A challenge for theists.

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A challenge for theists.

I've seen many theists on this site suggest that there are things that science can not prove or disprove. So, in search of knowledge, I propose a challenge for theists.

Make a list of things that religion, in it's complete conception, has discovered and how science could not do such a thing.


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CrimsonEdge wrote: ...

CrimsonEdge wrote:

... religion, in it's complete conception ...

 

WTF is this supposed to mean? 


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CrimsonEdge wrote: I've

CrimsonEdge wrote:

I've seen many theists on this site suggest that there are things that science can not prove or disprove. So, in search of knowledge, I propose a challenge for theists.

Make a list of things that religion, in it's complete conception, has discovered and how science could not do such a thing.

 

Less facetiously, religion, in it's complete conception, has discovered the path to immortality.

 

You need to rephrase your question so that the magic wand is disabled. 

 

 


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wavefreak wrote: Less

wavefreak wrote:
Less facetiously, religion, in it's complete conception, has discovered the path to immortality.

 

You need to rephrase your question so that the magic wand is disabled.

 

So, you're saying that immortality has been discovered through religion and can not be proven through science? I don't see how as people die daily.

There is no other way to rephrase the question. The question, simply put, is what exactly has religion figured out that science could not? Making a list makes it easier to discuss such things.

The reasoning behind this question is because some people say exactly what I asked. That there are some things science can never figure out that only religion can. I asked for examples. 


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wavefreak

wavefreak wrote:
CrimsonEdge wrote:

I've seen many theists on this site suggest that there are things that science can not prove or disprove. So, in search of knowledge, I propose a challenge for theists.

Make a list of things that religion, in it's complete conception, has discovered and how science could not do such a thing.

Less facetiously, religion, in it's complete conception, has discovered the path to immortality.

Has it? Where are these imortals? I've never met one. I'm fairly certain that if any religion had discovered this they would have paraded their imortals infront of us, you know put them on TV it woudl be great PR.

I'd like to change the question slightly. I would like you to name a single fact that has been discovered about the world by religion. I don't even want you to show that science can't do it. If religion is such a great way of learning about the world list its discoveries. It should not be hard I could rattle off hundreds of discoveries made by science at the drop of a hat. So surely you should be able to the same? Thats only fair isn't it?

 


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I'm afarid I'm sharing some

I'm afarid I'm sharing some of the same" confusion" that the other theist poster is perhaps feeling re your question / post.

What has religion figured out that science could not - or vice versa..???

Isn't it obvious..??

Let me ask you a question - if you have a toothache - who do you see - an architect or a dentist..??

If your finances are incredibly complicated and it's tax time, who are you going to see - your accountant or a plumber..??

If you're having a medical issue - you see a doctor (scientist).

If you're having a "spiritual" conflict / issue of faith, then you can speak to your priest / rabbai / iman / etc.

I'm sorry, but when I see these types of questions posed by atheists - or even theists for that matter - I seriously have to question how much basic understanding the poster must have on this subject..!!


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evil religion

evil religion wrote:
wavefreak wrote:
CrimsonEdge wrote:

I've seen many theists on this site suggest that there are things that science can not prove or disprove. So, in search of knowledge, I propose a challenge for theists.

Make a list of things that religion, in it's complete conception, has discovered and how science could not do such a thing.

Less facetiously, religion, in it's complete conception, has discovered the path to immortality.

Has it? Where are these imortals? I've never met one. I'm fairly certain that if any religion had discovered this they would have paraded their imortals infront of us, you know put them on TV it woudl be great PR.

I'd like to change the question slightly. I would like you to name a single fact that has been discovered about the world by religion. I don't even want you to show that science can't do it. If religion is such a great way of learning about the world list its discoveries. It should not be hard I could rattle off hundreds of discoveries made by science at the drop of a hat. So surely you should be able to the same? Thats only fair isn't it?

 

I love these types of posts.

My guess is that science has generated more "discoveries" than Michelangelo (art) or science has saved more lives than Charles Dickens (literature) or that science has cured more diseases than Beethoven or Bach or The Beatles (music) - so let's discard these "useless" pursuits as well.

Thanks, Evil Religion - I was having a tough day at the office - but once again, www.rationalresponders.com has provided me with a smile.

Much appreciated - thanks..!!


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   What is a spiritual

 

 What is a spiritual conflict? How do you know the spiritualist you are seeing is qualified? Is there an accepted hierarchy?

 I would fear most spiritualists would be rather biased.

I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.


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Broncosfan wrote: I'm

Broncosfan wrote:
I'm sorry, but when I see these types of questions posed by atheists - or even theists for that matter - I seriously have to question how much basic understanding the poster must have on this subject..!!

*sigh*

The point of this thread is to demonstrate that one does not learn anything about the world from religion. Nothing of physical, measurable, testable nature is obtained through religion. Nothing that can be proven is obtained through religion.

MANY people say that science does not teach us everything. My question, simply put, is what sort of discoveries has religion made ever? Surely if religion can teach us something, it has discovered something, no?

Basically my point is this. Religion hasn't had any breakthrough EVER. There is no single piece of anything that every religion agrees on. In fact, differing sects inside religions disagree on many subjects regarding both natural and supernatural subjects. Surely if there was any degree of "truth" to religion that all of them would agree upon ATLEAST one thing.

And here is a different way of wording the same challenge.

Make a list of things (I'm unclear here for a reason) that Religion has discovered/learned/whatever that Science could not. 


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Quote: My guess is that

Quote:
My guess is that science has generated more "discoveries" than Michelangelo (art) or science has saved more lives than Charles Dickens (literature) or that science has cured more diseases than Beethoven or Bach or The Beatles (music) - so let's discard these "useless" pursuits as well.

You are correct religion is like art, fiction and music. Their primary goal is to fabricate emotion.

Science on the other hand generally deals with discerning truths.

I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.


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Broncosfan wrote: If you're

Broncosfan wrote:
If you're having a "spiritual" conflict / issue of faith, then you can speak to your priest / rabbai / iman / etc.
Or a psychologist. (No that isn't meant in any derogatory kind of way.)


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Cernunnos wrote:  What

Cernunnos wrote:

 

 What is a spiritual conflict? How do you know the spiritualist you are seeing is qualified? Is there an accepted hierarchy?

 I would fear most spiritualists would be rather biased.

A "spiritual" conflict could be something as 'simple" as a Catholic questioning their faith (I went through this 20 years ago).

It could be something more complicated.

How do you know they're qualified..?? You do your homework and hope for the best..!

Is there an accepted hierarchy..?? For what - the Catholic Church..? The Protestant Church..?? The Baptists..??
The Jews ..?? Muslims..?? Hindus..??

Probably..!!

Biased - some may be - some may not..!! I guess it all depends on the person you're dealing with.


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CrimsonEdge

CrimsonEdge wrote:
wavefreak wrote:
Less facetiously, religion, in it's complete conception, has discovered the path to immortality.

 

You need to rephrase your question so that the magic wand is disabled.

So, you're saying that immortality has been discovered through religion and can not be proven through science? I don't see how as people die daily.

 

Your question used the phrase "religion, in its complete conception".  The complete *conception* of religion includes immortality through faith.  You didn't ask for proof of this. You asked for anything within the conception of religion that science could not duplicate.

 

Change the question to "religion, in its complete realization". Then immortality throiugh faith is eliminated from the conversation because there is no way to verify immortality has actually been realized.


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Cernunnos wrote:Quote:My

Cernunnos wrote:

Quote:
My guess is that science has generated more "discoveries" than Michelangelo (art) or science has saved more lives than Charles Dickens (literature) or that science has cured more diseases than Beethoven or Bach or The Beatles (music) - so let's discard these "useless" pursuits as well.

You are correct religion is like art, fiction and music. Their primary goal is to fabricate emotion.

Science on the other hand generally deals with discerning truths.

I can recall reading "To Kill A Mockingbird" when I was a young boy and despite the fact that's it's entirely a work of fiction - Atticus Finch was a make-believe character (like Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck)- the black man who was accused of raping the white woman was a figment of Harper Lee's imagination - it had a profound impact on the way I viewed the world - both then and now. 

Yeah, it's a make believe story - like "Uncle Tom's Cabin" or "A Christmas Carol", but the "truths" that it dealt with were / are every bit as real as E=MC (squared) or any other scientific "fact" you care to throw out..!

Yeah - you're right - art, literature and music have much in common with religion. For most of us, our lives would be " emptier" without them..!! "


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CrimsonEdge

CrimsonEdge wrote:

Broncosfan wrote:
I'm sorry, but when I see these types of questions posed by atheists - or even theists for that matter - I seriously have to question how much basic understanding the poster must have on this subject..!!

*sigh*

The point of this thread is to demonstrate that one does not learn anything about the world from religion. Nothing of physical, measurable, testable nature is obtained through religion. Nothing that can be proven is obtained through religion.

