolution can answer. Evolution shows that species evolve over time in response to environmental stimuli, natural selection shows that the more fit a species is the more likely it is to survive. You tell me how that has anything to do with reality as a whole?

    Answer the question or lose your credibility.

    You lost your credibility with the first comment you made here.

  83. ok, let me break it down to you really simple like…is evolution the actual machinery behind the development of the biological world or is it only an explanation of the development of the biological world?

  84. ashwken says:

    I’m lovin’ this discussion.

    Sounds like so many fruitless hours I’ve spent talking with my brother and brother-in-law, unfortunately in both cases it’s gotten to the point where we can only talk about the weather (or some other meaningless topic).

    Fortunately, I was educated in S. FL before the Jesus-Freaks started showing up in the early 70’s.

    I’m no scientist but I was taught about the scientific method, if you don’t understand this how can you even participate in a discussion dealing with scientific theories – just wonderin’.

  85. zygosporangia says:

    is evolution the actual machinery behind the development of the biological world or is it only an explanation of the development of the biological world?

    Definitely the former.

  86. Ivy Mike says:

    In answer to your question, Mr. McDonald…

    “is evolution the actual machinery behind the development of the biological world or is it only an explanation of the development of the biological world?”

    The PROCESS of evolution is the actual machinery behing biological development and speciation. This process and its effects have been observed and confirmed.

    The THEORY of evolution (known as the Scientific Theory Of Evolution) is the scientific EXPLANATION of the observed factual data and process.

    It’s not “either/or”…it’s both.

    And now, having reread the article above that began this thread, I direct your attention to this statement by your organization:

    “Westminster holds that Christianity is the only worldview system that is completely consistent and rationally justifiable upon all grounds. ”

    I must insist that you account for this obvious religious bigotry, which only an actual bigot himself would possibly defend. If, on the other hand, you choose to defend it and justify it, then I will cease all direct communication with you.

    Bigots of all sorts sicken me.

  87. zygosporangia says:

    I would have to contend that there is little rational about Westminister’s form of Christianity.

  88. zygosporangia says:

    I like Ivy Mike’s answer to the question better than my own, which was vague.

  89. Karl says:

    If I am such a relic with a degenerate disease, and not the “fittest” then why don’t you come kill me then? Your worldview requires it. Get me out of the way as soon as you can. Your worldview allows it, because killing me is just an action. There is no right or wrong involved. Please come and do something you might call “moral” by reducing my suffering from my degenerate disease. Well?

    No one will be killing anyone today (or tomorrow and so on), but you’ve just proven another point I will make regarding your ignorance and hypocrisy. Evolution theory does hold that an organism’s survival depends on its fitness against its environment, among other factors. It does NOT say we as humans SHOULD be offing our less-fit brethren for our own survival. I’m sure, as a moral person, you can agree to this, since given our level sentience and conscience as social creatures, and our intelligence can afford us better alternatives (such as medical innovations) then outright culling the flock. I’m sorry that you see “survival of the fittest” as command to start killing off the sick and the weak. Maybe you are a violent person. My heart bleeds for you.

    Now let’s look at your bible teachings, where entire populations subjected to genocide because their beliefs were not fit in the eyes of the Lord (Too many passages to list and have already been repeatedly cited). Inquisitions and crusades killed millions for being heretics and pagans against God. Even the Holocaust, which the fundies LOVE to point out as a consequence of their hated Darwinism is in fact heavily influenced by Christian scripture as interpreted by Hitler (As seen in Mein Kampf and other written works and speeches). Intolerance and bigotry at its best under Christianity.

    Now I know you can turn my own words back at me saying how all that old testament stuff was when we humans didn’t know any better but now we do, but given the anti-evolution rhetoric today, we are slowly seeing the same sort of intolerance and bigotry we’ve all grown to love. Christianity as “the only worldview system that is completely consistent and rationally justifiable upon all grounds,” all non-christians perceived to be eventually burning in hell, scare-mongering against non-christian public figures, and the rabid and violent attitude of Christians against atheists. Who knows, maybe a witch-burning isn’t that far off in the future (unless you start counting deaths by exorcism since we’ve had a few of those already…).

  90. Wolfhound says:

    Folks, it’s like arguing with a ‘bot. Nothing can pierce his Armor of Gawd(tm), otherwise known as the FundieForm Logic Barrier(R). But it’s fun to poke the bear, which has a most thorny and irracible temperament for a follower of the Prince of Peace, methinks. 🙂

    My dear Mr. McDonald, “public” school does, indeed, mean that it is “my” school. And it’s “my” library, and “my” bus service, etc. It’s “your” school, too, if you pay your taxes. Sadly for you, you want to push religion into public schools but the law dictates you can’t have it the way you want it. Too bad, so sad. Your tired old strawman, equating a curriculum which is mercifully free from your particular flavor the Abrahamic mythology with the pushing of secular humanism, is but one more sad and sorry attempt at projection on your part.

    I’ll ask once again: Why do you object to a couple of hours a year, at most, spent in science class in public schools in which this universally accepted scientific theory is taught? Why is this not acceptable to you and your ilk when you are free to feed them whatever nonsense you deem fit, both at home and at church, for every other hour of every day? Do you seriously fear that these pitifully few hours will undo a lifetime of religious indoctrination? Is your faith that weak? Wouldn’t you welcome a chance to discuss with the kiddies, once they come home, all a-skeert, why the evil scientist are all wrong and everything they’ll ever need to know is contained in your holy scripture? Heck, you can home school your kids with those sub-standard Abekka “textbooks” so that they can avoid reality altogether.

    Yes, I am mocking you at this point because there really is nothing left to say in the face of such silliness and self-doubt. Your post where you pulled the “poor, persecuted Christian” schtick was just over the top. You’ve been drinking Ben Stein’s Koolaid, I fear.

  91. zygosporangia says:

    Folks, it’s like arguing with a ‘bot.

    It is very similar. I find it humorous, because McDonald is actually a human being so indoctrinated in religious bigotry and self-righteousness that he has forgotten the teachings in his own mythology.

  92. Wolfhound says:

    I imagine his church is much like the one my poor, gullible grandmother fell into shortly before her death. Her memorial service was held in their building and the pastor turned her death into one long commercial for his congregation, culminating in the promise that we could all see my grandmother again, but ONLY if we accepted his particular flavor of Jesusness. He repeated this tack about five times throughout the service.

    It was only for the sake of my mother that I, my brother, and my stepfather didn’t stand up, call the pastor a contemptable bastard who was capitalizing on our family tragedy, and storm out of there. At least the canapes were nice.

    Oddly enough, I did NOT burst into flames upon crossing the threshhold. 😉

  93. Spirula says:

    test

  94. Spirula says:

    (I guess my other lengthy comment has been raptured, because a re-submit claims it’s a duplicate. It’s a miracle I tell you!)

  95. zygosporangia says:

    Spirula –

    It’s just being held up in the moderation queue. I had some problems with this a few days ago. The spam filter is a little over-zealous here, I’ve noticed.

  96. Tom says:

    Wolfhound, you don’t read very well! I am a different Tom and my comments did get “expelled”.
    Btw, the other Tom comments were great, unlike the spew your ilk likes to muddy the waters with.
    Hope this helps.

  97. zygosporangia says:

    Tom –

    That’s funny. If you are actually a different Tom then you must have been programmed at the same facility as the previous Tom.

  98. Spirula says:

    (+) fusing with (-) producing mycozygote,

    thanks

  99. zygosporangia says:

    No problem. 🙂

  100. Karl says:

    In the end, with all this moral c*ck-waving that these arguments usually devolve into, the final word is this:

    Darwin nor his theories never explicitly ordered people to kill others for whatever reason, but God sure did, and He seems damn proud of it too.

  101. Once again all that you have said it meaningless because you have no epistemological basis. I gave a justification for my epistemology. So far there has not been anything from you to justify your epistemology. Please explain how a mutated brain could be trusted. How can you even trust that your senses give you accurate knowledge? Locke tried to do this on the basis of empiricism but miserably failed. I can’t wait to see you guys try. If you choose not to, then you have lost credibility, because you have no justification for the very ability to think intelligibly at all. You guys can’t even account for reason. And Dewey comes in and says the law of non-contradiction will one day evolve. Wow, so that means we could both be right at the same time. How is that for reality????

  102. firemancarl says:

    Please explain how a mutated brain could be trusted

    Ugh, for real?

    Hey, this is getting to sound an awful lot like Behe getting his ass crushed in Kitzmiller v Dover et al. Ya know, the part where he says that non of the scientific discoveries are “good enough” for him. Blah Blah Blah, the human immune system is evidence of a creator blah blah blah. “Uh, why no, I didn’t read any of the 50-60 books published on the evolution of the human immune system your honor, I don’t have too, they are not good enough for me.”

    Oh, John, you were going on about no new info etc from mutations. hey, did you know that at a creationist conference in 2007, they admitted they had seen a beneficial mutation in their lab?

    Dig it!

    http://scienceblogs.com/strangerfruit/2008/02/the_shy_fragile_face_of_id.php

    Gauger] was then prompted by one of her colleagues to regale us with some new experimental finds. She gave what amounted to a second presentation, during which she discussed “leaky growth,” in microbial colonies at high densities, leading to horizontal transfer of genetic information, and announced that under such conditions she had actually found a novel variant that seemed to lead to enhanced colony growth. Gunther Wagner said, “So, a beneficial mutation happened right in your lab?” at which point the moderator halted questioning. We shuffled off for a coffee break with the admission hanging in the air that natural processes could not only produce new information, they could produce beneficial new information.

  103. firemancarl says:

    Darwin nor his theories never explicitly ordered people to kill others for whatever reason, but God sure did, and He seems damn proud of it too.

    Yes, and Hitler did too, cause he loved god and jebus!

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/05/nice_photo.php

  104. zygosporangia says:

    I gave a justification for my epistemology.

    No, you did not give a justification. You quote mythology and call it justification. Would I be justified if I chose Greek mythology? No. What makes Christian mythology so special then?

    Justification always comes down to philosophy. Your mythology is no more than poor man’s sheepherder philosophy, but philosophy all the same. Unless you can prove the existence of your god, you have no better justification than anything based on philosophy.

  105. Ivy Mike says:

    I note that Mr. McDonald has failed to offer any response to the bigoted statement of his organization.

    I submit that, as nothing more than a verbose bigot himself, he is unworthy of further conversation.

    There is also the fact that he has been reduced to the repetition of his talking points, point that he scored directly from AiG’s website.

  106. S.Scott says:

    Yikes! What happened to this thread? Last time I checked, there were 44 responses!

  107. S.Scott says:

    Which reminds me — I wanted to post a link that reminded me of Mr. JM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwUCXkqn-dM

    🙂

  108. I assent to Westminster’s Statement, and if you don’t want to talk with me because of that, then that is true bigotry on your part. But oh yea, being a bigot isn’t a bad thing in evolution because there is no right or wrong action, only action. So you should have no problem with bigotry.

    Once again, you have talked about epistemology but you have not offered any justification. You can’t even account for memory. Perhaps a mutation occured a moment ago. How can you trust your memory? You can’t based on your worldview.

  109. S.Scott says:

    … and thus it is proved. 🙂

  110. zygosporangia says:

    …and if you don’t want to talk with me because of that, then that is true bigotry on your part.

    Ah… so if he doesn’t want to talk to a bigot, then that makes him a… bigot? You have truly lost your ability to perform any rational thought, haven’t you?

    Once again, you have talked about epistemology but you have not offered any justification.

    What I find funny here is the double standard. My justification is not good enough for you, yet your considerably weaker justification is immune from scrutiny. Where is your justification, McDonald? A fairy tale written on a three thousand year old scroll?

  111. Green Earth says:

    Not our job.

  112. I find it funny that everything you say is produced by a chemical reaction in your brain, and that you as a person have not contributed anything here because you lack the power of intentionality. You are just matter in motion, with a little bit of electricity. Why do I even argue with a pile of dirt like you? And no, that wasn’t ad hominem, that is what your worldview teaches.

  113. If it’s not your job, then upon what grounds do you make the statement that the Bible is a fairy tale?

  114. Green Earth says:

    Why do you keep saying worldview? Evolution is not a worldview- I have already explained, as have others, that evolution is a scientific theory and it is the best explanation we have based on evidence as to how life has progressed. That is how science works, you make observations, you perform experiments, you gather evidence, and use what you have learned to draw conclusions and make further hypotheses. There is no goal in mind, there is no science conspiracy, and it is not a “worldview”

    Why do I even argue with a pile of dirt like you?

    Why, how very Christian of you sir!

  115. Green Earth says:

    When a person claims something, it is their job to provide the evidence to back it up. We have time and again provided evidence for evolution. If it is your claim that the Bible, (which by the way I never said was a fairy tale) is THE end all be all truth, then it is your responsibility to provide evidence in support of that claim.

  116. Definition of worldview – the set of beliefs (or assertions if you would rather call it), assumptions, or presuppositions by which one interprets the world around them.

    Science is your basic assertion or worldview AXIOM, thus you say science leads to evolution, thus, evolution is part of your worldview.

    I see you have never studied Worldview concepts, or Axiology. That is ok. I will teach you.

    You are a pile of dirt according to your worldview.

  117. zygosporangia says:

    I also ask you to prove that the Bible is a fairytale.

    Hmm… let’s see. I have been using the term fairy tale as a diminutive, I really mean that it is mythology. Your book contains stories that talk about the origin of people, the history of people, their deities, their ancestors, and their heroes. My… that sounds familiar. Oh! I know where I’ve read that before, in the dictionary:

    mythology n, pl. mythologies. 1. A body or collection of myths belonging to a people and addressing their origin, history, deities, ancestors, and heroes.

    I’d say that given the lack of evidence to support these stories that any competent taxonomist would place your book into the mythology section.

  118. zygosporangia says:

    Now, outside of your mythology, can you give me any justification for your epistemology?

  119. You claim evidence for evolution and we present info to refute it. We claim evidence for Intelligent Design and you present info to refute it. We will never agree because we can’t agree on what “evidence” really is.

  120. zygosporangia says:

    You claim evidence for evolution and we present info to refute it.

    I have yet to see anything to refute evolution other than the village idiots screaming “God dun it!” over and over again.

    We claim evidence for Intelligent Design and you present info to refute it.

    What evidence would that be? Would that be irreducible complexity, which made Behe a laughingstock? Would that be your bible, which you claim as evidence for your epistemology?

    We will never agree because we can’t agree on what “evidence” really is.

    That is correct. You want to contend that evidence can be found in a three thousand year old fairy tale, with nothing to back it up. Scientists look for empirical evidence.

  121. Zygo,

    History books do the same thing. Hmm. According to your definition that’s myth too I guess. And you want control of the public classroom???

    As far as your epistemology question, I could say outside of the position of Christian Dualism, that there is Kant’s Epistemology which is very similar, and he arrived at his position from a transcendental argument using reason. You should be thankful for Kant. He tried to save knowledge and science, because Hume destroyed your every hope to establish knowledge of empiricism alone. So there you go. I have justified knowledge without reference to Scripture. Now it’s your turn.

  122. Karl says:

    It’s come down to a point where you are just dismissing and ignoring every single argument for evolution without any sort of rationale. There’s no debate or discussion anymore. What do you hope to prove with this? Are you showing that you can’t be convinced? Are you showing that your faith is strong in the face of overwhelming contradictory information? Are you frightened or angry and need a place to vent? Whatever you wish to prove, why prove it to us, a bunch of folks who have little or no interest in your particular brand of worldview? Do you think God will reward you for this little crusade of yours? Do you want a pat on the back and say “good job upholding the name of the Lord, John McDonald, your place in heaven is secure!” Go back to preaching before your church, choirboy. You’ll find little or no sympathy for your cause here.

  123. Wolfhound says:

    Just wondering why you are so hung up on philosophical questions, John. Whatever has this to do with the teaching of science?

    And I repeat, for the THIRD time, why do you object to a couple of hours a year, at most, spent in science class in public schools in which this universally accepted scientific theory is taught? Why is this not acceptable to you and your ilk when you are free to feed them whatever nonsense you deem fit, both at home and at church, for every other hour of every day?

    You can go ’round and ’round in that impervious hamster wheel you call a brain about epistomology to deny reality on a philosophical basis but it still comes down to a denial of reality.

    Re: The Bible as a book of fairy tales. Well, I would certainly call a collection of stories where humans are formed from dirt, donkeys and snakes talk, people fly, people are turned into mineral formations, people live multiple hundreds of years, people rise from the dead, herd animals acquire coat patterns due to sticks being placed in their mother’s watering troughs while they are in the womb, giants, unicorns, and other assorted nonsense something other than non-fiction.

  124. Wolfhound says:

    And I’m sorry, Tom, for not being able to tell the difference between two mouth breathers with the same first name and the same level of inanity. My bad. I’m sure the other Tom is equally offended.

  125. Green Earth says:

    Be back later- Radiohead concert to attend…

  126. Wolfhound,

    Why do you so adamently desire to see that evolution is taught for a couple of hours a year? Why waste all your energy??? Why have this website? You also could equally teach your children, if you didn’t abort them, the tenants of evolution at home.

    And as far as philosophy goes, let’s talk philosophy of science. Since science is limited to observations in the present, you cannot make statements of what happened in the past, e.g. the makeup of the earth’s atmosphere, etc. You can’t say evolution happened because you have no evidence in the present that shows evolution is occuring.

  127. zygosporangia says:

    that there is Kant’s Epistemology which is very similar, and he arrived at his position from a transcendental argument using reason.

    Kant’s reasoning was flawed. He ultimately did nothing more than rephrase Aquinas. Also, even though this is not directly based on your Christian mythology, it is indirectly based on it. He is referring to a god, which he implies is the Christian god. However, there is no evidence to support this. He is only attempting to rationalize his beliefs.

    Just because Kant chooses to see the world in the way he does, supposing the existence of a god does not in fact mean that there is a god. He merely created a framework that requires a god and ran with it.

    If you consider this garbage a good root for epistemology, then you certainly cannot argue against an empiricist’s derivation of epistemology. I think you are in way over your head here.

  128. zygosporangia says:

    Since science is limited to observations in the present,

    If you believe this, then you are most definitely ignorant of science.

  129. zygosporangia says:

    You also could equally teach your children, if you didn’t abort them, the tenants of evolution at home.

    So, science should be censored when it might cause people of weak faith like yourself to question their beliefs?

  130. zygosporangia says:

    You can’t say evolution happened because you have no evidence in the present that shows evolution is occuring.

    Poor McDonald. Apparently, he is also ignorant of these things called fossils. *cough* tiktaalik *cough*

  131. You refer to Kant’s moral argument, not his epistemology. You are in way over your head here, because you obviously know nothing of Kant. Kant does not really mention god in regard to epistemology. He simply interacts with empiricists and rationalists and their utter failure to establish knowledge.

  132. Karl says:

    Where do you come off saying that science is limited to the observation of the present? You can take core samples of minerals, ice, wood, and other matter, analyze them for trace elements to determine composition of the atmosphere and climate conditions of the time. There are multitudes of scientific methods of determine past conditions and events, and … oh wait, I forget, deaf ears, blind eyes, whatever. Fossils are the devil’s trickery I suppose.

    As for YOUR children, assuming they are still alive after being denied proper medical care in favor of prayer (life is precious lol), drag them off to private school or home-school em. The state should not take my tax dollars to fund your proselytizing nonsense. Pay for it with your own money, which I’m sure your surviving kids will be raking in as head cashier of Burger King.

  133. zygosporangia says:

    You are the one who mentioned the transcendental argument, not me. I was simply explaining how a transcendental argument is hogwash.

  134. When you dig up a fossil you are not digging up the past but rather the present. And you really made a mistake by referring to fossils, because fossilization does not prove evolution, it proves that at some point the creature was fossilized. We find no transitional forms in the fossil record, as some of your own have been forced to develop a “punctuated equilibrium” to try to squirm out of the total lack of evidence.

  135. zygosporangia says:

    Oh… I see what you mean now. You are talking about transcendental idealism, the belief that the world around us is based on how we observe it and feel about it, not based on objective reality. That would make sense to a simple-minded fundamentalist like yourself.

  136. zygosporangia says:

    We find no transitional forms in the fossil record,

    *cough* tiktaalik *cough*

    You might also want to educate yourself here, so you don’t sound so ignorant:
    talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html

  137. Zygo,

    No I am not talking about transcendental idealism. I don’t believe you know the definition of a transcendental argument. I also don’t believe you know very much about Kant.

    Yes, Karl you can study such physical phenomena, but you can’t tell me the make up of the earth’s atmosphere 3 million years ago. And as for kids, at least I can love mine. You, with your worldview, can only say they were a product of chemical reactions in you and your spouse’s brain. Your affection for them is also just a chemical reaction since all emotions are chemical reactions in your brain according to your worldview. Wow, I bet they sure feel loved.

  138. firemancarl says:

    Dear John here are some thing you said and my answers to your inannity

    You can’t say evolution happened because you have no evidence in the present that shows evolution is occuring.
    Yes, look right in the lab it happened!
    She gave what amounted to a second presentation, during which she discussed “leaky growth,” in microbial colonies at high densities, leading to horizontal transfer of genetic information, and announced that under such conditions she had actually found a novel variant that seemed to lead to enhanced colony growth. Gunther Wagner said, “So, a beneficial mutation happened right in your lab?” at which point the moderator halted questioning. We shuffled off for a coffee break with the admission hanging in the air that natural processes could not only produce new information, they could produce beneficial new information.

    When you dig up a fossil you are not digging up the past but rather the present

    Whaaaaa???

    Oy, my head hurts!

  139. Wolfhound says:

    Evasion, John, pure, pathetic, cowardly evasion. I ask you again, for the FOURTH TIME, why do you object to a couple of hours a year, at most, spent in science class in public schools in which this universally accepted scientific theory is taught? Why is this not acceptable to you and your ilk when you are free to feed them whatever nonsense you deem fit, both at home and at church, for every other hour of every day?

    I will be courteous enough to answer your question, however, and that is that I actually believe science, and the evolutionary foundations of biology in particular, to be important. And also, it’s important because leaving the door open for superstitious nonsense to infect science education is part of the slippery slope toward the Dark Ages, which I know you and your ilk yearn for. This website is a useful tool in letting folks who value science, reason, and our nation’s tenuous place at the top of the world’s technological and scientific fields know how destructive the godbots’ agenda is. Plus I pay taxes and your brand of nonsense is illegal in public schools so why should my kids abandon their classrooms?

    Re: your assinine reference to children [I] didn’t abort, I’m afraid that your stereotype of the non-Christian boogeymen is inacurate. We WANT babies to be born. We can’t eat them if they aren’t born, ya’ know! 😉

  140. Karl says:

    I’m loving the tangent that this trainwreck of a discussion has amounted to, but hey, you brought the A(bortion) card into the game. Your brain chemical remarks indicate that you are confusing neuroscience and psychology with evolution, but I suppose to you, all science is one big evil mess. I wonder if you or anyone you know takes antidepressants since that would mean acknowledging my suppose worldview of brain chemicals and other science-y crap you drop to make yourself sound intelligent… You don’t love and care about your children. If you did, you would want to give them the best possible chance of success in life and sacrifice your own beliefs and resources to do so. You love yourself, your gigantic ego so defined by your faith, and you seek to impose this on your own children (bonus points for targeting the children of others) in a selfish bid to make sure YOUR own beliefs survive your own death at the expense of the wellbeing and success of your offspring. You’re really that afraid of dying as an outdated relic? For an agnostic like me, I find that amusing…

  141. Wolfhound says:

    Hey, have ya’ll noticed that our resident fundie troll keeps making reference to those who don’t subscribe to his Christian belief system in a dehumanizing fashion? Remind you of anybody with a German accent? Yup, I just Godwined you, sucka’!

  142. firemancarl, here is a little fire for you to put out in regard to your beneficial mutation quote:

    Darwin called attention to wingless beetles on the island of Madeira. For a beetle living on a windy island, wings can be a definite disadvantage, because creatures in flight are more likely to be blown into the sea. Mutations producing the loss of flight could be helpful. The sightless cave fish would be similar. Eyes are quite vulnerable to injury, and a creature that lives in pitch dark would benefit from mutations that would replace the eye with scar-like tissue, reducing that vulnerability. In the world of light, having no eyes would be a terrible handicap, but is no disadvantage in a dark cave. While these mutations produce a drastic and beneficial change, it is important to notice that they always involve loss of information and never gain. One never observes the reverse occurring, namely wings or eyes being produced on creatures which never had the information to produce them.

    Beneficial, yes, information producing, no, but that is what evolution needs. Well I guess that settles it. There are no mutations that produce new genetic information. Evolution is impossible.

  143. Right, because you guys have never said anything degrading against me have you? Quick, better erase most of the posts here that you have written before someone reads them and they see just how inconsistent you are.

  144. Wolfhound says:

    Hey, look, a direct cut and paste from Answers In Genesis! http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v20/i2/genetics.asp Yeah, there’s some hard-core science there, I tells ya’!

  145. Wolfhound says:

    Oh, we’ve made remarks regarding your ignorance and silly adherence to make-believe, to be sure. But we haven’t said you’re less than human. No need for any erasures here. Scorn is richly deserved for the likes of you.

  146. Karl, I know you know nothing of Christianity, but we actually teach that the brain and mind(soul) interact, so that drugs can affect the mind, but the mind can also affect the body/brain as well. For example, one can choose to starve rather than eat even though the body is calling for nourishment. Neuroscience, etc. is all irrelevant here. You must admit that if evolution occured, you can’t trust your brain functions to give you an accurate representation of reality, and everything you do is simply a chemical reaction in your brain. You have no intentionality. You are just a biochemical machine. Can computers or thermostats think? No. Can you think as a mere biochemical machine? No. Get the point now? Of course not, because you can’t think because you are just chemicals and energy.

  147. Why don’t you answer Wolfhound? Because you can’t. Show me a mutation where new genetic information was produced (not just reshuffled or lost). You can’t.

  148. BTW, I love AIG, and you will find me quote from them alot.

  149. Wolfhound says:

    Hey, since you’re still up, dribbling on our website, let me ask you again, for the FIFTH time, why do you object to a couple of hours a year, at most, spent in science class in public schools in which this universally accepted scientific theory is taught? Why is this not acceptable to you and your ilk when you are free to feed them whatever nonsense you deem fit, both at home and at church, for every other hour of every day?

    No, then, I am off to bed since I have to be up early tomorrow to represent in court the interests of two neglected children that we failed to abort in time.

    I’m sure it’ll be like Christmas morning here on the site when I wake up, with plenty of stuff under the tree including some useless junk from you, much like Aunt Cathy’s dreaded toe socks.

  150. Wolfhound,

    I object because evolution is not universally accepted in science. Intelligent design is a scientific enterprise whether you want to admit it or not, so it too should be given equal time. Freedom should be given to follow the evidence wherever it leads.

    Thank you for representing these children. I am sure you are glad your parents were not pro-choice.

  151. zygosporangia says:

    Equal time for Intelligent Design??? First, Intelligent design must go through the same rigorous verification process that evolution did.

  152. Karl says:

    Churchy McDonald posted:

    Stuff about about brains, souls, chemicals and other crap

    I’m sorry, but what you just posted doesn’t make any logical sense whatsoever… I mean, I know what you are trying to play Dualism and Monism philosophy into it, but you are making an incredible stretch by declaring that evolutionists -> human machine(biochemical or otherwise) -> not thinking/no intelligence. Maybe you should just get to the point of it all and say that the implications of evolution demands that all humans are biomechanical constructs with NO SOUL (which evolution theory, again, does NOT advocate, along with killing of weak people, etc.) You’ve been meaning for this all along right?

    All this shows is that just as I may not have as great an understanding of Christianity as you, John, McDonald, definitely do not have any understanding of evolution theory beyond what your ignorant church officials tell you. It’s like declaring that all Jews are all evil Christian baby-eating money-hoarders after getting all your information from neo-Nazi pamphlets (*GODWIN*).

  153. Karl says:

    oh, and regarding your little request for beneficial mutations that add genetic information:

    Ever heard of bacteria and the addition of plasmids conferring antibody resistance? Documented in nature, and replicated experimentally to the point where it has become commercialized (I happen to do this type of work for the biopharmaceutical industry regarding recombinant insulin which exploits this same mechanism.) There’s your example. If you have any questions on the specifics (which I doubt you will ask, might be heresy to do so), I can answer them to greater detail.

  154. firemancarl says:

    John,

    I guess you missed this part then eh?

    at which point the moderator halted questioning. We shuffled off for a coffee break with the admission hanging in the air that natural processes could not only produce new information, they could produce beneficial new information.

  155. Green Earth says:

    Wow! Things sure got crazy on here. In case anyone cares- the show was awesome- probably the best concert I’ve seen!

    On topic- evolution does not say we came from dirt, we do not know exactly how life started, we’re still working to figure that out, but doesn’t Christianity say man came from dust? (I don’t know, hence the question). Again, evolution is not about how life started, it is about how it has changed and adapted over time to give rise to the complexity and diversity we see today.

    Another point which I don’t think has been mentioned- disproving evolution does not equate to proving creation. It’s not an either/or situation.

  156. Spirula says:

    Green Earth,

    That’s okay. Rub our faces in it…some of us working stiffs that can’t manage to buy the tickets and pay for the gas.

    Kidding!

    Anyway, “The Chronograph of the Begats” gets busted again.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/04/080414-oldest-tree.html

  157. Green Earth says:

    It wasn’t all fun and games, my car almost over-heated from sitting so long in traffic. And hey, this is my week off between spring and summer semesters for school. I don’t think they’ve been to Tampa before on tour, so it was a great opportunity!

  158. Karl,

    Of course evolutionary theory advocates that you are just a biochemical construct – it teaches that nothing but matter exists. Your own Carl Sagan said “the universe is all that is, was, or ever will be.” Like it or not, according to your worldview, you are just a big piece of deteriorating matter (because of the 2nd LAW of thermodynamics). You have no soul and no personhood. Your life is meaningless and you have no purpose except what you make yourself (a cop out). How’s that to start your day?

