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Practice Break => Religion => Topic started by: BlueTrombonist on Apr 17, 2008, 05:33PM



Title: Science vs Religion
Post by: BlueTrombonist on Apr 17, 2008, 05:33PM
I've seen alot of threads turn into Science vs Religion threads, so I've decided to make one to centralize debate...

I am devoutly religious (Roman Catholic), but I do believe that science is important. I think evolution while not foolproof, can explain the biodiversity of our planet. I also think that the laws of physics are natural laws. However I submit that all these processes are so perfect, that they were intelligently designed. I do not believe it to be farfetched even to say that God made the big bang happened, and then made laws in order that the universe could be governed. Rather than God making a ball drop 1,000/1,000 times, he made a law that gravity acts constant depending on mass and distance, thus the ball will always drop.

I don't think anyone can say for 100% that it's all science, but I couldn't fully explain the nature of God. I believe Jesus rose from the dead, and ultimately everything else, is ultimately irrevelant. If you believe that Jesus rose from the dead, or if you believe that God made a covenant with the Jewish people, or that Allah chose Muhaammad, or in Buddha, as long as you have that belief, then you shouldn't be afraid of understanding science, because that belief is constant.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 17, 2008, 06:20PM
The real issue is honesty and epistemology. Science is all about it, hard core, and religion is all about getting around it, just as hard core. That's why they're so fundamentally incompatible, science is always proven right, and religion is always back-peddling.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BGuttman on Apr 17, 2008, 07:15PM
I think I differ a little with you BvB.

Our main issue is not with people who accept religion for an ethical guidepost or who accept the Bible as a legend with possibly some kernel of truth in it.

Our issue is with people who insist that the Bible is the exact history of the Earth, and who will find some way to fit contrarian evidence to fit their mold.

Apparently, some bishop back in the 300s went through Chronicles and assigned ages to everybody and then back calculated that Creation was completed on October 23, 4004 BC.  So the Earth by that calculation most be no more than 6,000 years old.

Devout people have worked in Science for centuries.  Galileo was curious about the way the Universe worked and still considered himself a devout Catholic.  It was his Church that decided that his studies were contrary to their Earth-Centric model and thus he must be a heretic.

The cultures who wrote what we call the Bible didn't have any way to know that there was anything else in the Universe beyond what they could see.  All the heavenly bodies seemed to rotate around the Earth, so the Earth must be the center of the Universe.  Now we can send a rocket ship into deep space with a camera and look back and see that there's a lot of stuff that nobody could have known was there.

Nothing wrong with believing that the laws of Physics were invented by God and He created a Big Bang.  If Science comes up with an explanation, we may still find other facets that can be attributed to God; or maybe we come to the conclusion that God is a particular phenomenon.

God still tells us through most religions how to behave to other people.  That should be good enough.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 17, 2008, 07:25PM
I think I differ a little with you BvB.

Actually I think we only disagree in our terms ... and probably in a key point of analysis.
 
If you carefully examine what makes religion religion rather than philosophy I think you'll find, at least to a large extent, it's the ugliness behind the problems you described. What I hear you actually arguing is that we don't have a problem with rational philosophy or even reasonable mysticism, but with religion.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: JBledsoe on Apr 17, 2008, 08:02PM
That's why they're so fundamentally incompatible, science is always proven right, and religion is always back-peddling.
 
Byron


   I dont believe science and religion are fundamentally incompatible. It seems that many point to religion as a way to justify creation, and existence/purpose. For Christians, Jesus made a new covenant with his people.

1) Love Me
2) Love thy Neighbor

   Science and Religion take a step of faith somewhere along the way. At some point, we have to accept the fact that something was created from nothing. For some, they turn to science for the answer of how we were created/evolved. Others turn to religion. Regardless, each person has to make some concession somewhere along the way. Faith becomes universal.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BFW on Apr 17, 2008, 08:06PM
Science and Religion take a step of faith somewhere along the way.

Science does not.

Quote
At some point, we have to accept the fact that something was created from nothing.

No we don't.  We can just say we don't know yet, and leave that as an open question.  That doesn't mean to stop looking for answers to questions; it just means that unanswered questions are just that, unanswered.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: JBledsoe on Apr 17, 2008, 08:34PM


 Well, of course we can leave any question unanswered. However, I thought the topic was going in the direction of providing explanations. "We dont know" is not an explanation.


 Yes, science does take a step of faith. It takes faith to believe unequivocally that you are right. Scientists have faith that when they test something numerous times with repeatable results that the result will continue to be the same. Scientists have faith that ideology that they ascribe to is the final answer.

 I still submit that science takes a leap of faith. Even if one does "not know yet" how something was created from nothing, "yet" implies that they have faith that their question will be answered by science. Personally, I think it science was going to find a way to create something from nothing, we would already know the answer.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Stretch Longarm on Apr 17, 2008, 08:44PM
The Scientific method requires one to consider all possibilities, develop a theory, and prove the theory (or disprove the anti-theory!). This makes a natural law, or maybe a "proven" theory that can later be "disproved" by new discovery - it never ends. This is just factual discovery.

How arrogant of the human race to believe that they could even begin to understand a "God". Organized religions were developed by humans, although many/most religious believe that their respective "God" dictated "His" (why not "Her"?) word to some infallible stenogropher/cleric thousands of year ago , a time when people didn't even bathe, for cryin' out loud. Just too friggin' arrogant for me. If "God" is so all-friggin' mighty, can create something from nothing, make universes, create the complex human mind, etc., there is no way humans (who haven't even figured out how to stop "eating their young" as it were, by eliminating wars, etc) can have the capacity to understand. Think about it, we watch American Idol and worship Britney Spears, Pompous politicians, guns (violent weapons), and think Pork Rinds are a food staple. How can humans be so dumb?



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: RedHotMama on Apr 17, 2008, 11:29PM
Even the name we have given ourselves is arrogant. Homo sapiens. What a sick joke.

And yes, science is all about "I don't know". If you knew all the answers, there would be no point, whatsoever, in doing research.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 18, 2008, 12:00AM
As the Sufis say, one part of knowledge is worth more than a thousand parts of belief. "Believing" is a fit game for children and the addle-brained. Learning is a proper endeavor for a man.  Knowledge v. Belief. Religion v. Baseball, better--ritual, costume, fills up a Sunday, tradition, music, timeless, men in black judging you.

Religion v. NASCAR, maybe better still........

So, Blue----your post is reminiscent of the prime mover discussion of earlier years. IOW, God was the "cause" of creation. Science, then, is just another form of the study of God. That is pretty much how science is taught at Catholic universities around the world. How religion is taught is different, but I've never seen scientific reasons for religion being offered, in modern times at least. One of my Jesuit professors told me that "God" was nothing but love and mankind was working this out over successive generations----God is not in the Bible, but in us, in the world. We die to our lower selves and are "resurrected" as purified, spiritual beings. I.e.,, religion is allegorical, an indication of something that goes beyond description and intellect.

It is only this insistence on a "literal interpretation" of he KJV Bible that draws these little trolls into the open and creates this false dichotomy between "science" and "religion." I agree they are not inherently exclusive, but have been interpreted as such by narrow-minded Bible-based cultists.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: drizabone on Apr 18, 2008, 12:25AM
How arrogant of the human race to believe that they could even begin to understand a "God". Organized religions were developed by humans, although many/most religious believe that their respective "God" dictated "His" (why not "Her"?) word to some infallible stenogropher/cleric thousands of year ago , a time when people didn't even bathe, for cryin' out loud. Just too friggin' arrogant for me. If "God" is so all-friggin' mighty, can create something from nothing, make universes, create the complex human mind, etc., there is no way humans (who haven't even figured out how to stop "eating their young" as it were, by eliminating wars, etc) can have the capacity to understand. Think about it, we watch American Idol and worship Britney Spears, Pompous politicians, guns (violent weapons), and think Pork Rinds are a food staple. How can humans be so dumb?

I agree that we can't completely understand God, but I think its reasonable that a God that was  "so all-friggin' mighty, can create something from nothing, make universes, create the complex human mind, etc." could communicate with us to reveal something about himself.  And what he has revealed is often beyond our understanding - like the trinity thing for example.

So I don't understand why you think its arrogant to think that God told us about himself.  Its not as though we believe cause we're cleverer, or better, its painfully obvious that we're often not.  Why is it so? 

And I think I think I agree with Brian that science is essentially faithless.  But I also think that a claim like "the scientific method is the only way to prove things" is a faith statement because its unprovable.

Martin


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Daniel Sheard on Apr 18, 2008, 01:39AM

 I still submit that science takes a leap of faith. Even if one does "not know yet" how something was created from nothing, "yet" implies that they have faith that their question will be answered by science. Personally, I think it science was going to find a way to create something from nothing, we would already know the answer.

Not in the slightest.  There may be questions we can never answer with our science.  There will certainly be many which remain at the end of my lifetime.  I do not have faith that science can answer all questions.  But that doesnt mean you need a "god of the gaps" to fill them.  Nor does it mean that you stop looking for answers. 

And why do you think that if "something out of nothing" was solvable by science it would already have been so?  Isnt that a rather arbitrary judgement of the state of current scientific progress?

Science is likely to develop and discover a myriad of things in my lifetime.  Religion will discover nothing, since it doesnt seem to be looking for anything.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 18, 2008, 04:10AM
I dont believe science and religion are fundamentally incompatible. It seems that many point to religion as a way to justify creation, and existence/purpose. For Christians, Jesus made a new covenant with his people.

As I said, it's about epistemology and intellectual integrity (a form of honesty).
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
Science and Religion take a step of faith somewhere along the way. At some point, we have to accept the fact that something was created from nothing. For some, they turn to science for the answer of how we were created/evolved. Others turn to religion. Regardless, each person has to make some concession somewhere along the way. Faith becomes universal.

Science quite insistently stops precisely where faith becomes necessary to continue. That's the arena of presumption. Science is about sticking a probe out there to see if it can gain any real knowledge, moving the boundary of the unknown back just a bit at a time. Religion is about providing "answers" in that arena and staying out beyond that boundary.
 
Again, this is one of those things that's crystal clear to almost everyone when the issue is raised about another religion, but only gets confusing to believers when it's applied to their religious franchise, or when it's applied in general and so is perceived to threaten it.
 
Byron


Title: !
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 18, 2008, 04:13AM
I still submit that science takes a leap of faith.

How ironic! That's religion's territory you're arguing against, certainly not something science can be accused of. At best you're arguing against bad science.
 
Quite frankly you may as well have just said "I haven't the first clue about what science is all about."
 
Byron

<<quote fixed by moderator>>


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BFW on Apr 18, 2008, 04:42AM
I thought the topic was going in the direction of providing explanations. "We dont know" is not an explanation.

In any other context, nobody blinks at "We don't know" as an answer.  A house has a fire, and there is an investigation.  Maybe they find out quickly, maybe not quickly, maybe never, but until they do, "we don't know" is a perfectly valid answer.  If there's no evidence, simply deciding that it must have been an electrical malfunction, or a gas leak, or a Molotov cocktail, or a match to the curtains, is unwarranted.  Such investigations may make provisional conclusions that are discarded when new evidence is found.  Or they may simply say "we don't know."  They don't wave their hands and say "therefore God did it."

Quote
Yes, science does take a step of faith. It takes faith to believe unequivocally that you are right. Scientists have faith that when they test something numerous times with repeatable results that the result will continue to be the same. Scientists have faith that ideology that they ascribe to is the final answer.

This is incorrect.  Science is always open to challenge.  Many, many solid theories have been displaced when new evidence came to light.  Disproving accepted theory is something scientists LIVE for.  But theories become accepted because they are strongly supported by evidence, so it takes solid evidence to displace them.

Quote
Even if one does "not know yet" how something was created from nothing, "yet" implies that they have faith that their question will be answered by science.

That's incorrect, on two fronts.

First, this concept of "something created from nothing" is a conclusion, not necessarily a valid one.  Is there evidence that something was created from nothing?  A more valid generic question asks how things got to be the way they are, what happened before this, and before that, etc.  If evidence indicates something created from nothing, then it is reasonable to wonder how THAT happened, to seek evidence, and to propose theories.

Second, "yet" implies only that an answer may be found, not faith that an answer will definitely be found.  Scientists may indeed feel confident that certain answers will be found, by them, in their lifetime, or eventually.  However, they also research areas in which they are not confident answers will be found.  They don't know.

Quote
I think if science was going to find a way to create something from nothing, we would already know the answer.

Wow, YOU have a lot of faith in science!  To think that all investigations will bear fruit so quickly!  That certainly isn't the case, even in mathematics, which doesn't need physical evidence.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 18, 2008, 04:56AM
How arrogant of the human race to believe that they could even begin to understand a "God".

Well, they're generally designed that way though--eh? Standard issue gods are alleged to be supernatural beings, which is a nonsensical notion. What isn't part of nature is very much like what's beyond the cosmos (Carl Sagan's definition is the most eloquent I know of: all that is or ever was or ever will be). Most people are satisfied with the vague sense of wonder that comes from considering such a thing in the shallowest terms (it's really merely the confusion created by something that doesn't actually make sense). It's only mistaken for profundity because people tend to stop there, on the surface and are happy (many happier) to leave it at that (kind of like an infant deriving pleasure from the "I've got your nose!" game or a shiny object). Religion encourages and thrives on that very error in a dazzling array of forms.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 18, 2008, 05:08AM
I still submit that science takes a leap of faith. Even if one does "not know yet" how something was created from nothing, "yet" implies that they have faith that their question will be answered by science.

Does it really?
 
"We don't know who'll win the 3000 World Series yet."
Would you presume I'm claiming to be certain that someone will? Is "no one" not a potential answer?
 
"We don't yet know how to cure cancer."
Does that mean we definitely will at some point?
 
"My big bad male Doberman hasn't yet learned to pee by lifting his leg like a male dog."
Does that mean he necessarily will?
 
"I haven't had sex yet ... at least not with a partner."
Does that mean he necessarily will at some point?
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
Personally, I think it science was going to find a way to create something from nothing, we would already know the answer.

Sure. Just like if the common cold were curable we'd've already done it ... clearly.
 
Frankly I don't think you're likely anywhere near as presumptuous as you're trying to feign here in defense of faith and religion.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BlueTrombonist on Apr 18, 2008, 05:30AM
Evan I do subscribe to the Prime Mover theory, and it is not new. St. Thomas of Aquinas developed this theory, and he did not even say that humans should stop seeking knowledge, he said knowledge brings people closer to understanding God.

Christine the point you made about nknowing all the answers would make science uselss, is the exact same reason why if God came out and said I exist, first of all some people would still refuse to believe, and secondly it makes faith useless.

Science doesn't require a leap of faith, but atheism certainly does. The same way that Theists take a leap of faith saying God exists, atheists have to make a leap of faith and say God doesn't exist.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on Apr 18, 2008, 05:51AM
Science doesn't require a leap of faith, but atheism certainly does. The same way that Theists take a leap of faith saying God exists, atheists have to make a leap of faith and say God doesn't exist.

Quick paradigm shift!

Is a child born with innate knowledge of theism? I doubt it very very much. The leap of faith you refer to occurs if that person, while growing up, takes some theistic worldview on board.
By contrast, an atheistic outlook that is consciously atheistic rather than unconsciously so (as I would submit is the state of a newborn baby) tends to be acquired as a reaction to theist propaganda, as a hardening of pre-existing attitudes rather than as the flicking of some kind of on-off faith switch.

What I'm saying is that claiming that the atheists' position of there not being a god is faith-based is logically equivalent to claiming that evidence obtained under torture is reliable - the point is one of duress; you are making the atheists play your game, by your rules. What is in fact a refusal to play your game on their part is seen wrongly by you as an alternative position within that game.

An aside - I find the order of nouns in the thread title quite telling. "Science vs Religion" makes it sound like "Science" is in the habit of deliberately attacking "Religion", when the truth of the matter is the opposite.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 18, 2008, 06:29AM
Quick paradigm shift!

Curious, eh?
 
 
Quote from: MoominDave
What I'm saying is that claiming that the atheists' position of there not being a god is faith-based is logically equivalent to claiming that evidence obtained under torture is reliable - the point is one of duress; you are making the atheists play your game, by your rules. What is in fact a refusal to play your game on their part is seen wrongly by you as an alternative position within that game.

In my experience most atheists don't make the assertion there is no god, but simply that if you want to posit a god, in order to be taken seriously you (should) need to base it something rational and evidential. There's pretty much no such thing as a god based upon reason and/or evidence, though.
 
Also, the theist has to identify and define which specific god he or she is talking about. It's not a "theists vs. atheists" thing. Theists don't agree on the existence of a give god either, and most theists are atheists regarding all alleged gods but the one their own franchise is about. The definition has to pass basic rational muster in order to even be worthy of consideration. Most gods don't make it out of the gate--they're not even coherent enough to quite be wrong.
 
Finally, yet again, because theists have no evidence upon which to base any allegation that a god exists they have to be making it up. If you can't derive an allegation from experience and/or evidence, you're making it up. That's the way reality works. If you posit that something exists "outside of nature" you're alleging that something exists "outside of any possible means for humans to have the first clue that it's there." So any given allegedly supernatural god is precisely as likely to exist in reality (as opposed to conceptually) as any other fictional character. Saying such a god doesn't really exist (independently of the mind) is the same as saying that there is no Superman or Father Time. The character of God is only given more credence because it's popular and his fans believe he's real (and teach their kids it's of ultimate personal importance that they also believe it, on pain of eternal torture).
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BFW on Apr 18, 2008, 06:34AM
atheists have to make a leap of faith and say God doesn't exist.

Some atheists may indeed make such a leap of faith, but that doesn't mean the concept of atheism requires a leap of faith.

I don't have any evidence that there is a dragon in the next room, so I make a provisional conclusion that there is no dragon in the next room.  I don't find it necessary to say "I don't know" when asked if there's such a dragon.  I don't find it necessary to say "I don't know" when asked if dragons exist, either, because again there's no evidence.  The idea of dragons is barely worth considering, because it is analogous to many other mythical creatures, none of which have any evidence of existing, and for all of which I have formed a provisional conclusion that they don't exist.  I am open to evidence; creatures once thought not to exist have been shown to have been real.  However, I don't feel at all compelled to make allowances for this possibility in my actions or views or statements.  I'm not going to sneak carefully into the next room in case I might be wrong, nor am I going to tread carefully in case dragons are invisible.  I will act and speak and think precisely as if dragons do not exist, and there is not one in the next room.

Similarly, there is no evidence that God exists, and God in the Jewish/Christian/Moslem sense is analogous to any of the other concepts of gods in other cultures, none of which have any evidence of existing.  I feel perfectly comfortable in forming a provisional conclusion that Thor, Hermes, Jupiter, Ganesha, Daikoku, and God do not exist.  Again I am open to evidence, but see absolutely no reason that I should make allowances for this possibility in my views or actions or statements.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on Apr 18, 2008, 06:45AM
Very nicely phrased, Brian. You have a truly tidy mind, sir.  :good:


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 18, 2008, 06:58AM
Very nicely phrased, Brian. You have a truly tidy mind, sir.  :good:

Quite!
 
That was a Saganautic job of concisely making the abstract concrete.
 
Very nicely done, my good man!
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: AxSlinger7String on Apr 18, 2008, 07:23AM
Atheists don't believe in:

Agdistis or Angdistis, Ah Puch, Ahura Mazda, Alberich, Allah, Amaterasu, An, Anat, Andvari, Anshar, Anu, Aphrodite, Apollo, Apsu, Ares, Artemis, Asclepius, Athena, Athirat, Athtart, Atlas, Baal, Ba Xian, Bacchus, Balder, Bast, Bellona, Bergelmir, Bes, Bixia Yuanjin, Bragi, Brahma, Brigit, Buddha, Camaxtli, Ceres, Ceridwen, Cernunnos, Chac, Chalchiuhtlicue, Charun, Cheng-huang, Cybele, Dagon, Damkina, Davlin, Dawn, Demeter, Diana, Di Cang, Dionysus, Ea, El, Enki, Enlil, Eos, Epona, Ereskigal, Farbauti, Fenrir, Forseti, Freya, Freyr, Frigg, Gaia, Ganesha, Ganga, Garuda, Gauri, Geb, Geong Si, God, Hades, Hanuman, Hathor, Hecate, Helios, Heng-o, Hephaestus, Hera, Hermes, Hestia, Hod, Hoderi, Hoori, Horus, Hotei, Huitzilopochtli, Hsi-Wang-Mu, Hygeia, Inanna, Inti, Ishtar, Isis, Ixtab, Izanaki, Izanami, Jesus, Juno, Jupiter, Juturna, Kagutsuchi, Kartikeya, Khepri, Ki, Kingu, Kinich Ahau, Kishar, Krishna, Kukulcan, Lakshmi, Liza, Loki, Lugh, Luna, Magna Mater, Maia, Marduk, Mars, Medb, Mercury, Mimir, Minerva, Mithras, Morrigan, Mot, Mummu, Nammu, Nanna, Nanna, Nanse, Neith, Nemesis, Nephthys, Neptune, Nergal, Ninazu, Ninhurzag, Nintu, Ninurta, Njord, Nut, Odin, Ohkuninushi, Ohyamatsumi, Orgelmir, Osiris, Ostara, Pan, Parvati, Phaethon, Phoebe, Phoebus, Apollo, Pilumnus, Poseidon, Quetzalcoatl, Ra, Rama, Re, Rhea, Sabazius, Sarasvati, Selene, Shiva, Seshat, Seti, Shamash, Shapsu, Shen Yi, Shiva, Shu, Si-Wang-Mu, Sin, Sirona, Sol, Surya, Susanoh, Tawaret, Tefnut, Tezcatlipoca, Thanatos, Thor, Tiamat, Tlaloc, Tonatiuh, Toyo-Uke-Bime, Tyche, Tyr, Utu, Uzume, Venus, Vesta, Vishnu, Volturnus, Vulcan, Xipe, Xi Wang-mu, Xochipilli, Xochiquetzal, Yam, Yarikh, Yahweh, Ymir, Yu-huang, Yum Kimil, Zeus


Christians don't believe in:

Agdistis or Angdistis, Ah Puch, Ahura Mazda, Alberich, Allah, Amaterasu, An, Anat, Andvari, Anshar, Anu, Aphrodite, Apollo, Apsu, Ares, Artemis, Asclepius, Athena, Athirat, Athtart, Atlas, Baal, Ba Xian, Bacchus, Balder, Bast, Bellona, Bergelmir, Bes, Bixia Yuanjin, Bragi, Brahma, Brigit, Buddha, Camaxtli, Ceres, Ceridwen, Cernunnos, Chac, Chalchiuhtlicue, Charun, Cheng-huang, Cybele, Dagon, Damkina, Davlin, Dawn, Demeter, Diana, Di Cang, Dionysus, Ea, El, Enki, Enlil, Eos, Epona, Ereskigal, Farbauti, Fenrir, Forseti, Freya, Freyr, Frigg, Gaia, Ganesha, Ganga, Garuda, Gauri, Geb, Geong Si, Hades, Hanuman, Hathor, Hecate, Helios, Heng-o, Hephaestus, Hera, Hermes, Hestia, Hod, Hoderi, Hoori, Horus, Hotei, Huitzilopochtli, Hsi-Wang-Mu, Hygeia, Inanna, Inti, Ishtar, Isis, Ixtab, Izanaki, Izanami, Juno, Jupiter, Juturna, Kagutsuchi, Kartikeya, Khepri, Ki, Kingu, Kinich Ahau, Kishar, Krishna, Kukulcan, Lakshmi, Liza, Loki, Lugh, Luna, Magna Mater, Maia, Marduk, Mars, Medb, Mercury, Mimir, Minerva, Mithras, Morrigan, Mot, Mummu, Nammu, Nanna, Nanna, Nanse, Neith, Nemesis, Nephthys, Neptune, Nergal, Ninazu, Ninhurzag, Nintu, Ninurta, Njord, Nut, Odin, Ohkuninushi, Ohyamatsumi, Orgelmir, Osiris, Ostara, Pan, Parvati, Phaethon, Phoebe, Phoebus, Apollo, Pilumnus, Poseidon, Quetzalcoatl, Ra, Rama, Re, Rhea, Sabazius, Sarasvati, Selene, Shiva, Seshat, Seti, Shamash, Shapsu, Shen Yi, Shiva, Shu, Si-Wang-Mu, Sin, Sirona, Sol, Surya, Susanoh, Tawaret, Tefnut, Tezcatlipoca, Thanatos, Thor, Tiamat, Tlaloc, Tonatiuh, Toyo-Uke-Bime, Tyche, Tyr, Utu, Uzume, Venus, Vesta, Vishnu, Volturnus, Vulcan, Xipe, Xi Wang-mu, Xochipilli, Xochiquetzal, Yam, Yarikh, Ymir, Yu-huang, Yum Kimil, Zeus


How different are we?


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: JBledsoe on Apr 18, 2008, 08:57AM
Quote
Quite frankly you may as well have just said "I haven't the first clue about what science is all about.


Seeing as how we are being frank all of the sudden. My scale for knowledge neither begins, or ends with you. Get a grip. You are no more intelligent, no more enlightened, and no more logical than anyone else. How obtuse to be so set in your ways that you cant even begin to peer inside another point of view.

Frankly I don't think you're likely anywhere near as presumptuous as you're trying to feign here in defense of faith and religion.

  Im not feigning, nor am I presumptuous. I am, of course, trying to use an illustration. People are so quick to dismiss religion because not all answers line up, or because religion does not provide every answer. Yet, when its science we seem to accept that we will figure it out someday. The "something from nothing" was taken far from context. We cannot answer how something was created from nothing. It completely defies every principle. Somewhere , there was a beginning. For Christians, we believe God is everlasting. Is it so much less a step of faith to believe that the world we live in just always existed? I am not presumptuous at all "IRL". In fact, in real life I would leave you all about your business. However, everyone here  tries to "ace card" the next guy.

"No its not"
"Youre wrong again"
"You have no idea what you are talking about"

 Give me a break.

  Religion and science peacefully coexist in my mind. "My" being personal. If science disproves some theologians view of the age of the earth, fine by me. Genesis is poetry. It should not be taken as a day by day account. The earth could have been created in 7million years for all we know. This leaves the door wide open. Religion doesnt necessarily close the door on evolution, or anything else.

  There will always be fundamentalists. There will always be absolutists. There will always be people who pretend they are more enlightened than everyone else. All are toxic.

 
  I knew this thread would become a hotbox for anyone with an axe to grind. I rarely get involved in religious debate. The people who post are always the same, and its always the same thing. I only posted because Im tired of seeing Christians slammed for somehow being less intelligent or open minded because we have faith in a higher power. Faith in a power that said love Me, and love thy neighbor. There are Christians in the science fields. There are atheists in the fields of religion.


Like Forrest Gump said...

Quote
I don't know if Momma was right or if, if it's Lieutenant Dan. I don't know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it's both. Maybe both is happening at the same time.




Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BFW on Apr 18, 2008, 09:20AM
**moderator hat on**

Please, folks, let's not get personal.  You're all perfectly capable of explaining why someone's arguments are incorrect.  By the same token, don't take someone else's deconstruction of your argument as an attack on you.

We now return to your friendly neighborhood contentious discussion.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: AxSlinger7String on Apr 18, 2008, 09:33AM
EnTransit, you do seem to be a very reasonable person, and if all Christians were as moderate in their beliefs as you (tell us you) are, I don't think anyone would ever perceive a major conflict between science and religion.

"Genesis is poetry. It should not be taken as a day by day account."

As I understand it, that's the way it has been interpreted for a long time, and the need to believe that every word in the Bible means what it means is a relatively new idea.

But I do have a couple of questions for you:

"Somewhere , there was a beginning." - Why do you believe this is necessarily true?  It would lead from our (our being the entire human race) personal experience that all things have beginning and an end, but that is not solid  proof that that is so, only that we have only in our history dealt with things having the property of not being timeless or everlasting.

"For Christians, we believe God is everlasting."  - Again a simple 'why?'.  What is different about God that he should be everlasting when your previous sentence seems to indicate that nothing is. 





Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 18, 2008, 09:44AM
The "something from nothing" was taken far from context. We cannot answer how something was created from nothing. It completely defies every principle. Somewhere , there was a beginning.

"Nothing" and "something," even "beginning" are very much human mental constructs, but have little meaning outside of the set of assumptions you have made (or been conditioned to accept by social consensus). Scientists even question the validity of these assumptions in light of observed facts and new multi-verse and string theories. Applying your own set of assumptions, however, surely you must see the problem? If "God" exists, then who created God?" And who created "God's Creator?" And his Creator? And so on? "Faith" in your system seems to imply that you know when to cut this off and say, "Damn it, this where it all begins and ends. My "God" is eternal. He always existed and always will." If one has "faith," it seems to me, one also needs to have the humility and intellectual honesty to say,"I don't know the nature and mind of God, indeed I cannot know it, but have chosen to believe certain things about Him." ("He is three-in-one." "Begetting none, Himself not begotten , none is like to Him, not one." or "He whose name may not be spoken."  )

This is not new to Western Civilization---the religious have always been trying to define the boundaries between faith and reason, and reason always seems to be pushing faith back. A lack of humility, knowledge and understanding is "faith's" undoing----presuming to speak for God leads to bigotry, oppression, pretension and arrogance. Scientists, generally, speak for themselves and invite peer review. They don't claim to speak for God, or to be God, or threaten people with hell and judgment if they don't accept their words as gospel. Lazy thinkers might be attracted to religion because it is easier to pretend that they "know everything they need to" by virtue of faith, but I don't believe that all Christians are necessarily less intelligent, or that religion is the "cause" of laziness.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Daniel Sheard on Apr 18, 2008, 10:19AM

People are so quick to dismiss religion because not all answers line up, or because religion does not provide every answer. Yet, when its science we seem to accept that we will figure it out someday.


But that's just the point.  Science is assembling and understanding from the ground up - first principles, building blocks, and so on.  Religion is top-down, assuming the answer before in many cases the question has been framed.  You seem to be making an allegation about science but the "weakness" you identify is in fact the whole purpose and strength of science.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BFW on Apr 18, 2008, 10:32AM
People are so quick to dismiss religion because not all answers line up, or because religion does not provide every answer.

I don't think this is the case.  It's a vast generalization, it characterizes disagreement as "dismissing," and it doesn't match any of the commentary I can think of on the subject.

I don't think religion provides ANY answers WHATSOEVER about the physical world.  It may help some people think through moral issues, it may provide a focal point for communities, it may provide an opportunity for some people to think about issues outside themselves, but it does not in any way explain the physical world. 

To the extent that it stays outside of that arena, I, too, find it coexists peacefully with science in my mind.

Quote
Somewhere, there was a beginning.

Another conclusion.  Maybe there was no beginning.  That's a question science investigates: how did things get to be the way they are?

Quote
Is it so much less a step of faith to believe that the world we live in just always existed?

If there's evidence, then it isn't a leap of faith, it's a conclusion based on evidence.  If there's no evidence, then it's a hypothesis in search of evidence and open to refutation.  If it's not open to refutation, THEN it's a leap of faith, but only then.

I don't know of any scientific hypothesis that concludes the Earth (aka "the world we live in") has always existed.  I think the hypothesis that the universe always existed (steady state universe) is currently out of favor, due to strong evidence otherwise.  It's all about conclusions based on evidence.

Quote
everyone here  tries to "ace card" the next guy.

We have discussions about contentious issues.  People involved in such discussions generally do not expect their statements to go unchallenged, but rather are prepared to defend their statements.  It leads to some conflict, occasionally, but is interesting and informative for many of us.

Quote
I knew this thread would become a hotbox for anyone with an axe to grind. I rarely get involved in religious debate. The people who post are always the same, and its always the same thing. I only posted because Im tired of seeing Christians slammed for somehow being less intelligent or open minded because we have faith in a higher power.

This isn't how I see the discussion at all.  I don't see Christians in general being called less intelligent or open minded, and I don't see any of the characterizations of any groups to be based on them having faith per se.  This is where discussion is useful: correcting misconceptions, clarifying arguments, challenging statements.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: puma on Apr 18, 2008, 11:38AM
An aside - I find the order of nouns in the thread title quite telling. "Science vs Religion" makes it sound like "Science" is in the habit of deliberately attacking "Religion", when the truth of the matter is the opposite.
Thanks for that MoominDave. It made me think about the title. I don't know if the title implies that one is actually attacking the other. If one starts a thread of 'Salt vs. Pepper' they are not attacking one another. It means they are different. Herein lies the problem with the title. It does not specify a context. In the realm of history, science and religion are identical. They make assumptions about the past which can not be proven. In the context of faith, they are apples and oranges. One can be a scientist and religious simultaneously. Neither science nor religion makes contributions to society ... people make contributions.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dennis K. on Apr 18, 2008, 11:40AM
***DK adds yet another topic to the 'ignore' list.***
Same axe, same grindstone.
Like comparing apple to bowling balls.  Neither side would eat the others bowling ball.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Piano man on Apr 18, 2008, 11:53AM
Versus doesn't necessarily imply an attack or even any antipathy.

Vs. can denote a comparison. "Pilates vs. Yoga" doesn't mean one's out to get the other.

This topic may be a bit duplicative, but it seems more focused on the proper place for religion and science in the thinking of someone who rejects neither.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 18, 2008, 03:46PM
This topic may be a bit duplicative, but it seems more focused on the proper place for religion and science in the thinking of someone who rejects neither.

Agreed. And I find it quite interesting to read how others harmonize potentially contradictory ideas within their minds. (Typical of me, as I usually am more interested in why people think and believe the way they do than I am in what they think or believe. :/)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: JBledsoe on Apr 18, 2008, 07:19PM
Well, many seem to be saying the same thing. The reason I say that Christians are treated as being less intelligent in these topics is because of statements like this:

little meaning outside of the set of assumptions you have made (or been conditioned to accept by social consensus).


 Im sure Evan meant no disrespect, but this raises some eyebrows. Being "conditioned" to accept something makes it sound as though Christians cannot thing logically, and that we our logic is governed by the same rules as Pavlov's dogs. Again, not accusing Evan of any intent either way. Semantics is a tricky business when it comes to the internet.


  I am going to answer some questions/allegations to the best of my ability and leave it there. I think that this discussion is more focused than previous discussions, but it still turns into a few people against an army.


Quote
"Somewhere , there was a beginning." - Why do you believe this is necessarily true?  It would lead from our (our being the entire human race) personal experience that all things have beginning and an end, but that is not solid  proof that that is so, only that we have only in our history dealt with things having the property of not being timeless or everlasting.


  Are you asking why "I" believe, or are you asking how I justify that belief? Well, thats a bit of a loaded question. Honestly, I do not have a good answer for you. I am completely willing to accept that something has no beginning. I accept God as eternal, and accept that I cant fully understand something that was not begotten. The reason I cannot understand it, is because outside of God, this condition does not exist.

Quote

"For Christians, we believe God is everlasting."  - Again a simple 'why?'.  What is different about God that he should be everlasting when your previous sentence seems to indicate that nothing is.


   Well, I was not trying to indicate that nothing is everlasting. What I was doing was trying to illustrate that science requires faith at some point. Cells divide, where did the first cell come from? We must make a leap of faith there. (Or not, as others have pointed out) Christians believe that God created the earth.



Quote
I don't think religion provides ANY answers WHATSOEVER about the physical world.

   I think many scholars would disagree. While some may not believe in the extra-worldly ideas in the Bible, the history is very accurate. The cities, and people were real. There is no disputing that Jesus was real. The argument is in his divinity. The civilizations, the kings, the wars. These are very real. Perhaps the Bible does not give up the age of the earth, but there are many physical answers that are provided, depending of course on the questions you ask.



 Regardless, I choose to believe what I believe based on the evidence I see around me. "The things of God are clearly seen through his creation". The real of science and religion coexist easily for me. I am not a Christian with a Bible in one hand, and the axe in the other. If you dont believe what I do, that is ok with me. I try to let my life be my example, and I fall short more often than I succeed, but I try. I agree to disagree. Have fun with the debate, as this topic is staying surprisingly civil. I dont normally devote as much time to the forum in a week as I have the last two days with this thread, so I am gracefully throwing in the towel.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 18, 2008, 07:25PM


 Im sure Evan meant no disrespect, but this raises some eyebrows. Being "conditioned" to accept something makes it sound as though Christians cannot thing logically, and that we our logic is governed by the same rules as Pavlov's dogs. Again, not accusing Evan of any intent either way. Semantics is a tricky business when it comes to the internet.
We are all conditioned by society from birth---government, religion, media, family. It has nothing to do with intelligence, but rather the creation of a secondary self that allows us to live in society. There is a price to be paid, however.

That a man is killed, brought back to life, and ascended to "heaven" is a matter of "logic" in your mind? And that by believing this story you will ascended, too?


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: JBledsoe on Apr 18, 2008, 07:31PM
We are all conditioned by society from birth---government, religion, media, family. It has nothing to do with intelligence, but rather the creation of a secondary self that allows us to live in society. There is a price to be paid, however.

That a man is killed, brought back to life, and ascended to "heaven" is a matter of "logic" in your mind? And that by believing this story you will ascended, too?


 Your reference to being conditioned was in reference to there being a beginning and ending to all things. To answer your question, no I dont believe that Jesus death and ressurection are a matter of logic.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 18, 2008, 07:54PM
Seeing as how we are being frank all of the sudden.
This is not a new or sudden feature of voluntary public discourse. It would be pretty extremely naive to think you could express an opinion publicly, particularly a controversial opinion, and expect to remain untouched by criticism.
 
I'll just leave it at that.
 
[hopping off the horse I was so rudely tossed upon ... poor animal]
Quote from: EnTransit
How obtuse ...
I usually find that accusation pretty amusing (and I'll note here that I don't find that language offensive at all, and if it had been backed up I'd humbly take credit for it and move on), just as I do the "you're just closed-minded" charge. Most of the time they're leveled at skeptics precisely because we haven't chosen to be obtuse or closed-minded regarding the facts, arguments and evidence about which the accuser would prefer we were being strategically obtuse or closed-minded. In essence we (skeptics) are typically being accused of closed-mindedness for being too open minded for the accuser's comfort.
 
Again, because I keep getting this presumptuous accusation leveled at me (not that I really expect this to do much good, for some valid reasons, but mostly not so much):
As for me, I rejected the world view I was raised in and very devout and sincere about (i.e. Christianity--I rejected my religious beliefs in my late 20s), not to mention a major sociopolitical position or two (guns and drugs come immediately to mind--I significantly changed my views on both of those issues when I looked into them critically). I changed my mind on these matters because I came to realize that intellectual integrity and honesty require that we refuse to compromise proper standards of evidence and such. When I realized this fact and developed my understanding I internalized it and, while I'm not sure I ever could really quite pull it off, I'm now keenly aware that I'm unable to convince myself of any valid excuse for altering those standards, and so don't really have the option. I'm pointedly open to reason and evidence whether it supports my existing world view or refutes it, largely because I know reality has no obligation to appease my personal sentiments or desires. This does take some self-discipline I suppose, but much more importantly, I think, it requires genuine humility. (Humility that comes from unflinching self-awareness perhaps? Dunno, but that seems to resonate with me.) I recognize that what I feel about an issue is inherently subordinate (at best) to evidence and proper standards of reason and epistemology, and alone forms a thoroughly and utterly insufficient basis for any kind of conclusion or position. I've internalized that concept as well. In my experience very few people exercise this capacity, for whatever reason. Most, I suspect, just aren't that contemplative and such things never come up, or they don't linger long enough to go through the meat grinder when they do.
 
In any case, more often than not I seem to get such accusations from people who are in the process of demonstrating they have very low standards of epistemology for the idiom in question, and at the same time they also usually have exceptionally high standards for any conflicting idiom. Creationists/ID types are the epitome of this dynamic. In short, this is rarely not a case of an iron pot calling a fairly clean, stainless steel kettle black.
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
Im not feigning, nor am I presumptuous. I am, of course, trying to use an illustration. People are so quick to dismiss religion because not all answers line up, or because religion does not provide every answer.
"People?" That seems to imply you think the majority of "people" aren't religious practitioners. That's not true here on this forum, and it's certainly not true here in the US. It's also not true that I'm just being dismissive toward religion. In fact I was a sincere believer until I realized I was dismissive of atheism and agnosticism. That's almost always really the case rather than the exact opposite, as the accusation generally presumes, just as with the whole closed-minded schtick.
 
Besides, there's not a single such dismissal thus far in here. Every criticism of religion comes with some substantial argumentation (not so much for a few of the posts going the other way, as per usual). No one has argued that religion is faulty because it doesn't have all the answers. The nearest argument to that against religion would be that it claims to have answers it clearly doesn't. I argue that religion uses "faith" as a magic word to justify these alleged "answers" and to imbue them with the false appearance of validity to those who have decided to buy into them. Why does the Validation By Faith Plan only work with beliefs that don't conflict with the given religious apologist's? Why don't Muslims accept Jews claims of knowledge via faith? Why don't Christians accept Wiccan's faith claims? Etc.
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
Yet, when its science we seem to accept that we will figure it out someday. The "something from nothing" was taken far from context. We cannot answer how something was created from nothing.
No, those who understand science very well and think according to the principles of science accept we don't know. In fact we're very cautious about going from "I don't know" to anything else. Again, the principles of religion--specifically religious faith--are precisely the opposite.
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
It completely defies every principle. Somewhere, there was a beginning. For Christians, we believe God is everlasting. Is it so much less a step of faith to believe that the world we live in just always existed?
If I were to make that error it would still require a great deal less faith. I would be choosing to reject an unknown in favor of the presumption that ... well, that somewhere (and some-when) there was a beginning. Religion goes much farther by claiming an impossible being for which we can't possibly have any evidence (inherent to anything "supernatural"--we can only derive knowledge of the cosmos from sensory input, so if something is somehow outside of that realm we cannot derive any knowledge of it, which means it has to be made up--fabricated by the human imagination) on top of the presumption that there must have been a beginning.
 
That there might not have been a beginning to the cosmos may defy human understanding (as does any form of the concept of infinity), but it's entirely possible that some realities are simply beyond our limitations. This is the gap in which religion leaps to presumption. Our religious tendency at this point is to excuse the presumption that God must have done it. There may be things we just can't know, so most of us decide we know that a god exists. "We can't know, so that's why I know." Yeah. That's what it boils down to. It's called the argumentum ad ignormatiam, the argument from ignorance. I suspect you're aware of the fallacy. It's actually religion's best hand, it's most compelling apologetic.
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
I am not presumptuous at all "IRL". In fact, in real life I would leave you all about your business. However, everyone here  tries to "ace card" the next guy.
 
"No its not"
"Youre wrong again"
"You have no idea what you are talking about"
 
Give me a break.
Are you saying you're not willing to accept that there's disagreement with what you've posted? What do you expect? "You're right, of course, but here's where I disagree ... "?
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
Religion and science peacefully coexist in my mind. "My" being personal. If science disproves some theologians view of the age of the earth, fine by me.
That's to your credit, absolutely. I'd argue that this proper perspective and humility are due to the better angels of your human nature overcoming the religious impulses of the same (religion is just a set of characteristics and behaviors--aspects of human nature ... and I'd argue the characteristics that are definitively religious are its dark side).
 
But you are aware, I presume, that you don't speak for all believers (I know you are, of course ... just making the point).
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
There will always be fundamentalists. There will always be absolutists. There will always be people who pretend they are more enlightened than everyone else. All are toxic.
Some people clearly are more enlightened than others. I think it's pretty clear that you're more enlightened than your average fundy ... by far. I don't think that even approaches anything resembling a tough call. I also think you agree, having just pointed them out as toxic. I think your desire to defend the faith is forcing you to try and reign in your reasoning, causing those kinds of clear self-contradictions, and other reasoning errors you wouldn't at all likely make otherwise.
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
I knew this thread would become a hotbox for anyone with an axe to grind.
Does giving something a great deal of very careful and critical thought and coming to some conclusions in the process, and openly sharing those conclusions equate to having an axe to grind? Is it because they're unpopular conclusions? I know that when I express the conclusions I've come to through such a process I'm usually presumed to have such an axe-grinding thing going on. Seems there's a pattern to that sort of criticism, oddly enough.
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
I rarely get involved in religious debate. The people who post are always the same, and its always the same thing.
Math is the same as it was when I was a kid too (aside from what's developed since, of course), so are the established elements of physics and astronomy and such. Even most of human psychology seems to be more or less the same as it was long ago, though our understanding has increased. Does the sameness pose similar problems for you regarding those other topics? Do you feel the same way regarding religious discussions involving those with whom you generally agree? The paradigm of religion is uniquely resistant to change though, so maybe that's something you might want to consider and compare and contrast. Maybe that has something to do with your response, and maybe it's not so much the sameness of religious discussion after all.
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
I only posted because Im tired of seeing Christians slammed for somehow being less intelligent or open minded because we have faith in a higher power.
Nobody loves an iconoclast--that's really what's going on here. It's not that anyone is being slammed, it's that the near universal agreement to tread lightly and under completely different standards is rudely and openly violated by we iconoclastic types. To be so vulgar and uncivil seems to generally be perceived as personal by believers (see the "axe to grind" comment above).
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
Faith in a power that said love Me, and love thy neighbor.
And if that were less often and less clearly not the case then ... well, we'd still be having the core of this discussion, actually. I get the impression from most believers that criticism and analysis of their beliefs that doesn't pretend the standards shouldn't be shifted is just going to be touchy and will illicit very negative emotional reactions. Just presenting an iconoclastic position seems to be taken as a direct personal attack by most believers most of the time. I think that's very telling, personally. When a large group of people has more or less the same set of ideas that are off limits to uncensored analysis, and that otherwise perfectly reasonable people with otherwise generally thickish skin also quite often react this way in the specific case of religious beliefs reinforces the same indication. Religious faith inherently compromises intellectual integrity.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 18, 2008, 11:24PM

 Your reference to being conditioned was in reference to there being a beginning and ending to all things. To answer your question, no I dont believe that Jesus death and ressurection are a matter of logic.
Not exactly---the conditioning comment referred to your suppositions, i.e., that here must be a beginning and an end, and that something was "created" from nothing. Clergy, parents, teachers have had their inputs to this thinking-----but this is not science. For example, the Big Bang presupposes the existence of a "singularity" or a collision of "M-branes" (the boundary between multiverses--infinite in number). So, where is the "something" from "nothing?" To think in those terms is a matter of conditioning, not observation or logic. One believes "God" did it, so you look for Him, even making up evidence ("the human body is so complex, God must have created it.")

BTW---I don't usually talk about "Christians" in general terms. I'll usually say "evangelicals," "fundies," or identify the sect if applicable (Catholic, Presbyterian, etc.,) or just say "the religious." This is because I don't feel obliged to use their self-congratulatory epithets (i.e., "I live by Christ's precepts.") and because "Christian" now comprises such a range of diametrically opposed doctrine and sects that it doesn't mean much.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Andrew Meronek on Apr 19, 2008, 02:29AM
Neither science nor religion makes contributions to society ... people make contributions.

Puma, I just needed to point out that, while I'm normally one of the people at odds with your views on these subjects, I have to say that I completely agree with this!

This is what the whole thing boils down to in the end. :good:


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on Apr 19, 2008, 03:22AM
   Well, I was not trying to indicate that nothing is everlasting. What I was doing was trying to illustrate that science requires faith at some point. Cells divide, where did the first cell come from? We must make a leap of faith there. (Or not, as others have pointed out) Christians believe that God created the earth.

We "must" do nothing of the sort. If we really have nothing solid to say on the answer to a question, we should put it on the list of unanswered questions, and leave it for somebody with more information in the future to think about. There's no "faith" here that an answer will be found - simply the recognition that a particular question is too difficult to answer from the current state of our knowledge.

If one wants to assume a particular answer to a question, in order to explore further branches of knowledge beyond that question that are themselves amenable to evidence, one notes that an assumption has been made, and proceeds further in the knowledge that one's logical foundations are non-existent. Again, the term "leap of faith" is not a good description of what is going on here.

What many religious people do is to insert a popular and untestable prejudice as the answer to one or more difficult questions (your genuine "leap of faith"). What is often shied away from by these people is that it's okay not to have an answer to a difficult question; if you don't know how the universe started, it doesn't matter - nobody will think any the less of you, and your life will continue as normal.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on Apr 19, 2008, 04:45AM
In the realm of history, science and religion are identical. They make assumptions about the past which can not be proven. 

I'm not sure exactly how you mean that. 

I see science as a way of knowing fact, religion as a way of deciding meaning.

With that premise they do not have to contradict each other, although they easily may.

However, you seem to suggest they are both ways of knowing facts, and in that case they directly contradict and cannot coexist.  But I'm not sure I understood your point. 

Religions do contain a few facts which could be tested scientifically, and a large number of concepts which either cannot be tested or would be very difficult to test. 

If God is completely supernatural science would have no access to evidence one way or the other.  If He interacts with the physical world in any manner then it can be measured and tested.  For example, many churches claim intercessory prayer works.  This is fairly easy to test.  Should we?  Other churches claim their members have greater health and wealth.  This is the defining criterion for the charismatic branches.  Again, easy to test.  Should we? 

Religious history can partly be studied, but the sources are in most cases long gone.  Israeli archaeology has a lot to say about the Old Testament, most of it negative.  Some religions are vastly older, others much newer - Islam, Latter Day Saints, Scientology come to mind, probably more accessible to historical study. 

One post above claimed Christians are often considered stupid on this forum.  I do not see that to be the case.  I think it is true that here on this forum they tend to lack scientific literacy, with a few exceptions.  However that isn't necessarily because they are Christians, it could be merely because we are mostly trombone players.  Artists don't tend to take subjects like thermodynamics as electives. 


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 19, 2008, 05:59AM
Scientific American, clearly part of the evil atheist humanist homosexual liberal conspiracy to maintain and intensify the oppression of Christians in the United States (EAHHLCMIOC-UStm), has more to say about Expelled! (http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=a-conversation-with-mark-mathis)
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 19, 2008, 07:22AM
Quote
I don't think religion provides ANY answers WHATSOEVER about the physical world.

   I think many scholars would disagree. While some may not believe in the extra-worldly ideas in the Bible, the history is very accurate. The cities, and people were real. There is no disputing that Jesus was real. The argument is in his divinity. The civilizations, the kings, the wars. These are very real. Perhaps the Bible does not give up the age of the earth, but there are many physical answers that are provided, depending of course on the questions you ask.

italics added

While I do agree that there is some recorded history in the Bible (primarily the OT) that is verifiable by historical or archeological methods, the assertion you make here again has to be taken mostly on faith. In fact, the existence of a single, influential, historical person named Jesus who preached around lower Galilee in the early first century IS open to considerable debate. There is evidence, both positive and negative, that Jesus in fact did not exist at all, or was a kind of composite figure drawn from several different characters. (FWIW, I still personally believe that he probably existed in some form. I am not convinced that he was a complete fabrication though I have found some of the evidence food for thought.)

Regardless, even if Jesus did actually exist, most of the deeds and sayings attributed to him via the Gospels were added much later and come from a variety of sources, not all of them Jewish or Christian. If we peel back the many layers of invention, copying, redacting, addition, and omission in the Gospels, we can arrive at a collection of sayings which MAY have been uttered by an itinerant preacher named Jesus or his followers enough times to have been remembered and eventually written down by scribes.

Remember, the vast majority of the scholars you speak of who universally do not deny Jesus's existence but only his divinity are Christian scholars. So by definition, all their work operates under the presumption that, of course, Jesus existed. That in no way invalidates their work, but it opens the door for even more probing questions to be asked by others who come from outside the Christian ranks.

EDIT: Oops, forgot to give an example of NT historical inaccuracy-

The town of Nazareth, named in the Gospel accounts as the hometown of Jesus, did not exist in the first century. The name was made up by the writer so that Jesus could be known as "Jesus of Nazareth" and thus appear to fulfill one of the OT prophecies that stated that he would be "a Nazerene". The amusing thing here is that the scribe made an error, because a Nazarene was supposed to be somebody who was set apart to serve God and did not bathe or shave, etc., NOT somebody from a town called Nazareth!

Later on, perhaps a century or two, theology and the growing religious tourism industry in Galilee (I kid you not) demanded that such a town exist in reality. So one was either created or (more likely) renamed. Early religious tourism also accounts for several of the other arbitrarily chosen "holy place" of the faith, such as Mary's well, the sites of the crucifiction and burial of Jesus, etc. etc. etc....


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BFW on Apr 19, 2008, 08:01AM
I think many scholars would disagree. While some may not believe in the extra-worldly ideas in the Bible, the history is very accurate.

I think Dave answered this point well regarding historical accuracy, but let me just clarify a bit.  I said religion provides no answers about the physical world; I was not specifically referring to the Bible.  Neither religious text nor religious practice have anything to do with figuring out how physical reality works, despite claims to the contrary.  You aren't going to find the answer to a physics question by asking a poet -- unless the poet has studied physics -- or by reading poetry.  You might, however, learn something about love, life, and relationships (the three Ls :) ).

Quote
Have fun with the debate, as this topic is staying surprisingly civil.

Not surprising in the least, in my view.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 19, 2008, 09:01AM
Quote
Have fun with the debate, as this topic is staying surprisingly civil.
Not surprising in the least, in my view.

Nor mine. Things get testy from time to time in contentious topics like this, but on the whole I think we do a good job of remaining civil to one another. And when given the additional hurdle of overcoming the potential to misunderstand the emotional content of each others' posts (ie- whether offense was intended) in this purely written medium, our overall civility "score" goes up yet another notch.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 19, 2008, 09:42AM
Religious history can partly be studied, but the sources are in most cases long gone.  Israeli archaeology has a lot to say about the Old Testament, most of it negative.  Some religions are vastly older, others much newer - Islam, Latter Day Saints, Scientology come to mind, probably more accessible to historical study.
Islam tended to simply accept the 'Old Testament' and added stories relating only to Arab hstory. Latter Day Saints and Scientology have very different views of history (read The Book of Mormon some time  :amazed:---Scientologists refer to a struggle between two alien races that left emotional scars on the human race).

If I write a novel with a New york setting, one shouldn't confuse this as an "historical" document. If I write a religious story around Mt. Sinai, the existence of the mountain doesn't prove the story. Be careful folks.

Quote
One post above claimed Christians are often considered stupid on this forum.  I do not see that to be the case.  I think it is true that here on this forum they tend to lack scientific literacy, with a few exceptions. 

That gets complicated. It is not only their scientific claims that are questioned, but their other claims (literary, philosophical, factual)as well. I don't equate lacking information and knowledge with being "stupid," but many people will take a defensive posture when their social conditioning is being threatened and nothing is offered to replace it.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 19, 2008, 11:14AM
Being "conditioned" to accept something makes it sound as though Christians cannot thing logically, and that we our logic is governed by the same rules as Pavlov's dogs.

Thing is, that's a feature of every human being that's been raised by adults within a society. It's socialization. Most people just never step outside of it and have a genuine, critical look. Studying anthropology really encourages the temperance or rejection of socialization, though I don't think anyone can ever really step fully outside of it or shed it completely. I'm not sure about that, but I think it would probably take a very special set of circumstances.
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
I am going to answer some questions/allegations to the best of my ability and leave it there. I think that this discussion is more focused than previous discussions, but it still turns into a few people against an army.

Welcome to a very brief, removed and controlled exposure to what it's like on a regular basis for those with iconoclastic viewpoints--those who don't play the standard issue religious faith game at all (or to a lesser extent, those who play it by significantly different rules).
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
Are you asking why "I" believe, or are you asking how I justify that belief? Well, thats a bit of a loaded question. Honestly, I do not have a good answer for you. I am completely willing to accept that something has no beginning. I accept God as eternal, and accept that I cant fully understand something that was not begotten. The reason I cannot understand it, is because outside of God, this condition does not exist.

You had it! Then you slipped back into presumption mode.
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
Well, I was not trying to indicate that nothing is everlasting. What I was doing was trying to illustrate that science requires faith at some point. Cells divide, where did the first cell come from? We must make a leap of faith there. (Or not, as others have pointed out)

The important thing here is that if you do take that leap of faith you have therefore necessarily moved outside the realm of science. When you run into a wall of ignorance you have to start probing to see if you can learn something, but you can't just pretend to step through it and start making "discoveries." That's the realm of religious faith.
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
Christians believe that God created the earth.

And the epistemological basis for that "belief?"
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
I think many scholars would disagree. While some may not believe in the extra-worldly ideas in the Bible, the history is very accurate. The cities, and people were real. There is no disputing that Jesus was real.

There certainly is--quite a bit, actually. Frankly I'm not sure you can come to that conclusion if you've really delved into the question. You can disagree with those who conclude that Jesus either didn't really exist or probably didn't, but the dispute is clear and the dissenting argumentation and evidence is far from insubstantial.
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
The argument is in his divinity. The civilizations, the kings, the wars. These are very real. Perhaps the Bible does not give up the age of the earth, but there are many physical answers that are provided, depending of course on the questions you ask.

Some are, some aren't, many are unknown. The accuracy and correlation to reality in the average Tom Clancy novel is far greater in any case. There's a literary genre called historical fiction. That real places and real people and real events occur in a work of literature says nothing at all about the work's truthfulness or representation of reality overall.
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
Regardless, I choose to believe what I believe based on the evidence I see around me.

Only if you play rather fast and loose with the standards of evidence (to put it rather mildly).
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
"The things of God are clearly seen through his creation".

 ... presuming of course there's a god, it's a he, and the cosmos is his creation.
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
The real of science and religion coexist easily for me. I am not a Christian with a Bible in one hand, and the axe in the other. If you dont believe what I do, that is ok with me. I try to let my life be my example, and I fall short more often than I succeed, but I try. I agree to disagree. Have fun with the debate, as this topic is staying surprisingly civil. I dont normally devote as much time to the forum in a week as I have the last two days with this thread, so I am gracefully throwing in the towel.

Just now read this. I hope you don't bug out, actually, but of course that's an entirely personal thing and I don't think anyone will disparage you the choice if you do.
 
I think we manage to remain focussed on the ideas presented pretty well, rather than getting personal. Sometimes that can get a little too hot for some and we can have a bit of a flare-up (during which I tend not to be very concerned with diplomacy, unless of course I'm aware that I'm not dealing with adults), but with relatively few exceptions I think we manage a pretty good balance of genuine, uncompromising discussion and civility.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Jackofalltrades on Apr 19, 2008, 11:36PM
Just jumped in here cause I really enjoy seeing both sides of the coin...My question to you is this... is evolution truly science. Is it observable, is it repeatable? No one has actually seen true evolution. We have seen examples of mutation, natural selection, but we have never seen a new species as explained to us in text books emerge from another species. A fish is a fish, a bird a bird. A dog hasn't given birth to anything other than it's own kind, nor has any other animal.
     Scientists cite the Peppered Moth in England The story concerning England’s Peppered Moths (Biston betularia) originally seemed very straightforward. The research is attributed to one H.B. Kettlewell, who is reported to have said that Darwin would be overjoyed to see the vindication of his theory. The insects used to be mostly of a light form, with occasional darker (melanic) forms. Light-coloured lichen growing on tree trunks meant that the light forms were very well camouflaged, while the dark ones would ‘stand out’ to the eyes of hungry birds.
Pollution from the Industrial Revolution is said to have killed off much of the pale lichen covering the tree trunks, thus darkening them, so that now the dark forms were better camouflaged. Therefore, it made sense that hungry birds would eat more of the lighter ones, so the dark ones would become the dominant form.
Kettlewell’s experimental observations were supposed to have shown that this is indeed what happened. Then, as pollution began to be cleaned up, the tree trunks became lighter again, so light moths resting on the tree trunks would now be less easily seen, thus the ratio shifted the other way.
Photographs were taken of the dark and the light forms resting on the tree trunks, showing how obvious the camouflage differences were. To further ‘clinch’ the case, birds were filmed preferentially ‘picking off’ the less camouflaged forms. 
     Dogs, I love this one. O.K. so the Ark lands only God knows where (literally!) and the animals and humans depart. The two dogs (probably something similar to a wild dog in Africa) mate and have pups. As the dog population grows, they migrate in order to find food (or what ever). Some head north others south. As the north bound dogs enter colder climates, the dogs with short hair traits die off and dogs with long hair are the predominate species. The dogs heading south enter warmer climates and the dogs with long hair traits die off cause they can't take the heat, and short hair dogs are the dominate canines. BUT they are all still dogs. As far as breeds are concerned, dog breeders from the beginning have bred out undesirable traits and strive to keep the traits desirable to their specific purpose (Hunting, retrieving, herding etc.) BUT THEY ARE STILL DOGS!
I saw a two headed snake...WOW that would be cool, it could catch twice as many mice and eat them...except with two heads come two brains and neither one could decide which one was to catch the mouse. Guess that mutation didn't work out so well.
Super germs...That is a mutation where the super germs have NOT evolved as certain scientists have contended, but have actually lost genetic coding allowing them to not be able to be attacked by antibiotics. http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v20/i1/superbugs.asp
To actually have evolution you have to have genetic material added to an organism. It hasn't happened naturally (although scientists are doing it in labs with disastrous results!)
Science has no faith??? Where did the "big bang" come from. That takes as much faith as I have in how my God created this universe, and where did he come from. You don't want to believe in God, then create your own religion (science of evolution), I just hope it gets you to Heaven.
BTW Nazareth did exist in the first century. The population of this isolated city (now tens of thousands) in the time of Christ probably amounted to a few hundred people according to archaeological finds. Although this city is not mentioned in the Old Testament, it was the home of Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:39), and here the angel announced to the Virgin the birth of the Messiah (Luke 1:26-28). Archeology, and more importantly the Bible, declares the existence of Nazareth in the first century.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Andrew Meronek on Apr 20, 2008, 01:13AM
Just jumped in here cause I really enjoy seeing both sides of the coin...My question to you is this... is evolution truly science. Is it observable, is it repeatable? No one has actually seen true evolution. We have seen examples of mutation, natural selection, but we have never seen a new species as explained to us in text books emerge from another species. A fish is a fish, a bird a bird. A dog hasn't given birth to anything other than it's own kind, nor has any other animal.

I think this argument misrepresents what the theory of evolution actually says. It never says that at some point *pop* out comes a new species. It says first of all that the term "species" is a misleading term, because species is defined by a group's ability to reproduce - but how do you define three groups that can do this: A breeds with B, B breeds with C, but A does not breed with C? Furthermore, what we call "species" actually change over time regardless how many groups they can breed with. Also, the theory only says that small changes occur over time, and in some cases these small changes add up to a bigger change if you only look at the beginning and end of the timeline - but this is a ridiculous simplification of the process. The theory of evolution indicates a while lot more dynamic motion that most people realize.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Piano man on Apr 20, 2008, 02:35AM
Jackofalltrades, your post gave me an idea: it's impossible not to believe in evolution. It's predictable, indeed inevitable, that moths will show color variations through mutation, and that the ones that are most visible will be eaten by birds, and that the remaining moths will become the predominant breeding stock.

It was (and is) inevitable that misuse of antibiotics would create resistant bacteria. (As an odd personal side note, I recently contracted an MRSA skin infection, which was successfully beaten with a nasty overdose of sulfa drugs.) A bacterial population that is well within the range of standard antibiotics will contain a range of tougher and less-tough bugs. If you kill all but the toughest bugs (by stopping the course of medication prematurely), the same range is still there, but the average bug, and therefore the toughest bug, will be more resistant. Eventually you'll breed bugs that have 'outgrown' the medication. It turns out that, beyond the natural selection process, bacteria can transmit drug resistance among themselves. Great, huh?

A serious person can't disbelieve in evolution, because, given our understanding of biology, there's no way for it not to happen. I guess the only argument is the degree to which it changes life forms, and whether there's a guiding hand behind it.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: marty nichols on Apr 20, 2008, 05:17AM

 Well, of course we can leave any question unanswered. However, I thought the topic was going in the direction of providing explanations. "We dont know" is not an explanation.


 Yes, science does take a step of faith. It takes faith to believe unequivocally that you are right. Scientists have faith that when they test something numerous times with repeatable results that the result will continue to be the same. Scientists have faith that ideology that they ascribe to is the final answer.

 I still submit that science takes a leap of faith. Even if one does "not know yet" how something was created from nothing, "yet" implies that they have faith that their question will be answered by science. Personally, I think it science was going to find a way to create something from nothing, we would already know the answer.

Yesterday, my wife and I went to see the new movie by Ben Stein called "EXPELLED---NO INTELLIGENCE ALLOWED." We were both glad we went, it is a terrifically entertaining show!

The thing I got from it is that it exposes an ominous trend within the scientific community to silence any discussion whatever about there being such a thing as intelligent design in the world around us. Names, dates etc. are given that show that many qualified scientists who dare to broach the subject in the least way are fired, expelled , black listed.  It's scary.

The movie is very well done.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 20, 2008, 06:27AM
Yesterday, my wife and I went to see the new movie by Ben Stein called "EXPELLED---NO INTELLIGENCE ALLOWED."

Yeah ... we've been going over this for a while in here and in Religion - Good or Bad?
 
Expelled! is going down as a dramatic exposure of creationism/ID's true colors--dishonesty, deception, no genuine interest in honest inquiry, the serious lack of intellectual integrity; i.e. pure religious faith and dogmatism.
 
Skeptic Magazine: Ben Stein’s Blunder (http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/08-04-17.html#part1)
Expelled!--Scientific American's Take (http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=sciam-reviews-expelled)
 
From the Side-Bar of the above SciAm article:
Ben Stein Launches A Science-Free Attack On Darwin (http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=ben-steins-expelled-review-michael-shermer)
Expelled!--No Integrity Displayed (http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=ben-steins-expelled-review-john-rennie)
Six Things In Expelled! That Ben Stein Doesn't Want You To Know (http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=six-things-ben-stein-doesnt-want-you-to-know)
Never You Mine: Ben Stein's Selective Quoting Of Darwin (http://www.sciam.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=61D30BEB-A65E-7583-BB264FABBD4CD879)
Roundtable Discussion With Mark Mathis (http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=a-conversation-with-mark-mathis)
Science Talk Podcast: Expelled! Explained (http://www.sciam.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=34145C53-079F-CA62-1A6616EAA8567357[/url)
 
Of course in "honor" of the true colors of creationism/ID most creationists/ID types will easily dismiss all the criticism, on faith, as part of the evil atheist humanist liberal homosexual conspiracy to maintain the intense oppression of Christians ... especially in the US.
 
 :rolleyes:
 
I think Expelled! is going to become a useful indicator issue that will give us a good measure of a believer's level of intellectual corruption or integrity regarding religion.
 
For anyone interested, here are some discussions taking place on Sam Harris' forum regarding the whole Expelled fiasco (http://www.samharris.org/forum/search_results/8f44dcc5a02b44c3966f38421b75b1c5/).
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BGuttman on Apr 20, 2008, 07:05AM
There are a number of Theories that we really cannot prove decisively, but they seem to model the observations we can see.  We know that there are remains of life forms that do not exist today.  These remains appear to be datable either by carbon 14 or by geological strata.  The Evolutionary model explains a lot of this observed data.  When somebody invents a Time Machine and actually visits the periods when this stuff was supposed to be happening and really observes these life forms in person (or happens to visit the week of Creation, if that is what happened) and can show clear evidence supporting the model, we can say the model is correct.

For several centuries we had Newton's observations on motion and gravity.  Then there were some observations that did not fit the model.  Einstein came up with a better model, that explained all of Newton's observations and some of the newer discoveries.  Now we are running into limitations of Einstein's model and a new one will have to be developed.  Has the World changed? No.  Just what we can observe.

That is Science.  We never claim to know everything.  We try to find ways to explain what we see.  If the explanation doesn't fit the data we try to find a new model.

One other point about Religion, from a non-Christian (so please don't bug me about a 1st Century rogue Rabbi).

If you were to look at the predominant religion in the period around 0 AD, you would find that the Norse, Franks, Druids, Romans, and Greeks all had assemblages of Gods covering all aspects of life.  Monotheistic Jews were a small minority in an unimportant corner of the World.  Then this sect began spreading throughout Europe and the Middle East.  The people with their old beliefs must have felt this new theology was pretty weird.  So the new theology adopted a bunch of holidays the old religions celebrated in order to placate them.  Best guess based on peripheral events and history is that Jesus was born in the springtime of 4 BC.  So why celebrate his birth in December?  Because the Romans and Druids had a celebration at the Winter Solstice.  So celebrate Jesus' birth around the Winter Solstice and the transition is less difficult.

Now suppose we were to be invaded by an alien species who worshiped a deity who looks like a plate of spaghetti with two meatballs.  Would you be anxious to accept that new deity as valid?  Even if the plate of spaghetti with the two meatballs flew over your house and left leaflets (and tomato sauce residue)?  How about if the aliens told you to worship this plate of spaghetti or be killed?

Sorry to all you devout Christians, I maintain a rather skeptical approach to all of this.
 


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 20, 2008, 10:32AM
BTW Nazareth did exist in the first century. The population of this isolated city (now tens of thousands) in the time of Christ probably amounted to a few hundred people according to archaeological finds. Although this city is not mentioned in the Old Testament, it was the home of Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:39), and here the angel announced to the Virgin the birth of the Messiah (Luke 1:26-28). Archeology, and more importantly the Bible, declares the existence of Nazareth in the first century.

Ask yourself two questions:

1) Because a very small settlement existed in the first century at the site of what is now called "Nazareth", does that necessarily mean that it was called "Nazareth" in the first century? If your answer is no, and if archeologists have not found a "Welcome to Nazareth" sign in the rubble, and if there is no mention of it at all in any historical documents from the period (Josephus, for instance), then there is not a good case to be made for its existence by that name. Gospel references do not count as historical truth in the world of real scholarship.

2)Even if it somehow existed as a tiny, virtually unknown little hamlet in some bucolic valley, does that jibe with the descriptions of Jesus's childhood found in the gospels? Read the gospel accounts and then say to yourself, "Would this or that have happened in a community of only a few hundred?" You just may be surprised at what you come up with!


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: skygazer on Apr 20, 2008, 04:24PM
What a truely wonderful and tragic disscussion this has turned out to be!  Highly intellegent people of different opinions, backgrounds, beliefs, and philisophies putting their all into this subject.  Some are using there keen minds and vast knowledge, while others are using their hearts and faith.  I count myself fortunate to be able to post on a board that has such vigor.  I have found this particular conversation to be stimulating.  Alas I do not know where to stand on this.  Plus, I think that this ground has been walked on, tread upon, run over, marched over, driven over, and maybe overdone in previous threads.  What can I do?  I know!  Tonight I will enjoy the lights and TV in my house that science has provided for.  I will pratice the trombone that skilled craftmen have made with science and inspiration.  And I will thank God for such a wonderful oppurtunity.



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Jackofalltrades on Apr 20, 2008, 06:21PM
Seems there is dogma in both camps. Trouble is that each side does not want to budge.  :clever: Your ideas are crazy... :dont: no YOUR ideas are crazy. :dontknow:
Now in this type of discussion which I have seen several times, no one gets anywhere, but we do get to sound off.  Discussion is good!  :good:
I was on the Evolution side until I entered college and was presented the facts of BOTH sides. Some of the things that turned me toward a belief in a Omnipotent God. An incomplete fossil record that clearly shows transitional forms of life. (all the missing links) It would seem to me that if there were as many millions of years as stated by the evolutionists there would be a whole lot more fossil evidence to draw from. There HAS to be like a gazillion dead things fossilized and ready to be discovered out there if evolution is true.
Conservation of energy A.K.A. the first law of thermodynamics. Energy cannot be created or destroyed by natural processes, but can only be converted from one form to another. Since matter is a form of energy (E=mc2 as stated by Einstein), natural sciences cannot account for the total energy, including matter, in the universe. This law implies a role for a supernatural power in the origin of the total energy in the universe.
Any effort to validate evolution scientifically must involve extrapolation, since current observations must be used to deduce the course of events which occurred several millennia ago (even thousands or millions of millennia). While extrapolation is a valid scientific procedure, it is pertinent to be aware of its limitations. Confidence in the accuracy of an extrapolated result is dependent on the area of the point or region of interest to the region of observations.
Science was actually developed in Christian Europe by men who assumed that God created an orderly universe.
There are two distinct areas of science: Operational science and Historical science.  Operational science deals with testing and verifying ideas in the present and leads to the production of useful products like computers, cars, and satellites. Operational Theory: an explanation of a set of facts based on a broad set of repeatable and testable observations that is generally accepted within a group of scientists.
Historical (origins) science involves interpreting evidence from the past and includes the models of evolution and special creation. Recognizing that everyone has presuppositions that shape the way they interpret the evidence is an important step in realizing that historical science is not equal to operational science. Because no one was there to witness the past (except God), we must interpret it based on a set of starting assumptions. Creationists and evolutionists have the same evidence; they just interpret it within a different framework. Historical Theory: an explanation of past events based on the interpretation of evidence that is available in the present.
Just as evolutionists weren’t there to see evolution happen over several billion years, neither were creationists there to see the events of the six days of creation. This puts us on equal ground. It is in the interpretation of the evidence where we deviate.
In college my geology teacher liked to fish. As he was fishing one day he took a bait clam and saved the shell. He sent it to a friend who did carbon dating. It came back as over 500,000 years old. I really wish I had saved my old Geology notes!
Now back to Nazareth...A town in southern Galilee about 15 miles southwest of the Sea of Galilee (kineret) and twenty miles from the Mediterranean westward in the basin of the hills of the lower Galilee.
In Biblical time Nazareth was a small agricultural town settled by few dozen families. The town is not mentioned once in the Old Testament, an insignificant village, too small to be noted in the list of settlements of the tribe of Zebulon (Joshua 19:10-16). Nazareth is not included in the 45 cities of the Galilee that mentioned by Josephus the historian and its name is missing from the 63 towns of Galilee mentioned in the Talmud. It was not expected to have a prophet, a king, or priest to ever come out of Nazareth. This prompted the response of Nathaniel in John 1:46 "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Nazareth was isolated in ancient times because no trade routes ran through the city therefore had no economical value.



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 20, 2008, 06:38PM
Seems there is dogma in both camps. Trouble is that each side does not want to budge.  :clever: Your ideas are crazy... :dont: no YOUR ideas are crazy. :dontknow:

Only one side sees it that way though, because the other side is actually presenting facts and evidence and reasoning. It's about epistemology, and no, it's most certainly not equal on both sides of the religion vs. science debate, not by a long shot.
 
 
I was on the Evolution side until I entered college and was presented the facts of BOTH sides.

Either your school failed you or ... well, I'd recommend a good critical thinking course or, preferably, series of courses.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Andrew Meronek on Apr 20, 2008, 09:46PM
Along a similar vein to a common argument against evolution, I can always argue that because I'm currently indoors, I cannot prove that the moon is actually orbiting the Earth because I'm not in constant view of it.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 20, 2008, 10:33PM
Just as evolutionists weren’t there to see evolution happen over several billion years, neither were creationists there to see the events of the six days of creation. This puts us on equal ground. It is in the interpretation of the evidence where we deviate.
No, not interpretation of evidence-----a lack of any credible evidence supporting the 3,000 Levantine shepherd myths, Greek origin myths, Norse myths, or Hopi origin myths. There is compelling evidence for evolution, it is a fact----'natural selection' is the theory for how it works. You are hardly on "equal ground" to science, although the various creation myths are on equal footing to each other. It is as likely that Spiderwoman created the world as a bearded, male "three-in-one" God, or that the aboriginal god dreamed the world into existence.

