A Different Kind of Blog

news and things sacred and irreverent put together by opinionated people.

Evolution’s Rainbow – Joan Roughgarden – Gender Studies

Posted by princessxxx on December 23, 2009

OK, THIS IS OVER AN HOUR LONG, BUT WORTH IT.

I DON’T UNDERSTAND THE SCIENCE, BUT I LOVE A GOOD DRAG SHOW.

http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/10139001.php

134 Responses to “Evolution’s Rainbow – Joan Roughgarden – Gender Studies”

  1. Synapseaxion said

    Princess, I’ll listen to the lecture as time permits.

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  2. Synapseaxion said

    Reposting this from the previous thread.

    You still have it wrong, TBG. Neither did I say I was a fundie. I asked what was the definition of “fundie” so I could know whether to accept the title or reject it. It was maybe e_e or Dorian, I forget which one now, who defined fundie as a Taliban type person, prepared to kill for their beliefs et cetera. If that is your definition of a fundie, then I reject that position. Maybe you can give me your definition of “fundie” so I can know whether to embrace the title as mine or not?

    As to the mechanism for evolution, I thought this was the definition: The change of alleles over time via rare, random, beneficial mutations selected for. If this is not the mechanism of evolution, then I await your correction. But as long as random and chance activity is part of the process, the normal result should be lack of organization and disorder. Isn’t it a scientific fact that random, chance activity does not produce order?

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  3. Synapseaxion said

    Okay, Princess, I ran the audio while I did other stuff. So … what were the most interesting points that you got from the lecture? Care to take the discussion in any particular direction?

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  4. Merry Christmas, Synapseaxion, and thanks for continuing this debate. This post addresses several key issues and includes some fragments of earlier posts of mine for easy reference.

    It is important that we agree on what each other means by the terms they use, even if the other person’s definition is not what most people mean by that term.

    What I mean by fundie christian is one who believes in taking the Bible literally including the story of Genesis, regardless of or in spite of any or all evidence to the contrary. A fundie christian by my definition is one who thinks the earth is only a few thousand years old instead of several billion and who is either ignorant of or in denial of the evidence that macroevolution happens.

    I have no problems with Christianity per se. I have no problems with anyone choosing to interpret the Bible literally. What bugs me is that some of those well-meaning but misguided people try to sabotage the science education of American schoolchildren in public schools. YOu already said you’re not in favor of teaching creationism in public school science classrooms, so we are in agreement there. However, I get the strong idea that like Kay you are opposed to teaching evolution as the fact of nature that it is.

    The evidence clearly shows macroevolution happens. There is SO MUCH evidence of so many types that each stand alone yet also corroborate each other, that it is close to insanity to deny macroevolution happens. To me, it is as obvious as the earth not being flat.

    The scientific community worldwide is about as close to unanimity on this subject as it is possible for humans to be about any subject. It isn’t a matter of faith. It isn’t the way the evidence is interpreted. The way the evidence is: the nested hierarchies of many types of data, the fossils in the rocks, the fossils in the genes, etc. all make sense ONLY if macroevolution happened, whether or not there was a Creator involved.

    *********************************************************
    It amazes me that the physical universe has such properties for molecules to react the way they do, that from simple forms of life multicellular forms can develop, that descendants of earlier forms use what is available to them from their genetic legacy, adapting to new purposes sometimes body parts that had different uses in their ancestors, that humans clearly show evidence of their being descended from FISH (you sir, at one time had pharyngeal arches), etc.

    To me, this demonstrates the glory of God, that he can take a handful of dust and using evolution as tool of creation, end up with humans.

    I agree with you and Kay that God created the universe and humans. I will not agree with you, Synapseaxion, that the evidence does not clearly indicate macroevolution happens, because that is something anyone can check for themselves and I have.

    The wording of your questions, the way it almost seems like you are following a script, the egregiously wrong misrepresentation of evolution in spite of your claiming to know the subject, made me question your integrity.

    *****************************************

    There is an easy solution to this cultural disagreement (it is by no means a scientific disagreement despite creationist attempts to portray it as such):

    Keep science in science classrooms.
    Keep religion out of science classrooms.
    Teach kids how science works, including its limitations (and it has many).

    Teach kids alternative explanations for our reality, but DON’T PRESENT THEM AS SCIENCE IF THEY AREN’T SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATIONS…Let’s be honest, please.

    Those alternative explanations can be alluded to in a public school science classroom, with a brief statement that would take maybe thirty seconds at the beginning of the semester that not everybody accepts the findings of modern science and some people have different opinions based on faith.

    This is DIFFERENT than the bullshit statement some well-meaning but ignorant state legislatures tried to put into biology textbooks trying to say that evolution is “just a theory” and that alternate scientific explanations exist for the evidence.

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  5. BigFurHat said

    Thank You, guys..
    http://iowntheworld.com/blog/?p=12908

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  6. dorian9 said

    I LOVE EVERYBODY TODAY.EVEN SARAH AND GLENN , GENTILES, JEWS, MUSLIMS,ATHEISTS, PAGAN AND EVERYONE ELSE. MERRY CHRISTMAS. more eggnog, please…XO

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  7. Pass me some of what you’re drinking, Dorian. I want to feel like that!

    Hey Synapseaxion, and merry Christmas. Just because PART of the mechanism for evolution involves chance doesn’t mean it is ALL random. What about that don’t YOU understand?

    I have some interesting insights on perceptions of order and chaos that I learned from the late Alan Watts. His mother worked with cloth, and as a boy he was fascinated that a piece of string cold hold together as a piece of cloth. There’s more I could go into on another post about the warp and woof being a metaphor for the background and foreground of reality, the hidden unity of polar opposites, but for now let me focus LITERALLY on the cloth itself. I use the word “focus” for a reason.

    Imagine you are looking at a piece of cloth and you want to examine it more closely under a microscope. When you look at the string it looks a mess under the lens, many wild unorganized strings, more or less random. But increase the magnification and at a certain point sharp details leap into focus, incredible order.

    Look again even closer, and once more it looks like the structure is completely random. Crank up the volume, use an even higher magnification, and once again there is perceived order. It’s like that all the way down, random, order, random, order…which is right? Perhaps both, maybe neither.

    Perhaps the perception of randomness or order depends on one’s perspective or awareness, level of consciousness or level of magnification.

    Let’s go to blood. In your blood cells are fighting and killing and eating each other all the time, very violent and bloody lol. But it is this very disharmony at that level that is necessary for the healthiness of the body, for harmony at a higher level.

    Perhaps all the strife and discord we perceive, even such disagreements as this debate, are part of God’s plan.

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  8. Synapseaxion says “Isn’t it a scientific fact that random, chance activity does not produce order?”

    Look, atoms and molecules react the way they do because of their structure: their shape, charge distributiion, energy density, etc. They react according to perceived regularities in the universe that we call natural laws.

    Random chance activity can produce order, sometimes…that’s why it’s random; it is a sometimes instead of an always. BUT evolution is NOT based on random chance activity. Some of the mutations could be the result of chance, OR perhaps God directing a particular beam of energy of a particular frequency to hit a particular molecule at a certain time and place to MAKE that mutation happen, whatever. BUT once the mutation happens, the changed molecule is subject to the same laws of chemistry and physics as before, and these are NOT random.

    Sure most mutations are either harmful or have no effect at all. BUT obviously those that do benefit the affected organism have a chance of being passed along to offspring. Over time, enough changes in the DNA and we have a new species. Ta Da! Evolution predicts and the evidence of the world supports this. Yes the odds are against mutations conferring advantages to adapt to an environment. Perhaps that is why MOST species that have ever existed are now extinct, hmmm?

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  9. anyone here on Christmas? I have two comments in moderation.

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  10. Synapseaxion said

    Ahh, thanks for defining “fundie”, TBG. Your definition is:

    What I mean by fundie christian is one who believes in taking the Bible literally including the story of Genesis, regardless of or in spite of any or all evidence to the contrary. A fundie christian by my definition is one who thinks the earth is only a few thousand years old instead of several billion and who is either ignorant of or in denial of the evidence that macroevolution happens.

    According to your definition, then, I must be a partial fundie. Call it quasi-fundie? Because I fit some of your definition but not all. Here is my position:

    I take the Bible literally where, imo, it reads as history, but also accept certain parts as poetry where it reads as poetry, allegory where the context appears to be allegorical, and prophetic where it clearly is in a prediction mode.

    I do not take what the Bible says regardless of or in spite of any or all evidence to the contrary. However, so far, I have not found there to be any evidence to the contrary.

    I do not believe that the earth has to necessarily be 6,000 years old. Its material can easily be 4.5 billion years old without undermining the creationist position. Life on earth, however, is another matter. I hold the position that life on earth is only about 6,000 years old.

    I am definitely a fundie, through and through, however, when it comes to macroevolution. I have yet to see evidence for marcoevolution. Your pointing to a variation in a species and saying that it proves macroevolution, well, that is not evidence. I look at the same variation and call it an inherent ability to vary, not a mutation. So here we are, back to interpretation and worldview, not scientific observation.

    You also said: However, I get the strong idea that like Kay you are opposed to teaching evolution as the fact of nature that it is. Rather than go by strong impressions, how about you just ask me what I oppose? No, I am not opposed to teaching evolution as a fact of nature, as long as the distinction is made as to which version of evolution you are talking about. The variations in species that you label microevolution, should be taught as fact. The speculation that these variations will eventually lead to an entirely new species should be taught as theory, and preferably, as speculation.

    And may I ask why you think the wording of my questions seem to be following a script? Have you seen that script somewhere else? I can assure you that the wording of my questions are a result of me thinking for myself.

    I’ll try to answer your next post in a bit. But it would help if we could keep it to one post at a time so we don’t lose track of a line of thought. As it is, I’ve already lost track of exactly which point we were discussing.

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  11. Synapseaxion said

    Re post 7, I think you might want to use a different example other than cloth, simply because we already know that the origin of cloth is intelligent design. Regardless of if the threads appear random at a certain level, and then orderly at another level of magnification, the fact is that goal-orientation, planning, and design is so apparent in cloth that it is a poor example of the results of random activity (or even the perception of random activity). Unless you are making a point that there is no such thing as random, chance activity, and that everything is ordered by the intentions of God? In which case, random mutations are not really random after all? I don’t think this is a standard evolutionary viewpoint, is it?

    Two questions (sorry, I wish we could stick to one at a time, but you are covering a lot):

    In your post 8, you state that random activity can produce order sometimes. Please for an example.

    You also say that once a “random” mutation occurs, it is then subjected to the laws of physics and chemistry. So …

    … question two: Considering that the big bang is said to be the beginning of random activity, in what way do the laws of physics and chemistry begin to produce order out of chaos? A single example observed in the science field today would suffice to demonstrate that random, chance activity can produce organization

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  12. For an example of how random activity leading (sometimes) to order, mathematically it can be shown that if you have a thousand monkeys typing on a thousand typewriters long enough eventually they will produce the works of Shakespeare.

    Where do you get the idea that the big bang is said to be the beginning of random activity? You seem to have the mistaken idea that science is based on randomness and chance when it is actually just the opposite. Science is basically prophecy. By carefully observing the behavior of the past and noting any regularities, we can more accurately describe the present and make predictions about the future.

    The way you word your questions too, sheesh…the ignorance and bias are so apparent I feel dumb just reading them. For example, “in what way do the laws of physics and chemistry begin to produce order out of chaos?” The so-called laws of physics and chemistry are observed regularities of nature, and thus describe what order we can perceive. There’s no suggestion that these so-called laws “do” anything like producing order out of chaos.

    As I said before though, whoever or whatever started this universe, whoever or whatever caused the “laws” of nature to be such as they are, made evolution not only possible but INEVITABLE given the ingredients and the conditions that exist. An example is the atomic structure of the element carbon, that has an outer shell of four electrons that is close enough to the nucleus for bonds of several different types to form, allowing single, double, even triple covalent bonds with molecules in chains, branched chains, rings, and three-dimensional structures including many other elements of different types to be arranged in such a way to form the molecules of living systems.

    A single example of how random chance activity can produce organization? That again is a loaded question similar to “Have you stopped beating your wife?” Random chance is PART of the mechanism of evolution, but you seem to think that it is ALL of it, or that anything else has no effect.

    I would say though that I AM an example of how random chance activity can produce organization, since mutations to my ancestor’s DNA were what could be considered “chance” events and I am obviously here, and there are fossils in the rocks of my ancestors showing a clear progression from ape-like to human forms, and there are fossils in MY DNA that show that chimpanzees are my close cousins (endogenous retroviruses and pseudogenes in the same place in my DNA and chimp DNA, and human chromosome 2 showing clear signs of being two ape chromosomes fused together)

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  13. Hey Synapse, I’ve got a couple questions for you now.

    (1) How many years ago did life first appear on earth?

    (2) Do you agree with Behe that humans share common ancestors with other species?

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  14. Hi Synapse, perhaps the following will help you understand my point of view better. Bob T. in the talk origins newsgroup helped by creatively expressing something I’ve been trying to say about your obsession with the randomness in part of evolution’s mechanism:

    There are many things in this world that involve events that are
    random at the individual level and predictable in large numbers. Take radioactive decay, for example – it is impossible to predict when any particular atom will decay, but the percentage that will decay over any given period is predictable with great accuracy.

    Evolution acts like a sieve. If you pour a random mixture of rocks, pebbles, and sand through a sieve, it is no longer a random mixture. Each generation, the environment acts like a sieve to living species. The mutations themselves are random, but the reproduction of those mutations in succeeding generations is not random at all.

    – Bob T.

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  15. Synapseaxion said

    TBG, you asked:

    (1) How many years ago did life first appear on earth?

    My answer is in post No. 10, re fundie definition. That post has a note on it, saying that it is awaiting moderation, so I don’t know if you are able to see it or not. But to answer this question again.

    In my worldview, life first appeared on an old-materials earth some 6,000 years ago.

    Your second question was:

    (2) Do you agree with Behe that humans share common ancestors with other species?

    My answer: No, I do not agree with Behe that humans share common ancestors with other species. Indeed, I would go further than that and say that there is no first common ancestor to all species, no last common ancestor to two or more species; just plain old ancestors to each and every species, and if there are common ancestors, they would be common only to the same species, not to different species.

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  16. Synapseaxion said

    Re your Post 12, I guess you are using the Infinite Money theorem as your answer to my request that you provide an example of random activity producing order. The mathematics of probability, when applied to the Infinite Monkey scenario, say that “The probability of a monkey exactly typing a complete work such as Shakespeare’s Hamlet is so tiny that the chance of it occurring during a period of time of the order of the age of the universe is minuscule, but not zero.” (Wiki)

    Well, okay, if you want to build your worldview on a probability as minuscule as the above, go for it. I prefer a more substantial foundation for my beliefs.