    Also Antibody resistance does not infer any evolution; it just means that creatures who did not already have that genetic information died leaving those that did. The same thing happens in the pest control world with roaches. New chemicals work until they kill off all the roaches without the genetic makeup to resist that particular chemical, leaving those who already had the genetic makeup (no evolution or adding of information) alive.

    I asked for a beneficial mutation caused by new, never before been there information, not recombined, reshuffled, or lost in the process.

    Green Earth

    You are correct, Christianity teaches God made man of the dust and breathed the breath of life into Him, giving him a soul with personhood (rational, self-active, self-aware, moral). Your worldview can’t give you personhood. You are just left with chemicals reacting producing your passions, intentions, thoughts, and actions. What you think is the “self” is really only an illusion. God created the other animals with souls as well, just not as capable as say the angel or human soul. It is our understanding that plants to not have souls in that they were originally given for food.

  159. I would also add that whether you were created unintelligently by unintelligent forces/agencies, or intelligenty by an intelligent agent/agencies, you are still CREATED. The fact that you were created with personhood shows that it was not by unintelligent forces, because they cannot produce personhood. Something can’t give what it doesn’t have. It breaks the LAW of non-contradiction because it requires something to come from nothing.

  160. zygosporangia says:

    Also Antibody resistance does not infer any evolution; it just means that creatures who did not already have that genetic information died leaving those that did.

    Oh, that’s rich. Thanks for giving me a good laugh this morning. I needed it.

    You probably aren’t aware of this, with your limited exposure to science, but there are these folks called geneticists. They can do genetic sequencing. It is probably too difficult for me to explain this to your primitive mind, but they can show definitively that the genetic information did not exist prior to the experiment.

  161. zygosporangia says:

    It breaks the LAW of non-contradiction because it requires something to come from nothing.

    I think you are violating the LAW of being a bore. How does propositional logic have anything to do with nature?

  162. zygosporangia says:

    The fact that you were created with personhood shows that it was not by unintelligent forces, because they cannot produce personhood. Something can’t give what it doesn’t have.

    Someone has never heard of emergence.

  163. I will tell you just how relevant propositional logic is – do you look both ways before crossing the street?

    You do, because you know it is either you or the car, but you both can’t be at the same place at the same time or there would be zygo splatter all over the street. And that’s the law of non-contradiction – something can’t be and not be at the same time and in the same respect. Try living without this little propositional daisy and see what happens to you.

    Besides, all thinking is propositional. It is inescapable. I wonder how matter alone was able to bring forth the laws of logic. hmm.

  164. zygosporangia says:

    Besides, all thinking is propositional.

    What you don’t understand is that you are attempting to argue with nature as if nature was completely logical and could argue back. You are using propositional logic to claim that nature is not logical, and therefore nature is something other than how we currently understand it. That is where your fallacy lies.

  165. zygosporangia says:

    I’d be more than happy to educate you in logic, philosophy, and science. However, I don’t think you actually care to learn anything.

  166. zygosporangia says:

    Also, I must admit it is a little backwards to make the claim that one cannot give an attribute that one does not have to something else. Our own history proves this to be erroneous.

    I can build an airplane, something that flies. However, I do not possess the ability to fly. Yet, I can give something that I do not have to an airplane. Your analogy is flawed.

  167. Well, all of this has been fun, and you guys are really a hoot to interact with, minus your attraction to ad hominem do nothing arguments. But I have to go now and help out with Beyond Expelled. We’ll be helping people a little more objective than you to think through the worldview consequences of secular humanism/Darwinism. Since I doubt you all will attend, you can read Nietzche to understand where your worldview is going. He was the first to say, ok Naturalists, if you believe a, then you must believe b. You will like him because he was a naturalist and wasn’t afraid to face up to the consequences of his worldview. Well, in that case maybe you won’t like him because you all seem afraid to face what your worldview really implies. CONSISTENT Naturalism leads to Nihilism. That’s what you all need to understand, and that is what we will be showing more objective minds on Thursday night.

    Well, if you are ever in Fort Walton Beach to see our beautiful beaches, give me a call. I’ll treat you to lunch. I have no ill feelings toward any of you although I do whole heartedly disagree with you at many points. And remember, for sinners (and we all are) that would love and trust in Him:

    Jesus died so you won’t have to (that is, die the eternal death in hell)
    And lived the perfect life that you failed to (to give you a perfect righteousness before God)

    All in your place…

    And remember, Christianity is historically verifiable, rationally consistent, and rationally compelling, i.e. given the truth of the historically verifiable events, reason requires it) Put those three things together and you get the ONLY TRUE WORLD AND LIFE VIEW.

  168. ok, one last thing because the analogy is not flawed – Your combination of atoms does not have the ability to fly, that does not mean that all combinations of atoms could not fly (e.g. an airplane) because atoms do have the power to “fly”. Just look at the atmosphere.

    I know you are trying to pull the old fallacy of composition problem on me, but try this one, if the bricks of a wall are all red on all of their sides, does this not mean that the entire wall is red?

    And if you don’t have a million dollars, you can never give me a million dollars. Something can’t give what it doesnt’ have.

    Ok, I’m done, I’ll save it for Beyond Expelled if you come…

  169. zygosporangia says:

    Your combination of atoms does not have the ability to fly, that does not mean that all combinations of atoms could not fly (e.g. an airplane) because atoms do have the power to “fly”. Just look at the atmosphere.

    Likewise, the correct combination of atoms will result in consciousness and the ability to think. We call this a brain.

    It is awe-inspiring to know that evolution and natural selection could lead to something as beautiful as the human brain: all of its creativity, all of its flaws, and all of its desire to explain the world through mythology.

  170. Green Earth says:

    Mr. Green Earth, your ignorance is even more apparent when you blast Christians for saying that they believe that they alone have the truth

    And remember, Christianity is historically verifiable, rationally consistent, and rationally compelling, i.e. given the truth of the historically verifiable events, reason requires it) Put those three things together and you get the ONLY TRUE WORLD AND LIFE VIEW.

    Again I ask, I’m ignorant because of an observation?

  171. zygosporangia says:

    And if you don’t have a million dollars, you can never give me a million dollars. Something can’t give what it doesnt’ have.

    You are making the poor assumption that attributes are finite. If that was true, then the attribute of height could not be passed down from father to child without the father becoming short. Money cannot create more money, yet life can create new life. Likewise, man can build things that possess abilities that he does not possess. Life forms can evolve into things that they were not previously.

    You are basing your asinine assumption on a poor translation of Genesis 1:25, which is, yet again, a fairy tale with no external validation.

  172. Spirula says:

    Dave, the webmaster over at Ex-Christian.com made this comment, which I think gives a nice clear summary of what we have been up against.

    To most Christians, a theory is just a vague and fuzzy sort of fact. A theory is a conceptual framework that “explains” existing facts. For instance, today I saw the Sun rise. This is a fact. This fact is “explained” by the theory that the Earth is round and spins on its axis while orbiting the sun. This theory also explains other facts, such as the seasons and the phases of the moon, and allows me to make predictions about what will happen tomorrow in regards to the planets, etc.

    In some ways the words “fact” and “theory” are interchangeable. The organization of the solar system, for instance, is explained by Newton’s theory of gravity.

    A hypothesis is an untested theory, a hunch or idea that in order to become a theory must be falsifiable and thoroughly tested.

    A fact is a simple statement of some observation. “This water on the stove is hot.” That is a fact. It requires a theory to explain “why” the water is hot and to predict if and when the water will be hot in the future. Theories explain processes in the natural world.

    In religion we do not have hypothesis, theory or fact. All we have in religion is belief based on an emotional response to hearsay.

    Pretty much covers it.

  173. zygosporangia says:

    In religion we do not have hypothesis, theory or fact. All we have in religion is belief based on an emotional response to hearsay.

    Yeah, I think that just about covers it. 🙂

  174. Green Earth says:

    Spirula- thanks I know all of us have been trying to convey that message, I think this is the best explanation so far!

  175. Man, I just can’t let you guys get away with this nonsense…

    The combination of atoms will never yield consciousness because if no one atom has the ability to think, it doesn’t matter how many atoms you heap together or in what configuration you do so, you will never get consciousness. A man’s shortness is not the causal power but his genetics are. If a population had only the genes for shortness, only shortness would be yielded. So stop trying to say that something can come from nothing.

    And you are wrong again, because Christianity is not based upon emotion or hearsay, but upon historically verifiable fact and rationality. Archaeology and other fields of science, when the scientific research is mature and exhaustive, will always confirm the Bible. This is what the boys over at AIG are doing and it drives you mad because you don’t like what is being confirmed by science.

    You want to claim evolution is a reality, but you can’t because of your empirical method. You cannot arrive at universal truth through empiricism, because you cannot empirically verify all data at once in the universe. There might be evidence yet undiscovered that would destroy evolutionary theory. You glory in the theory, never knowing what a day will bring forth. With the empirical method you cannot verify mathematics or the laws of logic, but you rely on them every second. Wow, and you guys still think your smart.

  176. a dead man still has the same configuration of atoms in his brain, but you still don’t get thought or consciousness. hmm. The atoms are the same. If you add some electrical impulses you still don’t get anything. Hmm.

  177. firemancarl says:

    *cough*cough*And you are wrong again, because Christianity is not based upon emotion or hearsay, but upon historically verifiable fact and rationality.

    I’m calling bullshit on this one.

    and this one too

    Archaeology and other fields of science, when the scientific research is mature and exhaustive, will always confirm the Bible.

    You can’t even get your lies correct.

  178. firemancarl says:

    With the empirical method you cannot verify mathematics or the laws of logic, but you rely on them every second.

    Welp, if that’s true then we are all screwed 🙄

  179. Karl says:

    Didn’t you promise to leave a few hours ago? You’ve been sounding like the “orange is my relative” preacher ever since you graced us with your presence. The only thing you’ve consistently shown is that you don’t really have an understanding of science beyond what you are told by your church. This is a level of ignorance that can be demonstrated by me saying that all Christians are cannibals based on a single Catholic ritual. I’m sure you can point out a multitude of flaws with that one assessment, and yet you do the same with evolution. So far, you’ve dismissed the physical evidence without any rational or logical argument, bring in a whole bunch of existential philosophy, and contradicted yourself in several instances, because again, you are all over the place without any coherent focus on a particular area of argument.

  180. zygosporangia says:

    The combination of atoms will never yield consciousness because if no one atom has the ability to think, it doesn’t matter how many atoms you heap together or in what configuration you do so, you will never get consciousness.

    So, you think consciousness is supernatural? Does that mean that animals have souls too? Thoughts and consciousness are a product of the brain, which is composed of matter. Of course, I don’t expect someone so backwards that he derives his science from his holy book to comprehend this.

    And you are wrong again, because Christianity is not based upon emotion or hearsay, but upon historically verifiable fact and rationality.

    So, if that was true, when was Jesus born? Which theory of Jesus’s birth do you subscribe to? Matthew or Luke? Which theory of Joseph’s paternity do you subscribe to? Matthew or Luke? In both of these cases, both of these supposedly true gospels completely differ on the facts. Which one is right? You seem to contend that they both are.

    a dead man still has the same configuration of atoms in his brain, but you still don’t get thought or consciousness. hmm. The atoms are the same. If you add some electrical impulses you still don’t get anything. Hmm.

    This is definitely not true. I understand that you are completely ignorant of neuroscience and biochemistry, but the brain breaks down very quickly after death (e.g. in an anaerobic environment). That is why it is so important to get a person breathing as quickly as possible, and why CPR is crucial to save lives. Of course, since your bible says nothing about CPR, you probably don’t practice it.

    As before, stick to what you know. Otherwise, you end up sounding like a fool.

  181. I have already hinted that animals also have souls, just not the same as humans or those of angels.

    You have the same atomic setup the split second after death, but even if you add a little electric impulse right then you can’t restore consciousness. Hmm.

    It is not difficult to determine when Jesus was born given the historically verifiable data of the gospel writings and even that of the historical writings of the first century. Caesar’s census in Syria took place under Quirinius in 5 B.C., and this is the cenus Mary and Joseph travelled to Bethelehem in order to comply. So the answer is, 5 B.C. Wow, that wasn’t very hard was it? The geneaological records you refer to our not contradictory but rather one traces Christ’s lineage through the Father and the other through the Mother. Wow, that wasn’t very difficult to understand, was it? The accounts of Christ’s birth are not contradictory either. Rather, each gospel records the life of Christ from a different angle, but never do they contradict. Please keep asking me these questions. The more you ask the more you will find that Christianity is true.

  182. zygosporangia says:

    You have the same atomic setup the split second after death, but even if you add a little electric impulse right then you can’t restore consciousness. Hmm.

    Define dead. There is not a split second instance in which someone is dead. As to be expected in a biological system, organ systems degrade after clinical death. Your understanding of biology and medicine is very suspect if you believe that there is a split second between alive and dead.

    The geneaological records you refer to our not contradictory but rather one traces Christ’s lineage through the Father and the other through the Mother.

    BZZT! Wrong. Let’s take a look here, shall we?

    MAT 1:16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

    LUK 3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli.

    It is not difficult to determine when Jesus was born given the historically verifiable data of the gospel writings and even that of the historical writings of the first century.

    So, was Herod the king when Jesus was born, or was he not? Herod died in 4BC. The census was in 5BC.

  183. Wolfhound says:

    Well, back from a day of granting kids a brighter future and, as expected, there’s a big pile of Aunt Cathy’s toes socks littering up the place. John, you seem absolutely obessessed, like most knee-jerk godbots, with the abortion issue (as if the Bible has anything to say about it one way or another other than your god sanctioning the killing of thousands and thousands of children once they are already born. ‘Cause that’s okay) but my parents were decidely pro-choice. That’s why I’m here. I don’t expect you to understand.

    Now, then, you object to the teaching of evolution because it’s not 100% universally accepted. Well, there are actually some people who believe that the earth is flat and others who believe that the earth is the center of the universe. Those who don’t accept evolutionary theory belong in this same group of fringe loonies. But, by your logic, we should then give “equal time” to geocentrist “theories”, I suppose. Gee, I wonder how many scientists (real scientists, not the mathematicians and engineers and MDs and such who are part of the silly Dissent from Darwin sham) actually do disagree with the theory of evolution. Now, then, out of those, I wonder how many of them object due to their religious views. Pretty sure the answer to that is “all of them”. They did NOT look at the theory, study the theory, and then decide that a supernatural causation was more probable. They came in first with the supposition of a supernatural causation. Flagrant disregard for the scientific method. Shameful, I tell you!

    No, Intelligent Design Creationism is NOT science. It does not meet the definition of science. Period. I’d post the checklist for what defines a scientific theory but I know you’d ignore the whole thing and go on another philosophical rant which is meaningless.

    Karl, who works in a field which draws upon evolutionary theory, provided you with an example which meets your “challenge”. You reject this. Quelle surprise! But, like most know-nothing nitpickers, you will make no attempt to prove that your special brand of silliness (creationism) is scientifically valid, only attempt to attack weaknesses your masters at AiG have vomitted forth for you. S’okay, we’ve all seen this over and over and over again. Gets boring, really.

    Instead of me trashing your faith, let me direct you to this site which painstakingly debunks your ridiculous claim that “Christianity is historically verifiable, rationally consistent, and rationally compelling, i.e. given the truth of the historically verifiable events, reason requires it)”: http://humanknowledge.net/Philosophy/Metaphysics/Theology/Christianity.html This fellow even has a challenge up: To any Christian apologist reading this:

    My best arguments against Christianity are better than your best arguments for it.

    If you disagree, I challenge you as follows. Let us each compose a single document of a fixed size that gives our best arguments, and then successively revise it (if we choose) to address the other’s arguments, until we each think that our document adequately answers the other’s. Once we have achieved this reflective equilibrium, we can leave it to any readers to decide whose arguments are in fact better.

    GO FOR IT, SPARKY!! 🙂

    And I’ll say again, anybody who thinks that a book of stories where humans are formed from dirt, donkeys and snakes talk, people fly, people are turned into mineral formations, people live multiple hundreds of years, people rise from the dead, herd animals acquire coat patterns due to sticks being placed in their mother’s watering troughs while they are in the womb, giants, unicorns, and other assorted nonsense is based “upon historically verifiable fact and rationality” has a tenuous grasp on reality.

    Now, then, don’t you have a choir to go preach to or something? Could’ve sworn you said you were leaving but that good ‘ol Christian honesty appears to have gone missing. 😉

  184. Karl says:

    There is no productive argument or debate when one side simply wishes to remain unconvinced. It’s come to a point where he can’t even come up with a coherent counterpoint to the evidence presented and instead, strings together a whole bunch of buzzwords (atoms, chemicals, brains, electrical impulses) to form a scientifically-SOUNDING answer which absolutely no logical sense. I suspect that his attempts at continuing this “debate” is to achieve some sort of perverse self-gratification. I do admit its been fun stringing him along to whatever tangential direction we want, but the comedy of making someone say and do stupid things kind of wanes when that person may actually be clinically stupid.

  185. Wolfhound says:

    I agree, Karl. Banging your head against a wall gets boring and likely pisses off the wall.

    Off I go to try and see a couple of kids whose good, church-going Christian parents decided to beat the snot out of each other. Depressing. 🙁

  186. Spirula says:

    I doubt we’ve heard the last of the Pulpit Scientist.

    Anyhoo, directly to the issues we’ve been dealing with on this site, there’s this piece

    http://arstechnica.com/journals/science.ars/2008/05/07/evolution-whats-the-real-controversy

    As a zoologist and a teacher, I agree with his points: the controversies in biology about evolution have nothing in common with the “manufactroversies” of the ID/creationist crowd.

    Also, high school is the primary and usually only exposure public school students have to the theory of evolution. Based on what I observe in my classes (college) they aren”t even getting the basics of evolution down, let alone deal with the real controversies.

  187. Wolfhound says:

    Oh, a favorite site, before I head out. I know most have likely seen it but it’s way fun and helps to illustrate how vacuous John and those like him are for clinging to this kind of nonsense and bleating that it’s “TRUTH”!

    http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/

  188. 5BC comes before 4BC, so Jesus was born and not so much as a year passed before Herod died. I will let Dr. Sarfati explain further:

    The Census:
    One of the many objections to Luke’s account is an alleged mistake concerning the census in Quirinius’ day (Lk. 2:2). The alleged problem is that Quirinius did not become governor until c. 7 AD according to Josephus, while Christ was born before Herod the Great died in 4 BC. However, the New Testament scholar N.T. Wright34 points out that prwtoV (pròtos) not only means ‘first’, but when followed by the genitive can mean ‘before’ (cf. Jn. 1:15, 15:38). Therefore the census around the time of Christ’s birth was one which took place before Quirinius was governing Syria (Acts 5:37 proves that Luke was aware of the latter). Another possible solution is that Quirinius twice governed Syria, once around 7 BC and again around 7 AD, which is supported by certain inscriptions.35 Under this scenario, Luke’s use of pròtos refers to the first census in 7 BC, rather than the well-known one in 7 AD.

    One should be sceptical of charges of error in Luke, for the archaeologist Sir William Ramsay stated: ‘Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy . this author should be placed along with the very greatest of historians.’36

    The Genealogies:
    Sceptics often allege that the genealogies of Christ in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke are contradictory. They reject the explanation that Luke gives the line of Mary and Matthew that of Joseph and claim that Luke clearly states that Joseph was called the son of Heli. However, they forget that Luke did not write in English but in Greek, which made no claim that Joseph was the literal son of Heli. A literal translation of Luke 3:23-24 reads: ‘And Jesus . being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, of Heli, of Matthat, of Levi, etc.’

    Furthermore, rules for listing Jewish ancestry generally left out the mothers’ names, which explains why Mary’s name is omitted. Finally, a clear pointer to the fact that the genealogy in Luke is Mary’s is that the Greek text has a definite article before all the names except Joseph’s. Any Greek-speaker would have understood that Heli must have been the father of Joseph’s wife. Indeed, the Jewish Talmud, no friend of Christianity, calls Mary the ‘daughter of Heli’.

    There you go.

  189. Karl, your double standards are obvious. You don’t want people beating up kids, but YOU yourself don’t mind shelling out ad hominem attacks and verbal abuse. But oh yeah, they were all just chemical reactions in your brain right? Why do you want to these parents to suffer when they can’t be held responsible? They were simply acting on what snapped in their brains. They are just biochemical machines. Matter contacting matter. Come on Karl, based on your worldview you can’t even justify your own job.

  190. Karl says:

    What kind of brain chemical reaction causes parents to pray for a healing from God while their child dies from diabetes that could have been treated with recombinant insulin, a product which is widely available (my company is among many which manufactures it) and was developed using technology derived from evolution theory? Is life precious or what…

    p.s. your attempts at ad hominem attacks sucks… I’d stick with more abortion jokes.

  191. First of all, orthodox Christianity does not teach that we cannot use medicine, so stop trying to label all Christians as holding to such a view. We teach that we are to develop the earth’s resources in beneficial ways that bring glory to God. This would include medicine and other useful technology. We are to be good stewards of the earth as well.

    I don’t like ad hominem attacks/arguments because they are useless. The minute I did you would say, oh look, how unchristianlike….

    What lawfirm do you work for, Dewey, Cheathem, and Howe?

  192. zygosporangia says:

    Any Greek-speaker would have understood that Heli must have been the father of Joseph’s wife.

    Well, then the translations in most English versions of Luke are wrong. How can you trust something as being absolutely true and unerring if it was mistranslated?

  193. Karl says:

    Huh, took you long enough to make this defense, so now I will say, not all evolutionists are the abortion loving, killing off the weak and the sick, liberal and soulless biomechanical constructs you make us out to be. A lot of us actually used our research and technology to develop the medicine that everyone benefits from, including your kind, who I’m sure, would not hesitate use evolution-derived drugs like antibiotics on your quest to bring glory to your god.

    I don’t get your law firm reference. You’ll have to explain it.

  194. zygosporangia says:

    Karl –

    He was attempting to make an old joke. “Do we cheat them and how?” –> Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe.

  195. Karl says:

    Guess it’s true, we scientists don’t have much sense of humor…

  196. zygosporangia says:

    No, it was just that bad of a joke. I heard that joke in grade school.

  197. Tom Jebb says:

    If anyone is really interested in finding out if there is any evidence for the existence of Christ, should read the book “The Case For Christ” by Lee Stroble. He is a well kown foresnic reporter who set out to see if there was enough evidence to prove that there was a Christ that lived here on earth. I challenge everyone to read it and come to their own conclusion.

  198. zygosporangia says:

    If there actually was proof for your god, I would have seen it by now. I don’t need to read a book that is meant to preach to the choir by trying to find facts to back up faith.

  199. Karl says:

    It might be surprising to some that I actually believe Jesus Christ did exist. I simply question the actual miracles he performed (casting out demons into pigs, bread and wine outta nowhere, walking on water, raising the dead, coming back from the dead, etc) and whether he actually was the literal son of a God whose very existence is up for debate. I don’t actually have any problems with the social messages he tried to promote, but I do have problems with the numerous atrocities committed (and still are being committed) in his name and all the usual hypocritical garbage associated with most denominations of Christianity in general. What most people forget in these heated discussions is that evolution theory doesn’t actually deny the existence of God, but it does deny one of his accomplishments, and it wouldn’t be the first time this has happened.

  200. Wolfhound says:

    Back from seeing kiddies. Karl, I’m with you on the Jesus thing. The miracles and supernatural nature of his birth, death, and resurrection are simple rehash of more ancient son-of-god myths. Once again, stealing from earlier religions to make theirs more palatable to the sheeple of the time.

  201. You don’t have a problem with his social messages? Your worldview provides no grounds for you to agree or disagree because right and wrong is an illusion in your worldview. And besides, YOU don’t havea problem with anything because you can’t. You are a chemical reaction. Once again, everything you say in meaningless. This is not something some Christian is telling you, this is what Nietzche would tell you, ONE OF YOUR OWN, or William Provine. Yeah, you don’t like to claim him now do you?

  202. Wolfhound says:

    Listen, idiot (yes, ad hominem here because you grow so very, very tiresome), do not presume to know what we do or do not think, feel, whatever. I don’t give two flying figs what any philosopher says. Their opinion has as much value and bearing on me, my life, and the lives of those I care about as your dribblings. Using the old “rubber and glue” schoolyard method of argument, YOUR verbal and literary excretions are meaningless to ME. Your continued ravings about how anybody who doesn’t worship at the altar of your death cult lacks human qualities really reflects badly upon the supposed message of your faith. You are a case in point of why rabid religious zealots of any stripe are repugnant to so many of us. I don’t know that you are trying to win converts here but this certainly is not the way to go about it. This, in fact, is EXACTLY what drove so many of us away from organized religion in the first place and opened our eyes to the hypocrisy and sheer STUPIDITY of it.

    Once again, I DON’T CARE about your blatherings concerning philosophy; your religion provides no “meaning”, only your desperately grasping need to find some purpose for your existance. That is YOUR issue, not mine. That a book of logic and reason defying folklore chock full of violence, injustice, and repression is the ultimate source of morality and life lessons for the likes of you is terrifying to anybody who values equality and personal freedom.

    Again, this is a SCIENCE website. Florida Citizens for SCIENCE. You might be a Florida citizen, but are most decidely NOT for science.

    Now, I am off to bed once more so that I can fight for the futures of abused, neglected, and abandoned children in the morning. I care very deeply for these children and, in fact, was moved to tears when addressing the judge this morning concerning the termination of parental rights of a father who cared nothing for the wonderful, beautiful, smart, and charming young girl he had neglected. Don’t you DARE to presume I have no moral compass or emotions because I don’t believe in an invisible man in the sky, you pretentious, arrogant nitwit! >:(

  203. Guess I struck a nerve, or rather just a chemical reaction. In fact, that was a very explosive one. I will experiment further to see if I can yield another chemical reaction just like this. Who knows, given the uniformity of nature, with enough experiments I might be able to make you think and say whatever I want.

    What do you want me to do, say hats off to you for doing this very heroic thing? What you do is just a chemical reaction. You can’t be held responsible, good or bad. I might as well tell my car good job for getting me home tonight, or my computer good job continuing to operate so I could write this.

    Now, for the serious stuff, I know you have feelings because God created you with them. I know that you were made in the image of God and you have a knowledge of morality hardwired into you, Rom 2:14,15. I also know you were born with a sinful nature that is hostile to God. Your atheism is only a mask. The fact is you don’t like God and therefore would adhere to any explanation of the world that could supposedly write Him off. That is why you love Darwin. It’s not the science, because the science doesn’t support your claims. It’s the fact that evolutionary science gives you an explanation of the world without God. I am sure that if evolution was completely discredited as it is very near to being right now, you would turn to some form of pantheism, etc. rather than embrace the idea of a divine infinite and personal being.

  204. Wolfhound says:

    You are not only dehumanzing me and anybody who doesn’t adhere to your particular mind virus, but are preaching. Once again, very tiresome. And pointless. If believing in a magic man in the sky is what it takes for you to make sense of your sad life and give it meaning, I am very sorry for you. Good luck in your attempts to return us to the Dark Ages. I’m sure you can’t wait until people like me can be stoned to death, just like homosexuals, uppity women, disrespectful children, and folks who work on the sabbath day.

    Buh-bye, troll.

  205. Wolfhound says:

    For anybody who would like to see a real, live YEC (like our resident troll) get his posterior handed to him by real, live scientists, go to http://www.talkrational.org/forumdisplay.php?f=23 This nutjob really believes that the earth is 6k years old, the Bible is inerrant, the flood of Noah really happened (complete with the AiG hilarity of coconut eating dinosaurs on board–oh, wait, they ate coconuts before some guy ate a piece of fruit, then turned carnivorous), and repeats the resident troll’s “evolution is about to be totally discarded” fantasy. There are a couple of debates going on concerning the (fantasy of) rapid formation of oil and (lack of) proof of the Noachian flood. Oddly enough, you never see two YEC’s agree with each other or help each other out. It’s almost like they’re ashamed to be associated with one another! Check it out. 🙂

  206. Ivy Mike says:

    Ahh, just ignore the guy. He’s a preacher at a backwater, irrelevant fringe church, knows absolutely zero real science, and is hung up on “chemical reactions”, which phrase he seems to think is important somehow. His last post flat-out admitted he was trolling.

    He’s a bigot, and an arrogant, self-righteous one at that. Just ignore him; maybe he’ll go back to fleecing the old folks and other gullible fools for a living.

    Again, he himself shows just what the creationists wish to teach, and what they want our children and our state to look like.

  207. firemancarl says:

    Sceptics often allege that the genealogies of Christ in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke are contradictory.

    Duh, how can Jesus have a geneology when he didn’t have a father?

  208. firemancarl says:

    Hmm, only 3 names on the geneology are the same. Luke has 43 generations from David to Jesus and Matthew has 29 and exept for David on end and Jesus on the other only 3 names match.
    http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/mt/1.html#6

    Yeah, i’ll believe your book that can’t even get its’ story straight.

  209. zygosporangia says:

    What’s funny is that he twists things to suit his need to show that his bible is true. He’ll simultaneously claim that the matriarchal line is unimportant in Judiasm and that one of the two lines is Mary’s geneology. Which one is it? Does Mary’s line matter, or doesn’t it? Why say anything about Joseph if Joseph isn’t even the father? The truth is that these “biblical scholars” have no idea what they are talking about, they just want to try to conjecture in such a way to make their bible seem true. It reminds me of children looking through a comic book, trying to figure out where Gotham City actually is / was.

  210. zygosporangia says:

    I know you have feelings because God created you with them.

    …because your mystic sky fairy book told you so? Have you attempted to verify this knowledge, or are you trusting your mystic sky fairy death cult book implicitly?