Creationists don't "interpret evidence"--they discount it by referring to their polytheist beliefs that a "Satan" scattered dinosaur fossils around to "test faith," or claim that the speed of light has changed such that the universe is only 6,000 years old (not thirteen billion years ago as our observations indicate), or claim that radiocarbon dating is so far off that we can't rely on the testing.

Evolution has been proven at a molecular level and doesn't require the fossil evidence (or the so-called creationist "transitional forms" buzz words) you demand which is, BTW, not as easy to find as your post implies. The conditions required to fossilize life forms are actually very rare.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on Apr 20, 2008, 10:57PM
I was on the Evolution side until I entered college and was presented the facts of BOTH sides.

I believe you, but.......the rest of what you said indicates you don't understand what the theory of evolution actually says.

This is pretty common for people who get their information about it from creationist speakers and literature.  I would suspect you probably entered a Bible college, no?

Here's the thing.  The two most vocal anti-religion writers today are Harris and Dawkins.  Would you read only them if you were looking for information about Christianity?  They might or might not show some bias, but they are likely to focus more on negative aspects than positive. 

So why do you assume you get the right story when you read ONLY creationist comments about evolution? 

By the way, your position is extremely rare.  Extremely.  Most people are raised on Genesis, go to college, and start moving towards evolution by, oh, about Thanksgiving break.

Please, out of integrity read at least one actual science book about evolution.  There are lots of good ones at all levels of difficulty.  Then come back with your questions.   


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: JBledsoe on Apr 20, 2008, 11:14PM
I believe you, but.......the rest of what you said indicates you don't understand what the theory of evolution actually says.

This is pretty common for people who get their information about it from creationist speakers and literature.  I would suspect you probably entered a Bible college, no?

Here's the thing.  The two most vocal anti-religion writers today are Harris and Dawkins.  Would you read only them if you were looking for information about Christianity?  They might or might not show some bias, but they are likely to focus more on negative aspects than positive. 

So why do you assume you get the right story when you read ONLY creationist comments about evolution? 

By the way, your position is extremely rare.  Extremely.  Most people are raised on Genesis, go to college, and start moving towards evolution by, oh, about Thanksgiving break.

Please, out of integrity read at least one actual science book about evolution.  There are lots of good ones at all levels of difficulty.  Then come back with your questions.   


 I think it says quite a bit about you that Jackofalltrades writes a compelling post, stating that he has looked at the facts about both sides, and you instantly assume his information is biased and instruct him to read a book about evolution for his integrities sake. Interesting.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: JBledsoe on Apr 20, 2008, 11:21PM
Either your school failed you or ... well, I'd recommend a good critical thinking course or, preferably, series of courses.
 
Byron

 Again, interesting that your judgement is that Jackofalltrades school has failed him. This would lead us to believe, that after being presented the facts, it is only logical to reject religion. All argument about the validity of the facts aside, its interesting that it seems unless someone takes your viewpoint, they are wrong.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on Apr 21, 2008, 03:58AM
Again, interesting that your judgement is that Jackofalltrades school has failed him. This would lead us to believe, that after being presented the facts, it is only logical to reject religion. All argument about the validity of the facts aside, its interesting that it seems unless someone takes your viewpoint, they are wrong.

You assume in that that rejecting religion cannot be shown to be a logical thing to do. My attempt at a short chain of logic showing why mystical religious belief is illogical:
Assumption 1: 'Occam's Razor' - keep things as simple as possible (but not more simple than possible!)
Assumption 2: religion = religious 'faith'. We could debate minor unimportant aspects of that, but I'm trying to be simple in the name of clarity.
The single step: Adding a religious faith position to my apprehension of the world introduces extra complexity, but doesn't explain anything unexplained in a way that is observable [unobservable explanations do not enhance one's understanding, only one's BS potential].

In terms of understanding, there's no gain for increased effort. That religion is illogical seems pretty clear to me from this. Byron has a tendency to speak bluntly, and sometimes caustically, but you cannot seriously accuse him of not being open to evidence.

In reply to your previous post, you seem to have missed the following line of Tim's reply to Jack:
Quote from: timothy42b
the rest of what you said indicates you don't understand what the theory of evolution actually says

Just because Jackofalltrades said something that you agree with, and expounded on it by dropping in various other BS faux-scientific points, doesn't mean that his post was "compelling"...


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 21, 2008, 05:04AM
Again, interesting that your judgement is that Jackofalltrades school has failed him. This would lead us to believe, that after being presented the facts, it is only logical to reject religion. All argument about the validity of the facts aside, its interesting that it seems unless someone takes your viewpoint, they are wrong.

Curious. That's about the only reasoning error in that post I wasn't referring to. I'd argue that religious belief is in part a failure of reasoning, but I wouldn't say that with a proper education it will necessarily, or even all that likely, be avoided. You seem fixated on the conclusion to the exclusion of the reasoning behind it. I was giving him the benefit of the doubt, by the way. Chances are, to be more coldly objective about it, his school isn't what failed him.
 
Here are some pertinent articles:
Consensus, Skepticism, Crankery, and Faith (http://thinkmonkey.livejournal.com/60028.html)
Your Beliefs vs. the Facts (http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0103/p09s01-coop.html)
On Being A Grown-up and the Meaning of Life (http://thinkmonkey.livejournal.com/62031.html)
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on Apr 21, 2008, 05:39AM

 I think it says quite a bit about you that Jackofalltrades writes a compelling post, stating that he has looked at the facts about both sides, and you instantly assume his information is biased and instruct him to read a book about evolution for his integrities sake. Interesting.

Your criticism of me would be quite valid, if that were what had happened.

He stated that he'd looked at the facts about both sides.  In college.  Okay.  I'm not arguing yet.

He stated that on the basis of the facts he had concluded evolution is wrong.  Okay.  A little unusual, but I'm not arguing yet.

But then he blew it.  He mentioned what some of those facts were.  And none of them are facts, they are all well known and oft refuted fallacies.  I can explain them one by one if you'd like, actually some are pretty much self evident, but that isn't really the OT. 

I guess that doesn't rule out that he ran into some facts that he didn't mention that were more credible, but logic would suggest he would present the arguments he considered strongest.  Noone with actual knowledge of the theory of evolution would present those particular arguments as strong ones.

Therefore I conclude that he does NOT understand the theory.  If he did he would realize why what he presented is wrong.   It may be that his education HAS failed him, or he may simply have misrepresented it.  (If it is indeed a Bible college, one would wonder why - or if - someone convinced of evolution is attending in the first place.)

There are two points to make here:  we have yet to find any - ANY - creationist poster here or on any other forum I'm aware of who has more than a superficial understanding of what evolution involves.  I doubt this is an accident.

Secondly, the particular factoids tend to repeat from poster to poster.  They all come from creationist websites, like ICR, AIG, Dr. Dino, etc.    We've seen them before, discussed them before. They are NOT found in science texts.  Therefore someone who raises these is proclaiming that he a)doesn't understand the theory and b) gets his knowledge from religious sources.

Again, I would say at least make an attempt to learn science from scientific sources and religion from religious sources before assuming you know enough to decide.  Jackofalltrades does not understand evolution well enough to reject it.  Maybe someday he will, I hope so. 


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Elkhart 88H on Apr 21, 2008, 06:25AM
[Addressing poster jackofalltrades]

I believe you, but.......the rest of what you said indicates you don't understand what the theory of evolution actually says.

This is pretty common for people who get their information about it from creationist speakers and literature.  I would suspect you probably entered a Bible college, no?

[Emphasis added and balance of quote snipped]

Classmates.com lists Jack as a member of the Lubbock Christian University class of 1981.  Q.E.D.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 21, 2008, 06:51AM
He stated that on the basis of the facts he had concluded evolution is wrong.  Okay.  A little unusual, but I'm not arguing yet.

 ... though likely expecting more or less what followed.
 
 
Quote from: timothy42b
There are two points to make here:  we have yet to find any - ANY - creationist poster here or on any other forum I'm aware of who has more than a superficial understanding of what evolution involves.  I doubt this is an accident.

Actually I think it's arguable that many of them have a far better understanding than they feign. I think if they have to make such an effort to remain ignorant, particularly as strategically ignorant as is typically the case with creationist/ID types, they really know better. It's the same form of dishonesty as the travelers/soup makers in Stone Soup, or the people in The Emperor's New Clothes--the ability to agree not to see the elephant in the room and to pretend those who don't play along are crazy or foolish. It's an interesting psychological experiment, but on such a large scale, the game being played by so many voters, it's a genuine problem.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BFW on Apr 21, 2008, 07:10AM
It's the same form of dishonesty as the travelers/soup makers in Stone Soup, or the people in The Emperor's New Clothes--the ability to agree not to see the elephant in the room and to pretend those who don't play along are crazy or foolish.

***head spins from mixed metaphors, envisioning naked elephant soup, parading foolishly in the middle of the room***


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 21, 2008, 07:54AM
Eh ... details ...
 
(http://jesusandmo.net/strips/2008-04-17.jpg)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 21, 2008, 10:20AM
........Lubbock Christian University class of 1981.  Q.E.D.

There is a certain sameness about these schools. The method of "teaching" seems to be in misrepresenting an adversary's position, then providing "argument" for why the school's (religion's, etc.) teaching is "superior." This is why I don't think Bible believers are stupid, just too clever by 1/2. They tend to get away with this kind of dishonesty in science, religion (Islam & Catholicism in particular), and even politics  where they can cash in on the general public's trust, lack of information, greed and laziness.

The results of this teaching style are all around us (in America, at least) today.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: skygazer on Apr 21, 2008, 03:45PM
Hi again everyone, I am still following this very interesting dialogue.  However, I must interject.  I thought that the discussion was about comparing science and religion, not making judgements based upon one's background.  So what if the college or secondary school someone went to is supported by a religious body.  For some people that is the only chance to obtain a higher education.  I know several Christians, atheists, agnostics, and others who have graduated from just such institutions and became contributing members of society.  By the way, I attended such a school, and I will also save you the trouble of looking it up.  Mars Hill College, class of '99. Now, will you judge me by my background, or will you judge me by my words and ideas?



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 21, 2008, 05:05PM
Skygazer, I don't think that anybody is attempting to be overly picky about others' educational background. The way I interpret this is that since the topic seems to be revolving around how individuals balance science and religion in their own minds, and since the subject of higher education being a deciding factor for one member came up, educational background is just being figured into the discussion. And even then, it is only coming into play because the poster presented "evidence" of a type that commonly originates from a specific type of learning institution.

FWIW, I think that you will be judged here (if "judged" is even the right term) by what you post, what your ideas and conclusions are, and how you arrived at them. We all come from somewhere, and some of us have ended up pretty far removed from where we began!

Anyway, glad you find the discussion stimulating. I do too. Don't be afraid to contribute your ideas. People disagree here but it mostly stays very civil.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 21, 2008, 05:17PM

 I think it says quite a bit about you that Jackofalltrades writes a compelling post, stating that he has looked at the facts about both sides, and you instantly assume his information is biased and instruct him to read a book about evolution for his integrities sake. Interesting.

FWIW, I don't think BvB made a blind assumption here. It's pretty clear that there are two sets of "facts" about evolution. One set originates from the scientists who study it and the other originates from people who would like to see it discredited. It is very possible for a person to honestly believe that they have objectively studied the issue from both sides when in fact they have been intellectually railroaded into finding a false representation of evolution to be difficult to swallow. I happen to fall into the category of those who at one time fell into this category, so I know what I'm talking about! ;) It's rather like certain card tricks where a person is made to think they are freely choosing a particular card but in reality have been subtley manipulated into choosing it by the magician.

So in encouraging Jack to study evolution independently of his college sources, Byron was intending to be encouraging, not insulting. (I think....)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 21, 2008, 06:07PM
Seems there is dogma in both camps. Trouble is that each side does not want to budge.  :clever: Your ideas are crazy... :dont: no YOUR ideas are crazy. :dontknow:
Now in this type of discussion which I have seen several times, no one gets anywhere, but we do get to sound off.  Discussion is good!  :good:

I'm not exactly sure how long you've been hanging around here but in fact, people do change their minds about things. Ego may make it tough to admit in the heat of argument, but I have changed my tune about a few things as a result of discussions here either directly or as a result of my own research inspired by the discussions. Granted, there are going to be folks that stick to their guns regardless. One of the things I used to be mistaken about was the equality of dogmatism between the "religious" and "scientific" camps. Now certainly there are people in both camps who are more or less open to new ideas than others. But when you really study what the scientific method is all about, you come to realize that accepting new data and changing the model is EXACTLY what science is about. That's why those individuals here who are more in the scientific camp are constantly asking for evidence to support those they are arguing against. It is not from hostility. Rather, it is giving the other person an opportunity to make their case in a way that is meaningful. Totally different perspective!


Quote
Now back to Nazareth...A town in southern Galilee about 15 miles southwest of the Sea of Galilee (kineret) and twenty miles from the Mediterranean westward in the basin of the hills of the lower Galilee.
In Biblical time Nazareth was a small agricultural town settled by few dozen families. The town is not mentioned once in the Old Testament, an insignificant village, too small to be noted in the list of settlements of the tribe of Zebulon (Joshua 19:10-16). Nazareth is not included in the 45 cities of the Galilee that mentioned by Josephus the historian and its name is missing from the 63 towns of Galilee mentioned in the Talmud. It was not expected to have a prophet, a king, or priest to ever come out of Nazareth. This prompted the response of Nathaniel in John 1:46 "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Nazareth was isolated in ancient times because no trade routes ran through the city therefore had no economical value.

Now I really have to apologize for flogging this dead horse again ;), but aren't you doing a good job here of making the case AGAINST Nazareth's existence? You have painted yourself into a corner (but with great and admirable honesty) by affirming that the only evidence it existed (by that name0)in the first century is mention in the NT. But using this logic gets pretty circular. For instance, this could devolve quickly into "Q: How do you know the NT is historically reliable? A: Because it mentions real people and places. Q: How do you know the people and places are real? A: Because they are mentioned in the NT." See how this works? It only holds up if a great deal of faith is applied to the calculation. Now I'm not saying that every person or place mentioned in the NT is false. But certain parts of the Jesus story in the gospels were invented later out of whole cloth to appeal to various groups of people who were recent or potential converts. One of these parts is the story of Jesus's childhood.

Mark, the first gospel, and John, the last to be written mention Jesus's childhood not at all, except a brief mention in Mark of his being "from Nazareth".

In Matthew, we see an effort by the author to create many details of Jesus's early life and travels and then to reference each bit to some OT prophecy with the statement "Thus it was fulfilled....etc.". But many of these details do not add up with what was going on historically in the region.

In Luke, there are many more details presented, except they are not remotely the same as in Matthew. :/  Later, we get the story of his return to Nazareth and his subsequent bum's rush from the place. Somewhat puzzlingly he is very well received in the synagogue at first. (BTW, would a tiny Judean hamlet of a couple hundred probably illiterate farmers even HAVE a synagogue???) Then, after they take kindly to them, he basically tells them that they will hate and dishonor him, which ticks them off and so they do exactly that. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy! They then attempt to give him the bum's rush and throw him from the nearest cliff. I have seen photos of the site where Nazareth is supposed to have been, and there are no cliffs there. Oops again, or maybe just a bit of poetic license. Anyway, I think everybody gets the point by now. ;)




Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: JBledsoe on Apr 21, 2008, 06:13PM


  I just believe that there is little reason for discussion when one side believes the other is wrong because, regardless of their education, they do not believe the same thing that the other side does. Please dont pull this sentence out of context and write a dissertation for me, Ive read my share. I have stated several times that science and religion coexist in mind quite peacefully. What science discovers has no consequence on my belief in a higher power.

  I leave anyone to believe what they wish, and completely understand how someone could come to believe there is not a higher power. In college, I went through a rough time trying to decide what I believed, and trying to make sense of what I learned, and what I had grown up with. Eventually, I came out the other side a believer. I did not go to a religious institution. Quite the opposite actually.


  My reason will though, of course, be flawed because it isnt congruent with that the non-believers have supposedly discovered. Every source is biased in some direction. This just isnt interesting anymore. One person chimes in with something that implies they believe in a set of ideas, and then the rest of the people following this thread descend and tear apart everything they write. This post will probably suffer the same fate.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 21, 2008, 07:20PM

  I just believe that there is little reason for discussion when one side believes the other is wrong because, regardless of their education, they do not believe the same thing that the other side does.
You place a high value on "belief" evidently. And your post indicates , for you, this is all a "battle of beliefs" as it were. It is sad that the difference between fact, inference from facts, opinion and belief has become intentionally blurred in the last 25 years, but I guess this is what we're left with.

FWIW, I, and many others, don't see it in these terms. There is what people know (or could reasonably discover for themselves with a small amount of effort), and there is what people believe (with even contradictory evidence, no evidence) usually because of the source of the belief. We are no different than "primitive" tribes in this way---if the witch doctor, ju-ju man, priest or parent tells us, we will believe it. Dawkins even thinks this a genetic adaptation to keep us from having to re-invent the wheel each generation. But "my son, only plant these seeds after the first full moon after the vernal equinox," (good advice) becomes followed by, "but only after sacrificing a new born kid to Horus." What saves us time also makes us a target for cranks.

Perhaps you don't understand that scientists don't care if you "believe" in evolution, atomic theory, gravity, or quantum physics. I think most of them don't want science and scientists ignored or have astronomy replaced by astrology, chemistry replaced by alchemy, medicine replaced by witch doctors, or paleontology and archaeology replaced by religious myths because people find it easier to believe in demons, spirits, and sky fairies instead of taking the time to learn the language, study and apply knowledge.

Reducing this discussion to a battle of beliefs will not absolve you of ignoring facts, young Jedi.
Quote
I leave anyone to believe what they wish, and completely understand how someone could come to believe there is not a higher power. In college, I went through a rough time trying to decide what I believed, and trying to make sense of what I learned, and what I had grown up with. Eventually, I came out the other side a believer.
Are you surprised? Seriously---by your posts, you had to believe in something, yes?  ;)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BFW on Apr 21, 2008, 07:45PM
I just believe that there is little reason for discussion when one side believes the other is wrong because, regardless of their education, they do not believe the same thing that the other side does. Please dont pull this sentence out of context and write a dissertation for me, Ive read my share. I have stated several times that science and religion coexist in mind quite peacefully. What science discovers has no consequence on my belief in a higher power.

There are plenty of scientists who are religious.  I don't think anyone has indicated otherwise.  They have obviously continued to believe in a higher power despite what science has discovered.  I can't say that science would be of no consequence to their beliefs, but it hasn't eliminated their beliefs.

But I think you are missing a key focus of many of the comments made in response to yours, and those of a number of people on the "religious side" of this discussion.  Incorrect statements about science are being made, and people wish to correct them.  It's not about whether you believe one thing or another, it's a matter of simple fact.  Most of this "tearing apart" is correcting misconceptions.

As I said above, and as has been said many times before, there are scientists who are religious.  They do not necessarily find science and religion in opposition.  However, they also have an accurate understanding of what science is, how it works, what kind of information it needs, what kinds of results it produces.  Some of the people involved in this discussion are, similarly, believers who have a good understanding of science, and some of them have also been correcting misconceptions.

You don't really expect people to let factual inaccuracies stay unchallenged just because they fall into someone's category of belief, do you?  What if I said that my religious beliefs were that flute was better than trombone because you inhale to make a note on the trombone?  Should my belief not be challenged on factual inaccuracy?

Some of us are very concerned that a great many Americans (yes, it's particularly the case in the US) have a very poor understanding of science; not just the subject matter, but what science is.  Some of the major effects (and possibly causes) of this lack of knowledge are the encroaching of religion into scientific topics, an increase in anti-rational attitudes, and an increase in the level of prominence given to pseudo-scientific activities.  All of these things come up in religion topics here, in various ways.

Quote
This just isn't interesting anymore.

Some of us find it interesting.  That's why we participate.  If you don't find it interesting, you don't have to participate.  It is unfortunate that you think that people are just "stating their beliefs" rather than engaging in actual discussion.  I think there is a lot of thoughtful discussion here, if you get past some of the bumps and turns.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 21, 2008, 08:33PM
In Matthew, we see an effort by the author to create many details of Jesus's early life and travels and then to reference each bit to some OT prophecy with the statement "Thus it was fulfilled....etc.". But many of these details do not add up with what was going on historically in the region.
A reasonable inference would be that much of the NT story was written much later than people imagine (circa the 4th century) when it would be possible to cast the rebellious Nazirite or Nazorene as being instead from "Nazareth." The Romans kept rather precise records of these things in order to collect tribute from their subjects. Nazareth doesn't appear in Roman tax rolls until several hundred years after Jesus is alleged to have been born.  Others are quick to point out that crucifixion was a uniquely Roman punishment for political agitators. If he were up on Jewish "religious charges" the sentence would have been stoning to death. Marvin Harris discusses this in his excellent book Cows, Pigs & Witches. I guess it would be too shocking for modern right wing Americans to come to grips with "Jesus, the Insurgent of God."  ;) (and his Mahdi Army? We know Peter was packing heat.......slicing off ears.....)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 21, 2008, 10:13PM
will you judge me by my background, or will you judge me by my words and ideas?

How predictably to they correspond? Are you going to post anything that would provide a connection? Is there some other influence involved you haven't yet mentioned?
 
Dunno yet, because you seem to be pointedly avoiding posting anything you might be called on ... almost as if you're trying to clear others of improprieties you're planning to follow-up on once the path is established ... ?
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Jackofalltrades on Apr 21, 2008, 11:14PM
Sorry, No Bible college! BTW I do not stoop to personal attacks on individuals to prove a point.
As for evolution...as it was explained (by state funded teachers in a state funded school system) to me...Briefly, 1. Something happened (big bang or what ever) and the universe was created. It expanded and pieces flew about in space (where did the space come from I asked my teachers, no answer, it was just there they replied. Where did the matter come from when the bang happened, again no answer, it was just there.) So anyway these cosmic projectiles flew about in space eventually forming planets, stars and all the other stuff in the universe. It is a pretty big universe so this big bang is beyond my comprehension as to how big it really was. It had to be BIG . So there are these planets forming and on this one particular planet (Earth) there was some type of primordial stew. (Now what are the chances that the Earth was exactly the right distance from the right size star and was the right size with the right amount of gravity and right atmosphere to support life as it was then. So here is the evolution thing that began swaying me toward a Devine creation.) ...Back to how it was explained to me in college...The stew  spawns an organism or three. How many cells...we don't know...but it evolved. Now it was also explained that these evolutionary changes that occurred each one was a higher life form than it's predecessors. I really don't like the cartoons making fun of a creature crawling out of the swamp and mocking evolution...this is really unprofessional. But anyway the profs. said "it" came up on land and eventually developed into a land dwelling creature. Was it mammal, reptile, amphibian, bird, fish or ??? We weren't there to see it so we don't know. Scientists speculate amphibian (that would be a logical choice). (My next problem which the profs. never really explained very well was what did these first creatures eat? Others of their own kind or plants? Where were the plants...how did the plants evolve?) So these creatures against all hardships managed to survive and even thrive. So they weren't doing as well as they could so they began adapting by developing different breathing systems, different limbs to become more mobile, and who knows what else they evolved into.
Where did the sentient intelligence evolve from? How can (to put it in basic form) two brains being supported by human bodies sit in chairs facing each other and using the 5 senses hold an intelligent conversation? How can we as humans sit in an orchestra and play music and on an emotional communicate to the audience...HOW DID THAT EVOLVE?   
Now here is my next point...as it was explained to me by the teachers, these evolutionary adaptations were new forms. A new form implies genetic material has to be added to create a new thing.
Here is where things got interesting for me and I began to question what I was being told.
The following is a copy and past as I can not state it any better.

From http://www.physlink.com/Education/AskExperts/ae280.cfm A non biblical web site...
 The first law, a bellwether in the frontier pastures of Thermodynamics, contained one major flaw that rendered it inaccurate as it stood. This law is based on a conceptual reality, one that does not take into consideration limits placed by transactions occurring in the real world. In other words, the first law failed to recognize that not all circumstances that conserve energy actually ensue naturally. As the impracticality of the first law (to describe all natural phenomenon) became apparent, a revision became essential if science hoped fully to understand thermal interactions, and thus keep pace with a machine-driven society.
 The First Law of Thermodynamics is really a prelude to the second. It states that the total energy output (as that produced by a machine) is equal to the amount of heat supplied. Generally, energy can neither be created nor destroyed, so the sum of mass and energy is always conserved. A mathematical approach to this law produced the equation U = Q - W (the change in the internal energy of a closed system equals the heat added to the system minus the work done by the system).
so,  from http://www.allaboutscience.org/second-law-of-thermodynamics.htm
Second Law of Thermodynamics - Increased Entropy
The Second Law of Thermodynamics is commonly known as the Law of Increased Entropy. While quantity remains the same (First Law), the quality of matter/energy deteriorates gradually over time. How so? Usable energy is inevitably used for productivity, growth and repair. In the process, usable energy is converted into unusable energy. Thus, usable energy is irretrievably lost in the form of unusable energy. The law of entropy.
Now I see the scientists are changing these laws!
As far as evolution vs. Creation...we are given THE SAME EVIDENCE. SAME FOSSILS, SAME EARTH STRATA ETC. It is just how one interprets it. As I said before, this is historical science, not observable science.
Now Darwin observed natural selection in the Galapagos Islands, this inspired the initial development of Darwin's "Theory of Origins."
However, many years later, scientists realized that Darwin's basic theory needed work -- "Natural Selection" is a conservative process, not a means of developing complexity from simplicity. As scientists started understanding the nature of genetics, they were forced to update Darwin's original theory. They proposed that Natural Selection, in conjunction with genetic mutation, allowed for the development of all species from a common ancestor. Although true beneficial mutations have never been observed (scientists only observe harmful, "downward" mutations), this is today's general conjecture regarding evolutionary change.
Sorry for the copy and paste, but they say it better than I can, but this is how I feel about this.
Now back to my thoughts. So was Darwin right?
After doing some research, I discovered that Darwin's Book had a very big influence on the future of the world and it's influences on some of the world's well known leaders will never be forgotten.
Hitler Formed his racial and social policies on the evolutionary ideas of survival of the fittest and the superiority of certain ‘favored races’ (as in the subtitle of Darwin’s book).
Pol Pot; from 1975 he led the Khmer Rouge to genocide against his own people in a  regime which was inspired by the communism of Stalin and China’s notorious Mao Zedong. 
Joseph Stalin; after understanding that evolution provided no basis for conscience or morals, felt free to torture and murder to whatever extent he chose to achieve his communist goals.
Leon Trotsky said that Darwin’s ideas ‘intoxicated’ him, and ‘Darwin stood for me like a mighty doorkeeper at the entrance to the temple of the universe.’ ,
Karl Marx wrote that Darwin’s book ‘contains the basis in natural history for our views.’
O.K. now I am going to hear from all of you about the Spanish inquisition  (Please no Monty Python jokes) and other atrocities commited in the name of God.  Yep, us Christians are guilty of bad things too, but the above was to show how evolution doesn't work (for me).


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 21, 2008, 11:21PM
  I thought that the discussion was about comparing science and religion, not making judgements based upon one's background.  So what if the college or secondary school someone went to is supported by a religious body. 

If one recognizes the tree, he will know the fruit it produces. Why would one not consider someone's background when discussing something? Let's say I studied the pre-history of North & South America, particularly when humans inhabited these continents. Discussion might center around DNA, geology (land bridge between Asia and North America), the ability of Polynesians to sail and navigate vast distances, and an analysis of Clovis artifacts ans other artifacts dating as far back as 22,000 years ago. If someone from a Bible college wanders in and declares "you're all wrong, because nothing on earth is older than 6,000 years, and everyone here was scattered about when the tower of Babel fell down," then there is nothing to say to him any more than if another wag came in wanting to know about pre-Colombian pornography. As the poet Robert Graves used to say, 'I can't discuss poetry with someone unless the nature and extent of their interest is similar to mine.' To put it in the kindest possible terms, it isn't possible to discuss science with people who are misinformed or otherwise lack basic information on sientific issues as opposed to religious mythology issues.

I suspect that Bible colleges, too, are not usually the most affordable schools available to most students. I might question anyone who goes to a Bible college to study science in any event----sort of like going to the Adolph Hitler School for the Advancement of Jewish Studies.  


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Jackofalltrades on Apr 21, 2008, 11:28PM
BTW I must be doing something right science wise as my kids are home schooled and my son who is now 13 has entered Science Olympiad the last 4 years and has placed top three in almost all of the events he competed in. This year he competed in an amphibian and reptile classification competition. He and his partner could use a field guide and when they entered the room with all the other teams they were given 50 minutes to go to 25 stations and answer 2 questions at each station. He and his partner didn't have a chance to really study much together before hand, but they took 3rd place. My son had most of it in his head.  :good: See I like science, and I truly believe that science and religion can work together!


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 21, 2008, 11:38PM
Sorry, No Bible college! BTW I do not stoop to personal attacks on individuals to prove a point.
Jack---just a request, but can you use the "quote" button to frame quotes so we know when you're "talking" and when you are quoting as well as giving attribution on your quotes? It is very difficult to respond when everything is run together.  :dontknow: Also---who is telling you the things you're questioning? A professor? An author? A strawman? Where were these classes? Who taught them? You seem quite confused by your college years---especially the meaning of social darwinism, which you seem to equate with genocidal bigots who, like fundamentalist Christians, don't understand Darwin even if they've read him.



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on Apr 22, 2008, 03:08AM
Jack,

You write an awful lot in each post - it makes it hard work to pick out the bones in what you say. Evan has suggested that you format your posts more carefully; I'd like to suggest that you write more concisely, if that's possible.

After doing some research, I discovered that Darwin's Book had a very big influence on the future of the world and it's influences on some of the world's well known leaders will never be forgotten.
Hitler Formed his racial and social policies on the evolutionary ideas of survival of the fittest and the superiority of certain ‘favored races’ (as in the subtitle of Darwin’s book).
[+ other examples]..............

As Evan has pointed out, using this to judge the aptitude of Darwinian selection as an individual survival mechanism is simply not sensible. It's like saying "This apple makes a poor orange"; you're taking an invalid and antiquated extension of Darwin's original theory, and judging the refined modern version of the original theory by it. You also take out of context Darwin's mid-19th-century-English prose ("races" does not mean what you take it to mean here) as the main pillar of your assertion.

The Western world had a fad for the totally unvalidated ideas of Social Darwinism from around 1880 to 1950 (dates very variable depending on location, culture, and individual compassion). I like to think that the Western world has pretty much got over this, having seen the damage that such ideologies have caused - but still I hear people, such as yourself, equating the set of demonstrably incorrect ideas that caused this with the innocent individual concept of Darwinism.

I would like to construct a better US-oriented metaphor for this, along the lines of what GWB has done pervertedly with the foreign policy of his predecessors, but will leave that for somebody better educated on the subject...

I would also like to point out a few fallacies:
As for evolution...as it was explained (by state funded teachers in a state funded school system) to me...Briefly, 1. Something happened (big bang or what ever) and the universe was created

The big bang theory / creation of the universe has got nothing straightforward to do with the theory of evolution.
Conflating the two is something that Christian literalists are often keen on doing - presumably because they have been taught that the universe barely predates us.

where did the space come from I asked my teachers, no answer, it was just there they replied. Where did the matter come from when the bang happened, again no answer, it was just there.

You evidently have a talent for asking probing questions. However, you don't supply us with your explicit conclusion - if I assume that your mental response was "Science is not as good as it thinks it is! It doesn't know every single answer!", would I be seriously misrepresenting you?

Assuming this, I'd like to note that the point, no the glory, of science, is that it doesn't have this instant-gratification I-must-know-all-the-answers-now attitude. It's okay to say "I don't know"! It might seem weak to you, but it is much more honest and long-term rewarding than pretending that you know the answer (which is what religions are designed to do). And it leaves open the possibility that an answer might be found in the future.

It is a pretty big universe so this big bang is beyond my comprehension as to how big it really was. It had to be BIG

The universe now is much larger than it was then. The exact size that it was then is an I-don't-know.

My next problem which the profs. never really explained very well was what did these first creatures eat? Others of their own kind or plants? Where were the plants...how did the plants evolve?

The early history of life is understood very imperfectly. Various conjectures exist among the scientific community that works on this kind of stuff. As I recall, Richard Dawkins gives a couple of plausible scenarios in 'The Blind Watchmaker', a book which is well worth reading.

However - the existence of an I-don't-know here doesn't have any real bearing on the validity of the general theory of evolution; there is confusion as to how it all started - but there is no confusion as to how things move from one step to another. It is not unakin to the idea of 'proof by induction', where you assume a form for one member of a sequence, then prove that that implies that the next member of the sequence will have the same form - you don't need to know how the chain of logic started to know that you can get from where you are to the next link.

Now what are the chances that the Earth was exactly the right distance from the right size star and was the right size with the right amount of gravity and right atmosphere to support life as it was then.

The 'Anthropic Principle': http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle

If these things weren't true, we wouldn't be here talking about it. How many other planets are there out there where these things don't hold? Have they generated life? [N.B. that's another perfectly valid I-don't-know...]

First Law of Thermodynamics...<snip>
Second Law of Thermodynamics...<snip>
Now I see the scientists are changing these laws!

The first statement of the 1st law was given in 1850. The first statement of the 2nd law was actually given earlier than this, in 1824. [Says Wikipedia]

These events occurred long before either of us were born... I suggest that the physical arena of thermodynamics has its house in pretty good order these days.

I don't quite see what's bothering you. Do you get itchy about the theory of gravity because Einstein adjusted it in 1915? Which is after all a more recent change than the one that seems to cause you problems here.

Although true beneficial mutations have never been observed (scientists only observe harmful, "downward" mutations)

Your assertion is wrong. The first answer to a Google search for 'beneficient mutation' was this page, which lists a number of known examples: http://www.gate.net/~rwms/EvoMutations.html
Off the top of my head, I recall that there are people who have immunity to AIDS on the basis of a mutation. Similarly, I understand that there is a particular mutation which is characteristic of people who were immune to the bubonic plagues which ravaged Eurasia during the mediaeval period.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BFW on Apr 22, 2008, 03:33AM
Dave's response is good.  I have a couple of comments to add.

As for evolution...as it was explained (by state funded teachers in a state funded school system) to me...Briefly, 1. Something happened (big bang or what ever) and the universe was created. It expanded and pieces flew about in space (where did the space come from I asked my teachers, no answer, it was just there they replied. Where did the matter come from when the bang happened, again no answer, it was just there.) So anyway ...

This is, as Dave noted, nothing to do with evolution.  It also appears from your description that your teachers did a poor job of answering your questions, and that you were not provided with appropriate reading material to help explain in more depth the current state of cosmology.  It is unfortunate that you take your teacher's failings as failings of science.

It always amazes me that people come up with simple questions like "where did the space come from" or "what did early creatures eat" and think that they are somehow the first people to think about them, or that scientists who study such things somehow never considered them.

Just a guess, but the evidence exists: Were these teachers themselves creationists?  I might expect someone who had a vested interest in making science appear silly and ineffectual to answer as you say they did.

Quote
Now I see the scientists are changing these laws!

That is the whole point.  New evidence can cause changes in theory, or wholesale discarding of theory.  That is a GOOD thing.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: play_louder on Apr 22, 2008, 03:54AM
A really great book I recommend to anyone is Bill Bryson's 'A brief history of nearly everything (http://www.amazon.com/Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1208862215&sr=8-1)'.

It's fantastically entertaining, witty, peppered with interesting anecdotes about various scientists - and more to the point does an excellent job as a 'primer' for all these questions - from the big bang through to the start of live through evolution to us.

All in one accessible volume that rattles along like a good novel. It's worth reading whatever your level of erudition in the sciences, but it especially good for those who are a bit lost in the 'big questions' and can't really see how science goes about answering them - and how it deals with the ones it can't answer.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 22, 2008, 04:15AM
Now certainly there are people in both camps who are more or less open to new ideas than others.

It's noteworthy that the more conservative and/or the more dogmatic, the less often believers are to offer much in the way of sound or new ideas. Some of my very good friends are pretty hard core believers, but none are dogmatic or right winger types. Well, actually I do have some pretty conservative friends who are religious, they're just not dogmatic or fundamentalist types. At any rate, we often have some good discussions. I'm not sure why they haven't admitted they're really atheists or agnostics though ...
 
 ;)
 
Also noteworthy, by the way, is the fact that such people as my aforementioned friends tend to have pretty much the same issues with fundies as I do (and that I had as a believer myself, way back when--of course to fundies, who are only interested in end results and not the hows or whys, that's an endorsement).
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 22, 2008, 05:33AM
I just believe that there is little reason for discussion when one side believes the other is wrong because, regardless of their education, they do not believe the same thing that the other side does.

I can't state this enough ... it's not about belief, it's about epistemology, and I guarantee you that science and religion do not coexist in your mind, they are compartmentalized and separated. They have to be if you practice faith-based religion. There simply isn't an option. Many (maybe most) believers do understand things scientifically in general, but not when it comes to matters of religious faith, by definition. The very fact that your belief in a higher power isn't and cannot be touched by science affirms the fact that these things are compartmentalized and separate in your mind.
 
Everyone leaves everyone else to believe what they wish. Critical analyses and discussion about beliefs and ideas isn't and cannot be somehow refusing others the beliefs they desire. It may, however, present challenges to those who are genuine and sincere in their beliefs (those who are genuinely and honestly interested in what they can best determine is real and true, and who accept the fact that they're unavoidably the last word on their understanding of such things). It's up to each and every individual how they deal with this. Most people simply never go there--there's just no impetus. Their lives are working fine and they're not inherently contemplative enough to delve into it. They have other interests, other things to do. That's absolutely fine, as long as they don't pretend otherwise. Even then, they're free to do so, but if they bring the act into the public domain they need to be prepared to be called on it. They can't expect others to pretend their epistemology and evidence and reasoning are sound because they use the magic word that works on their fellow believers (at least those who are also with their own franchise, or a more or less allied franchise).
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
My reason will though, of course, be flawed because it isnt congruent with that the non-believers have supposedly discovered.

Your reasoning is flawed because it's flawed by objective standards. It's not about being fair. It's not about being politically correct. It's about how reality works. Logic is how reality observably operates. It's not some arbitrary set of rules the "non-believer" philosophers have come up with. Science is applied philosophy, really. It's what engineering is to physics and chemistry (and/or whatever other science/s from which it derives its applications--application derived from theory is what I'm getting at here).
 
If your beliefs are incongruent with proper standards of logic and reason and evidence, then that's something you're going to have to learn to deal with. In my experience most believers do so by disengaging; i.e. ignoring it, pointedly and with some effort in many cases--to their credit in my opinion, at least to a point (it's the tension between integrity and presumption/faith--when a believer manages to silence doubt, he's betrayed himself in a very fundamental sense by suppressing his intellectual integrity; his only real means by which to best understand reality).
 
 
Quote from: EnTransit
Every source is biased in some direction.

No, they're not, no matter how much comfort the notion provides. Reality is not obliged to appease our personal sensibilities. This is the "life's not fair" lesson we expect kids to learn. Adults are expected to understand this. I'd argue that "True Adultstm" have internalized this notion, and religious faith suppresses it. Believers use it as a magic word to excuse the narcissistic choice to "believe" (if that's even really possible) that which reality doesn't provide them sufficient basis to genuinely believe.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 22, 2008, 05:41AM
BTW I must be doing something right science wise as my kids are home schooled and my son who is now 13 has entered Science Olympiad the last 4 years and has placed top three in almost all of the events he competed in.

Very cool!
 
 :good:
 
 
Quote from: Jackofalltrades
See I like science, and I truly believe that science and religion can work together!

Absolutely ... sort of, with a very important caveat. Believers who are scientists compartmentalize and function scientifically when doing science, non-scientifically when "doing" religion (some, very few, religious practitioners don't go there, or only very rarely do--I'd say in this context they're not "believers" but some sort of non-faith-based religious practitioners). Francis Crick is a prominent example of this. He's obviously a damn good scientist, but if you listen to his conversion story (the climax of his testimony ... or to some its punch line) you can't help but recognize how diametrically opposed the mentalities that produce his science vs. his religion.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 22, 2008, 05:52AM
Now I see the scientists are changing these laws!

This is always a telling issue. Creationists who harp of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics demonstrate the fundamental flaw in their approach quite nicely. If the 2nd Law doesn't measure up to observation that doesn't mean therefore a god is behind the scenes monkeying with things, it means we've got the 2nd Law wrong. Besides that fundamental flaw in their reasoning, they're not basing these allegations on honest or careful observations of what's going on in science to begin with.
 
Note that these creationists suddenly put a great deal of stock in science as far as the 2nd Law is concerned. They decide the science is true even though they're arguing it's not, they just don't see it that way. They choose to see it as science is right, and reality doesn't comply, therefore the incongruity is evidence of a god. Science has to be correct for this apologetic to come out the way they want it to, so the 2nd Law is correct. Clearly they shift from this posture when it comes to evolution and wherever science rudely encroaches upon their religious presumptions (i.e. articles of faith).
 
This is a pretty clear cut manifestation of selective perception/strategically applied standards of evidence and reasoning. Ignoring whether or not their observations are valid, what we have here is; the observations don't match the theory = evolution is wrong and the biblical version of creation is right, and, the observations don't match the theory = the theory is right so it tells us God is behind the scenes.
 
Strange how that works out, eh?
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 22, 2008, 06:32AM
Some pertinent Carl Sagan quotes:
Quote from: Carl Sagan
Who is more humble? The scientist who looks at the universe with an open mind and accepts whatever the universe has to teach us, or somebody who says everything in this book must be considered the literal truth and never mind the fallibility of all the human beings involved?
 
The truth may be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with. It may be counterintuitive. It may contradict deeply held prejudices. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what's true. We have a method, and that method helps us to reach not absolute truth, only asymptotic approaches to the truth — never there, just closer and closer, always finding vast new oceans of undiscovered possibilities. Cleverly designed experiments are the key.
 
It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
 
In science it often happens that scientists say, "You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken," and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.
 
Science is a way to not fool ourselves.
 
The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.
 
There are many hypotheses in science which are wrong. That's perfectly all right; they're the aperture to finding out what's right. Science is a self-correcting process. To be accepted, new ideas must survive the most rigorous standards of evidence and scrutiny.
 
Where we have strong emotions, we're liable to fool ourselves.

Just a few of my favorites (thinking about making one of them, or a derivative, a tattoo).
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: puma on Apr 22, 2008, 06:45AM
Sorry, No Bible college! BTW I do not stoop to personal attacks on individuals to prove a point.
They are grasping at straws here. There are plenty out here who recognize the lies in evolution who graduated from 'non-biblical' colleges. I am able to distinguish the quotations in your posts easily and I have master's degrees from Indiana and Johns Hopkins (no Bible teachings in either school). Thanks for the crystal clear posts demonstrating the flaws in the evolution model. That said, I believe there are many good logical arguments on both sides of the issue. The difference, as you have posted already, is in the premise. Starting with the premise of Big Bang, non-life to life, random positive mutations, etc., the logic presented is correct. Starting with a premise of creation of all matter and life, the logic presented is correct.

I agree with you that the dogma exists on both sides. There is nothing wrong with dogma. Those espousing the chance, natural occurence of origins and development deny their dogma. Those espousing creation openly display their dogma. The evolution camp demands evidence yet can not see it when presented. Before they can appreciate the evidence, they apply their blind dogma of billions of years. The creation camp applies their acknowledged dogma of creation and the evidence fits.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: HuskerTX on Apr 22, 2008, 10:31AM
I agree with you that the dogma exists on both sides.

What one person calls dogma, another calls directly observed scientific evidence. Creation has dogma, evolution has said evidence. It's ignorant to start with a hypothesis and attempt to find evidence to fit it. It's kind of like starting a sudoku with all the numbers filled in incorrectly and attempting to find the solution from the random numbers.

And puma,  you get so critical of people who disagree with you, yet you say "the lies inherent in evolution." No one (here, anyway) is calling your religion a lie. So please, don't call science a lie.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 22, 2008, 10:47AM
And puma,  you get so critical of people who disagree with you, yet you say "the lies inherent in evolution." No one (here, anyway) is calling your religion a lie. So please, don't call science a lie.

I call religion a lie, or at least the faith-based aspects.
 
But which side is honest and which is false has nothing to do with fairness, it's about epistemology; upon what basis do they make their claims of knowledge? Science is fundamentally about sound epistemology and religion (specifically creationism here) is all about ducking responsibility for it. Science is hard core about honesty and systematically ensuring there is no presumption going on--no exceptions. Religion is all about the pretense that pure presumption is sound epistemology--no other exceptions than the given franchise.
 
Fairness is irrelevant.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on Apr 22, 2008, 10:51AM
For me, a lie is something that aims to deliberately mislead.
I don't think that most proponents of religion aim to deliberately mislead.

On the other hand, I'm sure some do - those who use it as a tool to control others.

Equally, I find Puma's use of the word 'lie' to describe evolutionary teaching to be less than friendly - and in fact, I *do* consider that he uses it to deliberately mislead, ironically,


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: HuskerTX on Apr 22, 2008, 10:54AM
For me, a lie is something that aims to deliberately mislead.
I don't think that most proponents of religion aim to deliberately mislead.

On the other hand, I'm sure some do - those who use it as a tool to control others.

Equally, I find Puma's use of the word 'lie' to describe evolutionary teaching to be less than friendly - and in fact, I *do* consider that he uses it to deliberately mislead, ironically,

That's what I meant... I should've been more clear. I didn't mean to get into the philosophical connotations of the word lie. I was just kind of offended.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: puma on Apr 22, 2008, 11:12AM
So please, don't call science a lie.
You have misquoted. I said evolution is a lie. Observational science is not a lie. You are equating evolution with observational science. Both creation and evolution are historical sciences, not observational.

Quote from: ABinkard
I was just kind of offended.
You may report offensive posts to the moderators at any time.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: HuskerTX on Apr 22, 2008, 11:56AM
You have misquoted. I said evolution is a lie. Observational science is not a lie. You are equating evolution with observational science. Both creation and evolution are historical sciences, not observational.
You may report offensive posts to the moderators at any time.

I wasn't offended enough to report it. Let me rephrase... I don't think it was tactful to start calling us all liars.

Please stop lumping creation and evolution in the same category. Evolution is not entirely an historical science. A good chunk of evolutionary science is identifying current trends and seeing where they may lead. Also, as you've probably heard a million times before, micro-evolution is completely observable today. Sure, you believe the world is 6,000 years old, but as there's no definite end, (well, maybe 2012 but let's hope not! I want to finish school someday!) what's to say all those little changes won't amount to something big down the road? That's really the whole point of evolution in the first place. It's not like, 100,000 years ago, a chimpanzee gave birth to a human.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Elkhart 88H on Apr 22, 2008, 12:00PM
... Both creation and evolution are historical sciences, not observational.

Wrong on both counts, Puma.  Creation is not science because it has an untestable hypothesis -- actually a dogmatic assertion -- as its basis.  Evolution is supported by a large body of observations of the fossil record.  The appearance of bacterial strains that resist antibiotics provides further observed evidence of natural selection, one of the core hypotheses underlying evolutionary theory.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: puma on Apr 22, 2008, 12:53PM
Wrong on both counts, Puma.  Creation is not science because it has an untestable hypothesis -- actually a dogmatic assertion -- as its basis.  Evolution is supported by a large body of observations of the fossil record.  The appearance of bacterial strains that resist antibiotics provides further observed evidence of natural selection, one of the core hypotheses underlying evolutionary theory.
Creation is also supportable from the fossil record. Both evolution and creation have the same evidence ... in this case, the fossil record. You are correct that creation is an untestable hypothesis and a dogmatic assertion. It is the same for evolution. They are both historical, not observable, concepts.

Natural selection is also accepted by creation scientists. Resistant bacteria does not prove evolution; it proves natural selection. Natural selection involves selecting information that already exists. Natural selection is observable; evolution is not.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BGuttman on Apr 22, 2008, 01:05PM
I think I've said this before and I will continue to say it.

Science is obsessed with finding a model that describes ALL the things we can observe.  As soon as we observe something that doesn't fit the model, we have to find a new one.  That's why when we saw the Photoelectric Effict in the late 1800s we discovered that it created a conflict with Newtonian Mechanics and the Wave Theory of Light (2 models).  What happened?  We came up with a Corpuscular Theory of Light (echoing a model that had been discarded 2 centuries earlier) that explained both the Wave Theory and the Photoelectric Effect.  Plus, we devised Relativistic Theory to describe the apparent problems of the Michelson-Morley effect.

Some people try to examine our model to find a mechanism within it to answer the key question: why is this so?  In some cases we can do that, but in others we have to simply go by inference where we see a series of observations and extrapolate.

If somebody provided some documentary evidence OTHER than the Bible to support the model of creation that was given, and was able using this model to describe all the relevant observations, I'm all ears.  Thus far it's been on the order of "how can we fit these million year old strata into our 6,000 year old earth?  I know.  The Devil did it!"  (** Cue Flip Wilson in his Geraldine outfit **).

We know gravity works because nothing can get off the ground without applying some effort (Douglas Adams' theories to the contrary).  We know the earth is round because people have managed to travel around the world and arrive in the same place by going in one direction only.

We Scientists consider that any valid hypothesis is a valid hypothesis until it fails to explain an observation.  Given the state of knowledge in the year 0, I would consider that Creationism was a valid hypothesis for the time.  But not for now.  Maybe in 100 or 1000 years we will have something that proves Evolution is wrong.  That's fantastic.  Show me the proof and I'll believe.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: HuskerTX on Apr 22, 2008, 01:24PM
Show me the proof and I'll believe.

Here, here.

I've actually been criticized a number of times by creationists for saying that... they say it shows a "lack of foundation" in beliefs. It's just a general lack of understanding and willingness to realize what the scientific method is in the first place.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Elkhart 88H on Apr 22, 2008, 02:03PM
Bruce, I think your karma just ran over Puma's dogma, which explains why the poor thing can no longer stand on its own.  :-)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 22, 2008, 02:10PM
Wrong on both counts, Puma.

You do realize, I hope, that hard core creationist types are not likely to be any less impervious to the 1,400th correction than the previous 1,399.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BGuttman on Apr 22, 2008, 02:13PM
One other thing.

Evolution is a direct corollary to Natural Selecton.  We know that a better species will continue to reproduce and replace a weaker one.  We can measure changes in many species based on lifetimes.  Gregor Mendel (a catholic monk) did this back in the 1500s.  The problem occurs when you try to measure evolutionary changes in things with long lifetimes (trees, humans, elephants, etc.).  We Scientists take the approach that "natura non facit saltus" (Nature makes no leaps) and thus what we observe for one life form can be applied to another.  The problem is that the time scale then comes into conflict with the "young earth" age.  

Another issue comes from "origin of life".  Scientists have created pre-life forms (microspheres) from a "soup" with amino acids, moisture, and lightning.  This is a difficult process at best, but given the enormous time periods that we have identified for the development of life the calculation becomes more like multiplying infinity by zero and coming up with a number.  Again, given the state of knowledge in the year 0, where we don't know that there are other planets orbiting the stars in the sky, it is easy to assume that the Earth is unique in having life, and therefore must have been a special ward of some deity (Wicca, Jupiter, Zeus, Odin, God, Krishna, etc.).  

Unless we can prove that some hyper-intelligent being actually wrote or dictated the Bible (and I have yet to see proof that this is the case; it was written by men who ascribed it to somebody) I fail to see that the Bible is a historical document.  We keep looking for proof.  We find things like a tomb with some bones labeled "Jesus" (is it THAT Jesus?).  We find some evidence of a fishing village in Galilee.  All kinds of things that may support some of the tales in the Bible, but nothing that makes it truly omnicient.

Now when I get to meet the "Big Guy" (and I suspect I won't meet him; I'm going to the other place ;) ) maybe I can ask how much of that book is correct and how much is fabrication or allegory.  Till then I remain unconvinced.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Elkhart 88H on Apr 22, 2008, 02:14PM

You do realize, I hope, that hard core creationist types are not likely to be any less impervious to the 1,400th correction than the previous 1,399.
 
Byron

Unfortunately I do.  The whole exercise is rather like wrestling with a pig.  You both get dirty, but the pig enjoys it.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BGuttman on Apr 22, 2008, 02:18PM
Unfortunately I do.  The whole exercise is rather like wrestling with a pig.  You both get dirty, but the pig enjoys it.

Ahh, but we won't convince the Young Earthers that we have a valid model.  We have to go after the ones who are not Bible Literalists.  These are the people with whom I want to discourse.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: mwpfoot on Apr 22, 2008, 02:40PM
Unfortunately I do.  The whole exercise is rather like wrestling with a pig.  You both get dirty, but the pig enjoys it.

Perfect.

 :good:


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: skygazer on Apr 22, 2008, 03:19PM
Wow!  This thread has really grown since yesterday.  It's getting tough keeping up, especially on dial-up.  I will do my best to try and catch up.

Evan 51, I must respectfully disagree with your view of educational institutions supported by religious groups.  Let me mention two examples.  Joseph Stalin, a seminary drop-out.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, a seminary graduate.  Both men pursued an education through the avenues available to them.  Both men acted on their own conscience in what they believed.  What's the difference?  One chose to do evil, and the other chose to do good. 

Baron Von Bone, I stand corrected.  I have not posted my views on this subject yet.  Being a user of dial-up I must pick my words and times carefully.  Also I think that there may have been a miscommunication.  My statement about judging one on their background was meant more as a challenge.  I view the use of someone's educational background, or general background at all as a bit elitist.  I was hoping that my statement would move the discussion back toward how people view science and religion.

Now to correct the omission of my view of how people collate religion and science in their lives.  I can not presume to speak for any others or any group of people.  I can only speak for myself.  I am one of those folks you meet who 'compartmentalize' science and religion in my life.  I shall elaborate.  I view life as a series of events and challenges to be met and understood.  Education and life experience give you tools to meet life and understand.  For me two of those tools are religion and science.  My personal faith or religion gives me strength, peace, and hope in times of trouble, and it gives me a moral compass to decide which is right and wrong.  Science gives me the ability to learn not only how something works but also why something works.  There are other tools as well, but I hope that my view point is understood.  In my P,O.V,, science and religion are tools.  It is up to those who use them to decide whether it is for good or evil.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 22, 2008, 03:38PM
After doing some research, I discovered that Darwin's Book had a very big influence on the future of the world and it's influences on some of the world's well known leaders will never be forgotten.
Hitler Formed his racial and social policies on the evolutionary ideas of survival of the fittest and the superiority of certain ‘favored races’ (as in the subtitle of Darwin’s book).
Pol Pot; from 1975 he led the Khmer Rouge to genocide against his own people in a  regime which was inspired by the communism of Stalin and China’s notorious Mao Zedong. 
Joseph Stalin; after understanding that evolution provided no basis for conscience or morals, felt free to torture and murder to whatever extent he chose to achieve his communist goals.
Leon Trotsky said that Darwin’s ideas ‘intoxicated’ him, and ‘Darwin stood for me like a mighty doorkeeper at the entrance to the temple of the universe.’ ,
Karl Marx wrote that Darwin’s book ‘contains the basis in natural history for our views.’
What "research" did you do that indicated any of the people you name were influenced in any way by Darwin? Do you have information they read him? That they formed genocidal plans based on Darwin's writing? Do you have any information that Darwin was a proponent of genocide as a way to encourage "natural selection" among the human species? What did Karl Marx do (as opposed to what you assume he did) to be placed among Pol Pot and Stalin? And how does one hold an author accountable for how others after him interpret or understand his writings? That is dishonest and misleading in the extreme. Do you assume responsibility for the genocide of American indigenous people as a Christian? Is God a crap-head because Christians burned witches in Salem? After all---if God inspired these writings He must be a genocidal bigot (and after reading the OT, many have thought so). I have also heard Christians blame Hitler's acts on Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, depending on what author they want to fry on any particular day of the week. How about this, Jack?---Hitler was responsible for Hitler's actions? Fits, doesn't it?

You claim you have read "both sides?" How do know there are only two? At best, it would seem your 3,000 year old Levantine shepherd myths are no better at explaining the origin of man and earth than the Greek, Norse, Roman, Hopi, Navajo, or Flying Spaghetti Monster myths. They may even be quite inferior. And you haven't come even close to proving that a sky fairy created everything out of nothing 6,000 years ago. Not a shred of evidence, except to say--"See? Things exist. Therefore, my God must have created them."

There is also a fatal flaw in your logic, based on the "either-or" thinking that infects your reasoning above. You assume that your stringing together rhetorical science  questions have somehow invalidated scientific conclusions and reasoning of the last 150 years. A pretty egotistical claim in itself, but you go one step further-----that because scientists have questions, ergo, you have "proven" (to your satisfaction) that Hebrew shepherd myths are superior to proving origins of Earth, Life and Man. I.e., because I have raised questions about science, I have proven that the God of the Levantine shepherds created Earth in 7 days about 6,000 years ago. Did you go to Stanislaus State?


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 22, 2008, 03:45PM
Evan 51, I must respectfully disagree with your view of educational institutions supported by religious groups.  Let me mention two examples.  Joseph Stalin, a seminary drop-out.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, a seminary graduate.  Both men pursued an education through the avenues available to them.  Both men acted on their own conscience in what they believed.  What's the difference?  One chose to do evil, and the other chose to do good. 
But really, what does a Georgian seminary of 100 years have to do with American "Bible colleges," Walt? Stalin might have felt quite comfortable at Bob Jones University (although I suspect he would object to your characterization that he "chose to do evil"--rather like Bush), but you're comparing apples and oranges. I wouldn't even use MLK's education as a valid comparison to the typical evangelical Christan Bible school education that has sprung up in the last 40 years. From nobelprize.org

Quote
Martin Luther attended segregated public schools in Georgia, graduating from high school at the age of fifteen; he received the B. A. degree in 1948 from Morehouse College, a distinguished Negro institution of Atlanta from which both his father and grandfather had graduated. After three years of theological study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania where he was elected president of a predominantly white senior class, he was awarded the B.D. in 1951. With a fellowship won at Crozer, he enrolled in graduate studies at Boston University, completing his residence for the doctorate in 1953 and receiving the degree in 1955.
Boston University is not an evangelical Bible school, but a highly regarded, legitimate and honored institution.
Quote
Boston University was chartered in 1869 by Lee Claflin, Jacob Sleeper, and Isaac Rich, three successful Methodist businessmen whose abolitionist ideals led them to envision and create a university that was inclusive—that opened its doors to the world—and engaged in service to and collaboration with the city of Boston.

From the day of its opening, Boston University has admitted students of both sexes and every race and religion. It is with pride that we count Martin Luther King, Jr. among our alumni. What makes us prouder still is the fact that when he received his doctorate from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1955, Dr. King was taking his place in a long line of individuals that stretches back to the University’s founding. Other notable alumni include the first woman to earn a Ph.D., the first woman admitted to the bar in Massachusetts, the first Native American to graduate with a doctorate in medicine, and the first African-American psychiatrist in the United States.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 22, 2008, 03:52PM
I've actually been criticized a number of times by creationists for saying that... they say it shows a "lack of foundation" in beliefs. It's just a general lack of understanding and willingness to realize what the scientific method is in the first place.

Science: study, then believe
Religion: believe, then study


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BGuttman on Apr 22, 2008, 04:28PM
...
 Boston University is not an evangelical Bible school, but a highly regarded, legitimate and honored institution.

Please do not confuse Boston University, which is a private non-affiliated college, with Boston College, which is run by the Catholic Church.  Boston College has a stellar academic record and could not be considered a "Bible College" either.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BFW on Apr 22, 2008, 04:39PM
Evan 51, I must respectfully disagree with your view of educational institutions supported by religious groups.

Evan mentioned Bible colleges, not educational institutions supported by religious groups.  There are many in the latter category that are fine schools for studying science.  It is questionable whether the same claim can be made about any in the former category.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 22, 2008, 05:02PM
Please do not confuse Boston University, which is a private non-affiliated college, with Boston College, which is run by the Catholic Church.  Boston College has a stellar academic record and could not be considered a "Bible College" either.

I'm not confused.
BC=catholics playing football

BU=smart guys who don't

right? :D ;)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 22, 2008, 05:27PM
Evan mentioned Bible colleges, not educational institutions supported by religious groups.  There are many in the latter category that are fine schools for studying science.  It is questionable whether the same claim can be made about any in the former category.
Yes, exactly---I apologize if it wasn't clear. But I freely admit I would question the bona fides of a Bob Jones or Oral Roberts University graduate who inserted himself into an internet discussion claiming to be an expert in Evolution.

Some years  ago I went to a lecture by a Georgia Bible college professor claiming to be an expert in Islam and the Koran. Now---I had a minor in Middle East studies and  although I don't claim to be an "expert"---two+ years Arabic, two in anthropology, history and comparative religion courses comprised my minor. The lecturer neither wrote nor spoke even a word of Arabic, derived his expertise from works by people even less qualified than he, and seemed to be unaware of even the basic tenets of Islam, Judaism and the history of his own religion. Yet by virtue of his PhD from Billy Jo Bob Bible College he is an "expert" in religion. If this is what the school specializes in, I'd shudder to think what kind of science these hapless students receive at the hands of these poseurs.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 22, 2008, 05:35PM
Creation is also supportable from the fossil record.
"Supportable" in what sense? How does the fossil record support the creation hypothesis? Did The Supreme Being leave his fingerprints on the dinosaur fossils? And supportable by whom? Why do you think the fossil record is still important after newer methods of tracing evolution?

How long does it take completely form a fossil? When did all the dinosaurs die according to the creation hypothesis?


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: mwpfoot on Apr 22, 2008, 05:46PM
"Supportable" in what sense? How does the fossil record support the creation hypothesis? Did The Supreme Being leave his fingerprints on the dinosaur fossils? And supportable by whom? Why do you think the fossil record is still important after newer methods of tracing evolution? How long does it take completely form a fossil? When did all the dinosaurs die according to the creation hypothesis?

Each of these questions is valid and on point, but they help those who specifically want to corrupt science by enabling the conversation to continue. I anticipate all the standard logical fallacies will be raised again, sourced to Answers In Genesis. Elkhart 88H nailed it. Whee! Are you the farmer, the pig, or the s***?

The conversation between established Creationists and those with a good grasp of science is over. It's sad. Everything that could be said by each side has been said and some. I suppose there is some point to having it again and again to preach to those that are somewhere in the middle. I jump in every now and then with this in mind. But this is the Creationist missionary industry we're dealing with and those that argue for science in an open forum are part of the plan. They allow the alternative to be presented presumably on the same level, even though scientifically it's not even... well, science.

 :clever:


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 22, 2008, 06:48PM
Science: study, then believe tentatively
Religion: believe, then study tentatively

Just a little edit there I thought called for ...
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 22, 2008, 06:54PM
The conversation between established Creationists and those with a good grasp of science is over. It's sad. Everything that could be said by each side has been said and some.

These are the very same people who, if they lived in the early 17th century, would have been all about imprisoning or even executing Galileo.
 
Intellectual cowards.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Lawrie on Apr 22, 2008, 08:38PM
G'day all,
I only just discovered this thread - it's way too long to absorb in one sitting...

However, I do have a couple of observations...  From my perspective as a Christian.

First - there is lots of stuff I don't know but I'm open to learn.  That said, I don't necessarily accept the first "explanation" that seems to answer whatever question may have arisen.  I'm constantly questioning "interpretation".  Particularly when I think the other person has an agenda that may not be consistent with my own beliefs ;)

OK, I read several comments about there being no faith in science.  Sorry to disappoint you but the very foundations of all science is in faith.  Now, before anyone gets all upset let me explain my position.

To start, anyone with any scientific or mathematical training will recognise these:
   
Euclid's axioms
01    Given two points there is one straight line that joins them.
02    A straight line segment can be prolonged indefinitely.
03    A circle can be constructed when a point for its centre and a distance for its radius are given.
04    All right angles are equal.
05    If a straight line falling on two straight lines makes the interior angles on the same side less than two right angles, the two straight lines, if produced indefinitely, meet on that side on which the angles are less than the two right angles.

Euclid's common notions
06    Things equal to the same thing are equal.
07    If equals are added to equals, the wholes are equal.
08    If equals are subtracted from equals, the remainders are equal.
09    Things that coincide with one another are equal.
10    The whole is greater than a part.

The first five refer specifically to plane geometry and are for this discussion irrelevant.  BUT the second five...  They are called "Common notions" because they are common to ALL the sciences.

Now, a basic tenet of science is proof.  I challenge you to prove the common notions (6 to 10).  Of course, you can't...  That's why they're listed with Euclid's axioms.  They are self evident - any thinking person can see they're correct, BUT THEY MUST BE TAKEN ON FAITH.  Therefore, I claim all science is founded on the faith that these common notions are true.  Faith is faith wherever you find it.

===========

There also seemed to me to be another accepted assumption that all scientists are above reproach and are thus completely honest in their reporting.  Sorry, there are enough reports in the media to dispel this myth too. 

This is particularly obvious in the area of "evolutionary science".  A discipline that I hesitate to even consider science and where I am very sceptical.  Near as I can see there has NEVER been any demonstrated instance where genetic information has been GAINED in the genome of a population (without genetic engineering - which is another questionable practice IMHO).  All species diversification has resulted from a REDUCTION in data in the genome of a population, not an increase.

===========

There was also a series of comments on creation, "something from nothing" seemed to be the thrust...  This may not mean anything to many of you, but it certainly piqued my thought processes:
Many years ago I had been reading an electronics magazine that was reporting on changes in the "status" of certain sub atomic particles.  Of particular interest at the time was the electron.  It became evident that the electron needed to be considered a "wavicle" because of its behaviour in certain circumstances.  This status makes it impossible for the electron to actually be a "particle" or it could never behave as a wave.  So, one of the basic building blocks of matter just lost its "solidity" if you will.  BTW, any physicist will tell you that matter is mostly "empty space".

Anyhow, at about the same time I had heard a message in church relating to the creation story and great emphasis was placed on the fact that in all the creation story things only happened as a result of God speaking things into existence.  This tickled me as it corresponded with the article I had just read about the electron.  Maybe all matter was like the electron - a waveform in space/time.  God spoke.  How fascinating!

It gets better - in the intervening 30 plus years since I read that article, string theory has erupted on the scene and guess what!  Current theory is that EVERYTHING is made up of energy strings, there are NO solid particles...  Hmmm, could it be that these strings are "the sound of God's voice"...?

===========

I am not particularly trying to convince anyone to suddenly change their belief system or anything here, BUT what I hope I have demonstrated is that there are usually equally viable alternatives to interpretations of scientific discovery that does NOT exclude God.  And for those times there aren't alternatives it is probably only because no-one has taken the time to pray and think about them.

It may be of interest to some of you that many (most?) scientific discoveries were made by good Christian men because they believed God was not "notional" but had set the universe in place with an order to everything.  Read up on how much of the table of elements was discovered - men went looking for the "missing" elements 'cos they believed God would NOT have left the "holes" that had, till then, been left unfilled.  This is a matter of record, not just my opinion...

There is no real discontinuity between science and Christianity, just between interpretations...

===========

One more comment and I'm done:
Lawrie's preferred definitions:

Religion: Man's attempts to reach a god, any god...

Christianity: God's method for reaching man.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Jackofalltrades on Apr 22, 2008, 09:56PM
Evan51 wrote:
Quote
What "research" did you do that indicated any of the people you name were influenced in any way by Darwin? Do you have information they read him? That they formed genocidal plans based on Darwin's writing? Do you have any information that Darwin was a proponent of genocide as a way to encourage "natural selection" among the human species? What did Karl Marx do (as opposed to what you assume he did) to be placed among Pol Pot and Stalin? And how does one hold an author accountable for how others after him interpret or understand his writings? That is dishonest and misleading in the extreme. Do you assume responsibility for the genocide of American indigenous people as a Christian? Is God a crap-head because Christians burned witches in Salem? After all---if God inspired these writings He must be a genocidal bigot (and after reading the OT, many have thought so). I have also heard Christians blame Hitler's acts on Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, depending on what author they want to fry on any particular day of the week. How about this, Jack?---Hitler was responsible for Hitler's actions? Fits, doesn't it?
Darwin didn't know the implications of his writings, I would not doubt Darwin would not endorse such actions, but it fueled the fire in the minds of these tyrants. Perhaps they were mentally unstable and this was one of the triggers that sparked a forest fire. Each tyrant was responsible for his actions, but it seems there is a common thread.

From Landmarks in the Life of Stalin   “At a very early age, while still a pupil in the ecclesiastical school, Comrade Stalin developed a critical mind and revolutionary sentiments.  He began to read Darwin and became an atheist.”

    G. Gludjidze, a boyhood friend of Stalin’s relates:  “I began to speak of God.  Joseph heard me out, and after a moment’s silence said: ‘You know, they are fooling us, there is no God....’”               

    Gludjidze reported: “I was astonished at these words.  I had never heard anything like it before.  How can you say such things, Soso?” he asked Stalin, who replied:

    “I will lend you a book to read: it will show you that the world and all living things are quite different from what you imagine, and all this talk about God is sheer nonsense.”

    “What book is that?” his friend inquired.

    “Darwin.  You must read it,’ Joseph impressed on me.”

    A few pages later, another person who was in school with Stalin, said of what they were taught:

    “...in order to disabuse [i.e., free from deception or error] the minds of our seminary students of the myth that the world was created in six days, we had to acquaint ourselves with the geological origin and age of the earth, and be able to prove them in argument; we had to familiarize ourselves with Darwin’s teachings.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Marx’s main writings were his three volume tomes entitled, Das Kapital. He dedicated it to Charles Darwin.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Lenin was “...a confirmed atheist, dedicated to the destruction of...all religious worship...he regarded Christ with undisguised hatred.”
On his desk Lenin had a statue displayed in a “prominent position for all to see...its vivid presence dominated the room.”  (What kind of statue?)
It was a “...bronze statue of an ape gazing at an oversized human skull.”  This symbolized the evolutionary core of Lenin’s atheism.  It further symbolized the core of Marx’s Communism which Lenin set about imposing on Russia and much of the rest of the world.  When Lenin died in 1924, control of the Soviet Union passed to Joseph Stalin.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Another name for Communism has always been “Scientific Materialism”.  This concept rests on two beliefs: First--as Friedrich Ingles (Marx's side-kick) made clear--"Communist physics permits no inertia in the cosmos, i.e., the stationary earth in Bible teaching is forever anathema and the Copernican cosmology  is forever true science."  Second, man is an accidentally evolved animal who has no spiritual needs.  His needs are only material ones, and “science”, not God, will fulfill those needs.  “Religion is the opiate of the masses,” as Marx put it.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Jackofalltrades on Apr 22, 2008, 10:31PM
O.K. I'm throwing out a term and a definition as best as I understand it. Please correct me if I am wrong. I want to see fi we are on the same page.
Evolution is aprocess where a life form progresses from a lesser or weaker form to a better form. This, as shown in the fossil records according to evolutionary science has resulted in life forms evolving from single cell animals to what we have today. This as I was taught is college is a step from one life form (i.e. Dinosaurs) to another (i.e. birds) Is this correct as taught by evolutionary science?
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There is ONE thing that bothers me and that is scientists (on both side of the debate), teachers and others who use the terms evolution, mutation and adaptation in the wrong context.
An example of this was when I was at the exploratorium (in San Francisco) where they had a fish tanks full of goldfish. There were various types of goldfish. The common feeder fish, ones with various color changes, ones with bubble eyes and some others. They explained that this was a good example of evolution. I questioned one of the staff and asked if this was evolution, why were they all still gold fish, wasn't this actually mutation? I was given an apology and was told they would find out who put up the display and research it more and correct their definitions.



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: play_louder on Apr 22, 2008, 10:34PM


Euclid's common notions
06    Things equal to the same thing are equal.
07    If equals are added to equals, the wholes are equal.
08    If equals are subtracted from equals, the remainders are equal.
09    Things that coincide with one another are equal.
10    The whole is greater than a part.

They are called "Common notions" because they are common to ALL the sciences.

Now, a basic tenet of science is proof.  I challenge you to prove the common notions (6 to 10).  Of course, you can't...  That's why they're listed with Euclid's axioms.  They are self evident - any thinking person can see they're correct, BUT THEY MUST BE TAKEN ON FAITH.  Therefore, I claim all science is founded on the faith that these common notions are true. 


Nope, not really. Not all of those common notions are true for all types of mathematics. The last one, for example, can be shown to be incorrect when considering modulo arithmetic (which wasn't formally described until about 2000 years after Eucild wrote his Elements). In that sense they are no different from the postulates; they are merely definitions (axioms) on which the following work is based, much as you might define your terms at the start of an essay.

The ones that deal with equality are also interesting; the concept of equality has also expanded (or at least become more sophisticated) as mathematics has evolved. To begin a piece of work by first outlining what definition of 'equals' you are using is not taking anything on faith - rather it is an essential part of laying the groundwork before you start - to ensure consistency in your deductions. You clearly can't change your definition of 'equals' half way though something for convenience.

What Euclid is doing is saying at the start 'here is the mathematical universe I am using; here is the mathematical behaviour I am assuming'. What follows should then be consistent with that universe. If it happens that the axioms appear self-evident and it also offers a good fit for how things behave in the real world, then we have a working model about the real world, and perhaps some confidence that our initial axioms were correct. That's how science works. No-one is stopping you proving any of Euclid's axioms incorrect. if you were to do so, you'd be famous. For than matter, no-one is stopping you forming alternative axioms of your own, and building a version of mathematics on top of it. if you did that, you might be a bit less famous, but other mathematicians might be interested!

You dismiss the geometrical postulates, but also they kind of answer the question. The last postulate - essentially that parallel lines never meet - has been shown to be untrue in the real work. We live in a non-Euclidean universe (and we have Einstein to thank for that!). I'm sure Euclid would have been astonished to know this. Nevertheless, it doesn't make his work invalid - merely makes it applicable only in the abstract, rather than in the 'real' world (luckily for us, the real world is close enough to Euclidean for us to rarely need to draw parallel lines so long they are in danger of meeting...!).


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Jackofalltrades on Apr 22, 2008, 10:43PM
BTW Evan51, colleges attended...Merced J.C., Lubbock Christian College (one semester, no science classes, just music and the basics), and TAA DAA Sonoma State (I lived in Healdsburg for several years)! If this really matters  :dontknow: (is the BoHo club still going?)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 22, 2008, 11:04PM

From Landmarks in the Life of Stalin   “At a very early age, while still a pupil in the ecclesiastical school, Comrade Stalin developed a critical mind and revolutionary sentiments.  He began to read Darwin and became an atheist.”
The quotes you provide still don't indicate that Darwin's writing had anything to do with social darwinism, that Stalin believed in or practiced it, or that he used Darwin's book for any other purpose than countering religious mythology in Russia.

Karl Marx was never the leader/ruler of a country, nor can it be said he practiced "social darwinism."

