1. Fuck science.
2. God said it, I believe it, that settles it.
Do you know if the picture of the kid on the dino was taken at Hovind’s dino park?
Rick – that’s from the Creation Museum in Kentucky, I’m fairly sure (Ken Ham, not Kent Hovind).
From Ken Ham’s Creation Museum http://creationmuseum.org/
Admittedly, there’s some quacky creationism out there. But you aren’t interacting with the real scientific arguments advanced by some highly educated scientists who are also Bible believers – some of whom came to believe the Bible only after studying their chosen field of science within an evolutionary framework and then saw through the shroud. “Science” and “the scientific method” have almost nothing to do with biased men theorizing (guessing) about what may have happened billions of years ago. It’s one of the great deceptions of our age. True evolutionists are every bit as religiously biased and every bit as unscientific in their theories as creationists. The difference is, Creationists have the decency to admit their theories of origins are based on faith, while evolutionists dress up man-made fairy tales in the garb of pseudo-science. While a theory of origins is not allowed to contradict actual science, it cannot possibly be based on the scientific method because it is not observable, repeatable, or measurable. You know enough about science to realize this is true. You’ve chosen your religion, creationists have chosen theirs. I would encourage you not to hide your personal opinions about origins behind the false banner of science.
while evolutionists dress up man-made fairy tales in the garb of pseudo-science.
I must admit, I giggled a little at that. A man, who admits, nay, is PROUD of the fact that he believes in Noah’s ark, Jonah and the whale, child murdering bears, Samson and the three hundred foxes, slavery, rape, murder, molestation, child sacrifice and genocide accuses ‘evolutionists’ who accept the results of proven, scientifically researched, peer reviewed studies of ‘believing’ in ‘man-made fairy tales’. WE believe in fairy tales?
Seriously, are you THAT deluded? What, is, wrong, with, you?
I honestly do not understand how it is even possible to read the Bible and then come to the conclusion that it is the unchanging perfect literal word of the creator of the universe and everything in it. Which bit, precisely, is it that convinces you that it is perfect?
The Universe is indeed winning. By miles.
Are you the one who left that anonymous comment on my blog? Just curious.
We aren’t likely to agree on this, but I’ll answer your question (the third one). I’ve been interacting seriously and critically with the Bible for many years. To put it simply, in spite of all the “difficulties” you and other skeptics bring up (and I actually find this helpful, by the way, so I sincerely thank you for it), I see the fingerprints of the Creator on the Bible. It’s an amazing book.
I find the evolutionary theory of origins requires more faith than I can muster up, more faith than the Bible asks me to place in it. One can call it scientific all day long, but in the end it’s spontaneous generation (disproved by Pasteur long ago). This is why some evolutionary scientists have gone to the “aliens planted us here” idea. But that doesn’t solve anything, because we still have to account for their origins.
I don’t judge the accounts in the Bible by my own standards. I allow them to judge me and to set the standard for me. Some consider the Bible’s candid, unvarnished narratives as evidence that it IS truthful. By my own natural standards, I would view the Bible much as you do. But I’ve seen something else, something worth keeping. I hope you will also find this.
derek – everything you have said is nothing more than spin doctoring. Worse spin than Bill Clinton claiming that he didn’t have sex with his aid, she was having sex and he was just an inactive participant.
No-one with over a 5th grade education would buy the manure you are selling. It stinks too much!
This is why Christians get no respect from us, they can’t argue without using out and out lies.
thanx Tim and Stu for the link and the info.
Don’t look now, but your angst is showing. Your disrespect and pre-judgment of an entire group of people (most of whom you don’t even know) is not reciprocated.
Basing an agrguement on spin doctoring and lying is not respectful either.
Derek I don’t exactly agree with everything you’ve written, but you’re right.
It IS an amazing book.
Don’t get discouraged.
“Don’t get discouraged.”
By all means allow yourself to be discouraged. The mark of good reasoning is not an inability to change your mind, rather, a willingness to change your mind in the unnerving face of newer conceptions.
Rick, apparently there’s no reasoning with you. But thanks for at least taking the time to throw darts.
Bradley, thanks. I’m not sure if I agree with everything I’ve written either. 😉 (just kidding – but I do reserve the right to change my mind when mistakes are evident. No, Rick, you are not the judge of what a mistake is – I’ll make up my own mind).