    Why don’t you go back to singing macabre hymns about the cleansing power of a dead man’s blood and leave the discussion of science to the adults?

  211. firemancarl says:

    It reminds me of children looking through a comic book, trying to figure out where Gotham City actually is / was.

    Or as Joey said on Friends. “You guys said your house was in escrow! I couldn’t find it on the map!”

  212. Wow, you guys are grasping for straws when you have to give a statement like “I thought Jesus didn’t have a father…” Joseph brought Jesus up through the infant and teen years. Also, God would have given Jesus the genetic makeup of Joseph and Mary (minus all the copying mistakes) so that when you saw Him you could see the physical resemblance. BTW it is obvious that Matthew wishes only to give a synopsis of geneaology, notice the nice groupings. This was not an uncommon practice. Luke is more technical as he was a top notch historian.

    Ivy Mike, you act like Wolfhound can choose to ignore me. Well, remember your worldview. A physical-chemical thing does not have a choice. It simply has chemical reactions. You might as well as my thermostat on my wall to ignore me.

    Might as well use this space for some free advertising:

    http://WWW.ANSWERSINGENESIS.ORG

  213. zygosporangia says:

    AIG is a joke website, a sham. Their concept of “science” is about what is to be expected from a child wishing to prove that his imaginary friend exists. Shame on McDonald for believing such a sham.

    Also, God would have given Jesus the genetic makeup of Joseph and Mary (minus all the copying mistakes) so that when you saw Him you could see the physical resemblance.

    Now who’s grasping at straws? Please show me where genetics, be it mitosis or meiosis, is mentioned anywhere in your death cult book.

    Also, I thought that your sort didn’t believe in genetics. After all, in your asinine world view, all life is slowly decaying, since you believe that natural selection can only eliminate genetic information. So, you believe that you are less pure than three thousand year old sheep herders, and that your children will be less pure than you. I’ll wait for you to dig around in your death cult book for a scripted response to this, seeing that you don’t want to have a mind of your own.

  214. Spirula says:

    Also, God would have given Jesus the genetic makeup of Joseph and Mary (minus all the copying mistakes) so that when you saw Him you could see the physical resemblance.

    Holy shit! Even in my fundy, evangelical days, none of the pastors or professors I knew would have made such a unsupportable assertion (a.k.a. pulling it out of your ass). Talk about grasping at straws. Seriously John, you may want to pass this stuff by the head pastor before putting it out in a public domain.

    Seriously, there are many, many issues with Biblical self contradictions that are just being swept aside by bald assertions.

    http://www.ffrf.org/books/lfif/?t=contra

    Bart Erhman would have a field day with a lot of the claims being made on this thread.

    http://www.teach12.com/store/professor.asp?ID=150

    (I really enjoyed “Misquoting Jesus” if any of you are interested in this kind of thing. Planning on reading “Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium” next.)

  215. Well, the Bible records lots of GENEALOGIES… Geneaology implies genetics, etc. Come on, give me something real to challenge.

    Copying mistakes accumulate over time, so yes, WE ARE ALL genetically inferior to the first man, and even men of ancient civilization who devised incredible technology that modern science has not rivalled.

    I think the only joke website is Florida Citizens for Science. You are not for science, you are for the myth of evolution. If you were for science, you wouldn’t mind acknowleding Flew and others who on scientific grounds have dismissed the possibility of evolution.

  216. firemancarl says:

    Also, God would have given Jesus the genetic makeup of Joseph and Mary (minus all the copying mistakes) so that when you saw Him you could see the physical resemblance.

    WIZARD!!!

  217. firemancarl says:

    Uh-oh, more evilutionists at work!

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AUSTRALIA_PLATYPUS?SITE=FLDAY&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT
    Scientists said they have mapped the genetic makeup of the platypus – one of nature’s strangest animals with a bill like a duck’s, a mammal’s fur and snake-like venom

    The researchers, whose analysis of the platypus genome was published Thursday in the journal Nature, said it could help explain how mammals, including humans, evolved from reptiles millions of years ago.

  218. S.Scott says:

    See you at the new diggs fc 🙂

  219. firemancarl says:

    What new digs doest thou speaketh ofeth?

  220. firemancarl says:

    devised incredible technology that modern science has not rivalled.</i.

    Just what would that be?

  221. Whose genetics do you think the physical biological genetic body of Jesus would have? It is true the body and human soul/spirit of Jesus were ex nihilo creations, but the genetic code had to be put there, so what better code to place there than that of Joseph and Mary?

    You don’t like it because you have never thought of it before, so you try to dismiss it ad hominem. Nice, but ad hominem gets you no where, and it invokes people who do not have any moral commitments to simply punch you in the face. So word to the wise, I would not say such things out on the street. You might find out that you are not the “fittest”

  222. S.Scott says:

    Wow!! Nevermind! I just got a Google Alert that is two years old!
    http://www.flcfs.org/wp/

    How very strange!

  223. S.Scott says:

    It’s a good thing I know how to speak mideievel pig latin fc! 🙂

  224. firemancarl says:

    so what better code to place there than that of Joseph and Mary?

    This is not stated nor ifered in the bible.

  225. firemancarl says:

    S.Scott,

    No, that was me attempting to speak in biblical dialect.

  226. Guest says:

    After reading the entire 222 posts on this thread, I would say to S.Scott, FC, and every other regular contributer to this site that you have not only fed this troll (Churchy McChurch), but you have laid out an entire feast for him. Please stop, as FC would say, the stupid hurts so much! I don’t know if I can read another of his posts without attempting to reach through the screen and strangle him.
    RAmen!!

  227. S.Scott says:

    Oops! I meant “MEDIEVEL”

  228. Another amazing chemical reaction and a THREAT I might add. Hmm I wonder if you would be the fittest in this struggle…

  229. S.Scott says:

    Ramen to you Guest! I do believe that is very good advice 🙂

  230. And for a Scripture reference for inference, please see Romans 1:3 “concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh…”

  231. What will you do, expell me from the sight? I can always blog

  232. zygosporangia says:

    Copying mistakes accumulate over time, so yes, WE ARE ALL genetically inferior to the first man, and even men of ancient civilization who devised incredible technology that modern science has not rivalled.

    Oooh. I’m interested to hear you crank about this ancient biblical technology that we cannot duplicate. Please, I give you as much rope as you want. Please hang yourself by continuing down this path.

    You don’t like it because you have never thought of it before, so you try to dismiss it ad hominem. Nice, but ad hominem gets you no where, and it invokes people who do not have any moral commitments to simply punch you in the face. So word to the wise, I would not say such things out on the street. You might find out that you are not the “fittest”

    No, I don’t like your bald assertions because you are pulling them out of your ass. It is so fitting that you would attempt to use your death cult book to frame your pseudoscientific beliefs, then attempt to extrapolate data that just isn’t there in your book to make claims about things using modern terms. Sorry, no one in biblical times knew anything more about genetics than what a sheep herder would need to know to raise sheep. Your apologetics are nothing more than a desperate attempt to grasp at straws.

    Also, I like the thinly veiled threat. “Don’t dare speak the truth out loud, because some members of my flock might attack you for it.” Nice.

  233. zygosporangia says:

    …you are for the myth of evolution.

    I will never tire of hearing this breathless piece of inanity in all of its various permutations. “My mythology is fact, I have a story book to prove it. Your science is myth, you only have facts to prove it. Where is your god to say what that your science is true. My mythical god (of which there is absolutely no evidence for despite my hand waving) says my myths are true, so there!”

    Does that about sum it up?

  234. firemancarl says:

    If you can wish, you can believe

  235. Spirula says:

    firemancarl,

    Wasn’t that on a billboard somewhere? Kind of says it all really.

    Anyway, as an ex-fundy, reading J-Mac’s comments is like crawling into someone else’s bad acid trip.

  236. firemancarl says:

    Spirula,

    Yes, i saw it on Pharyngula, I think it was a United Methodist billboard.

  237. nope, I said those who have no moral commitments, but you read about as good as you do science. But it is evident you don’t like the assertion that the Bible might contain scientific truths because you want to compartmentalize the two, as if truth could be contradictory. You dismiss the Bible as mythology because of your a priori commitment to naturalism and materialism. Just admit it. You don’t like miracles because your a priori commitment says that a miracle cannot happen because it would be above and contrary to nature.

    Like I said before, Christianity is based on historically verifiable data. If you like I can begin by showing that a necessary being must exist. Then move on to showing this being must be personal and intelligent, and then show that this being is absolutely perfect in the sense that all perfections would originate in it. Next, we have the claim of Scripture that this being has communicated to men. We must then verify the claims of Scripture. We can do this by considering predictive prophecy, internal harmony, typology, and public and undeniable miracles, esp. that of the resurrection.

  238. Spirula, I love your ad hominem, but are you able at all to form anything even remotely close to a real argument? I mean, give me a syllogism or something dude. Otherwise, go watch some Adam Sandler.

  239. Green Earth says:

    I have to agree with Guest, as S.Scott would tell us- DNFTT. It’s the SOS.

  240. firemancarl says:

    Like I said before, Christianity is based on historically verifiable data

    Do tell.

    GE,

    I can’t help it, it’s lunch time!

  241. zygosporangia says:

    Like I said before, Christianity is based on historically verifiable data.

    Just because there are some dubious historical references in your book doesn’t mean that the whole book is true. Only a fool would believe this. Does this mean that if I write a work of fiction that includes references to history, yet my work of fiction is internally consistent (which even your book is not…), then my work of fiction is instantly true? No. You wish to hold a double standard for verifiability. You use one standard for your fairy tales, and a completely different standard for reality. You are so brainwashed by your own delusions that you cannot see the difference.

    Yes, I should follow DNFTT, but it is so difficult to let such inanity survive as the last word. 😉

  242. Green Earth says:

    Ok fc- have fun on lunch

    (insert Invader Zim quote below):
    “GIR!!! Stay away from that power amplifier! Your leaking deadly waves of pure stupidity everywhere!”

  243. Green Earth says:

    Argghhh- should be you’re, not your

  244. Karl says:

    In Buddhism, it is considered good karma to hand out food to “lower” animals. I’m just making up for any karmic transgressions I may have picked up during the last few weeks.

    Churchy McChurch: Your insane dehumanizing rant about how we can’t determine right from wrong with our worldview shows that you are in fact grasping at straws now. You can’t come up with a single logical argument so you resort to attacking out character. Your own Christian worldview also blurs the line between right and wrong, sometimes in the worst hypocritical way. Was it “right” when parents pray for a sick child instead of providing medical care? Was it “right” to burn people alive for not believing in God? Maybe right and wrong is an illusion for you as well.

  245. firemancarl says:

    Churchy McChurch can’t seem to decide if his position is one of philosophy or religion.

  246. zygosporangia says:

    Well, I’m sure that Churchy McChurch can’t wait until the day when the theocracy is established and he can practice his literal bible as the law. I wonder if he is looking forward to putting Luke 19:27 to practice?

  247. S.Scott says:

    In Buddhism, it is considered good karma to hand out food to “lower” animals. I’m just making up for any karmic transgressions I may have picked up during the last few weeks.

    LoL 🙂

  248. First, orthodox Christianity does not preclude the use of science or medicine, in fact only Theism provides the necessary epistemological grounds for doing science to start with. It would be hard to do experiments if not for the law of uniformity in nature.

    Secondly, I would like to see you empiricists define religion. Now that is going to be more entertaining than your useless ad hominems!

    Third, orthodox Christianity does not teach the institution of a theocracy by the church.

    Fourth, the official actions of the Catholic Church are not to be regarded as Christian as it is an apostate church. It’s inquisitions and crusades were not of Christ, so I would agree with you here that the apostate Catholic Church had no Scriptural right to do this.

    You guys have been terribly misinformed regarding the teachings of orthodox Christianity. But I am here to help where I can.

  249. zygosporangia says:

    Third, orthodox Christianity does not teach the institution of a theocracy by the church.

    Good. Then we are in agreement that there should be a separation of church and state, and therefore the sham that is Intelligent Design should never be taught in a state funded public school. Thanks for playing, goodbye now. *Points to the door*

  250. I agree there should be separation of church and state, but not separation of state and science. And if science teaches intelligent design, we should teach this in the schools without going further to try and identify this intelligent designer, because at that point we have entered into religious territory. I don’t want Christianity in the schools any more than I want Islam, but I do want to give students the freedom to follow the scientific evidence wherever it leads, and if that is to an intelligent designer, than so be it.

  251. zygosporangia says:

    And if science teaches intelligent design…

    …which it absolutely does not…

    …but I do want to give students the freedom to follow the scientific evidence wherever it leads, and if that is to an intelligent designer, than so be it.

    That’s a lie. The evidence points to evolution, and you refuse to believe this because you fear that it somehow invalidates your kooky cult form of Christianity. You and your ilk are actively trying to suppress science because you choose to believe that your bible — which has absolutely nothing useful to say about science — is somehow more accurate than actual empirical evidence. This is funny, of course, because you trumpet empirical evidence whenever you think that it supports your bible. What you believe is anti-scientific, and puts you at the fringe of mainstream Christianity.

  252. Karl says:

    I’m curious, Churchy, because a lot of your predecessors have brought this point up:

    Do you believe in that everything written in the bible to be the absolute truth (even the parts that contradict the other parts)?

    Are Christians allowed to follow some teachings of the bible and ignore others? What gives them the right to ignore some of God’s words?

    Your wife is suffering from ectopic pregnancy complications and must abort the fetus or else she WILL die from internal hemorrhaging. She says it’s up to you to decide. Abort or pray?

  253. Karl, these are excellent questions, and do not worry I will answer them tomorrow, or perhaps late tonight, but for now I must go to the BEYOND EXPELLED event and help promote the idea of ID and its inclusion in the public school.

    And Zygo, I will show you the Bible actually has alot to say in regards to science….but for now I will be out at BEYOND EXPELLED

  254. zygosporangia says:

    I will show you the Bible actually has alot to say in regards to science.

    A lot of wrong things. It simultaneously claims that the earth is flat and that the earth is a circle (often touted by creationists as claiming that the earth is a sphere, which is wrong). It implies that pi is 3. It thinks that insects have four legs, that snakes eat dust, that humans can walk on water, come back from the dead, and perform other miracles that have never been documented anywhere else and cannot be duplicated. I may call your bible things, but I will never call it scientific.

  255. Wolfhound says:

    Prediction: Creotard troll will return from his cult’s Expelled thingamajiggy and declare what a rousing success it was, how so many hearts and minds were changed to embrace the flawed, dishonest, and morally repugnant, rampant lies in that vile piece of propaganda (’cause not everybody who was there was actually a True Believer, you see), and that the theory of evolution will be replaced by creationism (SOON!!!!). Regarding the latter, nevermind that minds impervious to logic, reason, and empirical evidence have been chanting this mantra since Darwin first published his original theory…

    Fairly certain that the factual accounts debunking that bit of creationist celluloid wankery won’t come up at the tent revival: http://www.expelledexposed.com/ , nor will the REAL victims of “expulsion” be mentioned: http://www.sunclipse.org/?p=626

    But, hey, what would you expect? 🙂

  256. zygosporangia says:

    I expect more lies told by liars and sheep. From what I can tell so far, Churchy McChurch falls in the latter category. I think he actually believes what he is cranking on about.

  257. firemancarl says:

    Yes, and he/she/it will be back telling us that everything in the movie was true. 🙄

  258. Green Earth says:

    You bring up a good point Zy- I wonder if there are any that question the crap they are fed? I’ve read (elsewhere) something to the effect of “It takes more faith to believe in evolution than to believe in god”- WTF? How? There is so much evidence for evolution, and the list keeps getting longer, but, oh, how silly of me, the scientists, past and present, (and you and I are included in this I suppose) are all in on one big conspiracy against christianity.

  259. zygosporangia says:

    I’m sure that at least at a subconscious level they do question it. Unfortunately, I think that many of the extremists that I have encountered over the years were taught from an early age that questioning one’s beliefs is wrong. Obviously, these extremists believe such nonsense that they are constantly questioning what they believe. In order to fight the influence of logic and reason, they must lash out at anything that could possibly be used by them to question their beliefs: other denominations, other religions, atheists, people who practice things that their religion considers taboo (e.g. homosexuals, single moms), and of course any form of thinking that questions one or more of their beliefs (e.g. science proving evolution which is diametrically opposed to classic creationism).

    Of course, this is a broad sweeping generalization. It makes sense to me, in any case.

  260. Karl says:

    It can also be a matter of pride. You have a person who grew up being told and convinced that the stories from a 2000+yr old book are true. When this person enters the “real world” and is confronted with evidence that debunks the majority of this “fantasy reality” construct, he or she is left with two choices:

    A)Admit you’ve been fooled, take the initial laughs and the mocking, and move on in life.

    B)Dive deeper into the rabbit hole in the hopes that with enough people believing in this “fantasy reality,” it will become real, and you won’t have to face up with the fact that you’ve been fooled.

    Personally, I grew up in the opposite situation. Was raised without much religious influence, but then in college, a friend got me involved in Christianity (Campus Crusade for Christ). There was much talk about how Christ is the answer to all my problems, how it can help me find happiness, how all my new “friends” from the bible study were so ridiculously happy because they found Christ and such. Felt nothing through each and every prayer and counseling sessions with the student pastor. In the end, I tried to fake the smiles and laughter, but that just made me feel dead inside. Finally just up and left. Ironically, the friend who introduced me to Christianity is now atheist and later confided in me that he felt the same way for years. Funny how things work out… misery loves company I suppose…

  261. zygosporangia says:

    Interesting. I also never had the capacity to believe religion, to completely shut off logic and reason for the sake of believing something that is impossible. Hell, I even told my parents they were full of crap when they tried to convince me that there was a Santa Claus. 😉

  262. Green Earth says:

    I was raised with Judaism, which I still like the basic ideas, but I don’t practice. We belonged to a Reform Temple, and we were never told to believe the OT literally- my Rabbi taught us to understand the teachings, but to always think for ourselves. I talked to some friends recently, and it was a relief to hear they felt the way I did- they did not believe in god, but considered themselves “Culturally Jewish”.

    Have any of you seen Jesus Camp? If not I definitely recommend it. It’s a documentary about Evangelicals and it is an eye opener.

  263. firemancarl says:

    I have a question for John,

    What is your position on the death penalty and contraception, if as you say, your god is the source of morality?

  264. S.Scott says:

    Although Christianity has MANY flaws – Christians have historically promoted education.

    Saint Augustine preached that everything that mankind learns from science is necessary for our salvation.

    So who are these fundamentalists who worship a book rather than the teachings of Jesus?

    ( Pope has direct line of succession to Jesus himself )

    It’s insulting to so many Christians that a claim is made that they are the only true Christians. Give me a break.

    I think it must be the work of 👿

    S- 🙂

  265. firemancarl says:

    The work of a devilish grin! Oy!

  266. S.Scott says:

    I don’t know how to say “Satan” the way I want to – in print. — Think Dana Carvy!

  267. S.Scott says:

    Carvey? (sp)

  268. firemancarl says:

    Could it beeeee hmmmmm SATAN??????

  269. zygosporangia says:

    I think Churchy McChurch must have decided to play somewhere else. Perhaps we were too hard on the poor fellow?

  270. firemancarl says:

    fooey!

  271. Green Earth says:

    My name is Satan, woo hoo!

  272. firemancarl says:

    I think Churchy McChurch must have decided to play somewhere else. Perhaps we were too hard on the poor fellow?

    yes, but I just taught the troll how to take food from my hand!

  273. Hi guys, good to be back. I can’t stay long today, I have another Beyond Expelled Event taking place tonight, this time at the church and the focus is on the Christian community and what we can do to see that academic freedom is ensured.

    Anyway, I will answer all of these questions, but one thing I want to stress while I have a second is in response to Zygo above. This is the misconception that Christianity requires one to bypass reason and logic. I can promise you, no one stresses reason and logic more than I do. And I can also promise you, if Christianity was not logical and reasonable, I would not assent to its teachings. The Christian worldview teaches that God is a God of Logic, in fact, that is where logic comes from, the fact that God has made man in His image means, among other things, that logical thought/rationality is part of man’s mental constitution. The bottom line is that logic is a part of God’s nature, and God cannot act contrary to His nature. Therefore, we expect the world to be logical, and we certainly expect what God tells us to be logical. And so far, I have not found anything that God has revealed to man, either in nature or in Scripture, to be illogical. Our mental constitution is the equipment God has furnished us with to ascertain truth and ascertain the validity of truth claims, even those made by Christianity. This is why God always attested to His messengers and appealed to man’s mental constitution in order that they could intellectually verify whether a messenger was really from Him or just another nut. As a Christian, I use logic and reason just as much as you do. And as a theologian, I use logic to ascertain the truth of what Scripture teaches. For example, I see that it cannot teach transubstantiation, because that requires something to be and not be in the same way and at the same time. That is just one of many reasons I am not a Catholic. On the other hand, there is nothing illogical about the doctrine of the Trinity, because the doctrine does not teach that God is one and three in the same sense (1a=3a), but He is one in one sense and three in a completely different sense (1a=3b). This is not irrational at all.
    Must go now, but wil be back to answer more of your excellent questions.

  274. firemancarl says:

    God is one and three in the same sense (1a=3a), but He is one in one sense and three in a completely different sense (1a=3b). This is not irrational at all.

    Whaaaa????

  275. zygosporangia says:

    This is the misconception that Christianity requires one to bypass reason and logic.

    Your particular brand of it certainly does.

    The Christian worldview teaches that God is a God of Logic, in fact, that is where logic comes from, the fact that God has made man in His image means, among other things, that logical thought/rationality is part of man’s mental constitution. The bottom line is that logic is a part of God’s nature, and God cannot act contrary to His nature. Therefore, we expect the world to be logical, and we certainly expect what God tells us to be logical.

    So, how exactly is having faith in something with absolutely no proof either rational or logical, hmm?

    This is why God always attested to His messengers and appealed to man’s mental constitution in order that they could intellectually verify whether a messenger was really from Him or just another nut.

    According to your logic, your bible was written by “just another nut” then. If your god appeals to man’s logic, then certainly he would provide evidence for his existence. However, you cannot provide evidence for his existence at all. You can draw parallels between some historic events and stories told in your bible, but this neither makes the case that your god exists nor proves that the other things not validated by historic events in your bible actually happened, period. If your god is a god of logic, then he certainly doesn’t want us to believe that he exists.

    If your god is a god of logic, then he would not leave a trail of empirical evidence that points towards evolution as the only explanation for how species became as they are today. However, that is precisely where all of the evidence points. If your god is a god of logic, then he certainly wouldn’t want you to use blind faith and believe without question the things in your bible as you do. Your whole hangup for seeing the truth in evolution is your ridiculous faith in Genesis, which is so anti-scientific that it is laughable. No god of logic would have suffered Genesis to be included in his bible, sorry.

  276. zygosporangia says:

    The Christian worldview teaches that God is a God of Logic, in fact, that is where logic comes from,

    Oh yeah… in all of my political correctness here, I forgot to laugh at your obvious joke here. Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Alright, now I feel better.

  277. zygosporangia says:

    For example, I see that it cannot teach transubstantiation, because that requires something to be and not be in the same way and at the same time. That is just one of many reasons I am not a Catholic.

    I believe that your bible teaches “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”

    Are you honestly going to start attacking Catholics as well? You really are bigoted.

  278. S.Scott says:

    Ouch!

    And so far, I have not found anything that God has revealed to man, either in nature or in Scripture, to be illogical.

    It hurts!
    http://members.cox.net/dssarvas/wav/yadayada.wav

  279. Karl says:

    And so far, I have not found anything that God has revealed to man, either in nature or in Scripture, to be illogical.

    Okay, lets play the logic game

    I can think of two popular examples: The fixed, immovable earth/geocentricism and the value of pi = 3. Unless you believe that every single space flight mission was staged, we do know that the earth actually spins, and orbits around the sun. The value of pi is 3.14159265358979323846… and can be mathematically verified. This is illogical as saying that 2 = 7. I’m assuming that even you can accept the examples I’ve given as fact, yet biblical scripture says otherwise. If God is infallible, and the bible is the infallible word of God, then from these two examples alone (among the multitudes of other contradictions too numerous to list) would indicate two logical possibilities:

    A) God was wrong

    B) The people who transcribed God’s supposed words in to the bible made a few mistakes

    Regardless of whatever of these two choices you choose, it leads to the conclusion that not everything in the bible that you read today cannot be accepted as the absolute truth, because somewhere down the line somebody screwed up. This leads to the argument against genesis about God’s supposed involvement in the creation of man, and all life on earth. The majority of the argument FOR genesis and creationism hinges on the infallibility of God’s word as told through the bible. Now logic AND history has proven that at least one of these sources is in fact NOT infallible. Either God or the bible was wrong so the only thing left is all the manufactured evidence (Creation science, ID, irreducible complexity) which makes bold claims for the divine based on “missing” scientific evidence that eventually turned up through on-going research to debunk these psuedo-theories. What we end up with is NO EVIDENCE, scientific or divinely infallible, to support ID and its derivative works no matter how you dress it.

    Again, I have to reiterate, despite the logical progression towards a fallible god or really crappy scribes, the existence of God isn’t questioned/denied. However, the infallibility of the bible definitely IS denied regardless of who was wrong, God, or the people retelling his words.

  280. ArthurA says:

    Ok, I tried to read all the posts, but I could not. I have questions for everyone. Why all the name calling on both sides? Why can’t you just present the facts? It is pretty clear that no one is budging. I do wish that each side would set out to learn as much as possible about views that oppose their own. If you really believe(yes, each side is believing) what you say then you will take the time to at least have a working knowledge of the other side’s viewpoint. This would not be anti-science nor anti-religion. It seems to me the most sensible thing to do. Why aren’t we doing this?

  281. zygosporangia says:

    Well, I am only responding to Churchy McChurch in kind. Until he evolves past the stage of ad hominem attacks and outright bigotry, I must speak at his level. Otherwise, how would he understand me? 😉

  282. Wolfhound says:

    Arthur, the problem is that the creationist simply don’t HAVE any facts. None. Zilch. Nada. What they have is “faith” in the Bronze Age goat herder tales of their holy book. Those on the side of science have a pretty solid working knowledge of their “viewpoint”: Goddidit, now STFU you uppity, atheistic, elitist scientists!

    Sadly, wishy-washiness has put science education in the position we now find it in, with religionists trying to inject their own particular brand of supernaturalism into the classrooms and labeling it as science on par with actual, falisifiable theories which have an abundance of empirical evidence to support them. There simply IS no equal footing here, regardless of how much the creationists stamp their feet and yell that it ain’t so.

  283. Wolfhound says:

    Zygo, I have Mr. Fundie Deathcultists Bigot on ignore. If I wanted to be subjected to mindless, repetitive clucking like his normal offerings, I’d go spend more time out in the yard with my reptile descendants. They are smarter, more cheerful, and lay eggs for me, too! 🙂

    Rock on, though!

  284. Brango says:

    A logical bottom line:

    Teach creationism as what it is – religion.

    Teach evolution as what it is – science.

    Teaching creationism as science creates an unbalanced karma that can only be balanced by teaching evolution as religion. An awkward, but altogether necessary compromise.

    And as God will surely note with interest, which side will feel the most guilt as it continually breaks the 9th commandment?

  285. zygosporangia says:

    Wolfhound –

    Maybe that’s my problem. I can’t raise chickens in my particular area, due to ridiculous city rules. Perhaps I’m hoping that if I ignore DNFTT enough, that I might be able to get it to lay an egg for me. 😉

  286. zygosporangia says:

    Besides, I much prefer the term “Dark-ager” now. That seems to fit much better than IDiot, death cultist, or any of the other terms tossed around.

  287. Brango says:

    To answer John McDonald, Director of Student Ministries, Westminster Presbyterian Church when he states:

    “As a Christian, I use logic and reason just as much as you do. And as a theologian, I use logic to ascertain the truth of what Scripture teaches.”

    As a Christian, your only tool of reason is your faith in God. You are not permitted to use logic as it pre-requisites the removal of faith from reasoning. If God finds that you have renounced your faith and instead weighed evidential and factual data to draw a conclusion, he will punish you for breaking the 1st commandment.

    Sir, may I ask that you re-examine your claim to be a Christian? I am troubled by several of your rather basic divergences.

  288. Noodlicious says:

    Back up there somewhere…..can’t read through all that same old creo BS again…..but about bout thoughts/perception being the outcome of chemical reactions…

    (apologies if being repetitive)

    A large number of *chemicals* have been found rather helpful in adjusting the *world view* of seriously delusional psychiatric patients. Many of whom had previously spent their entire days talking to their *Gods*….or aliens…or other *interesting/creative* invisible entities.

    Still others who have genuinely perceived whole groups of others to be evil or possessed by Satan and therefore should be killed! A voice told them so.

    Some of the genuine psychiatric disorders underpinning mass, or serial killings.
    One Christian woman who killed her children because *God told her to* comes to mind. Many others!

    Psych drugs alter attitude…may not completely fix some of those those aberrant neural chemical pathways, but can help to modulate/bypass or suppress them.

    Environmental stimulation, for example upbringing, also has a large effect on how wayward pathways will employ.

    Then there are those recreational chemicals employed by some to elicit an often profound effect on ones perception/world view.

    May You Be Touched By His Noodly Appendage Mr. McDonald

  289. Noodlicious says:

    New siggy..
    Noodlicious
    Dark Ager of the FSM

  290. Noodlicious says:

    Oh…
    RAmen

  291. ArthurA says:

    Wolfhand show me where the facts are?(Promise, I’m not being sarcastic. I really do want to know.) And how did you get them? And even if you have them what/who gives you a right to be a jerk about the whole thing? I think Mr. McDonald should answer on this, too.

  292. Noodlicious says:

    Hmmm…and how does ethanol affect peoples morals?

  293. Brango says:

    Morals can be justified by profits from the sale of ethanol.

