The official RRS defeats Way of the Master thread

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The official RRS defeats Way of the Master thread

 

This is it. This is the official thread that Kelly and Sapient will try to interact with as many visitors as they can. If you are new here, welcome aboard. If viewing this from the homepage you can click the title of the thread, create an account, and post your comments. Kelly and Sapient will not have time to address all the email and would like to keep all of their exchanges public for the benefit of the readers who are curious. Soon we will have a downloadable document available right from this post that will expose as many arguments as we can expose from the ABC Nightline Face Off with Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron. Here are the highlights of the face off from our eyes...

 

Did we make mistakes in the full debate? Yes. We stumbled on a few words, made an inaccurate point or two, and made a weak point at a moment or two. Ironically our worst points still seemed to be too much for them. So while we welcome criticism, especially constructive, please keep in mind that we feel we have a good handle on what we did wrong. We'll grow, learn, and get better. What we're really hoping for in this thread is for the actual content and discussion about gods existence to be brought into question. Challenge us to continue, and we will continue to respond to your claims. If you are a theist, please feel free to post your scientific evidence for God, leaving out the miserable arguments that Ray Comfort has already been beaten on of course. If you are having trouble finding the video on ABCs website, you can find most/all of the videos here. DIGG it.

A thread on our message board that has links to the entire unedited debate.

Other threads of interest:

Nightline Editing Bias - The Supporting Data

Gregfl starts a thread about Bashirs big blunder and the Nightline portrayal.

Some of the Christian mail coming in [YOU RESPOND] about the debate.

Pertaining to Jesus Mythicism A thorough examination of the evidence for Jesus by Rook Hawkins

A Silence That Screams - (No contemporary historical accounts for "jesus) by Todangst

Video from Rook outlining the basics of Jesus Mythicism

 

UPDATE Sapient spoke with ABC and voiced concerns leveled by many atheists in the community that the editing job for the Nightline piece gave Ray and Kirk a free pass. The most commonly voiced criticism of ABC was that it managed to show the debate as somewhat even and that there was no clear victor. This discussion was accepted only under the understanding that Ray and Kirk would prove God exists without invoking faith or the Bible. Anyone that understood the format saw that Ray and Kirk failed at their premise as soon as the proof of God became the Ten Commandments. ABC was made aware that commentary like "It was difficult to know if either side could claim victory" gave the impression that they were pandering to their largely Christian audience. While Sapient understood that this may be a wise business move, it was noted that it wasn't an accurate representation of the discussion. The Rational Response Squad brought it's "B" game and still destroyed every claim Kirk and Ray threw at them. In more positive news, we were made aware that the ABC unedited video of the debate was viewed over 160,000 times in the first 12 hours. Hopefully a few people have found the strength to overcome their god delusion.

AND THE PWNAGE CONTINUES:


THE FULL DEBATE!

 


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pby wrote: "Evolution is a

pby wrote:

"Evolution is a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations." I think that I understand that concept but I don't understand your assertion that "every fossil is a transitional that proves species evolving." How can a single fossil provide evidence of heritable changes in a population?



Fossils are like frame of a film. The previous frame is dependent on the current frame. The next frame is dependent on the current frame. So on and so on. While each frame does include valuable information, the relationship between each frame is where the real story is. We collectively make up a single frame in the film of the evolution. Until the next frame is captured, we cannot tell how what role we play in the future of life on our planet.

pby wrote:

The universe didn't use to exist. Life didn't use to exist. How did it come into existence?


Again, while you can use philosophy to say there must be a necessity that caused everything to happen, you can't make specific claims about this necessity, other that the fact that it is necessary, without specific proof. Without proof that explicitly points to a Abrahamic God, you can't prove this necessity is sentient, cares about us, deigned us or had any specific purpose in mind when it created us. Nor can you prove this necessity will give us eternal life. In fact, you can't prove this necessity even continues to take a personal interest in what it caused to exist. All of these properties could simply be a projection of what you want this necessity to be.

We do not learn by experience, but by our capacity for experience.


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pby wrote:Sorry...no

pby wrote:

Sorry...no speculation, here. It is how many historians/experts on Josephus and the Testimonium state the issue. I cited some of the experts in an earlier post, if you would like to check it out.

I do not expect a dog to give birth to a cat (but maybe a dinosaur birthing a bird)...sorry to disappoint, though.

"Evolution is a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations."  I think that I understand that concept but I don't understand your assertion that "every fossil is a transitional that proves species evolving." How can a single fossil provide evidence of heritable changes in a population?  

The universe didn't use to exist. Life didn't use to exist. How did it come into existence?

  Dogs and cats are on different branches, of the evolution tree. If you don't understand that I wouldn't assume you would understand anything about evolution.  One species doesn't become an already pre-existing species (at least none that I have heard of).   I would like for you to explain the difference between a wolf and a dog or a cat?  The only thing I can think of when a Creationist says that one species doesn't change into another (Macro Evolution) is possibly the ability to breed offspring, am I correct in that?

Sounds made up...
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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Sapient wrote:

 

I'll ask you the same question Ray and Kirk failed on...

If God has always existed, why can't the Universe have always existed?

 

 

It didn't. We dated the universe at 13.5 billion years. It's a finite time span (Albiet a VERY VERY VERY long one).

 

Now, one could argue that ours is a baby universe formed from another one (one that always existed)13.5 billion years ago. Can you find any proof of this? Neither can I.

I'm not saying that it's impossible, but don't you require proof before you believe?


He never said he believed. He's bringing it up as a possibility. As far as what came before the big bang, there are a number of theories that have been presented from chaotic inflation to various versions of string theory. Unlike theists, we are not so emotionally invested in any of these that we blind ourselves to other possibilities. And these theories at least have the possibility of being tested possibly by examining the statistical properties of  CMBR. The theist pitch is inherently un-testable, conveniently insulating itself from any kind of scientific thought or skepticism by claiming the eternity and permanent detachment from our universe. While it might make you feel fuzzy, it eventually leads to unintellectual attitudes. After all if the answer in the end is god and well he's unexpainable anyway, what's the point in continuing to search for answers? It's the only logical end for the theist. And history is littered with its wreckage.


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Sapient

Sapient wrote:

Gary7infiltrator, I skimmed your post to RevLyle. It looked really good from what I saw, thanks for taking the time so that I could instead deal with the 384 unread emails I have. Sticking out tongue

 

 

You're most welcome.  I'm not as good at arguing these points as you and Kelly are (lack of experience - I'll get there), but at least I can provide the fresh tidbit of info about vampire bats having a code of ethics.  Eye-wink 


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Textom wrote: Quote: Your

Textom wrote:

Quote:
Your problem is that inanimate materialistic processes alone cannot explain the presence of information.

Crystals are a good example of inanimate materialistic processes storing, replicating and transmitting information without intelligence.

(Bearing in mind what Trilberian and Secular Evangelist have already said about "information" being an abstract concept that intelligence imposes on physical processes that we observe, which is true)...

In its most basic form, information is just an organized pattern of matter that persists in time. The information encoded in an alum crystal, for example, could be called "instructions for how to make alum crystalline structures." If you drop this alum crystal into a saturated solution, this code will be "read" by the dissolved alum molecules, and they'll be electrochemically organized into the alum crystal pattern according to those instructions.

The alum crystal doesn't "know" the chemical formula or arrangement of molecules, and the information didn't require intelligence to decode and apply. Also the original seed crystal didn't require any intelligence to create or design--it just arose spontaneously out of the chemical responses to particular starting conditions earlier.

This is true of all crystals--the arrangement of the parts (i.e. information) arises--not at random or by chance--but as an inevitable result of certain starting conditions. Put some carbon molecules into one kind of environment, and you get graphite. Put them in a different environment, and you get a diamond. The crystal didn't decide to become a diamond and it didn't require a designer/creator to become a diamond: the organization of the matter (that is the blueprint of "how to make a diamond&quotEye-wink arose inevitably from those starting conditions.

DNA and other organic molecules work the same way, but on a more complex scale. They mash against each other mechanically and chemically, and then mash against other things to build proteins and so forth, but none of this requires any intelligence. The mistake in your thinking, Honest Questioner, is in interpreting the "reading" of DNA information on a human scale--which requires intelligence. DNA is "read" by physical and chemical operations analagous to the crystal example above, and it happens without any intelligence.

To answer your other question, the best guess that science currently has for where genetic "information" came from originally is that it resulted electrochemically, not by random chance, but rather from particular starting conditions (including environmental selection pressures). Then, like with a crystal, once it got going, it just kept on.

Great post! I love being backed up by someone who actually knows what he is talking about. 

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Magus wrote: pby

Magus wrote:
pby wrote:

Sorry...no speculation, here. It is how many historians/experts on Josephus and the Testimonium state the issue. I cited some of the experts in an earlier post, if you would like to check it out.

I do not expect a dog to give birth to a cat (but maybe a dinosaur birthing a bird)...sorry to disappoint, though.

"Evolution is a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations." I think that I understand that concept but I don't understand your assertion that "every fossil is a transitional that proves species evolving." How can a single fossil provide evidence of heritable changes in a population?

The universe didn't use to exist. Life didn't use to exist. How did it come into existence?

Dogs and cats are on different branches, of the evolution tree. If you don't understand that I wouldn't assume you would understand anything about evolution. One species doesn't become an already pre-existing species (at least none that I have heard of). I would like for you to explain the difference between a wolf and a dog or a cat? The only thing I can think of when a Creationist says that one species doesn't change into another (Macro Evolution) is possibly the ability to breed offspring, am I correct in that?

 

It's valuable to point out here that the entire concept of "species" is a man-made thing.  We came up with "species" and the idea of categorizing living things so that we could understand life better.

Animals and plants probably do not have a concept of "species."  They will mate with animals that are like they are.  An animal with a mutation may still appear "like" enough to find a mate.  Given enough generations of mutations being passed around, the offspring will begin to look and act nothing like that which came before.  This is the process of macroevolution.  As Brian pointed out in the debate, it is analogous to walking a mile by taking single steps.  

Notice that Kirk failed to point out how one can walk a mile without going a step at a time. 

Honestly, if you really can't grasp the concept that macroevolution is made up of microevolution, then you seriously need to study evolution more.  And please use actual, scientific resources for study, not Christian propaganda resources.  You will learn a lot.  Macroevolution will start to make sense to you.  But we cannot explain it to you any more clearly than we are already doing here. 


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I've been bugged by this

I've been bugged by this argument that I don't have a ready answer for:

The universe cannot be eternal because the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics says that the entropy of a closed system will increase. Since the universe is a closed system, if it were eternal, we would expect to see no order left at all, it all having dissolved into entropy by now.

I think the answer to that is that when the universe goes through a Big Bang event (ie expanding rapidly from a singularity), new laws of physics are created along with spacetime. Therefore, under these specific conditions, the 2nd Law may be violated, at least temporarily.

Unfortunately, that also undermines the First Law, which says that matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed and thereby kills the whole basis for postulating a static, eternal universe.

Help!

 

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Tilberian wrote: I've been

Tilberian wrote:

I've been bugged by this argument that I don't have a ready answer for:

The universe cannot be eternal because the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics says that the entropy of a closed system will increase. Since the universe is a closed system, if it were eternal, we would expect to see no order left at all, it all having dissolved into entropy by now.

I think the answer to that is that when the universe goes through a Big Bang event (ie expanding rapidly from a singularity), new laws of physics are created along with spacetime. Therefore, under these specific conditions, the 2nd Law may be violated, at least temporarily.

Unfortunately, that also undermines the First Law, which says that matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed and thereby kills the whole basis for postulating a static, eternal universe.

Help!

 

 

Or perhaps the universe isn't a closed system after all.  We certainly might find out some day that it's not.  Wouldn't that be interesting? 


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Tilberian wrote: I've been

Tilberian wrote:

I've been bugged by this argument that I don't have a ready answer for:

The universe cannot be eternal because the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics says that the entropy of a closed system will increase. Since the universe is a closed system, if it were eternal, we would expect to see no order left at all, it all having dissolved into entropy by now.

I think the answer to that is that when the universe goes through a Big Bang event (ie expanding rapidly from a singularity), new laws of physics are created along with spacetime. Therefore, under these specific conditions, the 2nd Law may be violated, at least temporarily.

Unfortunately, that also undermines the First Law, which says that matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed and thereby kills the whole basis for postulating a static, eternal universe.

Help!

 


The First Law may not be as hard and fast as we once thought. Quantum field theory shows that indeed there ARE instances  where something appears effectively out of nowhere. This has been seen in vacuum fluctuations where ataomic particles can appear out of nowhere and then eesntially annihilate leaving no creation of mass or energy. 


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gary7infiltrator

gary7infiltrator wrote:

Honestly, if you really can't grasp the concept that macroevolution is made up of microevolution, then you seriously need to study evolution more. And please use actual, scientific resources for study, not Christian propaganda resources.