 

In 1996, somebody very, very close to me died at the age of 32.

 My priest and his words were a tremendous source of comfort to me.

How does one measure the impact of his words..?? How about the solace that people throughout the world derive from their faith. How does science measure it..??

The short answer is that it can't..!!

Oh, by the way, the words of comfort that were spoken to me were in the chapel area of the hospital.

Now why do you suppose that a major metropolitan hospital - a bastion of medicine / science - would foolishly allocate space for a chapel..??

 I guess they do so out of pity for all of those who suffer from a mind disorder..!!


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Broncosfan wrote: In 1996,

Broncosfan wrote:
In 1996, somebody very, very close to me died at the age of 32.

My priest and his words were a tremendous source of comfort to me.

How does one measure the impact of his words..?? How about the solace that people throughout the world derive from their faith. How does science measure it..??

The short answer is that it can't..!!

Oh, by the way, the words of comfort that were spoken to me were in the chapel area of the hospital.

Now why do you suppose that a major metropolitan hospital - a bastion of medicine / science - would foolishly allocate space for a chapel..??

I guess they do so out of pity for all of those who suffer from a mind disorder..!!

I have lost friends also and did not turn to to a priest or the Church but to my friends and family for comfort.

The question then would be, is the Church simply creating it's own purpose and injecting itself into our lives for it's own needs?

The only thing you are demonstrating is the Church has simply created a mechanism for self-fulfillment.

FYI - This isn't meant to demean your loss, it is simply a rebuttal. 

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. - William S. Burroughs


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Quote: A "spiritual"

Quote:
A "spiritual" conflict could be something as 'simple" as a Catholic questioning their faith (I went through this 20 years ago).

I would have suggested speaking to an atheist.

Quote:
How do you know they're qualified..?? You do your homework and hope for the best..!

What qualities are you looking for?

Quote:
Is there an accepted hierarchy..?? For what - the Catholic Church..? The Protestant Church..?? The Baptists..??
The Jews ..?? Muslims..?? Hindus..??

Precisely. All of them. Together.

Quote:
Yeah, it's a make believe story - like "Uncle Tom's Cabin" or "A Christmas Carol", but the "truths" that it dealt with were / are every bit as real as E=MC (squared) or any other scientific "fact" you care to throw out..!

 Can you elaborate please.

Quote:
Yeah - you're right - art, literature and music have much in common with religion. For most of us, our lives would be " emptier" without them..!! "

I agree. Unfortunately it is still just stuff that makes you feel something.

I procure much joy from art, literature and music.

 

I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.


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neptewn wrote:Broncosfan

neptewn wrote:

Broncosfan wrote:
In 1996, somebody very, very close to me died at the age of 32.

My priest and his words were a tremendous source of comfort to me.

How does one measure the impact of his words..?? How about the solace that people throughout the world derive from their faith. How does science measure it..??

The short answer is that it can't..!!

Oh, by the way, the words of comfort that were spoken to me were in the chapel area of the hospital.

Now why do you suppose that a major metropolitan hospital - a bastion of medicine / science - would foolishly allocate space for a chapel..??

I guess they do so out of pity for all of those who suffer from a mind disorder..!!

I have lost friends also and did not turn to to a priest or the Church but to my friends and family for comfort.

The question then would be, is the Church simply creating it's own purpose and injecting itself into our lives for it's own needs?

The only thing you are demonstrating is the Church has simply created a mechanism for self-fulfillment.

FYI - This isn't meant to demean your loss, it is simply a rebuttal. 

I wouldn't think for a moment that you were trying to demean my loss. 

Isn't this what this whole website is all about - you turn ONLY to friends and family because you're an atheist - I turn to friends, family and my priest, because I believe.

Is the church and/or religious leaders creating it all for their own self- serving interests.?? Some are -some aren't.  I guess it all depends on the individual / institution. 

Again, it all comes down to what you believe I guess.

I look at my priest - who happens to be a friend as well. He lives on a meagre income - he doesn't drive a fancy car - he doesn't live in a palatial home - he doesn't get to take exotic holidays to the French Riviera - he doesn't wear a $10,000 ROLEX on his wrist - he doesn't wear $2,500 Armani suits.

 If he has some "ulterior" motive, he certainly is hiding it very well..!! 

Listen, I come from an investment banking background. I manage several billion dollars in pension fund assents.

 I learned a long time ago that ideas - like animal species - have a Darwinian component to them.

A good idea will ALWAYS trump a bad idea and bad ideas don't tend to have a terribly long life span.  

And the above doesn't just apply to finance - it applies to EVERYTHING.

Christanity has been around for about 2,000 years now.  

If it's a hoax - or a scam - or some kind of a mind disorder, then it's one hell of a hoax / scam/ mind disorder.

I learned a long time ago that


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broncosfan wrote: I

broncosfan wrote:
I wouldn't think for a moment that you were trying to demean my loss.

Isn't this what this whole website is all about - you turn to friends and family - I turn to friends, family and my priest.

Is the church and/or religious leaders creating it all for their own self- serving interests. Some are -some aren't. I guess it all depends on the individual / institution.

Again, it all comes down to what you believe I guess.

I look at my priest - who happens to be a friend as well. He lives on a meagre income - he doesn't drive a fancy car - he doesn't live in a platial home - he doesn't get to take exotic holidays to the French Riviera - he doesn't wear a $10,000 ROLEX on his wrist.

If he has some "ulterior" motive, he certainly is hiding it very well..!!

He's selling hope, just like the rest of the religions. Whether he's making money on it or not has nothing to do with what I said. I was simply pointing out that you gave them credit for inventing or providing something that science couldn't. When in fact the only thing they have is what you gave them yourself, your hope.

Trust me they wouldn't be in the business if they couldn't sell it. What are they charging you.. your votes, your backing, your beliefs, and yes sometimes even your money.

Would you vote for an atheist?

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. - William S. Burroughs


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Cernunnos wrote: Quote: A

Cernunnos wrote:

Quote:
A "spiritual" conflict could be something as 'simple" as a Catholic questioning their faith (I went through this 20 years ago).

I would have suggested speaking to an atheist.

Quote:
How do you know they're qualified..?? You do your homework and hope for the best..!

What qualities are you looking for?

Quote:
Is there an accepted hierarchy..?? For what - the Catholic Church..? The Protestant Church..?? The Baptists..??
The Jews ..?? Muslims..?? Hindus..??

Precisely. All of them. Together.

Quote:
Yeah, it's a make believe story - like "Uncle Tom's Cabin" or "A Christmas Carol", but the "truths" that it dealt with were / are every bit as real as E=MC (squared) or any other scientific "fact" you care to throw out..!

 Can you elaborate please.

Quote:
Yeah - you're right - art, literature and music have much in common with religion. For most of us, our lives would be " emptier" without them..!! "

I agree. Unfortunately it is still just stuff that makes you feel something.

I procure much joy from art, literature and music.

 

I've posted elsewhere on this site about my "loss of faith" when I was younger and how I got it back when I was in university doing my MBA 20 odd years ago. 

Suffice it to say that I read alot of books and spoke to alot of people - including atheists - over a two year period.

What qualities do I look for..?? Intelligence coupled with an open mind..!!

 I'm a Catholic, but I'm really not entirely sure what you mean when you say an accepted hierarchy - if you want to elaborate, then perhaps I can answer your question.

As for the "truths" in books like Uncle Tom'ss Cabin or a Christmas Carol or To Kill A Mockingbird, I really wouldn't want to spoil it for you. I would suggest you read them for yourself - you'll quickly discover what the truths are I'm referring to.

Lastly, you're right - it is just something that makes us feel something. However, I really have no idea why you would preface your comment with "unfortunately"


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You have no idea who my

Neptewn:

Of course my priest is selling something - who isnt..??

Do you think for one moment that Richard Dawkins wrote a book entirely for altruistic reasons..??

 Do you think the founders of this website aren't selling something..?? 

If Christianity is nothing more than a hoax / scam, then it's a hell of a hoax / scam to have survived for 2,000 years and include 1/3 of the world's population as believers.

Whoever started it is good..!!


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Broncosfan wrote:

Broncosfan wrote:

Listen, I come from an investment banking background. I manage several billion dollars in pension fund assents.

I learned a long time ago that ideas - like animal species - have a Darwinian component to them.

A good idea will ALWAYS trump a bad idea and bad ideas don't tend to have a terribly long life span.

And the above doesn't just apply to finance - it applies to EVERYTHING.

Christanity has been around for about 2,000 years now.

If it's a hoax - or a scam - or some kind of a mind disorder, then it's one hell of a hoax / scam/ mind disorder.

I learned a long time ago that

Argumentum ad antiquitatem... Sorry old doesn't mean it's correct.

