One on One with Zarathustra and Zachary44

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One on One with Zarathustra and Zachary44

This will be a One on One discussion between Zarathustra and Zachary 44.  If a peanut gallery is created this post will be updated with the details.

 

 

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zarathustra
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Intro

This conversation began in PM.  Here is the history, posted with Zachary44's permission:

Zachary44 wrote:
I consider things conversations very important. Actually the most important. Now as a christian, the only reason why i talk to athiests and other religions is out of love and care. My only intention is to lead people to Christ Smiling. Now to start of this debate. Tell me what you believe entirely so i know what i am dealing with Laughing out loud. Then we will get to the core of the conversation.
 
zarathustra wrote:
I was raised catholic and actually considered the priesthood in college. Study of the bible and theology led in part to the loss of my faith and opposition to religion now.

  At this point I see no evidence for god of any sort, and find the christian notion of god internally contradictory and insulting to the intelligence.

Zachary44 wrote:
Thats very interesting in how you say you have studied theology. This will makes this conversation even more interesting Laughing out loud. There are major problems with Catholicism in the first place so i dont blame you for that. The fact that you say there is no God is strange though. So first off lets talk about the existence of God first. Now to touch on how the arguments for God are fallacious. I would really love to see how they are falacious. To say the Law of Casuality is fallacious is very interesting (Cosmological argument-horizontal view). As an athiest, what are your beliefs pertaining to how we all came about?

zarathustra wrote:
I'm used to hearing comments such as yours about catholics or ex-catholics -- more than once as a parting shot when someone is unable to win me over to their position. The distinction between catholicism and other christian denominations or religions is largely irrelevant; all represent a departure from the rational.

  As far as how we "came about": I don't know. We are better informed about our origins than previous generations, but ultimately, how it all began is an unknown. The cosmological argument does nothing to resolve this. Depending on how it's presented, it may employ the argument from ignorance ("We can't explain how we all came about, so god must have done it" ).

In regards to causality, it simply begs the question: where did god come from? The stock response is of course "god was always here; god didn't need a creator". This amounts to moving the goalposts. If everything needs a cause, then god also needs a cause. If not everything needs a cause (such as god), then perhaps the universe doesn't need a cause, either?

  I'll let you respond to that (and wonder if you bring up the kalam argument).

Zachary44 wrote:
Alright, i can see why you say that its irrelevant to say the distinction between catholism but it is actually very relevant down the road. Now you say you dont know where the origin of things came about but what is important rests on what you hold to right now. Do you hold to a theory on origin or do you rest on simply no theories but just "i dont know". I respect you saying you dont know because if not, you would be very liable. Its the safe route to take so i applaud you.
The problem with your statement on how God would need a cause contradicts with the law of causality. If you take the law into consideration with your statement you will find a problem. The law of casuality as you know, everything that has a beginning has a cause. God is eternal so He has no beginning. Therefore somethng that doesn't have a beginning does not fall into that category as you say. Everything that has a Beginning has a cause, God has no beginning.
  Now to touch up on what your belief system entails. Do you hold to Evolution? As an athiest, what do you hold to? I get very excited about these things because its very important ot know your foundation. I am going to limit my questions right now so i dont throw too much out at once

 

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zarathustra
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Zachary44 wrote:Now you say

Zachary44 wrote:
Now you say you dont know where the origin of things came about but what is important rests on what you hold to right now. Do you hold to a theory on origin or do you rest on simply no theories but just "i dont know". I respect you saying you dont know because if not, you would be very liable. Its the safe route to take so i applaud you.

I have a layman's understanding of big bang theory and M-theory -- a proponent of which, physicist Stephen Hawking, has stated in his recent book "The Grand Design" that no god was necessary for the creation of the universe.  I accept these as theories advanced by scientists like Hawking who actually study cosmology, but I could not claim to defend them myself in any robust manner.  Furthermore, as these theories rest on evidence, it is possibly that new evidence could refine or even invalidate the theories.  (As it is, the evidence continues to support M-theory, but it is not yet as well-established as gravitational theory, for example.)  

In the end, however, I don't actually know where it all came from.  Even if the present scientific were falsified, it would not mean that the god-based explanation is suddenly confirmed as true; it would mean that we simply have no explanation.  It is more honest to admit we have no explanation, than to invent a bad explanation -- one based on no evidence, which in fact explains nothing.  I will go so far as to say that a natural explanation is more likely than a supernatural one.  

Zachary44 wrote:
The problem with your statement on how God would need a cause contradicts with the law of causality. If you take the law into consideration with your statement you will find a problem. The law of casuality as you know, everything that has a beginning has a cause. God is eternal so He has no beginning. Therefore somethng that doesn't have a beginning does not fall into that category as you say. Everything that has a Beginning has a cause, God has no beginning.

As you'll notice, I already accounted for the argument with which you responded:

Quote:

The stock response is of course "god was always here; god didn't need a creator". This amounts to moving the goalposts. If everything needs a cause, then god also needs a cause. If not everything needs a cause (such as god), then perhaps the universe doesn't need a cause, either?

What you did, by asserting "god is eternal so he has no beginning", amounts to moving the goalposts.  You are stating everything requires a cause, but then defining god to be something that does not require a cause.  This amounts to defining god into existence.  

This is a logical flaw, because god is what you are using the cosmological argument to prove in the first place.  When you make statements like "god is eternal", you're acting as if god's existence has already been proven...in order to make your proof for god work.  That is circular reasoning:  implying your desired conclusion in your premise.

Zachary44 wrote:
Now to touch up on what your belief system entails. Do you hold to Evolution? As an athiest, what do you hold to? I get very excited about these things because its very important ot know your foundation. I am going to limit my questions right now so i dont throw too much out at once

Hopefully this doesn't go too far afield, since the point of this discussion was to examine your proofs for god, which I contend are fallacious.  If it becomes too involved, it should probably move to a separate thread.  

Yes, I do accept evolutionary theory.  It has been confirmed by two centuries' worth of scientific data, and a phenomenon observable in real time.  It can be used to make testable predictions, and has real-world application.  However, as before with cosmology, I do not regard evolution in either/or terms with respect to belief in god.  (I do however think that christianity specifically is incompatible with evolution, for reasons I can explain if desired.  Nonetheless, there are christians like Francis Collins and Ken Miller who do accept evolution.)  Even if evolution were falsified -- which at this point would be comparable to falsifying gravity -- it would not mean that belief in god was any more reasonable.  As before, we could only revert to saying "we don't know", and not "...therefore god exists".  

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Zarathustra wrote:What you

Zarathustra wrote:

What you did, by asserting "god is eternal so he has no beginning", amounts to moving the goalposts. You are stating everything requires a cause, but then defining god to be something that does not require a cause. This amounts to defining god into existence.

This is a logical flaw, because god is what you are using the cosmological argument to prove in the first place. When you make statements like "god is eternal", you're acting as if god's existence has already been proven...in order to make your proof for god work. That is circular reasoning: implying your desired conclusion in your premise.

If something is eternal, it will always be in existence. You say "You are stating everything requires a cause", but actually i am claiming everything that has a beginning has a cause. You misunderstand what i am trying to convey. My argument rests on what created the universe and the proof that God created the universe. The cosmological argument deals with the beginning of the universe. I asked you where you thought the beginning of the universe came from just for this reason. The whole reason that the cosmological argument is brought up is to make a claim that the universe had a beginning, therefore it had a cause, which would be God. Thats how the cosmological argument works in arguing for Gods existence.  We are not talking about where God came from (although he is eternal). We are talking about were the universe came from which points to God. The universe itself declares a creator. You see the cosmological argument fallacious because you are thinking it deals with Gods origin. Thats not the case at all. It deals with the univese and its origin and how the only logical explanation points to GOd.

You stated that you dont know where the universe came from so I can conclude that you dont want to talk about the origin of the universe. Thats quite alright because i dont have to use origin to prove Gods existence but i can definetely use origin to prove it as well. The cosmological argument is fallacious if you think it deals with Gods origin (although he is eternal ;p) but it does not.

Zarathustra wrote:
Yes, I do accept evolutionary theory. It has been confirmed by two centuries' worth of scientific data, and a phenomenon observable in real time. It can be used to make testable predictions, and has real-world application. However, as before with cosmology, I do not regard evolution in either/or terms with respect to belief in god. (I do however think that christianity specifically is incompatible with evolution, for reasons I can explain if desired. Nonetheless, there are christians like Francis Collins and Ken Miller who do accept evolution.) Even if evolution were falsified -- which at this point would be comparable to falsifying gravity -- it would not mean that belief in god was any more reasonable. As before, we could only revert to saying "we don't know", and not "...therefore god exists". 

I really like how you have mentioned that you hold to the evolutionary theory. This then would go into the teleological argument. I definetely agree with you on saying that evolution cannot be converged with God. Its quite aggravating how Christians say that evolution can fit in with God. It definetely cannot in any way. First i must really make it clear on what kind of evolution we are talking about. Stellar evolution and macro evolution are false. I think its interesting how you say "two centuries" of scientific data. I really like how you say that. That statement is very important when disproving macro evolution and revealing how false it is. I do believe micro evolution is true though. We can observe micro evolution today. Macro evolution you cannot observe. I can disprove evolution to its very foundation to make my point which i will do through this conversation.

Now my only intention in talking to an athiest is for only one reason. To show that God exists and lead them to the Lord. I am not here to just argue pointlessly. I have an open mind to what you say. If you have the truth, then i want it, but i know where athiesm leads to, which most athiests cant even see. Now since this is on an athiest site, you have a lot of influence even if i completely prove that your view is a lie. So i am asking you to have an open mind and in return, i will too.


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 Zachary, the reason your

 Zachary, the reason your comment went to "pending approval" is because you were not logged in with your Zachary44 account when you posted it.  If you make sure you are logged in your posts should go straight through.

Welcome aboard,

Brian Sapient

 

 

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oh shoot, thought i was ;/.

oh shoot, thought i was ;/. Wont do that again ;p


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Zachary wrote:If something

Zachary wrote:
If something is eternal, it will always be in existence. You say "You are stating everything requires a cause", but actually i am claiming everything that has a beginning has a cause. You misunderstand what i am trying to convey. My argument rests on what created the universe and the proof that God created the universe. The cosmological argument deals with the beginning of the universe. I asked you where you thought the beginning of the universe came from just for this reason. The whole reason that the cosmological argument is brought up is to make a claim that the universe had a beginning, therefore it had a cause, which would be God. Thats how the cosmological argument works in arguing for Gods existence. We are not talking about where God came from (although he is eternal). We are talking about were the universe came from which points to God. The universe itself declares a creator. You see the cosmological argument fallacious because you are thinking it deals with Gods origin. Thats not the case at all. It deals with the univese and its origin and how the only logical explanation points to GOd.

I was first of all taking issue with your assertion that "god is eternal", or that "god has no beginning". Specifically, it is fallacious for you to make such claims about god when you haven't yet proven god exists in the first place.

 I'll address the other failings of the cosmological argument:

P1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause

P2. The universe began to exist

∴ The universe has a cause (presumably god)

This notion may immediately appeal to our intuition, but it is not actually an established truth to be used as a premise. I already mentioned Stephen Hawking and M-theory. I find it instructive to mention Hawking by name, since "professional philosopher" William Lane Craig has dropped Hawking's name in his rendition of the Cosmological Argument; in order to give P2 the veneer of scientific imprimatur. (It's ironic that in arguing for god's existence, Craig drops the name of a scientist who draws precisely the opposite conclusion.) I can also cite physicist Lawrence Krauss, and his lecture A Universe From Nothing. However counterintuitive it may seem, the scientific data is pointing to a universe without need for a creator. Furthermore, even if we grant P1 & P2, it remains fallacious to conclude that the "cause" of the universe is god. This is where you define god into existence; by stating without premise that god is eternal, in order to exempt god from "the law of causality" to which you hold all else beholden. Again: If you're going to claim god is eternal and has no cause, you first have to prove god exists -- using an argument other than one from causality.

 

Zachary wrote:
You stated that you dont know where the universe came from so I can conclude that you dont want to talk about the origin of the universe.

I don't mind talking about the origin of the universe; I'm simply confessing from the outset that I don't know where the universe "came from". I will reiterate that not knowing is not a vindication of belief in god. If we were having this conversation a few centuries ago, we would not have the cosmological data available today, which point to an uncaused universe. Even without that data, using god as an explanation would be no more reasonable. No explanation ("We don't know" ) is better than a bad explanation ("god did it" ).

 

Zachary wrote:
I really like how you have mentioned that you hold to the evolutionary theory. This then would go into the teleological argument. I definetely agree with you on saying that evolution cannot be converged with God. Its quite aggravating how Christians say that evolution can fit in with God. It definetely cannot in any way. First i must really make it clear on what kind of evolution we are talking about. Stellar evolution and macro evolution are false.

You'll have to explain what you mean by "stellar evolution". My understanding of "evolution" applies only to biology, and not astronomy -- nor have I used I have heard the term "stellar evolution" used by anyone other than creationists like Kent Hovind (along with "cosmic evolution", "chemical evolution" and "organic evolution" ), who invariably turn out to be conflating scientific terms.

 

Zachary wrote:
I think its interesting how you say "two centuries" of scientific data. I really like how you say that. That statement is very important when disproving macro evolution and revealing how false it is. I do believe micro evolution is true though. We can observe micro evolution today. Macro evolution you cannot observe. I can disprove evolution to its very foundation to make my point which i will do through this conversation.

Please explain how two centuries of scientific data disproves macroevolution. Please also explain what you understand macroevolution to be, when you deny it, while accepting microevolution. The only difference between the two is time scale. Accepting the latter while denying the former is like saying someone can walk to the end of the block ("micro-walking" ), but cannot walk to the next county ("macro-walking" ). Macroevolution is simply microevolution over an extended period of time. What I've had creationists have respond with at this point is that "there are changes within a species one species becoming another species", or "...they're still the same kind". At this point I ask what they mean by "kind", and am yet to get an actual definition. We can pursue this particular discussion if you like, but I do have to wonder why you brought it up; since once again: disproof of evolution would not render belief in god reasonable.

 

Zachary wrote:
Now my only intention in talking to an athiest is for only one reason. To show that God exists and lead them to the Lord. I am not here to just argue pointlessly. I have an open mind to what you say. If you have the truth, then i want it, but i know where athiesm leads to, which most athiests cant even see. Now since this is on an athiest site, you have a lot of influence even if i completely prove that your view is a lie. So i am asking you to have an open mind and in return, i will too.

I didn't see this as a pointless argument, or I wouldn't have requested a one-on-one thread. The last time I tried this, with a muslim, I think he got overwhelmed by other people posting, and quit rather quickly. The fact that I used to be a practicing catholic and am not atheist should indicate that I'm open-minded, and willing to change my position. As a preliminary test of your open-mindedness, can you articulate what would suffice to falsify your belief in god?

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zarathustra wrote: I was

zarathustra wrote:
I was first of all taking issue with your assertion that "god is eternal", or that "god has no beginning". Specifically, it is fallacious for you to make such claims about god when you haven't yet proven god exists in the first place.

The very existence of the universe prooves that there is a God. The complexity of even the simplest cell points to a God. In many cases, we prove that something exists by the things it leaves or creates. Your getting the idea switched. If someone were to prove that a metaphysical thing existed, we would then look to what points to it. Its fallacious to say that you cant prove God by what we see today. The very thing that proves God is the universe and how its made. To say that its fallacious to make a claim like that is absurd.

Zarathustra wrote:
However counterintuitive it may seem, the scientific data is pointing to a universe without need for a creator. Furthermore, even if we grant P1 & P2, it remains fallacious to conclude that the "cause" of the universe is god. This is where you define god into existence; by stating without premise that god is eternal, in order to exempt god from "the law of causality" to which you hold all else beholden. Again: If you're going to claim god is eternal and has no cause, you first have to prove god exists -- using an argument other than one from causality.

The scientic data you are referring to comes from a philosophy. Thats why its necessary for dispoving Darwinian evolution because the science you stand for comes directly from a presuppostion of evolution. The science you say proves God doesn't exist comes from a foundation of evolution. The foundation you stand on in your worldview is rooted in Darwins theory. It comes down to if James Hutton was right, or if he was wrong. Since James hutton formulated his theory on geology, then CHarles lyle came into play, after that Darwin compiled all of these ideas into what you hold true to.

Like i said before, the very cause of the universe points to a causer. You dont look at a pile of fecies and say that the animal that caused this doesn't exist. The pile of fecies automatically points to an animal, therefore making it an automatic proof that whatever animal made that exists. Funny anology but thats what came to mind ;p

Zarathustra wrote:
You'll have to explain what you mean by "stellar evolution". My understanding of "evolution" applies only to biology, and not astronomy -- nor have I used I have heard the term "stellar evolution" used by anyone other than creationists like Kent Hovind (along with "cosmic evolution", "chemical evolution" and "organic evolution" ), who invariably turn out to be conflating scientific terms.

Thats very interesting that you understand "evolution" only pertaining to biology. Without stellar evolution, there is no macro evolution. Stellar evolution is the thoery that the moon broke off of the earth over 4.6 billion years. I will get into this at a later time.

Zarathustra wrote:
Please explain how two centuries of scientific data disproves macroevolution. Please also explain what you understand macroevolution to be, when you deny it, while accepting microevolution. The only difference between the two is time scale. Accepting the latter while denying the former is like saying someone can walk to the end of the block ("micro-walking" ), but cannot walk to the next county ("macro-walking" ). Macroevolution is simply microevolution over an extended period of time. What I've had creationists have respond with at this point is that "there are changes within a species one species becoming another species", or "...they're still the same kind". At this point I ask what they mean by "kind", and am yet to get an actual definition. We can pursue this particular discussion if you like, but I do have to wonder why you brought it up; since once again: disproof of evolution would not render belief in god reasonable.

First i will explain, not how i understand evolution, but how its actually presented. Macro evolution is the transition from one species to another species. The difference is not the time scale in any way when comparing micro and macro evolution. In no way, do we today witness a transition from one species to another. "kind" refers to the category of animal etc. A example would be that there are many different kinds of dogs, but they all will remain in their species. A dog will always stay a dog, and never transition into a different kind of animal. Its the same thing with a feline. WE have lions, tigers, house cats etc, but they will always stay in the species of feline. They will never transition into something else thats outside of their species. I bring the theory of evolution up because its the foundation that most athiests are rooted in. Its an obstacle that blinds their perception of Truth.

Now to uncover the deception in evolution. When finding the flaws in a theory or worldview, you must go straight to the foundation. In this case, the foundation of evolution is Geology. Geology is what everthing that evolution claims to be true. Its roots go back to geology. James hutton made his theory off of the geological column. Charles lyle came into play and after that Darwin made the theory popular. The geolocal column which was made is based off of circular reasoning. THey literally dated the fossils by the rock, then dated the rock by the fossils. This is the interesting part. Carbon dating and radioactive dating didn't exist until many many years later. Radioactive dating is based off of the geological column. All of your evidence and scientific data has to come from a precondition and a foundation. That foundation is the geological column which is circular reasoning. The real problem is that the geological column never has changed pertaining to the dates, yet the age of the earth grew and constantly changed based off of the fossils over time. Its called uniformitarianism, which basically means the present is key to the past. It is saying that things in the past are the same as they are today. Its already assuming that the earth was exactly the same as it is today pertaining to atmosphere, carbon etc. Macro evolution is literally a guess. there is no evidence for macro evolution at all. We have not witnessed macro evolution ever. Saying that micro and macro evolution are the same but in a different time scale is such a lie. Scientists supporting evolution run into flaws or contradiction over the past 80 years and in return continue to add time to the earth to make up for the flaw. This is literally saying that anything can happen if we put on a couple more billion years. If macro evolution was true, we would be able to observe it today. Animals would be transitioning into other species seperate from its kind. No fossils have ever been found supporting Macro evolution. The whole foundation of evolution is based on circular reasoning. If the foundation of evolution is flawed, everything that is based on that foundation is going to be a lie. Why are the dates changing according to how we date things now, yet the geological column remains the same? The theory of evolution has blinded you from seeing intelligent design so thats why it must be handled. There are athiests that laugh at evolution in australia and Europe because they know its a joke.