    I of course refer to justified in the fiscal sense of the word.

  294. zygosporangia says:

    ArthurA –

    All of the evidence you need can be found at talkorigins.org

  295. Wolfhound says:

    There have been several links posted near the top of the comments which go to sites with lots of really fabulous, ACTUAL SCIENCE. I will accept your request at face value and give you one of my favorites http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/index.html

    As for what gives me the “right” to say something or adopt a certain attitude, um, you DO know that this is still America, right? Unless you’d prefer for there to be thought police or something to keep somebody from offending anybody else. Now there’s a scary thought… Honestly, I’d prefer a pillow fight but I don’t know that the troll would be into it or not. 😉

  296. ArthurA says:

    See, there you go referring to another human being(which according to evolution is living the only life he will live) as a “troll.” Granted you can say whatever you want, but isn’t there some need for respect just because the other is breathing and alive? By the way, are you a scientist yourself Wolfhand? Just wondering. Thanks for the info.

  297. zygosporangia says:

    No doubt the troll will attempt to prove that his imaginary friend is larger than science. What do they call that? Imaginary friend envy? 😉

  298. zygosporangia says:

    troll n. An individual who chronically trolls: regularly posts specious arguments, flames or personal attacks to a newsgroup, discussion list, or in email for no other purpose than to annoy someone or disrupt a discussion. Trolls are recognizable by the fact that they have no real interest in learning about the topic at hand – they simply want to utter flame bait. Like the ugly creatures they are named after, they exhibit no redeeming characteristics, and as such, they are recognized as a lower form of life on the net, as in, “Oh, ignore him, he’s just a troll.” Compare kook.

  299. zygosporangia says:

    So, yes. Calling Churchy McChurch a “troll” is accurate.

  300. ArthurA says:

    Thanks for the definition. I don’t know the lingo yet. Still I mean come on. Can I be a hobbit?

  301. ArthurA says:

    Churchy McChurch? Are we in middle school?

  302. zygosporangia says:

    Well, it is certainly less typing than saying “John McDonald, Director of Student Ministries, Westminster Presbyterian Church”. I mean, how pretentious can one get?

  303. zygosporangia says:

    Perhaps I should change my name to “zygosporangia, or the formation of resistent spherical spores for means of sexual reproduction of certain molds”?

  304. zygosporangia says:

    *in certain molds*, I meant.

  305. ArthurA says:

    You have a point Zygo. His posts have bothered me the most and remarkably(yes, I will let the cat out of the bag) I agree with him on the main points. So, I guess it was good while it lasted. I will show myself out.

  306. zygosporangia says:

    I assumed you did. I was just showing that I can be respectful when others treat me in kind.

  307. ArthurA says:

    Awesome, so I’m not the new troll? Zygo what brings you here? Are you a scientist yourself?

  308. zygosporangia says:

    Not yet, but don’t press your luck. 😉

    I am a Computer Scientist, so I assume that counts for something. My foundations are in mathematics, although I do know a bit about mycology and botany.

  309. ArthurA says:

    Look, I’m not here to try to convert you or anything. I somehow ended up on this blog from some article about Expelled. I like reading the discussions. You guys are really passionate about science. One could say almost downright pissed off at times. Its like if your not down with the basics you must be an idiot. I don’t believe naturalism and I’m not an idiot. People like me do exist out there. We’re not brilliant, but we’re not dumb either. Just because we disagree on big issues doesn’t mean I think you’re stupid. I am willing to bet you are considerably intelligent.

    If you guys want me to leave I will, but I would like to stay. Not as troll, but rather as a fly on the wall.

  310. zygosporangia says:

    I have no control whether you stay or leave. I’m not affiliated with FCS, I just play here on occasion. As far as I’m concerned, the more differing opinions, the better. Of course, if I disagree, I will call a spade a spade. 😀

  311. wright says:

    ArthurA, welcome to the Creation / Evolution debate. You seem to be a newcomer to it, so I will give my own observations on why passions run so high about this topic.

    Most of the Creationists who post here and in similar forums are simply repeating misconceptions and lies about evolutionary theory. These are mistakes that have been thoroughly refuted, some of them more than a hundred years ago. Those of us who are convinced by the many, many converging lines of evidence about evolution find this repetition baffling and frustrating. Those who are scientists and educators especially have seen the same Creationist arguments for decades, and have little (if any) patience left.

    So even someone sincerely curious about the science and evidence of evolution, as you are, is likely to catch some stray flack as you get involved in this. I encourage you to not be put off by the sometimes harsh tone set by both sides. Instead, indulge your curiosity. Go to a library or bookstore, search for evolution and science sites online. TalkOrigins is an excellent place to start.

  312. Wolfhound says:

    Hi, Arthur! I hate to break it to ya’, mate, but it was pretty obvious to those of us who are battle-hardened that you were most likely an ID sympathiser from your first post but we really DO like to try to give folks a fair shake. I would not call you a “troll” in the generic sense, like John is, but you were (in your first several posts) treading a very fine line as a:

    Concern Troll n. A person who lurks, then posts, on a site or blog, expressing concern for policies, comments, attitudes of others on the site. It is viewed as insincere, manipulative, condescending. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=concern+troll

    But, no, we do NOT want you to leave! This is a public forum and we really do enjoy lively debate and encourage folks to participate. Unless they really are just trolling. Then I want a pillow fight! 🙂 The rules of reciprocity are in place here, for the most part; courtesy or nastiness will be returned in kind.

    Seeing as how you said you came here from an Expelled article link, I would encourage you to go to http://www.expelledexposed.com/ so you can see for yourself how deep the dishonesty of the professional creationists goes. Seriously.

    In answer to your question about my profession, no I’m not scientist. I am, of all things, a child welfare advocate, and a science nut in my spare time. I loved all of my science classes in college (especially zoology and astronomy) but did not parlay it into a career, more’s the pity.

    If you want to visit a site with lively debate (this isn’t really a debate forum here), try http://www.talkrational.org/ There are many topics to choose from including religion, philosophy, general cool science stuff, evolution, and entertainment. Lots of professional scientists from all over the world there as well as average Joes. Give it a whirl!

  313. ArthurA says:

    Thanks Wright. I went to talkorigins. I was really looking for a site that just presented the facts for evolution not a site that attempts to refute every point of creationism. Are there sites that are just simple “this is why evolution is true?” Thats what I’m looking for. I want it point by point from Darwin(and before) to now. I want to see it all. Fossil records, everything.

  314. zygosporangia says:

    Talkorigins provides that information as well. For instance, check out their FAQs on speciation and fossil evidence.

  315. wright says:

    ArthurA, good on you for starting to inform yourself. Keep it up. TalkOrigins has an extensive section for refuting Creationist arguments, it’s true. Most pro-science sites do.

    I believe this is because many Creationists are so enthusiastic about pushing their beliefs into any public venue that they can. When they do this to government and education in particular, pro-science people get alarmed. One could think of the proliferation of counter-Creationist information as observable evolutionary behavior. 🙂

    Anyway, there are many sites, including TalkOrigins, that do present evolutionary theory and the associated evidence clearly for laymen like you and me. I also encourage you to read books on the topic, or look for public science lectures in your area. Getting the information from multiple sources is best.

  316. ArthurA says:

    Look, Wright I am a creationist, but I approach this discussion a little differently than most. I do think I have something to learn from people like you. If I didn’t think this I wouldn’t be here. Lets trade books if you will. I will read a book recommended by you on the subject(just tell me what it is) and in turn you can read a book I think is a must read. I understand if you’re not up for it. Is anybody up for this?

  317. zygosporangia says:

    I mean no disrespect, but I have read creationist propaganda. It is, unfortunately, completely without merit. It may help to further confuse someone with faith, but it will not fool someone with even an elementary exposure to science education.

  318. S.Scott says:

    Arthur A. – This is free. You can watch it on your computer I’m pretty sure it will give you a basic understanding of what this whole arguement is about
    (Both sides)
    You can watch it at your leisure.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/id/

  319. S.Scott says:

    Arthur – Hold on … this link is better …

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/id/program.html

  320. ArthurA says:

    Zygo, I really wasn’t talking about a book on creationism. I was thinking more about books that have made a difference in our lives. I would think our individual stances on the origin of life would be revealed somehow through our book choices. I have one in mind for whoever, but I am waiting for someone to take me up on the offer. Looks like I will be reading alone.

  321. zygosporangia says:

    Which book are you speaking of?

    (I think I know where this is heading…)

  322. ArthurA says:

    I saw that special on PBS a while back. Honestly, I need a little more than PBS. No offense, i love the programming. Anything that does not involve the ACLU would be ideal.

  323. ArthurA says:

    Please don’t think I am talking about the Bible. Gosh, no. Is that what you were thinking?

  324. zygosporangia says:

    No, I don’t think your book would be that obvious. 😉

  325. ArthurA says:

    Well, what is it Mr. Smarty Pants? Ha Ha. You must have all of us creationist’s figured out.

  326. zygosporangia says:

    I didn’t say I knew which book you are hinting at, I just said that I think I know where this is heading. So, do you want to give your book recommendation or not?

  327. ArthurA says:

    Didn’t I ask first?

  328. zygosporangia says:

    I didn’t realize this was a game. If you aren’t going to recommend a book, then I’m not interested in playing.

  329. ArthurA says:

    Ok, my book is Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton. Even if I was on your side I would think this book was important. I come back to it often. So, there you go. You can jump ship if you’d like. I don’t care. Any books for me? I’ve been itching to read the Harry Potter series.

  330. ArthurA says:

    Taken time to look it up on Amazon. I see.

  331. zygosporangia says:

    Well, wouldn’t you recommend that one reads Heretics before reading Orthodoxy? I happen to be a bibliophile and a book collector. I happen to have first editions of both on my shelves.

  332. ArthurA says:

    You could read Heretics first, but I think it would be better to work backwards in a sense and read Orthodoxy. It is way more accessible and probably his most well known work besides the Father Brown stories. Have you read them already?

    So, what you have one of those huge mansions with the massive library and the gliding ladder?

  333. zygosporangia says:

    No, I have not read them already. They are rescues. I keep track of libraries around the area and snatch up old books when they discard them. I also keep an eye open at local used bookstores. You’d be surprised what people would discard or sell for next to nothing.

    I don’t have a huge mansion yet. I’m working on it though. 🙂

  334. zygosporangia says:

    If you like Chesterton, you should download the Project Gutenberg DVD. It contains twenty-nine of his works as electronic texts, along with 17,421 other books that have fallen out of copyright. For a free download, you too could have a huge library.

    Among other books, it includes two dozen books by Charles Darwin, several different versions of the Christian bible, and some of my favorite authors.

  335. ArthurA says:

    Cool friend. It is late where I live. Maybe we can resume whatever this is sometime soon. I will check back tomorrow. Good to chat. I can’t dislike a book rescuer. Blessings.

  336. firemancarl says:

    I was really looking for a site that just presented the facts for evolution not a site that attempts to refute every point of creationism.

    Actually, the problem is that no matter what evidence is offer’d ( look at FSC bloggers v Churchy McChurch) it is not good enough.

    There are several videos that not only refute creationist claims, but provide the science behind evolution. I would fore warn you, that they take delight in squashing creationts who try to say that creationism is science.

    The use a “mix of dry humor, irony, and sarcasm” in their videos

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGND4bEOtS8

  337. zygosporangia says:

    Sigh. So far, all that Chesterton has done in Heretics is attempt poorly to tear down some of my favorite authors. He proposes that one needs an absolute in order to write good literature, yet history has proven him wrong.

    This may be getting off-topic, but so far it seems as if he is merely invoking the argument that without absolutes (e.g. without mythical gods), there cannot be a good story. I whole-heartedly disagree.

    If the belief in a god should be made out of philosophical necessity, then is that evidence for a god, or ignorance of how the world actually works? I have read plenty of philosophers who do not need an absolute in order to uncover a code of ethics and morality, a code of right and wrong. At its core, morality is a way to reduce suffering, and to allow people to live together in harmony. One does not need a god to understand this. So, is it merely Chesterton’s lack of vision that forces him to seek out an absolute and call this absolute a god? We shall see. So far, I like his writing style, but I don’t yet care for his message.

    Does the lack of an absolute mean that a naturalist is somehow invalid, corrupt, or immoral? No. Studying the natural world does not make a statement upon how we should act or what is right or wrong. It is foolish to think that nature can be held to the same ideals as man, and that nature must have been created with those ideals in mind. Nature is harsh and cruel, as watching any nature program would show you. Just because evolution is valid does not mean that we should derive our morality from it, despite Church McChurch’s cries to the contrary. The idea of deriving morality from evolution makes as much sense as deriving morality from gravity or from electromagnetism. It is a red herring, a way to bring up the idea of Creationism or its newest incarnation: Intelligent Design. It is low, bogus, and ignorant.

    I shall continue reading as Chesterton bashes more of my favorite authors. I honestly hope he gets to a point soon.

  338. firemancarl says:

    survival of the fitest has been misused by the creo gang for a long time. They seem to forget that what that phrase refers the best genes surviving and not some kind of alternate universe where only the strong survive and rule in absolute power.

  339. zygosporangia says:

    It’s the only way they can attack it, by attempting to claim that it is meant to replace morality and ethics. The statement is just as meaningless as claiming that gravity or quantum physics should replace morality and ethics.

  340. Well, I have much to answer, but a question arises from the last post of Zygo – where in fact as an evolutionist do you derive your morals? If evolution is true, you are of course left with existentialism and its ethical relativism, and ethical relativism reduces to absurdity in light of the law of non-contradiction. You talk about morals, but its really your own subjective preferences because your worldview cannot produce normative standards of right and wrong.

    Another question also arises, that is, is science the only means of attaining knowledge? I would like to know your answer to this.

  341. Answers to questions from Karl:

    Some things in Scripture are to be interpreted literally, and some to be understood metaphorically, although even these passages are based upon a literal truth behind the metaphor. Only context can determine how a passage is to be understood.

    No part of Scripture contradicts any other part when rightly understood.

    Christians must adhere to the teachings of Scripture (keep in mind we mean Scripture rightly interprted). As the Word of God, Scripture is the ultimate and final authority in all matters of doctrine and practice. Thus, nothing gives a Christian the right to ignore God’s Word.

    Your ectopic pregancy scenario is a false eiher/or. Since both lives are important, one should try to ascertain teh point where, if the labor were induced, the most promising odds for the preservation of both lives could be expected.

    Answers to Firemancarl:

    death penalty – yes, for certain crimes as determined by God’s inerrant standard for penality, that is, the civil law revealed to Israel.

    contraception – yes, as long as this contraception prevents pregnancy in contradistinction to terminating an already existing pregnancy which begins at conception of course.

    And finally to Zygo,

    I don’t attack Catholics, I simply challenge them as I do you.

  342. ArthurA says:

    Zygo, I see you have decided on Heretics rather than Orthodoxy. Oh, well. Its your life. I hope you will make it through and read Orthodoxy. I am assuming, but please correct me if I’m wrong..you are an atheist, right? Just making sure. I want to know exactly where you are coming from.

  343. My questions to the FCS:

    1) Is science the only means for attaining knowledge?

    2) How do you define truth?

    3) How can empiricism escape the critque of Hume?

  344. ArthurA says:

    Hey, John I have a simple question for you and it comes with no sarcasm whatsoever: Why do you post here? I would love to know why.

  345. ArthurA:

    I post here because here Christianity is under attack, and I have a Scriptural duty to defend and justify the Christian position. It all started with FCS’s critical response to Beyond Expelled, an event presented by my church. What led you to post here (no sarcasm)?

  346. zygosporangia says:

    McDonald –

    where in fact as an evolutionist do you derive your morals?

    Philosophy. Wow, that was simple.

    Only context can determine how a passage is to be understood.

    Wow. What a cop-out. So, you think that you have the magic key to tell when things should be taken literally and when they should be taken metaphorically. What a crock of dung.

    No part of Scripture contradicts any other part when rightly understood.

    Sadly, the context by which you speak does not exist within your bible. In other words, it is up to interpretation. Why does your interpretation have to take the creation myth literally?

  347. ArthurA says:

    I followed a link from the Pearcey Report and then another from your local newspaper. I agree with you on most all points, but I go about things a little differently. I think I will follow your link.

  348. zygosporangia says:

    I am assuming, but please correct me if I’m wrong..you are an atheist, right?

    That’s a simple way of looking at it, but yes, I am an atheist. I approach the situation different than an agnostic. I choose to use observation and critical thinking to look at the world. Until I see proof that there is a god, or mythic sky fairies, demons, unicorns, or angels; there is no reason for me to believe that they exist.

  349. zygosporangia says:

    I post here because here Christianity is under attack, and I have a Scriptural duty to defend and justify the Christian position.

    Christianity is not under attack. Your narrow interpretation of it may be under a bit of ridicule here, but you bring that upon yourself. The majority of Christians accept evolution. It is only the minority who refuse to believe what is right in front of their face.

  350. ArthurA says:

    Man, you sound like a certain fella named Dawkins. Such a quiet man.(Cough, Cough)

  351. zygosporangia says:

    Dawkins I am not. He and I differ on quite a few points.

  352. ArthurA says:

    Zygo, are you sure the majority of Christians accept evolution? Please show me the facts on this one.

  353. ArthurA says:

    Zygo, you really don’t agree with the Billy Graham of Darwinism? I am surprised.

  354. zygosporangia says:

    Without going into a denomination-by-denomination run-down, let’s look at the largest denomination of Christians in the world: Catholics. They make up over fifty percent of Christians, which makes them the majority. What do they believe? That species evolved. They choose to believe that their god gave humans souls, but that species evolved.

    http://www.catholic.com/library/adam_eve_and_evolution.asp

  355. But that is the point, when the Bible is right interpreted, and by that I mean the grammatico-historical method is employed (which is the magic key you allude to above) it becomes evident that what Scripture teaches and what evolution teaches are contradictory. Thus it is not consistent for Christians to espouse evolution upon revelational grounds. It is also not wise from scientific grounds, since even scientific data precludes evolution. It is also untenable upon philosophical grounds, as empiricism must end is skepticism.

    BTW, your morality cannot come from philosophy, because philosophy requires the use of the human mind, but according to your commitment to evolution, the mind is the product of chance, random processes and thus cannot be trusted. Besides, any philosophy that denies an authoritative, transcendent moral being cannot produce normative standards of right and wrong since these normative standards would require such being. And in philosophy you only have two views, ethical objectivism and ethical relativism. One requires the assumption of an authoritative transcendent being, and the other reduces to absurdity on its own premises.

  356. zygosporangia says:

    Zygo, you really don’t agree with the Billy Graham of Darwinism? I am surprised.

    I didn’t say that I disagree with Dawkins. I said that there are quite a few points that we disagree on. Dawkins believes that religion should be torn down, he wants to prosthyletize atheism. I don’t care what others believe, as long as they don’t try to force those beliefs on others. If you want to believe that the Earth is controlled by three robots called Larry, Curly, and Moe; good for you. As long as you don’t try to force-feed those beliefs to my kids or to me, you can believe whatever you want. As soon as someone does, like Churchy McChurch here, he’s free game for ridicule.

  357. That is not what Catholicism always taught, in fact one pope contradicts another on this issue. Catholicism in regard to doctrine was destroyed in the Reformation, so an appeal to the Catholic world is really useless since I argue along Protestant lines.

  358. And Zygo, get your facts straight, I have never advocated teaching Christianity in the public school, only the tenants on Intelligent Design. Intelligent Design does not dictate who the intelligent designer is, only that it is.

  359. zygosporangia says:

    But that is the point, when the Bible is right interpreted, and by that I mean the grammatico-historical method is employed (which is the magic key you allude to above)

    So, you believe that if even one part of your bible is invalidated, that the whole thing must be thrown out, like the baby with the bath water? Is that your fear, that evolution will invalidate your kooky creationist beliefs?

    Thus it is not consistent for Christians to espouse evolution upon revelational grounds.

    So, you are calling the majority of Christians inconsistent? Nice way to make converts, pal.

    BTW, your morality cannot come from philosophy, because philosophy requires the use of the human mind, but according to your commitment to evolution, the mind is the product of chance, random processes and thus cannot be trusted.

    Bullshit. If this is the best argument you can come up with, you have already lost this argument. Mutation is random, natural selection is anything but random. Your attempt to trivialize natural selection only makes you look ignorant.

    Besides, any philosophy that denies an authoritative, transcendent moral being cannot produce normative standards of right and wrong since these normative standards would require such being.

    This is simply not true. One does not need a transcendent embodiment of ultimate good to tell the difference between good an evil. This is a tired old argument.

  360. Then how does one begin to define good and evil? You cannot apart from an appeal to a transcendant moral being.

  361. zygosporangia says:

    That is not what Catholicism always taught, in fact one pope contradicts another on this issue. Catholicism in regard to doctrine was destroyed in the Reformation, so an appeal to the Catholic world is really useless since I argue along Protestant lines.

    Catholics and Protestants are like Conservatives and Liberals respectively. It took Catholicism a long time to recognize evolution, because they wanted to wait and see the evidence. They have all of the time in the world, generations to wait around. Most of what the Protestants tore down when they broke from the Catholic Church was remedied in due time by the Catholics. Every denomination evolves over time.

    That being said, you agree with me that the majority of Christians accept evolution. Great. Now, let’s try to figure out what makes your minority denomination special in refusing to accept what even the super-slow and conservative Catholic Church has already accepted? Is it stubbornness?

  362. zygosporangia says:

    I have never advocated teaching Christianity in the public school, only the tenants on Intelligent Design. Intelligent Design does not dictate who the intelligent designer is, only that it is.

    Intelligent Design cannot be separated by Christianity. If you don’t believe me, read what the experts had to say, and even what Behe himself admitted in the Dover trial. I think you need to get your facts straight.

  363. zygosporangia says:

    separated from Christianity, I meant.

  364. zygosporangia says:

    Then how does one begin to define good and evil? You cannot apart from an appeal to a transcendant moral being.

    If you are truly convinced that you need mythical gods to embody good and evil, then I am not going to be able to show you the error of your ways. I invite you to read one of the hundreds of secular philosophers that have already tackled the subject. They go all the way back to Plato.

  365. If all came from random chance processes, the mind itself is a product of random chance processes and cannot be trusted. Natural selection would only be removing one set of iuntrustworthy minds from another set of untrustworthy minds. Natural selection nor mutation could ever make the mind trustworthy. We would be lost in a sea of skepticism forever.

  366. zygosporangia says:

    If all came from random chance processes, the mind itself is a product of random chance processes and cannot be trusted. Natural selection would only be removing one set of iuntrustworthy minds from another set of untrustworthy minds. Natural selection nor mutation could ever make the mind trustworthy. We would be lost in a sea of skepticism forever.

    Do you not think that in your hypothetical scenario (which is truly hypothetical and does not bear anything in how evolution actually works) that a properly functioning mind would not be vastly superior to one which cannot be trusted? Natural selection would quickly remedy the situation.

    As for whether you can actually completely trust your mind or not, I guess you have never seen optical illusions? Have you never been tricked by a shadow, thinking it was something else? Have you never tried to remember a word or a name? Either your god is terrible at designing brains, or our brains are actually imperfect.

  367. Zygo, answer the question. How can you define good and evil apart from a transcendant moral being without falling back to ethical relativism?

    Catholicism does not accurately interpret the Bible in many areas. In fact, Catholicism as taught in their confessions is an APOSTATE CHRISTIANITY.

    I can teach ID apart from Christianity, as well as can many others. Your objection fails.

  368. ArthurA says:

    Why pick on Mr. McDonald? Without him and me what would you be doing right now? We are making your Sunday afternoon eventful. Or maybe we are stealing your time and in that case please go spend some time with your kids. On a seperate note, you talk about people having the freedom to believe whatever they want as long as they don’t push it on others. This discussion is happening because people like John and I feel that Darwinism is pushed upon us by people like Dawkins and others. You yourself admitted he was a proselytizer.

  369. zygosporangia says:

    Likewise, if humans were designed, then why do we suffer from lower back problems? Evolution has an answer for this, “Intelligent” design does not. In fact, “Intelligent” design really isn’t that helpful for answering anything, other than blindly claiming “god dun it!”.

  370. zygosporangia says:

    I can teach ID apart from Christianity, as well as can many others. Your objection fails.

    That’s a load of bullshit. ID was created by the Discovery Institute. They originally called for an intelligent theistic designer. Which theism do you think they were referring to? Have you even bothered to read the Wedge Document?

  371. zygosporangia says:

    How can you define good and evil apart from a transcendant moral being without falling back to ethical relativism?

    I already answered you. Try reading Plato.

  372. zygosporangia says:

    Catholicism does not accurately interpret the Bible in many areas.

    Strange, because they would argue that you do not accurately interpret your bible in many areas. Most denominations claim this about other denominations, otherwise there would only be one denomination. Sadly, none of the denominations have any claim that their interpretation is correct. I can only tell you which denominations support science.

  373. Natural selection rewards survival, not thinking.

    We must spouse the general reliability of the senses, not the wholesale reliability.

  374. zygosporangia says:

    On a seperate note, you talk about people having the freedom to believe whatever they want as long as they don’t push it on others. This discussion is happening because people like John and I feel that Darwinism is pushed upon us by people like Dawkins and others.

    Evolution is not a belief. It has been proven by science. A belief is something that requires faith. Evolution requires no faith. It simply is.

  375. zygosporangia says:

    Natural selection rewards survival, not thinking.

    You talk as if the two are completely at odds. A creature that can think, that can strategize, that can reason is far more likely to survive than one that cannot. A competing species that is smarter than another species will come to dominate that species.

  376. I have read Plato, and Platonic Ideas cannot help you pinpoint which actions are good or bad. You have to have a reason to say x is bad or x is good, not just that this is the way it is. That’s just arbitrary.

  377. zygosporangia says:

    We must spouse the general reliability of the senses, not the wholesale reliability.

    For you to admit this means that you lose the ability to claim that an evolved mind cannot be trusted. Thanks, that argument was putting me to sleep with its inanity.

  378. ArthurA says:

    Do you ever doubt evolution?

  379. A species that had superior strength could eventually destroy a species with superior thinking.

  380. firemancarl says:

    Stop the press!

    OK everyone. Ya know how the creo fundies pull out that list of 100 “scientists” well, take a look here. Turns out that not only are a lot of ’em not scientists, but they are not even biologists. Taken from pharyngula http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/05/even_sleazier_than_the_di.php

  381. To say that it is generally reliable does not mean that it is never reliable

  382. zygosporangia says:

    A species that had superior strength could eventually destroy a species with superior thinking.

    Really? Have you actually given it any thought, or are you just trying to pull an argument out of your ass?

    Lions are much stronger than humans. Lions have been nearly wiped out by humans. Gorillas and Chimps are much stronger than humans — we’ve about wiped them out as well. Tigers, elephants, rhinos, bears… humans hunt them for sport.

    Apparently, intelligence does give a species an advantage. Your argument is without merit.

  383. zygosporangia says:

    To say that it is generally reliable does not mean that it is never reliable

    Yes, but you keep shifting the goal posts, just like most creationists. I have decided to take your “generally reliable” goalpost, since your “never reliable” goalpost was inane. Thanks for flip-flopping, you decimated your own argument. 😀

  384. You cannot predict that superior thinking will always win over superior strength. Cockroaches can survive nuclear war much better than men.

  385. zygosporangia says:

    firemancarl –

    I figured as much. The only “scientists” who buy into creationist propaganda are the ones “on the take” by DI itself.

  386. zygosporangia says:

    You cannot predict that superior thinking will always win over superior strength. Cockroaches can survive nuclear war much better than men.

    Apparently, you don’t watch Mythbusters. Actually, cockroaches are just as susceptible to radiation fallout as humans, in many cases more so. Any more urban myths to toss in?

  387. But that’s the point, evolution produces minds that could never be considered trustworthy, because they originated by chance random processes and we could never arrive at a point where we could think outside that “box.” We would be locked into skepticsm. Your worldview provides minds that would be perpetually untrustworthy. Christianity gives us minds that have general reliability.

  388. If you don’t like cockroaches, you could still find other species that could survive certain environments better than well thinking men.

  389. I like how you have neglected to answer my three questions to FCS. Your neglect speaks volumes.

  390. ArthurA says:

    Again I ask do you ever doubt it Zygo?

  391. zygosporangia says:

    But that’s the point, evolution produces minds that could never be considered trustworthy, because they originated by chance random processes and we could never arrive at a point where we could think outside that “box.”

    Minds did not originate by chance random processes. You talk as if one day there was life without a brain, and the next day a “mutation” produced a fully sapient human. There would be a very strong bias for natural selection to produce a reliable brain, otherwise it would be a lot of expense for nothing.

    I thought I just showed that you lost your ability to make this argument.

    Your worldview provides minds that would be perpetually untrustworthy. Christianity gives us minds that have general reliability.

    First, this simply is not true. Second, you cannot choose a philosophy or religion merely because it is more convenient. That is the argument that you are making here, that it is difficult to explain how the brain evolved, but simple to explain how the brain was created. I’m sure I could come up with a creation myth far more plausible and simpler than the Judeo-Christian creation myth. Would you convert to my myth then, for expedience sake?

  392. The point is that you cannot always predict that thought can win over brute power.

  393. zygosporangia says:

    Whoops… let’s try that again.

    But that’s the point, evolution produces minds that could never be considered trustworthy, because they originated by chance random processes and we could never arrive at a point where we could think outside that “box.”

    Minds did not originate by chance random processes. You talk as if one day there was life without a brain, and the next day a “mutation” produced a fully sapient human. There would be a very strong bias for natural selection to produce a reliable brain, otherwise it would be a lot of expense for nothing.

    I thought I just showed that you lost your ability to make this argument.

    Your worldview provides minds that would be perpetually untrustworthy. Christianity gives us minds that have general reliability.