Tim, I’ve enjoyed my little foray into your blog world. Fascinating. I’m glad to make your acquaintance, and I hope you will “change your mind in the face of newer conceptions,” namely those contained in the Christian Scriptures.
Have a great evening all,
I have yet to address your previous comments, and I will do so now.
“highly educated scientists who are also Bible believers – some of whom came to believe the Bible only after studying their chosen field of science within an evolutionary framework and then saw through the shroud.”
It will have already occured to you, then, that most of these “highly educated scientists” hide under the guise of the so-called Intelligent Design movement, as if they know full well that Biblical creationism will never be capable of standing up under scientific scrutiny. In this light, I should like to remind you that Intelligent Design, having placed its ground on the proposed failures of the evolutionary theory, is not a scientific theory in its own right.
“Science” and “the scientific method” have almost nothing to do with biased men theorizing (guessing) about what may have happened billions of years ago.
This, I believe, points directly to the “spin-doctoring” dimension of your response to which Rick was addressing. Theorising in the scientific sense is not “guessing”, and by putting the two on a par you have clearly proven the extent of your ignorance.
True evolutionists are every bit as religiously biased and every bit as unscientific in their theories as creationists.
Obviously, at this point, your ignorance of scientific research has been confirmed.
The difference is, Creationists have the decency to admit their theories of origins are based on faith, while evolutionists dress up man-made fairy tales in the garb of pseudo-science.
The problem is, Derek, that there is no “evolutionist dressing up man-made fairy tales in the garb of pseudo-science”. This is one of the common lies propagated among websites such as AnswersInGenesis.org, a website dedicated to proving the existence of unicorns based on the sole contention that it was mentioned in the Bible therefore it must be true. Websites as such have absolutely no standing in the real scientific debate on evolution.
While a theory of origins is not allowed to contradict actual science, it cannot possibly be based on the scientific method because it is not observable, repeatable, or measurable.
Reading up to this point I finally realise why Rick replied to you in such a contemptuous manner. Firstly, as you mentioned “theory of origins”, I will assume that we are still talking about evolution. I will kindly remind you that evolution is indeed observable, repeatable and measurable. And I will also add that the theory of evolution makes predictions which can then be validified, as well as it remains to be falsifiable — and its potential falsifiability is easily confirmed by the arguments proposed by the ID movement itself.
One can call it scientific all day long, but in the end it’s spontaneous generation (disproved by Pasteur long ago).
It appals me that you think that the theory of evolution is spontaneous generation (which it isn’t), and it appals me even further that you call upon Louis Pasteur and spontaneous generation to prove your point, when the real scientific debate is with abiogenesis, and has, believe it or not, come a long long way since Louis Pasteur. Just a question, are you aware of how much more has been learnt through science within the past century? Or would you rather remain ignorant and continue to poke holes at a strawman.
I mean, clearly, you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.
Actually, the ID movement hadn’t crossed my mind at all. I was thinking of men far more educated than you or I who fearlessly wear the “creationist” badge. Not to mention the many who don’t wear the label but nonetheless believe in Biblical creation. The dogmatic reign of evolutionary orthodoxy threatens any scientist who dares to question the foregone conclusions of evolutionism. You may not have seen it yet, but you will. Perhaps you will become one of the inquisitioners in this world of dogmatic science, you seem to be well on the way.
As for abiogenesis, I have lived on this planet too long to be impressed by the repackaging of old ideas under fancy new terms. Call it anything you like, but in the end atheists are forced to believe in an eternal universe or something arising from nothing. Abiogenesis doesn’t try to explain the origin of matter, only how “living matter” arose from “non-living matter.” As I said before, I don’t have enough faith to embrace such theories.
You are quick to declare others ignorant. That probably isn’t going to help your cause. Being witty and quick and good with words and sharp tongued does nothing to prove one’s worldview (nor does it further dialogue with one’s philosophical opponents). It sometimes belies a perceived need to prop oneself up. The smartest people I’ve ever met are humble and non-judgmental, patiently sharing their immense knowledge with others who are less enlightened. Ironically, you come across just as judgmental as the crazed Muslims you like to mock. This gives one pause for thought.