"All designs imply a designer. There is great design in the universe. Therefore, there must have been a Great Designer of the universe" (Norman Geisler, systematica theology) In now way did the design of life and everything in the world come from evolution that came from a philosophy of man.

Zarathustra wrote:
I didn't see this as a pointless argument, or I wouldn't have requested a one-on-one thread. The last time I tried this, with a muslim, I think he got overwhelmed by other people posting, and quit rather quickly. The fact that I used to be a practicing catholic and am not atheist should indicate that I'm open-minded, and willing to change my position. As a preliminary test of your open-mindedness, can you articulate what would suffice to falsify your belief in god?

For this preliminary test, I have heard the claims of those who deny Gods existence. There very foundation of where they are getting their information is flawed. If someone could prove to me that complex design and the universe came from something else based off of their thoery, and it is truth, then i am open. I believe its important to define truth in a perfect and basic way. Truth is perfect, spotless, no contradiction, corresponds to reality. If someone claims truth, i test it by that premise. As an athiest, i am curious to know if you believe in absolute truths, or that truth is relative? The very thing that can suffice to falsify my belief in God would be the truth. If you have truth, let me hear it.

 


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Zachary44 wrote:The very

Zachary44 wrote:
The very existence of the universe prooves that there is a God.

False.  The very existence of the universe proves that there is a universe.  Your statement is no more sensible than:

 

The very existence of god proves there is a god-making machine.

 

Zachary44 wrote:
The complexity of even the simplest cell points to a God.

I'm not sure precisely what argument you intended this statement.  Are you claiming complexity is proof of god?

 

Zachary44 wrote:
In many cases, we prove that something exists by the things it leaves or creates. Your getting the idea switched. If someone were to prove that a metaphysical thing existed, we would then look to what points to it. Its fallacious to say that you cant prove God by what we see today. The very thing that proves God is the universe and how its made. To say that its fallacious to make a claim like that is absurd.

Your use of terms like "creates" and "made" indicate you've presumed that the universe was created or made, without first proving that it was.  Thus, you're again implying your desired conclusion in your premises:  You imply that the universe was created/made in order to deduce the existence of a maker/creator.  That is still defining god into existence, and that is still fallacious.

Again, we still don't know in full how the universe "got here", so it is invalid for you to state it was "created".  Furthermore -- again -- the present state of cosmology strongly indicates that the universe was not created.  Allow me to provide a relevant quote from Hawking's The Grand Design:

Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist...It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going.

I am not citing this quote dogmatically, nor claiming this disproves god.  As I mentioned before, even without the modern discoveries in cosmology, it would be invalid to conjecture that the universe was created, and thereby posit the existence of god.   However, it is noteworthy that the physicists actually investigating the origins of the universe are confirming the antithesis of your assertion; that the very existence of the universe points to no god at all.

 

Zachary44 wrote:
Zarathustra wrote:
However counterintuitive it may seem, the scientific data is pointing to a universe without need for a creator. Furthermore, even if we grant P1 & P2, it remains fallacious to conclude that the "cause" of the universe is god. This is where you define god into existence; by stating without premise that god is eternal, in order to exempt god from "the law of causality" to which you hold all else beholden. Again: If you're going to claim god is eternal and has no cause, you first have to prove god exists -- using an argument other than one from causality.

The scientic data you are referring to comes from a philosophy. Thats why its necessary for dispoving Darwinian evolution because the science you stand for comes directly from a presuppostion of evolution. The science you say proves God doesn't exist comes from a foundation of evolution. The foundation you stand on in your worldview is rooted in Darwins theory. It comes down to if James Hutton was right, or if he was wrong. Since James hutton formulated his theory on geology, then CHarles lyle came into play, after that Darwin compiled all of these ideas into what you hold true to.

I'm sorry, but I have several problems with your foregoing statement:

  • What do you mean the scientific data comes from philosophy?  Any philosophy would be based on the based on the implications of the scientific data.  
  • Since at this point we were only discussing cosmology and the universe's origins, I'm not at all sure why you suddenly brought up biology and geology, as they have no immediate relevance to the cosmological argument.  
  • Evolution is a scientific theory which explains observed facts (just as gravity is).  It is not a presupposition, but rather a conclusion drawn from the data.  With all due respect:  that you think it is a presupposition betrays a gross ignorance of misunderstanding of the topic -- which of course means you're off to a bad start if your goal is to disprove evolution.  
  • As far as disproving evolution:  Not sure what you hope to accomplish with this quest.  As I mentioned before, the accuracy of evolution does not disprove the existence of a god, in the general sense.  I do think evolution and the christian god specifically are incompatible, but it is not as if disproving evolution would prove the christian god by default.  Whether or not evolution is false, you still have the burden of proving the christian god.

 

Zachary44 wrote:
Like i said before, the very cause of the universe points to a causer. You dont look at a pile of fecies and say that the animal that caused this doesn't exist. The pile of fecies automatically points to an animal, therefore making it an automatic proof that whatever animal made that exists. Funny anology but thats what came to mind ;p

Your analogy fails for several reasons.

We already have knowledge that animals exist, and that they produce said material.  Hence, in your provided scenario, we are relying on extant knowledge, which is not analagous to conjecturing a being of which we have no prior knowledge, to explain something of whose origin we do not have sufficient knowledge.  For your analogy to carry, we would need extant knowledge of gods creating universes to comparable to our knowledge of animals creating said substance.  Animals are material beings, and they aren't actually creating said substance, but rather transforming already-existing material into something else.  Unless I'm mistaken, the god whose existence you are trying to prove is not itself material and created the universe from nothing, rather than transforming existing material.  In keeping with this, it's worthwhile to note that animals die.  Consider that if we found a petrified pile of said substance, it would indicate an animal, but it would also indicate that the animal was also dead.  Are you open to the prospect that your god died after creating the universe?  That would actually make your argument more reasonable, since it would explain why we can't observe your god now -- for the same reason we wouldn't be able to find the animal that produced the now petrified pile of said substance.
 

Zachary44 wrote:
Zarathustra wrote:
As a preliminary test of your open-mindedness, can you articulate what would suffice to falsify your belief in god?

For this preliminary test, I have heard the claims of those who deny Gods existence. There very foundation of where they are getting their information is flawed. If someone could prove to me that complex design and the universe came from something else based off of their thoery, and it is truth, then i am open.

"...from something else", as opposed to the god whose existence you still haven't proven?  Please correct me if I've misinterpreted your statement, but this appears to be an argument from ignorance (popuarly known as "god of the gaps" ):  We can't explain complexity, nor where the universe came from...therefore god exists.    

 

Zachary44 wrote:
[I believe its important to define truth in a perfect and basic way. Truth is perfect, spotless, no contradiction, corresponds to reality. If someone claims truth, i test it by that premise. As an athiest, i am curious to know if you believe in absolute truths, or that truth is relative? The very thing that can suffice to falsify my belief in God would be the truth. If you have truth, let me hear it.

I believe in both forms of truth.  I daresay this is treading upon the moral argument.  If so, I think we ought settle the cosmological argument before proceeding to something else.

 

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Zachary44
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zarathustra wrote:False.

zarathustra wrote:

False.  The very existence of the universe proves that there is a universe.  Your statement is no more sensible than:

 The very existence of god proves there is a god-making machine

All you did was take a line out of the whole paragraph that lead up to that. Before that i gave the reasons to why i came to that conclusion. Your taking what i said and using as if i didn't say anything else on the matter. The universe and what lies inside it, points to a creator.

zarathustra wrote:

I'm not sure precisely what argument you intended this statement.  Are you claiming complexity is proof of god?

Sorry, i was leading into the teleological argument on that. I know we are talking about the cosmological argument so i apologize. All the arguments do work in unison though and portray certain characteristics. They all work together.

zarathustra wrote:
Your use of terms like "creates" and "made" indicate you've presumed that the universe was created or made, without first proving that it was.  Thus, you're again implying your desired conclusion in your premises:  You imply that the universe was created/made in order to deduce the existence of a maker/creator.  That is still defining god into existence, and that is still fallacious

THis conversation is to prove the existence of God through the cosmological argument. You dont prove God first without using the cosmological argument that points to God. The beginning had to of been caused by something. The beginning of something doesn't have a cause without something to cause it in the first place. This makes it logical to believe that an intelligent being caused the universe into existence. To say that create or made is logical. Things dont just pop iinto existence out of nothing. It doesn't happen and never will.

zarathustra wrote:

Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist...It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going.

I am not citing this quote dogmatically, nor claiming this disproves god.  As I mentioned before, even without the modern discoveries in cosmology, it would be invalid to conjecture that the universe was created, and thereby posit the existence of god.   However, it is noteworthy that the physicists actually investigating the origins of the universe are confirming the antithesis of your assertion; that the very existence of the universe points to no god at all.

Spontaneous creation has never happened. You dont get gravity without created planets. Saying the universe "can" and "will" create itselft from nothing is a very bold statement. The gravity came from something. Gravity had a beginning and cause from earth or other planets. Gravity itself is something. Things have never came from nothing at all. Your still saying that the universe came from nothing. Using gravity as an example, which came from something before it, doesnt make your claim valid. Things have to be created by something. All of a sudden this doesn't apply to how the universe came to be?

zarathustra wrote:

 

 

The fact that you say you dont know, makes you an agnostic. To be a true athiest, you have to have an absolute knowledge and believe that god doesn't exist. If you had 50% of all knowledge in the world, is there a chance that the other 50% could prove that God exists? You fall into the agnostic category.

zarathustra wrote:
We already have knowledge that animals exist, and that they produce said material.  Hence, in your provided scenario, we are relying on extant knowledge, which is not analagous to conjecturing a being of which we have no prior knowledge, to explain something of whose origin we do not have sufficient knowledge.  For your analogy to carry, we would need extant knowledge of gods creating universes to comparable to our knowledge of animals creating said substance.  Animals are material beings, and they aren't actually creating said substance, but rather transforming already-existing material into something else.  Unless I'm mistaken, the god whose existence you are trying to prove is not itself material and created the universe from nothing, rather than transforming existing material.  In keeping with this, it's worthwhile to note that animals die.  Consider that if we found a petrified pile of said substance, it would indicate an animal, but it would also indicate that the animal was also dead.  Are you open to the prospect that your god died after creating the universe?  That would actually make your argument more reasonable, since it would explain why we can't observe your god now -- for the same reason we wouldn't be able to find the animal that produced the now petrified pile of said substance

once again, you dont see that the evidence on something points to another. The things we can observe today and in the past our evidences that something created it. The universe itself is evidence that something created it. Things dont come into existence from nothing. The scientif laws themselves disprove evolution and Hawkins quote earlier. You stated that the animals are making an already existent material and not creating it. yes, this ofcourse is true. I am saying God created the universe, you are saying the universe came from nothing. The burden of proof this whole time is not on me. The burden of proof always lies on those who oppose an intelligent designer. You cant explain where things came from and the very foundation of what you hold is flawed.

zarathustra wrote:

"...from something else", as opposed to the god whose existence you still haven't proven?  Please correct me if I've misinterpreted your statement, but this appears to be an argument from ignorance (popuarly known as "god of the gaps" ):  We can't explain complexity, nor where the universe came from...therefore god exists.

You use the arguments to prove there is a God. You dont prove God from nothing. You observe what we see today and conclude that it came from an intellignet designer. You see that the universe could not of came from nothing, so from that you conclude that there had to be a causer. God made the universe to proclaim his existence. The things we perceive are evidences for God. The universe "happened" (i didn't use create for you sake) so what is that evidence of since we know things cant come from nothing? Please answer this for me. You cant use that spontaneous creation bolony because thats using something that was already in existence to prove something happened from nothing. 

Its important to establish what truth is from the beginning. Thats why i asked because you are going to run into problems if you believe that truth is relative. I am curious to why you say that you believe truth is absolute and truth is relative. 

 

 

I'm sorry, but I have several problems with your foregoing statement:

  • What do you mean the scientific data comes from philosophy?  Any philosophy would be based on the based on the implications of the scientific data.  
  • Since at this point we were only discussing cosmology and the universe's origins, I'm not at all sure why you suddenly brought up biology and geology, as they have no immediate relevance to the cosmological argument.  
  • Evolution is a scientific theory which explains observed facts (just as gravity is).  It is not a presupposition, but rather a conclusion drawn from the data.  With all due respect:  that you think it is a presupposition betrays a gross ignorance of misunderstanding of the topic -- which of course means you're off to a bad start if your goal is to disprove evolution.  
  • As far as disproving evolution:  Not sure what you hope to accomplish with this quest.  As I mentioned before, the accuracy of evolution does not disprove the existence of a god, in the general sense.  I do think evolution and the christian god specifically are incompatible, but it is not as if disproving evolution would prove the christian god by default.  Whether or not evolution is false, you still have the burden of proving the christian god.
  •  
  • If you look at the foundation of where evolution came from, james hutton gathered his data and compiled the geologic column which is circular reasoning. Bringing up evolution is definetely important because your worldview and how you perceive things is directly influenced by it. Evolution is a theory sure, but only micro evolution is an observed fact. Marco evolution is not an observed fact and never has been. I dont know why you say it is. The conclusion is false because the data you get is already on a presupposition towards evolution. The scientist gathering this data already assume evolution is correct, therefore fit their data only with evolution. Any one who says other wise is considererd moronic. Thats how it  works in the scinetifc field. For your standpoint, evolution is what keeps you from seeing the evidence of God. THeir are obstacle that need to be cleared in order to get to the next one, once you break down the false viewpoints you then can show them.

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    I totally messed up my

    I totally messed up my reply. My replies are actually within your quotes on some parts. So just read over the whole thing and see which is which. I apologize for this. The end which talks of evolution is actually meant to be in the section that is replying to what you said of evolution quite a ways up from it ;p. Sorry about that.


    Zachary44
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    I totally messed up my

    I totally messed up my reply. My replies are actually within your quotes on some parts. So just read over the whole thing and see which is which. I apologize for this. The end which talks of evolution is actually meant to be in the section that is replying to what you said of evolution quite a ways up from it ;p. Sorry about that.


    Zachary44
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    I totally messed up my

    I totally messed up my reply. My replies are actually within your quotes on some parts. So just read over the whole thing and see which is which. I apologize for this. The end which talks of evolution is actually meant to be in the section that is replying to what you said of evolution quite a ways up from it ;p. Sorry about that.


    zarathustra
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    Evolution

    I'm treating this in a separate section, as it's not immediately pertinent to the central topic, i.e., your arguments for god's existence.  Depending on how involved this tangent becomes, it may make sense to move it to another thread so as not to scuttle the overall discussion.

    Zachary44 wrote:
    Zarathustra wrote:
    Please explain how two centuries of scientific data disproves macroevolution. Please also explain what you understand macroevolution to be, when you deny it, while accepting microevolution. The only difference between the two is time scale. Accepting the latter while denying the former is like saying someone can walk to the end of the block ("micro-walking" ), but cannot walk to the next county ("macro-walking" ). Macroevolution is simply microevolution over an extended period of time. What I've had creationists have respond with at this point is that "there are changes within a species one species becoming another species", or "...they're still the same kind". At this point I ask what they mean by "kind", and am yet to get an actual definition. We can pursue this particular discussion if you like, but I do have to wonder why you brought it up; since once again: disproof of evolution would not render belief in god reasonable.

    First i will explain, not how i understand evolution, but how its actually presented. Macro evolution is the transition from one species to another species. The difference is not the time scale in any way when comparing micro and macro evolution. In no way, do we today witness a transition from one species to another.

    At the risk of offending you, I will say that you definitely do not understand evolution as it is actually presented.  Yes, macroevolution is the result of many instances of microevolution in succession, just as one covers a large distance by taking several small steps in succession.  To reject this is to claim that there is some hard upper bound on how much change can occur from microevolution; that microevolution stops occurring at some point.  Because if microevolution does not stop occurring -- and by observation, it doesn't -- then obviously changes continue to accumulate.  

    Perhaps we should clarify what you mean by "transition from one species to another".  If by that you mean an individual of one species giving birth to a member of a different species, then you're quite right that we don't witness that.  And of course, evolution does not stipulate that.  Y

    Zachary44 wrote:
    "kind" refers to the category of animal etc. A example would be that there are many different kinds of dogs, but they all will remain in their species. A dog will always stay a dog, and never transition into a different kind of animal. Its the same thing with a feline. WE have lions, tigers, house cats etc, but they will always stay in the species of feline. They will never transition into something else thats outside of their species. I bring the theory of evolution up because its the foundation that most athiests are rooted in. Its an obstacle that blinds their perception of Truth.

    You'll note that I anticipated a response such as this:

    Quote:
    At this point I ask what they mean by "kind", and am yet to get an actual definition.

    Your response is so far in keeping with this trend, where noone is able to actually define what a "kind" is.  I'm not asking for vague examples or synonyms.  I'm asking for the precise criteria which determine whether two individuals belong to the same "kind", or different "kinds".  
     

    I'll reiterate that noone I've discussed this with (several times now) has ever managed to provide a definition.  
     


     

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    Zachary44
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    The cosmological argument is

    The cosmological argument is the most logical way to explain metaphysical origin. If you deny the law of causality, which is around you everyday, you then become illogical. You cannot use the cosmological argument for anything else or it wont make any sense. TO explain a metaphysical things, the law of causality is the best logical way to explain it. In your worldview, logic breaks down. Logic never breaks down in christianity. THe burden of proof is not on me, its on you. You dont know about origin and therefore are only taking a philosphy from 200 years ago in the late 1700's. The science that you see and the data you get is being portayed through a philosophy made by James hutton and charles lyle. I could take the same data and information in science tha you have, yet you would disagree, not on evidence, but beacause that philosophy is a presupposition to the data and evidence you obtain. Whether you admit it or not, you perceive science through a certain philosophy. If james hutton and charles lyle were wrong, everthing you claim is wrong pertaining to evolution.

    zarathustra wrote:

    Your response is so far in keeping with this trend, where noone is able to actually define what a "kind" is. I'm not asking for vague examples or synonyms. I'm asking for the precise criteria which determine whether two individuals belong to the same "kind", or different "kinds".
     

    I'll reiterate that noone I've discussed this with (several times now) has ever managed to provide a definition.

    Any real evolution (macroevolution) requires an expansion of the gene pool, the addition of new genes and new traits as life is supposed to move from simple beginnings to ever more varied and complex forms (“molecules to man” or “fish to philosopher&rdquoEye-wink. Suppose there are islands where varieties of flies that used to trade genes no longer interbreed. Is this evidence of evolution? No, exactly the opposite. Each variety resulting from reproductive isolation has a smaller gene pool than the original and a restricted ability to explore new environments with new trait combinations or to meet changes in its own environment. The long-term result? Extinction would be much more likely than evolution.

    Of course, if someone insists on defining evolution as “a change in gene frequency,” then the fly example “proves evolution”—but it also “proves creation,” since varying the amounts of already-existing genes is what creation is all about.

    If evolutionists really spoke and wrote only about observable variation within kind, there would be no creation-evolution controversy. But as you know, textbooks, teachers, and television “docudramas” insist on extrapolating from simple variation within kind to the wildest sorts of evolutionary changes. And, of course, as long as they insist on such extrapolation, creationists will point out the limits to such change and explore creation, instead, as the more logical inference from our observations. All we have ever observed is what evolutionists themselves call “subspeciation” (variation within kind), never “transspeciation” (change from one kind to others). 

    Evolutionists are often asked what they mean by “species,” and creationists are often asked what they mean by “kind.” Creationists would like to define “kind” in terms of interbreeding, since the Bible describes different living things as “multiplying after kind,” and evolutionists also use the interbreeding criterion. However, scientists recognize certain bower birds as distinct species even though they interbreed, and they can’t use the interbreeding criterion at all with asexual forms. So, both creationists and evolutionists are divided into “lumpers” and “splitters.” “Splitters,” for example, classify cats into 28 species; “lumpers” (creationist or evolutionist) classify them into only one!