It would seem you owe all of these men an apology (as well as Darwin).

However, there are many contemporaries here in our own country who practice social darwinism------GWB, Cheney, Christians who believe people are poor because they deserve to be, Christians who believe AIDS is a punishment for homosexuality, corporatists who send our jobs to China and wonder why people can't afford their house payments----they are right here. Bush, sr., Kristol, Wolfowitz, et al are involved in Hegelian dialectic (to the left of Marx).


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Daniel Sheard on Apr 22, 2008, 11:23PM
Many years ago I had been reading an electronics magazine that was reporting on changes in the "status" of certain sub atomic particles.  Of particular interest at the time was the electron.  It became evident that the electron needed to be considered a "wavicle" because of its behaviour in certain circumstances.  This status makes it impossible for the electron to actually be a "particle" or it could never behave as a wave.  So, one of the basic building blocks of matter just lost its "solidity" if you will.  BTW, any physicist will tell you that matter is mostly "empty space".


Erm, quantum/wave mechanics.  And it is all "particles" which exhibit this kind of behaviour, if you look sufficiently closely.  About 80+ years ago, but I don't see any relevance to this discussion.

The point is being made again and again that "there is only a loss of genetic information with time".  But there are mechanism by which information can be created.  DNA/chromasomes are full of repeated segments, created in various ways such as transposons, splicing, etc.  Mutations in these can result in new information.



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Daniel Sheard on Apr 22, 2008, 11:29PM
Creation is also supportable from the fossil record. Both evolution and creation have the same evidence ... in this case, the fossil record. You are correct that creation is an untestable hypothesis and a dogmatic assertion. It is the same for evolution. They are both historical, not observable, concepts.


There is a mahoosive difference though.  "Creation science" was not deduced by anybody looking at fossil records, geology, biology, physics, or any other physical study.  It is based on a book and possible sayings of other Christians.  If future observations are found which are inconsistent, the observations will need to be "interpreted" to fit, as have many prior observations.

Real science, call it "evolution science" if you must (although needing to use both words is a sign of your agenda) was derived and developed from observations and study only.  If future observations come along which do not fit the model, it will be changed.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Piano man on Apr 22, 2008, 11:50PM
I've got a problem with people (like Ben Stein) who argue against Darwinism based on the results of Social Darwinism. It's fallacious on several counts.

First, Darwin didn't advocate eugenics. He recognized the potential for improving the species, but thought human compassion should be held as a higher value. Social Darwinists and eugenicists have distorted Darwin's ideas.

Second, it's the old "Hitler" fallacy. Hitler did it so it must be bad. Gets trotted out all the time: "First thing Hitler did was register all the guns" or whatever. "Hitler admired Darwin and was influenced by him". Following the same reasoning, oil painting is bad because Hitler did it.

Third, and most importantly, Darwin's theory is either true or not. It's not a social proposal, it's a description of the way the world might work. Arguing against the veracity of Darwinism based on unfortunate results (such as Hitler's eugenics) makes no more sense than casting doubt on Newton's theory of gravity because gravity causes people to fall and hurt themselves. Describing the way you think something is is different from describing the way you think something should be.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Daniel Sheard on Apr 23, 2008, 12:15AM


Second, it's the old "Hitler" fallacy. Hitler did it so it must be bad. Gets trotted out all the time: "First thing Hitler did was register all the guns" or whatever. "Hitler admired Darwin and was influenced by him". Following the same reasoning, oil painting is bad because Hitler did it.


Its moustaches.  Hitler, Stalin, Saddam.  That's the link.  Anybody with a moustache should be rounded up and shot in self defence.  Mao also had a moustache, but was canny enough to hide it under make-up so nobody has twigged.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Elkhart 88H on Apr 23, 2008, 04:43AM
... Second, it's the old "Hitler" fallacy. Hitler did it so it must be bad. Gets trotted out all the time: "First thing Hitler did was register all the guns" or whatever. "Hitler admired Darwin and was influenced by him". Following the same reasoning, oil painting is bad because Hitler did it. ...

Don't forget that Hitler loved Wagner's music, so all those Wagnerian operas with the great brass writing must be bad as well.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 23, 2008, 05:26AM
Evolution is a process where a life form progresses from a lesser or weaker form to a better form.

Nope.
 
Evolution can be summed up as "what works survives." Sometimes simpler is more survivable, sometimes natural selection forces a reversion, etc.
 
What are your primary sources for your education regarding evolution? Maybe that's where the misinformation lies?
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 23, 2008, 05:31AM
Because this can't be stressed enough ...
 
Honesty and Intellectual Integrity/Responsibility 101: how they apply to source information and such (or: Honesty and Intellectual Integrity/Responsibility 101: Why Hard Core Creationists and ID Types Have None):
Consensus, Skepticism, Crankery, and Faith (http://thinkmonkey.livejournal.com/60028.html)
Your Beliefs vs. the Facts (http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0103/p09s01-coop.html)
On Being A Grown-up and the Meaning of Life (http://thinkmonkey.livejournal.com/62031.html)
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 23, 2008, 07:52AM
Evan51 wrote:Darwin didn't know the implications of his writings, I would not doubt Darwin would not endorse such actions, but it fueled the fire in the minds of these tyrants. Perhaps they were mentally unstable and this was one of the triggers that sparked a forest fire. Each tyrant was responsible for his actions, but it seems there is a common thread.
Oddly, you fail to mention the one other book that all of these men would have read, Hitler and Stalin especially as religious students. I'm talking about that book that actually does advocate genocide, murder, as well as child sexual, physical and emotional abuse. Alex,----I'll take the Old Testament for $500.

You might consider that nearly all of the intellectuals of the day would have read Darwin, the Bible, John Donne and others in much the same way people read popular works today, both serious and entertaining.  It was part of the Zeitgeist of their times. Who knows? A hundred years from today your religious inheritors will probably be blaming Harry Potter for the decline of Western civilization.Has it occurred to you that in addition to the handful of men you claim were influenced by Darwin, there were tens of thousands of men and women who read Darwin, led normal, even exemplary lives, were inspired to look at issues of science, learning and sociology and were able to free themselves and others from coercive agencies claiming the right to control the destiny of the human race? Do you know that Darwin's research spurred others to examine the human brain, how it works, and examine the nature and origin of consciousness? Contrasted to your innuendo and convoluted reasoning, the explosion of learning that followed from Darwin's work was real.

And in The Descent of Man Darwin has, for many of the "experts" in social Darwinism, a surprising message-----the test for biologocal success is reproduction, not survival. For, after all, what is the point of being the "fittest"  if you don't reproduce? Hence, the exhaustive study of animals' sexual characteristics. Darwin was, of course, limited in his understanding of genetics and by the research of those who went before him. IOW, the true test of a social Darwinist would not be how good he is at killing (not to take anything away from the Christians who show a marked propensity for this), but how good of a lover he is! Not to put a damper on the excitement and thrills Ben Stein has created among the creationists, but you're all way, way off base. C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 23, 2008, 11:42AM

Just a little edit there I thought called for ...
 
Byron

Good edit! :good:


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: marty nichols on Apr 23, 2008, 03:18PM

  I just believe that there is little reason for discussion when one side believes the other is wrong because, regardless of their education, they do not believe the same thing that the other side does. Please dont pull this sentence out of context and write a dissertation for me, Ive read my share. I have stated several times that science and religion coexist in mind quite peacefully. What science discovers has no consequence on my belief in a higher power.

  I leave anyone to believe what they wish, and completely understand how someone could come to believe there is not a higher power. In college, I went through a rough time trying to decide what I believed, and trying to make sense of what I learned, and what I had grown up with. Eventually, I came out the other side a believer. I did not go to a religious institution. Quite the opposite actually.


  My reason will though, of course, be flawed because it isnt congruent with that the non-believers have supposedly discovered. Every source is biased in some direction. This just isnt interesting anymore. One person chimes in with something that implies they believe in a set of ideas, and then the rest of the people following this thread descend and tear apart everything they write. This post will probably suffer the same fate.

I just thought this might be an appropriate place to let any unbelievers know what God has said about them:

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world 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 that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

This was written to believers in Rome, and to believers today. Note well  that the believers once were the same as those who "hold the truth in unrighteousness." The same letter to Rome explains that "all" were the same before God--- sinners. What made the believers in Rome different was that they had believed the good news preached to them and had thus escaped "the wrath to come."

All have been reconciled to God by the cross and resurrection. Only believe!


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 23, 2008, 03:22PM
One other thing.

Evolution is a direct corollary to Natural Selecton.  We know that a better species will continue to reproduce and replace a weaker one.  We can measure changes in many species based on lifetimes.  Gregor Mendel (a catholic monk) did this back in the 1500s.  The problem occurs when you try to measure evolutionary changes in things with long lifetimes (trees, humans, elephants, etc.).  We Scientists take the approach that "natura non facit saltus" (Nature makes no leaps) and thus what we observe for one life form can be applied to another.  The problem is that the time scale then comes into conflict with the "young earth" age.
Yes. The whole process of adaptation leading to longer life and more opportunities to reproduce over billions of years is imperceptible in the lifetime of any one of us. And not just for lifeforms with longer lives. The oft-cited moth example may be misunderstood in that the moths may have already developed the ability to change colors which lies dormant until needed due to outside stressors. A departure from the "slow but steady wins the race" may occur during rapid change-----levels of radiation, methane or oxygen, rapid climate change or even, as scientists now believe, the simple act of standing upright upon the development of the human brain.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: play_louder on Apr 23, 2008, 04:16PM
Another thing worth considering in the context of understanding evolution is the concept of 'species'.

'Species' is a useful everyday term for categorising things. Dogs are different from cats and bananas. It certainly helps from a linguistic and taxonomic perspective.

However, since the discovery of DNA and genes, the whole issue of species has become rather blurred. Species which look the same have turned out to be different, and vice-versa. The discovery of various 'ring' species shows some of the traditional species categorisations (traditionally based around the ability to interbreed successfully to the second generation) don't really work.

Some naturalists and geneticists are questioning the whole basis for how we view 'species', and what it means, preferring to see life set out on a continuum with no clear delineation (other than the arbitrary ones we impose for taxonomic purposes). In essence, it says that it is extremely unlikely that an organism that develops a mutation is going to be unable to breed with others lacking that mutation. Dawkins' puts it well in his book 'The Ancestor's Tale', pointing out you would be able to breed with your genetic ancestor, and that ancestor with it's predecessor and so on all the way back to the first sexual coupling of two bacteria-like creatures in the primordial ooze. Where do you draw the 'species' lines in that continuum, other than arbitrarily?

Then, of course, the whole notion falls apart further when considering organisms that don't reproduce sexually. How do you classify one 'species' of amoeba vs another? Amoeba's can't interbreed full stop.

It's a fascinating area, and well worth exploring - it's pertinent to the debate, as 'creationists' like to hold up the species divide as an example of why evolution doesn't work. Unbeknownst to them, and somewhat ironically, geneticists are busy dismantling that very divide.

It's another example, in a way, of 'creationists' holding one scientific tenet to be true (the traditional definition of species) in order to support their position. Problem is, like so much of science, as understanding develops many of these tenets are updated, refined or even turned on their head. That pesky science, eh! Never stays still long enough to build a decent argument...


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 23, 2008, 05:28PM
I just thought this might be an appropriate place to let any unbelievers know what God has said about them:

Quote
They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah (himself) said: O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Lo! Whoso ascribeth partners unto Allah, for him Allah hath forbidden paradise. His abode is the Fire. For evil doers there will be no helpers.---From the Holy Quran, Sura V, verse 72. Pickthall translation.
My advice-----when attempting to speak for God, always make sure you have the latest version. Religious texts become superseded you know.  :clever:


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 23, 2008, 05:38PM
I just thought this might be an appropriate place to let any unbelievers know what God has said about them ...

[comical villainous Russian accent, a-la Boris & Natassia]
 
Love me ... or I vill crush you!
 
For all time.

 
 
You really need to learn that it's pretty hard to scare adults by telling them the Boogey Man is going to get them. To those of us with the intellectual integrity to maintain appropriate standards of epistemology (and for many of us, who have also overcome some of the most rabidly popular errors of our socialization) that's precisely what "God is going to get you" is. You may be scared of that particular boogey man, but we're not--no more than Bigfoot or the evil aliens or whatever other fictional nasties you can come up with. Going with that strategy is only going to frustrate you.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Lawrie on Apr 23, 2008, 05:52PM
G'day play_louder,
the common notions are called common notions 'cos they ARE common to all the sciences - not opinion, matter of record.

As I understand it the reason for their existence was Euclid's contribution of codifying assumptions that everyone was already making.  To provide a consistent set of rules if you will.  The fact remains that they are foundational assumptions that cannot be proven.  If you cannot prove it but you rely upon it, then it becomes an article of faith, by definition.

If you want to introduce alternate mathematics (your example of modulo) then the rules that apply still have basic assumptions that must be taken on faith.  You can define 'em, you can't prove 'em.

I excluded the geometrical axioms 'cos they apply specifically to gometry, NOT all the sciences in the way the common notions do.  I also recognise the alternatives to Euclid's 5th which allow for obtuse and acute geometry.

However, we are talking science here, which got its real start as "natural history" or the study of the "real world", whatever that is.  Mathematics is a major part of that study but is still an artificial construct.  The fact that this artificial construct can have some application to the real world is a bonus.

==============

G'day Daniel,
I was relating a story that happened to me, an anecdote that gave me pause to think.  I am not a quantum physicist and don't pretend to be one.  I simply have a laymans understanding of things I read and try to relate them to the world I understand, as honestly as I can.

It still amuses me to consider that with the advent of string theory the anecdote has some reinforcement.  Take it or leave it - I'm not making any particular claims, just amusing myself, and perhaps a few others.

It's relevance is simply that I thought of it.

BTW, evolution science isn't science - no matter what you've been taught in school.  It is just about the only area of "scientific" education where if you question the claims made that you will be labelled a "scientific heretic".  There is NO honesty in the so called "science" of evolution.  It is more a "religion" than what I believe - it certainly takes more faith! 

There is NO evidence of primeval slime to man evolution.  There IS evidence of natural selection, but this ALWAYS results in a loss of information in the populations genome, and can do so to the point that the resultant population cannot even interbreed with the parent population.  But it is still a product of the parent population and ALL the information in its' genome comes from the parent population.  It is NOT a new "kind" of critter.

==============


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 23, 2008, 06:28PM
I've got a problem with people (like Ben Stein) who argue against Darwinism based on the results of Social Darwinism. It's fallacious on several counts.

First, Darwin didn't advocate eugenics. He recognized the potential for improving the species, but thought human compassion should be held as a higher value. Social Darwinists and eugenicists have distorted Darwin's ideas.

Second, it's the old "Hitler" fallacy. Hitler did it so it must be bad. Gets trotted out all the time: "First thing Hitler did was register all the guns" or whatever. "Hitler admired Darwin and was influenced by him". Following the same reasoning, oil painting is bad because Hitler did it.

Third, and most importantly, Darwin's theory is either true or not. It's not a social proposal, it's a description of the way the world might work. Arguing against the veracity of Darwinism based on unfortunate results (such as Hitler's eugenics) makes no more sense than casting doubt on Newton's theory of gravity because gravity causes people to fall and hurt themselves. Describing the way you think something is is different from describing the way you think something should be.

Well put!

The fact that some nasty ambitious people may have partially used Darwin's ideas to justify their nastiness only proves that nasty ambitious people tend to justify themselves with whatever supporting material they can find. It doesn't make Darwin wrong, or the ideas themselves evil.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 23, 2008, 06:37PM

As I understand it the reason for their existence was Euclid's contribution of codifying assumptions that everyone was already making.  To provide a consistent set of rules if you will.  The fact remains that they are foundational assumptions that cannot be proven.  If you cannot prove it but you rely upon it, then it becomes an article of faith, by definition.
I haven't heard this term (article of faith-a religious term) applied to setting a constant or foundational assumption. Is that your reasoning or a mathematicians shorthand?


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: play_louder on Apr 23, 2008, 06:40PM
If you cannot prove it but you rely upon it, then it becomes an article of faith, by definition.


I think you need to distinguish between an 'article of faith' and 'empirical assumption'. The latter, by definition, relies on evidence. The former, by definition, does not. They could hardly be more different.

You are desperately trying to impose a false dichotomy between 'faith in god' and 'faith in science'. Sorry, it won't work.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 23, 2008, 07:07PM
You are desperately trying to impose a false dichotomy between 'faith in god' and 'faith in science'. Sorry, it won't work.

Oh but it will.
 
I can't say in this case yet, but in most such cases the goal clearly isn't to work through these issues in anything even remotely resembling a genuine, honest manner. The goal is to come up with something that sounds good enough it's not too embarrassing to say, but more than that it's about coming up with something lots of fellow believers will sign off on so as to give the appearance of validity ... as long as you only consider the response from those who also desperately enough want the whole house of cards to stand that they'll be careful to turn away while someone puts it back up.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 23, 2008, 07:41PM

Third, and most importantly, Darwin's theory is either true or not. It's not a social proposal, it's a description of the way the world might work. Arguing against the veracity of Darwinism based on unfortunate results (such as Hitler's eugenics) makes no more sense than casting doubt on Newton's theory of gravity because gravity causes people to fall and hurt themselves. Describing the way you think something is is different from describing the way you think something should be.
I've heard people identify themselves as, say, Republican, communist, Christian, Catholic, etc.,. I'm not saying this doesn't happen, but I've never met anyone who describes himself as a "Social Darwinist."  I suppose the British Empire assumed this attitude in regards to its colonization of India, China, and Africa, or rather, that some among the ruling elite found that Darwin's theory explained or justified the British attitude toward its subjects. I'm not aware of any of the characters in Ben Stein's movie having referred to themselves as "social Darwinists."

The term is also rather squishy, as in a strict sense it should mean a society that keeps its members "fit" so they can have extended reproductive lives. So, opposition to a woman's right to choose, encouraging bearing many children, opposing childless unions (gay marriage), and killing people possessing natural resources your society requires for reproduction would be the ultimate "social Darwinist" society. Those who don't (homosexuals, those not wanting children), can't (sterile, too old)or shouldn't reproduce (insane, diabetics, genetic disease carriers)are therefore useless from a reproductive point of view.

Communism contemplates an equal society where all share equally in the fruits of each others' labor. As a philosophy, I would not give it high marks in the Social Darwinist hit parade. Hitler's armies considered themselves a "Christian Army" imbued with the myths of their own racial superiority and Atlantean origins. As the master race, the Nazis' focus was on reproduction, hence the same preferences that a society maximizing reproduction looks toward.

In a circumstance of extreme irony in light of their emotional tittering over Stein's movie, the Evangelical mindset bears probably the closest resemblance to "Social Darwinism" as any on the planet. In historical terms, God's instructions to the Israelites for dealing with indigenous peoples and conquered tribes (killing all males, women who have already conceived, reserving young girls for sex toys), is the second closest example of pure Social Darwinism as any I know.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Lawrie on Apr 23, 2008, 11:24PM
You are desperately trying to impose a false dichotomy between 'faith in god' and 'faith in science'. Sorry, it won't work.

Umm, at what point did I specify "faith in God"?  An "article of faith" is a basic belief.  Not necessarily in God...  To my mind an "empirical assumption" also meets the same criteria, they're just "fancier words".

BTW, from "The free Dictionary" online:

Quote
Faith:
1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See Synonyms at belief, trust.
3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters.
4. often Faith Christianity The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.
5. The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.
6. A set of principles or beliefs.

The 1st, 2nd and possibly the 3rd and 6th definitions seem to support my assertion I reckon...

Let me also quote someone (dunno who first said this but IIRC Heinlein quoted it in one of his novels):
"A man convinced against his will is of his own opinion still."

It is doubtful either of us will convince the other through adversarial means, but it seems to me that basic truths have a life of their own and will continue in spite of any argument.

I still maintain that because of the five common notions all science is based on faith.  I at least admit to having a faith based life... ;)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: play_louder on Apr 23, 2008, 11:48PM
Were going to get into semantics here. You used the phrase 'article of faith'. This is a specifically religious expression. It therefore didn't seem a stretch to assume you were using the word 'faith' in it's religious context.

Funnily enough, you've run into the exact problem that Euclid avoided with his common notions. You didn't define your terms at the beginning. If I was being kind, I'd say that has led to you getting confused. If I was being less kind, I'd say you were purposely changing your definitions mid-way to try and bolster your argument.

You might also consider that the 2nd definition in your list doesn't support your assertion, as you state it does. There is plenty of material evidence that Euclid's notions are true (within the boundaries of the mathematic universe they were designed for, as discussed earlier).

Finally, you still don't seem to get the empirical assumption bit. 'Empirical' means based on evidence. I can make an empirical assumption that when I turn on the tap water will come out. I am basing this assumption on the fact that every other time I have turned on the tap water has come out. So it makes quite a good working hypothesis. I could, instead, make an assumption that when I turn on the tap hot chocolate will come out. I've never seen this happen, so have no evidence for it. Were I to make this assumption, it wouldn't be empirical - rather it would be a stab in the dark. That's all a bit simplistic, but you get the idea. I'm too tired to think of a more exact analogy.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on Apr 24, 2008, 12:33AM
However, we are talking science here, which got its real start as "natural history" or the study of the "real world", whatever that is.  Mathematics is a major part of that study but is still an artificial construct.  The fact that this artificial construct can have some application to the real world is a bonus.

There's another metaphysical debate - is mathematics discovered, or do we make it up?

There's no obvious answer, so I suggest that you refrain from asserting that there is.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Andrew Meronek on Apr 24, 2008, 01:25AM
There is NO evidence of primeval slime to man evolution.  There IS evidence of natural selection, but this ALWAYS results in a loss of information in the populations genome, and can do so to the point that the resultant population cannot even interbreed with the parent population.  But it is still a product of the parent population and ALL the information in its' genome comes from the parent population.  It is NOT a new "kind" of critter.

Like I said way earlier, this is a misrepresentation of what the theory of evolution actually says. And you're wrong about the evidence.

Evolutionary relationships between many species have been proven statistically using DNA anaysis.

Furthermore, there IS evidence that primevil slime evolved to man. The evidence is this: primevil slime existed; there are fossil records. We exist. We had to come from somewhere. There is no evidence that our origin is otherworldly. Therefore, these pieces of evidence do happen to fit the theory of evolution, in an extremely long view. These two pieces of evidence don't PROVE the theory - that's why it's a theory - and they don't mean that there isn't some other possible explanation. But I haven't seen anything better.

Creationists seem to have a real hard time understanding the logic, and always make some false assumptions. First of all, evolutionary theory is a THEORY; it is not proof in itself. They tend to speak as if it's something other than a theory. Evolutionary theory has not been proven for every life form on earth - although the evidence suggests it's highly likely only because no one has ever found a convincing way life could get here from outer space - but it HAS been proven for many chains of relationships between life forms (DNA analysis again). And it suggests many more relationships implied by fossil records, physical resemblances, etc. Therefore, the theory is useful for making predictions about future discoveries.

That's science.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on Apr 24, 2008, 04:35AM
So, creation scientists study the same fossils mainstream scientists do?

How do they find them?

This probably hasn't occurred to you, but dinosaur bones aren't found by accident.  We go look for them where we expect to find them, in Mesozoic strata.  That's why we have so many.  We know how old that rock is, we know where to look for rock that old, and sure enough we find dinosaur bones in it.  We don't find them in rock older or younger. 

So where would a creation scientist look for a dinosaur bone?  Well, none of them have ever found one, but if they did this is what they'd have to do.  They believe the dinosaurs were all drowned in the Noachian flood, therefore the bones of all life got mixed up together and were sorted out hydraulically, by size.  So a creation scientist would go look for dinosaur bones to be found with every other type of fossil the same size, NOT with fossils the same age. 

This, then, is an easy test of the theories.  (see, you thought creationism wasn't testable.  Well, some parts of it are.) 

Who finds the bones, creationists or mainstream scientists? 

Where are they found, in Mesozoic rock, or in all kinds of rock near same sized fossils? 

Same evidence, indeed! 


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 24, 2008, 05:17AM
It is doubtful either of us will convince the other through adversarial means, but it seems to me that basic truths have a life of their own and will continue in spite of any argument.

Curious perspective. Personally I accept what evidence and sound reasoning suggest is true and real, so my opinions and understanding of reality is certainly amendable, if amendment is warranted in light of new evidence and sound argumentation. I find it very telling that when I see this "there's no way anyone can convince me (or often us, as if everyone were so closed-minded)" attitude it's always coming from a believer. They are generally quite resistant to correction.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: puma on Apr 24, 2008, 06:48AM
The evidence is this: primevil slime existed; there are fossil records.
One for two. There are fossil records. There is no evidence of primeval slime. We can find slime today, but it is neither primeval nor able to create life from inorganic chemicals.

We exist. We had to come from somewhere. There is no evidence that our origin is otherworldly. Therefore, these pieces of evidence do happen to fit the theory of evolution, in an extremely long view. These two pieces of evidence don't PROVE the theory - that's why it's a theory - and they don't mean that there isn't some other possible explanation. But I haven't seen anything better.
Indeed, the evidence suggests we came from here (not from other worlds). Combined with the fossil record we agree that there were creatures that existed in the past, died and were buried quickly to become fossilized. So far there is no mention of changes to animals or people, just that we and creatures exist today and some died and were fossilized. Evolutionists add their bias to explain how the fossils got there; creationists add their bias to explain how the fossils got there. The fossilization process fits a model of a worldwide flood better than the model of millions of years of local catastrophies.

Creationists seem to have a real hard time understanding the logic, and always make some false assumptions. First of all, evolutionary theory is a THEORY; it is not proof in itself. They tend to speak as if it's something other than a theory. Evolutionary theory has not been proven for every life form on earth ...
Both evolutionists and creationists use logic correctly. Neither assumption is false; they are merely assumptions. The evolutionist assumes natural processes over time turn frogs into princes; the creationist assumes God created plants, animals and people according to their kinds.

... but it HAS been proven for many chains of relationships between life forms (DNA analysis again). And it suggests many more relationships implied by fossil records, physical resemblances, etc. Therefore, the theory is useful for making predictions about future discoveries.
That's science.
The blueprint for life can be observed today. It does not mean that one form developed into another. Physical resemblances do not prove relationships, they prove similarities. I appreciate that you used the word 'suggests', however you then cross into the usefulness of predicting the future which would imply 'proves'. The TOE is useless for predicting anything. It is only a guess at what may have happened before. The idea that we can use the TOE to predict the future is not science. It is eugenics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Eugenics_congress_logo.png).


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: HuskerTX on Apr 24, 2008, 07:34AM
There is no evidence of primeval slime.

Well that would be fairly expected. It's awfully hard to fossilize a liquid.

"Evolutionists" (credible scientists) do not insert "bias" as you say. They continually test the hypothesis. That's what science is. Like many have said in this thread in others, if one scientific theory fails due to observed evidence, another is hypothesized given the new data that discredited the old theory.

Again and again and again you try to lump "evolutionists" in with creationists as a way of discrediting them. You say, "well, evolutionists do it too so they must be wrong." It's really a lousy argument. You're only discrediting yourself!

TOE is useless for predicting anything. It is only a guess at what may have happened before. The idea that we can use the TOE to predict the future is not science. It is eugenics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Eugenics_congress_logo.png).

No, eugenics is a concept that has to do with the human-controlled direction of human development. It has very little do with evolutionary science and NOTHING to do with natural selection. Bringing up eugenics is just another scare tactic. Try again.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 24, 2008, 07:37AM
"Evolutionists" (credible scientists) do not insert "bias" as you say ...

Ever notice that creationists persist in the same errors regardless of how many times they're corrected? It's almost as if they have an agenda to which they're absolutely unwilling to allow any challenges.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on Apr 24, 2008, 07:38AM
The TOE is useless for predicting anything.

On the contrary.  It predicts very well where to find dinosaur fossils.  It predicts, 100%, where we won't find dinosaur fossils.  

Let's see creationism find a fossil.  


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on Apr 24, 2008, 07:44AM
So far there is no mention of changes to animals or people, just that we and creatures exist today and some died and were fossilized.

You cannot be unaware that this is not what the fossil evidence shows.

Creatures existed.  Creatures became extinct.  Different creatures took their place.  Some of them, over time, were very weird indeed.  99% or better of the world's species are extinct. 

Creatures that lived in various eras were fossilized together.  Fossils do not mix.  There is not a single example of a fossil in the wrong stratum. 

Men did not live with dinosaurs.  Human bones are NEVER found with dinosaur fossils.  Horses and cattle and sheep and dogs and cats and turtle doves and all the other animals mentioned in the Bible are NEVER found with dinosaur fossils.  Never.  Not once. 

It is not possible that you don't know this.  The fossil evidence does not support what you claim in any fashion.  You are a broken record on this "same evidence, different interpretation" claim but there is nothing in the fossil record that COULD support your claims. 



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 24, 2008, 08:34AM
Both evolutionists and creationists use logic correctly. Neither assumption is false; they are merely assumptions.
Wrong. Creationists don't use logic at all---they substitute 3,000 year old Levantine shepherd myths in place of logic. Creationism is a travesty of science. Creationists' assumptions are proven wrong by logic, deductive reasoning and simple observation. Scientists do not make "assumptions," in the sense you describe. They rely on empirical data as Tim points out----i.e. we don't look for dinosaur bones in paleolithic cemeteries. Humans and dinosaurs never lived together on this planet. There is no fossil record that confirms the creationist hypothesis that a sky fairy appeared and created all life forms that have ever inhabited Earth in less than a week. Rather, animals' fossils are found within the geologic strata of the age in which they lived. The difference is that a scientist will examine all of the data, compare it to other relevant disciplines (geology, biology, genetics, etc.), discuss with others, and possibly publish in a peer-reviewed magazine. A creationist will say, "Look God created a nice froggie!"


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BGuttman on Apr 24, 2008, 09:26AM
While we are at it, how about for those of us who don't accept the resurrection.  We know that a rogue Rabbi was executed on a cross.  His disciples chose to create a new religion from his death.  Lots of hype and mythology.

Based on Marty's and Evan's quotations, I will dwell in a fiery place, yet you both describe my people as "chosen".  Chosen for what?


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Andrew Meronek on Apr 24, 2008, 09:30AM
One for two. There are fossil records. There is no evidence of primeval slime. We can find slime today, but it is neither primeval nor able to create life from inorganic chemicals.

Well, you are correct here. We don't even know what a "primeval slime" would have looked like. I used the term generically, the term having been introduced earlier, to refer to whatever the original spawning of life on Earth would have looked like.

Speaking of which, the most recent promising theory suggests that life may have begain in ice, which in a way makes sense given that 4 billion years ago, the Earth was covered in glacier. Who knows if it's right, but it's a cool idea, and the chemistry seems to be on the guy's side:

http://discovermagazine.com/2008/feb/did-life-evolve-in-ice


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 24, 2008, 09:36AM

Based on Marty's and Evan's quotations, I will dwell in a fiery place, yet you both describe my people as "chosen".  Chosen for what?

 :D :D Aye, there's the rub. (You know I was just throwing out another quote to show the relativistic nature of these things, yes?)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 24, 2008, 10:21AM
Quote from: Carl Sagan (1987 CSICOP keynote address)
In science it often happens that scientists say, "You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken," and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time someting like that happened in politics or religion.

Not sure this concept can be stressed enough.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Lawrie on Apr 24, 2008, 05:21PM
G'day play_louder,

Quote
From "the free dictionary":

article of faith
n. pl. articles of faith
A very basic belief not to be doubted.


religion
n.
1.
a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.
Idiom:
get religion Informal
1. To become religious or devout.
2. To resolve to end one's immoral behavior.

worship
n.
1.
a. The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object.
b. The ceremonies, prayers, or other religious forms by which this love is expressed.
2. Ardent devotion; adoration.
3. often Worship Chiefly British Used as a form of address for magistrates, mayors, and certain other dignitaries: Your Worship.
v. wor·shiped or wor·shipped, wor·ship·ing or wor·ship·ping, wor·ships
v.tr.
1. To honor and love as a deity.
2. To regard with ardent or adoring esteem or devotion. See Synonyms at revere1.
v.intr.
1. To participate in religious rites of worship.
2. To perform an act of worship.


Quote
Were going to get into semantics here. You used the phrase 'article of faith'. This is a specifically religious expression. It therefore didn't seem a stretch to assume you were using the word 'faith' in it's religious context.

Re semantics, perhaps.  However I confess, I deliberately used 'article of faith' in ambivalent mode.  It was entirely appropriate to do so IMHO.  Those five common notions have still not been proven...  Until they are, science IS faith based.  Perhaps point 4 in the religion definition above applies...  I reckon it's appropriate anyhow.


Hmm, about that 2nd definition.
Quote
2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See Synonyms at belief, trust.

I see no logical proof for the 5 common notions...  Though the material evidence would seem to be adequate ;)


Quote
Finally, you still don't seem to get the empirical assumption bit.

I'm fully aware of what "empirical" means, I have empirical evidence in my personal life and relationship with Jesus that He is at least as real as you are...  At least, I think you're real - afterall, we're having this conversation...  Aren't we..?

I have the same kind of empirical evidence that my wife loves me, but you will only know that if I tell you as you have never met my wife, never observed the dynamics of our relationship.  You only have my word that she even exists...

============

G'day MoominDave,

Quote
From "the free dictionary":

mathematics
n. (used with a sing. verb)
The study of the measurement, properties, and relationships of quantities and sets, using numbers and symbols.

lan·guage
n.
1.
a. Communication of thoughts and feelings through a system of arbitrary signals, such as voice sounds, gestures, or written symbols.
b. Such a system including its rules for combining its components, such as words.
c. Such a system as used by a nation, people, or other distinct community; often contrasted with dialect.
2.
a. A system of signs, symbols, gestures, or rules used in communicating: the language of algebra.
b. Computer Science A system of symbols and rules used for communication with or between computers.
3. Body language; kinesics.
4. The special vocabulary and usages of a scientific, professional, or other group: "his total mastery of screen languagecamera placement, editingand his handling of actors" Jack Kroll.
5. A characteristic style of speech or writing: Shakespearean language.
6. A particular manner of expression: profane language; persuasive language.
7. The manner or means of communication between living creatures other than humans: the language of dolphins.
8. Verbal communication as a subject of study.
9. The wording of a legal document or statute as distinct from the spirit.

Is mathematics not a language?  Are languages "natural" or "artificial".  I assert they are artificial. A convenient construct.  As is mathematics.  A language used to describe certain kinds of discoveries...

============

G'day Andrew,
oh boy...  My friend, I think you have been seriously inculcated with the religion of evolution.  There is simply not enough room to go into this they way it deserves, but if you are truly interested and not just stirring I suggest you look into how fossils are formed.  A small pointer, it takes a major (relative to the creature involved) catastrophic event for a fossil to be formed,  It MUST be buried before it has time to decompose or be eaten.  The so called fossil record is more evidence of major catastrophe that it will ever be of slime to man evolution.

BTW, how do you know there was primeval slime - were you there to see it.  No hard bits, so there are no fossils...  I agree that it is a reasonable assumption, but where is your evidence, who is your observer?

It's funny how often evolutionists do precisely what "play_louder" warned (accused? nah, warned) me of, changeing definitions midway through an argument (even though I actually hadn't).

Where are the "missing links"?  There's not just one or two, there are an uncountable number of them.

I assert again, it take far more faith to believe in evolution than it takes to believe in God.  The so called evidence for evolution has far too many holes and contradictions.

http://creationontheweb.com/ and http://www.answersingenesis.org/ are reasonably good resources

Quote
First of all, evolutionary theory is a THEORY; it is not proof in itself.

THANKYOU - If all evolutionists are honest enough to admit it is a theory then WHY is it taught as FACT in our education systems?  A student CANNOT successfully argue against evolution in our schools because they will be FAILED.  The pressure to comply is immense - they are NOT permitted to have contrary opinions.

============

G'day Timothy,
Why do you differentiate between creation and mainstream scientists?  Many mainstream scientists are also creationists...

As for where fossils are found...  There's a nice piece of circular logic for you...  Rock strata is commonly dated by the fossils found in it, fossils are commonly dated by the rock strata they are found in...  Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  (I reckon the chicken did)

BTW, a creationist believes that there were dinosaurs on the ark.  Check out the web sites above.

============

G'day Baron von Bone,

Quote
Personally I accept what evidence and sound reasoning suggest is true and real

Do you?  I must re-read your other posts - I'm sure I saw a thread of dogma there...  If I misunderstood your position I apologise.

However, the reality is that we ALL filter everything through our prejudices and existing beliefs.  A short adversarial discussion simply does not have the time to change those views, though it MAY plant a seed that will grow later into a change of opinion.  Takes time.

Quote
They are generally quite resistant to correction.

This is quite correct, but it applies to EVERYONE, not just a subset of the population.

============

Timothy and Evan,
RE: dinosaurs and humans NOT co-existing, please see:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v18/i4/dinosaurs.asp
http://www.bible.ca/tracks/tracks.htm
http://www.rae.org/tuba.html

for some discussion on this.

============

G'day BGuttman,
may I suggest you read the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John for your self.  Read them in entirety - you need the background.  THEN look at what the Romans tried to get the guards around Jesus tomb to do, and WHY guard a tomb?  (I know why they did it, but do you?).  Let's also not forget that initially the disciples themselves DID NOT BELIEVE that Jesus had risen.  They needed to be convinced!

There are many messianic Jews - my father-in-law was one.  My wife is another.  That's just two that I know personally.  Though they both prefer(red) to be simply considered Christians.



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Lawrie on Apr 24, 2008, 05:41PM
Quote from: Carl Sagan (1987 CSICOP keynote address)
Quote
In science it often happens that scientists say, "You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken," and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time someting like that happened in politics or religion.

Not sure this concept can be stressed enough.
 
Byron

Agreed, to a point.  I find this happens in the "hard" sciences relatively commonly, but in the forensic "science" of evolutionary theory it rarely happens at all, except to move in the direction of yet another untenable evolutionary concept.

OTOH, Mr. Sagan would never have heard/seen it in religious circles 'cos he never inhabited them.  We change all the time as we learn more but those changes are irrelevant to you as an outsider.  You see only the small aspect of us that you care to, not the whole.  It seems to me that your objective is to simply disprove us, NOT to understand what we believe.

The truth of Christianity is in one's personal relationship with Jesus Christ, NOT in the trappings of some formalised set of traditions, though many of those traditions do have their place.  E.G. to know all there is to know about Roman Catholicism is insufficient, it will not expose you to the fullness of, say, the Pentecostal movement, or Southern Baptists, or Lutherans &etc. 

Christians are a moving target too.  We constantly grow and mature - learning new things, unlearning old mistakes or poor teaching.  But always within the confines of our relationship with Jesus.

The one true constant in our lives is the Word of God.  IT NEVER changes, even if our understanding does.  Christianity is a journey, not a destination.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 24, 2008, 07:06PM
The one true constant in our lives is the Word of God.  IT NEVER changes, even if our understanding does.  Christianity is a journey, not a destination.

But it DOES change, and it has changed all throughout its history. Sometimes very slowly or not at all for a period of time, at other times quite a lot in a short period of time. It has been mostly pretty stable for about the last 1500- 1600 years or so, apart from new translations and continued disagreement over what books should be included, etc. 

Not to mention the fact that any fixed text will gradually change in meaning relative to the continued evolution of modern language. Or, as you put it, "our understanding changes". But in this case, arguing for a fixed, never-changing, ultimately true meaning, change is a bad thing. Change in meaning means that either something was wrong in the past or it is becoming wrong now or both.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 24, 2008, 08:05PM
I've decided to post this here, even though it might specifically fit better under the "Expelled" thread.  But I was hoping to take a more general tack and thought this was the better thread in which to do it.

I have been doing some introspection about this science vs. religion topic, and have a few personal observations. Maybe somebody will find them interesting, maybe not.

First observation- I don't think of my personal beliefs in terms of science or religion. I think of them in terms of what I believe subjectively, based on my own life experiences, and what I believe based on rigorous study and research by experts, as filtered through my own understanding.

Second observation- If there is a genuine conflict between these two categories of belief, I usually reserve judgement until I can do some research. Sometimes my existing view triumphs, and sometimes I change my mind. Sometimes I end up with a hybrid view that is slightly adjusted to fit the new evidence.

Third observation- I am very willing to put principles that I believe only subjectively into action in my own life, but would never advocate those principles be forced on others. I might make a recommendation to somebody based on my experience with XYZ, but only with the caveat that it is only my opinion.

For example, I believe from my experiences that some people have abilities that science can not currently explain. I was exposed to and cultivated such abilities through my martial arts training and have since met others who have similar or related abilities which arose naturally for them. I don't really have a hard opinion about how this works, except that it does work, and I believe it is a natural phenomenon, not a supernatural one. So that is my subjective bias, which some of you may remember I tend to defend rather vociferously any time the subject of "chi" comes up. ;)

However, you will never see me crusading to have chi, or magick, or psychic studies put into school science curricula. I am not comfortable imposing these subjects on impressionable young minds because they are so little understood in any way that could be meaningful to most people. Rather, I think that it is best to educate the young with those things that we are reasonably confident are objectively true, and let the minds make their own journeys into the more spiritual side of life.

Hope I didn't bore anybody.....


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Jackofalltrades on Apr 24, 2008, 08:16PM
Back on page 7 Baron wrote
Quote
Ever notice that creationists persist in the same errors regardless of how many times they're corrected? It's almost as if they have an agenda to which they're absolutely unwilling to allow any challenges.

Remove creationists and replace with evolutionists.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Jackofalltrades on Apr 24, 2008, 08:26PM
If the big bang didn't have anything to do with evolution then where did it start? You are confusing me.Something had to start somewhere sometime. If it didn't, then we wouldn't be here as our evolved selves. As I said earlier this was the way it was explained to me BY TEACHERS, PROFESSORS, TEXT BOOKS ETC.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 24, 2008, 08:26PM
G'day Baron von Bone,
Quote
Personally I accept what evidence and sound reasoning suggest is true and real.

Do you?  I must re-read your other posts - I'm sure I saw a thread of dogma there...  If I misunderstood your position I apologise.

Not a problem. Yes, I do. Probably the most important part of accepting "what's true and real" is including our own limitations. Science is all about that, whereas religious faith is into denying it. Science and sound reasoning require us to accept what we understand to be real and true on a tentative basis (though some things are so fundamental that's pretty much a technicality, or they're "brain in a vat" kinds of philosophical issues that have no functional or applicable effect). It's certainly possible you spotted a thread of dogma in a post of mine, and if you did I'd appreciate you letting me know what you saw. If you're right I'll pretty mercilessly eviscerate it from my thinking, if you may be right I'll very seriously consider it, and if you're wrong I'll offer at least a brief explanation of why.
 
 
Quote from: Lawrie
However, the reality is that we ALL filter everything through our prejudices and existing beliefs.

Precisely why sound epistemology is so important. We can't trust our own internal judgment without rigorous and systematic error correction and quality control mechanisms. Again, that's what science is all about, and what religion is all about avoiding and then excusing the violation of intellectual integrity.
 
 
Quote from: Lawrie
A short adversarial discussion simply does not have the time to change those views, though it MAY plant a seed that will grow later into a change of opinion.  Takes time.

That depends upon a lot. A well disciplined critical thinker facing a challenge to a properly tentative "belief" about the nature of some aspect of reality won't hesitate to consider it questionable or actually refuted when sound contrary evidence and argumentation are presented. More likely though this evidence and/pr argumentation will be found or discovered by the skeptic him or herself in my experience. That's because good skeptics are much better at questioning in general, and being that a good skeptic has the proper attitude and is more inclined as well as better suited than average to find such evidence (that's really just not saying much, quite frankly), good skeptics far more often refute their own previously held notions than they are argued out of them.
 
 
Quote from: Lawrie
Quote
They are generally quite resistant to correction.

This is quite correct, but it applies to EVERYONE, not just a subset of the population.

Well, sort of, but religious apologists are notoriously bad about being incredibly resilient to correction, to the point that it's not unfair to call a great number of them effectively impervious. In fact many of them state precisely that, outright, as a matter of pride in their level of faith, and that illustrates the fundamental problem, and the fundamental and diametric opposition in the way science and religion operate.
 
Notable is the fact that religious apologists' default is almost always to be resistant, often to quite the extreme, whereas skeptics are precisely the opposite. Skeptics tend to appreciate sound correction because they're generally more interested in an accurate understanding of reality. That's their equivalent of religious dogma--whatever the hell the best evidence and most sound epistemology suggest (sorry to use that word, since it's apparently so traumatic for some ... though I guess I can understand why it's such a threat in many cases). So when a sound correction is considered and accepted and even appreciated that's an indication of intellectual honesty and integrity. When, to the contrary, repeated correction is resisted and ignored, that's an inverse indication of the same. This is precisely why I've selected some of the Carl Sagan quotes I've been posting recently.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 24, 2008, 08:29PM
Back on page 7 Baron wrote
Quote
Ever notice that creationists persist in the same errors regardless of how many times they're corrected? It's almost as if they have an agenda to which they're absolutely unwilling to allow any challenges.

Remove creationists and replace with evolutionists.

... and then it's demonstrably wrong. Yeah, I know.
 
Unfortunately creationists generally aren't remotely interested in taking even the most superficial responsibility to actually look into such things in order to consider them from a non-dogmatic, properly evidential and soundly reasoned manner.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 24, 2008, 08:46PM
If the big bang didn't have anything to do with evolution then where did it start?

Here are the three words that make the biggest distinction between science and religion. Science embraces them and faces them head on as a matter of course, whereas religion is all about pretending to defeat them. Those three words are; I don't [forking] know (the fourth word is obviously optional). Honesty and the proper sense of humility that results leads you to the scientific approach to them, fear and arrogance to the religious.
 
 
Quote from: Jackofalltrades
You are confusing me. Something had to start somewhere sometime. If it didn't, then we wouldn't be here as our evolved selves.

At least that seems to be the intuitive way it should work, but something even a cursory familiarity with science teaches us is that reality isn't always intuitive. The humility science pretty much imposes upon us breaks us of the egocentrism that says "we must be able to understand everything" because, well, there's just no reason to believe that. We aren't well equipped to deal with infinities. Our brains don't really navigate them very well, and as I understand it nothingness and timelessness (or pre-time) are forms of infinities. There's no reason to believe that we must have the capacity to understand all of reality. In fact that's part of the standard issue definition of God. In the case of a genuine reality we can't understand it means we can't understand it though, unlike in the case of the standard issue understanding of God, which goes from "we can't understand it" to "and here's what it thinks ... " in great detail and specificity (another one of the "tells" that indicate believers don't really believe what they claim and think they believe that I point out from time-to-time).
 
 
Quote from: Jackofalltrades
As I said earlier this was the way it was explained to me BY TEACHERS, PROFESSORS, TEXT BOOKS ETC.

You sure about that? If so, think maybe they might have been incorrect but not in the way you'd apparently like? If they were wrong, does that mean you inherently assume another arbitrarily chosen authority is right? If that's what's happening (as it very often is), think maybe you didn't learn something important you should have learned from the first point? What if no one knows?
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 24, 2008, 11:33PM
Interestingly, there is a guy who who disputes Darwin's theory of evolution, at least as to human development, on the grounds that humans are actually devolving. The thrust of his argument is that humans were "placed" on Earth by a superior intelligence (he is comfortable calling this "God") at or near the time life first emerged on the planet. He cites fossil and skeletal finds ignored or suppressed by "mainstream Darwinists" because this evidence contradicts the current scientific model of the evolution of man. See Forbidden Archeology (http://mcremo.com/)---Michael Cremo. Some of his theories were the subject of an NBC special on the mysterious origins of man several years ago. He cites some finds made, coincidentally, several hundred feet below where I sit right now----human fossil skeletons and artifacts lying in rock strata that is at least 15 million years old. Some of the "gold miner" human artifacts are dated at 33,000,000 years.

Although I should categorize him as a creationist, he is not a "Biblical" creationist but more of a "Vedist" (East Indian religion)(IOW, he believes man is much, much older than the Bible, older than modern science places him, possibly older than dinosaurs), so the Biblical creationists and Ben Steins of the world reject him as well as the mainstream scientific community.

I reserve judgment, as I only listen to him on the radio coming home from gigs or rehearsals----but what he says is interesting.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on Apr 24, 2008, 11:38PM
THANKYOU - If all evolutionists are honest enough to admit it is a theory then WHY is it taught as FACT in our education systems?  A student CANNOT successfully argue against evolution in our schools because they will be FAILED.  The pressure to comply is immense - they are NOT permitted to have contrary opinions.

============

G'day Timothy,
Why do you differentiate between creation and mainstream scientists?  Many mainstream scientists are also creationists...

As for where fossils are found...  There's a nice piece of circular logic for you...  Rock strata is commonly dated by the fossils found in it, fossils are commonly dated by the rock strata they are found in...  Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  (I reckon the chicken did)


Couple of comments here.  Three, probably.

Theory vs fact.  You don't know the history of this argument, at least I hope not.  The scientific use of the term theory is not the same as the common use.  The scientific use is that of a detailed usually mathematically rigorous explanation that best fits all the observed data, whereas the common use is merely one of uncertainty.  Creationists often choose to "misunderstand" this, it has become a red flag.  

"Many" mainstream scientists are creationists.  How many?  Do you know?  Can you cite some references?  It is true, of course, depending a little on your definition of many.  Most of the surveys reveal about the same percentage.  There are about 186,000 US earth scientists, and about 300 are creationists.  That's, let's see, 0.16%.  I'm not comfortable calling that "many."  

Circular logic has nothing to do with whether or not you can predict where to find a fossil.  The fact is that rock which is dated by radioisotopic methods to the Mesozoic period contains dinosaur fossils, and rock which dates earlier or later does not.  There are no exceptions to this observation.  Creationists have drawn no similar conclusion from the fossil record.  In fact, there is no evidence (no journal articles, etc.,) that a creationist has ever drawn any conclusion from the fossil record.  Nor has one ever found a fossil on their own.  Creationists draw their conclusions from the Bible.  


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 24, 2008, 11:44PM

Timothy and Evan,
RE: dinosaurs and humans NOT co-existing, please see:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v18/i4/dinosaurs.asp
http://www.bible.ca/tracks/tracks.htm
http://www.rae.org/tuba.html

for some discussion on this.
Some photos, story, and anecdotal speculation. None of these sites seems to have been examined by paleontologists using established protocols, but are more in the nature of carnival attractions. Who says these are "dinosaur" footprints? When were they placed? What kind of humans are these? These questions could be answered, I suspect, by experts------why send out believers from a "creationist quarterly" when real scientists are available?

Plus---all of these prints are lying conveniently on the surface, waiting to be discovered by creationists!  :rolleyes: So--they must have been made in our lifetimes or would have been eroded or buried in dust by now. So where are the dinosaurs that made the prints? Surely they must be walking about?

These seem like very silly stories, Lawrie.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on Apr 25, 2008, 01:00AM
I'm fully aware of what "empirical" means, I have empirical evidence in my personal life and relationship with Jesus that He is at least as real as you are...

And what is that evidence?

Quote from: MoominDave
Quote from: Lawrie
However, we are talking science here, which got its real start as "natural history" or the study of the "real world", whatever that is.  Mathematics is a major part of that study but is still an artificial construct.  The fact that this artificial construct can have some application to the real world is a bonus.

There's another metaphysical debate - is mathematics discovered, or do we make it up?

There's no obvious answer, so I suggest that you refrain from asserting that there is.

G'day MoominDave,

Is mathematics not a language?  Are languages "natural" or "artificial".  I assert they are artificial. A convenient construct.  As is mathematics.  A language used to describe certain kinds of discoveries...

Your description of mathematics as nothing more than a language is misleading. Go back to the definition you quoted:
"The study of the measurement, properties, and relationships of quantities and sets, using numbers and symbols."
You have taken the final clause, and assumed that this defines the whole thing, when in fact the "numbers and symbols" are tools that are used to represent concepts; concepts that can no more be meaningfully sheared away from mathematics than the meanings of words can be meaningfully sheared away from English.

The debate that you have skirted around questions whether concepts like one-ness and two-ness are discovered or invented. You simply assert the word "discoveries" without further consideration.

I'd be careful claiming simple answers to this one - people might start thinking that you have a tendency to religious modes of thought!  ;)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 25, 2008, 01:24AM
If the big bang didn't have anything to do with evolution then where did it start?
Where did what start?
Quote
You are confusing me.
Maybe you're partly to blame for your confusion?
Quote
Something had to start somewhere sometime.
What something? You need to focus your questions a bit if you expect responses. You claim to be a "Christian." Is God not described as "eternal?" IOW, no beginning, no end. Our senses are "tuned" to perceiving only those things that we need for physical survival, it is believed. Human time is not universal time or "God time" if you prefer. I understand that time itself began with the "big bang" as did all the laws of physics. Darwin's theory of evolution dealt with life forms and not the evolution of stars, galaxies, planets and non-organic systems. Do you think evolution begins at a point other than when life first emerged on the planet?
Quote
If it didn't, then we wouldn't be here as our evolved selves. As I said earlier this was the way it was explained to me BY TEACHERS, PROFESSORS, TEXT BOOKS ETC.
It may be how your mind remembers your education, but I expect this is not the way texts or teachers explain things. Think small changes over millions of years.

Further reading:What Darwin saw out back. (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/25/arts/design/25darw.html?th&emc=th)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on Apr 25, 2008, 01:37AM
A student CANNOT successfully argue against evolution in our schools because they will be FAILED. 

I missed this part the first time.

Yes, of course they will be failed, and they should be.

Replace evolution with quantum physics, heat transfer, or any other subject. 

The teacher wants, nay demands the student to understand the subject.  I know of no teacher who cares if the student believes or not.  Understanding the basic principles is the student's job.  If he/she does, pass; if not, fail.

Where does being permitted to argue against it come in?  That just wastes class time and delays the point where the student studies enough to understand it.  Would you tell your physics teacher you don't believe in bosons and mesons?  He'll fail you if you can't demonstrate you know what the concepts mean.  He won't listen to your argument they don't really exist because that argument is not relevant to teaching physics, and you wouldn't be arrogant enough to insist you have a right to make that argument. 

It is painfully evident that a large number of students never do end up understanding it, but they certainly think they should be allowed and encouraged to argue against something they don't understand.

Now, we could use belief as a concurrent validity check on understanding level, likely the correlation coefficient is large!   


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 25, 2008, 01:46AM
The teacher wants, nay demands the student to understand the subject.  I know of no teacher who cares if the student believes or not.  Understanding the basic principles is the student's job.  If he/she does, pass; if not, fail.

Where does being permitted to argue against it come in?  That just wastes class time and delays the point where the student studies enough to understand it.  Would you tell your physics teacher you don't believe in bosons and mesons?  He'll fail you if you can't demonstrate you know what the concepts mean.  He won't listen to your argument they don't really exist because that argument is not relevant
Nice post, Tim. I hope everyone reads it.It should be in the forward of every biology text! :good:


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 25, 2008, 01:57AM
The truth of Christianity is in one's personal relationship with Jesus Christ, NOT in the trappings of some formalised set of traditions, though many of those traditions do have their place.  E.G. to know all there is to know about Roman Catholicism is insufficient, it will not expose you to the fullness of, say, the Pentecostal movement, or Southern Baptists, or Lutherans &etc. 

Christians are a moving target too.  We constantly grow and mature - learning new things, unlearning old mistakes or poor teaching.  But always within the confines of our relationship with Jesus.
Where does it say that Jesus would give a crap what you thought about Darwin's Theory of Evolution 2,000 years after He split? Or for any of your numerous sects for that matter? Or what you believed? It seems people get quite full of themselves when they start tossing the "C" word around (and for no reason other than lack of humility). Really--- this is too much. 

Wasn't one the reasons he is alleged to have come was to "free" you from the "outdated words of God" and give you a new covenant? Do you really believe he wanted you to be silly children for 2,000 years? Do you eat pork? Follow the purity laws? I'll bet not ---yet you cling to the children's stories? Ever ask yourself why? Man creates God in his image and then asks Him for things. "Oh Lord, I'll be a conniving idiot and believe this story if you give me eternal life!" This is not religion, it is transactional, commerce.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 25, 2008, 03:43AM
Interestingly, there is a guy who who disputes Darwin's theory of evolution, at least as to human development, on the grounds that humans are actually devolving. The thrust of his argument is that humans were "placed" on Earth by a superior intelligence (he is comfortable calling this "God") at or near the time life first emerged on the planet. He cites fossil and skeletal finds ignored or suppressed by "mainstream Darwinists" because this evidence contradicts the current scientific model of the evolution of man. See Forbidden Archeology (http://mcremo.com/)---Michael Cremo. Some of his theories were the subject of an NBC special on the mysterious origins of man several years ago. He cites some finds made, coincidentally, several hundred feet below where I sit right now----human fossil skeletons and artifacts lying in rock strata that is at least 15 million years old. Some of the "gold miner" human artifacts are dated at 33,000,000 years.

Interesting- thanks for posting this. Just when "we" thought we had it all narrowed down to two opposing views, enter the next one! So would this be a "selective" intelligent design theory, with most life evolving on it's own but humans placed here by a creator of some kind? Sounds kind of like X-Files mythology. :pant: Fwiw, I have heard the same devolution idea (though without the long timelines) expounded from Christian pulpits. The claim being that we were at our best in the Garden of Eden and have been devolving ever since. So I guess that kind of blows the "OT people were not as advanced as we are and this excuses their brutal treatment of others" idea right out of the water.

Quote
Although I should categorize him as a creationist, he is not a "Biblical" creationist but more of a "Vedist" (East Indian religion)(IOW, he believes man is much, much older than the Bible, older than modern science places him, possibly older than dinosaurs), so the Biblical creationists and Ben Steins of the world reject him as well as the mainstream scientific community.

This goes along with what I pointed out in the "Expelled" thread, and which BvB amplified with his links. Silver3B has been bringing it up too. The ID movement is not interested in just ANY theory of divine creation but only its own narrow one.



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on Apr 25, 2008, 04:04AM
Interestingly, there is a guy who who disputes Darwin's theory of evolution, at least as to human development, on the grounds that humans are actually devolving.

Something easily missed, because it is not intuitive:  evolution has no direction.  There is no goal.  There is no progression from less perfect to more perfect, from less complex to more complex, from less anything to more anything else.  There is only change, retained or not.

So this guy would fit the category of theistic evolution in reverse.  (Theistic evolution basically recognizes the same scientific process and timeline but says God subtly guided it to make sure it didn't take any random wrong turns.) 


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 25, 2008, 04:11AM
Interestingly, there is a guy who who disputes Darwin's theory of evolution, at least as to human development, on the grounds that humans are actually devolving.

That's a pretty fundamental error right there though. Evolution isn't about "better" vs. "worse" or "new" vs. "older," only whatever the fork works vs. what doesn't. Some species are so well adapted to their environment they remain the same for eons, others have to adapt so fast multiple speciations might not show up even in a dense area of the fossil record. The bottom line, devolution (which is a great term) is still evolution kind of like two lefts or two rights or a u-turn are all still travel.
 
 :clever:
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Andrew Meronek on Apr 25, 2008, 04:21AM
G'day Andrew,
oh boy...  My friend, I think you have been seriously inculcated with the religion of evolution. 

Indeed! O Evolution, how might I honor thee?

Seriously, I just though of one major difference between a "religion" of evolution versus a "religion" of God: I don't anthromorphosize evolution.

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There is simply not enough room to go into this they way it deserves, but if you are truly interested and not just stirring I suggest you look into how fossils are formed.  A small pointer, it takes a major (relative to the creature involved) catastrophic event for a fossil to be formed,  It MUST be buried before it has time to decompose or be eaten.  The so called fossil record is more evidence of major catastrophe that it will ever be of slime to man evolution.

Agreed: at least to the extent that in order for fossils to be left, the creature must die in a way that leaves their corpse somewhere where oxygen is rapidly depleted, so that other life can't decompose the remains.

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BTW, how do you know there was primeval slime - were you there to see it.  No hard bits, so there are no fossils...  I agree that it is a reasonable assumption, but where is your evidence, who is your observer?

It's funny how often evolutionists do precisely what "play_louder" warned (accused? nah, warned) me of, changeing definitions midway through an argument (even though I actually hadn't).

Where are the "missing links"?  There's not just one or two, there are an uncountable number of them.

I assert again, it take far more faith to believe in evolution than it takes to believe in God.  The so called evidence for evolution has far too many holes and contradictions.

Let me use an anology: I have this theory that someone named Lord Cornwallis surrendered to this guy named George Washington at the battle of Yorktown. I wasn't there; I had no direct observation. Nor do I have a real-time holographic reproduction of the event. Thus, I have many "missing links" in my evidence. I do not know the fate of every person there, nor can I say for sure what the temperature those days was, etc. Nevertheless, I say that enough evidence exists for me to reasonably assume that such a battle took place, with many related events like the significant surrender which ended the battle. The same argument applies to this discussion about evolution.

You can't refute evolution by what the evidence doesn't say. You have to look at what the evidence DOES say, and draw reasonable conclusions.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 25, 2008, 04:59AM
http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v18/i4/dinosaurs.asp
http://www.bible.ca/tracks/tracks.htm
http://www.rae.org/tuba.html

for some discussion on this.

The amount of "Answers in Genesis" involved in a "discussion" or a given individual's consideration of the issue is inversely correlated, very tightly, with how much genuine thought and sincerity is involved. I've yet to see a deviation in this pattern. Those who stop by Answers in Genesis, maybe chuckle a bit and then write it off are concerned with actual reality, those who do not are only interested in trying to find ways to affirm their dogma as if they can impose ideology upon reality by shear effort of belief.
 
 
Quote from: Lawrie
G'day BGuttman,
may I suggest you read the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John for your self.

Sounds like there's an unspoken presumption that those who disagree with you aren't familiar with the material. You'll learn better ... well, if you're not impervious to correction like many believers.
 
 
Quote from: Lawrie
Read them in entirety - you need the background.  THEN look at what the Romans tried to get the guards around Jesus tomb to do, and WHY guard a tomb?  (I know why they did it, but do you?).  Let's also not forget that initially the disciples themselves DID NOT BELIEVE that Jesus had risen.  They needed to be convinced!

I'd suggest not simply assuming the accounts in the gospels are factual and historically accurate. I'd suggest holding the gospels and the rest of the Bible and all other such documents to proper and consistent standards of evidence and reason. No pet theories. No sacred cows. No free passes. That's not honest.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Elkhart 88H on Apr 25, 2008, 05:01AM
Interesting- thanks for posting this. Just when "we" thought we had it all narrowed down to two opposing views, enter the next one! So would this be a "selective" intelligent design theory, with most life evolving on its own but humans placed here by a creator of some kind? Sounds kind of like X-Files mythology. :pant: ...

Maybe L. Ron Hubbard was on the right track and Xenu is really behind it all ...  :evil:


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 25, 2008, 05:20AM
Agreed, to a point.  I find this happens in the "hard" sciences relatively commonly, but in the forensic "science" of evolutionary theory it rarely happens at all, except to move in the direction of yet another untenable evolutionary concept.

You are aware, I hope, that evolution is supported by a great deal of data in all the hard sciences.
 
 
Quote from: Lawrie
OTOH, Mr. Sagan would never have heard/seen it in religious circles 'cos he never inhabited them. We change all the time as we learn more but those changes are irrelevant to you as an outsider.  You see only the small aspect of us that you care to, not the whole.  It seems to me that your objective is to simply disprove us, NOT to understand what we believe.

You're far too comfortable with utterly baseless presumption.
 
But let's ignore Sagan's experience and speak of my own, and yours. Ever seen a church change its opinion on an article of faith? The Catholic Church gets some credit for this (if over a century delayed on average), and I think this is the greatest strength built into the Mormon Church, but how often does this sort of thing happen, how much weeping and wailing has to happen to get it done, and how do most Protestant believers respond?
 
My experience completely agrees with Sagan's. I was raised in a Southern Baptist family (in a suburb of San Francisco) and a very devout and sincere believer until my late 20s, and I still hang with numerous religiofied types (take a guess at who more often deals with the other group when you consider theists vs. atheists, and who thus has more direct experience with the other). You may have apologetic responses to that (if you're like most religious apologists, probably responses that clamored their way to the forefront of your consciousness before any context was even presented), but I'm mentioning it here to demonstrate I'm operating from over two decades of conscious experience in Protestant church environment.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on Apr 25, 2008, 05:56AM
may I suggest you read the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John for your self.  Read them in entirety - you need the background.  THEN look at what the Romans tried to get the guards around Jesus tomb to do, and WHY guard a tomb? 


I hate to keep picking on Lawrie:  but when you write long posts you create a target rich environment!

Yes, I've read those four gospels.  Actually I've read all 20.  The noncanonical ones still exist, and offer fascinating glimpses into the life of the early church. 

If you read the four consecutively, the filter of your memory forces a false consistency.  Try reading them in parallel, comparing each incident handled four different ways.  Are you forced to come to some conclusions regarding why they differ, and what the significance is? 

Then review the trial and crucifixion sections.  We know that Romans executed insurgents by crucifixion, Jews used stoning for criminals and heretics.  We know those gospels were written under a punitive Roman rule after a failed revolution.  Does it seem like Pontius Pilate, a prefect so brutal he was actually recalled, is cast in just a little bit too favorable a light?  Is there any chance the main sequence is basically true, but it was edited just a little bit to be politically correct?  And the direct result was centuries of persecution of Jews by Christians, including millions of deaths? 

And if you didn't ask yourself those questions..........why not?  Is thinking about this really, really scarey? 


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 25, 2008, 08:58AM

Then review the trial and crucifixion sections.  We know that Romans executed insurgents by crucifixion, Jews used stoning for criminals and heretics.  We know those gospels were written under a punitive Roman rule after a failed revolution.  Does it seem like Pontius Pilate, a prefect so brutal he was actually recalled, is cast in just a little bit too favorable a light?  Is there any chance the main sequence is basically true, but it was edited just a little bit to be politically correct?  And the direct result was centuries of persecution of Jews by Christians, including millions of deaths? 

And if you didn't ask yourself those questions..........why not?  Is thinking about this really, really scarey? 
That is Elaine Pagels' starting point in her book Who Killed Jesus? As always, her books are well-researched, footnoted and thoughtful.

This is why I believe that the only version of Jesus' life that cannot be true is the official, Bible account. Luckily, for us, enough clues were left that expose the lies around the "trial," the Pharisees, and other alleged events.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 25, 2008, 09:12AM
Re: crucifiction vs. stoning...

In "The Birth of Christianity", J.D. Crossan raises an interesting point concerning Jewish law. He quotes a verse (I believe from Leviticus or Deuteronomy) which instructs the Israelites that (I'm paraphrasing), "If you hang a man from a tree, you will not let the sun set on his body." IOW, take the body down before nightfall. Crossan brings this up in creating an explanation of why a Roman official might have been sympathetic to the idea of allowing Jews to remove the bodies of their crucified loved ones to tombs after death. Roman crucifiction, of course, was designed to be an embarrasing, undignified death in every way, as well as a public deterrent to legal disobedience. So the Romans usually left the bodies to rot in the sun. Jewish law forbade this, and so a Roman official interested in keeping the peace might have allowed exceptions. Interestingly, Crossan does not think that this was the case for Jesus.

Crossan also differentiated between Roman "live" crucifixion, and Jewish "dead" crucifixion, in which the body was merely hung up for public display after a death sentence (presumably by stoning) was carried out.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 25, 2008, 09:24AM
Something easily missed, because it is not intuitive:  evolution has no direction.  There is no goal.  There is no progression from less perfect to more perfect, from less complex to more complex, from less anything to more anything else.  There is only change, retained or not.
I'm almost sure Darwin would agree with you (and Kurt Vonnegut in Galapagos). Still, life seems to be moving towards systems of greater complexity and not in the other direction. Even non-organic systems and cosmic systems seem to be moving toward greater complexity-----galaxies, galactic clusters, planetary systems. The Earth itself is getting bigger through cosmic dust, ice, meteors, asteroids and comets. Some even believe Earth was much smaller during the age of dinosaurs, hence weaker gravity and bigger animals. Is this merely an evolutionary process we just happen to see moving in one direction like a train going from Chicago to L.A. and will reverse if we wait on the tracks, or is there a corollary to evolution that natural selection favors more complex systems?

So--is greater complexity an adaptation/mutation favored by natural selection (if that's a proper way to frame the question)? The humans bicameral mind would seem to prove this out, "handedness," other systems.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 25, 2008, 09:28AM
Crossan also differentiated between Roman "live" crucifixion, and Jewish "dead" crucifixion, in which the body was merely hung up for public display after a death sentence (presumably by stoning) was carried out.

The Roman way was not merciful and designed to take 24 hours or more (Jesus' alleged short time mystifies many commentators). One had to push up to allow air into the lungs. Once this was not possible one died from lack of oxygen.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: puma on Apr 25, 2008, 09:50AM
Excellent posts Lawrie! You've touched on a few points that have been discussed in the past ...

I'm fully aware of what "empirical" means, ...
One strategy of the evolutionists is to attack the intelligence of the creation position. Blinded by their dogma, they have no recourse but to insult the source of the other position.

My friend, I think you have been seriously inculcated with the religion of evolution.  There is simply not enough room to go into this they way it deserves,...
There are some other posts on the there have been other threads about this. Additional space for comments will probably not resolve their views.

I assert again, it take far more faith to believe in evolution than it takes to believe in God.
Sometimes they deflect this argument by saying that still does not make creation right. Logically, they are correct, but then they do not respond to the fact that their faith is much less believable. They insist on explaining where we came from without God, hence invent stories without substance and teach it as fact. As it is written, when the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

A student CANNOT successfully argue against evolution in our schools because they will be FAILED.  The pressure to comply is immense - they are NOT permitted to have contrary opinions.
We met with teachers in non-threatening ways to explain our children will fully cooperate in the study and course requirements with the proviso that the students put disclaimers on their papers and tests indicating the answers are according to the text and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of the students. We assured the teachers our children would not argue about creation in class unless prompted. All their teachers accepted that. Most were thrilled to know they would not face any challenges. Some confessed their hands were tied and assured us they would prefer to have open discussions about origins but were prevented from doing so by their superiors.

Why do you differentiate between creation and mainstream scientists?  Many mainstream scientists are also creationists...
It is their way of handling opposition. When faced with scientists who differ from the mainstream thought about origins, attack the credibility of the scientists. They seldom listen to arguments from the other side. Public debates between evolution and creation usually favor the creation model so the National Center for Science Education recommended avoiding them (http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/rncse_content/vol24/8066_confronting_creationism_when__12_30_1899.asp).

RE: dinosaurs and humans NOT co-existing, please see:
They dismiss these sources are biased without acknowledging the same can be said for their sources.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 25, 2008, 10:01AM
They dismiss these sources are biased without acknowledging the same can be said for their sources.
They aren't dismissed for "bias" but because they aren't "sources" at all, just tourist attractions upon which no testing or verification was conducted.

The rest of your post needs no comment.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 25, 2008, 10:45AM
They aren't dismissed for "bias" but because they aren't "sources" at all, just tourist attractions upon which no testing or verification was conducted.
 
The rest of your post needs no comment.

But it's not fair if a grown-up can't get respect and attention by throwing a tantrum!
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Lawrie on Apr 25, 2008, 11:30AM
G'day Dave,
sorry mate, it doesn't change.  The Word is stable, regardless of our interpretation.

I appreciate your candor and if your "observations" are an accurate description of your approach, your integrity.  As I do not know you I think you will understand my little caveat.  No offence is intended.

===========
G'day Byron,
re "dogma".  It seemed to me that you were totally resistant to other opinions and intolerant with it - it appears I was making an invalid snap judgement - again I apologise.  You do appear to be somewhat resistant, but not, I think, intolerant.

To cover the rest of your responses, perhaps you will accept that my position is that fundamentally "religion" (by my definition) and science are really the same thing.  My definition of religion is stated above, but to reiterate, I claim that it is mans attempt to find a god, any god.  That god could just as easily be one of money, lust, reason, personal gratification...  Whereever ones personal preferences and predjuces lie.

You mention good skeptics.  I have met or been exposed to NO good ones - they have ALL had the same kinds of personal dishonesty that seems to be part of the human condition.  The thing that saddens me is that the only joy they seem to have is in attempting to destroy the beliefe systems of others.

Quote
Well, sort of, but religious apologists are notoriously bad about being incredibly resilient to correction

I find exactly the same thing about evolutionists...  Clearly nobody's perfect.  :)

BTW, the word hell holds no trauma for me, on the contrary that's one condition I have no fear at all of.  It is a place I'll never visit.  ;)

Quote
Unfortunately creationists generally aren't remotely interested in taking even the most superficial responsibility to actually look into such things in order to consider them from a non-dogmatic, properly evidential and soundly reasoned manner.

Funny, I went to school (quite a few years ago now...) and was thoroughly indoctrinated with the evolutionist philosophy.  I even believed it for a while - till I discovered that it was so internally inconsistent that I could no longer in all integrity continue to accept its precepts.

Quote
I'd suggest not simply assuming the accounts in the gospels are factual and historically accurate. I'd suggest holding the gospels and the rest of the Bible and all other such documents to proper and consistent standards of evidence and reason. No pet theories. No sacred cows. No free passes. That's not honest.

The gospels are records of eyewitness accounts written in the lifetimes of the witnesses.  They, and the rest of the Bible for that matter, have been studied and dissected far more than any other text in history and still hold up.  That said, we are far from having a perfect understanding of every word in the Bible.

Quote
You are aware, I hope, that evolution is supported by a great deal of data in all the hard sciences
No.  I am aware that interpretations have been made that seem to, but not that the data irrefutably supports anything of the kind.

Quote
...but I'm mentioning it here to demonstrate I'm operating from over two decades of conscious experience in Protestant church environment.
the above quote is truncated to preserve some space...

What you choose to do with your life is up to you.  My understanding of Southern Baptists is that they are pretty much on the ball.  That does not mean I'm claiming perfection for them - EVERYONE makes mistakes.  That said, I would expect that you've had access to some pretty sound teaching.  Did you pay attention or lip service?  Did you genuinely seek an experience with Jesus?  Or were your expectations in some area not met?  If so, were your expectations reasonable in the context of the teaching received or had you simply presumed something without sound foundation?  My experience tells me that when I do the latter it don't work.  And neither should I expect it to, God is consistent and He will not change just to suit my preferences.

===========

G'day Timothy,
I am aware of the appropriate definitions of the term "theory".  I do not believe I have misused it.

I think there are better qualified resources than I - please refer to the web sites I posted earlier, perhaps they have access to numbers, I don't but I'm certain it's significantly more than 0.16%, my understanding is that there are many more than 300 in Australia alone, and we have a much smaller population than, say, the States.  My comment on dating methods is true, and radioisotope dating has its flaws...  Especially C14.

We are really talking forensic science here.  There is a good five letter word for forensic science: "guess".  Educated maybe, quite often probably correct, but still a guess.  Without an observer you don't know.