 

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. - William S. Burroughs


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ABx wrote: Broncosfan

ABx wrote:
Broncosfan wrote:
If you're having a "spiritual" conflict / issue of faith, then you can speak to your priest / rabbai / iman / etc.
Or a psychologist. (No that isn't meant in any derogatory kind of way.)
  

Yes - it could be a psychologist. Hell, it could be your bartender..!

 


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neptewn wrote: Broncosfan

neptewn wrote:
Broncosfan wrote:

Listen, I come from an investment banking background. I manage several billion dollars in pension fund assents.

I learned a long time ago that ideas - like animal species - have a Darwinian component to them.

A good idea will ALWAYS trump a bad idea and bad ideas don't tend to have a terribly long life span.

And the above doesn't just apply to finance - it applies to EVERYTHING.

Christanity has been around for about 2,000 years now.

If it's a hoax - or a scam - or some kind of a mind disorder, then it's one hell of a hoax / scam/ mind disorder.

I learned a long time ago that

Argumentum ad antiquitatem... Sorry old doesn't mean it's correct.

 

 

No - old doesn't make it right. But it doesn't make it wrong either..!!

 


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CrimsonEdge wrote: The

CrimsonEdge wrote:
The point of this thread is to demonstrate that one does not learn anything about the world from religion. Nothing of physical, measurable, testable nature is obtained through religion. Nothing that can be proven is obtained through religion.

neptewm wrote:
He's selling hope, just like the rest of the religions. Whether he's making money on it or not has nothing to do with what I said. I was simply pointing out that you gave them credit for inventing or providing something that science couldn't. When in fact the only thing they have is what you gave them yourself, your hope.

Broncosfan wrote:
Of course my priest is selling something - who isnt..??

Do you think for one moment that Richard Dawkins wrote a book entirely for altruistic reasons..??

Do you think the founders of this website aren't selling something..??

Thanks.. and now back to the point of the thread... Religion is simply selling something and not teaching us anything about the world, nothing we can't get elsewhere.

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. - William S. Burroughs


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neptewn wrote:CrimsonEdge

neptewn wrote:

CrimsonEdge wrote:
The point of this thread is to demonstrate that one does not learn anything about the world from religion. Nothing of physical, measurable, testable nature is obtained through religion. Nothing that can be proven is obtained through religion.

neptewm wrote:
He's selling hope, just like the rest of the religions. Whether he's making money on it or not has nothing to do with what I said. I was simply pointing out that you gave them credit for inventing or providing something that science couldn't. When in fact the only thing they have is what you gave them yourself, your hope.

Broncosfan wrote:
Of course my priest is selling something - who isnt..??

Do you think for one moment that Richard Dawkins wrote a book entirely for altruistic reasons..??

Do you think the founders of this website aren't selling something..??

Thanks.. and now back to the point of the thread... Religion is simply selling something and not teaching us anything about the world, nothing we can't get elsewhere.

 Sure - in the year 2007, 1/3 of the world's population has embraced an idea - Christianity - that's survived for over 2,000 years. An idea that provides no "measureable" benefit and the non-measureable benefit can easily be obtained elsewhere.

Makes perfect sense to me..!!!


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CrimsonEdge wrote: I've

CrimsonEdge wrote:

I've seen many theists on this site suggest that there are things that science can not prove or disprove. So, in search of knowledge, I propose a challenge for theists.

Make a list of things that religion, in it's complete conception, has discovered and how science could not do such a thing.

I was going to say Champaign, which Fra Dom Perrignon discovered by accident when the weather caused the sacramental wine to stop fermenting, then start up again later thus producing the bubbles.

But I think the condition "how science could not do such a thing" makes this question impossible to answer successfully.  Isn't it the case that anything discoverable can be discovered by science?

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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Quote: I was going to say

Quote:
I was going to say Champaign, which Fra Dom Perrignon discovered by accident when the weather caused the sacramental wine to stop fermenting, then start up again later thus producing the bubbles.

Dom Perignon did not discover champagne, he did create better ways to produce it though. 

The method of creating sparkling wine was imported to France. The french required stronger (english) bottles to be able to deal with the extra pressure generated by the bubbles. The inventer of sparkling wine is still not without dispute.

I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.


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Questions like these

Questions like these (especially on this board) are like a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest - the express lane to failure.

In reality, what you're asking for is some sort of empirical proof of the allegedly non-empirical. Scientific explanations cannot be offered for the physically immeasurable. It's like asking someone how much music they have on their hard drive, and when they say "10 gigs", you say "No no! None of this gigabite nonsense! How many gallons of mp3's do you have?" Which is absurd, because mp3's don't take up physical volume. And I'll go ahead and preemptively say that yes, I do understand that electronic data can be empirically, materially measured, and that no, I'm not equating the supernatural with electronic data. I'm simply trying to illustrate a point: there are different ways of measuring different things; you don't physically measure the supernatural, therefore it is speculation from a strictly scientific standpoint, and if you ask some folks on here, a jailable (possibly executable) offense at worst.


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jmm wrote:Questions like

jmm wrote:

Questions like these (especially on this board) are like a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest - the express lane to failure.

In reality, what you're asking for is some sort of empirical proof of the allegedly non-empirical. Scientific explanations cannot be offered for the physically immeasurable. It's like asking someone how much music they have on their hard drive, and when they say "10 gigs", you say "No no! None of this gigabite nonsense! How many gallons of mp3's do you have?" Which is absurd, because mp3's don't take up physical volume. And I'll go ahead and preemptively say that yes, I do understand that electronic data can be empirically, materially measured, and that no, I'm not equating the supernatural with electronic data. I'm simply trying to illustrate a point: there are different ways of measuring different things; you don't physically measure the supernatural, therefore it is speculation from a strictly scientific standpoint, and if you ask some folks on here, a jailable (possibly executable) offense at worst.

You're right - they are very silly questions.

Here's a question for any rational responder - provide me with measureable proof about how much you love your mother / father / boyfriend / girlfriend / husband / wife / son / daughter / dog / cat or whatever. 

Provide me with "measureable" proof. 

Is the love for your father 9 yards, but your mother is 11 yards.??

Iis the love for your brother 6.5 pints, but your sister is only 89 centimetres. 

 How about your emotions - what's denser - pity or love..??

What is more aerodynamic - envy or rage..??

Have fun with your responses - and don't forget to give me scientific, measureable proof in your response..!!


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jmm, I'm afraid you've

jmm, I'm afraid you've invalidated your own argument in the same post that you make it... again.

Quote:
I do understand that electronic data can be empirically, materially measured, and that no, I'm not equating the supernatural with electronic data.

Precisely! And this is why your argument fails.

You cannot equate supernatural with natural because you cannot define supernatural, and an equation must have defined variables.

Without a definition, you cannot comprehend it.

Without comprehending it, you cannot say anything about it.

Therefore, anything that is spoken about the supernatural is a contradiction, and due to the law of noncontradiction, FALSE.

Now, if I may step off of the high horse for just a second:

To address the question more directly, theists often suggest that religion offers them this or that benefit. What crimson, and others are trying to get you to demonstrate, is that there is something religion offers that is not stolen from naturalism.

Consolation? That happens for both atheists and theists.

Hope? Atheists have quite a bit.

Community? Have you noticed that most of us at RRS like each other, and have made friendships? Most of my friends in the non-electronic world are atheists.

Morality? Please... don't go there. Of course atheists can comprehend and reason their own morals -- and, I might add, they do a better job of it than theists, statistically. (I covered this in another post. Will link it if I have to, but I'd like to keep from getting sidetracked.)

Altruism? Puh-lease....

So... if religion steals everything it has from nature, what evidence is this of the supernatural at work?

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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jmm wrote: Which is absurd,

jmm wrote:
Which is absurd, because mp3's don't take up physical volume.

Well, they do take up volume... You can only store so much information is so much volume with so much mass.
Quote:
you don't physically measure the supernatural,

Would the supernatural have any effects on the natural?

Broncosfan wrote:

Here's a question for any rational responder - provide me with measureable proof about how much you love your mother / father / boyfriend / girlfriend / husband / wife / son / daughter / dog / cat or whatever.

Provide me with "measureable" proof.

Is the love for your father 9 yards, but your mother is 11 yards.??

Is the love for your brother 6.5 pints, but your sister is only 89 centimetres.

How about your emotions - what's denser - pity or love..??

What is more aerodynamic - envy or rage..??

Have fun with your responses - and don't forget to give me scientific, measureable proof in your response..!!


It looks like to me that you are saying "you can't scientifically measure the color blue because you can't measure it in liters", which is absurd.

"What right have you to condemn a murderer if you assume him necessary to "God's plan"? What logic can command the return of stolen property, or the branding of a thief, if the Almighty decreed it?"
-- The Economic Tendency of Freethought


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Quote:

Quote:
Here's a question for any rational responder - provide me with measureable proof about how much you love your mother / father / boyfriend / girlfriend / husband / wife / son / daughter / dog / cat or whatever.