Spontaneous generation =/= abiogenesis.
Actually learn something new today.
I suggest that you look into Pasteur’s actual experiments and identify what they were trying to prove with regard to the spontaneous generation hypothesis.
• Observation(s): From Needham’s and Spallanzani’s experiments, it was known that soup that was exposed to the air spoiled — bacteria grew in it. Containers of soup that had been boiled for one hour, and then were sealed, remained sterile. Boiling for only a few minutes was not enough to sterilize the soup. Pasteur had previously demonstrated that the dust collected by drawing air through a cotton ball contained large numbers of bacteria, hence he knew that bacteria were present in the air and could be filtered out by using a cotton ball. He also knew that bacteria would settle out on the walls of a long, bent, glass tube as air was passed through it.
• Question: Is there indeed a “life force” present in air (or oxygen) that can cause bacteria to develop by spontaneous generation? Is there a means of allowing air to enter a container, thus any life force, if such does exist, but not the bacteria that are present in that air?
• Hypothesis: There is no such life force in air, and a container of sterilized broth will remain sterile, even if exposed to the air, as long as bacteria cannot enter the flask.
• Prediction: If there is no life force, broth in swan-neck flasks should remain sterile, even if exposed to air, because any bacteria in the air will settle on the walls of the initial portion of the neck. Broth in flasks plugged with cotton should remain sterile because the cotton is able to filter bacteria out of the air.
• Testing: Pasteur boiled broth in various-shaped flasks to sterilize it, then let it cool. As the broth and air in the containers cooled, fresh room air was drawn into the containers. None of the flasks were sealed — all were exposed to the outside air in one way or another.
• control group — Some flasks opened straight up, so not only air, but any bacteria present in that air, could get into them.
• experimental group(s) — Pasteur used some flasks with long, S-shaped necks (swan-neck flasks) and closed others with cotton plugs. This allowed air to enter these flasks, but the long, swan neck or the cotton balls filtered out any bacteria present in that air. He subsequently broke the long necks off some of the swan-neck flasks.
• replication — Pasteur used several flasks in each of his groups. According to one freshman biology text, some of his original flasks, on display (in France), still are sterile.
• Data: Broth in flasks with necks opening straight up spoiled (as evidenced by a bad odor, cloudiness in previously clear broth, and microscopic examination of the broth confirming the presence of bacteria), while broth in swan-neck flasks did not, even though fresh air could get it. Broth in flasks with cotton plugs did not spoil, even though air could get through the cotton. If the neck of a swan-neck flask was broken off short, allowing bacteria to enter, then the broth became contaminated.
• Conclusion(s): There is no such life force in air, and organisms do not arise by spontaneous generation in this manner. To quote Louis Pasteur, “Life is a germ, and a germ is Life. Never will the doctrine of spontaneous generation recover from the mortal blow of this simple experiment.”
Which, if you like, is kind of like having a jar of peanut butter, and waiting for life to spawn from it:
This is an attack on a strawman of evolution as evolution =/= abiogenesis. It is also an attack on a strawman of abiogenesis as abiogenesis =/= spontaneous generation. Your inability and/or unwillingness to make these distinctions continue to amuse me.
Not to detract from the conversation here, but since this hasn’t been pointed out … the major straw man in the room here is that evolution has absolutely positively NOTHING to do with the origin of life. Just like it’s a straw man to say that the big bang has something to do with the origin of the universe — it’s a straw man because just like evolution deals with what happened with life AFTER it arose, the big bang theory deals with the universe about 10^-34 seconds AFTER it arose.
Evolution may well have served a good role in the overall process of abiogenesis, but to say that the so-called impossibility of abiogenesis is a fatal blow against the theory of evolution, is to make a statement entirely out of an ignorance of science.
I’m making some assumptions . . .
1. Atheism advances an overarching non-theistic theory of origins for EVERYTHING THAT EXISTS (or at least is ought to).
2. Typically, this overarching theory includes both abiogenesis (how living matter formed from inanimate materials) and evolution (how living things advanced from their simple origins into their present complex forms), and other ingenious ideas.
