Monday, July 17, 2006

Debate? Or Talking Past Each Other?

Over at Dani's blogspot, I have been engaged in a conversation (yet again!) about Darwinism. As you will read, the point about the arguments is often missed by those who hold to such a theory as "fact". It isn't fact, and most of all, it isn't a very good theory either.

I want to stress that my objection to a particular portion of evolutionary theory (called Darwinism) does not include the obvious, observable minor changes that are often called "microevolution." It is the extrapolation of that evidence (for microevolution) that the scientific elites often use (illegitimately, IMO) to advance the idea of "macroevolution."

Definition of terms from Dictionary.com:

microevolution
n. Evolution resulting from a succession of relatively small genetic variations that often cause the formation of new subspecies.

macroevolution
n : evolution on a large scale extending over geologic era and resulting in the formation of new taxonomic groups

I made a comment about a visit to a museum that had plaster representations of supposed ancestors via evolutionary theory. I said, "What a bunch of hooey." The man who was about to take a picture of the exhibit obviously agreed and decided not to take the picture. It was quite a moment (for me, at least) because I made a commitment to learn more about this theory of evolution.

From that point on, I have discovered so many frauds, fallacies, hoaxes, fake icons and extrapolations of evidence that not only makes macroevolution appear ridiculous, but even more importantly shows evidence that it is indeed impossible.

Next, in response to my post, a blogger named phronk stated,




"It better continue, if you still haven't discovered that creation is the ultimate in hooey."


[This is the gist of Creation vs. Evolution debates folks...it's called the who's guilty of more "hooey" argument. heh heh...j/k]

In my response to phronk, I quoted a Scripture passage that identifies people like phronk who would "worship the created rather than the Creator" and why this is so.

Paul was led along by the power of the Holy Spirit to record God's Word about people like you who would "worship the created rather than the Creator."

Romans 1:20-23




20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.


Because phronk has fallen into having a religion of the unbeliever, and through having a reprobate mind he cannot see the errors of his ways. But God sees and knows them. For more about what a mind steeped in reprobation means, see my post called It's A Spiritual Battle, Not Just a Casual Debate.

I see many of the top cultural and moral arguments of today as evidence that there is a spiritual battle going on underneath it all. I believe that this is true regarding abortion, euthanasia, homosexual "rights," their relentless agenda being pushed on children and the effort to redefine marriage. Spiritual battles abound domestically in the face of sexual sin such as pornography, child molestation, human trafficking, prostitution, adultery, fornication, sex-predator teachers, the homosexual pederast priest scandal etc. Much of this stems from an improper view of why we were created and Who our Creator is. Therefore, when you read the above link, keep in mind all of these other sexual sins as well as the one being discussed.

Over the last 150 years, philosophical Darwinism has done tremendous harm to the hearts, minds, souls and spirits of children who have been indoctrinated into believing that "macroevolution is fact". The belief that we are "nothing but mammals" affects the intellect, wisdom, values, virtues, sexual proclivities and overall behavior of those who adhere to Darwinism's religious dogma. In my conversations and debates, I have found that proponents of macroevolution and proponents of Creation/Intelligent Design tend to talk past each other. Could the following conversation be considered evidence of my premise here? See if you might agree.

Christine

*******

A blogger name ubersehen chimes in:

Ubersehen said...


"Is citing scripture supposed to prove anything, Christine?"


I respond:

Christinewjc said...




What's wrong ubersehen; need an explanation of what these Scripture verses reveal? I thought it was quite clear and directly answered phronk's claim.

Does it prove anything? Yes. For me it does.

Ubersehen said...

"Does it prove anything? Yes. For me it does.




Sure, but you weren't using it to prove anything to yourself, you were using it in response to Phronk's argument.

Phronk's Claim: Biblical creation is false.

Your Response: Biblical creation is not false because the bible says it isn't.

So no, the passages you quoted don't need clarifying, thank you. The issue is that you are trying to disprove criticism of the accuracy of your bible by citing your bible. That's circular reasoning and is a logical fallacy.

It would be as if I told you that eating cake was bad for you, and you responded "But it tastes delicious!" That response does not address the pertinent issue, but only states an irrelevant quality of the subject under examination.

So, your response to "Is citing scripture supposed to prove anything, Christine?", winds up being "Yes. For me it does."

And only for you.


My response:

ubersehen,

If you read through the thread a little bit more carefully, you may discover something else at work here. Allow me to walk you through it.

I made a comment about a visit to a museum that had plaster representations of supposed ancestors via evolutionary theory. I said, "What a bunch of hooey." The man who was about to take a picture of the exhibit obviously agreed and decided not to take the picture. It was quite a moment (for me, at least) because I made a commitment to learn more about this theory of evolution. From that point on, I have discovered so many frauds, fallacies, hoaxes, fake icons and extrapolations of evidence that not only makes macroevolution appear ridiculous, but even more importantly shows evidence that it is indeed impossible.

Next, in response to my post, phronk states,

"It better continue, if you still haven't discovered that creation is the ultimate in hooey."

In my response to phronk, I quoted a Scripture passage that identifies people like phronk who would "worship the created rather than the Creator" and why this is so.Because phronk is a victim of a person with a reprobate mind, he cannot see the errors of his ways. But God sees and knows them. For more about what a mind steeped in reprobation means, see my post called It's A Spiritual Battle, Not Just a Casual Debate.

And the conversation continued (note: some of this is also in my introduction above):

From that point on, I have discovered so many frauds, fallcies, hoaxes, fake icons and extrapolations of evidence that not only makes macroevolution appear ridiculous, but even more importantly shows evidence that it is indeed impossible.

I'd be very interested to hear what frauds, fallacies, hoaxes, fake icons and extrapolations of evidence that you have found in your extensive research. Please share them with us.

In any case, why would you think that quoting scripture at Phronk would have any effect at all? It's a curious phenomenon I've noticed that those who believe in biblical inerrancy seem to feel that scripture is somehow convincing on its own merits to anyone that doesn't already agree. On the other hand, if you didn't think that it would have any effect on Phronk, quoting scripture thus is tantamount to gloating and isn't particularly respectable. And who is the person with a reprobate mind that has abused Phronk? Or is that just a grammatical error and you meant to say that Phronk is a victim possessing a reprobate mind?

I apologize for the grammatical error. What I meant was: "Because phronk has fallen victim to having a reprobate mind, he cannot see the errors of his ways."

You can see many debates that have occurred at my message board in the archives section.One of my favorites is Investigating the Icons of Evolution.

The next two links provide dozens of additional links on posts and conversations that I have been involved in over the past two years. This does not represent everything that I have done in my studies, but it includes many articles and the debates that have been generated by the people who post at my message board.

The Case For A Creator
Creation/Intelligent Design/Darwinism

I know of one person who had believed in evolution for many years of his life but eventually had his mind changed about it. It didn't happen through a science book or creation/evolution debate. It happened when he first believed in Christ as Savior and Lord, then began reading the Bible. If interested, you can read his story here.

No matter how many debates and conversations that I have with Darwinists I find such conversations often turn out fruitless. Why? Because they think higher of themselves and their science than they do of God. Science is their "Tower of Babel" and those that think of themselves as the "scientific elites" will probably always reject Creation Science and/or Intelligent Design Theory out of prejudice, pride, and extreme, unchanging bias.

What can little ole' me do to change the mind of a person like that? Probably nothing. But I do know that science is always attempting to catch up to God. So I'll take His Wisdom and Word above any man's word regarding the origin of life. I'll take belief in the eternal, infinite God of the universe above any man's finite words or knowledge any day...including scientific knowledge simply because, as I mentioned before, science is a discipline that is forever attempting to catch up to the God who created it in the first place!

Ubersehen quoting me: Science is their "Tower of Babel" and those that think of themselves as the "scientific elites" will probably always reject Creation Science and/or Intelligent Design Theory out of prejudice, pride, and extreme, unchanging bias.

This sounds a lot like that old dated accusation "Science is Religion." Not that you'll likely listen/believe, but science uses methodological naturalism to conduct its research. In other words, everything must be explained in natural terms. It does not claim that there is no god, it only attempts to explain all it can without resorting to a supernatural entity, or god, to fill in the gaps. It's curious, though, that you admonish the "scientific elites" for this perceived a priori rejection of Intelligent Design, and then go on to say:"I'll take His Wisdom and Word above any man's word regarding the origin of life. I'll take belief in the eternal,infinite God of the universe above any man's finite words or knowledge any day...including scientific knowledge".

This, by your own admission, reveals that you are completely unwilling to consider anything revealed by scientists already... your own a priori bias being firmly in place. As such, how can anyone take any claim you make as to having researched the inaccuracies of evolutionary theory seriously? You've already admitted that you wouldn't believe them, even if they were proven conclusively. Why even bother with the research? Any claim you make in regards to scientists possessing a fatal bias in their work is thoroughly discredited because of your own.

But also, what research? You've cited a pair of online discussions with other laymen/(women?) regarding your feeings on evolutionary theory, but that hardly qualifies as research. Is this what you meant when you said that you'd uncovered "frauds, fallcies, hoaxes, fake icons and extrapolations of evidence that not only makes macroevolution appear ridiculous, but even more importantly shows evidence that it is indeed impossible"? You determined all of these things from your blog?If not, what scientists did you talk to to gain this insight? What papers or critical research did you read? Which objective experts on evolutionary theory gave you insight into this revelation? Also, did you find any other realms of scientific research that were particularly flawed, or did you only focus on the elements of each field that dealt with evolutionary theory? Did you, for instance, uncover anything regarding particle/wave theory that you found to be biased by an a priori rejection of religion? Or regarding marine biology? After all, if the Christian god were taken into account, he might wrap up some of the difficulties found therein quite neatly. There are many different branches of research, of which evolution encompasses only a few. So, if you did not give equal weight to all scientific pursuits when determining that modern use of the scientific method was fraudulent, fallacious, etc, why did you give special attention to evolution?

Christinewjc said...

I'm sure that you didn't read every post at my board already, am I correct? As far a "scientific elites" is concerned, I'm sure that the poster named Frank at my board qualifies as one. He would probably be disappointed to read your opinion that he's only a "layperson."

I suppose that I could direct you to some of the most important posts and articles. But the question remains, would you read them? I have often found that debating with the other side only leads to insults. Plus, most claim that none of the work done by Creationists or IDeists has been "published in peer reviewed journals." The reason? Bias! One recently did get published but the evolutionists had such a hissy fit over it that they demanded it to be retracted.

Methodological naturalism isn't the only thing at play here. It's philosophical naturalism that prevents other viewpoints, scientific papers and evidence from being heard and written about in peer reviewed periodicals.Call it the "don't let God's foot in the door syndrome." Even when the Intelligent Designer is not specifically identified (hey! It could be an alien like Carl Sagan thought), the argument from design is rejected just because of the possibility that students could believe in the Creator God of the Bible. This is even when there is no mention of Genesis or the Bible in discussions of ID.Students in high schools and college are becoming more and more curious though. They are researching ID on the internet because their teachers and professors "won't allow it" in class. But their curiosity has led to thousands investigating the controversy. In fact, the Discovery Institute only asks that the controversy be taught at this point.

But no!

The scientific elites have their a priori view of naturalism which is their own form of secular religious faith.

Greg Koukl describes it well in Evolution - Philosophy not Science.

One question included in an article here asks,


"Why, I ask, should reasonable people be so afraid of an intuitively appealing suggestion that a scientific theory may need modifying? They reply that the suggestion itself is not "scientific," and thus has no place in a class on science. Let it be studied, if at all, in courses on religion."

The response?

"And let their response be included in courses on logic, as a stellar example of intellectual dishonesty."


I have discovered, over and over again through articles written by people much more intelligent than I that not all scientists and/or people walk lock-step in tune with the macroevolutionary extrapolation of the overall theory of evolution. It takes a lot of faith, faith in the Darwinian form of religion, to believe in such a theory and call it "fact".

We get the argument that science cannot include "religion" and be legitimate.

We also get the argument that science and philosophy "do not mix."

Why not?

The philosophy of Darwinism mixes in with science already.

What is it then? It's a particular type of philosophy that they don't want to mix in with science. Why...it's built into the definition of science...isn't it?

Change the definition!

Hey...gay activists want to change the definition of marriage don't they? That's ok to the liberal elitists isn't it? They embrace such a change as "progressive" and modern and savvy and "with the times" etc. But the definition of science? Don't mess with that! For it is their clarion call!

Here's a very interesting article that the average student of science would never get the opportunity to read due to his/her science teacher's philosophical prejudice. However, I think (personally) that it would make for a great discussion. The reasons why it would be rejected? Well, why don't you go ahead and list them after you read it?

Christinewjc said...

I just realized that I didn't answer this question:


"So, if you did not give equal weight to all scientific pursuits when determining that modern use of the scientific method was fraudulent, fallacious, etc, why did you give special attention to evolution?"


Because over the last 150 years, many of the "evidences" of evolution (macro) have been revealed as frauds. Hey! It's ok right? It doesn't matter that for 50 years students were taught and duped into believing that a hoax put forth as evidence was true, right? And people claim that evolution follows "the truth to where it leads?"

Bullcrap!

You are probably too young to remember Gilda Radner's news character on Saturday Night Live. But after a rant that was proven false she would just say, "never mind."

And what about intellectual honesty? I love this quote from Monkeys and Atheists. It clearly illustrates the lengths to which Darwinian religionists will go...


"Thomas Huxley ("Darwin's bulldog") is said to have come up with the most famous defense of the atheist belief that life was created by chance, not God. In a debate at Oxford, he is reported to have stated that if enough monkeys randomly pressed typewriter keys for a long enough time, sooner or later Psalm 23 would emerge.

Not all atheists use this argument, but it accurately represents the atheist belief that with enough time and enough solar systems, you'll get you, me and Bach's cello suites.

This belief has always struck me as implausible. The argument that infinitely complex intelligence came about by itself, unguided by any intelligence, can only be deemed convincing by those who have a vested interest (intellectual, emotional, psychological) in atheism.

I fully acknowledge the great challenge to theism – the rampant and seemingly random unfairness built into human life. But no intellectually honest atheist should deny the great challenge to atheism – the existence of design and intelligence. The belief that Bach's music randomly evolved from a paramecium should strike anyone as so fantastic as to be absurd, even more absurd than the belief that a monkey could monkey Shakespeare. The finite number of years in the universe's existence and the finite number of planets would not come close to producing a few sentences, let alone Psalm 23 or a Shakespeare play.

But a just reported English University experiment has convinced me that the number of monkeys and the amount of time are irrelevant. Psalm 23, let alone Hamlet, would never be written. Why? Because the monkeys probably wouldn't do any typing.

According to news reports, instructors at Plymouth University put six Sulawesi crested macaque monkeys in a room with a computer and keyboards for four weeks. Though one of the monkeys frequently typed the letter "s", the other monkeys ignored the keyboard, preferring to play with one another and with the ropes and toys placed there. When they did pay attention to the keyboard, one smashed it with a stone and the others repeatedly urinated and defecated on it.

The instructors hastened to note the study was not scientific, given the short duration of time and the small number of monkeys, but some of us find this "study" to be a hilarious vindication of our view of the "enough monkeys for enough time" argument for random creation."



Links of interest:
Discovery Institute article database

Intelligent Design the Future

Answers in Genesis

Ha! I love this one:

Inherit The Spin: Darwinists Answer “Ten Questions” with Evasions and Falsehoods

Want more?

Icons of Evolution
Happy reading! ;-)

101 comments:

Jody said...

Christine, there is no real difference between macro and micro evolution. It's the same process. If you accept one, you are accepting both.

Your personal beliefs aside, Evolution remains one of the best documented fact of science, supported by multiple, independent but congruent lines of research, from geology to anatomy, to chemistry to genetics.

If your faith has a problem with reality, I think the problem rests with your faith.

Christinewjc said...

jody,

I suggest you read Inherit The Spin: Darwinists Answer “Ten Questions” with Evasions and Falsehoods. You will see the huge distortions, misleading representations, false "evidence" and immense difference between the real evidence of microevolution vs. the incorrect and false extrapolation of such evidence to make it appear, as you yourself stated, as that micro and macroevolution "is the same process."

Dani said...

This has been an excellent debate Christine - thanks for taking so much time to try and enlighten our pals Jody, Ubersehen and Phronk. Unfortunately, their hearts may be too hardened to believe the TRUTH because God as already given them over to a debased mind. Professing to be wise, they have become FOOLS. No amount of evidence will convince them otherwise.

My latest post is about this debate between you and Ubersehen: The Mind of a FOOL.

Thanks again for sharing your wisdom.

Jody said...

The Inherit article tries to make a summary press release from the NCSE into an "official" answer to his questions, when in fact those questions, which he'd already presented in his book Icons of Evolution were completely shredded by numerous reviewers when Icons was first published in 2000.

Icons/Inherit is a terrible line of argumentation, with Wells arguing, as one reviewer put it, ...[b]ecause there are omissions, simplifications, and inaccuracies in some general biology textbooks, obviously the modern theory of evolution must be wrong.

Biology Textbooks. Do you understand how silly an argument that is?

Much more damning though is what Wells does in his book -- or doesn't do: ...the scholarship of Icons is substandard and the conclusions of the book are unsupported. In fact, despite his touted scientific credentials, Wells doesn't produce a single piece of original research to support his position. Instead, Wells parasitizes on other scientists' legitimate work.

He could not have written the "Haeckel's embryos" chapter without the work of Richardson et al. (1997, 1998), or the "peppered moths" chapter without Coyne (1998) and Majerus (1998), or the "Archaeopteryx" chapter without Shipman (1998). Even then, Wells's discussions are rife with inaccuracies and out-of-date information.

Wells seems to think that scientific theories are supported by certain "keystone" pieces of evidence, removal of which causes the theory to collapse. Paradigms in science work when they provide solutions and further research; their health is not tied to single examples. The paradigm of evolution is not tied to a single piece of evidence."


Christine, there is no "talking past each other" going on here. What you are saying -- that evolution isn't true -- is completely and thoroughly wrong. The problem isn't with the conversation, it's with you.

steller said...

that was interesting.. although could it not be possible that micro and macro evolution be merged? i mean there may be some biological bodies that can evolve big scale together with other bodies but some may simply evolve together with the same specie.. i am pretty much contented anyway that i evolved this way and there are other "finely evolved" creatures waiting for me in webdate..

Christinewjc said...

Jody,

What Wells does in his "Inherit" analysis he does very well. He exposes the fact that purposely distorted information still remains in high school science textbooks and that spinning such information in order to deflect such criticism isn't going to negate this fact.

The first two sentences in Gishlick's criticism of Well's "10 Questions" piece stunningly evade the fact that Gishlick's opinion is not about proclaiming the truth Here's what he wrote:

"The role of primary and secondary education is to pass on a certain body of accepted knowledge and basic concepts to students in order to prepare them to learn more. The question is whether the criticisms leveled by the author of Icons would aid us in that goal; the resounding answer is no."

So, are we to presume that "accepted knowledge" means faked and fabricated icons like the ones Wells clearly exposes just because it was "accepted knowledge" in the past? What about the fact that these icons are now defunct?

And what is Gishlick's reason to dismiss these falsehoods? The truth? No! He states:

" Wells evaluates only four high school textbooks in the review, and those have a far smaller treatment of evolution than do the college texts."

So what! The fact that as late as 1998 (in some cases, even 2000) these icons are still being passed off as "knowledge" to unsuspecting students who are often taught that these scientific "evidences" are sound and their science teacher is an infallible arbiter of "facts." Talk about a total bunch of HOOEY! And LYING...for that matter.

Gishlick sounds like a whiner who doesn't like the fact that someone who shares facts about the misleading shenanigans of evolution proponents has a bias. Isn't it a good thing to purport bias against lies, distortions, purpose driven fakery, fallacies, and frauds dressed up to indoctrinate the minds of children in classrooms in order to advance a philosophical agenda?

And, this is utterly laughable:

Gishlick: "Just as no piece of evidence becomes a teaching example without extensive testing, no example should be removed on the basis of one poorly argued, inaccurate, and tendentious book. In each case, it is Wells's arguments that are wanting, not the "icon."

This guy claims that Well's questions are "poorly argued, inaccurate and tendentious" when Well's has clearly shown that the icons and their proponents are guilty of those three things? Talk about a straw man argument! Gishlick is king of the straw man! With that article drivel, Gishlick unwittingly exposes himself in a similar fashion (pun intended!)as in the story of The Emperor's New Clothes!

Jody said...

Christine, the fact that there are problems with textbooks that discuss evolution doesn't mean that there are problems with evolution.

That's a very simple bit of logic...

First, scientists have been arguing about how bad textbooks are in providing accurate science education well before Wells ever got his commission from Rev. Moon to take down evolution.

In a 1999 article from in the Boston Globe, discusses how scientists had been complaining about this for years. The paleontologist and author Stephen Jay Gould wrote about the same problem a few years ago, referring to it as the ''cloning'' of bad information from one book to another. And it's not just the information itself, right or wrong, that gets copied, but often the sequence and the structure of a lesson, and even the use of specific comparisons. Even when not wrong, such copying can impede learning, he wrote.

For example, he cites the fact that virtually every textbook chapter on evolution begins by describing Lamarck's discredited ideas, even though most students may never have heard of the 19th century biologist, and ends by using giraffes' necks as an instance of natural selection, even though this is a dubious example.