I shall answer the silly with the accurate.

I have two cats. They are called Ash and Fat Cat, respectively. Every day, I feed them. Not just any old {edit: dangit... forgot it was KeWK.  Edited out curse word.} SPAM on a shingle , either. I feed them some of the most expensive cat food around. You see, Fat Cat has bad problems with hairballs, and while the inconvenience of having to get a paper towel and clean up a hairball every couple of days is minor, the discomfort he feels is major, so I pay almost double the price to feed him -- so he will be more comfortable. I play with them both daily. I brush them both daily. I let them dig their claws into my legs while they're sitting on my lap, even though it hurts me, because it feels good to them. I have spent more on their vet bills than my doctor bills since I got them.

Now, may I preempt you before this gets even more silly?

Theist: But that's not a measure. It's just anecdotal evidence. I want a measurement.

Atheist: Ah, but you misunderstand the word measure. You're making a fallacy of equivocation. In the study of language, every word must have a referrent, but not every word must have a specific kind of referrent. Some words refer to abstract concepts that we cannot feel, or touch, and yet, they have an identity -- that is, a description of what they are.

In this case, the question was "provide me with measurable proof that you love your cat."

Without conflating this into logical terms, the colloquial meaning of this is: "Demonstrate that your actions are consistent with our agreed upon cultural definition of love with regards to your cats." I have done this. I have given you empirical data that is consistent with the concept of love that you and I share based on our cultural experience. While it is not a "gram" of love, since this is nonsensical, it is, nevertheless, a verifiable measure of the thing. You could, if you liked, check my cabinet to see if I have the food I mentioned. You could see that the cat's dish is full, and that they have water. You could feel their coat to verify that they've been brushed recently, etc...

Now, to speak of measuring the supernatural, what you call "intangibles" is to make an error of equivocation, which could be articulated like this:

"Since 'consolation' cannot be measured in physical units, it is immeasurable."

This is false, since consolation can be measured in non-physical units, as in "That poor man. His father died, and since they lived alone together, there was no consolation to be given."

Clearly, we can delineate between a man who has no one to offer words of consolation, and someone who has a large group around him.

Next objection:

Theist: But, that doesn't measure the actual consolation he feels, just the number of people that tried to evoke that feeling within him.

Atheist: Again, you make a fallacy of equivocation. In psychology, there are scales to measure the so-called "immeasurable." One of the most common of these is known as the Wong-Baker Pain scale, which goes from one to five, and provides a relative measure of pain, from "no hurt" to "the worst hurt I've ever felt." This pain can be applied to both physical and psychological pain. In the same way, relief can be measured. If a patient in pain says that they are at a pain level of 4, and a pill takes them to a 2, it is unnecessary to give an exact quantity of pain. It is enough to know that there has been a relative decrease. The same could be said for psychological pain. If a person is in the worst mental anguish of their life, and several people offer kind words, and then they are experiencing less mental pain, then there has been a quantifiable change in the subjective emotion of mental pain.

 

To recap:

* The supernatural is unquantifiable because it is indescribable. Any attempt to describe the supernatural is a contradiction, and therefore false.

* The natural is not always quantifiable in physical units, but we have the capacity to quantify abstract concepts into relative terms that have meaning based on agreed cultural conceptions.

* The things you mention as intangible or immeasurable are only intangible and immeasurable according to certain standards, whereas the supernatural is immeasurable by any standards, so the analogy you have provided is a false one.

Next theist objection:

Theist: But how do I know that you love your cats. There is the possibility that some rich benefactor is paying you a billion dollars to keep his cats, and you are simply acting out of greed. Since I cannot know for certain, my original statement stands. Love cannot be measured.

Atheist: Again, you make the fallacy of equivocation, and you underestimate the power of science, to boot.

If I tell you I love my cats, and you see that they constantly want to sit on my lap, and they purr when I pet them, and I smile and look contented, you see overwhelming empirical evidence that my statement is true. I have not given you a "logical proof," but that's not what you asked for. I could give you a proof, but it would contain probability statements. This is known as probabilistic logic, and it deals with things that are too complex, or conceptually unsuited for basic syllogism.

Furthermore, the following experiment could be run:

I feel love for my cats. I am certain of this because I am experiencing the emotion first hand. I can go to a scientist, and have him wire me up to his gizmos. I would play with my cats until I experience the emotion in question. The scientist can then quantify the exact physiological responses that happened in my body when I felt love.

The scientist could then watch me interact with other cats, or other people, and when I displayed the same physiological signs, he could accurately guess that I also love the person or cat with which I am interacting. If I concur that I do, in fact love that person, based on my first hand empirical observation of my own feelings, then the scientist's findings are validated. If he runs this test with a thousand subjects, and has a 90% correlation, then there's good science behind quantifying love.

If you feel like it, I'll leave the next silly objection to you.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
Here's a question for any rational responder - provide me with measureable proof about how much you love your mother / father / boyfriend / girlfriend / husband / wife / son / daughter / dog / cat or whatever.

I shall answer the silly with the accurate.

I have two cats. They are called Ash and Fat Cat, respectively. Every day, I feed them. Not just any old {edit: dangit... forgot it was KeWK.  Edited out curse word.} SPAM on a shingle , either. I feed them some of the most expensive cat food around. You see, Fat Cat has bad problems with hairballs, and while the inconvenience of having to get a paper towel and clean up a hairball every couple of days is minor, the discomfort he feels is major, so I pay almost double the price to feed him -- so he will be more comfortable. I play with them both daily. I brush them both daily. I let them dig their claws into my legs while they're sitting on my lap, even though it hurts me, because it feels good to them. I have spent more on their vet bills than my doctor bills since I got them.

Now, may I preempt you before this gets even more silly?

Theist: But that's not a measure. It's just anecdotal evidence. I want a measurement.

Atheist: Ah, but you misunderstand the word measure. You're making a fallacy of equivocation. In the study of language, every word must have a referrent, but not every word must have a specific kind of referrent. Some words refer to abstract concepts that we cannot feel, or touch, and yet, they have an identity -- that is, a description of what they are.

In this case, the question was "provide me with measurable proof that you love your cat."

Without conflating this into logical terms, the colloquial meaning of this is: "Demonstrate that your actions are consistent with our agreed upon cultural definition of love with regards to your cats." I have done this. I have given you empirical data that is consistent with the concept of love that you and I share based on our cultural experience. While it is not a "gram" of love, since this is nonsensical, it is, nevertheless, a verifiable measure of the thing. You could, if you liked, check my cabinet to see if I have the food I mentioned. You could see that the cat's dish is full, and that they have water. You could feel their coat to verify that they've been brushed recently, etc...

Now, to speak of measuring the supernatural, what you call "intangibles" is to make an error of equivocation, which could be articulated like this:

"Since 'consolation' cannot be measured in physical units, it is immeasurable."

This is false, since consolation can be measured in non-physical units, as in "That poor man. His father died, and since they lived alone together, there was no consolation to be given."

Clearly, we can delineate between a man who has no one to offer words of consolation, and someone who has a large group around him.

Next objection:

Theist: But, that doesn't measure the actual consolation he feels, just the number of people that tried to evoke that feeling within him.

Atheist: Again, you make a fallacy of equivocation. In psychology, there are scales to measure the so-called "immeasurable." One of the most common of these is known as the Wong-Baker Pain scale, which goes from one to five, and provides a relative measure of pain, from "no hurt" to "the worst hurt I've ever felt." This pain can be applied to both physical and psychological pain. In the same way, relief can be measured. If a patient in pain says that they are at a pain level of 4, and a pill takes them to a 2, it is unnecessary to give an exact quantity of pain. It is enough to know that there has been a relative decrease. The same could be said for psychological pain. If a person is in the worst mental anguish of their life, and several people offer kind words, and then they are experiencing less mental pain, then there has been a quantifiable change in the subjective emotion of mental pain.

 

To recap:

* The supernatural is unquantifiable because it is indescribable. Any attempt to describe the supernatural is a contradiction, and therefore false.

* The natural is not always quantifiable in physical units, but we have the capacity to quantify abstract concepts into relative terms that have meaning based on agreed cultural conceptions.

* The things you mention as intangible or immeasurable are only intangible and immeasurable according to certain standards, whereas the supernatural is immeasurable by any standards, so the analogy you have provided is a false one.

Next theist objection:

Theist: But how do I know that you love your cats. There is the possibility that some rich benefactor is paying you a billion dollars to keep his cats, and you are simply acting out of greed. Since I cannot know for certain, my original statement stands. Love cannot be measured.

Atheist: Again, you make the fallacy of equivocation, and you underestimate the power of science, to boot.