I agree that there are differentiations in the various sub-theories of #2, and they are not to be identified with each other. But they all form a chain that pretends to answer #1, yet somehow avoids the central and obvious question involved in the overarching theory: where did ANYTHING come from? It either always was (eternal universe) or it magically appeared out of nothing (what I have dubbed “spontaneous generation” – sorry if this led to confusion – and the connection to Pasteur probably wasn’t appropriate).
I don’t have enough faith to believe in #1, and I’ve never yet seen convincing evidence of any of the parts involved in #2. I’m not going to take any of it on the mere authority of a finite man who crawls around on a dirt-covered ball called earth, not seeing beyond a short distance from his face (and then only in one direction at a time), not living more than about 100 short years, possessing only a very tiny crumb-sized piece of all the knowledge that exists, and repeatedly proving his inability to interpret even that crumb-sized piece. I’ll place my faith in an eternal, omniscient and benevolent deity. I have a little bit of faith, just enough to do that. Not enough to believe in the crumbling pillars of atheism.
Thanks for the vids. That first one is what I meant by “quacky creationism.” The whole peanut butter thing is hilarious and stupid. Shall I dig up some lame evolution movies by Carl Sagan? Plenty of them out there. Or how about something on “Piltdown Man” ? Showing there are kooks who agree with a certain viewpoint doesn’t defeat or even harm that viewpoint in the slightest bit.
Derek, you’re simply wrong in your second assumption. There’s no more polite way to state it. It is a frequent misconception (just like the big bang example I used) that evolution has anything to say about the origin of life. It deals with what happened after life arose. Thus, saying that abiogenesis doesn’t make sense, has never been proven, couldn’t happen, etc., therefore evolution isn’t true is a straw man argument, pure and simple. It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe me — take a look at ANY evolutionary textbook that is not put out by creationists or IDers and you will see that the origin of life is a completely separate undertaking and not part of evolution.
Firstly, you cannot further a logical debate by saying that the Creator, ie. God, is exempt from the need to be accounted for in the chain of causal events — this proposition is baseless, and yet it remains to be an integral claim of many theistic doctrines.
You are therefore not in any position to say that I believe the universe “magically appeared out of nothing” — in fact, I have made no such claim at all. And it turns out that you are actually the person who claims that, by some sort of unknown magic, God (not Zeus, but Yahweh) created the universe and all that is in it, and that somehow, this deity is exempt from the said rules. You have thus made a claim for which there is absolutely no logical backing (which you openly accept by faith). My position is simply a refusal to accept your claim as true until you have proven otherwise.
On this point, I have never once claimed to know exactly how or why the universe originated. I will, however, say that there has been no convincing logical argument — not one — that “there has be a God” (the position all theists seem to hold); and thus I part from the confidence of theism into, whadyacallit, atheism.
Realise that the person who claims “There is a God” essentially holds the burden of proof, as God has never been proven to begin with — rather, he/she has always been accepted by means of (irrational) faith; this is quite evident if you look at the different human cultures and all the religions man has ever invented.
I suggest to you, then, that atheism does not necessitate the absolute denial of the possibility that God exists, rather it is a logical conclusion based on the highly questionable nature of the central claim of theism itself: There is a God (and his name is ____).
So in summary:
1. A belief in God is currently logically unsound, and can only be affirmed subjectively by means of faith rather than reason.
2. Therefore, I do not accept the grounds for believing in God.
2. Therefore, I lack a belief in God.
3. Therefore, I don’t believe in God.
4. Therefore, by definition, I am an atheist.
I’m not arguing with that. See my comments above. My argument is that evolution, abiogenesis – and any other supposedly scientific explanation of a universe without God – do nothing to answer the first and most basic question that every atheist MUST face: Where did anything come from? What is the origin of matter? How did “things” begin to exist? Do “things” have a beginning? If so, what is it? Atheism doesn’t offer any satisfying answers to these questions, and really they are far more important questions than “did life evolve?” or even “did living matter generate from non-living?”
Derek, you miss the point.
When answers are still generally unknown we, unlike theists, do not pretend to have them.
Atheism does not need to offer any satisfying answer per se and still be the correct logical conclusion. It represents the null-hypothesis to “There is a God”.
A creationist wants science to account for every little detail but creationism doesnt even try to explain the basics. Creationists want to only go back as far as the opening line in the bible. No thought to how God became all powerful , where he came from, how did he create something out of nothing? Magic? Where did he study to become a magician? lol
A creationist wants science to account for every little detail but creationism doesnt even try to explain the basics.