It's been the scientific community -- including evolutionary scientists -- who've been out to get better textbooks and better education about science for longer than the "Intelligent Design" movement has been in existence.

Wells critique isn't to further science education, rather it's to create a straw man -- that there is a conspiracy among scientists to indoctrinate people with false ideas -- and then pull it apart, thinking this "exposes" the "fallacy" of evolution. That's laughably bad reasoning.

Pointing out an error in a history textbook doesn't mean that the fact of the history is wrong. Pointing out an error in a math textbook doesn't mean that the fact of the math is wrong. Pointing out an error in a biology textbook regarding evolution doesn't mean the fact of evolution is wrong.

Christine, you have provided no evidence that evolution is wrong. You've parroted back lines that you've bought into, but you have no understanding of the science behind it, of how reason and logic works, of how to even critique an idea.

I say again: you don't know what you are talking about.

Mark said...

Christine,
the likes of jody will not be changed by anyone, they have heard the truth and rejected the truth. Notice how jody always blames the messenger..i.e You must have the problem, You must prove the existence of God, You're not listening etc.. Pure Bullshit runs form the mouth of a 'man' with a stone for a heart! I will leave jody to God.

I have had this 'debate' with them, and what they call fact is nothing more than their opinion!

For the record again, no one will prove God exists to any man's liking. That is a change of heart, and when your heart has been given over to its debased thinking, like Dani says, No amount of evidence will convince them otherwise.

Evolution is a Godless man's theory to console his wicked, death stench, unremorseful, pride filled heart.

Phronk said...

You're right Mark, in a debate such as this, it isn't the messenger that should be attacked, but rather the message.

This is exactly what I've seen Jody doing.

You, on the other hand, spout things like:

the likes of jody will not be changed by anyone

Pure Bullshit runs form the mouth of a 'man' with a stone for a heart!

when your heart has been given over to its debased thinking,

Evolution is a Godless man's theory to console his wicked, death stench, unremorseful, pride filled heart.

Death stench? What the hell are you talking about?

Is this projection? Or are you intentionally being hypocritical to steer people away from your religion? Because really, you're only doing harm to the cause you purport to champion.

Mark said...

phronk,
You are correct in pointing out my own sinful nature and weakness. I have a 'potty mouth' and battle that daily. If you knew my background it would come as no surprise :).

If anything, the harm would be NOT to accept God's message of salvation becuase of those who deliver it based on their own personal 'feelings' about that person delivering the message. Bullshit excuse in my opinion, and delivered First Class, not by the USPS, but by Satan!

People's eternity is at stake. I am NOT perfect, never will be, never have been. Jesus Christ, however, is and always has been.

jody is on the path to Hell IMO. He lives a spiritually dead life(hence he smells of death when he speaks) he mocks his creator and Savior(hence his heart has been given to its own debased desires).

If I am doing 'harm' by telling someone, based on Christ's words, they are walking towards Hell and grabbing as many hands as they can along the way, then so be it. I will NOT be guilty of watching God's child, jody, be burned to death holding a fire hose.

My message has NOTHING to do with me. I am NEVER going to please everyone. I will however, speak the truth that is rooted in God's word. Therefore I stand on a stone even though I am a sinner. Why? becuase I repent and know good from evil, as simple as that sounds, it an unchangeable truth.

jody currently walks NOT in Christ's holiness, he walks in his own, and woe to him.

Phronk said...

It's nice of you to share your opinion and all, Mark, but I hope you realize that it is only convincing if one already believes in Your God. If Your God does not exist, then all of what you say is meaningless.

I'm thinking that all these debates about evolution, morality, etc, always boil down to whether your version of God exists or not. Maybe we should stop blabbing about specific consequences of His existence and get right down to the core issue.

The problem with that is that people get all emotionally involved in it, and are already so convinced one way or the other that no amount of debate will change it. So why bother? While I'd be interested to hear you fundamentalist types' reasons for beleiving in God, I'm sure any rebuttal or questioning of those reasons, and/or reasons for our own beliefs, would be ignored.

So...yeah...I dunno...just my thoughts.

Jody said...

jody currently walks NOT in Christ's holiness...

But I do source my comments, provide a fairly clear line of reason, and don't use magic as a defense when shown I was conceptually, factually, and utterly wrong....

It remains so that neither here, nor on Mark's blog, nor on Dani's, has any evidence been presented that supports Intelligent Design or undermines evolution. Time and time again the "facts" displayed by ID advocates are shown to be incomplete, misleading, or out and out wrong.

The typical rejoinder, as Mark here has shown, is to cite superstition as a final proof. Unfortunately, I can't debate superstition. Like arguing over who's tougher, Superman or the Hulk, ComicCon hosted late night jams aside, it's ultimately quite meaningless.

If you are going to argue the factual validity of a thing, like ID, please have some actual facts to back it up.

If you don't have them, if all you can cite is your existential inadequacies masquerading as justified epistemology (or ontology for that matter), then do everyone a favor: admit you got nothin', go back to the kids table and let the adults talk.

Christinewjc said...

Jody,

My original blogpost here was not meant to cite evidence for ID or Creation. The title should have been your hint regarding this.

You have chosen to ignore the main point of this post and have gone off on your own kind of tangent. In fact, you have proven that I am correct in my original premise. You are guilty of the "talking past each other" problem.

I have found this to be a common error on the part of evolution proponents. They can't see that the discussion isn't about their "scientific evidence;" it's about their "philosophical preference." Darwinism has it's own secular humanistic type of dogma and qualifies as it's own godless religion; whether you, and others like you, want to admit it or not.

It also rates as a dictatorship.

You claim that people of faith use "magic" so I assume that you think we are irrational. Perhaps it is you and others who think as you do who are the genuine, irrational ones. [Note: at link, scroll down to final post, or, better yet, read them all]

OK, if you are so sure that your theory is rational, why not answer a few Questions for Evolutionists?

Finally, perhaps you could read Dominoes, Determinism, and Naturalism and then continue to tell me how irrational the beliefs of Dani, Mark, and I are. I'd be curious to read your reaction to that article.

Dani said...

Phronk said - "I'm thinking that all these debates about evolution, morality, etc, always boil down to whether your version of God exists or not. Maybe we should stop blabbing about specific consequences of His existence and get right down to the core issue."

I have tried to get to this core issue several times, but you continue to ignore it and talk past me no matter how much evidence is given to you.

Our "version" of God does exist, Phronk! Care to provide evidence to prove otherwise?

Just because you don't believe in God - doesn't mean He doesn't exist!

Again, this is why you are a FOOL - because you have said in your heart that "there is no God."

P.S. - Mark, no worries! I have a potty mouth too and I feel your frustration. Thank goodness for the delete button.

Jody said...

No, I'm not "talking past you." I'm not talking over you either. Or under you, or around you or any other possible permutation thereof. I'm talking to you directly:

You don't understand what you are discussing.

You think you do and you make a big show by linking around to various articles, but you don't really get it. I'm no expert, but I do understand science -- I understand it better than you. I get what it's about, why it works and why you're wrong.

I owe that understanding, at least in part, to my education at public high school, college, and graduate school (on two different occasions, two different degrees.) Public schooling is a great invention of the United States. Pitty we don't do more to support it, but then I digress.

Science is predicated on naturalism. Always has been, always will be. When Thales of Miletus said in 585 B.C -- and I'm approximating here because my Greek is really, really, really bad -- "Whoah, Dudes! What if earthquakes aren't caused by Zeus passing gas? (I know, it looses something in the translation) he discovered nature, the material world and its phenomena."

It allowed him to postulate the first theory, that "the forces and processes that produce and control all the phenomena of the material world" (same cite) weren't at the mercy of the capriciousness of the gods, but could be discerned first through observation and reason and then later through experimentation. He discovered science.

Science is a methodology that deals in physical processes, in analysis, in experimentation, in theory, in data, in short, in facts.

It's a justified process (to show to be true through proof), that anyone can participate in, provided you show your work. It's rules are pretty simple. It's results are pretty dramatic (he wrote at his laptop, resting on his sofa, beamed over a wireless network, to a world wide Internet.)

Christine, as long as you say that a god, who we can't see, can't feel, can't hear, can't take pictures of, can't give a back massages too, intervenes in the world in some way that we can't see, feel, hear, or touch, then great. I got no beef with you. I'll just smile and go about my business feeding pigeons on my way to the mall.

As soon as you state that the same described above physically intervened at the molecular level, the genetic level, or species level to create the creatures before us because it wouldn't work any other way, then I gotta stop you there and say:

Prove it.

You are arguing that you can do so. That, within the system set forth by Thales and modified by countless thinkers over the centuries, you can show this god not just guiding things in some unseen manner but actually intervening to make changes, then the onus is on you to provide the proof.

Arguing that because science textbooks give bad examples about evolution means that your view is correct is not proof. It's a fact about the nature of the textbook, not about the nature of your argument.

Throwing out cosmological questions about the nature of the universe is not a support for your premise that there is no such thing as macroevolution.

Linking to an online debate you had two years ago is not evidence in support of your ongoing thesis that Evolutionary Theory can't explain the evolution of life.

The burden is on you, and those you support, and those that the young man mentioned in your "dictatorship" article support, to show, scientifically, how what we know to be true by multiple, independent, converging lines of evidence is false.

You haven't done that. You haven't even begun to do that.

I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt here that you just don't understand science, its history, its terms or its process. Otherwise, I'd have to conclude that you are being deliberately deceptive, obtuse or stark raving mad.

Phronk said...

Dani:

I have tried to get to this core issue several times, but you continue to ignore it and talk past me no matter how much evidence is given to you.

The only "evidence" I recall you giving for the existence of your God was pictures of your trip to Hawaii. I responded that we have pretty good scientific explanations for all the beautiful scenery in Hawaii, as well as for the concept of beauty itself. And that even if we are missing some explanations, putting an even more mysterious God of the gaps in the place of smaller mysteries isn't helping anything. I don't know if I said this before, but it's also the case that there are an infinite number of explanations that have merit about equal to your's. For example, I could hypothesize that there is an invisible pink platypus that created Hawaii 35 years ago.

Of course, if I made such a claim, you would ask me to prove it. Which brings me to my next point:

Our "version" of God does exist, Phronk! Care to provide evidence to prove otherwise?

You are the one making an extraordinary claim, so, as Jody said more eloquently than I, the onus is on you to prove it. I have shown, on your blog, that pictures of Hawaii, and appeals to emotion and morality, etc, are not proof. You can try again if you want, but I don't see why I'd listen to you, since you just said on your blog that you intentionally ignore everything I say.

Just because you don't believe in God - doesn't mean He doesn't exist!

And just because you believe he does exist, doesn't mean he does. Our beliefs are independent of the truth in this matter, so you must bring in external evidence. It has nothing to do with beliefs.

Again, this is why you are a FOOL - because you have said in your heart that "there is no God."

I've never said "there is no God", either with my heart, my mouth, my ass, or my typing fingers. I have provided evidence that YOUR SPECIFIC GOD does not exist. I have also considered that there is no good evidence FOR his existence. But even in regard to your specific God, my mind is still open to the possibility, albeit I considere it a remote one. If my mind ever closed, I'd be - well, I'd be as bad as you.

Christinewjc said...

Jody,

Yes. You are talking past me. You continually dismiss what I say and in the process end up just mocking my beliefs at the end of your posts.

You are wrong. I most certainly do understand what I am discussing. It is you who refuses to see past your "tower of Babel" called "the scientific extrapolation of evidence that makes you believe in ape (or chimp, monkey)to man macroevolution." You claim that there is no difference between micro and macroevolutionary theory. That is a fallacy put forth by those who "think they know better" than the laypersons who agree with those scientists who challenge that part of the theory.

Thus, we get to the point of my original post (yet, again!) and that point is that evolutionists refuse to face the fact that their views and beliefs are just as much philosophical and "religious" as adherents to Creation and/or ID. You keep claiming that since you believe that micro and macroevolution are incontrovertably linked together, that the evidence (which is strong and not contested by Creationists or IDeists)for microevolution automatically means that macroevolution must be true also. Well, the evidence just does not support that extrapolation. Therefore, your belief that it does is evidence of your prejudicial opinions are steeped in philosophical naturalism; a.k.a. the godless religion of Darwinism.

We could probably trade links to articles refuting each others claims all day long. But the fact remains that because Darwinists refuse to admit that their philosophical naturalism beliefs come down to a "chance did it" conclusion; they consider their mocking of Creationists and IDeists for believing that "God did it" a legitimate argument against us. But your "chance did it" hypothesis is not only ridiculous, it's impossible. Given millions and billions of years, it's still impossible. Statistically speaking, you reach a point where such a belief is labeled by scientific measure to be an impossibility. Yet, Darwinists continue to extrapolate the evidence for microevolution and falsely claim that it demonstrates evidence for macroevolution. That's a philosophical position, not a scientific one.

Since you and phronk enjoy labeling dani, mark and I in verbiage such as we are: "throughly wrong," "the problem rests with your faith," "the problem is with you," that we "have no understanding of the science behind it, of how reason and logic works, of how to even critique an idea," that we "don't know what I'm (we're) talking about," "if our God doesn't exist, then all of what we say is meaningless," that "you (we)just don't understand science, its history, its terms or its process. Otherwise, I'd have to conclude that you are being deliberately deceptive, obtuse or stark raving mad," then you must admit that if we are correct then it is you who should be labeled as all of those things! Plus, you'd have to admit that it has been you who has been wrong all this time.

You know what? I don't even care that you call me names and make derogatory comments about my non-belief in the (false) theory of macroevolution. I consider myself in good company.

You don't believe that God exists?

Prove it!

Our faith is based on a real person, Jesus Christ, who has been proven (as proof is required in a courtroom case) to have existed. His life, death, resurrection and ascension is recorded in historical documents (some secular, in fact) and is a fact of history. It's a fact just as much as it is a fact of history that Caesar once lived (except he died and stayed dead, of course). However, the proof about Jesus is even more extensive. If you are wondering about evidence of my claims here, go read about Simon Greenleaf's conclusions on the matter.

Jody said...

Christine, once again I find myself saying "No, you don't understand."

I've explained, rather simply, what science is. It's a methodology that for studying nature, proceeding forth from an assumption that no magic is involved in natural processes but just simply physical events. It is also referred to as "methodological naturalism." No ontological meaning is derived within the process itself.

I've explained that this isn't an assumption I came up with, or "Darwinists" came up with, but which Thales, who we historically attribute to be the "inventor" of the scientific method, proposed. It allows people, of whatever ilk, to conduct and investigation into events of the world and to discover answers that are generalizable.

People of various metaphysical beliefs have used this methodology with ever increasing success (as the tools and that methodology became more and more refined) for over 2500 years.

The scientific method is ultimately agnostic toward the existence of any supernatural entities -- people aren't, but the method involved here is. It's set up this way to keep arguments about which magic is right out of the process itself. Science can't measure magic, only what occurs naturally.

Focus in on that idea, because we're going to return to that in a moment.

You've argued that evolution and its processes as is commonly understood by hundreds of thousands of scientists across the globe is wrong. That there is little or no evidence for the well documented, researched, and verified processes involved, and that the mass of scientific literature is wrong.

You've not argued this on just religous grounds, but on scientific ones as well. You've made statements here that you believe the scientific method, used with great effect for centuries, isn't right. You've also argued, and sided with those who argue, that the role of a supernatural creator in the development of life can be easily shown through the scientific process.

I've asked you to provide this scientific evidence. You haven't done so. You've provided your beliefs and opinions. You've provided links to articles that contained factual errors or didn't speak to the point you proposed (because evolution textbooks have wrong information in them evolution itself is wrong.)

You state over and over again that I am talking past you. No, I'm not. I'm saying do what scientists for thousands of years have been doing: provide the evidence.

You won't. You shift the argument into a debate about the validity of philosophical naturalism -- which is an extrapolation from methodological naturalism that there really isn't a supernatural (which is something I subscribe to, but that is another debate -- and use that as a straw man to attack the premise of science.

Because you do this, time and time again, you show you don't understand science. You aren't arguing from science or using the tools of science. You are cloaking a religious idea -- Creation By God -- in the wordage of science and trying to sell it --Intelligent Design -- as such.

That's not science, Christine.

I'm not going to argue magic with you. I'm also not here in your com box going to let you get away unchallenged with a persecution complex stemming from your own hubris that the methodology of science is not something you have to follow.

If you want to stick to your religious view that everything we see around us was created by magic, fine. As you are arguing instead that that magic also formed scientifically speaking the world around us, you need to put your evidence up or shut up.

The errors remain yours.

Dani said...

Jody said... "I owe that understanding, at least in part, to my education at public high school, college, and graduate school. Public schooling is a great invention of the United States."

Well that explains a heck of a lot. Let's give it up for the godless, secular, humanistic, bureaucratic daycare centers and evolutionary breeding grounds we call the public schools. Jody is a fine example the the product that comes from being educated by the government. Let's give him a hand - *CLAP-CLAP-CLAP*

"as long as you say that a god, who we can't see, can't feel, can't hear, can't take pictures of, can't give a back massages too, intervenes in the world in some way that we can't see, feel, hear, or touch, then great."

We can't see, feel, hear, touch or take a picture of gravity - does that mean it doesn't exist? Further Jody, by that logic you can't see, feel, hear or touch your own brain, what does that mean...hmmm?

Are you basically saying that you can only know what your five senses can tell you?

Which one of your five senses told you that?

As for The Scientific Method you are bickering about with Christine...

(I posted this on my blog)

Darwinian theory cannot even be observed, let alone scientifically proven. Scientific claims must be testable. If there is no way to tell whether a theory is true or not, it is not a scientific theory. New age propaganda, mystic enlightenment, ancient authority, mere speculation or a good imagination do not qualify as scientific evidence.

As for the "theory" as it applies in a scientific context - Perhaps you should put all FIVE steps of The Scientific Method to the test with the "theory" of evolution and other random chance events! Bummer - you can't even get past step 3: Use the hypothesis to make predictions.

Scientific evidence of evolution you say? LOL! Don’t think so!

Can you please explain how non-living matter developed into the first living cell? Or how does a single-celled organism turn into multicelled creatures? Or what about invertebrates to vertebrates? How did all this appear by chance out of nothing?

It takes a hell of a lot more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in Creation.

Just sayin'...

------------------------

Phronk said...

"I've never said "there is no God", either with my heart, my mouth, my ass, or my typing fingers. I have provided evidence that YOUR SPECIFIC GOD does not exist. I have also considered that there is no good evidence FOR his existence. But even in regard to your specific God, my mind is still open to the possibility, albeit I consider it a remote one."

The only evidence you have provided that at MY SPECIFIC GOD does not exist is your own opinion - hardly credible. At least when I give you my opinion it is based on something substantial since it comes from that Word of God, the Creator of all things.

But even though you don't agree that my God exists, the fact that your mind is still open to the possibility makes our efforts all worthwhile, albeit even if you consider it a remote one. As long as that possibility is still there for you, Phronk - I will continue to devote my time to you.

See - I don't intentionally ignore everything you say - just the really, really stupid stuff!

Dani said...

(I also posted this on my blog)

Here is a clip from a man named Jim Hilston over at TheologyOnline.com that explains this situation brilliantly:

The Evolutionist as an Epistemological Loafer
Consider the following hypothetical scenario:


The Pneumatist believes in the existence of air and claims that all breathing depends on the air's existence and that without air, all breathing would be rendered impossible.

The Apneumatist does not believe in the existence of air and claims that there is no evidence for the existence of air, and all the while he continues to breathe air. The Pneumatist points out to the Apneumatist the fact that, if air did not exist, he could not be breathing. But the Apneumatist responds and says, "No, you're wrong to say that my breathing would be impossible without air, because I AM in fact breathing!"

This is the a similar scenario as we see in this debate. The Creationist believes in the existence of God and claims that the success of the tools of science depends on the extra-natural guidance and governance of God and that without Him, all science would be rendered impossible. The Methodological Naturalist refuses to acknowledge the extra-natural and claims that there is no need to consider the extra-natural in the scientific enterprise.

The Creationist points out to the Methodological Naturalist the fact that, if God did not govern the natural by the extra-natural, he could not do science. But the Methodological Naturalist responds and says, "No, you're wrong to say that the success of the tools science would be impossible without God's governance, because my science is successful!"

What we see in both of these scenarios is the failure to acknowledge the very foundation of what is being taken for granted. Our ability to know, to learn, to infer, to reason at all, depends upon the existence and attributes of a supernatural, personal God.

Epistemology, the understanding of how we know what we know, has no rational foundation apart from God. Yet, the Methodological naturalist presumes to reason, to make inference, and to have knowledge. I do not deny their ability to do so, just as I would not deny the Apneumatist's ability to breathe God's air, but they cannot justify or rationally account for why they are successful at their science and how they breathe God's air. In the absence of cogent justification for breathing and reasoning, the anti-Creationist continues to breathe and to reason, but they do so without warrant, the whole time presuming upon the Creationist worldview and perception of reality in order to breathe and to make sense of everyday life. That is to say, the Methodological Naturalist/Evolutionist/anti-Creationist has not done, indeed could not do, his own work in order to justify what he knows and his theory of knowledge. By continuing to make claims to knowledge, he thus becomes an epistemological "loafer," tacitly borrowing Creationistic reasoning, and hijacking the tools of science without justification.