    First, this simply is not true. Second, you cannot choose a philosophy or religion merely because it is more convenient. That is the argument that you are making here, that it is difficult to explain how the brain evolved, but simple to explain how the brain was created. I’m sure I could come up with a creation myth far more plausible and simpler than the Judeo-Christian creation myth. Would you convert to my myth then, for expedience sake?

  394. zygosporangia says:

    I like how you have neglected to answer my three questions to FCS. Your neglect speaks volumes.

    I refused to answer those questions because they are inane. I have made plenty of points here that you have refused to refute. Does that mean that your neglect speaks equal volumes?

  395. zygosporangia says:

    The point is that you cannot always predict that thought can win over brute power.

    In the case of mammals and primates, it certainly did. That’s all that matters here.

  396. zygosporangia says:

    Again I ask do you ever doubt it Zygo?

    When I was a young boy, I did. Then, I had the opportunity to go over the evidence for myself. There cannot be doubt when there is proof. That is what makes science different than religion. Religious folks must doubt their beliefs all the time, because there is no evidence. When scientists have a difference of opinions, it is not because of a lack of evidence, but rather because there are different ways to interpret that evidence.

    In the case of science, we have evidence and we look for answers. In the case of religion, one has “answers” (of dubious quality) and one looks for evidence or relies on blind faith.

  397. Without originating in intelligent design, no brain could be trusted. Why should we trust our brains if they are groupings of matter produced by mutation and unguided natural selection?

  398. firemancarl says:

    As someone said in another thread and I have to paraphrase, this entire thing -Expelled, the attempted passage of bills etc-smells like the death throes of a bad idea.

  399. zygosporangia says:

    Without originating in intelligent design, no brain could be trusted. Why should we trust our brains if they are groupings of matter produced by mutation and unguided natural selection?

    You tell me, McDonald? How do you trust your mind? It was evolved, we have strong evidence for that. What evidence do you have that our mind was intelligently designed? Keep in mind that you claimed that ID was secular, yet you keep referring to the Judeo-Christian creation myth, that would be cheating here.

  400. You admit you cannot predict, therefore your insistence that it did happen in this case is reduced to absurdity IF YOU CANNOT PREDICT.

    YOU REFUSE TO ANSWER THESE THREE QUESTIONS? Come now, who is believing in blind faith if you will not, or perhaps better said, cannot answer these questions?

    Why should I believe in your worldview if you will not or cannot justify it?

  401. zygosporangia says:

    …that your mind was intelligently designed, I meant.

  402. You sound so defeated zygo, you say you can’t trust your mind and what it tells you, then you say, but oh yeah, my mind tells me evolution is true and trust it. WOW!!!!!!!

  403. zygosporangia says:

    Why should I believe in your worldview if you will not or cannot justify it?

    You assume to know what my worldview is, even though I am only arguing for evolution here. My philosophical, ethical, or moral stances are not up for debate here.

    What is up for debate is evolution versus ID, and the dishonesty of the Expelled movie.

    I may ridicule you for your beliefs in other areas, but I have no obligation to answer your off-topic red herrings.

  404. I never claimed that I was just ID or that I would argue along ID lines only.

  405. zygosporangia says:

    You sound so defeated zygo, you say you can’t trust your mind and what it tells you, then you say, but oh yeah, my mind tells me evolution is true and trust it. WOW!!!!!!!

    If I sound defeated, then it must be your crank interpretation of my words, which is probably similar to the crank interpretation of your bible that you use that must insist on a clearly allegorical creation myth as being literal.

  406. zygosporangia says:

    I never claimed that I was just ID or that I would argue along ID lines only.

    That doesn’t mean that anything that you discuss here is on topic. Otherwise, I might start talking about some equally rubbish topics like American Idol.

  407. zygosporangia says:

    In other words, you are starting to bore me. Please provide evidence for ID, or go away.

  408. Your philosophical, ethical and moral stances are up for debate, because if you believe in evolution you destroy the epistemological basis for all philosphy, ethics, and morality.

  409. Once again, I ask the FCS the three questions listed in a post above. Your credibility as having an interest in science, and concern for science in the public arena, rests upon your answer.

  410. zygosporangia says:

    Your philosophical, ethical and moral stances are up for debate, because if you believe in evolution you destroy the epistemological basis for all philosphy, ethics, and morality.

    As I have said repeatedly, this is not true. If you believe this, then at this point you are being willfully ignorant. You are putting your head in the sand, putting your fingers to your ears and screaming “God dun it, God dun it, God dun it!” It sounds a lot like the braying of an ass, and it reads just as intelligently.

    As such, there is really nothing more for us to talk about here. I don’t mind having intelligent discourse, but it has become painfully evident to me that you are not interested in intelligent discourse, just repeating the same crank talking points over and over again. Enjoy your mythology and fairy tales.

  411. ArthurA says:

    Do you ever doubt it? Does anybody doubt it?

  412. zygosporangia says:

    ArthurA –

    I already answered your question. It is extremely difficult to doubt something with proof.

  413. ArthurA says:

    But its not impossible. Thats what you are saying, right? You never answered my question directly by the way. It is an important question for both of us to consider. My answer is clearly yes. I doubt rather frequently.

  414. Green Earth says:

    I have a question- how do the religious people in here feel about other religions’ views as to how the world/life came into being?

  415. zygosporangia says:

    I have no reason to doubt evolution. It is the only plausible explanation that exists right now that explains all of the evidence and remains scientifically sound.

  416. ArthurA says:

    And here it is and you the far more intelligent one must have seen this coming. You have no reason to doubt something that you don’t believe in. Isn’t that what you said that evolution is fact and not something to believe. I think there is more belief or dare I say faith involved in evolution than you think. Even with everyday facts that are clearly true we also believe them to be true. We watch the news and believe that the video footage is not just an act, but actaul reality happening before our eyes. I know you don’t believe in the supernatural, but you are not free from simple belief itself. You do believe in belief, right?

  417. ArthurA says:

    GreenEarth when you say “religious” do you mostly mean “Christian?” Just wondering.

  418. zygosporangia says:

    I think there is more belief or dare I say faith involved in evolution than you think.

    You are mistaken then.

    You do believe in belief, right?

    Not when it comes for science. Science has no room for belief or faith. It is what it is.

  419. ArthurA says:

    But you believe wholeheartedly in the scientific process. And yes, belief is the correct word. So, belief has no place within science except on the outside. Science can never contain belief, but science must be believed. Am I right here? I need to understand why belief in itself is so dangerous to science.

  420. Zygo, also prove that your moral and philosophical stances are nothing more than personal preference when placed in the light of evolution and scientific enquiry.

  421. Christianity also has no room for blind faith. It never requires it, and that is another misconception you have about Christianity.

  422. Zygo, your position of atheism is also self refuting. For you to say there is no God you would have to be omniscient yourself, plus omnipresent. To make an absolute negative like this requires infinite knowledge. Do you still claim to be an atheist or are you prepared to say that you are just an agnostic?

  423. zygosporangia says:

    Is the wind blowing hard… I seem to feel a bit of hot air, like someone is trying to continue an argument with me after I made it clear that I was not interested in braying with an ass.

  424. zygosporangia says:

    Science can never contain belief, but science must be believed. Am I right here? I need to understand why belief in itself is so dangerous to science.

    No. Science does not require belief. That would indicate that it contains axioms. It does not. Everything in science must be verified, nothing in science is immune to scrutiny. That is the difference between belief/faith and science. In creationism, there are things which are beyond scrutiny, that must be taken on blind faith. Nothing like that exists in science. There are no braying asses in science. Scientists are free to disagree — if they are willing to prove or disprove ideas.

  425. But you are a Florida Citizen for Science! You can’t just allow people like me to come on here and challenge your organization and refuse to defend yourself and your organization! You might refuse to interact with me, but I will still call your bluffs and those of your organization.

  426. But when a scientist disagrees with evolution on scientific grounds, you call him out as not a scientist. That is strange.

  427. zygosporangia says:

    Not to bray with the asses, but I think a point does require clarification.

    Claiming that I am an atheist is an oversimplification. As before, I do not blindly believe things written in story books. Just-so stories don’t work with me. If you want me to accept something, you must provide proof. Otherwise, I will not accept it. This goes for gods, unicorns, fairies, Jesus, or anything else with no proof.

  428. You also act like ID and Creationism are the same when they are not identical. Creation embraces some point of ID, but ID does not embrace all points of creationism because it limits itself by definition to the scientific data.

  429. Ok then, you cannot prove logic by scientific means. Does that mean you must refuse to accept the laws of logic?

  430. zygosporangia says:

    You are a persistent troll. Fine, I will answer these two points:

    But you are a Florida Citizen for Science! You can’t just allow people like me to come on here and challenge your organization and refuse to defend yourself and your organization!

    As I have said multiple times, I am not affiliated with FCS. I have absolutely no obligation to respond to trolls.

    But when a scientist disagrees with evolution on scientific grounds, you call him out as not a scientist. That is strange.

    Such a mythical scientist does not exist. Behe, Dembski, Meyers, etc… These are not scientists. They have faith in Christianity, and they are trying to find evidence for their god. This is not science. ID is not science. It is not falsifiable, which makes it not even a valid hypothesis.

  431. zygosporangia says:

    but ID does not embrace all points of creationism because it limits itself by definition to the scientific data.

    False! ID is a quest to find a “theistic” creator. That word was used by DI and Behe, who are supposed to be authorities on ID.

  432. zygosporangia says:

    define scientist

    Don’t waste my time. The definition for scientist is well known, if you are willing to look it up.

  433. zygosporangia says:

    How can ID be falsified?

  434. So according to your definition, Newton and Pasteur were not scientists, because they too believed that science proved the existence of God?

  435. and still just because ID looks for a theistic creator does not mean it is Creationism.

  436. zygosporangia says:

    Wow, you’re really stretching your imagination. Neither Newton or Pasteur attempted to prove the existence of their gods through science.

    I’ll ask you again. You claim that ID is valid science. How can ID be falsified?

  437. how can you accept logic if your scientific method cannot prove it? Answer the question.

  438. They did show that science confirmed their belief in a Creator, so what makes them different from Behe?

  439. zygosporangia says:

    and still just because ID looks for a theistic creator does not mean it is Creationism.

    Wow. That was breathlessly inane. Here’s the definition of theism:

    theism n. Belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially belief in a personal God as creator and ruler of the world.

    If ID isn’t creationism, then you must have some special definition for creationism. Go fish.

  440. zygosporangia says:

    ID can be falsified like any other scientific enterprise

    How? Evolution can be falsified by finding a fossilized human in the pre-Cambrian strata, among other ways. How, exactly, can ID be falsified?

  441. zygosporangia says:

    What you fail to see is that I am using your own argument against you. You claim that science cannot disprove the existence of your god. If that is true, then ID is not falsifiable. If ID is not falsifiable, then it is not science. Q.E.D.

  442. zygosporangia says:

    Well, if I knew that would silence McDonald, I would have said it a few days ago. 😉

  443. pre-Cambrian strata – based on assumption of the uniformitarian scheme. Assumptions are not science

    ID is falsifiable like all other facts – all facts can be scrutinized. I did not say IT WAS FALSE, I said it was falsifiable, that is, subject to scrutinty. Your argument fails.

  444. Just because i don’t write back when you want me to doesn’t mean you have silenced me at all. I have other things to do in glorifying God than just debating your foolishness. I have something to live for, something your worldview can’t give you: purpose.

  445. And don’t reply with some type of existential purpose of your own making – that’s just a cop-out.

  446. ArthurA says:

    Zygo you said “Everything in science must be verified, nothing in science is immune to scrutiny.”

    This does include Darwinisim, right? Surely evolution wouldn’t be left out of the loop.

  447. zygosporangia says:

    ID is falsifiable like all other facts – all facts can be scrutinized. I did not say IT WAS FALSE, I said it was falsifiable, that is, subject to scrutinty. Your argument fails.

    You are purposefully dodging my question. I’ll ask again. How is ID falsifiable? Please provide SPECIFIC examples.

  448. zygosporangia says:

    This does include Darwinisim, right? Surely evolution wouldn’t be left out of the loop.

    Evolution has been verified, time and time again.

  449. ArthurA says:

    Give me your definition of evolution? So, the debate is over no more searching at all. Its fact like the world being round.

  450. zygosporangia says:

    ArthurA –

    That’s going to require more than a simple comment here. Please read the definition given at talkorigins.org. That will answer all of your questions.

  451. S.Scott says:

    RM + NS … simple enough?

  452. zygosporangia says:

    I would say so, but I think if ArthurA wants to argue, he should educate himself about evolution first.

  453. S.Scott says:

    I agree. 🙂

  454. ArthurA says:

    I just don’t understand why evolution is just off the hook now. Didn’t Darwin challenge the current scientific view in his age?(I am asking) I mean without his efforts we would’nt be writing back and forth as we are now. I just don’t get why scientists, people so bent on inquiry just stop and say “Well, heres as far as we go.” It seems to my non-scientific mind as a practice not very true to what I know to be the very essence of science. Could I have just a tiny bit of a point and would you ever admit in a gazillion years that you might have something to learn from the other side?

  455. ArthurA says:

    I’m educating myself. Be patient. If out of the blue one of you wanted to discuss theology I would not say “Go to seminary and then we’ll talk.” I would meet you where you were at. I would appreciate the same consideration.

  456. zygosporangia says:

    Could I have just a tiny bit of a point and would you ever admit in a gazillion years that you might have something to learn from the other side?

    As soon as the other side can present an actual scientific argument instead of a thinly veiled theological argument, it can be tested and proven false. In the mean time, the other side has nothing to provide.

  457. ArthurA says:

    The thing is I readily admit I have many things to learn from people like you. Thats why I’m here. Also, why no scrutiny for evolution? Seriously why would it be wrong to critique any scientific theory? This is what I really want to know.

  458. If I could provide real scientific data that refuted ID, I would. But DNA can be explained in no other way than intelligent design. Evolution cannot explain it.

  459. Yes, I would like to know how empiricism alone can give the final word on any observed phenomena

  460. S.Scott says:

    Arthur said:

    ” I just don’t get why scientists, people so bent on inquiry just stop and say “Well, heres as far as we go.”

    This is so far from the truth that it makes my head hurt.

    Arthur, scientists are always looking at new evidence. They are always asking questions and developing hypothesis. No scientist ever claims to know everything.

    Nothing is ever “Irreducibly Complex!”. That’s what the “IDers” claim.

    Michael Behe coined that term while considering bacterial flagellum. Behe believed that it was so complex that it could be reduced no further and that it was evidence of design.

    Guess what happened – real practicing scientists took the challenge and “reduced” it!

    They were not the ones who threw up their hands and said “Oh! Look! We’re done!”

    Real scientists will never claim to be able to prove or disprove God.

    Can you imagine someone claiming that they have proof of God?!
    That would be very big news – Don’t you think? This is not what the ID movement tries to do, however. They just try to say that science CAN’T prove everything.

    Well of course not – like I said before. But is that a scientific theory? Saying

    “You don’t know the answer, so it must be a designer!”

    Which group is really working? Which group is really just giving up on doing science?

    http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2008/02/flagellum-evolu-4.html#more

  461. S.Scott says:

    Just like Mr. McChurch does here …

    ” If I could provide real scientific data that refuted ID, I would. But DNA can be explained in no other way than intelligent design. Evolution cannot explain it.”

  462. That’s not what ID says. What ID actually teaches is that there is evidence for intelligent design in biological systems. Intelligent design demands an intelligent designer. Therefore an intelligent designer exists.

    And there is proof for God: the cosmological, teleological, and ontological arguments.

    And in regards to your statement, “nothing is irreducibly complex” I suspect you are redefining the terms so as to make it true to your definition. There is no way you can make that statement taking the terms as defined by Behe and apply it to the human eye. Take away any part, and it fails to work. What then is your definition of irreducibly complex?

  463. S.Scott says:

    Ahem … about the eye ..

    “It’s common for creationists, especially ‘intelligent design’ creationists, to claim that complex structures like the eye or parts of the cell couldn’t have evolved step by step,” explains NCSE’s executive director, Eugenie C. Scott. “It’s a tired objection indeed, Darwin himself anticipated, and refuted, the argument. But opponents of evolution continue to insist that such structures had to be assembled all at once.”

    Ken Dill, a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco featured in the video, adds: “In fact, complexity can evolve through small steps. We can infer the evolution of a very complex organ, like the eye, by looking at intermediate stages preserved in animals alive today. And just as a baby’s eye is built up step by step over nine months in the womb, the eye evolved in small steps over millions of years.”

    http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2008/05/ncse-eyeing-id.html#more

    I don’t have a definition of “Irreducibly Complex” – that’s something that, IMHO, people that like to wave their hands and say “We don’t have to look anymore – this is our proof of God! – No one could ever possibly reduce it!” (IDer’s).

    Personally, I think it’s really stupid and arrogant to make such a claim.

    Good night

  464. If you don’t have a definition, how can you use the term intelligently at all?

    And here is some morning reading for you from Dr. Sarfati:

    Could the eye have evolved?
    It’s interesting to note that the eye, which evolutionists claim is an example of ‘bad design’ leftover from evolution (previous chapter), presents their greatest challenge as an example of superb ‘irreducible complexity’ in God’s creation. Scientific American says:

    Generations of creationists have tried to counter Darwin by citing the example of the eye as a structure that could not have evolved. The eye’s ability to provide vision depends on the perfect arrangement of its parts, these critics say. Natural selection could thus never favor the transitional forms needed during the eye’s evolution—what good is half an eye? Anticipating this criticism, Darwin suggested that even ‘incomplete’ eyes might confer benefits (such as helping creatures orient toward light) and thereby survive for further evolutionary refinement. [SA 83]

    First, this overlooks the incredible complexity of even the simplest light-sensitive spot. Second, it’s fallacious to argue that 51 percent vision would necessarily have a strong enough selective advantage over 50 percent to overcome the effects of genetic drift’s tendency to eliminate even beneficial mutations.3

    Biology has vindicated Darwin: researchers have identified primitive eyes and light-sensing organs throughout the animal kingdom and have even tracked the evolutionary history of eyes through comparative genetics. (It now appears that in various families of organisms, eyes have evolved independently.) [SA 83]

    Scientific American contradicts itself here. If the evolutionary history of eyes has been tracked through comparative genetics, how is it that eyes have supposedly evolved independently? Actually, evolutionists recognize that eyes must have arisen independently at least 30 times because there is no evolutionary pattern to explain the origin of eyes from a common ancestor. What this really means is that since eyes cannot be related by common ancestor, and since they are here, and only materialistic explanations are allowed, hey presto, there’s proof that they evolved independently!

    Simulation of eye evolution
    PBS 1 goes to great lengths to convince us that the eye could easily have evolved. Dan Nilsson explained a simplistic computer simulation he published in a widely publicized paper.4 Taking his cue from Darwin, who started with a light-sensitive spot when ‘explaining’ the origin of the eye, Nilsson’s simulation starts with a light-sensitive layer, with a transparent coating in front and a light-absorbing layer behind.

    Here is how the simulation proceeds. Firstly, the light-sensitive layer bends gradually into a cup, so it can tell the direction of light rays increasingly well. This continues until it is curved into a hemisphere filled with the transparent substance. Secondly, bringing the ends together, closing the aperture, gradually increases the sharpness of the image, as a pinhole camera does, because a smaller hole cuts out light. But because of the diffraction of light if the hole is too small, there is a limit to this process. So thirdly, the shape and refractive index gradient of the transparent cover change gradually to a finely focusing lens. Even if we were generous and presumed that such computer simulations really have anything to do with the real world of biochemistry, there are more serious problems.

    However, the biochemist Michael Behe has shown that even a ‘simple’ light-sensitive spot requires a dazzling array of biochemicals in the right place and time to function. He states that each of its ‘cells makes the complexity of a motorcycle or television set look paltry in comparison’ and describes a small part of what’s involved:5

    When light first strikes the retina a photon interacts with a molecule called 11-cis-retinal, which rearranges within picoseconds to trans-retinal. (A picosecond [10-12 sec] is about the time it takes light to travel the breadth of a single human hair.) The change in the shape of the retinal molecule forces a change in the shape of the protein, rhodopsin, to which the retinal is tightly bound. The protein’s metamorphosis alters its behavior. Now called metarhodopsin II, the protein sticks to another protein, called transducin. Before bumping into metarhodopsin II, transducin had tightly bound a small molecule called GDP. But when transducin interacts with metarhodopsin II, the GDP falls off, and a molecule called GTP binds to transducin. (GTP is closely related to, but different from, GDP.)

    GTP-transducin-metarhodopsin II now binds to a protein called phosphodiesterase, located in the inner membrane of the cell. When attached to metarhodopsin II and its entourage, the phosphodiesterase acquires the chemical ability to ‘cut’ a molecule called cGMP (a chemical relative of both GDP and GTP). Initially there are a lot of cGMP molecules in the cell, but the phosphodiesterase lowers its concentration, just as a pulled plug lowers the water level in a bathtub.

    A transparent layer is also far more difficult to obtain than the researchers think. The best explanation for the cornea’s transparency is diffraction theory, which shows that light is not scattered if the refractive index doesn’t vary over distances more than half the wavelength of light. This in turn requires a certain very finely organized structure of the corneal fibers, which in turn requires complicated chemical pumps to make sure there is exactly the right water content.6

    Therefore, these simulations do not start from simple beginnings but presuppose vast complexity even to begin with. Also, in their original paper, the researchers admitted ‘an eye makes little sense on its own,’ because the ability to perceive light is meaningless unless the organism has sophisticated computational machinery to make use of this information. For example, it must have the ability to translate ‘attenuation of photon intensity’ to ‘a shadow of a predator is responsible’ to ‘I must take evasive measures,’ and be able to act on this information for it to have any selective value. Similarly, the first curving, with its slight ability to detect the direction of light, would only work if the creature had the appropriate ‘software’ to interpret this. Perceiving actual images is more complicated still. And having the right hardware and software may not be enough—people who have their sight restored after years of blindness take some time to learn to see properly. It should be noted that much information processing occurs in the retina before the signal reaches the brain.

    It is also fallacious to point to a series of more complex eyes in nature, and then argue that this presents an evolutionary sequence. This is like arranging a number of different types of aircraft in order of complexity, then claiming that the simple aircraft evolved into complex ones, as opposed to being designed. For one thing, eyes can’t descend from other eyes per se; rather, organisms pass on genes for eyes to their descendants. This is important when considering the nautilus eye, a pinhole camera. This cannot possibly be an ancestor of the vertebrate lens/camera eye, because the nautilus as a whole is not an ancestor of the vertebrates, even according to the evolutionists!

  465. zygosporangia says:

    McDonald –

    You must be kidding, right? Either you are incredibly dumb, or incredibly brainwashed.

    First, you have been completely unable to provide me a specific example of how ID is falsifiable, therefore it is not science. If you cannot even provide for me one example of how ID could be falsified, then how can you claim it is science.

    Second, there is no proof for your god. You cannot use rhetoric as empirical evidence.

    Finally, the eye is an incredibly inane attempt at irreducible complexity. Apparently, someone has never heard of the bridge analogy. All that your cut-and-paste “quote” shows is a bunch of hand-waving. “Wow, the eye is complex. I don’t understand it, therefore it must have been created. Look, I can use big science words…”

    “Dr.” Sarfati is a moron. I think PZ Meyers said it best when he called Sarfati’s understanding of developmental biology “hopelessly confused”.

    I think Penn and Teller summed up the concept for “Irreducible Complexity” more eloquently than I can. They called it “Bullshit!”

  466. zygosporangia says:

    I’ll ask again. Please provide a specific example of how ID could be falsiifed. If you cannot do this, then ID is not science.

  467. ArthurA says:

    Just thought I would say goodbye to everyone. I have enjoyed the discussion and have learned much. I haven’t really changed my mind, but I am glad I found my way here somehow. This discussion is not going away as you well know. I hope both sides can lose some of the anger that is so prevalent in this debate. I really don’t think it helps either side. Also, both sides need to be constantly critiquing themselves and their ideas. See you later Zygo. I hope you get to Orthodoxy one day. If you ever have a book recommendation in mind send it my way. summerofchange@hotmail.com

  468. Wolfhound says:

    Bye, Arthur. Thanks for stopping by. We never expected you to change your mind after so short a time but I think I speak for all of us “sciency” folks when I say that I appreciate you attempting to learn about the science if you were, indeed, sincere in your motivations. And I have no reason to doubt you. If you check back in, read “Finding Darwin’s God” by Kenneth Miller. He’s a scientist who also happens to be Catholic and is able to reconcile his faith with the overwhelming evidence for evolution. I figure this book is the first baby step toward rejection of blind faith in religious dogma and acceptance of observable reality for the faithful.

  469. Any scientific data reproducible in the lab showing with certainty how life could begin from non-life, or how language code systems and language code interpretation devices could arise by completely natural causes could falsify ID

    Now this just shows how it could take place if the data was possible. But having the Word of God, the Creator of this world, I have a one up on science, and I know that finding this data will be impossible.

  470. Now, would you please answer my three questions to the FCS? I am beginning to think you won’t because you know that your answers will be the downfall to your way of thinking. Come on if you are so concerned for science. Otherwise dismiss yourself from the debate as one who acknowledges the emptiness and worthlessness of your position.

  471. zygosporangia says:

    Any scientific data reproducible in the lab showing with certainty how life could begin from non-life, or how language code systems and language code interpretation devices could arise by completely natural causes could falsify ID

    This is simply not true. ID proponents would simply content that their god designed things in a way that could have arisen on its own. Try again.

  472. zygosporangia says:

    But having the Word of God, the Creator of this world, I have a one up on science, and I know that finding this data will be impossible.

    …except you have absolutely no evidence that what you have is actually the word of your god, and not an elaborate story.

  473. firemancarl says:

    Johnny my boy,

    Your questions have been answered many times. And, just like Mike Behe, despite the fact that the evidence for evolution is supported by 99.999% of all biologists in the US, it isn’t good enough for you. You cannot argue about science, the facts speak for themselves. Instead, you have tried on multiple attempts for frame and reframe the questions. Enough already.

    no, instead I have a philosophical question for you

    “God either wants to eliminate bad things and cannot, or can but does not want to, or neither wishes to nor can, or both wants to and can.
    If he wants to and cannot, he is weak — and this does not apply to God.
    If he can but does not want to, then he is spiteful — which is equally foreign to God’s nature.
    If he neither wants to nor can, he is both weak and spiteful and so not a god.
    If he wants to and can, which is the only thing fitting for a god, where then do bad things come from? Or why does he not eliminate them?”

    Now that is something you should turn your attention too.

  474. zygosporangia says:

    Along firemancarl’s lines, I like to look at the Christian god this way: it is supposedly omnipotent, all-knowing, and all-loving. It is supposed to love everyone, yet it condemns some to eternal damnation. However, it is both omnipotent and all-knowing. If it created these people, then it knew that they would sin, yet did so anyway. So, either it wants some people to suffer eternally, which violates the claim that it is all-loving; or it wants people to change but cannot bring about that change itself, which violates the claim that it is omnipotent. The third option is that it did not know that these people would sin, which would violate the claim that it is all-knowing.

    As soon as one leg of this god’s power has been removed, it topples like a stool.

    Anyway, that’s getting off-topic. I’m still waiting for McDonald to give me a valid case of falsifiability for ID.

  475. Green Earth says:

    I still want to know what he thinks about other religions’ views as to how the world/life came to be. As we have discussed in other threads, ID/creation is only pushed by Christians, and only certain groups at that.

  476. zygosporangia says:

    Green Earth –

    It is also pushed by extremist Muslims, a group that most evangelical Christians try to distance themselves from. It’s interesting how similar the two groups actually are though. Both have resorted to lying campaigns, terrorism (e.g. blowing up abortion clinics), lobbying or even taking over governments; all to support their narrow interpretation of their mystic books.

  477. Green Earth says:

    How awesome- all for the love of god right?

  478. So you pull out the old Theodicy problem, which is actually no problem at all. I have included a study I put together below:

    Difficult Doctrines of the Bible:

    The Existence of Pain, Suffering, and Evil

    Why did 9/11, the Tsunami, or Katrina occur? Why does anything bad occur? Why is there suffering in the world?

    Sin. The fall of man brought a curse upon our world bringing about death, disease, natural disasters, and suffering. We as the human race chose this fallen order by our deliberate act of rebellion against God in the Garden of Eden. We are the reason! We live in a fallen world and its all our fault! Gen. 3; Rom. 8

    Some use bad events as an argument against God.

    They say if God is the creator of this world then 1. God is not all powerful and cannot stop sin or other bad events, or 2. He is not loving and doesn’t really care.

    Does this really exhaust the options? Is it really an either/or situation?

    The true answer: God allows sin because He wants to bring Himself the most glory possible in redeeming sinful man.

    Why would God allow sin to enter His creation in the first place?

    1. “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever (Shorter Catechism Question 1). God, being a self-existent being, has no chief end ab extra (for He was not created for a purpose). However, God could have a necessary end or purpose, a purpose which is derived from His very nature. This purpose is His glorification, for it is good to glorify an absolutely perfect being (because it has infinite worth and value). If man knows this, how much more does God? The highest good man can do is glorify God, and the highest good God can do is to glorify Himself! Thus we have the motive for God’s creating and decreeing all things that exist or come to pass. It is good for God to glorify Himself, and we know that God always does that which is righteous and good, even if it is glorifying Himself!” Taken from Reformed Systematic Theology for the New Millennium with Abstract and Speculative Topics Considered, John McDonald

    2. This world is the most glorifying to God of all possible worlds. In a world without sin we could never know God as our Redeemer and Savior. We could never know His attributes of mercy, grace, and redeeming love. Which brings God more glory, to be a Creator or to be a Creator and Savior?

    Green Earth –

    How do you explain David Berlinski – he is not a Christian, in fact, he is an agnostic, yet he is a member of the Discovery Institute. He questions evolution on scientific grounds without any religious a priori commitments.