    "Perhaps each created kind is a unique combination of non-unique traits. Look at people, for instance. Each of us has certain traits that we may admire (or abhor): brown hair, tall stature, or even a magnificent nose like mine. Whatever the trait, someone else has exactly the same trait, but nobody has the same combination of traits that you do or I do. Each of us is a unique combination of non-unique traits. In a sense, that’s why it’s hard to classify people. If you break them up according to hair type, you’ll come out with groups that won’t fit with the eye type, and so on. Furthermore, we recognize each person as distinct.

    We see a similar pattern among other living things. Each created kind is a unique combination of traits that are individually shared with members of other groups. The platypus , for example, was at first considered a hoax by evolutionists, since its “weird” set of traits made it difficult even to guess what it was evolving from or into. Creationists point out that each of its traits (including complex ones like its electric location mechanism, leathery egg, and milk glands) is complete, fully functional, and well-integrated into a distinctive and marvelous kind of life.

    Stephen Gould says “how could the existence of distinct species be justified by a theory [evolution] that proclaimed ceaseless change as the most fundamental fact of nature?” For an evolutionist, why should there be species at all? If all life forms have been produced by gradual expansion through selected mutations from a small beginning gene pool, organisms really should just grade into one another without distinct boundaries. Darwin also recognized the problem. He finally ended by denying the reality of species. But, as Gould points out, Darwin was quite good at classifying the species whose ultimate reality he denied. And, says Gould, Darwin could take no comfort in fossils, since he was also successful in classifying them into distinct species. He used the same criteria we use to classify plants and animals today."

    Darwin tried to explain “design without a Designer” on the basis of selection and the inheritance of traits acquired by use and disuse (pangenes), but Pangenesis failed. The neo-Darwinists tried to explain “design without a Designer” on the basis of selection and mutation, and mutations failed. The post-neo-Darwinists are turning to “hopeful monsters,” instead of simple mutations, and to “survival of the luckiest,” instead of selection. These new ideas have little basis in observation or scientific principle at all, and it remains to be seen whether the evolutionist’s faith in future discoveries will also fail.

    One thing is for certain: if evolutionists had to prove their case in court, evolution would be thrown out for lack of evidence. That’s the conclusion of two insightful lawyers, Norman MacBeth (Darwin Retried) and Phillip Johnson (Darwin on Trial). Neither man is arguing for the Bible; both are simply writing in their field as experts in the rules of evidence and the rules of logic. I’ve had the pleasure of hearing Phillip Johnson, Professor of Law at the University of California (Berkeley), challenge college students to weigh the so-called evidence for evolution and to consider alternatively the concept that life (and, hence, each of their lives) is instead the gift of Intelligent, Purposeful Design.

    The evidence is forcing evolutionists to admit the severe inadequacy of mutation and selection, but these same processes are being picked up and used by creationists. What would Darwin say about that? Would he object to his ideas and observations being used in Biblical perspective? Darwin did muse occasionally about the role of a Creator. But, of course, we’ll never know whether he would be willing to consider the Biblical framework as the more-logical inference from our present knowledge of genetics and ecology. We can be sure of this, however: a man as thoughtful and devoted to detail and observation as Darwin was, would be willing to “think about it.”

    For you personally, you say you dont know of origin. That puts you in the category of an agnostic. If you had 50% of all knowledge in the world, is it possible that the other half would point to a God? You really need to look at what athiesm leads to. It lead to one thing, no purpose. I believe you do have a purpose though Smiling, but with your worldview it leads to no purpose.
     

     

     


    zarathustra
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    Zachary44 wrote:zarathustra

    Zachary44 wrote:

    zarathustra wrote:

    False.  The very existence of the universe proves that there is a universe.  Your statement is no more sensible than:

     The very existence of god proves there is a god-making machine

    All you did was take a line out of the whole paragraph that lead up to that. Before that i gave the reasons to why i came to that conclusion. Your taking what i said and using as if i didn't say anything else on the matter. The universe and what lies inside it, points to a creator.

    Not sure what you're implying; that was the first sentence of the first paragraph of your post, with nothing leading up to it.  

    Your argument that the universe points to a creator amounts to "god exists because everything needs a cause...except god".  You haven't provided any reasonable justification for why you exempt god from this "law of causality".  One attempt of yours ("god is eternal...god has no beginning" ) amounts -- again -- to simply defining god into existence.  If you protest, then please explain precisely how you determine that this unobservable god is eternal and requires no cause of its own.

    It's not clear, but another possible attempt was your vague reference to complexity, using cells as an example.  If that was indeed your intention with the implication being "complexity requires a designer", I'll be happy to point out why that also is fallacious (a preview:  is god more complex than the universe?).
     

    You justify this arbitrary rule-making with the assertion that an uncaused universe is impossible.  This assertion may appear valid because it appeals to our intuition; it is not, however, an proven fact.  A universe of unknown cause (or even no cause at all) is, however counterintuitive, more reasonable an explanation for the universe's existence than an uncaused god -- itself unobservable and untestable -- who caused the universe.  Again, recent developments in science like M-theory are suggesting the universe can emerge from nothing, without having to invoke a supernatural agent, as you do. 

    The latter proposition is less reasonable as it simply creates an extra step, which serves only as a plug for our ignorance, and in no way deepens our understanding of origins.  And if it doesn't in anyway contribute to our understanding, the extra step is unnecessary.  Carl Sagan put it concisely:  "Why not save a step?"

    Zachary44 wrote:
    Spontaneous creation has never happened. You dont get gravity without created planets. Saying the universe "can" and "will" create itselft from nothing is a very bold statement. The gravity came from something. Gravity had a beginning and cause from earth or other planets. Gravity itself is something. Things have never came from nothing at all. Your still saying that the universe came from nothing. Using gravity as an example, which came from something before it, doesnt make your claim valid. Things have to be created by something. All of a sudden this doesn't apply to how the universe came to be?

    Yes, saying, "the universe can create" itself is a bold statement, because it conflicts with our intuition that all things require a "creator".  However, "the earth is round" and "the earth revolves around the sun" were bold statements in their time, yet were vindicated by the evidence.  It remains to be seen pending further study whether  a "universe from nothing" will be likewise vindicated.  Your statement "spontaneous creation has never happened" is nonetheless baseless conjecture, no more useful than me saying "supernatural creation has never happened".  While the evidence  for a universe from nothing remains insufficient to elevate it to an established scientific theory, it has more evidence than empirically unobservable and untestable god you are contriving as an explanation.   Your contrivance is made clear with the special pleading you employ, by insisting "gravity came from something", yet insisting that god did not have to come from something.  (I'm also not at all sure what you meant by "Gravity had a beginning and cause from earth or other planets".  Gravity is necessary for planets to form in the first place.)  If you feel I've misconstrued, please explain why you have a problem with a "law such as gravity" always existing, yet no problem at all with a supernatural being always existing -- especially when the former can be tested, and the latter cannot.

    Zachary44 wrote:
    once again, you dont see that the evidence on something points to another. The things we can observe today and in the past our evidences that something created it.

    I took exception with your analogy animals making waste products to god creating the universe.  Again, we already have empirical data that animals produce waste, by which we acknowledge waste as evidence that an animal produced it.  We do not have any such empirical data for a god creating a universe.  Therefore, the analogy does not carry.  

    Zachary44 wrote:
    The universe itself is evidence that something created it. Things dont come into existence from nothing.

    No, the universe itself is evidence that the universe exists.  We don't know who or what created the universe, or even if it was created.  At this point, I must ask:  Do you believe in ex nihilo creation?  If so, it is you who believes that the universe popped out of nothing, only using a supernatural agent to make it so.  This would furthermore point to an equivocation on the terms "cause" and "create".  Within the universe, "cause/create" only represents (again) the transformation of something that already exists into something else (as with your animal example, it is simply an example of transforming already-existing food into waste products).  This would not be the same type of "cause" as magically conjuring the universe out of absolutely nothing.  If, on the other hand, you think the matter which comprises the universe always existed, and your god didn't so much "create" the universe as transform it from one thing into another -- in which case the cosmological argument needs some tinkering, as P2: The universe began to exist becomes false.

     

    Zachary44 wrote:
    The scientif laws themselves disprove evolution and Hawkins quote earlier. You stated that the animals are making an already existent material and not creating it. yes, this ofcourse is true. I am saying God created the universe, you are saying the universe came from nothing.

    First of all, I am not saying the universe came from nothing.  I am saying I don't know.  There are scientists advancing this as an explanation, but I am not citing their claims as a certainty; only that the evidence they are gathering is not pointing to a god, but rather a universe from nothing.   Speaking of bold statements, there's an air of boldness in stating that the scientific laws disprove the claims made by the scientists who are actually researching the topics concerned.  It's of course possible; scientists do get things wrong, sometimes horribly wrong.  Yet when you claim there is a violation of the scientific laws which eludes the majority of those working in the field, you need to back it up with something more substantive than "I am saying god created the universe".

     

    Zachary44 wrote:
    The burden of proof this whole time is not on me. The burden of proof always lies on those who oppose an intelligent designer. You cant explain where things came from and the very foundation of what you hold is flawed.  The fact that you say you dont know, makes you an agnostic. To be a true athiest, you have to have an absolute knowledge and believe that god doesn't exist. If you had 50% of all knowledge in the world, is there a chance that the other 50% could prove that God exists? You fall into the agnostic category.
     

    The burden of proof is most certainly on you, as it is you who is claiming there is a god.  To say the burden of proof lies on those who oppose an intelligent designer is absolutely false.  The default position for any claim is lack of belief.  If you claim there is an intelligent designer, it is your task to prove it.  If you fail to prove it, we remain at the default position, withholding belief.  

    Your seem to think "atheist" and "agnostic" are mutually exclusive terms.  This is just an issue of semantics, so let me clarify my definitions.  In my usage, "A-theist" means  "not a theist".  If you don't believe in god, you are an "atheist".   That itself gives no indication whether you actively assert that god does not exist, or simply hold the default position, lack of belief.  "Agnostic" indicates the default position.  So I am atheist because I don't believe in god, and agnostic since I neither make the knowledge claim that god does not exist.  If you disagree with this terminology, consider:  Were you born believing in god?


    I asked you to state what criteria you would accept as disproof of god's existence.  I'm not sure, but I think you may have intended this as response:

    Zachary44 wrote:
    If someone could prove to me that complex design and the universe came from something else based off of their thoery, and it is truth, then i am open.

    As I stated before, this betrays your position as an argument from ignorance.  You are choosing god to explain the existence of the universe, only because noone has advanced a satisfactory alternative.  Our inability to explain how the universe got here does not serve as a warrant to claim "god did it".  If we don't know, we don't know.  No explanation is better than a baseless explanation.  

    A quick review of the fallacies you've employed so far:

    • special pleading ("everything needs a cause...except god" )
    • equivocation ("cause" in respect to animals/waste vs. "cause" in respect to god/universe)
    • shifting the burden ("god/intelligent designer exists.  Prove it doesn't." )
    • argument from ignorance ("you can't explain it, therefore god" )

     

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    Zachary44
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    I should of done this from

    I should of done this from the start but rather late than never Sticking out tongue. Alright, I am going to lay down the cosmological argument down right now from the horizontal view and the vertical view. Both parts work as one.  I will then display how it is a SOUND argument and not fallacious. We may be looking at two different styles of the argument so i must specify.

    Horizontal

    P1-Evething that had a beginning had a cause

    P2- The universe had a beginning

    P3- Therefore, the universe had a Cause

    Vertical

    P1-Every part of the universe is right now dependent for its existence

    P2- If every part is right now dependent for its existence, then the whole universe must also be right now dependent for its existence

    P3-Therefore, the whole universe is dependent right now for its existence on some Independent Being beyond itself

    To add on to this, if everthing were contingent, then it would be possible that nothing existed. But something does exist (me), and its existence is undeniable, for i havt to exist in order to be able to affirm that i do not exist. If some contingent being now exists, A Necessary Beign must now exist, otherwise there would be no ground for the existence of this contingent being.

    This argument is valid and sound for this reason.

    In order for my argument to be sound and good its premises must be true. For instance a Valid argument has a form such that if the premises are true, the conclusion must be true. THe premises necessarily lead to the conclusion. But for the argument to be Sound, the premises must first be true. The cosmological arguments premises are definetely true, therefore leads to the conclusion.

    zarathustra wrote:
    No, the universe itself is evidence that the universe exists. We don't know who or what created the universe, or even if it was created. At this point, I must ask: Do you believe in ex nihilo creation? If so, it is you who believes that the universe popped out of nothing, only using a supernatural agent to make it so. This would furthermore point to an equivocation on the terms "cause" and "create".

    Saying that the universe itself is evidence it exists is true but your are missing a vital point. If i was to say that i found a perfect chair in the wilderness i would assume that the chair does indeed exist but i also would ask myself what brought that into being. This is ofcourse a simple chair so if a simple chair points to a creator, why wouldn't the most complex things imaginable (the universe) not point to this as well? Again your saying that the universe came from nothing then but itself. Nothing can come into existence without the existence of another. No i do not believe in an ex nihilo creation. I never said "from nothing, nothing comes" in my points. Saying that GOd created the universe wouldn't be saying that. If i were to say that nothing created something, i would be saying that. I am saying a being created something (the universe).

    Zarathustra wrote:
    Your seem to think "atheist" and "agnostic" are mutually exclusive terms. This is just an issue of semantics, so let me clarify my definitions. In my usage, "A-theist" means "not a theist". If you don't believe in god, you are an "atheist". That itself gives no indication whether you actively assert that god does not exist, or simply hold the default position, lack of belief. "Agnostic" indicates the default position. So I am atheist because I don't believe in god, and agnostic since I neither make the knowledge claim that god does not exist. If you disagree with this terminology, consider: Were you born believing in god?

    Actually if you want to get technical, the proper definition of athiest would be, someone who has Absolute knowledge that there is no God. Unless you claim to have absolute knowledge (where you would have to be omnipresent) you then have a lack of knowledge. Hence the defintion of Agnostic-without knowledge, ignoramous, not knowing. There are no real athiests in the world if you want to get technical.

    zarathustra wrote:
    The burden of proof is most certainly on you, as it is you who is claiming there is a god. To say the burden of proof lies on those who oppose an intelligent designer is absolutely false. The default position for any claim is lack of belief. If you claim there is an intelligent designer, it is your task to prove it. If you fail to prove it, we remain at the default position, withholding belief.

    You are claiming that there is no god and therefor cannot explain where things came from or how "evolution" made complex cells or even the simplest cell. The burden of proof lies within your own science you are standing on. There are huge gaps in your theories where there is no evidence backing up what your philosophy stands on. The four arguments for Gods existence makes a logical claim. Your refutation of the cosmological argument seems to be that you dont know how we came to be, just because science hasn't figured it out yet doesn't mean it points to a creator. The burden of proof lies with you because you have no explanation in the first place. Besides the sciene you are talking about is looked through a philosophy of either James hutton and charles Lyle or Huxley. To say the burden of proof doesn't lie on someone who cant explain how we came and just says that science will figure it out eventually is odd. I have evidence based on logic and our everyday surroundings. In no way whatsoever can the simplest cell form from anything but a designer. Even the anthropic principle is a good example.  

     


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    Cosmological Argument - Part 6

    Zachary44 wrote:
    This argument is valid and sound for this reason.

    In order for my argument to be sound and good its premises must be true. For instance a Valid argument has a form such that if the premises are true, the conclusion must be true. THe premises necessarily lead to the conclusion. But for the argument to be Sound, the premises must first be true. The cosmological arguments premises are definetely true, therefore leads to the conclusion.

    You're quite right that if the premises are true and the conclusion logically derives from those premises, then the argument is valid and the conclusion is true.  However, your premises are not sound, and your argument is not valid.  Let's take a look:

    Quote:
    P1-Evething that had a beginning had a cause

    This premise is unsound because of the ambiguity of its terms.  

    beginning -  Anything you might indicate that "had a beginning" is constituted of material which already existed.  A chair --to borrow from your upcoming example-- could be said to have "had a beginning" at the point of manufacture, but it did not pop into existence out of nothing; it was was made from wood which already existed.  And the tree which supplied the wood itself formed from already existing matter.  In other words, "had a beginning" implies nothing more than matter, already existing in some form, changed into another form.  Thus, "Everything that had a beginning..." means nothing more than "Everything that already existed in another form..."

    cause - This term suffers from the same ambiguity as "beginning".  The term "cause" only indicates the means by which already-existing matter changes its form.  One can say a carpenter causes a chair to begin existing, from already-existing wood.  One can say chemical processes like photosynthesis, respiration and transpiration cause a tree to begin existing, from already-existing sunlight, water and soil nutrients.  This shows that the term "cause" is overly broad.  When we think of the "cause" of a chair, we think of an intentional agent --the furniture maker(s)-- who fashioned it from the original wood.  When we consider the "cause" of the tree from whose wood the chair was fashioned, we do not have any such intentional agent to identify; rather only physical processes, without any observable intentional agent; so also with the "cause" of the planet on which the tree grows, or the "cause" of the accretion disk from which the planet formed.  Ignoring this distinction between intentional and unintentional agents allows for conflation, and reading intention into all "causes" -- which of course comes in handy down the pipeline when it's time to prove the existence of god.

    P1 can thus be articulated as Everything that already existed in another form and took on a new form has an agent, either intentional or unintentional, by which it took on its new form.
     

    Quote:
    P2 - The universe had a beginning

    Again, we do not know as an established, incontrovertible fact the origin of the universe.  Various models have been advanced based on the present evidence, but they are subject to modification pending new evidence.  

    So far, you haven't articulated exactly why P2 is true.  (You perhaps implied that to reject P2 is to imply that the universe popped out of nothing.  I'll address that in the next paragraph).  If you do have a justification for P2, please present it.  In the meantime, I will use William Lane Craig's presentation of the cosmo argument to explain why P2 fails.  In multiple debates, Craig has cited the none other than Hawking to justify his use of P2.   (It is at best quote-mining, as Hawking himself holds a different stance on the existence of god than Craig.  I suspect also Craig has stopped citing Hawking by name following publication of "The Grand Design".)  Whatever credibility scientific references bring to a premise, the premise and any conclusions drawn from it are at best provisional, as the science on which the premise relies may change.    

    Let me be clear that I am not addressing Craig's argument to invalidate yours by proxy; if you have a different justification for P2, please present it.  My intent with the foregoing example is to show that logical conclusions derived from scientific data are only as strong as the data, which is always open to revision by new data.   To better illustrate this, consider that M-theory (currently embraced by Hawking) predicts that many universes can emerge out of nothing.  I do not state this as if it's a fact; consider only that the scientific data previously apparently supported P2, the current trend is apparently invalidating it.  Furthermore, "a universe from nothing" is not the only alternative to "the universe had a beginning"; another is "the universe was always here".  Aside from scientific data to the contrary, there's no basis for rejecting this particular possibility while accepting a god that was always here.  

    With these caveats accounted for, a highly charitable rendering of P2 becomes Based on our present scientific data, the universe began to exist.   (A less charitable rendering would be Based on a selective sampling of our present scientific data, the universe might have begun to exist.

    Quote:
    P3- Therefore, the universe had a Cause

    There is even some sophistry at work in deriving P3 from P1 & P2.  P1 applies to matter already existing within the universe, yet in P3 you are attempting to apply it to the universe as a whole.  While chairs, trees and other items within the universe may be subject to your "law of causality",  it's a composition fallacy to apply that "law" to the universe as a whole.  

    If we utilize amended versions of P1 and P2, we now have Based on our present scientific data (subject to change), the universe, already existing in one form, has an agent, either intentional or unintentional, by which it took on a new form.   

    Zachary44 wrote:
    To add on to this, if everthing were contingent, then it would be possible that nothing existed. But something does exist (me), and its existence is undeniable, for i havt to exist in order to be able to affirm that i do not exist. If some contingent being now exists, A Necessary Beign must now exist, otherwise there would be no ground for the existence of this contingent being.

    This fails.  At some point or another, one is left saying something "just exists".  In your case, it's "a necessary being [presumably god] just exists".  One can just as easily say "everything just exists", or "god is a contingent being, and a necessary supergod must now exist, otherwise there would be no ground for the existence of this contingent god".  