Exactly. There is one important point that I don't think any one has bothered to bring up. If Cameron's crocoduck existed, we would not call it a transitional form. We would simply call it an animal.

Maybe we should bring a picture of a platypus next time. We can call it a beavaduck. Hmm, lays eggs, has 10 sex chromosomes instead of the 2 normally found in mammals and one of the Platypus' Y chromosomes shares genes with the ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes found in birds. Sounds a bit like a transitional form to me.

Platypus


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gary7infiltrator

gary7infiltrator wrote:
Magus wrote:
pby wrote:

Sorry...no speculation, here. It is how many historians/experts on Josephus and the Testimonium state the issue. I cited some of the experts in an earlier post, if you would like to check it out.

I do not expect a dog to give birth to a cat (but maybe a dinosaur birthing a bird)...sorry to disappoint, though.

"Evolution is a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations." I think that I understand that concept but I don't understand your assertion that "every fossil is a transitional that proves species evolving." How can a single fossil provide evidence of heritable changes in a population?

The universe didn't use to exist. Life didn't use to exist. How did it come into existence?

Dogs and cats are on different branches, of the evolution tree. If you don't understand that I wouldn't assume you would understand anything about evolution. One species doesn't become an already pre-existing species (at least none that I have heard of). I would like for you to explain the difference between a wolf and a dog or a cat? The only thing I can think of when a Creationist says that one species doesn't change into another (Macro Evolution) is possibly the ability to breed offspring, am I correct in that?

It's valuable to point out here that the entire concept of "species" is a man-made thing.  We came up with "species" and the idea of categorizing living things so that we could understand life better.

Animals and plants probably do not have a concept of "species."  They will mate with animals that are like they are.  An animal with a mutation may still appear "like" enough to find a mate.  Given enough generations of mutations being passed around, the offspring will begin to look and act nothing like that which came before.  This is the process of macroevolution.  As Brian pointed out in the debate, it is analogous to walking a mile by taking single steps.  

Notice that Kirk failed to point out how one can walk a mile without going a step at a time. 

Honestly, if you really can't grasp the concept that macroevolution is made up of microevolution, then you seriously need to study evolution more.  And please use actual, scientific resources for study, not Christian propaganda resources.  You will learn a lot.  Macroevolution will start to make sense to you.  But we cannot explain it to you any more clearly than we are already doing here. 

  Is this in response to me or the person I was responding to?

Sounds made up...
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Magus wrote: Is this in

Magus wrote:
Is this in response to me or the person I was responding to?

 

Sorry - the person you were responding to.  I should have made that more clear. 


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gary7infiltrator wrote: Or

gary7infiltrator wrote:

Or perhaps the universe isn't a closed system after all. We certainly might find out some day that it's not. Wouldn't that be interesting?

It would, but then we would simply be presented with the problem on a larger scale. If there were some "uberverse" feeding energy into our universe, we would have to ask where the uberverse began or whether it is eternal. 

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Quote:

Quote:
It's valuable to point out here that the entire concept of "species" is a man-made thing. We came up with "species" and the idea of categorizing living things so that we could understand life better.

I just finally managed to download the debate segment with the crocoduck, and in addition to feeling incredibly insulted intellectually (which I imagine Brian and Kelly did too) it became clear to me that Kirk & Ray really didn't get this point either.

One example of the arbitrary nature of species taxonomy that I'm suprised anti-creationists don't use more often is the bonobo/chimpanzee distinction. Bonobos were only declared a separate species about a hundred years ago, and the distinction is still controversial. It's tough to tell the difference between a bonobo and a chimpanzee by just looking.

But they're a textbook case of speciation that results from geographic isolation. The genetic evidence indicates that they diverged about 900K years ago, most likely as a result of one group somehow getting across the Zaire river that still forms a geographic barrier that reproductively isolates the two groups, and have been evolving in their own different directions ever since. Although they're still morphologically similar (with a lot of overlap, but still enough differences to make a distinction) they have completely different social structures and behaviors.

Exactly what evolutionary theory would predict.

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Wow, this thread grew a

Wow, this thread grew a lot.

I agree Tilberian, Textom wrote a wonderful response.

 

Since nothing more needs to be said, I do think a wonderful example is potentially warranted. 

Here is the abstract of my second favorite paper a couple months ago(my text is in italics):

Quote:
The hypothesized RNA-based world would have required the presence of a protected environment in which RNA, or an RNA-like molecule, could originate and express its biological activity.

Recent studies have indicated that RNA molecules adsorbed/bound on clay minerals are able to persist in the presence of degrading agents, to interact with surrounding molecules, and to transmit the information contained in their nucleotide sequences.

In this study, we assessed the ability of RNA molecules with catalytic activity to perform a specific reaction in a mineral environment. For this purpose, we investigated the self-cleavage reaction of the hammerhead ribozyme of the Avocado Sun Blotch Viroid (ASBVd), both in the monomeric and in dimeric forms. The monomeric transcript was tightly bound on the clay mineral montmorillonite to form a stable complex, while the behaviour of the dimeric transcript was studied in the presence of the clay particles in the reaction mixture. (montmorillonite is all over the sea floor in vast quantities)

The results indicated that the hammerhead ribozyme was still active when the monomeric transcript was adsorbed on the clay surface, even though its efficiency was reduced to about 20% of that in solution. Moreover, the self-cleavage of clay-adsorbed molecule was significantly enhanced (~ four times) by the presence of the 5′ reaction product. (So, like in organic chemistry, if you develop some of the desired product then it helps speed up the reaction times, like what Textom was pointing to)

The self-cleavage reaction of the dimeric transcript in the presence of montmorillonite indicated that the mineral particles protected the RNA molecules against aspecific degradation and increased the rate of cleavage kinetics by about one order of magnitude. (So in the terms of increasing one order of magnitude, you start making cars at 10 an hour but then it's increased to 100 an hour.)

These findings corroborate the hypothesis that clay-rich environments would have been a good habitat in which RNA or RNA-like molecules could originate, accumulate and undergo Darwinian evolutionary processes, leading to the first living cells on Earth.

Gene, Volume 389, Issue 1 , 1 March 2007, Pages 10-18


So, while it has already been said a multiple of ways: I wouldn't act like it's a "code/information" and is "just for us" but rather it looks to of been more in the terms of various molecular species developing. Down the road of developing greater stability and survivability we are results thereof, so certainly not "it is, because of us."

RNA thermodynamics are very interesting since they take on secondary structures which have their own names aside from protein secondary structure.  These secondary fomations can have their own unique catalytic functions.  Like a processed mRNA transcript isn't just a loose strand but rather has (ie) hairpin formations for ribosomal docking detection.  Also for the sidenote, the proteinaceous  portion of ribosomes are not the actual catalytic portion, rather, it's only RNA doing the translation.

While abiogenesis certainly doesn't have the "zing" effect of a jesus running around in brass feet killing everyone... it's probably a good thing. 

RNA secondary strux 

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the_wombat

the_wombat wrote:
Tilberian wrote:

I've been bugged by this argument that I don't have a ready answer for:

The universe cannot be eternal because the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics says that the entropy of a closed system will increase. Since the universe is a closed system, if it were eternal, we would expect to see no order left at all, it all having dissolved into entropy by now.

I think the answer to that is that when the universe goes through a Big Bang event (ie expanding rapidly from a singularity), new laws of physics are created along with spacetime. Therefore, under these specific conditions, the 2nd Law may be violated, at least temporarily.

Unfortunately, that also undermines the First Law, which says that matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed and thereby kills the whole basis for postulating a static, eternal universe.

Help!

 


The First Law may not be as hard and fast as we once thought. Quantum field theory shows that indeed there ARE instances  where something appears effectively out of nowhere. This has been seen in vacuum fluctuations where ataomic particles can appear out of nowhere and then eesntially annihilate leaving no creation of mass or energy. 

An example of which is Hawking Radiation.

http://cosmology.berkeley.edu/Education/BHfaq.html#q8

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawking_radiation

 

"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." -- former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien


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You guys did a fine job. I

You guys did a fine job. I wish I had the guts to get up there and speak the way I feel like that. It is really tough to think on your feet in front of so many people.

Kelly, you looked STUNNING.

Since the debate I've been on the ABC forums debating some of your points with the majority of theists. Made me realize how outnumbered we are when I'd state a point and 5 counter-arguments would fly back. For the most part, it seems that the believers assume I'm an 'angry, ethic-less person who doesn't care if people die or even if the whole ecosystem dies since evolution has no purpose'.

Maybe someone else has a better argument against that line of thought (WHY do you care about people if evolution has no purpose??), but my response was something like this: From a purely logical standpoint, no, our race does not NEED to survive or may not even deserve to... but that does not make me stop caring about if it does. I care a lot. It's part of being human. If we didn't care about survival, our species would not have survived,.. it is a vital part of our evolution to care about survival and each other. From a purely logical standpoint, we should all eat healthy and exercise,.. but often times our human desires prevent that. Just because something is logical, doesn't mean morals, desires, and ethics have nothing else to say. They are part of our human evolution that allowed us to survive. Are you saying you only care about people because the Bible tells you to (in some cherry-picked verses)?

Make sense to anyone or am I nuts?

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Raiv wrote: You guys did a

Raiv wrote:

You guys did a fine job. I wish I had the guts to get up there and speak the way I feel like that. It is really tough to think on your feet in front of so many people.

Kelly, you looked STUNNING.

Since the debate I've been on the ABC forums debating some of your points with the majority of theists. Made me realize how outnumbered we are when I'd state a point and 5 counter-arguments would fly back. For the most part, it seems that the believers assume I'm an 'angry, ethic-less person who doesn't care if people die or even if the whole ecosystem dies since evolution has no purpose'.

Maybe someone else has a better argument against that line of thought (WHY do you care about people if evolution has no purpose??), but my response was something like this: From a purely logical standpoint, no, our race does not NEED to survive or may not even deserve to... but that does not make me stop caring about if it does. I care a lot. It's part of being human. If we didn't care about survival, our species would not have survived,.. it is a vital part of our evolution to care about survival and each other. From a purely logical standpoint, we should all eat healthy and exercise,.. but often times our human desires prevent that. Just because something is logical, doesn't mean morals, desires, and ethics have nothing else to say. They are part of our human evolution that allowed us to survive. Are you saying you only care about people because the Bible tells you to (in some cherry-picked verses)?

Make sense to anyone or am I nuts?

 

Makes perfect sense to me.  That's the way I'd respond. Once you get to the part where you say, "Do you really only care about people because the Bible tells you to?" they really have no choice but to respond honestly and say no, they care about people because...they just DO.  It's part of being human, obviously.  Even the most devout religious person doesn't care about humanity only because God sometimes says to.  And if they say they do, they'll oly make themselves look like weirdos.

 

It's the perfect reply. 


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Nightline Debate

You guys did pretty well.  Cameron and Ray were sad.  Just a bit of advice for the next debate. 

When christians automatically assume that someone who believes in evolution is an atheist, remind them that Dr. Francis Collins the head of the National Human Genome Research Institute is a former atheist turned christian who says that evolution is a fact and can be verified without fossils, but through DNA.  Evolution does not disprove god, the lack of evidence disproves god.  What about christian scientists who pray for god to heal them or there children and he never answers them; and these are hardcore believers.  As for ID, I love when you asked about men having nipples.  I bring that up all the time.

Also, when christians talk about missing transistional fossils, explain to them how rare a thing it is for fossils to form in the first place.  You could also ask them if a white couple has ever produced an asian or black baby.  How did we get all these races of people from Adam and Eve?

Over all I thought you guys did well, just brush up on your science a little before the debates.  Or, maybe even consider bringing in an expert to explain evolution, it is a difficult subject to explain in laymen terms.

theholyspirit 


TheSecularEvangelist
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perfectlawministries

perfectlawministries wrote:

Secular Evangelist Guy - you said "Yes, we know builders build buildings, and we know painters paint paintings, and we know people create things, but we do not know the same thing about gods and universes."

Why? We have no trouble making the leap from a trampoline to a trampoline maker...how does reason allow us to then not leap from a frog to a frog Maker?

 

I suppose that logical step is all well and good. There is a "frog maker", and that maker is nature, nature is responsible for everything in existence but there need not be an intelligence nor intention behind actual existence, when you are that into the equation for no reason, that's when you go from stepping to leaping.

 

perfectlawministries wrote:

Secular Evangelist Guy - you said "We have a finite amount of information on the universe, this is true, but the information we do have does not confirm nor deny the existance of some sort of vague diestic sort of god."

Why? We do not have an infinite amount of information about trampolines, either. In fact, Thomas Edison said something like "We do not know one millionth of one percent about anything," yet we make conclusive judgments about many things even considering our relative lack of information.

 

No doubt good old Thomas Edison was smart, but lots of people have said lots of quotable things and often times they contradict one another so they can't all be right now can they? Wink

 

In all seriousness though, I was saying that disproving or proving an ambiguous sort of deistic god is impossible given the current information we have on the universe.  