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  17. Synapseaxion said

    In your Post 14, TBG, you quote a Bob T. as follows:

    Evolution acts like a sieve. If you pour a random mixture of rocks, pebbles, and sand through a sieve, it is no longer a random mixture. Each generation, the environment acts like a sieve to living species. The mutations themselves are random, but the reproduction of those mutations in succeeding generations is not random at all.

    – Bob T.

    The sieve, then, consists of already-formed templates for the creation of life forms? All that is needed is to just pour random activity through the sieve, and the sieve will sort the material into the complex life forms we see today? Where did the sieve of evolution get its program and plans for the interrelated systems in nature?

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  18. princessxxx said

    an old earth creationist fundie.

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  19. princessxxx said

    who decides what is poetry and what is allegory and what is fact in the bible?
    the pope?

    (p.s. this is my 2nd favorite christmas moment 2009)

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  20. princessxxx said

    if you only had a brian….

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  21. Synapseaxion said

    Princess …😀 — especially to Number 19. What IS your favorite Christmas moment, though?

    And, no, the pope better not be the one to decide what is what in the Bible. Don’t anybody dare turn their brains over to be programmed by another. YOU and YOU alone must do the research and the study and the respectful listening to other views before YOU and YOU alone draw the final conclusions about poetry, allegory, and so on. Conclusions drawn in that manner become your own personal convictions. God says, “Come now, let us reason together.” That’s an invitation to use our brains, right?

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  22. Well Synapseaxion, by declaring your belief that the earth is only about six thousand years old, you demonstrate that your denial of the fact of evolution isn’t your only personal problem. You are basically in denial of all of modern science, basically everything we’ve learned since the time the Bible was written.

    You do know that book was written by and for Bronze Age goatherders who had the knowledge of science and world view of that time and place, right? The Bible clearly teaches the earth is flat, yet you say you don’t believe that.

    Put yourself in my place if you can for a minute. Imagine you are having this debate with somebody who insists the earth is flat. You know better. You know there are tons of evidence of many different types that clearly show the earth is an oblate spheroid, yet this guy claims that his interpretation of the evidence is just as valid as yours.

    You show him photographs taken from space. You point out the calculations of Eratosthenes. No go. The guy is adamant. He asks questions like how do the laws of chemistry and physics produce an earth that isn’t flat? This is EXACTLY the situation I am in with you, Synapseaxion, which makes any further debate pointless.

    You have a closed mind to truth. You claim I have filters on. Sure, I concede that, but mine don’t completely block what is real the way yours apparently do. Sure you may have studied this subject longer than I can imagine. It’s obvious your sources are biased and full of distortion and misinformation. Sure you may have debated Ph.D.s about this subject. Any village idiot can do that. It doesn’t mean they know squat about the subject being discussed.

    You sir are an idiot, a very polite, very persistent idiot, but basically retarded when it comes to being in touch with what is real. You are not alone. There are millions of Americans just like you. Most of them haven’t really taken the time to check this subject out for themselves. Most of them are taking the word of people they think they should be able to trust to tell them the truth, their pastors, so-called Christian web sites that are full of distortions and out and out lies, etc.

    I call BULLSHIT on your posts. You are so stupidly wrong that it is a complete waste of time for me to answer any more of your moronic questions. Sure science doesn’t have all the answers, and probably never will. Creationism or intelligent design as it is presented now has nothing to offer in its place that is of any use to anyone. Just saying Goddidit is NOT an alternative explanation of any use. Since that explains everything, but makes no attempt to explain how or why, it explains NOTHING.

    If science were redefined to creationist standards, astrology would be given just as much authority as astronomy. Science got us to the MOON, and made it possible for you to be reading this on your computer screen. Creationism as an idea has produced NOTHING in 2000 years. It has a long history of failure.

    Again I call BULLSHIT on your posts Synapseaxion, and I challenge anyone who doesn’t agree with me to check the evidence for themselves. And now folks, it is even easier to prove that Synapseaxion is full of shit and his opinion is worse than useless on any scientific matters, because he has come out of the closet and admitted he believes the world is only six thousand years old! To be so ignorant of the overwhelming evidence for macroevolution is one thing, but to seriously entertain the idea of the earth only being a few thousand years old…wow…that is just beyond retarded.

    Now perhaps as some creationists have desperately tried to claim, God used pieces of an old planet to make this one, or otherwise created it with the illusion of age, the illusion of evolution, etc. even if it never happened that way. If so, if God himself planted all this fake evidence clearly intended to mislead, confuse and deceive those who sincerely seek truth, then God help us indeed to have such a God as our creator.

    Anyway, again Synapse, because it bears repeating: I call BULLSHIT on your posts, BULLSHIT on your claims, and I challenge anyone who doesn’t agree with me to check the evidence for yourselves. Google is your friend. If you really do have an open mind to truth and love honesty and integrity, you will get really pissed off when you see all the lies of the so-called Christian creationist web sites. I know it offends me.

    Anyway, Synapseaxion, BULLSHIT! Keep your ridiculous fairy-tale fantasy that is not supported by the evidence of the world. Believe what you want. On this subject at least, I have tons of physical evidence of many different types that anyone can check for themselves to see how obvious the truth is in this case.

    TBG

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  23. Dorian, Princess, anyone … I have a comment in moderation that is probably the last I have to say on this subject to Synapseaxion. Not gonna play rhetorical word games that show such a STUPID misunderstanding of what evidence exists and how science works.

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  24. Oh the irony. What a hypocrite!
    Synapse says: “God says, “Come now, let us reason together.” That’s an invitation to use our brains, right?”

    Gee then why don’t you use yours Synapse? It seems you’ve been fed the line that if evolution is true your religion is false so you will do anything to ignore or distort any evidence that shows evolution is true.

    How can anyone who on the surface seems to be as intelligent and reasonable as you be in ignorance or denial of the evidence that the earth is billions of years old and we are related to monkeys? Oh I could see this if you were in some third world country maybe, but here in America? THIS is why I am so pissed off about the fundies trying to dumb down American schoolchildren.

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  25. I was warned by the folks at Talk Origins newsgroup who deal with fundie wacko nutjobs all the time that it is useless to try to reason with somebody for whom faith trumps facts. I was also warned to not buy into their gotcha questions that are loaded with bias in the way they are phrased, and to not try to explain science to ones who have their minds closed to truth.

    I was even told that if I lose my temper and call them names the fundies would relish that because unlike clear reasoned arguments, name calling is something they can understand! So true, so true.

    The debate has been over for more than a century among the scientific community that evolution happens. The degree of certainty expressed that we are related to chimpanzees is often compared to being as great as our knowing that the earth goes around the sun. It really is that obvious, which is why I can’t believe I am having this conversation in 21st century America.

    Sheesh, fundies… How can anyone be THAT stupid and breathe?

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  26. Synapseaxion said

    you have not answered my questions, TBG.

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  27. Synapseaxion said

    Uh-oh, I strolled on over to the talk.origins website, since you mentioned it, and lo and behold, I find you over there, TBG, saying things that are entirely untrue. Why would you do that? For instance, why would you claim that I said that I believe that the earth is 6,000 years old when I clearly stated that its materials could be billions of years old? What have you gained by lying to your buddies over there? I don’t get it. If this is a demonstration of how evolutionists twist the facts, then I have even more reason to doubt what you guys say about your theories. And it looks like the folk on talk.origins are a lot like you — full of insults and avoidance of questions. This is sad……

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  28. I have answered many of your questions Synapse, but they just kept getting stupider and stupider. Talk about twisted, in order to account for the evidence and still believe God did his thing six thousand years you have to imagine God using parts that are billions of years old. WTF? That is beyond insane.

    To me that seems like insane contortions of logic to try to account for the evidence. I am reminded of the similar contortions astronomers went through trying to build models of the solar system that accounted for the orbits of the other planets when earth was assumed to be the center of the model. This was when an INTERPRETATION OF PARTS OF THE BIBLE, JUST LIKE THE SITUATION HERE, was taken literally and assumed to be true in spite of the evidence rather than because of it. It was even the position of most Christians AND the official dogma of their church to preach that the sun goes around the earth (points to a page: “…it says right). Of course they were wrong, and so are you, and you’re even MORE stupid than those who denied the correct model of the solar system because in this day and age, with the amount of knowledge we have and the technology you have available to access it, ignorance is no excuse. Pigheaded stupidity is more like it!

    WIth all that being said, and with my continued desire to no longer discuss this subject with you, I DO like you, Synapse. You are fairly reasonable, very polite, and much more patient with me than I am with you. I just get tired sometimes of arguing with somebody who sincerely believes the earth is flat!

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  29. kay~ms said

    “when someone resorts to name calling, you know you’ve got them” or something like that.. I heard it quoted on Fox News recently, I can’t remember who they were quoting but it is so true.

    I have another question TBG that maybe you could answer…

    What exactly is the theory on how the dinosaur’s arms turned into wings? I’ve read how for example the land animal became a whale by mutations that positioned it’s nose progressively higher over time so it could adapt to water easier because that is where the available food source was. That theory seems to make a lot of sense but I can’t figure out how to apply that concept to arms turning into wings. What available food source is there in the air? And what good would half a wing do?

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  30. dorian said

    P – i know an italian woman in rome, a lesbian, who hates the pope with a passion. i wonder if she was the pope jumper.

    synapse and tbg: one of the best evolution debates ever from these two. bravi.

    i gave a bunch of dinosaur books and toys out this christmas. my 3 year old nephew is crazy about dinosasurs.

    hi kay! i like the image of your half-winged dinosaur.

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  31. kay~ms said

    Hi Dorian… yes, I think it’s the best debate ever on this site because both of them are so knowledgable on this subject. I think ending it now with so many questions still out there would be a shame.

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  32. Kay, the problem is that because of his bias, the questions Synapse is asking are loaded with bogus assumptions, show a basic misunderstanding or denial of what evidence exists and how science works, and basically sound like they’re following a script. In spite of his assertions to think for yourself, I think he’s getting his material somewhere else. I don’t trust his integrity as much as yours, Kay. I do commend him on remaining civil throughout our discussion, something I could learn from him. As far as anyone learning anything else from Synapse in this discussion, I urge you to check the evidence for yourself. Google is your friend.

    If I didn’t put a stop to it, Synapse could drag this out forever with question after pointless question, loaded, biased questions. The point is he doesn’t like what the evidence of the world indicates, so goes to incredible lengths to distort and misrepresent that evidence. Also note that he does NOT have an alternative explanation besides “intelligence,” and saying Goddidit is not of any use to anyone insofar as science goes. Because Goddidit explains everything (but without detail), it explains nothing. It was astronomy that got us to the moon, not astrology.

    I love you Kay. I love Synapseaxion too, and everyone else everywhere. I hope you do stick around to participate in other posts of this blog Synapse, even this post. I am willing to discuss other topics with you, but I don’t have any patience at all for people who seem to be as wilfully ignorant as you are about this subject.

    Peace, TBG

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  33. Okay one more then I swear that’s it…

    Synapse asks “And what good would half a wing do?”

    This is very similar to the “what good would half an eye do?” argument. I will answer that one first to illustrate this. According to fossils in rocks and fossils in genes, eyes have evolved more than once on this planet. Even today, there are intermediate forms of every level from simple patches of skin that can detect light to eyes of other creatures that for some applicatations are more efficient than human eyes. The bottom line is that anything that confers an advantage, no matter how small, gives the offspring resulting from that mutation a competitive edge. Even if all they could do is discern vaguely that a particular direction is more light than another could be useful enough for a population of organisms to thrive and possible evolve further.

    Similarly, even if all the “half a wing” does is make it so that organism falls slower, or maybe cools off quicker, or maybe can catch prey easier, whatever, if there is any advantage so it at all that is more likely to be passed on to future generations. What’s more, even IF the mutation is NOT of benefit at a particular time, as long as it’s not immediately fatal, in other words, if the mutation was neutral or only slightly harmful, that mutation could STILL spread throughout a population. Later, when other mutations happen, some of those earlier ones that had previously been useless may suddenly interact with the new mutations for new adaptations of the population to the environment.

    This IS what the evidence of the world shows us. The fossils are not only in the rocks but also in the genes. Your pigheaded ignorance to deny this is not my problem. Deal with it yourself, or not.

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  34. I have two comments in moderation.

    I feel like that girl from India in the Beatles movie Help! who is dancing with Paul McCartney in the restaurant scene. She says something, then adds “I can say no more.” Paul comments, then she says something else and adds “I can say no more.” Finally Paul says to her, “Please, say no more.”

    FUNNY movie…one of my all-time faves

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  35. oops it was KAY that asked what good would half a wing do.
    Oh my…sorry about that misattribution. That is though more or less what Synapse was getting at too, but my apologies for misquoting. No offense meant to either party.

    Oh I just added a couple funny pictures to that recording I made a couple weeks ago of the Beatles song Help!

    Check out the video on YouTube. Add comments, video responses, favorite it, share it with friends and family, please do whatever you can to help me get “discovered.” Thanks

    Like

  36. oops that question I answered was from YOU Kay and not Synapse after all. I apologize, but it was more or less what Synapse was getting at with the question about the evolution of wings.

    Speaking of the movie Help!, please check my latest YouTube video, only the third I’ve ever posted there so far.

    Like

  37. I *might* have three comments in moderation, or maybe not. Could my having put a YouTube URL in the Website field maybe have blocked them from even going to moderation? Well anyway, for the fourth time I apologize to Kay for addressing my reply to her question to Synapse instead of to her.

    Btw, the YouTube vid I want everyone to see is at http://www.youtube.com/user/BicyclingGuitarist#p/a/u/0/x31RbJ4pr3E

    Like

  38. Synapseaxion said

    I’ll try again, TBG. You said to Kay that “the questions Synapse is asking are loaded with bogus assumptions.” My questions have been based on my understanding of how evolution is supposed to work; i.e., macroevolution occurs through the change of alleles over time, via the mechanism of rare, beneficial, random mutations, selected for.

    I’d like to stick to one question at a time, okay, so that there will be no misunderstanding.

    Is it a bogus assumption that macroevolution occurs through the change of alleles over time, as a result of rare, beneficial, random mutations selected for? Yes or no.

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  39. Synapseaxion was upset that in the Talk Origins news group I said he came out of the closet about believing the young earth, and that I didn’t even mention he had clearly said that God may have used parts that are six billion years old.

    Okay, so I corrected myself there and here. Does that really make him look any smarter? To me, it is even MORE stupid and shows creationists are at least beginning to have inklings that there IS evidence for an old earth and for evolution that DOES need to be shoehorned into their incredibly outdated view of things.