    Zachary44 wrote:
    Saying that the universe itself is evidence it exists is true but your are missing a vital point. If i was to say that i found a perfect chair in the wilderness i would assume that the chair does indeed exist but i also would ask myself what brought that into being. This is ofcourse a simple chair so if a simple chair points to a creator, why wouldn't the most complex things imaginable (the universe) not point to this as well?

    This is a rendering of Paley's Watchmaker argument, put forth in the early 19th century, and already soundly refuted both logically and empirically.  

    Logically, it is self-refuting.  Your point is that your ability to distinguish the chair from the surrounding wilderness indicates the chair had a creator, in contrast to the wilderness in which you find it.  However, you are seeking to claim that the universe -- of which the wilderness is a part -- has a creator.  If in fact the wilderness is "created" just as the chair is "created", you should not be able to observe a distinction between the two.  
     

    Scientifically we have abundant examples of complexity and order arising from unguided processes, such as snowflakes, crystals or coral reefs, which do not require a creator like a chair does.

    With this in mind, I will ask you, Which is more complex:  the universe, or the god you believe created it?  (I asked you this once already.)  If you believe your god is more complex than the universe, then your god 's complexity points to a creator for the same reason you stipulate that the universe's complexity points to a creator.   

    Zachary44 wrote:
    Again your saying that the universe came from nothing then but itself. Nothing can come into existence without the existence of another. No i do not believe in an ex nihilo creation. I never said "from nothing, nothing comes" in my points. Saying that GOd created the universe wouldn't be saying that. If i were to say that nothing created something, i would be saying that. I am saying a being created something (the universe).

    By that do you mean that you believe god fashioned the universe out of matter which already existed, instead of creating the universe ex nihilo?  
     

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    Burden of Proof 1

    Zachary44 wrote:
    Actually if you want to get technical, the proper definition of athiest would be, someone who has Absolute knowledge that there is no God. Unless you claim to have absolute knowledge (where you would have to be omnipresent) you then have a lack of knowledge. Hence the defintion of Agnostic-without knowledge, ignoramous, not knowing. There are no real athiests in the world if you want to get technical.

    I am only too pleased to get technical.  Some dictionaries define "atheist" as one who believes no god exists, while others define "atheist" as one who does not believe in god.  I will explain why I use the latter definition, and the difference between it and the former.  

    I use the prefix "a-" to mean "not"; therefore, "atheist" means anyone who is not a "theist", i.e., anyone who lacks belief in god.  The set of those who lack belief in god can be further subdivided into those who assert god there is no god (which corresponds to your definition of "atheist" ), as well as those who make no assertion, but simply hold the default position (which corresponds to your definition of agnostic).  So to be technical, I am an agnostic atheist:  I don't believe in god, but I don't actively assert there is no god.  I lack belief by default, but am open to changing my position with suitable evidence.  

    Zachary44 wrote:
    You are claiming that there is no god and therefor cannot explain where things came from or how "evolution" made complex cells or even the simplest cell. The burden of proof lies within your own science you are standing on. There are huge gaps in your theories where there is no evidence backing up what your philosophy stands on. The four arguments for Gods existence makes a logical claim. Your refutation of the cosmological argument seems to be that you dont know how we came to be, just because science hasn't figured it out yet doesn't mean it points to a creator. The burden of proof lies with you because you have no explanation in the first place. Besides the sciene you are talking about is looked through a philosophy of either James hutton and charles Lyle or Huxley. To say the burden of proof doesn't lie on someone who cant explain how we came and just says that science will figure it out eventually is odd. I have evidence based on logic and our everyday surroundings. In no way whatsoever can the simplest cell form from anything but a designer. Even the anthropic principle is a good example.  

    I will very explicitly point out once again that I am not claiming there is no god; I hold the default position -- lack of belief in god, as sufficient evidence has not been presented for me to change from the default position.  If you are claiming there is a god, you have the burden of proving its existence.  My inability to explain where things came from does not validate your claim that god exists.  If furthermore have not said or even implied that "science will figure it out eventually".  Maybe science will, maybe it won't.  It is worth noting that multiple times in the past we have seen science produce a more satisfactory explanation for phenomena previously attributed to the supernatural (disease, natural disasters, etc.).  Science may or may not succeed in providing a satisfactory explanation for "where things came from".  If it doesn't, then we have no explanation and that's it.  We do not have a warrant to use god as a stub explanation.    

    Again, I will ask you:  Were you born believing in god?

     

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    Zachary44
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     zarathustra wrote:This

     

    zarathustra wrote:

    This premise is unsound because of the ambiguity of its terms.

    beginning - Anything you might indicate that "had a beginning" is constituted of material which already existed. A chair --to borrow from your upcoming example-- could be said to have "had a beginning" at the point of manufacture, but it did not pop into existence out of nothing; it was was made from wood which already existed. And the tree which supplied the wood itself formed from already existing matter. In other words, "had a beginning" implies nothing more than matter, already existing in some form, changed into another form. Thus, "Everything that had a beginning..." means nothing more than "Everything that already existed in another form..."

    From this perspective you are going to have problems. You are going backwards stating that the chair came from wood, then the wood came from a tree. These all lead back to a certain point. I will explain what i mean using the primemover.

     

    1. We can see that some things in the world are in motion (the change from potential to actual). E. g., Wood is potentially hot, fire is actually hot.

    2. Nothing can be both potential and actual at the same time, in the same respect. (E.g., the wood cannot be both potentially hot and actually hot at the same time.)

    3. Therefore, it is impossible that a thing can be both mover and moved, in the same respect, at the same time.

    4. Therefore, whatever is put in motion must be put in motion by some other actualized thing, and that by some prior actualized thing, and so on, and so on. (E., g., the wood cannot set itself on fire. The wood must be set on fire by some thing which is already hot.),

    5. No infinite regress of causes-otherwise there would be no first mover and so, no subsequent movers.

    6. Therefore, there must be a Prime Mover, Unmoved Mover, which i claim is GOd.

    Things that exists in another form have to be come from something. There is an ultimate beginning for the universe. There is a second part that explains that there cannot be an infinitie regress. The following actually explains what you stated about the chair being made from the wood, then the tree and so on.

    1. We see in the world an order of efficient causes.

    2. If a thing were to be its own efficient cause, it would be prior to itself (it would have to exist before it exists, so, it would exist and not exist at the same time) that’s impossible or absurd.

    3. So, nothing can be its own efficient cause. (by Reductio)

    4. The first cause is the cause of the intermediate, and that of the ultimate cause.

    5. To take away a cause is to take away its effect.

    6. So, if it is possible to go to infinity with efficient causes, there would be no first efficient cause.

    7. If there were no first efficient cause, there would be no intermediate efficient causes.

    8. There are intermediate efficient causes (we see them in the world). These intermediate causes are effects of prior efficient causes (We just denied the consequent of 7. By two steps of Modus Tollens we get-9 and 10)

    9. So, there cannot be an infinite regress of efficient causes.

    10. Therefore, there must be a first efficient cause, which i claim as God as well.

    There cannot be an infinite regress for the universe and its efficient causes. This would throw out the idea that the universe is eternal. This and scientic data that shows that the universe is winding down. Its doesn't have unlimited energy therefore it will eventually run out. Something that is eternal woould not have this problem.

    zarathustra wrote:
    This fails. At some point or another, one is left saying something "just exists". In your case, it's "a necessary being [presumably god] just exists". One can just as easily say "everything just exists", or "god is a contingent being, and a necessary supergod must now exist, otherwise there would be no ground for the existence of this contingent god".

    This is explained in unison with my answer below. This can be combined with what you say below.

    zarathustra wrote:
    This is a rendering of Paley's Watchmaker argument, put forth in the early 19th century, and already soundly refuted both logically and empirically.Logically, it is self-refuting. Your point is that your ability to distinguish the chair from the surrounding wilderness indicates the chair had a creator, in contrast to the wilderness in which you find it. However, you are seeking to claim that the universe -- of which the wilderness is a part -- has a creator. If in fact the wilderness is "created" just as the chair is "created", you should not be able to observe a distinction between the two.

    With this in mind, I will ask you, Which is more complex: the universe, or the god you believe created it? (I asked you this once already.) If you believe your god is more complex than the universe, then your god 's complexity points to a creator for the same reason you stipulate that the universe's complexity points to a creator.

    I may be misinterpreting what you say about the chair and the wilderness. You say that you shouldn't be able to observe a distinction between the two. This is also pertaining to the universe. If i understand correctly, you have proven one of my points by saying this. The wilderness and the chair both exist in the universe. They both had to have a cause leading back to a beginning. There is no distinction between the two. The chair implies a creator just like the wilderness around it does. This would then go back to potentiality and actuality as well as efficinet cause. You could use this anology with any thing around you. A Chair sticks out when walking in the wilderness. It doesn't imply that the wilderness is different from it though.

    You say that God's complexity, if more complex than the univere he created,  points to a creator as well. This isn't hard to explain. First off, yes i do believe that the maker has to be more intelligent and complex then what he creates. So yes, God is more complex than the universe. Now to refute the idea of God having to have a creator as well.

    1. In nature we find that things are generated and destroyed (corrupted).

    2. So, they are contingent (possible to be and not be)

    3. That which is contingent at some point does not exist (is not).

    4. So, it is impossible for contingent things to always exist.

    5. Therefore, if everything were contingent, at some point there could have been nothing. (nothing could have existed.)

    6. That which begins to exist is brought into existence by something which already exists (Ex nihilo nihil fit – Latin, "Nothing can be produced from nothing" and the 1st and 2nd ways.)

    7. Therefore, if at one time nothing were in existence, there would not be anything now!

    8. That is absurd. (So, If you assume that everything is contingent, you are led to the absurdity that nothing now exists but, of course things do exist). Reductio ad Absurdum. So, it can’t be true that everything is contingent)

    9.( or, we could get there by saying ‘Something does exist now!’ By Modus Tollens denial of the consequent of 7, leads to "So, there was no time in which nothing existed." )

    10. ("so, there was no time when nothing existed" is a denial of the consequent of 5. So, we could conclude , it is not the case that everything is contingent’ – another Modus Tollens.)

    11. Therefore, there must be a necessary being.

    12. No infinite regress of necessary beings

    13. Therefore, there must be a necessary being having its own necessity, and this i am referring To God

    zarathustra wrote:
    By that do you mean that you believe god fashioned the universe out of matter which already existed, instead of creating the universe ex nihilo?

     

    Sorry i misinterpreted your statement. No, i do believe that god fashioned things out of already prexisting matter. God made matter therefore being the ultimate mover and creator. All things lead back to a certain point. There has to be a necessary being to make things contingent.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


    Zachary44
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    zarathustra wrote:I use the

    zarathustra wrote:
    I use the prefix "a-" to mean "not"; therefore, "atheist" means anyone who is not a "theist", i.e., anyone who lacks belief in god. The set of those who lack belief in god can be further subdivided into those who assert god there is no god (which corresponds to your definition of "atheist" ), as well as those who make no assertion, but simply hold the default position (which corresponds to your definition of agnostic). So to be technical, I am an agnostic atheist: I don't believe in god, but I don't actively assert there is no god. I lack belief by default, but am open to changing my position with suitable evidence.

    Fair enough. I see where you are coming from.

    zarathustra wrote:

    I will very explicitly point out once again that I am not claiming there is no god; I hold the default position -- lack of belief in god, as sufficient evidence has not been presented for me to change from the default position. If you are claiming there is a god, you have the burden of proving its existence. My inability to explain where things came from does not validate your claim that god exists. If furthermore have not said or even implied that "science will figure it out eventually". Maybe science will, maybe it won't. It is worth noting that multiple times in the past we have seen science produce a more satisfactory explanation for phenomena previously attributed to the supernatural (disease, natural disasters, etc.). Science may or may not succeed in providing a satisfactory explanation for "where things came from". If it doesn't, then we have no explanation and that's it. We do not have a warrant to use god as a stub explanation.

    Again, I will ask you: Were you born believing in god?

    Ofcourse there are other categories that prove a God other then the science aspect and dealing with the four arguments. You seem to be relying on your science (remember your science is interpreted by a certain philosophy) and that if your science cant explain it, then that's it, we just dont know. Your problem is that if your science cant explain things, then there is no way of knowing. Your limiting yourself and what could possibly lead you to truth. This would involve the philosophy behind the interpretation of scientific data. Either the philosophy behind the science being interpreting is right ,or its wrong.  


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    Evolution Part 2

    Zachary44 wrote:
    Any real evolution (macroevolution) requires an expansion of the gene pool, the addition of new genes and new traits as life is supposed to move from simple beginnings to ever more varied and complex forms (“molecules to man” or “fish to philosopher&rdquoEye-wink.
    I will politely point out again that you are demonstrating that you are not well-informed about what the theory evolution actually states (if you have an actual source you can point to for your information, I will be happy to look at it). Evolution does not require an expansion of the gene pool, and life is not "supposed" to move from simple to complex. If you understand nothing else about evolution, strive to understand this: Advantageous traits are naturally selected to remain in the gene pool, and the disadvantageous traits are naturally selected out of the gene pool. Sometimes survival is better served by a shrinking of the gene pool, and movement from more complex to simpler, e.g.:

    •legless lizards, who have reduced or altogether absent iimbs in adaptation to movement in tall grass or burrowing
    •moles and bats, who have lost the function of their eyes in adapation to dark environments
    •flightless birds like penguins and ostrich
     

    Zachary44 wrote:
    Suppose there are islands where varieties of flies that used to trade genes no longer interbreed. Is this evidence of evolution?
    Yes.

     

    Zachary44 wrote:
    Each variety resulting from reproductive isolation has a smaller gene pool than the original and a restricted ability to explore new environments with new trait combinations or to meet changes in its own environment.

    I can't think of a reason why you think this disproves evolution, other than you are misinformed on what evolution is. As a generalized population of flies spreads over an island, distinct populations can emerge as they inhabit different areas with their own vegetation and predators and other environmental nuances. The more each population adapts to its particular niche, the more distinct its gene pool becomes from the other adapting populations, and from the original population from which they all descended.  Unless the populations continue to share genes, their gene pools will become more and more distinct, and eventually incompatible. 

     
    If you object to this, consider the observed phenomenon of ring species: Where a species' habitat eventually overlaps with the ancestral species from which it evolved. The two species are unable to breed with one another -- yet each adjacent species along the "ring" is able to. (For your purposes, the ability of adjacent species along the ring to interbreed is exemplary of "microevolution", while the inability of the ends of the ring to interbreed is exemplary of "macroevolution".)
     

    Zachary44 wrote:
    The long-term result? Extinction would be much more likely than evolution.

    Again, I'm not sure why you think extinction contradicts evolution. Extinction is an inevitable consequence of evolution. The specimens with traits advantageous for survival pass their advantageous traits on; the specimens with disadvantageous traits die out, i.e., go extinct.


    Zachary44 wrote:
    Of course, if someone insists on defining evolution as “a change in gene frequency,” then the fly example “proves evolution”—but it also “proves creation,” since varying the amounts of already-existing genes is what creation is all about.

    You'll have to explain how you think that "proves creation". Evolution -- non-random selection of random mutations -- has no need for a creator. If you are trying to pencil a creator into the process, at best you have an incompetent and highly inefficient tinkerer, working by trial and error.


    Zachary44 wrote:
    If evolutionists really spoke and wrote only about observable variation within kind, there would be no creation-evolution controversy. But as you know, textbooks, teachers, and television “docudramas” insist on extrapolating from simple variation within kind to the wildest sorts of evolutionary changes. And, of course, as long as they insist on such extrapolation, creationists will point out the limits to such change and explore creation, instead, as the more logical inference from our observations.

    As with "kind", I'm yet to see even one scientifically applicable definition of this "limit to such change". It's quite clear that creationists' reticence about providing rigorous definitions (although attempting to discredit a rigorously supported scientific theory) is that they are 1) either too poorly informed about the topic to engage it in any meaningful way, or 2) they know that if they provide a rigorous -- and therefore testable -- definition, biologists may actually discover an example which refutes their definition, or even already have an example on hand.


    Zachary44 wrote:
    All we have ever observed is what evolutionists themselves call “subspeciation” (variation within kind), never “transspeciation” (change from one kind to others).

    This assertion of yours is of course unintelligible, as you've yet to define what a "kind" is. Can you provide an example of "transspeciation" that you would expect to observe if evolution were true? If you're stating we've never observed something change into something else entirely, you're correct; and if that were to occur, it would disprove evolution. What we have and do observe are slight, gradual changes over time -- the phenomenon you acknowledge as "microevolution". What you refuse to accept is that these gradual changes accumulate, resulting in greater, more significant changes -- and are yet to justify this with any actual science.  (If you're unclear of the problem I'm raising with your claim:  if two populations of common ancestry become isolated and cease to exchange genes; yet each population continues to "microevolve"; do you not accept that the two populations will become increasingly different? 

    Zachary44 wrote:
    Creationists would like to define “kind” in terms of interbreeding, since the Bible describes different living things as “multiplying after kind,”...

    This appears to be what will pass for your definition of "kind", although you seem to be hedging by saying "Creationists would like to define...in terms of...", and your sole justification for the use of "kind" in the first place appears not to be on any scientific basis, but solely because the phrase "multiplying after kind" appears in the bible.  If you would, please confirm that this is your sole criterion for distinguishing "kinds":  the ability to interbreed. 

    Zachary44 wrote:
    ...and evolutionists also use the interbreeding criterion. However, scientists recognize certain bower birds as distinct species even though they interbreed, and they can’t use the interbreeding criterion at all with asexual forms...Stephen Gould says “how could the existence of distinct species be justified by a theory [evolution] that proclaimed ceaseless change as the most fundamental fact of nature?” For an evolutionist, why should there be species at all? If all life forms have been produced by gradual expansion through selected mutations from a small beginning gene pool, organisms really should just grade into one another without distinct boundaries.

    But that's exactly what happens.  You seem to think "species" is some monolithic concept which defines hard and fast boundaries between living things -- in the way you try to use your (still) overly-vague term "kind".  However, it's not.  The system of taxonomy is simply a convention for classifying all living things.  The taxonomical terms species, genus, family, order, class, phylum and kingdom provide guidelines for describing the tree of life, but to not purport to define impassable limits within which life can evolve.  You need only consider that some biologists use a six-kingdom taxonomy (Archaea, Bacteria, Fungi, Protista, Plantae, Animalia), while others use a five-kingdom system, grouping Archaea and Bacteria as one kingdom.  Some even add a level above kingdom, grouping Fungi, Protista, Plantae, and Animalia into the domain Eukarya.  These different systems of taxonomy do not reflect differing definitions on the "limits to change"; they simply reflect different choices on how to categorize the very same set of all living things.  Likewise, we see some species are sufficiently diverse that they can be further classified into subspecies.  As more living things are analyzed, it may become necessary to revise the current system of classification even further -- but that will not indicate some fundamental change in the living things being classified.  The ability for two individuals to interbreed is a general guidelines for classifying living things into different species, but it is not absolute, nor does it purport to be (horses and donkeys, for example, are classified as different species, yet can produce viable, albeit sterile offspring, the mule.  So according to you, are horses and donkeys the same "kind"?  Different "kinds"?  50/50?) 

    Just to drive home this concept:  consider a color chart:

    Moving from left to right, can you point out exactly where red turns into yellow, or yellow turns into blue -- or even where red "transitions" into orange which "transitions" into yellow, etc?  Can you point out a "definite limit" between one color and the next?  I doubt that you can.  What you see is one color grading into another, without distinct boundaries -- to use your own description.  We see the coloring get slightly less red and slightly more yellow, then slightly less yellow and slightly more blue.  We can point to general regions which we can reasonably identify by particular colors, but nowhere can we point out where one color "becomes" another color.  This is the approximate logic by which we classify living things, not the firm logic which creationists attempt to use -- the failure of which is indicated by their inability to give any scientifically meaningful definition of "kind" or "limit". 