Read the entire debate here => EVOLUTION: Science or Science Fiction?

Mark said...

There is no theory of evolution.
Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.

Now stop tossing pearls before swine, or I'm calling Mr. Norris! :) I have his phone number ya know!

Christinewjc said...

Ha ha ha...Mark...Chuck Norris Loved it!

Hey...I found this article on Al Mohler's blog today: Belief Meets the Universal Acid? Daniel Dennett Strikes Again. Dennett sounds like a man after Jody's own heart...doesn't he?

Phronk said...

See Dani, this is what happens when we finally get down to discussing the core issue - whether God exists or not. You ignore almost everything, and focus on one easy to respond to quote. I really wish you'd respond to entire comments, like I do.

First of all:

Dani said: We can't see, feel, hear, touch or take a picture of gravity - does that mean it doesn't exist? Further Jody, by that logic you can't see, feel, hear or touch your own brain, what does that mean...hmmm?

You can't feel gravity? You can't feel the workings of your own brain? That...well, in Dani's case that makes a lot of sense. But personally, I feel my butt in my chair, and there's a picture of my brain hanging on the wall beside me.

The only evidence you have provided that at MY SPECIFIC GOD does not exist is your own opinion - hardly credible. At least when I give you my opinion it is based on something substantial since it comes from that Word of God, the Creator of all things.

Actually, I gave you a valid argument showing that creation is false. If creation is false, then Your Specific God (of who creating the universe is a defining property) does not exist. Therefore, your God does not exist.

You still haven't addressed that argument though, so you must have some trouble with it. That is more evidence that your God indeed does not exist.

Oh, and "my opinion that God exists is true, because God exists" is horrible reasoning. I really hope you can at least grasp this most basic of logical fallacies.

But even though you don't agree that my God exists, the fact that your mind is still open to the possibility makes our efforts all worthwhile, albeit even if you consider it a remote one. As long as that possibility is still there for you, Phronk - I will continue to devote my time to you.

I think you're misunderstanding me. I'm not trying to give you hope for converting me here. I'm more sure in my beliefs than you are in yours, except that my certainty isn't artifically inflated by delusions.

In fact, I would hypothesize that your beliefs are extremely fragile. Since they are based on so many specific facts being true, and even one being proven untrue will shatter the entire system of beliefs, if you accept just one good argument or scientific fact, your religion could come crashing down. You probably think that can't happen, but it can. It has.

I just hope there's a good friend, or a good shrink, there to pick up the pieces with you, and not a corrupt pastor or husband who will turn their hate onto you.

Christinewjc said...

Phronk,

The reason you are so convinced of "your side" is because that is where your "faith" rests. Human knowledge and science is designed (imagine that!) to be discovered and seen; whereas faith is the substance of things hoped for and not seen.

Hbr 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Man and science says, "I'll believe it when I see it." God and faith informs us through His Word and the Person of Jesus Christ, "I'll see it when I believe it."

Did you know that there is advanced medical knowledge in the Bible? I can share examples with you if you are interested.

Also, the Bible isn't a science textbook, but it's scientific statements are often proven correct as time advances and our scientific discoveries advance. For example, hundreds of years ago the scientists of that day scoffed about Adam being made from the "dirt of the ground." Today, we find that the elements of our bodies are indeed found there (except for extra boron I've been told).

A few verses down in Hebrews, we read this:

Hbr 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear

That could be considered an example of advance scientific knowledge not yet understood by the people of that era. It took hundreds of years for man to "discover" this truth; that there are microscopic particles that make up what we see. Then, with the discovery of DNA we came to see that there were even tinier "evidences of things not seen".

Isn't it possible that we are still unable to "see things as they are" or understand the miracles that were performed by Jesus because we now "only see through a glass darkly?"

1Cr 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Things like this have led me to believe that "science is always catching up to God." Whereas, you come convinced that there is no God, and thus science is the ultimate in knowledge. Because we come from different premises, our conclusions will most likely always disagree and conflict with each other.

I come from the premise that Jesus is who he claims to be; the Son of God, Creator, Savior and Lord of the universe. You, however, might come from the premise that it's all a myth and that humanistic logic, rationality, and science is all that there is.

If we presume that God created everything and lives in a place outside of these "restraints", if you will, then isn't it logical and rational that He is also above and beyond the limitations of science?

This is where faith comes in.

Jesus asked his own disciples, "Where is your faith?" when they were frightened by the raging sea and winds while out in the boat. Jesus had the power to calm the sea right before their very eyes.

Luk 8:25 And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.

I don't mean to get too far off of the topic here, but I hope to make my point.

Jesus asks us, "Who do you say that I am?" Every person must answer that question. Every person needs to seek out and see if what Jesus claimed about himself is true.

I already posted a link to Simon Greenleaf's Testimony of the Evangelicals. He was a former atheist/agnostic who started out to disprove the evidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He found the evidence so compelling that he is famous for sharing that such evidence(s) would have held up in a court of law.

The Bible is the best source for discovering who Jesus is (if you have the desire to do so) and what he did for mankind. I suggest that you start with the book of John.

I totally disagree with your view that Dani's (or my) beliefs are "fragile." For me, studying the Bible for 18 years has only made my faith grow more and more steadfast. Answered prayer, evidence of prophecies of the Old Testament in the Bible fulfilled in the New Testament (over 300 of them about Jesus Christ), the indwelling of the Holy Spirit leading and guiding me in my life has cemented my belief that Jesus is who He says He is.

C.S. Lewis said that Jesus doesn't leave room to just believe that "he was a good man and prophet." He claimed to be God in the flesh who came to save us from the sentence of death because of sin. He is the only one who died for the sins of others and rose again to prove he has the power to raise us all from the dead. C.S. Lewis said (paraphrased here), 'Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic or Lord.' I choose Lord because he is King of kings and Lord of lords, Creator God, Savior of my soul and Lord of my life.

But that's just my decision...what's your's Phronk?

Dani said...

Phronk - I am 100% sure of my beliefs - how sure are you about yours?

Phronk said...

Whereas, you come convinced that there is no God, and thus science is the ultimate in knowledge. Because we come from different premises, our conclusions will most likely always disagree and conflict with each other.

I come from the premise that Jesus is who he claims to be; the Son of God, Creator, Savior and Lord of the universe. You, however, might come from the premise that it's all a myth and that humanistic logic, rationality, and science is all that there is.


I think this is a misrepresentation of my beliefs. I did not "come in" with the belief that there is no God. Personally, I was raised Christian, so if anything I started with a belief in God.

But the ultimate source of my beliefs is simply a desire to gain knowledge. And as I gained knowledge (and continue to do so), a belief in God just never materialized. If the knowledge I gained did point toward the existence of God, I'd be more than happy to accept it.

Your point is good though - we come from different places, and we will probably never agree. You have a belief in God and Jesus and all that, and anything new you learn either has to fit with those beliefs or there must be something wrong with it. My beliefs, on the other hand, are ever-changing according to what I learn.

Surely you'll take this as a weakness, but careful examination will show you that it is not. But hey, maybe your way of believing is fine - maybe you're happy and will continue to be happy. It just ain't for me.

But that's just my decision...what's your's Phronk?

It's not really a decision in my eyes. Belief is rather passive. If belief in the Egyptian gods would make you very happy, could you suddenly choose to believe in them? Truly believe in them? Probably not. So my "decision" is to keep trying to have my beliefs be as close to reality as possible, which pretty much happens all on its own.

Dani said: Phronk - I am 100% sure of my beliefs - how sure are you about yours?

Dani, like I said elsewhere, you're only 100% sure because you are brainwashed and delusional. This isn't namecalling; it's speculation based on what I know about you.

Consider that schizophrenics are 100% sure that aliens are following them. That fundamentalists of other religions are 100% sure that blowing up innocent people will get them into heaven. Certainty is neither and indication of truth nor practically beneficial. I think that, in most cases, certainty is dangerous.

So again, the fact that I am open to other possibilities is a strength, not a weakness, in my position.

Christinewjc said...

Phronk,

I made that comment about your beliefs (notice I said might be)based on what I know from the few posts you have written here and at Dani's blog; which, admittedly, isn't much.

Based on what you added now (about being raised in a Christian home), I see your journey to your current beliefs a bit more clearly. But I do have a question. Did you have a personal belief in Jesus Christ as God or were you just carried along, perhaps "coasting" on the beliefs of your parents? I'm not asking this to be judgmental or rude. Just trying to determine how deep your beliefs (and faith) were back then. Have you ever been born again?

You are still quite young, age 26 according to your profile. I don't think it is wrong to question things and search out a matter. There is a Bible verse that contains such advice.

Pro 25:2 [It is] the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings [is] to search out a matter.

But Jesus takes it even further when he said:

Jhn 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. (bold mine)

You stated, "If the knowledge I gained did point toward the existence of God, I'd be more than happy to accept it."

Perhaps that is why you are here, posting on several blogs of Christians? At least you appear to be open to the possibility, if not totally the probability of the existence of God. That's closer to agnosticism than atheism.

You also stated, " You have a belief in God and Jesus and all that, and anything new you learn either has to fit with those beliefs or there must be something wrong with it. My beliefs, on the other hand, are ever-changing according to what I learn."

I have found that the more I learn (and, of course I'm still learning), the more evidence I gain in keeping with what Jesus preached, the reason he came to this earth, and the truth of God's Word. I can "search out a matter" and find that the wisdom and knowledge found in the Bible far surpasses any human book. I don't see science as any kind of threat to God's Word. In fact, there is no conflict between science and God's Word...just conflicts in the minds and hearts of those who think there are conflicts. (I know...go ahead and accuse me of circular reasoning...I'm used to it.)

You stated, "It's not really a decision in my eyes. Belief is rather passive. If belief in the Egyptian gods would make you very happy, could you suddenly choose to believe in them? Truly believe in them? Probably not. So my "decision" is to keep trying to have my beliefs be as close to reality as possible, which pretty much happens all on its own."

Wow. There is a lot we could talk about in that paragraph. Briefly, I will say that I think you are incorrect about the "decision" part. Jesus asks each of us in His Word, "Who do you say that I am?" Well Phronk...what's your answer to that question?

Belief in and "Egyptian god" wouldn't happen at this point in my life. I have "searched out the matter" on almost all religions, cults, atheism, agnosticism etc. and found them wanting compared with belief and a personal relationship with God in Jesus Christ. If my certainly makes me appear to be "delusional," "schizophrenic," or "brainwashed," then so be it. The fact is we ALL need our "brains washed" because of sin so I'll embrace at least that title.

Belief in Jesus Christ isn't about "happiness," it's about recognizing who we are...sinners in need of the Savior. We need to face the "bad news" of sin and our need for repentance before we can accept the Good News of grace and mercy of salvation through the cross of Christ. From there, it's about holiness.

As far as "beliefs being close to reality" is concerned, I feel the exact same way about my steadfast belief in Jesus Christ. So we are at odds in our beliefs and one of us has to be incorrect. We could call our dilemma a kind of "matrix zone." One of us is aware that we have found the truth and the other isn't.

But there's hope for you! Since you said, "So again, the fact that I am open to other possibilities is a strength, not a weakness, in my position."

I agree!


Well, I hate to cut this off so abruptly, but my son is waiting for me to shop for his birthday presents!

ttyl

Phronk said...

I made that comment about your beliefs (notice I said might be)based on what I know from the few posts you have written here and at Dani's blog; which, admittedly, isn't much.

No prob. Same here, so forgive me if I ever misrepresent what you believe.

Did you have a personal belief in Jesus Christ as God or were you just carried along, perhaps "coasting" on the beliefs of your parents? I'm not asking this to be judgmental or rude. Just trying to determine how deep your beliefs (and faith) were back then. Have you ever been born again?

A bit of column A, a bit of column B. My beliefs probably never reached the depth that yours have. And no, I haven't been "born again" and probably never will be.

I find it strange that you quote Bible verses to an atheist. These obviously have no effect, since they presuppose that God exists and that the Bible is his word. Unless you provide independent reason to believe these quotes, they are basically meaningless and/or circular in the eyes of an atheist.

Perhaps that is why you are here, posting on several blogs of Christians? At least you appear to be open to the possibility, if not totally the probability of the existence of God. That's closer to agnosticism than atheism.

Nah, I'm mostly here to strengthen the beliefs I already have (by having them challenged)...and there's also a bit of a desire just to piss you guys off. Mostly Dani, since she has stated so many things that I find foul and evil. I guess I just have a weakness for standing up for what is right.

I consider myself both atheist and agnostic. Atheism deals with belief, and I do not believe that God exists, so I am atheist. Agnosticism deal with knowledge. I believe that I, and humanity in general, do not "know" with 100% certainty that God does or does not exist, so I am agnostic.

Different people define these things differently, but you can get deeper and say I am both a weak atheist and a weak agnostic.

But uh...enough about me.

In fact, there is no conflict between science and God's Word

Interesting. I don't want to get deep into this, but I just want to say that there are many areas in which science and religion do disagree. We may be talking about different ideas of what science is, though.

Jesus asks each of us in His Word, "Who do you say that I am?" Well Phronk...what's your answer to that question?

You probably don't want my answer to that. It would involve lots of nasty words and name calling. :)

I have "searched out the matter" on almost all religions, cults, atheism, agnosticism etc. and found them wanting compared with belief and a personal relationship with God in Jesus Christ.

Great! I have much more respect in beliefs that have been tested and considered in relation to conflicting beliefs.

However, I worry that perhaps you examined all these other possiblities through the filter of Christianity. You may have missed important facts, or failed to understand important ideas, because you already had preconceived notions that you were unwilling to part with.

Again, I don't know if this is true or not, but it is something I see often, and an obstacle to finding the truth.

Belief in Jesus Christ isn't about "happiness," it's about recognizing who we are...sinners in need of the Savior.

OK, this pisses me off. Getting away from science and fact, my own opinion is that this is a piss poor attitude to have. We are not born bad people; we're born people, flaws and all, but not bad people. Why would you WANT to worship a God who created a world full of assholes, just so they would come running back to Him in order to become good people? That seems like an extremely selfish thing to do. And since God doesn't exist, it's just a silly belief that will lower believers' self-esteem to a point where they'll believe anything in order to raise it. I just think it's idiotic to believe we're all created as bad people in need of saving. Screw that. Most people do just fine on their own, and they'd probably do better if the majority of the country didn't tell them they were born sinners.

But yeah, that's just my ranty opinion.

So we are at odds in our beliefs and one of us has to be incorrect.

Yup! Agreed. Just keep in mind that it could be you.

Or neither of us, for that matter.

But there's hope for you! Since you said, "So again, the fact that I am open to other possibilities is a strength, not a weakness, in my position."

There's hope for you too! You didn't say it, but I know it's in there somewhere. I hope so, anyway. :)

Anyway, thanks for the debate...I think we managed to at least temporarily avoid talking past each other.

Happy birthday to your son!

Dani said...

We are not born bad people; we're born people, flaws and all, but not bad people. Why would you WANT to worship a God who created a world full of assholes, just so they would come running back to Him in order to become good people?

Ummm? If people are not born bad people, then why do we have a world full of assholes?

I don’t know about you Christine, but I never have to teach my children to lie, steal, talk back or throw a temper tantrum – Nope, that all comes naturally with the sinful nature they were born with. I do however, have to teach them to be honest, obedient and to practice self-control.

I wonder if Phronk's mom ever taught him stuff like that? Or do you think she just let him discover different "truths" on his own? Hmmm - Let me think?

God created us as perfect, eternal, sinless human beings – and ever since the beginning of time with Adam & Eve in the garden, man has rebelled against God and sin and death entered into the world. God is not so selfish that He would force anyone to love and obey Him, that is why He gave us a free-will. We can choose to love and honor Him or we can choose to deny Him altogether – the choice is ours. When the majority of people hate God and rebel against Him, consequestly we have a world full of assholes!

But since God doesn't exist in your mind, Phronk, can you a least acknowledge that the majority of people are not good and perhaps in need of a Savior?

GMpilot said...

Christine: Did you know that there is advanced medical knowledge in the Bible? I can share examples with you if you are interested.

Do you mean that passage in Num 5:12~28? You know, the one where God instructs priests on how to prepare and administer a concoction that causes a pregnant woman to abort? It’s part of a test to determine if a wife has been unfaithful, as I recall. (Funny how the anti-abortion folks never quote this part of the Bible…but I digress.)

Yes, hostess, do let us discuss this advanced medical knowledge you speak of. I hope it isn’t trepanning; evidence of that goes back much further than the Hebrews.

Christine: Also, the Bible isn't a science textbook, but it's scientific statements are often proven correct as time advances and our scientific discoveries advance. For example, hundreds of years ago the scientists of that day scoffed about Adam being made from the "dirt of the ground." Today, we find that the elements of our bodies are indeed found there (except for extra boron I've been told).

If it’s not a science textbook, why are you trying to pass it off as one? Those scientific statements about hares chewing the cud and bats being birds are demonstrably false, but you want us to ignore that and concentrate only on the ‘hits’? Puh-leeze! And don’t even get me started on how showing a striped pattern to mating animals will produce striped offspring, according to that Book you follow.

Bring it.

Christinewjc said...

O.K. GM, here are a few answers to your Biblical "errors" claims:

1. Skeptical Crud About Cud...he he...love that title!

BTW, the info at that link is probably pretty accurate since I spend part of my days trying to keep our new puppy from eating the droppings from the wild rabbits that often visit our yard.

2. I don't know where you got the idea that Numbers 5:12-28 has anything to do with abortion. Perhaps this commentary will clear things up for you.

3. About the "bats are birds" error claim, see Batmobile...ha ha...this writer has a real sense of humor!

4. Regarding the "striped offspring": Chuck Smith commentary excerpt:

"At the end of the fourteen years of servitude, Jacob has learned well the art of sheepherding and Laban has become quite wealthy, and has realized the value that Jacob has been to him so he offers him a job.
a. Jacob's wages were to be all of the spotted and speckled goats and cattle, and the brown sheep.
b. Jacob's days of heel catching are not over, he seeks to influence the strong cattle and sheep of Laban's to breed with his spotted livestock, and the weak he allows to interbreed.
c. As a result, in time, Jacob possessed the stronger and better herd.
d. Laban did not know just what was going on, but he became suspicious of Jacob and kept changing his wages.
e. But Jacob seemed to stay ahead of him.
f. It is an interesting case of two con men trying to outsmart each other."


I'll save the "advanced medical knowledge" answer for another post.

GMpilot said...

The “Bat Mobile” piece was quite amusing, Christine, although not the same way it was to you.

JPHolding: The category of 'owph includes birds, bats, and certain insects. It would also have included pterosaurs, if they had been around…It's similar to refuting geocentrism charges against the Bible by showing that even modern astronomers use terms like "sunset" and "sunrise" without being accused of being geocentrists, so why shouldn't we make the same allowance for the Bible writers.

Maybe it’s because science textbooks are revised and updated as new data comes in, while the Bible, OTOH, claims to be unchanging and eternal because what it says is perfect.

JPH: …the problem is that those Hebrew experts aren't experts in animal biology. The KJV chose "bird" and apparently no one sees a need to change it -- though they ought to.

Well, there you go. But hey, those Hebrew writers were divinely inspired, correct? Since the Lord of the Universe never makes errors, then it’s obviously the fault of those who wrote down his words. Sure. As I said before, if the Bible isn’t a science textbook, stop trying to pass it off as one.

I could say more, but you’re the one who made the claim here: “there is advanced medical knowledge in the Bible”. I don’t expect surgical lasers or cures for leprosy…just show me what you’ve got.

Saltnlight said...

It utterly breaks my heart to see how certain teachings are so easily accepted.

I want all of you to know that personally I am not a highly educated woman. The science things you talk about here are not well known to me. What I do know is this;
God does exist. Also, His only begotten Son Jesus the Christ is Who He Himself claims to be. How do I know? Because of the wonderful changes He has made in my life. I trusted in Him and He wiped my tears away, gave me a heart of flesh where there once was stoney ground.

When it comes to Jesus, there is no man on earth who would willingly allow himself to be beaten and mocked, then nailed to a filthy Roman cross for nothing. Here was a man who was seen raising the dead, causing the blind to see and the deaf to hear and told of things no human could know lest He be God and they still crucified Him.

Jody and Phronk etc. you go ahead and believe whatever you so desire to believe but you are missing out on the greatest gift a life could ever receive.

Go listen to a song that is out today called "What If", what if you're right, what if you're wrong. Then you tell me what you think.

Saltnlight

Phronk said...

But since God doesn't exist in your mind, Phronk, can you a least acknowledge that the majority of people are not good and perhaps in need of a Savior?

No.

Again, I'm getting into pure intuitive opinion here, rather than carefully thought out argument or science, but here's what I think.

No, the majority of people are not bad. If they were, society would fall apart. The majority of people are born good; they're born GREAT. The majority of people stay great. They know right from wrong, they stick to right most of the time, and the world ticks along just fine.

There are a minority - a loud, noticable minority, but a small number of them - who are either born bad or become bad through certain life circumstances or a combination of the two. It's also true that we all have potential to do bad, and we all do bad once in a while.