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  40. arf correct my correction, I didn’t say six billion years old in that post to talk origins…I said parts that were billions of years old in creating the earth six thousand years ago. The error came from mixing in my mind the six thousand years some creationists think based on counting generations in the Bible compared to the billions of years shown by the evidence of the world.

    This is similar to the butterfly dreaming he’s a man, the plot of the matrix movies, etc. in that while it might possibly be true, there is no possible way to test it and it really makes no difference to science insofar as explaining what is here, now.

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  41. The late Bill Hicks (rather vulgar and bitter but wise standup comedian) had a routine about the way the creationists got their age of the earth, by counting the ages of people named in the Bible. The relevant section is from about 39 seconds into the clip until one minute four seconds, but it’s all funny.

    Apparently a hundred years ago most conservative christians had no problems accepting the earth being older than ten thousand years. It was the publication of The Genesis Flood by Whitcomb and Morris in 1961 that seems to have triggered this latest insanity.

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  42. You misrepresent Talk Origins too Synapse, partly because you haven’t been a regular reader there but are jumping into a conversation that’s been going for many years.

    Sure, there are some hardcore atheists there who use it as a forum for Christian bashing. However, it’s purpose as a news group is to address the wacko nutjobs and keep their silliness out of serious scientific news groups about evolution so the scientists in those other groups can focus on their work without having to answer questions that HAVE BEEN ANSWERED time and time again or questions that can’t be answered by science.

    There are actually many professional scientists and philosophers at Talk Origins who WILL answer your questions, especially if, as you have in the threads here, if you stay polite and focused. Howver, if after providing you with answers, you continue to ask the SAME questions without checking the answers they provide some of those guys and gals might lose patience, as anyone would.

    The insults hurled in that group come from creationists a lot of times, and from that direction the insults are more often than not undeserved. When you see the evolutionists hurling insults back at the creationists, it is because those specific creationists are ones who have IGNORED repeated answers to their questions and who have made ridiculous claims that have been refuted many times in that newsgroup and yet those creationists STILL continue making the same claims or (a favorite tactic of creationists) ignoring the proof they are wrong and making NEW ridiculous claims.

    No, I invite you to pose some of your questions there, Synapseaxion. IF you are a sincere seeker of truth as you portray yourself to be, and one who does research for yourself and doesn’t take anyone else’s word on such matters, you MIGHT learn something from being a regular poster to Talk Origins newsgroup. IF on the other hand, you’re just a wacko nutjob fundie desperately trying to shoehorn the conflicting evidence of the world into your world view that you hold in spite of and not because of the evidence, then you might not enjoy your stay there.

    The regulars there WILL answer your questions politely (at first), and give links for you to do the research for yourself IF you are so inclined. Most like you who spread such lies and misinformation as you are spreading are NOT sincere seekers of truth however, might not even recognize truth if it slapped them in the face.

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  43. kay~ms said

    TBG, you said: “Talk about twisted, in order to account for the evidence and still believe God did his thing six thousand years you have to imagine God using parts that are billions of years old. WTF? That is beyond insane.”

    Maybe if the evolution theory covered how existance came to be, then it might be “insane” to consider some “out there” explanation that seems to go against scientific logic as we know it today. But since evolution does not even begin to answer that question, and neither does science in general in any way shape or form, then it really isn’t “insane” to consider other options besides what the evidence suggests.

    You are right in saying that I don’t like to hear the arguments for evolution, all the evidence etc. But to say that I am ignorantly ignoring the evidence is ignorance on your part. I’ve asked questions here and I will continue to ask questions. I’m not ready to accept macroevolution as fact. Scientific evidence is not and should not be the “last word” in a world where there is too much that cannot be explained. And evidence in general is just that… “evidence”… we use it to help us decide what the truth is. Evidence does not decide the truth for us.

    I keep thinking of a court of law and how evidence is processed every day and used to decide what the truth is… and how more often than we want to acknowledge, the evidence convicts innocent people. And some of that evidence is scientific evidence too! And I think about how the scientists at one time decided that when a dog wagged it’s tail it had nothing to do with emotions, it was just a reflex. I’m sure they made that conclusion based on their “evidence”. No doubt they were of the group that didn’t /doesn’t want to believe that animals have emotions for whatever reason and that bias led them to that very stupid and ignorant conclusion.

    And there are other kinds of evidence that even though does not qualify as scientific, because it cannot be proven, it also cannot be dismissed and is just as strong in some instances. You have chosen to make scientific evidence the “final authority” on truth. That is your perogative. I and other people of faith believe God is the final authority… the CREATOR of the science. That is our perogative. All of those people (fundies) that you detest so much for not agreeing with you are not ignoring scientific evidence, they are just going by a different kind of evidence that takes a higher precedence. And I honestly think that is what frustrates you the most.

    I’ve said it over and over..and I’ll keep saying it.. as long as our existance cannot be scientifically explained, or let’s put it this way… as long as it can not even be reasonably theorized… you are wrong to critisize others for not believing exclusively in science and science alone.

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  44. No Kay, I do not think what is known by science is the final authority on truth. I have said many times that science has many limitations. For what it is, for what it does, in spite of or maybe even because of its limitations, it is useful to humanity though. Children should be taught to be able reason clearly from evidence. Science is one good way to teach that.

    When presented with the evidence (not with distorted strawmen) most people soon recognize how obvious it is that something like macroevolution happened. It explains and predicts the evidence so neatly and is not contradicted by it, unlike so-called intelligent design or christian creationism (which as Dover showed are actually the same thing in spite of denials from the I.D. camp).

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  45. I do not “believe” in science or “believe” in evolution. I accept science as the useful tool it is to describe and predict nature, and also accept its limitations. I accept evolution as a fact of nature just as I accept gravity as a fact of nature and for the same reasons: overwhelming evidence that only make sense if evolution (or gravity) happens.

    A problem for some people is that they try to make science into a religion or (more commonly the problem) religion into science. These address different areas of human experience and do not necessarily need to conflict with each other. Science deals only with what we can observe and measure, including the observed FACT of evolution. Religion deals with ultimate causes that for now at least and possibly maybe probably always will be outside the realm of science.

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  46. kay~ms said

    TBG, you said: “No Kay, I do not think what is known by science is the final authority on truth. I have said many times that science has many limitations. ”

    You changed my meaning… I did not say “what is KNOWN by science”.. I said “science” (scientific evidence). My point is that you give science precedence over God. You have completely dismissed any suggestion of God’s possible affect on this scientific evidence (other than to say that He created it.. I guess?)… you have actually deemed it “insane”. Again, I still don’t know what god you believe in but he evidently has limitations.

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  47. Synapseaxion said

    Nice commentary, Kay.

    And TBG, I wish you would be a little more rigorous in your terms. Of course, evolution is a fact if you are referring to the adaptations and variations within a species. But evolution is not a fact if you are referring to one species sprouting wings and changing into an entirely new species. When you conflate the two, micro and macro, it makes it seem that creationists are anti-science when, in fact, they are merely questioning the extrapolation, not the observation. The extrapolation needs justification, and that is the area that creationists debate. Can we be clear on that distinction?

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  48. Nope Synapseaxion…speciation has been observed. Nice try, but you’re wrong. Macroevolution is as much an observed fact of nature as microevolution is, whether or not you like it or choose to admit it. Luckily there are some people more open to truth than christian creationists are.

    Again, I call BULLSHIT on your claims and invite anyone who disagrees with me to check the evidence for themselves.

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  49. and Kay, I do NOT give precedence to science over God. I do give precedence to truth over lies, and I also get outraged when I see children being hurt. The amount of dishonesty on so-called Christian web sites is a shame to Christ and to humanity in general, and that there are so many adults in this country who are so egregiously misinformed about this subject is not good for our children trying to learn science in public schools.

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  50. I meant to specify so-called Christian creationist sites (I accidentally left the creationist word out)…that are so riddled with errors that can so easily be checked that it is insane for anyone to swallow their lies so willingly. Those sites such as Answers in Genesis and the Institute for Creation Research really make Christians look STUPID.

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  51. kay~ms said

    Thank you Synapseaxion.

    TBG, I don’t like lies either and I don’t want children taught things that are not true. And I think it is safe to say that the majority of Christians feel the same way. If those Christian sites are spreading lies it IS a shame; they are not truly following Christ.

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  52. Ana Lingus said

    God said it
    I believe it
    that settles it.

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  53. kay~ms said

    Amen.

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  54. That’s my position too, Kay, except I respect what God tells me in His creation too. I give weight to the evidence of the universe, since God created it. In fact, as a Christian you should consider what the universe teaches us may be actually closer to God’s message than conflicting interpretations of a Book written by men.

    Everything we can observe and measure shows that evolution happens. Basically the whole universe is telling us that evolution happens (including macroevolution, Synapseaxion, the distinctions between micro and macro don’t mean what you think they mean). If evolution did not happen then whoever did create the universe is lying to us. Why would God create a lie? If God does not lie, Genesis cannot be literally true. Just because it says something in the Bible does NOT mean it HAS to be taken literally! If you really believed that, we’d still be arguing over whether the sun goes around the earth or vice versa.

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  55. and before synapse jumps in and says oh yes it’s all about the interpretations, I call BULLSHIT on him in advance, a preemptive strike.

    Among the scientific community, the knowledge and acceptance of evolution (including macroevolution) is about as close to unanimity as humans can be about any subject. There is no conflict in the scientific oommunity about whether or not humans and chimpanzees had a recent common ancestor. There is so much evidence of this of so many different types that it is accepted as FACT as it should be. The conflict is a cultural one, not a scientific one, and arises not from any love of truth but from a desperate attempt to shoehorn the data of the world into a worldview that is increasingly outdated.

    I’m not saying Christianity is false. I’m saying we’re related to chimpanzees, very close cousins to them. I do say that the evidence of the world does NOT support a LITERAL reading of Genesis, and that for those parts of Genesis that can be tested scientifically it has been shown for a long time now that a literal interpretation is FALSIFIED by the evidence of the world.

    Either Genesis is wrong, OR your INTEPRETATION of Genesis is wrong, OR God is a liar. You decide. I go with the middle one.

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  56. I have a comment in moderation…hurry please…click click click

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  57. kay~ms said

    From the “How Stuff Works” website.

    Holes in the Theory
    The theory of evolution is just that — a theory. According to “The American Heritage Dictionary,” a theory is:

    A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.
    Evolution is a set of principles that tries to explain how life, in all its various forms, appeared on Earth. The theory of evolution succeeds in explaining why we see bacteria and mosquitoes becoming resistant to antibiotics and insecticides. It also successfully predicted, for example, that X-ray exposure would lead to thousands of mutations in fruit flies.

    Many theories are works in progress, and evolution is one of them. There are several big questions that the theory of evolution cannot answer right now. This is not unusual. Newtonian physics worked really well for hundreds of years, and it still works well today for many types of problems. However, it does not explain lots of things that were eventually answered by Einstein and his theories of relativity. People create new theories and modify existing ones to explain the unexplained.

    In answering the open questions that still remain unsolved, the theory of evolution will either become complete or it will be replaced by a new theory that better explains the phenomena we see in nature. That is how the scientific process works.

    Here are three common questions that are asked about the current theory of evolution:

    How does evolution add information to a genome to create progressively more complicated organisms?
    How is evolution able to bring about drastic changes so quickly?
    How could the first living cell arise spontaneously to get evolution started?

    ** This is why it should not be taught as fact…

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  58. No Kay, you are wrong about this. There are theories of evolution yes, that are theories. But theories explain facts. Evolution is an observed fact of nature, just like gravity is.

    There are theories of gravity to explain the fact of gravity. There are theories of evolution to explain the fact of evolution.

    Do you understand yet?

    Like

  59. kay~ms said

    I particularly like this question…

    Question 2: How Can Evolution Be So Quick?
    Imagine that you create a very large cage and put a group of mice into it. You let the mice live and breed in this cage freely, without disturbance. If you were to come back after five years and look into this cage, you would find mice. Five years of breeding would cause no change in the mice in that cage — they would not evolve in any noticeable way. You could leave the cage alone for a hundred years and look in again and what you would find in the cage is mice. After several hundred years, you would look into the cage and find not 15 new species, but mice.

    The point is that evolution in general is an extremely slow process. When two mice breed, the offspring is a mouse. When that offspring breeds, its offspring is a mouse. When that offspring breeds… And the process continues. Point mutations do not change this fact in any significant way over the short haul.

    Carl Sagan, in “The Dragons of Eden,” put it this way:

    The time scale for evolutionary or genetic change is very long. A characteristic period for the emergence of one advanced species from another is perhaps a hundred thousand years; and very often the difference in behavior between closely related species — say, lions and tigers — does not seem very great. An example of recent evolution of organ systems in humans is our toes. The big toe plays an important function in balance while walking; the other toes have much less obvious utility. They are clearly evolved from fingerlike appendages for grasping and swinging, like those of arboreal apes and monkeys. This evolution constitutes a respecialization — the adaptation of an organ system originally evolved for one function to another and quite different function — which required about ten million years to emerge.
    The fact that it takes evolution 100,000 or 10 million years to make relatively minor changes in existing structures shows just how slow evolution really is. The creation of a new species is time consuming.

    On the other hand, we know that evolution can move extremely quickly to create a new species. One example of the speed of evolution involves the progress mammals have made. You have probably heard that, about 65 million years ago, all of the dinosaurs died out quite suddenly. One theory for this massive extinction is an asteroid strike. For dinosaurs, the day of the asteroid strike was a bad one, but for mammals it was a good day. The disappearance of the dinosaurs cleared the playing field of most predators. Mammals began to thrive and differentiate.

    Let’s take Carl Sagan’s statement that “A characteristic period for the emergence of one advanced species from another is perhaps a hundred thousand years, and very often the difference in behavior between closely related species — say, lions and tigers — does not seem very great.” In 65 million years, there are only 650 periods of 100,000 years — that’s 650 “ticks” of the evolutionary clock.

    Imagine trying to start with an opossum and get to an elephant in 650 increments or less, even if every increment were perfect. An elephant’s brain is hundreds of times bigger than an opossum’s, containing hundreds of times more neurons, all perfectly wired. An elephant’s trunk is a perfectly formed prehensile appendage containing 150,000 muscle elements (reference). Starting with a snout like that of an opossum, evolution used random mutations to design the elephant’s snout in only 650 ticks. Imagine trying to get from an opossum to a brown bat in 650 increments. Or from an opossum to a whale. Whales have no pelvis, have flukes, have very weird skulls (especially the sperm whale), have blow holes up top, have temperature control that allows them to swim in arctic waters and they consume salt water rather than fresh. It is difficult for many people to imagine that sort of speed given the current theory.