    Also, I do not think very much upon other religion’s accounts of the world because they all possess some form of inconsistency or contradiction except of course Judaism, which is nothing more than the elementary form of Christianity.

  479. And please, we know very well how Darwinism has fostered racism, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, the list goes on and on. The problem is that Chrisitans would be wrong in doing this. For you, there is no right and wrong, so you have no way to say these things are BAD or EVIL. That doesn’t exist in your materialistic world.

  480. zygosporangia says:

    The true answer: God allows sin because He wants to bring Himself the most glory possible in redeeming sinful man.

    So, because your god wishes to be vain it chooses to make men suffer. If your god is the true god, it is an evil god.

    The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever

    So, your god created us to be its personal cheering section. We should suffer, we should die, and we should sin for his personal pleasure. Your god is an evil god.

    According to what you say, your god purposefully created a wicked world so we would worship it. How very selfish. That is the exact opposite of all-loving.

    And please, we know very well how Darwinism has fostered racism, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, the list goes on and on.

    No, evolution has not fostered any of these. Stupid people may have derived stupid ideas from evolution, but evolution does not make people do these things. It simply is. Your god, on the other hand, is both vain and evil.

  481. zygosporangia says:

    Your god is evil by your own admission.

  482. Wolfhound says:

    C’mon, Zygo, we all know that racism, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, and All Bad Things simply did not exist prior to the publication of Charles Darwin’s work. All that nasty stuff (except abortion ’cause the Bible doesn’t mention any baby killing until after they’re all born and God commands it) was added to the Bible AFTER “On the Origin of Species” was published, right?

    Seriously, the religidiots’ arguments get dumber and dumber as the gaps their god can hide in grow smaller and smaller.

  483. zygosporangia says:

    Seriously, the religidiots’ arguments get dumber and dumber as the gaps their god can hide in grow smaller and smaller.

    …and fewer and fewer sheep flock to listen to these people as they come to the realization that these people are completely deluded.

  484. Brango says:

    John McDonald, Director of Student Ministries, Westminster Presbyterian Church said: “And please, we know very well how Darwinism has fostered racism, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, the list goes on and on.”

    Wow, you’re luck there isn’t a commandment that bans false witness… oh wait…

    Actually, I love this one, it is not only a load of complete crock, but is also easily demonstrated as a load of complete crock to anyone with either a divinely given intelligence, or even a semi-evolved sentience.

    It begins with a classic self affirmation – “we all very well know”, which is basically trying to claim authority on a subject by attaching a non-specific target of support to a premise that exists only in the mind of the person saying it. The target is so non-specific that it vainly attempts to say that everyone reading the phrase agrees with it, and everything subsequent to it. Truly an arrogance reserved only for those blessed with invisible friends.

    The finale slays me, it basically says: Something that didn’t exist thousands of years ago is responsible for all of the things that religious followers have been guilty of since the day and hour they tried to say it was okay to do them because some guy in the clouds is on their side!

    This is just hillarity of an order higher than the god they can’t even verify exists.

    And it continues!!!

    “The problem is that Chrisitans would be wrong in doing this.”

    Yet they still do it!

    “For you, there is no right and wrong, so you have no way to say these things are BAD or EVIL. That doesn’t exist in your materialistic world.”

    Oh yeah that’s right, because we’re so stoopid to know what is right and wrong without guidance from a book by a deity that wasn’t all-knowing enough to predict future languages so it has to be translated, and so badly and cherry-picked as to contain so much human input that it is basically un-deity guided human judgement anyway!!!

    Dude, right and wrong is ONLY measured against human standards. We don’t need a god to tell us it’s wrong to do stuff that harms other humans.

    Now, this thread is all fun and stuff, but is there any chance you could throw an argument in somewhere that is actually, well… an argument!

  485. zygosporangia says:

    Well, the problem is that he actually doesn’t have an argument. He is a deipnosophist hoping to fool people into believing that he is a philosopher or that he has a valid point about science or evolution.

    When you examine his arguments, they really boils down to quoting scripture, misquoting philosophers, asking irrelevant questions hoping to catch someone in a net of sophistry, or copying / pasting talking points.

  486. Wolfhound says:

    SRSLY, there is simply no reasoning with a YEC. They are innoculated against logic. When they have a mission statement that says, in a nutshell, that when observable reality (“facts”) and scripture don’t agree, the default position is that scripture is correct and realty (“facts”) is wrong, there really is no sense in going any further. I have no problem with them teaching their nonsense to their poor kids in their tax-free houses of delusion and shielding them from reality by home schooling them with diploma-mill, sub-standard, biblically based “textbooks” but I’d really rather they not have ANY say in what constitutes science suitable for public school classroom curriculums because they obviously have some serious mental disconnects. Drag your own kids down but don’t try to take mine with you!

  487. Brango says:

    Correct, he doesn’t have any argument.

    This is a standard shortfall of theists… they really really want to be right, but it’s really really hard to be right – you have to know lots of stuff. It’s much easier to appoint someone really really smart and put them in charge of creating the entire universe and then mould some ancient writings around whatever meaning you want, then hey presto… instant I’m right!

    The problem is, they would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for those pesky kids!

    Reality has a nasty little habit of being, well… real, so the chances of ancient writings (from back when folks didn’t actually understand a lot of real stuff) matching up with actual reality is pretty slim, but since the guy they put in charge actually created all the stuff in the first place we can let all the wrong bits slide for now… anyway, we’ll get a 101 course on it all when we die and Mr. Creator invites us in for a cup of eternal tea – as long as we were good and believed the right unprovable stuff and didn’t do anything stoopid like believe one of those other religioney things that are based on totally the wrong unprovable stuff, or god forbid we went and believed all that real physically provable stuff we saw… because if you did, make sure you pack your thermal underwear because there’s this other god (even though there’s only supposed to be one) who likes to play with matches and I hear he’s got quite a par-tay going on under the flat Earth… but it’s not the kind of par-tay you really want to go to because all the bad people who do naughty things to kids (like priests) like to play there!!

    I mean what about all that doesn’t make sense to you???

  488. zygosporangia says:

    You are correct. It is complete and utter nonsense. I ask this deipnosophist one simple question, and he cannot answer it. He continues to dodge it and troll for quotes from AIG or DI, but he simply cannot show me how ID is a valid scientiifc theory.

  489. zygosporangia says:

    McDonald –

    Why is genocide wrong? It is advocated in your bible, as long as someone thinks they hear their god tell them to do it. So, why do we try people as war criminals when they commit something completely justifiable by your narrow literal interpretation of your bible?

  490. Brango says:

    John said: “Brango, why is it wrong to harm other humans?”

    I will assume for this answer that you are asking this from a human perspective.

    I am human. If people do things that harm me, as far as my personal perspective is concerned, those things are wrong. Given that I am not a selfish and/or uncaring human, (I know I could very well be an internet axe murderer, but bear with me) the things that harm me, that I consider as wrong, would be considered as wrong by other humans also.

    Aside from being human, I also am a member of a human society. It is often disadvantageous for me to harm other humans, as that society has evolved rules and consequences that can really ruin my human day if I find myself on the wrong side of them. Generally, these rules seem to be quite sensible (despite curtailing my axe murder fetish), and having a society of other humans actually seems to be very useful. These pesky brains your invisible friend gave us can actually work stuff out and make sense of all the stuff around me, which for whatever reason, your invisible friend has deemed I would be best served by thinking that was cool, rather than those old books he hypnotised Moses and all to write.

    Now, maybe you can answer this for me… why is it wrong to believe the evidence around me that appears to be true from whatever angle it is looked at from, rather than the badly translated non-evidence from an ancient unverifyable collection of texts?

    Serious question… and none of your “because god says so” stuff, because you’ve got no way of proving he did!

  491. Brango says:

    zygosporangia said: “I ask this deipnosophist one simple question, and he cannot answer it.”

    Whether he can or cannot answer it is irrelevant.

    He has been deemed “right” by his invisible friend, so SUFFER MORTAL SCUM!!!

    And anyway, if you don’t think he’s right, grab a scrapbook and cut’n’paste some bits of the bible that kinda-sorta-oughta sound like he’s right, run a sharpie over any bits that contradict what you want to say, then throw the rest in the trash.

    See… he was right all along!

  492. firemancarl says:

    Oh good, when all else fails, the fundies say “sindidit! Yep, your god loves genocide. look at the heaps of people he had killed in your holy book. Oh yes, just and loving!

  493. So Bran-goo, I asked you what is the moral basis for not harming other human beings. You reply because in your SUBJECTIVE personal perspective you would not want others to harm you, and then you ASSUME that other human beings would also consider these acts wrong as well. So your moral basis for right and wrong is your own personal feelings and a hunch that others might feel the same way? Wow. I asked for an objective moral basis, not your own preferences. Oh wait, your worldview can’t provide an objective moral basis. You are left in moral skepticism. Sucks for you.

    and to firechemicalreactioncarl:

    God is the just judge of the universe; He decides when one’s fill of sin (or a whole city, or a whole nation) has reached its zenith. Are we really talking about genocide when we are talking about God, or is it just retributive moral punishment? You assume that because men cannot take on their own authority penal judgment that God cannot. Your premise is faulty, and your conclusion does not follow.

  494. zygosporangia says:

    Apparently, McDonald is unable to give me one valid example of falsifiability for ID. Sad.

  495. zygosporangia says:

    Since he cannot, he cannot claim that ID is valid science. Since he has no claim of a valid scientific topic, he should consider trolling somewhere else. Perhaps he should go pester the Richard Dawkins forum, since he is so intent on trying (poorly) to defend his sham interpretation of Christianity.

  496. Zygo, you sound like a broken record, but since you are just a physcial-chemical thing, maybe again you are a broken record. Anyway, I gave you the following answer plus a disclaimer:

    Any scientific data reproducible in the lab showing with certainty how life could begin from non-life, or how language code systems and language code interpretation devices could arise by completely natural causes could falsify ID

    Now this just shows how it could take place if the data was possible. But having the Word of God, the Creator of this world, I have a one up on science, and I know that finding this data will be impossible.

    Your response to my answer was a weak “this is simply not true.” Then you assumed what ID proponents would say. You wanted a way to falsify ID. Just because ID guys might dismiss the charge that ID was disproven doesn’t mean it would not in fact be disproven in that scenario. Please, you really need to move on in your enquiry. Oh yeah, I forgot, you can’t because you are not really in control of your actions, you are just having chemical reactions in your brain causing your fingers to type. Sucks for you.

  497. Now I always answer the question you guys put before me, but you don’t want to answer mine. I will ask one question at a time.

    IS SCIENCE THE ONLY MEANS TO ATTAIN KNOWLEDGE???????????????

  498. zygosporangia says:

    Any scientific data reproducible in the lab showing with certainty how life could begin from non-life, or how language code systems and language code interpretation devices could arise by completely natural causes could falsify ID

    ABSOLUTELY FALSE. The claim by ID fanatics is that their god could have used similar means as biogenesis to create life. Proving that life could have arisen on its own, or reducing any amount of irreducible complexity will not kill ID. ID is a religious belief, and absolutely is not dependent upon other mechanisms to produce life. You delude only yourself.

    Just because ID guys might dismiss the charge that ID was disproven doesn’t mean it would not in fact be disproven in that scenario.

    Except that ID says nothing about whether life could have arisen on its own. All it makes is a bold claim that a god created life. Since a god could have followed the same steps as evolution as ID attempts to claim, then there is no way to falsify ID without disproving the existence of gods. The fact that this escapes you shows how absolutely ignorant you are about ID or science.

    As for your asinine question, it is completely moot. This discussion is about what should be taught in a science classroom, nimrod.

  499. zygosporangia says:

    ID has been set up as unfalsifiable. Had you bothered to educate yourself by reading about ID instead of the apologetics provided by the Discovery Institute and its ilk, you’d realize this. The joke called “Irreducible Complexity” could only prove ID, if it wasn’t so laughable. Showing that systems are not irreducibly complex only causes ID fraudsters to move onto the next system. Scientist have already shown that the eye, the bacterial flagellum, the heart, the lungs, ad nauseum are not irreducibly complex. The quest for understanding abiogenesis is simply another example of what ID believes is “irreducibly complex”. When this is dismissed, and proven to be reducibly complex, ID fraudsters will simply move onto something else.

    In other words, ID cannot be falsified. If you believe it can be, then the Discovery Institute is doing its job of confusing you. Feel like a sheep? You ought to.

  500. David Berlinski is a secular Jew. He has no religious affections. Why does he so strongly criticize evolution on purely scientific grounds? ID is not religious. It has religious implications, but it is not religious in regard to its research.

    You don’t want to answer my question because it will destroy everything you, and every other evolutionist, have said in the entire blog. All of you are intellectual cowards.

    And btw, I never assented to keep my discussion focused on the issue of what should be taught in the classroom. I came on here to challenge the entire website. And so far, the three questions I have asked here and other places have been intentionally ignored because you know they will destroy all that you stand for here.

  501. That’st right, run and hide behind Dawkins and Eugenie Scott. They will protect you. What? Not used to being challenged? Well get used to it. You evolutionary charlatons have seen the last of your campaign of lies.

  502. Brango says:

    So John, do you ever think people might read what you wrote before and refer back to it? Or are you just so numb to contradictions from the bible that they pour out of you without you noticing?

    I never tire of pointing out the gaping holes in the swiss cheese of creationists arguments, but it never fails to raise a sigh nonetheless. So, let’s get started with those moving goalposts of yours, eh…

    John asks: “Brango, why is it wrong to harm other humans?”

    Not too many words and on the face of it quite a direct question, so quite limited opportunities, you would think, to change it after the fact and do the old 1-2, or the Ben Stein switcheroo as it’s known.

    I did ponder for a bit… do I give you an answer that limits your chances to bait and switch even further whilst still providing enough information in the answer? Or do I give you the benefit of the doubt and just unload the loaded question with a straightforward just as it is answer?

    Either one is good, but I just had to go for entertainment value, sorry (hey, I might be shallow, you never know). And guess what, you sure as evolution didn’t let me down!!

    So, John replies with: “So Bran-goo, I asked you what is the moral basis for not harming other human beings. You reply because in your SUBJECTIVE personal perspective you would not want others to harm you, and then you ASSUME that other human beings would also consider these acts wrong as well.”

    Woo-hoo!!! I got the twist-your-opponents-name-into-something-vaguely-derogatory just to show him who da boss intro, wow!

    But wait…

    Spot the difference:

    1. Brango, why is it wrong to harm other humans?

    – vs –

    2. Bran-goo, I asked you what is the moral basis for not harming other human beings.

    Woop, there it is! DING DING DING – you win the Ben Stein prize!

    So now of course, my answer looks rather inept, almost as if I didn’t know what I was talking about, as if I didn’t know the difference between ‘wrong’ and ‘moral basis’, as if the person who asked the question is right. Perfect, you don’t need to try so hard to be right anymore because you can mould your own meaning around my answer before you ask the question, and since god is on YOUR side, he’ll intervene and cover up the little ‘fact’ that you are being fundamentally dishonest with your premise.

    Oh, and there’s more… YOU DIDN’T EVEN ANSWER MY QUESTION!!!

    So, tell you what. I’ll answer your modified question… but you have to answer my question first. No tricks. I promise I won’t even switch out the meaning. Just straightforward Q & A.

    Yes, I know it’ll leave you on the tightrope without the hand of god to save you, but come on. Answer from your own morality for a change. You never know, you might just grow to like it!

  503. Brango says:

    zygosporangia said: “Scientist have already shown that the eye, the bacterial flagellum, the heart, the lungs, ad nauseum are not irreducibly complex.”

    Zygo, the irony here is that they are trying to say things that are irreducibly complex could not have evolved, so instead they were ‘created’ by an entity that is itself infinitely MORE complex!

    They NEVER address that one fundamental disconnect that blows their entire argument base out of the water!

    So John, what did god evolve from?

  504. Yawn says:

    # John McDonald, Director of Student Ministries, Westminster Presbyterian Church Says:
    May 11th, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    “If I could provide real scientific data that refuted ID, I would. But DNA can be explained in no other way than intelligent design. Evolution cannot explain it.”

    Oh my
    You’ve heard of DNA then?
    Perhaps you’ve heard of the director of the human genome project? Francis Collins? He probably knows a bit about it…ya think?

    Review of Francis Collins (2006) The language of God

    Appetiser….
    Collins:
    “They are not the first evidence for Common Descent, because all sorts of evidence have been available since Darwin. But they are extremely enjoyable and beautiful. Noteworthy is the attention Collins gives to creationist alternative explanations.”

    http://www.talkreason.org/articles/Theistic.cfm

    Yawn

  505. zygosporangia says:

    David Berlinski is a secular Jew. He has no religious affections. Why does he so strongly criticize evolution on purely scientific grounds? ID is not religious. It has religious implications, but it is not religious in regard to its research.

    You mean, besides the fact that he is being paid handsomely for his efforts? Besides the fact that he has book deals, and makes a lot of money off of this manufactured controversy? Why indeed?

    His “criticisms” can be called anything but “scientific”. I’ve wasted hours of my life reading a few of his books. They are, in a word, absolute rubbish.

    I’m still waiting on a valid example of the falsification of ID. You keep dodging the question because you don’t have an answer. You keep going back to DI talking points. I’m asking you to provide me with an answer. You are here trying to claim that ID is science. I want you to back up that dubious claim. Good luck.

  506. zygosporangia says:

    What? Not used to being challenged? Well get used to it. You evolutionary charlatons have seen the last of your campaign of lies.

    Oh, that’s rich. You toss in a few red herrings that have absolutely nothing to do with science. When those red herrings are ignored, you claim I am dodging questions. Your questions are inane, off-topic, and cowardly. You come to the Florida Citizens for Science forum, and try to challenge science with sophistry, deipnosophy, and garbage rhetoric. You are an epic failure.

    The best you can do when your rhetoric is ignored is claim that FCS is a bunch of liars, when not a single member of FCS has even bothered to respond to your inane claims. I’ll say it again: I am not affiliated in any way with FCS. I just like annoying trolls like you. Apparently, I’m doing one hell of a job, to have you so foaming at the mouth.

    As for a campaign of lies, how do you explain the fact that DI has been caught lying many many times. Is that lying okay, because they are lying for Jesus? Is the fact that they advocate unethical behavior on behalf of journal editors, educators, politicians, etc. okay if it’s done in the name of Jesus? You and your organization are riding off the back of Expelled, whose producers have been caught in dozens of lies, the documentary itself is full of lies, embellishments, and fabrications. You have a lot of nerve calling evolutionists liars when you subscribe to one of the biggest lies of all: Intelligent Design.

  507. Bran-goo, first of all state this question you want me to answer. BTW to say that God is “complex” when he is simple SPIRIT, infinite in power and knowledge, and thus has no material parts, shows ignorance on your part in regard to theological knowledge. Learn from me. Also, the question what is WRONG with harming humans presupposes I am asking for a moral basis. It’s IPSO FACTO. Your defense of your self-acclaimed empty answer is even more rediculous than the answer itself.

    Zygo, you assume too much. I have never claimed to be ID or DI. I have also asked you about Anthony Flew. But you don’t seem to want to answer anything to that one.

    And apparently, none of you want to answer this one:

    IS SCIENCE THE ONLY MEANS TO ATTAIN KNOWLEDGE? No scientist can escape this question, but you sure seem to want to hide from it. No more hiding. But perhaps you gusy are not scientists. Perhaps you all are a poster child for the evolutionary propaganda machine and your real hope is to find some excuse for saying there is no God so you can go live your lives of licentiousness and debauchery. It’s hard to be a flaming homosexual when you know there is a God to whom you must give account.

  508. zygosporangia says:

    Zygo, you assume too much. I have never claimed to be ID or DI.

    Wow. You can’t even keep your lies straight, can you? You claimed that you want ID to be taught in public schools, either alongside or in replace of evolution. Yet, now you’re changing your tune when you know that you can’t answer whether ID is falsifiable? How telling.

    IS SCIENCE THE ONLY MEANS TO ATTAIN KNOWLEDGE?

    It is the only means available in a science classroom. It definitely beats your method, which appears to be reading a mystic book and relying on blind faith to call it true.

    It’s hard to be a flaming homosexual when you know there is a God to whom you must give account.

    Back to the bigotry so soon?

    Perhaps it is time for the moderator to expel this troll.

  509. “It [science] is the only means available in the science classroom.” Really? Is this statement scientifically verifiable in the classroom? Your position is self-refuting. Also, if science isn’t the only means for attaining knowledge, why limit knowledge to only what science says, whether in the science classroom, or any other classroom or lab for that matter.

    Just because I am not ID does not mean I might not want it taught in the classroom.

    You say, “It [science] definitely beats your method…” Really? Can you verify this statement by science?

    Yes, please make me EXPELLED and you will make me a martyr.

  510. zygosporangia says:

    Just because I am not ID does not mean I might not want it taught in the classroom.

    Look, if you want to change your position mid-debate, then you must accept that I am going to ridicule you for it. You said, and I quote: “Intelligent design is a scientific enterprise whether you want to admit it or not, so it too should be given equal time [in the classroom].”

    Now, are you changing your position because you’ve come to realize how much of a sham ID is? Do you have no spine?

    Yes, please make me EXPELLED and you will make me a martyr.

    Only religious extremists believe in martyrs. Tell me, do you idolize those who blow up abortion clinics?

  511. zygosporangia says:

    Why should we teach something which is not science in the science classroom, troll?

  512. Because you have to; you can’t do science without logic; but science can’t verify logic – so its an ipso facto situation.

    Dude, I’m a Young Earth Creationist. I like ID, but I don’t necessarily place myself in the ID camp. Get it?

  513. zygosporangia says:

    Dude, I’m a Young Earth Creationist. I like ID, but I don’t necessarily place myself in the ID camp. Get it?

    So, you would like to force something on children that you don’t even agree with, just because you might be able to use it as leverage to corrupt their minds into believing your backwards interpretation of your bible? Nice.

    Young Earth Creationist, how do you derive the age of the earth? This ought to be highly entertaining.

  514. Once again, your poor reading skills are to blame. Think about it. I never said I disagreed with ID, I simply said I didn’t place myself in their camp. Where did you go to college again? How did you get accepted with these poor reading comprehension skills?

    I derive the age of the earth from an eyewitness…in fact….the CREATOR of the earth

  515. zygosporangia says:

    I derive the age of the earth from an eyewitness…in fact….the CREATOR of the earth

    Really. Where in your bible do you find an age for the earth. I hope you aren’t going to claim a list of begats as your evidence. 😉

    Once again, your poor reading skills are to blame. Think about it. I never said I disagreed with ID, I simply said I didn’t place myself in their camp. Where did you go to college again? How did you get accepted with these poor reading comprehension skills?

    Where did you go to college? Is lying what they teach you in seminary school?

    I’d say my reading skills are spot-on. You claim to be a young earth creationist. That is in effect disagreeing with ID. ID does not claim that the earth is 6000 to 10000 years old. To the contrary, it claims that evolution does occur over hundreds of thousands of years. How could that be possible if the earth is less than 10000 years old? You do disagree with ID, you are just to ignorant to realize it.

  516. zygosporangia says:

    *too ignorant*, I meant. Damn typos.

  517. Dude, that is why I don’t claim to be in their camp. I don’t agree with the entire package of thought called ID. I do agree with some of their tenets but I don’t buy the thing wholesale.

    BTW, are you sure they claim that EVOLUTION occured? I think they would disagree with how you use the term.

  518. And i asked you first about college, etc. Come on, have some alma mater pride!

  519. zygosporangia says:

    BTW, are you sure they claim that EVOLUTION occured? I think they would disagree with how you use the term.

    Yes, they use the term micro-evolution quite a bit, and they contend that it happened over hundreds of thousands of years. They also would laugh at your vegetarian dinosaur scenario. Yet… you want this to be forced to be taught in public schools… why?

    And i asked you first about college, etc. Come on, have some alma mater pride!

    I have a Phd in Computer Science. As for which college I went to, it’s none of your damn business. Let’s just say it’s in the top ten.

  520. Brango says:

    John said: “Bran-goo, first of all state this question you want me to answer.”

    Is there some kind of cheap thrill you are getting from playing on my name? Is it making you feel superior?

    I guess you are too superior to read back to the previous post where I asked the question. Well guess what? You’ve earned the chance to learn from me… WOOHOO FOR YOU!!!

    Simply search this page for the words “Aside from being human” and read through my post again (maybe even taking in an assortment of my other posts along the way) and once you reach the top of the mountain, your prize awaits you.

    In the meantime, why not go for a bonus point and think of an original new twist on my name that gives you a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

    Oh, and let’s see if I can get some cheerleading going for you here… c’mon everybody, chant it with me…

    Go Team I-D Creationism,
    They’re Okay With Isolationism,
    Go Team I-D Creationism,
    They Don’t Do Nonparticipationism!

  521. Brango: Please tell me you were not one of those flaming homosexual male cheerleaders in college, right??? Let me guess, you are probably really female. Either way, that cheer was gay. jk

    To answer your question, evidence has to be interpreted, and I think you have given it a very poor interpretation. If the text you refer to is the text of Holy Scripture, there is more than enough attestation as to is historical reliability and inspiration.

    Zygo: I am impressed. Not sure why you won’t reveal the college, but ok. What about your undergrad, the same?

  522. zygosporangia says:

    In undergrad, I had a dual major in Computer Science and Mathematics. Some day I plan to work towards a mathematics graduate degree as well.

  523. zygosporangia says:

    Please tell me you were not one of those flaming homosexual male cheerleaders in college, right???

    Again with the gay bashing. What is your problem?

    As Shakespeare once wrote: “The lady dost protest too much, meethinks”. Generally, when people are so adamant about attacking someone or a group, it is because they secretly fear that they have too much in common with that individual or group. Do you have homosexual fantasies? Did you experiment in seminary school, do something you regret?

  524. Right, because making only two references (which are not even derogatory but just refer to the lifestyle itself) in 540 posts makes me “adamant” about attacking this group. Now if you want me to make a statement, ok. The Scripture is clear that this lifestyle is sinful, but it is also clear that we are to care about the individuals involved in this lifestyle tin order that they might be led to repentance. Now Zygo, what you really should be paying attention to is that I attack your epistemology to the point that you don’t have a leg to stand on, or a mind to think with.

  525. BTW, computer science is a great field, keep up the good work.

  526. zygosporangia says:

    The Scripture is clear that this lifestyle is sinful, but it is also clear that we are to care about the individuals involved in this lifestyle tin order that they might be led to repentance.

    Your scripture says many things, but you seem to have latched onto this one thing. As I said, I think you may have some personal issues you may need to explore through introspection.

    Now Zygo, what you really should be paying attention to is that I attack your epistemology to the point that you don’t have a leg to stand on, or a mind to think with.

    Not really, no. You think you can attack it, but the truth is that you do not know how I derived my epistemology. You have made a blind leap that the only valid epistemology comes from reading your mystic book.

    I’m still waiting on a valid example of falsifiability for ID.

  527. zygosporangia says:

    An in-depth discussion of this topic is certainly off-topic for this forum.

  528. Wolfhound says:

    I wonder how many members of the Biblical inerrency cult, in addition to reviling homosexuality, mix their textiles, eat shellfish, stone to death mouthy children and folks who work on the sabbath day, and have given all of their money to the poor. Among other things the Bible says to do and not do, that is, since, as Brango has pointed out, an awful lot of them seem to really fixate on the gay thing.

    Just sayin’…

  529. A wonderful confusion of Old Testament moral, ceremonial, and judicial law. Might want to think about those for a bit. But seriously guys, I have posted a serious queston over at the UMC post. There is no use to multipy entities without good and sufficient reason. Therefore, let us continue our discussion there.

  530. Brango says:

    John said: “Brango: Please tell me you were not one of those flaming homosexual male cheerleaders in college, right??? Let me guess, you are probably really female. Either way, that cheer was gay.”

    Interesting. Throw out a few bones and see if I bite? You feel the need to categorize me, and tossing out the flaming homosexual cheerleader label might just narrow it down… or by the “please tell you were not”, perhaps you are wishing for this. Would it help your superiority if I were? Does your godspeak mojo only function if you get to judge someone?

    The “really female” comment is intriguing/telling. Is there something about the female human that gives your superiority a shot in the arm?

    Actually, I’m really starting to enjoy your words. Sure they’re complete nonsense at their very core, but they definitely get the enjoyable tag. Tell you what, let’s conduct our conversation with you thinking of me as a flaming homosexual female cheerleader… maybe that will that help your words to make sense… yeah?

    Anyway, let’s continue. John said: “evidence has to be interpreted, and I think you have given it a very poor interpretation”

    I like this answer; it’s very concise in its error. Evidence, by the very definition of the word, needs no interpretation. Comprehension, yes, but interpretation, no. The universe obeys a set of rules – always. There has never been a single recorded incidence of the universe not obeying its rules. These rules define the universe, and understanding these rules allows us to understand the universe.

    We observe steel as an opaque material. We observe glass as a transparent material. This is evidence of their properties, and needs no more interpreted than does their weight. This is the evidence of what they are. Close examination of their molecular structure reveals a further truth about how light is affected by contact with them, and thus why one is transparent and the other opaque.

    The rules of the universe would break should glass and steel swap properties. It would be a miracle for steel to become transparent, and for glass to become opaque. Such a thing could not be faked, and it would be evidence of a divine presence. However, your god chose the easily faked magic trick of turning water into wine as a miracle. Such a trick would be easily exposed as such, and while it could be interpreted as evidence of divinity, reality would deem it as evidence of nothing more than trickery.

    John said: “If the text you refer to is the text of Holy Scripture, there is more than enough attestation as to is historical reliability and inspiration”

    Attestation is not evidence, and since it comes from the mouth of an imperfect human, it can easily be a lie. You can attest that you hold a piece of transparent steel in your hand, but when evidence comes into play you will be revealed as a liar.