RE arguing in class.  Have you never been in a class where the teacher/lecturer was shown to be in error?  It takes an argument to do that, and I am NOT talking about students who don't know the subject they are being taught.  They are quite capable of passing the exams so why fail them for arguing against the subject?  The clearly understand it...  No, this is the worst kind of abuse of power in the classroom.  IMHO

===========

G'day evan51,
Quote
These seem like very silly stories, Lawrie.

But you dismiss them so easily...  Are you willing to have enough faith in your opinions to properly research them or will you do what so many creationists are accused of and simply ignore the possibilities?  BTW, I do not make any claims either way, I do not have sufficient or appropriate training or the means to examine them myself - I merely presented some suggestions that there is reasonable grounds for doubt.

Quote
Where does it say that Jesus would give a crap what you thought about Darwin's Theory of Evolution 2,000 years after He split? Or for any of your numerous sects for that matter? Or what you believed? It seems people get quite full of themselves when they start tossing the "C" word around (and for no reason other than lack of humility). Really--- this is too much.

No offence intended mate, but I think you should research these teachings better.  You've managed to just about get enough key words together to suggest you have a good handle on things, but it's obvious you're talking through your hat to anyone who actually knows.  Your prejudices are showing.

===========

G'day Dave,
Who? me? Religious modes of thought?  Of course!  :)  But MY brand - I am a dyed in the wool Christian, content to use Gods method for reaching me rather than try to invent my own way to get to Him.  I am not perfect, and never will be while my backside points to the ground, but I try, confident that God is bigger than my mistakes.

Now, back to the issue...  Of course mathematics is a language.  Invented to describe real world things and to relate ideas and concepts.  The concepts are not mathematics, merely described using the language of mathematics, which is so much more convenient than other languages for the purpose.  One uses the appropriate jargon for the task at hand, otherwise explanations take far too long.

===========

G'day Andrew,
Quote
Let me use an anology: I have this theory that someone named Lord Cornwallis surrendered to this guy named George Washington at the battle of Yorktown
You have eyewitness accounts...

===========

This is gonna have to do me for tonight - it's 4:35 AM here and I'm tired...


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 25, 2008, 11:47AM
G'day evan51,
But you dismiss them so easily...  Are you willing to have enough faith in your opinions to properly research them or will you do what so many creationists are accused of and simply ignore the possibilities?  BTW, I do not make any claims either way, I do not have sufficient or appropriate training or the means to examine them myself - I merely presented some suggestions that there is reasonable grounds for doubt.
Lawrie:
It's up to the person offering these oddities as "evidence" to do the scientific work, if they claim they are what they say. The fact that the work hasn't been done, that there has been no peer review, and that the  articles are written by creationists and not paleontologists indicates there are no "reasonable grounds for doubt." Hey---I enjoy reading for entertainment also, but let's not confuse standards here.

This manner of being too clever by half, conniving, and spinning words instead of doing any "work" is not science, it is "rhetoric." What is most troubling to me, and to others, is that this conniving, deceptive and misleading approach seems to be what you think "God" expects from you. Redefining math and science to be "just another kind of faith" to put your arbitrary beliefs on an imagined equal footing with people who are honest workers lacks integrity. Calling this dishonesty "faith" is probably the ultimate insult to truth.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 25, 2008, 12:55PM
G'day Dave,
sorry mate, it doesn't change.  The Word is stable, regardless of our interpretation.

I appreciate your candor and if your "observations" are an accurate description of your approach, your integrity.  As I do not know you I think you will understand my little caveat.  No offence is intended.

And absolutely none is taken. I would expect anybody that does not know me well to examine my personal observations with a critical eye. They are subjective, after all, and subject to error. Sometimes, when discussing an issue in depth with somebody, I find it illuminating to hear a bit from them about their inner thought processes- what makes them tick. So I offered a glimpse into my own mind in that spirit. Use the salt liberally! ;)

Quote
The gospels are records of eyewitness accounts written in the lifetimes of the witnesses.  They, and the rest of the Bible for that matter, have been studied and dissected far more than any other text in history and still hold up.

Yes, they have been studied and dissected, and this is why we now know so much about their colorful history. I wonder if you would be kind enough to present some evidence of your assertions here. Your own belief that this is so does not count. There is ample historical, anthropological, archeological, literary, and many other types of evidence that show clearly that the books of the Bible, particularly the NT, have undergone massive changes at various stages during their histories, not reaching their final forms until decades or centuries later than your statements would indicate. If you have some evidence that I have not seen which refutes that, I would be most interested to see it. But be warned, I will not accept "because I just know" or "my pastor told me and he was very sincere" as evidence. :D If there is some good real evidence out there that all the books of the NT were written independently of one another, by the people whose names are in the titles, in the early to mid 1st century, and have remained literally unchanged since, I'm all ears.

Oh, btw, the vast majority of the scholars who have supplied us with the liberal, "scholarly" view of NT origins that I am proposing here have been devout Christians themselves. Some of the non-Christian scholars have REALLY torn the NT to shreds!




Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Andrew Meronek on Apr 25, 2008, 01:22PM
Geesh; it hardly seems fair with about 10 posts per every one of yours . . .

G'day Andrew,You have eyewitness accounts...

Eyewitness accounts do not fill in all "missing links." Nor do they constitute the entirety of evidence of the battle.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 25, 2008, 01:31PM
Geesh; it hardly seems fair with about 10 posts per every one of yours . . .

I'm inclined to agree, except for the fact that in virtually all other mediums and in US life in general it's precisely the opposite. I think it's good for believers to get even the slightest, fleeting, hint of a taste of what non-believers deal with on a more or less constant basis.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Piano man on Apr 25, 2008, 02:18PM
If all evolutionists are honest enough to admit it is a theory then WHY is it taught as FACT in our education systems? 

While we're at it, why is gravity taught in schools as a fact? After all, it's a theory. One of these days I'll get drunk and NOT fall on my ass.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 25, 2008, 02:29PM
While we're at it, why is gravity taught in schools as a fact? After all, it's a theory. One of these days I'll get drunk and NOT fall on my ass.
And "atomic theory" is the entire basis of chemistry----seems to work. Tim explained the use of the term "theory" among scientists. To say that gravity, evolution or electricity is "just" another theory, is a feeble attempt to give some credibility, and place on an equal footing, what they call "creation theory" (which should be 'hypothesis,' BTW).


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Elkhart 88H on Apr 25, 2008, 03:30PM
And an untestable hypothesis at that.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 25, 2008, 05:52PM
One of the many real questions behind this artificial controversy (Are sound evidence and reason really controversial simply because idiocy is very popular ... or just loud?) is why creationists and ID types ask questions they clearly don't want answered. It can't be more clear that they don't really want the answers, because they get them, repeatedly, and drive on as if they heard or read nothing. I'm not sure there's any clearer large scale display of manifest dishonesty and intellectual depravity in the modern world.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Lawrie on Apr 26, 2008, 01:28AM
G'day Evan,
Quote
It's up to the person offering these oddities as "evidence" to do the scientific work, if they claim they are what they say.
It is my understanding that this has been done for the sites mentioned - many times by both sides of the argument with appropriate posturing from both camps.

Quote
Redefining math and science to be "just another kind of faith" to put your arbitrary beliefs on an imagined equal footing with people who are honest workers lacks integrity. Calling this dishonesty "faith" is probably the ultimate insult to truth.
I don't consider myself to be redefining anything at all.  Simply suggesting that aspects of interest have been overlooked.  However if you wish to content yourself with the thought that I am trying to redefine these things why don't you try to consider, without prejudice, whether I might have a point?  Not for one moment do I intend ANY insult to people who work in these fields.  More to the point, I would suggest that if you were to take my point up with them they may well agree.  At least those that aren't intellectual snobs, who would reject anything from a layman out of hand anyhow.  I might add that intellectual snobbery is something I have first hand experience of as a result of the IT services my business provides to other organisations - especially certain university affiliated groups.

IMHO the greatest insult to truth is self delusion, not alternative perspectives.

RE "atomic theory" etc.:  While thories work they get used, when they fail they get modified, replaced or junked altogether.  Works for me, I have just never seen evolutionists do it.  Creation theory is also being modified fairly regularly as outmoded concepts are revealed as being inadequate, inappropriate or downright false.  The difference is that creationists are honest about the foundation of their wrork being faith.

Quote
One of the many real questions behind this artificial controversy (Are sound evidence and reason really controversial simply because idiocy is very popular ... or just loud?) is why creationists and ID types ask questions they clearly don't want answered. It can't be more clear that they don't really want the answers, because they get them, repeatedly, and drive on as if they heard or read nothing. I'm not sure there's any clearer large scale display of manifest dishonesty and intellectual depravity in the modern world.
I do hope you're not referring to me.  I do not and have not questioned evidences discovered (except when they are shown to be faked which disappointingly has happened on BOTH sides of the issue) - only the interpretation of said evidence.  If you wish to consider me an idiot then that is your privilege, though I happen to think you'd be wrong.

============

Dave,
I'm sorry that I do not have the time to go through my (very disorganised) library thoroughly enough to dig this stuff up for you.  I do have works that examine critically the integrity of the Bible and it's sources and the efforts and sacrifices (read martyrdoms) that people have gone through in order to maintain its' integrity.

The Dead Sea scrolls come to mind though these do not contain the gospels.  However they do serve to show that integrity has been maintained in the books common to the Bible considering the Bible came from texts that do not include the scrolls as sources and the scrolls were discovered over the period 1947 to 1979.

I have seen many documentaries and other resources that claim to disprove the integrity of the New Testament - none have convinced me that they are based on rigorous inquiry.

Much of the NT is attributed to Paul.  The literary style in the works by him are supposed to be consistent.  I'm no expert in this, but others are.  I am aware of no reputable research that refutes this.

The gospel of Matthew is attributed to Matthew the tax collector who became a disciple of Jesus.  Best guesses for when he wrote it seem to be around 50 to 60 AD.

The Gospel of Mark was written by a fellow called John Mark who was a friend of Peter, a disciple of Jesus.  He is reported from non biblical sources as having spent considerable time with Peter and Barnabas.  It is likely he had contact with the rest of the disciples too.  Mark was written around 50 AD.

Considering Jesus was crucified around 30 AD these works were written within 30 years of the events described - this is certainly within living memory of the people involved.

============

G'day Andrew,
Quote
Geesh; it hardly seems fair with about 10 posts per every one of yours . . .
Yeah, it is stretching me a bit...

Eyewitness accounts NEVER cover everything that happens.  Any extrapolation to fill the holes is a guess.  The Bible does no extrapolation of this manner, though scholars may.

============

G'day Byron,
Quote
I'm inclined to agree, except for the fact that in virtually all other mediums and in US life in general it's precisely the opposite. I think it's good for believers to get even the slightest, fleeting, hint of a taste of what non-believers deal with on a more or less constant basis.
Oh please.  I'm bombarded with the secular viewpoint ALL THE TIME.  Every time I read a newspaper, watch a doco., see a pseudo scientific television show like CSI (which I generally enjoy despite the obvious "shortcuts") etc..  I really don't need any more...

============

Hey Piano man,
let me sell you some "ytivarg" (patent pending) - guaranteed to keep you up all night... :grin:

============



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on Apr 26, 2008, 04:21AM
G'day Dave,
Who? me? Religious modes of thought?  Of course!  :)  But MY brand - I am a dyed in the wool Christian, content to use Gods method for reaching me rather than try to invent my own way to get to Him.  I am not perfect, and never will be while my backside points to the ground, but I try, confident that God is bigger than my mistakes.

Now, back to the issue...  Of course mathematics is a language.  Invented to describe real world things and to relate ideas and concepts.  The concepts are not mathematics, merely described using the language of mathematics, which is so much more convenient than other languages for the purpose.  One uses the appropriate jargon for the task at hand, otherwise explanations take far too long.

So you are explicitly redefining 'mathematics' to exclude half of the dictionary definition that you quoted? A slippery tactic...

I know this was only a minor point, but the way you've redefined the meaning of the word seems characteristic of other fallacies that you're busily trying to propagate here.

You didn't answer my other question, which asked what empirical evidence you have that Jesus exists, after you asserted that you had some that made 'him' as real to you as other people are. It must have got lost in the torrent of this thread...


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Andrew Meronek on Apr 26, 2008, 06:09AM
G'day Andrew,Yeah, it is stretching me a bit...

Eyewitness accounts NEVER cover everything that happens.  Any extrapolation to fill the holes is a guess.  The Bible does no extrapolation of this manner, though scholars may.

Exactly my point. Despite the "missing links," I maintain that there is still enough evidence to reasonably conclude that the battle of Yorktown happened. In the same way, despite the "missing links," I maintain that there is still enough evidence to reasonably conclude that evolution has happened.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BFW on Apr 26, 2008, 06:59AM
RE "atomic theory" etc.:  While thories work they get used, when they fail they get modified, replaced or junked altogether.  Works for me, I have just never seen evolutionists do it.

Read some of Richard Dawkins's books on evolution and you'll learn how much evolutionary theory has changed over the years.  Based on evidence, of course.

I must say that it's rather presumptuous to make a statement like "I have just never seen evolutionists do it" and imply that evolutionary biologists (or whoever else you're lumping in with that term) are somehow vastly different from all the rest of the scientific community; that they don't test their theories, modify theories in the light of new evidence, have several competing theories under current investigation, and so forth.

The fact is, evolution does an excellent job of explaining the evidence, ALL of it.  Evolution, like ALL accepted theory, has been tested and adjusted and modified, and it is pretty solid at the moment.  The fact that you haven't seen it probably is more indicative of you not having looked.  The same thing goes for various theories in cosmology that are probably being lumped in with evolution.

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I do not and have not questioned evidences discovered

Creationists regularly question evidence discovered.  Carbon 14 dating evidence, for instance.  The fact that Carbon 14 dating is testable and has been shown to be accurate doesn't seem to matter.  Creationists also do not FIND any evidence, nor do they present testable theories.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: fsgazda on Apr 26, 2008, 07:43AM
I find it to be telling that Creationists are now attempting to gain credibility by going by the name "Creation Science", and are attempting to discredit Scientists by claiming that they go on "faith".

You can use the term "creation science" all that you want, but the scientific method starts with observation, then attempts to draw conclusions.  No matter how often you say it, starting with a conclusion, then working backwards is not science.  Maybe if you came up with a new term for it (say, oh, I don't know, how about "Religion"?) and respected the separation of church and state, fewer people would care.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Daniel Harris on Apr 26, 2008, 08:56AM
I find it to be telling that Creationists are now attempting to gain credibility by going by the name "Creation Science", and are attempting to discredit Scientists by claiming that they go on "faith".

You can use the term "creation science" all that you want, but the scientific method starts with observation, then attempts to draw conclusions.  No matter how often you say it, starting with a conclusion, then working backwards is not science.  Maybe if you came up with a new term for it (say, oh, I don't know, how about "Religion"?) and respected the separation of church and state, fewer people would care.

These points, and many others raised in this and related threads, are carefully, thoroughly, and dispassionately addressed by Federal District Court Judge John Jones III in his opinion in the case of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. Since a search for "Kitzmiller" and "Dover" did not turn up any results, I assume this case has not been referenced on the Forum before.

Judge Jones found that Intelligent Design was a religious doctrine rather than a scientific theory and, as such, could not constitutionally be permitted to be presented as science. He also concluded that members of the Dover School Board had lied under oath to hide their religious motivation behind the decision to introduce Intelligent Design to the science curriculum.

Creation theory is also being modified fairly regularly as outmoded concepts are revealed as being inadequate, inappropriate or downright false.

The Kitzmiller case was decided in late 2005. Unless things have radically changed in the brief interval since then, the evidence produced at trial would suggest that creationism/creation science/intelligent design has been the same old wine in different bottles for years.

By the same token, Byron, the record in this case would suggest that the misunderstanding that evolutionary theory proposes that humans descended from apes is, alas, alive and well.

In any event, I would suggest that the opinion in this case is well worth reading, whatever one's position on these matters. Leading proponents of both evolutionary theory and Intelligent Design were called as expert witnesses and subjected to cross examination by the other side. The behavior of some of the proponents of Intelligent Design on the school board was also shown to be seriously lacking from an ethical standpoint.

The full text of the opinion can be found here:
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/kitzmiller_v_dover_decision.html

Dan Harris








Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 26, 2008, 08:58AM
So you are explicitly redefining 'mathematics' to exclude half of the dictionary definition that you quoted? A slippery tactic...

And a time-honored tactic for religious apologists of all stripes. Change the rules of the game so you win. Josh McDowell is one of the worst, C.S. Lewis one of the more adept (among popular users, anyway). The same tactic is liberally deployed in drug war and gun control "research" as well.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 26, 2008, 09:04AM
Exactly my point. Despite the "missing links," I maintain that there is still enough evidence to reasonably conclude that the battle of Yorktown happened. In the same way, despite the "missing links," I maintain that there is still enough evidence to reasonably conclude that evolution has happened.

Odd how their strategy does a 180 when they argue for the historical accuracy of the resurrection. It's just very strategically bad science here, but what does it say about their thinking that they argue precisely the opposite manner when it seems to work in their favor as in the resurrection?
 
Hmmm ...
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 26, 2008, 09:06AM
He also concluded that members of the Dover School Board had lied under oath to hide their religious motivation behind the decision to introduce Intelligent Design to the science curriculum.

It can't really be "lying" if Jesus wants you to do it!
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 26, 2008, 09:10AM
By the same token, Byron, the record in this case would suggest that the misunderstanding that evolutionary theory proposes that humans descended from apes is, alas, alive and well.

Interesting ... looks like I overestimated the integrity of the creationist crowd.
 
Seriously.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 26, 2008, 10:39AM
Dave,
I'm sorry that I do not have the time to go through my (very disorganised) library thoroughly enough to dig this stuff up for you.  I do have works that examine critically the integrity of the Bible and it's sources and the efforts and sacrifices (read martyrdoms) that people have gone through in order to maintain its' integrity.

What, no G'day for me?! :D

I understand that we all don't have time to deeply research every little point we make here, but if you remember anything, an author's name, some specific details, it could be helpful. I do think that the word "critically" may be a bit overused regarding scriptural examinations by some authors, but maybe you can prove me wrong. As far as the martyrdoms go, there is quite a lot of evidence that disputes the historicity of many or most of them. I'm not saying that anything is proved beyond a shadow of a doubt here, but there are certainly question to be raised.

Quote
The Dead Sea scrolls come to mind though these do not contain the gospels.  However they do serve to show that integrity has been maintained in the books common to the Bible considering the Bible came from texts that do not include the scrolls as sources and the scrolls were discovered over the period 1947 to 1979.

All the scrolls prove is that some of the scriptures have remained pretty stable since the time of the scrolls' composition. I am not up on the latest data regarding their supposed age, but I already conceded a 1500-1600 year window of relative stability for the texts, so this is a moot point. I don't recall having seen any claims that the scrolls predate that figure. If I'm wrong on that, I'm wrong, and will re-examine my conclusions.

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I have seen many documentaries and other resources that claim to disprove the integrity of the New Testament - none have convinced me that they are based on rigorous inquiry.

TV (I'm assuming) documentaries don't impress me either. One way or the other. And not every claim or conclusion on the "disproving" side of the equation will be correct, of course. But it is irrelevant, because if somebody is bound and determined to believe something, no amount of evidence of any quality will disuade them. To really study this thing objectively, first you have to come to grips with the fact that you MAY HAVE TO COMPLETELY CHANGE YOUR MIND about something that is very, very important to you. That is a scary thing for many people, and makes it hard to be very critical.

Quote
Much of the NT is attributed to Paul.  The literary style in the works by him are supposed to be consistent.  I'm no expert in this, but others are.  I am aware of no reputable research that refutes this.

I have no doubt that at least some of the Pauline Epistles are authentic. The theology is correct for the time period. (This was a time when certain brands of Judaism was absorbing, reluctantly, a lot of Hellenistic ideas about spirituality. Paul seems to have been one who absorbed quite a bit, because his theology reeks of it.)

Interesting, though, that although Paul came along supposedly so soon after the crucifixion, he makes hardly a single mention of any biographical details of Jesus's life, and does not quote a single one of Jesus's sayings or teachings. This despite the fact that he supposedly hobnobbed with Jesus's disciples quite a bit and would have heard all the "stories".

I'm no literary style expert either, and I confess that I have not dug as deeply into the scholarship of the Epistles as I have the Gospels. Thank you for giving me a new project to undertake. I do know that scholars are mixed on exactly which Epistles are authentic and which are not. But they seem unanimous in their opinion that some ARE fakes. Bear in mind that in this time period, attaching somebody else's name to a document or writing "in the style" of someone else was a common literary device and not frowned upon like it is today.

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The gospel of Matthew is attributed to Matthew the tax collector who became a disciple of Jesus.  Best guesses for when he wrote it seem to be around 50 to 60 AD.

Most scholars think that Matthew, along with Luke, were expanded copies of Mark, and were written in the early 2nd century. These two gospels each take Mark and redact it in directions to support the theologies of their respective communities. There are mountains of literary evidence showing exactly which verses were redacted by each author and to what theological purpose.

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The Gospel of Mark was written by a fellow called John Mark who was a friend of Peter, a disciple of Jesus.  He is reported from non biblical sources as having spent considerable time with Peter and Barnabas.  It is likely he had contact with the rest of the disciples too.  Mark was written around 50 AD.

Mark is considered to have been the first canonical Gospel to have been written. Most scholars peg the time at around 80-90 AD. Mark draws heavily on the non-extant document known as the "Q" gospel, which also forms much of the source material for the gnostic "Gospel of Thomas". (If memory serves. You know, that whole digging in the library thing...)

EDIT: AAAACK! Had to catch myself on this one. Sloppy, sloppy! Mark draws on the Q gospel, which in turn shares source material with "Thomas". The Q gospel had already redacted its source material toward apocalypticism, and so Mark copies from it pretty much verbatim.

Also, I'd be fascinated to learn of the non-biblical evidence that John Mark existed, let alone hung out with P and B. Although I suppose they could have all been mentioned together in other non-canonical gospels, ahich would qualify as non-biblical.

Quote
Considering Jesus was crucified around 30 AD these works were written within 30 years of the events described - this is certainly within living memory of the people involved.

Well, let's put the above aside for a moment and assume this to be true. Why, then, are there so many discrepancies in the four gospel accounts? If you take the four Gospels and read them as line items instead of straight through back-to-back, you will see what I mean.

I am enjoying our discussion and hope you are also.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 26, 2008, 02:15PM
I have no doubt that at least some of the Pauline Epistles are authentic. The theology is correct for the time period. (This was a time when certain brands of Judaism was absorbing, reluctantly, a lot of Hellenistic ideas about spirituality. Paul seems to have been one who absorbed quite a bit, because his theology reeks of it.)

Interesting, though, that although Paul came along supposedly so soon after the crucifixion, he makes hardly a single mention of any biographical details of Jesus's life, and does not quote a single one of Jesus's sayings or teachings. This despite the fact that he supposedly hobnobbed with Jesus's disciples quite a bit and would have heard all the "stories".

It seems of the epistles attributed to a "Paul" (assumed to be Saul of Tarsus by virtue of the assumption, only, they are written in the same style) seven are "genuine" and the others are questionable.

Wiki:
Quote
The Pauline epistles are the fourteen books in the New Testament traditionally attributed to Paul of Tarsus, thirteen of which are explicitly ascribed to Paul, and one, Hebrews, is anonymous.[1] Except for Hebrews, the Pauline authorship of these letters was not academically questioned until the nineteenth century.

Seven letters are generally classified as “undisputed”, expressing contemporary scholarly near consensus: Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon. Six additional letters bearing Paul's name do not currently enjoy the same academic consensus: Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, and Titus. The first three, called the "Deutero-Pauline Epistles," have no consensus on whether or not they are authentic letters of Paul. The latter three, the "Pastoral Epistles", are more disputed; contemporary scholarly opinion widely regards them as pseudographs,[2] though certain scholars do consider them genuine.[3] There are two examples of pseudonymous letters written in Paul’s name apart from the alleged New Testament epistles.[4] Since the early centuries of the church, there has been debate concerning the authorship of the anonymous Epistle to the Hebrews, and contemporary scholars reject Pauline authorship.[5]


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 26, 2008, 04:39PM
Thanks, Evan. Good old Wiki to the rescue!

Those figures pretty much jive with what I remember from my readings, but I was hesitant to put forth an "exact" count.....


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Lawrie on Apr 26, 2008, 07:59PM
G'day MoominDave,

From the free online dictionary:
Quote
mathematics
n. (used with a sing. verb)
The study of the measurement, properties, and relationships of quantities and sets, using numbers and symbols.

Quote
language
n.
1.
a. Communication of thoughts and feelings through a system of arbitrary signals, such as voice sounds, gestures, or written symbols.
b. Such a system including its rules for combining its components, such as words.
c. Such a system as used by a nation, people, or other distinct community; often contrasted with dialect.
2.
a. A system of signs, symbols, gestures, or rules used in communicating: the language of algebra.
b. Computer Science A system of symbols and rules used for communication with or between computers.
3. Body language; kinesics.
4. The special vocabulary and usages of a scientific, professional, or other group: "his total mastery of screen languagecamera placement, editingand his handling of actors" Jack Kroll.
5. A characteristic style of speech or writing: Shakespearean language.
6. A particular manner of expression: profane language; persuasive language.
7. The manner or means of communication between living creatures other than humans: the language of dolphins.
8. Verbal communication as a subject of study.
9. The wording of a legal document or statute as distinct from the spirit.

Hmm, using "numbers and symbols" - sounds like a language to me... See point 2a in language quote.

==========

G'day Andrew,
Quote
I maintain that there is still enough evidence to reasonably conclude that evolution has happened.

Fair enough - you are clearly more easily convinced than I am.  I see NO evidence of progression at all - not so much missing links as NO links...  But LOTS of inference, innuendo and bald faced lies.  Sadly there are enough well intentioned but ignorant people on both sides of the argument to create unnecessary angst.

==========

G'day Brian,
the moment you bring Dawkins up you dissapoint me.  He has clearly stated he is attempting to pull down Christianity as a primary motivation - I have serious trouble believing anything he has to say as having ANY integrity.  He is working his agenda, not truth.  IMHO

The reality is evolution has more holes in it now that it has ever had.  Only the blind or self deluded refuse to see that. and yes, you could make a similar claim about creationists.  Where does your faith take you?

C14 dating has been tested many times and shown to be wanting, NOT accurate...  Agendas, agendas...  :(

==========

G'day Frank,
I don't particularly care for the term either, but not for the same reasons.

Might I add that I have no problems with real science - lets face it, we all enjoy the benefits when science becomes engineering - witness the PC you're probably using now, the infrastructure that brings electricity and water to your door etc..  Unfortunately the argument between evolutionists and creationists is more politics than anything else - that's what I hate most about it.

==========

G'day Dan,
I've never been particularly impressed with so called "intelligent design" theories - aside from the special case that could be argued that with God as designer, and assuming He is intelligent then there was intelligent design in the process, but that is a special case only and IMHO not sufficiently relevant to justify other aspects of the intelligent design approach.

==========

G'day Dave,
sorry to have missed it before.

My library is currently in lots of boxes and under lots more boxes - I doubt I can find much at all.  The particular references I'm thinking of were last read by me around 6 or 8 years ago so I'm afraind I cannot remember particular names.  I do have one very good work that you may appreciate reading - I'll try and locate it so that I can give you its title.

The works of Josephus (37 to 100 AD) come to mind.  While I have not read them fully, scholars seem to be reasonably happy that there are no glaring discrepancies between his researches and record of events and the Biblical ones.  Including the historicity of Christ.  While I have not researched it myself I have been told that there is more non-biblical evidence for the life of Christ than for Julius Caesar, yet I see no one disputing Caesars existence.  Funny thing that...

Quote
Well, let's put the above aside for a moment and assume this to be true. Why, then, are there so many discrepancies in the four gospel accounts? If you take the four Gospels and read them as line items instead of straight through back-to-back, you will see what I mean.
:) an old furphy...  No two witnesses see anything the same way, nor do they report identically.  If they DID agree in minute detail I'd be worried that they WERE fakes...  A witness is just that - someone who reports what they saw or perhaps experienced.  If someone didn't see something how can they report it as if they had and remain credible?  I can bear witness that Christ changed my life, you cannot bear witness that Christ changed me 'cos you weren't there.  However, you COULD report that I SAY Christ changed me 'cos I've just done so.

==========

That'll have to do for now, my wife is calling me for lunch - gotta keep her happy ya know.  (secret for a long and happy marriage - keep her happy!)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: play_louder on Apr 26, 2008, 09:41PM
G'day.


From the free online dictionary:

What's that thing about internet arguments being lost by default when you have to recourse to online dictionaries? Anyhoo, your attempts to continually re-define terms to try to bolster your argument still isn't working. You are skating around a very interesting issue around whether mathematics is discovered or created, but you're not actually going there I think because it makes you position even harder to justify. Rather you're just muddying the water and getting nowhere.

I see NO evidence of progression at all - not so much missing links as NO links...  But LOTS of inference, innuendo and bald faced lies.  Sadly there are enough well intentioned but ignorant people on both sides of the argument to create unnecessary angst.

NO evidence AT ALL? Sounds dangerously like dogma to me. I might have some sympathy with your position if you thought the evidence was 'unsatisfactory' or 'inconclusive' but simply denying there is any AT ALL I'm afraid shows your true colours.
I'd also be interested of you could reference a 'bald face lie'. I'm curious as to what you mean.

the moment you bring Dawkins up you dissapoint me. 
The moment you brought up "Answers in Genesis" you disappointed me.

He has clearly stated he is attempting to pull down Christianity as a primary motivation - I have serious trouble believing anything he has to say as having ANY integrity.  He is working his agenda, not truth.  IMHO
His agenda is public, and revolves primarily around the support of science education. He doesn't try to hide it (unlike AiG), and speaks about it often and honestly. You can read about it here (http://richarddawkinsfoundation.org/foundation,ourMission). Sorry about the persecution complex, but he doesn't mention christianity once.

  Where does your faith take you?
Faith again. What definition are you using this time? You didn't include a dictionary quote for us. I have faith that honest enquiry, unencumbered by presupposition and dogma, is most likely to give the right answer.

C14 dating has been tested many times and shown to be wanting, NOT accurate...  Agendas, agendas...  :(
No it hasn't. Is that one of the 'bald faced lies' you were talking about earlier?


Unfortunately the argument between evolutionists and creationists is more politics than anything else - that's what I hate most about it.
This we can agree on. The 'argument' is wholly about politics - let face it, it's not about science, as one party to the 'argument' doesn't have any! It's about one group of people attempting to force their views on others.

Something that always gets lost here is the fact that the rest of the world isn't claiming the planet is only 6000 years old. There are plenty of muslim, sikh, taoist, buddist and hindu  scientists. If evolution really as a western plot to oppress a few poor christians, how come universities in India and Thailand aren't standing up and saying 'No no! Look, all the evidence points to the world only being 6000 years old!'.

Whatever. I'm getting bored with this now. When you first joined, Lawrie, I thought you had a genuine interest in this topic. You indicated you hadn't understood what you were taught about evolution, and therefore doubted it was true. People here were actually interested in helping you understand the issues better. I even suggested a book for you to read, as I remember. But I think you have shown that you aren't interested in understanding science any better. You really sealed it for me when you quoted from AiG. You just want to promulgate you own 'bald faced lies', 'politics' and 'faith' (dogma).


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Jackofalltrades on Apr 26, 2008, 11:02PM
So ANYWAY this topic is Science VS. Religion. I veer off the evolution topic to address the topic of this thread. Ever hear of Dr Raymond Damadian. HMMM not a household name for sure. Ever had an MRI (or know someone who did)...Thank Dr. Damadian. He was the first to point out, in a 1971 paper in Science (based on experiments involving lab rats), that MRI could be used to distinguish between healthy and cancerous tissue.
He was awarded patents for his work.
The following is a quick overview of a story written about his work.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In 1994 Dr Damadian’s patents on the MRI scanner invention had been infringed. A jury decision in his favour had been inexplicably overturned by the judge in favour of the companies that had exploited his ideas. However, three years later, the US Supreme Court overruled in his favour.

Dr Damadian has been awarded the United States’ National Medal of Technology. He has also been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, alongside Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and the Wright brothers, where he was awarded the Lincoln-Edison medal.

In 2003, the Nobel Prize for Medicine went to the breakthrough field of diagnostic MRI scanning. It was shared by two scientists. But, to the stunned disbelief of virtually all who worked in that field, these did not include Raymond Damadian, even though the terms allow for up to three people to share the award.

Dr Eugene Feigelson is Dean of the State University of New York College of Medicine in New York, the institution where Damadian’s pioneering work was done. He said, ‘… we are so disappointed, and even angry … all of MRI rests on the fundamental work that Dr Damadian has done here.’

There is no doubt that the two scientists who were honoured, Dr Paul Lauterbur and Sir Peter Mansfield, did contribute to the field. Lauterbur developed techniques for producing images from scans, and Mansfield refined the techniques to make them more practical. But there is absolutely no question that the pioneering breakthroughs were Damadian’s. He was the first to point out, in a landmark 1971 paper in Science (based on experiments involving lab rats), that MRI could be used to distinguish between healthy and cancerous tissue. Lauterbur’s own notes indicate that he was inspired by Damadian’s work.

As an experimentalist, Dr Damadian had to overcome the scoffing of theoretical physicists. Against much opposition, he built the first working MRI scanner. The first MR image of a live human skull was made with this machine on 3 July 1977. The prototype is now on permanent display at the Smithsonian Institution’s Hall of Medical Sciences. In 1972 Dr Damadian filed the first patent for MRI scanning. Dr Bradford James is professor of biochemistry at Drexel University, and Chairman of the Committee on Sciences and the Arts that elected Dr Damadian for the 2004 Benjamin Franklin Medal and Bower Award.2 He said, ‘There is no controversy on this. If you look at the patents in this field they're his.’
All of which makes the exclusion of Dr Damadian as the third co-recipient of the Nobel so pointed that even some of the secular media have talked of the possibility of a link between Dr Damadian’s exclusion and his creationism. The New York Times raised the issue in a recent report.3 In fact, as renowned an anti creationist as the agnostic/deist Canadian philosophy professor Michael Ruse has written of his own deep concern.4 Choosing his words carefully, he writes of the ‘likely hypothesis’ that the motive for rejecting Damadian was his open creationism. Damadian is a Christian, says Ruse, whose beliefs include the Genesis account of creation: ‘Adam and Eve the first humans, universal flood, and all the rest’.

Ruse says that in the eyes of the Nobel committee, ‘it is bad enough that such people exist, let alone give them added status and a pedestal from which to preach’.

Having testified against creationism in major US trials, Ruse still opposes biblical creation with every fibre of his being. In fact, he says he feels ‘a certain sympathy’ for those who might say that creationists should be excluded from scientific recognition lest it give their ‘wrong … [even] dangerous’ views credibility. But his sense of fair play makes him say, ‘I cringe at the thought that Raymond Damadian was refused his just honor because of his religious beliefs.’ By those standards, he points out, the Nobel committee (whose deliberations remain sealed for 50 years) would also have had to reject Isaac Newton.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I'm back...Even though this comes from Answers in Genesis do not dismiss it out of hand as it is not directly discussing evolution etc. but making a factual article about the prejudices that take place in a field that has two diametrically opposed sides, and yet Professor Ruse even defends the fact that Dr. Damadian was slighted because of his beliefs. 

This is really Science VS Religion.
So should Dr. Damadian have been awarded the Nobel Prize? Y/N ?


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Daniel Sheard on Apr 26, 2008, 11:09PM
:) an old furphy...  No two witnesses see anything the same way, nor do they report identically.  If they DID agree in minute detail I'd be worried that they WERE fakes...  A witness is just that - someone who reports what they saw or perhaps experienced.  If someone didn't see something how can they report it as if they had and remain credible?  I can bear witness that Christ changed my life, you cannot bear witness that Christ changed me 'cos you weren't there.  However, you COULD report that I SAY Christ changed me 'cos I've just done so.



Just hang on a minute.  You have four (plus all the others which I suspect you havn't read - tell me if I'm right) accounts of the life and death of someone they believed to be the most important person who ever walked on the earth.  You think that some of these accounts were written relatively shortly (a few decades) after his death and are prepared to forgive them some inconsistency.

Woah.  If the events they are writing about really happened then they are some of the most significant things which these people have ever seen, or any other humans have ever seen.  Why didn't the witnesses get things written down more quickly, and more accurately?  Wouldn't you?  Wouldn't anybody?


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: JBledsoe on Apr 26, 2008, 11:29PM
Why didn't the witnesses get things written down more quickly, and more accurately?  Wouldn't you?  Wouldn't anybody?


 Do you account for every event in your life right after it happens? Many memoirs have been written after a considerable period has passed. For the apostles, they walked and talked with Jesus, and lived his ministry. I dont feel there was an urgency because they were his closest friends.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Andrew Meronek on Apr 26, 2008, 11:31PM
G'day Andrew,
Fair enough - you are clearly more easily convinced than I am.  I see NO evidence of progression at all - not so much missing links as NO links...  But LOTS of inference, innuendo and bald faced lies.  Sadly there are enough well intentioned but ignorant people on both sides of the argument to create unnecessary angst.

Yeah; that's true. There are definitely people out there who try to represent an evolutionary viewpoint who don't do it well, and ditto for creation. I suppose the next step is what people online have been doing for a while: picking apart the "evidence" to figure out where the inference, innuendo, and bald face lies are. Which, despite the appeal to logic, never seems to get anywhere.

I decided to google "synopsis of darwin's origin of species" and found the Wiki article, and toward the end I found this little blurb on philosophy which I think is relevant:

Quote
According to Ernst Mayr, Darwin's evolutionary thinking rests on a rejection of essentialism, which assumes the existence of some perfect, essential form for any particular class of existent, and treats differences between individuals as imperfections or deviations away from the perfect essential form. Darwin embraced instead what Mayr calls "population thinking", which denies the existence of any essential form and holds that a class is the conceptualization of the numerous unique individuals. Individuals, in short, are real in an objective sense, while the class is an abstraction, an artifact of epistemology. This emphasis on the importance of individual differences is necessary if one believes that the mechanism of evolution, natural selection, operates on individual differences.

Mayr claims essentialism had dominated Western thinking for two thousand years, and that Darwin's theories thus represent an important and radical break from traditional Western philosophy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Origin_of_Species#Philosophical_implications

It occurs to me that anyone starting out with the classic Greek assumption that the human form is the highest possible state of being will find it impossible to understand the concept of evolutionary change over time. I know this is a bit of a branch from the current discussion, but my outlook is that me as an individial and we as human beings are constantly changing over time. And based on what little I know of the history, this philosophical debate has been the large part of the argument for or against evolution of species. Lawrie, where do you fall on this?


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Jackofalltrades on Apr 27, 2008, 12:34AM
To give equal weight to my post about Dr. Damadian here are some other ( non Christian)sources with different takes on the subject. Just to be fair.
 
http://www.armeniapedia.org/index.php?title=Raymond_Damadian
This gives a little more information on the work he did and why he possibly didn't get the Nobel.

From the makers of the MRI...
http://www.fonar.com/nobel.htm  and
FONAR POSITION REGARDING NOBEL PRIZE... http://www.fonar.com/news/101603.htm


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: play_louder on Apr 27, 2008, 02:04AM
Controversy in Nobel prizes is hardly new, and I suppose kind of inevitable. There's certainly a danger of fairly ordinary 'arbitrary' decisions being over-analysed and turned into conspiracies - like the one about Rosalind Franklin not being awarded one as being part of the team that discovered the helical nature of DNA because she was a woman.

Having a (very) quick read about the Damadian MRI case, it seems to me the issues are not clear cut either way. It's quite possible that what the Nobel prize was awarded for in this case simply didn't include much of Damadian's work.

That said, if Damadian's personal religious views did play any part in the decision, then it was very wrong and would be an example of prejudice and intolerance.



As an aside, I note that Damadian was an M.D. This got me to thinking; if it turned out that my doctor was a creationist christian, I think I would find another doctor. Essentially I wouldn't have enough confidence that a creationist doctor was open-minded or disciplined enough, given the big overlap between medical studies such as genetics etc and evolutionary theory. What would such a doctor do when reading a medical journal article about genetic disorders or new bacterial infections which was predicated, in whatever small part, on the mutation and evolution of organisms? Would he dismiss then out of hand? Probably in practice not a big issue, but it would be enough for me to have second thoughts.

That thought, though, also led me to thinking about what I would do if I was in a position to be offering employment to M.D.s. For the same reason, would I hesitate to give them a job? Because to do so would be prejudicial. Hmmmm. Something for me to ponder.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on Apr 27, 2008, 02:15AM
Quote from: Lawrie

From the free online dictionary:

What's that thing about internet arguments being lost by default when you have to recourse to online dictionaries? Anyhoo, your attempts to continually re-define terms to try to bolster your argument still isn't working. You are skating around a very interesting issue around whether mathematics is discovered or created, but you're not actually going there I think because it makes you position even harder to justify. Rather you're just muddying the water and getting nowhere.

Lawrie - "The study of" is the most important part of the sentence from the definition you quoted. "Using numbers and symbols" is an essential part of it, but not the whole thing. play_louder has pointed out concisely what is in error in your replies on this matter (as did I in my previous post).

And you still haven't answered my question about the empirical evidence you have of Jesus' day-to-day reality (Lawrie wrote: "I have empirical evidence in my personal life and relationship with Jesus that He is at least as real as you are").


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on Apr 27, 2008, 05:04AM
I know this is a bit of a branch from the current discussion, but my outlook is that me as an individial and we as human beings are constantly changing over time. And based on what little I know of the history, this philosophical debate has been the large part of the argument for or against evolution of species. Lawrie, where do you fall on this?

I think this observation is very much on topic.

The Bible, particularly the OT, was written from the point of view of an agrarian society whose worldview was that the world had been created entire and complete, fixed and unchangeable, with mountains, seas, valleys, and life in their present form.  Their perfect form, actually, God wouldn't have made mistakes. 

They didn't know that plates could move, mountains could form and erode and reform and erode, seas could dry up and form and dry up, etc.

Even a casual look around us today makes it obvious the Earth is in constant change.  That would have been incomprehensible to the early writers. 

But that same casual look makes it obvious that the amount of change you can see with your own eyes could not have happened in 6,000 years. 


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 27, 2008, 06:27AM
Do you account for every event in your life right after it happens? Many memoirs have been written after a considerable period has passed. For the apostles, they walked and talked with Jesus, and lived his ministry. I dont feel there was an urgency because they were his closest friends.

And time makes memory less and less reliable. I recommend Eyewitness Testimony by Elizabeth Loftus to anyone genuinely interested in how memory works and how reliable it is ... and anyone who is a potential juror.
 
It's not fair, I know, but it's reality, and we have to work within the parameters of reality.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: skygazer on Apr 27, 2008, 07:33AM
Whew!  I comeback after several days away from the formum, and find that this post is growing geometrically.  I am still trying to digest some of the previous posts, which means I will have to go back and reread them.

Evan 51, thank you for your edification on Martin Luther King Jr.'s education (several pages ago).  That will remind me to always double check my sources.

I think that the phrase 'man of faith', or "woman of faith', should be used with great care.  Just because someone may have a deeply held religious belief does not necessarily mean they will agree with some one else of a religious tenant.  I will attempt to explain by example.  Charles Darwin was a man of faith.  Granted, he was not of the faith as accepted by most Christians.  He was a member of the Unitarian Church.  As a Protestant, most of my beliefs do not agree with what Charles Darwin believed.  But that does not make him any less a 'man of faith'.






Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 27, 2008, 08:20AM

I think that the phrase 'man of faith', or "woman of faith', should be used with great care.  Just because someone may have a deeply held religious belief does not necessarily mean they will agree with some one else of a religious tenant.  I will attempt to explain by example.  Charles Darwin was a man of faith.  Granted, he was not of the faith as accepted by most Christians.  He was a member of the Unitarian Church.  As a Protestant, most of my beliefs do not agree with what Charles Darwin believed.  But that does not make him any less a 'man of faith'.
Thank you for that, Walt. Some have said that "faith" lies in service to mankind. Darwin was not trying to sell a "belief system," IMHO, but sharing his observations and a theory to explain them. I think there is a danger is denying facts based on belief as Galileo and others learned the hard way.

Thanks, too, for sharing that Darwin was a Unitarian. When you walk into a Unitarian Church, you won't see a cross, of course, but a beacon of light as a symbol---the search for truth. Consider that Darwin had to take on church dogma as well as the scientific community of his time to publish his works.

Our friend Martin, too, had to take on the calcified and fossilized attitudes of an entire culture to state a basic truth that a man deserves to be honored, respected, and treated equally. They both stand high above their detractors.

 


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 27, 2008, 09:26AM
The history of the Church and the projection of Christianity in the West is a sordid and deceitful affair. I'm not surprised that the early church fathers concluded that the church goers were people who wanted to deceived and obliged them in every way. It is virtually the same today---a carnival sideshow manipulated by every TVangelist, politician and smarmy apologist who thinks he has something to gain from this enterprise.

The roots of the tree:

Quote
It is an act of virtue to deceive and lie, when by such means the interests of the church might be promoted. ---Bishop Eusebius, Ecclesiatical History, vol. 1, pp. 381-382
Eusebius also wrote a chapter entitled How it may be Lawful and Fitting to use Falsehood as a Medicine, and for the Benefit of those who Want to be Deceived. Vindication, Edward Gibbon.

Quote
Great is the force of deceit, provided it is not excited by a treacherous intention. On the Priesthood, St. John Chrysostom (347-407 c.e.)
And commenting on this, Cardinal Newman:

Quote
The Greek Fathers thought, that when there was a justa causa, an untruth need not be a lie. As to the just cause, the Greek Fathers make them such as these---self defense, charity, zeal for God, honor and the like.

Quote
Origen was quoted by St. Jerome as advising presbyters in the church who were "forced by circumstances to lie," the need to observe the rules of the art (of lying) and to use the lie when arguing with a disbeliever in order to win that person over to important Christian points. St. Jerome himself claimed to write in a "lying manner" and cited in support of the practice numbers of greek and Latin Christian writers before him. He named St. Paul as a liar and in the same letter described the approved methods of Christian propaganda against opponents. The Crucifixion of Truth, Tony Bushby, p. 59 (footnotes omitted)

Note that the prevailing attitude among the Early Church Fathers was that lying and deceit were permitted to serve the interests of the Church (not God, Jesus, the people {rabble they were called}---but the church). These were the custodians, too, of what you now call "scripture," "Gospels," and "the Bible" (although changing the Torah was a bit more problematic, but not outside their power altogether).

St. Augustine wrote a treatise On Lying (this was a "how to book" not a proscription on lying).

Quote
St. Augustine boasted that he 'lusted to thieve and did it' and acknowledged that between his 'indistinct ravings' he was unable to produce any uncorrupted copies of the Gospel.' The bishop boasted how he reveled in the fleshpots of Carthage and Rome and described sex as 'his particular compulsion.' He led a riotous life and fathered an illegitimate son called Deodatus. Towards the end of his life of debauchery St. Augustine confessed that Christianity was a religion of threats and bribes unworthy of wise men. .The Crucifixion of Truth, Tony Bushby, p. 63 (footnotes omitted)

I could go on, and there is much more to say about the early church, early fathers, and the reliability of church documents.

But some likely possibilities present themselves:

1. From an early stage, church doctrine and preaching was tailored to those "who wanted to be deceived."
2. Early church fathers had no difficulties with lying, indeed, they were trained in it.
3. The Early Church fathers served the Church (i.e., themselves) and were not concerned about truth, God, Jesus, or the rabble).
4. Quite early on, the church could produce no uncorrupted copies of the Gospels. For at least 1600 years, we've had translations redactions, edits, scribe's mistakes of already corrupted materials. The Bible had always been modified to accord with wishes of those in temporal power.

Reading through what Christians have posted here on science and mathematics I can only say they are upholding a proud tradition and St. Augustine , Eusebius and the other church fathers are looking up through the flames and nodding in approval.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 27, 2008, 09:34AM
And you still haven't answered my question about the empirical evidence you have of Jesus' day-to-day reality (Lawrie wrote: "I have empirical evidence in my personal life and relationship with Jesus that He is at least as real as you are").
Well, if Jesus is no more real than MoominDave, perhaps we should worship Dave Taylor?  :D

We await thine edicts oh, Holy One!


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Piano man on Apr 27, 2008, 09:57AM

Evan51
Quote
Eusebius also wrote a chapter entitled How it may be Lawful and Fitting to use Falsehood as a Medicine, and for the Benefit of those who Want to be Deceived. Vindication, Edward Gibbon.

The use of falsehood as medicine is a controversial topic today. Placebo effect can be highly therapeutic, but it's incompatible with complete honesty between doctor and patient.

Back on topic. Lawrie, you explain the discrepancies among the gospels as ordinary and expected inconsistencies among witnesses. Fair enough, but how does that square with the Bible being the inspired and infallible word of God?


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 27, 2008, 10:35AM

Back on topic. Lawrie, you explain the discrepancies among the gospels as ordinary and expected inconsistencies among witnesses. Fair enough, but how does that square with the Bible being the inspired and infallible word of God?
Yes, it's true that eye witness testimony is notoriously unreliable. Of course, none of them (Gospel writers) were "witnesses" at all, but rather fabulists and propagandists.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 27, 2008, 01:29PM
G'day Dave,
sorry to have missed it before.

No problem. I'd have a hard time keeping up with all those G'days too!

Quote
My library is currently in lots of boxes and under lots more boxes - I doubt I can find much at all.  The particular references I'm thinking of were last read by me around 6 or 8 years ago so I'm afraind I cannot remember particular names.  I do have one very good work that you may appreciate reading - I'll try and locate it so that I can give you its title.

Okay, sounds good.

Quote
The works of Josephus (37 to 100 AD) come to mind.  While I have not read them fully, scholars seem to be reasonably happy that there are no glaring discrepancies between his researches and record of events and the Biblical ones.
 

This may be true to a point, but I don't think there is a great deal of overlap between the two sources. See below...

Quote
Including the historicity of Christ.

The famous (and only) Jesus reference in Josephus is flogged quite often to support Jesus's historicity, but there is at least some evidence that this passage was a forgery, inserted centuries later by a Church scribe. (Ditto the one or two times he mentions mass Christian martyrdom at the hands of Nero.) The Jesus passage certainly seems out of place, as it were, inserted between two paragraphs which have nothing whatsoever to do with Christ, religion, or anything else even remotely related to it. Not only that, but the emotionally gushing tone of the paragraph is a bit out of character for a dispassionate historical acount by a non-Christian. I am no Josephus scholar so take my comments with that caveat. Nevertheless, most Christian scholars seem to "not look a gift horse in the mouth" when dealing with Josephus. This may partially explain the scholarly "consensus" that his work is all reliably authentic.

Quote
While I have not researched it myself I have been told that there is more non-biblical evidence for the life of Christ than for Julius Caesar, yet I see no one disputing Caesars existence.  Funny thing that...
:)

As far as I know, the only contemporary written non-biblical (or I should say non-scriptural by including the non-canonical gospels) evidence for the life of Jesus comes from the above-mentioned Josephus paragraph. The overwhelming "proof" offered for the historical reality of Jesus seems to be Christianity itself. After all, the thinking goes, if Jesus wasn't real, how could so many people believe in him (even unto death) after the fact? But this proof is, of course, nullified by the fact that so many people believe in other gods (even unto death) that we all acknowledge are no more real than the man in the moon.

I have heard the supposed mass-martyrdoms of the later first century offered as evidence also, but if these are put in historical doubt (which they have been) then that evidence also collapses.

Julius Caesar, by contrast, is well-attested by multiple contemporary sources, as well as countless mentions in official documetns fo all kinds. He is probably the most-documented human in the best-documented period of antiquity.

Quote
an old furphy...  No two witnesses see anything the same way, nor do they report identically.  If they DID agree in minute detail I'd be worried that they WERE fakes...  A witness is just that - someone who reports what they saw or perhaps experienced.

Yes, this is the standard response to the point of gospel discord. But you can't have it both ways. Either the scriptures are infallibly God-inspired or they are not. The vagueries of human memory and eywitness accounts should not be a factor if an omnipotent God is directing the composition of the most important message ever to be delivered to his beloved human race. But let's set that aside for a moment...

If you allow a more "human" interpretation of the gospels, allowing for four different eyewitness experiences of the same events and then a couple decades for the memories to diverge as they are colored by those four individuals' subsequent life experiences, then the gospels wouldn't be so close to each other! In fact, I doubt that they would have even one point in common between the four. Such is the true nature of human memory, even of extremely important events. (Most people operate under a very false impression of how memory works. See Byron's post on the subject.)

But in fact, within the gospels, you have an almost verse-for-verse formulation that hardly varies (excepting the addition of large invented sections for Jesus's childhood and post-crucifixion in Matthew and Luke), but with significant adjustments of content. The only logical interpretation is that the authors copied from one another, each redacting and/or expanding the text to present a certain theological focus.

Quote
If someone didn't see something how can they report it as if they had and remain credible?

True, so how could the gospel authors (even if they were the actual disciples) have written about Jesus's childhood, about the Garden of Gesthemene, or any number of other happenings in which Jesus was alone or out of their sight at the time? The only remotely credible answer for a Christian is that God told them what to write. But why would he have told them all different versions, or told them to one but not the others? Etc...

 
Quote
I can bear witness that Christ changed my life, you cannot bear witness that Christ changed me 'cos you weren't there.  However, you COULD report that I SAY Christ changed me 'cos I've just done so.

This is what it all boils down to. Belief. And you may be right. I don't want to disabuse you of your personal convictions because that is not my style. I'll just throw out the challenge that lots of people believe that beliefs in lots of different things have changed their lives. The only constant seems to be the belief itself. So perhaps we don't ascribe enough importance to the power of belief in and of itself to change our lives. In fact, I'd say that we certainly don't. Most people are woefully ignorant of how their own minds work, and are really unqualified to offer personal testimony as evidence of anything! I do not exempt myself from that category, but am attempting to learn more and apply that knowledge to my thought processes.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on Apr 27, 2008, 10:52PM
Julius Caesar, by contrast, is well-attested by multiple contemporary sources, as well as countless mentions in official documetns fo all kinds. He is probably the most-documented human in the best-documented period of antiquity.


Dave,
I'm pretty sure the source for the Caesar comment is the noted apologist, Josh McDowell.  As far as I know he doesn't support that statement, merely asserts it.  If you've read him, well then you know what I'm talking about. 


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Lawrie on Apr 27, 2008, 11:06PM
G'day play_louder,
Quote
Whatever. I'm getting bored with this now. When you first joined, Lawrie, I thought you had a genuine interest in this topic. You indicated you hadn't understood what you were taught about evolution, and therefore doubted it was true.

Funny, I don't recall indicating anything of the sort - on the contrary I feel I have a more than adequate understanding of the topic.

As for the rest of the comments I think I've made my position fairly plain.  I do not consider ANY of my statements as attempts to redefine anything as much as an attempt to foster an alternative perspective.  One that I hope is a more basically honest approach in as far as understanding some definitions are concerned at least.  Particularly my thoughts on the 5 common notions - which you STILL haven't proven ;)

With respect to using the online dictionaries, YOU complained about having terms defined, so I used a lazy way (using an online resource) to show I was using terms within accepted definitions.  I'm sorry they don't meet with your approval - should I have use a Macquarie or an Oxford? - I didn't because would have been far too much extra typing and time to do so.

One point I think I have sucessfully made is that EVERYONE has an agenda.  This makes for great difficulty in believing researchers who hold what I consider a basic dishonesty in their approach.  I wish to note that I don't for one moment believe that all researchers are dishonest, but that a significant proportion aren't nearly as open minded as they think they are.  This applies to BOTH sides (of ANY argument).

The relevance of evidence is entirely in the eyes of the interpreter, and interpretation is ALWAYS a product of our prejudices.  We see what we want to see, not necessarily what is there.  Again, this applies to BOTH sides.

=============

G'day Jack,
I don't care what a person's religious beliefs happen to be, if they have achieved something worthy of note, then they deserve the honour.  It seems to me, based on your post, theat Dr Damadian was indeed slighted and should have been a co-recipient. Just MHO.

=============

G'day Daniel,
they in no way disagree in the fundamentals.  They DO report different things in some cases, but where they report the same things the reports are consistent, though not, of course, identical.

As for why they didn't write them down sooner, in that period and in that region oral tradition was still the primary method of passing on information.

Even today most of us pass on FAR more information verbally than we ever write down.  There is no conflict here.

=============

G'day Andrew,
mate, if you look at my body and try to tell me "it's the highest possible state of being" then you are headed for the funny farm :grin:

Seriously, I would argue that Adam, in the Genesis account, was created perfect but his fall from grace resulted in humans being exposed to influences (*solar radiation perhaps?) that in turn resulted in deterioation of the human genome.  It is my understanding that it is commonly accepted in the medical profession that the human genome is "running down".

As an interesting aside, given the Genesis account and though it isn't actually stated, it seems logical to me that Adam and Eve's sons must have been having children with their sisters.  If the genome was perfect (without ANY flaws or "bad" genes) then this isn't a problem, but given that the genome is "running down" at some point it must have started being a bad idea to be breeding with ones siblings.  This practice is noted in Leviticus as being sinful.  I suggest that it had been deemed a problem long before Leviticus was actually written and Moses (traditional and accepted author of Leviticus) was simply recording the then existant oral tradition.

(* some people argue that prior to Noah's flood there was sufficient water vapour in the atmosphere to have been an effective radiation shield, even to the point of acting as an optical device, a lens, that spread light very evenly around the entire globe. For myself, the jury's out on this one.  I feel it makes some sense but I'm not convinced.  It doesn't really worry me but I included it in the interests of being a bit more complete)

=============

G'day MoominDave,
If I study philosophy and use words to convey what I've learned to others are the words I use philosophy or language?  Clearly they are language, mathematics is the same thing.  IMHO.  You are most welcome to disagree.

Quote
And you still haven't answered my question about the empirical evidence you have of Jesus' day-to-day reality

Nor will I in open forum.  Some things remain personal and private.

=============

G'day Piano man,
Quote
Fair enough, but how does that square with the Bible being the inspired and infallible word of God?
Fair question.  This is where faith plays an important role.  You might recall I made a statement earlier that I trusted God to be bigger than my mistakes?  I believe that God is also big enough to ensure that His Word is reported accurately.  Does that mean word for word verbiage?  In some part yes.  The Jews were under very strict orders that every copy made of the Pentatuch (first 5 books of the Bible) were to be perfect and without correction and that any faulty copy was to be totally destroyed.  However, the reality is that one cannot transliterate ancient Chaldean (what the Hebrews spoke) into modern English, or Spanish or any other language for that matter.  This is why serious Bible scholars study Chaldean (Hebrew if you prefer) and Greek.  In order to read and study in the languages used to write it in the first place.

I am NOT a scholar of this nature.  I must trust that those with that inclination are fulfilling the task with diligence and honesty - and I trust God to prevent mistakes.

Some will argue that this is too simplistic and asking for delusion - think what you will, but I have a personal relationship with Jesus that is more real to me than you guys are.  ;)

=============

G'day Dave,
RE Josephus:  I have a copy of his writings, perhaps it's time I set aside some time and read through (some 800 pages in small print) - not something I'm looking forward to at the moment though...

RE Historicity:  As I said, I haven't researched it myself, but don't you think that there is a great lot of noise going on about a man who was a public figure for only 3 1/2 years and that 2 millenia ago?  How many public figures today, with our abitlity record stuff, do you think will be notable in 2000 years?

Jesus is the focal point of most, if not all, modern history.  Not a bad effort for one man who only "stirred the pot" for 3 1/2 years...  Especially one whom many would like to deny even existed.

As for the reports of Jesus childhood, at least some of the the authors, particularly Matthew who is the only one to cite Jesus' lineage, had access to His mother Mary.  Why wouldn't they ask her about His childhood?  I certainly would have!

As for when Jesus was alone, why couldn't He have related what happened to them?  There may be some things they didn't personally see but that doesn't mean they didn't have access to to those involved and thus be able to report what they were told.

The reality is that none of us were there - we are dependant on the accounts available to us.  I happily concede that those accounts MUST have their veracity verified, I have no desire to believe a lie.  I'm also satisfied this verification has been done.  E.G the Septuagint is a Greek translation of the ancient Jewish writings made sometime in the period 300 to 200 BC.  Copies of this are still extant and agree with modern translations of the Bible (excluding those writings that were not considered canonical) according to Biblical scholars.

The Bible is probably THE most disputed book in existence yet no truly credible proof of falsehood has been found - believe me, the Christian world would know about it if one had!  So would the rest of the world - the discoverers would be crowing from the highest heights.  Witness, every so often some claim is made that dissapears into obscurity.  Why?  Because they can't be verified.

No, I am confident in the Bibles accuracy.

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Most people are woefully ignorant of how their own minds work, and are really unqualified to offer personal testimony as evidence of anything! I do not exempt myself from that category, but am attempting to learn more and apply that knowledge to my thought processes.

I wish you well in your search.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on Apr 28, 2008, 12:05AM
G'day play_louder,
Funny, I don't recall indicating anything of the sort - on the contrary I feel I have a more than adequate understanding of the topic.


You feel that way, but you don't understand.

Your information on the theory of evolution is solely from biased religious sources.  Those sources are wrong - sometimes mistaken, sometimes dishonest. 

Based on the information you have, it seems quite reasonable to reject evolution.

The question that remains open is what your opinion would be if you actually understood the science.  That question is of great importance.  You see, we run into quite a lot of creationists on this and other forums, and the great constant is that they don't seem to actually know the science.  I say seem, giving them the benefit of the doubt;  the opinion of some others is that they do understand but are dishonest about it. 

Why does this state of affairs exist?  Perhaps it is simply impossible to actually learn the science properly without coming to agree with it.  I don't know.  If that is the case public school science classes must be enormously scarey, college courses quite off limits.

You cannot understand evolution using religious material alone.  I think that must be clear by now.  Alas, I think it is also clear you are not likely to risk learning more.   

It mystifies me that we haven't been able to find even one knowledgable creationist.  You would think at least one would want to know the enemy, so to speak.  Apparently not.   


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Andrew Meronek on Apr 28, 2008, 12:44AM
G'day Andrew,
mate, if you look at my body and try to tell me "it's the highest possible state of being" then you are headed for the funny farm :grin:

Seriously, I would argue that Adam, in the Genesis account, was created perfect but his fall from grace resulted in humans being exposed to influences (*solar radiation perhaps?) that in turn resulted in deterioation of the human genome.  It is my understanding that it is commonly accepted in the medical profession that the human genome is "running down".

As an interesting aside, given the Genesis account and though it isn't actually stated, it seems logical to me that Adam and Eve's sons must have been having children with their sisters.  If the genome was perfect (without ANY flaws or "bad" genes) then this isn't a problem, but given that the genome is "running down" at some point it must have started being a bad idea to be breeding with ones siblings.  This practice is noted in Leviticus as being sinful.  I suggest that it had been deemed a problem long before Leviticus was actually written and Moses (traditional and accepted author of Leviticus) was simply recording the then existant oral tradition.

(* some people argue that prior to Noah's flood there was sufficient water vapour in the atmosphere to have been an effective radiation shield, even to the point of acting as an optical device, a lens, that spread light very evenly around the entire globe. For myself, the jury's out on this one.  I feel it makes some sense but I'm not convinced.  It doesn't really worry me but I included it in the interests of being a bit more complete)

Interesting. It seems to me that at the root of the issue, the answer is "yes," at least in terms of the "ideal human" of which is no one except perhaps Adam and Eve were.

I'm of the opinion that the human form is pretty nice, to be sure, but it isn't "ideal," both in the sense that the universe doesn't really care one way or the other, and that there are many ways that people can grow, both physically and emotionally, that can make the totality of humanity a better species - plus the "ideal" is actually rather undefined except by what is perceivable by people now. Hypothetically, in a million years, if we humans were still around, I have no idea what we'd be like - but I'm pretty sure that we'd be able to do a whole lot of things that are unimaginable now.

Anyway, I suspect that unless we find a way to come eye to eye on this philosophical issue, the debate between creationism and science won't get very far.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on Apr 28, 2008, 01:00AM
Well, if Jesus is no more real than MoominDave, perhaps we should worship Dave Taylor?  :D

We await thine edicts oh, Holy One!

There is but one commandment in the Moominly way -

"Go forth and tazz fruitfully upon the land"


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: play_louder on Apr 28, 2008, 01:05AM
G'day play_louder,
Funny, I don't recall indicating anything of the sort - on the contrary I feel I have a more than adequate understanding of the topic.
 

You are quite right; my apologies. I was confusing you with someone else. That said, I'm really not confident you do understand it, or scientific process generally; more on this below.

Particularly my thoughts on the 5 common notions - which you STILL haven't proven ;)
Sigh. OK, lets make this really simple. There are two possible approached to this one:
1) That mathematics are created, not discovered, like a language.
If this is the case, I don't need to prove them. They are true because I say so. This is much like saying 'prove to me that green is green coloured!'. Green is green coloured because that is how it is defined. If you take this view, then you don't need to prove that the notions are correct (in a fomal abstracted sense), rather you build on them. If what you built shows a consistent and logical fit with real-world observations, then you have empirical evidence that the language you have created is useful in describing things. There is no further need for 'absolute truth', rather a search for better notions that fit the observed data better. If you can find a better fit, then good for you. Mathmaticians everywhere will thank you.
2) That mathematics is discovered, and represents an absolute property of the universe, like gravity
If this is the case, then I can prove them by simply demonstrating them. I can prove gravity exists by virtue of the fact we are not all flying off into space. I can't, incidentally, prove that gravity works the same way everywhere in the universe without observing everywhere in the universe. Similarly I can't prove the maths always works the same, except by exception. We haven't found any exceptions, so empirically we treat them (perhaps with some caution) as true for all cases until and unless we uncover evidence to the contrary. And we continue to look for that evidence.
it's an interesting debate, but you'll see hinges on a crucial fact - under both definitions ultimately it is the fit to observed data that determines the usefulness / truth of the notions. Not faith. Oberservable, objective facts. There is also a common link that under both definitions, the door is open for further refinement and development - even total revolution, if revolutionary new data comes to light. It's called science. You know, the whole 'start with the evidence, then formulate the model' type approach. The other thing - 'start with the model, then massage the evidence' isn't science, how ever much you'd like it to be.
With respect to using the online dictionaries, YOU complained about having terms defined, so I used a lazy way (using an online resource) to show I was using terms within accepted definitions.
You don't actually define your terms though. You point to the fact that a word has several meanings (which most do), and then think that means it's OK to change which meaning you are using mid-argument. On a more blatant level, it's like starting a discusion about rodents, focusing on mice, and then later trying to say the person you are arguing with is wrong because earlier you were in fact talking about computer peripherals, and bringing up an online dictionary to show that you are, in fact, correct as mice are computer peripherals.

I wish to note that I don't for one moment believe that all researchers are dishonest, but that a significant proportion aren't nearly as open minded as they think they are.  This applies to BOTH sides (of ANY argument).
 
Out of interest, how open minded would you say you are?

(some people argue that prior to Noah's flood there was sufficient water vapour in the atmosphere to have been an effective radiation shield, even to the point of acting as an optical device, a lens, that spread light very evenly around the entire globe. For myself, the jury's out on this one.  I feel it makes some sense but I'm not convinced. [my emphasis]
You've got to stop 'feeling' about science. What you 'feel' about it is completely irrelevent in terms of its likelihood. Have you actually spent any time invesigating whether this is even possible? I think you do far too much 'feeling' and not enough thinking...


  I must trust that those with that inclination are fulfilling the task with diligence and honesty
It's a shame you don't trust scientific scholars to do their task with diligence and honesty too.

The Bible is probably THE most disputed book in existence yet no truly credible proof of falsehood has been found - believe me, the Christian world would know about it if one had!  So would the rest of the world - the discoverers would be crowing from the highest heights.  Witness, every so often some claim is made that dissapears into obscurity.  Why?  Because they can't be verified.
No, I am confident in the Bibles accuracy.

The Theory of Evolution is probably THE most disputed theory in existence yet no truly credible proof of falsehood has been found - believe me, the scientific world would know about it if one had!  So would the rest of the world - the discoverers would be crowing from the highest heights.  Witness, every so often some claim is made that dissapears into obscurity.  Why?  Because they can't be verified.

No, I am confident in the accuracy of science.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 28, 2008, 04:10AM
Charles Darwin was a man of faith.  Granted, he was not of the faith as accepted by most Christians.  He was a member of the Unitarian Church.  As a Protestant, most of my beliefs do not agree with what Charles Darwin believed.  But that does not make him any less a 'man of faith'.

Faith isn't as advertised in religious circles, but yeah, by pretty much any orthodox measure Darwin was a man of faith (that's not a good thing, and IMO his character is illustrated by the fact that his human nature allowed him to overcome his religious when they came to odds--such is the nature of "good" vs. "bad" people in general). Darwin almost went into the clergy rather than natural philosophy--apparently disappointed his father by opting out.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on Apr 28, 2008, 06:50AM

Darwin almost went into the clergy rather than natural philosophy--apparently disappointed his father by opting out.
 
Byron

But, unless I'm greatly mistaken, he was Anglican, not Unitarian.  As was his father Erasmus.

Did Unitarianism even exist at that time?  Guess I should google it. 


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 28, 2008, 06:59AM
But, unless I'm greatly mistaken, he was Anglican, not Unitarian.  As was his father Erasmus.

Did Unitarianism even exist at that time?  Guess I should google it. 
It did, but I think you're right now that you bring it up.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: puma on Apr 28, 2008, 07:06AM
The Theory of Evolution is probably THE most disputed theory in existence yet no truly credible proof of falsehood has been found - believe me, the scientific world would know about it if one had!  So would the rest of the world - the discoverers would be crowing from the highest heights.
True, it is probably the most disputed theory, however no credible proof of the theory has been found either. Many in the scientific world have found the the falsehoods already. They honest ones have declared the falsehoods. Others acknowledge the falsehoods but declare it is still true since to deny them means jeopardizing their careers.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 28, 2008, 07:21AM
True, it is probably the most disputed theory, however no credible proof of the theory has been found either. Many in the scientific world have found the the falsehoods already. They honest ones have declared the falsehoods. Others acknowledge the falsehoods but declare it is still true since to deny them means jeopardizing their careers.
You've said this many, many times.
What "falsehoods?"
Who in the "scientific community" have declared "falsehoods?' What is your basis for saying they are honest (and  who do you claim is dishonest)?

What is the difference between "questions regardings specific evolutionary processes" and "falsehoods?"

You tend to play fast and loose with words, puma. But in reading the objections to Darwin's theory it is more often the ones objecting who are dishonest, manufacturing evidence, or simply don't have the specific scientific background or understanding to discuss evolution.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: HuskerTX on Apr 28, 2008, 07:31AM
...however no credible proof of the theory has been found either.

Wrong. Refer to most scientific discourse over the last 250 years. Wait, I forgot, it's not the Bible so it can't possibly have any shred of truth.



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: puma on Apr 28, 2008, 08:44AM
Refer to most scientific discourse over the last 250 years.
I did. The proof is not there; only conjecture.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: puma on Apr 28, 2008, 08:49AM
You've said this many, many times. What "falsehoods?"
The word 'falsehood' was cut/pasted from the post by play_louder. Ask the source if you do not understand.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on Apr 28, 2008, 09:13AM
I did. The proof is not there; only conjecture.

I think we may be seeing an irrecoverable breakdown in the meaning of the word 'refer'!  ;)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 28, 2008, 09:22AM
I think we may be seeing an irrecoverable breakdown in the meaning of the word 'refer'!  ;)

Creationists and authoritarians of all stripes will often use whatever definitions work for their "conclusions." It's standard authoritarian operating procedure--whatever it takes to make sure one's "questioning" of an issue brings about the desired "result."
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 28, 2008, 09:24AM
The word 'falsehood' was cut/pasted from the post by play_louder. Ask the source if you do not understand.

Did you not write this? Is PL stealing your avatar? You are the source.

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True, it is probably the most disputed theory, however no credible proof of the theory has been found either. Many in the scientific world have found the the falsehoods already. They honest ones have declared the falsehoods. Others acknowledge the falsehoods but declare it is still true since to deny them means jeopardizing their careers.

It's OK---I didn't really think you would know........ :rolleyes:


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: HuskerTX on Apr 28, 2008, 09:48AM
I did. The proof is not there; only conjecture.

You only call it conjecture because you're unwilling to accept that if the results of an experiment go against what you believe God said, than it must be wrong. It must be conjecture, not proof. A "theory," not a law.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 28, 2008, 06:10PM
G'day Dave,
RE Josephus:  I have a copy of his writings, perhaps it's time I set aside some time and read through (some 800 pages in small print) - not something I'm looking forward to at the moment though...

I should read them all too. We are in the same boat there! ;)

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RE Historicity:  As I said, I haven't researched it myself, but don't you think that there is a great lot of noise going on about a man who was a public figure for only 3 1/2 years and that 2 millenia ago?

Yes, I do. Quite a lot of noise. Most of it nearly incomprehensible babble. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that Christianity has been quite a successful enterprise for the last two millenia. Think about it: It has mass popular emotional appeal, fearful supposed consequences of non-belief, is malleable enough to be inserted into almost any culture worldwide, and in addition to all that, has been the religion of choice for the political elite of the Western world for almost two millenia. (And have you noticed how many other customs, symbols, and ideals have survived into the modern world from the Greco-Roman empire? No coincidence, I think.) It is like a good political ticket. It has something for almost everybody. When you add in the political power and the persecutorious zeal of the church over the centuries (which has systematically used its influence to stamp out every competing idea or belief system), it should come as no surprise that Christianity is so prevalent. But none of that makes it true (or untrue, for that matter). It's still the argument of "that many people can't be wrong". Well, yes they can.

What I think is creating much of the "noise" nowadays is that for the first time since antiquity, there are enough people with enough literacy, enough freedom, and enough access to good historical information that the church can no longer shield itself from all challenges as they once did, mostly by murdering the challengers. These people are waking up from almost two millenia of forced mass mind control, and they want to stretch their intellectual legs.

On the other side of the coin, many people still have a tremendous emotional investment in their Christian beliefs and are themselves utilizing the same channels of expression in making their views known. This is also a time of great worldwide uncertainty and social, economic,  and technological upheaval. Such times historically have been fertile breeding grounds for both ideological extremism and religious fundamentalism. People are frightened by the complexity and unpredictability of their lives and want simple, secure truths to which they can cling. The same phenomenon is happening in the Muslim world, with disasterous results for many innocent people as our fundies clash with theirs.

For many, certainty is more important than the truth.

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How many public figures today, with our abitlity record stuff, do you think will be notable in 2000 years?

Few if any, for precisely the reason that so many are now being (and allowed to be) written about. Perhaps we will enter another dark ages sometime in the future and our world of ideas will once again be forcibly culled to exclude all but the chosen of that time's power elite. :dontknow:

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Jesus is the focal point of most, if not all, modern history.  Not a bad effort for one man who only "stirred the pot" for 3 1/2 years...  Especially one whom many would like to deny even existed.