 

perfectlawministries wrote:

SecularEvangelist, you said "when you say god most people automatically tend to associate it with the judeo-christian god."

Can you substantiate that claim, or prefer to qualify it? Do you mean most people in America, or in the world? I'm not sure that villagers in remote areas of China, for instance, would make that association.

 

I should have said in the United States, however I'm sure it does cover a majority of the world, any where in the world where Christianity has any influence I'm sure but I have no sort of link to back that up, it just seems like common sense. 

 

perfectlawministries wrote:

SecularEvangelist, you said "We know the evidence we do have about the universe does not coincide with that of the judeo-christian God, so that is easily dismissed..."

How is that? Is "we" confined to those on this message board? Does it include all atheists? I would assert that the ease of dismissal you referenced would be judged by who's doing the dismissing. It's easy to claim ease of dismissal for the one doing the dismissing. Obviously, I disagree and reject the dismissal altogether, much less the "ease" of such. I can just as easily assert that any such can only be based on a misunderstanding, or purposeful distortion, of the character of God. And I would imagine that you could just as easily "dismiss" that assertion. But neither dismissal is based on reason, but rather they are based on a point of view.

 I can't say I speak for all atheists, I mean, I sort of have a problem that term to tell you the truth. It's not a very good description of what I believe, or what any "atheists" believes, it only reveals one aspect of our disbelief, a disbelief in a supernatural creator. It doesn't even go so far as to even describe why you don't believe...we have been forced into some sort of grouping even though I'm sure a lot of us have widely ranging philosophical views. In fact, I only began calling myself an atheist a little more than a year ago, the reason I decided to classify myself that way was because when I engaged people (christians mostly) in religious discussion and told them I was an agnostic, they would always assume that means that I believe the judeo-christian god might exist, but I don't. I don't speak for anyone but myself at this point, hopefully what I have to say makes enough sense for people to agree with me haha.  

 As for why we know the Judeo-Christian God doesn't exist, well it's rather simple actually. We've got a collection of books known as the Bible, it tells all about the Christian God and how he interacts with this universe. The world was a very magical place only a few thousand years ago, but now some how no such interactions take place. This is usually explained a way in a number of different ways depending on the persons faith (the Jehovah's Witness' explaination is probably my favorite), but it's never done well frankly, because it's not a defeatable point to any reasonable person. 

 

perfectlawministries wrote:

SecularEvangelist, you said "what you are posing here is much more difficult because the only definition of god in this particular case is 'thing that made the universe happen'. "

Agreed.

SecularEvangelist, you said "Well...something made the universe happen obviously, but whatever that something is, you know it is part of a natural system."

How is that true? It is only true when the definition of "science" is altered to exclude all but natural processes. The definition hasn't always been limited in that way. In decades past, science involved the search for truth wherever it may be found. Only more recently (not sure when, I confess - too tired to look it up, so I am prepared to be hammered - but I'm pretty confident of the change in definition) has the definition been whittled down to include only naturalistic phenomena. It's as if a math teacher spent the first six weeks of class saying over and over again, "there is no number 4, there is no number 4 - the number 4 is only a figment of your fundamentalist imagination," then asks the question, "Now...what is two plus two?"

 

Everything in existence is part of nature, this is "big picture" nature, not that which is limited to the bounds of the laymens universe. If God were to exist, he would not be supernatural, because any phenomena generated in our universe (the laymens universe) by such being would be observable and recordable, and when that would occur, it would be naturalistic phenomena, and science wouldn't have a problem with that would they? So the question is, does God exist or doesn't he? Wink

 

perfectlawministries wrote:

SecularEvangelist, you said "So, the fault here really is just slapping the label of god on this something for no apparent reason whatsoever other than to make ridiculously ambiguous arguments on internet message boards that are not disprovable by any possible realistic means."

Hmm. Well, first of all I wouldn't agree that I (or any creationist that I know of) are guilty of "just slapping the label" on anything "for no apparent reason." Granted, the "reason" is not "apparent" to you...but I would argue that the reasons are amply apparent to me. Secondly, I'm not sure why you'd label the arguments ambiguous - you might disagree with them, but I think they are perfectly unambiguous. And why do you find it necessary to label them not only "ambiguous," but "ridiculously" so? Cannot we have a "rational" discussion without belittling adverbs (or is that an adjective?)? Finally, by describing the "ridiculously ambiguous arguments" as "not disprovable," do you mean that you therefore yield the point? Just kidding - I think I know the answer to that. Smiling

I used the word ridiculously for emphasis of the ambiguousness not the ridiculousness of the argument. The argument for the diestic type god is too ambiguous to prove or disprove or to really even refer to as God as I stated earlier, it wasn't my intention to come belittling, sorry if I hurt any feelings.  

 

perfectlawministries wrote:
 

SecularEvangelist, you said "In addition I don't think you will find many intellectual atheists of the belief that matter has always existed, personally I don't claim to know anything beyond that of what we know scientifically and we can get really really really close to the 'beginning' of it all, but not quite...but no one claims to know what happened before that."

Ok, I accept your assertion that I will not likely find "many intellectual atheists of the belief that matter has always existed." I confess my ignorance of what a consensus on that issue might be - I was only referring to that which Bryon stated in the debate - that such possibility existed. But I'm not sure you are correct when you say "no one claims to know what happened before that." I think I have seen others on this board actually supporting the eternal-state position (but maybe not - I am nearly comatose at this point).

 

Eh, I'm sure there are people who still cling to eternal state, but I just meant the majority of the scientific community does not believe that, I suppose I need to start being less general when it comes to these types of things haha.

 

perfectlawministries wrote:
 

SecularEvangelist, you said "God however, always seems to exist in some special sort of logical loop hole where he needs no one or no thing to exist."

Again, it seems to me that such loop hole only exists in the minds of those unwilling to concede the logic (by that I don't mean to say "unwilling to acknowledge God and submit to Him." I am merely addressing the logic of the argument.). In my estimation, the logical response to the argument would be, "While I do not agree that the god of the argument (namely, the "thing that made the universe&quotEye-wink is the God of the Bible, I can see your point at least."

 

I don't see the point though, that's my issue. What I mean by God exists in a logical loop hole is this. Things exist, so in order for them to exist they need a creator, and even though this creator exists as well in some capacity, it is not in the same capacity as his creation and therefore does not need a creator himself. Yet, the same argument can be made for the universe itself, and the addition of a "creator" into this argument is the leap in logic, as opposed to just labeling it a natural system and calling it a day. But yes, definitely not the God of the bible if any sort of "god" (if you can call it that) exists at all.


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

Try me.


Veils of Maya
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Raiv wrote: Maybe someone

Raiv wrote:


Maybe someone else has a better argument against that line of thought (WHY do you care about people if evolution has no purpose??), but my response was something like this: From a purely logical standpoint, no, our race does not NEED to survive or may not even deserve to... but that does not make me stop caring about if it does. I care a lot. It's part of being human. If we didn't care about survival, our species would not have survived,.. it is a vital part of our evolution to care about survival and each other. From a purely logical standpoint, we should all eat healthy and exercise,.. but often times our human desires prevent that. Just because something is logical, doesn't mean morals, desires, and ethics have nothing else to say. They are part of our human evolution that allowed us to survive. Are you saying you only care about people because the Bible tells you to (in some cherry-picked verses)?

Make sense to anyone or am I nuts?


Actually, I'd say that, in the beginning, "caring" had nothing to do with our survival. It really was survival of the fittest that helped us evolve into complex life forms and eventually the dominate species on the planet. While animals do seem to show altruism,  I think it's more instinctual than intentional. However, as we evolved to become conscious, the concept of caring began to play an important part in our respect for mankind. In other words, consciousness works in parallel with our genetic instructions to help direct future of human development.

One of my favorite authors is Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. In his book, The Evolving self, Csikszentmihalyi extends his concept of Flow into a framework for creating a more complex and harmonious existence though consciously guiding evolution. My user name is based on one of the chapters in this book which describes the primary three "veils of illusion" that tint our view of reality: genetics, culture (which religion would fall under) and self/ego.  

Here's a great interview in Csikszentmihalyi which gives a brief outline his theory.  

http://www.wie.org/j21/csiksz.asp?page=2

I'd highly recommend the book to anyone interested in social and moral development in the absence of religion.

http://tinyurl.com/2zjfmg

We do not learn by experience, but by our capacity for experience.


Veils of Maya
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theholyspirit wrote: When

theholyspirit wrote:


When christians automatically assume that someone who believes in evolution is an atheist, remind them that Dr. Francis Collins the head of the National Human Genome Research Institute is a former atheist turned christian who says that evolution is a fact and can be verified without fossils, but through DNA. Evolution does not disprove god, the lack of evidence disproves god.

 In addition, Ken Miller - a celluar biologist and theist - was an expert witness for the plaintif in the 2005 Dover PA trial regarding ID in the class room. His presentation at American University goes into detail on the overwelming scienific evidence in favor of evolution.

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

We do not learn by experience, but by our capacity for experience.


Vastet
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pby wrote: Sorry...no

pby wrote:
Sorry...no speculation, here.

That's exactly what you're doing. If you don't like that you're speculating, maybe you should accept the truth of the matter. There is no contemporary accounting for your supposed saviour jesus the christ. Even the Romans who were supposed to have killed him didn't bother recording it.

pby wrote:
It is how many historians/experts on Josephus and the Testimonium state the issue.

Almost exclusively theists. More historians acknowledge the lack of evidence for his existance and/or divinity.

pby wrote:
I cited some of the experts in an earlier post, if you would like to check it out.

In case you didn't notice the experts cited on this site that show otherwise, you should take a look at Rooks mythicism thread.

pby wrote:
I do not expect a dog to give birth to a cat (but maybe a dinosaur birthing a bird)...

Same shit, different pile.

pby wrote:
sorry to disappoint, though.

How could you dissapoint when you proved me right?

pby wrote:
Evolution is a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations. I think that I understand that concept but I don't understand your assertion that "every fossil is a transitional that proves species evolving.

Everyone is different, would you not agree? Preferred traits are passed on to the next generation. Most of the time those traits are standard stuff. Eye colour, hair colour, etc. Sometimes it's more exotic, like a tail or excessive hair.

Every single individual that procreates passes on their genes to the next generation, thus becoming part of the overall evolutionary process. You won't find a species giving birth to another species in one generation. Every member of the species would have to have the same mutations at the same time in their offspring, and their offspring would have to find enough of their own kind to populate a new species. This would have the side effect of killing the previous species, since none of their children would be like they were.

One or two generations will not have enough differences to call it a new species. Compiled mutations naturally selected over multiple generations will result in a new species. That is why every fossil and every living creature is an example of evolution at work. The transitional fossil a creationist desires to prove evolution would be, ironically, proof that evolution doesn't happen.

pby wrote:
How can a single fossil provide evidence of heritable changes in a population?  The universe didn't use to exist.

The universe as we know it didn't use to exist. And yet, neither will it exist in a billion years. Or did it a billion years ago. In fact, it doesn't exist as we percieve it. Even the sun is 8 minutes old, and the stars millions of years. Half of them are gone, and a billion new ones haven't had their light reach us yet. It's constantly changing. To assume existance "started" is illogical.

pby wrote:
Life didn't use to exist.

First, define life. At it's most basic level, life is nothing more than chemical reactions within matter. Life could very well have existed before the earth did. Biologists are currently figuring out how a few self replicating molecules could change into life as we see it today.

pby wrote:
How did it come into existence?

How do you know it did?

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Jcgadfly that was a weak

Jcgadfly that was a weak response evidently you know nothing about the Bible I suggest you get one and read it


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I see people espouting a

I see people espouting a lot of "theories" remember they are just that, theories...

One of these theories, is evolution, have any of you read Darwin's Black Box? Basically for those of you that haven't it blows evolution out of the water SCIENTIFICALLY, is that not what you wanted ? Scientific response to your questions, even Darwin said that his 'theory' was based upon observation, and that it WAS POSSIBLE in the future that he could be proven wrong, Michael Behe in his book explains that using a biochemical challenge of Darwins theory it fails.

Darwin in his time did not have the availability to access the labs/microscopes, etc that we have today, in short when broken down to the biochemical make up, we could not have EVER came from the same place as a lot of animals, or they from the same place as us. That being said there had to hundreds of starting points that just happened to evolve to a point that had similar parts... that would be a far stretch...

There are singular points, and Ray and Kirk missed the chance, possibly from lack of knowledge on those points, but there are probably others that might have argued certain points to a better conclusion. The main one, the eye, the eye is dependant the optic nereve, as well as other parts to work perfectly (so that one can see)  if part a doesn't work, part b doesn't work, so if the eye is not working correctly cornea>retina>optic nerve. one does not see, this is not an evolable part, it works as it is, if anything isn't working, no sight, no sight - dead meat.. just something to think about...