But why focus on that? Why make that the central idea of your religion? Especially in Christianity specifically, it seems to me like an excuse to be an asshole. "I was born an asshole, and everyone's an asshole, so if I end up being an asshole once in a while, so be it. Some dude died for our assholery...if we weren't assholes, he died for no reason. And we can always do evil and be forgiven by this same dude, so if we screw up, meh, no big deal." Is that a good way to live?

I'd rather focus on the good inherent in every human being. Make that the default and discourage deviation from it.

The two views may seem similar, but they're not the same. Your view is that we start with bad in us, and have to overcome it to become good. My view is that we start with good in us, and just have to hold onto it.

So yeah, there it is, me putting myself out there. Please don't give me crap about having no idea what good and evil are - we've been through it, and I think we both know it has no merit.

Saltnlight: God does exist. Also, His only begotten Son Jesus the Christ is Who He Himself claims to be. How do I know? Because of the wonderful changes He has made in my life.

It's nice that you have such faith. But just consider this: Why do people of all religions get the exact same benefits from prayer that you do? They are not praying to Jesus - they can pray to any of the thousands of other Gods - yet their prayers are just as effective.

Perhaps it's possible that prayer can help, whether Your God exists or not. Or that prayer actually has no effect. You say your life has changed because you believed in God...but how do you know it wouldn't have been the same if you hadn't prayed? You couldn't have both prayed and not prayed in the same situation. And how do you know the results weren't due to natural changes that occured in you? Or chance?

I don't want to be a jerk...it's just stuff to think about.

GMpilot said...

It utterly breaks my heart too, Saltnlight, to see how certain teachings are so easily accepted. Like: there’s an invisible, unknowable, all-powerful being who exists somewhere; that he made the universe, with its millions of galaxies and billions of stars; and did all of it so we mere humans could stand on this particular ball of rock, look up at the night sky and say, “This was all done for me.”

Formal education really has little to do with it. It’s simply a matter of seeing with your own eyes, hearing with your own ears, and drawing your own conclusions. You have reached certain conclusions based on what you’ve seen and heard. I have reached different conclusions.

I do not ‘desire to believe’ that I can jump off a 30-story building and live, because it can be shown to be impossible, unless certain precautions are made. I do not know that I am ‘missing out on the greatest gift a life could ever receive’…but I don’t believe it.

Why must I listen to a song to ask myself “what if you’re right?” And why should I worry? A loving God wouldn’t resort to threats, after all. The possibility that I might be wrong does not disturb me deeply. I hope you’ve considered that you might be wrong as well.

Saltnlight said...

Hi Phronk:
You say, "just consider this: Why do people of all religions get the exact same benefits from prayer that you do? They are not praying to Jesus - they can pray to any of the thousands of other Gods - yet their prayers are just as effective."
I am not going to call all these people, who get good results from prayer, liars just because of their choice of gods. Though I do believe they are being deceived by the enemy, who also does exist. We can all say things to cause another person to stand in awe of what has happened and even take what has happened as proof positive of a miracle having happened in our life. What I have said that Jesus did as He walked on this planet is undenialble due to there being witnesses to them even amongst His enemies. This cannot be denied in clear conscience.

The enemy of our souls is a vile and affective deceiver even of some who claim to be saved. One thing is certain though those of us who are saved can't be possessed by him. The unsaved can be. Then they are in his hands and under the control of demonic forces.

All I can say to you Phronk is this; It is up to you who you will serve. Your eternity is in your power of choice to live forever in paradise or suffer eternally in the lake of fire.
God loves you so much that though we disobeyed and took of what was forbidden. Though we fell and took all of His creation with us. He had a plan. He came to pay the price we could not pay for that disobedience. Jesus, born 100% man and 100% God, went to the cross in His humanity and died a horrid death forgiving all for what had been done, from the beginning of time. All that is required of us is our acceptance of that free gift.

Refusing the Lamb that was slain for our sins is tantamount to spitting in God's face.

You choose.

Saltnlight

Saltnlight said...

GM Pilot:

"A loving God wouldn’t resort to threats, after all."
threat >noun 1 a stated intention to inflict injury, damage, or other hostile action on someone. 2 a person or thing likely to cause damage or danger. 3 the possibility of trouble or danger.

First of all, God does not threaten, He warns and then according to the actions of the other party, He acts on what they have purposed.

My God is not some small idea or invention of mankind. He is the One Who holds the universe in place and gives me and you our next breath.

He, my God has made promises that He has kept throughout the ages. We on the other hand have done exactly the opposite. We are liars, theives and filled with pride, that is precisely why we are doomed to eternal damnation until we accept the free gift of Christ's sacrifice.

"The possibility that I might be wrong does not disturb me deeply."
This is not totally true or you would not waste time arguing and debating these issues. You GM have been on this tangent for over a year.

"I hope you’ve considered that you might be wrong as well."
Oh, I have but one thing is certain. To live for Christ Who in your mind does not exist. To love my neighbor enough to risk ridicule and even death for the purpose of his salvation, that you do not believe is true. Plus much more is worth the gamble that I may live forever with my Lord rather than live like a devil only to find myself being cast into hell in the end.

My being a lover of God and a respecter and servant of my King costs me far less than the chance of eternal damning won through my selfishness and arrogance here on earth.

Love, Saltnlight

Phronk said...

Whatever. All this is meaningless to us atheists. You might as well be summarizing the plot of Harry Potter.

Just please please at least consider, in the back of your mind, that you could be wrong. That it's all fantasy. That maybe YOU are being deceived by the enemy, just as you think the vast majority of all humankind is.

Consider that maybe you'd be happier if you allowed that we aren't all vile sinners deep down. That maybe life would be easier if happiness came from within; if you could achieve your goals without resorting to supernatural intervention that may or may not exist.

Just consider it.

Love,
~Phronk

Dani said...

Phronk - you said...

No, the majority of people are not bad. If they were, society would fall apart. The majority of people are born good; they're born GREAT. The majority of people stay great. They know right from wrong, they stick to right most of the time, and the world ticks along just fine.

Really, you think so? If the majority of people are not bad and know right from wrong, then why do we have an outbreak of lawlessness and over populated prisons with millions of violent convicted criminals? Why is it that society and traditional family values seems to be crumbling to the ground right before our eyes? If the majority of people are born GREAT - then why do the majority end up getting divorced and repeating the destructive cycle of their parents: fatherlessness, abandonment, abuse, addictions, broken homes, along with shattered hearts, hopes and dreams?

Just consider that for a moment, can you? Take a closer look around you, Phronk! Read the local paper or watch the nightly news. Are the majority really doing good things for themselves and society?

Sure, let's just say for a brief moment that the majority of people were good. Let’s pretend we lived in a fairytale utopia where we never had to look over our shoulders at night, lock up our cars or the front doors to our homes because the majority of people were honest, caring, trustworthy and noble folks. Even if the majority of people were good, they could never be good enough for God because ALL SIN separates us from Him.

All are born sinners! No, there is not one person among us who has never ever sinned before. The penalty for sin is DEATH - physically and spiritually! But - the free of eternal life is given to us by Jesus Christ who lived a sinless life and paid the penalty of death for us on the cross. By believing in Him and acknowledging our own sin, may we be saved and experience True freedom and abundant living.

Surely you don't have so much pride to think you're perfect, Phronk? There is a reason why PRIDE is one of the seven deadly sins, whether you believe it or not. I know it would take an enormous amount of humility to admit that you are a sinner and in need of a Savior, but as long as you make yourself out to be god and the ruler over your own life - you will be headed towards certain death. Do you even care about your eternal existence? Or is this just a game and a fun hobby to you?

Just please please at least consider, in the back of your mind, that you could be wrong. That it's all fantasy. That maybe YOU are being deceived by the enemy, just as you think the vast majority of all humankind is.

So in the end, if we find out that we're wrong and believing in God is all just a fantasy, then we have lost nothing in this life. But just think of the repercussions and eternal consequences if YOU are wrong. If you are wrong and God does exist, you will have wasted your entire life fighting for something that ultimately proved to be false and gave you a permanent sentence to a fiery inferno separated from God forever!

But the TRUTH is, and I've said this before, you HATE God and you would never ever want to spend an eternity with Him. A loving God wouldn’t resort to threats, you're right about that. He would never force you to be in a place where you didn't want to be, besides, if people like you made it up to heaven on "good deeds" and demoralized character - you would turn heaven into hell!

I hope you’ve considered that you might be wrong as well.

Yes - All of us "Christians" have considered that we might be wrong as well - that was back when we thought like you, Phronk. It came as a result many failures after trying to achieve our goals all on our own strength and limited understanding. After swallowing our pride and humbling ourselves before our supernatural Creator - God - we finally started to realize that there is more to life than out pitiful existence and the TRUTH is out there!

The possibility that I might be wrong does not disturb me deeply.

That's too bad, Phronk! It should deeply disturb you that your eternal soul could be at stake!

Please - Just consider the possibility.

We love ya Phronkyboy - that's why we spend so much time on your sorry ass!

Phronk said...

Um, Dani, I think you're confusing my comments with gmpilot's.

But I'll reply to your replies to things I actually said.

Really, you think so? If the majority of people are not bad and know right from wrong, then why do we have an outbreak of lawlessness and over populated prisons with millions of violent convicted criminals? Why is it that society and traditional family values seems to be crumbling to the ground right before our eyes? If the majority of people are born GREAT - then why do the majority end up getting divorced and repeating the destructive cycle of their parents: fatherlessness, abandonment, abuse, addictions, broken homes, along with shattered hearts, hopes and dreams?

The population of your United States is around 295,734,134. The population in prison is 2,071,686 (according to Wikipedia). So, less than 1% of the population of your country is bad enough to go to prison. Hardly the majority, there. Add in that most of the people are in prison for crimes that may be self-destructive or mildly harmful, but not downright evil (e.g. consider that over half of the people in prison are there for drug charges), and it's safe to say that most people are doing just fine.

Also, things are clearly getting better as time goes on. The news may lead you to believe that there is a "crime outbreak", because it gets dimwitted people to watch it, and advertisers to pay them money. But in reality, how many of the problems you listed are worse than they were 10 years ago? 100 years ago? 1000?

Incidently, while crime goes down, atheism is quickly going up. 8.4% of your country was atheist/agnostic in 1990, but in 2001 it was up to 15% (again, my source is Wikipedia). Also, much of the reason for our improved lives is technology, derived from science which had nothing to do with God, and which often directly contradicts His existence.

If the nightly news is your only source of information, no wonder you've been scared into believing in a higher power!

You can repeat Jesus all you want, but maybe he was wrong. If you look a little closer, it's apparent that most people are good. Not sinners.

Surely you don't have so much pride to think you're perfect, Phronk?

Oh no, I'm far from perfect. But there's a difference between imperfection and being a vile sinner deserving of eternal torture.

Do you even care about your eternal existence? Or is this just a game and a fun hobby to you?

It's hard to care about something I don't believe exists. Do you care that the evil Lord Voldemort is about to take over the world? DO YOU?!

So in the end, if we find out that we're wrong and believing in God is all just a fantasy, then we have lost nothing in this life. But just think of the repercussions and eternal consequences if YOU are wrong. If you are wrong and God does exist, you will have wasted your entire life fighting for something that ultimately proved to be false and gave you a permanent sentence to a fiery inferno separated from God forever!

Pascal's wager again. It's deeply flawed, as written about by thousands of people. This is old news. Look it up.

But the TRUTH is, and I've said this before, you HATE God and you would never ever want to spend an eternity with Him.

I don't hate God. I just don't believe he exists. There is a huge difference, and you either don't see it or you're just being inflammatory like a spoiled child.

Voldemort bless you,
~Phronk

Dani said...

Sorry about that, Phronk. I guess I was getting some of your comments confused what GMpilot said. You two are obviously in the same godless camp so the rhetoric you both spout off sounds like one in the same. Perhaps GMpilot can entertain us all for a few moments and answers the questions regarding his comments?

As for you, Phronk, you DO hate God otherwise you wouldn't fiercely try to prove He doesn't exist just so you can remain in a perpetual state of self-governing. You say that you just don't believe God exists, but the Truth is written on your heart and you are WITHOUT EXCUSE. By deliberately living in rebellion towards God, you are demonstrating profound hatred for Him whether you believe it or not.

But don't worry - God won't force you to do anything you don't want to do. If you want to be eternally separated from God as though He doesn't exist - then that's exactly what you'll get. Just remember, there isn't any alcohol, drugs, rock-n-roll, sports, video games, pornography, or fornication in hell, so you probably won't have that much fun if you really think about it.

You claim that you don't hate God, but you are adamantly opposed His righteousness. If you don't believe God exists, why do you devote so much time to proving something you don't believe in? Do you spend this much time trying to disprove the existence of unicorns or leprechauns? If they don't really exist, what is the point of relentlessly trying to prove that?

If you didn't hate God, you wouldn't be actively fighting against His followers in these debates. I mean, why do you constantly pursue Christians if you don't even believe God exists? Sounds like a LAME existence if you ask me. Seriously, you need to find a different hobby or something if you're just trying to affirm your own beliefs that God doesn't exist. Are you that insecure in your own beliefs or are you just too afraid to admit the hard Truth?

I see exactly what is going on here with you Phronk, and so can everyone else who has the mind of Christ. You are blinded by your own sinful pride, and you are unknowingly writing yourself a personal death certificate from self-righteous indulgences. You are the one being inflammatory like a spoiled rotten brat.

Essentially you are throwing a tantrum waving your fists at God saying, "I want to live my life the way I want for the sole purpose of maximizing my personal happiness at every angle. I am the ruler of my own life and no body has the authority to tell me what's right or wrong, especially you God! Besides, I don't even believe in God, so that must mean He doesn't exist. Hooray! Now, I can live anyway I want because there is no God or Ultimate Authority over life to declare Good vs. Evil. Besides, creation is not true because "scientists" said we all evolved from slime - And it's a proven fact!"

Now you can storm off like a foolish defiant child and go pout in your room until you get your way. Maybe you can even hold your breath for attention until we are all convinced that God is just a fairytale?

The Truth is, you lack the courage and humility it takes to be a real man; one full of dignity and honor, with good character, strong leadership and the sensibility know even the most basic truths.

You honestly are a pitiful site to see, Phronk - You are intelligent and witty, but what a shameful waste you are making of your life!

Jody said...

You honestly are a pitiful site to see, Phronk - You are intelligent and witty, but what a shameful waste you are making of your life!

Um, Dani?

Phronk's going to gradschool for psychology, working two jobs, and teaching others. At 26, he's making far more of his life at that age than you did.

GMpilot said...

Since we all seem like one and the same to you, there’s little chance you’ll talk to me as an individual. However, we’ll give it a shot.

Dani confirmed:
A loving God wouldn’t resort to threats, you're right about that. He would never force you to be in a place where you didn't want to be…

So if there is a God, and a hell, and I said I didn’t want to go there, he’d honor my request and not send me? Suuure he will…! Now tell me another one.

Dani: After swallowing our pride and humbling ourselves before our supernatural Creator - God - we finally started to realize that there is more to life than out pitiful existence and the TRUTH is out there!

If our existence is so pitiful, then what did the Great and Powerful Creator of the Universe put us here for, and why does he want us in the first place? To tell him how great and powerful he is? Would YOU accept that kind of piteous praise from pitiful creatures?
The possibility that I might be wrong does not disturb me deeply. One reason why is because I once thought like you; since then I’ve had opportunities to reconsider.

That's too bad, Phronk! It should deeply disturb you that your eternal soul could be at stake!

Please - Just consider the possibility.

As Phronk said, that remark was probably meant for me. Yes, it could be at stake…but it probably isn’t. It probably isn’t “eternal”, either. As for the other, what you said to Phronk in an earlier post--I am 100% sure of my beliefs--applies equally to me. I am just as firm in what I believe as you are in what you believe. I can live with that. Can you?

We love ya Phronkyboy - that's why we spend so much time on your sorry ass!

Christine may tolerate that kind of talk; I won’t. Don’t start a flame war with me, okay? You wouldn’t like it. Talk to me like the civilized, loving, enlightened Christian human being you like to think you are—or don’t talk at all.

Phronk said...

Dani:

I think you forgot to respond to what I said again. All I saw in your comment was uninformed personal attacks.

You say that you just don't believe God exists, but the Truth is written on your heart and you are WITHOUT EXCUSE.

No, seriously, it's not. I actually don't believe in your god. Just like the vast majority of the world's population. God did a pretty crappy job of writing "the truth" in our hearts if most people can't read it. Maybe he needs a new pen.

If you don't believe God exists, why do you devote so much time to proving something you don't believe in?

I've explained my reason for being here (and your blog) before.

But think about this for a second. You are saying that devoting time to disproving something means you are insecure in your beliefs and afraid to admit the "truth". So what does it mean if you devote an entire blog to disproving things like evolution and atheism, in addition to commenting on quite a few other blogs on these topics?

Personally, I don't believe in the time devotion-insecurity correlation, but if you do, does that mean you've got a little insecurity problem yourself? And this is not a personal attack...just a logical progression based on what you've said.

Oh and yes, if a blog post directly addresses me by name, I am going to respond. Just a weird habit I have.

Do you spend this much time trying to disprove the existence of unicorns or leprechauns?

If there were people who devoted their lives to unicorns and did immoral things in their name, then I would spend time standing up for what I think is right.

Tangentially though, I think it's infinitely more likely that unicorns exist than God.

You are blinded by your own sinful pride, and you are unknowingly writing yourself a personal death certificate from self-righteous indulgences. You are the one being inflammatory like a spoiled rotten brat.

I know you are but what am I!?

Is this what it's come down to?

With regard to who is the brat screaming for attention, it is worth noting that I (and others who share views similar to mine) seem to be perfectly able to have a rational, calm discussion on other blogs, such as here on Christine's. It is only when you get involved that it turns into name calling and immaturity. Would you be proud to let your children read this? Calling people "lame" and attacking their manhood because they disagree with you?

I am not "throwing a tantrum at God", nor do I hate him, any more than you are throwing a tantrum because God doesn't exist, or hating the fact that he is a myth. I don't see why you refuse to accept this, and I honestly think you might have a problem with seeing other peoples' viewpoints even if you disagree with them. Perhaps this is a skill you should work on.

I know you get frustrated when your beliefs are challenged by rational thought. I would feel the same way. Just keep in mind that maybe that frustration means something...maybe because you're starting to realize that everything you believe isn't perfect, and it doesn't all fit together. One thing we can agree on is that, no matter what created us, were were created fallible. That extends to our beliefs; mine are fallible, but so are yours. Maybe you wouldn't feel the need to lash out if you weren't so damn certain that your belief system is the one perfect exception to the fallible nature of humankind.

Christinewjc said...

I have been absent from this debate and have missed a lot! Since it would take too long to reply individually, I will just post a general comment.

It has been my experience that people cannot be talked into faith in Jesus Christ. We, as Christian believers can toss out the seeds of faith, but it is the recipient who is ultimately responsible for where that "seed" ends up. In the parable of the sower (one of my favorites), Jesus informs us about what "type of ground" such seed is cast upon, and then tells us the inevitable results.

Mark 4:1-20 is the parable of the sower. I usually prefer using the KJV or NKJV, but here is a link to these verses in the New Living Translation.

Verses 11 & 12 tells us that some will not understand:

11 He replied, "You are permitted to understand the secret about the Kingdom of God. But I am using these stories to conceal everything about it from outsiders, 12 so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled:


`They see what I do,
but they don't perceive its meaning.
They hear my words,
but they don't understand.
So they will not turn from their sins and be forgiven.'*


Next, we are given an explanation of the parable:

13 "But if you can't understand this story, how will you understand all the others I am going to tell? 14 The farmer I talked about is the one who brings God's message to others. 15 The seed that fell on the hard path represents those who hear the message, but then Satan comes at once and takes it away from them. 16 The rocky soil represents those who hear the message and receive it with joy. 17 But like young plants in such soil, their roots don't go very deep. At first they get along fine, but they wilt as soon as they have problems or are persecuted because they believe the word. 18 The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept the Good News, 19 but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for nice things, so no crop is produced. 20 But the good soil represents those who hear and accept God's message and produce a huge harvest-thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted."

We could probably match each person participating in this "debate" under one of those examples cited by Jesus. It all comes down to this. We are to share the gospel and spread the "seed" of the Gospel through sharing God's Word, knowing that we will get all of these different reactions from people. So we are not to be discouraged when we get rejection. People aren't rejecting Christians, they are, in effect rejecting Christ.

In verse 20, we read that there will be those who accept God's message (NOT our message!)and so the results rest between the individual person to whom we are witnessing and God.

I wanted to mention something to Phronk. You seem convinced that there are all kinds of "good people" who, perhaps, are not in need of a savior. But it depends on what you perceive as "good." If it means doing good deeds, helping the poor, donating money to good causes, sacrificing and striving to give a good life to your children, then yes, we could label many people as "good." However, if such "goodness" is held up against God's holiness and righteousness, then we are talking about something completely different. Here's a link to take The Good Person test. This shows us why fallen humans beings (we all are) cannot "save themselves" or pay the price for self redemption...no matter how much good we do on this earth. If we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that every one of us has broken each of God's Laws.