But is Jesus himself really the focal point, or is it the works of nasty ambitious people operating in his name that have really created most of the "history"? I suspect that average genuinely good Christian people (Which I believe to be the majority of Christians, btw) don't really make much history that is worth recording. They don't themselves stage revolutions, or murder mass quantities of people, or start wars, or manipulate the world economy, etc., although they certainly have been guilty of lending their tacit approval to those who do so in the name of their savior.

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As for the reports of Jesus childhood, at least some of the the authors, particularly Matthew who is the only one to cite Jesus' lineage, had access to His mother Mary.  Why wouldn't they ask her about His childhood?  I certainly would have!

This only works if you believe Matthew (or any gospel) was written by the supposed disciple of that name. Much evidence suggests otherwise. But even if that is true, it is strange, is it not, that Matthew would have asked Mary these questions and dutifully written the information down while John, who supposedly built a home for Mary and took care of her after the crucifixion, mentions it not at all?

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As for when Jesus was alone, why couldn't He have related what happened to them?  There may be some things they didn't personally see but that doesn't mean they didn't have access to to those involved and thus be able to report what they were told.

Okay, this may work for some anecdotes, but what about Gesthemene? Supposedly the disciples were all asleep while Jesus was agonizing in prayer. Then, suddenly, Judas and the Roman soldiers showed up and hauled Jesus away to be tried and crucified. Was there time for Jesus to dictate the whole account to them as he was being led away? It doesn't quite add up.

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The reality is that none of us were there - we are dependant on the accounts available to us.  I happily concede that those accounts MUST have their veracity verified, I have no desire to believe a lie.

We are in 100% agreement on this.

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I'm also satisfied this verification has been done. E.G the Septuagint is a Greek translation of the ancient Jewish writings made sometime in the period 300 to 200 BC.  Copies of this are still extant and agree with modern translations of the Bible (excluding those writings that were not considered canonical) according to Biblical scholars.

I would conditionally agree that the OT scriptures have remained more or less intact from the time period you mention. I am aware that the ancient Jewish scribes were absolutely fanatical about accuracy in copying and developed a stringent set of rituals that scribes would follow to minimize error. Again, accuracy of copying does not mean literality of truth. But it is certainly a testament to the strength of their devotion to their traditions.

However, the NT is a completely different ball of wax. Here we are not dealing with Jewish scribes preserving an old and accepted tradition. We are dealing with a mix of heretic Jews and recent pagan converts all scrambling to win a theological arms race. Not a good set of circumstances for literary integrity!

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The Bible is probably THE most disputed book in existence yet no truly credible proof of falsehood has been found - believe me, the Christian world would know about it if one had!

Depends on what you consider "credible" and what you consider a "falsehood". If "credible" means that the majority of Christian scholars (textual experts, IOW) agree that traditional views of NT authorship are false and have basically agreed on this for two centuries, then it is in fact credible. If "falsehood" means something that is not factually true, then one only has to find one case of something in the NT that is not perfectly historically accurate for "falsehood" to apply. Normally, I would consider that an excessively high standard to apply to an ancient text. But since we are talking about claims of divine inspiration here, I don't think it is excessive. If God could create the Universe and all life, could he not have done his dictation accurately as well?

 
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So would the rest of the world - the discoverers would be crowing from the highest heights.

Oh, they are. But few are listening. More's the pity.

 
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Witness, every so often some claim is made that dissapears into obscurity.  Why?  Because they can't be verified.

Which claims are those? If anything, more problems with the reliability of NT scripture are being discovered all the time. I have yet to hear one entirely explained away, here or elsewhere. Though many do try.

Take care, mate. :hi:





Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: puma on Apr 28, 2008, 07:15PM
You only call it conjecture because you're unwilling to accept that if the results of an experiment go against what you believe God said, than it must be wrong.
Describe the experiment.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Lawrie on Apr 28, 2008, 11:25PM
G'day Tim,
Quote
Your information on the theory of evolution is solely from biased religious sources.  Those sources are wrong - sometimes mistaken, sometimes dishonest.
You are completely incorrect in your assumption - I am far better read than that.

=========

G'day Andrew,
I agree, perhaps "ideal" is rather too slippery a term on its own.  Begs the question "Ideal for what?"

I'm rather fond of the human form too.

=========

G'day play_louder,
RE 5 notions...
I like both alternatives provided :) save that with reference to no.2 I maintain that without observing EVERY possible condition we don't know.  Though it is a pretty good bet.  Still, we don't KNOW.  That's really the crux of it.

As for "massaging the evidence".  I'm not interested in that, I AM interested in unbiased presentation of said evidence, and as I've said before, BOTH sides of the argument are clearly guilty of bias and "massaging" things.  I'm more interested in raw data than an interpretation based on someone else's agenda.  The primary thing I've been trying to do is suggest to people consideration of alternatives OUTSIDE their little prejudices - clearly I've failed.

Forensic science, no matter how well researched and tested in current conditions and no matter how those conditions are managed in an attempt to match assumed conditions for the event being investigated, is still a guess

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to change which meaning you are using mid-argument.
I have never changed meaning mid-argument - despite your claims to the contrary.

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Out of interest, how open minded would you say you are?
That's hard to say...  With respect to raw data collected without bias, I'd say very open, but with respect to conclusions drawn from said data I become very interested in the methods and prejudices of the researcher and so I become less open minded.  I might add I don't care which side of this argument a researcher might be on, if I become aware of bias OR poor method I'm most likely to reject the findings out of hand until another researcher whom I'm confident was more rigorous confirms them.

The reality is, as I've said before, we ALL have our prejudices.  I try to be aware of mine and not let them interfere with my search for truth (whatever that is), but I'm not perfect so who knows?  Of course, as I get older I become aware of other prejudices that I never knew existed, and I develop new ones too.  I am at least honest enough with myself to be aware of prejudice even if I cannot accurately guage the extent.  Can you say the same?

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You've got to stop 'feeling' about science

I didn't call that science, I called it an argument, perhaps I should have said "idea"...  I have not seen sufficient data for satisfactory analysis, so a feeling is all I can have.  Note I said I wasn't convinced.

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It's a shame you don't trust scientific scholars to do their task with diligence and honesty too.
Ahh, but I DO.  It is primarily in the evolution debate that I have such serious doubts, NOT because I am a creationist, but because the subject is SO emotive and I have seen or heard soooo many lies and half-truths.  I often doubt reports from BOTH sides because of obvious bias and/or obvious falsehoods.

The reality is that there is either insufficient data OR insufficient understanding - probably both - for either side to have a definitive answer, that is, one outside of "faith".

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No, I am confident in the accuracy of science.
For the most part so am I.  At least for the fields of study that respond definitively to expermental results.  Sciences where "opinion" holds sway is FAR less acceptable to me.  E.G. forensic sciences.

==========

G'day Dave,
sadly there IS a lot of babble.  The most disappointing aspect of this is that true faith gets lost amongst the noise.  Whenever you get people involved objectivity ends up out the window...

There was a very long period of time where the politics of the "church" was more important than true faith.  Some would argue it still is, and in some circles I would have to agree.  I deplore this.  It may well be the reason I hate politics in general.  However, IMHO It is testament to the "true believers" that Christianity has survived these "Dark Ages".  Martin Luthor deserves all the credit he gets, and probably more, for denouncing these things and pointing Christians back to the Bible and what it really teaches.  (yes, I know, there is still much interpretation in this.  The Bible itself says we must "work out our own salvation in fear and trembling").  He was not the only one, but he is certainly one of the best known.

You make some good points.  I certainly have an emotional investment - I'm a human being after all, something would be very wrong if I didn't!

The true Christian isn't interested in killing anyone 'cos they don't share his/her beliefs.  On the contrary, we'd prefer to convert ya!  ;)  Those that call themselves Christian and use it for an excuse for agression and murder have a lot to answer for.

God gets blamed for a lot of things He's had nothing to do with IMHO.

For the Christian, Jesus IS the focal point.  He is our "all in all".  All the ambition you refer to is NOT of Christ, nor is it in His teachings.  In Christian circles we primarily teach love, forgiveness and the resurrection, which is really the only thing that historically differentiates Him from all the other "good teachers" that have abounded over the centuries.  That claim is made about no other that I am aware of.

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But even if that is true, it is strange, is it not, that Matthew would have asked Mary these questions and dutifully written the information down while John, who supposedly built a home for Mary and took care of her after the crucifixion, mentions it not at all?
Perhaps, but not necessarily.  Who can say what aspects were of most interest to which disciple?  BTW, I'm not aware of John having built Mary a home...  Not impossible, but I don't recall reading that anywhere...  Do you have a reference?

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Then, suddenly, Judas and the Roman soldiers showed up and hauled Jesus away to be tried and crucified. Was there time for Jesus to dictate the whole account to them as he was being led away? It doesn't quite add up.
As I recall, their appearance wasn't all that sudden, and in any case, those who fell asleep were also supposed to be praying with Him.  It doesn't mean (nor say) they fell asleep instantly.  On the contrary, I would expect them to have tried hard to NOT fall asleep considering they had been specifically asked to remain alert.  Of course, this is interpretation and conjecture ;)

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...If God could create the Universe and all life, could he not have done his dictation accurately as well?
I'm sure He could.  But I seem to recall that the canon refers to divine inspiration, not divine dicatation.  Except for certain parts of the OT.  Must try and remember which bits the authors were directed to keep "word perfect".  Of course, translation makes it hard to know - ya gotta go back to the original then, but I said that already didn't I?

The NT was written by men.  It is "warts and all".  I accept divine inspiration for it.  Much work was done on what should be included in the canon of scripture and what should be rejected.  IIRC there is no conjecture or even real doubt about the authorship of some parts, and reasonable doubt about the authorship of other parts.  Look in any study Bible and you will usually see notes on the authorship each book and a comment on the level of confidence in that determination.  In the end though, despite disputed human authorship in some cases, they have been included in the canon.  I'm not sure I see whether it matters if "George" or "Arthur" wrote something provided they were listening to God when they wrote it...  I shall consider this some more.


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Oh, they are. But few are listening. More's the pity.

I suspect we will not agree on this one :)

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Which claims are those?
To be candid, I don't really remember - one hears about one claim or another in the press or in a journal or on the tele or wherever someone tries to make a noise about it, then a few days later you hear how said claim has been disputed or disproven by "so and so" or some other retraction or it just disappears.  The ones that just disappear seem also to be the most sensationalist ones.  Claimed for fame rather than true research IMHO.  IIRC the most recent REALLY big noise was the "James Ossuary" wasn't it?  I didn't believe it at the time, and I understand it has been thoroughly invalidated since.

There have been so many over the last 30 odd years that I've been paying attention that I admit I don't bother much anymore.  I figure that if anything with any real substance turns up it'll make enough waves that I won't be able to miss it.

Bless ya mate ;)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 28, 2008, 11:35PM

The reality is that there is either insufficient data OR insufficient understanding - probably both - for either side to have a definitive answer, that is, one outside of "faith".
That's not the "reality," but the way you choose to dismiss the information. It only seems to be "insufficient" to those who can't read or understand science tets, or who insist on making ridiculous statements about the reliability of scientific testing (such as radiocarbon dating) or who propose preposterous hhypotheses about the speed of light changing to explain the pictures from Hubble as being much closer than 13 billion light years away.

Dream on, my friend.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Andrew Meronek on Apr 29, 2008, 01:37AM
G'day Andrew,
I agree, perhaps "ideal" is rather too slippery a term on its own.  Begs the question "Ideal for what?"

I'm rather fond of the human form too.

:D

All righty. Then, according to the Bible, did God create Adam and Eve in his own image, and were therefore perfect and ideal? "Ideal for what," from what I understand, would be for God to know, not necessarily us.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on Apr 29, 2008, 02:32AM
:D

All righty. Then, according to the Bible, did God create Adam and Eve in his own image, and were therefore perfect and ideal? "Ideal for what," from what I understand, would be for God to know, not necessarily us.

And perhaps more to the point:  If God did indeed create Adam and Eve in his image it must have been a complete and perfect product by some standard, presumably His.

And therefore it is not possible that we could have a million years worth of fossils from precursors to man.  Whether it's Australopithecus, Homo habilis, or anything else, they don't exist and never existed. 

And therefore man obviously cannot be evolving today.  He was created perfect, no room for improvement.  Nor viruses, either.  H5N1 does not exist, it's all a conspiracy. 


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: play_louder on Apr 29, 2008, 02:54AM
Furthermore, we might add that if our own imperfect bodies, showing the stamp of evolution such as they do (like the extraordinary route of the recurrent laryngeal nerve - far from an ideal or perfect design) were created in god's image, we can instead infer that god evolved.

So perhaps this is the answer; we were created by god, but god himself evolved by natural selection. Evolution is still the answer, it just becomes the answer to 'who made god', rather than 'who made us'.

That said, you'd think he'd have taken the time to correct some of the pesky evolutionary 'imperfections' for us - perhaps designing our backs a bit better so we were less prone to lower back pain from standing upright, or removing male nipples to prevent at least half the population suffering the possibility of breast cancer. Then again, he was in a bit of a hurry, on a 6-day deadline, so I heard.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: skygazer on Apr 29, 2008, 05:59AM
I do think that we were created in the image of God, but not at an appearance level.  I think that mankind was made in the image of the Creator, because we in turn create.  Art, music, science, literature, technology, architecture, all speak of humanities ability to create.  And, like in the image of God, we have the ability to destroy.  Not only are we proficient at killing each other, but we are also effective in wiping out entire species and ecosystems.  Given the right circumstances we as a species could really screw this world up.  In the book of Genesis, God destroys the world with water.  Well, look out folks, cause mankind has nuclear weapons and we can now destroy the world with fire.  Now these are my personal views, and yes, my evidence is anecdotal at best.

On a different note, both religion and science have been victims of falsehood spread by different people for different reasons.  My blood boils when I think of the TV preachers who took advantage of the poor, using there shows to convince people to "send money today".  Science suffered too when ambitious men put forth Piltdown Man as proof of mankind's evolution. 




Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: puma on Apr 29, 2008, 06:05AM
If God did indeed create Adam and Eve in his image it must have been a complete and perfect product by some standard, presumably His.
Adam and Eve were created on day 6 in God's image and God said everything was very good. He did not create them as equals. He created them in His image. They were perfectly free from the diseases we see today. They also had the freedom to choose to obey or disobey.

And therefore it is not possible that we could have a million years worth of fossils from precursors to man.  Whether it's Australopithecus, Homo habilis, or anything else, they don't exist and never existed.
The key element omitted here is that there was no nephesh death in the world before Adam and Eve sinned. Nephesh indicates created beings with souls. It is used to refer to people and some animals, not plants.

The use of the word precursor is suspect. Does that mean animals existed before man or that man descended from them or both? In fact, the animals were created before man. Sea creatures and birds were created on day 5. Land animals were created on the same day that man was created, but earlier in the day. There was no development of one kind into another; each was created according to their kind.

And therefore man obviously cannot be evolving today.  He was created perfect, no room for improvement.  Nor viruses, either.  H5N1 does not exist, it's all a conspiracy.
Man has not evolved since Adam. In fact, he has deteriorated. All the diseases, viruses, cancers, etc. we have today developed over time since Adam. HN51 does indeed exist, but only as a virus. It too is evidence for a deterioration, not improvement. It is not a conspiracy. It is the result of living in a fallen world.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: puma on Apr 29, 2008, 06:24AM
Furthermore, we might add that if our own imperfect bodies, showing the stamp of evolution such as they do (like the extraordinary route of the recurrent laryngeal nerve - far from an ideal or perfect design) were created in god's image, we can instead infer that god evolved.
The extraordinary route could have been designed with the idea of alternate paths if one fails.  Read about what medical doctors and creation scientists are researching about RLN here (http://www.icr.org/index.php?module=articles&action=view&ID=1742).

That said, you'd think he'd have taken the time to correct some of the pesky evolutionary 'imperfections' for us - perhaps designing our backs a bit better so we were less prone to lower back pain from standing upright, or removing male nipples to prevent at least half the population suffering the possibility of breast cancer. Then again, he was in a bit of a hurry, on a 6-day deadline, so I heard.
Since evolution is a lie, God is not responsible for evolution. The pesky imperfections came into our lives when Adam sinned. Cancer is one of those pesky imperfections. There are nipples on males because they have a function. They are sensitive and are a source of sexual stimuli. You are correct that God created everything in 6 days, but He was in no hurry. He could have created everything in a blink, but chose a pattern of 6 days for work and one day rest to create the pattern for our week. Of days, weeks, months and years, only weeks have no astronomical relationship.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: HuskerTX on Apr 29, 2008, 06:55AM
The extraordinary route could have been designed with the idea of alternate paths if one fails.  Read about what medical doctors and creation scientists are researching about RLN here (http://www.icr.org/index.php?module=articles&action=view&ID=1742).

That website is rich.

Puma, I have a question for you. If "credible proof" (as you say) of evolution and an old universe were found tomorrow, would you believe it? Or would you just say Satan is trying to fool you?


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on Apr 29, 2008, 07:09AM
Adam and Eve were created on day 6 in God's image and God said everything was very good.

Nope.  You didn't read carefully enough.

In the first creation story, mankind was created on day 6, male and female.  No mention of Adam and Eve.

Then in the second creation account in Genesis 2, Adam and Eve were created.  No mention of 6 day creation, there really aren't specific days in the second account.  But Adam and Eve were created "on the day of" which, if the days are the same as in the first creation account, must be day 2. 


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: puma on Apr 29, 2008, 07:14AM
Nope.  You didn't read carefully enough.
In the first creation story, mankind was created on day 6, male and female.  No mention of Adam and Eve.
Then in the second creation account in Genesis 2, Adam and Eve were created.  No mention of 6 day creation, there really aren't specific days in the second account.  But Adam and Eve were created "on the day of" which, if the days are the same as in the first creation account, must be day 2.
There is only one record of creation. It is not a story. It is history. Both accounts describe different events. Adam and Eve were created on day 6. Their names (and the names of some animals) were provided in Genesis 2. The account in Genesis 2 describes more details of the events on day 6.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Elkhart 88H on Apr 29, 2008, 07:31AM
There is only one record of creation. It is not a story. It is history. Both accounts describe different events. Adam and Eve were created on day 6. Their names (and the names of some animals) were provided in Genesis 2. The account in Genesis 2 describes more details of the events on day 6.

This is proof by blatant assertion, Puma -- a method that has no credibility in scientific circles.  How do you know that your "history" book is any more accurate than the written accounts that we know as Greek and Roman myths?  Citing your personal faith in the Bible is not sufficient proof of its veracity; the ancient Greeks and Romans believed in their pantheons and the richly-detailed tales of their gods' and goddesses' actions.

Quote from: puma
... There are nipples on males because they have a function. They are sensitive and are a source of sexual stimuli. ...

I'll concede that point.  As a follow-up, perhaps you can explain the function of the vermiform appendix and the coccyx (tail bone) in humans.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on Apr 29, 2008, 07:40AM
Assume you and I are both biased.  
Assume also that hardly anyone else here has actually read the creation stories in Genesis 1 and 2.  Until recently this was particularly true of creationists, who had not noticed two accounts and often refused to believe it was so.  

Then why don't we ask them to do so now, and see whose assessment is closer to the actual words?  


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There is only one record of creation.


Well, perhaps.  But there are clearly two accounts, one in Genesis 1 and another in Genesis 2.

 
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It is not a story. It is history.
That almost isn't worth responding to.  That is your belief.  Given that it is the position of many many Christian Biblical scholars that Genesis is allegory and was never intended as history, I do not see how you can make such a confident and frankly arrogant assertion.  


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Both accounts describe different events.
It is the position of Biblical scholars that these are simply two versions of the same account.  Unfortunately there are some unresolvable contradictions between the two versions, so modern apologists often claim they are two different events, but there is zero evidence to support that.  There are many similar cases throughout the Bible where a story is told twice, as the redactor included multiple sources.  


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Adam and Eve were created on day 6.

But the days of creation are in Genesis 1, and Adam and Eve are in the story you claim is a separate event in Genesis 2.  How can you possibly state this?  Mankind was created male and female on day 6 in Genesis 1, NOT Adam and Eve, who aren't mentioned until Genesis 2.  And Adam and Eve are clearly made on what would be day 2 (or 3, there is an error in copying the text and it's hard to be sure) in Genesis 2, if Genesis 2 had distinct days.  



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Their names (and the names of some animals) were provided in Genesis 2. The account in Genesis 2 describes more details of the events on day 6.
Wait, how can you have it both ways?  You said
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Both accounts describe different events.
Which is it, two events or one event with two sets of details?

I would also note it is common for apologists to choose one account as literal and historical while claiming the other is allegorical.  But there's no way to tell one from the other.

Okay, here's the challenge for readers:  Day 6 (puma), Day 2 (tim), or No Day discernible?  


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Brisko on Apr 29, 2008, 08:36AM
I thought it was obvious that there were two different accounts. 

Genesis 2:4-7 poses a bit of a problem:

This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.
      When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens- 5 and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground- 7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.


That's in direct conflict with the account in the first chapter, in which plants appeared on day 3, and mankind on day 6.

Beyond that the second account isn't terribly concerned with the order of events, so there is a little (not much) wiggle room for the biblical literalist.  But the plainest reading of chapter 2 is that man was created before the rest of the animals.  Certainly chapter 1, which is concerned with the order of events, places the animals' creation before that of mankind.

There is no reasonable way to reconcile the two accounts into one.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 29, 2008, 08:58AM

There is no reasonable way to reconcile the two accounts into one.
Ah,.....the battle of the two infallible accounts.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: HuskerTX on Apr 29, 2008, 09:13AM
There is only one record of creation.

No there's not. Pretty much every religion in the world has a creation record. Plus, Jewish people were reading "your" creation record long before Christianity even existed, and not many Jews today take Genesis (or any other book of the Torah) literally. What makes "your" creation story so special? Oh, I forgot, because you said so. Sorry.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Piano man on Apr 29, 2008, 09:47AM

I'll concede that point.  As a follow-up, perhaps you can explain the function of the vermiform appendix and the coccyx (tail bone) in humans.

The latest theory:
People used to live in small tribes, in close quarters and with poor sanitation. Illnesses would sweep through these populations, often causing severe diarrhea, which would deprive them of beneficial intestinal bacteria. Since the entire group would be affected, it would be hard to repopulate the bacteria. The appendix may have functioned as a repository that would be 'out of the line of fire' and maintain a small population of bacteria which would then repopulate the intestines.

It's pretty easy to see how this would happen through evolution, since bowel anomalies are probably common mutations.

Sorry for the digression.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: puma on Apr 29, 2008, 10:45AM
Genesis 2:4-7 poses a bit of a problem:
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.
      When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens- 5 and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground- 7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

That's in direct conflict with the account in the first chapter, in which plants appeared on day 3, and mankind on day 6.
The account beginning in Gen. 2:4b complements the chronological account of creation listed in Gen. 1:1-2:4a. In the second account, the absence of plants or man followed by the appearance of man does not indicate order. God was very clear to mention day 1, evening, morning, etc. during the chronological description. The above is quoted from NIV which suggestions that verse 4b is the first part of a sentence that culminates in verse 7, thus containing all the verses in between during the same time period. The NASB has another rendering of Gen. 2:4-7:

4This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven. 5Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, (D)for the LORD God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. 6But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground. 7Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

In NIV the word "when" is used whereas in NASB the phrase "in the day". The context indicates that this use of "day" (yom) specifies more than one day since the heaven and the earth were created on separate chronological 24-hour days. The "when" can also mean an unspecified period of time just like "in the day". There is no need to believe that the time between verses 6 and 7 constitute one day since this is an unspecified time period. Since there is no chronology in this specific passage, there is no conflict with the previous account.

Beyond that the second account isn't terribly concerned with the order of events, so there is a little (not much) wiggle room for the biblical literalist.  But the plainest reading of chapter 2 is that man was created before the rest of the animals.  Certainly chapter 1, which is concerned with the order of events, places the animals' creation before that of mankind.
There is a line of thought which believes that someone who looks at Genesis 1-11 literally must therefore take the entire Bible literally. Instead, those who hold to Genesis 1-11 read those chapters as history, equally historical as the records of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Solomon, etc. The poetry books contain metaphor; the Gospel accounts contain biographies as well as parables. The context determines whether a passage is to be taken literally or not.

The animals had already been formed before man. Some animals (cattle, birds, beasts of the field) were brought to the man to see what he would name them, as well as to seek a suitable helper. Note that there were some animals that were not brought to the man for naming (like fish). These animals were not created after man; they were named after man.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: puma on Apr 29, 2008, 10:57AM
Pretty much every religion in the world has a creation record.
Exactly what one would expect if there was one true history of creation which was then changed due to the confusion of languages at Babel and deteriorated as they were passed down through the generations of resulting cultures.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Brisko on Apr 29, 2008, 11:45AM
Puma,

I don't think it matters whether you read it in NIV or NASB-- in either case, the account in chapter 2 has man being created prior to the emergence of plants, and prior to the creation of the animals.  Especially regarding the animals-- there is absolutely no way to read 2:18-20 except that God created the animals after creating the man (but before the woman).

Here it is in NASB:

 18Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him."
 19Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.
 20The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.


To support your assertion, verse 19 would have to use the past perfect.  (...God had formed every beast of the field...).  It does not, and the meaning is quite clear.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: puma on Apr 29, 2008, 11:59AM
To support your assertion, verse 19 would have to use the past perfect.  (...God had formed every beast of the field...).  It does not, and the meaning is quite clear.
You must go back to the original context. Using our modern day translations of Scripture, the passage seems to say that the land beasts and birds were created between the creation of Adam and Eve. However, Jewish scholars did not recognize any such conflict with the account in chapter 1, where Adam and Eve were both created after the beasts and birds (Genesis 1:23–25). There is no contradiction, because in Hebrew the precise tense of a verb is determined by the context. It is clear from chapter 1 that the beasts and birds were created before Adam, so Jewish scholars would have understood the verb “formed” to mean “had formed” or “having formed”, as you point out.



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Andrew Meronek on Apr 29, 2008, 12:52PM
Wow; I didn't realize my bandwagon would be so popular! :eek:

Obviously, I am trying to differentiate between my and Lawrie's philosophical assumptions, and I wasn't even going to go here. As I said before, debating biblical word usage or scientific evidence doesn't seem to get anywhere. Just as trying to convince Puma that his reading of the Bible is wrong won't get anywhere.

However, I did notice that Puma seems to follow a similar philosophy as Lawrie, that man was created in God's image, thus is perfect and ideal, for God's purposes. Furthermore, as man accumulated sin, he began to deviate from that image. This included physical degeneration, yes? We don't live as long, we have more diseases, various physical things go wrong with our bodies, etc., right? At least, until Jesus did his thing, which stablized mankind spiritually and physically. Would that be a correct assumption?


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 29, 2008, 01:32PM
I did notice that Puma seems to follow a similar philosophy as Lawrie, that man was created in God's image, thus is perfect and ideal, for God's purposes. Furthermore, as man accumulated sin, he began to deviate from that image. This included physical degeneration, yes? We don't live as long, we have more diseases, various physical things go wrong with our bodies, etc., right? At least, until Jesus did his thing, which stablized mankind spiritually and physically. Would that be a correct assumption?

In which case we could have been created in the image of a common ancestor of humans and apes ... so, assuming fundamentalist Christianity is correct for the sake of argument, when we arrive before God to be judged we might be looking at something more akin to a big silverback gorilla than a modern, sin-deformed human.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 29, 2008, 02:42PM
The account beginning in Gen. 2:4b complements the chronological account of creation listed in Gen. 1:1-2:4a. In the second account, the absence of plants or man followed by the appearance of man does not indicate order. God was very clear to mention day 1, evening, morning, etc. during the chronological description. The above is quoted from NIV which suggestions that verse 4b is the first part of a sentence that culminates in verse 7, thus containing all the verses in between during the same time period. The NASB has another rendering of Gen. 2:4-7:
And whether you think animals were created before or after you think man was created is relevant to human life in  what way?


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 29, 2008, 04:10PM
However, I did notice that Puma seems to follow a similar philosophy as Lawrie, that man was created in God's image, thus is perfect and ideal, for God's purposes. Furthermore, as man accumulated sin, he began to deviate from that image. This included physical degeneration, yes? We don't live as long, we have more diseases, various physical things go wrong with our bodies, etc., right? At least, until Jesus did his thing, which stablized mankind spiritually and physically. Would that be a correct assumption?

Interesting that in the Levitical code, at least one section concerns people with various deformities ot diseases, and which are to be allowed come near the altar, and so forth. So there certainly were plenty of birth defects and other ailments by the time of its writing. Meaning deformity has been around at least that long and is not necessarily increasing today.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 29, 2008, 06:09PM
G'day Dave,
sadly there IS a lot of babble.  The most disappointing aspect of this is that true faith gets lost amongst the noise.  Whenever you get people involved objectivity ends up out the window...

Of course, a lot of the noise is people debating what the TRUE faith is!

RE objectivity: Would you agree that some people at least make an attempt to be objective? Furthermore, if enough different people (with different prejudices) examine the same evidence, checking and cross-checking each other (such as in science and scholarship), doesn't that increase the likelyhood of objectivity being attained?

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There was a very long period of time where the politics of the "church" was more important than true faith.  Some would argue it still is, and in some circles I would have to agree.  I deplore this.  It may well be the reason I hate politics in general.
 

I would say you are correct here. I would also add "and always has been" to your second sentence. A cynical person might postulate that within the church elite, there never has been any true faith because they have known all along that they were propagating a fable. (I am not necessarily that cynical myself.)

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However, IMHO It is testament to the "true believers" that Christianity has survived these "Dark Ages".  Martin Luthor deserves all the credit he gets, and probably more, for denouncing these things and pointing Christians back to the Bible and what it really teaches.  (yes, I know, there is still much interpretation in this.  The Bible itself says we must "work out our own salvation in fear and trembling").  He was not the only one, but he is certainly one of the best known.

It was probably inevitable that when the church started to lose its stranglehold on political power, somebody would come along and point out how far church dogma had deviated from scripture. I suspect that it always has deviated to some degree because some things were canonized just for the sake of harmony and bringing certain sects "into the fold", so to speak. I doubt if the early church leadership ever intended that it would follow the canonized scriptures to the letter. Today, in much the same spirit as Martin Luther, people are challenging the status quo in their search for what is really true. But now the boundaries are being pushed much further than Luther could ever have dreamed in his day.

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You make some good points.  I certainly have an emotional investment - I'm a human being after all, something would be very wrong if I didn't!

Thank you. Ditto on the points. Having been in your idealogical position in the past, I understand where you are coming from and I think you argue your views about as well as they can be argued in this format.

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The true Christian isn't interested in killing anyone 'cos they don't share his/her beliefs.  On the contrary, we'd prefer to convert ya!  ;)  Those that call themselves Christian and use it for an excuse for agression and murder have a lot to answer for.

Killing is only a last resort, then? ;)

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God gets blamed for a lot of things He's had nothing to do with IMHO.

I thought this too at one point. But it seems to me now that if you believe that God created the Universe and everything in it, including ourselves in our myriad capacities, and with full forknowledge of how things would turn out, then, in fact, NOTHING happens that God had "nothing to do with". JMHO.

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For the Christian, Jesus IS the focal point.  He is our "all in all".

Yes, I am aware of the focus on Jesus, having been raised in an evangelical environment. But Jesus does not exist as a concrete idea independently of his portrait in NT scripture. This is where the Christian goes to get his/her "focus" of who Jesus was, what he was like, and what he taught. And the veracity of that scriptural portrait has been in increasingly serious doubt for over two centuries. Obviously, not everyone will believe that, but there it is.

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All the ambition you refer to is NOT of Christ, nor is it in His teachings.

I'll conditionally agree with that, but I'll go further and postulate that even much of the morally good teaching that is attributed to Jesus did not in fact come from the "historical carpenter". I would be most surprised if the real, historical person of Jesus (if there was such a literal person), would recognize the teachings of even the most harcore, fundamentalist, Bible-believing of today's churches. He would probably denounce them as heresy or insanity. Even much of Paul's writing develops a much different theology than the teaching ascribed to Jesus himself.

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In Christian circles we primarily teach love, forgiveness and the resurrection, which is really the only thing that historically differentiates Him from all the other "good teachers" that have abounded over the centuries.  That claim is made about no other that I am aware of.

I'm no expert, but I have read that resurrection claims abounded during that time period and in various contemporary mythologies, ie Egyptian. In fact, the resurrection may be one of the least original pieces to be added to the story by later authors. (Many scholars seem to think that the later gospel authors "Matthew" and "Luke" basically took Mark, copied and redacted it to fit their own theological paradigms, and then bookended it with copied or invented accounts of Jesus' childhood and resurrection.)

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Perhaps, but not necessarily.  Who can say what aspects were of most interest to which disciple?  BTW, I'm not aware of John having built Mary a home...  Not impossible, but I don't recall reading that anywhere...  Do you have a reference?

I don't have a scource. On reflection, it is probably nothing more than a self-serving church tradition, much like Peter having founded the line of Popes etc.... Nevertheless, there is a house in Ephesus (supposedly built by John for Mary after the crucifixion) which is a tourist attraction. Forget I brought it up! :D

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As I recall, their appearance wasn't all that sudden, and in any case, those who fell asleep were also supposed to be praying with Him.  It doesn't mean (nor say) they fell asleep instantly.  On the contrary, I would expect them to have tried hard to NOT fall asleep considering they had been specifically asked to remain alert.  Of course, this is interpretation and conjecture ;)

Matthew and Mark are nearly verbatim on the Gesthemene account. Jesus and the Disciples go to Gesthemene. Jesus takes Peter and two others (named in Mark as James and John) and goes a little ways off. Then he asks those three to keep watch and pray, and goes further away by himself, where he prays for an hour. (Short prayer to last an hour when you read it!) He comes back and finds the three of them sleeping. This repeats two more times, and then Jesus tells them to wake up, the hour of his betrayal was at hand. Then "Just as he was speaking" (Matthew, Mark, and Luke all agree on this) Judas and company come charging up. Mayhem ensues, Jesus makes speeches to his captors, and is hauled away. The disciples flee. The end. No time for dictation.

Luke's account is similar to the first two except he has an angel appearing to Jesus and only one instance of the disciples falling asleep. Besides that and the location (Luke has it occurring on the Mount of Olives) it is pretty consistent with M. and M.

John tells a much different (or at least incomplete) story in which Jesus and the disciples merely go to an olive grove (perhaps a parallel to Luke's Mount of Olives location???), AFTER Jesus has prayed for just about everything and everybody imaginable in the preceeding chapters, and are basically ambushed by Judas and company. Further, the emotional tone of the story is completely different. Rather than being the weary and anguished but resolute man that we see in the other three accounts, John's Jesus is firmly in control of the situation, commanding everybody including his captors at will and going almost merrily to his fate.

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I'm sure He could.  But I seem to recall that the canon refers to divine inspiration, not divine dicatation.  Except for certain parts of the OT.  Must try and remember which bits the authors were directed to keep "word perfect".  Of course, translation makes it hard to know - ya gotta go back to the original then, but I said that already didn't I?

The NT was written by men.  It is "warts and all".  I accept divine inspiration for it........... I'm not sure I see whether it matters if "George" or "Arthur" wrote something provided they were listening to God when they wrote it...  I shall consider this some more.

And what you have written here is precisely what I have been attempting to convey. It is not my intention to completely dismantle every single point of scripture. Believe it or not, dissecting the NT is not exactly a hobby of mine! :D I think there are many good things in the scriptures. What I am trying to impress upon you and others who may be reading is that many Christians need to adopt a much more humble mindset about what they think is the literal, unchallengable, factual truth of everything in scripture. (BTW, I'm not saying that you personally fall into this category.) To insist that it is "word perfect" is just absolutely absurd, and requires the most contortionistic interpretations imaginable to pull off. So go ahead, have your faith, but be genuinely aware of what it is (or is not) based upon.

Quote
IIRC the most recent REALLY big noise was the "James Ossuary" wasn't it?  I didn't believe it at the time, and I understand it has been thoroughly invalidated since.

There have been so many over the last 30 odd years that I've been paying attention that I admit I don't bother much anymore.  I figure that if anything with any real substance turns up it'll make enough waves that I won't be able to miss it.

Bless ya mate ;)

Man, I must be out fo the loop. I don't know if I have ever even HEARD of the James Ossuary before!  :dontknow: :D

Yeah, there are a lot of crackpots and cranks out there. I wouldn't worry about such as them. The real substantial evidence that NT scripture is textually inconsistent is right there in the text itself. It's not going anywhere.....


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: skygazer on Apr 29, 2008, 06:51PM
Evan and Puma, I hope that you two don't mind me taking this one.

Quote
And whether you think animals were created before or after you think man was created is relevant to human life in  what way?

The answer for me is in my beliefs.  As a Christian/Fundie I believe that mankind was created in the image of God, and in Genesis mankind was created last.  So in the order of creation according to Genesis, God is working up from plants to fish and birds to animals and finally to man, from lower life forms to higher life forms, closer to His image.  Again, this is just my beliefs.  I hope that this helps.

By the way Bryon and Evan do you guys mind me using Fundie as a self-descriptor?  I'm not sure who started it in the thread, but I find it quite humorous.



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 29, 2008, 06:56PM
This isn't just a theoretical issue, and the virus is spreading ... as in overseas (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90024822).
 
 
By the way Bryon and Evan do you guys mind me using Fundie as a self-descriptor?  I'm not sure who started it in the thread, but I find it quite humorous.

It's just short for fundamentalist, and no one in here made it up or has a copyright, I can assure you. The term's been around pretty nearly as long as there have been fundamentalists. Have at it--it's certainly a lot easier than writing out "fundamentalist" every time.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Lawrie on Apr 29, 2008, 07:01PM
G'day Evan,
Quote
Dream on, my friend.
I think your own prejudices are showing...

===========

G'day Andrew,
play_louder would complain about semantics about here, and he'd be right.  Define "God's image".  Not sure I can, though it is generally accepted that we are not talking about a physical form as God does not seem to have a physical form as we would understand it.  The reference is usually understood to relate to "mind, body and spirit" (borrowing from the Greeks...).  A primary differentiation of man from the rest of the animal world is that man was granted "free will".  WE can choose to love God or not.  Clearly this is true or this discussion would not even be happening... (assuming, of course, you will grant me the small courtesy of accepting that God exists for the purposes of this statement ;) )

As for "ideal" - my assumption would be, considering their primary responsibilities were to provide "family" for God and to "tend the garden", that they created to be appropriate for those tasks.

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Furthermore, as man accumulated sin, he began to deviate from that image.
Actually, there is only ONE sin: disobedience to God.  Arguably we have accumulated the efects of the curse which resulted from the "original sin", but we do not accumulate sin...

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At least, until Jesus did his thing, which stablized mankind spiritually and physically. Would that be a correct assumption?
Not really.  Jesus made it possible for us to be "redeemed from the curse of sin and death", but WE must take hold of it.  E.G if we continue to conduct our lives in a way that is destructive to us we'll still die young.  "By faith we are saved", but that is harder than you think.  Truly walking each day in faith is not easy.  Oh, some things a a snap, but others are very difficult, and the details of each will vary from person to person.  And will change from year to year in each individual as they mature and gain in experiences.

As for degeneration/deformaties, there are so many possible physical causes that trying to identify any particular one as "The" cause is silly.  "The" real cause was disobedience (sin), which resulted in mankind introducing imperfection in what was previously perfect. 

Take a slice of sterilised bread in a sterile environment.  It might dry out, but it will not otherwise deterioate. Now stick some mould in it.  How long before the whole slice is mouldy?  Sin is like that - once started it will take on a life of its own, unless stopped, and cause ultimate destruction.

There seems to be the idea that Christians somehow are supposed to overnight become some paragon of excellence - hardly the reality.  We are all as flawed as the next man, the difference is that we accept a Saviour who has made it possible for God to overlook our sin by having already paid the price/penatly - death ("The wages of sin is death")  More semantics here - what is death?  In this context it is commonly considered to be eternal separation from God. (Lawrie's abridged version ;) )

============

G'day Tim,
Quote
And therefore man obviously cannot be evolving today.  He was created perfect, no room for improvement.
yup, all the genomes are running DOWN, not up... Devolution perhaps? :grin:

============

G'day Dave,
Quote
Meaning deformity has been around at least that long and is not necessarily increasing today.
(bolding mine)
Perhaps, perhaps not.  We certainly have more effective tools to combat disease, and can surgically correct many other defects, but as for rates...  Without data who can say?  Philosophically I'd like to think it has increased noticeably, but I don't actually know that. 

Other considerations are pollutants, nutrient depletion in processed foods (primarily the western world), contaminants (deliberate ones like preservatives etc.), perhaps GM foods (not sure 'bout this one - philosophically I am opposed but that is a whole other argument) plus a whole bunch of other things I haven't thought of off the top of my head...

That said, it seems to me that here in Oz there are more birth defects now than when I was growing up (although there was a rather nasty bump around then caused by Thalidomide).  Of course, they may simply be being reported more often or more effectively - I have no data.  I might see if one of my clients can help with some information (health industry).

I suspect that one could argue that part of our sin is in how we no longer care properly for our environment and the results thereof.

=============

Gotta run - client waiting on the phone.  I'll get back to ya...


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Douglasclem on Apr 29, 2008, 07:09PM
for me, science attempts to answer the "how" questions and religion attempts to answer the "why" questions. what makes us human, is that we are the only living things on earth asking the questions. science and religion fail miserably when they try to answer each other's questions. the bible was never intended to be taken literally, and i submit, even the resurrection, the great mystery. sure, if it really happened, all the better, but if it didn't, it still works for me. Jesus was resurrected through his believers and the church, in spirit and worship. it still all works, either way. existentialism believes in nothing, that man has no "purpose or destiny" as Christianity and other religions espouse. life without religion creates anxiety and boredom, as life wallows around with no direction, to exist without religion means to live an empty, shallow existence. at it's best, all religion offers hope in its many forms. at its worst, man distorts it and religion becomes a catalyst for destruction. science has the same relationships with man. at its best, it provides answers and solves problems, at its worst, man distorts it, and wields the power to destroy everything through nuclear war.



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BFW on Apr 29, 2008, 07:37PM
Doug, I like your post, but I disagree with this point in particular:

life without religion creates anxiety and boredom, as life wallows around with no direction, to exist without religion means to live an empty, shallow existence.

This may be how it appears to a religious person, but I don't think this reflects the reality to a person without religion.  I don't need purpose imposed by some god to have purpose in my own life, for example.  I would think that religion ADDS anxiety to life.  I could also easily see a life devoted to religion as an empty, shallow existence, particularly given that I think that such people are spending a lot of time and energy worshiping something that doesn't exist.

I am also not sure about the relevance of this comment:

Quote
existentialism believes in nothing, that man has no "purpose or destiny" as Christianity and other religions espouse.

That may be true of existentialism, but it certainly doesn't cover all of "life without religion."  People without religion may believe in plenty of things, just not gods, and quite likely not other supernatural entities.  They may believe in the golden rule, in the value of kindness, in dignity, in the preciousness of life, in fair play, in the good nature of most of humanity, or lots of other possibilities.  If it's important to "believe in" something, there are plenty of targets available.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 29, 2008, 08:25PM
.....life without religion creates anxiety and boredom, as life wallows around with no direction, to exist without religion means to live an empty, shallow existence. at it's best, all religion offers hope in its many forms. at its worst, man distorts it and religion becomes a catalyst for destruction.
I agree that many believers come to religion because they wallow with no direction, live an empty, shallow existence, and are looking for hope, release from anxiety and boredom, emotional excitement, a tribe, and a social support network. Of course, this might also explain why so much destruction and violence is also associated with religion. "Right-minded men" seem quite willing to kill with little provocation. After all---if God is on your side....... :dontknow:

I do not find that this ia a character trait among those who reject religion, however.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Douglasclem on Apr 29, 2008, 08:28PM
bfw,

i think there are those who are biologically wired to respond to a sensitivity towards religious or spiritual beliefs and function at a higher level in order to satisfy that need, so they embrace religion. they feel insecure without it, thus it reduces their anxiety and dread of death (since, for example, those that are saved have everlasting life, in Christianity). a spiritual life fills in the gaps that science cannot fill. just think of all the great works in music devoted to the glory of god.would they have been created without a religious influence? i don't think so.

then there are others for whom religion and spirituality just don't compute, because they are applying the same rules for science that make science work, for religion, which will never work. for example, has anything been raised from the dead in science?...nope, therefore it can't exist in religion either. but it can, and does, and it works. the same rules don't apply.

believing in all the good things you mentioned is found in all of the great religions too. the difference is that your beliefs and actions like you mentioned are self serving or serve man. doing these same things for the glory of god elevates these things beyond ourselves, espousing humility and eschewing self aggrandisement.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 29, 2008, 08:34PM
believing in all the good things you mentioned is found in all of the great religions too. the difference is that your beliefs and actions like you mentioned are self serving or serve man. doing these same things for the glory of god elevates these things beyond ourselves, espousing humility and eschewing self aggrandisement.
Unfortunately, this also gives every despot the excuse that they are really acting for "God" and allows men to control each other through threats of hell and promises of paradise. The problem, Doug, is one of knowledge----- how does one really know if he acts for God, himself, or what other men tell him "God" wants?

It also leads to an actual loss of humilty and increase in pride and self-esteem for "serving God." 'Greed" for goodness is still greed, grasshopper.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Douglasclem on Apr 29, 2008, 08:50PM
 :dontknow:


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Lawrie on Apr 29, 2008, 08:52PM
G'day again Dave,

Quote
RE objectivity: Would you agree that some people at least make an attempt to be objective? Furthermore, if enough different people (with different prejudices) examine the same evidence, checking and cross-checking each other (such as in science and scholarship), doesn't that increase the likelyhood of objectivity being attained?

I would like to think so, but my experience suggests that the more emotive an issue the harder this becomes in practice (and the evolution debate is very emotive).  We become embroiled in the argument and like politicians end up having nothing good to say about the other side of the argument regardless of merit.  I would think real objectivity would become the exception rather than the rule...  Which is dissapointing.

Quote
I would say you are correct here. I would also add "and always has been" to your second sentence. A cynical person might postulate that within the church elite, there never has been any true faith because they have known all along that they were propagating a fable. (I am not necessarily that cynical myself.)

Who can really tell?  Just as you cannot know what is truly going on in my head and I cannot know what is going on in yours, neither can anyone know what is truly going on in the heads of these leaders.  It is my hope that for the vast majority of cases they are at least genuine as I consider myself to be.  Gross evidence seems to suggest this, but there are ALWAYS those with agendas.  There was only one perfect man, and we crucified Him...

Quote
...But now the boundaries are being pushed much further than Luther could ever have dreamed in his day.
Interesting points, but don't forget that when the church started it had no political power - rather it was relentlessly persecuted.  I said earlier that we, as Christians, are always learning and understanding more things - this simply typifies this growth.

Quote
I thought this too at one point. But it seems to me now that if you believe that God created the Universe and everything in it, including ourselves in our myriad capacities, and with full forknowledge of how things would turn out, then, in fact, NOTHING happens that God had "nothing to do with". JMHO.
Then where would lie free will - oooh, that is SUCH a can of worms...  This is really the "predestination" debate.  I maintain that we have the ability to choose our actions.  Blaming God in this context is, IMHO, a copout.

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But Jesus does not exist as a concrete idea independently of his portrait in NT scripture.
I would disagree.  I have heard it stated, undoubtedly you have too, that all the OT points forward to Jesus, just as all the NT points backward to Him.  I have certainly read enough of the OT to see and, I hope, understand the prophetic words concerning His appearance on the scene.

Quote
And the veracity of that scriptural portrait has been in increasingly serious doubt for over two centuries.
Unfortunately, this is another of those emotive issues.  My relationship with Christ, which is built on those scriptures, satisfies me that they are true.  It could equally be agrued that someone who does not have that relationship with Him would be satisfied that the scriptures are therefore lies.  Am I deluding myself?  Is the one without a relationship somehow missing something?  Therin lies the dilemma - we all have agendas.

Regardless of the emotive aspect, the accepted canon of scripture was not idly gathered.  I suspect you have read enough of that history to agree, though we may not agree on the motives... ;)

Quote
...would recognize the teachings of even the most harcore, fundamentalist, Bible-believing of today's churches. He would probably denounce them as heresy or insanity.
You may well be right.  But He also took the hard line when necessary too.  I have a friend who has spent a lot of time in the middle east.  He has seen money changers tables.  His description of them is very enlightening - money, the equivalent of millions of US dollars in a huge range of currencies literally everywhere.  Jesus overturning of the money changers tables in the temple was no idle whim.  His life was at serious risk - had they or their guards caught Him they would have killed Him out of hand.

Quote
...Many scholars seem to think that the later gospel authors "Matthew" and "Luke" basically took Mark...
This doesn't square with my recollections of the researches I've read.  The real problem we have here is that such research is forensic (read "guess")...

Quote
...Mayhem ensues, Jesus makes speeches to his captors, and is hauled away. The disciples flee. The end. No time for dictation...
Hmm, I wonder who woke up last :)

Peter, James and John were the witnesses as far as we can tell.  Who they told what to cannot be known at this end of time, how long Jesus actually had to relate things is also impossible to tell.  When things get recorded time relationships of the events often seem to get compressed, or sometimes telescoped.  No one can definitively answer you on this, there are no living witnesses...

As for location, AFAIK the location of the Garden of Gethsemane is unconfirmed.  Who's to say it wasn't on the Mount of Olives..?  Or perhaps close enough to be considered on it?

Quote
And what you have written here is precisely what I have been attempting to convey...
I have never denied this.  They were witnesses, not movie cameras...

Quote
The real substantial evidence that NT scripture is textually inconsistent is right there in the text itself. It's not going anywhere.....
I wonder how much of what you interpret as inconsistancy is a result of English translation?  I'm not a Greek scholar, are you?  To truly know whether there is inconsistancy one would need to read in the original Greek, with a full knowledge and understanding of period idiom.  How is anyone going to be able to do that?  The SAME problem exists with ALL historical texts, not just the Bible.

cya


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Douglasclem on Apr 29, 2008, 08:53PM
grasshopper, eh? no need to be condescending, OB-1 kanoby.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Andrew Meronek on Apr 29, 2008, 09:08PM
G'day Andrew,
play_louder would complain about semantics about here, and he'd be right.  Define "God's image".  Not sure I can, though it is generally accepted that we are not talking about a physical form as God does not seem to have a physical form as we would understand it.  The reference is usually understood to relate to "mind, body and spirit" (borrowing from the Greeks...).  A primary differentiation of man from the rest of the animal world is that man was granted "free will".  WE can choose to love God or not.  Clearly this is true or this discussion would not even be happening... (assuming, of course, you will grant me the small courtesy of accepting that God exists for the purposes of this statement ;) )

Geesh; this is making my head hurt.

I'd like to point out how there are existing illustrations of "God" looking like a wise old man, likely inspired by this passage suggesting, at least in our translation, that we look physically like God in addition to the other meanings "image" has - assuming this is a fairly accurate translation from the original. That can be attributed to our growing understanding of the nature of God, though, that people in the past would make this mistake, yes?

Quote
As for "ideal" - my assumption would be, considering their primary responsibilities were to provide "family" for God and to "tend the garden", that they created to be appropriate for those tasks.
Actually, there is only ONE sin: disobedience to God.  Arguably we have accumulated the efects of the curse which resulted from the "original sin", but we do not accumulate sin...
Not really.  Jesus made it possible for us to be "redeemed from the curse of sin and death", but WE must take hold of it.  E.G if we continue to conduct our lives in a way that is destructive to us we'll still die young.  "By faith we are saved", but that is harder than you think.  Truly walking each day in faith is not easy.  Oh, some things a a snap, but others are very difficult, and the details of each will vary from person to person.  And will change from year to year in each individual as they mature and gain in experiences.

As for degeneration/deformaties, there are so many possible physical causes that trying to identify any particular one as "The" cause is silly.  "The" real cause was disobedience (sin), which resulted in mankind introducing imperfection in what was previously perfect.

Take a slice of sterilised bread in a sterile environment.  It might dry out, but it will not otherwise deterioate. Now stick some mould in it.  How long before the whole slice is mouldy?  Sin is like that - once started it will take on a life of its own, unless stopped, and cause ultimate destruction.

There seems to be the idea that Christians somehow are supposed to overnight become some paragon of excellence - hardly the reality.  We are all as flawed as the next man, the difference is that we accept a Saviour who has made it possible for God to overlook our sin by having already paid the price/penatly - death ("The wages of sin is death")  More semantics here - what is death?  In this context it is commonly considered to be eternal separation from God. (Lawrie's abridged version ;) )

 . . . so, physical deformities are still being introduced to mankind due to the original sin? I'm not trying to pinpoint any one sin either; just trying to make clear the concept that the first original sin was or is causing physical deformities. Except those lucky people who have chosen Christ, of course.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Piano man on Apr 29, 2008, 09:28PM
G'day again Dave,
I wonder how much of what you interpret as inconsistancy is a result of English translation?  I'm not a Greek scholar, are you?  To truly know whether there is inconsistancy one would need to read in the original Greek, with a full knowledge and understanding of period idiom.  How is anyone going to be able to do that?  The SAME problem exists with ALL historical texts, not just the Bible.

Again, the people who tout the Holy Bible as the inspired and infallible word of God are saying that every word is true (sometimes allowing, as does Puma, for metaphor, parable, etc.)

I don't hear a lot of people waving the Bible and saying, "This is the infallible word of God, except for the translation errors that would exist in any older text."


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Lawrie on Apr 29, 2008, 09:53PM
G'day Andrew,
Quote
Genesis 1:26a - And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: ...

"image" - my concordance says the original Hebrew was:
Quote
tselem  tseh'-lem from an unused root meaning to shade; a phantom, i.e. (figuratively) illusion, resemblance; hence, a representative figure, especially an idol:--image, vain shew.

Make what you will of it...  I don't think that in context it has anything to do with a physical resemblance, but I've been wrong before...

IMHO artistic interpretation of anything isn't really a very good foundation for argument, except maybe about art...

Quote
. . . so, physical deformities are still being introduced to mankind due to the original sin? I'm not trying to pinpoint any one sin either; just trying to make clear the concept that the first original sin was or is causing physical deformities. Except those lucky people who have chosen Christ, of course.

Hmm, I don't know that "introduced" is the concept I'd use - that suggests to me that God is taking an active part in making it happen which I do not accept.  I prefer to think of it as a result of everything "running down", as already discussed.

BTW, I know it was tongue in cheek, but I'll comment anyway.  Christians aren't immune to this, though my prejudice would suggest that deformities that result from drug abuse and other self destructive practices would comprise a much smaller proportion.  I have no real data on this, just my prejudices showing ;)

==========

G'day Piano man,
the accuracy of translations is, if not a constant, then certainly a common interest for most of the Christians I know.  The serious studiers ALWAYS have concordances and other resources available to make as sure as they can that changes in English language usage and idiom do not obscure meaning.  The more serious will also use more than one version for comparison purposes.  The most serious become Greek and Hebrew scholars and study from as close to original texts as are available. There is MUCH more to Bible study than you seem to think.

The Bible itself actually directs us to: "rightly divide the Word of God".  This is taken to mean study and recognise content and meaning - identifyng allegory, metaophor, parable, literal reference etc..

Do we make mistakes?  Don't be silly, of course we do.  I'm as fallible as the next man, are you?


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 29, 2008, 10:15PM
grasshopper, eh? no need to be condescending, OB-1 kanoby.
I apologize. But I didn't think someone intent on "eschewing self aggrandisement" would mind a little joke.  :/


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Piano man on Apr 29, 2008, 10:18PM
G'day Piano man,
the accuracy of translations is, if not a constant, then certainly a common interest for most of the Christians I know.  The serious studiers ALWAYS have concordances and other resources available to make as sure as they can that changes in English language usage and idiom do not obscure meaning.  The more serious will also use more than one version for comparison purposes.  The most serious become Greek and Hebrew scholars and study from as close to original texts as are available. There is MUCH more to Bible study than you seem to think.

The Bible itself actually directs us to: "rightly divide the Word of God".  This is taken to mean study and recognise content and meaning - identifyng allegory, metaophor, parable, literal reference etc..

Do we make mistakes?  Don't be silly, of course we do.  I'm as fallible as the next man, are you?

Depends who the next man is.

Yours is a reasonable response to my question, except that the people taking up the Bible as a cudgel against women's rights and gay rights (and as a pretext to persecute Jews) don't seem to be as reasonable as you are. And I've read, including in this forum, that the Bible sitting on your nightstand or in the drawer at the motel is the literal word of God.

If you're saying that it's largely the word of God, that it may have been mistranslated, and that a person who lacks the resources to evaluate it in a scholarly way can't entirely gain access to the true word of God, you're at odds with many if not most of your co-religionists (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Maybe that could be a new topic. At last count there were at least five active religion threads (not counting my spurious one).


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 29, 2008, 10:31PM
motel is the literal word of God.

If you're saying that it's largely the word of God, that it may have been mistranslated, and that a person who lacks the resources to evaluate it in a scholarly way can't entirely gain access to the true word of God, you're at odds with many if not most of your co-religionists (not that there's anything wrong with that).
If St. Augustine was correct in saying there were no uncorrupted Bibles in his time, this becomes a moot point. What is the difference if one mistranslates a corrupted text? (Wait---I know----someone will tell me the mistranslation was God-inspired as it fixed a corrupted "file!" :rolleyes: )


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Andrew Meronek on Apr 29, 2008, 11:40PM
IMHO artistic interpretation of anything isn't really a very good foundation for argument, except maybe about art...

I only used the example to show that people in the past have used the literal "image" interpretation, nothing else.

Quote
Hmm, I don't know that "introduced" is the concept I'd use - that suggests to me that God is taking an active part in making it happen which I do not accept.  I prefer to think of it as a result of everything "running down", as already discussed.

Unless I'm mistaken, this means that God protected Adam and Eve from degeneration until the original sin, then afterwards simply stopped "protecting," which is a passive way of doing the exact same thing. He is omniscient and omnipotent, after all.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on Apr 29, 2008, 11:42PM
G'day Tim,yup, all the genomes are running DOWN, not up... Devolution perhaps? :grin:


One of the definitions of the internet is a group of people with clubs beating a spot on the grass where a dead horse once lay.  But then, some of us are scorpions.

Lawrie,
There is neither UP nor DOWN to evolution.  There is no direction.  That is basic science which you really should know, as you claim you did not get your evolution education from religious sources (a claim that I have great difficulty accepting).

I'm not sure we're even using the same definition of genome.  


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Lawrie on Apr 30, 2008, 12:02AM
G'dy Piano man,
oooh, I'm gonna get myself in trouble here...

Quote
And I've read, including in this forum, that the Bible sitting on your nightstand or in the drawer at the motel is the literal word of God.
It is my humble opinion that the most accurate description is that the Bible is the inspired word of God.  That said, I have no doubts that there are parts that are literal, but these all belong to the OT and are pretty much limited to the Pentatuch (first 5 books).  Of those parts, I'm not at all certain which are which myself.  I am certain about the rigour with which the Pentatuch's integrity was preserved by Jewish scribes.

As for the translation that's in hotel rooms etc.  Let's not be silly, if it ain't in the original language how can it possibly be literal?  BTW, what language did God speak to Adam 'n Eve - I sure dunno!  Truly there are some ignorant, if well meaning, people out there.

Anyone who tries to use the Bible to turn women into 2nd class citizens has no idea just in what great esteem the Bible places women.   Their agenda's are showing...

Here's where I get into trouble...  The Bible clearly states that homosexuality of any kind is offensive to God.  So much so that Sodom and Gommorah were destroyed because of the homosexual practices there.  Where do you think the term "Sodomy" was coined from?  I suspect you already knew that...

We get into some conceptual stuff here, and it includes the reason Jesus came...  The Bible teaches us that God cannot look upon sin without judging it.  The wages of sin is death.  Sin is disobedience to God.  Homosexual practices were prohibited before Sodom and Gomorrah eventuated.  God saw the sin and had to judge it.  No choice.  Jesus came to pay the price of sin on our behalf.  As a result it would appear that the rules have changed.  In a way, they have, but only for those who accept Christ as saviour.

Does this mean I must hate homosexuals - ABSOLUTELY NOT - I can abhor their practices, but Jesus sacrificed His life for them every bit as much as He did for me.  Sin is sin - there are NO degrees of sin.  The Bible teaches that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God".  If I disobey Him I am liable for judgement, If I "repent and turn from my wicked ways" (partial quote) and ask forgiveness then I can save my (eternal) life.  BUT, this is NOT a licence for sin.  "Without repentance there is no forgiveness of sin".

Added to that, ANYONE who passes judgement on another as if they were God is behaving very foolishly.  I can identify practices that are contrary to the Bibles teaching, but I do NOT have the right to judge another and condemn them for indulging in such practices.

It is appropriate for me to communicate the knowledge that I have, it is inappropriate for me to try to force anyone into complying.

I might add that general principle should apply to all, shame some very outspoken "anti-Christians" don't apply it...  Not to mention some Christians...  :(

Look around you...  There is a definite and accelerating deterioration in social responsibility, conduct and respect for others in my country.  I can see a direct correlation between this deterioration and the deliberate exclusion and limitation of Christian teaching.  As Australia seems to follow the US in a lot of these things I suspect it is further along in the States...

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If you're saying that it's largely the word of God, that it may have been mistranslated, and that a person who lacks the resources to evaluate it in a scholarly way can't entirely gain access to the true word of God, you're at odds with many if not most of your co-religionists (not that there's anything wrong with that).

I say that it IS the Word of God, but I have a responsibility to ensure, as best I can, that I have a correct interpretation and as far as possible use accurate translations.  This is 'cos I don't read Hebrew or Greek... ;)

That said, I have confidence that the canon of scripture is correct, and that the translations I use are as good as I can get.  There are, for example, some translations I'm very unhappy about and will not use.  There are other translations that have a reputation for great accuracy, but can be hard to read because of English language shifts. 

There are challenges...  The answer is prayer.  IMHO it is impossible to read the Scriptures without prayer and get the real story.  Oh, somethings are quite clear and need no interpretation, but other things are not.  Added to that there are some things that are very contextual with respect to cultural issues that existed at the time of writing that may or may not exist today, or that may exist but not im MY culture.

OK, I'm out of time so that'll have to do for now...


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on Apr 30, 2008, 03:55AM
The Bible clearly states that homosexuality of any kind is offensive to God. 

Clearly???????

Perhaps not so clearly.  Can you find a single indication in the Bible, Old or New testament, that recognizes homosexuality as an orientation?  Rather than talking about homosexual sex acts by straight people?  (leviticus, for example)

By the way, in the very next paragraph in Lev 20, right after the injunction not to "lie with a man as with a woman," you are also ordered not to shave your beard.  Ever. 

Do you have a beard?  What justification can you give for following one commandment then ignoring one in the next paragraph? 


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: play_louder on Apr 30, 2008, 04:45AM
Look around you...  There is a definite and accelerating deterioration in social responsibility, conduct and respect for others in my country.  I can see a direct correlation between this deterioration and the deliberate exclusion and limitation of Christian teaching.  As Australia seems to follow the US in a lot of these things I suspect it is further along in the States...

I see a direct correlation between the rise of religious fundamemtalism and that deterioration. Fundamentalism is all about forcing views on others; forcing it into education; forcing religion from what should be a wholly private domain into something that shapes legislation and legal codes. It is about coercion, lack of respect for others and the absolute belief in the superiority of one group over another. It encourages sectarianism, exclusion and prejudice. This is what I see happening in America, and is what I see as correlated with social deterioration. If Australia is going the same way as the US, it is in part because religious fundamentalism is gaining a foothold here.

The countries that I see leading in social responsbility and respect are the most secular ones. Go figure.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 30, 2008, 06:58AM
I see a direct correlation between the rise of religious fundamemtalism and that deterioration.  figure.
Exactly. Fundamentalism represents a grasping at easy answers and an unwillingness to examine complex issues while stressing sloganisation, repetition, and alternating fear with hope. It sets up a "counter-culture" that holds the law of the land  (in our case the Constitution) in contempt and tramples over those not in the dominant culture. It despises knowledge while stressing belief and conformity. It is designed to turn humans into automatons.

I'm sorry for you if this thought pattern is establishing itself in Oz.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 30, 2008, 07:43AM
I see a direct correlation between the rise of religious fundamemtalism and that deterioration. Fundamentalism is all about forcing views on others; forcing it into education; forcing religion from what should be a wholly private domain into something that shapes legislation and legal codes. It is about coercion, lack of respect for others and the absolute belief in the superiority of one group over another. It encourages sectarianism, exclusion and prejudice. This is what I see happening in America, and is what I see as correlated with social deterioration. If Australia is going the same way as the US, it is in part because religious fundamentalism is gaining a foothold here.
 
The countries that I see leading in social responsbility and respect are the most secular ones. Go figure.

In other words, it creates and exacerbates the problems it presumes to fix.
 
That's a mistake that, if perpetuated as in typical fundy behavior, requires at least semi-consciously ignoring reality in favor of dogma--the perceptual imposition of dogma/ideology upon reality rather than deriving one's understanding of reality from reality. This is to what I'm referring when I call religious faith and fundamentalism dishonest, lacking of intellectual integrity and discipline, and egocentric/narcissistic, and why I don't think most believers lack these things sufficiently to actually pull faith off.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 30, 2008, 07:47AM
It sets up a "counter-culture" that holds the law of the land  (in our case the Constitution) in contempt and tramples over those not in the dominant culture. It despises knowledge while stressing belief and conformity. It is designed to turn humans into automatons.

While simultaneously claiming to champion the very concepts and ideals it clearly despises.
 
Again, ideology over reality ... and it's an internationally growing trend.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: HuskerTX on Apr 30, 2008, 11:29AM
Exactly what one would expect if there was one true history of creation which was then changed due to the confusion of languages at Babel and deteriorated as they were passed down through the generations of resulting cultures.

What about the people living in pre-historically isolated places that had no contact with Babel or anyone from it? The Christian creation myth was written far after many others, including the Greek, Egyptian, Norse, to name a few.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 30, 2008, 01:09PM
life without religion creates anxiety and boredom, as life wallows around with no direction, to exist without religion means to live an empty, shallow existence.

Doug, I can sum up what makes life meaningful and worthwhile to many non-religious people in two words:

We're here.

Yep. Against all odds, all the things that had to happen just a certain way for each one of us to be born who we are. We're here. All the uncountable things that could have happened differently along the way that would have prevented us from existing, didn't. That makes each one of us very special. Even more so, because we are able to be conscious of the gift of life we have recieved. To be alive for this short while, to be able to get up each day and savor the free air of discovery and self-determination, can be just as joyous for many as any religious experience.

Religious people often make the mistake of assuming that non-religious people can't POSSIBLY be living happy or fulfilled lives. That is part of what drives them to preach or proselytize to others. And society largely accepts that while sometimes misdirected, those attempts to convert others are at least well-intentioned.

Yet let an atheist attempt to convert somebody to atheism and everybody starts crying about what a meanie they are, and that they must be bitter, or hate God, or have an ax to grind, or that they just want more company in hell, or whatever. In reality, many atheists truly are happy to be free of what they consider to be ridiculous or harmful religious dogmas. Some of those people even dare attempt to encourage others to experience the same freedom. :-0

BTW, I am not myself an atheist. But I have made it a point to seek out and read writings by atheists so that I may better understand where they are coming from, and where they find meaning and purpose in life. If you are interested in doing the same, I highly recommend "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins. I doubt if you will find yourself converted to atheism by reading it, but you may learn to see the world through atheist eyes a little bit.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 30, 2008, 01:47PM
G'day again Dave,

I would like to think so, but my experience suggests that the more emotive an issue the harder this becomes in practice (and the evolution debate is very emotive).  We become embroiled in the argument and like politicians end up having nothing good to say about the other side of the argument regardless of merit.  I would think real objectivity would become the exception rather than the rule...  Which is dissapointing.

Well, we're not making that mistake here, are we? ;)

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Who can really tell?  Just as you cannot know what is truly going on in my head and I cannot know what is going on in yours, neither can anyone know what is truly going on in the heads of these leaders.
 

Exactly. Which is why you will never hear me make an unconditional statement about the specific motivations of another person. We have only records of actions and words from which to draw conclusions about what historical people believed. We have to look at what they SAID they believed, and then look at what they actually did, and then ask ourselves whether the latter was consistent with the former. It is obviously not an exact science!

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It is my hope that for the vast majority of cases they are at least genuine as I consider myself to be.

Mine too, and I suspect that this is actually true in most cases. As I have said before, I do not believe that the vast majority of people that enter the ministry or priesthood do so with sinister motives.

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Interesting points, but don't forget that when the church started it had no political power - rather it was relentlessly persecuted.

I'm not "forgetting" this. I'm actively disputing it as it relates to what we think of as "The Church" today. If you are referring to the rag-tag communities of peasants and mostly artisan-class urbanites that comprised much of the real "early church" (if you can apply the word "church" to different groups with such disparate beliefs) then I will agree that they tended to be marginalized by society. Persecuted? Unlikely. They simply were not important enough to bother persecuting in the first century.

 
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I said earlier that we, as Christians, are always learning and understanding more things - this simply typifies this growth.

As should we all be. I wish every religious person felt this way.

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Then where would lie free will - oooh, that is SUCH a can of worms...  This is really the "predestination" debate.  I maintain that we have the ability to choose our actions.  Blaming God in this context is, IMHO, a copout.

It could be a cop-out when used to justify individual evil acts. Or if used out of unthinking ignorance. But I use it in neither way. I also wouldn't exactly use the word blame" in this context. (Notice I did not place blame in my previous post.) But let's show a chain of, shall we say, involved responsibility:

1. God is all-knowing and all-powerful.
2. God knows that men will do evil out of free will because he is omniscient, but decides to create them anyway.
3. Men do evil, exactly as their creator foresaw.
4. Innocent people suffer as a result.

I'm not blaming God, I'm only pointing out that he is involved. Funny, creationists use the "ultimate cause" argument all the time to argue for divine creation. But when people try to use the same chain of logic to make God morally responsible for something evil, they won't accept it. Think about it. :clever:

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I would disagree.  I have heard it stated, undoubtedly you have too, that all the OT points forward to Jesus, just as all the NT points backward to Him.  I have certainly read enough of the OT to see and, I hope, understand the prophetic words concerning His appearance on the scene.

Well, I could write a book. (A bad one....);) Yes, of course I am very familiar with those ideas. But I think it is somewhat dangerous to casually interpret earlier texts in the context of later ones. It is too easy for something like the OT, which is full of prophecies, to be "hijacked" so that it seems to justify some new belief. Notice that a number of the prophecies that Jesus "fulfills" in the gospels were originally not about a coming messiah at all when read in context. Also, many little details were manufactered and inserted in the gospel accounts for the sole purpose of having Jesus "fulfill" OT prophesies. Heck, I came upon one on in John yesterday in which Jesus speaks and then fulfills a prophecy within John. This really deserves a much better and more thorough response, but I haven't the time... :cry:

Gotta go teach. More later...


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: play_louder on Apr 30, 2008, 02:13PM
To be alive for this short while, to be able to get up each day and savor the free air of discovery and self-determination, can be just as joyous for many as any religious experience.

Religious people often make the mistake of assuming that non-religious people can't POSSIBLY be living happy or fulfilled lives.

... many atheists truly are happy to be free of what they consider to be ridiculous or harmful religious dogmas. Some of those people even dare attempt to encourage others to experience the same freedom. :-0


Great post, Dave. There are a couple of other books worth reading (or skimming) on this topic; Dawkins is I suppose the poster child, but actually there's two others which are perhaps more interesting.

One is the Bill Bryson (http://www.amazon.com/Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/0767908171/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1209589820&sr=8-1) book I linked to earlier. In the introduction, he speaks about how one day he suddenly realised how little he knew about science, and decided to go read about it. As he read more, he got more and more carried away by the splendour and excitement of it, to the degree that he went away and wrote the book. You can read the introduction on Amazon - it's part of the excerpt they preview online.
The other is Douglas Adams (http://www.amazon.com/Salmon-Doubt-Douglas-Adams/dp/0345460952/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1209589981&sr=1-1). Better known for 'The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy' he too went through a sort of epiphany about the wondrousness of science, and was inspired to go off and make a number of TV programmes and present a number of lectures. 'The Salmon of Doubt' is a mix of Adams' writings published posthumously and, amongst various side-splitting funny observations of life, the universe and everything, he writes about how he turned into a 'radical atheist', driven by his newly found enthusiasm for the wonder of science.

These are people who were inspired and excited by science. Converts, if you will.

I feel genuinely sorry for those with religious convictions. When various types come knocking on the door to save my soul, I look at them sadly, and say 'I am so sorry for you.' They look at me rather strangely (usually). 'Take those blinkers away from your eyes and see the universe for the awesome place it actually is. Don't shrink it down to fit your small gods. Learn to understand how lucky you are to be here now, and grasp the opportunities at hand. Don't waste your energy on such trifles as religion. There are more things in the heavens and on the earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.'


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 30, 2008, 05:05PM
Quote from: Me
Quote from: Lawrie
I would disagree.  I have heard it stated, undoubtedly you have too, that all the OT points forward to Jesus, just as all the NT points backward to Him.  I have certainly read enough of the OT to see and, I hope, understand the prophetic words concerning His appearance on the scene.

Well, I could write a book. (A bad one....);) Yes, of course I am very familiar with those ideas. But I think it is somewhat dangerous to casually interpret earlier texts in the context of later ones. It is too easy for something like the OT, which is full of prophecies, to be "hijacked" so that it seems to justify some new belief. Notice that a number of the prophecies that Jesus "fulfills" in the gospels were originally not about a coming messiah at all when read in context. Also, many little details were manufactered and inserted in the gospel accounts for the sole purpose of having Jesus "fulfill" OT prophesies. Heck, I came upon one on in John yesterday in which Jesus speaks and then fulfills a prophecy within John. This really deserves a much better and more thorough response, but I haven't the time... :cry:

Gotta go teach. More later...

Okay, I'm back. Firstly, I should amend the word "casual" in my intial paragraph above. I don't think that most devout believers tie the OT to the NT "casually". It happens as a matter of their religious training, and has been the default for millenia now. Sorry if that seemed brusque or condescending.

So, we have the OT, which at the time of the writing of the NT had been finalized and available for study for some time. It does contain some apololyptic and/or messianic type prophecies, most of which were concerning Israel's immediate political future at the time they were written. Without asserting absolutely that it DID happen, I want to point out that it COULD happen that somebody (or somebodies) could easily tap the vast reservoir of OT prophecies and create a character that "fulfilled" many of them. This would make a great deal of sense if that somebody was looking to convince Jews that their fictional character was the looked-for messiah. It says something about the general level of superstitiousness during the first century AD that mere claims of miracles or bodily resurrection would not be enough to convinve anybody that a particular person was anything special. No, something more was needed. Literal fulfillment of OT prophesies might have been just the right something for the time.

As far as the NT "looking back" to Jesus, it should since it is basically his biography, teachings, and apostolic interpretations of same.

Anyway, that's way too short a response but I don't really want to write that book!