     

    Zachary44 wrote:
    The platypus , for example, was at first considered a hoax by evolutionists, since its “weird” set of traits made it difficult even to guess what it was evolving from or into. Creationists point out that each of its traits (including complex ones like its electric location mechanism, leathery egg, and milk glands) is complete, fully functional, and well-integrated into a distinctive and marvelous kind of life.

    I see.  Yes, there are many marvelous things to be found in the web of life.  It is at best, however, cherry-picking.  Do creationists bother to explain why bats have non-functional eyes? Or why marsupials are only found in Australia?  Or why humans have several incompatible blood types, or wisdom teeth (which often require removal), or why males have useless nipples, or why human embryos grow tails, and then lose them (which chimpanzee embryos are also observed to do)?  Evolution explains why all these things occur, with no creator necessary. 

     

    Zachary44 wrote:
    Darwin did muse occasionally about the role of a Creator. But, of course, we’ll never know whether he would be willing to consider the Biblical framework as the more-logical inference from our present knowledge of genetics and ecology. We can be sure of this, however: a man as thoughtful and devoted to detail and observation as Darwin was, would be willing to “think about it.”

    Well given that Darwin originally studied to become a preacher, I would guess he had considered it.  He further acknowledged how counterintuitive his theory seemed at first glance, and how one might see the work of a "creator" in complex organs such as the eye -- but went on to explain --in detail-- how natural selection brings this about.  Just to be clea,r the theory of evolution does not rise or fall with Darwin the man, so it's a waste of time to focus on him.  I am sorry to say that by bringing up "biblical framework"  -- through no prompting of mine -- it appears you aren't actually considering the evidence and then drawing your conclusions; but rather have already professed a belief in the bible, and are then arguing towards that a priori conclusion. 

     

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    Zachary44
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    First off, we must define

    First off, we must define what type of evolution we are talking about. I believe micro evolution is true. Macro, on the other hand is not.

    zarathustra wrote:
    Advantageous traits are naturally selected to remain in the gene pool, and the disadvantageous traits are naturally selected out of the gene pool. Sometimes survival is better served by a shrinking of the gene pool, and movement from more complex to simpler, e.g.:

    •legless lizards, who have reduced or altogether absent iimbs in adaptation to movement in tall grass or burrowing
    •moles and bats, who have lost the function of their eyes in adapation to dark environments
    •flightless birds like penguins and ostrich

    This is micro evolution which i believe in. In no way does this lead to macro evolution. My point is that there is no evidence of macro evolution. 

    zarathustra wrote:
    As a generalized population of flies spreads over an island, distinct populations can emerge as they inhabit different areas with their own vegetation and predators and other environmental nuances. The more each population adapts to its particular niche, the more distinct its gene pool becomes from the other adapting populations, and from the original population from which they all descended.  Unless the populations continue to share genes, their gene pools will become more and more distinct, and eventually incompatible.

    Again, we see only micro evolution here. The flies always stay flies. They never change from a fly to something else.

    zarathustra wrote:
    As with "kind", I'm yet to see even one scientifically applicable definition of this "limit to such change". It's quite clear that creationists' reticence about providing rigorous definitions (although attempting to discredit a rigorously supported scientific theory) is that they are 1) either too poorly informed about the topic to engage it in any meaningful way, or 2) they know that if they provide a rigorous -- and therefore testable -- definition, biologists may actually discover an example which refutes their definition, or even already have an example on hand.

    The point is i am making is that there is no evidence making the transition from one kind to other kind true. I can see where you are coming from referring to kind. Transitional fossils for example, would be the evidence portraying a feline turning into a fish slowing over millions of years. I am saying that for transitions, there is no evidence but only assumptions. It seems as if Charles lyle and Charles Darwin literally made up the transition process. We only observe micro evolution today and always will only observe micro evolution. Thats what i was getting to.

    zarathustra wrote:
    This assertion of yours is of course unintelligible, as you've yet to define what a "kind" is. Can you provide an example of "transspeciation" that you would expect to observe if evolution were true? If you're stating we've never observed something change into something else entirely, you're correct; and if that were to occur, it would disprove evolution. What we have and do observe are slight, gradual changes over time -- the phenomenon you acknowledge as "microevolution". What you refuse to accept is that these gradual changes accumulate, resulting in greater, more significant changes -- and are yet to justify this with any actual science.  (If you're unclear of the problem I'm raising with your claim:  if two populations of common ancestry become isolated and cease to exchange genes; yet each population continues to "microevolve"; do you not accept that the two populations will become increasingly different?

    So the actual charts that evolutionist show, which would be the slow process of a feline turning into a whale, or an ape turning into a man, can be proven true with evidence? They have fossils that show this change? If it happened over millions of years, there would be thousands of fossils showing this change. I understand what you are implying by more significant changes over time. We would see these changes in the process though through the fossils. We do not see these little changes in the "fossil record" which then lead to a different kind of animal. I say kind as referring to a fish and a cat. They both are different kinds. Do you really know that you are implying that we came from a banana? OR to go farther back, that we came from a rock? Sure the population will then change and have differernt traits. They will become different in little ways but will not change to an entirely different animal. Your not going to seperate  two cats and put them in two entirely different places and then get something other then a cat later on in time. They will have different traits and vary in size sure, but will remain a feline.

    zarathustra wrote:
    Moving from left to right, can you point out exactly where red turns into yellow, or yellow turns into blue -- or even where red "transitions" into orange which "transitions" into yellow, etc?  Can you point out a "definite limit" between one color and the next?  I doubt that you can.  What you see is one color grading into another, without distinct boundaries -- to use your own description.  We see the coloring get slightly less red and slightly more yellow, then slightly less yellow and slightly more blue.  We can point to general regions which we can reasonably identify by particular colors, but nowhere can we point out where one color "becomes" another color.  This is the approximate logic by which we classify living things, not the firm logic which creationists attempt to use -- the failure of which is indicated by their inability to give any scientifically meaningful definition of "kind" or "limit

    Your referring to a non organic thing and using it to prove that an organic lifeform could do it as well. This would be implying that we could not tell when a fish would actually sprout legs to go up on land. Is this process of transition then an instant transition? This would be saying that there is no evidence to tell where the fish got legs.

    I will reply to the rest later on today. I ran out of time Sticking out tongue


     


    zarathustra
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    Burden of Proof 2

    Zachary44 wrote:

    zarathustra wrote:

    I will very explicitly point out once again that I am not claiming there is no god; I hold the default position -- lack of belief in god, as sufficient evidence has not been presented for me to change from the default position. If you are claiming there is a god, you have the burden of proving its existence. My inability to explain where things came from does not validate your claim that god exists. If furthermore have not said or even implied that "science will figure it out eventually". Maybe science will, maybe it won't. It is worth noting that multiple times in the past we have seen science produce a more satisfactory explanation for phenomena previously attributed to the supernatural (disease, natural disasters, etc.). Science may or may not succeed in providing a satisfactory explanation for "where things came from". If it doesn't, then we have no explanation and that's it. We do not have a warrant to use god as a stub explanation.

    Again, I will ask you: Were you born believing in god?

    Ofcourse there are other categories that prove a God other then the science aspect and dealing with the four arguments. You seem to be relying on your science (remember your science is interpreted by a certain philosophy) and that if your science cant explain it, then that's it, we just dont know.  Your problem is that if your science cant explain things, then there is no way of knowing. Your limiting yourself and what could possibly lead you to truth. This would involve the philosophy behind the interpretation of scientific data. Either the philosophy behind the science being interpreting is right ,or its wrong.  

    You're yet to demonstrate how "the science aspect" proves your god, so I don't have much confidence in the "other categories" at this point.  Science has application, is testable, and self-correcting, as it goes by the evidence.  If something manifests in the natural universe, it should be open to scientific investigation. 

    If you have some better methodology for determining the truth and acquiring actual knowledge, please present it.  

    Again, I will ask you: Were you born believing in god?  This is not an idle question.

     

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    Zachary44
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    zarathustra wrote:Moving

    zarathustra wrote:
    Moving from left to right, can you point out exactly where red turns into yellow, or yellow turns into blue -- or even where red "transitions" into orange which "transitions" into yellow, etc? Can you point out a "definite limit" between one color and the next? I doubt that you can. What you see is one color grading into another, without distinct boundaries -- to use your own description. We see the coloring get slightly less red and slightly more yellow, then slightly less yellow and slightly more blue. We can point to general regions which we can reasonably identify by particular colors, but nowhere can we point out where one color "becomes" another color. This is the approximate logic by which we classify living things, not the firm logic which creationists attempt to use -- the failure of which is indicated by their inability to give any scientifically meaningful definition of "kind" or "limit".

    To continue on my reply, i will start with the color spectrum you posted. Its interesting to me that you use this analogy. The light spectrum is a completely different matter concerning organic things. It has nothing to do with how the fossil record works. FIrst, you would have to have a fossil record showing these changes slowly to a point and seeing the start of a change at least from one animal to a completely different one. The color scale is an immediate thing which we can see. The fossil record happened over millions of years. It doesn't work the same way. If the fossil record is millions of years in between, you would definetely see the transition. You would also see an animal leading up to a completely different animal as well. You do not see this either. If the analogy you used was correct and it worked the same way as the fossil record does, we would at least see a incling of an animal leading up to a change and seeing it have qualities that would lead it to the next stage (example: a fish would start to grow legs) 

    Creation allows for small amounts of change. A dog can produce a variety of breeds of dogs. This is variation-not evolution. Creation does not however allow for large scale changes like dinosaurs evolving into birds for example.

    Micro evolution (variation)-Observable

    Micro evolution (Variation)-scientific

    micro evolutioin-(variation)-biblical

    Macro evolution (evolution of all living matter from non living matter) is assumed. It has never been observed.

    Macro evolution is religious in nature. It takes faith to believe it, because there is no evidence.

    Micro evolution states that all breeds of a dog came from a dog. Macro says that all dogs came from a rock

    Macro evolutionists try to use micro as evidence for macro. This takes a "leap of faith" and logic to believe.

    Everything about Macro evolution, chemical evolution, orgainic evolution, and stellar are made up by someone. We do not observe animals having large scale changes that lead to a completely different animal, we do not see stars forming (exploding but not forming), we do not see the chemicals evolving either.

    zarathustra wrote:
    I see. Yes, there are many marvelous things to be found in the web of life. It is at best, however, cherry-picking. Do creationists bother to explain why bats have non-functional eyes? Or why marsupials are only found in Australia? Or why humans have several incompatible blood types, or wisdom teeth (which often require removal), or why males have useless nipples, or why human embryos grow tails, and then lose them (which chimpanzee embryos are also observed to do)? Evolution explains why all these things occur, with no creator necessary.

    yes, creationist do bother to explain these things because it is quite explanable.It is not a problem for us to rationalize why certain animals do not appear in certain parts of the world. Why, for example, does Australia have such an unusual fauna, including so many marsupials? Marsupials are, of course, known elsewhere in the world. For example, opossums are found in North and South America, and fossilized marsupials have been found elsewhere. But in many places, climatic changes and other factors could lead to their extinction. The lack of great marsupials in other continents need be no more of a problem than the lack of dinosaurs. As with many species today, they just died out—a reminder of a sin-cursed world. One  theory is that marsupials—because they bore their young in pouches—were able to travel farther and faster than mammals that had to stop to care for their young. They were able to establish themselves in far-flung Australia before competitors reached the continent. Similar statements could be made about the many unusual bird species in New Zealand, on islands from which mammals were absent until the arrival of European settlers. How did the marsupials get to austalia in the first place? The sea level was much lower and therefore had land bridges from which animals could indeed cross. Not to mention that people at that time did know how to build boats.

    The research indicates that the problems experienced with wisdom teeth in modern society are not due to mutations selected by the environment but largely to changes in diet, namely to softer, less abrasive processed foods which do not give the teeth the workout which they require to ensure proper relationship in the mouth. I can go more in detail on this matter, but the thought of it having to do with vestiges of ancestors has been debunked.

    For the matter of human nipples, I had to research this one alot. I found a quite adequate explanation in answers in Genesis.

    Tommy Mitchel writes "Evolutionists often raise this issue as an objection to the concept of a creator God. After all, if there were an all-knowing Creator, why would He design men with a structure for which they have no use? In females, the nipple has an obvious function, that is, to breastfeed a baby. So what’s the purpose for nipples on males?

    A frequently promoted evolutionary view of male nipples is that they are leftovers from our evolutionary past. They are often considered to be vestigial organs. The vestigial idea suggests they were functional in the past, but as the evolution of man progressed, their function was lost. Upon close examination, this view does not make sense. In fact, this is a very poor evidence for evolution.

    If male nipples are, in fact, vestigial, they must have had a more robust function in the past. Does the evolutionist actually suggest that our male evolutionary ancestors breast-fed newborns, and that somehow as evolution progressed, this ability was lost? Alternatively, would the evolutionist argue that our ancestors were all females, that modern males diverged from this all female population, and that in this process they lost the ability to lactate?

    Actually, evolution posits that mammals evolved from reptiles and that the divergence of male and female took place first in reptiles. Why then would another divergence occur as humans began to evolve? In reality, if evolution were true, then it could be argued that male nipples are still developing and that men should be able to breast-feed in the future!

    The creation model provides a much better explanation for the presence of nipples in males. Male nipples are not a vestige of evolution but are instead a vestige of embryology. They in no way diminish the abilities of the creator God, but are actually another example of His wisdom. Nipples in males are actually an evidence of “design economy.”

    Very early in their maturation, male and female human embryos are essentially the same. All these embryos have structures that will ultimately form the defining physical characteristics of male and female. In the early stages of development, all embryos have both the Wolffian duct and the Mullerian ducts, for instance. Under the influence of a Y chromosome, the Wolffian system develops into the internal and external structures of male anatomy, and the Mullerian ducts regress. Conversely, in the absence of a Y chromosome, the Wolffian system regresses considerably, and the Mullerian system develops to its full potentials, forming many of the female anatomical structures.

    It should be clarified, however, that embryos do not all “start out female.” The genetic makeup of each individual is in place from the time of fertilization. Thus the “programming” for “male” and “female” is determined from the outset, and the anatomical gender is simply a result of the expression of those genes.

    The mammary duct system and the associated nipple is likewise the same in both genders, developing during the sixth week. The rudimentary mammary duct system remains indistinguishable at birth. This tissue is hormonally sensitive, and it can, in either gender, respond to maternal estrogen transferred across the placenta by producing a secretion known as “witch’s milk.” Male and female breast tissue remains poorly developed until influenced by estrogen in the early stages of puberty in the female. If nipples and breasts are “useless” to males, they are equally useless to prepubescent girls, and for that matter are “useless” to any woman who is not breastfeeding a child.

    It should be noted that male nipples are not useless, as has been suggested. They are very sensitive and are a source of sexual stimulation. Further, to characterize them as vestigial is problematic, as they are fully vascularized and have more than adequate nerve supply. Why would this be so if they were, in fact, a worthless by-product of our evolutionary ancestry?

    Far from being a problem for creationists, the presence of nipples in males is actually another example of the wisdom and creativity of the God we serve. It is, in fact, the evolutionists who have a problem with this issue, as they can provide no reason for the existence and persistence of male nipples in an evolutionary scenario."

    Why bats have nonfunctional eyes is just a process of variation (micro). Bats are nocturnal, therefor there is no need to see. As we all know, they have sonar that detects things for them. Just another example of something we can observe, microevolution.

    zarathustra wrote:
    Well given that Darwin originally studied to become a preacher, I would guess he had considered it. He further acknowledged how counterintuitive his theory seemed at first glance, and how one might see the work of a "creator" in complex organs such as the eye -- but went on to explain --in detail-- how natural selection brings this about. Just to be clea,r the theory of evolution does not rise or fall with Darwin the man, so it's a waste of time to focus on him. I am sorry to say that by bringing up "biblical framework" -- through no prompting of mine -- it appears you aren't actually considering the evidence and then drawing your conclusions; but rather have already professed a belief in the bible, and are then arguing towards that a priori conclusion.

    I have considered the evidence and have drawn the conclusions. The evolutionary ideas are completely based off of assumption. I dont have to beleive in the bible to see that. There are athiests in australia and Europe that laught at evolution. I have seen how the foundation of evolution was formed. Radio carbon dating and all the methods that fall under it wouldn't exist without the geological column which Charles lyle had made. We know that the geologic column is circular reasoning. How he knew the dates of the rocks and made that column is beyond me Laughing out loud. T

     

     


    Zachary44
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    zarathustra wrote:You're yet

    zarathustra wrote:

    You're yet to demonstrate how "the science aspect" proves your god, so I don't have much confidence in the "other categories" at this point. Science has application, is testable, and self-correcting, as it goes by the evidence. If something manifests in the natural universe, it should be open to scientific investigation.

    If you have some better methodology for determining the truth and acquiring actual knowledge, please present it.

    Again, I will ask you: Were you born believing in god? This is not an idle question.

    Well you must be careful when saying science. As i had said before, the science you see is interpreted by a philosophy. If that philosophy is wrong, then the science you interpret it with insn't flawed, but the conclusions on it will be. The science category does pont to a creator. For you, its just a matter of breaking down the false philosophy you see science through so that you may see the truth. You cant test macro, stellar, chemical, or organic evolution with science Smiling. Science is not the only way to test things. The moment you limit yourself with science, is the moment you fail to know the past. As we know the first step of the scientific method is to observe. We do not observe any of those things. So your first step fails. Next you have to be able to repeat what your studying, you cant repeat what i mentioned, let alone observe it. The problem with evolution is that it rests on uniformitarianism, which was formulated by James Hutton. Things today are the same as they were in the past is what that means. Things were not the same as they were in the past though. Things either happened from a worldwide flood, or they happened over millions and millions of years. I am sorry but the millions of years theory is false based on how it came to be, and how that everthing that followed it is relying on the foundation.

    SInce you mentioned truth, i must ask if you believe in absolute truth? Your answer to this will conclude what i have to say.

    Actually, to be technical, yes i did believe in god when i was born. A child doesn't look at a tree and assume it came from a rock. They assume that someone had to of made this tree. It doesn't take a smart person to look at the world and the universe and see that it screams a creator. For me personally, i came to believing God through my surroundings. Then after reading the bible, it is put together to perfectly, and the prophecies predicted came to be to perfectly. The historical evidence on the bible and how it came to be (bibliology) is just too perfect. The problem is that if you raise someone in a lie, such as a child, they are going to believe it. The evolutionary theories are in the science text books all the way down to kindergarden. A child is going to believe anything at that age. You can learn all the knowledge you want but if that knowledge is a lie, then its pointless. The only good thing that comes from acquiring knowledge that is  a lie would be to first know the truth, then know what the lies are saying. Then you can do something about it.  


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    Cosmological Argument - Part 7

     It is with some mild bemusement that I note the three arguments you used in your response match verbatim the arguments found on this California State U. professor's web page, with the following slight revisions:

    • ...Therefore, there must be a Prime Mover, Unmoved Mover, which everyone understands to be / I claim is God

    • ...Therefore, there must be a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God / which i claim as God as well.

    • ...Therefore, there must be a necessary being having its own necessity, and this all men speak of as God / i am referring To God.

    Zachary44 wrote:
    zarathustra wrote:
    This premise is unsound because of the ambiguity of its terms. beginning - Anything you might indicate that "had a beginning" is constituted of material which already existed. A chair --to borrow from your upcoming example-- could be said to have "had a beginning" at the point of manufacture, but it did not pop into existence out of nothing; it was was made from wood which already existed. And the tree which supplied the wood itself formed from already existing matter. In other words, "had a beginning" implies nothing more than matter, already existing in some form, changed into another form. Thus, "Everything that had a beginning..." means nothing more than "Everything that already existed in another form..."
    From this perspective you are going to have problems. You are going backwards stating that the chair came from wood, then the wood came from a tree. These all lead back to a certain point. I will explain what i mean using the primemover.

    ...[Thomistic 1st Way-From Motion (change) Argument]...

    Things that exists in another form have to be come from something. There is an ultimate beginning for the universe. There is a second part that explains that there cannot be an infinitie regress. The following actually explains what you stated about the chair being made from the wood, then the tree and so on.

    ...[Thomistic 2nd Way-From Efficient Cause Argument]...