    Example: The Evolution of the Human Brain

    Here is another example of the speed problem. Current fossil evidence indicates that modern humans evolved from a species called Homo erectus. Homo erectus appeared about 2 million years ago. Looking at the skull of Homo erectus, we know that its brain size was on the order of 800 or 900 cubic centimeters.

    Modern human brain size averages about 1,500 CCs or so. In other words, in about 2 million years, evolution roughly doubled the size of the Homo erectus brain to create the human brain that we have today. Our brains contain approximately 100 billion neurons today, so in 2 million years, evolution added 50 billion neurons to the Homo erectus brain (while at the same time redesigning the skull to accommodate all of those neurons and redesigning the female pelvis to let the larger skull through during birth, etc.)

    Let’s assume that Homo erectus was able to reproduce every 10 years. That means that, in 2 million years, there were 200,000 generations of Homo erectus possible. There are four possible explanations for where the 50 billion new neurons came from in 200,000 generations:

    Every generation, 250,000 new neurons were added to the Homo erectus brain (250,000 * 200,000 = 50 billion).
    Every 100,000 years, 2.5 billion new neurons were added to the Homo erectus brain (2,500,000,000 * 20 = 50 billion).
    Perhaps 500,000 years ago, there was a spurt of 20 or so closely-spaced generations that added 2.5 billion neurons per generation.
    One day, spontaneously, 50 billion new neurons were added to the Homo erectus brain to create the Homo sapiens brain.

    In another fascinating study, researches have identified minimal changes in an amino acid on a single gene that have a profound effect on speech processing in humans.

    It does appear that tiny changes in single genes can have very large effects on the species.

    None of these scenarios is particularly comfortable. We see no evidence that evolution is randomly adding 250,000 neurons to each child born today, so that explanation is hard to swallow. The thought of adding a large package of something like 2.5 billion neurons in one step is difficult to imagine, because there is no way to explain how the neurons would wire themselves in. What sort of point mutation would occur in a DNA molecule that would suddenly create billions of new neurons and wire them correctly?* The current theory of evolution does not predict how this could happen.

    Read the rest of the article here for possible theories…

    http://science.howstuffworks.com/evolution/evolution10.htm

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  60. kay~ms said

    Here is the link to the entire article which is written by Marshall Brain an atheist who has several websites including “God is imaginary”.

    http://science.howstuffworks.com/evolution/evolution.htm

    But I just want to make note that no where in this article (that has links to talk origins) is the word “fact” used.

    I understand what you are saying.. that the theory of evolution is not in contention with scientists but that still doesn’t mean it should be labeled as fact. That is misleading…

    Here is another reason why it shouldn’t be labeled as fact… from Brain’s article..

    After thinking about questions like the three mentioned in the previous sections, different people come to different conclusions. In the future, there are three possible scenarios for the theory of evolution:

    “Scientists will come to a complete understanding of DNA and show how mutations and natural selection explain every part of the development of life on this planet.

    Scientists will develop a new theory that answers the questions posed above to almost everyone’s satisfaction, and it will replace the theory of evolution that we have today.

    Scientists will observe a completely new phenomenon that accounts for the diversity of life that we see today. For example, many people believe in creationism. In this theory, God or some other supernatural power intervenes to create all of the life that we see around us. The fossil record indicates that hundreds of millions of new species have been created over hundreds of millions of years — Species creation is an intense and constant process with an extremely long history. If scientists were to observe the creation process occurring the next time a major new species comes into existence, they could document it and understand how it works.”

    With these acknowledged and scientifically reasonable possibilities, what would happen to the word “FACT” if any of these possibilities were realized that was taught to children in schools? It would change to the word “lie”… you cannot call it fact. And just as Brain mentioned the belief of Creationism as an alternative theory, so should it be mentioned in classrooms.

    You insist that it be labeled as fact but scientists know better than to label it as fact.

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  61. kay~ms said

    I have comments in moderation.

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  62. Synapseaxion said

    no, Kay has it right, TBG. And once again, I appeal to you to be more rigorous in your terms. You use the term “evolution” to cover two aspects, one the observed fact that there are variations within species, the other the unobserved and speculated-upon “theory” that variations within a species can eventually create a new species.

    And I think Kay has a good point that origins is where the debate should start. If there is no reasonable, scientific basis for the origins of evolution, then exactly what are you building on as the foundation for your worldview?

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  63. kay~ms said

    Yes, and I also wanted to point out that on the 3rd problem of the theory of evolution stated in the article…”How could the first living cell arise spontaneously to get evolution started? ” that the ultimate problem of how all of existance began is COMPLETELY ignored! CONVIENIENTLY ignored. How do atheists justify their complete ignorance of this? It’s a fundamental scientific concept… to start at the begining… yet scientists just convieniently ignore this.

    And this video by Marshall Brain “10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer” which asks college educated people to use their thinking skills when addressing this subject… no doubt will be able to use their thinking skills to identify complete and total agenda driven bias when they see it.

    He’s going to here from me.

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  64. kay~ms said

    woops, I meant “hear” from me.

    I still have 3 comments in moderation…

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  65. Synapseaxion said

    Kay, I just listened to the 10-questions video. The questions reveal a total lack of understanding of the real God and a similar sad misunderstanding of the scripture quoted. There are adequate and satisfactory answers to every one of his questions, but because of his mindset, I bet he will label any such answers as irrational. There’s nothing one can do to help such a one.

    I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say to him!

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  66. Evolution neither addresses the origins of the universe nor the origins of life. Evolution describes how life adapts and diversifies once it is started. It is an observed fact of nature, just like gravity and electricity, part of how the universe works whatever the ultimate origins.

    I’ll leave you two fundies to pat each other on the back and congratulate each other on how wise you are and how all the scientists have it all wrong. Like Frank Schaeffer said, society needs to move on and leave the village idiots on their hill instead of trying to restructure society to suit the village idiots.

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  67. oh, and fyi, scientists HAVE observed the creation of new species. Also, even if there were no fossils at all, none anywhere, there is sufficient evidence of other types to indicate macroevolution happens. You and synapse are fools living in la la land to deny the reality of God’s creation.

    Either evolution happens, OR God is a liar for making it look like it happens.

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  68. btw, those were my last posts to this thread, and possibly on this subject on this blog. Until or unless you guys get some new material.

    Thank God there are enough educated people in the world where misguided fools might not get the final say so on what our children are taught in public schools.

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  69. Synapseaxion said

    coward. And you know who you are.

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  70. flat earther, and you know who you are.

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  71. Enkill_Eridos said

    I never said a fundie was a Taliban type person. A fundie is another word for a fundamentalist. A fundamentalist is:

    1. (sometimes initial capital letter) a movement in American Protestantism that arose in the early part of the 20th century in reaction to modernism and that stresses the infallibility of the Bible not only in matters of faith and morals but also as a literal historical record, holding as essential to Christian faith belief in such doctrines as the creation of the world, the virgin birth, physical resurrection, atonement by the sacrificial death of Christ, and the Second Coming.

    2. the beliefs held by those in this movement.

    3. strict adherence to any set of basic ideas or principles

    Fundamentalism has become a very dangerous state of mind. There are a lot of Christian Fundamentalists, some times they do get violent when you disagree. Most of the time its verbal violence, but sometimes there is physical violence.

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  72. Enkill_Eridos said

    One of the best introductory books on evolution (as opposed to introductory biology) is that by Douglas J. Futuyma, and he makes the following comment:
    A few words need to be said about the “theory of evolution,” which most people take to mean the proposition that organisms have evolved from common ancestors. In everyday speech, “theory” often means a hypothesis or even a mere speculation. But in science, “theory” means “a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles, or causes of something known or observed.” as the Oxford English Dictionary defines it. The theory of evolution is a body of interconnected statements about natural selection and the other processes that are thought to cause evolution, just as the atomic theory of chemistry and the Newtonian theory of mechanics are bodies of statements that describe causes of chemical and physical phenomena. In contrast, the statement that organisms have descended with modifications from common ancestors–the historical reality of evolution–is not a theory. It is a fact, as fully as the fact of the earth’s revolution about the sun. Like the heliocentric solar system, evolution began as a hypothesis, and achieved “facthood” as the evidence in its favor became so strong that no knowledgeable and unbiased person could deny its reality. No biologist today would think of submitting a paper entitled “New evidence for evolution;” it simply has not been an issue for a century.
    – Douglas J. Futuyma, Evolutionary Biology, 2nd ed., 1986, Sinauer Associates, p. 15

    the theory of the mechanism of evolution.

    We also need to distinguish between facts that are easy to demonstrate and those that are more circumstantial. Examples of evolution that are readily apparent include the fact that modern populations are evolving and the fact that two closely related species share a common ancestor. The evidence that Homo sapiens and chimpanzees share a recent common ancestor falls into this category. There is so much evidence in support of this aspect of primate evolution that it qualifies as a fact by any common definition of the word “fact.”

    In other cases the available evidence is less strong. For example, the relationships of some of the major phyla are still being worked out. Also, the statement that all organisms have descended from a single common ancestor is strongly supported by the available evidence, and there is no opposing evidence. However, it is not yet appropriate to call this a “fact” since there are reasonable alternatives.

    In the American vernacular, “theory” often means “imperfect fact”–part of a hierarchy of confidence running downhill from fact to theory to hypothesis to guess. Thus the power of the creationist argument: evolution is “only” a theory and intense debate now rages about many aspects of the theory. If evolution is worse than a fact, and scientists can’t even make up their minds about the theory, then what confidence can we have in it? Indeed, President Reagan echoed this argument before an evangelical group in Dallas when he said (in what I devoutly hope was campaign rhetoric): “Well, it is a theory. It is a scientific theory only, and it has in recent years been challenged in the world of science–that is, not believed in the scientific community to be as infallible as it once was.”
    Well evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world’s data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts don’t go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein’s theory of gravitation replaced Newton’s in this century, but apples didn’t suspend themselves in midair, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin’s proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.

    Moreover, “fact” doesn’t mean “absolute certainty”; there ain’t no such animal in an exciting and complex world. The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not about the empirical world. Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us falsely for a style of argument that they themselves favor). In science “fact” can only mean “confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional consent.” I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

    Evolutionists have been very clear about this distinction of fact and theory from the very beginning, if only because we have always acknowledged how far we are from completely understanding the mechanisms (theory) by which evolution (fact) occurred. Darwin continually emphasized the difference between his two great and separate accomplishments: establishing the fact of evolution, and proposing a theory–natural selection–to explain the mechanism of evolution.

    – Stephen J. Gould, ” Evolution as Fact and Theory”; Discover, May 1981

    The honest scientist, like the philosopher, will tell you that nothing whatever can be or has been proved with fully 100% certainty, not even that you or I exist, nor anyone except himself, since he might be dreaming the whole thing. Thus there is no sharp line between speculation, hypothesis, theory, principle, and fact, but only a difference along a sliding scale, in the degree of probability of the idea. When we say a thing is a fact, then, we only mean that its probability is an extremely high one: so high that we are not bothered by doubt about it and are ready to act accordingly. Now in this use of the term fact, the only proper one, evolution is a fact. For the evidence in favor of it is as voluminous, diverse, and convincing as in the case of any other well established fact of science concerning the existence of things that cannot be directly seen, such as atoms, neutrons, or solar gravitation ….
    So enormous, ramifying, and consistent has the evidence for evolution become that if anyone could now disprove it, I should have my conception of the orderliness of the universe so shaken as to lead me to doubt even my own existence. If you like, then, I will grant you that in an absolute sense evolution is not a fact, or rather, that it is no more a fact than that you are hearing or reading these words.

    – H. J. Muller, “One Hundred Years Without Darwin Are Enough” School Science and Mathematics 59, 304-305. (1959) reprinted in Evolution versus Creationism op cit.

    These were taken from http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-fact.html#fact

    Darwin’s Theory is actually where most stop. But really Darwin’s theory is no longer applicable. We have made a great deal of progress since Darwin wrote his paper. Through microbiology we see both micro and macro evolution of different species and plants including ourselves on a cellular level. Some of what Darwin wrote was proven false. Some of it was proven true. More specifically Micro/Macroevolution and Natural Selection. Those have been proven true. That every organism decended from one common ancestor? This has not been proven true and more than likely will never be proven true. Many scientists have discarded that hypothosis because evolution through natural selection can be and has been proven true. TBG never said that we have come from one organism. Nor has he actually acknowledged that as fact. The fact is very few scientists do think all life has come from one common ancestor. It is a possibility yes, but the data is inconclusive. And he has said that science may never find out how exactly things began. Yet, you two are like hung up on that one topic..Why is that? How we began is better suited for philosophy. Evolution happens, it has been proven to happen and it has been observed to happen. Why is that so difficult to comprehend? My high school biology teacher taught us exactly what evolution is and what it is not…Evolution is how an organism changes to survive in an environment. Evolution is what happens due to changes in the environment. Every organisms main goal is to Survive. Evolution is a survival mechanism. My biology teacher also taught Evolution is not a way to explain how life began. He went on to say, that no one can actually prove a 100% how life and everything began. They can think they are 100% right, but that doesn’t mean they are.

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  73. Kay, please read this. I think you might be more open to truth than Synapseaxion is. Most mainstream Christian denominations accept the fact of evolution, and there are other theological problems besides evolution for those churches that insist on a strict literal interpretation of Genesis.

    E_E was quoting somebody who said: “We also need to distinguish between facts that are easy to demonstrate and those that are more circumstantial. Examples of evolution that are readily apparent include the fact that modern populations are evolving and the fact that two closely related species share a common ancestor. The evidence that Homo sapiens and chimpanzees share a recent common ancestor falls into this category. There is so much evidence in support of this aspect of primate evolution that it qualifies as a fact by any common definition of the word “fact.””

    For those fundies who want to insist the earth is flat regardless of all the evidence to the contrary, please consider the following:

    Endogenous retroviruses and pseudogenes are at the same place in chimp DNA as in human DNA.

    Human chromosome 2 shows clear signs of being two ape chromosomes fused together.

    Despite creationist claims to the contrary, the fossil record shows at least a dozen transitional species from the past six million years or so with a clear transition from more ape-like to more human-like features over time.

    as for the question about how information is added: mutations in the DNA. as to why evolution is so quick: it isn’t necessarily, although rapid adaptation has been observed in some cases. Remember that life has been diversifying on this planet for billions of years. What’s so quick about that? And for the final question, what started the first cell, that question is technically irrelevant to the discussion of whether or not evolution happens once that first cell IS started by whatever cause. However, it is likely that whoever or whatever made the universe the way it is fashioned it in such a way that the chemicals would react in certain ways to form living systems given the appropriate circumstances.