Another interesting point (I will distinguish here between Christians (those that believe there is a God -even satan/demons believe in God/Jesus, and Born-again Christians, Those that believe the Bible and have a relationship with Christ) 100% of the people that have sought the truth of wether or not God/Jesus/Holy Spirit exist have become Born-Again Christians... a notable one being a former atheist writer Lee Strobel. I have NEVER heard of a Born-Again Christian becoming an atheist (although I will admit it is possible).

Enough for now..just a few things for thought, you mention you are thinkers.. I am too, butI also find it is extremely to overthink also, may the answer is the easy one..

My_2_Cents...

P.S. There are no winners in this debate... depending on which one is wrong there can be big losers...


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jabwocky wrote: I see

jabwocky wrote:

I see people espouting a lot of "theories" remember they are just that, theories...

Yes, evolution and gravity are "just" theories. You may also have heard of "Germ Theory". But I do not think that theory means to a scientist what it seems to mean to you.

jabwocky wrote:
One of these theories, is evolution, have any of you read Darwin's Black Box? Basically for those of you that haven't it blows evolution out of the water SCIENTIFICALLY, is that not what you wanted?

No, he did not. He used ideas that had already been considered and dealt with a generation before he wrote that book. Do a bit of looking around on the Internet to see what real scientists think of Behe's conclusions. Here are the first couple of links I found with Google:

Intelligent Design Theory - A Quasi-Scientific Endeavor with a Religious Agenda

Ebon Musings: Book Review of Darwin's Black Box

See what his colleagues at Lehigh University think here:

Department Position on Evolution and ID

If he can't even convince a single other scientist in his own department, why should any lay people listen to him?

I highly recommend cdk007's videos on YouTube. These give some great examples of why ID is flawed and how some of Behe's favorite examples of irreducible complexity could have evolved.


Veils of Maya
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    jabwocky wrote: I

   

jabwocky wrote:


I see people espouting a lot of "theories" remember they are just that, theories...



These theories are based on facts from multiple disciplines, including DNA evidence. All you have are philosophical points that cannot explicitly point directly an Abrahamic God in any way shape or form. Specifically, you can claim that there is a necessity behind everything that exists, however you can't make any claims about that necessity, except that it is necessary, without specific evidence. Nature does not explicitly point to any God, including the God of the Bible.



jabwocky wrote:

One of these theories, is evolution, have any of you read Darwin's Black Box? ... Michael Behe in his book explains that using a biochemical challenge of Darwins theory it fails.


None of Behe's work regarding ID is peer reviewed science. It virtual no support from peers in his field. Behe testified at the 2005 Dover PA trial regarding ID in science curriculum. Details of his testimony, including his theory of Irreducible Complexity, is refuted in detail in Ken Miller's presentation at American University. Miller is a cellular biologist and Roman Catholic. (A theists that believes in evolution)

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

The problem with religion is that it not only claims to dictate morality, but bases it's authority on the claim that God created man and the universe. This is the realm of science. Theists have no problem with other aspects of science, except when it conflicts with what the Bible claims as truth.

When interviewed about his book "It takes a family", Senator Rick Santorum, was asked why he, as a non-scientist, took a serious shot at evolution. To paraphrase, he said, "because it really matters. It's were we come from. If we're just an accident - a mistake of nature - then that puts a different moral demand on us - In fact it, doesn't put a moral demand on us - then if we are the intentional creation of a supreme being that does make moral demands of us"

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4784905

If theists believe that evolution would destroy morality because they believe morality comes from God, it's likely they would oppose it - regardless if there is overwhelming scientific evidence to support it or not.

jabwocky wrote:

Another interesting point (I will distinguish here between Christians (those that believe there is a God -even satan/demons believe in God/Jesus, and Born-again Christians, Those that believe the Bible and have a relationship with Christ) 100% of the people that have sought the truth of wether or not God/Jesus/Holy Spirit exist have become Born-Again Christians... a notable one being a former atheist writer Lee Strobel. I have NEVER heard of a Born-Again Christian becoming an atheist (although I will admit it is possible).


Essentially, you're saying, "Those who decided to believe in the Bible, end up believing in the Bible." What other result did you expect?

We do not learn by experience, but by our capacity for experience.


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Someone here said they've

Someone here said they've never heard of a born again Christian becoming an atheist. What? almost the entire RRS are former born agains.

 I was a born again Christian, then a spiritualist/buddhist after I figured out the bible was not true. It was my experience with religion and spirituality which actually demonstrated to me that GOD is merely your own brain chemistry.

It takes a small amount of education and self-honesty to realize that religions are false. But it takes a great deal of education to realize that the entirety of human spirituality is an illusion. You have to know something about evolution, neuroscience, and human behavior before it becomes crystal clear that the whole realm of inquiry is crap.

I don't expect to convert anyone to atheism through debate, because most people don't know enough science to even understand the most powerful arguments *for* atheism.

But I do expect to convert people away from any of the world's religions because all of them are demonstrably counterfactual, and lend themselves primarily to the ignorant, hopeless, and desperate.

It could be that the greatest evidence that we live in a cold and godless uinverse is the fact that so many well meaning people still believe in Christianity- a ludicrous belief system which has been demolished on every side for centuries, yet continues on like a festering plague because of the almighty power of the fear of hell and the hope of paradise. 

Anyone got a match? I need to sacrifice a goat to make god happy.


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Lets take a walk on how Behe is a searing dolt, shall we?

A paper published Aug. 2004 by Behe and Snoke in The Journal of Protein Science titled: Simulating evolution by gene duplication of protein features that require multiple amino acid residues. (Protein Sci., Oct 2004; 13: 2651 – 2664) concluded that: “… in general, to be fixed in 108 generations, the production of novel protein features that require the participation of two or more amino acid residues simply by multiple point mutations in duplicated genes would entail population sizes of no less than 109.” (Page 2651) So, in the view of Behe this agrees with his definition: “An irreducibly complex evolutionary pathway is one that contains one or more unselected steps (that is, one or more necessary-but-unselected mutations). The degree of irreducible complexity is the number of unselected steps in the pathway.” William Dembski has regarded this as it "may well be the nail in the coffin [and] the crumbling of the Berlin wall of Darwinian evolution." Now instead of addressing this paper’s results from a horribly convoluted scientific way I’m going to go back to the court records since the cross-examination requires Behe to answer specific questions. This will help address if this paper follows proper establishment of IC as a theory via procurement of empirical evidence by the computer simulation he ran.

__________________________________________________

(Day 12 AM, Page 41 thru Day 12 AM, Page 55)

Q. And you studied a particular type of mutation, a

point mutation?

A. That's correct.

Q. And let me just ask you a few questions, and you

tell me if I'm fairly summarizing the results of your

computer simulation. What you're asking is, how long

will it take to get -- and please follow with me, I'm

trying to do this slowly and methodically -- two or more

specific mutations, in specific locations, in a specific

gene, in a specific population, if the function is not

able to be acted on by natural selection until all the

mutations are in place, if the only form of mutation is

point mutation, and the population of organisms is

asexual?

A. I would have to look at that statement closely

because there are so many different aspects to it that I

don't trust myself to sit here and listen to you say

that and form a correct judgment.

Q. Anything I said about that sound incorrect?

A. If you repeat it again, I'll try.

Q. I'd be happy to. Two or more specific mutations?

A. Actually, this dealt with one or more.

Q. One or more mutations?

A. Yes. If you notice, in figure -- if you notice

in figure 3, you look at the x axis, you notice that

there are data points there that start at one. So we

considered models where there were one, two, and more

mutations.

Q. Fair enough. In specific locations?

A. No, that's not correct. We assumed that there

were several locations in the gene that could undergo

these selectable mutations, but we did not designate

where they were.

Q. In the specific gene?

A. We were considering one gene, yes.

Q. In a specific population?

A. Yes.

Q. Okay. If the function is not able to be acted on

by natural selection until all mutations are in place?

A. Yes, that's what's meant by multiple amino acid

residue, multi-residue feature, yes.

Q. If the only form of mutation is point mutation?

A. Yes, that's a very common type of mutation, which

is probably half or more of the mutations that occur in

an organism.

Q. And if the population of organisms is asexual?

A. Yes, we did not -- actually, we did not confine

it just to asexuals, but we did not consider

recombination.

Q. Are prokaryotes an example of the kind of

organism that you were studying there?

A. Again, we weren't studying organisms, but, yeah,

they're a good example of what such a model has in mind.

Q. And to say this very colloquially, you conclude

that it will take a large population a long time to

evolve a particular function at disulfide bond, right?

A. A multi-residue feature. That's correct, that's

correct.

Q. And specifically --

A. I'm sorry.

Q. Go ahead.

A. Let me just finish. Depending on -- as we

emphasize in the paper, it depends on the population

size. And, of course, prokaryotes can oftentimes grow

to very large population sizes.

Q. And here the conclusion, the calculations you

concluded was that, if you had a population of 10 to the

9th power, that's a population of 1 billion?

A. That's correct.

Q. To produce a novel protein feature through the

kind of multiple point mutations you're talking about,

it would take 10 to the 8th generations, that's what it

says in the abstract, correct?

A. If, in fact, it was -- if, in fact, the

intermediate states were not selectable.

Q. Okay.

Sofar this is saying that, in the model, he used only one type of evolutionary mechanism to induce change. Now the number of mutations considered is in the nucleic acid sequence, which establishes codons (3 nucleotides), is one or more mutations for a gene. These codons can have one or more mutations that can result in a different codon that will lead to a different amino acid being incorporated into the protein. Why multiple mutations have to be considered is due to the degeneracy of codons for amino acids (IE) you have 6 possible codons for Serine and only 2 possible codons for Cystine. So change can be easier for some than others.

Then it goes on to say that there was one gene considered and they assumed that there were several locations in the gene that could undergo the point mutations. Then it also is stated that they made the results unable to keep the ones that didn’t have the intermediate mutations. Meaning that they didn’t consider other neutral/beneficial mutations in this experiment but would default to it excluding any intermediate from the results.

Now they ask about what population is this representing. Its representing asexual organisms like that of bacteria and this was agreed by Behe to be a “good example of what such model has in mind.” (Page 45, Line 1) The last part of this segment leads into the population of this sample having to be large, which “prokaryotes can oftentimes grow to very large population sizes.” (Behe, Page 45, Line 12-13) They recap that Behe’s results show that it would take a population of 109 and 108 generations to produce the multiple point mutation feature. And Behe, for some reason not helping himself, makes sure to add again “…if, in fact, the intermediate states were not selectable.” (Page 45, Line 22-23)

______________________________________________________

 

A. And if this is by gene duplication as well.

Q. Okay. So 10 to the 8th generation, that's 100

million generations?

A. That's correct.

Q. And yesterday, you explained about bacteria, that

10,000 generations would take about two years in the

laboratory, correct?

A. Yes.

Q. So 100 million generations, that would take about

20,000 years?

A. I'm sorry?

Q. 100 million generations, which is what you

calculated here, that would take about 20,000 years?

A. Okay, yes.

Q. And those are numbers based on your probability

calculations in this model, correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Now it would be true that, if you waited a little

longer, say, instead of 10 to 9th generations, 10 to the

10th generations, then it would mean that you wouldn't

need as big a population to get the function that you

are studying?

A. That's right. The more chances you have, the

more likely you are to develop a feature. And the

chances are affected by the number of organisms. So if

you have a smaller population time, and more

generations, that could be essentially equal to a larger

population size and fewer generations.

Q. So, as you said, so if we get more time, we need

less population to get to the same point, and if we had

more population, less time?

A. That's correct, yes.

Q. Now would you agree that this model has some

limitations?

A. Sure.

Q. And you, in fact, were quite candid in indicating

that in the paper?

A. That's correct.

Q. And if we could turn to, what I believe is, page

8 of the document. And if you look in the paragraph

that's actually continued from the previous page that

says, we strongly emphasize. And if you could --

A. I'm sorry. What page number is that?

Q. It's page 8 in the document. And it's up on the

screen as well.

A. Yes, okay. I've got it.

Q. Could you read into the record the text to the

end of the paragraph beginning with, we strongly

emphasize?

A. We strongly emphasize that results bearing on the

efficiency of this one pathway as a conduit for

Darwinian evolution say little or nothing about the

efficiency of other possible pathways. Thus, for

example, the present study that examines the evolution

of MR protein features by point mutation in duplicate

genes does not indicate whether evolution of such

features by other processes, such as recombination or

insertion/deletion mutations, would be more or less

efficient.

Q. So it doesn't include recombination, it doesn't

include insertion/deletion of the mutations?

A. That's correct.

Q. And those are understood as pathways for

Darwinian evolution?

A. They are potential pathways, yes.

Q. This study didn't involve transposition?

A. No, this focuses on a single gene.

Q. And transpositions are, they are a kind of

mutation, is that right?