If I tell you I love my cats, and you see that they constantly want to sit on my lap, and they purr when I pet them, and I smile and look contented, you see overwhelming empirical evidence that my statement is true. I have not given you a "logical proof," but that's not what you asked for. I could give you a proof, but it would contain probability statements. This is known as probabilistic logic, and it deals with things that are too complex, or conceptually unsuited for basic syllogism.

Furthermore, the following experiment could be run:

I feel love for my cats. I am certain of this because I am experiencing the emotion first hand. I can go to a scientist, and have him wire me up to his gizmos. I would play with my cats until I experience the emotion in question. The scientist can then quantify the exact physiological responses that happened in my body when I felt love.

The scientist could then watch me interact with other cats, or other people, and when I displayed the same physiological signs, he could accurately guess that I also love the person or cat with which I am interacting. If I concur that I do, in fact love that person, based on my first hand empirical observation of my own feelings, then the scientist's findings are validated. If he runs this test with a thousand subjects, and has a 90% correlation, then there's good science behind quantifying love.

If you feel like it, I'll leave the next silly objection to you.

 

 

Your post has "proven" that you have very strong feelings for your cats, but you may only really, really, really, really like them alot. Your feelings may fall just short of love.

And no scientist nor no scientific apparatus can distinguish between love and really, really, really, really like. Your example about the cats sitting on your lap and you're wired up might "prove" that you're feeling something, but it doesn't prove that what you're feeling is love..!

But the above is just my opinion.

 So my challenge to you is a very, very simple one - do a google search and then come back to me with a CREDIBLE link that specifically addresses the scientific "proof" / evidence you referred to in your response.

Looking forward to your response.

 


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Quote: Your post has

Quote:
Your post has "proven" that you have very strong feelings for your cats, but you may only really, really, really, really like them alot. Your feelings may fall just short of love.

I need a macro to type the following:

Again, you make the error of equivocation. You're assuming that your conception of a word (complete with its multiple, sometimes conflicting definitions) is equivalent to the word a scientist/logician would use.

I have no idea what your conception of love is, but if an experiment was going to be done, you better believe a scientist would have a solid definition before he started.

Quote:
And no scientist nor no scientific apparatus can distinguish between love and really, really, really, really like. Your example about the cats sitting on your lap and you're wired up might "prove" that you're feeling something, but it doesn't prove that what you're feeling is love..!

If we don't define them, no they couldn't. But in science, we define things.

Quote:
So my challenge to you is a very, very simple one - do a google search and then come back to me with a CREDIBLE link that specifically addresses the scientific "proof" / evidence you referred to in your response.

I hate to say it, but you don't even know the question you're asking.

For one thing, I doubt that there's been much science devoted to distinguishing between "love" and "like like" since there's no consensus between such noted authorities as high school sweethearts and disheartened triple divorcees.

For another, you seem to be confusing a person's ability to confuse terms like "like" and "love" with scientists' ability to measure physiological and neurological changes.

Here's the thing. Do you know why I love my cats? Because I think I do. Since there's no culturally agreed upon definition of love, I'm quite free to have my own, and I am aware of my own feelings, so it's quite clear when I feel it, since I have my own concept.

Lastly, you seem to be implying that if science hasn't quantified a thing, it can't. Again, I suspect that there's very little scientific interest in quantifying love because you could probably come up with 100 definitions simply by interviewing 100 people.

Does this mean love is "unquantifiable?"

No. It means that the word is so culturally convoluted that it doesn't have a single meaning worth quantifying.

Your basic error is that you've confused colloquial and scientific definitions. In day to day talk, it's fine to say that you can't measure love, but the literal meaning of this is:

"Love is an internal feeling, and as such, we can't 'show you' a box of how much love we have." In other words, we can't have a gram of love. I've already explained the error inherent in this statement in a previous post.

The sciences that can deal with love in the most meaningful way are psychology and neurology. Psychology can attempt to create definitions that are broad enough to include the majority of people, and then neurologists can measure brain activity in people who are experiencing feelings that fall within these parameters.

Anyway, just to prove that there are people working on this, I'm going to wade through the ten thousand entries on "how to hypnotize girls to fall in love with you" to find some of the neurology journal stuff dealing with love. It's going to take a while, and you better read it, or I'll never do your research for you again!

Eye-wink

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Geez. I want you to really

Geez. I want you to really appreciate the depth of my devotion to your question. This research sucks. I can't find online any excerpts of the books I've read...

Anyway, I haven't read this book, but I'm seeing it all over the place...

http://www.rsc.org/Education/EiC/issues/2007May/LoveChemically.asp

Also, check out The Mating Mind:

http://www.amazon.com/Mating-Mind-Sexual-Choice-Evolution/dp/038549517X

I've read this one. It is a very good explanation of the evolutionary origins of sexual selection...

Other options:

http://www.amazon.com/Evolution-Desire-Strategies-Human-Mating/dp/046500802X/ref=pd_sim_b_1/002-5492366-8756845

http://www.amazon.com/Red-Queen-Evolution-Human-Nature/dp/0060556579/ref=pd_sim_b_1/002-5492366-8756845

Granted, most of these deal with the chemical and neurological nature of sexual attraction, and how it developed...

If you're interested in more platonic love, you could check this out:

ew theories in the history of science have revolutionized an entire field as Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection has done for biology. Natural selection is the process by which an environment affects the genetic composition of a population over many generations. First, genetic mutations within the individuals of a population arise through errors in DNA replication. Some fraction of these mutations will lead to measurable differences in the traits comprising the affected individual. Those traits that increase their host’s reproductive success will ensure their greater representation in successive generations, thus slowly eliminating those traits that are less able to aid in an individual’s ability to reproduce. As generations pass, this process can significantly alter the relative proportion of traits within a population, causing the population to become more adapted for a particular environment. Despite the overwhelming success Darwin’s theory has had in explaining a wide variety of natural phenomena, great debate continues over the theory’s application in explaining the evolution of an aspect of animal behavior known as altruism.

Altruism is the deliberate sacrifice of a portion of an individual’s reproductive capacity in order to increase that of another. This reproductive capacity is more often described as an individual’s genetic fitness, and is precisely defined as the contribution an individual makes to the gene pool of succeeding generations relative to the contributions of other individuals within a population. Thus, an altruist is defined as an individual who decreases his own genetic fitness to increase the fitness of another. The concept of altruism is best understood through example: an African wild dog voluntarily “babysitting” the pups of a pack, while the pack’s hunters search for food ; a bird giving an alarm call to warn others of an approaching hawk, and thus drawing attention to itself in the process ; a man jumping into a swimming pool to save a drowning stranger. While these acts obviously require different levels of sacrifice on the part of the altruist, on average we can expect all of them to decrease his number of expected offspring.

This is where the paradox of altruism arises. If, by definition, altruism reduces an individual’s fitness, we should expect Darwin’s natural selection to select against the altruistic trait and eventually reduce its representation within a population to zero. Even if a population existed that contained only altruists from the beginning, it would be vulnerable to subversion from within, whereby a single, mutant selfish individual could exploit the altruistic tendencies of his neighbors and eventually drive the altruistic trait to extinction.

Although the problem of altruism was largely ignored by early evolutionary theory, over the past several decades it has risen to become a central issue in the debate over the level at which natural selection operates - whether that be the level of the gene, individual, kin group, or even an entire population. Numerous theories have been proposed to explain this phenomenon, several of which are discussed bellow.




Group Selection

The first mechanism by which altruism can evolve does so under the process of group selection (see note). The following model of E.O. Wilson’s is a good example. Consider a population of N individuals. Within this population, their exists two types of individuals: an altruistic type (A) and a selfish type (S) who exist in proportions p and (1-p) respectively. Due to the altruistic nature of A-type individuals, each member of the population will experience an increase in offspring equal to the product of a value b (a measure of relative offspring gain) and the proportion of the population’s “total available altruism” that the member will benefit from. For S-types, this value will equal b* [Np / (N-1)], while for A-types it will equal b* [Np-1 / (N-1)], the difference reflecting the fact that altruists cannot benefit from their own altruism. If we then assign values to c (A-types’ decrease in offspring due to their altruism) and X (the number of offspring each individual can expect in the absence of altruism), we can then express the average offspring expected, W, of each type in the presence of altruistic behavior.


Since b and c are always positive, and N is always greater than 1, we can immediately see that selfish individuals will always have more offspring within a given population than altruistic individuals. A specific numerical example is shown below using a hypothetical population of 100 individuals in which half are altruistic and half are selfish. N’ is equal to the total number of individuals in the next generation and p’ is the proportion of A-type individuals in the next generation.


In this example, we can see how the total percentage of altruistic individuals will decrease after one generation from 50% to 48%. Iterating this same mathematical procedure over many generations, we can see how the percentage of altruistic individuals within this population will soon become very small. If the population is near its carrying capacity and is at steady state, this example suggests that the altruistic trait within this population will disappear altogether. This is merely a mathematical model to describe the apparent paradox discussed above - how can altruism possibly evolve if nature always selects against it?