    I have no problems with the basic idea of intelligent design, although it is the imperfections of design that show evolution happens. The basic concept that there is a guiding intelligence behind everything is not what I am disagreeing with. What I am disagreeing with are the distortions and lies spread by fundie Christians about this subject.

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  74. This blog is worse than those potato chips that used to say nobody can eat just one. I actually did use to only eat ONE chip from that brand, and I would never buy that brand but only eat one chip if somebody else offered me some.

    My apologies for not stopping, but I hadn’t addressed three questions of Kay’s. As for Synapse’s questions, I lost respect for his integrity a long time ago. I could spend from now until doomsday answering question after pointless question and he would just continue to add words here or tweak things there to drag it out further. Bottom line is he is in denial of reality, a modern-day flat earther, and I won’t waste any more of my time debating such a fool. Again I call BULLSHIT on his claims, and invite anyone who disagrees with me to check the evidence out for themselves. Don’t take my word for anything.

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  75. kay~ms said

    TBG, could you be more specific about some of the lies of “fundie” Christians that bother you the most?

    I know one is that they claim there are no transitional fossils. What are the others?

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  76. That is one egregious lie, yes, the false claim that there are no transitional fossils. Another thing that really irks me are that some of these so-called Christian creationist sites have pages of quotations from scientists purporting to show that there is disagreement among the scientific community about whether or not evolution happens. To make it plain, the disagreements are not over IF it happens but about HOW it happens.

    Talk Origins has a page about this called the “quote mine project” and EVERY ONE of the quotations used, when checked in the full context of the work being quoted, is either misquoted, quoted out of context, or otherwise distorted in such a way as to present the OPPOSITE meaning of what was actually said by the author. EVERY ONE! Now that is such blatant dishonesty that it really pisses me off.

    There is more, much more…For example, Synapse’s questions, the way he worded them, the order in which he presented them, etc. strongly suggest he is following a script. Most scientists don’t even bother to debate creationists in public anymore, because the creationists will spew lie after lie in rapid succession, and when the scientists can’t answer all of them in the time alloted then the creationists proclaim “victory.” Also, creationists use cheap rhetorical tricks, and abuse common misunderstandings of what science is and how it works, they distort or ignore any evidence that conflicts with their world view, etc. etc. etc.

    It is my sincere belief that if more people knew they were being LIED to by sources they thought they should be able to trust, if they actually were told the truth for a change that there ARE transitional fossils, that there is even stronger fossil evidence in the genes as well as in the rocks, and that accepting evolution does NOT necessarily mean rejecting God or Christ, that most people would be as angry as I am that they were LIED to about this subject.

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  77. Enkill_Eridos said

    I don’t understand how a person can claim that you deny the existence of God by accepting Evolution. It is just as absurd as saying you deny the existence of God because you accept the Earth is a Spherical object that orbits around the Sun. We can see Evolution happening in living organisms such as cells, bacteria, viruses etc. Take the Flu Virus for example, it constantly mutates to do one thing Survive. So does bacteria. Cells do on a very small level, if the change or mutation is too rapid in a cell, that is a cause of cancer. We have observed all of this how is it against God when it is apart of the natural order of life.

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  78. kay said

    EE, I don’t believe it is against God to understand how He did it. The fact is that most people who believe in the science, don’t believe in God. And that is what the real battle is about.

    Like for example, this guy… Marshall Brain, who concluded:

    “Speaking in general terms, life can only have come from one of two possible places:

    Spontaneous creation – Random chemical processes created the first living cell.
    Supernatural creation – God or some other supernatural power created the first living cell. ”

    He believes totally in spontaneous creation. I guess he just hasn’t thought beyond this concept (where the 1st living cell came from) yet… like where the universe came from that held the “random chemicals” that the first living cell was created from. It’s known as “narrow mindedness” and “ignorance”.

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  79. Enkill_Eridos said

    Again I am not asking you to stop but to approach the subject as a brain surgeon would. With a scalpel not a chain saw.

    I believe in science..heck I am dedicating my life to using science and more specifically technology with the intention of using that to cure many physical diseases that we cannot cure pharmaceutically. I have seen the evolution of bacteria, viruses and other living organisms. I cannot say Evolution does not happen. It happens just at a very slow rate. But I still believe in God, just not some of the dogmas and doctrines I feel is wrong. Very specifically that the organized Christian Church is the supreme authority on God. It is a very prideful and ignorant claim. I do not believe that my beliefs are the supreme authority on the subject either, but my beliefs are the supreme authority on the subject as it pertains to me. I don’t expect or even wish someone to say I believe exactly as you do. There are many paths to understanding God’s will for a specific person. Those paths always start at his word and prayer.

    Science is not a religion, and believe it or not the name Scientology is really misleading. No one worships Science, it is just a way we can understand how everything works better. It will never be perfect, and no one says it is. And to me Spontaneous creation and Supernatural creation is the same thing. I believe that Evolution is a tool that God used and that the creation of the universe was not as instantaneous as the Bible claims. I also understand about visions and prophecies as well. I know that most of the Bible was written from images and not actual words. I know that most of the writings in the Bible is someones interpretation using the understanding of the time. The Bible even states God measures time much differently than we do. In a much different way. So how can it not be possible that God influenced things at a much slower rate of time as we measure it?

    Also Kay you are going to have to quote more than that to actually say he believes totally in spontaneous creation. I don’t get that from that quotation. Because that statement is very logical. In a general way life either was created by Spontaneous creation or Supernatural creation. I believe God created life, but I also believe Science can and does explain the subtleties of how God started this process. From a mathematical stand-point there are way too many variables for life to be a random event. I mean everything has to happen at an exact time. The perfect conditions, the perfect amount of compounds atoms vibrating at the right time and frequency. All of these things are one of the many factors of life beginning. So I believe that mathematically Intelligent Design by a Supreme Being (I am referring to the Judeo-Christian concept of God. Which coincidentally is the same God I believe in.) is how life in the multiverse came to be. (I also believe that there is more than just one Universe since it is in God’s complete Word that God the supreme being resides in the 7th Heaven.)

    So your statement is really a misconception, there are many Christians who are also Scientists. They are Christians because they believe in one Supreme Being, and they accept Jesus Christ is that Supreme Beings Son and died for their sins. So don’t say most Scientists don’t believe in God. Most Scientists don’t believe in the Organized Christian Church. Although there are many Christian Churches that have no organization or demoninational ties. There are many scientists that belong to those prespective churches.

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  80. Enkill_Eridos said

    I just reread your response Kay…you are debating a topic no one else is. Myself and TBG has stated we do not support the Spontaneous Creation theory. Me and TBG are giving evidence on why we think Evolution should be taught in the classrooms as fact. In both Human Biology and my Biology 1 class, as well as high school Biology. They teach the evolution facts, the things science have observed. The Spontaneous Cell Creation theory was not taught as fact, but as one of many different hypotheses on how life was formed. The words inconclusive, and beliefs was used when we briefly touched on those two subjects. College and High School level Biology does not teach the Spontaneous Cell Creation theory as fact, because it can never be proved or disproven. That theory by the large is mostly ignored by the scientific community. The Spontaneous Cell Creation theory is not apart of Evolutionary Science outside of a hypothetical possibility. It is very important that these facts are stated.

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  81. Okay, your main complaint has nothing to do with evolution per se. Still I will address it. You quote this Marshall Btain guy as saying:

    “Speaking in general terms, life can only have come from one of two possible places:

    Spontaneous creation – Random chemical processes created the first living cell.
    Supernatural creation – God or some other supernatural power created the first living cell.”

    There are several faults with how these alternatives are pharased. Also, this is what is known as a false dichotomy, presenting two alternatives as if they are the ONLY possibilities. For at least one more possibility, what if God created the first living cell using chemical processes (and chemical processes by the way are NOT random, duh!)

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  82. In other words, the third possibility I suggested is a combination of the first two (except that chemical processes are NOT random so the first alternative presented is bogus the way it is worded).

    Another possibility not offered as an alternative is “something else not thought of yet.” Another is “some combination of the above.” Another is “none of the above.”

    Presenting FALSE DICHOTOMIES and wording the choices in logically flawed biased ways is one of those cheap rhetorical tricks used by creationists that piss me off.

    It might not be their fault, completely. The type of mind that embraces fundamentalism may be defective in some way where fundamentalists honestly can’t see or even imagine any other possibilities. It’s over their head or something.

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  83. and by the way, abiogenesis (spontaneous creation of life from non-life, the origin of the first living cell) is NOT taught as fact. There’s not enough known yet about this. And again, that is NOT what evolution is about anyway. It is irrelevant to the discussion of evolution as scientific fact.

    It doesn’t even remotely compare to the TONS of evidence that clearly show, unambiguously and beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt, that chimpanzees and humans had a recent common ancestor. That IS known to be a fact as solidly established as the earth going around the sun, and is rightly taught as such.

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  84. Enkill_Eridos said

    See he used bigger words than I did and yet still said the same thing…

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  85. This guy Marshall Brain seems to have an axe to grind against religion, or at least against organized religion. It goes to show that there are extremists on both sides who for whatever reason are unwilling or unable to recognize other possibilities besides their positions.

    And, if creationists use Marshall Brain as an example of how all scientists think, then they are creating a strawman. That’s another thing that really grinds my gears, Kay, the strawmen.

    IF evolution WERE the way creationists describe it, IF there really wasn’t the evidence they deny even exists or try to distort if they can’t ignore it, IF there really was disagreement among scientists that evolution happens, IF it were that way then of course I’d agree with them. But it ain’t, so I don’t.

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  86. kay said

    ok.. first, I didn’t say you both were atheists.. I was pointing out that Marshall Brain is a good representation of the majority of people who rely so heavily on science; they tend to be atheists.

    And to try and clear up (again) my stance incase anyone is still confused… I never said I believe in the literal reading of Genesis. I never said I was against science or that I don’t put any value on scientific evidence and the theories that are based on that evidence.

    This is what I have said…

    However God did it doesn’t really matter that much. Whether He did it over millions of years or 6 years… IT DOESN’T MATTER. Oh, and I never said to teach the Genesis account of Creationisism to children in science classes. The Genesis account is not about science.

    I do think it is more than reasonable to introduce the concept of a Creator in science class simply because there is no other reasonable explanation for our existance. And since science is based on causes, the ORIGINAL cause should be addressed, even if we do not know how it came to be. It’s not logical or reasonable to teach someone all the details about something but never address the origin of that something.

    And I also do not want the THEORY of Evolution taught as fact to children in classrooms. I don’t care if someone says it is perceived as fact or believed to be fact or as close to fact as possible… I do not believe it should be labeled as fact in public schools at this time.

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  87. kay ms said

    I have a comment in moderation.

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  88. I don’t want the THEORY of evolution to be taught as fact. I do want the FACT of evolution to be taught as fact. There IS a difference. Gravity exists. It is an observed fact of nature. The fact of gravity is taught as fact. Theories are taught that explain the fact of gravity. The FACT of evolution is an observed fact of nature. The fact of evolution is and should be taught as fact. Theories are taught that explain the fact of evolution.

    That is the biggest complaint I have about what the creationists do, portray evolution as “just a theory.” That is wrong. Evolution is as much an observed FACT of nature as gravity is whether or not you like it.

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  89. There is SO MUCH evidence of so many different types that make it absolutely clear way beyond any reasonable doubt that humans and chimpanzees share a recent common ancestor that it is proper and correct to teach that as FACT by any common definition of the word fact.

    You don’t like it? Take it up with your God then. He’s the one that made the universe right? That would include making humans and chimpanzees having a recent common ancestor.

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  90. A good science teacher should make it clear that science does NOT have and might not ever have anywhere near to all the answers, especially when it comes to ultimate causes such as the origin of the universe or the beginning of life.

    Ideally in every science class a statement should be read at the beginning of the semester that acknowledges that many people have differing views on such matters, and that some people disagree with the findings of modern science.

    That said, the teacher can then teach evolution as the fact it is, and if the kid’s parents don’t like it they can home school their kid or send their kid to whatever private school fits their particular beliefs.

    I am less upset about parents dumbing down their own kids than when they try to legislate ignorance in public school science classrooms. Still, should parents be allowed to teach their children the earth is flat in spite of all evidence to the contrary? That is the level of stupidity many arguments against evolution are at. It could be considered child abuse.

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  91. kay ms said

    I agree with Synapse (again)… you should be more specific on which parts of the evolution theory should be taught as near fact or theory. Microevolution… near fact… macroevolution… theory… and then proceed to share the evidence that leads to that theory… no problem…

    It should be pointed out that not only does science NOT have the answers to our origins but also that science (at this time) argues AGAINST our existance.

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  92. Enkill_Eridos said

    Microevolution near fact? How do you come up with that? Macroevolution theory? So let’s just teach that Sociology is near fact and psychology is a theory. Let’s teach in our schools that despite our advances in space exploration that the Earth is flat and the sun and the rest of the planets rotate around the earth. Because you are saying the microevolution that is being observed in bacteria, plants, and animals (including human beings) is inadmissible evidence. You are also saying transitional fossils that do exist for many of the plants, bacteria, and animals (also including humans) are also inadmissible. Because that is what you are implying, it is just as absurd as saying the earth is flat and the sun and all the planets revolve around it.

    As for most of the scientists are atheists, that is also false. A small minority of scientists are atheists. Just because most scientists do not include their own religious beliefs in their work, does not make them atheists. Since Science is about finding out how and why things happen, through objective testing and observation. Religious beliefs are not and should never be apart of that process. Religious beliefs and ethics should be apart of whether a scientist wants to actually study what they study. But in the actual study a scientist would not put his or her own personal beliefs in a paper that is supposed to be objective and neutral. So you are spouting ignorant propaganda… It’s just like you saying someone who is politically liberal minded and a democrat cannot be a Christian.

    Again how does science argue against our existence? Science just argues against fundamental religious beliefs.

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  93. dorian said

    i just saw a good program on the history channel – “banned from the bible”. shows some of the many texts, testaments and gospels that were excluded from the jewish and christian bible; those considered “heretic” by the orthodox church leaders at the time. goes to show that what is in the old and new testament are those hand-picked by an unknown number of clerics. more and more texts discovered with different records and interpretations of religious events and personnae.. what does it all mean? well, for one, there is the fact that religions will take a certain book of texts as their canon, and it is but one interpretation of historical “facts”. and many have killed and have been killed defending their religion’s one interpretation of their “facts”.
    the gnostic texts and the gospel of mary (magdala) have always appealed to me. they’re more benign and rational than the rest.