A. Yes. They can be, yes.

Q. And so that means, this simulation didn't examine

a number of the mechanisms by which evolution actually

operates?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->A. <!--[endif]-->That is correct, yes.

So, its is brought up that Behe stated previously it would take about two years for 10,000 generations of bacteria to be produced in the lab. And since the population considered in Behe’s model is 100 million it is asked that wouldn’t that mean it would take 20,000 years for the targeted mutations to be acquired? And on page 46, line 13 Behe agrees to this extrapolation. They both then go on to sum up that the time would decrease if you were to allow for populations to increase to 109 generations or 1010 generations, allowing for increased probability. Now for the rest of this segment they look at a matter this model doesn’t take into account: any of the several other mechanisms of evolution, being recombination, insertion, deletions, transpositions, frame-shifts. And this ends with Behe agreeing that this doesn’t examine a number of mechanisms by which evolution actually operates.

______________________________________________________

Q. And this paper, let's be clear here, doesn't say

anything about intelligent design?

A. Yes, that's correct. It does imply irreducible

complexity but not intelligent design.

Q. But it doesn't say it?

A. That's correct.

Q. And one last other question on your paper. You

concluded, it would take a population size of 10 to the

9th, I think we said that was a billion, 10 to the 8th

generations to evolve this new disulfide bond, that was

your conclusion?

A. That was the calculation based on the assumptions

in the paper, yes.

Q. What I've marked as Exhibit P-756 is an article

in the journal Science called Exploring Micro--

A. Microbial.

Q. Thank you -- Diversity, A Vast Below by T.P.

Curtis and W.T. Sloan?

A. Yes, that seems to be it.

Q. In that first paragraph, he says, There are more

than 10 to the 16 prokaryotes in a ton of soil. Is that

correct, in that first paragraph?

A. Yes, that's right.

Q. In one ton of soil?

A. That's correct.

Q. And we have a lot more than one ton of soil on

Earth, correct?

A. Yes, we do.

Q. And have for some time, correct?

A. That's correct, yes.

Q. And, in fact, he gives us a good way of comparing

it. It says, as compared to a mere 10 to the 11th stars

in our galaxy?

A. Yes, that's what he writes, uh-huh.

Q. And 10 to the 16th prokaryotes is 7 orders of

magnitude higher than the population you included in

your calculations, correct?

A. No. We considered a wide range of populations,

and we considered a wide range of number of

substitutions that would be -- or point mutations that

would be necessary. You're focusing on two, but perhaps

I can direct your attention again to that figure from

the paper -- excuse me. Let me find it.

The best place I think to look is figure 6, which

is on page 10 of the document. Up in the upper

right-hand corner, that figure there.

Q. Sure.

A. If you look on the bottom, the x axis there, the

bottom of the figure that's labeled lambda, it has the

numbers 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and so on, those are the number

of point mutations that we consider perhaps some

multi-residue feature might entail. As we said in the

paper, forming a new disulfide bond might require as few

as two point mutations.

But forming other multi-residue features such as

protein, protein binding sites might require more. And

so the number on the X axis lambda 2, 4, 6, 8, those are

the number of point mutations that we entertained or we

calculated numbers for to see how long such things would

be expected to take under our model.

And if you look up at the top axis, the top x

axis labeled N, at the top of the figure. N stands for

population size. Okay. So if you look at the figures

there on the left, it's slanted, and it's not enlarged

yet, so it's hard to see. It says, 10 to the 6th.

That's a million. And then skip a line. These are in

every 10 to the 3rd increments of population size. That

would be 10 to the 9th.

The next label is 10 to the 12th, which is a

trillion. The next label is 10 to the 18th, which is

much more. The next label is 10 to the 24th, which is

much, much, much more. The next label, 10 to the 30th,

which, again, is very much more.

So, in fact, we considered population sizes from

1000 all the way up to 10 to the 30th, and multi-residue

features from 2, which might involve disulfide bonds, up

to many more, which might be involved in protein,

protein binding sites.

Q. 10 to the 30th, that is quite a lot, right?

A. Yes. That's roughly what is calculated to be the

bacterial population of the Earth in any one year. And

so over the course of the billion year, 4 billion year

history of the Earth, there would probably be a total of

roughly 10 to the 40th.

Q. And so in the case of prokaryotes, which you said

was a good example of what you were studying, 10 to the

16th in one ton of soil?

A. Yes.

Q. So a few tons of soil, and we've gone past that

10 to the 30th?

A. Well, no. In the 10 to the 14th tons of soil.

10 to the 30th is the number that's in the entire world,

according to the best estimates, including the ocean as

well as soil. So -- but I agree with your point, that

there's a lot of bacteria around and certainly more than

10 to the 9th.

So Behe concluded in his paper that it would take 109 population and 108 generations to procure a desired disulfide bond in the gene. He then goes on to say that we have around 1030 proks in the Earth and probably 1040 population of proks overall in the 4 billion year old history. And wraps up with agreeing that there is certainly more that just 109 population of bacteria. Meaning this is outside the realm of reality.

______________________________________________________

Q. So just with the prokaryotes, 10 to the 16th, 7

orders of magnitude higher than what you were

calculating here?

A. That's certainly true, but in our paper, we had

our eye not only on prokaryotes, but also on eukaryotes

as well, which, if you leave out recombination, one can

-- they certainly undergo point mutations. They

certainly have genes and so on. So much of this is also

applicable to eukaryotes.

And the populations of eukaryotes and certainly

larger plants and animals are much, much smaller than

populations of bacteria. So we view our results not

just as supplying that, but to giving us some feel for

what can happen in more complex organisms as well.

Q. Well, you're not talking about more complex

organisms here, are you?

A. I think we do. I think at the end, if I'm not

mistaken, if I remember correctly -- okay, yes. On page

11, the second full paragraph, on page 11. It begins on

the right-hand column, the second full paragraph. It

says, The lack of recombination in our model means it is

most directly applicable to haploid, asexual organisms.

Nonetheless, the results also impinge on the evolution

of diploid sexual organisms.

The fact that very large population sizes, 10 to

9th or greater, are required to build even a minimal MR

feature requiring two nucleotide alterations within 10

to the 8th generations by the processes described in our

model, and that enormous population sizes are required

for more complex features or shorter times, seems to

indicate that the mechanism of gene duplication and

point mutation alone would be ineffective, at least for

multicellular diploid species, because few multicellular

species reach the required population sizes.

Thus, mechanisms in addition to gene duplication

and point mutation may be necessary to explain the

development of MR features in multicellular organisms.

So here we were trying to point out that, because

of the results of the calculation, it seems that, when

we're trying to explain MR features in multicelled

organisms, then we're going to have to look to other

processes for that.

So now Behe claims that they also wanted this to show applicability to Eukaryotes. Yet, when Behe even quotes his own paper: “The lack of recombination in our model means it is most directly applicable to haploid, asexual organisms.” Which would be in agreement since recombination of diploid organisms, like humans, is the only way of reproduction – thus this model doesn’t even take in account one major mechanism of evolution for a good amount of Euks.

______________________________________________________

Q. Okay. So if we exclude some of the processes by

which we understand evolution to occur, it's hard to get

there for multicellular organisms?

A. I'm sorry.

Q. If we exclude some of the mechanisms by which we

understand evolution to occur, like recombination, it's

hard to get there?

A. Yes.

Q. And bringing it back to the prokaryotes. We're

in agreement here, the number of prokaryotes in 1 ton of

soil are 7 orders of magnitude higher than the

population, you said it would take 10 to the 8th

generations to produce the disulfide bond?

A. Yeah, certainly. Yeah, the bacteria are -- can

grow to very large population sizes.

Q. So the time would be?

A. Much shorter.

Q. Much shorter?

A. Absolutely.

This recaps what has already been said: the exclusion of recombination will automatically predispose Behe’s wanting this to also refect Euks to be extremely less realistic since their method for reproduction isn’t even being counted. Ignoring a common mech will make it hard to get there, of course. But in the case of proks, the actually targeted organisms in the study, we see that the population of proks is several fold greater than what was stated to procure a disulfide bond.

So the core of Behe's entire argument for ID is that irreducibly complex systems cannot evolve. Yet what does he admit under oath that his own study actually says?

It says…

· You assume only point mutations

·No recombination, transposition, insertion, deletion, frame shift mutations, etc

·Intermediate steps wouldn’t serve any function that might help them be preserved or neutral

·Use a population of bacteria on the earth that is 7 orders of magnitude less than the number of bacteria in a single ton of soil

…it would take 20,000 years (also can be viewed as 1/195,000 of the time bacteria have been around) for a new complex trait requiring multiple interacting mutations - the very definition of an irreducibly complex system according to Behe - to develop and be fixed in a population.

So even with absurd assumptions to make the target as hard as possible by taking out commonly used genetic variants, an “IC” trait can evolve within 20,000 years. And with the agreement that the population figures are not reflecting reality by Behe it would take considerably less time than 20,000 years. So this summates an argument against IC, and worst of all it’s coming out of Behe himself. I question his ability to know what he is trying to do on any model, and if he tried IC lab experiments that would make me feel even worse.

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. "
- Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Theory guides, Experiment decides...bitch.


Protein_Design
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It didn't post my title

It didn't post my title Sad

 

It was:    "Lets take a walk on how Behe is a searing dolt, shall we?" 

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. "
- Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Theory guides, Experiment decides...bitch.


jabwocky
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scottmax, gravity is a bad

scottmax, gravity is a bad example of a 'theory' it is a fact, jump, u fall, not a theory...

Your link to Lehigh, all it says is the university's position is one of evolution, not ID, proves nothing, most scientists will not back ID, they've been taught evolution their whole lives, its all they know, one of the reasons most people will fight evolution tooth and nail is the major choice left is ID, and god forbid that is correct because it makes them wrong...

I will admit, I have not read all of Behe's book, but I did google book reviews for it, and some say yeah, to some parts, and nay to others, as far as scientific backings are concerned... I will forfeit that position...

But I still had other valid points I would like answers to...

Also 2 more points..

IF evolution was true, we would see MILLIONS of animals in flux.. ie we would see animals that cows came from, and animals that elephants came from, etc... because amoeba would be constantly evolving, therefore creating new and different animals in all stages of evolution, all the time, correct ?? not all animals on the planet would be at their full evolved state... i.e. if we came from apes, why are there still apes? where are all the forms in between??

Point 2

If God is God, and capable of creating all we see..not only on earth, but in the universe, all that is, do you not think that He is capable of creating enough things, and planting them on earth to fool you? Just a thought...

 

My_2_Cents...


Magus
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jabwocky wrote: scottmax,

jabwocky wrote:

scottmax, gravity is a bad example of a 'theory' it is a fact, jump, u fall, not a theory...

Your link to Lehigh, all it says is the university's position is one of evolution, not ID, proves nothing, most scientists will not back ID, they've been taught evolution their whole lives, its all they know, one of the reasons most people will fight evolution tooth and nail is the major choice left is ID, and god forbid that is correct because it makes them wrong...

I will admit, I have not read all of Behe's book, but I did google book reviews for it, and some say yeah, to some parts, and nay to others, as far as scientific backings are concerned... I will forfeit that position...

But I still had other valid points I would like answers to...

Also 2 more points..

IF evolution was true, we would see MILLIONS of animals in flux.. ie we would see animals that cows came from, and animals that elephants came from, etc... because amoeba would be constantly evolving, therefore creating new and different animals in all stages of evolution, all the time, correct ?? not all animals on the planet would be at their full evolved state... i.e. if we came from apes, why are there still apes? where are all the forms in between??

Point 2

If God is God, and capable of creating all we see..not only on earth, but in the universe, all that is, do you not think that He is capable of creating enough things, and planting them on earth to fool you? Just a thought...

My_2_Cents...

 I don't understand what you mean by flux.  What the cow came from looked very much like a cow, the change doesn't occur quickly.  Sure new "amoeba" like creatures could come into existence, but they are competing against well established organisms who have had a very long time to dominate their environment.

There are "transitional" forms there is not end all be all form as you suggest (there is no such thing as fully evolved), evolution isn't on a track (start here, end there), it involves NATURAL SELECTION, we do see the animal the cow came from it's call it's parents, everything is evolving constantly, unless you are an exact replica of your parents and exactly like you siblings you should understand that animals produce mutations, in offspring.  We didn't come from apes, we came from a common ancestor. 

We and apes evolved from that common ancestor.  To produce both man and ape you need to understand what evolution is so here is a brief example:  Animals live in many/every environment. Those environment factors (part of natural selection) + the mutation of genes causes a species as a whole to adapt to its environment.  At some point our common ancestor's divided, or were separated (don't know if it was on purpose) into smaller groups and went in different directions leading to different environments, the ones best suited for the environment survive to produce offspring who have random mutation, some of those random mutations increase the chance of survival. This plus time created both man and ape. 

I am sure someone else here can explain it better.