As it happens, I addressed that in a recent post on my blog titled “Questions that don’t need answers.” And now to some questions that do need answers . . .
Do you recognize the gigantic assumption in your philosophy, which is much more of an ungrounded assumption, much more of a leap of faith, than my belief in Biblical revelation will ever require me to make? I infer, because something exists, that there must be a self-existent Creator. You assume that, because you don’t personally find any credible reason to believe in such a Creator, He doesn’t (or probably doesn’t) exist.
Now, imagine if a person living in Mongolia treated you exactly the same way. “I have no valid reasons to believe there is a person named Tim Cooley, so he probably doesn’t exist.” You would not for that reason cease to exist. Imagine if all the food that person ate was sent to him from you, all the water he drank was from a well you provided, all the things he owned had been shipped to him from your own stores. You’d probably be a little perturbed about his refusal to believe in you, or to acknowledge your little notes and extravagant gifts, or to even say “thank you” one time. You’d ask, “Why doesn’t he ever look at the return address on all those packages and see my NAME written on them?” This may give you a tiny little inkling of the colossal assumption you are making, and why it ***might*** be invalid.
Atheism somehow overlooks the obvious evidence that screams “there is a God” by getting conveniently bogged down in things like abiogenesis and evolution. But if atheism refuses to concede to the most basic and obvious of all conclusions, how can its other conclusions be trusted? What kind of philosophy ignores the question of origins? (one that desperately wants to avoid the answer?).
The two tenets of atheism . . .
1. There is no God
2. I hate him
For your amusement: http://www.dailydemotivators.com/pics/Obvious.jpg
Those of us that actually think would like actual answers. Creationists love that game. Make the evolutionists provide the answers, and creationists will provide excuses or nothing at all, Religion likes to think of itself as above the need for logic and reason. Reminds me of the military. “Jump when we say jump and believe what we tell you too.” This kind of authoritarianism is going the way of the Dinosaur. Hopefully religion goes with it.
Sorry, but no. Your logic failed on multiple accounts:
1. Since there is no evidence for the existence of pink unicorns ∴ I cannot justify the belief that pink unicorns exist ∴ I do not believe in unicorns. This is not an illogical procedure. This is the basic procedure of fact-finding in which the person making the positive claim is automatically given the burden of proof.
2. If proof on your side has been well-established, you would not need to make any “leap of faith”; however, you have not presented any proof, and you seem proud of it.
3. There is no such “leap of faith” in refusing to believe in the existence of something for which there is no or insufficient proof. The word you are looking for is called “reason”.
4. I have already told you that you may not “further a logical debate by saying that the Creator, ie. God, is exempt from the need to be accounted for in the chain of causal events — this proposition is baseless, and yet it remains to be an integral claim of many theistic doctrines.” Your statement that “because something exists, that there must be a self-existent Creator” is baseless and I also believe can be argued by quantum physics, eg. vacuum fluctuations. The scientific debate aside, the cosmological argument fails to account for its very own premise.
5. The chain of events leading to my sending a parcel to the Mongolian person is fairly well understood as a perfectly natural phenomenon. If necessary the parcel maybe traced back to me, and proof may then be firmly established, but it is statistically safe to assume that the parcel was sent by the person who has included his name on the tag, as is convention. This analogy fails completely to represent the God scenario.
6. I do not ignore the question of origins. I simply refuse to delude myself into thinking that I already have the answer, when the answer is not at all clear. By jumping to conclusions that God (Yahweh, not Zeus) did it, you are essentially basing your entire argument on faith and wishful thinking. You are, of course, very entitled to your beliefs — but to state then that your opposition is irrational or “requires a bigger leap of faith” is just completely absurd.
7. Your “tenets” of atheism are a pathetic strawman. There are no tenets of atheism because atheism is not a religion; it is simply a rejection of theism, which by the way is not a religion either. As for me, I refuse to believe in Yahweh in the exact same way by which I earlier came to refuse to accept Zeus, Ra, Allah, Vishnu, Unicorns, Big Foot, Nessie, etc. I am not required to “hate God” to realise that the so-called arguments in his favour are as void as the amount of ka-ching on my ATM-card.
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