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  94. Kay, the earth is not flat no matter how many times you insist it is. Your refusing to accept that fact isn’t going to make it go away.

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  95. oh and before you say “I didn’t say that” let me clarify…to deny the fact that chimps and humans share common ancestry is just as ridiculous and just as wrong as to insist that the earth is flat. It really is that obvious, and you really are that wrong.

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  96. kay ms said

    Dorian, your sumarization of the Bible completely dismisses the belief that God ultimately decided what books were to be included and which weren’t. The Christian belief is that that is the case. It wasn’t an unknown number of clerics with ulterior motives and agendas. It was a group of people who desired to do God’s will. Really. It’s so ironic that you and other liberal anti Christian proponents are so quick to believe the accusations of deception and corruption in regards to Christianity but give a cult like Mormonism the benefit of the doubt… I think that pretty much sums up liberalism.

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  97. kay ms said

    TBG… you are so tiring… ok, let me put it this way.. I do believe that humans and chimps have a common ancestor in the sense that God used the same “mechanics” when he created all of life. There.. how’s that? Is that ok? I am NOT going to denounce God and the Bible because YOU say macroevolution is fact. And my contention is that, as you have stated also, there is no such thing as fact as far as science is concerned. So why are you harping on me to agree that macroevolution is fact? I agree that the evidence does suggest that it is true but I really don’t care what the evidence says…it can and has led to false conclusions in the past. I will always believe in God and His word over science. But I do believe that interpretation of His word is a factor. That’s why I say that I don’t know if God created us in 6 days or millions of years. I WON’T say that it isn’t possible that Genesis is a literal account. Because I do not put limitations on God.

    And because I believe in God, there are so many theories that can come into play.. like the recycled planet theory. If someone doesn’t believe in God but instead puts all their faith in scientists and their evidence then they will reject any other idea other than what the evidence suggests. If someone believes in God, they don’t disgard scientific research and evidence but they don’t disregard God’s capabilities either. God tells us to not discount either Him or science by the fact that science cannot explain how our existance came to be but it does explain how it works. And it is the proud and arrogant who will instead still stubbornly try to explain how our existance came to be thru science. The irony is that all of their desparate theories still imply a Supreme Being that they still ignorantly continue to ignore.

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  98. 1minionsopinion said

    You don’t have to denounce god and the bible. Evolution will still be true no matter what you believe.

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  99. 1minionsopinion said

    “God tells us to not discount either Him or science by the fact that science cannot explain how our existance came to be but it does explain how it works. ”

    God doesn’t “tell” us anything. People interpret the “word” of god in just such a way to justify any belief people want to buy into. God loves this, god hates that, god thinks… how can anyone say any of that and think they’ve really touched the mind of some deity? I just don’t get that part at all. It’s all human brain matter anthropomorphizing an invisible friend.

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  100. 1minionsopinion said

    Also:
    ———–
    Answering “God”, “Sin”, or “Satan” to everyday questions may be convenient by categorizing an item as caused by something benevolent (God), caused by ourselves (Sin), or caused by something malevolent (Satan). However, beyond that the answers are completely meaningless. These answers simply give us a way to categorize and personify the source of an item in question. But that is all these answers do.

    “God”, “Satan”, and “Sin” are useless non-answers that are completely subjective depending on the mood, the neuroticism, and the doctrinal standing of the individual throwing them around as answers. They are completely useless answers in our daily lives, which is why non-theists can get along just fine without them.
    ——— (just found at http://de-conversion.com/2010/01/06/the-non-answers-god-satan-and-sin/)

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  101. 1minionsopinion said

    One more, then I’m done for the day (started watching House season 1 last night.. cripes, already I’m addicted to his caustic wit…)

    From Pharyngula, aka P.Z. Myers, who is a biologist and atheist of some reknown:

    ——–
    One thing I’d like to see the creationists consider is a simple fact. When scientists make interpreting the totality of the evidence their priority, with even the believers among scientists regarding the natural world around them as part of their god’s message to human beings, they come to the conclusion that the book of Genesis is a myth or a non-literal parable of some sorts, because it does not line up at all with the physical evidence. The rocks speak out against the earth being less than ten thousand years old, and the molecules in our bodies all speak for billions of years of descent from a common ancestor. The only ‘evidence’ for a young earth is a very specific, and rather skewed, interpretation of one book written by a scattered conglomeration of non-scientific priests, accompanied by a lot of unfounded ‘revelations’ by seers, mystics, and obsessed numerologists (oh, and a related question to you creationists: how many of you are aware that many of the details of the creation myth that you regard as gospel truth have their source in the visions of the Seventh Day Adventist prophetess Ellen White and her agent, George MacReady Price?).
    ———–

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/01/tstkts.php

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  102. kay ms said

    1minion, I don’t discount all theories of evolution. I believe some of it is true. But to say that we evolved from chimps that evolved from rodents that evolved from pond scum is something that I don’t accept. The Bible says that we were created in God’s image so these two concepts do not gel.

    God did / does speak to us thru His creation. Just like Myers says the rocks speak and the molecules of our bodies speak as evidence for evolution. That science argues AGAINST our existance being possible is God’s way of telling us that He exists.

    That space goes on and on and never seems to end speaks for the existance of a Supreme Being. That existance is dependent on a delicate balance to survive is God speaking to us and telling us that there is a Creator. The planning and thought that is evident in nature and in us tells us that God exists.

    The idea that all of existance is an accident is ludicrous. You and others may not like and agree with Christianity because of the actions of Christians or, more likely, because you don’t like what God demands of us, but that won’t change the fact that He exists.

    Myers said: “and the molecules in our bodies all speak for billions of years of descent from a common ancestor.”

    and where did that “common ancestor” come from?? You all DON’T have an answer for that. Christians do. And it’s the only logical answer.

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  103. Kay says: “But to say that we evolved from chimps that evolved from rodents that evolved from pond scum is something that I don’t accept. The Bible says that we were created in God’s image so these two concepts do not gel.”

    They CAN gel, Kay, if you swallow your pride a bit. The Bible does not say exactly HOW God created us in His image. Since the evidence of the whole universe clearly indicates we are closely related to chimps, and that chimps and us in turn evolved from rodents that evolved from pond scum, why not? If it didn’t happen that way, then I have a BIG problem with God planting so much evidence that clearly shows it did happen. I don’t like the idea of a God that tries to trick us, who says something different in His creation than in His book.

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  104. Kay, I wonder if ANY amount of evidence would be enough for you to accept that humans and chimps are cousins. There is certainly more than enough for most people to accept this as fact, yes, FACT. It is interesting to me that those who argue most stridently against evolution do so in spite of the evidence and not because of it, and usually because of the way they have been taught to INTERPRET certain parts of the Bible.

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  105. 1minionsopinion said

    We aren’t chimps. We aren’t evolved from chimps. Chimps and humans have a common ancestor is all. We are both apes is all. And who’s to say the chimps aren’t better off than we are?

    It’s a far sillier notion to believe all other animals, reptiles and birds and mammals went through so much evolution to get here yet humans haven’t changed a bit. Daft.

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  106. good eye 1minion. I hadn’t even noticed Kay thinking scientists think we evolved from chimps, but I did say in my reply to her that “we are closely related to chimps, and that chimps and us in turn evolved from rodents that evolved from pond scum.”

    It is funny that some creationists have no problem accepting evolution as long as it doesn’t include humans!

    That error of Kay’s is a common one and shows a misunderstanding of how evolution works. It is an important distinction to note that humans did not evolve from the monkeys that are around today, but the monkeys of today share a common ancestor with humans.

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  107. and further, there is genetic evidence (fossils in the genes) to indicate that proto-humans and proto-chimps were getting it on and interbreeding for about a million years after the initial split from a common ancestor.

    One must understand that individual organisms don’t evolve, populations of organisms evolve. The early humans and early chimps were still similar enough to each other to interbreed.

    As for chimps being better off than us, I don’t know. However, their DNA shows signs of having evolved MORE since the split than human DNA has.

    I just love this, that not only are we related to monkeys, but our ancestors were having wild monkey sex with their monkey cousins for a million years after first taking the path towards becoming human, and that some of our monkey cousins are actually MORE evolved than we are!

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  108. kay-ms said

    No, I do understand how evolution works… we all supposedly have common ancestors… you and a carrot have a common ancestor.

    And I guess the missing link is finding the common ancestor of man and chimps (our most recent common ancestor). I don’t discount the science… but I don’t discount God either… and I don’t take the opinions and work of mortal men (scientists) as gospel… I take the gospel as gospel.

    I do believe the two can gel. I’m just not sure how. And if God wanted us to know how then we would know. The point is that, again, it doesn’t matter that much as far as our eternal souls are concerned. That is what all of us need to be concerned about.

    I feel TBG, that you are on a mission to convince people to put more faith in science than in God… and that’s not going to happen with me.

    That you laugh at the notion that God could affect what the science seems to tell us, tells me that you do not believe in Him. That is your perogative… insulting others for putting their faith in God and knowing that He controls all, even the science, is extreme ignorance and arrogance on your part. And that is because, again, science DOES NOT answer the ultimate question. Science argues AGAINST the idea of a begining that all of the resulting science that has been discovered came from. It’s just common sense. And ignoring that is just ignorance.

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  109. Anonymous said

    Hi, guys, so the impasse continues, I see. Enkill has quite a dissertation. TBG refuses to budge. And Kay is holding her own.

    Just a comment here: Why would God be accused of lying just because people come along and interpret — yes, interpret (get used to it) — interpret what they see in nature to mean something entirely erroneous about how God created? I don’t get that one. This would be like an artist painting a somewhat abstract picture, and along comes a spectator who says, “hey, this is what this painting is depicting. I am absolutely sure that this is what the artist meant, and this is how the artist did it.” But then someone presents the artist’s own commentary on the painting, in which he says he did the painting quite differently than what is thought, and declares that it has an entirely different meaning from the one being accorded it. Why would the artist be accused of lying just because some people THINK they understand the painting their way? Why? The answer may very well be….blind arrogance!

    Creationists hold that the Bible is the Artist’s manual that tells us how God created — not through long eons of evolving, but instantly. He spoke and it was done. He commanded and it stood fast. Now, that is power. It is not the Artist’s fault that TBG comes along and thinks he understands the Artist’s work in a different way, and insists that if his different understanding turns out to be incorrect, then, by golly, the Artist must be lying because….well….you know, TBG and a handful of scientists have interpreted the data differently, and they surely know best.

    Do they, really?

    By the way, I find it rather curious that I have mentioned at least twice that there is solid scientific evidence for a personal God, and no one has asked for that evidence. Why is that?

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  110. Synapseaxion said

    Hello, guys. I see the impasse remains. Enkill has quite an educational dissertation. TBG refuses to budge. And Kay is still holding her own. Ahh, then, the sun is in its sky and all’s well with the world…we hope!

    There wsa an artist once who created a somewhat abstract painting that was admired by quite a few people. Some of these admirers (call them Xaminers) studied the work of art and decided that they knew exactly how the painting was produced and exactly its meaning, even though they had not ever met the artist.

    One day the artist produced a statement to the public that declared that he was the one who had painted the canvas and he described the method he used in producing it. But his explanation was contrary to what the Xaminers had claimed to know from their study. So their response was that if the artist really did paint the way he said, then he must be lying or trying to deceive, because why else would he make the painting so closely resemble the method that the Xaminers proposed?

    Question: Whose understanding of the truth of the painting’s origins should be accepted? The statement of the artist himself, or the interpretation of the spectators? And if the artist’s explanation is taken at face value, why should he be accused of lying just because someone else came along and misunderstood the painting?

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  111. kay-ms said

    so, you’re saying that science is our Creator’s way of telling us how He did it? I thought you were an atheist.

    Your last comment 1minion sounds a lot like Dorian. You avoid my points and then come up with an abstract comment that we’re supposed to figure out.

    The interpretation of the spectators IS based on the statement of the Artist Himself thru the Bible.

    Your stance, as per the story, is that our Creator made this extraordinary creation and then made no contact beyond that with His creation. That is what doesn’t seem sensible.

    The opposing stance is that our Creator did make contact with us thru the Bible; a book that has proven itself over and over to be valid and reliable. And the science that our very limited minds have discovered helps us to understand how the Artist did it.

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  112. Synapse, I didn’t miss you at all, mainly because the first thing you post when you come back is another straw man argument.

    Your question as always is phrased in a biased, loaded way. You’re saying that God himself told us how he created us, and that all the scientists have it all wrong by examining the painting instead of listening to what the artist himself says.

    The artist (God) speaks more authentically and directly to us through his art than through some book written by people claiming to speak for him. And it is your OPINION that the artist himself is telling us how he created the art, when the Bible actually does NOT go into details beyond a poetic metaphor of the Lord as a potter and us as ceramics.

    I really don’t want to start corresponding with you again, and I won’t waste my time doing so. Kay I don’t mind. She seems to have actually modified her position on evolution the past few months possibly due to information I shared with her that she might not have been exposed to before and that she hopefully investigated for herself. You on the other hand do nothing but throw out straw men. Bullshit!

    When you’re preaching to the choir or people who don’t think for themselves you might get away with it, but I call BULLSHIT and invite anyone who disagrees with me to not take my word for it but see for themselves.

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  113. Kay, another possibility is that the Creator made the universe and made contact with us through the Bible, but that does not mean He did not use evolution as a tool of creation. The Bible does not say evolution didn’t happen, only some people THINK it does. They’re welcome to think whatever they want as long as they don’t try to dumb down my kid in a public school science classroom by legislating ignorance.

    It is even possible that every so-called random mutation of the DNA of our ancestors was caused by the will of God making a particular chemical or bundle of energy be present at the right time and place to interact with other chemicals or bundles of energy just so according to the way He structured the universe.

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  114. two comments awaiting moderation

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  115. kay-ms said

    Oh, sorry Synapseaxion, I thought you were 1minion for some reason.. no wonder that post didn’t make sense to me.

    Btw.. I tried to debate with the atheist “thugs” on Marshall Brain’s youtube video “10 questions every intelligent Christian must answer”. They allowed me to debate with them for a little while (a few days) and after saying horrible things about God and calling me all kinds of vulgar names to get rid of me they finally blocked me. It’s pretty obvious that Brain is threatened by any arguments to his atheistic beliefs and video so it seems he’s paying these guys to dominate and control the thread. (He must be paying them because they are there ALL the time.) They are extremely insulting and then they block you when they can’t argue with you anymore. It’s pathetic. I’m going to get another account and go back on and tell them how pathetic and sad they all are especially Marshall Brain.

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  116. Synapseaxion said

    I am not conversing with TBG since that is his wish, but I sure can adress what he says, unless the powers that be (would that be Dorian, Princess, Enkill?) decide otherwise.