Sounds made up...
Agnostic Atheist
No, I am not angry at your imaginary friends or enemies.


jabwocky
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Formerfaithhead: I agree

Formerfaithhead:

I agree with you on one aspect, religions do suck, they are the thorn in the paw of mankind, but only because religion is man made, and therefore flawed before it ever starts..

You mentioned you were a Born-Again Christian ? and then you chased Buddha? the only question I have is, what do you consider to be born-again??

You can discount things, but I have seen things, and know of things that have happened to people I know, that fall to far outside of things that can be backed up by any scientific proof to believe in anything but the existence of God. It is something I have fought for over 20 years, and studied for another 15 years, and knowing what I know, and what I've seen and heard, I can only feel sorry those that have no meaning left in their life, I assume like other on this site you just stop what you die? switch off, lights out, thats it? I can see why your clown avatar looks so sad, I'd be the same knowing my life is over in a few years.

Also I don't believe in God because of Hell, and/or a promise of Heaven (although for some reason Heaven sounds better than Hell go figure) I believe because of His love, I don't expect those that haven't known it to understand that, but I've done pretty much every drug that is out there, and this is beyond that... I gave up drugs because they pale in comparison, I have more fun, and enjoy life more than when I was doing drugs. The reason I would question your "born-again" status is those that truly receive the gift He gives and use it, rarely decide to give it away, I wonder if you really believed??

One more thing, you spout your disbelief in the Bible and the fact that it is not true, but only if you don't to believe it, sure you can spout any "facts" that you can make up that aren't based on anything, and say it isn't true, but all the time they are finding more and more things even going back into the old testament that are being proved through records of civilizations that existed parallel to that of the peoples of the old testament. And no, you can't find writings outside of religious writings from the time of Jesus because they wrote most of the things read at that time, and the lack of writings does  not necessarily mean He didn't exist. If you see something, and don't take a picture, or write down what you saw, did it not happen ?? You can argue both sides all you want, I still say, I know I'm right.

 

My_2_Cents...


stillmatic
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jabwocky wrote:IF

jabwocky wrote:

IF evolution was true, we would see MILLIONS of animals in flux.. ie we would see animals that cows came from, and animals that elephants came from, etc... because amoeba would be constantly evolving, therefore creating new and different animals in all stages of evolution, all the time, correct ?? not all animals on the planet would be at their full evolved state... i.e. if we came from apes, why are there still apes? where are all the forms in between??

Point 2

If God is God, and capable of creating all we see..not only on earth, but in the universe, all that is, do you not think that He is capable of creating enough things, and planting them on earth to fool you? Just a thought...

My_2_Cents...

1) We do see all life in a constant state of flux. The problem is that evolution occurs over generations, not minutes. So from our vantage point species look like they are in a stable state, however over a much larger time scale, they are not. There is no "full evolved state", as there is no goal or plan in evolution. There is no "supreme" evolutionary state that all life is trying to achieve.

There are still apes because we are not directly evolved from apes, but we share a common ancestor with apes. If you think about a family tree, apes are our cousins, not our grandparents. The states in between are no longer alive today because our evolutionary adaptations allowed us to out compete / out survive them.

 2) If God is God, why would he try to trick you? It's total non-sense to believe that the supreme omni-present, omni-potent all-loving creator of the universe and all life who will toss you into fiery hell for eternity for not believing in him would trick his own creation.

You understand that if God is omni-potent and all-knowing, there is no way you could possibly avoid him tricking you right?

"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." -- former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien


Jesus B. Goode
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Congratulations, RRS, on

Congratulations, RRS, on your additional National exposure. Although I haven't seen the entire unedited video, from what I've seen you more than held your ground against WoTM cult leaders Kirk and Ray.


I see ol' Ray didn't manage to prove the existence of (his particular) God, despite his bravado in claiming he'd do so sans Bible and Faith. Not surprising, as he and Kirk are one-trick ponies...and their one trick is really, really lame.


Ray simply trotted out his "Creation is proof of the Creator" canard. I've seen Ray's pathetic Coke can analogy before, and I can't believe no-one has pointed out the fallacy behind this piece of "logic".


"If there is a building, there is a builder" seems to be valid reasoning. It would be nonsense to argue otherwise. However, there is a big difference between a building and a human being. Buildings are not biological organisms. Humans are. We mate to reproduce ourselves. Buildings, paintings and Ray's  soda can do not.


I'll give Ray and Kirk this: I admit it, I have a creator. In fact, I have two of them.


I call them Mom & Dad.


detritusmaximus
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the cosmological argument

A lot of theists were blown away by Ray's argument that the universe's beginning requires a "beginner". Although his presentation was atrocious, I think this argument (a.k.a. the cosmological argument) deserves serious analysis. This is compacted by the necessity of talking about the possibility of an infinite universe.

One of the two following things is true:
there is an infinite chain/cessation of cause and effect (p)
-or-
there is not (~p)

We may write:
1) All things have a cause (p)
2) Some things, or one thing, are uncaused (~p)

When Ray and Kirk came to the debate, they purported to prove that a god/God/Creator exists, without relying upon faith or the Bible. This would imply that they have some way to *prove* whether p or ~p is true. They could not. No one can.

There is a paradox which we face whether we are atheists or theists, and it involves the inextricable relationship of causation upon time.

Theists, pantheists, panentheists, etc., all have different views about how ~p jives with God. This is very abstruse philosophical material, made all the more recondite by the necessity of contemplating how the cause-effect relationship can exist apart from *TIME*. Consider --

Is heaven like God, has it always existed? If no, then time precedes the beginning of our universe, which shoots the theist in the foot who argues that the beginning of our universe indicates "a beginner" (Ray's not-so-articulate way of putting it). IOW, the universe isn't "a beginning" at all, but merely another sequence in the timeline that includes the creation of heaven and/or the angels...

And so if time exists in heaven, or some parallel idea of A -> B -> C...ad infinitum, then we still have a problem on our hands -- was there ever a time when there was only God? Or, how do we begin to approach the issue of identifying when "time began"?

As we converge on that point -- C -> B -> A, what happens is the paradox that causes us so much frustration, and it is not solved by invoking God's existence at all. What happens is that we lose the ability to say the word "before" or use the phrase "and then". And this is the paradox. One cannot say God "existed before time" -- this is self-contradictory and absurd. Indeed, if we ever got to the mythical/mystical t=0, then there *IS* no "before", q.e.d.

I do not think our universe had "a beginning", but is just a part of an infinite regress of causes and effects. But, perhaps I am wrong. I see no good reason to suppose that it ends 13.5 Bya. Instead, this is where our ability to apply physics breaks down, because the physics that we have today is based upon the universe's present conformation. Imagine we condense all matter in the universe down to the quarks, and we heat it up so far that all chemical bonding and even nuclear forces dissipate. Then what?

That's exactly what the Big Bang, or, scientifically, the Standard Model of Cosmology, predicts. It predicts that 13.5 Bya, all of this *stuff* was in a different form, compacted and very very hot. But...before that? No one has a clue. That doesn't mean *all of it just happened* at that moment. It doesn't mean that all the matter/energy/space-time just "poofed" into being right then.

Instead, it means, "We Don't Know."

Anyone who tries to use our ignorance of what happened as "evidence" or "proof" that God did it is using the classic logical fallacy known as the argumentum ad ignorantium, which is in all logic texts and points out that we can never use our ignorance as evidence of anything contingent upon that ignorance. And this is the entirety of Ray's argument.

No one likes the idea of "there is just this infinite chain of causation stretching back forever..." in the sense that we want a more simple and easily grasped explanation. We want some *endpoint* in the infinite regress. We want to say "We Do Know."

However, we are not afforded any proof of ~p by reality. Instead, everything human beings have ever known, and everything they will ever know, reinforces the idea of p. This is induction. This is why I cannot accept ~p. The idea of ~p violates my logic and it violates the idea of causation itself.

I cannot, in honesty, say that this means that ~p is false. Instead, I must say that p is all I have experience of, and all that science itself attests to (cause-effect and the conservation of energy/matter as the 1st Law of Thermodynamics). Thus, I would say that assuming p is true is the most logical and rational position to take. I cannot "prove" it true, it is indeed an assumption. But my assumption, unlike yours, is borne out by induction and experience, as well as conservation. That's all I'd say in response to the question of why I do *not* assume that everything has a cause...except this one thing (which is a way to "contrive" God definitionally, or, by fiat).

I think that the newly-resuscitated cyclic theory of the universe (link) or brane/M-theory and multiverses will end up giving my prediction about p = true scientific support. But, perhaps no one will ever know what caused the expansion of our universe. And that's fine with me.

_____
"Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood."
-H. L. Mencken


gatogreensleeves
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I love this site.  Thanks

I love this site.  Thanks for going on the boob and doing the distastful job of debating publically. Period.  That's tough stuff on national tv.  A great job overall, considering the stress of it.  I'll admit that I would have liked to have seen humanistic proposals for objective morality when relevant, such as Alonso Fyfe's Desire Utilitarianism or Carrier's Goal Theory, but alas, time was short. I also would have loved a follow up to the audience question about the world's people who never get to hear the gospel (and yet are still sinners [absolute morality means absolute sin, right?] in danger of hellfire according to Comfort/Cameron), to which they responded is why missionaries are dying (literally) to preach the Gospel.  Is it fair that God would leave the salvation of these remote people up to fallible humans when He could make Himself known (in a limited way)?  If God does show Himself to remote/oppressed peoples (infants too?) and people don't need missionaries, why are missionaries (or anyone) killing themselves to preach?

Some points on this thread:

The whole painting issue takes me back to its inception in the form of Paley's watch argument.  Put a watch or painting up against a tree and you'll see it's obviously designed.  Obviously designed in contrast to what?  A tree?  Nature?  The very things creationists are saying are designed?  How can you contrast designed with designed?  How does ‘obviously designed painting’ (when compared to a tree) = ‘obviously designed tree’?  As has been repeated here ad naseum, using examples that we already know are designed by default are why we know it in the first place. 

Sara makes the claim that the God is simpler than the Multiverse, etc., but as Dawkins points out, God is necessarily at least as complex as everything in this universe... including any theories discussed here and the implications of purpose.

At the end of the day, here and at so many sights of this ilk, most Christians are doomed to argue for mere deism with questions at the limits of our knowledge.  The jump to one theism of the multitudes is a profound leap from there.  The argument that "of course, if there is a God, He would want to have a relationship with us" is even harder to defend, considering that He has the ability to give us ALL enough evidence to know that He exists (but not enough to "overwhelm our free will&quotEye-wink and still keep His salvation plan in tact, while we make the moral choices necessary for salvation.  There is no rational need for the mystery element in the Christian salvation plan.

"If Adolf Hitler flew in today, they'd send a limousine anyway" -The Clash


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You both did an amazing

You both did an amazing job. While Kirk Cameron may be the "good-looking" mascot for evangelicals, his claims don't hold any water ... and you both proved it.

Great job!


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jabwocky wrote: if we came

jabwocky wrote:

if we came from apes, why are there still apes? 

 "If the USA was colonized by England, then how come there are still Englishmen?"  Once you are able to appreciate just how stupid my question is (above), then perhaps you will be able to understand just how stupid your own question is. (One can only hope.)


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daddymatt33ih

daddymatt33ih wrote:
Jcgadfly that was a weak response evidently you know nothing about the Bible I suggest you get one and read it

I love it when theists pull this one out.  "You know nothing about the Bible.  Read it!"  Amusingly enough, typically the atheists they're debating have read more of the Bible than they have.  I know I, personally, have read the entire thing several times through - but I never read it that much when I was a theist myself.  I'd assume that the same holds true for most people on this site.

 

daddymatt, have YOU read the Bible all the way through several times?  If so, I'd love to hear how you justify its countless blatant contradictions to yourself.

P.s.  Punctuation is your friend. 


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Hi S.E. - Thanks for your

Hi S.E. -

Thanks for your thoughful (and respectful) reply.

For the sake of time (I seem to have less and less), permit me to respond to a couple of points and then provide a brief closing statement (your honor.)  Smiling

You say that I am "into the equation for no reason."  See, I don't thing that is a legitimate assertion, because I believe I have plenty of reason - it seems more consistent for you to say that you reject my reasons, but you are not in a position to deny that I have them.  Make sense?

 

You said, "No doubt good old Thomas Edison was smart, but lots of people have said lots of quotable things and often times they contradict one another so they can't all be right now can they?"

That's an excellent point, sir!  However, would it not cut both ways?  If Edison can not be trusted - or Galileo, Maury, Newton, etc....then based on the same excellent point you made neither can we trust Dawkins, Harris, Darwin, etc.  Wouldn't you agree?  In the end, we tend to believe those with whose perspective we agree already - isn't that a fiar statement?

 

You said, "Everything in existence is part of nature, this is "big picture" nature, not that which is limited to the bounds of the laymens universe."