    The historical reliability of your scripture may very well be accurate, but its inspiration was so atrociously poor that only a human could riddle it with such a catalog of contradiction and error.

    Over to you, John. (don’t forget, flaming homosexual female cheerleader)

  531. Brango wrote:
    “The universe obeys a set of rules – always. There has never been a single recorded incidence of the universe not obeying its rules. These rules define the universe, and understanding these rules allows us to understand the universe.”

    LAW DEMANDS A LAW-GIVER

    The uniformity of nature which science assumes is only possible from a theistic perspective. Chaos produces chaos, so there must be some intelligence to establish this uniformity.

  532. zygosporangia says:

    LAW DEMANDS A LAW-GIVER

    The uniformity of nature which science assumes is only possible from a theistic perspective. Chaos produces chaos, so there must be some intelligence to establish this uniformity.

    Repeating a ridiculous claim like this does not make it true. As any quantum physicist can tell you, the “laws” of nature that we see are merely the emergent behavior of fundamental matter. Your god is not required to keep the planets in their orbits or the sun in the sky.

  533. zygosporangia says:

    Also, the very premise of chaos producing chaos is ridiculous to anyone exposed to higher math. Most systems collapse into order on their own. Even systems that are divergent tend to be divergent by a much simpler explanation than a sum of their parts.

    Your faith may believe one thing, but modern logic shows something else entirely.

  534. Most systems collapse into order on their own? Really? Now a similar situation is to be found in regards to the Second LAW of Thermodynamics – oh yeah, it says that systems tend toward DISORDER. Just another reason why upward progressive evolution is impossible.

  535. zygosporangia says:

    Now a similar situation is to be found in regards to the Second LAW of Thermodynamics – oh yeah, it says that systems tend toward DISORDER.

    You are misapplying Thermodynamics here. Don’t feel too bad, it is fairly common for creationists to do so.

    Consider the formation of the Sun and the planets. The sun and planets formed when a cloud of interstellar matter from previous supernova explosions collapsed. The cloud possessed a high amount of entropy, yet from that entropy came order. Why? Because of the property of gravity. Yet, the Second Law of Thermodynamics was maintained, because that entropy was turned into the motion of the planets around the sun that we know today. With less entropy, we’d have a slightly larger star and no planets. With more entropy, the cloud may have formed multiple dark stars.

    Entropy is maintained, and entropy continues to grow. The sun is fusing hydrogen into helium, which is releasing radiation into the the solar system, and into the galaxy. This radiation is slowly normalizing the temperature in both the local area and the overall area. However, even with this gain in entropy, order continues. Planets collide and form larger planets. Larger planets capture smaller bits of matter and planets.

    The largest source of entropy in the universe is a black hole. At the same time, it is the most ordered collection of matter. The concept of entropy directly translating into disorder is a common logical fallacy.

  536. I see then that systems are brought to complete disorder, and then these disordered parts become parts of yet another system that will of course eventually end in disorder, correct?

  537. zygosporangia says:

    I see then that systems are brought to complete disorder, and then these disordered parts become parts of yet another system that will of course eventually end in disorder, correct?

    Not precisely. Disorder and entropy are not interchangeable. Entropy is only useful when looking at a closed system. For instance, solar radiation that escapes the solar system is entropy in terms of the solar system, but may not be entropy in terms of the Oort cloud. Heat that escapes a car engine is entropy, but may be used by a larger system. For instance, many car heaters capture engine heat and reuse this heat. Does this heat count as disorder? No.

    It is a common misconception to confuse entropy with the vernacular concept of “disorder”.

  538. zygosporangia says:

    I’m assuming that you are attempting to show that the universe is decaying, falling into disorder from order? I’m also assuming that you are attempting to claim that this would lead to the belief that there must have been some ultimate order and that order is your god.

    Disorganized or “disordered” systems generally fall into some sort of convergence. The converged system may be influenced by the disorder of the system, but it does not necessarily follow that the convergence contains more disorder than the previous system. In fact, there are plenty of examples in math of systems that seem to converge and diverge over and over again before eventually converging into a very ordered system.

    Thermodynamics is a very interesting field. It makes me sad that so many people attempt to use it in arguments when they truly do not understand how it works.

  539. Would you agree with the following statements (from AIG):

    An isolated system exchanges neither matter nor energy with its surroundings. The total entropy of an isolated system never decreases. The universe is an isolated system, so is running down.

    A closed system exchanges energy but not matter with its surroundings. In this case, the 2nd Law is stated such that the total entropy of the system and surroundings never decreases.

    An open system exchanges both matter and energy with its surroundings. Certainly, many evolutionists claim that the 2nd Law doesn’t apply to open systems. But this is false. Dr John Ross of Harvard University states:

    … there are no known violations of the second law of thermodynamics. Ordinarily the second law is stated for isolated systems, but the second law applies equally well to open systems. … There is somehow associated with the field of far-from-equilibrium thermodynamics the notion that the second law of thermodynamics fails for such systems. It is important to make sure that this error does not perpetuate itself.1

  540. zygosporangia says:

    No, there are multiple flaws with those statements.

    As far as thermodynamics is concerned, matter and energy is interchangeable. A car engine is a closed system, but it releases both matter and energy as a form of entropy.

    For a theoretical example of how a system could increase and then decrease entropy, consider the concept of a Big Bang / Big Crunch. In such a scenario, both matter and energy would increase in entropy but eventually collapse into a point of singularity, which is perfectly ordered and contains no entropy.

    As with most things said on AIG, they like to take big sciency words, and completely mis-apply them to support their backwards beliefs.

  541. Brango says:

    John said: “LAW DEMANDS A LAW-GIVER”

    Oh John, John, John, what are you doing to me? For one brief moment I thought there was hope for you. There was a semblance of sense in your words, tinged with the beginnings of courtesy.

    John, this one single answer has plunged you down in the respectability stakes. I figured you were at least able to distinguish between the laws of man and the laws of the universe. Clearly not.

    The laws of the universe are derived from how it behaves. They are not given, as human law. If we drop an apple, it will obey the laws of the universe no matter what, simply because those laws were derived by observing what happens to apples that are dropped. If apples paused for 5 seconds then dropped, then our observations would be different, and therefore the laws would be different.

    Please at least tell me your imprisoned mind is above such lapses in reason?

  542. Brango says:

    John said: “The uniformity of nature which science assumes is only possible from a theistic perspective.”

    I actually find this an astonishing statement for an intelligent human to make. The uniformity of nature is not assumed by science, it is observed by science. If nature were not uniform, then science would observe this and conclude that there is another force, quite possibly a divine force, at work.

    Because nature is unvaryingly uniform and never changing, it strongly suggests there is no other force at work.

    John said: “Chaos produces chaos, so there must be some intelligence to establish this uniformity.”

    If I may ask, John, how do you ratify this statement? This line of reasoning ignores logic completely. Basically you are placing your god conveniently in the way of logical conclusion, which if your god were removed would reveal a fundamental disconnect. Your god must exist in some domain, and in that domain he must function within the limitations it imposes. Not because he is limited, but because the extent of what he achieves defines that very limit. You mentioned in an earlier post that you hold your god to be simple spirit, which of course is simply an extrapolation of your comprehension of the ancient writings you have interpreted to ratify a diety belief. However, if an intelligence can produce order from chaos, then it is most certainly not simple, but very, very complex indeed.

    Where did this complexity come from? What intelligence created that complexity? Complexity cannot simply just be, for that invalidates your argument that chaos produces only chaos.

  543. Yes the universe operates in such order, but if it is always evolving and changing, why do these laws never change? Seems to me that these laws, or modes of operation, are being superimposed upon the universe. Otherwise chaos and changes would be expected. Hereclitian flux in other words. I will be out for a few days. I am sure you won’t mind. But I will be back.

  544. But you also must remember that I said that God is a simple (i.e. not made of parts) spirit with infinite power. Now you write as if God was a dimiurge taking preexistent chaotic matter and turning it into order. The Scriptural doctrine is an ex nihilo creation, i.e. God did not use any preexistent “stuff” to create, but rather He simply willed matter into existence in the form He desired it to exist. Before this act of creation nothing else existed. As a rational and intelligent spirit, order would have been superimposed upon matter from the very start. So instead of saying God is complex (He is not, for He is spirit and spirit is not capable of division) you should rather be saying God is infinite in power. That is a very different thing.

  545. Brango says:

    John said: “Now a similar situation is to be found in regards to the Second LAW of Thermodynamics – oh yeah, it says that systems tend toward DISORDER. Just another reason why upward progressive evolution is impossible.”

    Geez, John, What the hey!? I fear my plunging of your credibility was premature, for I should have left room for it to fall even further. I mean come on, I seriously was starting to enjoy talking to you, but if you are going to display a complete and total misunderstanding of the second law of thermodynamics, then I may have to consider going back to mocking you for your affliction. Please, John, please tell me you are better than this.

    Let me begin your education by asking you to think of something that, using your model of the 2nd law, is impossible?

    Pause your reading for a few minutes if you need to.

    Ah, welcome back John. Yes, that is correct, John, a simple snowflake is impossible under your model of the 2nd law. An intricate little thing that formed from simple molecules.

    Ready for the next lesson? Good, let’s begin. Now, upward progressive evolution is, according to you, impossible because of the 2nd law. However, all that is impossible here is that you have a complete knowledge of the 2nd law. Entropy is of course a problem that would indeed scupper any chances for an upwardly progressive complex process. Entropy, however, increases and decreases depending on the energy acting upon the system. We have a huge ball of gas a good few million miles away that pumps energy into the complex systems of the Earth. Parts of those complex systems take this energy on board, while other parts expel it. Overall, the sun tips the scales agains entropy in systems that evolve to balance thier entropy, without a single need for any intelligence whatsoever.

    Far from being a valid argument for the existence of deity, mis-interpreting the 2nd law does nothing but detract from the self-evident truths that would lead you to a more sensible conclusion.

    Now, John, can we get back to some sensible conversation please?

  546. Brango says:

    John said: “Yes the universe operates in such order, but if it is always evolving and changing, why do these laws never change?”

    What?????????

    John, your making it too easy for me now…

    Yes, the unverse operates in order. However, it is not the order that is evolving and changing, but the products of the processes that take place within that order.

    John, I’m going to have to give you a “must try harder” badge if you keep this up!

  547. Brango says:

    John said: “Seems to me that these laws, or modes of operation, are being superimposed upon the universe.”

    Not at all. The laws are simply observations of how the universe behaves. They are defined by the universe, not the other way around.

    “Otherwise chaos and changes would be expected. Hereclitian flux in other words.”

    Changes would be expected if a deity were present and influencing what he created. Since there are no changes in the way the universe behaves, the presence of a deity cannot be directly inferred from what we currently observe within it.

    “I will be out for a few days. I am sure you won’t mind. But I will be back.”

    Hey, please enjoy yourself, John. May your god watch over you and keep you safe.

  548. Brango says:

    John said: “The Scriptural doctrine is an ex nihilo creation, i.e. God did not use any preexistent “stuff” to create, but rather He simply willed matter into existence in the form He desired it to exist.”

    Actually, thanks for this. I am genuinely interested in how theists ratify their beliefs, and this gives a good insight.

    If I may ask, how you came to this reasoning? For some reason, the bible includes a couple of different drafts of the first chapter of Moses’ novel, which makes it very difficult to discern which one he intended for the final draft. Clearly he had a terrible editor, but no matter which one you filter out it seems a bit of a stretch to extrapolate whether there was or was not “stuff” before the villian created his pets and started teasing them.

  549. I am back, now where were we….

    You yourself admit, “there are no changes in the way the universe behaves”

    Now how could this be if the universe is evolving and if all that is behind the origin of the universe is the random movement of molecules?

    I disagree as to your perspective on Genesis. It is easy to see that Genesis 1 is a more general account of creation, whereas Gen. 2 is a more detailed account, as we might consider the passage on zoom. But Scripture also teaches an ex nihilo creation outside of Genesis (which we would expect since the Bible is the Word of God and is thus consistent and unified). Consider Revelation 4:11; Proverbs 26:10; Nehemiah 9:6; Isaiah 40:26. These passages clearly teach an ex nihilo creation. My reasoning is simple: having arrived at the conclusion that the Bible really is the Word of God as it claims to be (by many various considerations, e.g. minute, detailed prophecy exactly fulfilled with a 1,000 year time span in between, Isa. 53 – Matt.27, or Psalm 22 – Matt. 27 (700 year span). This is just one reason I believe the Bible to be the Word of God. But anyway, having arrived at this conclusion, I see that God reveals in His Word that He is the Creator (which the cosmological, teleological, and ontological argument show us to exist) and that He created ex nihilo. I let God tell me how He did this and why. Science is not able to give us anything like this detailed eye-witness account. Science can certainly study the universe, but the best it can do is say that something has always existed and that this necessary being must be intelligent, and possess equal or greater attributes than what we find in the universe. Try as it might, science can discover nothing further.

  550. zygosporangia says:

    My reasoning is simple: having arrived at the conclusion that the Bible really is the Word of God as it claims to be (by many various considerations, e.g. minute, detailed prophecy exactly fulfilled with a 1,000 year time span in between, Isa. 53 – Matt.27, or Psalm 22 – Matt. 27 (700 year span). This is just one reason I believe the Bible to be the Word of God.

    Wait… one fiction writer makes a prediction, and another fiction writer fulfills this prediction… and that makes both fictions true?

  551. zygosporangia says:

    It’s funny that McDonald tries to use words like epistemology, then later spouts such drivel. I’m still waiting on some empirical evidence.

  552. zygosporangia says:

    Science is not able to give us anything like this detailed eye-witness account.

    You have absolutely no evidence that the fairy tales you read are detailed and truthful eye-witness accounts, period. I could make up similar stories, bury them in the sand for a thousand years, and claim that’s what really happened. I’d have the same amount of empirical evidence for this fiction as you do for yours: none.

  553. That is where you are wrong Zygo, you could not write a story with minute, detailed predictions and bury it in the sand for a thousand years and expect them to be realized unless you truly did have knowledge of those future events when you wrote. Everywhere the Scripture appeals to the history around it, and if these eye-witness accounts, say in the New Testament era, were not true, then the enemies of Christianity in the first century, who were also eye witnesses of the same recorded facts, could have easily discredited it and it would have never made it out of the first century.

    The problem is that you have recited that there is no evidence for the authenticity and genuineness of the Bible so often that you now believe this, but in actuality there is plenty of evidence, you just don’t want to go there. You automatically assume the Scripture cannot be what it says it is, despite the fact you have no contrary evidence. It is difficult to convince a man AGAINST HIS WILL, and that is exactly what seems to be taking place in my interaction with you and many others here at FCS.

  554. zygosporangia says:

    That is where you are wrong Zygo, you could not write a story with minute, detailed predictions and bury it in the sand for a thousand years and expect them to be realized unless you truly did have knowledge of those future events when you wrote.

    The only “predictions” you have shown here are predictions about a future fictional character in your story. Authors do this all the time: it’s called foreshadowing. This does not prove that your story is valid, but rather that your authors understand a few important story telling concepts.

    Everywhere the Scripture appeals to the history around it, and if these eye-witness accounts, say in the New Testament era, were not true, then the enemies of Christianity in the first century, who were also eye witnesses of the same recorded facts, could have easily discredited it and it would have never made it out of the first century.

    Wrong. If you repeat a lie long enough, it becomes accepted as truth. That’s why science requires this little thing called empirical evidence. The only “evidence” that you have is a bunch of people telling you that it is true through the ages. Do you have difficulty purchasing cars for a good price? After all, the salesman says that the sticker price is the best price you are going to get.

    …but in actuality there is plenty of evidence, you just don’t want to go there.

    Plenty of evidence… yet you have been completely unable to provide any. Please, share some of this evidence with us.

    You automatically assume the Scripture cannot be what it says it is, despite the fact you have no contrary evidence.

    There is plenty of evidence contrary to your somewhat literal interpretation of Genesis. It’s called evolution.

    Where is your empirical evidence that your creation myth is true?

  555. Apparently, you have never read the above cited passages, or you would see the incredible detailed predictions, even down to the casting of lots for Christ’s tunic and the form of execution itself – crucifixion. By the way, this was written way before the Roman Empire developed if you will remember your history. There is no way this could be known or even dreamed of without supernatural guidance.

    I agree that if you repeat a lie long enough people will come to think that it is true, and that is exactly what we see with the lie of evolution.

    And once again, evolution is only an explanation which tries to explain data, it is not the factual account of biological development. You make a blind leap of faith when you move to evolution being the factual account.

  556. Brango says:

    Welcome back, John.

    John said: “You yourself admit, “there are no changes in the way the universe behaves”

    Now how could this be if the universe is evolving and if all that is behind the origin of the universe is the random movement of molecules?”

    First off, I don’t admit to anything. I simply observe, as everyone alive in the universe is able to observe. What I observe is that the universe behaves in a very fixed way, and it does not waver in its adherence to its own behaviours. So much so that we are able to derive a set of guidelines based on its behaviours that are so certain that we can refer to them as laws. The universe obeys these laws exclusively – since we derived them from observing it.

    Now, as I said before, the contents of the universe are evolving in complete accordance with those very same laws. What you are attempting to say is that the laws themselves are evolving, which they are most definately not! The laws don’t change, but everything that is subject to those laws does change.

    I’d like you to take a moment to comprehend this, as it is a very fundamental point.

    To recap:

    Laws of the universe, derived from observing it – NOT CHANGING.

    Everything inside the universe, subject to its laws – CHANGING.

  557. Brango says:

    John said: “I disagree as to your perspective on Genesis. It is easy to see that Genesis 1 is a more general account of creation, whereas Gen. 2 is a more detailed account, as we might consider the passage on zoom.”

    Well, I would expect you to disagree, John!

    I find the Gen 1 vs. Gen 2 description, or fob off to be more precise, quite amusing. It is wheeled out with confidece as the ultimate answer to the first in an exhaustive list of contradictions in the bible, but upon closer examination falls short of its own mark.

    Let me explain:

    Consider this. In general, god is hailed as the creator of everything. Clearly such a powerful entity would have knowledge that encompasses everything that he created, plus of course knowledge of his own domain.

    This all encompassing knowledge would manifest itself very eloquently and very clear in its meaning, should it become written.

    The bible is claimed to be the written word of god.

    The opening chapters of the bible are far from eloquent, and far from clear in meaning. The perspective is extremely limited, as if it were being written by a resident of the planet Earth who has little more than his own life experience and a fervent imagination to draw upon. The Earth is the center of everything, and the heavens are above it.

    The creation account makes a series of scale and substance errors that a god who actually did the creation deed would simply not make.

    So the story goes – creating a dark Earth, then creating light, then separating light from dark, before creating the sun and ignoring how night and day function. Creating the sun to rule the day and the moon to rule the night, as two light sources – after there was light, and even though the moon reflects the sun and the moon spends half its time in the day. After taking four days to do all this, god then creates the stars – billions upon billions upon billions of stars throughout an unimaginably huge universe, almost as a punctuation mark.

    Oh, wait a sec, this seems a bit of a mess. Perhaps the author should rethink it a bit and have another go! Enter Gen 2… except the editor forgot to scratch the first draft.

    It is an incredibly naive worldview, but a worldview entirely consistent with the scope of human knowledge at the time.

    A great piece of early science fiction by Moses, but exceedingly poor as the word of a deity.

  558. zygosporangia says:

    Apparently, you have never read the above cited passages, or you would see the incredible detailed predictions, even down to the casting of lots for Christ’s tunic and the form of execution itself – crucifixion. By the way, this was written way before the Roman Empire developed if you will remember your history. There is no way this could be known or even dreamed of without supernatural guidance.

    So, you think it is completely impossible that the folks who wrote the stories of Jesus’s life might have gone back to look at those tales and adjust their tales entirely? You are completely naive. People do this all the time. Besides, from what I remember, the name of the lamb was supposed to be Isaiah. Apparently, they could change details about Jesus, but there were a few things they had to keep the same (e.g. his name). For you to believe that these fulfilled predictions are what actually happened shows that you don’t understand how embellishment works. To get Jews to follow the teachings of Jesus, which were completely outside of the old ways, it was necessary to make him look like a very important fellow. For you to believe this sort of pandering as absolute truth shows your complete inability to understand the human condition.

    Sadly, none of this counts as proof. I ask for empirical evidence and you provide me with comparisons between passages. Do you know the definition of empirical?

    I agree that if you repeat a lie long enough people will come to think that it is true, and that is exactly what we see with the lie of evolution.

    Wow. How childish. The best you can do is try to turn around my arguments? That is pathetic.

  559. zygosporangia says:

    Apparently, you have never read the above cited passages, or you would see the incredible detailed predictions, even down to the casting of lots for Christ’s tunic and the form of execution itself – crucifixion. By the way, this was written way before the Roman Empire developed if you will remember your history. There is no way this could be known or even dreamed of without supernatural guidance.

    So, you think it is completely impossible that the folks who wrote the stories of Jesus’s life might have gone back to look at those tales and adjust their tales entirely? You are completely naive. People do this all the time. Besides, from what I remember, the name of the lamb was supposed to be Isaiah. Apparently, they could change details about Jesus, but there were a few things they had to keep the same (e.g. his name). For you to believe that these fulfilled predictions are what actually happened shows that you don’t understand how embellishment works. To get Jews to follow the teachings of Jesus, which were completely outside of the old ways, it was necessary to make him look like a very important fellow. For you to believe this sort of pandering as absolute truth shows your complete inability to understand the human condition.

    Sadly, none of this counts as proof. I ask for empirical evidence and you provide me with comparisons between passages. Do you know the definition of empirical?

    I agree that if you repeat a lie long enough people will come to think that it is true, and that is exactly what we see with the lie of evolution.

    Wow. How childish. The best you can do is try to turn around my arguments? That is pathetic.

  560. zygosporangia says:

    Whoops. Sorry about the duplicate post.

  561. Brango:

    First, although God is infinite in knowledge, He speaks to us as the finite creatures we are. The finite cannot comprehend the infinite, and the infinite God very well knows this. Thus He speaks His revelation to us on our level. He works through the human authors with their literary styles and devices. Thus we would not expect God to just dump an infinite amound of knowledge on a finite creature.

    Secondly, you do not need the sun for light if God Himself is sustaining light at that point. That God later creates the sun to provide this light shows that the sun is subordinate to the real Creator of life and light.

    Now to another point….if the universe is made up of matter only, why would any law arise? Matter does not have the ability to determine how it will act or behave. Something cannot give what it doesn’t have.

  562. Zygo, I want to know how the Scripture can predict that the Messiah would be crucified 1,000 years before it happened? And don’t say that Christ wasn’t crucified, because we have extra-biblical historical evidence on that point. I know you are not familiar with Scripture, but read Isa. 53 for yourself and then consider the detailed, 1,000 year fulfillment, not in another passage of Scripture, but in extra-biblical historical records (e.g. Josephus, Tacitus, etc.)

  563. zygosporangia says:

    Zygo, I want to know how the Scripture can predict that the Messiah would be crucified 1,000 years before it happened?

    Please provide me with the exact paragraphs that claim that Jesus would be nailed to a cross in the Roman fashion. Keep in mind that Rome did not even exist yet when the prophesy was written. Like with most prophesies, it was written in a manner that can be interpreted many different ways.

    Nothing in Isaiah 53 says anything specific as to how Jesus died. Also, the extra-biblical historic accounts do not fulfill the prophesy. Only the writings in the New Testament do that. Obviously, they would want to play up this connection between the prophesy and Jesus’s life. For instance, the “passion” is clearly meant to show the fulfillment of that prophesy. There is no evidence outside of your bible to link the two. Even if there were, it does not mean that the creation myth is true. You are making a very large leap here, as usual.

  564. Brango says:

    John said: “Consider Revelation 4:11; Proverbs 26:10; Nehemiah 9:6; Isaiah 40:26. These passages clearly teach an ex nihilo creation.”

    I see nothing to suggest ex nihilo creation in those passages…

    Revelation 4:11 suggests god created it all for his own amusement.

    Proverbs 26:10 says he created it to include all types of people.

    Nehemiah 9:6 actually contradicts Genesis 1:26 (which I hadn’t noticed before, thanks!). It says that god was alone when he created everything, whereas Genesis 1:26 is crystal clear in its reference to god having some company at the time.

    Isaiah 40:26 is just cheerleading, and makes very little mention of creation at all aside from thinking it was just fabulous. Actually, Isaiah 40:22 is a lot more interesting, as it has god sitting above the center of the disk of a flat Earth!!! Great science fiction for its time, but then how was Moses to know the Earth was a globe!

    So, help me out here, John. Where are you getting this “ex nihilo” notion from?

  565. Brango says:

    John says: “First, although God is infinite in knowledge, He speaks to us as the finite creatures we are. The finite cannot comprehend the infinite, and the infinite God very well knows this.”

    I don’t know about you, but I have no problem comprehending the infinite… in fact it is that very comprehension that allows me to see just how insignificant myself and my planet are in relation to the universe.

    Hmmm, I wonder… is faith a simple inability to comprehend infinity?

    John said: “Thus He speaks His revelation to us on our level. He works through the human authors with their literary styles and devices.”

    Except the level he chose would be better aimed at the lesser capable… perhaps animals. It’s a total mess, even for the time. Even those who believe in it argue and fight over the exact interpretation of it and which parts should be taken literally and which shouldn’t. If indeed it is the word of god, then he screwed up!

    An all knowing god would know that his creations would pick it apart and choose the bits that suit their own agendas, so why would he make such a monumental error?

    The only logical conclusion is that Moses needed a way to introduce law to his weary people, so he figured he was respected enough to be believed if he said the very creator himself was channeling those laws through him, so he sat down and drafted a great rulebook that would help him keep control. Maybe he was under time pressure, maybe he chose his editor unwisely, or more accurately, maybe the version we see today is different than what Moses released.

    Even with modern tracking techniques, there are often version conflicts in today’s publications, so it’s hardly surprising that without the original author to say which bits are off-cuts and which bits make the final draft, we get a mish-mash of ancient writings that only makes sense if you ignore contradictions, errors, timelines and facts, and preach by cherry picking from what remains. The problem with that approach is that since nothing is verifyable, the contradictions can be used as tools to twist and mould it around any agenda, including killing those who don’t believe your version, and making it righteous for old men to take minors as their wives.

    Anyone who ignores the contradictions in the bible and gives it a divine authority is enabling the crimes that are commited under its domain.

  566. Brango:

    Ok, let me make it a little clearer for your finite mind: “the finite cannot contain the infinite” which might help you understand that we are not talking about understanding the concept of infinity (we all can) but rather the finite mind being able to contain all knowledge which the infinite mind would of course possess. Geez, do I really have to break it down to such an elementary level? But it gets worse…

    Ex nihilo means “out of nothing.” It is the idea that God did not use any preexistent “stuff” to create. Rev. 4:11 says God created all things – that means that nothing outside of God that is, was preexistent, but rather created. But it gets even worse….

    Neh. 9:6 says “You alone (i.e. only) are the Lord” not “You were alone” Please, I mean, its pretty simple…not sure how you are so confused on this one…It’s almost like your trying to act stupid…

    But at least you were earnest enough to actually read these verses, and for this I salute you.

  567. Zygo, let’s look at the Psalm 22 passage I referred to above. This was written almost 1000 years before Rome was an empire, which shows just how powerful this prediction is since there was no way for the Prophet David to guess that the Roman Empire would develop and that their favorite form of execution would be crucifixion. Psalm 22:16 is incredibly detailed,including the PIERCING of the HANDS and FEET. Now if you don’t want to read the fulfillment in Scripture, say in Matthew 27, you can read it in extra-biblical history in Josephus, Tacitus, or even the Jewish Talmud which certainly had no sympathy for the teachings of Christianity but yet records this historical fact.

  568. zygosporangia says:

    Psalm 22 says nothing about crucifixion, it only mentions the piercing of hands and feet. There are many forms of torture or execution that implement this. You are letting your faith cloud your judgment. Obviously, when NT was written, many pieces of OT were incorporated in the story. This does not make the story true. It only means that the writers were good at writing an entertaining story.

    Now if you don’t want to read the fulfillment in Scripture, say in Matthew 27, you can read it in extra-biblical history in Josephus, Tacitus, or even the Jewish Talmud which certainly had no sympathy for the teachings of Christianity but yet records this historical fact.

    The historical fact that a popular rabbi with a near-cult following was crucified? That’s hardly evidence that your Jesus was the son of your god. If this is the best you can do, you have a long way to go indeed.

  569. zygosporangia says:

    Coincidence does not equate correlation.

  570. Brango says:

    John said: “Ok, let me make it a little clearer for your finite mind: “the finite cannot contain the infinite” which might help you understand that we are not talking about understanding the concept of infinity (we all can) but rather the finite mind being able to contain all knowledge which the infinite mind would of course possess.”

    Very good! I was hoping you could raise your game, I was getting a little bored of the ditto answers…

    John said: “Geez, do I really have to break it down to such an elementary level?”

    This is a perfect illustration of my point. If you aren’t exceedingly specific in your answer, then I am at liberty to insert whatever meaning I like into whatever you say. Wouldn’t the dude that created us know of such fickle traits when he decided to write his instruction book?

    John said: “Rev. 4:11 says God created all things – that means that nothing outside of God that is, was preexistent, but rather created.”

    The key phrase there is ->that means<-. You are interpreting. The reason you are interpreting is that the original words are not abundantly clear of meaning. And where there is interpretation, there is the opportunity to change any original meaning – which is why we have so much conflicting religious diversity.

    The word of an all knowing, all powerful deity would not be subject to interpretation. Period.

    John said: “Neh. 9:6 says “You alone (i.e. only) are the Lord” not “You were alone” Please, I mean, its pretty simple…not sure how you are so confused on this one…It’s almost like your trying to act stupid…”

    So, what you are saying here is that someone arriving at a different interpretation of Nh. 9:6 than you is stupid?