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Unfortunately, this is another of those emotive issues.  My relationship with Christ, which is built on those scriptures, satisfies me that they are true.  It could equally be agrued that someone who does not have that relationship with Him would be satisfied that the scriptures are therefore lies.  Am I deluding myself?  Is the one without a relationship somehow missing something?  Therin lies the dilemma - we all have agendas.

My agenda is simply that I have learned facts about things that other people find very important, and that those people seem not to know about. They are things that I once did not know about and now wish I had. Therefore I am sharing that knowledge with others. No other agenda at this time. I assure you I am not taking any pleasure at the prospect of disillusioning anybody.

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Regardless of the emotive aspect, the accepted canon of scripture was not idly gathered.  I suspect you have read enough of that history to agree, though we may not agree on the motives...


Well put. I would never mean to imply that the canon was random. Far from it.

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You may well be right.  But He also took the hard line when necessary too.  I have a friend who has spent a lot of time in the middle east.  He has seen money changers tables.  His description of them is very enlightening - money, the equivalent of millions of US dollars in a huge range of currencies literally everywhere.  Jesus overturning of the money changers tables in the temple was no idle whim.  His life was at serious risk - had they or their guards caught Him they would have killed Him out of hand.

I realize that my statement to which you are responding here was badly worded. I was not being "anti hard-line". I was just meaning that the historical "Jesus" would not have recognized the dogmas of today's churches, even those that are serious about practicing as exactly according to NT teachings as possible.

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This doesn't square with my recollections of the researches I've read.  The real problem we have here is that such research is forensic (read "guess")...

Not all forensic. That plays a part but there is a lot more than JUST guessing going on.

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Hmm, I wonder who woke up last

 :D

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Peter, James and John were the witnesses as far as we can tell.  Who they told what to cannot be known at this end of time, how long Jesus actually had to relate things is also impossible to tell.  When things get recorded time relationships of the events often seem to get compressed, or sometimes telescoped.  No one can definitively answer you on this, there are no living witnesses...

According to Matt, Mark, and Luke, it was they who were out cold while Jesus prayed some distance away by himself. The references are pretty specific to this. Ditto the abrupt entrance of Judas inc. after Jesus wakes those three disciples. In all honesty, I am not trying to split hairs here to pick your post apart. I'm just trying to inject a little anti-literalism into Bible study. Especially the NT. As I read more of your posts, I am coming to realize that you and I don't see as far apart on that as I originally supposed. You seem to be reasonably open to the NT being a little more symbolic than literally realistic. I just had another long but pleasant exchange in another topic with another forum member who was more of a literalist and I think my brain may still be stuck in that mode. So if you find me arguing against things that you do not even dispute, forgive me. I am not trying to throw out red herrings, or strawmen, or to put words in your mouth.

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As for location, AFAIK the location of the Garden of Gethsemane is unconfirmed.  Who's to say it wasn't on the Mount of Olives..?  Or perhaps close enough to be considered on it?

Yes, exactly. I only mentioned it in passing, not because I thought it was significant.

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I have never denied this.  They were witnesses, not movie cameras...

No, you haven't. Same apology as above. I don't see things quite as you do (anymore) but your outlook on things is pretty reasonable given your strong faith.

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I wonder how much of what you interpret as inconsistancy is a result of English translation?  I'm not a Greek scholar, are you?  To truly know whether there is inconsistancy one would need to read in the original Greek, with a full knowledge and understanding of period idiom.  How is anyone going to be able to do that?  The SAME problem exists with ALL historical texts, not just the Bible.

This is not my field of expertise either. I'm sure that some inconsistencies can be explained away reasonably by this concept. Others, I doubt. For instance:

In Mark's account of the resurrection, we have three women (Mary, Mary, and Salome no that it matters) who go to the tomb to anoint Jesus' body. They find the stone rolled away and saw a single young man in a white robe (seated) who told them that Jesus was ressurected and to go tell the disciples. The women fled in terror and told no one.

In Luke, we have "the women" (who we later read are more than three in number) who go to the tomb, and are accosted by two "men" in gleaming clothes (standing). They were given a resurrection sermon but no orders to tell the disciples. However, they then went and did just that.

I doubt that factual discrepencies of this type can be explained away simply by errors in translation. This particular one does not really detract from the symbolic message of the passage, but it presents a considerable obstacle for anybody who insists that it represents literal, factual truth.

Well, I think I am going to politely bow out of this exchange for the time being for three reasons.

1) It is a bit off the science/religion topic.
2) It is taking over all my free time.
3) Although I have said enough to make my original points (or not ;)), I feel I am just getting warmed up and I don't want to subject everybody to pages and pages more of this! :D

Lawrie, I have enjoyed our discussion and hope that you will stick around and post in other topics as well. Take care,

Dave



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 30, 2008, 07:29PM
The Vatican has its own observatory, (http://www.vaticanobservatory.org/) is interested in studying the [real] universe, and even publishes scientific papers on topical issues. See? Bigotry toward knowledge is not necessary in order to call oneself a Christian.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 30, 2008, 07:43PM
The real nail in the coffin on Biblical notions of creation lies in the age of the Universe itself---we don't even need to mess around with evolution, natural selection and a total lack of evidence for Creation.

The Universe is over 13 billion years old, folks---end of story. Close the books on this exercise in stupidity. http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2008/15/full/ (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2008/15/full/). And this is just one of an infinite possible number of multiverses.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Lawrie on Apr 30, 2008, 08:55PM
G'day Tim,

Quote
Do you have a beard?
Yep, had one for over 30 years...

============

G'day play_louder,
may I respectfully suggest you are either too young to have seen the changes OR you have chosen to ignore aspects that are obvious to others.

We had a society where Christianity shaped our legislation and legal codes.  Sadly this is no longer true.

I note you are from Sydney, perhaps you remember when Neville Wran spearheaded the abolition of the summary offences act.  In a stroke he emasculated our police force.  Destroyed their ability to control street crime (as much control as they had anyhow).  Social conditions rapidly deteriorated to the point where now we have uncontrollable teenage street gangs, considerably more prostitution than ever before, considerably more teenage pregnancies, considerably more abortions as a result, considerably more alcohol related crime...  The list goes on and on.

Did you recognise that connection or not?  It is clearly there...  As a result we have more apparent personal freedoms, but more people are at risk of attack and exploitation in some way or other than ever before.  I do note the pendulum seems to be swing back a little - I hope it continues to do so 'cos this place has gone to the dogs.

How do you categorise me?  Am I your version of a fundamentalist?  I certainly do not advocate forcing my views on others, but neither am I happy when I lose the right to air those views.  In other words, to have your apparent views forced on me.

I reiterate, Jesus preached love and forgiveness, NOT murder and mayhem.  That behaviour belongs to those who have other agendas.

============

G'day Dave,
Quote
...I'm actively disputing it as it relates to what we think of as "The Church" today...
Hmm, Paul (Saul) was actively persecuting Christians, with the full approval and support of the Jewish leaders, when he had his epiphany.

Christians were routinely executed in the Roman circus simply for being Christians.  A lot of other people were executed as well, but not simply for being Christians.

IIRC it was the Roman emperor Constantine who finally gave the Christians relief around 315 AD.

BTW, the "church" isn't this organised religion or that group of buildings - it is simply comprised of all believers.  So some "rag-tag group" of Christians is as much "the church" as any modern organised denomination - but you knew that...

Quote
1. God is all-knowing and all-powerful.
2. God knows that men will do evil out of free will because he is omniscient, but decides to create them anyway.
3. Men do evil, exactly as their creator foresaw.
4. Innocent people suffer as a result.

Hmm, my views:
1. Agreed
2. Reasonable interpretation
3. Evidently
4. Nuh, by definition NO ONE is innocent. "For all have sinned..."

This is WHY Christ came and gave His life for us - so that none NEED suffer "as a result".  God has an agenda too.  I believe He chose the path of least "pain" in order to achieve His goals, but I obviously have no data on this - how can I, I'm certainly not omniscient.

To borrow from E.E. "Doc" Smith and his "Lensman" series - consider a quality tool.  You take the raw ores and heat them, combine them, burn off the dross, forge them into rough shape, machine them, harden and temper them &etc. and you end up with a tool that is purpose made for a task, it is of high quality and reliability.  If said ores and resultant tool were sentient do think the process would be enjoyed.  What about the end result, would it be appreciated?

Ultimately we still have choice.  As individuals and in a group context.  Do we choose to be the tool, or the dross?

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...which is full of prophecies, to be "hijacked" so that it seems to justify some new belief...
that's one of my pet hates...  Anyone can prove anything they want from the Bible if they quote out of context.  If you want to understand what's being said it is imperative to read enough of the surrounding passages to gain the full context.  If you do not, you are just kidding yourself at best.

I do not deny there is much taught that is just plain wrong.  This saddens me immensely.  It is also NOT restricted to Christian circles.  The secular world is at least as guilty.

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In Mark's account of the resurrection, we have three women (Mary, Mary, and Salome no that it matters) who go to the tomb to anoint Jesus' body. They find the stone rolled away and saw a single young man in a white robe (seated) who told them that Jesus was ressurected and to go tell the disciples. The women fled in terror and told no one.

In Luke, we have "the women" (who we later read are more than three in number) who go to the tomb, and are accosted by two "men" in gleaming clothes (standing). They were given a resurrection sermon but no orders to tell the disciples. However, they then went and did just that.
OK, in Mark 16:1-8 it is as you say, BUT in Mark 16:9-11 it says:
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9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the
week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven
devils. 10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as
they mourned and wept. 11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive,
and had been seen of her, believed not.

Note vs 9 - "the first day of the week" - this is the SAME day that the girls visited the tomb in vs 1.  So, did they or didn't they tell the others - not immediately perhaps, but ultimately Mary Magdalene did later on the same day...

In the account in Luke it says that there were more than 3 who told the disciples, NOT that there were more than 3 in the tomb...  More than 3 is also more than Just Mary Magdalene.  Perhaps she was the spokeswoman and thus singled out in the account in Mark. 

As for the number of men in the tomb...  I dunno.  Perhaps someone couldn't count ;)  More than one witness, more than one story...

I, too have enjoyed the discussion.  My primary interest in this forum is actually trombones, but asides like these are not unwelcome, so long as people don't get too personal.  I HATE flame wars and will not participate in such.

============

G'day Evan,
Quote
The Universe is over 13 billion years old, folks---end of story
Is it?  I have a wonderful book somewhere that posits an alternative explanation for this using white holes.  Now, before you jump at me on this one, I simply do not have enough knowledge to argue this either way BUT neither am I aware of a reputable refutation of this theory.  That said it certainly is not proven either.  I might add that the author does not claim any kind of certainty - he is honest enough to say something to the effect of: "this would work, but I don't know if it is what actually happened"

For me, the jury is definitely out, I merely raise it to point out that we are still guessing.

BTW, the age of the universe seems to change 'bout every 5 minutes too...  Last I heard it was gettin' younger and younger...  Must check the latest news on that...


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 30, 2008, 10:18PM

============

G'day Evan,Is it?  I have a wonderful book somewhere that posits an alternative explanation for this using white holes.  Now, before you jump at me on this one, I simply do not have enough knowledge to argue this either way BUT neither am I aware of a reputable refutation of this theory.  That said it certainly is not proven either. 
How white does your hole need to be for the universe to become 6,000 years old? (Even if you have a book somewhere and don't know nothin' 'bout it?)

If the light from a distant object takes thirteen billion light years to reach us, how do you contend that object is younger than 13 billion years?


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on Apr 30, 2008, 10:55PM
How white does your hole need to be for the universe to become 6,000 years old? (Even if you have a book somewhere and don't know nothin' 'bout it?)

If the light from a distant object takes thirteen billion light years to reach us, how do you contend that object is younger than 13 billion years?

How white?  That is indeed a good question.  Show me the numbers, and include the units. 

Just guessing, I suspect this is another book by Humphreys.  I've read his stuff though not one about white holes.  He's apparently an actual astrophysicist.  He has some theories about the universe having assymetrical mass, which increases gravity, which changes the speed of light.  He does NOT say how much mass, or how much change in gravity, or how much the speed of light changes.  His books are filled with complicated math dealing with translation of coordinate systems, incomprehensible to the average reader.  I've waded through some of it and the math doesn't actually apply to his theory, it's just obfuscation.  (you see I do read both sides) 

The point though is that universe, whether created 6,000 years ago or 20 minutes ago (see I include both numbers and units! <grin>) was created with the appearance of great age.  It is not possible to deny this.

So the claim must be made that the appearance of great age is somehow an illusion.  Now we're drifting out of science and into religion - it begs the question of why God wants to fool us. 


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Andrew Meronek on Apr 30, 2008, 11:37PM
Unless I'm mistaken, this means that God protected Adam and Eve from degeneration until the original sin, then afterwards simply stopped "protecting," which is a passive way of doing the exact same thing. He is omniscient and omnipotent, after all.

To continue this line of reasoning:

Man was created in God's image.
Man degenerates because of original sin.
It is a sin not to trust in God.
Artificial solutions to correct degeneration, and especially to alter man's form beyond what God originally made, is not trustful of God's design.
Changing the human form beyond what was intended is a sin.

Therefore it's a sin to:

Take performance enhancing drugs;
Take mental "boosters" like caffeine;
Have plastic surgery;
Use dentures;
Have artificial joints and limbs;
If the technology becomes available, to genetically modify someone as to cure a genetic disease;
Likewise, to genetically modify someone to give them additional skills, i.e., to enable them to make their own vitamin C or to be able to see some infrared light;
Otherwise modiying man's physical form beyond what is possible with the resources that Adam and Eve had.



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: play_louder on May 01, 2008, 12:21AM


G'day play_louder,
may I respectfully suggest you are either too young to have seen the changes OR you have chosen to ignore aspects that are obvious to others.

We had a society where Christianity shaped our legislation and legal codes.  Sadly this is no longer true.

I note you are from Sydney, perhaps you remember when Neville Wran spearheaded the abolition of the summary offences act.  ... The list goes on and on.

Religious fundamentalism is not the sole cause of societies ills, and if I gave tham impression I apologise. But it is a contributing factor, and correlates with the general decline.

How do you categorise me?  Am I your version of a fundamentalist?  I certainly do not advocate forcing my views on others, but neither am I happy when I lose the right to air those views.  In other words, to have your apparent views forced on me.

I was characterising the fundie movement generally; it wasn't aimed at yourself directly. I'm more than happy for people to air their views (within reasonable limits of not inciting hatred, racism etc).

I suppose I would consider 'forcing views on others' to include insisting that the creationism myth is taught in schools as being of equivalence in scientific terms to evolutionary theory. If you do not think this should happen, then I'm happy to conclude you are a reasonable, liberal person not guilty of some of the nastier behavoiur exhibitied by many relgious fundamentalists.


I have a wonderful book somewhere that posits an alternative explanation for this using white holes.  Now, before you jump at me on this one, I simply do not have enough knowledge to argue this either way BUT neither am I aware of a reputable refutation of this theory.  That said it certainly is not proven either. 
For me, the jury is definitely out, I merely raise it to point out that we are still guessing.

Seems quite a leap to go from one book you can't even remember the title of that's about something that by your own admission don't have much knowledge of to concluding that the jury is 'definitely' out, and that everything to do with the age of the universe is 'guessing'. Have you considered the possiblity that the half-remembered book you talk about is 'definitely' wrong?

You seem very keen to stress you open mindedness, except when that openmindedness means allowing for the possibility that you are wrong...

You bring up the unreliability of 'forensic' investigation and talk about 'guessing' rather a lot too. Surely you would have to admit that your attempts to divine the true word of god from within the words of the bible is purely 'foresnic', and your conclusions as to the exact meanings of each passage, and whether they are figurative of literal, is just 'guessing'?

BTW, the age of the universe seems to change 'bout every 5 minutes too...  Last I heard it was gettin' younger and younger...  Must check the latest news on that...
Heh heh. I love it when creationists dig their own grave like this. The sad part is that they don't even realise it, and hence don't get that the joke is on them.

________________________________
I'm going to duck out of this thread now, as I'm starting to get rather emotionally involved for a number of personal reasons. Good luck to you all, and I raise my hat to everyone for keeping these discussions generally civil and flame-free. We are all trombonists, after all.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on May 01, 2008, 09:36AM
How white?  That is indeed a good question.  Show me the numbers, and include the units. 

Just guessing, I suspect this is another book by Humphreys.  I've read his stuff though not one about white holes.  He's apparently an actual astrophysicist.  He has some theories about the universe having assymetrical mass, which increases gravity, which changes the speed of light.  He does NOT say how much mass, or how much change in gravity, or how much the speed of light changes.   

If he contends that light was slowed in some manner, this would mean that things are even farther away, no?

I'm familiar with research and observation indicating that some stars appear to be even older than the the moment of the "Big Bang" (an embarrassing problem for some of the scientists, yes). But, no one concludes the universe is 6,000 year sold from the evidence. ;)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Andrew Meronek on May 01, 2008, 09:46AM
How white?  That is indeed a good question.  Show me the numbers, and include the units. 

Just guessing, I suspect this is another book by Humphreys.  I've read his stuff though not one about white holes.  He's apparently an actual astrophysicist.  He has some theories about the universe having assymetrical mass, which increases gravity, which changes the speed of light.  He does NOT say how much mass, or how much change in gravity, or how much the speed of light changes. 

Huh. Correct me if I'm wrong, but my very basic understanding of relativity indicates that gravity can change the direction and wavelength of light, not the speed. It sounds like a rather odd postulation by Mr. Humphreys.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: puma on May 01, 2008, 10:35AM
Man was created in God's image.
Man degenerates because of original sin.
It is a sin not to trust in God.
Correct.

Artificial solutions to correct degeneration, and especially to alter man's form beyond what God originally made, is not trustful of God's design.
God did not design degeneration. Degeneration is a result of sin. God's design was all very good. Altering man's form is a broad statement. It covers everything from beard shaving to grafting additional appendages. God gave man the mandate to subdue the earth and every living thing. That includes learning about how the earth and living things work in order to care for them. Developing cures for ailments is part of the mandate; designing artificial limbs for amputees is part of the mandate; sending Eye-gor for an Abby-normal brain is not part of the mandate.

Changing the human form beyond what was intended is a sin.
This implies man can know what God intended. He has already answered that contention:

Quote from: God
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."  --- Is. 55:8-9


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BGuttman on May 01, 2008, 10:54AM
Puma, something doesn't make sense to me:

>>God's design was all very good. Altering man's form is a broad statement. It covers everything from beard shaving to grafting additional appendages. God gave man the mandate to subdue the earth and every living thing. That includes learning about how the earth and living things work in order to care for them. Developing cures for ailments is part of the mandate; designing artificial limbs for amputees is part of the mandate...

And yet you say:

>>God did not design degeneration.

Now if God did all the designing, didn't he also put in the tendency to sin?  How could Adam or Eve know how to sin if it wasn't part of the design?  Or perhaps (horror of horrors) a design flaw! :-0

Sorry.  I'm just so confused about how the Creationist mind works.  :confused: :dontknow:


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: puma on May 01, 2008, 11:56AM
Now if God did all the designing, didn't he also put in the tendency to sin?  How could Adam or Eve know how to sin if it wasn't part of the design?  Or perhaps (horror of horrors) a design flaw!
God put Adam and Eve in the garden with the following instruction:

Quote from: God
And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."  --- Gen. 2:16-17
There is a restriction and a consequence. Adam and Eve had a choice. They could follow the instruction or they could disobeay the instruction. There was no tendency to sin. There was a choice. When questioned by the serpent, Eve misquoted God:

Quote from: Eve
God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' "
She did not refer to the tree properly. There were two special trees in the middle of the garden (tree of life and tree of the knowledge of good and evil --- Gen. 2:9b). God never told Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of life. They were banished from the garden to prevent them from eating from the tree of life (Gen. 3:22-23). She also invented the part about not touching the tree. So by not paying attention to the instruction, Eve chose to disobey God. People choose to disobey God today for the same reason: they do not pay attention to God's instruction.

Sorry.  I'm just so confused about how the Creationist mind works.  :confused: :dontknow:
It's a Biblical mind.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on May 01, 2008, 12:10PM
God put Adam and Eve in the garden with the following instruction:


"Eat anything you want except this particularly interesting looking fruit here...." Just kidding, I made that up. :)

Quote
There is a restriction and a consequence. Adam and Eve had a choice. They could follow the instruction or they could disobeay the instruction. There was no tendency to sin. There was a choice.

Some people look at that story and think (perhaps rightly) that Adam and Eve seemed to have had a choice but were really playing a rigged game from the get-go. After all, they had to look at the tempting object everyday because it was placed where they could not avoid it. Then, on top of that, a tempter was turned loose on them. The tempter was far more intelligent, wise, and experienced than A&E, because they had only been "born" yesterday and hadn't developed any guile yet.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on May 01, 2008, 12:12PM
BTW, the age of the universe seems to change 'bout every 5 minutes too...  Last I heard it was gettin' younger and younger...  Must check the latest news on that...
http://www.case.edu/pubaff/univcomm/2003/1-03/kraussuniverse.htm (http://www.case.edu/pubaff/univcomm/2003/1-03/kraussuniverse.htm)

Help yourself. I'm not hearing much about "white holes" these days, nor how they change anyone's estimate of the age of the universe.

Here is an excerpt to get you started:

Quote
CLEVELAND—Cosmologists from Case Western Reserve University and Dartmouth College have continued efforts to refine the age of the universe by using new information from a variety of sources to calculate a new lower age limit that is 1.2 billion years higher than previous age limits.

The new information lends new support to the potential presence of a strange new form of energy that dominates approximately 95 percent of the universe and causes its expansion to accelerate.

In a paper published on January 3 in Science, Lawrence M. Krauss, the Ambrose Swasey Professor and chair of physics at Case Western Reserve University, and Brian Chaboyer of the department of physics and astronomy at Dartmouth College establish that with 95 percent confidence the age of the universe is between 11.2 and 20 billion years old.

Their estimates were derived from updated information about clusters of the oldest stars in the Milky Way galaxy and refined parameter estimates for their star evolution.

Prior estimates by Krauss and a team of researchers in 1996 and later in 1997 placed the a lower limit of approximately 10 billion years, which marginally was consisten with the possibility of a flat, matter-dominated universe.

Dating the age of the universe has evolved since 1929 when Edwin Hubble's discovery that the universe is expanding suggested-based on his earliest measurements- that the universe was only 1.5 billion years old. Even at that time, it was in obvious contradiction with the age of the Earth, which was even then known to be several billion years old. In the 1980s, estimates of stellar ages suggested that the universe had to be at least 16-20 billion years old. The inconsistency with the Hubble age provided motivation to reintroduce the cosmological constant first proposed by Albert Einstein in 1916. However, refined estimates of stellar ages, performed by Krauss and Chaboyer, among others, later resolved this apparent inconsistency.

BTW---so you don't start making up things again and say something like the "jury is still out, " understand that the jury was never in, that the theory of white holes has nothing to do with the age of the universe, and that this was a "thought experiment" to speculate about what lies on the "other side" of a black hole (even the idea of "another side" itself being a theoretical construct never observed or indicated).

Quote
Time travel theory

Throughout history, physicists have been discussing the plausibility of time travel. The theory of relativity allows for time travel into the future, going at high speeds returning to earth only aging slightly compared to your peers. Einstein's theory is a theory of space and time, it should be no surprise that black holes offer, in concept, a way to travel through space and time as well. Since it is possible in concept only, it does not mean that it has been achieved as of yet. Black holes are the product of a collapse of a massive star that has such an extreme gravitational force that it keeps light particles from leaving its surface, making the star practically invisible. Black holes act like a one way street, only allowing objects to fall into the black hole but nothing can escape from its gravitational pull. In the 1960's a mathematician from New Zealand, Roy Kerr said, that if a black hole is rotating a singularity forms in the shape of a ring. In principle, it would be possible to dive into such a space and through the ring, to emerge in another place and time. The "Kerr Solution" was the first mathematical example of a time machine. Nobody took Kerr's idea seriously until the 1970's when astronomers discovered what seemed to be real black holes in our galaxy and the hearts of other galaxies. There is an interior tunnel in the exact Kerr solution of the Einstein Field of Equations, but it is unstable. The slightest disturbance inside would seal it off and turn the tunnel into a physical singularity which would allow nothing to pass through it.

White holes are practically just like black holes in the way they are formed. The difference is that, in white holes, objects are pushed away from the center, unlike black holes which engulf objects not allowing them to escape their gravitational force. Therefore, black holes and white holes must be connected in some way, theorists believe they are connected by worm holes. If this is true, the way that this system would work is that the object would be pulled in through the black hole and shot through the wormhole at a speed close to that of light and then at the end the object would be pushed out through the white hole in another area in space. Antigravity is a force that is opposite to gravity, instead of attracting all objects, it repels them. This works kind of like when two protons come in contact with each other. Wormholes are theoretical objects in space. Wormholes are tunnels that connect two areas of space. Theoretically, black holes and white holes are connected by wormholes. Therefore, the black holes suck objects in and then are spewed out of white holes in another area in space. The tunnels that connect the two holes are called wormholes.

Many astronomers now believe a black hole simply burns out at some point as its energy is shot out in the form of gamma rays and quasar-like phenomena---and these have been observed.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: RedHotMama on May 01, 2008, 12:19PM
Dave's comments remind me of the novel Voyage to Venus by C.S. Lewis. The "hero" was transported from Earth to Venus, where he encountered a very innocent "Eve" who had become separated from her "Adam". Then arrived a "Satan", who tried to corrupt her thoughts. The hero soon understood that his task was somehow to counter the arguments of Satan. He tried, he argued, he strived over many days and nights. Satan was winning. Finally, the hero realised that all he could do was to fight and kill Satan with his bare hands. He succeeded and the world of Venus developed without sin. It's a pity the merciless God of Earth didn't give US such an option.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on May 01, 2008, 12:20PM
I find it interesting that when the "age of the universe" is discussed in the context of an evolution debate, it is often lumped in by creationists with those scientific conclusions which are supposedly based on the prejudices of the evolutionary scientists. The only problem with that is that it is cosmologists, and not evolutionists, that are primarily responsible for developments in universe age theory. If you are sitting out there thinking that there is some sort of neat little scientific conspiracy to promote evolution despite lack of evidence, you need to consider just how many scientists you are talking about, and in how many related and unrelated fields of study they work. Sorry- every astrophysicist, every cosmologist, astronomer, biologist, archeologist, etc. is not in some kind of "league" to hush up evidence for recent creation. It would be utterly impossible to get that type of collusion among such a large, varied, and often contentious body of scientists.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: RedHotMama on May 01, 2008, 12:23PM
Hello Dave! :hi:


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Brisko on May 01, 2008, 12:51PM
Gerald Schroeder,  author of such books as Genesis and the Big Bang, The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom, and The Hidden Face of God has an interesting take on the creation issue, as well as science v. religion in general.  He belices that modern science contains nothing inimical to a literal reading of Genesis. Indeed, modern science allows one to understand the "true literal meaning of the Creation narrative." To Schroeder, it is Einstein's relativity, the "distortion of time facing backwards in a forward rushing cosmos," that accounts for the compression of time in a 15-billion year-old universe into six days of creation. To Schroeder, the emergence of modern man can be dated to the beginning of writing. Archeologists date the first writing, he notes, "at five or six thousand years ago, the exact period that the Bible tells us the soul of Adam, the neshama, was created." To Schroeder, who cites the Targum of Onkelos, Adam was the first man who could write, and the creation of Adam from more primitive man was a divine ensoulment.  [I got this from teh Wiki but Schroeder's own website (http://www.geraldschroeder.com/new.html) seems to agree... though with more verbosity and ugly web-design].

Here is one of Schroeder's own articles (http://www.geraldschroeder.com/age.html) describing why the 6-day creation shouldn't be read literally, from both a scientific AND a rabbinic standpoint.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on May 01, 2008, 12:53PM
I find it interesting that when the "age of the universe" is discussed in the context of an evolution debate, it is often lumped in by creationists with those scientific conclusions which are supposedly based on the prejudices of the evolutionary scientists.
I'm sure most of them don't care----after all, they're all just "scientists," right? So what if they have stated that Earth itself has gone through various stages when humans (indeed, most life) could not be sustained because of methane, too much or too little oxygen, sulphur or other toxins?


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on May 01, 2008, 01:32PM
Gerald Schroeder,  author of such books as Genesis and the Big Bang, The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom, and The Hidden Face of God has an interesting take on the creation issue, as well as science v. religion in general.

I can certainly be interesting what highly creative, intelligent minds can come up with when they start with a conclusion, get a very detailed and complicated set of facts that don't quite allow for the conclusion, and try to reconcile them. It can be more interesting if they use drugs to help them, but the more creative and intelligent, generally, the greater their artistic potential.
 
Good scientists maintain a high degree of intellectual self-discipline and a reasonable degree of humility though, and either avoid these egocentric errors completely, often doing some brilliant real science in the process, or they recognize the true value of these ideas and often write some fantastic science fiction.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on May 01, 2008, 02:18PM
Hello Dave! :hi:

Heya! :hi:

Speaking of those contentious scientists.... :razz: :D


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: RedHotMama on May 01, 2008, 02:24PM
Who, little ole ME? Surely not.... :) :razz:


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on May 01, 2008, 03:16PM
Howdy! Well, I have a bit of free time at the moment, so I'll indulge in one last display of genius relative to this sub-topic. (BTW, tongue VERY much in cheek for that "genius" bit. ;))

G'day Dave,Hmm, Paul (Saul) was actively persecuting Christians, with the full approval and support of the Jewish leaders, when he had his epiphany.

Christians were routinely executed in the Roman circus simply for being Christians.  A lot of other people were executed as well, but not simply for being Christians.

These bits of "history" are really nothing but scriptural references (Paul) or church dogma (Roman persecution). Even if the apostle "Paul" was a real person (which I believe is possible) the Saul-to-Paul conversion thing was almost certainly made up later as part of the apostolic mythology. Notice how in the Epistles, Paul is his own man. He decides where to go, what to do, and thinks himself blessed with revelation above all others. He frequently derides the other apostles' teachings or claims to have ordered them around. In Acts, he is portrayed as little more than a glorified second-rate errand boy. He does as he is told, goes where he is sent, etc. This treatment in Acts was clearly the church's method of "reeling Paul in" and making him part of, and subservient to, the church hierarchy.

As for the Roman thing, we have no documentary evidence that the Romans even recognized Christianity as seperate from Judaism in the first century. Cults and sects were everywhere and it is improbable that they would bother to differentiate between them. Romans were a culture of law and order and Jews had certain rights. One of those was not to be randomly targeted for inclusion in arena sport.

Quote
BTW, the "church" isn't this organised religion or that group of buildings - it is simply comprised of all believers.  So some "rag-tag group" of Christians is as much "the church" as any modern organised denomination - but you knew that...

Yes, I understand this. My point was that since most of those rag-tag groups did not believe even remotely the same things, they would not together constitute "the church" by your definition. I'm not talking about slight doctrinal difference, but massive differences that basically made them into different religions altogether.

Quote
Hmm, my views:
1. Agreed
2. Reasonable interpretation
3. Evidently
4. Nuh, by definition NO ONE is innocent. "For all have sinned..."

Sigh... Okay. So we all deserve to be tortured to death by evil ambitious persons who may or may not think they are acting in accordance with God's wishes.

I understand that in Biblical thinking, innocent and guilty are two absolute poles. There is no middle ground. All humans are "guilty". And Christians comfort themselves with this whenever they need to defend God from accusations of cruelty. "Oh, but they (the victims) weren't innocent. They really deserved even worse than that. We all do. Only God's grace is preventing all of us from being in REAL trouble." Etc. Right? I know this probably sounds snide or sarcastic on my part, but is not intended that way. This IS the thought process. I know it all too well. And it sets up:

(drum roll.....)

Quote
This is WHY Christ came and gave His life for us - so that none NEED suffer "as a result".
 

But what if he didn't? What if it is all or partially made up? Does the God of the OT still work for you without Christ as you currently think of him? IOW, if you came to disbelieve the NT, would you still accept the OT? Just asking out of genuine curiosity.  ;)

Quote
To borrow from E.E. "Doc" Smith and his "Lensman" series - consider a quality tool.  You take the raw ores and heat them, combine them, burn off the dross, forge them into rough shape, machine them, harden and temper them &etc. and you end up with a tool that is purpose made for a task, it is of high quality and reliability.  If said ores and resultant tool were sentient do think the process would be enjoyed.  What about the end result, would it be appreciated?

Ultimately we still have choice.  As individuals and in a group context.  Do we choose to be the tool, or the dross?

Depends on what the tool is for and your definition of dross.

Quote
that's one of my pet hates...  Anyone can prove anything they want from the Bible if they quote out of context.  If you want to understand what's being said it is imperative to read enough of the surrounding passages to gain the full context.  If you do not, you are just kidding yourself at best.

Yep, and thus my aversion to reading too much into Jesus' supposed fulfillments of OT prophecies which when read in context are clearly not about anything related to a coming messiah.

Quote
I do not deny there is much taught that is just plain wrong.  This saddens me immensely.  It is also NOT restricted to Christian circles.  The secular world is at least as guilty.

I agree 100%! :good:

Quote
OK, in Mark 16:1-8 it is as you say, BUT in Mark 16:9-11 it says:
Note vs 9 - "the first day of the week" - this is the SAME day that the girls visited the tomb in vs 1.  So, did they or didn't they tell the others - not immediately perhaps, but ultimately Mary Magdalene did later on the same day...

My NIV study Bible says that Mark 16:9-20 is not present in the most reliable older manuscripts. This means it was almost certainly added later to harmonize it with Matt. and Luke. It certainly reads like an addition rather than an integrated whole.

Quote
In the account in Luke it says that there were more than 3 who told the disciples, NOT that there were more than 3 in the tomb...  More than 3 is also more than Just Mary Magdalene.  Perhaps she was the spokeswoman and thus singled out in the account in Mark.
 

No, it doesn't specifically say that the three named women did not stop on the way and pick up more women to help them tell the tale. It also doesn't say that they didn't stop for a mocha latte on the way to tell the disciples either. But I feel reasonably confident that they did not. ;)

Quote
As for the number of men in the tomb...  I dunno.  Perhaps someone couldn't count ;)  More than one witness, more than one story...

Or maybe, it was never intended to be interpreted as literal fact to begin with. Gospels at that time were really intended to be dramatic settings for otherwise boring or dry collections of sayings. The authors wanted stories that would appeal to people and which they would relate to. So they took the sayings (while also inventing more in the process) and fleshed them out so they would read like a narrative. The later the gospels were written, the more fleshed out they tended to become.

The point of all this (on my part) is not to split hairs in NT interpretation, but just to point out that the whole Bible is not 100% literally factually accurate to the letter. This should be obvious to any thinking 4th grader who takes an honest look at it. Just because it isn't "true", though, does not mean that it does not contain any "TRUTH". Lots of thing are technically untrue, but contain much TRUTH. Great works of fiction come to mind...

Quote
I, too have enjoyed the discussion.  My primary interest in this forum is actually trombones, but asides like these are not unwelcome, so long as people don't get too personal.  I HATE flame wars and will not participate in such.

My feelings too. I'm not much into flame wars either. We're mostly all adults around here and should act as such. Take care. (And yes this one WILL be my last post on this topic in this thread. Feel free to have the last word if you wish. :D)

Dave


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Lawrie on May 01, 2008, 06:01PM
G'day Evan,
I'm unwilling to try to explain because I'm almost certain to do it poorly - it is several years since I read the book and I don't know where it currently is.  A box somewhere...

What I do remember relates to the volume of space "inside" the event horizon reducing and the time dilation effects associated with the event horizon allowing for an "old" universe surrounding a "young" earth.

NOTE - I do not claim it is true, simply an alternative point of view.  My comment is very poor in its ability to relate the gist of the concept.

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BTW---so you don't start making up things again and say something like the "jury is still out, "
I'm sorry you were offended by my figure of speech - I have not "made anything up" as you put it.



==========

G'day Tim,
I think I've found the title in question on the web, and it is by Humphries, though I did not remember his name.  Certainly I do not recall anything to do with assymetry in mass and gravitional change affecting c in this book, though it is several years since I read it.  The books title is: "Starlight and Time"

==========

G'day Andrew,
as I think I've said before, the only true definition of sin is: "disobedience to God"

I cannot control how you choose to define this.  In the case of Adam and Eve, it was their decision to eat of the "fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil".

Later in the Bible a whole bunch of things got codified, still later Jesus fulfils the law 'cos we couldn't and gives His life on our behalf.  In the meantime giving us a "new commandment" - to love one another as He loved us.  Sadly Adam & Eve couldn't keep one "rule", we got a bunch of rules and couldn't keep them, now we got one rule again and we still can't keep it - be thankful I ain't God, I'da started over ages ago...

I think Puma has addressed your points more directly...

==========

G'day play_louder,
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I suppose I would consider 'forcing views on others' to include insisting that the creationism myth is taught in schools as being of equivalence in scientific terms to evolutionary theory. If you do not think this should happen, then I'm happy to conclude you are a reasonable, liberal person not guilty of some of the nastier behavoiur exhibitied by many relgious fundamentalists.
I guess we won't quite see eye to eye on this particular issue - allow equal time and stop teaching evolution as if it were incontovertible fact instead of a theory and I won't object.  Can't see that happening without a fight, as it is, creationism isn't taught in public schools at all except as a passing comment on it being ridiculous - which it ain't.

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...and whether they are figurative of literal, is just 'guessing'?

To a point - I certainly don't claim to be either perfect OR omniscient.  I DO have faith.

I'm pretty sure the books title is: "Starlight and Time" by Dr. Russell Humphries Ph.D.  I still haven't found my copy...

I say "the jury is out" 'cos it ain't proven - it is a theory, nothing more and nothing less.

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Heh heh. I love it when creationists dig their own grave like this. The sad part is that they don't even realise it, and hence don't get that the joke is on them.
I certainly don't "get it" - perhaps the joke is actually on you...  ;)

===========

G'day Dave,
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After all, they had to look at the tempting object everyday because it was placed where they could not avoid it
Umm, not sure I get this.  That tree was in the centre of the garden IIRC, b-i-g garden, didn't have to go to the centre if they didn't want...

The tempter wasn't "turned loose" on them - he was already on the loose...

Without choices how can one have free will...  There is a deeper "game" here.

I simply contend there are equally valid alternative theories for the evidence available...  Nothing more or less, aside from my bias in my faith of course. ;)

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It would be utterly impossible to get that type of collusion among such a large, varied, and often contentious body of scientists.

Not so hard if the education system is biased towards discrediting creationism...  "Train up a child in the way he should go and he will not depart from it all his days"  We now have at least 50 years (maybe closer to 100) of education system bias against creationism.  This translates to a lot of researchers who simply will not consider it as a credible alternative.  This is not an overnight occurence, but one that has been going on for decades.

I'm not accusing anyone of conspiring to hide evidence (though I've some that try to claim this) but rather that their mind sets do not allow them to consider it objectively if at all.

IMHO there is a conspiracy here, but not one made by "human hands".

Hmm, just scrolled down to your next post - I haven't time to read it let alone comment at the moment so I'll get back to ya...



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on May 01, 2008, 07:24PM
I'm sorry you were offended by my figure of speech - I have not "made anything up" as you put it.
No offense taken. However, you've already attempted to redefine basic terms of mathematics and science to fit your preconceived notions of "faith" and "belief." Saying the "jury is out" implies there is a controversy where none exists (except among the alternative views, possibly, of a Bible-based cult). I have the sense that you use "alternative views" as "likely" or "credible" views. If not, I apologize. There are, as you know, "flat-earthers," "young-earthers," even "hollow-earthers." There is no debate within the scientific community on these issues, however, despite a few cranks and their unique hypotheses. The jury decided long ago----although the car-park attendants, cafeteria workers, street performers and night janitors might be scratching their heads.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Lawrie on May 01, 2008, 10:45PM
G'day Evan,
Quote
No offense taken. However, you've already attempted to redefine basic terms of mathematics and science to fit your preconceived notions of "faith" and "belief." Saying the "jury is out" implies there is a controversy where none exists (except among the alternative views, possibly, of a Bible-based cult). I have the sense that you use "alternative views" as "likely" or "credible" views. If not, I apologize. There are, as you know, "flat-earthers," "young-earthers," even "hollow-earthers." There is no debate within the scientific community on these issues, however, despite a few cranks and their unique hypotheses. The jury decided long ago----although the car-park attendants, cafeteria workers, street performers and night janitors might be scratching their heads.

Umm, RE "redefining terms" - I've been accused of that several times in this discussion and deny it.  Each disputed term I've used has been used within dictionary meaning and I have NOT changed the usage or definition in use in any of my comments, despite being accused of that too.  I HAVE asked by implication that persons such as yourself take some things into reasonable consideration.  It appears to me that I have failed to overcome your prejudices in this.

I HAVE, and admitted to, used some figures of speech ambivalently, but conceded doing so each time in order to "clear the waters".

I have used "jury is out" in a purely personal reference each time - go back and check, each time referred specifically to my acceptance or otherwise of a point - it was NEVER used as a generality.

In any case, there is certainly controversy - or we would not even be having this discussion...

Hmm, alternative views...  I seem to recall more than one "crank", "idiot", "fool" or victim of jealousy or politics in his own time that is now referred to as genius...  Einstein came good in his own lifetime, but Nicola Tesla never really did any good in the West until after his death.  Just to suggest a couple of well known ones - I'm sure YOU can name some more...

=========

G'day Dave,
sorry mate, still no time at the moment.  I will respond but I want to check a couple of references to confirm what I recall - if I can find the referrences...  Gotta fix that library...


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on May 01, 2008, 11:23PM
Here's an observation.  It may or may not generalize to more situations, I think so but can't prove it. 

This is about process, not content. 

It is common for my children to notice discrepancies and bring them to my attention, "Daddy, that doesn't make any sense."  They'll do that during the sermon - lean over and whisper.  "That doesn't match what he said five minutes ago.  They can't both be true."  They'll do that to a politician's speech, to a commercial, to a homework assignment.  They notice.  Sometimes I can explain that the contradiction is only apparent, often they are simply correct, one of the positions is wrong.  You can't be sick, you don't have a fever.  We'd better look it up, maybe viruses bring a fever and bacteria don't, or vice versa; let's find out.  They have a natural curiosity and a natural attentiveness to anomalies, probably an adaptive advantage. 

With religion in general, particularly on the conservative end, this process is absent.  Outsiders may notice discrepancies, e.g. the fact that Matthew and Luke say "born of a virgin in accordance with the scriptures" but Isaiah 7:4 doesn't say that in the original Hebrew at all, only in a mistranslated Septuagint (Greek).  Don't get hung up on the content here and whether alma can ever be a virgin or if it has to be betulah, look at the process.  Once a skeptic brings this to a believer's attention, the believer will look for an apologist who has a possible explanation, will accept it, and will be happy.  The Web has vastly streamlined this process but it has always existed. 

But why does the process always take this form?  Why does a believer never wonder how many animals there are, or if they'd really fit on an Ark?  (why do so few people wonder if the advertiser's claims for a product could be true?) 

Does religion attract people who are inclined never to wonder?  Is that why so few modern scientists are very religious, because people who wonder drift into science and people who don't drift into religion?  Or does the community of the religious produce this in their flock? 



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on May 02, 2008, 01:06AM
Dave's comments remind me of the novel Voyage to Venus by C.S. Lewis.

'Voyage to Venus' - perhaps better known as 'Perelandra'
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perelandra

Confused me for a moment...


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on May 02, 2008, 05:51AM
It is common for my children to notice discrepancies and bring them to my attention, "Daddy, that doesn't make any sense."  They'll do that during the sermon - lean over and whisper.  "That doesn't match what he said five minutes ago.  They can't both be true."  They'll do that to a politician's speech, to a commercial, to a homework assignment.  They notice.  Sometimes I can explain that the contradiction is only apparent, often they are simply correct, one of the positions is wrong.  You can't be sick, you don't have a fever.  We'd better look it up, maybe viruses bring a fever and bacteria don't, or vice versa; let's find out.  They have a natural curiosity and a natural attentiveness to anomalies, probably an adaptive advantage.
 
With religion in general, particularly on the conservative end, this process is absent.

Good fundamentalist parents, I strongly suspect, teach their kids not to ask such questions, or present such twisted, random "reasoning" in answer that their kids learn the rules are different for religion, and, as kids do, they quickly internalize it and forget the initial state of intellectual honesty. When they're adults this shift in standards is internalized so they don't notice it, and of course they still don't remember when they learned to do it and internalized the behavior.
 
Most of that is simply a description of the socialization process, which you have to actively and very pointedly examine in order to even recognize it to a significant degree, and I'm not sure we can ever really even spot most of its presence in our own lives. Studying anthropology and/or comparative religion can definitely be a huge step in that direction, but even then it seems students particularly disinclined to introspectively deal with such issues generally have no trouble compartmentalizing rather than examining or even recognizing the similarities and disparities between Others and themselves. Notable, I think, is the fact that you don't tend to see such students beyond the survey level anthro courses.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: puma on May 03, 2008, 07:53PM
Why does a believer never wonder how many animals there are, or if they'd really fit on an Ark?
Never say never. Believers who would like to learn more about how many animals were put on the Ark should see Noah's Ark: Thinking Outside the Box (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Noahs-Ark/Tim-Lovett/e/9780890515075&sourceid=Q000000630).


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Lawrie on May 04, 2008, 08:53PM
G'day Dave,
I haven't managed to go through the boxes - more important things to do over the weekend.  However, I do not agree with your asessment of Paul's role and position in the NT.  Certainly he was not originally, umm, lets say welcome to the original disciples.  That said, the book of Acts is a record of stuff that happened.  One could even argue that Acts is still being written be every Christian walking the earth, but lets not go there...

The fact that the early Christians didn't always get on is more testament to their humanity than anything else.  I'm certainly not perfect and neither are any of my Christian friends - we often have disagreements.  This doesn't somehow prove we aren't saved or otherwise have nothing of any value to say.

As for your documentary evidence comments, I disagree, but due to the disarray of my library I cannot find the references I need to relate to you WHY I disagree.  Perhaps it will suffice for the present to say that I looked into this many years ago and was satisfied with the results.  It certainly wouldn't do harm to revisit it but perhaps not just now.

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...but massive differences that basically made them into different religions altogether.

Hmm, but this exists even today...  The fundamental criteria for being a Christian is: Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour?  All other doctrinal differences are irrelevant in this context.  That is not to say all other doctrinal differences are totally unimportant, but if they do not contradict that basic criteria then they are still Christian.  Remember, I have a "Lawrie definition" for Christianity vs. religion.  ;)

E.G. From what I understand of their respective doctrines the Mormon church is definitely Christian, but the Jehovah's Witnesses are not.  I doubt if most non-Christian people would even realise the difference, both these organisations are often viewed with the same dislike and often mistrust.  Yet both these organisations have people who have a dedication to their purpose that most Christian churches could significantly benefit from.  One is Christian, one is not...

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My NIV study Bible says that Mark 16:9-20 is not present in the most reliable older manuscripts.
Yes, I had forgotten that.  My electronic version does not have that annotation and so I overlooked it.  That said, I can't pick any stylistic differences in my KJV but then a lot of times I have to read that version several times just to make sure I'm not missing language shift differences.

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Feel free to have the last word if you wish.

Doesn't feel like a "last word" - just wanted to respond to some quite pertinent observations.

=========

G'day Timothy,
you make some good points.  My kids are grown up and I no longer have to deal with their questions, they were taught to find out for themselves...

If I may make a parallel observation, everybody makes mistakes.  Only last Sunday our pastor was preaching a message and inadvertently attributed "Amazing Grace" to Isaac Newton.  Does this mean he thinks Sir Isaac wrote it instead of John Newton?  Of course not, he simply made a slip of the tongue - and didn't even realise it 'till we told him later.

This is a relatively benign error, sadly some are not so benign.  If you are ever unsure, make sure you get him/her to confirm or explain.  NEVER simply accept something unless you can confirm it from your own studies in the Word.  All pastors are responsible for the people they serve, but we are each responsible for our own salvation - it is important to get it right.

There has often over the years been things I haven't understood.  Some I have challenged, some I have not accepted and some I came to understand as I grew in my understanding and relationship with God.

BTW, this question HAS been asked, AND answered...  (I note puma has linked to a book for you - haven't read this one myself)
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Why does a believer never wonder how many animals there are, or if they'd really fit on an Ark?
and beyond...  The Ark's proportions and have been extensively studied by naval architects.  For its function - staying afloat on open seas without power or steerage and keeping its contents safe and hopefully dry for an extended period - it apparently comes up as an ideal shape and size...  E.G.  It will turn into deep ocean waves and not broach or break its back through lack of support.  'tis indeed an interesting study.

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Does religion attract people who are inclined never to wonder?...
I think it attracts people who seek understanding and find that "reasoning" is not enough.  I would even argue that "reason" could be considered a religion in it's own right.






Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on May 04, 2008, 11:35PM
Never say never. Believers who would like to learn more about how many animals were put on the Ark should see

It is my impression that all of the theorizing about how the ark might have worked is in response to criticism by skeptics.  No believer ever wondered on his/her own.  I guess given the odds there should be at least one person, but I've nver met one or heard of one. 

And yet, the way that story was written it should instantly strike all of us as a "just so" story.  There is no part of it that should NOT raise some questions.  Whether it is building a boat that size alone, gathering all the world's animals, fitting them all in, taking care of them for a year, finding enough water to cover the mountains, or inventing the rainbow, all of it seems designed to be read as myth.  A neutral observer would have to think that story was deliberately written to appear that way. 

puma, did that ever occur to you?  I'd predict not.  I think what happens is a skeptic comes along and says wait a minute, that doesn't make sense.  And then an apologist like Woodmorappe writes a book to defend it.  puma I think finds Woodmorappe convincing, but I do not. 

The apologists on this one have been forced to invent a new concept and add it to the bible, the Kind.  As it became obvious that all the world's species could not fit, they decided that there must be some kind of protospecies called a kind, such that it could later evolve rapidly into multiple modern species.  E.g, a dog kind could become wolf, dog, coyote, fox, all sorts of extinct animals, etc.  That would reduce the number of species you need to fit.  Trouble is, those protoanimal kinds had to coexist with man, and there is not a single reference in the bible anywhere to one.  Biblical references to animals are so specific we can tell which modern species of dove was used for sacrifice.  Nor is there a single fossil that a creationist has agreed represents a kind.  It is an addition to the text to explain something unexplainable.

And the reason I belabor this point?  About the kinds?  It is because not a single creationist believer has ever wondered why there aren't any kinds in the Bible, if kinds are the explanation for how we got all the animals on the ark.  Not a single one.  Why not?  It should have been an obvious question. 



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: puma on May 05, 2008, 09:27AM
It is my impression that all of the theorizing about how the ark might have worked is in response to criticism by skeptics.  No believer ever wondered on his/her own.  I guess given the odds there should be at least one person, but I've nver met one or heard of one. 

And yet, the way that story was written it should instantly strike all of us as a "just so" story.  There is no part of it that should NOT raise some questions.  Whether it is building a boat that size alone, gathering all the world's animals, fitting them all in, taking care of them for a year, finding enough water to cover the mountains, or inventing the rainbow, all of it seems designed to be read as myth.  A neutral observer would have to think that story was deliberately written to appear that way. 

puma, did that ever occur to you?  I'd predict not.  I think what happens is a skeptic comes along and says wait a minute, that doesn't make sense.  And then an apologist like Woodmorappe writes a book to defend it.  puma I think finds Woodmorappe convincing, but I do not. 

The apologists on this one have been forced to invent a new concept and add it to the bible, the Kind.  As it became obvious that all the world's species could not fit, they decided that there must be some kind of protospecies called a kind, such that it could later evolve rapidly into multiple modern species.  E.g, a dog kind could become wolf, dog, coyote, fox, all sorts of extinct animals, etc.  That would reduce the number of species you need to fit.  Trouble is, those protoanimal kinds had to coexist with man, and there is not a single reference in the bible anywhere to one.  Biblical references to animals are so specific we can tell which modern species of dove was used for sacrifice.  Nor is there a single fossil that a creationist has agreed represents a kind.  It is an addition to the text to explain something unexplainable.

And the reason I belabor this point?  About the kinds?  It is because not a single creationist believer has ever wondered why there aren't any kinds in the Bible, if kinds are the explanation for how we got all the animals on the ark.  Not a single one.  Why not?  It should have been an obvious question.

At least you admit you have never met one. Did it ever occur to you, timothy42b, that the account is actual history? Every objection (building a boat, gathering animals, feeding, etc.) has been addressed. The recent answers about the Ark are available because scientists investigated the relevant disciplines (hydrology, geography, etc.). We have more information at our fingertips than we did 100 years ago. The kinds are very clearly mentioned in the Bible. The fact that cats are not mentioned does not mean they did not exist.

There is no obvious question about kinds because the answer is already presented. Animals are created according to their kinds. Animals were sent to Noah (he didn't have to gather them) according to their kind. Those who read the Bible in a straightforward manner ask questions out of the need to learn more about God's Word ( Acts 17:11 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%2017:11;&version=31;) ). Apologists have been around since Enoch. The word comes from the Greek apología which means to give a defense out of reason/logic. There is nothing wrong with asking questions (like what is a 'kind') out of a sincere desire to learn. The skeptics' motive for asking is to attack God's Word to justify their disbelief.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on May 05, 2008, 09:48AM
Yup ... more or less impervious to evidence, information, education or correction (etc), and a pretty powerful voting bloc here in the US, which is how we end up with presidents like W, and anyone running for orifice here has to act pretty deeply religiofied and pander to the utter depravity of profound religiostupidification.
 
Don't look behind the curtain at the putrid, rotting, decrepit works of the machine, or at the seas of casualties of all kinds in its wake though ... wouldn't be polite.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: HuskerTX on May 05, 2008, 09:53AM
Why can't Noah's Ark be an allegorical tale about the Ark being a precursor for the Church, offering salvation for mankind? Have you ever thought of that? What makes the story so much more special if you take a literal interpretation. Seems to me like it would have a much wider (and more plausible) appeal if it weren't a literal story.

I'll also ask you this, puma. There are forms of life on this Earth which, plain and simple, wouldn't have had a snowball's chance in hell of surviving on an Ark for 40 days. An example... the tube worms which exist on the sea floor near the Galapagos Islands near underwater volcanic vents. The water temperature is around 600 degrees Fahrenheit, but it doesn't boil because the pressure is so incredibly immense.
 
That's just one example. There are a multitude of other extremophiles and other virtually unknown life forms which couldn't possibly have survived on some ridiculous Ark. Also, if there was a massive global flood, there would be SOME definitive, world-wide, geologic evidence... ESPECIALLY if the flood happened within the last 4,000 years. Of course, I know creationists are not ones to take geologic evidence seriously.

The literal interpretation of the Ark story is absolutely preposterous, plain and simple. Most people who believe it haven't the faintest clue of the staggering amount of biodiversity this planet has to offer... it's really an insult and slap-in-the-face of the true greatness of this planet.

Isn't such a simplistic understanding of the world kind of an insult to God? To claim that we have any semblance of understanding about the way the universe really works and how it was started is unbelievably arrogant. I think a true testament to God's glory is the fact that even though we have so much more knowledge now than 100 years ago, we actually have less understanding of all that new knowledge. Each new discovery we make seems to raise ever more questions.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on May 05, 2008, 12:01PM
It is my impression that all of the theorizing about how the ark might have worked is in response to criticism by skeptics.  No believer ever wondered on his/her own.  I guess given the odds there should be at least one person, but I've nver met one or heard of one. 

I'd generalize this even further. For all the talk about creation science being a legitimate attempt to understand God's handiwork out of a genuine and objective intellectual curiosity, I am willing to bet that if all naturalistic (ie-"real") scientific research were to suddenly stop, and all scientists everywhere were to concede "victory" to the creationists, that creation science would soon be abandoned. Why? Because it exists not to serve any genuinely independent purpose, but is only a reaction to the findings of real researchers that threaten the ideology of those who practice it.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: puma on May 05, 2008, 12:15PM
Why can't Noah's Ark be an allegorical tale about the Ark being a precursor for the Church, offering salvation for mankind? Have you ever thought of that? What makes the story so much more special if you take a literal interpretation. Seems to me like it would have a much wider (and more plausible) appeal if it weren't a literal story.

I'll also ask you this, puma. There are forms of life on this Earth which, plain and simple, wouldn't have had a snowball's chance in hell of surviving on an Ark for 40 days. An example... the tube worms which exist on the sea floor near the Galapagos Islands near underwater volcanic vents. The water temperature is around 600 degrees Fahrenheit, but it doesn't boil because the pressure is so incredibly immense.
 
That's just one example. There are a multitude of other extremophiles and other virtually unknown life forms which couldn't possibly have survived on some ridiculous Ark. Also, if there was a massive global flood, there would be SOME definitive, world-wide, geologic evidence... ESPECIALLY if the flood happened within the last 4,000 years. Of course, I know creationists are not ones to take geologic evidence seriously.

The literal interpretation of the Ark story is absolutely preposterous, plain and simple. Most people who believe it haven't the faintest clue of the staggering amount of biodiversity this planet has to offer... it's really an insult and slap-in-the-face of the true greatness of this planet.

The easiest reason is because other Biblical books (Ezekiel, Isaiah, Luke, Hebrews, Peter), including Jesus Himself, referred to Noah as a person of history. The global flood can be viewed as a picture of salvation, but is always presented as history, not parable. A literal interpretation does not make it more or less special; it is simply history. Wider appeal? Jesus didn't come to our planet to win a popularity contest. The worms didn't have to go on the ark (btw, the animals and Noah's family were on the ark for over a year ... it only rained 40 days/nights). Since the hottie tube worms are already on the sea floor, they could have just stayed there, probably having a party while the deep burst open. No fish were taken on the ark either. The original text refers to the kinds taken on the ark as those with a soul (nephesh). Many insects could have survived on floating vegetation mats. The world is full of obvious evidence for a global flood (fossils, glaciers, plate techtonics, Grand Canyon, etc.). If it had been a local flood, there would have been no need to preserve animals. The presence of the ark only makes sense in the context of a global flood.

The literal interpretation of the Ark story is absolutely preposterous, plain and simple.
It is indeed plain and simple; it is preposterous to think otherwise.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: HuskerTX on May 05, 2008, 12:36PM
I'd generalize this even further. For all the talk about creation science being a legitimate attempt to understand God's handiwork out of a genuine and objective intellectual curiosity, I am willing to bet that if all naturalistic (ie-"real") scientific research were to suddenly stop, and all scientists everywhere were to concede "victory" to the creationists, that creation science would soon be abandoned. Why? Because it exists not to serve any genuinely independent purpose, but is only a reaction to the findings of real researchers that threaten the ideology of those who practice it.

That'd be great to see.

Although, I don't think creation science would cease. I don't think they'd stop until they indoctrinated/brainwashed every person able to comprehend their backward "science." Then, with the wool pulled over everyone's eyes, there would be no need for any further "learning" and we'd enter a dark age.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on May 05, 2008, 01:48PM
The original text refers to the kinds taken on the ark as those with a soul (nephesh).

Puma, you mentioned this in another post recently and it caught my eye. These two posts are the first serious theological references I have every heard which referred to any animal besides humans having a "soul". Would you be so kind as to elaborate a bit? I am curious as to which types (or "kinds") of animals are supposed to have souls, and where the scriptural references are for this. You've got me wondering if "doggie heaven" might not be a real place after all! ;)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Brisko on May 05, 2008, 01:53PM
It's the "breath of life."  I think the human soul is a different word... neshama, maybe?


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on May 05, 2008, 01:57PM
Ahhhh. So perhaps a different type of soul..... Hmmmmmm- no doggie heaven???  :(

I'd still be curious where the references are so I can see how it was translated.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Brisko on May 05, 2008, 02:14PM
The wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nephesh) has a nice article comparing different usage of the word nephesh


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: HuskerTX on May 05, 2008, 03:05PM
Quote from: Wikipedia
In the A.V. and R.V. it is translated "soul" 472 times, while in the other 282 places it is represented by forty-four different words or phrases. In fifty-three of these places there is a marginal rendering which calls attention to the fact that the word is "Nephesh", while in 229 passages the English reader has hitherto been left in ignorance of the fact. The English word "soul" is in every occurrence the rendering of the Hebrew Nephesh, except in Job 30:15 and Isa. 57:16. See the notes. the time has come to "open the book", and let it speak for itself. Henceforth, every one who uses The Companion Bible will have complete information as to the facts, and can use it in determining his definitions, making his own classifications, and formulating his doctrines as to the Biblical use of the word.

This is exactly why there is no true logic in a literal interpretation of the Bible. This paragraph really speaks for itself.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: tepposal on May 05, 2008, 03:34PM
And yet, the way that story was written it should instantly strike all of us as a "just so" story. 

...all of it seems designed to be read as myth.  A neutral observer would have to think that story was deliberately written to appear that way. 

Well, I'm not sure if that's a neutral opinion..

Maybe you should have told that to Jesus and the apostles also. Seems like they weren't "neutral" enough when reading the bible as they clearly took the events as historical facts. They are many times referring to e.g. 'the days of Noah' in the new testament.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on May 05, 2008, 04:06PM
Well, I'm not sure if that's a neutral opinion..

Maybe you should have told that to Jesus and the apostles also. Seems like they weren't "neutral" enough when reading the bible as they clearly took the events as historical facts. They are many times referring to e.g. 'the days of Noah' in the new testament.

And Eragon refers to things said in earlier books.....if you get the problem.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Lawrie on May 05, 2008, 05:17PM
G'day Tim,
Quote
It is my impression that all of the theorizing about how the ark might have worked is in response to criticism by skeptics.  No believer ever wondered on his/her own.
Umm, nope.  I for one wondered all by myself...  I suspect you are making an unwarranted assumption.

Quote
...kind...
Gen 1:11, 12, 21, 24, 25 plus Gen 6:20 and 7:14 and 8:19 all mention kind in applicable context.  Especially 8:19 :-

Quote
Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.   
BTW, that's from the KJV (translated in 1611)

Nobody invented that one as an explanation...  It's already in the Scriptures.

=======

G'day Evan,
Quote
And Eragon refers to things said in earlier books.....if you get the problem.

I can read the OT books referred to in the NT, but funnily enough I can't seem to find the books referred to by Eragon, though it'd be interesting - it's quite an entertaining yarn...


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on May 05, 2008, 05:26PM
G'day Evan,
I can read the OT books referred to in the NT, but funnily enough I can't seem to find the books referred to by Eragon, though it'd be interesting - it's quite an entertaining yarn...

Every now and then the obstinance shows up more obviously in the pretense of dullardry.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: mwpfoot on May 05, 2008, 06:08PM
The literal interpretation of the Ark story is absolutely preposterous, plain and simple. Most people who believe it haven't the faintest clue of the staggering amount of biodiversity this planet has to offer... it's really an insult and slap-in-the-face of the true greatness of this planet.

Well said. Your point was completely missed, but that is to be expected.

 :cool:



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on May 05, 2008, 06:21PM
Quote from: ABinkard
The literal interpretation of the Ark story is absolutely preposterous, plain and simple. Most people who believe it haven't the faintest clue of the staggering amount of biodiversity this planet has to offer... it's really an insult and slap-in-the-face of the true greatness of this planet.
Well said. Your point was completely missed, but that is to be expected.

 :cool:

I agree completely. It's revealing how simple the world that most hard core believers (fundies and creationist/literalist types) perceive. Such a world would be boring--desolate--if not infused somehow with some kind of magic. I think I would fear having to accept such a world if that's what I thought (though I'm not sure I'd have the option to choose to believe anything). What a sad irony if that's the case, and I'm sure it is in some cases, the choice to live in a much more dreary and far less compelling world than reality offers in order to avoid the dreariness and doldrums that are imposed upon their perceptions by their highly limited chosen alternative.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on May 05, 2008, 07:31PM
G'day Evan,
I can read the OT books referred to in the NT, but funnily enough I can't seem to find the books referred to by Eragon, though it'd be interesting - it's quite an entertaining yarn...
I want to assume you're not obtuse.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on May 05, 2008, 08:07PM
I want to assume you're not obtuse.

Unfortunately the only option, really, is obstinate, which pretty much goes with a kind of dishonesty. So you have obtuse (i.e. rather less than completely brilliant), or obstinate (less than genuine and honest).
 
Personally I think obtuse is the better option. There's nothing in the slightest dishonorable about just not being terribly bright.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on May 05, 2008, 11:26PM

Nobody invented that one as an explanation...  It's already in the Scriptures.


I'm actually not sure if you disagree with me or if if I didn't make the point clearly.

Yes, the word kind is in the Scriptures, and as far as I can tell it simply means species.  There are ample references to support that.  There is nothing in the Noah story to suggest or require any other interpretation.  It is pretty clear that KJV in 1611 saw it that way. 

However, back then we didn't know how many species of critter there really are.  The Bible mentions a relatively small number of animals.  I googled it once but can't recall, seems it was between 100 and 200.  I'm sure somebody will check.  It isn't that unreasonable that you could fit that many on a boat.

When we realized that the real number is more than a million, things started getting a little stickier.  Now we had a real problem defending this one.  Well, some creative creationists like Woodmorappe put their heads together and redefined the "kind" to be some kind of undifferentiated precursor to species.  That reduced the number of critters on the Ark to around 150,000 instead of millions, a figure that Woodmorappe now thought was reasonable. 

It didn't seem to occur to anyone that this new definition of kind really didn't have any Biblical support.  Creationists immediately adopted it, as did scientists.  Yes, really, the debate began immediately over what a kind was, and continues to this day.  Scientists have tried to pin down the creationist definition so they could defeat it, and creationists have left it pretty fuzzy.  According to some it is at genus level, to others at family or kingdom.  One of the reasons is that variation within a kind is by creationist definition NOT evolution.  (regardless of what happens in the genome)  So there are all sorts of implications that follow. 

However, I'm calling foul.  I don't see any kinds in the Bible, and since man lived with them from the time of Adam until the time of Noah, they should be amply reported and described.  For that matter, the rapid evolution of the few kinds into the many millions of species should be described in the post-Noah events. 


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: marty nichols on May 06, 2008, 05:49AM

Puma, something doesn't make sense to me:

>>God's design was all very good. Altering man's form is a broad statement. It covers everything from beard shaving to grafting additional appendages. God gave man the mandate to subdue the earth and every living thing. That includes learning about how the earth and living things work in order to care for them. Developing cures for ailments is part of the mandate; designing artificial limbs for amputees is part of the mandate...

And yet you say:

>>God did not design degeneration.
Now if God did all the designing, didn't he also put in the tendency to sin?  How could Adam or Eve know how to sin if it wasn't part of the design?  Or perhaps (horror of horrors) a design flaw! :-0

Sorry.  I'm just so confused about how the Creationist mind works.  :confused: :dontknow:

Pardon me for "horning in" on this conversation.

The bible explains that God never tempts man to sin. (James 1:13 )
Satan tempted Adam and Eve, and of their free will they chose Satan over God at that point.
Though God forgave them and "covered" their sin, they passed the Adamic sin nature (cf. Romans 3-8)on to all of us. Apparently Satan (Lucifer) was first goaded by his pride to want to "be like God." That is why he fell. He then tempted Eve, and through her, Adam.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BGuttman on May 06, 2008, 08:21AM
Pardon me for "horning in" on this conversation.

The bible explains that God never tempts man to sin. (James 1:13 )
Satan tempted Adam and Eve, and of their free will they chose Satan over God at that point.
Though God forgave them and "covered" their sin, they passed the Adamic sin nature (cf. Romans 3-8)on to all of us. Apparently Satan (Lucifer) was first goaded by his pride to want to "be like God." That is why he fell. He then tempted Eve, and through her, Adam.

You aren't really answering my comment, Marty.

Puma stated that God's design was "all good" (perfect?) yet he leaves Adam and Eve susceptible to temptation by the Serpent.  Is that a design flaw?  Did God actually make a mistake?


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: HuskerTX on May 06, 2008, 08:29AM
Did God actually make a mistake?

"Free Will(y)"

Free will is the nice, built-in cop out which gets God out of a lot sticky binds, evidently.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on May 06, 2008, 08:36AM
You aren't really answering my comment, Marty.
 
Puma stated that God's design was "all good" (perfect?) yet he leaves Adam and Eve susceptible to temptation by the Serpent.  Is that a design flaw?  Did God actually make a mistake?

This is the problem of how something perfect could create imperfection. If imperfection exists in a given creation, that means the creator has had to have done something imperfect, which means it can't really be perfect. Further, in the case of God, it's alleged to have created everything. A perfect creator could conceivably be forgiven for creating imperfection if given only imperfect materials to work with, but that would have to be a lesser creator who's not responsible for the imperfect raw materials it has with which to work.
 
This is along the same thread as a creator holding its creations responsible for the characteristics of how they were created, which is another fatal flaw in the whole standard issue Christian doctrine (as well as any other such doctrine, of course).
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BGuttman on May 06, 2008, 08:42AM
"Free Will(y)"

Free will is the nice, built-in cop out which gets God out of a lot sticky binds, evidently.

You know, I could accept a God that wasn't perfect.  Maybe putting Jesus of Nazareth into harm's way wasn't a smart idea, especially if he is supposed to be a relative.

I think God actually admits that the Flood was a mistake; it was too drastic a means to get rid of the "nonbelievers".  That's the reason for the Rainbow and the promise never to do it again.

So if God can make a mistake, why not a scribe trying to translate a verse from Hebrew (and without all those neat vowel dots that help distinguish words with similar characters) into some other language like Greek or Latin.  Or another scribe trying to translate a highly inflected Latin word into English which doesn't have those inflections?

Which brings me back to the fact that the Bible is no more accurate as a historical document than some of the Egyptian heiroglyphic steelae or Summerian cuneiform tablets.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: puma on May 06, 2008, 11:32AM
Puma stated that God's design was "all good" (perfect?) yet he leaves Adam and Eve susceptible to temptation by the Serpent.  Is that a design flaw?  Did God actually make a mistake?
At the end of the 6 days of creation, everything was good. That includes the angels. There was nothing that was evil. There is a difference between designing something susceptible and designing something with the power to choose. Both angels and men had the ability to choose to obey God or not. Without that freedom, angels and men would be robots. Their worship would be fake. So there was no design flaw, no mistake by God. Adam and Eve willfully made the mistake. They rebelled against God.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: RedHotMama on May 06, 2008, 11:45AM
They rebelled against God.

Why?


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BGuttman on May 06, 2008, 12:20PM
See, now we get into another little problem.  God is a pretty stern dude.  Eve ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil almost by accident.  She was tempted into the act.  Both Adam and Eve disobeyed the Will of God (William of God?  ;) ) under duress.  But God gives them the ultimate punishment.  If this isn't meant to be a parable, I don't know what is.

How can you accept a loving God who is so intolerant?  Unless he was really isn't very loving and is a prickly dude.  **waiting for the lightning to strike me dead**


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: marty nichols on May 06, 2008, 01:13PM
Why?

That IS the question that perhaps cannot be adequately answered, even with the bible IMO.

I am a bible student. I understand how many who post in this thread are simply having
enjoyable conversation, offering thoughts, etc. However, I usually don't stay around for that kind of pleasant talk since I believe the bible has the answers , and that our task is to mine the answers with study. This question from RHM though, is probably not answered in the bible. At least not directly. The bible does say that God has foreknowledge of everything, so He knew beforehand what Adam and Eve would do. So I am led to conclude that
God created those two with a plan for a greater and more glorious end (result.) I think of the scripture:Romans 8:28-39 which Paul wrote to the believers in Rome.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Romans 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

Romans 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Romans 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Romans 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Romans 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: marty nichols on May 06, 2008, 01:19PM
You aren't really answering my comment, Marty.

Puma stated that God's design was "all good" (perfect?) yet he leaves Adam and Eve susceptible to temptation by the Serpent.  Is that a design flaw?  Did God actually make a mistake?

Please see the above reply to RHM's  question. I hope I answered there.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on May 06, 2008, 04:58PM
That IS the question that perhaps cannot be adequately answered, even with the bible IMO.

I am a bible student. I understand how many who post in this thread are simply having
enjoyable conversation, offering thoughts, etc. However, I usually don't stay around for that kind of pleasant talk since I believe the bible has the answers , and that our task is to mine the answers with study. This question from RHM though, is probably not answered in the bible. At least not directly. The bible does say that God has foreknowledge of everything, so He knew beforehand what Adam and Eve would do. So I am led to conclude that
God created those two with a plan for a greater and more glorious end (result.) I think of the scripture:Romans 8:28-39 which Paul wrote to the believers in Rome. (followed by the applicable verses.)

This passage in conjunction with your interpretation (which I share conditionally) of God's foreknowledge that Adam and Eve would fall can be taken to imply a serious lack of actual freedom of choice where man's relationship to God is concerned (and this contrary to popular Christian dogma, including that of some very fundamentalist denominations.)

If God truly created humans knowing that they would fall and thus suffer, and then decided to cherry-pick some whom he would reveal himself to in such a way that they would "believe" unto salvation, then what about the rest of humanity? Are they just collateral damage in God's fractured fairy tale? Where is the free will in that? And doesn't God just end up with what everybody claims he didn't want in the first place- robots? After all, if he chooses whom to call, and to whom he will give the faith to be "justified", as "Paul" says here, then where does our freedom of choice fit in?

FWIW, I intend this post rhetorically, not as a challenge to you personally. I did not take predestination seriously even when I believed that scripture was accurate. It does not fit in with the character of a God that I would willingly worship.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BGuttman on May 06, 2008, 05:10PM
Please see the above reply to RHM's  question. I hope I answered there.

You have quoted a book that is not relevant to me (remember, I am not Christian!).

The Bible is a good guide to being a moral person (although we have had centuries of people who claimed to follow the Bible in great precision and were still bad people).  Even earlier than the Pharisees your Jesus seems to have taken a dislike to.  We can continue to Christians of the Dark Ages who set out on wars of conquest against Muslims, Christians of the Middle Ages who persecuted Moors and Jews, Christians of the 19th and 20th centuries who went on genocides because "God told them to" -- even wiping out other Christian communities.

If you want to study the Bible for reasons to behave in a particular way, I support that.  I just have a problem with choosing to use the Bible as a means to explain physical phenomena.

Example:  The Rainbow.  The Bible says the Rainbow is God's way to atone for wiping out so much life on the Earth with the flood.  We have learned that a rainbow occurs when the Sun's light diffracts on droplets of water in the air after a rainstorm.  It isn't any less beautiful, and I enjoy them as much as the next person.  Where in the Bible do we find explanations of light diffraction?


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on May 06, 2008, 05:36PM
The Bible is a good guide to being a moral person (although we have had centuries of people who claimed to follow the Bible in great precision and were still bad people).

I'd suggest a critical review of the idea that the Bible is a good moral guide, not only because of the very fact you point out, but because I don't think the Bible warrants much of the praise it gets. It's presumed a good moral guide because we've come a long way socially, and a great deal of that is expressed in religious terms, but the reality is that we've come a long way without really any help at all from the Bible. It's simply not a very good moral guide. You can pick out a few good kernels from the silo full of chaff, and that's what we've done as we've progressed, but ignoring the rest of the silo doesn't make it go away.
 