    There cannot be an infinite regress for the universe and its efficient causes. This would throw out the idea that the universe is eternal. This and scientic data that shows that the universe is winding down. Its doesn't have unlimited energy therefore it will eventually run out. Something that is eternal woould not have this problem.

    Your recitation of the 1st Cause argument fails to counter the problems I raised with your premises for the cosmological argument. You seem to acknowledge that "begins to exist" implies a change in from from something that already exists, inasmuch as you acknowledge "things that exists in another form have to be come from something". Yet once again you are employing conflation when using the phrases "begins to exist / come from":  both of these Thomistic arguments are tied to an empirical observation in their first premises ("...we see in the world..." ). The definition of causality thereby derived -- for things within the universe, is then applied to the universe itself, a conflation I alerted you to in the previous post.

    Furthermore, the "infinite regress" problem does not require exclusively a "first cause" for its solution. An alternate solution would be an eternal universe that continuously expands and contracts, and has always done so (the big bang-big crunch cycle). So would -- as much as it pains you -- a universe from nothing.  You previously said the "scientific laws" themselves disprove the Stephen Hawking quote that no god was necessary for the universe to spontaneously emerge.  However, you never provided what these "scientific laws", the violation of which is not apparent to the scientists actually researching the origin of the universe.  I invite you to provide those "scientific laws" now, and in what way they are being violated.  (Here again is Krauss' lecture on A Universe From Nothing, if you need an example to point the errors out in) Whether or not you can actually articulate any violation of the "scientific laws" in a godless cosmology, your proposed god-based cosmology raises the question:  Does your god operate within the "scientific laws", or is your god capable of violating them?  

    Even further still, none of these arguments qualifies why this prime mover/first cause/necessary being is what you (or "we" ) call god. This holds no more worth than muslims call this allah / hindus call this brahman / physicists call this the gravity / atheists call this an unknown. What you call god could also be only the secondary mover or tertiary cause or a contingent being several levels down from the actual necessary being. Unless this god can itself be empirically observed (as wood and fire can be, as cited in the 1st argument), there's no logical constraint to the number of causes/movers/contingencies you can string onto the end. Nor do any of these arguments demonstrate that what you call god still exists.  After postulating a god a a first cause, there is nothing to prevent someone from further postulating that this god died after creating the universe.   As I pointed out already, this would make the first cause argument more reasonable, as it would explain why this god cannot be presently observed. 

    Zachary44 wrote:
    zarathustra wrote:
    This is a rendering of Paley's Watchmaker argument, put forth in the early 19th century, and already soundly refuted both logically and empirically.Logically, it is self-refuting. Your point is that your ability to distinguish the chair from the surrounding wilderness indicates the chair had a creator, in contrast to the wilderness in which you find it. However, you are seeking to claim that the universe -- of which the wilderness is a part -- has a creator. If in fact the wilderness is "created" just as the chair is "created", you should not be able to observe a distinction between the two.

    With this in mind, I will ask you, Which is more complex: the universe, or the god you believe created it? (I asked you this once already.) If you believe your god is more complex than the universe, then your god 's complexity points to a creator for the same reason you stipulate that the universe's complexity points to a creator.

    I may be misinterpreting what you say about the chair and the wilderness. You say that you shouldn't be able to observe a distinction between the two. This is also pertaining to the universe. If i understand correctly, you have proven one of my points by saying this. The wilderness and the chair both exist in the universe. They both had to have a cause leading back to a beginning. There is no distinction between the two. The chair implies a creator just like the wilderness around it does. This would then go back to potentiality and actuality as well as efficinet cause. You could use this anology with any thing around you. A Chair sticks out when walking in the wilderness. It doesn't imply that the wilderness is different from it though.

    Paley, in his Watchmaker Argument, draws a distinction between a stone he finds on the beach, and a timepiece he finds on the beach.  It might not be absurd to think that the stone just happens to be there and required no "artificer", while it certainly would be absurd to think the same of the timepiece.  (He then extrapolates from that example to infer a designer from nature itself).  

    I understood from your example that you would be able to identify a chair found in the wilderness as a "created" object, and not think it was part of the wilderness in which you found it, as you might of a tree or rock you find in the wilderness.  In other words, I took your example to be a rendering of Paley's argument, with "chair/wilderness" corresponding to "watch/beach".  If I mistook you, then your explicit mention of the wilderness was entirely irrelevant.  Since as you yourself said, "there is no distinction between the two",  your argument would have been no different had you mentioned finding a chair in a room full of chairs.  However, I suspect you were in fact drawing a deliberate distinction between the chair and the wilderness and utilizing Paley's argument, the fallacy of which I outlined previously, and which you inadvertently betrayed by saying there's no distinction between the chair and the wilderness (when of course there is).   

    Zachary44 wrote:
    You say that God's complexity, if more complex than the univere he created,  points to a creator as well. This isn't hard to explain. First off, yes i do believe that the maker has to be more intelligent and complex then what he creates. So yes, God is more complex than the universe. Now to refute the idea of God having to have a creator as well.

    ...[Thomistic 3rd Way-From Possibility and Necessity Argument]...

    This, of course, fails to address your argument from complexity.  You've several times now attempted to argue for the existence of god based on examples of "complexity", most clearly encapsulated in your previous post:  "...if a simple chair points to a creator, why wouldn't the most complex things imaginable (the universe) not point to this as well?"  You're essentially saying complex things point to a creator.  By this logic, your god requires a creator as well.  After all, if a complex universe points to a creator, why wouldn't a more complex god point to this as well?  You attempt to let yourself off the hook by invoking contingency/necessity.  However, if you're willing to accept a complex god "necessarily" existing without need for a creator, you should be willing -- in fact more willing -- to accept a less complex universe "necessarily" existing without need for a creator.  The Thomistic attempt to make the universe "contingent" again exploits a conflation of terms as applied to things within the universe, and the universe itself.  Things within the universe are not really "generated" or "destroyed", but rather change form, as I already explained.  A chair is "generated" from already existing matter.   Saying a chair "begins to exist" means nothing more that already existing matter "begins to exist" in the form of a chair.  If a chair is "destroyed", only the form stops existing; the matter which held the form of a chair continues to exist.  Trying to apply contingent existence to matter itself (i.e., the universe) based on the contingency of items composed of already-existing matter (i.e., things within the universe) is a fallacy of composition.  Unless you can prove that matter itself is contingent -- or empirically demonstrate the existence of this eternal god -- then "necessary universe" is as efficient an explanation than "necessary god"; in fact, more efficient, as it saves a step.  Saying "god did it" provides no new information; it's an empty step.

    Zachary44 wrote:
    zarathustra wrote:
    By that do you mean that you believe god fashioned the universe out of matter which already existed, instead of creating the universe ex nihilo?

     Sorry i misinterpreted your statement. No, i do believe that god fashioned things out of already prexisting matter. God made matter therefore being the ultimate mover and creator. All things lead back to a certain point. There has to be a necessary being to make things contingent.

    You first said god created the universe out of preexisting matter.  Then you said god made matter.  Unless I've misconstrued, these statements are contradictory.  Was the "preexisting matter" always there, uncreated?  Or did god create this matter (which he then fashioned into the universe), out of nothing -- ex nihilo?  

     


    Synopsis:

    • In more than one argument, you've moved the goalposts
      • "Everything needs a cause...except god"
      • "Complexity point to a creator...yet the most complex thing of all (god) requires no creator"
    • You claim an uncreated universe violates the "scientific laws", but are yet to support this with any actual science.  Furthermore, you present as an alternative a supernatural being which presumably -- unless you indicate otherwise -- operates outside the bounds of the "scientific laws".  
    • I'll cite again your quote:  "If someone could prove to me that complex design and the universe came from something else based off of their thoery, and it is truth, then i am open."  Your justification of god's existence remains an argument from ignorance; you would be open to a proof of complexity and the universe from something else, but in absence of one, "god did it" is satisfactory.  

     
     

    There are no theists on operating tables.

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    zarathustra
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    Burden of Proof 3

    Zachary44 wrote:
    zarathustra wrote:

    You're yet to demonstrate how "the science aspect" proves your god, so I don't have much confidence in the "other categories" at this point. Science has application, is testable, and self-correcting, as it goes by the evidence. If something manifests in the natural universe, it should be open to scientific investigation.

    If you have some better methodology for determining the truth and acquiring actual knowledge, please present it.

    Well you must be careful when saying science. As i had said before, the science you see is interpreted by a philosophy. If that philosophy is wrong, then the science you interpret it with insn't flawed, but the conclusions on it will be...Science is not the only way to test things.

    Again:  If you have some better methodology for determining the truth and acquiring actual knowledge, please present it.  

    Zachary44 wrote:
    The science category does pont to a creator. For you, its just a matter of breaking down the false philosophy you see science through so that you may see the truth. You cant test macro, stellar, chemical, or organic evolution with science Smiling ...The moment you limit yourself with science, is the moment you fail to know the past. As we know the first step of the scientific method is to observe....We do not observe any of those things. So your first step fails. Next you have to be able to repeat what your studying, you cant repeat what i mentioned, let alone observe it.

    I'm curious:  Are you drawing these terms for "evolution" from Kent Hovind or one of his proxies?  Because I'm pretty sure he's the one who coined these terms, under the broad and misleading heading "evolution"; if that is the case, did you mean to leave out "cosmic evolution"?  

    I can go into depth on your misconstrual in using these terms if you wish.  I only find it necessary to point out the duplicity of your reasoning:  You justify your rejection of the aforementioned phenomena by claiming they have not been observed; yet you profess a belief in a creator god ( and presumably , although we do not observe this god, this god is unobservable, and we do not observe gods creating universes or anything else.  Perhaps this is where you present an alternative to science in order to justify belief in god, however your claim "the science category does point to a creator" fails by your own logic.

    Zachary44 wrote:
    The problem with evolution is that it rests on uniformitarianism, which was formulated by James Hutton. Things today are the same as they were in the past is what that means. Things were not the same as they were in the past though. Things either happened from a worldwide flood, or they happened over millions and millions of years. I am sorry but the millions of years theory is false based on how it came to be, and how that everthing that followed it is relying on the foundation.

    As I wondered before in regard to Hovind, I wonder if you're now citing Henry Morris with this Hutton/uniformitarianism reference.  However, your argument is a strawman; evolution does not rest on Hutton's gradualistic uniformitarianism.  Modern geology acknowledges catastrophes and their effect, and rejects the constant rate of change asserted by Hutton.  Furthermore, whatever similarities you might notice between Hutton's pronouncements and evolution, it is false to claim the latter depends on the former.  While Hutton's uniformitarianism has been discredited by the evidence, evidence has confirmed evolution (and yes, it is observable, as I'll go over in the next post).  You're trying to argue against modern science by falsely attaching it to an idea to which noone actually subscribes.  
     

    Given your unsolicited mention of a worldwide flood, I have the mounting concern that you're a biblical literalist.  That would certainly explain your focus on Hutton, as his statements did mark an absconsion of biblical literalism -- which implies that earth is only a few thousand years old.  

    Zachary44 wrote:
    SInce you mentioned truth, i must ask if you believe in absolute truth? Your answer to this will conclude what i have to say.

    There are absolute truths which we are capable of apprehending in logic and mathematics.  Absolute truths exist with respect to the physical universe -- and the existence of god; whether we can empirically determine them, however, is another matter.  (An example:  The proposition that life exists elsewhere in the universe holds an absolute truth value; either there is life elsewhere in the universe, or there isn't.  It is unlikely, however, that we could ever expect to determine what this absolute truth is.  We know that absolute truth exists, but we can't confirm it as "yes" or "no, and probably will never be able to.)  There are also relative truths, with respect to concepts of beauty or taste.  I've thought up until now that morality is likewise relative (cf. Euthyphro Dilemma).  However, Sam Harris raises the idea in The Moral Landscape that morality may be defined by absolutes, whether or not we're able to determine those absolutes.

    Zachary44 wrote:
    zarathustra wrote:
    Again, I will ask you: Were you born believing in god? This is not an idle question.
    Actually, to be technical, yes i did believe in god when i was born. A child doesn't look at a tree and assume it came from a rock. They assume that someone had to of made this tree. It doesn't take a smart person to look at the world and the universe and see that it screams a creator. For me personally, i came to believing God through my surroundings.

    Unfortunately, I have to specify that I asked if you were born believing in god.  I hold that we are all born lacking a belief in god, by default.  Your account bears this out:  at most, you formulated a concept of god following an assessment of your surroundings.  You were not born with this concept of god.  

    Zachary44 wrote:
    Then after reading the bible, it is put together to perfectly, and the prophecies predicted came to be to perfectly. The historical evidence on the bible and how it came to be (bibliology) is just too perfect. The problem is that if you raise someone in a lie, such as a child, they are going to believe it. The evolutionary theories are in the science text books all the way down to kindergarden. A child is going to believe anything at that age. You can learn all the knowledge you want but if that knowledge is a lie, then its pointless. The only good thing that comes from acquiring knowledge that is  a lie would be to first know the truth, then know what the lies are saying. Then you can do something about it.  
     

    With all due respect:  It is religion which most of all exploits the fact that if you raise someone in a lie, such as a child, they are going to believe it.  It would be interesting to see how many people would voluntarily choose religion if they had not had it impressed upon them as children.  By contrast, evolution is not embraced as dogma, even by its strongest adherents (any school that teaches it as dogma comparable to religion is of course doing it wrong.  It should be taught as science, since it is in fact what the current state of science indicates).  

    It's growing more apparent that you are a biblical literalist, and your opposition to science (whether biology or cosmology) is a result of that, and not any actual inaccuracies you've discovered in the science itself. 

    There are no theists on operating tables.

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    Zachary44
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      Sorry for the late

     

     Sorry for the late reply. I was really busy and i dont like to rush a reply.I used this professors site for it explains the key points very nicely. Even Norman Geisler's systematic theology doesn't go into detail on how they break down. Its the foundation of where the cosmological argument comes from so there is no reason not to use it.

    zarathustra wrote:
    Furthermore, the "infinite regress" problem does not require exclusively a "first cause" for its solution. An alternate solution would be an eternal universe that continuously expands and contracts, and has always done so (the big bang-big crunch cycle). So would -- as much as it pains you -- a universe from nothing. You previously said the "scientific laws" themselves disprove the Stephen Hawking quote that no god was necessary for the universe to spontaneously emerge

    As i stated before, the cosmological argument is the most logical foundation to explain the universe and how it came to be. The "Oscillatiing Universe" theory still has a problem. This cycle doesn't get started by itself. No matter how many times you go through the cycle, it still needs something to begin this cycle. This theory also fails because we can see that the universe will continue to expand.

    Evolutionary cosmologist John Wheeler has drawn the following conclusion based on the scientific evidence: “With gravitational collapse we come to the end of time. Never out of the equations of general relativity has one been able to find the slightest argument for a ‘re-expansion’ of a ‘cyclic universe’ or anything other than an end” (1977, p. 15). As Ross has admitted: “Attempts...to use oscillation to avoid a theistic beginning for the universe all fail” (1991, p. 105). No one yet has improved on Genesis 1— “In the beginning, God created....”“

    "The balance of evidence does point to an open model of the universe” (1980, p. 309, emp. added). Gribbin commented: “The consensus among astronomers today is that the universe is open” (1981, p. 316, emp. added). Jastrow observed: “Thus, the facts indicate that the universe will expand forever” (1978, p. 123, emp. added). Recent evidence seems to indicate that an oscillating Universe is a physical impossibility (see Chaisson, 1992).

    We can see that the "oscillation cycle" does not hold up to anything. Now that this alternate solution is known to be false, what other alternatives are there? The universe had a beginning. Stephen hawkin fails to realize that things do not spontaneously emerge. Even in the "vacuums" or black holes, where they claim to see things spontaneously come to be because there is nothing inside. they have found that these vacuums are not empty but have matter inside. This would mean that they dont spontaneoulsy emerge, but are coming from a previous substance. The 1st law of thermodynamics is ignored by his theory. Not to mention the 2nd law of thermodynamics for the big bang. Not only does he ignore these laws, he also ignores the logic of a primemover, necesary being etc.

    zarathustra wrote:
    Does your god operate within the "scientific laws", or is your god capable of violating them?

    Well the God i am defending made the "scientific laws" through his creation. As a theist, that would mean that i believe that God is transcendant as well an immenent. He is outside of the universe (time) and he is inside the Universe as well. I deist would believe tht God only is outside the universe, which would be denying miracles. yes, God is capaple of violoating these laws. You can see that throughout the bible, for example the first miracle of Jesus. Turning water into wine. Wine takes time to ferment and needs grapes and alcohol. This would be creating something out of nothing. If God created the very foundation and the concept of everything we see, he would be able to surpass his own creation.

    zarathustra wrote:
    I understood from your example that you would be able to identify a chair found in the wilderness as a "created" object, and not think it was part of the wilderness in which you found it, as you might of a tree or rock you find in the wilderness. In other words, I took your example to be a rendering of Paley's argument, with "chair/wilderness" corresponding to "watch/beach". If I mistook you, then your explicit mention of the wilderness was entirely irrelevant. Since as you yourself said, "there is no distinction between the two", your argument would have been no different had you mentioned finding a chair in a room full of chairs. However, I suspect you were in fact drawing a deliberate distinction between the chair and the wilderness and utilizing Paley's argument, the fallacy of which I outlined previously, and which you inadvertently betrayed by saying there's no distinction between the chair and the wilderness (when of course there is).

    Yes paleys argument in what i was going along. Using a chair wasn't a very good anology since it is supposed to represent the universe. Yes, there is a deliberate distinction between the watch and lets say a rock (as mentioned in paleys argument). The basic concept is that the watch is supposed to represent the design of the universe. The watch has various materials inside of it and so does the universe. The watch has serving purposes inside of it as well as the universe. The distinction is made from the watch and the rock because of intelligent design. The stone could be made by unthinking things, such as natural forces through heat and pressure. The watch could not have been made by unthinking things because of the design. When i stated there was no distinction, that was on the premise of all things having design including the wilderness as well, but for this analogy that was a mistake.

    zarathustra wrote:
    if a simple chair points to a creator, why wouldn't the most complex things imaginable (the universe) not point to this as well?" You're essentially saying complex things point to a creator. By this logic, your god requires a creator as well. After all, if a complex universe points to a creator, why wouldn't a more complex god point to this as well? You attempt to let yourself off the hook by invoking contingency/necessity. However, if you're willing to accept a complex god "necessarily" existing without need for a creator, you should be willing -- in fact more willing -- to accept a less complex universe "necessarily" existing without need for a creator. The Thomistic attempt to make the universe "contingent" again exploits a conflation of terms as applied to things within the universe, and the universe itself.

    This isn't the case because then it would just be an infinite regress of complexity. For example, if that was the situation, it would eternally go to a more complex being that to an even more complex being created and so on. There has to be an Necessary being that contingent beings rely on for existence. If you then leaned toward a universe that is its own necessary being, this would then lead to an unintelligent designer at the origin and also would then be nothing created everything. Our universe and what dwells on the earth is not a result of nature and its laws. For laws are just a description of how things work. The laws or descriptions on how to make a watch just dont happen by themselves. It takes a "watchmaker" to then put those into action or already know how to do it in the first place, then creating the watch. Saying the universe doesn't need a creator leads to a route of questioning purpose.

    zarathustra wrote:
    You first said god created the universe out of preexisting matter. Then you said god made matter. Unless I've misconstrued, these statements are contradictory. Was the "preexisting matter" always there, uncreated? Or did god create this matter (which he then fashioned into the universe), out of nothing -- ex nihilo?
     