Sometimes our best seeds are planted upon the audience rather than the individuals that we are sharing the gospel with. We may never know, this side of heaven (Dani, Mark, Saltnlight, and other born again Christians reading along), who has benefitted from our sharing of the gospel over the blogosphere and/or in our individual life encounters with others. There are only two born-again individuals (that I personally know about) who have come to know Christ as Lord and Savior through my direct witnessing efforts. (This kinda makes me wish that Jesus didn't start with the number "30" in the parable!) But even if only one person, during the course of our entire lives comes to the Lord through our efforts, we know that the angels in heaven are celebrating! We preach, teach and plant the seeds; the Holy Spirit does the nudging, and ultimately it is God who draws them near to Jesus and salvation.

Boo said...

I promised myself I wouldn't comment here anymore since it's like bashing your head against a brick wall (not that I speak from experience), but this comment thread illustrates perfectly why ID has always failed and will always fail in court: any discussion of it inevitably makes clear it's really about trying to inject religion into the science classroom.

And Dani- if you're as christian as you claim I'd think reeeeaaalll long and hard about all that judging of other people's hearts you're doing here.

Saltnlight said...

Jody;
You have done what any unsaved person may do. Looked at Phronk with a material eye. You see all the worldly wisdom that he has gained as being extremely important, and it is but not in light of losing one’s soul. The waste that Dani is speaking of is worth far more than all the world’s teachings in existence. As for Dani saying that Phronk hates God, he is correct for we are enemies of God as we refuse His Christ.
GM Pilot;
God is not the one Who should be “honoring”, it is you who should honor Him and the free gift He has won for you through His Son Jesus. Instead you continue to declare Him a fake and us as reprobates for having accepted God’s truth. Personally I have little more to say to any of you who want to debate the existence of God. You are arrogant and proud to the point of nausea and a waste of time is the cost of dancing with you further.
Phronk:
As intellectual as you have become according to the world, you are equally ignorant of that which is spiritual. Jesus asked, “Who do you say I am”? To which Peter piped right up to say, “You are the Christ” then in less than a full minute Peter rebukes the very One he had called Christ. This is how tainted with sin we are. Until we are saved we are all haters of God, because to be lovers of God we must change. We can’t do that alone, so we must believe in faith that Jesus is the Christ. You are not showing me anything by being here throwing out the same old arguments that have been given since time began. There has never been a greater gift known to man yet, you and others like you have hardened your hearts. So be it.

Boo; I do not know you but I do not think that Dani judged anyone wrongly. I also do not agree with your idea that ID injects religion into a Scientific classroom, without ID there would be no science and no need of a classroom. Religion is man made, God is not. It does not take a science major or a genious to see that it took much more than a big bang to bring about an eyeball etc.
My question has and always will be, "Who controlled the so called big bang?" There is little that truly backs up the evolutionary process, it falls apart at many points. I will not argue any of this any further.

To all of you, love in the name above all names. The name Christ Jesus.
Saltnlight

Boo said...

saltnlight- neither you nor Dani nor anyone else but God can read someone else's heart.

The question of who created/controlled the Big Bang is a legitimate philosophical/religious question, but it is not one that can be answered in science class. There is no point in wasting class time discussing questions outside the purview of the subject which cannot be answered scientifically. It would be just as pointless as stopping in the middle of math class to get into a discussion of "why" numbers add up the way they do.

Saltnlight said...

Personally I do not believe that evolution has any fact to it at all. Darwin’s theories are no more than that, “theories”. I agree with others who say, evolution did nothing more than offer a way that things got to be without God in the mix. Evolution has been accepted as fact by some of the greatest minds yet, had God been entered into the mix in any way the theory of evolution would never have made it.

Is there enough evidence to support evolution? The more we learn the more problems we find with evolution. There is a deep complexity to even the simplest living thing and therefore evolution is incapable of explaining the beginnings of life.

Evolution is not based on fact but on philosophy. Evolution is not fact because of two things that are missing; 1) life formed from non-life. Abiogenesis. 2) That life must be able to change from simple form to complex forms over a period of time.

My one question is this. How did life come from non-life? How did evolution play this game? There is no answer. Some have given ideas and tried to answer but no one has given a clear concise answer to this. Evolution is claimed to be a fact, but you can't have the fact of evolution unless you have the fact of abiogenesis. And if life can't be shown to have come from non-life, then the game can't even get started.

Because we’re here it must have happened, that is circular reasoning. Which proves that this is not about science, it's about philosophy.
Saltnlight

Saltnlight said...

Boo:
For one thing no one here is trying to or claiming to read the heart or mind of another person but we are not stupid and we can hear what is said by the persons. I do not appreciate the silly idea that calling a dog a dog is in anyway making a judgement. I believe that a dog is clearly a dog.

If one declares himself to be wiser than almighty God and know better than God then he has set himself in the same place that Lucifer did and for it got kicked out of the Kingdom.

You take that and put it into your pipe my rebuker.

Saltnlight

Dani said...

Great comments Christine and Saltnlight.

Jody said -
Phronk's going to gradschool for psychology, working two jobs, and teaching others. At 26, he's making far more of his life at that age than you did.

And after all that education he still doesn’t know what the Truth is? What a major shame!

BTW – I am only 27 and I am married with three children ages 2, 3 & 11. I went to college and found it to be a waste of time and money. Now I run a home daycare business where I care for the needs of other small children in the neighborhood. I devote my time and life to dilegently training my children in the ways of the Lord and I also home educate all the kids in my care. In addition to that and being a full-time homemaker, I help my husband with his business and radio show. So please don't try to tell me that Phronk is doing so much more with his life than me. He is still shacking up with and using his girlfriend for his own personal satifaction. Yeah - Real noble!

He still has a lot of growing up and learning to do, and all of the fancy college degrees on the planet aren't going to teach him the wisdom he needs to know to get through life successfully. Only God can give someone wisdom, but if you rely on your own understanding, it leads only to death.

Gmpilot said –
So if there is a God, and a hell, and I said I didn’t want to go there, he’d honor my request and not send me?

If you didn’t want to go to hell, then that would mean you want to go to heaven and honor God for all of eternity. He would certainly grant your request if it was sincere and with a repentant heart. But my guess is that you would never want to spend eternity with God - so off to hell you go!

Once you die a physical death your soul will live on forever. Either you will spend eternity with God or you will spend eternity separated from God. The chioce is completely up to you.

Phronk – I’m not sure specifically what you wanted me to address that I didn't already, so feel free to post the questions again if you want. The main difference between you and me is that I am actually fighting for something I believe in whereas you are fighting for a lost cause. My frustration is not because my beliefs are challenged by "rational thought", my frustration is from the willful ignorance that godless people like you display in their thought process. I believe in God and I sincerely want others to know the Truth and experience the hope, security and love that only God can offer. What is so wrong with that?

Boo – I am not here to judge anyone’s heart, for only God truly knows the condition of a man’s heart. But I can judge by the fruit of this discussion and other debates, and it appears that Phronk, Jody, and Gmpilot have hardened their hearts towards God as they actively oppose Him, reject Him and live in direct rebellion towards Him.

"The FOOL has said in his heart there is no God." - Psalm 14:1

If you don't believe in God, then you are a FOOL - simple!

GMpilot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
GMpilot said...

Oh, I can just feel the love!

"The FOOL has said in his heart there is no God." - Psalm 14:1
If you don't believe in God, then you are a FOOL - simple!


Here’s one you probably forgot, Dani:

But I say unto you…whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Matt 5:22

But you don’t believe in that God, I guess.

Dani: I believe in God and I sincerely want others to know the Truth and experience the hope, security and love that only God can offer. What is so wrong with that?

Nothing, really…but I’ve read your words here too. Hope, security, and love are things to be shared, and you haven’t shared them here. What you’ve shared is mostly vinegar, not honey.

I don’t wish to debate the existence of God with you either, Saltnlight. You believe there is a God. I don’t. It’s as simple as that. You won’t budge from your position, and neither will I. Unlike you and the others here, I don’t claim to have knowledge from on high, or that the Lord of the Universe whispers in my ear.

BTW, if life can’t come from non-life, how’d your God get started, then? Or isn’t it alive?

Let’s get back on topic, though. So far, we have been talking past each other. It’s time to return to debating.

Francis Collins is one of the people who mapped the human genome; so he knows a thing or two about biology. He is also an evangelical, so I would think he knows a thing or two about Christianity as well. Unlike laymen such as Strobel and McDowell, or posers like Hovind, his academic credentials are solid, and I’d be inclined to listen to him.
In fact, I will; There was a longish article on him in TIME (17 July 06), wherein I learned about a book he’d just published, called The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief. He talks about his personal epiphany, his beliefs, and of course his attempt to fuse science and religion. Naturally, he doesn’t take the atheistic point of view, but he says the Idists are wrong as well, and why. I’m going to hunt this one down; it should be an interesting read, and a hell of a lot less rhetorical than Evidence That Demands A Verdict.

Still waiting for your evidential input, Christine; where’s that advanced medical knowledge?

Christinewjc said...

Sorry GM, things have been hectic here lately.

There is a lot of info in Grant Jeffrey's book, and when I have extra time I will type out more. This is a portion from my message board:

Following the Biblical rules of hygiene, including the Divine laws of quarantine (Leviticus 13:46) was the practical solution to conquering the plague. The Black Death (bubonic plague) killed over 60 million people in the 14th century. It was only after the people began to follow the ancient biblical laws of sanitation and disease control that the epidemic was broken.

Grant Jeffrey's book, The Signature of God states the importance of care givers who come in contact with sufferers must change their clothes, wash in running water(an error made previously in hospitals was stagnant bowls of water for physicians washing between patients), and exposing themselves and their clothes to sunlight. Of course, doctors today know this, but at the time of Moses' instruction of the Levitical laws, microscopic germs were not known. The practice of segregating infected patients from their families and other people was one of the most important medical advances in human history. Yet no other ancient nation followed these effective medical regulations. In fact, the Egyptian 'medical' practices were abysmally ineffective and downright dangerous!

The only reasonable explanation is that Moses received this advanced medical knowledge from God's inspiration.

Jeffrey's book:


Quote:
"The biblical instructions reveal a profoundly advanced scientific understanding that invisible germs can be transmitted to others unless preventative sanitary steps are taken. Until the 1900s, all previous societies, except for the Israelites who followed God's medical laws regarding quarantine, kept infected patients in their homes - even after death, unknowingly exposing family members and others to deadly disease. During the devastating Black Death of the 14th century, patients who were sick or dead were kept in the same rooms as the rest of the family. People often wondered why the disease was affecting so many people at one time. However, careful attention to the medical commands of God as revealed in Leviticus would have saved untold millions of lives. Arturo Castiglione wrote about the overwhelming importance of this biblical medical law, "The laws against leprosy in Leviticus 13 may be regarded as the first model of a sanitary legislation."

Fortunately, the church fathers of Vienna finally took the biblical injunctions to heart and commanded that those infected with the plague must be placed outside the city in special medical quarantine compounds. Care givers fed them there until they either died or survived the passage of the disease. Those who died in homes or streets were instantly removed and buried outside the city limits. These biblical sanitary measures quickly brought the dreaded epidemic under control for the first time. Other cities and countries rapidly followed the medical practices of Vienna until the Black Death was finally halted."

Of course, this is all common knowledge today, but is it possible that the Israelites were the first to incorporate these ancient public health practices?

Jeffrey's book includes several pages that explain the medical ignorance and primitive state of the Egyptian's level of knowledge regarding infection. These are mentioned in the Papyrus Ebers which was written about the time of Moses. Some of the "remedies" they tried were really gross and disgusting...and deadly!

I'm sure that I won't convince you that the advanced (in biblical times) medical knowledge in the Bible is God inspired, but the fact that microscopic infectious germs were unknown and unsuspected while the ancient laws of hygiene and sanitation was revealed to Moses through the inspiration of God telling him to write these words could be seen by some as remarkable knowledge. The question is, where did this knowledge come from?

No matter how you want to view it, the fact that the children of Israel were saved from countless invisible germs and diseases by following these religious laws and prohibitions given by their God through their prophet Moses shows me that God provided them with wise and beneficial laws to protect their health including advanced sanitation laws (digging a hole and covering it even before sewers were invented; avoiding germs from dead human bodies etc.) to prevent the spread of infections. Something as simple as using running water to wash, rather than a bowl of water in hospitals (as was done up until the early 1800's) brought the death rate of mothers down from 15-30% to 2%. Thousands of years ago, God commanded the Israelites to wash their hands in "running water" when dealing with those afflicted with infectious disease. (Leviticus 15:13)

Saltnlight said...

Judgment always entails assessment. Taken without qualification, the statement "You shouldn't judge" turns the accusing finger back in your own face, being itself an example of judgment.

Jesus did not condemn all making of judgments, only hypocritical ones - arrogant condemnations characterized by disdain and condescension. Not all judgments are of this sort.

Other judgments are assessments - appraisals of right or wrong, wise or foolish, accurate or inaccurate, rational or irrational. This kind of judgment is not forbidden; it is commanded. Jesus' instructions "Do not give what is holy to dogs" (Matthew 7:6) require this kind of judgment (What is "holy" Who are the "dogs"). Peter reminds us to "be of sound judgment" since "the end of all things is at hand," (1 Peter 4:7).

Some assessments are moral. Paul commands this kind of judgment: "Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them" (Ephesians 5:11). This is to be done not "according to appearance," but by "righteous" standards (John 7:24) according to Jesus, who chastised the Jews for their failures here: "And why do you not judge even on your own initiative what is right?" (Luke 12:57)

Why does all of this matter? Our Christian message at its very heart contains a message of judgment. The "good news" of the Gospel is only good against the bad news of judgment. As ambassadors for Christ, we cannot avoid this.

The Christian message starts with a judgment and it will end with a judgment for those who do not heed it. Jesus was hated, in part, because he testified of the world's evil deeds (John 7:7). But it is never in bad taste to tell people the truth when the truth really matters. That's what faithful ambassadors do, even over coffee.
Saltnlight

Christinewjc said...

Boo - Welcome back Boo! I've missed you. Glad to see you are back in the conversations here.

BTW, I've found that "Seven Star Hand" guy bothering more people over the internet...he posts the exact same self-messiah-guru-type tripe at the other blogs, too. I still chuckle over that comment you made.."he sniffs the glue."

Saltnlight - Excellent posts and I'm so glad to see you back blogging! Keep sharing cause the non-believers keep reading!

Dani - Don't let the non-believers discourage you. That's their job...apparently. They attack the messenger rather than considering the message. We may not change anyone's minds here (as Phronk and GMpilot so ardently claim), but there are dozens of people reading and following this thread...perhaps they are benefitting from what you and our Christian friends here are posting.

Jody - Way back in the beginning of these comments you told me to "shut up." I'm certainly much obliged to do so...towards you, anyway.

Mark - I always appreciate your input here. You say things that make me laugh too! Love that!

It appears that our "prideful" non-believers don't want us to share Biblical truth because it is "meaningless" to them. I could imagine that such thoughts were typical of Satan, too, since he made a career out of hating and twisting Scripture.

Phronk - There's hope for you yet! Just don't hang out with GMpilot too much.

GMpilot - My ole' nemesis. Can't wait to hear your reply to my "advanced medical knowledge post." I can already guess what you'll say...we'll see if I'm right.

Time for dinner! Be back later!

Phronk said...

Christine: Yes, by "good" I am, of course, refering to my belief of what is considered good, which does not involve God.

The seed metaphor is somewhat useful. Keep in mind that it works both ways, though. The soil can be prepared for the seeds of atheism as well as your magic Gospel seeds. I hope I've planted at least two seeds of doubt in Christian minds, so I at least cancel your born-agains out. Just doubt, though - I would not be so ignorant as to desire that anyone completely accept my beliefs...since, as we both agree, humans are fallible, and thus it would be stupid to think either of us has gotten everything just right.

Also: I could imagine that such thoughts were typical of Satan, too, since he made a career out of hating and twisting Scripture.

Was that meant as a shot against Dani? Because she's the only one I see twisting scripture. The rest of us try to avoid scripture, except to point out its flaws. No twisting required.

Phronk - There's hope for you yet! Just don't hang out with GMpilot too much.

Yeah yeah. There's hope for you too. Just don't hang out at church too much.

Saltnlight:

That's nice. Thanks for sharing what you believe, I guess.

How did evolution play this game? There is no answer. Some have given ideas and tried to answer but no one has given a clear concise answer to this.

Who said the truth can be summarized in clear, concise answers? And who said science has all the answers?

Most of what you say falls to the old circular fallacy of trying to demonstrate the merit of the Bible using the Bible.

No seriously, Harry Potter is a true story! Let me show you this quote from Harry Potter that proves it.

Dani:

Dude, we're almost the same age? For some reason I thought you were older.

So we've been on this earth for the same number of years. I would not be so arrogant as to claim that more years of education make me wiser. Such generalizations are often false. So let's say that, at best, we've been around for an equal number of years and hence an equal number of opportunities to accrue wisdom and knowledge. Now, what makes you think that, somehow, your years have been more fruitful in revealing truth than mine?

And don't try to analyze my life. You don't know a thing about me. But just to lash out in retaliation (hey, I'm a sinning human, can't help it): It absolutely disgusts me that you are being put in charge of any number of children, when you have demonstrated that you are emotionally, spiritually, and mentally, little more than a child yourself.

Only God can give someone wisdom, but if you rely on your own understanding, it leads only to death.

Let's test that out. I'll race you to the finish line (that is, death)...first one there loses!

Just a preview: What's saved more lives, belief in God, or medicine (derived from God-hating science)?

One more thing. You demonstrate time and time again that you don't remember anything I say. You keep insisting that atheists "hate" God, despite repeated insistence that no, it is not willfully hating something if you don't believe it exists.

I'd ask you to answer this directly, but you're pretty much incable of doing that: Do you hate unicorns? Do you hate Voldemort? Seriously, just think about it. Even if they existed, you don't believe they exist, so you can't possibly hate them. Do you understand that yet? Or do you need to go back to college to learn basic reading comprehension?

Get over things that have been proven false, apologize, and try a new angle. You're only making yourself look foolish otherwise.

I’m not sure specifically what you wanted me to address that I didn't already, so feel free to post the questions again if you want.

You pretty much avoid anything that directly contradicts your beliefs. Read through old commment threads and take a look if you need proof. I try my best to directly address things that are asked of me, especially if they are good logical points, and especially if they threaten my beliefs.

If anyone is willfully ignorant of the truth, it is you. I would conjecture that deliberate avoidance of carefully reasoned arguments is necessary to maintain the beliefs you do. I'd love for you to prove otherwise though.

Anyway, you can respond if you want, but you proably won't.

I look forward to seeing where this conversation goes with the rest of you, though.

Jody said...

BTW – I am only 27 and I am married with three children ages 2, 3 & 11.

Dani, don't confuse your responsibilities with your achievements. Your children are your responsibility. You made commitments when you married and when you chose to have children. You get points for doing what you are supposed to do in the first place.

In helping those you don't have to? In teaching those who aren't yours to teach? That is nobility, my dear, the very essence of it.

I went to college and found it to be a waste of time and money...

You said similar things about high school. The problem isn't with the educational system....

Way back in the beginning of these comments you told me to "shut up." I'm certainly much obliged to do so...towards you, anyway.

Yeah, Christine, about that. I'd believe you about your selfless adherence to your moral principles if you didn't just call everyone's attention to the how selflessly principled you're being. Ever hear of the Pharisees?

Since you missed it, what I said was "...As you are arguing instead that that magic also formed, scientifically speaking, the world around us, you need to put your evidence up or shut up. "

That wasn't a general command for you be quiet, but for you to either provide the evidence you say you have for the role magic has played in science and evolution or to stop saying that you have it and that all the rest of us are just "talking past you."

As you quickly shifted from psudeo-scienctific quotes from IDers to superstitious quotes from the Bible, I thought you'd conceded the point. However, if you still have that evidence, I'd love to see it.

Boo said...

"Boo – I am not here to judge anyone’s heart, for only God truly knows the condition of a man’s heart. But I can judge by the fruit of this discussion and other debates, and it appears that Phronk, Jody, and Gmpilot have hardened their hearts towards God as they actively oppose Him, reject Him and live in direct rebellion towards Him."

Let's see- you say you aren't here to judge anyone's heart, then you make a judgement about Phronk's, Jody's, and GMpilot's hearts. Ever see that Star Trek episode where they made all the androids' brains melt down by telling them everything the one guy said was a lie, and he's lying now, and their android brains couldn't resolve the contradiction? That was a good episode.

"If one declares himself to be wiser than almighty God and know better than God then he has set himself in the same place that Lucifer did and for it got kicked out of the Kingdom."

Then... maybe y'all should stop doing that? Maybe? I'd really like it if I could stop having to apologize so often for the actions of my co-religionists.

Getting back to the topic once again, there is a huge amount of evidence for evolution and just saying there isn't won't make it go away. Accepting this does mean one can't take the early chapters of Genesis literally, but if that's a problem for anyone here then you need to lay the "ID" figleaf aside and admit to being young-earth creationists.

"Evolution is not based on fact but on philosophy. Evolution is not fact because of two things that are missing; 1) life formed from non-life. Abiogenesis. 2) That life must be able to change from simple form to complex forms over a period of time."

That's like saying astronomy is false because we haven't observed every single star in the universe. Scientists have some pretty good ideas about how life began (from a strictly naturalistic viewpoint which does not attempt to address the question of whether there was a supernatural entity directing it one way or the other, and yes, there are plenty of evolutionary biologists who are also Christians). To say the whole thing must be false because we don't have the complete picture yet is ridiculous. It's basically saying we shouldn't try to learn anything unless we already know it. Furthermore, if it were somehow proven scientifically that God created life at the beginning, that would not invalidate how life evolved after it began.