Please, do a critical review of the Bible's morality, not just a few select portions, before promoting it as a moral guide.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Lawrie on May 06, 2008, 08:36PM
G'day Tim,
Quote
Yes, the word kind is in the Scriptures, and as far as I can tell it simply means species...

I'm not certain whether that interpretation is satisfactory or not... 

I have seen evidence that suggests the rate of diversification within "kinds" is far greater than what appears to be normally accepted.  This is especially interesting with respect to mitochondrial DNA.  As I'm sure you're aware, mtDNA is usually considered to be very stable and unchanging from mother to offspring through significant numbers of generations, however I recently (sometime in the last 2 or 3 years) came across some information that suggests the mutatuion rate of mtDNA is several orders of magnitude greater than what is commonly accepted.  Unfortunately I don't recall the source so I cannot be sure of its authenticity though the fact I remembered it suggests to me that I was happy with the source at the time (I normally feel fairly dismissive of things from sources I'm not confident in - all same as you I would expect).


AFAIK the Bible doesn't specifiy the number of critters or the number of kinds...

Gen 7:13-16
Quote
13 In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark; 14 They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.  15 And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. 16 And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.

A look into the Hebrew might make things a little clearer but I'm not a Hebrew scholar and am not particularly interested in becoming one, languages don't hold that much interest for me except when I find something fascinating enough to want to track down...

I happily concede the definition of "kind" in this context is pretty fuzzy.  I would certainly like something more concrete myself...

Quote
However, I'm calling foul.  I don't see any kinds in the Bible, and since man lived with them from the time of Adam until the time of Noah, they should be amply reported and described.  For that matter, the rapid evolution of the few kinds into the many millions of species should be described in the post-Noah events.

Why?  Put yourself into a less technological environment and ask what you would record...  Sheep, cattle, Lions etc..  All fairly common place, everyone knows what they are so why make records of 'em?  So what if you find some variations...  I think the real questions would revolve around things like "Can I farm/eat it?" or "Is it likely to kill me?"  Add to that they were societies that used a verbal tradition to transmit most knowledge - there just wasn't that much actually being recorded in the first place...

I think making assesments like that at this end of history is a little difficult to say the least.  It seems to me that most people would have been more interested in survival than research...  Of course, you could bring up Greek philosophers and the like, but they were really the exception, not the rule.  It hasn't really been until, what, around 300 years ago that any real attempts at pure research have been made (at least in the western world), and the acceleration of that due to the much greater availability of high technology tools until you reach the truly massive capacity we have today.  I think it was a far more different world than we can even imagine...

========

G'day RHM,
Quote
Why?

Good question.  To which I can only say that we don't honestly know other than Eve was tempted.  One fairly interesting idea suggests that Adam didn't really fulfil his role as well as he could have and thus Eve didn't have the same understanding of the prohibition that he had.  The source for this idea is the fact that Eve incorrectly repeated and added to what God is recorded as having told Adam.  Adam was told not to eat of the fruit, Eve added that they weren't even to touch it.  Was this out of her imagination of was it something Adam said to her?  I dunno, but it is inconsistent with what is recorded as having been told to Adam.

So, assuming this is correct, Eve sees the serpent on the tree unharmed, he "beguiles" her and she has a bite.  Decides there is advantage to this and offers it to Adam.

Here is where some extra ideas come in:
a) Adam decides to believe Eve and has a bite - they both get kicked out...
b) Adam realises that Eve is gonna get kicked out of the garden, doesn't like the idea of being separated from her so has a bite in order for them to remain together - they both get kicked out...

Interesting ideas, but we don't really know what their motives were...  Regardless, this story and its consequences has often been used as a justification for subjugating women - BA-AD idea.  Eve may have been fooled, but Adam chose, HE was ultimately responsible for the original sin, not Eve.

========

G'day Bruce,
Quote
How can you accept a loving God who is so intolerant?

Hmm, I love my children.  When they were young I made it a point to make sure they were obedient, tried hard not to be cruel or anything, but insisted on discipline, was pretty intolerant of some things in fact - I'd give myself about 75/100 for results...

Why?  Lots of reasons, but the major one was safety.  My kids needed to know that if I said STOP, they needed to stop now, not argue about it while they stepped out in front of the truck that was barreling down the street...  They might not have understood and they certinly railed at some of the restrictions at the time, but now they are adults they understand, and what's more agree with my motivations, if not necessarily my methods ;)

========

G'day Dave,
Quote
If God truly created humans knowing that they would fall and thus suffer, and then decided to cherry-pick some whom he would reveal himself to in such a way that they would "believe" unto salvation, then what about the rest of humanity? Are they just collateral damage in God's fractured fairy tale? Where is the free will in that? And doesn't God just end up with what everybody claims he didn't want in the first place- robots? After all, if he chooses whom to call, and to whom he will give the faith to be "justified", as "Paul" says here, then where does our freedom of choice fit in?

If I might hesitantly suggest...  For us it would be foreknowledge: We exist in a time frame where, as best we understand it, we percieve duration from one "point" in time to another...

The Bible implies to us that time is irrelevant God.  I sort of imagine it this way:

If you will consider my idea of a "time line".  Being within it, I can only perceive my present as it moves along the line.  I can remember the "moments" prior to my present but I cannot "see" them, neither can I "see" forward along the line.  Being outside of it, God sees the entire line as a single "thing" ("God sees the end from the beginning")  So, knowing the result is entirely different to prescribing the result.  From our perspective there is a "motion" if you will, from God's perspective it is a gestalt of the totality.  Just my thoughts...

========

Out of time for any more at the moment...


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: puma on May 07, 2008, 07:19AM
Example:  The Rainbow.  The Bible says the Rainbow is God's way to atone for wiping out so much life on the Earth with the flood.  We have learned that a rainbow occurs when the Sun's light diffracts on droplets of water in the air after a rainstorm.  It isn't any less beautiful, and I enjoy them as much as the next person.
The rainbow was never meant to be an atonement. Gen. 2:5 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%202:5;&version=31;) says there had not been any rain initially, but there is no reason to believe that rain did not fall before the global flood. If so, there could have been rainbows before the flood. After the flood, God assigned a special meaning to the rainbow ... it was a sign of a covenant between God and all future life on earth that He would not destroy all life with water again. Since that time, many local floods have destroyed life, but there has never been a global flood since then. This would not be the only time God assigned a new meaning to something that already exists (e.g., bread and wine in the Lord's Supper).


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: mwpfoot on May 07, 2008, 10:05AM
(http://www.kingdomdance.co.uk/images/rainflag.gif)

Quote from: puma
it was a sign of a covenant between God and all future life on earth that He would not destroy all life with water again.

Then those darn gays took the rainbow and put it on flags and waved them around during parades! Darn them!

Quote from: Answers in Genesis
Punishment (http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2004/0119behaviour.asp) Just as homosexual conduct has been punished in the past, so it will also be punished by God in the future.  ‘… Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God’ (1 Corinthians 6:9–10).

Thankfully, God won't punish them with a global flood!

Creationism is insanity. Hateful, manipulative insanity.

 :-0


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on May 07, 2008, 02:06PM
Creationism is insanity. Hateful, manipulative insanity.
 :-0

Quote
Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God’ (1 Corinthians 6:9–10).
It's always been strange to me that churches only go after homosexuals and leave all the other groups alone (no sense making your congregation feel like they might be unacceptable). A lot of pastors seem interested in all of the above!

(BTW---What do Corinthians have to do with Genesis?)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BGuttman on May 07, 2008, 02:11PM
...
(BTW---What do Corinthians have to do with Genesis?)

Old Testaments bound in leather? :evil:


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on May 07, 2008, 04:41PM
G'day Dave,
If I might hesitantly suggest...  For us it would be foreknowledge: We exist in a time frame where, as best we understand it, we percieve duration from one "point" in time to another...

The Bible implies to us that time is irrelevant God.  I sort of imagine it this way:

If you will consider my idea of a "time line".  Being within it, I can only perceive my present as it moves along the line.  I can remember the "moments" prior to my present but I cannot "see" them, neither can I "see" forward along the line.  Being outside of it, God sees the entire line as a single "thing" ("God sees the end from the beginning")  So, knowing the result is entirely different to prescribing the result.  From our perspective there is a "motion" if you will, from God's perspective it is a gestalt of the totality.  Just my thoughts...

Yes, this is exactly how I always envisioned it. The same way that I as a composer might be able to visualize (audiate) an entire musical composition in my mind, whereas someone who had not heard the piece before would only be able to experience it moment by moment as they first hear it.

But this simply underscores the idea that if this view of God and creation are correct, then God would certainly have known every last detail of every life for all time prior to bringing them into being. Whether we "choose", and God merely knows what we will choose before we do, or whether he actually takes an active role in pushing some people toward one decision or another (which the passage from Romans above and many other passages in scripture imply), he is ultimately responsible for everything that he set in motion. Total foreknowledge, to me, goes hand in hand with total consequential responsibility.

If you or others disagree, or feel that the looked-for end justifies the means, fine. But just remember the double standard I mentioned earlier. When Christians defend creationism, one of the arguments they fall back on time and again is the "ultimate cause" argument, in which it is argued that nothing can come from nothing, and so there must be a creator. But when the same idea is applied to the creation of evil, you are always willing to stop at least one rung short of the top of the ladder.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on May 07, 2008, 07:16PM
When Christians defend creationism, one of the arguments they fall back on time and again is the "ultimate cause" argument, in which it is argued that nothing can come from nothing, and so there must be a creator.

Even in the vacuum of outer space it seems that particles are continuously coming in and out of existence, such that "one cubic yard of empty space yields enough energy to boil all of Earth's oceans." This is called, sometimes, the "zero point field" as well. The concept of "nothing" itself may be inaccurate as scientists have determined that there is no empty space---no "nothing" as it were.

Too---if there is no something out of nothing, where did "God" come from?

What is lacking is not more goofy explanations of ancient texts, but humility-----i.e. "I don't know," or "I don't understand the Mind of God" used to be a perfectly acceptable answer uttered by honest Christians.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Lawrie on May 07, 2008, 08:29PM
G'day Dave,
Quote
...But when the same idea is applied to the creation of evil, you are always willing to stop at least one rung short of the top of the ladder.
hmm, so maybe we need to define "evil"...  The way I read it, the inferred Biblical meaning seems to always reference disobeying God - I.E. "sin".  How can God be disobedient to Himself?

If evil is defined some other way then this probably wouldn't hold.  How do you see evil defined from the Scriptural perspective? 

========

G'day Evan,
Quote
It's always been strange to me that churches only go after homosexuals and leave all the other groups alone (no sense making your congregation feel like they might be unacceptable). A lot of pastors seem interested in all of the above!

You've obviously never been to my church...  It seems to me that your assessment has probably been more influenced by the media than anything approaching the truth...  Who was it that said "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story"?

We only ever hear the sensationalism, rarely does the whole story come out, nor, it seems, the truth...  The media seem to be very happy when they discover a preacher who has been foolish or indiscrete in a way they can blow up out of all proportion...   However, in fairness, the media has also been instrumental in revealing many shameful things and seeing them stopped, and for that I applaud them.

I would be happier still if they would simply seek truth and not sensationalism.

Quote
Too---if there is no something out of nothing, where did "God" come from?

My thoughts on this would be along the lines of:
"Is God subject to space/time as we know it or is He somehow 'outside' of it?"
My answer would be that He is outside of space/time since I contend that He created it...

To change tack a little, it seems to me that "nothing" is a conceptual construct, not necessarily a description of our reality.  If I have any grasp (conversational level only of course) of string theory, then "nothing" cannot possibly have meaning in the context of space/time.

Of course these are only my thoughts - I don't really know... ;)

You speak of humility...  I could equally argue that the same humility would be welcome from the other side of the argument, though I never seem to see any there either...

I for one am happy to admit there's stuff I don't know, I'm also happy to speculate...  I never claim that my speculations are "knowledge".


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on May 07, 2008, 08:46PM

G'day Evan,
You've obviously never been to my church...  It seems to me that your assessment has probably been more influenced by the media than anything approaching the truth...  Who was it that said "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story"?

We only ever hear the sensationalism, rarely does the whole story come out, nor, it seems, the truth...  The media seem to be very happy when they discover a preacher who has been foolish or indiscrete in a way they can blow up out of all proportion...   However, in fairness, the media has also been instrumental in revealing many shameful things and seeing them stopped, and for that I applaud them.
Truth? You can't handle the truth! That's a movie joke, BTW.

Media? Yes we have media. But you seem confused again, boy. Just because media covers a story doesn't mean it isn't true (maybe you watch too much FOX News---in that case I apologize, of course you wouldn't believe the stories)---Catholic priests' molestation of children, TVangelists getting found out, cult leaders sexually abusing young women. I also live in a small town where various stories are known---people leaving each other for members of other churches, infidelities of various kinds, teen pregnancies, etc.. I would say that the media actually does a good job of covering up or even ignoring more blatant abuse. And I am a performing musician---I actually hear what they say from their pulpits. And while I hear much ranting and raving about homosexuals, can't say I've heard a sermon in years about marital infidelity, fornication, or teen pregnancies. And---like I said----there's a likely reason for that.

Quote
You speak of humility...  I could equally argue that the same humility would be welcome from the other side of the argument, though I never seem to see any there either...
You must not be looking very hard---I've never met a scientist or engineer ("creationists" excepted) who was not very forthcoming about what they didn't know. Of course, many of them will also extend the kindness of pointing out what you don't know, as well----just consider it a public service.  ;) Working with "reality" is often a humbling and chastening experience, as most scientists and engineers will tell you. Immersing oneself in a religious belief system seems to increase one's fantasy, emotional and social life at the expense of his humanity.

A Mars probe ended up slamming into the surface at the wrong angle because one chap forgot to convert metric into English measurement. Months wasted. Millions of pounds wasted. Failure for a man, failure for a team lacking backup/verification procedures. Conversely, someone points out that "Nazareth" was not a city on Roman tax rolls, nor mentioned in any secular text, contemporaneous with the time "Jesus" is alleged to have been born (has certain ramifications---probably was a Nazorite or Nazirene---zealots; maybe the story was invented after 400 c.e. when Nazareth was there; maybe the paste is falling off the cut & paste job?). No problem---just crank up the quadruped excrement spin machine and invent some "history" "must-have-beens" and "probablies" and you're right back in the carnival business. Let someone mention that crucifixion was reserved for Roman political insurgents, not religious blasphemers, there it goes again.

The "other side," as you say, doesn't have the luxury (or inclination) to connive and wiseacre as the bullspitters have.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Daniel Sheard on May 07, 2008, 10:37PM
because one chap forgot to convert metric into English measurement

Oi, stop blaming us everytime something goes wrong.  We English use metric, you know, especially in science and engineering.

 :D


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: RedHotMama on May 07, 2008, 11:41PM
I know Prof Pillinger, the guy largely responsible for the vanishing Mars probe. My boss was at the party where they were due to receive the first signals from it. Bit embarrassing, really.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Lawrie on May 08, 2008, 12:30AM
G'day Evan,
hmm, I'm certain I said something about the media revealing some shameful stuff...  Hang on, I'll go find it...

Ah yes, here it is:
<snip> However, in fairness, the media has also been instrumental in revealing many shameful things and seeing them stopped, and for that I applaud them.

I do not claim shameful things haven't happened within the church.  On the contrary, they most certainly have and embarrasing as it may be for Christians I welcome these things being revealed - so they can be eliminated.  And no, I do not condone any of the attempted (and some undoubtedly successful) coverups that have been made.  For than matter, there are records in the NT of different groups being chastised for exactly the same things.

With regard to the emphasis you seem to be hearing, it is quite evident you do not travel in the same kind of circles I do, or you are seriously overstating what you claim to be hearing, or just perhaps it is a message that has particular relevance to the region.  But how can I know for certain - I'm half a world away...

As for the rest...  One or two examples proves nothing, though I happily concede that in this regard engineers are probably the most forthcoming group of people you're likely to meet.  Nevertheless, I see coverups everywhere I look.  It is human nature to avoid responsibility - started in the garden when Adam tried to blame Eve and she tried to pass the buck to satan.  So don't try and tell me what I said about humility isn't true, I'm a far better observer than that... 


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on May 08, 2008, 04:55AM
Quote from: evan51
(BTW---What do Corinthians have to do with Genesis?)
Old Testaments bound in leather? :evil:

... go well with young Corinthians bound in leather?
 
Is that what you're trying to say!?
 
Pervert.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on May 08, 2008, 07:22AM
As for the rest...  One or two examples proves nothing, though I happily concede that in this regard engineers are probably the most forthcoming group of people you're likely to meet.  Nevertheless, I see coverups everywhere I look.  It is human nature to avoid responsibility - started in the garden when Adam tried to blame Eve and she tried to pass the buck to satan.  So don't try and tell me what I said about humility isn't true, I'm a far better observer than that...

perhaps you are.......
Yet, the process of science tends to be a humbling and chastening experience. The process of engineering belief systems for the rabble----the opposite. And I haven't even mentioned the impossible arrogance of humans who take it on themselves to speak on behalf of an Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent Supreme Being. Scientists and engineers tend to speak for themselves while acknowledging the contributions of others. Not so the priestly classes.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on May 08, 2008, 01:59PM
G'day Dave,hmm, so maybe we need to define "evil"...  The way I read it, the inferred Biblical meaning seems to always reference disobeying God - I.E. "sin".  How can God be disobedient to Himself?

He can't if you are willing to accept his apparently (as portrayed by the OT) capricious nature as a kind of "constant". Which is how believers can read about (and believe as history)the atrocities commited by the Israelites (supposedly at God's command) in the OT and still think of God as caring and loving- a god of law, order, and justice. For all the condemnation that Christians give to the "moral relativism" in secular culture, they have overlooked much if they fail to see even greater moral relativism in the OT. Basically, no act of murder, genocide, mayhem, rape, torture, looting, etc. is taboo (despite being clearly prohibited in the ten commandments)as long as the order comes from above.

If you don't accept God as having a capricious nature, and cling to the "unchanging, constant as the North Star" idea of God, then you must explain away the apparent moral conflicts when on the one hand, God gives the commandment "thou shalt not kill" and on the other, orders that very thing. Of course, with millenia to ponder things like this, believers have arrived at many sophisticated-sounding explanations to resolve the apparent problems.

Anyway, bottom line- if you believe that the only definition of evil is "sin", which is disobedience to the biblical god, then I guess you can philosophically argue that God is incapable of evil. After all, if God feels like sending his children out on a murderous rampage one day, why not? In this context, it could be considered evil (and sometimes was according to the OT) NOT to brutally murder somebody. Or, say, to fail to disembowl a bunch of pregnant women with your sword. Or to sacrifice your daughter to God as an offering.

But hey, who am I to say that these things are evil? If God demands it, it must be okay....

Quote
If evil is defined some other way then this probably wouldn't hold.  How do you see evil defined from the Scriptural perspective? 


Well, how about lack of following the ten commandments? Killing people, stealing from people, lying about people, hating people, banging your neighbor's spouse, dishonoring your parents, worshipping other gods more than Jehovah, etc. Basically all the things that God supposedly commanded the Israelites to do later on when he wanted them to forcefully occupy and defend the promised land. These would be evil according to some parts of scripture by my interpretation.

Quote
You speak of humility...  I could equally argue that the same humility would be welcome from the other side of the argument, though I never seem to see any there either...

I for one am happy to admit there's stuff I don't know, I'm also happy to speculate...  I never claim that my speculations are "knowledge".

I will give you the benefit of the doubt here because you have been pleasant to converse with and seem personable and reasonable within your ideological boundaries. But the fact that you find humility "lacking" from the other side of the argument betrays your lack of understanding of how the "other side" came to BE the "other side".

I would submit that to subjugate one's personal feelings and beliefs to the objective pursuit of true reality, to really seek after THE TRUTH no matter how personally disagreeable it might be rather than to comfort one's self with agreeable fantasies, is the ULTIMATE act of humility. So what you have here (in some cases, not all) is humility which is so forceful in its intensity that you percieve it as a lack thereof. To be fair, the same phenomenon often occurs when a profoundly religious person (who genuinely believes that they speak for God) says things that other people tale to be arrogant presumption. That person may also be motivated by a profound (although I believe misdirected) sense of humility.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Lawrie on May 08, 2008, 08:49PM
G'day Dave,
Quote
...If you don't accept God as having a capricious nature, and cling to the "unchanging, constant as the North Star" idea of God...

It is true that I've wondered about these things.  I have not really bothered to read too much of other peoples opinions about it so what follows is largely from my own thoughts.

It is neither fully formed nor, probably, very coherent, but here goes...

Premise 1)  I am made in Gods image - I take this to mean I have characteristics that are reflective of Him  E.G. emotion, ego, will, "free will", creativity etc..

Premise 2)  God says that He changes not, so He doesn't change...

Premise 3)  God says very clearly that He loves His creation, so He does...

Premise 4)  God says that "the wages of sin is death" so those who sin will die...

Premise 5)  (Spiritual) Death is defined as "eternal separation from God"

Premise 6)  God says only He has the right to judge (by inference sin and the consequences thereof)...

Premise 7)  Sin is disobedience to God

Premise 8)  God is by definition righteous

Premise 9)  There is more than one death: "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death."

Premise 10)  God, as our creator, has rightful power over us.  "He is the potter, we are the clay"

Premise 11)  Jesus sacrificed Himself in order to atone for our (my) sin so that I could live.


By inference God cannot "look upon sin" without judging it.  He is obligated by His own words (premise 4) to destroy the sinner.  However, this is OT stuff.  If we accept Christ (Premise 11) then the judgement has already been executed in the body of Christ and we (I) get to live eternally (Premise 9)

Your example of some of the the times where the Israelites were required to kill everybody in a city or tribe (including children) is certainly troubling for me.  It disturbs my sensibilities a lot.  That said, let us use the example of a garden. 
Suppose I have a productive vegetable garden that I care for and nurture.  I fertilise it and water it and expect to have a harvest of good, healthy and nourishing vege's at the end of the season.  What will I do if I find weeds?  I will uproot them, both mature and young ones, and discard or otherwise destroy them.  I certainly won't leave them to overtake my garden and choke out and kill my vege's, rather I will protect my vege's from them.

Of course we are talking about people here, not plants, so what if I saw one of my sons or my daughter being attacked?  Do you think I would stand idly by and watch him/her get killed?  No way, I would protect them with my life!  And I certainly wouldn't be too careful of their attackers' life(lives).  Certainly if the only way to save my child was to kill their attacker then the attacker is already dead - he just doesn't know it yet...  I wouldn't be particularly happy about doing it, but I wouldn't even think twice.  I love my kids.

I see this OT example in a similar light.  God is protecting His chosen people (which incudes Christians I might add).  Whether you  or I agree with His methods or not is actually irrelevant.  I'm just glad I'm one of the ones being protected...  Jesus arrival on the scene changed things.  His atonement makes it possible for the sinner to have time to repent.  If (s)he doesn't the there's always "the second death" (premises 5 and 9)

I don't think God is being capricious.  I think He is being consistent and complying with His promises to the children of Israel.

Quote
But the fact that you find humility "lacking" from the other side of the argument betrays your lack of understanding of how the "other side" came to BE the "other side".
I suspect I may not have made my point very clearly.  There seems to be a determination on certain peoples part to discredit Christians without acknowledging that all the same things we are accused of apply equally to non-Christians, including said lack of humility...  I have tried to be open and honest.  I am certainly not perfect, but I hope that I have at least succeeded in that much.

There seems to be some kind of presumption that once someone becomes a Christian everyone should expect them to be perfect and have all the answers and never make mistakes and never have any failings of any kind.  Why?  Have they suddenly stopped being human beings?  Christianity is a journey, not a destination.  We (hopefully) get better as we go along, but none of us will be perfect while our backsides still point to the ground.

=========

Gotta go, customer just had a major outage and I gotta drive 80km just to get there...


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on May 09, 2008, 04:10AM
I suspect I may not have made my point very clearly.

No, it's just that what Evan said is true.
 
 
Quote from: Lawrie
There seems to be a determination on certain peoples part to discredit Christians without acknowledging that all the same things we are accused of apply equally to non-Christians, including said lack of humility...  I have tried to be open and honest.  I am certainly not perfect, but I hope that I have at least succeeded in that much.

If it weren't for the "I don't claim [X], God does!" [I'm not a judgmental, arrogant *****, God is!] line of argumentation, which is supreme arrogance by proxy, you might have a case. If you personally avoid that trap then you're personally to be commended, because you are right that believers (of most Western types anyway) and non-believers are both prone toward false confidence in their own perceptions and feelings, but religion (mostly Western) fosters and feeds off of it. Science and skepticism and intellectual integrity and discipline are ruthless in rendering it impotent.
 
 
Quote from: Lawrie
There seems to be some kind of presumption that once someone becomes a Christian everyone should expect them to be perfect and have all the answers and never make mistakes and never have any failings of any kind.  Why?

I think that's just the expectation most evangelical and fundy believers are taught to expect. I don't think it's really out there. What most said believers tend to construe as this expectation of perfection is when the problem of hypocrisy isn't ignored and someone dares to point it out. It's a problem in conservative Christianity in particular, which is, I expect, why this alleged outsider expectation is taught preemptively in those kinds of churches.
 
 
Quote from: Lawrie
Have they suddenly stopped being human beings?  Christianity is a journey, not a destination.  We (hopefully) get better as we go along, but none of us will be perfect while our backsides still point to the ground.

Those who aren't judgmental and arrogant and don't jump on the "It's not my opinion, it's God's" battering ram (which betrays another form of arrogance, by the way, in that if they truly believe what they claim about God, they're extremely casual about speaking for it), they aren't generally going to be called on that one.
 
I've noticed that many believers are quite anxious to jump in the way of arrows being slung around them at the actual targets, and then cry "Foul! I don't deserve that!" No, you don't. Why'd you make so much effort to get in the way?
 
Byron

>> formatting fixed by moderator
>> thanks again!


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on May 09, 2008, 08:03AM
Good stuff!
 
Does science make belief in God obsolete (http://www.templeton.org/belief/)?
 
Please read responsibly.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on May 09, 2008, 08:58AM
  I have tried to be open and honest.  I am certainly not perfect, but I hope that I have at least succeeded in that much.

Well, you are "clever"......

Fact: It is written in such and such a verse of the Bible that......

Opinion/Belief: God says such-and-such.

Do you see the difference?

I'm not sure it is appropriate to label a particular rhetorical style as "open and honest," especially when it is built on unverifiable assumptions, religious texts (by their nature propaganda tracts), and word-spinning and re-definitions (not in the dictionary, i.e. ordinary meanings of words)to arrive at preset conclusions (apologetics, I believe that is). You insist the "other side" lacks humility, yet are unable to provide examples (even who the "other side" is, which I find comical), and even seem shocked that an outsider might consider a lack of humility to be the dominant trait among believers of, inter alia, creation hypothesis.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on May 09, 2008, 12:24PM
Your example of some of the the times where the Israelites were required to kill everybody in a city or tribe (including children) is certainly troubling for me.  It disturbs my sensibilities a lot. 

Well, bravo for that.

Quote
That said, let us use the example of a garden. 
Suppose I have a productive vegetable garden that I care for and nurture.  I fertilise it and water it and expect to have a harvest of good, healthy and nourishing vege's at the end of the season.  What will I do if I find weeds?  I will uproot them, both mature and young ones, and discard or otherwise destroy them.  I certainly won't leave them to overtake my garden and choke out and kill my vege's, rather I will protect my vege's from them.

Of course this would be one of the more obvious analogies to use, but it fails on a few key points. First of all, YOU, as the gardener, did not "create" the garden, the veggies, and the weeds. (You are only doing your best to impose order on a system that is mostly beyond your power to control, and is essential to your biological survival. You are not being an overbearing tyrant.) Second, the weeds do not suffer terrible fear and agony when they die. Third, they do not spend eternity in "hell" suffering for having invaded your garden.

Quote
Of course we are talking about people here, not plants, so what if I saw one of my sons or my daughter being attacked?  Do you think I would stand idly by and watch him/her get killed?  No way, I would protect them with my life!  And I certainly wouldn't be too careful of their attackers' life(lives).  Certainly if the only way to save my child was to kill their attacker then the attacker is already dead - he just doesn't know it yet...  I wouldn't be particularly happy about doing it, but I wouldn't even think twice.  I love my kids.

Ditto, if I had kids. Even so, I would most likely apply the same standard to anybody else's kids. But again, if you think about this scenario a little more, you must surely realize that our human reactions to such a situation would be based on an all-too-human mix of fear, surprise, uncertainty, and strong feelings that it is wrong for an aggressor to hurt innocent children. But does this reasoning apply to God as you envision him? Is he limited like we are? Since he knows all, wouldn't he always know in advance when his "children" were going to be threatened and be able to protect them in some way other than flagrant butchery? And this, of course, assumes that the "enemy" is the aggressor in the first place. In the OT, more often than not, the Israelites thmeselves were the plundering aggressors, and attacked unsuspecting other tribes of people without warning and for no other reason than the desire to possess their land, property, and young women. Oh yeah, and because God told them to do it.

Let's face it- If you had read the same accounts ANYWHERE else but in the OT, and they were about ANYBODY else other than the Israelites, you would find the stories abominable and would think that the perpetrators were the most inhumane bunch of lowlifes that ever walked the earth.

Quote
I see this OT example in a similar light.  God is protecting His chosen people (which incudes Christians I might add).  Whether you  or I agree with His methods or not is actually irrelevant.  I'm just glad I'm one of the ones being protected...  Jesus arrival on the scene changed things.  His atonement makes it possible for the sinner to have time to repent.

Maybe he should have been protecting everybody else from THEM. ;)

I actually agree with you about one thing here. Whether the God of the bible (or at least the OT) exists or not, what I think of his methods or lack thereof does not matter in the slightest. Only the reality matters. When I argue against the "moral goodness" of scripture, I am actually not attacking the real-or-not person of God, as such, because I don't believe that a God that was actually worthy of the title dictated anything that is in bible scripture. I base this not only on moral arguments but also scholarship that overwhelmingly indicates that real biblical authorship did not conform to the official "sunday school version."

In any event, you see what is in the OT as good because you believe God is good and that he dicatated or at least consciously inspired what is written there. I believe that it contains good but also horrible evil because I believe that it was written by fallable and inconsistent humans years after the fact and that a great deal of it is nothing more than ancient propaganda, especially some of the gorier bits, which are told in such a way as to either exaggerate the might of historical Israel or to recast some of their darker deeds in a more positive light.



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on May 11, 2008, 10:00AM
At the heart of this question about whether scriptures are literally true lies the real issue: what does it all mean?

Some have said the idea of randomness, of accident is too upsetting to their consciousness and seek meaning in religion. And reading between the lines, they are willing to suspend disbelief if they have meaning. This is the foundation of their belief. It might be something as simple as fear and anxiety, something we call understand.

A story does not have to be literally true to have meaning, and true stories may also have meaning. Some "true" stories may have little or no developmental value at all. But it occurs to me that folks get so tied up in whether something is true, they lose sight of the meaning. For example, some of the most revered stories seem a little skewed to me. For example:

There was once a father who was very disturbed about his children. They were not behaving and following his rules. He was so angry, he beat them all to death, except for one, whom he allowed to live. He locked the survivor in a barn, scoured the property of blood, then allowed him and his wife to come out of the barn with the animals and take control of the farm. He said he wouldn't ever do that again, nevertheless,  , they all remembered that he was capable of infanticide.  This is the pattern of the story of Noah (and probably Kronus and Zeus, Odin, and other Mediterranean gods).

There are other stories that have better outcomes, perhaps. The "Pharoah" inside of us (the socially conditioned-secondary self), needs to allow the true self "Moses" freedom to respond to "divine impulses." Some truths need to be disguised in a "Moses' basket" to survive until their meaning becomes clear, etc..

I suggest that whether one takes some story as literal or not, is very much secondary to whether it means anything. Then, one should probably ask himself the other question----- do these stories really resolve my fear and anxiety resulting from my suspicion that the universe really is random and accidental or have I just made myself a slave to those who promise to make me feel better? Perhaps what people believe isn't as interesting as why they choose to believe it?

[BTW---I know I should work the word epistemological in here somewhere, but maybe Byron could do that?]  ;)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Lawrie on May 11, 2008, 10:08PM
G'day Byron,
Quote
No, it's just that what Evan said is true.
No.  By constantly refusing to acknowledge/accept that people of "both" persuasions have the same faults he is being either self delusional or dishonest.

As for the rest of your responses, it seems to me that you have a very limited exposure to mature Christians.  Certainly you have not had much if any exposure to the kind of circles I move in...  This is not unusual, I'm a Christian and I certainly don't see all the  points of view that exist within the church as a whole.  Do I care?  Not a lot.  The fundamental criteria is making Christ Lord and Saviour.  That's the "ticket to heaven" if you like.  All the rest, the doctrinal differences, the different levels of maturity and understanding, the "codes of conduct" - these all primarily affect how we live on this planet, whether we make it possible for God to bless us further or not.  The Christian life is one of personal relationship with Christ.  Without Him it is pointless, with Him it is very challenging and rewarding.

Pointing to the poor conduct of fallible humans proves only that they are fallible humans.  It says nothing whatever about the truth or otherwise of their beliefs.

The Bible says what it says...  You get to accept or reject it...  Despite any protestations to the contrary it's your choice, no one can actually force you to believe... "A man convinced against his will is of his own opinion still" - wish I knew who first said that, it a wonderful truism.

One thing I am curious about though...  *If it's all such a big lie surely it will go away by itself...  so Why become so engaged?  You obviously realise you can't change my mind, so just who are you trying to convince?

*Oh wait, they said that in the NT didn't they.  Boy, that must be a lie too.

==========

G'day Evan,
Quote
...(even who the "other side" is, which I find comical)...
Without even thinking about it: look in the mirror...  I don't recall reading one sentence in this discussion where you have admitted to fallibility...  Are you then so perfect?  Read what you have written.  I am not referring to people admitting to demonstrable errors of fact, I am referring to human frailties like pride and arrogance - I have them - I've said so.  So do you but you neatly sidestep admitting to it by pointing out the faults of others and thus diverting attention.

==========

G'day Dave,
mate, all analogies have limitations.  I was simply trying to illustrate that there were problems to be solved.  I wasn't there so how can I judge which approach was the best one?

Quote
Let's face it- If you had read the same accounts ANYWHERE else but in the OT, and they were about ANYBODY else other than the Israelites, you would find the stories abominable and would think that the perpetrators were the most inhumane bunch of lowlifes that ever walked the earth.
There are records of many nations and tribes over the millenia, like the Mongols and the Vandals, who behaved in just this fashion.  It is history and we are too far removed by time.  People seem to be rarely moved by it until it involves the children of Israel and God.  Then it suddenly becomes an unacceptable horror to be complained about by people pointing out what a terrible God He must be...  Works both ways from my point of view... :shrug:

You mentioned morality...  It seems to me that western ideas of morality are so deeply rooted in attitudes passed down in the Scriptures that we no longer realise it.  Much of our western culture has Greek and Roman roots, but our moral codes are not really theirs though there is certainly some input...  That said, Christian ideals of morality and social conscience are not what current western countries seem to persue anymore either.  And as previously stated, I see what I consider serious declines over the last 50 or so years as a result...

I see the OT as a history, with some excellent guidlines in it, and as the Word of God.  I see "good" and "bad" as relative concepts.  In my case, I relate them to what I believe the bible teaches.  I recognise that others do not.  Let me give an example.  A friend of mine whom I have already mentioned as having spent time in the middle east related this experience to me:

It seems that it is common practice to leave cars double parked with the keys in them in some major middle eastern cities due to the lack of parking spaces (IIRC he was in Damascus at the time).  This way, if you have parked someone in they can move your car out of the way and leave.  This particular occasion my friend was in a lengthy meeting and came outside to find his car (a Chev C20 ute IIRC) missing.  He wasn't worried, just went looking for it.  He discovered it had been moved so many times that it had been turned around the corner at the end of the block and was partway down the next street.  When he got in to his car, the several thousand US dollars in cash he'd left on the dash was still there.  He'd actually forgotten about it (he was being very well paid for his work) until he got back in the car.  He hadn't thought about it because there is no theft there.

In the western world we would be horrified if someone suggested cutting off someones right hand because they had been caught stealing something.  Go to the middle east, you don't actually see many handless people...  This kind of "butchery" is accepted there but not here.  Which is "good" and which is "bad".  Removing someone's hand or allowing uncontrolled thieving?  I am not venturing an opinion here, I relate the story simply to demonstrate the point.  We cannot judge events or practices without cultural context.  To do so is foolishness.

I guess the question of whether the ends justifies the means crops up about here.  Whose ends and whose justification?  Who has the right to judge?  I choose Christ.  As a result I have guidelines in the bible that I use as my "handbook of life".  When I see others reject those guidelines and see the misery that results then I am comforted by my choice.  Does this mean that everyone who rejects Christ is a terrible person that will live and die in misery?  Let's not be silly.  Whether a person believes or not, those self same guidelines are embedded in our society, follow 'em and they work.  Sadly, more and more people are rejecting them and suffering.  I think this is what I hate most, the current suffering.  Genuinely choosing Christ ends the suffering as ones life is turned around.

Quote
...because I believe that it was written by fallible and inconsistent humans years after the fact and that a great deal of it is nothing more than ancient propaganda...

Tacitus and Suetonius are considered reliable historians of Rome and the Caesars (I chose these 2 because their works also contain at least one reference each to the existence of the sect called Christian...  Actually, Tacitus also refers to Nero instigating the persecution of Christians while Suetonius just refers to the fact of it without mention of Nero being connected to it).  I am told the oldest existent copies of their works date to approximately 1000 to 1300 years after the originals were written and that there are only around 10 or so historical copies in existence.  Contrariwise, the oldest copies of documents included in the NT date to between 30 and 300 years after the originals were written and there are in excess of 5000 copies of most if not all of these documents...  Which set is more likely to contain transcription errors..?  Lets face it, this is an unwinable argument for both of us, because no matter what either of us come up with there will be counter arguments.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on May 12, 2008, 04:15AM
By constantly refusing to acknowledge/accept that people of "both" persuasions have the same faults he is being either self delusional or dishonest.

To those who have learned to value their religious franchise's arbitrary presumptions over any and all evidence and sound reasoning, I'm sure it seems that way. It appears to be a projection defense mechanism--very popular among the presumptuous (i.e. the faithful).
 
 
As for the rest of your responses, it seems to me that you have a very limited exposure to mature Christians.  Certainly you have not had much if any exposure to the kind of circles I move in...  This is not unusual, I'm a Christian and I certainly don't see all the  points of view that exist within the church as a whole.  Do I care?  Not a lot.  The fundamental criteria is making Christ Lord and Saviour.  That's the "ticket to heaven" if you like.  All the rest, the doctrinal differences, the different levels of maturity and understanding, the "codes of conduct" - these all primarily affect how we live on this planet, whether we make it possible for God to bless us further or not.  The Christian life is one of personal relationship with Christ.  Without Him it is pointless, with Him it is very challenging and rewarding.

I don't criticize what I would consider "mature" believers, though I would say they're more honest believers and more mature people. Calling them mature believers implies the precise opposite of what their maturity is really about. It's the "better angels" of their human nature overcoming religiosity that allows them to be uniquely mature as compared to other believers regarding matters of religious faith and belief. It seems you were presuming that because I criticize a given type of believer that's all I know, but that's pretty far from the truth. Other posts I've written, perhaps in other topics, would clarify that to a significant degree.
 
 
Quote from: Lawrie
Pointing to the poor conduct of fallible humans proves only that they are fallible humans.  It says nothing whatever about the truth or otherwise of their beliefs.

No, but I don't just point out the bad behavior of fallible humans. I also point out the connections to how religious faith enables their bad behavior and handicaps their capacity to grow out of it and make healthy personal progress.
 
 
Quote from: Lawrie
The Bible says what it says...  You get to accept or reject it...  Despite any protestations to the contrary it's your choice, no one can actually force you to believe... "A man convinced against his will is of his own opinion still" - wish I knew who first said that, it a wonderful truism.

I agree completely. I'm not sure what you're actually arguing about here, but it would seem you're trying to paint my choice to reject the Bible as a purely arbitrary preference kind of thing, when in fact I, and others in here, point out that the Bible simply lacks merit. Standards of logic and reason and evidence and such aren't just arbitrary and preferential. They're derived from careful and repeated observations of how reality works, and the Bible fails to measure up ... miserably (as does religious faith in general, re: the previous comment).
 
 
Quote from: Lawrie
One thing I am curious about though...  *If it's all such a big lie surely it will go away by itself...  so Why become so engaged?  You obviously realise you can't change my mind, so just who are you trying to convince?

Mostly I seek to expose the true colors of religious faith, and when someone comes along who does that quite well by demonstration I tend not to engage very much.
 
For example, when a believer admits that he can't be reasoned with (his mind can't be changed--evidence and reason and such aren't really issues for him). I may point it out, but I'm relatively unlikely to engage such a believer. Obviously it happens from time-to-time though. But as you say, what's the point? I can't make the intellectual depravity of religious faith any plainer than that, and there's usually no one home, really, regarding matters of religious faith anyway.
 
 
Quote from: Lawrie
*Oh wait, they said that in the NT didn't they.  Boy, that must be a lie too.

I seriously doubt you're that undisciplined. Are you suggesting that if I don't buy the whole thing I must therefore conclude the entire Bible is utter nonsense and completely devoid of anything of any value at all? It's a pretty extremely mixed bag ranging from wisdom (none especially insightful, and certainly none that's beyond human capacity as many seem to believe--or claim to, anyway) to utter depravity, and the ratio's not terribly impressive (actually it is pretty impressive, but not in a good way). There is some good stuff in there though. I particularly like Ecclesiastes, personally ... did when I was a believer too.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on May 12, 2008, 06:06AM
You speak of humility...  I could equally argue that the same humility would be welcome from the other side of the argument, though I never seem to see any there either...


There is sufficient truth to that accusation to interfere with communication.  I'm guilty myself.

I think though that this is fairly specific to a few types of discussion requiring some basic scientific literacy.  So this arises most commonly in talking about evolution, age of the earth, distance to the stars, possibility of a global flood. 

The same people who are normally very humble about what we don't know - which is vast indeed - can react with disbelief, or unfortunately arrogance when presented with really basic scientific ignorance.  And sadly most of these arguments DO demonstrate such ignorance, of which one side is blissfully unaware. 

We don't all start with the same intelligence or educational background, and as soon as the subject starts to get technical that becomes evident, and a major handicap.  (Intelligence without educational background is far worse!)

So, no it is not fair to say you never see humility from the various other sides.  You do.  Frequently.  But you also see some unkind and unhumble reactions from the scientifically literate, who are dumbfounded that you would open an argument without having done sufficient homework to understand the concepts.  If your knowledge is limited to what you read on AiG or ICR, you do NOT understand the concepts.  Guaranteed. 

And yes, this post is a bit on the harsh side too.  But we have a long history of patiently explaining the same fallacies over and over, when anyone who'd had one science course would know not to use them in the first place. 

The rarity of scientifically literate creationists is so extreme I've concluded taking that one course probably destroys their faith - something it doesn't seem to do for the moderate believers. 


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on May 12, 2008, 06:47AM
You speak of humility...  I could equally argue that the same humility would be welcome from the other side of the argument, though I never seem to see any there either...

I can't argue that all skeptics and non-believers are properly humble and soundly skeptical, but I strongly suspect that you don't see a lot of the humility because your world view has simply defined it as the opposite. Genuine humility--the valuation of sound standards of epistemology over personal feelings or perceptions, or certainly presumptions--contradicts faith. In fact it's antithetical to faith. So genuine humility, honestly accepting the evidence and such, is generally seen as arrogance because it's the rejection of faith. The problem is that religious faith has turned reality on its head, and the stakes that standard issue Christianity (et al) attaches to having faith disables the believer's means by which to correct the error.
 
 
Quote from: Lawrie
I for one am happy to admit there's stuff I don't know, I'm also happy to speculate...  I never claim that my speculations are "knowledge".

So you don't claim to know that a god exists and that Jesus rose from the dead and such? How far into your articles of faith does this acceptance of uncertainty go?
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on May 12, 2008, 04:36PM
By constantly refusing to acknowledge/accept that people of "both" persuasions have the same faults he is being either self delusional or dishonest.

I think we can all agree that nobody is perfect. Beyond that, what is your basis for assuming that we all have the SAME faults? Are YOU willing to consider the possibility that it is you that is mistaken in your assumption of identical mutual bias here?

Quote
The Bible says what it says...  You get to accept or reject it...  Despite any protestations to the contrary it's your choice, no one can actually force you to believe... "A man convinced against his will is of his own opinion still" - wish I knew who first said that, it a wonderful truism.

Mostly I agree here, and that is a great quote, btw. :good: Of course we would disagree on how and why the bible "says what it says". ;) Nevertheless, I think it is useful to point out that this type of take or leave, accept or reject, all or nothing dichotomy does not really do justice to the depth, breadth, and richness of thought and interpretation that people have applied to the scriptures throughout their (decidedly debatable) history. Is it not possible to take some and leave some, for instance? To accept certain things and reject others? I know this is unacceptable to the hard-core fundamentalist, but most Christians do not fit that description.

Quote
G'day Dave,
mate, all analogies have limitations.


Agreed. But that doesn't mean that challenging the applicablilty of a particular one to a particular situation is not a legitimate technique of argumentation. Specifically, the analogies often applied to "difficult" biblical passages tend to be ones that have an emotionally "softening" effect on the passage in question. When discussing atrocities, past or present, I think that in the spirit of emotional honesty and frankness, it is best to discuss them for what they are (ie- the butchering of unsuspecting people) rather than to dehumanize them by making them into something else (like weeds in a garden). But I do agree that analogies have their place and I use them often myself. So don't take any offense at my comments here. I know you were simply trying to clarify your ideas and you did that effectively.


 
Quote
I was simply trying to illustrate that there were problems to be solved.  I wasn't there so how can I judge which approach was the best one?

This is a powerful argument on the surface, and I am generally in agreement that it is not always advisable to be too cavalier about applying present-day cultural mores to historical situations or persons. A great example of this is Thomas Jefferson. That such a seemingly enlightened person for his time could still have been a slave-owner seems incongruous by today's standards, and yet, that is the historical truth of the matter. It is a tough call, morally, how to judge him in that regard. Do we judge by today's standards and demonize him, or do we maybe look into the matter further and discover that he may have treated his slaves much better than most owners of the period and portray him as a historical hero of US race relations?  :/ (FWIW, I have no idea how he treated his slaves. I'm just making a point.)

But in this case, we are not judging a person. We are judging the character of the supposedly divine being that is the unchanging, all-knowing, all-powerful, and supposedly all-loving (remember John 3:16?) master of creation. This being supposedly (by today's theology) loves all of humanity equally and nothing has changed since the creation in that regard. So by extension, cultural differences are somewhat negated when applied to the morality of this being. So I ask you, do you think God would approve of his chosen people commiting multiple genocides today to gain a bit more real estate? If the answer is no, then why should it have been different three thousand years ago? Remember- God doesn't change, and he was in command (or so the OT would have us believe).

Quote
There are records of many nations and tribes over the millenia, like the Mongols and the Vandals, who behaved in just this fashion.


The difference is that those races were not purported to be under divine direction in commiting their respective atrocities....

Quote
It is history and we are too far removed by time.  People seem to be rarely moved by it until it involves the children of Israel and God.  Then it suddenly becomes an unacceptable horror to be complained about by people pointing out what a terrible God He must be...  Works both ways from my point of view... :shrug:

....in contrast to the Israelites who are still to this day held up as God's "chosen people" and whose military leaders, kings, and prophets are held up as great heroes of the faith to be emulated. THAT is the difference. Nobody thinks we should emulate Gengis Khan and his Mongols, or worship their gods, or base modern legislation on their "moral principles", or teach their creation myths as "science" in public school classrooms.

Quote
You mentioned morality...  It seems to me that western ideas of morality are so deeply rooted in attitudes passed down in the Scriptures that we no longer realise it.  Much of our western culture has Greek and Roman roots, but our moral codes are not really theirs though there is certainly some input... 


I agree with the caveat that scripture literally did just "pass them down". As far as I can gather, there is VERY little in the way of moral doctrine in Judeo-Christian scripture that was original and not cribbed from some other culture. In fact, scripture may be the world's ultimate moral/philosophical melting-pot, with moral and spiritual ideas adapted from ancient Mesopotamia, Babylonia, Greece, Egypt, Rome and probably many more. In fact, I am beginning to think that scriptures greatest gift to us may be that its authors plagiarized so many other cultures' literature so literally, because it served to preserve their accumulated wisdom.

Quote
I see the OT as a history, with some excellent guidlines in it, and as the Word of God.


I agree that it is A history, but not THE history. And that it does contain some excellent guidelines. As I have said, OT scripture does have much that is positive to offer.

Quote
(relative to Lawrie's anecdote of lack of theft in the Middles East..)  Bolds mine.

In the western world we would be horrified if someone suggested cutting off someones right hand because they had been caught stealing something.  Go to the middle east, you don't actually see many handless people...  This kind of "butchery" is accepted there but not here.  Which is "good" and which is "bad".  Removing someone's hand or allowing uncontrolled thieving?  I am not venturing an opinion here, I relate the story simply to demonstrate the point.  We cannot judge events or practices without cultural context.  To do so is foolishness.

On the first point, this is a false dichotomy, and I consider both "options" to be wrong. There is a middle ground between mutilation as punishment and complete anarchy. And this distinction is VERY relevant to the topic at hand, no?

On the second point, which is a bit of an aside (sorry), I think it is interesting that you want to avoid judging "events and practices" without cultural context, but you feel confident judging the veracity of scripture in exactly that fashion- or at least without the context of the latest textual scholarship in conjunction with the most up-to-date archeological and historical research. After all, isn't that the only window we really have into the cultural context of OT times?

Quote
I guess the question of whether the ends justifies the means crops up about here.  Whose ends and whose justification?  Who has the right to judge?  I choose Christ.
 

Would Christ as you think of him been okay with genocide as a means to spread the gospel or to provide a secure inhabitance for his followers?

 
Quote
As a result I have guidelines in the bible that I use as my "handbook of life".  When I see others reject those guidelines and see the misery that results then I am comforted by my choice.
 

Stripped of religious overtones, I think what you are saying here is that when you see others behave absolutely foolishly, and pay the price for it, it makes you glad that you do not behave so foolishly. Me too!

 
Quote
Does this mean that everyone who rejects Christ is a terrible person that will live and die in misery?  Let's not be silly.  Whether a person believes or not, those self same guidelines are embedded in our society, follow 'em and they work.  Sadly, more and more people are rejecting them and suffering.  I think this is what I hate most, the current suffering.  Genuinely choosing Christ ends the suffering as ones life is turned around.

Interesting that in arguing for Christ in this way, you actually make the case that Christ is not necessary to living a rich and fulfilled life. Only adherence to certain principles which are "embedded in our society". I happen to agree, btw. (In fairness, the fact that people can be happy without Christ does not in and of itself make any kind of real case AGAINST Christ, except in the case of the extreme fundamentalist viewpoint that all life is nothing but misery without adherence to their strict view of scripture. This tendency to make such claims is also common to fundamentalist Judaism and Islam.)

Quote
Tacitus and Suetonius are considered reliable historians of Rome and the Caesars (I chose these 2 because their works also contain at least one reference each to the existence of the sect called Christian...  Actually, Tacitus also refers to Nero instigating the persecution of Christians while Suetonius just refers to the fact of it without mention of Nero being connected to it).  I am told the oldest existent copies of their works date to approximately 1000 to 1300 years after the originals were written and that there are only around 10 or so historical copies in existence.  Contrariwise, the oldest copies of documents included in the NT date to between 30 and 300 years after the originals were written and there are in excess of 5000 copies of most if not all of these documents...  Which set is more likely to contain transcription errors..?  Lets face it, this is an unwinable argument for both of us, because no matter what either of us come up with there will be counter arguments.

Well, I'd be inclined to say that the document that has been copied the most times would be the most likely to have errors, but that is just supposition on my part. I am not a textual scholar by trade! In any event, the volume of copying, the potential for transcrition errors, and every other thing about the current integrity of NT documents that we could debate ad nauseum is absolutely irrelevant if the originals are not literally true accounts of factual history. The overwhelming preponderance of objective evidence suggests that this is not the case.

As far as "winning" the argument, I have no interest in doing so. For me, the discussion IS the desired result- not winning.  ;)



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on May 13, 2008, 08:01AM
Curious that the greater the scientist, the more likely he or she agrees, generally speaking, with these kinds of sentiments (see Summer for the Gods by Ed Larson).
 
Belief in God 'childish,' Jews not chosen people: Einstein letter (http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=080513122249.m3ds3b6j&show_article=1)
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on May 13, 2008, 08:09AM
As far a "winning" the argument, I have no interest in doing so. For me, the discussion IS the desired result- not winning.  ;)

I'm with you there, man!
 
I guess a case could be made that I do want to "win" the argument if you define winning as having an educational discussion that successfully promotes and fosters a strong ethic of genuine, honest, responsible inquiry. That's always a BIG "win" to me!
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on May 13, 2008, 12:03PM
Curious that the greater the scientist, the more likely he or she agrees, generally speaking, with these kinds of sentiments (see Summer for the Gods by Ed Larson).
 
Belief in God 'childish,' Jews not chosen people: Einstein letter (http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=080513122249.m3ds3b6j&show_article=1)
 
Byron

And despite how well-documented Einstein's true view of religion seems to be, it never fails that his "God-quotes" still get dragged out over and over again by the religious as they seek to claim him as one of their own.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on May 13, 2008, 03:58PM
Vatican OK's belief in aliens. (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080513/ap_on_re_eu/vatican_aliens)

Mulder and Scully would be proud....


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on May 13, 2008, 04:22PM
Don't let this happen to you! The nature of the virus is to spread, and it's spreading.
 
From The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby:
"In 2002, the National Endowment for the Arts released a survey indication that fewer than half of adult Americans had read any work of fiction or poetry in the preceding year—not even detective novels, bodice-ripper romances, or the 'rapture' novels based on the Book of Revelation.  Only 57 percent had read a nonfiction book [ever]." Jacoby, S. The Age of American Unreason (2008) p. xviii
 
"Americans are alone in the developed world in their view of evolution by means of natural selection as 'controversial' rather than as settled mainstream science.  The continuing strength of religious fundamentalism in America (again, unique in the developed world) is generally cited as the sole reason for the bizarre persistence of anti-evolutionism.  But that simple answer does not address the larger question of why so many nonfundamentalist Americans are willing to dismiss scientific consensus.  The real and more complex explanation may lie not in America’s brand of faith but in the public’s ignorance about science in general as well as evolution in particular.  More than two thirds of Americans, according to surveys conducted for the National Science Foundation over the past two decades, are unable to identify DNA as the key to heredity.  Nine out of ten Americans do not understand radiation and what it can do to the body.  One in five adults is convinced that the sun revolves around the earth. Such responses point to a stunning failure of American public schooling at the elementary and secondary levels, and it is easy to understand why a public with such a shaky grasp of the most rudimentary scientific facts would be unable or unwilling to comprehend the theory of evolution. . . . This level of scientific illiteracy provides fertile soil for political appeals based on sheer ignorance."
 
According to Pew Research Center (AUG 05):
* 2/3rds of Americans want creationism and evolution taught in secondary science classes
*less than half of Americans, 48%, accept any form of evolution (even evolution guided by God)
*26% accept Darwin’s theory of evolution
*42% believe all beings, including human, have existed in their present form since the beginning of time
*27% of college graduates believe this as well
*1/3 believe there is a substantial rift between scientists about the fundamentals of evolution (reinforcing the argument it is "just a theory")
*1/3 of all public schools are failing to teach even the basic facts of evolution and the importance of Darwin's theory and its relationship to modern scientific thought.
*25% of biology teachers (study done in TX) believe dinosaurs and humans inhabited the earth simultaneously.
*Over 50% of Americans cannot name the four Gospels or know that Genesis is the first book of the bible. (The author finds the Biblical illiteracy of "Christians" astonishing--she questions: how can citizens understand creationism and its impact on public education if they don’t even know its direct source or reference?)
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on May 13, 2008, 04:25PM
Don't let this happen to you! The nature of the virus is to spread, and it's spreading.
Why do we even bother with public education---let's just buy all these ****** a wide screen TV and plug them in 16 hours p/day!

Quote
Over 50% of Americans cannot name the four Gospels or know that Genesis is the first book of the bible. (The author finds the Biblical illiteracy of "Christians" astonishing--she questions: how can citizens understand creationism and its impact on public education if they don’t even know its direct source or reference?)
If  they could read they wouldn't be Christians.....?


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Daniel Harris on May 13, 2008, 06:21PM
From The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby:
" One in five adults is convinced that the sun revolves around the earth. Such responses point to a stunning failure of American public schooling at the elementary and secondary levels,"

This reminds me of a story I heard a long time ago. Supposedly, when baseball manager Sparky Anderson was in grade school, he wrote a paper in which he argued that the moon was more important than the sun because it gave us light at night when we really need it.

Dan Harris


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Daniel Harris on May 13, 2008, 06:27PM
I don't endore every word of this personally, but the linked piece by David Brooks in the New York Times today is certainly germane to this thread:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/13/opinion/13brooks.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Dan Harris


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on May 13, 2008, 07:00PM
Curious article, Dan. Books' ideas are overall agreeable, I think, but it's interesting to see how much of what he understands to be disparities between new paradigms and "militant materialism" simply aren't. Every point he makes against "militant materialism" and the "new atheists" is about his version, which is a popular version, but not really materialism or "new" atheism. Still, if you ignore those errors he has some good points and, to me, he suggests real materialism and real atheism aren't quite so scary to a lot of people, if they only knew about the real version rather than the popular straw men. Then again that's David Brooks and not George Will or William F. Buckley.
 
In any case, interesting stuff!
 
Thanks man.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: drizabone on May 14, 2008, 03:15AM
(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/duty_calls.png)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on May 14, 2008, 03:30AM
Mouse-over text:
What do you want me to do? LEAVE? Then they'll keep being wrong!

Another avid XKCD follower here...


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on May 14, 2008, 05:02AM
And despite how well-documented Einstein's true view of religion seems to be, it never fails that his "God-quotes" still get dragged out over and over again by the religious as they seek to claim him as one of their own.

Yup.
 
Even many who are corrected repeatedly.
 
What does it say about "beliefs" that they're so impervious to correction, so insulated against revision regardless of new evidence?
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on May 14, 2008, 07:33AM
(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/duty_calls.png)
Martin:
I love you, man.
 :D :D  :D  :D
ROTFL


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on May 14, 2008, 11:30AM
Curious that the greater the scientist, the more likely he or she agrees, generally speaking, with these kinds of sentiments (see Summer for the Gods by Ed Larson).
 
Belief in God 'childish,' Jews not chosen people: Einstein letter (http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=080513122249.m3ds3b6j&show_article=1)

Here's another:
Belief in God a 'product of human weaknesses': Einstein letter (http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2008/05/13/einstein-religion.html)
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on May 14, 2008, 12:16PM
(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/duty_calls.png)

I can relate to this once in awhile...errr, ahem, maybe a little more often than that. :/


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on May 14, 2008, 04:58PM
Moved from Rant (http://tromboneforum.org/index.php/topic,39921.0.html):
 
Thanks!

The WASP comment had absolutely nothing to do with you, by the way, only with HeRoze's apparent standard issue case of the American conservative Christian persecution delusion.
 
They're just starved for affirmation, American conservative Christians I mean, so they tend to stretch pretty far for it (it's the profoundly heavy investment and the fact that reality utterly fails to provide them with any affirmation at all). That was an example of "forced teaming" which is motivated by the simple fact that the bigger your team the more affirmational it is--the whole "strength in numbers" schitck. Most social religious behavior can be traced back to affirmation seeking. It's why churches have hymnals and observatories don't.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BFW on May 14, 2008, 05:20PM
SciAm article: Scientists Know Better Than You--Even When They're Wrong (http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=scientists-know-better-than-you)

Quote
If you take scientists at their word, human-induced climate change is well underway, evolution accounts for the diversity of life on Earth and vaccines do not cause autism. But the collective expertise of thousands of researchers barely registers with global warming skeptics, creationist movie producers and distrustful parents. Why is scientific authority under fire from so many corners? Sociologist Harry Collins thinks part of the answer lies in a misunderstanding of expertise itself. Like Jane Goodall living among the chimps, Collins, a professor at Cardiff University in Wales, has spent 30 years observing physicists who study gravitational wave detection—the search for faint ripples in the fabric of spacetime. He's learned the hard way about the work that goes into acquiring specialized scientific knowledge. In a recent book, Rethinking Expertise, he says that what bridges the gap—and what keeps science working—is something called "interactional expertise".

Interesting interview.  I took exception to a few things, but overall I found it thought-provoking.  One good quote:

Quote
Our critiques of creationism are: (a) that it stops scientific progress in its tracks by answering questions in a way that closes off further research; and (b) that there is no real attempt to meld the approach with the existing methods of science. We know that the creationists say this is not true, but their hypotheses relate to books of obscure origin or to faith rather than to observation.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on May 14, 2008, 09:45PM
Nice article, and very relevant.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on May 27, 2008, 05:29AM
More standard issue deception from creationists/ID types (http://tinyurl.com/6x7rgw).
 
Of course, if Jeezus wants them to do it, it's not really deception, because obedience to authority = morality (never mind that what it allegedly wants and the being of authority itself are both "determined" by the leadership).
 
 :rolleyes:
 
About the real consequences of respecting religious nonsense and sacrificing reason in favor of social convention and political correctness:
" ... the idea that religious convictions need respect, not interrogation and defence, is absurd (http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2008/05/human-life-religious-respect)."
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on May 27, 2008, 12:33PM
About the real consequences of respecting religious nonsense and sacrificing reason in favor of social convention and political correctness:
" ... the idea that religious convictions need respect, not interrogation and defence, is absurd (http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2008/05/human-life-religious-respect)."
 
Byron
Jehovah's Witnesses do not "believe" in blood transfusions. So, when they have surgery (so the principle goes) they don't get extra blood. I don't think the JW's care if someone else gets  a transfusion of blood, however.

How simple if the controlling, judgmental Christians share this same outlook on social issues: you're against gay marriage? Fine----your members probably shouldn't have one. You're against abortion? Hey,--don't have one. You're against teaching teaching evolution? Fine--start a school and don't teach it! You're against stem cell research and potential medical breakthroughs to eliminate harmful diseases and conditions? Great---don't do any research and don't ask for the new products that might be discovered. We know that God wants you to have genetic defects. That's how he created you.
 


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on May 27, 2008, 12:56PM
This guy, Richard Hammond, PhD., (http://www.theunknownuniverse.net/) is quite fun as he takes on the questions that physics can't answer------the so-called "God Particle" Higgs Particle, that will tell us why particles have "mass" (we don't know! ); Dark matter, theorized to explain why we're all flying away from each other like pennies glued to an expanding balloon (but then why are galaxies crashing together, too?); wormholes, blackholes and more!

Higgs boson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higgs_boson)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on May 27, 2008, 03:38PM
How simple if the controlling, judgmental Christians share this same outlook on social issues: you're against gay marriage? Fine----your members probably shouldn't have one. You're against abortion? Hey,--don't have one. You're against teaching teaching evolution? Fine--start a school and don't teach it! You're against stem cell research and potential medical breakthroughs to eliminate harmful diseases and conditions? Great---don't do any research and don't ask for the new products that might be discovered. We know that God wants you to have genetic defects. That's how he created you.

But if anybody is allowed to do those things by law in this country, God will quit blessing us. Bad things could happen. We could have natural disasters, be attacked by terrorists, lose the wars that we start, have economic recessions, our currency could crumble, and we could become the moral laughing-stock of the world.

Oh, wait a minute, that's all already happened...... :rolleyes:


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: HuskerTX on May 27, 2008, 04:56PM
How simple if the controlling, judgmental Christians share this same outlook on social issues: you're against gay marriage? Fine----your members probably shouldn't have one. You're against abortion? Hey,--don't have one. You're against teaching teaching evolution? Fine--start a school and don't teach it! You're against stem cell research and potential medical breakthroughs to eliminate harmful diseases and conditions? Great---don't do any research and don't ask for the new products that might be discovered. We know that God wants you to have genetic defects. That's how he created you.

Along this same thread...

I think part of the problem is that laws, in their most basic sense, are there for the public good and overall safety of a society. You can make laws that protect peoples' well being... but you can't make laws to control the way they think. People want laws to ban abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research... but no law will ever change peoples' minds about those issues. Drugs are illegal but people still use them as a result... that's because, again, laws don't (on the whole) change peoples' minds.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on May 28, 2008, 06:59AM
From the very same people who are hyperskeptical about the mountains of evidence for evolution:
Here's an example of their standards regarding affirmational evidence of their beliefs (http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=152b5103d741aca61093).
 
Gives "fair and balanced" a whole new meaning ... well, okay Rupert Murdoch already gave it that meaning, but it even makes the FAUX NEWS sense of the phrase pale by comparison!
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Daniel Sheard on May 28, 2008, 07:59AM
The comments on the bottom of the page made me laugh.  Baa.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BFW on May 28, 2008, 08:18AM
Here's an example of their standards regarding affirmational evidence of their beliefs (http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=152b5103d741aca61093).

Wow.  How pathetic.  Thanks for the link, Byron.

By the way, congrats on your movie role!  (For those who don't know, go to http://trektoday.com/ and look at the May 25 headline.)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on May 28, 2008, 08:25AM
The comments on the bottom of the page made me laugh.  Baa.

Me too, so long as I can keep the knowledge that those people can vote at bay.
 
Then I think of W, the Supreme Court, the Constitution, science education, the six digit casualty count in Afghanistan and Iraq ... and I stop laughing.
 
But the comments really are pretty funny, and quite telling ... and terrifying.
 
 
By the way, congrats on your movie role!

There's a "rumor" going around the UGA Libraries that I was Ron Pearlman's stunt double on Hellboy II.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: HeRoze on May 29, 2008, 02:32PM
From the very same people who are hyperskeptical about the mountains of evidence for evolution:
Here's an example of their standards regarding affirmational evidence of their beliefs (http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=152b5103d741aca61093).
 
Gives "fair and balanced" a whole new meaning ... well, okay Rupert Murdoch already gave it that meaning, but it even makes the FAUX NEWS sense of the phrase pale by comparison!
 
Byron
I really wish people who call themselves Christians wouldnt make this big of a stretch.  It makes my life tougher.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Jun 19, 2008, 07:32AM
So ... looks like it wasn't Summer for the Gods, but rather a study summarized here in Nature (http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/news/file002.html) (I think you have to be on campus to access the actual study online). And here's a random article about the same topic which cites it (http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/sci_relig.htm), for good measure, I guess.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Jun 19, 2008, 08:08AM
So ... looks like it wasn't Summer for the Gods, but rather a study  summarized here in Nature (http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/news/file002.html) (I think you have to be on campus to access the actual study online).
These are only Americans, too, yes? I suspect the figures for belief would be much lower outside our country.

These surveys don't get into it, but I suspect those professing a "belief in God" also fall all over the board. Like Dawkins' "cultural Christians" many may use the title, even take their kids to church, but don't inwardly accept their religions. Some may feel a sense of awe or reverence and call these emotions "belief."


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Exzaclee on Jun 19, 2008, 10:56AM
Damn Orwell....

It's all HIS fault!

Z


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Jun 20, 2008, 06:35AM
I really wish people who call themselves Christians wouldnt make this big of a stretch.  It makes my life tougher.

Vic, I feel for you. I really do. Fortunately for all of us, most thoughtful people on both sides of the religion issue would not take that type of thing too seriously. ;)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Jun 23, 2008, 06:26AM
Woah!
 
I keep pointing out that the virus is spreading overseas, but I had no idea it was this bad (http://tinyurl.com/5vdkbk)!
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: puma on Jun 23, 2008, 07:02AM
La. Bill Allows Challenge to Evolution (http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/395523.aspx)

Quote from: the article
The landmark bill allows an "open and objective discussion of scientific theories" including "evolution, the origins of life, global warming and human cloning." Teachers will also be allowed to use outside textbooks and references to further dissect the topics.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Jun 23, 2008, 07:19AM
Staying Smart in Dumbed-Down Times (http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2008/06/13/shapiro)
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Jun 23, 2008, 06:57PM
I read this last night in Idries Shah's The Sufis (1964), pg, xxvi. Much of the new work in quantum physics bears out Bacon's quote. And, while "experiment" may create more publishable papers and the like, one wonders how the "experience" of science (and all knowledge) might be more useful in the area of human development if there was more focus on the "experience" part.
Quote
It is interesting to note the difference between science as we know it today, and as it was seen by one of its pioneers. Roger Bacon, considered to be the wonder of the middle ages and one of humanity's greatest thinkers, was the pioneer of the method of knowledge gained through experience. This Franciscan monk learned from the Sufis of the illuminist school that there is a difference between the collection of information, and the knowing of things through actual experiment. In his Opus Maius, in which he quotes Sufi authority he says: 
Quote
There are two modes of knowledge, through argument and experience. Argument brings conclusions and compels us to concede them, but it does not cause certainty or remove doubts in order that the mind may remain at rest in truth, unless this is provided by experience.
     This Sufi doctrine is known in the West as the scientific method of inductive proceeding, and subsequent Western science is largely based on it.
   Modern science, however, instead of accepting the idea that experience was necessary in all branches of human thought, took the word in its sense of "experiment," in which the experimenter remained as far as possible outside the experience.
   From the Sufi point of view, therefore, Bacon, when he wrote these words in 1268, both launched modern science and also transmitted only a portion of the wisdom upon which it could have been based.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Jun 24, 2008, 04:29AM
I read this last night in Idries Shah's The Sufis (1964), pg, xxvi. Much of the new work in quantum physics bears out Bacon's quote. And, while "experiment" may create more publishable papers and the like, one wonders how the "experience" of science (and all knowledge) might be more useful in the area of human development if there was more focus on the "experience" part.

That's just social science, man!
 
Well, sort of, anyway. Both are certainly valid epistemological modes, you just have to be aware that your experiment is about the experience rather than the mechanics when you go about it that way (and vice-versa). The implications of this aren't insignificant and the experimenter has to exercise some self-discipline and refrain from extrapolating too far, but never-the-less, I agree it's a worthy area of inquiry, perhaps more so for most people. Unfortunately there's the whole self-discipline thing, which is far more often than not a bit of a problem.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: HuskerTX on Jun 25, 2008, 01:16PM
La. Bill Allows Challenge to Evolution (http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/395523.aspx)


Awesome! I love this bill! Given the precedent it sets, I could go teach music and, since I disagree with the entire musical establishment, teach my students that music is really satan's doing. I've never liked music anyway, so I got a degree in it so I could "credibly" disprove it. You can't persecute me for my beliefs! You can't prove that satan didn't create music! It's not observable!


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Jul 07, 2008, 04:54AM
Curious that the greater the scientist, the more likely he or she agrees, generally speaking, with these kinds of sentiments (see Summer for the Gods by Ed Larson).
 
Belief in God 'childish,' Jews not chosen people: Einstein letter (http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=080513122249.m3ds3b6j&show_article=1)
 
Byron

So ... looks like it wasn't Summer for the Gods, but rather a study summarized here in Nature (http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/news/file002.html) (I think you have to be on campus to access the actual study online). And here's a random article about the same topic which cites it (http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/sci_relig.htm), for good measure, I guess.
 
Byron

Couldn't just edit the bottom post so the context would be here if I just linked to it, so I had to quote both and create a new one ... whatever.
 
So what's the statute of limitations on editing old posts now, anyway?
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: RedHotMama on Jul 07, 2008, 05:57AM
I believe the "post edited" notification appears after 4 hours and that posts cannot be edited after 4 days. The need for the latter was brought about by a well-known and prolific poster who decided to reduce every one of his posts to dots, thus making a mockery of very many threads. This can no longer be done.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Jul 07, 2008, 06:13AM
Ah ... I vaguely recall that incident.
 
Thanks!
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Jul 09, 2008, 07:22AM
Defenders of science shouldn't let the sophists carry the day (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2008001029_rhetoricop17.html)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Jul 09, 2008, 01:03PM
Defenders of science shouldn't let the sophists carry the day (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2008001029_rhetoricop17.html)

Excellent article.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: HeRoze on Jul 09, 2008, 01:39PM
Defenders of science shouldn't let the sophists carry the day (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2008001029_rhetoricop17.html)
Leah Ceccarelli is publishing (http://www.scienceprogress.org/2008/04/manufactroversy/) this thought a lot and getting a few intelligent comments, as well.
She writes books, too (http://www.amazon.com/Shaping-Science-Rhetoric-Dobzhansky-Schrodinger/dp/0226099075/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1215635701&sr=1-1)




Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Jul 14, 2008, 05:03PM
I couldn't quite decide where to post this because it is relevant on so many fronts, but decided to put it here.

This (http://www.tampabay.com/incoming/article697419.ece) article was in my local paper today, and I happened to see at on my lunch break. This November, Colorado voters will have a proposed constitutional amendment on their ballots which, if passed, would define unborn human embryos as people from the moment of conception. Aside from the obvious religious/anti-abortion/anti-stem-cell-research motivation for this proposed amendment, I see another issue:

Should ANY group of US voters have the right to vote what is in effect a blatant contradiction of scientific fact into their state constitution, thus making it virtually unassailable?

Don't get me wrong. I am not a fan of abortion, and I would be very happy if none ever needed to be performed. But the fact of the matter is that a fertilized egg is NOT a "person". This contradicts all known facts of genetics and embryology and, as the article points out, could lead to legal nightmares quite removed from the abortion issue itself. I have no problem with a person believing that "life" begins at conception. In fact, I would submit that it "begins" before then because the male and female cells are already "alive" before they join. But i think that voting blatant scientific fallacies into constitutional law sets a dangerous precedent and would send us down a road we should not want to travel.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: HeRoze on Jul 14, 2008, 05:19PM
I couldn't quite decide where to post this because it is relevant on so many fronts, but decided to put it here.

This (http://www.tampabay.com/incoming/article697419.ece) article was in my local paper today, and I happened to see at on my lunch break. This November, Colorado voters will have a proposed constitutional amendment on their ballots which, if passed, would define unborn human embryos as people from the moment of conception. Aside from the obvious religious/anti-abortion/anti-stem-cell-research motivation for this proposed amendment, I see another issue:

Should ANY group of US voters have the right to vote what is in effect a blatant contradiction of scientific fact into their state constitution, thus making it virtually unassailable?

Don't get me wrong. I am not a fan of abortion, and I would be very happy if none ever needed to be performed. But the fact of the matter is that a fertilized egg is NOT a "person". This contradicts all known facts of genetics and embryology and, as the article points out, could lead to legal nightmares quite removed from the abortion issue itself. I have no problem with a person believing that "life" begins at conception. In fact, I would submit that it "begins" before then because the male and female cells are already "alive" before they join. But i think that voting blatant scientific fallacies into constitutional law sets a dangerous precedent and would send us down a road we should not want to travel.
New topic warranted, I agree.