    TBG says that some book written by people who claim to speak for God is to be trusted less than what we can interpret of nature for ourselves. In that case, I imagine that he does not feel he can truly trust that Jesus is real, since the account of the God of the Universe Himself breaking into human history in the form of a man, Christ Jesus, is derived from that same collection of books.

    And TBG also has taken the position that God has not told us how He created. But He has. He said He commanded and it stood fast. He spoke and it was done….not over millions of years, but instantly. He created ALL things, not just humans. “Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews.” Sounds like intelligence at work, not the luck and chance of some rare beneficial mutation.

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  117. /There’s a pending post from anonymous, and I can’t seem to be able to validate it? How can one validate a post?/

    This debate is interesting me, but I’ve got no time to do it fully, so I just pop to say hello. And that there’s no scientific debate on evolution going on at the moment. Just in the american society.

    @Anonymous

    There’s strong scientific evidence to the existence of God? Oh yeah? Give it, please. I’m personnaly a scientist, and although I’m not a biologist nor a paleotolongist, I would be interested to hear it.

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  118. Hey Synapseaxion, you raised a legitimate question that is NOT a straw man for a change, so I’d like to address it if I’m not frustrating you as much as you frustrated me.

    On the one hand it is rather courteous to say that you won’t debate me directly if I don’t want to. Still had to get your two cents in though huh? lol I don’t blame ya! I will call “bullshit” and “straw man” as needed if you resort to those cheap rhetorical tricks again, and those will be my only replies.

    You said: “He said He commanded and it stood fast. He spoke and it was done….not over millions of years, but instantly. He created ALL things, not just humans.”

    One might want to consider that God sees all moments as now-moments, in other words, what is millions or billions of years to us is the same instant to Him. Again, no conflict between Genesis and evolution. Even if there were conflict between Genesis and evolution, that is between religion and science. There is NOT and hasn’t been for a very long time any debate within the scientific community whether or not evolution happens. The debates among scientists are about how and why it happens, not if it happens.

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  119. There is also unanimity among scientists that the earth is about four and a half billion years old. There are several different ways of measuring this, and they all say the same thing. On the other hand, there is much evidence against the earth being only six or ten thousand years old, and evidence that falsifies a global flood at least since the time humans EVOLVED.

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  120. Synapseaxion said

    Anonymous, science consists of collection of data through observation and experimentation, followed by the formation and testing of hypotheses.

    The Creator of the universe broke into human history, via the means of human DNA, took the title of Jesus, and introduced Himself to humans as a God who says: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

    What material does science have to work with here? It has a living, observable, touchable, hearable Subject Who appeared in or around 4 BCE, was witnessed by not just one person, but by many, and whose reality was recorded by several observers.

    Do the rules of science apply to this Subject? Yes.

    Observation: A living, breathing human being.

    Collection of data: Repeated experiments in the form of repeated “miracles” (a miracle is merely science that we don’t yet understand)

    The formation of a hypothesis: If these miracles are repeated and verified, then this Person really must be a god in human form

    The final recognition of a fact: God indeed became flesh and dwelled among us, as prophesied would happen, thousands of years before 4BCE.

    Peer review: The reality of Jesus-God has been acknowledged and held to be true by not just a handful of people, but by a couple billion sane people.

    Therefore, all the rules of science have been met by those who hold the position that a Personal God exists and runs the universe.

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  121. Synapseaxion said

    Someone said (I wonder who) that the earth is 4.5 billion years old. I have no problem agreeing with such a person if the evidence indicates just that. Holding that the earth’s rocks are ancient does not jeopardize my position that life is young.

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  122. @Synapse

    “What material does science have to work with here? It has a living, observable, touchable, hearable Subject Who appeared in or around 4 BCE, was witnessed by not just one person, but by many, and whose reality was recorded by several observers.”

    +1. Jesus did exist.

    “Collection of data: Repeated experiments in the form of repeated “miracles””

    Problems:
    source: Bible only. No outside source to my knowledge, if there is, please give link.

    “(a miracle is merely science that we don’t yet understand)”

    +1. Or also, a very good magic trick.

    “Peer review: The reality of Jesus-God has been acknowledged and held to be true by not just a handful of people, but by a couple billion sane people.”

    The reality of Jesus, yes. The reality of God, no. And people, even more during this time, can be fooled by tricks. Besides, histories transmitted by the Bible are biaised, the authors being interested in the results (common problem in usual science). No external sources, or please give.

    At the moment, to my knowledge, the only verified impact of belief is in the chemistry of the human brain (and this, whatever the religion or the belief.).

    “Therefore, all the rules of science have been met by those who hold the position that a Personal God exists and runs the universe.”

    Thanks for showing lacks in science reasoning.

    “that the earth is 4.5 billion years old. I have no problem agreeing with such a person if the evidence indicates just that. Holding that the earth’s rocks are ancient does not jeopardize my position that life is young.”

    Fossils of cyanobacterias have been found in rocks dating from 3,8 billion years old. Unless God did intently a prank to us, life is at least 3,8 billion years old.

    Thanks for showing lack of basic scientific litterature.

    Contesting evolution is a bit like contesting that electromagnetic waves does exist.
    The question is in the nature of evolution and how does it works, like we are questioning the nature of waves.

    Oh, and somewhere you’ve also said “many people believe in creationism”.

    How many of them are paleontologists?

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  123. Synapseaxion said

    Horsservice, you do know that the Bible is not a single source, right? It consists of a number of different sources, written over many years, and these many sources were eventually compiled and combined into a single volume. If you had, say, just the book of Daniel, and no other sources, one might rightfully question its authenticity. But you have 66 books, several authors, different time periods for the various sources. And with such a wide field of collection, these books still harmonize and corroborate each other. If yet another souce were found today, I bet it would probably be tested, studied and eventually added to the collection, if it met the standard of authenticity. So, just because several sources are bound together into a single volume does not mean that it is a single book.

    Re the reality of Jesus, it appears that you are not familiar with the account of Jesus’ life on earth. If you were, you would know that Jesus claimed to be God….for which there were attempts to stone Him for blasphemy.

    You say that fossils of cyanobacteria have been found in rocks dating to 3.8 billion years old. Unfortunately, you are showing your own lack of scientific understanding. Fossils are never found IN rocks that are datable radiometrically in the millions/billions of years. Fossils are found only in undatable sedimentary rock, and they get dated relative to the igneous rock, not because they are INin the igneous rock itself.

    We are dealing here with premises. Because a layer of sedimentary rock is overlaid by a layer of igneous rock that is datable via potassium-argon, uranium-lead and/or isochron methods, it is assumed that because higher layers are younger and lower layers are older (makes sense superficially) that therefore, the sedimentary layer with the fossils must be older than the igneous layer above it. And if the igneous layer dates to 3 billion years, then of course, the sedimentary layer below it must be even older. Again, that is logical but shallow reasoning, imo.

    The premise is flawed. Consider that you have two sheets of paper, one from a pack of paper bought yesterday at an office supply store, and the other from a stack of papyrus from the attic of your great great great great great grandparents. Suppose you first place the office-supply sheet of paper on a table, and then place on top of it a sheet of papyrus, yellowed with age; by the rules of relative dating — lower=older; higher=younger — you would assume that the office supply paper must be older because it was laid down first. When, in fact, the papyrus is really older and is not a commentary at all on the age of the office-supply paper.

    We would have to get into the premises of the radiometric dating methods as applied to radioactive decay and re-formation of rock, and that is a whole ‘nother topic. I don’t know if you really want to go there.

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  124. @Synapse.

    Yes, I am aware of that. A significant part of the old testament is inspired by myths of other religions, also.
    About the new testament, as I understand it the “official” version, constituting the Bible today, was put into place during the first centuries of the Church, until the Vth century for the most controversial parts.
    So it’s kind of normal that the new testament is coherent on this subject, because it presents only one side of the facts. It is designed to do so. And some of the gospels are believed to be inspired by others: therefore the indepedency of the sources could be questioned, at least partly.
    Other books does exist, and even full gospels, only they are not recognized as “canonical”. But you can study them as well. (the church has never prevented it…).
    So there is multiple sources but…
    The thing is, all of them are written by christians. It’s like if you asked to redact a book on cars by car makers. Be sure that there won’t be any bad aspects in it.

    Besides, the Bible doesn’t include a critical part on the life of Jesus, like a part where experimental incertitudes are described, which is necessary for it to be called “science”.

    If you want it to be physic or chemistry, then you would have to be able to reproduce the miracle yourself with the proper instruments.
    If you want it to be history, then you would have to find several independant observers (the best are enemies) to account the same miracles.

    “Re the reality of Jesus, it appears that you are not familiar with the account of Jesus’ life on earth. If you were, you would know that Jesus claimed to be God….for which there were attempts to stone Him for blasphemy.”

    1) It is written in the Bible, OK. (could you give me the quotation, as a matter of fact? I don’t know it) Give at least a second independent source, please.
    2) I could claim to be the son of God, that won’t make me the son of God. I could even issue you a few things that you would call miracles, if you ask nicely.

    But then, why does a significant part of believers (I found this way of thinking among muslims also) wants their beliefs to be confirmed by science? Faith works very well and even better without science, and the same for science. The two doesn’t interfere.
    And it would be, to me, dangerous and unscientific to believe in something that could be torn down tomorrow, as science can.
    I find it strange.

    “You say that fossils of cyanobacteria have been found in rocks dating to 3.8 billion years old. Unfortunately, you are showing your own lack of scientific understanding.”

    That’s why I didn’t wanted to get in this debate. I am too much irritated by people using half-scientific truths to turn science against itself. When one think that one has found a contradiction that should tear down a whole domain of science (basically, you’re ruining geology and paleontology here), one should think twice before claming out loud so.

    Just ask your nearest geology university professor to explain you how it works. Seriously, I don’t want to.

    (No, I’m not afraid to do so. It’s just that 1) an expert will explain you things better and in details 2) I don’t want to be agressive)

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  125. Synapseaxion said

    Horsservice, are you saying that all of the Bible books are witten by Christians, or just the various books of the New Testament? Just checking.

    You asked for a quotation re Jesus claiming to be God. He says, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” Or “I and my Father are one.” Or “Before Abraham was, I AM,” for which they picked up stones to stone Him because He used the title of God — I AM. The disciple closest to Jesus also understood this. He writes “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God …. and the Word became flesh and dwelled among us.”

    Re faith, I do not recommend a blind faith that is not based on a solid foundation of reason. With sufficient evidence, one can take the leap of faith, but it would be unwise and unsafe to accept any idea without investigating the claims of that idea. Investigation of claims is a scientific process. And when there is sufficient evidence, then faith can be firm and unshakeable. I sure hope you are not recommending that anyone should believe blindly in God, without evidence of any sort.

    As to geology and paleontology, I see you prefer to surrender your mind to “the authorities” to be told what to believe. This is unfortunate. You are held accountable for yourself.

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  126. @Synapse

    “Horsservice, are you saying that all of the Bible books are witten by Christians, or just the various books of the New Testament? Just checking.”

    Only the various books of the New Testament, christianity only began when the Christ was born… Well, more precisely some have been written by Jews from the sect of christians, which at the time wasn’t really clearly separated, but all were convert to the idea that Jesus was the Messiah.

    Thanks for the quotation. Could you also give me the reference in the Bible? I’m french, I would like to see how it is written in my own Bible.

    “Re faith, I do not recommend a blind faith that is not based on a solid foundation of reason. With sufficient evidence, one can take the leap of faith, but it would be unwise and unsafe to accept any idea without investigating the claims of that idea. Investigation of claims is a scientific process. And when there is sufficient evidence, then faith can be firm and unshakeable. I sure hope you are not recommending that anyone should believe blindly in God, without evidence of any sort.”

    I do perfectly agree. It’s exactly why I wonder why people have to twist the truth to still believe the Earth was created in 7 days and the human directly by God, when it will be beneficiary for both belief and truth to consider that it is a parable. God could have started the whole universe, for example, and He could have all organised to make the apparition of Man mandatory. If I would believe in God, that would be a very good explanation to me.
    And for Jesus, since science doesn’t say that Jesus isn’t the son of God, why would you need science to confirm it? You have the Bible, and you consider that what’s written in it can be trusted: what do you need more? There’s a lot of theological arguments to prove He is the son of God, why don’t you leave science alone?

    “As to geology and paleontology, I see you prefer to surrender your mind to “the authorities” to be told what to believe. This is unfortunate. You are held accountable for yourself.”

    Oh yeah. So it’s a conspiracy. Sorry for you, I’m part of the ones you consider “the authorities”, although in the domain of material science.
    If you want to confront someone, confront a geologist and a paleontologist, and then you will talk about younger layers in a sandwich of older layers.

    Did you ever wondered where does the data from reformation of rocks came from? OH LORD! From geologists and paleonlogist!
    It’s certainly a sign.

    (I warned you I could become agressive. It’s always the case when I’m confronted to unscientific people who think they are better than life-long experts and then say “you shouldn’t trust experts because they might be wrong/they are purposefully fooling you, you should think for yourself”.)

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  127. Enkill_Eridos said

    Synapse you are funny..do you realize that you made no sense with the “the authorities” comment..I mean DO YOU have the money to pay for the machinery and do you have the credentials to access raw fossils and actually know what you are looking at, and what you are looking for? If you do and manage to know all of this information without a text book, or any actual formal training. I have to say wow that is simply amazing.

    But chances are, you don’t… You say do research for yourself. I have done research for myself. That means I have looked through “the authorities” findings and data. I have read their explinations of what it means and how they came up with these findings. It is called a scientific report. And you need to have a basic knowledge of the fields to actually understand them.

    Have you done research on Christianity? Did you know the Christian Bible is incomplete? Not just the New Testament, but the old too? Do you believe what “those authorities” tell you? The difference is though that the complete Word of God is available. Christianity originated by the writings inspired by God, of the Hebrew people. The Torah was not the only set of writings that are considered the word of God by the Hebrew people. There is the Tanakh (it is the core writings the Christians refer to it as the Old Testament.), the Talmud, and the Sepher Yezirah. All of these are available complete with supplimental commentary books. (much like the Christian Bible) Don’t Drink Organized Christianity’s Kool-aid. Read the full word of God and you will understand concepts in the New Testament a lot better. Do the research find God yourself. Then after you are familiar with those three Hebrew texts then read the Apocrypha and the New Testament. Then the whole bible will make more sense to you. There is more to the Christian religion than the fundamental (core) teachings. The Organized Christian Church is a good place to learn the fundamentals, but there is more to God than just that.