Christinewjc said...

According to an article called The Branding of a Heretic which discussed the Sternberg case, the question about why can't students explore the following comes to mind:

"According to ID theory, certain features of living organisms -- such as the miniature machines and complex circuits within cells -- are better explained by an unspecified designing intelligence than by an undirected natural process like random mutation and natural selection."

Don't want to recognize it as a "theory?" Then, call it an hypothesis. Heck! If Darwinists can get away with presenting a 40 year fraud like "Piltdown Man" as a legitimate "scientific" discovery, then why shouldn't ID advocates get a chance to show their explanations for why they believe that life is better explained by a designing intelligence?

The article also stated:

"One example of reasons why ID is often rejected outright is because The Biological Society of Washington released a vaguely
ecclesiastical statement regretting its association with the Stephen Meyer's article,"The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories" (The piece happened to be the first peer-reviewed article to appear in a technical biology journal laying out the evidential case for Intelligent Design)was not addressed according to its arguments but denied its orthodoxy, citing a
resolution of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that defined ID as, by its very nature, unscientific.


It may or may not be, but surely the matter can be debated on
scientific grounds, responded to with argument instead of invective
and stigma.

Note the circularity: Critics of ID have long argued that
the theory was unscientific because it had not been put forward in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Now that it has, they argue that it shouldn't have been because it's unscientific. They banish certain ideas from certain venues as if by holy writ, and brand heretics too."

ID is being rejected because of philosophical bias. The scientific evidence for this hypothesis is "not allowed" to be discussed (or, apparently, published in "peer-reviewed" journals) because of an a-priori philosophical adherence to materialism which is written into the science definition by "atheistic humanistic and biased 'holy' writ" of secularistic belief a.k.a. the church of Darwinism.

"Adherence" means faithful attachment; devotion. So, the Darwinists want to accuse ID of being "religious" while they are guilty of such a thing themselves!

(Sorry about all the run-on sentences...it's late and I'm tired.)

Intelligent Design, in any event, is hardly a made-to-order prop for
any particular religion. When the British atheist philosopher Antony
Flew made news this winter by declaring that he had become a deist -- a believer in an unbiblical "god of the philosophers" who takes no notice of our lives -- he pointed to the plausibility of ID theory.

Darwinism, by contrast, is an essential ingredient in secularism, that aggressive, quasi-religious faith without a deity.

GMpilot said...

Christine: Don't want to recognize it as a "theory?" Then, call it an hypothesis. Heck! If Darwinists can get away with presenting a 40 year fraud like "Piltdown Man" as a legitimate "scientific" discovery, then why shouldn't ID advocates get a chance to show their explanations for why they believe that life is better explained by a designing intelligence?

I need hardly point out that it was no YEC or ID adherent who revealed Piltdown Man as a fraud. Science may be slow to self-correct, but it does do so. BTW, how many times has the Ark of Noah been ‘found’ over the past fifty years?

Ah, so Grant Jeffrey is your source! Have to check it out…but not right now.

ID is being rejected because of philosophical bias. The scientific evidence for this hypothesis is "not allowed" to be discussed (or, apparently, published in "peer-reviewed" journals) because of an a-priori philosophical adherence to materialism which is written into the science definition by "atheistic humanistic and biased 'holy' writ" of secularistic belief a.k.a. the church of Darwinism.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Matthew 17:20 says …for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
It would take very few instances of mountain-moving to convince me that Christianity is the way to go. Yet despite this sacred guarantee, moving mountains requires large quantities of dynamite and many, many bulldozers and dump trucks.

If your philosophical adherence to supernaturalism allows you to move a mountain, all you have to do to convince us skeptics is to do it. I have asked you to move Mount McKinley from Alaska to the suburbs of Omaha. You don’t have to leave it there; 24 hours would do just fine. No restrictions—call in as many fellow believers as you like. You never accepted, just gave some lame excuse.
Your God turned water into wine; am I any less important to him than the feasting guests? (WWJD?)

If you could move mountains with the power of your faith, it would open vast new opportunities for the transportation industry—and that’s just for starters! But you can’t do it, although you can come up with a million ‘justifications’ why you can’t.

How about something easier, such as drinking a glass of H2SO4? Or perhaps you could walk into a cancer ward and leave only empty beds behind? Mark 16:18 says you can. I have yet to hear of it. Your a priori philosophical adherence to supernaturalism should make it easy to embarrass forever all those doctors who wasted years studying medicine when they should’ve just read the Bible.
But you can’t do it. And you know you can’t do it. Worse, we know you can’t do it. So all you can do is rant against evolution, even though it’s the backbone of all our biological science. Yes, it’s “only a theory”. So is gravity, but I don’t see Christians pushing for an alternative theory there, either!

Christinewjc said...

There is something wrong with Blogger this morning...OK...this is my third attempt to post this! I hope the third time is the charm!

Ummm...GM...Jesus was using a literary device called HYPERBOLE.

hyperbole: A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect, as in I could sleep for a year or This book weighs a ton.

The miracles of Jesus, such as turning the water into wine and mulitplying the bread and fish, carried much symbolism as well as fulfilling an immediate, physical need.

Jesus compared his flesh to "bread" and his blood to "wine" at the Last Supper. These were to be used in remembrance for his sacrifice until he comes again.

Jesus taught the fisherman how to become "fishers of men" for the kingdom of heaven.

These are of spiritual significance...not just temporal, physical needs fulfilled. What some skeptics here like to call "magic" in order to make it sound unbelievable, Jesus uses as proof that he has control over the elements that he created and thus he is outside the scientific boundaries that we must adhere to (and, continually discover).

ID is useful because it doesn't get into Scripture or make a claim to who the designer is (like I said before, you can believe it's aliens like Sagan did), but it reveals reasons why life has the appearance of being designed. It's ok for Darwinists to make such a statement, and then hold onto their materialistic beliefs through a comeback of, 'Nah...it's not really design...just looks that way' whereas an IDeist continues to follow the evidence where it leads and such evidence definitely shows design rather than random chance and mutation.

Although I am stating this in simple terms without the bells and whistles of the scientific terms and evidences (see Stephen C. Meyer's paper for some), it is a logical inference for those who do not adhere to materialism only dogma.

Before Darwin, the Argument from Design was all we had. With so many advances in discovery that reveal such design, maybe it's high time to go back to such a hypothesis and follow the evidence towards where it may lead.

One more thing, GM. "Supernaturalism", as you called it, doesn't negate the work of scientists and does no harm to many of the laws of the universe that have been discovered by man. It enhances it. Like I've said before, science is always catching up to God.

You may think that my opinions here are ignorant and off base, but I think that they are sound and reasonable. You have your "religion of Darwinism" faith, and I have mine based on the best-selling, most read, Holy Spirit inspired, prophecies fulfilled, revelation of the Savior of mankind and ultimate new heaven and new earth promise to base mine on. Yes. I am a young earth Creationist believer. I also believe that ID doesn't conflict with that belief. But someone else (like a Muslim or Jewish believer) could also believe in ID without interfering with their individual faith. Heck! A believer in aliens could also accept ID.

So statements made by Boo and others that ID is Creationism in disguise are incorrect. It is an opportunity to explore the Argument from Design without getting into religious or spiritual aspects of life.

Of course, this is just my opinion and you can continue to choose to tear apart what I think and label it nonsense. So be it. I'll take the word of Jesus (who spoke about Creation and is our Creator after all!)over any person with any amount of degrees from the religion of Darwinism any day!

When people like Jody come along and claim that the revealed hoaxes and frauds of Darwinism (paraphased here) 'do not harm or negate the evidence of evolutionary theory (macro),' they are being intellectually dishonest (IMO). The frauds mentioned in Well's Icons of Evolution book were held up to be proof of scientific evidence for Darwinism (and, in many cases the only evidence at the time) for years...sometimes 40 or 50 years! The peppered moth scandal was not just a "minor squabble" to be dealt with. It was an obvious, deliberate fraud that was held up for all those years in all those textbooks as "proof" for the "fact" of Darwinism. In my book that's called dishonesty, a scam and lying! They wouldn't have had to lie about that (or Piltdown man, Haeckel's embryos, the Miller-Urey experiment, Archeoraptor, Archeopteryxk, how the Cambrian explosion explodes their Darwinistic "tree of life" claims) in the first place if they had other evidences that were not found to be faked! Their "mountains of evidence" crumble at the feet of fraudulent and unmistakable, deliberate fallacies which had been passed off as genuine.

As Ann Coulter stated in her new book:

"What is so peculiar about the Darwiniacs is that they perpetrate comical frauds in defense of their religion and then angrily accuse their opponents of being driven by religious zeal."

Darwiniacs...I like that new name. I think I will use that title to label those who adhere to the "church of Darwinism" from now on!

Phronk said...

I didn't want to get involved in this part of the debate here, but since nobody's really addressed it, I thought I'd point out this link in response to Christine's claim that the Bible offers "advanced medical knowledge".

One point I find particularly interesting is that it only vaguely resembles advanced knoweldge if you take it completely out of context. For example, in context, the "advanced" practice of burying poo had nothing to do with medicine, and more to do with magic. The reason this is particularly interesting is that, as in the comments directly above this one, any alleged flaws in the Bible are attacked as being out of context.

Speaking of which...how do we know, a priori, when Jesus is talking metaphorically and when he is being literal? As I've asked Dani before, do we need a special decoder ring to interpet his words? If God's word is perfect and requires no human interpretation, there must be a clear prespecified way to distinguish metaphor from fact. If it does require human interpreation, and humans are fallible sinners, then how can you possibly be so sure that your interpetation is correct?

Christinewjc said...

Pronk asks:

"Speaking of which...how do we know, a priori, when Jesus is talking metaphorically and when he is being literal?"

Common sense, perhaps?

Dani said...

Phronk -

Now, what makes you think that, somehow, your years have been more fruitful in revealing truth than mine?

About 6 years ago I was headed toward utter destruction, my heart was hard to God and I was living in complete perversion and rebellion towards Him. I was tired of relying on my own understanding only to fall short time and time again. Finally, I humbled myself, acknowledged who God was, asked Him for forgiveness and to dwell in my heart. Since then God has lifted me out of the darkness, saved me from my sinful lifestyle and revealed the Truth to me.

For once I was blind, but now I can see.

You admit that you are a sinning human and can't help it - that is exactly why you are in need of a Savior!

What's saved more lives, belief in God, or medicine (derived from God-hating science)?

I don't know. Medicine may have saved more lives physically, but only God can save the souls for all of eternity.

Do you hate unicorns? Do you hate Voldemort?

No of course not - But I also do not dedicate my life to proving they don't exist either.

If you don't believe in God - why keep trying to prove that He doesn't exist?

GMpilot said...

Christine: The miracles of Jesus, such as turning the water into wine and mulitplying the bread and fish, carried much symbolism as well as fulfilling an immediate, physical need…
These are of spiritual significance...not just temporal, physical needs fulfilled. What some skeptics here like to call "magic" in order to make it sound unbelievable, Jesus uses as proof that he has control over the elements that he created and thus he is outside the scientific boundaries that we must adhere to (and, continually discover).


Moving a mountain is neither an immediate need, nor a physical one. Try again.

Christine: ID is useful because it doesn't get into Scripture or make a claim to who the designer is (like I said before, you can believe it's aliens like Sagan did), but it reveals reasons why life has the appearance of being designed. It's ok for Darwinists to make such a statement, and then hold onto their materialistic beliefs through a comeback of, 'Nah...it's not really design...just looks that way' whereas an IDeist continues to follow the evidence where it leads and such evidence definitely shows design rather than random chance and mutation.

If there is evidence of an intelligent design, why are IDists afraid to specify a designer? Is there any indication that the intelligent designer might be malevolent? People lose their “wisdom teeth” because the body keeps growing teeth into a jawbone that’s no longer big enough to hold them. This may be evidence of intelligence, but not a mature one. If you’re going to claim that ID is something more than creationism in a lab coat, then you’re going to have to show it without using your faith based on the ”best-selling, most read, Holy Spirit inspired, prophecies fulfilled, revelation of the Savior of mankind and ultimate new heaven and new earth promise “. Once you start that ‘Holy Spirit’ and ‘Savior’ name-dropping, you are invoking the identity of a Designer (with a capital D), and therefore it’s supernaturalism. Boo is absolutely correct.

(An aside: you know as well as anyone that most Bibles aren’t sold; they’re given away. In publishing, giving away a book constitutes a “sale”. Come to think of it, giving away illegal drugs also constitutes a sale…hey, that’s a good analogy! Just because a book is a ‘best-seller’ doesn’t mean people actually read it, or that it’s worth reading.)

Christine: Darwiniacs...I like that new name. I think I will use that title to label those who adhere to the "church of Darwinism" from now on!

Feel free…but the other guys will still be IDiots.

Phronk said...

Christine: "Speaking of which...how do we know, a priori, when Jesus is talking metaphorically and when he is being literal?"

Common sense, perhaps?


Common sense implies that it is common among people. That is, it is the same for everyone. We've just seen that the same Bible passages can be interpreted in ways that lead to opposite conclusions. It differs from person to person.

So no, common sense won't do.

Dani:

Here is my story.

About 15 years ago I was headed toward utter destruction, my heart was open to God and I was living in complete delusion and rebellion towards truth. I was tired of relying on religion's understanding only to fall short time and time again. Finally, I humbled myself, and acknowledged what science was. Since then science and reason have lifted me out of the darkness, saved me from my delusional lifestyle and revealed the truth to me.

For once I was blind, but now I can see.

Are you convinced now?

Exactly.

We each have unique life stories, but neither has an exclusive channel to the truth.

You admit that you are a sinning human and can't help it - that is exactly why you are in need of a Savior!

I think one of your biggest problems here, Dani, is that you have trouble with hypothetical situations. You can't, even hypothetically, take on someone else's viewpoint in order to see what follows from it. This also leads you to misunderstand things like sarcasm.

When I say "hey, I raped and murdered a hooker last night, because I'm a sinner and can't help it", I am being sarcastic. I am, hypothetically, adopting your point of view, then showing that it leads somewhere ridiculous.

That is far from admitting that we are all sinners. It's pretty much the opposite.

I do admit that we're all flawed in certain respects, though. I think you would agree too. Which is why I find it baffling that you think all humans are flawed, yet you, a human, have a perfect flawless belief system. CONTRADICTION. DOES NOT COMPUTE.

I don't know. Medicine may have saved more lives physically, but only God can save the souls for all of eternity.

Sigh. I knew you'd say that.

Me: Do you hate unicorns? Do you hate Voldemort?

Dani: No of course not - But I also do not dedicate my life to proving they don't exist either.

If you don't believe in God - why keep trying to prove that He doesn't exist?


Come on, we've addressed this before. Remember? When I pointed out that you have an entire blog devoted to proving that things like evolution and the wholesomeness of homosexuality don't exist? So if devoting time to something means you're insecure about it, you must be much more insecure than me? Anything coming back? Bueller? Bueller?

Oh, and spending 10 minutes a day responding to comments directed at me hardly qualifies as "dedicating my life" to disproving something.

And if Voldemort worshippers started insisting that we teach about wars between wizards in history class, yes, I would dedicate some time to disproving them.

Boo said...

"Note the circularity: Critics of ID have long argued that
the theory was unscientific because it had not been put forward in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Now that it has, they argue that it shouldn't have been because it's unscientific. They banish certain ideas from certain venues as if by holy writ, and brand heretics too."

Actually, critics of ID have argued that it can't be considered science because it doesn't meet the definition of science. It's unfalsifiable and has no predictive power. Behe's whole case for "irreducible complexity" basically boils down to saying he, Michael Behe, can't imagine how certain biological structures were created without intelligent intervention. I heard a great quote from the guy who headed up the human genome project pointing out that Behe's views are tantamount to saying that God is an incompetent who has to keep intervening in His creation to plug the holes in His original design. Unfortunately sometimes journals print unscientific articles, particularly when concerning politically controversial subjects. There was a huge uproar a few years back when a journal printed an article claiming political conservatism was a mental disorder. Paul Cameron recently managed to fool a scientific journal into publishing one of his articles even after the author of the source he used contacted the journal to tell them Cameron was deliberately misrepresenting her work.

"ID is being rejected because of philosophical bias. The scientific evidence for this hypothesis is "not allowed" to be discussed (or, apparently, published in "peer-reviewed" journals) because of an a-priori philosophical adherence to materialism which is written into the science definition by "atheistic humanistic and biased 'holy' writ" of secularistic belief a.k.a. the church of Darwinism"

The philosophical bias is that there is a definition to the word "science" and some things don't meet that definition. While you claim one doesn't necessarily need to be a Christian to believe in ID, the fact that many evolutionary biologists are Christians would seem to undermine your claim that evolution is an athiestic belief system.

""Adherence" means faithful attachment; devotion. So, the Darwinists want to accuse ID of being "religious" while they are guilty of such a thing themselves!"

"Adherence" is a word you chose to describe evolutionary biologists. They do not have to answer for the labels you wish to put on them.

"Darwinism, by contrast, is an essential ingredient in secularism, that aggressive, quasi-religious faith without a deity."

Christianity is an important element in the Ku Klux Klan's belief system. Following your logic, Christianity is racism. If Adolph Hitler hadn't breathed oxygen, he never would have been able to bring about the Holocaust. Oxygen must be evil.

Christinewjc said...

GM,

If you think I am such an IDiot (like you humorously labeled IDeists), then why do you subject yourself to an identical label through continued discussion with me here and at my message board? Only idiots willingly and continually talk to other idiots...perhaps it takes one to know one too? ;-)

About the "move the mountain" statement. Notice, I didn't include the term "mountain" in with the miracles that Jesus performed with the "bread", "fish", and "wine." There is a good reason for that...care to take a guess what it is?

I'm no literary giant myself, but even I can surmise the difference between literary hyperbole to get a point across and a miracle description and performed. If this doesn't give you a hint as to the answer, then I'll be sure to explain it further to you next time...you reprobate Darwiniac! Sheesh!

As far as your comment regarding "identifying the designer" goes, see this post; here's a portion:

"Nor are intelligent design scientists looking at things they can't explain: Quite the opposite. They are looking at things they can explain but which Darwin didn't even know about, like the internal mechanism of the cell, and saying, That wasn't created by natural selection - that required high-tech engineering. By contrast, the evolution cult members look at things they can't explain and say, We can't explain it, but the one thing we do know is that there is no intelligence in the universe. It must have been random chance, or it's not "science."

Christinewjc said...

Phronk,

Looking at the surrounding verses usually gives the reader a better idea of what literary device the speaker is using.

Here's a good commentary about who Jesus was speaking to and why he said what he said to them.

This portion of the commentary speaks about these verses regarding the "mountain" comment:

II. JUST A LITTLE FAITH CAN ACCOMPLISH GREAT FEATS.
A. If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed you could say to this mountain, remove from this place and be settled over there and it would move. And nothing shall be impossible unto you.
B. It is important first of all to note who Jesus was talking to. His disciples had take Him apart for their question. So He is talking to His disciples.
1. What constituted being a disciple.
a. If any man come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me.
b. He is talking to those who have denied themselves, they are not looking for things for themselves.
C. What does He say to them? Faith as a grain of mustard seed can move mountains.
1. I never read this but what I am troubled.
a. The mustard seed is very small, and if that much faith could move a mountain, how little my faith must be. It would take an electron microscope to find it.
b. It makes me feel like I don't have any faith at all.
2. I also wonder what could be done if I have faith as a coconut seed.

GMpilot said...

Christine: If you think I am such an IDiot (like you humorously labeled IDeists), then why do you subject yourself to an identical label through continued discussion with me here and at my message board? Only idiots willingly and continually talk to other idiots...perhaps it takes one to know one too? ;-)

Because you’re not an idiot about everything, hostess; just this thing. From our long correspondence I’ve learned that when one of your loved ones is ill, you don’t go to a pastor—you go to a doctor. You have no real dispute with science…just one little part of it called biology. Even then, I’ll bet you follow recommendations on nutrition and hygiene despite their source. It’s just than when evolution is mentioned, your God-meter goes off and you react with misquotes, dead arguments, off-target analogies, question begging and invoking a “Savior”.

I know you have more than two working synapses. I’ve read some of your accomplishments, so I know you’re not in the same class as, say, Curly Stooge. But when it comes to ‘intelligent design’, you instantly regress from the 21st century to the late Bronze Age. And you do it deliberately and willingly. So I have no choice but to regard you as an IDiot—at least as far as evolution goes.

Christine: I'm no literary giant myself, but even I can surmise the difference between literary hyperbole to get a point across and a miracle description and performed.

So the solemn promises of Jesus in Mark 16 are just hyperbole then, correct? If I heard such claims in a TV commercial, I’d conclude legal action might be in order. But there is no Better Business bureau to watch the clergy. They can claim absolutely anything and never have to provide satisfaction; and as we all know, the dead cannot come back to demand compensation.