This paradox can be resolved with a slight modification of our model. In this case, we have two independent groups of equal size, differing only in their relative proportions of altruistic and selfish individuals. This example is shown here, using the same values for X, b, and c.


Although the proportion of altruistic individuals declines in each group when taken separately, if both groups are examined together, their overall proportion actually increases. This counterintuitive result arises from the condition that the group with the greater number of altruists is also the most productive. Thus, as long as a population contains multiple groups with differing proportions of altruistic and selfish individuals, and the groups occasionally mixed for reproductive purposes, the total proportion of altruists could increase indefinitely. Despite this model which demonstrates how an altruistic trait could increase its representation if already established, group selection theories fail to address the issue of how such a trait could arise in the first place. For this, we must turn our attention to another mode of selection.




Kin Selection

One of the great problems of Darwin’s theory of evolution was its apparent inability to explain the development of sterile worker castes among the social insects. How could such a caste evolve if its members could leave no offspring to propagate the sterile worker traits? This problem was overcome by invoking a special category of natural selection known as kin selection. The basic premise of kin selection is as follows: An individual can maximize the representation of his genes in succeeding generations by either increasing his own personal genetic fitness or by increasing the fitness of his relatives, as relatives are likely to share a great number of his genes. To fully understand kin selection, it is first necessary to introduce the terms relatedness and inclusive fitness. The degree of relatedness between two individuals is simply the fraction of genes they are likely to share due to common ancestry. For example, the relatedness between a parent and child is ½ since a child will inherit half of his genes from each parent. The relatedness between two siblings is also ½, between a grandparent and grandchild is ¼, and between first cousins is 1/8. Inclusive fitness is then defined as “the sum of an individual’s own fitness plus the sum of all the effects it causes to the related parts of the fitnesses of all its relatives” (Wilson, 1980). Thus, although a sterile insect may have a zero personal fitness, its inclusive fitness can actually be quite high if it devotes its life to providing for its relatives.

One can then use the ideas of relatedness and inclusive fitness to determine when altruism between kin might arise in nature. For example, suppose you are a blackbird who suddenly notices the approach of a hawk. If you give off a warning call to your neighbors, even if the call alerts the hawk of your location and you eventually perish, your waning could save a reasonable number of close relatives in the surrounding area. Therefore, the gene (or set of genes) encoding for the alarm call trait could still be successful under the pressures of natural selection since your inclusive fitness would be greater than that of individuals who do not warn relatives of approaching predators. But what exactly is meant by a “reasonable” number of close relatives?

W.D. Hamilton solved for this mathematically, deriving what is now known as Hamilton’s rule. Hamilton’s rule states that in order for altruism to occur between two individuals, the condition k>(1/r) must be met when k is the ratio of the relative’s gain in fitness to the altruist’s loss of fitness, and r is the degree of relatedness. In the case of two brothers, one brother will give his life for the other, if that sacrifice will more than double the representation of the other’s genes in the next generation (since r=½). This rule can also be applied to situations involving more than two individuals such that an individual will also give his life to save the lives of two of his brothers, four of his grandchildren (r=¼), or eight of his first cousins (r=1/8). These are extreme cases where the altruist’s personal fitness is reduced to zero (by death), but Hamilton’s rule still holds true for more subtle cases of altruism.

To better understand, let’s take a look at the following example. You are a rabbit searching for food in the woods when you come upon 9 carrots. Let’s suppose that you can only eat 4 carrots, and that each carrot consumed gives the consumer an arbitrary payoff of 2 units. If you keep the discovery secret and consume the carrots alone, your total payoff will be 4*2=8 units. However, if in the vicinity are your brother and your brother’s friend (no relation to you) and you call them over to share in your discovery, now the carrots will be split evenly among all three. Now the total inclusive payoff to your genes will be (3*2)(1) + (3*2)(½) + (3*2)(0) = 9 units. Despite your apparent loss of one carrot, and a non-relative’s gain of 3 carrots, in this particular case, it will still benefit your genes to give the food call and share your find.

One might be tempted to ask, how is it that a rabbit can either determine the complex kin relationships between other neighboring rabbits, or perform the necessary mathematical calculations to determine whether it should or should not behave altruistically in a given situation? The obvious answer is that it can’t. Genes are not clairvoyant and cannot necessarily detect copies of themselves in other individuals. However, they can be programmed to act favorably to other individuals who are more likely to contain copies of those same genes. There are multiple ways by which this can be accomplished. The first is known as the “green beard effect” as coined by Richard Dawkins. If a gene arose in a population that both gave individuals a conspicuous physical trait (such as a green beard) and a tendency to act favorably to others with that same trait, mutual altruism between green bearded individuals could evolve. In this particular case, one can see that it is not necessary for individuals to determine whether their identical genes are due to common descent or simply coincidental random mutation, as such a distinction would be a waste of time from the altruistic gene’s point of view. Although the green beard effect is a theoretical possibility, even Dawkins admits it is somewhat unlikely that a single gene will produce both a very distinguishable trait (such as a green beard) and altruistic tendencies.
Another way by which individuals are more likely to act altruistically to others who were genetically similar is by associating familiarity with kinship. Mothers can certainly know the exact relationships to their children, but siblings can infer the relationships amongst themselves also, since individuals who are raised together are more likely to be kin than non-kin. Related to this method of kin recognition is one dependent on similar location between individuals. For instance, if you are a member of a population that does not move around much, it is likely that many of your neighbors are also kin. Thus, a gene encoding for altruism could act not necessarily on kin, but rather more indiscriminately on any of your close neighbors. This kind of mechanism can be used to explain altruism within troops of monkeys and pods of whales, since any two members in these groups are likely to be highly related.

Although these approximate forms of kin recognition are likely to be the prime forces in kin selection, it should not be ignored that studies have shown that in certain cases closer relatives are sometimes treated preferentially over non-relatives, independent of other environmental factors such as proximity. An explanation of this phenomenon is not yet clear.



Reciprocal Altruism

Although kin selection provides a powerful explanation of altruism in much of the natural world, there are occasions (particularly in higher mammals) where this form of selection fails to explain altruism occurring between two unrelated individuals. To understand these situations, Robert Trivers has introduced the idea of reciprocal altruism. Reciprocal altruism is the process by which one individual will commit an altruistic act towards another in exchange for the second individual returning the altruistic favor at some later time. The end result of this exchange leaves both with an increased personal fitness.

Let’s suppose a man is drowning, and an unrelated woman from nearby jumps in to rescue him. If not helped, the man has a ½ chance of drowning, as opposed to the woman who has a 1/20 chance of drowning if she attempts to save him. One might be inclined to conclude that she will never attempt a rescue, since the immediate effect would be a decrease in both her personal fitness and her inclusive fitness (since the man is not a relative). However, if at some later point in time the woman is drowning, and the man is nearby, he might be inclined to rescue her in return for her original help at the same personal risk (1/20) that the woman experienced when she saved him. We can now see that both people have exchanged a ½ chance of death for a 1/20 chance. Thus, a population full of altruistic individuals who enter into a series of reciprocal exchanges will increase their total genetic fitness as compared to competing population devoid of such altruism.

A problem with this idea arises however, when one asks why does the man in our above example bother to reciprocate? If his life has already been saved, what reason does he heave afterwards to continue to risk it unnecessarily? In human societies, this answer is simple - the cheater will be punished by both the individual he failed to reciprocate with and also be the greater society. The cheater will experience a greater decrease in fitness due to cheating than he would by reciprocating, and natural selection will select against him. However, in most species, the level of recognition and memory required for this type of selection is not possible, and this is the main reason reciprocal altruism is relatively infrequent in the natural world as compared to altruism due to kin selection.




Alarm Calling

Perhaps the most discussed example of altruistic behavior in animals is that dealing with alarm calls. As a predator approaches an area occupied by more than one individual of a prey species, the individual who first detects the predator may give an alarm call to alert its neighbors, drawing attention to itself in the process. As drawing attention to oneself in this situation is obviously disadvantageous, an explanation for this phenomenon has been actively sought. P.W. Sherman hypothesizes that any given alarm call may have one (or a combination of several) of the following six functions:

1. The alarm call may cause the caller’s neighbors to either aggregate or act nervously, thus actually drawing attention away from the caller.
2. The call may discourage prey from a pursuit by alerting it that it has been spotted and has lost the element of surprise.
3. Alarm calling might reduce the probability of later attacks by the same predator, if a predator is more likely to hunt a particular species of prey that has given it success previously.
4. An individual might give an alarm call if those benefited are likely to return the favor in a form a reciprocal altruism.
5. Alarm calling might evolve if prey populations consisted of multiple groups with differing proportions of individual with alarm calling tendencies as a result of group selection. (Similar to the previously discussed example.)
6. Although a caller jeopardizes its own life in the face of immediate danger, if its neighbors consist of relatives, the call may aid in their escape, thus increasing the caller’s inclusive fitness.