To play devil's advocate for a sec, when do you think life begins?  The reason I ask is that some of the beings that are aborted look awfully human, and even able to be born when they are aborted (in extreme cases, admitedly)  We have touched on both ends of development in the womb, so when does life begin?


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Jul 14, 2008, 05:46PM
To play devil's advocate for a sec, when do you think life begins?  The reason I ask is that some of the beings that are aborted look awfully human, and even able to be born when they are aborted (in extreme cases, admitedly)  We have touched on both ends of development in the womb, so when does life begin?

First we have to define "life". If you want to define it as "seperate, individual human life", I honestly don't know. It may vary from fetus to fetus. But as a general rule I would say it occurs at some point beyond the embryonic stage of development, but before birth.  Depending on potential developmental abnormalities, it may even have not occured by birth. That is my opinion and my opinion only, and is the reason that I dislike the idea of using abortion as birth control in a cavalier manner. Because we really DON'T know.

But I think it is pretty scientifically clear that in the sense of defining life as being "a person", it DOES NOT happen at conception. I think a lot of people are unclear on what occurs in embryology. They think that once sperm meets egg and the new DNA is formed, that everything is set in stone. That is completely untrue. DNA is only a "recipe", not a "blueprint". There are many other factors that influence how the fetus will develop besides its genetic code.

And even that does not address the real issue here which is whether or not voters should be able to vote such scientific error into their state constitutions. This could be construed as a serious church/state seperation violation.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: mwpfoot on Jul 14, 2008, 05:55PM
I really think that discussing the beginning of life warrants a new thread, guys... it's hardly an aside.  :/

I won't participate, tho. At least I really HOPE that I won't!

 :good:


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: HeRoze on Jul 14, 2008, 05:57PM
First we have to define "life". If you want to define it as "seperate, individual human life", I honestly don't know. It may vary from fetus to fetus. But as a general rule I would say it occurs at some point beyond the embryonic stage of development, but before birth.  Depending on potential developmental abnormalities, it may even have not occured by birth. That is my opinion and my opinion only, and is the reason that I dislike the idea of using abortion as birth control in a cavalier manner. Because we really DON'T know.

But I think it is pretty scientifically clear that in the sense of defining life as being "a person", it DOES NOT happen at conception. I think a lot of people are unclear on what occurs in embryology. They think that once sperm meets egg and the new DNA is formed, that everything is set in stone. That is completely untrue. DNA is only a "recipe", not a "blueprint". There are many other factors that influence how the fetus will develop besides its genetic code.

And even that does not address the real issue here which is whether or not voters should be able to vote such scientific error into their state constitutions. This could be construed as a serious church/state seperation violation.
If abortions are performed in the third trimester on otherwise healthy fetuses, is that not the same issue, but flipped?  I expect a large percentage of Jewish/Christian/Muslim (the big three) believers would line up on the conception=start of life side of the issue.  This one is tricky in that we are currently performing abortions on viable humans.  I can see lots of folks having an issue with this, regardless of their religious beliefs.  This topic is too gelatenous for me I think.  Define the beginning of human life.  Man.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Daniel Sheard on Jul 15, 2008, 01:06AM
Jewish/Christian/Muslim (the big three)

Erm.  That kind of comment could only come from a Western Christian bias.  https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/print/xx.html (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/print/xx.html)

Christians 33.32%, Muslims 21.01%, Hindus 13.26%, Buddhists 5.84%, Sikhs 0.35%, Jews 0.23%

If you separate the various flavours of Christianity, even the biggest (Catholicism) is only just bigger than Hinduism.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on Jul 15, 2008, 02:16AM
Only 14% of the world's people refuse to play the game when it comes to religion. That is a sad statistic from the perspective of rationalism.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Jul 15, 2008, 04:20AM
Only 14% of the world's people refuse to play the game when it comes to religion. That is a sad statistic from the perspective of rationalism.

Especially when combined (http://www.mndaily.com/articles/2006/03/24/67686) with Atheists As Other (http://www.soc.umn.edu/pdf/atheistAsOther.pdf).
 
 ... or, of course, unless you recognize merit and just don't give a fork what at least 86% of people think when it comes to sound judgment on such issues.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: HeRoze on Jul 15, 2008, 04:37AM
My bad.
Shocker : WIKI (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_and_abortion)


Anyhow - To say it again so the message doesn't get lost in a detail:
I expect a large percentage of all religious people would line up on the conception=start of life side of the issue.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BFW on Jul 15, 2008, 05:22AM
I would expect that the question about when life starts is fairly irrelevant to the non-religious.  It doesn't hit the radar for me.  When a particular living thing crosses the vague boundary between "not human" and "human" is a bit closer to valid for me; or maybe between "part of some other living thing" to "independent living thing," or "nonconscious" to "conscious."  Even those questions barely hit relevancy.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on Jul 15, 2008, 08:06AM
My bad.
Shocker : WIKI (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_and_abortion)


Anyhow - To say it again so the message doesn't get lost in a detail:
I expect a large percentage of all religious people would line up on the conception=start of life side of the issue.

Yes, you're right; at least for those who believe in the soul as an entity inserted into a fertilized egg by some supernatural process, as opposed to a soul that either does not exist or develops along the way. 

The concept of soul was probably not originally Christian (it is certainly not Jewish) but borrowed later from the Greeks. 

If the criterion is the soul, then it matters not how aware it may be, it must be protected.  (though it can't really die, I guess)  And of course there is no test to detect it, there is also no way to disprove the existence either. 


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: HeRoze on Jul 15, 2008, 10:25AM
A guy I used to take smoke breaks with was an atheist and an instigator.  We spent many afternoons conversing.  One of his favorites was something to the effect of: What do Christians have against abortions?  Since these kids are not even born yet they go to heaven, right?  So, we're just speeding them on their way!  Why do you want to make these people live on this earth when they can just go strait to heaven...etc. 



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Jul 15, 2008, 12:12PM
If abortions are performed in the third trimester on otherwise healthy fetuses, is that not the same issue, but flipped?  I expect a large percentage of Jewish/Christian/Muslim (the big three) believers would line up on the conception=start of life side of the issue.  This one is tricky in that we are currently performing abortions on viable humans.  I can see lots of folks having an issue with this, regardless of their religious beliefs.  This topic is too gelatenous for me I think.  Define the beginning of human life.  Man.

I am not in favor of third trimester abortions either, in general. As I have said already, I am not really fond of abortions at all, but recognize that they may occasionally be necessary. I have no problem with people wanting their legislatures to give legal protection to the unborn. But that is not what is being done here. They want a fertilized egg- a single cell- to be defined as a "person" in their state constitution, with all the attendent rights and priveleges.

Would this not absolutely be and end run around honest exploration of the subject, which might hinder, rather than help, the chances of arriving at a real, workable solution to the dilemna?

Not to mention all the unrelated legal ramifications that would be unleashed in the process....


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Jul 15, 2008, 12:42PM
Not to mention all the unrelated legal ramifications that would be unleashed in the process....
Frozen embryos would have legal rights. A ridiculous result.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BGuttman on Jul 15, 2008, 01:35PM
Add to that: prosecution of a mother who miscarries for murder.

I am also one of those who say that abortion should be rare, but it should be safe and legal.

My feeling is that the ardent "right to lifers" basically see this as a way to keep the lower class downtrodden because they can't afford pregnancy prevention, or may be too ignorant to understand what is going on.  Seems that even when abortions were not legal, folks with plenty of money were able to get them.

What would scare me even more would be a situation like in China where the first child is OK.  The second is frowned upon.  The third one is aborted.

Also, we don't really understand when sentient life begins.  No embryo has been able to communicate with us.  Certainly no blastocyst (the bundle of cells that result from early division; these are what are used for in vitro fertilization and for stem cell research).  People who are born and claim to have "womb memories" generally remember things that were in the later stages of pregnancy.  Personhood is really a cultural phenomenon and starts to develop after birth; after all, a baby is simply an animal and needs to be taught everything.

I have always subscribed to the viability theory.  If the child could survive being born, it should not be aborted.

And I disagree that most aborted embryos look human; the real human development occurs during the latter 2nd and 3rd trimesters.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Jul 15, 2008, 05:58PM
Having given this some more thought, I have to conclude that the people behind this proposed amendment probably in reality care very little about Colorado's state constitution. What they are almost certainly aiming for is a Supreme Court showdown over Roe v. Wade.

Think about it- if passed, this amendment would create impossible, almost laughable, legal conundrums. Surely its framers realize this (as must also the Colorado State Supreme Court that allowed it on the ballot.) But I'm sure they are looking past this, because their bigger goal is to engineer a situation in which the US SC will have to pit Roe v. Wade against the Colorado State constitution.

If the amendment passes, the first person to get an abortion in CO will become guilty of murder. This will conflict with RvW, and the case will have to go to federal court. This seems to me to be the only logical outcome of this that could create any effect that the framers desire. If abortion is outlawed only in CO, one would merely have to drive across state lines to get one legally.

Anyway, it is a bad piece of business for the state of CO. I am actually suprised by the seeming lack of attention from secular legal groups like the ACLU. Perhaps they are active in this and I just missed it...


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Mar 16, 2009, 07:38AM
Very interesting ...
 
I opened the NewScientist article How To Spot A Hidden Religious Agenda to copy the URL and closed it. I then decided to go back to read it online in case there were some interesting links, and got this message:
Quote
New Scientist has received a legal complaint about the contents of this story. At the advice of our lawyer it has temporarily been removed while we investigate. Apologies for any inconvenience.

ID/Creationism yet again demonstrating its fear of scrutiny and open inquiry ... its disingenuity and ideological cowardice.
 
The published article cites Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed and I suspect that's the source of the attempt to make their ideological bankruptcy go away through legal legerdemain (at least for the sufficiently ideologically bankrupt).
 
Here are some excerpts:
Quote
As a book reviews editor at New Scientist, I often come across so-called science books which after a few pages reveal themselves to be harbouring ulterior motives. I have learned to recognise clues that the author is pushing a religious agenda ... So I thought I’d share a few tips for spotting what may be religion in science’s clothing.
 
    Red flag number one: the term “scientific materialism”. “Materialism” is most often used in contrast to something else - something non-material, or supernatural. Proponents of ID frequently lament the scientific claim that humans are the product of purely material forces ... [but] ... I have yet to find a definition that characterises non-materialism by what it is, rather than by what it is not.
 
    The invocation of Cartesian dualism - where the brain and mind are viewed as two distinct entities, one material and the other immaterial - is also a red flag. And if an author describes the mind, or any biological system for that matter, as “irreducibly complex”, let the alarm bells ring.
 
    Misguided interpretations of quantum physics are a classic hallmark of pseudoscience, usually of the New Age variety, but some religious groups are now appealing to aspects of quantum weirdness to account for free will ...
 
    When you come across the terms “Darwinism” or “Darwinists”, take heed. True scientists rarely use these terms, and instead opt for “evolution” and “biologists”, respectively [emphasis mine]. When evolution is described as a “blind, random, undirected process”, be warned. While genetic mutations may be random, natural selection is not. When cells are described as “astonishingly complex molecular machines”, it is generally by breathless supporters of ID who take the metaphor literally and assume that such a “machine” requires an “engineer”. If an author wishes for “academic freedom”, it is usually ID code for “the acceptance of creationism”.
 
    Some general sentiments are also red flags. Authors with religious motives make shameless appeals to common sense, from the staid ... If common sense were a reliable guide, we wouldn’t need science in the first place.
 
    Religiously motivated authors also have a bad habit of linking the cultural implications of a theory to the truth-value of that theory. The ID crowd, for instance, loves to draw a line from Darwin to the Holocaust, as they did in [an unnamed] “documentary” film ... Even if such an absurd link were justified, it would have zero relevance to the question of whether or not the theory of evolution is correct. Similarly, when [an unspecified ID and/or Creationist advocate] writes that Darwin’s On the Origin of Species “articulated the desire of many scientists for an exclusively materialist explanation of natural history that would liberate it from the sticky fingers of the theological inference that the beauty and wonder of the natural world was direct evidence for ‘A Designer’”, his [or her] statement has no bearing on the scientific merits of evolution.
 
    It is crucial to the public’s intellectual health to know when science really is science. Those with a religious agenda will continue to disguise their true views in their effort to win supporters, so please read between the lines.

 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BFW on Mar 16, 2009, 07:42AM
It is available on a mirror site. (http://www.sott.net/articles/show/177635-How-to-spot-a-hidden-religious-agenda)  Link posted incorrectly on Pharyngula, fixed later.  It's a perfectly innocuous article; I have no idea why they'd pull it.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: RedHotMama on Mar 16, 2009, 07:45AM
Maybe we'd better copy it here, in case THAT site is forced to pull it as well.

Quote

How to spot a hidden religious agenda
 
Amanda Gefter
New Scientist
Sat, 28 Feb 2009 22:35 UTC

As a book reviews editor at New Scientist, I often come across so-called science books which after a few pages reveal themselves to be harbouring ulterior motives. I have learned to recognise clues that the author is pushing a religious agenda. As creationists in the US continue to lose court battles over attempts to have intelligent design taught as science in federally funded schools, their strategy has been forced to... well, evolve. That means ensuring that references to pseudoscientific concepts like ID are more heavily veiled. So I thought I'd share a few tips for spotting what may be religion in science's clothing.

Red flag number one: the term "scientific materialism". "Materialism" is most often used in contrast to something else - something non-material, or supernatural. Proponents of ID frequently lament the scientific claim that humans are the product of purely material forces. At the same time, they never define how non-material forces might work. I have yet to find a definition that characterises non-materialism by what it is, rather than by what it is not.

The invocation of Cartesian dualism - where the brain and mind are viewed as two distinct entities, one material and the other immaterial - is also a red flag. And if an author describes the mind, or any biological system for that matter, as "irreducibly complex", let the alarm bells ring.

Misguided interpretations of quantum physics are a classic hallmark of pseudoscience, usually of the New Age variety, but some religious groups are now appealing to aspects of quantum weirdness to account for free will. Beware: this is nonsense.

When you come across the terms "Darwinism" or "Darwinists", take heed. True scientists rarely use these terms, and instead opt for "evolution" and "biologists", respectively. When evolution is described as a "blind, random, undirected process", be warned. While genetic mutations may be random, natural selection is not. When cells are described as "astonishingly complex molecular machines", it is generally by breathless supporters of ID who take the metaphor literally and assume that such a "machine" requires an "engineer". If an author wishes for "academic freedom", it is usually ID code for "the acceptance of creationism".

Some general sentiments are also red flags. Authors with religious motives make shameless appeals to common sense, from the staid - "There is nothing we can be more certain of than the reality of our sense of self" (James Le Fanu in Why Us?) - to the silly - "Yer granny was an ape!" (creationist blogger Denyse O'Leary). If common sense were a reliable guide, we wouldn't need science in the first place.

Religiously motivated authors also have a bad habit of linking the cultural implications of a theory to the truth-value of that theory. The ID crowd, for instance, loves to draw a line from Darwin to the Holocaust, as they did in the "documentary" film Expelled: No intelligence allowed. Even if such an absurd link were justified, it would have zero relevance to the question of whether or not the theory of evolution is correct. Similarly, when Le Fanu writes that Darwin's On the Origin of Species "articulated the desire of many scientists for an exclusively materialist explanation of natural history that would liberate it from the sticky fingers of the theological inference that the beauty and wonder of the natural world was direct evidence for 'A Designer'", his statement has no bearing on the scientific merits of evolution.

It is crucial to the public's intellectual health to know when science really is science. Those with a religious agenda will continue to disguise their true views in their effort to win supporters, so please read between the lines.


Links within:

Book review (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16544-review-why-us-by-james-le-fanu.html)

Book review (http://www.harpercollins.com.au/books/9780007120277/Why_Us_How_Science_Rediscovered_the_Mystery_of_Ourselves/index.aspx)

Expelled (http://www.expelledthemovie.com/)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: RedHotMama on Mar 16, 2009, 08:23AM
Oooops. I see Byron has quoted it as well. Never mind.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Mar 16, 2009, 08:25AM
You and Brian were just quicker than I am.
 
You guys took care of things while I was in the process of editing.
 
Thanks!


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: RedHotMama on Mar 16, 2009, 08:28AM
Gotta be quick when the censors are at work! :eek:


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Mar 16, 2009, 08:46AM
Wow! There's that old appeal to "common sense" again (i.e., it's so obviously true I don't need to defend my idiotic opinions by invoking this mantra!).

Quote
Some general sentiments are also red flags. Authors with religious motives make shameless appeals to common sense, from the staid - "There is nothing we can be more certain of than the reality of our sense of self" (James Le Fanu in Why Us?) - to the silly - "Yer granny was an ape!" (creationist blogger Denyse O'Leary). If common sense were a reliable guide, we wouldn't need science in the first place.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Graham Martin on Mar 17, 2009, 06:14PM
I don't know that using a condom is exactly scientific but a Pope who thinks that they help spread AIDS does not come across as being very bright.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25204278-601,00.html


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BGuttman on Mar 17, 2009, 07:21PM
I don't know that using a condom is exactly scientific but a Pope who thinks that they help spread AIDS does not come across as being very bright.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25204278-601,00.html

Well, I guess it could be, if you use it like the Scottish Regiment in the old joke.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Andrew Meronek on Mar 18, 2009, 02:52AM
I don't know that using a condom is exactly scientific but a Pope who thinks that they help spread AIDS does not come across as being very bright.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25204278-601,00.html

The way I read that, it says that the Pope opposes condom use because they're a way to avoid abstinance, not because they're medically dangerous.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: RedHotMama on Mar 18, 2009, 02:54AM
Well, condoms may not be medically dangerous, but that Pope certainly is! :mad: Not to mention certifiable.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Daniel Sheard on Mar 22, 2009, 11:43PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7950671.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7950671.stm)

The same story was on the BBC too, but one paragraph here really made me chuckle.

Quote from: Pope reported by BBC
The Pope also warned of a threat to the Catholic Church in Cameroon from evangelical movements and from the "growing influence of superstitious forms of religion".

growing influence of superstitious forms of religion?  There aren't many things more superstitious than the Catholic Church.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Mar 23, 2009, 10:23AM
The same story was on the BBC too, but one paragraph here really made me chuckle.

growing influence of superstitious forms of religion?  There aren't many things more superstitious than the Catholic Church.
This is like the charcoal calling the pot black as it were. :confused:


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BFW on Mar 31, 2009, 08:55PM
Why Are Americans Resistant to Science? (http://www.thedoctorweighsin.com/journal/2008/3/26/why-are-americans-resistant-to-science.html)

Quote
This question often puzzled me. I can understand the need for a God, as an embodiment of people’s moral ideals. So the fact that our society, which views itself as based on moral principles, is fertile ground for the belief in an über-moral deity. The Brits, on the other hand, have a long history of scandalous, sometimes murderous, behaviors of their political leaders and royals. They are well-versed in their Shakespeare and, like him are cynical about assertions of moral superiority of authority figures. Is there any wonder why only a small minority of the British go to church? This could also be the reason why the most ferocious critics of religion are British.
...
In a review titled “Childhood Origins of Adult Resistance to Science”, two Yale professors of psychology, Paul Bloom and Deena Skolnik Weisberg, posit that the winter of our ignorance began in childhood. They review evidence from developmental psychology suggesting that some resistance to scientific ideas is a human universal. This resistance stems from two general facts about children, one having to do with what they know and the other having to do with how they learn.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 01, 2009, 05:03AM
Why Are Americans Resistant to Science? (http://www.thedoctorweighsin.com/journal/2008/3/26/why-are-americans-resistant-to-science.html)

For example (http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_03/017528.php) ... lest some fall into the error of thinking The Crazy isn't a dominant force in the US that needs to be kept in check (since it's rarely a curable condition).
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: RedHotMama on Apr 01, 2009, 05:58AM
I was pleased to read that bit about the Brits, Brian. Perhaps we have a few years of grace here before the worst happens.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 12, 2009, 08:21PM
I was considering this topic a bit this weekend.

It occurs to me that the relation between science and religion is unnecessarily small and restrained. I think this is because religion (or the religious) have confined themselves to criticizing science, in essence, for its failure to confirm the "truth" of the Bible at the most basic (childish, even) levels.

However, there are many excesses of science that could be discussed. For all the pretense about the "Bible teaching us how to live" I'm hearing the same deafening silence from religion that I heard (not) about the killings in Iraq and Afghanistan. These excesses of science have become invisible. They aren't discussed at all.

So, what does Religion have to say, what guidance can it provide on the most troubling problems humanity faces?

Genetically engineered seeds that produce "sterile" crops forcing framers to buy new seeds from Monsanto and others, especially harmful to third world framers. What are the ethical ramifications of messing around with thousands of years of agriculture to make a quick buck?

Neutron bombs? Kill people but preserve property?

Over-population and sustainable local economies?

The trend for science to do what it can before contemplating the results? (cell phones, big screen TVs, new drugs, chemicals of all kinds)?

The expanded use of plastic everywhere?

The continuous dumping of pollutants into our air, water and soil?

Cloning? Genetic engineering of humans?

The funding of secret weapons programs? Do religions have any real guidance here? Or are we to take the King's word about our place in society?

While I expect the Bible is useful for those wanting to live according to the code set out for 3,000 year old Levantine shepherd/warriors, how does religion expect to be relevant in this debate beyond interposing specious arguments about "light slowing down," or "radio-carbon dating being flawed," or similar arguments (that even if were true) that bear little impact on human life. If anything, religion seems to contribute to these problems both directly and indirectly.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on Apr 13, 2009, 02:48AM
The morality of some types of scientific research is certainly difficult. Two that spring to mind are vivisection and weapons research. I have on occasion discussed the mindset needed to do these kinds of research with people involved in these fields, and think it notable that very few of these people have ever had an easy time reconciling themselves to their line of work.
For the former, those people I've talked with tend to cite the net benefit to humanity - some animals die, lots of humans live that would have otherwise died. To be honest, I don't think that that would comfort me enough to make that work performable, but I can see the logic.
For the latter, the justification offered is usually that the work will be done in any case, and that it's better for a certified nice guy/gal like the person in question to be doing it than somebody who isn't a certified nice guy/gal.
In both cases, it seems to me that the reason usually given is an obvious rationalisation, and one that falls down when too much logic is applied to it. I think that very often it comes down to pragmatism - there is an available job there that they can do, that pays decently well, that offers decent social prestige; for this they are willing to delegate their moral concerns to their superiors. Ultimately this leads to good people taking their moral judgements straight from their politicians - dangerous territory...

To nod to the thread title, it's interesting that the one person I've spoken to this about who has had no moral qualms at all on the subject is a devout, fundamental, born-again, Christian. I don't think that it has occurred to her to question the point of the existence of an available job - but then she is frighteningly short-sighted on all sorts of philosophical points.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 13, 2009, 04:57AM
These excesses of science have become invisible.

Some of them are invisible because they're excesses of engineers, not the scientists who developed what the engineers have put to ill use. In some cases, like the ones Dave mentioned, this is a genuine complaint, but in the majority of cases perfectly ethical, productive research is misused.
 
Weapons research is a tough one though. There's a value in deterrence, but obviously that's kind of thin line to walk, and to trust others to walk with you. Personally I have no such faith in the current or future powers that be to do that sort of thing (in fact that had a lot to do with why I wasn't okay with going to sniper school when I was invited, and why when I went into the National Guard almost ten years after my regular Army service I was only okay with being a medic). You have to be willfully naive, I think, to pull off that kind of self-defensive apologetic, and as Dave's friend illustrates, religious faith is the ideal intellectual environment for that kind of effort (including its secular version). In fact I'd argue that's entirely the purview of faith.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: RedHotMama on Apr 13, 2009, 06:31AM
There are an enormous number of animals subjected to research which is of purely academic interest.

Just as a couple of examples....

I know of research into pheromones where marmosets had their olfactory epithelia burned away.

I know of research into pheromones where rats were dropped into water and left to drown to see what pheromones were released.

I'm sort of OK with animals being used for medical purposes.

But I am NOT OK with animals being used by scientists who just think, well, I wonder what happens if I do THAT? :mad:


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BFW on Apr 13, 2009, 11:42AM
Evolution cannot explain existence of creationists, concedes Dawkins (http://newsbiscuit.com/2009/04/13/evolution-cannot-explain-existence-of-creationists-concedes-dawkins/)

:D :D :D

NewsBiscuit ("The news before it happens") appears to be for Britain what The Onion is for the US.  Some other entertaining articles are there, as well.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 13, 2009, 01:00PM
To nod to the thread title, it's interesting that the one person I've spoken to this about who has had no moral qualms at all on the subject is a devout, fundamental, born-again, Christian. I don't think that it has occurred to her to question the point of the existence of an available job - but then she is frighteningly short-sighted on all sorts of philosophical points.
I'm surprised that people don't get it that Christianity is basically a "materialistic" religion. Many of our churches even equate material gain with blessings from God, and lack of material wealth as a sign of divine indifference. Our "Thanksgiving Day" is basically thanking God for our "stuff." Even the "resurrection" celebrates, at one level, the triumph of materialism over death, the resurrection of the physical body. Spirituality, in the form of eternal life, is simply another transaction whereby "salvation" is purchased cheaply by believing the basic Jesus-story and dropped into the shopping cart. Jesus himself rather rejected the idea of owning property at all, yet Christians have skewered folks on six continents (and the animals of another) to relieve them of their property.

I'm not surprised that even Bible-believing Christians accept wholeheartedly the material benefits and consequences of science, right down to the grotesque ways science keeps finding for us to kill each other, entire species of plants and animals, and push us to the brink of mass destruction, while rejecting that part of science that suggests their religious mythology can't be true and opens new understanding of the universe(s) and our place in it.

I guess I'm suggesting that while religion rejects science to the extent science helps us understand who we are, where we might be going, and the inevitable result of our attitudes on the issues I listed above, it embraces science without reservation in its materialistic, consumerism, violent and life-threatening aspects.

(BTW---I'm including technology and manufacturing in a wider sense of "science" than just the theory and body of knowledge).


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 13, 2009, 04:02PM
Evolution cannot explain existence of creationists, concedes Dawkins (http://newsbiscuit.com/2009/04/13/evolution-cannot-explain-existence-of-creationists-concedes-dawkins/)

:D :D :D

NewsBiscuit ("The news before it happens") appears to be for Britain what The Onion is for the US.  Some other entertaining articles are there, as well.

Good stuff! :D


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Dave Tatro on Apr 13, 2009, 04:06PM
I'm surprised that people don't get it that Christianity is basically a "materialistic" religion. Many of our churches even equate material gain with blessings from God, and lack of material wealth as a sign of divine indifference. Our "Thanksgiving Day" is basically thanking God for our "stuff." Even the "resurrection" celebrates, at one level, the triumph of materialism over death, the resurrection of the physical body. Spirituality, in the form of eternal life, is simply another transaction whereby "salvation" is purchased cheaply by believing the basic Jesus-story and dropped into the shopping cart. Jesus himself rather rejected the idea of owning property at all, yet Christians have skewered folks on six continents (and the animals of another) to relieve them of their property.

I'm not surprised that even Bible-believing Christians accept wholeheartedly the material benefits and consequences of science, right down to the grotesque ways science keeps finding for us to kill each other, entire species of plants and animals, and push us to the brink of mass destruction, while rejecting that part of science that suggests their religious mythology can't be true and opens new understanding of the universe(s) and our place in it.

I guess I'm suggesting that while religion rejects science to the extent science helps us understand who we are, where we might be going, and the inevitable result of our attitudes on the issues I listed above, it embraces science without reservation in its materialistic, consumerism, violent and life-threatening aspects.

(BTW---I'm including technology and manufacturing in a wider sense of "science" than just the theory and body of knowledge).

Very well put. This seems to be particularly true here in America, with our history of "manifest destiny" thinking and whatnot. The only reason I can really think of that most Americans don't seem to understand your points is that they are SO materialistic in their non-religious life that even a highly materialstic religion would seem very "spiritual" by comparison.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Andrew Meronek on Apr 13, 2009, 04:18PM
Evolution cannot explain existence of creationists, concedes Dawkins (http://newsbiscuit.com/2009/04/13/evolution-cannot-explain-existence-of-creationists-concedes-dawkins/)

:D :D :D

NewsBiscuit ("The news before it happens") appears to be for Britain what The Onion is for the US.  Some other entertaining articles are there, as well.

Cool site. I did some browsing and found:

The Tranny And The Taliban (http://newsbiscuit.com/2009/03/18/too-pc-to-be-realistic-say-critics-of-bbcs-new-buddy-cop-drama-the-tranny-and-the-taliban/)

Wow. Um, there are no words. Wow. :amazed:


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 13, 2009, 06:08PM
Cool site. I did some browsing and found:
God to take action on illegal Bible distribution. (http://newsbiscuit.com/2008/11/16/god-to-take-action-on-illegal-bible-distribution-409/)  :D


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Trav1s on Apr 13, 2009, 06:28PM
God to take action on illegal Bible distribution. (http://newsbiscuit.com/2008/11/16/god-to-take-action-on-illegal-bible-distribution-409/)  :D
:icon_razz:


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BFW on Apr 15, 2009, 02:20PM
Why People Believe What They Do (http://www.sciam.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=why-people-believe-what-they-do-09-04-10&sc=WR_20090415)

Fascinating podcast from Scientific American regarding research about why people accept or don't accept evolution.  Some surprising findings.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 15, 2009, 10:59PM
Some surprising findings.
Indeed. I was surprised that understanding natural selection/evolution seem unrelated to acceptance of evolution. Why is that? Do we simply assume that if a person can understand evolution, it is only natural that they would accept it? I would be curious to have some discussions with a religious person who understood evolution but rejected it.

I remember that there were many scientists at Lawrence Livermore Lab who had religious leanings and weren't particularly supportive of evolution. I figured that, unlike, say, atomic theory, whether someone accepted evolution or not was totally unrelated to their suitability to perform their job functions. Designing weapons wasn't dependent on accepting evolution.

And, it seems that acceptance of Christian supernaturalism doesn't make one more vulnerable to accepting other supernatural explanations (e.g. aliens built pyramids, Bigfoot, ET's masquerade as humans, etc.,)---that wasn't surprising, but I'm pleased to hear verification. I think Christians consider "competing" supernatural theories as "Satanic" in some way. I wasn't surprised that there are various degrees of acceptance of evolution--God as "prime mover," micro v. macro evolution, a belief in evolution not being incompatible with other origins of the human species.

That humans are programmed for "purpose" might make creationism more easy to accept as opposed to random biological processes. The reasons for accepting, as well as the specific portions of the theory were also important to how the questions were answered.

Thanks for the post.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 16, 2009, 04:14AM
Why People Believe What They Do (http://www.sciam.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=why-people-believe-what-they-do-09-04-10&sc=WR_20090415)
 
Some surprising findings.

Indeed. I was surprised that understanding natural selection/evolution seem unrelated to acceptance of evolution. Why is that?

You guys haven't been paying attention to the religious forumites in here!
 
Seriously though, I think that modus operandi is so obviously and deeply flawed it doesn't occur to those of us who don't operate that way that others do. Seems pretty narcissistic, doesn't it? It seems absolutely bat shite crazy, hard to believe people really do perceptually and cognitively operate that way (though there's definitely some question as to whether they really do, or maybe how deep the pretense goes), so it flies under our incredulity radar unless we pay closer attention to what's going on rather than what seems should be going on.
 
To be perfectly honest though, I'm still surprised when others who have been around this society for any significant amount of time suddenly get it. It's one of those "Well where the haell have you been all this time anyway!?" kinds of things for me.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: tsmart on Apr 16, 2009, 05:58AM
Couple comments I'd like to make...

Darwin, denounced his theory of evolution, and became a man of faith before he passed away. School books woun't teach you that...

To put your faith in Science, it to put your faith in men - who haven't been on earth even 100 yrs. Sciences has revamped it's theories over and over through history (basically saying they don't really know what they are doin/thinking most of the time).
Science has proven many Biblical occurances... but not other occurances - which point to man's idea's being flawed.

God don't want us to know everything.... it encourages us to step out on faith.

The Bible is the oldest History book on the plantet... it's our "Owner's Manual".

T.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 16, 2009, 05:59AM
For example ...
 
Don't make the mistake of thinking this is an isolated case, either. Outspoken? yes. Uncommonly religiostupidified? nope.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on Apr 16, 2009, 06:38AM
Couple comments I'd like to make...

Darwin, denounced his theory of evolution, and became a man of faith before he passed away. School books woun't teach you that...

Couple points in response to that:

i) They won't teach you it because it never happened: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Hope#The_Lady_Hope_story
It was fabricated by somebody who wasn't present.

ii) It wouldn't matter if he had. Scientific consensus doesn't rest on the final say-so of the person who originally had the idea; if the evidence points one way, then it points that way whoever is looking at it.

To put your faith in Science, it to put your faith in men - who haven't been on earth even 100 yrs. Sciences has revamped it's theories over and over through history (basically saying they don't really know what they are doin/thinking most of the time).

You show by this quote that you don't appreciate how the process of knowledge accumulation (a.k.a. 'Science') works...

Suppose you see something that you don't understand and suppose that you set your mind to trying to learn to understand it. Maybe you see a small waterfall into a mossy pool, and wonder why the water falls downwards, for example. If you didn't know about gravity, you might wonder if there was some sort of attraction between water and soil. This might serve as an explanation in your mind for some time - at least until you saw a larger waterfall where the water fell directly onto bare rock. Then you would have to find an alternative explanation. Maybe you would generalise to consider whether water was attracted to all solid objects. Then maybe you would relate the way other objects fall to the way water falls. Then maybe you would wonder about exactly how and why things fall towards each other. You might be inspired to devise some experiments to measure rates of falling. Eventually, after hundreds of years of thinking (supposing no-one gave you any help along the way), you might deduce that objects move in straight lines through a space-time distorted by mass. But it would take a huge amount of thinking and experimenting before you got that far. It took scientists until Einstein's 1916 Theory of General Relativity to deduce that one, and a few years more to experimentally verify that the descriptions that the theory gave matched reality well.

So you see how knowledge advances by replacing outdated models with better ones. Outmoded theories are those which fitted the evidence available at the time, but grew inaccurate with the availability of better data. For example, Newton's Theory of Gravity was replaced by Einstein's Theory of Relativity. However, Newton's model is still good for everyday calculations. For another example, Ptolemy's Theory of Epicycles was replaced by Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion (which incidentally led to Newton's ToG). For yet another example, the biblical creation story was an acceptable scientific hypothesis for the Jewish tribes of 3000 years ago, but has since been shown to be inconsistent with reality.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 16, 2009, 06:48AM
Couple points in response to that:
 
i) They won't teach you it because it never happened: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Hope#The_Lady_Hope_story
It was fabricated by somebody who wasn't present.
 
ii) It wouldn't matter if he had. Scientific consensus doesn't rest on the final say-so of the person who originally had the idea; if the evidence points one way, then it points that way whoever is looking at it.
 
You show by this quote that you don't appreciate how the process of knowledge accumulation (a.k.a. 'Science') works...

You're making the mistake we were just talking about above. Reality just isn't really the issue for most fundamentalist types.
 
Here's that link again that Brian posted (http://www.sciam.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=why-people-believe-what-they-do-09-04-10&sc=WR_20090415).
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: tsmart on Apr 16, 2009, 07:05AM
i) They won't teach you it because it never happened: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Hope#The_Lady_Hope_story
It was fabricated by somebody who wasn't present.
The lady of hope story, is not the only published evidence of Darwin and his conversion. If it were, then you could argue your point. Just as always, those who do not believe, try and pick apart and deny (as the world always does).

 :clever: And wikipendia was not around, in the times of Darwin.....

It's also stated that the daughter would have much financial gain if the story didn't come out, but the evangelist wife would not be silenced.... and if you know anything about pastors and their wives, you know if people are on their death bed, the pastor and his wife will be there.  :good:

So it's no where near feasible... for anyone who wasn't at the death bed (when the evangelist and his wife were present) to try and contradict them (especially with a financial motive, and facts that were not in evidence - and people will do anything for money)... So do some more research, before you doubt that story.

There was also a congregation that came to witness this (as Darwin had requested).... so try denying what they witnessed as well. Denying what one person witnessed is a possible task... but denying what MANY people saw and heard that day is a little tougher (nice try though).

ii) It wouldn't matter if he had. Scientific consensus doesn't rest on the final say-so of the person who originally had the idea; if the evidence points one way, then it points that way whoever is looking at it.
So basically you are saying... science is always changing.... so what scientist believe as unwavering truth today, will certainly be know as a lie/mistake 100 yrs from now.... Again, to put your faith in man, is a mistake in the making.....

You show by this quote that you don't appreciate how the process of knowledge accumulation (a.k.a. 'Science') works...
Since science is ALWAYS changing... I am saying I don't have much faith in science, as it usually proves the theories of yesterday - wrong today.... which inevitably with prove the theories of today, wrong tomorrow.



So you see how knowledge advances by replacing outdated models with better ones.
No, what I see is - it doesn't matter. The oldest history book, is the Bible... and it tells us all we need to know. What I do see, is some have no consideration of "Faith", and what that entails.
100 yrs from now, it won't matter what science says.... because it will say something different. But, the Bible will ALWAYS say the same things.... and yet people continue to "swear" by scientist today - which is absurd.

T.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on Apr 16, 2009, 07:44AM
The lady of hope story, is not the only published evidence of Darwin and his conversion. If it were, then you could argue your point. Just as always, those who do not believe, try and pick apart and deny (as the world always does). And wikipendia was not around, in the times of Darwin.....

It's also stated that the daughter would have much financial gain if the story didn't come out, but the evangelist wife would not be silenced.... and if you know anything about pastors and their wives, you know if people are on their death bed, the pastor and his wife will be there.

So it's no where near feasible... for anyone who wasn't at the death bed (when the evangelist and his wife were present) to try and contradict them (especially with a financial motive, and facts that were not in evidence - people will do anything for money)... so do some more research.

There was also a congregation that came to witness this (as Darwin had requested).... so try denying what they witnessed as well. Denying what one person witnessed is a possible task... but denying what MANY people saw and heard that day is a little tougher (nice try though).

Come on man, you're just repeating things that others have made up to try to justify this fraud. I can't even really understand some of what you've written above, it's written so confusedly.

But anyway, to return to reality...

This one is absolutely unsupportable - even the fundamentalist Christian website Answers in Genesis debunks it: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2009/03/31/darwins-deathbed-conversion-legend
Do a Google search for Darwin Deathbed Conversion; you will see that *all* of the results tell you that it never happened, detailing how the lies got started and spread by this 'Lady' Hope character. Incidentally, two of the first three debunkings listed come from avowedly Christian websites.

I'd give up on pushing this one if I were you... It makes you look a bit desperate...

So basically you are saying... science is always changing....

Perhaps a more accurate thing to say would be that science is always looking for new viewpoints from which to check old data. Sometimes the new viewpoints allow the old viewpoint to be shown to be naive. Not wrong, but unrefined.

so what scientist believe as truth today, will certainly be know as a lie 100 yrs from now....

You're thinking of 'science' like religious debate - it seems to me that you are imagining that a change of viewpoint in science = turning tail and imagining that important and previously well-supported points are now 100% wrong. This isn't how it works - it's a process of refinement, like the one that I outlined for you. For example, the ancients thought that the Sun and planets orbited the Earth. Various ancient astronomers, culminating with Ptomely, devised involved patterns of planetary motion to explain the observed ways in which planets moved in the sky. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Copernicus and Keppler realised that if the Earth wasn't considered to be the centre of the solar system, but instead the Sun was, then these complex motions became much simpler - ellipses rather than rosettes covered in bizarre twirls. The problem had been that the Earth had been assumed to be the centre of the system when there was no evidence for this other than the apparent simplicity of the arrangement from our perspective. Newton came along in the 17th century and explained mathematically how it all worked, and then Einstein made a small correction to it 250 years later.

You see? A process of refinement based on evidence, not an arbitrary throwing out of ideas that suddenly fell out of fashion.

Again, to put your faith in man, is a mistake in the making.....

You like guns, yes? You use ovens? Maybe even microwave ovens? Lighting in your house? Plumbing? Maybe a washing machine?

All examples of end results of scientific thought. Maybe you would care to use less definite language when making gigantic assertions?

No, what I see is - it doesn't matter. The oldest history book, is the Bible... and it tells us all we need to know. What I do see, is some have no consideration of "Faith", and what that entails.

Does the Bible tell you how to manufacture a gun? An oven? How to generate microwaves? How to design a light-bulb?

100 yrs from now, it won't matter what science says.... because it will say something different. But, the Bible will ALWAYS say the same things....

The bible has been translated through several languages to get to the English language version which I presume you are using. It has at different times contained a different set of books to the ones it currently does. It has EVIDENTLY changed in recorded history. How can you possibly claim that it is unchanging?


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 16, 2009, 07:45AM
God don't want us to know everything.... it encourages us to step out on faith.
Gee...how can anyone argue with that. :rolleyes:


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on Apr 16, 2009, 07:51AM
Who wants to know everything? Life would be boring without questions to answer! I mostly want to know the next thing...


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: ddickerson on Apr 16, 2009, 08:10AM
Do a Google search

Its amazing the folks that have more faith in Google than the Word of God. Go figure.



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on Apr 16, 2009, 08:16AM
i) Don't confuse the message with the medium. Google is an indexing tool, nothing more. Among the items that it indexes here are seriously serious Christian websites that advise their readers not to try claiming that Darwin became religious on his deathbed.

ii) The comparison is invalid... Google exists...


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 16, 2009, 08:20AM
Its amazing the folks that have more faith in Google than the Word of God. Go figure.

Which Word of Godtm?
 
Actually what's amazing is that people claim to believe in ultimate and eternal consequences for what they believe (as if that made any sense at all) and for their nature as creations of an omnipotent being (for being as created), and yet they take pretty much zero measures and no responsibility to ensure they've got anything right.
 
You people aren't fooling anyone but yourselves. It's pretty obvious you don't really believe your own buelshite. It's all about justifying nastiness rather than facing up to it and trying to be better human beings--it's moral and intellectual cowardice and narcissism, dressing them up as virtues to congratulate each other for being so good and bold fer Jeebus for actually indulging in being so ugly and cowardly.
 
"Word of God" my arse.
 
 :rolleyes:
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: tsmart on Apr 16, 2009, 08:26AM
Come on man, you're just repeating things that others have made up to try to justify this fraud. I can't even really understand some of what you've written above, it's written so confusedly.
So you were there, and you know for fact Darwin didn't renounce this theory?
You must be pretty old by now... :rolleyes:

This one is absolutely unsupportable - even the fundamentalist Christian website
So now you are taking a "single" Christian website as fact? I thought science was the absolute fact in your eyes?
You can't flip flop, and save face.  :dont:


I'd give up on pushing this one if I were you... It makes you look a bit desperate...
On the contray - you posted a link to that story, not I. I was refering to other evidence in fact, thus I said "do some more research".

The desperate ones are those who proclaim science as the unwavering truth, and in the same breath admit that what theories science has brought forth today - will merly be denied and changed tommorow by other scientist. The contradition is in front of your face, yet you can't see it..... please open your eyes to the reality of THAT fact..... and explain how anyone who believes in science as fact, can even be logical. :dontknow:


Perhaps a more accurate thing to say would be that science is always looking for new viewpoints from which to check old data. Sometimes the new viewpoints allow the old viewpoint to be shown to be naive. Not wrong, but unrefined.
Perhaps you should stick w/ your original statement, and not look so desperate... You  still basically say.... Absolute science facts of today, will differ of those tomorrow.
Again, how can you even remotley put any faith in science and their theories of history? Absolutley absurd.... :/

You like guns, yes? You use ovens? Maybe even microwave ovens? Lighting in your house? Plumbing? Maybe a washing machine?

does the Bible tell you how to manufacture a gun? An oven? How to generate microwaves? How to design a light-bulb?

Desperate switch of debate eh?  :confused:

Scienenc does make life "easier", but it is not needed for man kind to survive.  If it was neccesary, man would be extinct.

The bible has been translated through several languages to get to the English language version which I presume you are using. It has at different times contained a different set of books to the ones it currently does. It has EVIDENTLY changed in recorded history. How can you possibly claim that it is unchanging?

Translate the King James to the red sea scrolls, and show me anything that is "changed".

My Bible is of Hebrew decent, and contains 66 books..... the same 66 books are in the Alexandrian Bible, + the Alexandrian Bible has the Apocrapha... which I also have a copy of that Bible..... so one contains a few extra books vs the other.... I have both Bibles... if you wish to translate from Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek - feel free to, and provide us with any differences that you find.

T.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: ddickerson on Apr 16, 2009, 08:43AM
Translate the King James to the red sea scrolls, and show me anything that is "changed".

The dubious always make the claims "which Bible", but in reality, the differences that can be found in the different translations are not significant, and certainly don't paint a different Gospel.

The fact that it has remained what it is today after how many years of atheists trying to destroy it? Is a miracle in and of itself. With all of man's technology today, cannot achieve the same level.

Remember, they didn't have word processors, printers, printing machines. etc.....but the Gospel survived despite all the atheists. And it will survive despite today's atheists.



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 16, 2009, 08:56AM
To be fair, in all likelihood DD is genuinely unaware of his error in that last one (yeah, it seems obvious to us, I know). The thousands of One True Godstm and their Holy Word of Godtm volumes just aren't even on many fundamentalist types' radar.
 
As I said above, with fundamentalist types it's just not about reality or what they claim to believe.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: tsmart on Apr 16, 2009, 08:56AM
The dubious always make the claims "which Bible", but in reality, the differences that can be found in the different translations are not significant, and certainly don't paint a different Gospel.

The fact that it has remained what it is today after how many years of atheists trying to destroy it? Is a miracle in and of itself. With all of man's technology today, cannot achieve the same level.

Remember, they didn't have word processors, printers, printing machines. etc.....but the Gospel survived despite all the atheists. And it will survive despite today's atheists.


Great Post.  :good: :good: :good:

T.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on Apr 16, 2009, 08:58AM
So you were there, and you know for fact Darwin didn't renounce this theory?
You must be pretty old by now... :rolleyes:

I'm sorry? You assert that something happened for which there is no proof, and then try to lay the burden of proof on the one who says that it didn't occur? Do you see anything wrong with your method here?

Or to be more succinct: No, you prove it. You weren't there either, and you're the one claiming that something happened.

So now you are taking a "single" Christian website as fact?

No, I am considering the combined resources of the internet, of previously made posts on various fora, of publications that I have read, and of conversations with knowledgeable people. The sum total of these deliberations leads me to conclude that nobody except those who are deeply uninformed maintain that Darwin converted on his deathbed.

Might I ask what your source is for the assertion that he did? You have supplied nothing except incoherently phrased blustering assertions on the subject thus far.

I thought science was the absolute fact in your eyes?
You can't flip flop, and save face.  :dont:

You have misunderstood or are deliberately misrepresenting my position here. Science isn't about being absolute - it's about being as confident as is possible *given the available evidence* - and more importantly, about treating the available evidence as sceptically as possible. Confidence levels gradually change over time - in general, gradually approaching 100% for any given theory that is good.

Flip flop, schmlip schmlop.

On the contray - you posted a link to that story, not I. I was refering to other evidence in fact, thus I said "do some more research".

*You* asserted (out of nowhere in the debate, I might add) that Darwin converted on his deathbed. It's up to you to make that statement stand up when challenged. When you saw it fall over in a heap of untruth, that was the time to cut your ties with it - yet you still persist in defending it. Why?

The desperate ones are those who proclaim science as the unwavering truth,

Could you possibly learn some humility? You plainly know very very little about science and how it works, and yet you still boldly assert to us these "truths" about it. A wise person once said "You're probably not learning much while your mouth is open". Post by all means, engage with us, great. But don't keep spouting off half-considered ideas as if they were the clear truth - it's very tiresome.

Refer to my point above - NOBODY with any wisdom "proclaims science as the unwavering truth". You only assume that they do because you are doing the opposite, and are projecting your way of thinking onto others.

and in the same breath admit that what theories science has brought forth today - will merly be denied and changed tommorow by other scientist. The contradition is in front of your face, yet you can't see it..... please open your eyes to the reality of THAT fact..... and explain how anyone who believes in science as fact, can even be logical. :dontknow:

I've given you two detailed examples of how a scientific theory develops. Go back and read them again, more carefully.

Perhaps you should stick w/ your original statement, and not look so desperate... You  still basically say.... Absolute science facts of today, will differ of those tomorrow.

Yes, this is clearly the difficulty here - you think that I think of scientific facts as absolute. Not so - my position is that any statement at all can have a level of confidence assigned to it, and that that level can NEVER EVER reach 100%.


Desperate switch of debate eh?  :confused:

Nope, just another difficult point that you don't appear to wish to talk about.

Scienenc does make life "easier", but it is not needed for man kind to survive.  If it was neccesary, man would be extinct.

Right... But you still use the items I mentioned, yes? It seems to me that you are "putting your faith in man" (in your terms) to some extent by this, but you claim that any faith-putting in man is bad...

Translate the King James to the red sea scrolls, and show me anything that is "changed".

My Bible is of Hebrew decent, and contains 66 books..... the same 66 books are in the Alexandrian Bible, + the Alexandrian Bible has the Apocrapha... which I also have a copy of that Bible..... so one contains a few extra books vs the other.... I have both Bibles... if you wish to translate from Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek - feel free to, and provide us with any differences that you find.

Trav1s? Professional biblical scholar that you are, could you possibly do me a favour and provide the man with some choice examples? I'll owe you a pint  ;)

Off the top of my head, it occurs to me that one of the oldest known copies of any gospel clearly omits the resurrection story - though an internet reference escapes me - others better versed on this question will have to supply you with the necessary info. I know that evan51 has posted interesting information about this here before.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: ddickerson on Apr 16, 2009, 09:09AM
Is this the real issue here for atheists or agnostics or whatever you may call yourselves:

"Since you can't prove that there is a God through scientific experiments, then God doesn't exist, and all this hoopla is just a myth that was made up by man?"

Is that close?




Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: tsmart on Apr 16, 2009, 09:23AM
Is this the real issue here for atheists or agnostics or whatever you may call yourselves:

"Since you can't prove that there is a God through scientific experiments, then God doesn't exist, and all this hoopla is just a myth that was made up by man?"

Is that close?



And the hammer hit the nail on the head.  :good:

T.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on Apr 16, 2009, 09:30AM
Is this the real issue here for atheists or agnostics or whatever you may call yourselves:

"Since you can't prove that there is a God through scientific experiments, then God doesn't exist, and all this hoopla is just a myth that was made up by man?"

Is that close?

The real issue *here* is that tsmart is being very assertively dogmatic about some things, some of which have been demonstrated to be incorrect, some of which are obviously unprovable.

But to step back and take a broader view, that's not a bad summary of the position. I would phrase it more like:
Some people assert that a god or gods exist(s). I am open to this possibility, once they supply some compelling evidence. Nobody has ever presented any compelling evidence in a vast amount of trying, therefore I surmise with a high degree of confidence that the question of whether or not deities exist is not a particularly relevant one to the world we live in.

Does that work for you? The difference is that your definition is phrased in terms of the existence of your god concept, whereas mine is phrased in terms of the relevance or not of that concept (well, any general supernatural concept, really, but your god concept will do for here and now).
An analogy might be - some Hindus claim the existence of Vishnu. I move into speculation here - correct me if I'm wrong - I imagine that this seems more of an irrelevance to your personal belief system than an upfront incorrectness. Am I near?


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 16, 2009, 09:30AM
Is this the real issue here for atheists or agnostics or whatever you may call yourselves:
 
"Since you can't prove that there is a God through scientific experiments, then God doesn't exist, and all this hoopla is just a myth that was made up by man?"
 
Is that close?

Look into epistemology, and how science operates vs. how religion does.
 
e-p-i-s-t-e-m-o-l-o-g-y
 
In short, science accepts reality as-is (including uncertainty and our limitations) and strictly abides by a system that requires honesty, responsibility and humility, and religious faith does precisely the opposite.
 
Honesty informs us that the only reliable means we have to come to an understanding of the cosmos is empirical. Our religious nature has us creating a god that's allegedly beyond those means and yet claiming to know not only that it exists, but it's nature and character as well. The only thing we can genuinely derive our understanding of reality from is the data reality provides (nature). If we try to move beyond those data into the alleged supernatural, we can't have anything from which to derive our understanding, by definition. That means the supernatural necessarily has to be fabricated--made up. Just for starters.
 
 
If you understand why science rejects faith-based claims your question will be answered. It's really not hard at all to research, though on the other hand, if you haven't got sufficient self-discipline to keep your emotions (fears) from hijacking your intellect that's not the case at all.
 
Before you can understand you have to genuinely decide you really want to, and that you're willing to deal with what you discover, even if you find out you've been mistaken, and in my experience very few people who have had much of the kool-aid can pull off that degree of honesty and integrity. Many are pretty invested in making enough of a show that they can claim to their fellow kool-aid drinkers they have though (part of the self-affirmation schtick--not exactly a tough sell).
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: tsmart on Apr 16, 2009, 09:44AM
The real issue *here* is that tsmart is being very assertively dogmatic about some things, some of which have been demonstrated to be incorrect, some of which are obviously unprovable.

Creationism is unprovable by man - unless you have faith, and believe the Bible IS the inerrant infallible Word of God.

But since I am stating "unprovable" things, I guess I'm right up there with the scientist then. :good:

T.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 16, 2009, 09:51AM
An analogy might be - some Hindus claim the existence of Vishnu. I move into speculation here - correct me if I'm wrong - I imagine that this seems more of an irrelevance to your personal belief system than an upfront incorrectness. Am I near?

Put succinctly, monotheists are only atheistic about one less god than atheists. If they were to honestly consider why they're atheistic about those other gods, they'd understand why we're just atheists (we don't treat any alleged gods special by changing our standards to accommodate them--or rather, by basing our standards on accommodating them).
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BFW on Apr 16, 2009, 09:54AM
DD: Thanks for asking a question and for making an attempt to understand where other people are coming from.

Is this the real issue here for atheists or agnostics or whatever you may call yourselves:

"Since you can't prove that there is a God through scientific experiments, then God doesn't exist, and all this hoopla is just a myth that was made up by man?"

Is that close?

Kind of the other way around.  There is evidence, and conclusions drawn from that evidence, hypotheses developed, proved, disproved, altered.  There's never been a need to insert any gods into the process.  Unanswered questions are simply unanswered questions until such a time as answers might be found.

Couple that with a comparison of the bible and other mythologies.  They are all useful information from ancient cultures, but there is no reason other than tradition to decide that this mythology is actually true while these other mythologies are the simplistic writings of ancient people trying to make sense of the world.

So, the end result is that gods are not ADDED to the system.  It's not about any particular god, or about proving that capital-G God does or does not exist, but rather about a lack of any evidence that ANY gods or ANY supernatural beings exist, and thus there is no reason to assume their existence.  It is a RESULT of that line of thinking that, among various possible gods, the God of Judaism or Christianity or Islam isn't assumed to exist, and the mythologies of Judaism and Christianity and Islam are seen as equivalent to the various other mythologies that exist in the world.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 16, 2009, 09:57AM
It boils down to deriving your understanding of reality from reality vs. imposing what you presume about reality upon it.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on Apr 16, 2009, 10:05AM
DD - BFW's and BvB's positions can be assumed to be identical to mine, I think, if that helps. Their last posts certainly agree with my point of view.

Creationism is unprovable by man - unless you have faith, and believe the Bible IS the inerrant infallible Word of God.

Proof and faith aren't the same thing at all. Have you been listening to anything I've said in the last few posts?

But since I am stating "unprovable" things, I guess I'm right up there with the scientist then. :good:

Sigh.

You actually haven't read anything I've written, have you? And after I did you the courtesy of reading all your stuff too.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: HeRoze on Apr 16, 2009, 10:20AM
---- Off the top of my head, it occurs to me that one of the oldest known copies of any gospel clearly omits the resurrection story - though an internet reference escapes me - others better versed on this question will have to supply you with the necessary info. I know that evan51 has posted interesting information about this here before.

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/
this site gives some good starting points to books of the Bible (plus many other writings) as approached from an archeological standpoint.  It establishes time-frames and has lots of references.  Feel free to use it, if you like.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: ddickerson on Apr 16, 2009, 10:40AM
I know that we have an obsession with being able to prove everything, especially by using the scientific method. And of course, those that are predisposed to measuring their reality through that lens, it never occurs to them that the scientific method is the wrong tool for verifying that there is a God or not.

It would be like someone who is scurrying about looking for metal under ground, but he is using a portable battery operated am-fm radio (obviously the wrong tool). His efforts would be fruitless, not because there is no metal underground to be detected, but because he chose the wrong tool.

That's all I'm saying.



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: tsmart on Apr 16, 2009, 10:43AM
Kind of the other way around.  There is evidence, and conclusions drawn from that evidence, hypothesis developed, proved, disproved, altered.  

hypothesis - guess: a message expressing an opinion based on incomplete evidence.

Developed incorrectly, but proved by by scientist of today, then disproved by scientist later, and altered to meet their new ideas (to be disproven again later).


You actually haven't read anything I've written, have you?
I've read it all, and I understand what science is. You fail to sway me, and You fail to understand what science is and it's lack of the validity.

T.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on Apr 16, 2009, 10:49AM
I've read it all, and I understand what science is. You fail to sway me, and You fail to understand what science is and it's lack of the validity.

Pardon me if I express doubt that you at all understand what science is, how it is done, or how it works. Your previous writings demonstrate very clearly that you have no interest in grasping these concepts or willingness to try. It saddens me to see ignorance paraded as confidently, arrogantly and proudly as you have paraded yours here.

Signed,
A professional scientist


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 16, 2009, 10:54AM
I know that we have an obsession with being able to prove everything, especially by using the scientific method.

No, quite the contrary. It's the honesty to recognize and the humility and self-discipline to accept what we don't know. The problem with the "tool" you have to "verify" God's existence is that we know it's deeply flawed and actually pretty useless as a tool to actually verify anything. That's why I said that if you understand how science works you'll understand why religious faith is so bogus. Science is essentially a system by which we avoid fooling ourselves. Religious faith is a tool by which we justify doing so.
 
For example:
What measures have you taken to ensure you know what the "tool" you're using to "verify God's existence" is actually measuring or detecting?
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Trav1s on Apr 16, 2009, 11:06AM
So you were there, and you know for fact Darwin didn't renounce this theory?
You must be pretty old by now... :rolleyes:
So now you are taking a "single" Christian website as fact? I thought science was the absolute fact in your eyes?
You can't flip flop, and save face.  :dont:

On the contray - you posted a link to that story, not I. I was refering to other evidence in fact, thus I said "do some more research".

The desperate ones are those who proclaim science as the unwavering truth, and in the same breath admit that what theories science has brought forth today - will merly be denied and changed tommorow by other scientist. The contradition is in front of your face, yet you can't see it..... please open your eyes to the reality of THAT fact..... and explain how anyone who believes in science as fact, can even be logical. :dontknow:

 Perhaps you should stick w/ your original statement, and not look so desperate... You  still basically say.... Absolute science facts of today, will differ of those tomorrow.
Again, how can you even remotley put any faith in science and their theories of history? Absolutley absurd.... :/
 
Desperate switch of debate eh?  :confused:

Scienenc does make life "easier", but it is not needed for man kind to survive.  If it was neccesary, man would be extinct.

Translate the King James to the red sea scrolls, and show me anything that is "changed".

My Bible is of Hebrew decent, and contains 66 books..... the same 66 books are in the Alexandrian Bible, + the Alexandrian Bible has the Apocrapha... which I also have a copy of that Bible..... so one contains a few extra books vs the other.... I have both Bibles... if you wish to translate from Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek - feel free to, and provide us with any differences that you find.

T.

The issues is not translating from English to the original language of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  It challenge is in translating from the original language to the present day language of choice.  The same challenges are faced if it is going into English, Spanish or even Icelandic.   

Another interesting fact: There is VERY LITTLE in common between Biblical Greek and modern greek.  If you learn one you cannot  fully understand the other. 

Here are two of the most debated language translation issues.  Note... when modern scholars translate from the original language to another, they also look at the other early translations to better understand the original language.  Example:  While making the NRSV, scholars studied the original Hebrew and Greek languages as well as other early translations like Latin and other languages (coptic comes to mind).
 
One of the greatest scholarly debates of the New Testament is "faith in" or "faith of" and found in the following verses:
Romans 3:22
Galatians 2:16, 20 & 3:22
Ephesians 3:21-22
Philippians 3:9
Colossians 2:12
James 2:1
Revelation 14:12

According to the greek, it is properly translated either way.  Each translation has a different implications for a life of faith.  Which one is right?  How do we know?   

Second one that presents problems is Isaiah 7:14.   Young woman v/s virgin...  I know where you stand on this issue and I respect your stance but honest critical evaluation of the language has lead language scholars to understand that a young woman of the Hebrew Bible has a different understanding than "virgin" in the greek and latin texts.  At the time of the Septuagint "virgin" was the best greek word to capture the idea of the "young woman" of Hebrew.  To some this threatens their faith... I am not worried about this.  It just does not matter to me.   



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on Apr 16, 2009, 11:13AM
Thank you. A pint of Martin Luther's favourite is in the mail.  :good:


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: tsmart on Apr 16, 2009, 11:13AM
A professional scientist

Someone who belives in/or "guesses" for a living.

I put my faith in God, not scientist.

T.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on Apr 16, 2009, 11:18AM
Science isn't about faith... Isn't that clear by now?


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: HeRoze on Apr 16, 2009, 11:19AM
Someone who belives in/or "guesses" for a living.

I put my faith in God, not scientist.

T.
I suspect when you go to the doctor's office, you put your faith in both.  I know I do, even though they are different kinds of 'faith.'


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: ddickerson on Apr 16, 2009, 11:22AM

No, quite the contrary. It's the honesty to recognize and the humility and self-discipline to accept what we don't know. The problem with the "tool" you have to "verify" God's existence is that we know it's deeply flawed and actually pretty useless as a tool to actually verify anything. That's why I said that if you understand how science works you'll understand why religious faith is so bogus. Science is essentially a system by which we avoid fooling ourselves. Religious faith is a tool by which we justify doing so.
 
For example:
What measures have you taken to ensure you know what the "tool" you're using to "verify God's existence" is actually measuring or detecting?
 
Byron

You make the perfect example of what I'm talking about. You think that you're 'fooling yourself' unless you can feel it and measure it.

Here is an experiment:

Measure the value of infinity.



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 16, 2009, 11:23AM
I think tsmart has left the building--long ago, actually. There just really isn't anyone in there any more, only the religion virus.
 
As in:
There is no Dana, only Zuul!
There is no TSmart, only Dogma!
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: MoominDave on Apr 16, 2009, 11:30AM
You make the perfect example of what I'm talking about. You think that you're 'fooling yourself' unless you can feel it and measure it.

Here is an experiment:

Measure the value of infinity.

Infinity doesn't exist either. It's a set of theoretical concepts which, properly defined, prove useful and logically consistent in mathematics. Another example is i.

A difference between the Christian god position and any particular coherent infinity concept is that postulating the 'existence' of infinities makes things simpler in the real world. Postulating a god makes things more complex. Occam's razor, etc.

But interesting train of thought - I like it a lot more than some recent directions.

Right - I must go out to play the trombone!


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 16, 2009, 11:32AM
You make the perfect example of what I'm talking about. You think that you're 'fooling yourself' unless you can feel it and measure it.

And verify those feelings and that sensory data independently. But you're not fooling yourself unless you put unwarranted stock in them. You have to accept them as probabilities (generally speaking). In other words, you have to accept that you might be mistaken.
 
So yeah, you've got it pretty much right there. I'm honest. I recognize my limitations rather than ignoring them or pretending they don't exist. I accept what I don't know (and can't).
 
 
Here is an experiment:
 
Measure the value of infinity.

Infinity is an idea, a theoretical construct, not a thing (unless I'm mistaken ... math types?). Ironic though, that you immediately sought to challenge my claim not to know something by presenting me with a theoretical construct. It's the very same "stuff" God is made of. I think we can probably both provide about the same amount of empirical evidence for God as we can infinity. They do clearly both exist in the same exact sense, as concepts. That's not a matter of contention. You've just made a much better argument than I think you realize that God is imaginary, like many numbers in our math system, such as infinity.
 
You're just resorting to utterly non-sequitur semantics. Would it prove anything if I could or couldn't provide experimental data to measure infinity?
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BFW on Apr 16, 2009, 11:35AM
hypothesis - guess: a message expressing an opinion based on incomplete evidence.

Developed incorrectly, but proved by by scientist of today, then disproved by scientist later, and altered to meet their new ideas (to be disproven again later).

And the thing that is wrong about all this is...?

Actually, what's wrong is that I shouldn't have used "proved" and "disproved" because they are misleading.  Things in science are sometimes disproved, but never actually proved, just supported to such a high degree that they can be taken as true.  That is the whole point: that hypotheses are supported by evidence, that scientists actively challenge hypotheses, that theory gets modified and adjusted when it is discovered that such adjustments are necessary.

You act as if changing views in the face of new evidence is a bad thing.  I think that failing to change views in the light of new evidence is a VERY bad thing.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 16, 2009, 11:37AM
You act as if changing views in the face of new evidence is a bad thing.  I think that failing to change views in the light of new evidence is a VERY bad thing.

As if ignoring new data and refusing to accept that you didn't have it all 100% down pat is smart rather than profoundly foolish.
 
And that is the heart of the arrogance that is foundational to fundamentalism (and just to religious faith).
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: tsmart on Apr 16, 2009, 11:43AM

  
Infinity is an idea
And Darwin's Theory isn't an idea?  :confused:

T.



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Andrew Meronek on Apr 16, 2009, 11:50AM
 . . . and the argument moves to a different thread . . .

 :eek:

hypothesis - guess: a message expressing an opinion based on incomplete evidence.

Developed incorrectly, but proved by by scientist of today, then disproved by scientist later, and altered to meet their new ideas (to be disproven again later).

I've read it all, and I understand what science is. You fail to sway me, and You fail to understand what science is and it's lack of the validity.

T.

tsmart's definition of "hyopthesis": correct.

tsmart's conclusion: incorrect.

The hypothesis is the question.  What makes science useful is the search for that missing information to answer the question. The classic example, because it's so well-known:

What actually happens when an object falls? The scientist poses a hypothesis in order to develop something to test:

Is the rate of falling constant?

(Testing afterwards shows that objects accelerate as they fall)

Is the acceleration based on weight or size?

(Testing shows NO. These two hypotheses fail.)

Sir Isaac Newton went on to ask some more specific questions about how the acceleration due to gravity works. He eventually asked and either eliminated or validated enough questions to be able to deduce his famous conclusion that objects fall at 9.8 feet per second per second.

Newton submits his conclusion to other scientists so that they have a chance to show it correct or incorrect through their own testing. No one prove it to be incorrect until Albert Einstein.

Einstein, through the same basic process of dismissing and validating various hypotheses (although his hypotheses were a bit more complex), that in general, gravity could be better explained by thinking of it as a warp in space-time rather than strictly an attractive force. The idea was initially though to be an interesting idea but unprovable and thus unscientific - until Einstein showed that his theory predicted some perturbations in Mercury's orbit that Newton's theory of gravity fails to account for. Einstein's theory of relativity continues to be tested today, and is universally accepted amongst scientists because it is extremely good at predicting the real-world behavior of gravity.

However, in all this it is incorrect to say that Einstein's theory of relativity just replaced and invalidated Newton's theory of gravity. If one were to constrain the limits of testing Einstein's theory to only being on Earth, Einstein's theory reduces in complexity to being exactly Newton's theory. Thus, Einstein expanded Newton's theory of gravity. He did not refute it.

THAT is what science is. It is a continual gathering of knowledge about how things work, nothing more and nothing less.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 16, 2009, 12:10PM
And Darwin's Theory isn't an idea?  :confused:

Grow up, man.
 
 :rolleyes:


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: ddickerson on Apr 16, 2009, 12:37PM
Would it prove anything if I could or couldn't provide experimental data to measure infinity?

No, just trying to show that reality isn't necessarily limited to what can be touched, sensed, or proven by existing scientific methods. You (and many others...I hear this objection all the time....you're not unique in this way of thinking) always make the claim that God is just a myth because you can't prove He exists or not.



Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: tsmart on Apr 16, 2009, 12:58PM

Grow up, man.
 
 :rolleyes:
Good answer, boy. :rolleyes:


T.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BFW on Apr 16, 2009, 01:01PM
"Science vs. Religion," please, not "snarky replies to other snarky replies."

("I can't define snarky, but I know it when I see it." :) )


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: tsmart on Apr 16, 2009, 01:07PM
"Science vs. Religion," please, not "snarky replies to other snarky replies."

("I can't define snarky, but I know it when I see it." :) )
So I assume you noticed BVB drew first blood...


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 16, 2009, 01:10PM
No, just trying to show that reality isn't necessarily limited to what can be touched, sensed, or proven by existing scientific methods. You (and many others...I hear this objection all the time....you're not unique in this way of thinking) always make the claim that God is just a myth because you can't prove He exists or not.

Did you read the rest of the post (http://tromboneforum.org/index.php/topic,39490.msg629521.html#msg629521)? Because if you did it seems you either forgot what you read by the time you wrote that response, or you just opted not to let the information enter your mind.
 
What about this one, come to think of it (http://tromboneforum.org/index.php/topic,39490.msg629506.html#msg629506)? It appears as if you're being rather selective about which particular partial aspects of the ideas you're being presented that you choose to actually deal with. You do realize, I hope, that such a selection process is very revealing (in the interest of full disclosure).
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: evan51 on Apr 16, 2009, 01:43PM
No, just trying to show that reality isn't necessarily limited to what can be touched, sensed, or proven by existing scientific methods. You (and many others...I hear this objection all the time....you're not unique in this way of thinking) always make the claim that God is just a myth because you can't prove He exists or not.

It is true that human senses are "tuned" to a rather narrow band in the electromagnetic spectrum, that there are likely energies ("dark" energy/matter come to mind ---94% of the universe it is believed) and matter humans (or their extensions) cannot perceive. We evolved as a species to perceive primarily those things that would assure our survival as a species. As science is based on observation and reasonable inference therefrom, scientists may only say what exists and can either infer the non-existence of something or state, as they often do, that they have no evidence that something exists. We can  say that myths of god(s) exist as they have been recorded in hundreds of current and past cultures on the planet. The problem arises, as Dawkins discusses in length, when a group insists its myths are "true" or its god(s) exists but all others do not. The (non)evidence for the truth of any belief is about the same.

There is also a substantial problem in definition with the term "God," as even believers differ on whether He is a prime-mover, a "personal" God, or whether God the Creator is the same entity as God the Father, whether God is a Three-in-One Entity or One God, etc., etc.,.

However, I don't think it works to state the following: God cannot be perceived directly. Since I can't perceive himm directly, this proves he exists. Some physicists have surmised that something like God exists, especially when they get into the realm of quantum physics and unknown forces. I don't think the conflict between science and religion really exists except as to those individuals who deny facts in favor of myth.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: ddickerson on Apr 16, 2009, 01:51PM
What about this one, (http://tromboneforum.org/index.php/topic,39490.msg629506.html#msg629506)

It looks like to me in the above post, you're still debating science vs. God, and you can't use science to prove God. That doesn't mean that God is a myth. You may feel that way, and that is certainly your choice.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BFW on Apr 16, 2009, 02:26PM
That doesn't mean that God is a myth.

If by that you mean "the God of the bible is a fictional character," well, that's a conclusion based on the lack of evidence for supernatural beings, among other things.  You asked about the atheist point of view, and that's it.  Given no evidence for something, it's reasonable to conclude, with varying levels of confidence, that the thing doesn't exist or didn't happen.  Plenty of people believe in things without evidence; the honest ones admit that there's no evidence and that they choose to believe anyway.

Atheism really isn't directed at Christianity.  Some people get the impression that atheism is rejection of the Christian God, an insistence that the Christian God doesn't exist, an insistence that the Christian Bible is mythology.  That isn't the case.  Atheism is the lack of a belief in any gods, including the Christian God, and a corollary of that view is that tales of such a god are not considered true as written.

The bible is mythology, by definition.  Given the lack of evidence for any mythology being largely true, there's no particularly good reason to assume the Christian mythology is true.

Please note the difference between "I believe God doesn't exist" and "I don't believe God exists."  I don't believe there's an elephant in my refrigerator, even if I never thought about elephants in my refrigerator.  I have no belief about elephants being in my refrigerator.  I didn't consciously choose to reject the notion that there are elephants in my refrigerator.  I simply have no reason to form such a belief in the first place.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Trav1s on Apr 16, 2009, 02:34PM
One must consider these works since the "Bible as myth" card has been played, and rightfully so.

http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/mesopotamian/enuma.html

http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/mesopotamian/hammurabi.html

http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/mesopotamian/gilgamesh/

Fixed Link...


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: BFW on Apr 16, 2009, 02:34PM
Did you mean a different link?  Two of three are the same.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: ddickerson on Apr 16, 2009, 02:37PM
If by that you mean "the God of the bible is a fictional character," well, that's a conclusion based on the lack of evidence for supernatural beings, among other things.  You asked about the atheist point of view, and that's it.  Given no evidence for something, it's reasonable to conclude, with varying levels of confidence, that the thing doesn't exist or didn't happen.  Plenty of people believe in things without evidence; the honest ones admit that there's no evidence and that they choose to believe anyway.

Atheism really isn't directed at Christianity.  Some people get the impression that atheism is rejection of the Christian God, an insistence that the Christian God doesn't exist, an insistence that the Christian Bible is mythology.  That isn't the case.  Atheism is the lack of a belief in any gods, including the Christian God, and a corollary of that view is that tales of such a god are not considered true as written.

The bible is mythology, by definition.  Given the lack of evidence for any mythology being largely true, there's no particularly good reason to assume the Christian mythology is true.

Please note the difference between "I believe God doesn't exist" and "I don't believe God exists."  I don't believe there's an elephant in my refrigerator, even if I never thought about elephants in my refrigerator.  I have no belief about elephants being in my refrigerator.  I didn't consciously choose to reject the notion that there are elephants in my refrigerator.  I simply have no reason to form such a belief in the first place.

You can base your beliefs on whatever you want to base them.


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Andrew Meronek on Apr 16, 2009, 02:39PM
http://dictionary.reference.com/dic?q=myth&search=search

Quote
Myth
- noun

1. a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, esp. one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature.

(emphasis: mine)


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 16, 2009, 02:40PM
It looks like to me in the above post, you're still debating science vs. God, and you can't use science to prove God. That doesn't mean that God is a myth. You may feel that way, and that is certainly your choice.

You're claiming something exists for which we have no evidence and no reason upon which to form that conclusion. I'm calling your bluff.
 
Stop bullshitting about the rules of the game (they're equally available to all of us, take some responsibility to learn them) and show your cards.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: Baron von Bone on Apr 16, 2009, 02:41PM
You can base your beliefs on whatever you want to base them.

Not if you're honest.
 
Byron


Title: Re: Science vs Religion
Post by: timothy42b on Apr 16, 2009, 04:27PM