    The first time i answered i read the question wrong and corrected myself. God made matter creating the universe out of nothing. Sorry about that 

     

    zarathustra wrote:
    Synopsis:

    • In more than one argument, you've moved the goalposts
    • "Everything needs a cause...except god"
    • "Complexity point to a creator...yet the most complex thing of all (god) requires no creator"
  • You claim an uncreated universe violates the "scientific laws", but are yet to support this with any actual science. Furthermore, you present as an alternative a supernatural being which presumably -- unless you indicate otherwise -- operates outside the bounds of the "scientific laws".
  • I'll cite again your quote: "If someone could prove to me that complex design and the universe came from something else based off of their thoery, and it is truth, then i am open." Your justification of god's existence remains an argument from ignorance; you would be open to a proof of complexity and the universe from something else, but in absence of one, "god did it" is satisfactory
  •  
  • I expained how the scientific laws dont support an uncreated universe. THey are only descriptions on how do to things as well. Yes, God would operate outside and inside of the scientic laws.
  • There is no proof of complexity for the universe outside of an intelligent designer. Not only that, i dont just go off of emperical evidences for God either. This is just a section of what i hold to. I dont base my whole belief off of the cosmological argument. This argument does a good job in explaining an intelligent designer and lets remember how this conversation started. It was on the subject of the cosmological argument so thats what i held to (although i did get sidetracked to other subjects at times Sticking out tongue)
  •  
  •  

     


    Zachary44
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    zarathustra wrote:I'm

    zarathustra wrote:

    I'm curious: Are you drawing these terms for "evolution" from Kent Hovind or one of his proxies? Because I'm pretty sure he's the one who coined these terms, under the broad and misleading heading "evolution"; if that is the case, did you mean to leave out "cosmic evolution"?

    I can go into depth on your misconstrual in using these terms if you wish. I only find it necessary to point out the duplicity of your reasoning: You justify your rejection of the aforementioned phenomena by claiming they have not been observed; yet you profess a belief in a creator god ( and presumably , although we do not observe this god, this god is unobservable, and we do not observe gods creating universes or anything else. Perhaps this is where you present an alternative to science in order to justify belief in god, however your claim "the science category does point to a creator" fails by your own logic.

    Well, the idea i stated has come from many sources. Yes, as far as a i know he did. It wouldn't have matterd what i left out, for i was making a point in saying that you cant test these things. They all are related so i could have just mentioned one or two. The ideas that evolution claims are not observable but are viewed as if they did. With this effect, it then leads to a origin and past circumstances that are assumptions. The facts and thoeries evolution claims which cant be observed then are applied to what happened in the past. I am not the one making a thoery out of things we do not observe and then assuming the past through this. I take the evidence we have now and can observe, then apply it. All of the mentioned points i gave (macro, stellar) are  not science. Things we observe today do point to a creator through science. It all depends on the philosophy through which you view it. For the specific category of evolution, this observes the present, makes a theory about the present evidences that we don observe, then applies it to our past. However, being a theist, i would observe the present, which then points to a designer all around us. Not once do a come up with a thoery thats not observed, and apply it to our past. If you want to know exactly where i am coming from, i could for example use the bible as a filter. For example it claims a world wide flood. There is evidence to support that to the extreme. This is impotant for many reasons which we can get into later.  Evolution claims that we came from a rock and then evolved over time. They use the fossils as the foundation for their thoery. The evidence is not in the fossils supporting their theory but yet it still assumes the past.

    zarathustra wrote:

    As I wondered before in regard to Hovind, I wonder if you're now citing Henry Morris with this Hutton/uniformitarianism reference. However, your argument is a strawman; evolution does not rest on Hutton's gradualistic uniformitarianism. Modern geology acknowledges catastrophes and their effect, and rejects the constant rate of change asserted by Hutton. Furthermore, whatever similarities you might notice between Hutton's pronouncements and evolution, it is false to claim the latter depends on the former. While Hutton's uniformitarianism has been discredited by the evidence, evidence has confirmed evolution (and yes, it is observable, as I'll go over in the next post). You're trying to argue against modern science by falsely attaching it to an idea to which noone actually subscribes.
     

    Given your unsolicited mention of a worldwide flood, I have the mounting concern that you're a biblical literalist. That would certainly explain your focus on Hutton, as his statements did mark an absconsion of biblical literalism -- which implies that earth is only a few thousand years old.

    I did not cite anyone making that reply. I just mentioned James Hutton and uniformitarianism through studying it. Modern geology also rests on circular reasoning if it is looked at through the evolution theory. You have to remember that James Hutton and Charles lyle came up with their ideas with this idea of uniformitarianism in mind. Charles lyle then came up with the geologic column which is based off of circular reasoning. Also remember that Darwin then used both of their ideas in his thoery. I am arguing against a theory that isn't sciece. I am arguing that evolution itself is based soley on circular reasoning which is the geologic column. This being said, the geologic column is the foundation of evolution. 

    Yes you are correct about why i mentioned uniformitarianism. The bible does imply the earth is thousands of years old but even william lane craig still sticks with the million year thoery. Why he does this i have no idea for it directly contradicts with the bible :p 

    zarathustra wrote:
    There are also relative truths, with respect to concepts of beauty or taste. I've thought up until now that morality is likewise relative (cf. Euthyphro Dilemma). However, Sam Harris raises the idea in The Moral Landscape that morality may be defined by absolutes, whether or not we're able to determine those absolutes.

    I agree with you up until you mention morality. I believe that morality is absolute. If morality were relative, this would then lead to a life of no purpose. If morality is then absolute, where did morality come from? (Uh-oh the morality argument Sticking out tongue) I been wanting to as you about morality for a long time. I take this conversation as a personal converation as if i was talking to you in person.

    zarathustra wrote:
    Unfortunately, I have to specify that I asked if you were born believing in god. I hold that we are all born lacking a belief in god, by default. Your account bears this out: at most, you formulated a concept of god following an assessment of your surroundings. You were not born with this concept of god

    I child that is born doesn't have the capability yet to even consider this idea yet. It comes down to this: we are all brainwashed, the question is, are you brainwashed in the truth, or are you brainwashed in a lie. Some may be brainwashed into half truths and half lies as well. Neither are you born with the concept of God then are you born with the concept of no God. It takes development of the brain to come to that conclusion. Let me ask you, if you were to take a child and not teach them any philosophy at all, then put them in a secluded part of the world, such as a forest or island, what would they conclude about the earth? They would most likely conclude a god.

    zarathustra wrote:

    With all due respect: It is religion which most of all exploits the fact that if you raise someone in a lie, such as a child, they are going to believe it. It would be interesting to see how many people would voluntarily choose religion if they had not had it impressed upon them as children. By contrast, evolution is not embraced as dogma, even by its strongest adherents (any school that teaches it as dogma comparable to religion is of course doing it wrong. It should be taught as science, since it is in fact what the current state of science indicates).

    It's growing more apparent that you are a biblical literalist, and your opposition to science (whether biology or cosmology) is a result of that, and not any actual inaccuracies you've discovered in the science itself.

    I agree with you on the first part. Religion isn't necessarily what i would classify myself in having. Sure i would be classified as religious, but thats not what i follow. There are corrupt and false religions out there that demand tradition. Tradition is what always stems in a religion. You have to do this and that and follow strict guidlines etc. I could go on and on. This alone drives people away. Christianity, if lived properly , is a personal relationship with God. There is no tradition but just grace. Grace is key and their are no catches. There is nothing to gain but a relationship with the Lord and eternal life with him. The problem with "religion" throughout the past and the present, is that most of it stems from selfish desires and material gain. So i can see where you are coming from, but christianity, how its supposed to be seen, is not any of those things. Honestly, my purpose is really to show love and kindness to those i meet and to spread the truth that i have. I would say that evolution  is embraced as dogma. Teachers are fired for mentioning intelligent design in school.

    I am talking to you, not to prove you wrong, but to try and show you truth. To be honest, you are much more smarter then i am Sticking out tongue but this doesn't stop me from trying to spread the gospel Smiling. I have a feeling you have me in age by at least ten years. Keep in mind though, sometimes one can gather so much knowledge that it blinds them from the truth. I have lots a respect for you though from certain things that you have said. You are probably the most intelligent person i have talked to in this much depth as well that has an opposite view (athiesm). I find it really exciting replying back to you. Laughing out loud


    zarathustra
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    Evolution Part 3

    Zachary44 wrote:
    First off, we must define what type of evolution we are talking about. I believe micro evolution is true. Macro, on the other hand is not... This is micro evolution which i believe in. In no way does this lead to macro evolution. My point is that there is no evidence of macro evolution.

    I will have to point out that even after 3 exchanges, I'm yet to understand what distinction you observe between "microevolution" and "macroevolution". Certainly, you've defined micro as changes within a "kind", and macro as changes from one "kind" to another. This distinction, however, remains meaningless, as you have not yet defined what a "kind" is. The closest you came to providing a definition was:

     

     

    Seeking clarity, I asked

     

    Quote:
    If you would, please confirm that this is your sole criterion for distinguishing "kinds": the ability to interbreed.

    You did not provide the requested clarification.

     

    Zachary44 wrote:

    zarathustra wrote:
    As a generalized population of flies spreads over an island, distinct populations can emerge as they inhabit different areas with their own vegetation and predators and other environmental nuances. The more each population adapts to its particular niche, the more distinct its gene pool becomes from the other adapting populations, and from the original population from which they all descended. Unless the populations continue to share genes, their gene pools will become more and more distinct, and eventually incompatible.

    Again, we see only micro evolution here. The flies always stay flies. They never change from a fly to something else.

    As your response to the hypothetical example indicates, you do not even consider the ability to interbreed as a defining criterion for "kind", as you consider the incompatible species of flies from the example to still be of the same "kind". This is in apparent contrast to your prior implied definition, "in terms of interbreeding", as the flies used for example here cannot "multiply after their kind". You can hopefully understand my confusion at this point, as I still don't know your precise definition of "kind", and therefore do not know what precise distinction you observe between micro- and macro-evolution.

     

    Zachary44 wrote:
    The point is i am making is that there is no evidence making the transition from one kind to other kind true. I can see where you are coming from referring to kind. Transitional fossils for example, would be the evidence portraying a feline turning into a fish slowing over millions of years. I am saying that for transitions, there is no evidence but only assumptions. It seems as if Charles lyle and Charles Darwin literally made up the transition process. We only observe micro evolution today and always will only observe micro evolution. Thats what i was getting to.

    First of all:  What exactly do you consider "transition"?  Obviously, since you still haven't defined what a "kind" is, "transition from one kind to other kind" is unintelligible, and hence, what "evidence making the transition from one kind to other kind true" you expect to see if evolution were true is also unintelligible.  

    Second of all:  Did you arbitrarily choose "feline turning into a fish", or do you actually think evolution claims "felines" turn into "fish"?  Because that would be incorrect.  The evidence indicates life began in the oceans and moved to land (and in some instances like whales and dolphins, moved back to the oceans).  So a more accurate phrasing would be "fish into felines".  I'm sure you find this correct phrasing as hard to believe as your incorrectly-phrased example, but this is not a trivial error, and casts doubt on how familiar you are with the actual subject matter.

     

    Zachary44 wrote:
    So the actual charts that evolutionist show, which would be the slow process of a feline turning into a whale, or an ape turning into a man, can be proven true with evidence? They have fossils that show this change?

    Again, I have to ask if you're simply arbitrarily picking "kinds" when you say "feline turning into a whale".  The evidence (which can go into) does indicate whales evolved from terrestrial creatures, but not felines.  I also have to wonder (with mild despair) if you think whales are fish, since you appended both to the phrase "felines turning into..."  Either you were recklessly constructing examples so did not notice this non-trivial discrepancy, or you are egregiously misinformed about even basic biology (as of course, whales are not fish, just as they do not share a common feline ancestor).  Another possibility would be that you are deliberately strawmanning, which many creationist apologists like Hovind or Comfort are known to do.  However, I do not suspect you of doing that.  

    If instead you're asking whether there's evidence of evolution from terrestrial ungulates (not felines) to whales, yes, there is.  If you're genuinely interested, I can point to more detailed resources (although nothing you couldn't yourself find if you were genuinely interested); however, suffice it to say there are several fossil examples outlining whale evolution, aside from the living evidence of whales' mammalian features (warm-blooded, vertebrae, live young, air-breathing).  

    So also with human evolution.  The DNA evidence alone shows that we have common ancestry with other primates (and all other living things), but since you specified fossils, there is abundant data showing how our species evolved, as well as other species of human.  (I should clarify at this point that when discussing taxonomy and evolution "human" does not mean only Homo sapiens.  "Human" corresponds to the genus Homo, which includes other human species such as H. heidelbergensis and  H. florensiensis.  Ours is the only surviving species of human.)  The hominid fossil record shows the gradual development of upright posture and larger crania, characteristic of humans.  

    What is particularly amusing, and what lays bare the vacuousness of creationism is the inconsistency of creationists in trying to separate the "ape" fossils from the "human" fossils when given in chronological succession.  They cannot uniformly agree which ones are "ape", and which are "human".  I invite you to try this yourself:  If you're confident that you can rigorously defend creationism in consonance with the fossil record, I can provide a list of anthropoid fossils  (e.g., australopithecines such as afarensis and boisei, and hominids such as habilis, erectus & sapiens), and you can point out which are "ape", and which are "human", and by what criteria.  
     

    Zachary44 wrote:
    Do you really know that you are implying that we came from a banana? OR to go farther back, that we came from a rock?

    False.  Evolution does not imply "we" came from a banana.  I would like to know your source for this misrepresentation.  More accurately, we share common ancestry with bananas, as with all other living things.  As with the fish/feline flub before, I'm sure you find common ancestry with bananas as incredible as "we came from a banana".  However, this again is not a trivial error; it is just as erroneous as saying you came from your cousin.  (And should you find it incredible that we share common ancestry with bananas, you need only consider that it is confirmed by the same genetics which confirm that you and your cousin have common ancestry.)

    Furthermore, evolution does not say we came from a rock.  Evolution deals with how living things change over time; it does not deal with the emergence of life from non-life (that is called abiogenesis).  "We came from a rock" more aptly represents the (2nd) biblical creation story, where a fully-formed man comes from a lump of clay.

     

    Zachary44 wrote:
    Sure the population will then change and have differernt traits. They will become different in little ways but will not change to an entirely different animal. Your not going to seperate two cats and put them in two entirely different places and then get something other then a cat later on in time. They will have different traits and vary in size sure, but will remain a feline.

     I'll provide a summary of the salient points at the conclusion of the post, but here your use of the phrase "different animal" treads upon the same ambiguity as your usage of "kind".  What precisely do you mean by "different", and how widely would two or more populations have to diverge genetically to satisfy your criteria for different?  

    Your use of the word "feline" compounds the ambiguity.  You've previously used the term species, presumably as a term interchangeable with kind ("In no way, do we today witness a transition from one species to another" ).  "Feline" in the taxonomic sense, is a genus, i.e., a grouping of related species.  (The standard taxonomic hierarchy, which I briefly discussed before, is Kingom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species.)  Domestic cats are classified as Felis catus.  Other species in that genus are Felis silvestris (wildcats), and Felis margarita (sandats).  For contrast, lions and tigers are not felines, but panthers:  members of the genus  Panthera (P. tigris and P. leo, respectively).  Felines and panthers both belong to the family Felidae.  What this classification signifies is that:  Lions, tigers, wildcats and domestic cats are all related (belonging to the same family), however lions and tigers are more closely related to one another than either are to wild cats or domestic cats, since they are in different genera within that family.  And of course, individual tigers are more closely related to each other than to lions, despite belonging to the same genus.  

    My purpose in explaining this was to bring to light the laxity with which you use "kind", and to hopefully illustrate how the terminology is actually used.  Please let me know if this is clear, or if you have any objections to my explanation.

    Zachary44 wrote:
    zarathustra wrote:

    ...The light spectrum is a completely different matter concerning organic things. It has nothing to do with how the fossil record works.

    I'm sorry if I wasn't clear enough, but I did not intend this to be a direct analogy to evolution.  It was only to demonstrate another example of fuzzy logic as opposed to discrete logic.  I also certainly did not make any reference to the fossil record; I only made reference to the system of taxonomy.  

    The distinction between fuzzy and discrete logic I was trying to draw was this:  Your use of the (still undefined) term "kind" implies that there are discrete categories for living things, which no amount of change can traverse.  I simply provided the color spectrum as a more accessible example where we do not have any discrete boundaries between one color and another; we observe general areas of difference, but the boundaries between those different areas are fuzzy, not discrete.  

    An analogous example would be "immediate family" vs. "distant family" (not in the taxonomic sense, but in the colloquial sense).   Consider how you define these two terms.  However narrowly or widely you define "immediate family" at some point in tracing your family tree you will cross the boundary to "distant family".  For example, if you define "immediate" as your grandparents and all their descendants down to your generation, then your first cousins will be part of your immediate family, but your second cousins will be distant.  (Likewise, your children and your siblings' children will be "immediately" related, but your children and your first cousins' children will be "distantly" related.)  Someone else might define "immediate" more broadly, to include another level of ancestry or posterity.  Someone may even choose to introduce more terms like "intermediate family".  But regardless of the system of terminology you use for describing your relatives, it is only a convention, and does not affect the degree to which your family members are related.  It is not as if there is some drastic difference between your first and second cousins in terms of their relation to you;  your second cousins are slightly less related to you than your first cousins, but they are still related.  So while for the sake of convention we may employ terms such as  "immediate" and "distant" with discretely defined limits for describing our families, there is no actual discrete difference between an "immediate" relative and a "distant" relative.  

    The taxonomic hierarchy is simply the convention for classifying your relatives on a larger scale.  You can define "species" as narrowly or as broadly as you wish, just as you can define "immediate family" as narrowly or broadly as you wish.  That does not affect your relatedness to other livings things.  

    You will protest at this point that everyone in your "immediate" and "distant" family are still human (Homo sapiens, to be exact).  Of course.  Everyone in your species are still human.  Just as everyone in your taxonomic order are still primates; and everyone in your taxonomic class are still mammals; and everyone in your taxonomic kingdom are still animals; and just like all other livings...are still living things.

     

     (I'm skipping a paragraph or two here, since I realize this post is getting lengthy.  I'll respond to them directly in another post.)

     

    I brought up wisdom teeth, bats with useless eyes, male nipples and human embryos developing and losing tails in contrast to your mention of the platypus as "fully functional, and well-integrated". I was providing examples where organisms have traits which are not fully functional, and are not well-integrated. What then, is your assessment with wisdom teeth? That god made Homo sapiens "fully functional, and well-integrated" to eating more abrasive, unprocessed foods, but did not account for changes in diet? Could the same be said for the platypus: god made it "fully functional, and well-integrated" for its current environment, but a slight change in its environment would render it less than fully functional, and poorly-integrated? Your attempted explanation are in keeping with the cherry-picking of data I pointed out before: You pick out particular examples like the platypus as confirmation of creation because of their apparent full functionality (which itself is a subjective assessment), but either ignore or make excuses for the plethora of examples which fall short of full functionality.

     

    Zachary44 wrote:
    For the matter of human nipples, I had to research this one alot. I found a quite adequate explanation in answers in Genesis. *** copied from AiG ***
    It's first of all disappointing that you would go to Answers In Genesis for an explanation. By their own admission, they are presuppositionalist; they have decided in advance that genesis and the rest of the bible is true, and all their "answers" have to confirm that presupposition. I don't think you have to wonder why I find such thinking fallacious. Your response culled from AIG is inadequate for what I actually asked. You are implying, in defense of creationism, that organisms are fully functional and well-integrated; I asked you to explain what is "fully functional and well-integrated" about male nipples according to creationism. The response from Mitchell gives one sentence to this: "They are very sensitive and are a source of sexual stimulation". Perhaps you consider this a reasonable explanation, but I find this betrays the desperation of the presuppositionalist: the evidence fit the presupposed conclusion (rather than the conclusion fitting the evidence), even if that requires inventing ad hoc excuses for evidence which might otherwise hamper arrival at that presupposed conclusion. To illustrate the desperation I perceive in this particular excuse, let's explore its implications: Non-lactating nipples are a feature not only of male humans but nearly all mammals (one of the notable exceptions being ... wait for it ... the platypus). By AiG's/Mitcell's reasoning, we are apparently to believe that the creator was concerned about sexual stimulation in most mammals, but not other animals such as reptiles, nor the "fully functional, well-integrated" mammal known as ... wait for it ... the platypus.