We can immediately conclude that theoretical functions 1, 2, and 3 would not classify as altruism because the caller would also benefits from the action. Although function 4 may sound reasonable, Trivers raises several objections to this possibility. First, it is difficult to see how a group of individuals would identify and discriminate against a single non-reciprocating “cheater”. Second, no evidence has been found to support the idea that animals in the wild refrain from sounding alarm calls because their neighbors fail to reciprocate. Function 5 is nearly identical to the mathematical model of group selection discussed above. This leaves function 6 to examine more in depth.

  Sherman has shown kin selection to be a powerful force in the evolution of altruism in Belding’s ground squirrels. After studying a population of approximately 1100 individual squirrels over 3000 hours of observation, Sherman found that female squirrels who were currently in their reproductive years were both more likely to give an alarm call than would be predicted by chance alone, and more likely to give an alarm call than a control group of non-reproductive females. Although no significant disagreement was found between reproductive and non-reproductive males, Sherman argues that this is merely the result of both the matrilineal kin structure of Belding’s ground squirrels and the observation that the female is the more parental sex in this species.

Food Sharing

As best put by E.O. Wilson, “Other than suicide, no behavior is clearly more altruistic than the surrender of food.” Yet this form of altruistic behavior occurs frequently in a wide variety of animal species. Both gibbons and chimpanzees have been observed to offer food to others after solicitation, and African wild dogs are known to carry fresh meat back to the “babysitter” of their cubs after a successful hunt. One of the most well documented studies of food sharing however was done by Gerald Wilkinson on the vampire bat. Vampire bats feed on blood, and although a single bat will not always be successful in finding prey on any given night, if it does, its payoff will be big, and often bats will suck up a surplus of blood. Upon the bats’ return to the group, it is often seen that the successful hunters will regurgitate blood for the consumption of their less fortunate neighbors. While this sharing of food is often between relatives (usually a mother and child), there are numerous occasions when the two individuals involved in the exchange are not related. Wilkinson hypothesized that such generosity could be the result of reciprocal altruism if the following three conditions were met:

1. Contact between members of a group of bats must be long enough to ensure many such exchanges
2. The gain of receiving aid must be greater than the cost of donating.
3. Altruistic donors must be able to recognize those bats that had previously failed to reciprocate, and refuse to feed them.
The first and second conditions were shown to be true from simple observation of wild bat populations. Wilkinson demonstrated that the third condition was also met. He selectively removed certain bats from the population and starved them. When the bats returned, the population was significantly more likely to feed these bats (who had likely shared food with them in the past) than they were with a control group of starved bats who were introduced to the population despite no previous contact with them. One can therefore conclude that food sharing in vampire bats is at least partly the result of reciprocal altruism.


Altruism in Humans

It is only logical that one might now be inclined to take these theories of altruism and apply them to our own species, especially considering that man is the most altruistic animal of all. Altruism pervades every aspect of our society, whether in the form of food sharing, helping the sick, gift giving, or even the sharing of knowledge through education. The use of money may even be seen as the prime example of reciprocal altruism in modern man, as money itself has no intrinsic value other than the assurance that another person will trade valuable goods for it at some point in the future.

It is easy to see how altruism in man could have evolved through kin selection. Bands of early hunter- gatherers during prehistory were almost certainly composed mainly of close kin. Also, through language and an increased mental capacity, early man had a much greater ability than other primates at not only recognizing kin, but also at distinguishing between subtle differences in degrees of relatedness. As evidence of the operation of altruism by kin selection, J. Rushton has showed that humans are more likely to favor not only those they definitely recognize as kin, but also those with whom they share genetic traits. Through a series of extensive studies, he demonstrated that on average there was greater genetic similarity between friends then between strangers, and he also made the remarkable discovery that sexually interacting couples were more likely to share similar blood markers than would be expected by chance alone. The idea that human behavior between two individuals may be governed by genetic similarity is profound, and its implications stretch far beyond a discussion of altruism.

Although there is no doubt that kin selection plays an important role in the formation of altruism in human societies, reciprocal altruism is generally more prominent. Our species easily fits the conditions for the rise of reciprocal altruism: long lasting relationships, an increased memory to distinguish reciprocators from non-reciprocators, and a method of punishing non-reciprocators. It has been hypothesized that some of man’s more complex emotions may have evolved to improve upon the system of reciprocal altruism. Gratitude and sympathy may increase one’s chances of receiving altruism by implying an increased chance of reciprocation, while guilt serves to discourage the non-reciprocator and causes him to demonstrate that he does not plan to refuse reciprocation in the future. On top of the development of emotions, Trivers even suggests that in a complicated form of coevolution, the combined selective pressures of finding subtler ways of cheating one’s neighbors and increasing one’s ability to detect such subtle cheaters may have contributed to the expansion of man’s mental capacities and led to his current state of high intellectual ability.




Conclusion

Altruism is one of the great mysteries of social behavior in animals, as it appears to contradict our understanding of natural selection. Even one hundred years after the birth of Darwinism, scientists are still continuing to debate the causes and effects of altruistic behavior. Whether the mathematical models of group selection, the instinctive qualities of kin selection, or the trusting attributes of reciprocal altruism, are the prime explanations of the development of this behavior is still largely unknown. In the end, it will probably be found that it is the combination of all three possibilities that plays a significant role in the natural world.



*Note: I have chosen to use the controversial and often misunderstood term “group selection” here for simplicity to refer to any process of selection which operates at a level above that of the kin group. A more precise term to describe the following hypothetical mechanism of evolution of altruism would be interdemic selection, which is also sometimes referred to as interpopulation selection. For further clarification of this distinction, see J. Maynard Smith’s 1975 paper “Group Selection” in the Quarterly Review of Biology and E.O. Wilson’s textbook, Sociobiology.

References:

Begon, M, Harper, JL, Townsend, CR. Ecology. 1996.
Barlow, C. From Gaia to Selfish Genes. 1997.
Dawkins, R. The Selfish Gene. 1989.
Hamilton, WD. “The genetic evolution of social behavior (I&II)”. Journal of Theoretical Biology. 1964, 7:1-52.
Maynard Smith, J. “The theory of games and the evolution of animal conflict”. Journal of Theoretical Biology. 1974. 47:209-221.
Maynard Smith, J. “Group Selection”. The Quarterly Review of Biology. 1975. 51:277-283.
Rushton, JP. “Genetic similarity, human altruism, and group selection”. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 1989. 12:503-518.
Sherman, PW. “Nepotism and the Evolution of Alarm Calls”. Science. 1977. 197:1246-1253.
Simon, HA. “A mechanism for social selection and successful altruism”. Science. 1990. 250:1665-1668.
Trivers, RL. “The evolution of reciprocal altruism”. The Quarterly Review of Biology. 1971. 46:35-55.
Wilkinson, GS. “Reciprocal food sharing in the vampire bat”. Nature. 1984. 308:181-184.
Wilson, DS. “Levels of Selection: An alternative to individualism in biology and the human sciences.” Social Networks. 1989. 11:257-272.
Wilson, EO. Sociobiology. 1980.

 

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Hambydammit
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Sorry to overwhelm you with

Sorry to overwhelm you with posts, but I need to add a footnote to all of that info.

I'm sure if you read all of that, you're going to come away wondering why there's such a clinical distance in it all.  That's science.  It does its best to remove itself from the "feelings" and "intangible nothingnesses" that people love to talk about, and tries to find out what's going on at the root.

You want to know about quantifying love?  Well, it's been done, but you're not going to like the answers because they're not fuzzy.  They're about chemicals, and probability matrices and sexual selection based on things like symmetry and pheromones.

I can't help you with your colloquial question of how wide you can spread your arms when you talk to your little kids and tell them how much you love them.  That's a cultural thing, and full of linguistic vagueries.

If you want to know what love is, scientifically, check out all that stuff I posted, and you'll have a much more clinical idea.   I'm not saying that you should give up speaking in warm fuzzies.  I'm just saying that if you're going to demand quantification, you're going to have to live with the results of it.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Broncosfan wrote:

Broncosfan wrote:
evil religion wrote:
wavefreak wrote:
CrimsonEdge wrote:

I've seen many theists on this site suggest that there are things that science can not prove or disprove. So, in search of knowledge, I propose a challenge for theists.

Make a list of things that religion, in it's complete conception, has discovered and how science could not do such a thing.

Less facetiously, religion, in it's complete conception, has discovered the path to immortality.

Has it? Where are these imortals? I've never met one. I'm fairly certain that if any religion had discovered this they would have paraded their imortals infront of us, you know put them on TV it woudl be great PR.