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  128. Synapseaxion said

    Horsservice, you asked for the references for the quotations I gave you about Jesus claiming to be God. Here they are: John 1:1-12. John 8:58. John 10:30. John 14:9. John 15:24. There are other cross references from other writers that corroborate these quotes. How deep do you want to go?

    You seem to think that scientific reasoning does not belong to the field of faith. But this is an incorrect position to take. It is true that the process of reasoning to reach a valid conclusion is the process used by science, but it should also be used in every other field. The same method of reasoning from cause to effect, of weighing evidence, should be used in all decision making in general. Scientists do not have the corner on reasoning. And if I recommend that people should learn to reason out their own beliefs, then you ought to be happy about that. Why are you not? Why do you want to relegate faith to merely accepting some book or books without investigation?

    And, Horsservice, my friend, where have I said that there is a conspiracy among scientists? Please do not put words in my mouth, and please do not project what you see through your own filter. You may be an authority in your field, and I am willing to hear you expound on your knowledge, but be sure that I will weigh what you say, question you closely, and if your answers are not reasonable to me, then I am free to move on to a better answer if it can be found elsewhere. But if you say, “You must listen to the paleontologists and the geologists, because they know more than you, and whatever they conclude, you must also conclude,” then you are asking me to give my mind over to the authorities. Ask no more questions. Just believe what they say.

    NOTE: This attitude is dangerous, and no one should do this. Learn to question your own beliefs.

    And just so you know, I have indeed questioned biologists, geologists, and paleontologists about their conclusions, and even though I am not a scientist, I assure you that I have the ability (which we all have) to weigh their answers, question them closely, and if their answers are unsatisfactory, then I will not follow them blindly. Okay?

    And, hey, one more thing, Horsservice: Please feel free to be as aggressive as you like. There’s no need to “warn” me. Okay? I can deal with it.

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  129. Enkill_Eridos said

    But you still have to use data they acquired and you have to read the scientific report that these authorities wrote. You can use the scientific method for anything, you know what that word is? Critical thinking.

    Synapse, everyone should question their own beliefs.

    In the sense that they should ask, why do I believe this?

    Where did that conclusion come from?

    Could I be wrong?

    If so is there any material that could prove or disprove these beliefs.

    And then you would have to research those materials and try to be able to completely understand and explain those concepts to others completely and confidently. Questioning your beliefs is not a dangerous attitude. Questioning your beliefs and then trying to find if your beliefs are correct or was there more data that actually put the beliefs more in perspective.

    This is what God wants, and how I believe you truly come to understand God, and thus what his purpose for you existing is.

    Oh and I do want to say one thing. Jesus never told his disciples to pray to him. Jesus never told his disciples to worship him as he was God. Jesus always talked about how GOD wants you to worship and pray to him. How God wants mankind to live like. I believe that the trinity doctrine is seriously flawed because it does not take into account Jesus’ actions toward this subject. Jesus is the way to GOD. When he said God the Father and I are one. That didn’t mean in the physical sense. If you actually read the chapter that verse is in and have an understanding of the intricate workings and beliefs of the Hebrews. You would see this. Verb usage is everything, and the relevance to the culture of the time is what also must be taken into account.

    The Holy Spirit was a tool created and used by God to be able to speak to mankind. Theologically the Holy Spirit is not a being. But God is, so there is a MAJOR flaw in the trinity doctrine. Jesus is a being and he may be like God but he isn’t God. God is the creator of everything, everything comes from him. Jesus was born, he first came into being FROM God’s seed. It is the same thing as saying That my father and me are the same. Obviously it does not mean I am my own father, but our personalities and outlook are so similar they appear to be the same. The same thing with Jesus. Jesus not being the same as the supreme being, the creator of everything does not mean Jesus was not a divine being. But the trinity doctrine was created by man, to show the validity of the Christian religion to the world. Understand many people did not consider Christianity as a valid religion. The Nicean Council created doctrines so that Christianity would be accepted by the people as a religion. Saying Jesus is not the same being as the Creator, but still a divine being is not diminishing his role as the messiah as Kay proclaims. Jesus not being the same being as the creator wouldn’t cause him to cease being the messiah. Jesus was very clear to say things like “This is part of my father’s plan.” or “It is my father’s will” He never said OUR plan, he said my father’s.

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  130. Synapseaxion said

    Enkill, thank you for a very thoughtful response. I agree with you about critical thinking. It should apply to all aspects of life, not just to the field of science.

    I also agree with you that the Trinity concept is inadequate, if not outright flawed. The doctrine originated within Roman Catholicism, I think — correct me if I’m wrong. My personal understanding of God is that He is so all encompassing that He can be everywhere at the same time. A single, monotheistic God, yet powerful enough to reveal Himself in as many forms as He pleases, and simultaneously, if necessary. With that kind of understanding, the references you make to Jesus do not conflict with my references from the same compilation of texts. Sometimes God is referred to in human form, as Jesus taking on the lowly form of man, and in that role, He appears as lower than the Father. Other times, this same Jesus is referred to as God Himself, see Isaiah 9:6, where the prophesied Messiah (Jesus) is predicted, “For unto us a child is born” … “and he will be called Mighty God, Everlasting Father”.

    Also, other sources in this compilation of sources that we call the Bible, say that every knee shall bow to Jesus. So how do we reconcile what seem like discrepancies? By understanding the bigness of this God who can be everywhere at the same time.

    In our limited understanding of dimensions, this does not make sense. But put yourself in the place of a baby who does not yet understand how its world works. You see the face of your parent gazing down at you while, at the same time, you are aware of arms that hold you tight. But you do not connect the two, and if you could talk, you would probably say that two different elements are at work here — the hovering face of your parent, and the warm arms of someone else holding you. How could this all be the same person!

    This is somewhat like how we tend to relate to God and Jesus. They obviously appear to be two different persons. But since we hold that there is only One God, then we conclude “logically” that one or the other of these two persons cannot be God. Yet, as the writer declares, “The Word was God” — not a god, but God Himself. Go figure! Blows the mind, but then that is how it should be. If we could wrap our minds around this God of the Universe, He would not be an awesome God.

    So, Enkill, from my perspective, when Jesus says, “If you have seen me you have seen the Father,” or “I and my Father are one,” or if He takes to Himself the name of God — I AM — for which the people understood exactly what He meant and tried to stone Him for blasphemy, when these texts are added to all others, the final picture I get is that God was able to break into human history, meet us on our own ground where we could understand Him, and worked out a way (a scientific way that upheld all the laws and physics of the universe) in order to give us a second chance at a better life.

    Your input?

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  131. Synapseaxion said

    Enkill, I agree that there are other books besides those 66 books of the Bible. They are interesting to read — try the book of Enoch! But really, I think there is sufficient information in the most commonly held 66 books that will establish a foundation for salvation. All you really need to be saved is right there in the 66 books. The rest of the documents out there are just an additional interesting read, if you want more.

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  132. Enkill_Eridos said

    Actually the verse you are referencing to is very flawed. Look at the verses before that. They are questioning Jesus and asking him if he is higher in status than Abraham. Jesus simply responded with I am. The same grouping that is found in multiple other passages in the Greek. Now if he was saying he was actually God the grouping and even words would be way different. See the English version is not a true translation but a transliteration. Take Genesis 1:2. A direct translation reads

    The country was wondering about the darkness and stared – the abyss and the spirit of God hovering over – the water:

    Phonetically it reads: 1 bərē’šîṯ bārā’ ’ĕlōhîm ’ēṯ haššāmayim wə’ēṯ hā’āreṣ:

    Now the word ’ĕlōhîm in Hebrew means spirit of God. It could be inferred that word also means the Hands of God. Since it is a plural noun. Many scholars actually say that ’ĕlōhîm could be updated to read the Hands of God, in English and still be accurate. But the meaning of the word changes with the context. I mean the same verse in the KJV kind of gets the point but the abyss (void) and the spirit of God was hovering over the water. So the planet really wasn’t formless and void.

    I agree all you need to be SAVED is right there. But the rest tells you more about God and it should strengthen your understanding of God and grow in a spiritual sense as God wants you to do.

    In baseball all you really need to play is the basic fundamentals. You need to know how to catch, throw, and hit the ball. But just knowing these fundamentals doesn’t mean you can play in the major leagues. And just knowing the fundamentals of how the game works does not qualify you to be a coach. Taking this same concept the fundamentals are needed but there is more. And ignoring the more and just using the fundamentals as a baseline to an organization to be the supreme authority on God, Jesus, and Salvation is absurd. Since everyone’s spiritual path is different. Everyone’s path to Enlightenment is different. If you are comfortable in not knowing more than the fundamentals that’s cool, but I do not think that knowing just the fundamentals qualifies any religious organization to create doctrines and ignore the rest. I do not disagree with Christianity, just the organization that runs it.

    As for the Hebrews stoning Jesus for this you need to actually understand the culture. He was putting himself spiritually before Abraham. That was the blasphemy, because the Hebrew Theology was that only the Messiah can do that. But this does not mean he believed himself to be God. The Father and I are one, again I can say My Father and I are one and it be true. Because upon the death of the Father in the household the eldest son always inherits everything the Father owned. In essence the Son becomes the Father. And it passes on and on. This is by Ancient Hebrew Law. I am not saying that after the Day of Judgement, that Jesus and God will not actually physically become one. Because that is what Revalations make it seem. But as it stands now theologically they are separate entities.

    All of this being said, people who were very familiar with the entire theology of Judaism have even proved well before science the approximation of the age of the Universe and the age of the Earth. And guess what it wasn’t that far off from what science has come up with. There was like a billionth of a difference. Before the Christian religion even said the Earth is about 6,000 years old the Scholars of Judaism said the Earth was much, much older than that. So there are two forms of evidence scientific and scriptural that have proved creationists to be wrong.

    I mean we even have observed evolution happening. We know that all life has intelligence. So why is it so much of a stretch to say evolution is a tool? Because it would prove that there is more than just the fundamentals. It would mean Christianity would have to teach what they used to teach as what they passages say that’s what happened. It would mean Christianity was wrong and therefore it cannot be the supreme authority on God. And the biggest thing is that it means Christianity would have to incorporate things found by science into it’s religious teachings and doctrines. And we know that Christianity has been very paranoid about Science overthrowing it. Why can these two things cooperate? Because people want to be right and usually don’t admit when they are wrong. Especially Organized Christianity. To this day, many preachers teach that the inquisition, and several of the so-called Witch Trials was just, and was not what it was Genocide. (Not just the Catholics killed people because they were not Christians. The Catholics were just the only ones to call a holy war on Islam, via the Crusades. (And we wonder why Islamic Fundamentalists look for a religious reason to commit Genocide against the “Zionist Threat”.)

    I mean in order to grow as a species we need to learn to put our differences aside, and we are doing that albeit very slowly but it is happening. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dec 24, 2012 a discovery is found that causes this to happen. Because that would end the world as we know it. Religion and Science would work hand in hand along with all of humanity. But people want destruction and mayhem to happen. They said that would happen during the Y2K scare.

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  133. Synapseaxion said

    More food for thought from Enkill. Nice. I guess we are off topic now, though, so I won’t go too much further with this … unless you decide to start a thread devoted to this area.

    Just a question: What translation did you use in quoting Genesis 1:2? You say it is a direct translation, but it differs from the translation I have here from “The Interlnear Bible, Hebrew-Greek-English translation, “A literal translation…” Here it translates the Hebrew literally to: “And the earth being without form and void, and darkness on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God moving gently on the face of the water.

    I suppose, too, that we are now into interpretation, and I respect your freedom to interpret as you feel convicted. The interpretation I accept and that makes sense to me is the one that says that Elohim is the plural form of El, which implies that God is plural in personality. I’m not sure where “hands” is implied in there. But there are always broader insights to be gained about God, so maybe you have some inside information that would help here.

    Yes, all the information needed to be saved is already in the Bible, and since I am not aspiring to be a “coach” but merely sharing my personal convictions, I don’t think there is a problem here. I see, too, that you have taken a position on the divinity of Jesus, and I don’t want to argue with you, so let us just agree to disagree and move on, okay?

    One more thing. I hold that the earth’s materials can be billions of years old, but life on earth is young. So your arguments on the earth’s age do not apply to me. Okay? Just so you know ….

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  134. It is a word for word translation without accounting for cultural or language differences. It was taken directly from the Tanakh I have…That was the raw translation. Now the point that I was trying to make is that the word for word translations really don’t make a lot of sense in English. The translator must keep in mind the concepts of it. If I was to teach people how to read and translate Hebrew to English. Then have these people translate the first book of the bible, each one of those different people would word it differently. Mainly because Hebrew does not directly translate into English and make a lot of sense. The concepts in the Hebrew must be added to make sense in English, and even then each translation would differ slightly to the interpretations each individual person has. I am not talking about coaching either, I am talking about having each person translate make it make sense in English, and have them explain how they came to this interpretation. It is an interesting exercise, because each translation would be slightly different. Hebrew really isn’t that hard to learn, it’s just hard to master the grammar and some of the parts of speech, for an English speaker.

    I personally do not think that in today’s day and age we really need people to tell us what something means, or this is what “experts” say this means. Especially since we can learn these things ourselves, and come to our own conclusions.

    I understand what you are saying..from looking at the age of the Earth it self life is young. We have learned a lot from fossils and saw that a lot of fossils actually have transitional marks. We have discovered early human fossils in many places, and these fossils show a transition. Do I believe human beings will go through another transitional phase? No, because what would we transition into? What is the cellular need for this transition? Really physically it wasn’t our physical bodies that changed drastically, it was our brains. With each transitional fossil of man there was something new found next to it. We even found fossils in caves with drawings depicting how they percieved life back then. We can actually track our own intellectual progress with these transitional fossils.

    Now the only place to grow is spiritually. As long as we are all intolerant that everyone can have their own ideas and views on religion. Then we will continue this self-destructive path we are on. The basis of America is to be tolerant of different cultures and religions. We need to cooperate with the world, and actually see what we can do to cohabitate. I mean obviously we are going to watch these different countries, and dispose of tyrants. But for the most part we should work more closely with the UN, tuck in our sanctimonious attitude, accept that we are not better than everyone else and try to live in a more cohabitation instead of competition. I understand the peace with war concept, but really how many more wars do we really need? Especially when there are alternatives. I mean most modern day humans would be willing to cohabitate, as long as they know that us telling them of our views does not mean we want them to see things the same way. I don’t want people to completely agree with me, I want them to come up with their own conclusions. I don’t think we have a need for someone telling us what something means anymore. I think we are more than capable of coming to our own conclusions, if given the tools to look at the raw materials and understand it. Greek is hard to learn, but really the most difficulty is in learning how to speak it. The same with Hebrew, but learning to read, write, and understand these languages is much easier.

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