     

    Zachary44 wrote:
    Why bats have nonfunctional eyes is just a process of variation (micro). Bats are nocturnal, therefor there is no need to see. As we all know, they have sonar that detects things for them. Just another example of something we can observe, microevolution.

    Correct - bats' non-functional eyes and their highly developed sonar represent adaptation to a nocturnal environment. However, this serves as another counterexample to your platypus-based argument for creationism. Why are there so many examples of living things which are less than fully functional and less than well-integrated, such as bats? A creator that practiced "design economy" (the phrase Mitchell invokes to explain male nipples) would have created bats with no eyes at all, rather than useless ones. Respectfully, if you've borrowed at least some of your information from AiG, which unabashedly proclaims that it's based off of the assumption that the bible is true, and that all evidence has to confirm the bible.

     

    Zachary44 wrote:
    There are athiests in australia and Europe that laught at evolution.

    There are likewise theists --including christians-- who believe in evolution. That is entirely irrelevant to the actual truth of the proposition.

    Zachary44 wrote:
    I have seen how the foundation of evolution was formed. Radio carbon dating and all the methods that fall under it wouldn't exist without the geological column which Charles lyle had made. We know that the geologic column is circular reasoning. How he knew the dates of the rocks and made that column is beyond me Laughing out loud. T

    I'll assume you mean "radiometric dating", of which carbon dating is only one method. There are creationist arguments against carbon dating, such as examples of living organisms dated through carbon dating to be thousands of years old. This also happens to be accounted for, e.g., carbon dating is unreliable for samples in marine environments, since organisms in such environments draw their carbon from humus, not the air. However, several different types of radiometric dating all converge on similar results. Nonetheless, I don't understand your claim that radiometric dating wouldn't exist without the geologic column. I wasn't familiar with Hutton or Lyell prior to your mention of them, and after having researched them, I'm honestly not sure what the actual point is. Darwin was arguably influenced by their ideas and Origin of Species may well reflect that influence; however, science itself is not dogmatically committed to defending Darwin, Lyell, Hutton, or anyone else for that matter. Science goes where the evidence leads; it does not choose conclusions in advance and then manipulate the evidence to arrive at them. There may be, of course, individual scientists who prevaricate about their findings, but science itself is self-correcting, by being open to new evidence, and willingness to admit that our present knowledge may be partially --or wholly-- wrong. Religion is by far more guilty of the circular reasoning you censure here: by holding dogmatic beliefs, and defending them in the face of countermanding evidence. AiG proudly admits to this by identifying as presuppositionalist. Your address of the geologic column serves well to demonstrate the difference between going where the evidence leads, rather than manipulating the evidence to go where you want it to. Whether or not you think evolution is compatible with the fossil data from the geologic column, biblical literalism is unquestionably incompatible with it. The first geologists to study the column were believers, and did their work well before Darwin, so they were not trying to confirm evolution or disconfirm creationism. Adam Sedgwick, a contemporary of Lyell's, hoped to find evidence in the column of a global flood and initially claimed that he had. However, as he investigated the column further, he admitted there was evidence for local floods, but none for a global one.

    Synopsis

    • What is clear from your last post is that you do not have an accurate understanding of evolution, what with your misbegotten examples of felines turning into fish and/or whales; or that we came from a banana/rock.  Either you have not researched evolution, or your research is primarily drawn from creationist sources, which routinely misrepresent science, either out of ignorance or deliberate deception.  I sincerely do not point this out to be offensive or condescending, but to hopefully enhance the productivity of this discussion.  This discussion does not promise to be useful if your arguments against evolution are based on a mistaken view of it.  You'll note I did not assume you as a professing christian were a biblical literalist; not even after you alluded to a belief in the great flood.  I could have assumed that, and simply argued against the nonsensicality of biblical literalism; but that would be arguing against a position which you do not necessarily hold (the strawman fallacy), thereby falsely vindicating my own position.
    • Your referencing of the bible unsolicited, coupled with your demonstrated unfamiliarity with evolution suggests you are less concerned with actual scientific accuracy, and more concerned about reaffirming your belief in the bible against any science which might conflict with it.  This is in part why I asked if the source for one of your claims was Henry Morris of the IRC.  He is quoted as saying "When science and the Bible differ, science has obviously misinterpreted its data."  Such a statement is a clear example of leading the evidence, not following it. 
    • It should not be surprising at this point that the discussion is frustrated by the ambiguity of the terms you use.  I will reiterate what I pointed out in my first post on this topic: You still have not provided a definition of "kind" as I requested, whereupon I am still unclear what you intend by ""transition from one kind to other kind".  I would also like to know precisely what you would accept as a "transitional fossil", or an actual example of macroevolution, but that may all be readily clarified once you provide a definition of "kind".  So I am politely but unequivocally asking for you define "kind" as applicable to evolution:
      • Not an example ("a dog will always stay a dog" )
      • Not an allusion ("Creationists would like to define “kind” in terms of interbreeding..." )
      • Not a scriptural reference ("...multiplying after their kind" )

      What I am asking for are specifics.  Provide a specific set of criteria by which we can determine whether any two living thing are the same kind or not.

      • Is there a minimum percentage of DNA two individuals of the same "kind" have in common -- and less than which, they would be different kinds?  If so, what is this percentage?
      • Is the ability to reproduce a defining characteristic of the members of the same kind?  Your "multiplying after their kind" reference suggested it was, yet your follow up about flies who can't interbreed (but whose ancestors could) suggested the opposite.  
      • What would you consider as a hypothetical example of one kind turning into another kind?  
         

      The potential for this particular discussion to yield any clarity hinges on you specifying what you mean by "kind".  (I will point out -- again -- that I have never received a definition from any creationist.)

     

    There are no theists on operating tables.

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    zarathustra
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    Cosmological Argument - Part 8

    Zachary44 wrote:
    Sorry for the late reply. I was really busy and i dont like to rush a reply.

    I used this professors site for it explains the key points very nicely. Even Norman Geisler's systematic theology doesn't go into detail on how they break down. Its the foundation of where the cosmological argument comes from so there is no reason not to use it.
    If you're going to reproduce material verbatim from another source, please make a citation. What I found curious was that you edited the conclusions of the otherwise verbatim-quoted arguments from the 3rd person to the 1st.    
    Zachary44 wrote:
    zarathustra wrote:
    Furthermore, the "infinite regress" problem does not require exclusively a "first cause" for its solution. An alternate solution would be an eternal universe that continuously expands and contracts, and has always done so (the big bang-big crunch cycle).  So would -- as much as it pains you -- a universe from nothing. You previously said the "scientific laws" themselves disprove the Stephen Hawking quote that no god was necessary for the universe to spontaneously emerge
    As i stated before, the cosmological argument is the most logical foundation to explain the universe and how it came to be. The "Oscillatiing Universe" theory still has a problem. This cycle doesn't get started by itself. No matter how many times you go through the cycle, it still needs something to begin this cycle. This theory also fails because we can see that the universe will continue to expand.

    While the big bang-big crunch model may well be erroneous, your attempted detraction of it is nonetheless inadmissible.  The model does not stipulate that the cycle had to "get started", but rather, the cycle has always been running, and always will.  If you have no problem believing god was always here, you ought have no problem believing that this cycle was always running, of which our universe is an iteration.  That was my sole purpose in presenting it:  to demonstrate that it is not necessary to invoke a god to escape the trappings of "infinite regress".


     

    Zachary44 wrote:
    Evolutionary cosmologist John Wheeler has drawn the following conclusion based on the scientific evidence: “With gravitational collapse we come to the end of time. Never out of the equations of general relativity has one been able to find the slightest argument for a ‘re-expansion’ of a ‘cyclic universe’ or anything other than an end” (1977, p. 15). As Ross has admitted: “Attempts...to use oscillation to avoid a theistic beginning for the universe all fail” (1991, p. 105). No one yet has improved on Genesis 1— “In the beginning, God created....”“

    "The balance of evidence does point to an open model of the universe” (1980, p. 309, emp. added). Gribbin commented: “The consensus among astronomers today is that the universe is open” (1981, p. 316, emp. added). Jastrow observed: “Thus, the facts indicate that the universe will expand forever” (1978, p. 123, emp. added). Recent evidence seems to indicate that an oscillating Universe is a physical impossibility (see Chaisson, 1992).

    We can see that the "oscillation cycle" does not hold up to anything. Now that this alternate solution is known to be false, what other alternatives are there? The universe had a beginning. Stephen hawkin fails to realize that things do not spontaneously emerge. Even in the "vacuums" or black holes, where they claim to see things spontaneously come to be because there is nothing inside. they have found that these vacuums are not empty but have matter inside. This would mean that they dont spontaneoulsy emerge, but are coming from a previous substance. The 1st law of thermodynamics is ignored by his theory. Not to mention the 2nd law of thermodynamics for the big bang. Not only does he ignore these laws, he also ignores the logic of a primemover, necesary being etc.

    There's a few things wrong with this response:

    1. The portion "Evolutionary cosmologist...physical impossibility (see Chaisson, 1992)." is copied verbatim from an apologetics website.  It's a technicality, but if you're going to quote from another source, please provide citation, so that the words are not construed as your own.  
    2. While this site does not overtly admit to presuppositionalism as AiG does, it is clear from the site's statement of principles that it is primarily concerned with confirming the bible as true (which includes by their reading a literal 6-day creation) and "christianity" as the one true religion.  This is again, leading the evidence, rather than following it, which of course is not reasonable.
    3. The article itself concludes with "No one yet has improved on Genesis 1— 'In the beginning, God created....'".  This of course betrays the site's bias, and highlights a recurring error among creationists:  "Refutation" (in quotes, as often times creationists "refutations" are simply strawman arguments) of a particular scientific model does not by default vindicate an alternative creationist model.  The burden of proof applies to any model presented.  

     

    Zachary44 wrote:
    zarathustra wrote:
    I understood from your example that you would be able to identify a chair found in the wilderness as a "created" object, and not think it was part of the wilderness in which you found it, as you might of a tree or rock you find in the wilderness. In other words, I took your example to be a rendering of Paley's argument, with "chair/wilderness" corresponding to "watch/beach". If I mistook you, then your explicit mention of the wilderness was entirely irrelevant. Since as you yourself said, "there is no distinction between the two", your argument would have been no different had you mentioned finding a chair in a room full of chairs. However, I suspect you were in fact drawing a deliberate distinction between the chair and the wilderness and utilizing Paley's argument, the fallacy of which I outlined previously, and which you inadvertently betrayed by saying there's no distinction between the chair and the wilderness (when of course there is).
    Yes paleys argument in what i was going along. Using a chair wasn't a very good anology since it is supposed to represent the universe. Yes, there is a deliberate distinction between the watch and lets say a rock (as mentioned in paleys argument). The basic concept is that the watch is supposed to represent the design of the universe. The watch has various materials inside of it and so does the universe. The watch has serving purposes inside of it as well as the universe. The distinction is made from the watch and the rock because of intelligent design. The stone could be made by unthinking things, such as natural forces through heat and pressure. The watch could not have been made by unthinking things because of the design. When i stated there was no distinction, that was on the premise of all things having design including the wilderness as well, but for this analogy that was a mistake.
    Switching the corresponding terms from chair/wilderness to watch/rock doesn't enhance the argument.  Again, the rock is part of the universe, which you are trying to argue is (intelligently) designed.  If you can distinguish between the watch and the stone, then you can distinguish between the watch and the universe as a whole.  If you can accept that the stone is made by "unthinking things" or "natural forces", then you can accept the same for the universe as a whole.  If the universe were in fact intelligently designed like the watch, you ought not be able to distinguish between the watch and the universe in which you find it.  

    Zachary44 wrote:
    zarathustra wrote:
    if a simple chair points to a creator, why wouldn't the most complex things imaginable (the universe) not point to this as well?" You're essentially saying complex things point to a creator. By this logic, your god requires a creator as well. After all, if a complex universe points to a creator, why wouldn't a more complex god point to this as well? You attempt to let yourself off the hook by invoking contingency/necessity. However, if you're willing to accept a complex god "necessarily" existing without need for a creator, you should be willing -- in fact more willing -- to accept a less complex universe "necessarily" existing without need for a creator. The Thomistic attempt to make the universe "contingent" again exploits a conflation of terms as applied to things within the universe, and the universe itself.
      This isn't the case because then it would just be an infinite regress of complexity. For example, if that was the situation, it would eternally go to a more complex being that to an even more complex being created and so on. There has to be an Necessary being that contingent beings rely on for existence. If you then leaned toward a universe that is its own necessary being, this would then lead to an unintelligent designer at the origin and also would then be nothing created everything. Our universe and what dwells on the earth is not a result of nature and its laws. For laws are just a description of how things work. The laws or descriptions on how to make a watch just dont happen by themselves. It takes a "watchmaker" to then put those into action or already know how to do it in the first place, then creating the watch. Saying the universe doesn't need a creator leads to a route of questioning purpose.
    You've provided no basis for why an "unintelligent designer" (or even, no designer) is less reasonable than an "inteligent designer"; nor why "nothing created everything" (or even "everything was always here" is less reasonable than "god (who presumably was always here) created everything out of nothing".  Your reference to "laws" is more conflation.  The "laws" for making a watch require a watchmaker, but the watch -- and the watchmaker -- have to operate in accordance with the physical laws of the universe.  In other words, the "laws" of watchmaking have to take into account the laws of the nature; they are not categorically the same.

     

    Synopsis:

    • Your latest post shows clear use of special pleading.  You reject certain cosmological models with the claim that they violate "scientific laws", yet have no reservations whatsoever with your god-based model violating these same laws.  You cite "infinite regress" to reject other models, but tailor the attributes of your god to circumvent this same "infinite regress".  You are defining your god into existence.

    • Your use of scripture undermines your position.  You're using the bible to prove the god of the bible, which of course is not reasonable.

    • You have not yet addressed your use of the argument from ignorance I pointed out in my first post.  You've stated you would be dissuaded from you god-based model if presented with proof of the origin of complexity and the universe without a god.  You are embracing a belief in god as an explanation for origins with the justification that we have no satisfactory explanation otherwise, when it is more reasonable to say "we don't know", and continue investigating.  If this god cannot be empirically investigated as the universe can be, it is not reasonable to incorporate this god into an explanatory model.  

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    zarathustra
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    Burden of Proof 4

    Zachary44 wrote:
    zarathustra wrote:

    I'm curious: Are you drawing these terms for "evolution" from Kent Hovind or one of his proxies? Because I'm pretty sure he's the one who coined these terms, under the broad and misleading heading "evolution"; if that is the case, did you mean to leave out "cosmic evolution"?

    I can go into depth on your misconstrual in using these terms if you wish. I only find it necessary to point out the duplicity of your reasoning: You justify your rejection of the aforementioned phenomena by claiming they have not been observed; yet you profess a belief in a creator god ( and presumably , although we do not observe this god, this god is unobservable, and we do not observe gods creating universes or anything else. Perhaps this is where you present an alternative to science in order to justify belief in god, however your claim "the science category does point to a creator" fails by your own logic.

    Well, the idea i stated has come from many sources. Yes, as far as a i know he did. It wouldn't have matterd what i left out, for i was making a point in saying that you cant test these things. They all are related so i could have just mentioned one or two. The ideas that evolution claims are not observable but are viewed as if they did.

    I would caution against using Hovind as a source.  While I'm at this point skeptical that a reasonable argument for creationism can be made which accurately reflects the available evidence, in the case of Hovind we have someone who has on record made demonstrably false statements (such as his description of reproduction as two half-strands of DNA from each parent wrapping together; or claiming a drop of water spread thinly enough will cover the earth).  Furthermore, grouping the origin of the universe; star formation; abiogenesis and biological evolution all under the heading "evolution" is a distortion.  

    Zachary44 wrote:
    ...If you want to know exactly where i am coming from, i could for example use the bible as a filter. For example it claims a world wide flood. There is evidence to support that to the extreme. This is impotant for many reasons which we can get into later.  Evolution claims that we came from a rock and then evolved over time. They use the fossils as the foundation for their thoery. The evidence is not in the fossils supporting their theory but yet it still assumes the past.

    Using the bible "as a filter" all but ensures your conclusions will be false.  This is proven by your chosen example of the great flood.  Not only is there no evidence at all that a global flood ever occurred, we know that a global flood could not occur; it is scientifically impossible.  This further affirms that you have accepted the bible/christianity as true on unreasonable grounds, and are now trying to construct a reasonable defense of those beliefs.

    Zachary44 wrote:
    Yes you are correct about why i mentioned uniformitarianism. The bible does imply the earth is thousands of years old but even william lane craig still sticks with the million year thoery. Why he does this i have no idea for it directly contradicts with the bible Sticking out tongue

    Well, as the thousands of different christian denominations indicate, there's no limit to the number of ways one can interpret the bible.  Believers pick and choose what parts of the bible they want to take literally -- even the fundamentalists.  In his debates, Craig borrows -- rather selectively -- from science in his debates, so that likely obligates him to accept some basics such as the big bang and evolution -- albeit in corrupted form.

    Zachary44 wrote:
    I agree with you up until you mention morality. I believe that morality is absolute. If morality were relative, this would then lead to a life of no purpose. If morality is then absolute, where did morality come from? (Uh-oh the morality argument Sticking out tongue) I been wanting to as you about morality for a long time. I take this conversation as a personal converation as if i was talking to you in person.

    I for one don't think there is any absolute purpose to our lives; any sense of purpose is of our own making.  Including a god in the equation does nothing to resolve either the moral problem or the problem of purpose.  Noone who believes god is the author of morality has ever given satisfactory response to the Euthyphro Dilemma ("Is it good because god commands it, or does god command it because it is good?" ).  Those who believe in an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent god (as presumably christians do) are confounded all the more by Epicurus' Riddle:

    1. Is god willing to abolish evil (omnibenevolent), but not able?  Then he is impotent.

    2. Is he able to abolish evil (omnipotent), but not willing?  Then he is malevolent.

    3. Is he both willing and able?  Then whence cometh evil?

    4. Is he neither willing nor able?  Then why call him god?

     

    Zachary44 wrote:
    zarathustra wrote:
    Unfortunately, I have to specify that I asked if you were born believing in god. I hold that we are all born lacking a belief in god, by default. Your account bears this out: at most, you formulated a concept of god following an assessment of your surroundings. You were not born with this concept of god

    I child that is born doesn't have the capability yet to even consider this idea yet. It comes down to this: we are all brainwashed, the question is, are you brainwashed in the truth, or are you brainwashed in a lie. Some may be brainwashed into half truths and half lies as well. Neither are you born with the concept of God then are you born with the concept of no God. It takes development of the brain to come to that conclusion. Let me ask you, if you were to take a child and not teach them any philosophy at all, then put them in a secluded part of the world, such as a forest or island, what would they conclude about the earth? They would most likely conclude a god.

    I thought we had already found clarity on this point.  You do not require the concept of "no god", or to formulate a conclusion to lack belief in god; one lacks belief by default, in the absence of any concepts or conclusions.    

    For your hypothetical example of an untutored child in isolation: I can accept that such a child might at most adopt a belief in agency from its experience.  I am highly doubtful an individual child would of its own accord adopt belief in the supernatural, or an afterlife, or any of the other furnishings of religion.  Even if this should occur, it would represent movement from lack of belief to belief.  Furthermore, the adoption of such beliefs would not be the result of rational thought.   The closest actual correlate to this would be the cargo cults:  When primitive people have first encountered people from more advanced societies (as when Europeans arrived in New Guinea in the 19th century), the primitives thought they were being visited by divine beings.

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    vBlueSki
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    dude

    answer the fucking question man! were you born believing in god? or did some one tell you?


    Jeffrick
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    RELAX!!

    vBlueSki wrote:

    answer the fucking question man! were you born believing in god? or did some one tell you?

     

     

                           Check the dates  vBlueski the post before yours is dated in May. If he hasn't answered by now he is not likely to.   This is a common problem with theists who come here to debate; sooner or later  they run head long into simple logic or simple questions they can not deal with, or can't answer without aknowledging the absurdity of their theisim. I have yet to see one convert to atheisim they tend to run back to their fantasy world and never return.

     

     

                           btw   welcome to the forums.

     

     

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