Much like (I assert) the definition of "science" has been redefine to demand "natural" explanations, your statement here seems to be a redefinition of "nature."  It appears to me that you are developing a construct of "logic" that excludes any possibility of God's existence, regardless of evidence (as I see it) to the contrary.  In other words, if "nature" now includes everything - everything even beyond the known universe, then by definition alone there can be nothing "super"-natural.  If I had a box (stretch your imagination here), and I claimed that my box contained everything in the universe whether known or unknown, then I have defined away any logical possibility that something could exist outside my box.  But would my assertion be correct? At the very least, one could not claim to know whether it is correct or not - because what remains "unknown" is after all "unknown."  It seems that at the most I could claim "All that I know is in my box, and I'm fairly certain that some of what I don't know is in there, but I must yield to the possibility that some of what I don't know remains outside my box."  Fair?

You said, "What I mean by God exists in a logical loop hole is this. Things exist, so in order for them to exist they need a creator, and even though this creator exists as well in some capacity, it is not in the same capacity as his creation and therefore does not need a creator himself. Yet, the same argument can be made for the universe itself, and the addition of a "creator" into this argument is the leap in logic..."

I disagree that it is a "leap in logic."  It seems to me that it is a right turn, whereas you have made a left turn (no political inferrence here!).  As I mentioned in another post (I think) - we both make an argument for eternality at some point - we differ on that for which we claim eternality.  Agreed?

But then you said, "But yes, definitely not the God of the bible if any sort of 'god' (if you can call it that) exists at all."  See - that's what I'd label an "illogical leap."  I don't think you can make that claim based on a perceived "lack of evidence," but rather on your own interpretation of that evidence.  Which brings me to my brief closing statement (your honor):

It seems that we are at an impasse.  The situation is that there is no separate set of evidences, one on the "for" side and another on the "against" side.  We all have one "set" of evidence - we simply interpret it differently.  The evidence you propose for your case against God, I see as evidence in favor of Him.  The evidence I say debunks evolution, many claim to support the theory.

It's never helpful to deny the evidence the other side proposes - it makes us look like folks with blindfolds on our eyes.  Rather, what is fair is that we acknowledge the evidence on a factual level, then set about to explain our respective interpretations.

Again, thanks for the respectul and thoughtful nature of your reply.

 


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jabwocky wrote:

jabwocky wrote:

I see people espouting a lot of "theories" remember they are just that, theories...

One of these theories, is evolution, have any of you read Darwin's Black Box? Basically for those of you that haven't it blows evolution out of the water SCIENTIFICALLY, is that not what you wanted ? Scientific response to your questions, even Darwin said that his 'theory' was based upon observation, and that it WAS POSSIBLE in the future that he could be proven wrong, Michael Behe in his book explains that using a biochemical challenge of Darwins theory it fails.

 

UUUUUGGGGHHH.

 

First of all: "theory" means something different in non-scientific English usage than it does in science. When you hear a scientific THEORY being discussed, it should be assumed by any reasonable human being that the SCIENTIFIC usage of the word "theory" applies, not the "regular" one.

You can find the definition of scientific "theory" here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_as_theory_and_fact

Forgive me for referencing Wikipedia, but incredibly enough, the definition here is actually accurate with what you'll find in any scienctific textbook.

I'm sure you've heard this before, but gravity is also "only" a theory. Does that mean you don't believe in it?

On to your next point:

Most of us here have read Behe's books, and I know I personally have read Darwin's Black Box. Most of us here also laughed every time they read Behe. In fact, the huge majority of scientists in the world laugh when they read Behe.

Behe's entire arguement hinges on irreducible complexity - specifically, the flagellum motor of the bacteria. There are two problems with this.

First, irreducible complexity boils down to an arguement from incredulity. Behe can't imagine how something a complex as a flagellum motor could ever evolve; therefore, there must be no mechanism by which this could be achieved. Is Behe really so arrogant that he thinks nature is limited by the rather shallow breadth of his understanding and imagination, or is he just playing patsy for his religion in spite of the evidence? I'll leave it to you to decide that for yourself.

Second, Behe doesn't even have a high school-level understanding of how evolution actually works. In that respect, he is exactly like Kirk Cameron and Martin Bashir, who believe that it happens by one already identified "species" suddenly giving birth to offspring with many obvious traits belonging to another already identified "species." This is so stupid that it's actually not even worth laughing at, if you know even a tiny bit about evolution.

The thing about evolution that Behe fails to grasp is this: Natural  selection doesn't "weed out" mutations that don't affect survival one way or another. It only kills off mutations which are ACTIVELY HARMFUL to the life form, and it promotes mutations which are ACTIVELY BENEFICIAL. That leaves an awfully wide crack for completely passive, non-threatening but non-beneficial mutations to slip through. Behe can't imagine how the incredibly complex flagellum motor could evolve all those separate, carefully working parts that seem so perfectly designed to rotate the flagella of bacteria. But I can imagine it just fine, and I don't even have a complete college education. Here you go; I'll explain it for you.

Step 1: Useless mutation that doesn't hamper or benefit the bacterium arises. Bacterium continues to survive just fine; bacterium reproduces and its descendents carry the useless mutation as well.

Step 2: Many more mutations appear over time in the descendents of the first bacterium. Some cause their bearers to die faster. Some don't have any effect at all, so they, too, are passed along to the next generation of bacteria, complete with the original useless mutation.

Step 3: After many generations, a mutation arises in this family of bacteria that allows the complex of previously useless traits to suddenly become useful. It is the beginnings of a flagellum. it gives the bacterium a slight edge over its competitors, because it can sort of twiddle around within that previously useless "motor" and make that bacterium faster and better at finding food.

Step 4: The flagellum, seated in the "motor" (built up of useless mutations that did not hamper the existence of the ancestral bacteria that had them) continues to be shaped by natural selection until the perfectly functional flagellum/motor mechanism we observe today is formed.

If I can understand this AND explain it so easily, why can't Behe, who has had the benefit of a complete university education in science? Could it be that he's purposefully being intellectually dishonest with himself and with the world, to try to shore up his irrational belief in a deity that clearly does not exist? Hmmmmmm.


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jabwocky wrote: 100% of

jabwocky wrote:

100% of the people that have sought the truth of wether or not God/Jesus/Holy Spirit exist have become Born-Again Christians... a notable one being a former atheist writer Lee Strobel.

I don't think that is true, unless you're specifically defining "Born-Again Christian" as "somebody who sought the truth of whether or not God/Jesus/Holy Spirit exists."  I mean, if you want to define "Born-Again Christian" that loosely and end the definition there, then you might be able to substantiate your outrageous claim of "100%," as if you could ever KNOW the experiences of every one of the millions of people who seek to learn about the Christian God and the Bible. 

 

Quote:

I have NEVER heard of a Born-Again Christian becoming an atheist (although I will admit it is possible).

 

Well, you're talking to one right now.  Hi, I'm Libbie (but you can call me gary7infiltrator).  I became "born again" at age 19, right before I went into college to study biology.  (by most Born-Again Christians' definitions of the term, although I never considered myself to be "born again" - I thought that was a weird concept and didn't embrace the etiology, although in every way that counts, I WAS "born again."  I "asked" Jesus to come into my life and guide me as my personal savior, which, according to Born-Agains, is the way it's done.) I was very passionate about my Christian beliefs and my newfound conviction that I had it all figured out.  I thought my faith was unshakable.

Then I prayed to God to open my mind and heart so that I could know the truth as I studied biology and evolution. 

Within 18 months, I was an atheist.

Ta-daaaaaaaa!  You have just met your first born-again Christian who turned into an atheist in the face of reason.  Granted, I might not have been a truly good born-again if I was able to hold onto logic and reason so firmly, and if I found myself able to abandon my cherished Christian beliefs in favor of logic once it was presented to me.  I mean, I think most born-again Christians cling to their faith NO MATTER WHAT.  That's okay with me, though - I'd rather be a crappy born-again Christian than somebody who abandons obvious logic in favor of unfounded, superstitious beliefs - especially in the face of evidence.


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jabwocky wrote: scottmax,

jabwocky wrote:

scottmax, gravity is a bad example of a 'theory' it is a fact, jump, u fall, not a theory...

No, gravity is a scientific theory and it is fact... just like evolution. That is my point. I am not going to address the rest of your points since I don't intend to teach evolution in this post. Far more informed people than I have written many books on the topic. I will address this though:

jabwocky wrote:
If God is God, and capable of creating all we see..not only on earth, but in the universe, all that is, do you not think that He is capable of creating enough things, and planting them on earth to fool you? Just a thought...

Absolutely. Are you proposing a God that deceives people intentionally so that we have cause to not believe in Him?

Calling all theists: Do you care to defend your God from this accusation?


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jabwocky wrote: scottmax,

jabwocky wrote:

scottmax, gravity is a bad example of a 'theory' it is a fact, jump, u fall, not a theory...

 

Uh - no, gravity is, in fact, A THEORY.  In fact, it has been revised somewhat in recent decades - proof that even something as seemingly solid and sound as "jump, u [sic] fall" may not be as solid and sound as it seems.  That's the beauty of science, my friend.

Quote:
most scientists will not back ID, they've been taught evolution their whole lives, its all they know,

Oh, really?  Their whole lives?  They were raised from the cradle to believe that evolution is the Way and the Light?  

Interesting - you posit here that people who have been taught something "their whole lives" (implying childhood indoctrination) will not accept any other method simply because they were told at a young age, "This is the way it is."  Do you not see that you are picking apart your own arguements for the essential truth of religion?  One sentence and you damned yourself, as easy as falling off a log (thanks to the theory of gravity).

 

Quote:

IF evolution was true, we would see MILLIONS of animals in flux..

We do!  If you are not totally ignorant of evolution's processes you will see it, too. 

Quote:
ie we would see animals that cows came from, and animals that elephants came from, etc...

Your impression of how evolution works is as fundamentally flawed as Kirk Cameron's and Michael Behe's.  You can only possibly believe that it happens so quickly that we'd see ancestral forms alive today IF you believe that the planet is less than 10,000 years old.  If your mind can only accept such a relatively tiny timescale, then you will be unable to accept the concept of evolution happening over millenia, of species being around for tens of thousands of years.

The reason why we don't see the animals that elephants came from alongside elephants is simple:  Elephants were better adapted to survive in the changing environment than their ancestors were, so the ancestral form died out.  At the present, we see elephants.  In generations from now, we may see a different variety of elephant that is still better adapted to its immediate environment, while the species of elephants that survive in 2007 may be gone.

Further, we can see in other animals that they and elephants had a common ancestor.  The hyrax, a rodent-like, fanged creature, is the elephant's closest living relative, yet it looks nothing like an elephant.  However, we know exactly how close they are in relation due to their DNA.  They both evolved from the same ancestral species - two different adaptations of the same species; two separate "plans" from the same doomed species for surviving a changing climate. 

And we CAN see the animal that cows came from - it's called the water buffalo.  Humans made cows by selectively breeding water buffalo.  This is a very well documented fact, borne out in historical writings. 

Quote:
because amoeba would be constantly evolving, therefore creating new and different animals in all stages of evolution, all the time, correct ?? not all animals on the planet would be at their full evolved state... i.e. if we came from apes, why are there still apes? where are all the forms in between??

 

We didn't come from apes - we share a common ancestral species with apes.  That's why there are apes and humans today.  Like the elephant and the hyrax, they are two different "plans" for survival from the doomed ancestor that we share.

And animals are constanly evolving (plants, too).  You need to read a book called "The Beak of the Finch."  It documents an ongoing evolutionary study in which the scientists ACTUALLY OBSERVE AND DOCUMENT evolutionary changes in a species.  It will help you understand how evolution actually works.

The very fact that you refer to animals as being "at their full evolved state" shows how ignorant you actually are of evolution.  There is no such thing as "full evolved state."  Even for humans, as complex and apparently incredible as we are.  Evolution is in constant, nonstop flux.  There is no "end product."  It is an ongoing process that will continue until the sun goes red giant and engulfs the planet. 

Quote:

If God is God, and capable of creating all we see..not only on earth, but in the universe, all that is, do you not think that He is capable of creating enough things, and planting them on earth to fool you? Just a thought...

Sure, but if that's the case, why worship a jackass who's just playing a big, cosmic April Fool's joke on us?

Also, why worship the Abrahamic God when there is ABSOLUTELY NO SINGLE CRUMB OF ACTUAL EVIDENCE ANYWHERE to support that he is the God that's out there, IF there is one out there at all? 

 



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JAB

I agree with you on one aspect, religions do suck, they are the thorn in the paw of mankind, but only because religion is man made, and therefore flawed before it ever starts..

FFF

It's good that you've come to realize this. Now question why religions are formed- fear, control of people, the need to explain why the storm destroyed your house but not the neighbor's house etc.... The concept of "faith" was propogated through the meme-scape in order to make blind conjecture seem noble. It's a clause in the rule book of reason we normally play by which eradicates intellectual honesty, and makes the ignorant feel superior. 