As for that post:
Coulter is a lawyer by profession. She can have opinions on evolution all she likes, but…if you want to learn about Navajos, don’t ask a Cherokee! There’s no substantial facts in her…um…HYPERBOLE, is that the word? Given the news about the plagiarism in her latest book, if she recommended water, I’d think twice about drinking any.
She says, These aren't gaps in a scientific theory - there is no scientific theory. There is only a story about how a bear might have fallen into the ocean and become a whale.
Whereas she (and I suppose, you) have a story about how an unidentified being using unknowable means made mankind out of mud, and all other living things ex nihilo. Where’s the scientific theory?

Saltnlight said...

Time is sliding away and being wasted on this never ending debate on Who Christ is and whether God exists, how the earth became the earth etc; etc.

What I say is this; Believe what you will to believe, I shall believe in Him and His Word. For me Jesus is the only Redeemer Who can pay my debt and yours which we owe to God.

1TIMOTHY 3:16 Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.

The mission of Christ summarized in this hymn is the center of the Christian confession of faith. Jesus' mission included incarnation--becoming human; resurrection--God's Spirit showing Christ, and not His enemies, was right in God's sight; victory--angels witnessed His power over all spiritual forces; proclamation--His gospel broke the barriers of race and religion to reach all nations; acceptance--people around the world believed in Him for salvation; and ascension--He was taken into glory.
This is what happened and is still true today, take it or leave it.

As for the idea that degrees and worldly education prove anything;

2TIMOTHY 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The sacred Scriptures make persons wise to the salvation which Christ gives. They teach us that salvation comes through faith in Christ. True wisdom leads to trust in Christ's strength to save, not to confidence in our intelligence.

As for making judgements on hearts;
To you who refuse the gift of Christ and therebye render your souls to destruction. Should you die today, unsaved and unredeemed, you are judged already. Your own heart has judged you to my extreme sadness. Do I love you? Yes! and sincerely because Christ first loved me and I will never understand why. Never would I wish any living person to go to hell for eternity. Don't allow death to rob you of what God has prepared for those who love Him.

Choose this day whom you will serve, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Saltnlight

Christinewjc said...

GM,

Tsk Tsk...what am I going to do with you? I just don't know. You claim that I have a "God-meter" that rises when it comes to "origin of life" issues, but you obviously have a "blinder-meter" that spikes when discussing Scripture.

My explanation for the "mountain" comment doesn't mean that the entire passage is to be viewed as hyperbole; so your assumption that the promises in Mark should be disregarded is, well, just plain ignorant!

Interestingly enough, before I came over to my blog I spotted a link to a New York Times article over at WorldNetDaily (you know...the one you often insult) that describes that scientists have found a code beyond genetics in DNA. I found the last paragraph of the article quite interesting:

"In the genetic code, sets of three DNA units specify various kinds of amino acid, the units of proteins. A curious feature of the code is that it is redundant, meaning that a given amino acid can be defined by any of several different triplets. Biologists have long speculated that the redundancy may have been designed so as to coexist with some other kind of code, and this, Dr. Segal said, could be the nucleosome code."

Again! We see evidence of design in biology! But will Darwiniacs ever admit to this fact? No! Of course not! Because they are so fixated on their "natural selection through mutation by random chance" mantra that they absolutedly (heh heh...my Curly Stooge typo!) refuse to recognize that design could be built into the evolutionary processes by an intelligent designer who started such a process.

You may want to continue to label me an idiot for believing this, but I think that the "random mutation through natural selection by chance alone" argument is even more idiotic!

(P.S. Just so you know, I may not have access to a computer until Wed. night, so if you don't see a response it is because of this reason.)

Christinewjc said...

Beautifully stated Saltnlight!

I just re-read this article called Famous Last Words written by a favorite pastor of mine, Greg Laurie. He discusses the very decision (like you mentioned) that all of us need to make before we die.

The following is just a brief excerpt, but shows the profound difference between the death of an atheist vs. the deaths of two believers:

History tells the story of the renowned atheist Voltaire, who was one of the most aggressive antagonists of Christianity. He wrote many things to undermine the church, and once said of Jesus Christ, "Curse the wretch. In 20 years, Christianity will be no more. My single hand will destroy the edifice it took 12 apostles to rear." Needless to say, Voltaire was less than successful. And on his deathbed, a nurse who attended him was reported to have said, "For all the wealth in Europe, I would not see another atheist die."

The physician, waiting up with Voltaire at his death, said that he cried out with utter desperation, "I am abandoned by God and man. I will give you half of what I am worth if you will give me six months of life. Then I shall go to hell and you will go with me, oh, Christ, oh, Jesus Christ!"

What a difference faith makes. The last words of Stephen, who was being stoned to death, were, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. ... Lord, do not charge them with this sin." (Acts 7:59-60)

The great evangelist D. L. Moody, on his deathbed, said, "I see earth receding and heaven is opening. God is calling me."

Boo said...

saltnlight:

"What I say is this; Believe what you will to believe, I shall believe in Him and His Word. For me Jesus is the only Redeemer Who can pay my debt and yours which we owe to God."

What I say is this; believe what you will, but leave the science classroom for the teaching of science.

Christine:

""In the genetic code, sets of three DNA units specify various kinds of amino acid, the units of proteins. A curious feature of the code is that it is redundant, meaning that a given amino acid can be defined by any of several different triplets. Biologists have long speculated that the redundancy may have been designed so as to coexist with some other kind of code, and this, Dr. Segal said, could be the nucleosome code."

Again! We see evidence of design in biology! But will Darwiniacs ever admit to this fact? No! Of course not! Because they are so fixated on their "natural selection through mutation by random chance" mantra that they absolutedly (heh heh...my Curly Stooge typo!) refuse to recognize that design could be built into the evolutionary processes by an intelligent designer who started such a process."

You have contradicted yourself. First you quote a paragraph saying "Biologists have long speculated that the redundancy may have been designed so as to coexist with some other kind of code," and then you say they won't admit to design in nature and insist it's all random chance. This seems to be based on a misunderstanding of how evolution works and a misunderstanding or willful misreading of what the scientist quoted meant by "design." Evolution is not all about "random chance." Natural selection is a highly non-randomizing force. Adaptations which increase the odds of survival and procreation are more likely to be passed down, those which do not are less likely to be passed down. From a naturalistic perspective, design is built into evolution simply by the nature of evolution. Whether or not this was the intent of a supernatural entity is, once again, not a question science can address.

Christinewjc said...

Boo: "From a naturalistic perspective, design is built into evolution simply by the nature of evolution."

"Building" something usually requires a builder and designer. Where did the information originally come from?

Boo: "Whether or not this was the intent of a supernatural entity is, once again, not a question science can address."

Perhaps it should start addressing it! The alternative is to ignore the appearance of design and thus the need for a designer as a hypothesis for the irreducible complexity of a cell. In Darwin's time, none of this was known. Now that it is known, perhaps it's time to recognize that Darwinism cannot put forth the mechanism to explain the complexity of life, where the information came from and it certainly cannot explain the life of the mind (intelligence) either.

Phronk said...

Reading these comments has put Celine Dion's song "Love Can Move Mountains" in my head. So needless to say, I'm in a terrible mood now; forgive my grumpiness.

Regarding the commentary on the mountain issue: So, it seems to me like Jesus was sorta whipping out a holy "yo momma" joke. Jesus was all like "yo faith so small that it take an electron microscope to find it! Yo faith so little that this little mustard seed could kick its ass!"

All joking aside, the problem remains that things like hyperbole and sarcasm require human interpretaion to understand. The fact that there it took an entire web page to explain one paragraph of Jesus's words supports to this contention. It certainly wasn't common sense - if you asked 10 people, how many would interpret the passage that way? I'd guess maybe 1, at best. Since it requires human interpretation, and humans are fallible, it follows that any given interpretation could be wrong.

This includes yours.

I could go further and use this to argue that God either doesn't exist or is not omnipotent, but let's take it one step at a time.

The Voltaire story is neat. But what does it say when the only time a guy turns to religion is when he is at his most desperate, painful, time? At a time when he's probably not "all there" mentally?

And just to add what Boo said above regarding the DNA article. Another contradiction is that you stress the importance of taking things in context, then immediately take one tiny part of an article completely out of context. Now I haven't read it, but I'd guess he's talking about the natural design of evolution, not intelligent design.

You IDers like to say it's ridiculous that things came to be "by chance"...but it only shows how ridiculous you come off sounding due to being too lazy to learn what evolution actually is before denouncing it. If you did, you'd know that yes, evolution looks a lot like design, so when speaking to a lay audience, the word is quite appropriate.

Saltnlight said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Saltnlight said...

To all who try and claim to be Atheists. No way or you wouldn't be on this site.

There is far more evidence for the existence of God than there is against Him.

It is fruitless to keep up this debate with any of you because even though they saw the works of Jesus it was not enough to make them see Who it was they were about to crucify.

Science defined is:
The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.
This does not in any way include the supernatural world. So in answer to Boo who seems to think they have this all figured out.

Science has not nor can it disprove the existence of God for even the heathen lays claim to phenomena beyond what is scientifically known. Unless you can show me how over several dozen people saw the risen Savior, spoke with Him and touched Him, how many saw Him raise a dead man from the grave who had been dead three days, unless you can tell me why a new born baby could not be circumcised until the eighth day, as in LEV 12:3 On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised. You need to keep still and ponder the likelihood that Christ is Who He said He is.

Saltnlight

Boo said...

""Building" something usually requires a builder and designer. Where did the information originally come from?"

What "information" are you talking about? I'll try to explain this one more time, since it's a distinction you don't seem to be getting. I'm a Christian. As a Christian, I believe that God is the Creator and Sovereign of the universe. As such, I believe that evolution is a mechanism God built into His creation, which serves His purposes. The difference, and this is the key part, is that I recognize that questions of God and the purpose of creation cannot be answered via the scientific method, because that's not what the scientific method is designed to do. The weight of accumulated scientific evidence forces me to the conclusion that the early chapters of Genesis cannot be read as literal history. "Irreducible complexity" is not a scientific concept because it is tantamount to attempting to prove a negative. We can say, and scientists do say, that we don't have all the answers about how everything evolved, but there's a huge difference between saying we don't yet know everything about evolution and saying that therefore that means God or the Vorlons must have intervened like the 2001 Monolith to jump species over certain evolutionary hurdles (which is essentially what old-earth creationists like Behe argue).

The reason God cannot be addressed by the scientific method is because God is not a natural force. A supernatural entity is not predictable like the natural force of electricity where you can cause event A to get effect B. You can't measure God (or unknown aliens no one's ever seen). You can't sit God down on a couch and psychoanalyze Him. You can't tag Him and release Him into the wild. (Which is why the people who think that the expansion of scientific knowledge will one day crowd out God have made the same mistake you have.) When scientists get to the point of not being able to explain a phenomena scientifically, they simply say that science cannot yet explain this phenomena. That is the only ethically honest thing they can say WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF SCIENCE. If they wish to go on and say that they think God is responsible for whatever it is, then at that point they are NO LONGER TALKING AS SCIENTISTS. It is extremely precarious to base one's faith on gaps in scientific knowledge, because those gaps have an uncanny habit of being filled, as most if not all of Behe's examples of "irreducible complexity" have been. There are a few people on the other side like Richard Dawkins who have improperly gone outside the bounds of science in claiming that evolution disproves God, but the majority of scientists don't make those kind of irresponsible pronouncements. The solution for them is the same solution for Behe and IDers: have a proper respect for the boundaries of science, which the VAST MAJORITY of scientists and science teachers already have. There simply is no giant conspiracy to use evolution to sneak atheism into schoolkids' minds.

Saltnlight said...

Attention:
Science operates on induction. The inductive method entails searching out things in the world and drawing generalized conclusions about those things based on observation. Scientists can only draw conclusions on what they find, not on what they can't find.

Has science ever proven unicorns don't exist? Absolutely not. Science has never been capable of proving the non-existence of anything.

Is there such a thing as a square circle? Whyt? Because to have a square circle entails a contradictory notion, nothing can be square and circular at the same time. To know anything inductively there must be certainty.

"If God were all good, the argument goes, He would want to get rid of evil. If God were all powerful, He'd be able to get rid of evil. Since we still have evil, then God either is not good or not powerful, or neither, but He can't be both."
Some say, " the Christian view is contradictory".
There isn't a necessary contradiction in our view of God, genuine love does not require that there be no evil or suffering.

Someone wiser than I said, "What makes you think that taking away evil in the world has anything to do with God's strength?"

God certainly is strong enough to obliterate evil from the earth or to have prevented it in the first place. No question about that.

Well how about I ask you one.
Is it a good thing that God created human beings as free moral creatures, capable of making moral choices? It strikes me that the answer to that is yes. Because God is good--which is one of the things in question here--God created free moral creatures.

What makes you think that strength has anything to do with God creating a world in which there are genuinely free moral creatures and no possibility of doing wrong?

Because we are free to do as we please there will be evil in the world. That's the fallen state of the creature isn't it?? This has nothing to do with God's goodness or strength. It has everything to do with our free choices.

Back to square circles again huh?

Saltnlight

Boo said...

"Science defined is:
The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.
This does not in any way include the supernatural world. So in answer to Boo who seems to think they have this all figured out."

So Christine isn't the only one who can indulge in self-contradiction. Read what you just wrote. You just defined science as dealing with the natural world. If that is the definition of science, then it does indeed exclude the supernatural, by definition. There's a world of difference however between excluding the study of the supernatural from the scientific method and claiming to know definitively by the scientific method that the supernatural does not exist. It doesn't look to me like Phronk and the others are attempting to argue that they know there is no God via the scientific method.

Boo said...

Oop. my mistake, I misread that last post. I thought she had said "exclude" instead of "include"

Phronk said...

It doesn't look to me like Phronk and the others are attempting to argue that they know there is no God via the scientific method.

True.

I think it's more about explaining things with science that were once explained with God. Like the origin of life. Explaining it with science says nothing about God in general; only about His involvement in the origin of life.

You've gotten me thinking with the idea that we can never "crowd out God" with the expansion of scientific knowledge. Practically, I don't think we could; i.e. we'll never explain everything about the universe. We're not smart enough and we probably won't live long enough. But is it possible? If we did explain every single detail of the universe, and found no evidence for God, would that effectively rule out the possibility of God?

I dunno. I'll have to remain agnostic on that issue.

I think it is possible to rule out specific gods, though. If I say "I believe in a god who never lies", and then there is a irrefutable proof that he lied, that specific god cannot exist. "The god who never lies" cannot ALSO be "the god who lies". Maybe a god who is similar in other respects, but lies, exists, but not my original god.

This is just logic, fueled by science. If there is one thing I have faith in and cannot prove, it is in the basic truth of logic and mathematics.

Boo said...

"You've gotten me thinking with the idea that we can never "crowd out God" with the expansion of scientific knowledge. Practically, I don't think we could; i.e. we'll never explain everything about the universe. We're not smart enough and we probably won't live long enough. But is it possible? If we did explain every single detail of the universe, and found no evidence for God, would that effectively rule out the possibility of God?"

See above comments re: impossibility of examining the supernatural naturalistically. You can't definitively answer the question of whether anything besides the physical universe exists by examining the physical universe.

Even if it were possible to examine in detail every historical moment of every point in the entire universe (I'm not sure how that would be possible) and found no evidence whatsoever that God had ever intervened in it, that still wouldn't rule out deism, so in practical terms, no, it's not possible.

GMpilot said...

Saltnlight: "If God were all good, the argument goes, He would want to get rid of evil. If God were all powerful, He'd be able to get rid of evil. Since we still have evil, then God either is not good or not powerful, or neither, but He can't be both."
Some say, " the Christian view is contradictory".
There isn't a necessary contradiction in our view of God, genuine love does not require that there be no evil or suffering.


You missed something: God is not all good, or all-powerful. That’s the sticking point. If someone tells me “You’re going against God’s will!” I would be surprised, for how could anyone go against the will of an all-powerful God?
Genuine love does not require that there be no evil or suffering, but it does require that you, the individual, do not contribute to evil or suffering of those you love. God seems to know only one kind of love—the tough kind. He constantly kicks his Chosen People all across the map, and down through the ages. According to one widely-circulated publication, he showed his love for humanity by killing all but eight of them. And it still didn’t rid the world of evil.

Saltnlight: Someone wiser than I said, "What makes you think that taking away evil in the world has anything to do with God's strength?"
I have no idea. But it hasn’t anything to do with God’s goodness, either. Since he gave us evil, it seems only fair he should be able to take it away.

Saltnlight: God certainly is strong enough to obliterate evil from the earth or to have prevented it in the first place. No question about that.

Really? Did he keep the serpent out of the Garden? Since he didn’t, that indicates he wasn’t strong enough to prevent it…and if he knew about the serpent and didn’t try to stop it, that indicates he was setting Adam up for a fall: the Fall, in fact.
So yes, it is back to square circles again.

Oh, sorry, I forgot: you’re not talking to me.

Boo said...

"You missed something: God is not all good, or all-powerful. That’s the sticking point. If someone tells me “You’re going against God’s will!” I would be surprised, for how could anyone go against the will of an all-powerful God?"

By God choosing not to force His will on people.

"Genuine love does not require that there be no evil or suffering, but it does require that you, the individual, do not contribute to evil or suffering of those you love. God seems to know only one kind of love—the tough kind. He constantly kicks his Chosen People all across the map, and down through the ages."

I take it you've never raised children.

"According to one widely-circulated publication, he showed his love for humanity by killing all but eight of them. And it still didn’t rid the world of evil."

If you take the story literally, apparently He decided all but eight were irredeemable. Since I wasn't there and couldn't see into humanity's hearts even if I was, I'll just have to trust Him on this one.

"Saltnlight: Someone wiser than I said, "What makes you think that taking away evil in the world has anything to do with God's strength?"
I have no idea. But it hasn’t anything to do with God’s goodness, either. Since he gave us evil, it seems only fair he should be able to take it away."

Suppose what He gave us was not evil the the ability to choose which led the the possiblity that we could choose to do evil. He would not then be able to take evil away without taking away free will, which would make us nothing but His puppets.

Saltnlight said...

Where do you get the idea that God brought or gave us the evil in the world??? Have you forgotten the fall from eating of a tree when God had told them not to do so????

The serpent in the garden:
Have you no biblical knowledge at all?? Do you recall the fall of Lucifer?? He was thrown to earth. God had good reason to allow the serpent and the fall to occur. Again, to teach His disobedient creation Who is in charge. But, and you all seem willing to forget this, God had a plan and a free gift for they who will believe and
serve Him.

GM...."You missed something: God is not all good, or all-powerful."
No I did not miss anything. God is Good, God is Power.

GM...Going against Gopd's will is easy for we who have been created to have freedom of will. That is what YOU missed.

GM..."He constantly kicks his Chosen People all across the map, and down through the ages."
God did not "kick" anyone and if you read the entire old testament account of the travels of these disobedient, arrogant, stiff necked ones you will conclude that God was doing what God does best and that is testing the faith of the children of Israel.

You who disbelieve do forfeit your own souls. It does not have to be that way!!
Saltnlight

Phronk said...

Boo said: See above comments re: impossibility of examining the supernatural naturalistically. You can't definitively answer the question of whether anything besides the physical universe exists by examining the physical universe.

I think the problem I have with this position is that I don't think the "supernatural", in the sense you've described here, exists. Or if it does, there is no point in pondering it, since it may as well not. If something has an effect on the physical universe, it must be part of the physical universe, and can be studied scientifically. If it has no effect on the physical universe, then it either does not exist, or might as well not exist since it has no effect on anything. All possible observations would be identical whether it exists or not.

Certainly there are things that seem supernatural. But if we are observing them, then they are having an effect on the universe, and hence they are part of it. I cannot see how something that is not part of the physical universe can affect the physical universe without leading to logical contradictions. I'm not sure it's even coherent to speak of something being "outside the physical universe." And of course, as soon as we explain a seemingly supernatural phenomenon, it is no longer supernatural.

Even if it were possible to examine in detail every historical moment of every point in the entire universe (I'm not sure how that would be possible) and found no evidence whatsoever that God had ever intervened in it, that still wouldn't rule out deism, so in practical terms, no, it's not possible.

OK, sure, maybe there is a God who exists in complete isolation from the physical universe, neither observing nor intervening with it. But since no observation would differ depending on the God's existence, it might as well not exist. It is also completely different than the Christian God, so that specific God HAS been ruled out.

I see your point, though. I've read about black holes, and how once anything goes into one (including light), it can never come out. So, there is no way to observe what is going on inside a black hole. Our physical universe will never be affected by anything inside of one. But does that mean nothing exists in there? It may as well not - but does it? Perhaps we need "faith" to know that it does, even though it can never be proven.

I guess I'm rambling now so I'll stop. Interesting topic!

Boo said...

"I think the problem I have with this position is that I don't think the "supernatural", in the sense you've described here, exists. Or if it does, there is no point in pondering it, since it may as well not. If something has an effect on the physical universe, it must be part of the physical universe, and can be studied scientifically. If it has no effect on the physical universe, then it either does not exist, or might as well not exist since it has no effect on anything. All possible observations would be identical whether it exists or not."

My statements may have been a little too blanket. As a Christian, I believe that Jesus was literally resurrected after being crucified. If it were ever possible to build a time machine and I went back in time and found out that He did not, in fact, rise, then that observation could be considered "scientific" proof against Christianity.