    Maybe so. Maybe you are right. In fact, if you are right, then I blummin well want to be right too!

    John, can you help me to be right please? How were you able to verify that your interpretation is the correct one?

    John said: “But at least you were earnest enough to actually read these verses, and for this I salute you.”

    Thank you. Although my reasons for reading them are vastly different. When they are quoted, I compare with what other theists have said. I have yet to find two independant theists who have the exact same interpretation. In fact, the only interpretations that I have found to agree, are from independant non-theists. This is especially true of lesser known passages, like Ephesians 5:2. So far 5 independant theist interpretations, and not one that agrees. What’s yours?

  571. Brango,

    Biblical interpretation is based upon two major principles, the rules of grammar, or what could be considered the grammatical context, and the historical context. We basically use these principles anytime we read or speak. You are even using them now to interpret my words at this very moment. The grammatical context takes many things into account, such as the original languages and their grammatical structure, the common meaning of terms at the time of usage (the usus loquendi), and the use of the same word in other places in a document. It also takes into account the context around a particular passage. There are of course other things too. The historical context has to do with many things as well, but especially cultural matters. Basically we use these very same principles in our interpretation of all discourse, not just the Bible. Words have to be interpreted, whether spoken or written, whether in the Bible or on this blog. It’s just a fact of life.

    Based upon grammatico-historical principles, Eph. 5:2 is an exhortation to live in a self-sacrificing way, and is based upon Christ’s example in that He selflessly gave Himself as a substitionary and vicarious atonement for our sins (this is the intention of the allusion to the ceremonial aroma involved in the sacrificial system of the Old Testament which of course pointed forward to the ultimate substitutionary sacrifice, Jesus Christ). BTW, this is just another reason why I believe the Bible to be what it says it is, for the typology found in the ceremonial law and practices of the Old Testament are perfectly answered in the person and work of Jesus Christ, the anti-type.

  572. zygosporangia says:

    BTW, this is just another reason why I believe the Bible to be what it says it is, for the typology found in the ceremonial law and practices of the Old Testament are perfectly answered in the person and work of Jesus Christ, the anti-type.

    …as the authors of the works in the “New” Testament fully intended, to take advantage of this symbolism to prop up their own interpretation and radical departure from traditional Judaism. However, just because there are parallels that these authors exploited does not make the story true, nor do these parallels prove by any means that the creation myth is what happened. For you to derive this is a huge leap of faith indeed.

  573. Zygo, you still haven’t explained how Christ’s crucifixion is not just something the NT authors dreamed up but actually happened in history as is found in extra-biblical documents. Your effort to explain away piercing of the hands and feet as not referring to crucifixion but some other form of torture was quite amusing, but is also very telling in that it shows you will go to any length to explain away the evidence. “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” That’s def. you Zygo.

  574. zygosporangia says:

    Zygo, you still haven’t explained how Christ’s crucifixion is not just something the NT authors dreamed up but actually happened in history as is found in extra-biblical documents.

    As normal, you are putting the cart before the horse. By many accounts, the New Testament stories were edited and re-edited many times after Jesus’s death before they became “standardized”. You yourself must admit that there are many unofficial versions of each, still archived by scholars.

    The fact that he was crucified no doubt piqued the interest of the writers and editors to make him into a messiah by fulfilling the prophesy of Isaiah. A single coincidence and a lot of embellishment. There are many thousands of different ways that the two stories could have be made congruent, and only one extremely remote way that would support your position. They were counting on the fact that you would try to use this prophesy to try to convert people, and that you would believe it yourself. Of course, in those days, they were more interested in converting Jews who were more familiar with such texts.

    It is extremely common for newer religions to build up on the foundations of older religions. That’s the only way the newer religion can claim that it is real, especially in light of the creation myth. This isn’t the only thing the Christians have stolen from other religions and other cultures. Christmas is December 25th, even though by all accounts Jesus was born in the Spring. However, the celebration of this holiday helped to convert pagans celebrating the Solstice. No doubt, the symbology of the young god child being born fit right into their beliefs of the god who is born in the cold of the winter and eventually overthrows the old god.

    Just because there are parallels in the stories does not mean that your story is true. It only means that the authors went to great lengths to put the parallels there.

    For you to blindly believe that there is something more to this than good writing practice is indicative of your ignorance of world religions. The practice is quite common.

    No, I highly doubt you could ever convince me that a fairy tale is true. There is so much prophesy in your bible that I could easily concoct a story loosely based on real life events that fulfills one or more of these prophesies. However, that would not make my story true, even though it would ring as much coincidence and “truth” as the gospels in NT. Various Christian suicide cults have done exactly this sort of thing with Revelations through the centuries, which is enough to show the danger in group-think mentality.

    The whole thing reminds me of the folks who try to find hidden messages in their bibles. With a large enough text, say the complete works of Shakespeare, I can do the same thing.

  575. zygosporangia says:

    All of this, of course, is getting way offtrack from the fact that there is absolutely no evidence to support your creation myth, and furthermore, all of the evidence that does exist points towards evolution as the only viable explanation for the origin of species.

  576. Zygo, there are over 300 DETAILED Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament, all of which are fulfilled in DETAIL by one man, Jesus Christ. If the authors were lying about the truths of Christ life, then first century eye witnesses would have been able to easily destroy these claims and snip Christianity in the bud. And believe me, there were many among the Jews of that time that were more than willing to do this if only they could.

    Consider the SCIENCE of probability: Peter Stoner in Science Speaks considers the probability of one man fulfilling just 48 major prophecies of the 300 says, “We find the chance that any one man fulfilled all 48 prophecies to be 1 in 10 to the 157th power.”

    As to your supposedly “edited” copies of the NT, it sounds like you have fallen under the spell of Dan Brown. The Gnostic gospels have nothing to do with Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and there aren’t that many of them, although Brown lies and claims the contrary. Now as to New Testament documents, we have over 6,000 Greek manuscripts for comparison. Discrepancies are minor, involving mostly copying errors. If we take the NT documents translated outside of Greek, we have 24,000 documents. The evidence for the original autographa is insurmountable.

  577. zygosporangia says:

    If the authors were lying about the truths of Christ life, then first century eye witnesses would have been able to easily destroy these claims and snip Christianity in the bud. And believe me, there were many among the Jews of that time that were more than willing to do this if only they could.

    Your point falls to pieces, because most of the gospels did not become widely available until at least a hundred years after the supposed death of Jesus. So, there weren’t really any eye witnesses to object. Whoops…

    The evidence for the original autographa is insurmountable.

    In an age when everything was hand-copied, hand-edited, and secretive? The idea that the words are the original words of Luke, Mark, et alii is laughable at best. Sorry. Many of the copied manuscripts may be based on a single manuscript, but there is no guarantee that this particular script was even the original.

    The best “evidence” that you can come up with is hearsay, stories matching prophesies (which, as I said, were written that way purposefully), and analysis of copies. None of this is at all proof of creationism, nor that your Jesus was at all divine.

  578. Brango says:

    John said: “Biblical interpretation is based upon two major principles, the rules of grammar, or what could be considered the grammatical context, and the historical context.”

    Why does the absolute word of a deity need to be interpreted?

  579. Brango: All words have to be interpreted. It is a necessary part of using language, whether that language comes from God or proceeds from you.

  580. Zygo, so we have reason to believe the Apostle John lived to around A.D 96….that’s a long time to live as an eyewitness; Paul appeals to living eyewitnesses in the 60’s, some of whom must have been young and would have lived many more years, certainly into the 100’s., and we have the second generation disciples able to verify or discredit what the Apostles really taught since they were direct students. The Bibliographical evidence is overwhelming. I am sure you would have been one of those guys chomping at the bits to translate the Dead Sea Scrolls, only to find an almost (i.e. minus minor copying errors) exact correspondence to the oldest texts we had at that point. You are like the Pharisees, who being eye witnesses of the supernatural miracles of Christ, would rather attribute them to the Devil than admit Christ was the Divine Messiah.

  581. zygosporangia says:

    We have people who claim to be eyewitnesses to flying saucers, aliens, abominable snowmen, the devil, Jesus reincarnate, etc. So, should we take all of these things as facts? After all, we have people who claim to be eyewitnesses… Throughout the years, some of these eyewitnesses have attempted to claim that the Christian end days have begun, and have made just as “convincing” stories as the ones you refer to including supposedly fulfilled prophesies. Do you think Jim Jones was right? David Koresh? Can anyone who turns a supposed eye-witness account and who has a following of disciples be considered a mouthpiece of your god? That’s what it would seem like given your description.

    Or, should we conclude that it is more than possible that these witnesses could have embellished facts, had faulty memory about the events, may have been lying for their own benefit (e.g. to fight for the head of the new cult), etc.

  582. Fist, these are single eyewitnesses to different accounts, the eyewitnesses in Scripture are MULTIPLE and witness the SAME event at the SAME time.

    As to your other excretion, people will die for a lie, but they will not die for a KNOWN lie. The apostles had nothing to win and everything to lose by concocting “the myth of Christianity.” I am sure there were much easier ways for them to be beheaded and crucified than to make up a religion which declared Jesus alone is King. Persecution only served to increase the church, and this in a time when people were privy to direct interaction with all those involved in the account of the resurrection.

    So how is your worship of Dawkins and PZ Myers coming along? Have you erected a temple yet? You certainly seem to be an ordained priest of the Dawkins order.

  583. Brango says:

    John said: “All words have to be interpreted.”

    They most definately do not have to be interpreted!

    Absolute words need no interpretation – they are absolute.

    John said: “It is a necessary part of using language, whether that language comes from God or proceeds from you.”

    In communications of human origin it may be necessary to interpret, but communications that are absolute. Any interpretation negates it as absolute, as it then becomes relative to human comprehension. Any human can of course say anything they want, but not everything that is said is true.

    Math: “One plus one equals two.”

    Fully qualified. Absolute. No interpretation necessary. Independantly testable. Independantly verifyable as true. No contradictions.

    Faith: “Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

    Fully qualified. Absolute. No interpretation necessary. Not independantly testable. Not independantly verifyable as true. Contradicts science.

    Math: “A prime number has exactly two distinct divisors: 1 and itself.”

    Fully qualified. Absolute. No interpretation necessary. Independantly testable. Independantly verifyable as true. No contradictons.

    Faith: “Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

    Unqualified. Relative. Requires interpretation. Not independantly testable. Not independantly verifyable as true. Contradicts Gen 5:5.

    In short, the truth of the universe is written as absolute. The truth of god is not, and is in fact so badly written that one must either selectively ignore parts of it, or invent wildly speculative interpretations to even permit the human brain to accept it as truth.

  584. Brango says:

    John said: “Based upon grammatico-historical principles, Eph. 5:2 is an exhortation to live in a self-sacrificing way, and is based upon Christ’s example…”

    Make that six different interpretations by theists!

    So, which theist am I to believe… You? Or the theist who interpreted it as god expressing happiness that his great plan has come to fruition?

    Either is a valid interpretation. How do I know which one is right?

  585. “One plus one equals two” actually must be interpreted because if I did not know the rules of English grammar, I could begin reading it backwards, and it would just be “owt slauqe eno sulp eno.”

    And btw, both are not valid interpretations on Eph. 5:2, since the other interpretation you mention is not one that reflects a close and efficient use of the grammatico-historical method.

  586. zygosporangia says:

    Fist, these are single eyewitnesses to different accounts, the eyewitnesses in Scripture are MULTIPLE and witness the SAME event at the SAME time.

    Not always. There are several “flying saucer” events with multiple eye witnesses. However, just because they thought they saw what they did doesn’t actually mean that they did. The human mind is interesting. Memories can be distorted and confused, especially when people get together and try to retell and remember what happened as a group. This is the key reason why law enforcement officers pull eye witnesses apart as soon as possible, before they have had the chance to tell each other their side of the story. This is also why eye witness accounts in court are considered less than useless by themselves.

    As to your other excretion, people will die for a lie, but they will not die for a KNOWN lie. The apostles had nothing to win and everything to lose by concocting “the myth of Christianity.”

    I remember it working out quite handsomely for Peter and some of the other disciples. So, your claim that they had nothing to win is ludicrous at best.

    So how is your worship of Dawkins and PZ Myers coming along? Have you erected a temple yet? You certainly seem to be an ordained priest of the Dawkins order.

    How interesting it must be to live in your world, where the only thing you understand is worship and faith. Why would I worship either of these two people? They are men just like me. Just because there is a minor point of commonality (we are atheists and we support science) does not instantly mean that I believe everything that comes out of either’s mouth. Unlike you, I am free to question even my own beliefs and seek deeper truths. The deepest you can go is the width of the pages in your bible.

  587. zygosporangia says:

    As for memory distortion, how much distortion do you think there was between all of the supposed eye witnesses after thirty years? Do you think they were kept completely isolated, or were they allowed to discuss with one another the events that occurred. Thinking as a law enforcement officer, I would have to throw out the case if my only evidence were a few chatty witnesses attempting to remember an event from thirty years ago.

    Don’t take my word for it. Read any modern book on forensics and law enforcement.

    It looks like your mound of “evidence” is beginning to smell like what it truly is: bullshit.

  588. So you call getting crucified upside down as “working out” for Peter? And Paul’s decapitation as something that paid off for him? You are one messed up dude. Speaking of Paul, he mentions that over 500 people saw the risen Lord at the same time (1 Cor. 15:6) and then says that most of whom are still living at the time he writes 1 Corinthians – he is basically saying to his audience look them up and verify it for yourselves. I never claimed this once instance or the Psa. 22 was a mound of evidence, I just claimed it was evidence.

    Now you do worship something zygo. If you don’t worship God you worship yourself, or maybe your wife, or maybe science. I don’t know, but I do know you are worshipping something. It’s just the way men are wired, so stop lying and tell me who or what you worship.

  589. zygosporangia says:

    So you call getting crucified upside down as “working out” for Peter? And Paul’s decapitation as something that paid off for him?

    I highly doubt they were planning to be executed.

    Speaking of Paul, he mentions that over 500 people saw the risen Lord at the same time (1 Cor. 15:6) and then says that most of whom are still living at the time he writes 1 Corinthians – he is basically saying to his audience look them up and verify it for yourselves. I never claimed this once instance or the Psa. 22 was a mound of evidence, I just claimed it was evidence.

    That’s an interesting figure, especially considering that at least one gospel ended along the lines of “They saw the tomb was empty and they were afraid…” You’d think that rising would be important enough that every disciple would mention it. Of the gospels that do mention rising, some have a very small number of witnesses, some have a very large number… Odd indeed. A large number would certainly help to convince people like you. I could claim that I have a large number of witnesses for an event, and you would have a difficult time proving this or tracking them down. Just because such a thing is claimed does not mean it is actually true. You are still reading your scripture as a blind follower and not as a skeptic.

    You seemed to have dodged my point about how faulty human memory is…

    Now you do worship something zygo. If you don’t worship God you worship yourself, or maybe your wife, or maybe science. I don’t know, but I do know you are worshipping something.

    No, I don’t worship anything. There are certainly things that are awe-inspiring, but I do not worship these.

    It’s just the way men are wired, so stop lying and tell me who or what you worship.

    Really? The way they are wired? Did you get that from your mystic book too?

  590. Brango says:

    John said: “One plus one equals two” actually must be interpreted because if I did not know the rules of English grammar, I could begin reading it backwards, and it would just be “owt slauqe eno sulp eno.”

    Oh come on, John, are we heading toward the ridiculous now? I do get a giggle out of your answers, but this one came embarrassingly close to belly laughing at work… are you trying to get me into trouble?!

    John said: “both are not valid interpretations on Eph. 5:2, since the other interpretation you mention is not one that reflects a close and efficient use of the grammatico-historical method.”

    Okay, I’ll bite… show me your reasoning and usage of this method, please?

  591. Human memory can be faulty, but in general is reliable. However, because you presuppose empiricism, all memory is lost because all you have is a present perception to go on which cannot verify anything of the past.

    Paul appealed to these post-resurrection witnesses, plus he was able to perform public and undeniable miracles which attested to the message he proclaimed. The two evidences together were powerful at the time.

    So, let’s turn the table, no matter how many scientists say evolution is true, that doesn’t make it true.

  592. Brango says:

    John said: “I don’t know, but I do know you are worshipping something. It’s just the way men are wired, so stop lying and tell me who or what you worship.”

    Hey give me a break here please, John… two belly laughs at work could get me fired from Flaming Homosexual Cheerleading Incorporated!

    It is perfectly possible that Zygo doesn’t worship anything, I don’t either! To say that it is the way men are wired is quite puzzling, for I know for a fact that isn’t true – otherwise I’d be slapping myself in the face every day wondering why I have uncontrollable outstretched arms and involuntary bouts of projectile praying!!

    You are simply confusing the human sense of wonder with worship. I can look at a picture of the Perseus Cluster of galaxies for hours on end contemplating the sheer incredible beauty before my eyes, but not once will I feel like worshipping something.

    I’ll admit from time to time I have locked eyes on a beautiful woman and given in to the urge to worship the ground she walks on, but thankfully my hormones aren’t given the keys that often.

    Oh, while I remember… what’s your take on the Gen 2:17 / Gen 5:5 contradiction?

  593. Brango says:

    John said: “So, let’s turn the table, no matter how many scientists say evolution is true, that doesn’t make it true.”

    To that point, evolution is still true wheter you stick your fingers in your ears and say “la la la la la la la” or not!

    And come on John, you know better than that… scientists don’t say evolution is true, they demonstrate it!

  594. zygosporangia says:

    Paul appealed to these post-resurrection witnesses, plus he was able to perform public and undeniable miracles which attested to the message he proclaimed. The two evidences together were powerful at the time.

    I can perform magic tricks too, it doesn’t mean that I’m right if I tell you that I’m the son of a god, or the disciple of one.

    So, let’s turn the table, no matter how many scientists say evolution is true, that doesn’t make it true.

    The difference is that individuals can reproduce the experiments and research conducted by scientists. We cannot verify hearsay from two thousand years ago.

  595. You cannot perform experiments on the PAST. If you can’t do it on hearsay 2000 years ago, you can’t do it on evolution 4 million years ago. You can of course conduct them in the present in order to try and observe evolution, but once again this has never been done.

    Scientist pretend to demonstrate evolution but they have never done it in reality by a test. Natural selection, yes, but that is not evolution itself. You need mutations creating a functional increase of information. That has never happened.

    I will be out of town until Tuesday without internet access. Have a great Memorial Day!

    Worship is more than just raised hands. It’s what drives you, what makes you get up in the morning. It’s what you live for. What are you guys living for? That’s what you worship.

    What’s the contradiction supposed in Gen. 2:17/5:5? All I see is that Adam lived 930 years and did so under the cursed conditions mentioned in the text.

  596. zygosporangia says:

    You cannot perform experiments on the PAST. If you can’t do it on hearsay 2000 years ago, you can’t do it on evolution 4 million years ago. You can of course conduct them in the present in order to try and observe evolution, but once again this has never been done.

    Bzzt! Wrong. You should try reading the speciation faq that I linked to previously on talkorigins. Evolution has been observed in the lab.

    You need mutations creating a functional increase of information. That has never happened.

    Bzzt! Wrong again. Once again, you should try reading the talkorigins links I provided. You should stick to scripture, you will soon find yourself waaay over your head if you attempt to bullshit me on science.

    What are you guys living for? That’s what you worship.

    That’s the most ridiculous definition of worship that I have ever heard.

  597. Brango says:

    John said: “You cannot perform experiments on the PAST.”

    Not without science.

    John said: “Scientist pretend to demonstrate evolution but they have never done it in reality by a test.”

    Oh no… regressing again are we, John?

    Scientists don’t demonstrate evolution, they observe it!

    Like I said before, no matter how many times you stick your fingers in your ear and say “la la la la la la la la”, it won’t make evolution any less of a reality. It’s real, it’s fact. You can no more dismiss it than you can dismiss that water is wet!

  598. Brango says:

    Oops… fast finger syndrome.

    Engaging brain for a moment: Scientists demonstrate evolution by observing it!

    Have a great long weekend dudes…

  599. Mike says:

    “We have people who claim to be eyewitnesses to flying saucers, aliens, abominable snowmen, the devil, Jesus reincarnate, etc. So, should we take all of these things as facts? After all, we have people who claim to be eyewitnesses… Throughout the years, some of these eyewitnesses have attempted to claim that the Christian end days have begun, and have made just as “convincing” stories as the ones you refer to including supposedly fulfilled prophesies. Do you think Jim Jones was right? David Koresh? Can anyone who turns a supposed eye-witness account and who has a following of disciples be considered a mouthpiece of your god? That’s what it would seem like given your description.
    Or, should we conclude that it is more than possible that these witnesses could have embellished facts, had faulty memory about the events, may have been lying for their own benefit (e.g. to fight for the head of the new cult), etc.”

    Can we also conclude, then, that all of the evolutionists from the past have embellished facts, or had faulty memories, or may have been lying for their own benefit?” LOL

  600. zygosporangia says:

    Can we also conclude, then, that all of the evolutionists from the past have embellished facts, or had faulty memories, or may have been lying for their own benefit?” LOL

    The difference is that science can be duplicated. At any point, any part of evolution can be scrutinized, tested, and proved. So-called “Intelligent” design requires a belief in a theistic being, even though there is no evidence to support this.

  601. Please Zygo, replicate molecules to man evolution in the lab. I can’t wait! And your wrong. Intelligent Design says that information requires an intelligence. There is no know way to produce information simply by naturalistic processes. If there is information in the cell, and there is, this requires an intelligence. ID does not go on to identify this intelligence. They leave that to guys like me, a Creationist.

  602. zygosporangia says:

    Please Zygo, replicate molecules to man evolution in the lab.

    In your ignorance, you are mistaking evolution for abiogenesis. If we are talking about teaching evolution in the school, evolution presupposes life. This life is obviously much simpler than the life in your asinine literal creation story, but evolution itself has boundaries as to what it can explain, just like any valid scientific theory. One of these boundaries is that life evolves. To show how life began is another scientific effort entirely.

    Therefore, asking me to replicate molecules to man in the lab has absolutely nothing to do with evolution. Beneficial mutation, speciation, and natural selection have all been replicated in the lab. By definition, this proves evolution.

    It took billions of years to go from molecules to man. You can barely comprehend 10000 years, hence your asinine belief that the earth is less than 10000 years old. Replicating molecules to man in the lab is ridiculous. Some day, scientists will understand the actual origins of life, but that does not preclude the theory of evolution. They are two very different things. The latter is being taught in school, not the former.

    Of course, since you have never studied science, and are completely ignorant of it, I don’t expect you to understand the distinction.

    There is no know way to produce information simply by naturalistic processes.

    There may be no way that you know to create new information, but that is because you are ignorant of the subject. I have tried to address this by giving you reading material, such as the talkorigins links (which provide excellent references for factchecking, unlike AIG), but you have shown absolutely no interest in reading and learning. This makes you willfully ignorant of the subject. Why don’t you go study science and come back when you have something meaningful to bring to this discussion?

    The rest of your point stinks of the same ignorance.

  603. So all is matter, but evolution cannot address how matter made the transition to life. That is something evolution MUST explain and yet it CANNOT explain. And you call me the one who believes in fairly tales and has blind faith.

    Gene shifting and loss of information due to mutation is not NEW INFORMATION.

  604. zygosporangia says:

    So all is matter, but evolution cannot address how matter made the transition to life. That is something evolution MUST explain and yet it CANNOT explain. And you call me the one who believes in fairly tales and has blind faith.

    Wrong. Evolution is and always has been an explanation of species, not how they got here, but how they evolved. Evolution presupposes life, period. Evolution does not need to explain how life got here, no more than gravity must explain how matter first came to be, and no more than electromagnetism must explain how matter first exhibited charge.

    You are attempting to shift the argument outside of the bounds of evolution. It’s a great creationist tactic, but it won’t work on me.

    Gene shifting and loss of information due to mutation is not NEW INFORMATION.

    Just keep repeating that to yourself. This statement shows your ignorance of biology. You won’t even bother reading that talkorigins link.

    There are many ways to generate new information. Copying and reducing old information is certainly a valid way. Copying old information, changing this information through mutation, and sieving this information through natural selection is precisely how evolution works. It is a very effective mechanism, and can be demonstrated both in the lab, and through mathematical simulation. As I’ve said before, I’m a CS graduate. Professionally, I have done a lot of work with genetic algorithms. Genetic algorithms take random data, perform copies and mutations on this data, and run it through a fitness function (natural selection). Such algorithms can and do generate new information, and they do it exceedingly well.

  605. Green Earth says:

    Theory of Evolution is about how life has gone from simple to complex.

    Abiogenesis is the study of how life first came to be.

    ToE makes no claims as to how life on earth began, only about how it has evolved and diversified over time (billions of years).

  606. Zygo, your post above concedes the point. That’s not NEW functional information, that’s just different information.

    And for Zygo and Green Earth:

    Life begets life. Very good. There is still some hope in you.

    However, it seems inconsistent to say that evolution is not required to explain the existence of life, yet it MUST explain the existence of complex life. Life is life. Why do you explain one segment of it but not the whole? This is especially true when we see that life is complex from the very beginning.

  607. zygosporangia says:

    Zygo, your post above concedes the point. That’s not NEW functional information, that’s just different information.

    McDonald, I studied Information Theory as part of my graduate work. Your point here is ridiculous. Of course, I don’t expect a podunk pastor to understand higher mathematics.

    Look, I can create NEW INFORMATION in the computer lab, using mutation and copies of random data; directing these through a fitness function (natural selection). I can start from random garbage and get useful information that I did not ever place in the system. Evolutionary biologists and geneticists have demonstrated the exact same thing using RNA. You are repeating a lie hoping that it gives credence to your position. However, the facts do not back up your lie.

  608. zygosporangia says:

    However, it seems inconsistent to say that evolution is not required to explain the existence of life, yet it MUST explain the existence of complex life. Life is life. Why do you explain one segment of it but not the whole?

    No, not at all. Scientific theories have limits to what they explain. If there were no limits to what scientific theories explain, then scientists would never be able to create one. The limit to the theory of evolution is that it requires life as a prerequisite. In biology, the definition of life is very explicit.

    You are attempting to make an argument here by applying evolution to something it was not designed to explain. As such, your argument is absurd.

    Science, unlike your kooky beliefs, is rigid when it comes to deciding the verifiability or falsifiability of a hypothesis. Part of this rigidity is scope. That is why you don’t see a “theory of everything” in science, because that would be unscientific. Evolution has clear scope. It is much better defined than your kooky theory of everything: “My god dun’ it.”

  609. If science is so limited, then why don’t you shut up with your dogmatic statements that there is no God. And btw, the problem with your little experiment is that mutations destroy and decrease functional information.

  610. zygosporangia says:

    If science is so limited, then why don’t you shut up with your dogmatic statements that there is no God.

    You are putting words in my mouth. I said that there is absolutely no evidence that your god exists. That is different than saying that your god doesn’t exist. Of course, for someone like you who does not understand basic epistemology, I could understand how you would confuse the two terms.

    And btw, the problem with your little experiment is that mutations destroy and decrease functional information.

    Wrong. If that were true, then my experiment could never yield new information. You do not understand how mutations play in evolution. Of course, I wouldn’t expect you to. As before, you are entirely ignorant of science.

    This statement that you are repeating is nothing more than a lie perpetrated by creationists.

  611. zygosporangia says:

    confuse the two statements, I meant.

  612. Yet on an empirical basis, there is no evidence against His existence. Why then do you blaspheme that which you (on an empirical basis) can know nothing about?

  613. zygosporangia says:

    Yet on an empirical basis, there is no evidence against His existence. Why then do you blaspheme that which you (on an empirical basis) can know nothing about?

    I also make fun of unicorns, leprechauns, and Greek gods. Each are just as plausible as your god. Even you must admit that.

  614. Nope. These beings you have mentioned are all “contingent” beings. God is a necessary being.

  615. zygosporangia says:

    Nope. These beings you have mentioned are all “contingent” beings. God is a necessary being.

    Really? Is that the best argument you can come up with McDonald? You truly are deluded by fairy tales.

    How do you know that these beings are “contingent”? Which book of fairy tales do you use to decide whether a mythical being is “contingent” or not? How do you know which of these books are true, and which aren’t? They each, like your book, claim to be true. They each claim to have witnesses. They each have chronicles by ancient historians just as “reliable” as Luke. So, why are your fairy tales correct (e.g. immune from scrutiny), while all other fairy tales are incorrect (e.g. permitted to be ridiculed)?

    There are several mythologies that build other gods as “necessary beings”. Yet, I don’t see you paying tribute to Atlas for keeping the sky in the air, praying to Jonas every time you walk through a door, or praying to Carna every time you use a door hinge. What makes your god special here? Please show your work.

  616. Well, first we need to establish the fact that there is a God. We can begin by the cosmological argument.

    If something exists now, then something has always existed.

    Thus, we cannot doubt that there is a necessary being. That this being could not be matter is evident from the fact that the universe began to exist. That which begins to exist cannot be eternal or necessary. Thus, there is a supernatural being.

  617. zygosporangia says:

    If something exists now, then something has always existed.

    Your evidence for this is what, precisely?

    Also, even if I grant that matter has always existed, how does that provide any relevance to gods?

    That this being could not be matter is evident from the fact that the universe began to exist.

    Let’s take your point here a step further. Your claim is that the universe had to be created. The universe is complex, so therefore the creator must be more complex to comprehend and create this universe. As you say that irreducible complexity is proof of design, then surely one must say that the creator itself is irreducibly complex. This begs the question, what created your creator?

    Your creator could not have evolved, because your dubious world view dismisses evolution. If your creator was created, then surely something must have created that creator ad infinitum. Claiming that your creator always existed is also not a tenable position, for you contend that intelligence is complex and can only be explained through design. What design does your creator follow?

  618. Brandon Haught says:

    These comments are now closed. See here for why:
    http://www.flascience.org/wp/?p=600

Comments are closed.