JAB

You mentioned you were a Born-Again Christian ? and then you chased Buddha? the only question I have is, what do you consider to be born-again??

FFF

I think the idea of "born again" is a silly tag, and used it here as a label and nothing more. But yes, I was once a rapture ready, filled with God, preachy little ignorant dickhead. But then I read the entire bible and studied it. By the age of 19 I had realized the bible was utterly absurd, after the first reading of it, and was embarrassed that people defended it. To this day I don't understand how grown men and women defend it. But even after rejecting the dogma of Christianity I held onto a mystical version of Christ until I was about 27. Once I discovered zen buddhism and began really investigating what is known about neuroscience, evolution, and spiritual experiences I realized that it's the brain talking, there is no paranormal, and everyone is just fooling themselves. And I realized this while being a staunch defender of belief! I did not want to lose my faith, information and personal honesty eroded it. I became a full-fledged atheist/agnostic by age 30. I am absolutely certain that religion and spirituality are results of a blind darwinian process that shaped our primate brains the way they are. Morality is used primarily as a form of social currency. Thank goodness it exists. I am glad there is love and caring in the world, but it is very easy to see how it evolved. And it didn't evolve because the universe cares about love. It evolved because it was a good strategy to replicate genetic material.

There is nothing more obviously darwinian than the love of a mother for her child, and yet religious and spiritual people often consider the love of a mother for her child to be the greatest love possible- thus completely undermining the idea that spiritual love is transcendent. To anyone who understands evolution, this is possibly one of the greatest evidences that there is no soul outside of our biology.

JAB

You can discount things, but I have seen things, and know of things that have happened to people I know, that fall to far outside of things that can be backed up by any scientific proof to believe in anything but the existence of God. It is something I have fought for over 20 years, and studied for another 15 years, and knowing what I know, and what I've seen and heard, I can only feel sorry those that have no meaning left in their life, I assume like other on this site you just stop what you die? switch off, lights out, thats it? I can see why your clown avatar looks so sad, I'd be the same knowing my life is over in a few years.

FFF

Yes, I would have agreed that I had seen things that were miraculous and amazing when I believed. As I have learned more in my investigations I have realized that human beings are incredibly good at self-deception, and when people want to believe things they find a way. I have spent years around spiritual and religious fanatics, and the extent of their lives have invariably been nothing but a continuously grasping dissapointment; a constant irreconcilable tension between what life actually is and what their spirituality says it should be, and a ceaseless addiction to making excuses for why things happen that seemingly go contrary to their beliefs. Sure, many of them are relatively happy, but happiness is a mandate in spirituality. The giant error of their thinking is to equate happiness with truth- which leads even very smart people into lives of cognitive decay. Unfortunately for rationalists, we have to admit that the human animal is designed to perceive happiness, affluence, and vibrance as synonymous with "success" because these qualities get one laid, which gets genes replicated- even if the basis for the apparent happiness is a belief system which is so absurd on it's face (say Mormonism for instance) that it makes us embarrassed. It is very easy to see when you take a look at the happy people in Mormonism bouncing lovely babies off their knees and praising the scribblings of a con-man all day- the sheer nihilism of religion. But this nihilism can be transferred directly to the more esoteric forms of spirituality which are more sophistocated, yet use the same inane fact-ignoring strategies. Since people elevated happiness above evidence, it ensures that no matter how absurd religious belief is, it will always find traction.

I enjoy my life, though I sure wish we survived death. I have no idea what consciousness is or how it arises, but I know that human spirituality has an arbitrary biological basis, and that arguing to the contrary (as far as I'm concerned anyways) is based on ignorance, self-deception, fear, and denial. I have been a fierce spiritualists for almost all my life, and I was dragged kicking and screaming away from it because I have a gliche in my brain that requires me to be honest with myself like an everpresent drill-seargent. It's a rare attribute amongst primates. When I see something that doesn't make sense, it bothers me and I have to challenge it. But that's just me. I understand this is not a common trait.

Three years ago I would have never believed I could really be an atheist. But now I am, and the more I learn about the human brain, spiritual cults, human behavior, evolution, history, and the natural world, the more amazed I am that I ever bought into religion and spiritualism. Sometimes I wake up nights embarrassed. It was humbling to me to realize how stupid I am and how long it took to figure it out.

JAB

Also I don't believe in God because of Hell, and/or a promise of Heaven (although for some reason Heaven sounds better than Hell go figure) I believe because of His love, I don't expect those that haven't known it to understand that, but I've done pretty much every drug that is out there, and this is beyond that... I gave up drugs because they pale in comparison, I have more fun, and enjoy life more than when I was doing drugs. The reason I would question your "born-again" status is those that truly receive the gift He gives and use it, rarely decide to give it away, I wonder if you really believed??

FFF

Trust me, been there and done it. Not only that, but yogic meditation is generally a better high than being born again because the focus is more internal. The love for most people is more powerful with meditation. I have the same exact attitude that Sam Harris does- meditation and spiritual practice can be extremely beneficial to us and need not be eradicated because of it's religious affiliation. I still meditate.

One easy way to prove to yourself that religion is false is to spend a couple of decades being devout in 3 or 4 of them and seeing that the love you feel is the same no matter what you try- and that none of the god's answers prayer reliably- just that each religion makes different excuses for why this is so- karma, the devil, learning lessons, god's will etc... Aand members of each are equally devout. And I've heard that the high and devout love for God and righteousness of a suicide bomber is even greater than that of a born again- I wouldn't try it though. Only the faithful need apply.

JAB

One more thing, you spout your disbelief in the Bible and the fact that it is not true, but only if you don't to believe it, sure you can spout any "facts" that you can make up that aren't based on anything, and say it isn't true, but all the time they are finding more and more things even going back into the old testament that are being proved through records of civilizations that existed parallel to that of the peoples of the old testament. And no, you can't find writings outside of religious writings from the time of Jesus because they wrote most of the things read at that time, and the lack of writings does  not necessarily mean He didn't exist. If you see something, and don't take a picture, or write down what you saw, did it not happen ?? You can argue both sides all you want, I still say, I know I'm right.

FFF

I have no interest in the bible. I would never worship a god who required burnt animal sacrifices and doesn't understand evolution. I would never worship a deity who ordered genocides and the slaughtering of innocent people by the tens of thousands. I have higher moral values in my pinky finger than Jehovah has in his fluffly white magical beard.

 Charles Darwin permanently destroyed the Judeo-Christian religion by showing that the creation story was false. And to think that the writers of the creation story did not actually believe in the literal reality of what they were writing is just plain silly. Every prescientific culture *actually* believed in it's creation stories, literally. Only modern cultures even understand what a myth is. Ie... A day is not a thousand years, it's a day. The bible is false and embarrassing to educated people. It has been surpassed on every conceivable level by biology, sociology, philosophy, psychology, and spirituality.

 And this is from someone who tried desperately to believe in it!

 Why do some believe and others don't? Only part of it is education and intelligence. Someone like Francis Collins, a very smart educated man, still finds a way to believe in the Judeo Christian god. So the missing factor is an emotional element, not an intellectual one. Some people need to feel as if mankind is in touch with a creator. Me? I'm fine without beliving in god and souls. Maybe others wouldn't be. Unless someone is emotionally stable, they can't weigh the evidence honestly.

So I don't hold much hope that mankind will ever abstain from faith, but thanks for giving me something to write about today.

Anyone got a match? I need to sacrifice a goat to make god happy.


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jabwocky wrote: You can

jabwocky wrote:

You can discount things, but I have seen things, and know of things that have happened to people I know, that fall to far outside of things that can be backed up by any scientific proof to believe in anything but the existence of God. It is something I have fought for over 20 years, and studied for another 15 years, and knowing what I know, and what I've seen and heard, I can only feel sorry those that have no meaning left in their life, I assume like other on this site you just stop what you die? switch off, lights out, thats it? I can see why your clown avatar looks so sad, I'd be the same knowing my life is over in a few years.

 

Let's be honest with ourselves, here.  You know that anecdotal evidence isn't proof of diddly squat.  So the fact that you know of things happening to people that you think science can't explain is not proof of God.  Plus, the fact that YOU think science can't explain them is only proof that you are not a scientist, not that God or any other supernatural thing exists.

 

And I honestly wonder this about you - if you believe that the only meaning in life is derived from having an afterlife, how can you possibly enjoy or accomplish ANYTHING while you're alive?  You say you don't believe in God because of the threat of Hell - fair enough.  But you as good as admitted in the paragraph I quoted above that you choose to believe in God because if you don't believe that you get to keep on living after you die, your life on Earth is meaningless.  That is unspeakably sad to me.  What a depressing way to live one's life.

Yes, like most of the other people on RRS, I believe that when I die, I will just die.  That's it; show's over.  The switch turns off, my energy and matter disperse into the environment around me.  All that I am ceases to be.  That does not frighten me in the least.  In fact, I find a kind of poetry in it.  In the end, we are all the same - in the end, we all return to the universe that gave us birth.  In the end, we all go on to make new life.  There is no fear in that.  To loosely quote Richard Dawkins who was quoting another person whose name I can't remember, "When I die, it will be just like it was for me before I was born."  Nonexistence.  Not scary; natural.

And for me, and I'd guess the rest of the people on this board, the very idea that this is our ONLY life fills us with purpose, motivation, and appreciation for all the things around us.  A desire to preserve the world so that it can be enjoyed by those that will come.  A desire to solve as many of the world's problems as we can now so that we can enjoy the fruits of a labor that truly meant something while we're still alive. How is that a life without purpose?  My purpose isn't to live forever; my purpose is to live well while I'm still alive.

 



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jabwocky wrote: scottmax,

jabwocky wrote:


scottmax, gravity is a bad example of a 'theory' it is a fact, jump, u fall, not a theory...



Jabwoky, clearly, you do not know the definition of a scientific theory. As used in science, a theory is an explanation or model based on observation, experimentation, and reasoning, especially one that has been tested and confirmed as a general principle helping to explain and predict natural phenomena.

We know how life has changed over time - there is no doubt about this. The theory of evolution explains WHY life changes over time.

While fossils are a major source of evidence, there are other sources, including anatomical, geographical and molecular evidence as well.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/educators/course/session3/index.html

jabwocky wrote:

Most scientists will not back ID, they've been taught evolution their whole lives, its all they know, one of the reasons most people will fight evolution tooth and nail is the major choice left is ID, and god forbid that is correct because it makes them wrong...


If science is wrong about evolution, then what about other fields of study? Why does religion on choose to refute evolution, yet completely ignore other areas of science? Clearly, it's only concern is that it conflicts with the Biblical version of creation.

jabwocky wrote:

I will admit, I have not read all of Behe's book, but I did google book reviews for it, and some say yeah, to some parts, and nay to others, as far as scientific backings are concerned... I will forfeit that position...


I'd still recommend watching Ken Miller's presentation on YouTube. It shows how supporters are trying to fast track ID into science curriculums without  any sort of peer reviewed research. In fact, the teachers outright refused to present ID in classrooms because they said doing so would violate their oath to only present factual information to students. As such, a school administrator read a statement that specifically focused on discrediting evolution, yet made no mention of other scientific theories of equal stature.

jabwocky wrote:

IF evolution was true, we would see MILLIONS of animals in flux.. ie we would see animals that cows came from, and animals that elephants came from, etc... because amoeba would be constantly evolving, therefore creating new and different animals in all stages of evolution, all the time, correct ?? not all animals on the planet would be at their full evolved state... i.e. if we came from apes, why are there still apes? where are all the forms in between??


You think God made man and animals with a specific purpose and design in mind. That organisms have a "state of rest" in which they eventually "evolve" into. When you overlay this concept on top of the facts of how life has *actually* evolved, it prevents you from "seeing" this fact. Over 95 percent of live that lived on this planet has become extinct. This is due to changes in climate, geography and the rise of other predators. Life that adapted to it's environment survived, life that did not, became extinct.

We are all one of many steps in the process of evolution. Since I do not believe that God created man or that we have a specific purpose, I can see that there is no final "evolved" state. That we will continue to evolve into other forms of life.

And, we did not come from apes, we share a common ancestor with great apes.  This ancestor has since become extinct.

jabwocky wrote:

If God is God, and capable of creating all we see..not only on earth, but in the universe, all that is, do you not think that He is capable of creating enough things, and planting them on earth to fool you?


Why do you think God do such a thing? (other than make a convenient excuse for religious apologists.)

We do not learn by experience, but by our capacity for experience.


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Jesus B. Goode wrote: Ray

Jesus B. Goode wrote:


Ray simply trotted out his "Creation is proof of the Creator" canard. I've seen Ray's pathetic Coke can analogy before, and I can't believe no-one has pointed out the fallacy behind this piece of "logic".


 

Frankly, I was a little disappointed that he didn't bring his banana along.