At the same time, a lot of what many people regard as miracles, it would be extremely difficult one way or the other to determine whether God was acting to produce them. When I was growing up, the assistant pastor of my church developed Lou Gehrig's disease, and it progressed to the point where he couldn't stand up and could hardly talk. The church held a special service to pray for him, and a week later he started getting better. Soon he was actually back at work, and he stayed pretty healthy for another year. I'm not sure how one could scientifically determine whether or not God granted him remission. I suppose you could set up some kind of double blind study to pray for some people and not others, but if the Christian God exists, He might not take kindly to being asked to jump through hoops like that.

"Certainly there are things that seem supernatural. But if we are observing them, then they are having an effect on the universe, and hence they are part of it. I cannot see how something that is not part of the physical universe can affect the physical universe without leading to logical contradictions. I'm not sure it's even coherent to speak of something being "outside the physical universe." And of course, as soon as we explain a seemingly supernatural phenomenon, it is no longer supernatural."

Since we have no direct experience of what, if anything, exists outside the physical universe, it is an open question (sans the faith factor, of course) whether or not something outside the physical universe could affect the physical universe ("outside" being used here in the metaphorical sense similar to how evolutionary biologists talk about evolution designing things) without leading to contradictions, since we have no way of knowing how beings outside the physical universe might operate.

While many phenomena people once thought of as supernatural have been explained as natural, many, many others have not. Since no one has a time machine, no one can go back and observe whether or not Joshua did halt the Earth's orbit or Elija rained fire from the sky or if Muhammed was carried up into heaven. (Although we have pretty good evidence that the volcanoes L. Ron claimed Xenu used to destroy the universe's excess thetans weren't around when he said it happened, so too bad for Scientology)

"OK, sure, maybe there is a God who exists in complete isolation from the physical universe, neither observing nor intervening with it. But since no observation would differ depending on the God's existence, it might as well not exist. It is also completely different than the Christian God, so that specific God HAS been ruled out."

Only if we had the aforementioned powers of omni-observation, which we don't.

GMpilot said...

Saltnlight: Where do you get the idea that God brought or gave us the evil in the world???

Why, from the following:

“Wherefore I gave them also statutes [that were] not good, and judgments whereby they should not live; And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through [the fire] all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I [am] the LORD.” Eze 20:25~26

“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things].” Isa 45:7

“If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull [you] down, and I will plant you, and not pluck [you] up: for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you.” Jer 42:10

Those are examples enough, I trust. There are more.

See, to you and me, evil is something to be avoided; to God, evil is just another tool in his workshop, to be used when he wants.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
No, Boo, I’ve never raised children (not my own, anyway). When kids disobey, they must sometimes be punished—I won’t argue with that. But when your children disobeyed you, did you reward them with death? Of course not. Anyone who does would be regarded as a monster. Punishment is supposed to teach an offender the error of his ways, but death teaches nothing to the victim. Punishment that is considered cruel by human standards is somehow elevated to being “righteous” and “just” when God does it. That’s all I’m sayin’.

Okay? I shouldn’t have disrupted the thread. I won’t go off-topic again.

Boo: When I was growing up, the assistant pastor of my church developed Lou Gehrig's disease, and it progressed to the point where he couldn't stand up and could hardly talk. The church held a special service to pray for him, and a week later he started getting better. Soon he was actually back at work, and he stayed pretty healthy for another year. I'm not sure how one could scientifically determine whether or not God granted him remission. I suppose you could set up some kind of double blind study to pray for some people and not others, but if the Christian God exists, He might not take kindly to being asked to jump through hoops like that.

It’s been tried: http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0403/p13s02-lire.htm

If God decides that Person X is going to die in spite of people’s prayers, doesn’t that skew the results? What sort of controls could be used to screen the effects of a being who is said to be everywhere? I’ve always had the impression that prayer serves to remind God how great and powerful he is…when it’s not asking him to jump through hoops.

Boo said...

"If God decides that Person X is going to die in spite of people’s prayers, doesn’t that skew the results? What sort of controls could be used to screen the effects of a being who is said to be everywhere? I’ve always had the impression that prayer serves to remind God how great and powerful he is…when it’s not asking him to jump through hoops."

Ergo- you can't study God scientifically. The Xtian answer the your second point would be that once one recognizes that God is great and powerful, source of all goodness, Creator Sustainer etc etc etc, one cannot help but recognize it as only natural and proper to praise Him, and if someone who does not want to praise Him it is only because they fail or refuse to recognize their proper relationship to Him, which prolly wouldn't make too much sense to someone who isn't Christian, Muslim, or Jewish.

"No, Boo, I’ve never raised children (not my own, anyway). When kids disobey, they must sometimes be punished—I won’t argue with that. But when your children disobeyed you, did you reward them with death? Of course not. Anyone who does would be regarded as a monster. Punishment is supposed to teach an offender the error of his ways, but death teaches nothing to the victim. Punishment that is considered cruel by human standards is somehow elevated to being “righteous” and “just” when God does it. That’s all I’m sayin’."

I can't claim to know the ultimate answer to this question (or, hey, any question) but try this one:

Suppose God needs a particular people to do something extremely important, without which the entire world will fall into hell and damnation, with the demons and the lakes of fire and the "Hey hey hey, it hurts me!"

Suppose God selects a particulr group, say, the tribes descended from Abraham, for this purpose.

Suppose doing this thing God needs done necessitates that this people be set apart from all others, and that they need quite a bit of refining to be able to bear the burden this task will place on them.

Suppose death is a bad thing, but not the most bad thing that can happen to someone.

Suppose if this task isn't done the most bad thing that can happen to someone will happen to everyone.

Suppose that while God chose this particular people because they were best suited to the task at hand, they were, being people, still pretty screwed up, and suppose they needed it hammered into their heads that THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD AND YOU BETTER DARN WELL NOT GO WORSHIPPING ANYTHING ELSE.

Suppose they were surrounded by neighboring tribes who worshipped all sorts of gods and idols, and didn't hesitate to adopt new ones or combine them at the drop of a hat.

Suppose doing it any other way would involve destroying their free will, which would defeat the whole purpose of creation and leave God with a world of puppets dangling on strings.

Or to put it into geek chic, ever see that Star Trek Next Generation episode where Troi wants to be promoted to Commander, and she keeps flunking the test simulation, until she finally realizes the only way to pass is to order a crew member to their death?

(I'm honestly not a trekkie. Please believe me!)

I don't know if this is the answer. I don't know if any limited mind can comprehend the answer. But it's a possiblity.

Phronk said...

Regarding studying prayer scientifically:

check out this article which reviews scientific research on the effect of intention on distant peoples' physiological activity (links to a PDF)

Look at the table on page 7 particularly. Most of you probably aren't trained in statistics, but that "p" value at the bottom of the table, .000000007, is the chance that the researchers would find those results if chance alone were operating. In other words, it would be extremely unlikely to find the results by chance.

The results, basically, are that people can affect other peoples' physiology with intention alone. Obviously this relates directly to prayer.

But does it involve God? I've seen other similar studies directly examining prayer, and the key point is that it doesn't matter WHO you pray to; it still works. I believe in these studies, no religious intention was implied, so it may be intention itself, rather than prayer per se, that bring about results.

This illustrates three of my points:

1) The "supernatural" can be studied scientifically (and so it really isn't supernatural).

2) Even if we establish that prayer works, it does not immediately imply that God exists.

3) But, and I think this is kinda what Boo is saying, it doesn't rule it out either. Even if we explain every biological mechanism of the effect of prayer on health, you can always still say "God created that mechanism at the beginning of time", or "the mechanism wouldn't work without God's power fueling it". There can always be something "outside", one step back from what we explain naturally.

I think this last point - God's infalsifiability - is a weakness in the theory that God exists. Others may see it as a strength (but certainly not from a scientific perspective).

Boo said...

And going again back to the original topic, straight from the horse's mouth, aka the National Academy of Sciences:

http://www.nap.edu/books/0309064066/html/25.html

Christinewjc said...

Wow! I've got a ton of reading to do in this thread!

Thanks for everything that everyone has shared here. It has certainly been an interesting debate. Even the "veering off the subject" topics have been quite interesting. I am so impressed with our group here! You all have contributed so much! Well...enough of the mush...down to business.

I will choose to address Boo first. The reason is because as fellow Christians who happen to disagree (I'm a young earth Creationist believer and Boo appears to be a Theistic Evolution believer), my aim is not to cause an argument between us, but to show why I cannot accept "Theistic Evolution" as a legitimate origin of life concept.

This link to my message board presents several arguments by Greg Koukl as to why Theistic evolution does not work. Here's another detailed link.

My main objection to it is because it goes against what Jesus said about Creation during his three year ministry on earth.

In a post called, Is Man A Cosmic Accident? that a wrote a while back, I explained why theistic evolution does not reconcile with what Jesus believed or taught:

"Theistic Evolution involves the notion that God initially began creation and then used evolution to produce the universe as we know it. The big issue is with macroevolution which claims that all of life evolved fortuitously from a single cell made up of amino acids, RNA, DNA etc.; then through chance there were mutations that allowed lower, simplistic forms of life to become more complex specimens. We all emerged over time, from the slime into our present humanity. Is man in his origin the product of a purposive act of divine intelligence, or is man a cosmic accident? Are we creatures of dignity or creatures of cosmic insignificance?

Microevolution, the indication that there is a change, a progression involving different directions among various species that we can track historically is of no consequence with respect to biblical Christianity. It's the unsubstantiated myth of macroevolution that presents rational, logical as well as theological objections. One day this unmitigated nonsense will be totally rejected by the scientific community.

In this post, I will focus in on the theological objections to theistic evolution. A Christian cannot believe that he is a cosmic accident and at the same time believe in the sovereign God and the creator God. Theistic evolution must make a complete allegory out of Genesis 1:1 - 2:4, for which there is no warrant. The suggestion that humanity is derived from a nonhuman ancestor cannot be reconciled with the explicit statement of man's creation in Genesis 2:7. Man did not evolve but rather was created from the dust of the ground. How can I know for sure? As a Bible believing Christian, I recognize that if Adam was not a real historical person, then the analogy between Christ and Adam in Romans 5:12-21 utterly breaks down.

Certainly Christ believed in a literal creation of Adam and Eve (Matthew 19:4; Mark 10:6). (Christ would know, for He is elsewhere portrayed as the Creator- John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2,10.) Jesus Christ's words have the authority to be trusted in this particular matter as surely as His words can be trusted in other matters.

Romans 5:8 and John 3:16 reveals God's love for us through Christ the Redeemer. As far as Christianity is concerned, if there's no creation, then there's nothing to redeem. If we come from nothing and go to nothing, then we are nothing under any objective analysis. Nehemiah 9:6 explicitly rejects such a notion."

Boo said...

"Theistic Evolution involves the notion that God initially began creation and then used evolution to produce the universe as we know it. The big issue is with macroevolution which claims that all of life evolved fortuitously from a single cell made up of amino acids, RNA, DNA etc.; then through chance there were mutations that allowed lower, simplistic forms of life to become more complex specimens. We all emerged over time, from the slime into our present humanity. Is man in his origin the product of a purposive act of divine intelligence, or is man a cosmic accident? Are we creatures of dignity or creatures of cosmic insignificance?"

Umm... still contradicting yourself. If evolution is guided by God (in a way which cannot be studied scientifically) then by definition we aren't a cosmic accident, and we don't "come from nothing and go to nothing."

"Theistic evolution must make a complete allegory out of Genesis 1:1 - 2:4, for which there is no warrant."

Why not? It would explain why it contains echoes of pagan creation myths, such as making God's creation seem less ex-nihilo and more forming order out of chaos, and God's first act being to divide the waters, a la the Babylonian creation story:

http://skeptically.org/oldtestament/id14.html

Furthermore, according to Genesis 1 plants were made before humans, but according to Genesis 2 humans came before plants.

"As a Bible believing Christian, I recognize that if Adam was not a real historical person, then the analogy between Christ and Adam in Romans 5:12-21 utterly breaks down."

Unless it metaphorically describes Christ's role in salvation (whether or not Paul thought early Genesis was literally true). Reading it overliterally also creates problems with Romans 5:13 and many of God's actions in Genesis before the Law was given.

"Certainly Christ believed in a literal creation of Adam and Eve (Matthew 19:4; Mark 10:6). (Christ would know, for He is elsewhere portrayed as the Creator- John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2,10.) Jesus Christ's words have the authority to be trusted in this particular matter as surely as His words can be trusted in other matters."

Mathew 19:4 and Mark 10:6 state people were made male and female from the beginning. A completely literal interpretation of "beginning" would contradict the Genesis creation story which states both that humans were not made right at the beginning, and that man was made first, then woman out of him. A completely literal interpretation of those passages would also mean Jesus was ignorant of the existence of intersexed people, including people whose chromosomes are XXY or XO.

Or one could read it as Jesus having a point to make about divorce, and not wanting to get bogged down in a discussion of genetic recombination with a bunch of 1st century illiterate peasants.

Also, a question I've never heard a creationist answer: if the universe is 6000 years old, why do we see starlight? (Or if God connected light trails from stars to earth at the beginning, why is He trying to trick us?)

Boo said...

Also, I don't claim to be an expert on this, but the distinction between "microevolution" and "macroevolution" that creationists/IDers always try to make strikes me as basically arbitrary. If we know that mutations can occur that prove beneficial to organisms (such as virus mutations, bacterial immunities, bird beak lengths, etc) which are then passed down to their descendants giving the descendants a better chance to survive, what's stopping those changes from accumulating over time? Why is there an arbitrary level beyond which these changes can't occur, and what is the force preventing them from occuring? And if it's God, wouldn't that mean God is intervening to prevent evolution?

Christinewjc said...

Boo,

A couple of comments.

I was explaining why I (personally) cannot accept Theistic Evolution. If you have made "peace" with it all...more power to ya.

Can you further explain your "order out of chaos" statement? If I'm understanding you correctly, are you claiming that "in the beginning, was the chaos" and God sorted it out through evolutionary processes?

You stated: "Unless it metaphorically describes Christ's role in salvation (whether or not Paul thought early Genesis was literally true). Reading it overliterally also creates problems with Romans 5:13 and many of God's actions in Genesis before the Law was given."

Adam didn't have any "role" in salvation, because he was created perfectly. It was only when sin entered that salvation became necessary. I don't think you are correct in your analysis an this one. I don't see your point (or the connection) about Roman 5:13 "breaking down" either.

Rom 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

You said: "Mathew 19:4 and Mark 10:6 state people were made male and female from the beginning. A completely literal interpretation of "beginning" would contradict the Genesis creation story which states both that humans were not made right at the beginning, and that man was made first, then woman out of him. A completely literal interpretation of those passages would also mean Jesus was ignorant of the existence of intersexed people, including people whose chromosomes are XXY or XO."

You have contradicted yourself here. If you read the text carefully the words, "from the beginning" do not mean the same thing as "in the beginning."

When we look at John 1:1-3, we see the use of "in the beginning." Now, is this from God's point of view or our own? God is, was, and always shall be, so who sees this as "in the beginning," God or man?



Jhn 1:1 ¶ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.


Jhn 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.


Jhn 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Notice also that in the beginning was the "word." Evolution tells a different tale of "in the beginning was the particles." Our existence started with a thought, a word from our Creator. This (IMO) can't be reconciled with theistic evolution.

About intersexed people. An anomaly cannot negate the truth of the matter that God created them "male and female." When sin and death entered into the world, the perfection of creation was ruined and thus the perfection of Adam and Eve deteriorated through the generations (explains why many lived hundreds of years but now we're lucky to make it to age 80) and the end result was physical death. We weren't meant to die...we were meant to live forever. As a Christian you are probably aware of this. Anyway, because of sin and the punishment of death, such things as disease, deformity and imperfect bodies occured. Even the whole earth "groans for redemption." Science tells us that sexual anomalies occur, but they aren't the rule and it doesn't make Jesus "incorrect" in any way. On the contrary, such incorrect assumptions of what Scripture is saying are usually due to our own fallible views and opinions.

Christinewjc said...

I still stand by the following:

"Certainly Christ believed in a literal creation of Adam and Eve (Matthew 19:4; Mark 10:6). (Christ would know, for He is elsewhere portrayed as the Creator- John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2,10.) Jesus Christ's words have the authority to be trusted in this particular matter as surely as His words can be trusted in other matters."

And, I am including the actual verses this time:


Mat 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made [them] at the beginning made them male and female,

Mar 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.

Jhn 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:


Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Hbr 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

Hbr 1:10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:

I come from the Biblical worldview perspective that says, "Science is always catching up to God." That's the way I look at it. God's Word has never disappointed me. (Can't say the same thing about my science textbooks!)

Boo said...

"I was explaining why I (personally) cannot accept Theistic Evolution. If you have made "peace" with it all...more power to ya."

Yes, but this seems to be based on the mistaken impression that Theistic Evolution leaves no role for God, which is contradicted by the "Theistic" part.

"Can you further explain your "order out of chaos" statement? If I'm understanding you correctly, are you claiming that "in the beginning, was the chaos" and God sorted it out through evolutionary processes?"

No, I was saying that it seems clear that the writer(s) of Genesis borrowed language from earlier creation myths, most of which viewed creation more as a process of order coming out of chaos. Since this contradicts Christian theology of creation ex-nihilo, it seems to me one cannot read the Genesis creation story literally. God created and Creation got screwed up seem to me to be the important parts.

"Adam didn't have any "role" in salvation, because he was created perfectly. It was only when sin entered that salvation became necessary. I don't think you are correct in your analysis an this one. I don't see your point (or the connection) about Roman 5:13 "breaking down" either."

I know, that's why I said Christ and not Adam. The problem with Romans 5:13 is that if sin is not reckoned before the Law is given in Exodus, why is God punishing people in Genesis? My belief is that Paul was making a theological point and not a historical one.

"You said: "Mathew 19:4 and Mark 10:6 state people were made male and female from the beginning. A completely literal interpretation of "beginning" would contradict the Genesis creation story which states both that humans were not made right at the beginning, and that man was made first, then woman out of him. A completely literal interpretation of those passages would also mean Jesus was ignorant of the existence of intersexed people, including people whose chromosomes are XXY or XO."
You have contradicted yourself here. If you read the text carefully the words, "from the beginning" do not mean the same thing as "in the beginning."
When we look at John 1:1-3, we see the use of "in the beginning." Now, is this from God's point of view or our own? God is, was, and always shall be, so who sees this as "in the beginning," God or man?"

I got "from" mixed up with "in" but I'm not sure how that changes the meaning in any significant way. My point was that this passage can be interpreted in different ways. You can interpret it as saying that God made male and female at the beginning of Creation, or you can interpret it as saying that when humans were made they were male and female. Or if you read it completely literally, it says there's no intersexed people. So you have to interpret.

"Notice also that in the beginning was the "word." Evolution tells a different tale of "in the beginning was the particles." Our existence started with a thought, a word from our Creator. This (IMO) can't be reconciled with theistic evolution."

One more time: evolution is not concerned with whether or not there was a supernatural Word in the beginning. Theistic evolution would say that God spoke the word which caused the particles, or the dot-thin that became the Big Bang, or whatever. Evolution by itself is science, which does not look at the supernatural. The theistic part of theistic evolution renders theistic evolution unscientific, even if it's true. This is also why even if there was a large volume of scientific evidence indicating that the earth was only 6000 years old, science still couldn't tell us whether or not it was created by God. Common sense maybe, but not science.

I tried using those html tags to italicize quotes, but it keeps saying the tags aren't closed. They looked closed to me. So, the quotes will probably look weird.

GMpilot said...

Um, Christine, what’s this “cosmic accident” business? That implies that we’re here in spite of, or in opposition to, what was expected or supposed to happen. Well, what was supposed to happen? Were we supposed to develop into silicon-based amoebae a la Star Trek instead of the carbon-based mammals we are?

We are not an accident, as in a dropped cup or a shipwreck. We are serendipity. We are here because the conditions are right for us to be here, the way we are right now. When the conditions are no longer right, we will be gone (possibly dead in our own waste, hopefully off to Sigma Draconis and points beyond)…or we will be changed to fit into the new conditions. In the natural world, things change. Your God, by his own admission, “changes not”. This is unnatural.

You’ve made assertions here and elsewhere about how mankind was supposed to be ‘perfect’ (compared to what, I don’t know). But if we had been, there’d have been no need for this Savior you constantly invoke.

Christine: "Certainly Christ believed in a literal creation of Adam and Eve (Matthew 19:4; Mark 10:6). (Christ would know, for He is elsewhere portrayed as the Creator- John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2,10.) Jesus Christ's words have the authority to be trusted in this particular matter as surely as His words can be trusted in other matters."

Okay, here’s a glass of H2SO4. If Jesus can be trusted in other matters besides Adam & Eve, he can be trusted in this. Bottoms up!

Christine: ”When sin and death entered into the world, the perfection of creation was ruined and thus the perfection of Adam and Eve deteriorated through the generations (explains why many lived hundreds of years but now we're lucky to make it to age 80) and the end result was physical death. We weren't meant to die...we were meant to live forever. As a Christian you are probably aware of this. Anyway, because of sin and the punishment of death, such things as disease, deformity and imperfect bodies occured.”

Imperfect bodies and diseases don’t just occur, hostess…not to Christians. To a believer, the Prime Mover is behind everything…he even says so in his Book!

Oh, and boo: I honestly don’t mind/care if you’re a Trekkie or not. It takes all kinds to make a universe. ^_^