I'd like to change the question slightly. I would like you to name a single fact that has been discovered about the world by religion. I don't even want you to show that science can't do it. If religion is such a great way of learning about the world list its discoveries. It should not be hard I could rattle off hundreds of discoveries made by science at the drop of a hat. So surely you should be able to the same? Thats only fair isn't it?

 

I love these types of posts. My guess is that science has generated more "discoveries" than Michelangelo (art) or science has saved more lives than Charles Dickens (literature) or that science has cured more diseases than Beethoven or Bach or The Beatles (music) - so let's discard these "useless" pursuits as well.

Nice avoidance! We are not discussing art teh question was about discoveries about the world.

Quote:
Thanks, Evil Religion - I was having a tough day at the office - but once again, www.rationalresponders.com has provided me with a smile. Much appreciated - thanks..!!

I really don't know why you are smiling. You have completely dishonestly tried to change the subject and atempted to create the flimsiest strawman I have ever seen. 


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Broncosfan wrote: Here's


Broncosfan wrote:
Here's a question for any rational responder - provide me with measureable proof about how much you love your mother / father / boyfriend / girlfriend / husband / wife / son / daughter / dog / cat or whatever. Provide me with "measureable" proof.
I always sigh when I see this. It's a classic misunderstanding of what the word love means. I also love it Wink because you'll often find the same thiest saying god is love or jesus loves you.

wrote:
noun
1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
3. sexual passion or desire.
4. a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.
5. (used in direct address as a term of endearment, affection, or the like): Would you like to see a movie, love?
6. a love affair; an intensely amorous incident; amour.
7. sexual intercourse; copulation.
8. (initial capital letter) a personification of sexual affection, as Eros or Cupid.
9. affectionate concern for the well-being of others: the love of one's neighbor.
10. strong predilection, enthusiasm, or liking for anything: her love of books.
11. the object or thing so liked: The theater was her great love.
12. the benevolent affection of God for His creatures, or the reverent affection due from them to God.
13. Chiefly Tennis. a score of zero; nothing.
14. a word formerly used in communications to represent the letter L.
–verb (used with object)
15. to have love or affection for: All her pupils love her.
16. to have a profoundly tender, passionate affection for (another person).
17. to have a strong liking for; take great pleasure in: to love music.
18. to need or require; benefit greatly from: Plants love sunlight.
19. to embrace and kiss (someone), as a lover.
20. to have sexual intercourse with.
–verb (used without object)
21. to have love or affection for another person; be in love.

Therefore, there is no way that you can say that you love someone [---this much---] or [-------------this much-------------] any more so than you can say that that table is more "tabley". You cannot measure a noun therefore love is not a measurable quantity or rather it is not quantifiable. Affection is an emotion and is therefore subject to same mechanisms in the brain that produce any other emotion.  Response to another person/cat/dog will trigger these mechanisms.


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Hambydammit wrote:Sorry

Hambydammit wrote:

Sorry to overwhelm you with posts, but I need to add a footnote to all of that info.

I'm sure if you read all of that, you're going to come away wondering why there's such a clinical distance in it all.  That's science.  It does its best to remove itself from the "feelings" and "intangible nothingnesses" that people love to talk about, and tries to find out what's going on at the root.

You want to know about quantifying love?  Well, it's been done, but you're not going to like the answers because they're not fuzzy.  They're about chemicals, and probability matrices and sexual selection based on things like symmetry and pheromones.

I can't help you with your colloquial question of how wide you can spread your arms when you talk to your little kids and tell them how much you love them.  That's a cultural thing, and full of linguistic vagueries.

If you want to know what love is, scientifically, check out all that stuff I posted, and you'll have a much more clinical idea.   I'm not saying that you should give up speaking in warm fuzzies.  I'm just saying that if you're going to demand quantification, you're going to have to live with the results of it.

Firstly, thanks for your many responses - it's just a shame that you contradict yourself in so many places as to essentially render your arguments useless.

By your own admission, you state that "you could probably come up with 100 definitions simply by interviewing 100 people". But then you turn around and say "I have no idea of what your conception of love is, but if an experiment was going to be done, you better believe a scientist would have a solid definition before he started".

So whose definition is he / she using when he/ she is conducting these experiments..?  

 And if there's so many definitions, then who's to say that the definition that he's chosen to use is solid..??

You also state that the word is "so culturally convoluted "that it doesn't have a single meaning worth quantifying".

But then you turn around in another post and say "You want to know about quantifying love? Well, it's been done, but you're not going to like the answers because they're not fuzzy. 

 So if the meaning is so convoluted that it can't be quantified, then how was it quantified in order to conduct the experiments that scientifically proved this thing called love can, in fact, be measured..? 

You also refer to "cultural vagueries" - does this imply that a Greek scientist might conduct his experiments with an entirely different set of "assumptions / opinions / beliefs'' than a Chinese scientist..? Or a scientist from Iceland or wherever..??

Thanks alot for your responses - I was always under the impression that poets and songwriters and philosophers and so many others have been trying to define "love" for hundreds of years.

And the whole time, the geeks in the white lab coats had all the answers.

 Who woulda thunk..!!!


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iranu wrote: You cannot

iranu wrote:
You cannot measure a noun therefore love is not a measurable quantity or rather it is not quantifiable. Affection is an emotion and is therefore subject to same mechanisms in the brain that produce any other emotion.  Response to another person/cat/dog will trigger these mechanisms.

Here's something that I occasionally see on this site and it never fails to give me a chuckle..

This poster has stated that love is "not quantifiable" - his / her own words..!

However, HambyDammit has provided a long / seemingly well researched post that stated the the exact opposite "You want to know about quantifying love? Well, it's been done".

So we have one rational responder telling me that it can't be quantified - and yet another in the same thread is telling me that it can be quantified. We're apparently dealing with two responders here who are telling me a fact - and not an opinion. Unfortunately, the two "facts" completely contradict each other..!!

So we can't agree on something as common as "love" - something that we all acknowledge exists - something we see everyday in our lives - something we experience in our own lives (hopefully) - if we can't even get our facts straight on whether science has the ability to "measure" love or if science can even scientifically provide evidence that love even exists, then why on earth should we theists be swayed by your "scientific, rational" arguments about something that is - and has been - one of the great "mysteries" - the existence / non-existence of God..???!!

Isn't it amazing the difference sometimes between a fact and an opinion..??


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Greetings CrimsonEdge!  I

Greetings CrimsonEdge!

 I find your challenge rather intriguing, so i'll try my best to answer it and hopefully, it will be to your satisfaction.

Firstly though, i'd like to limit my answer to the Christian perspective (since I'm a Christian) and using the Bible to be a bit more specific, since its the basis of my faith.

Secondly, though the Bible is a book of faith, and NOT a book of science, it does contain details that modern science has proven to be fact.  I cannot say what religion has invented that science has not, BUT i can try to point out what the Bible has been saying all along and that science has PROVEN it to be true, or usefull for human development/survival.

 

 Astronomy - Scientists didn't really know the number of stars in the universe and only recently discovered through powerful telescopes that their numbers are truly huge.  The Bible however, frequently refers to the great number of stars in the heavens. Here are two examples.

Genesis 22:17
      Blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.

      Jeremiah 33:22
      “As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured, so will I multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.”

Even today, scientists admit that they do not know how many stars there are. Only about 3,000 can be seen with the naked eye. We have seen estimates of 1021 stars—which is a lot of stars.(The number of grains of sand on the earth’s seashores is estimated to be 1025. As scientists discover more stars, wouldn’t it be interesting to discover that these two numbers match?) 

The Bible also says that each star is unique.
     
      1 Corinthians 15:41
      There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.

All stars look alike to the naked eye.* Even when seen through a telescope, they seem to be just points of light. However, analysis of their light spectra reveals that each is unique and different from all others (*Note: We understand that people can perceive some slight difference in color and apparent brightness when looking at stars with the naked eye, but we would not expect a person living in the first century A.D. to claim they differ from one another.)

<

>(http://www.clarifyingchristianity.com/science.shtml)
>

 

Health

It is a proven fact that a person’s mental and spiritual health is strongly correlated with physical health.[1] The Bible revealed this to us with these statements (and others) written by King Solomon about 950 BC.

      Proverbs 12:4
      An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
      But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.


      Proverbs 14:30
      A sound heart is life to the body,
      But envy is rottenness to the bones.


      Proverbs 15:30
      The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
      And a good report makes the bones healthy.


      Proverbs 16:24
      Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
      Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.


      Proverbs 17:22
      A merry heart does good, like medicine,
      But a broken spirit dries the bones.

 

Circumcision - though circumcision was practiced in the ancient times by other races and not just the Israelites, its only in the Bible that they were commanded to circumcise their children on the 8th day.

Why the 8th day?  Modern science has proven that the amount of prothrombin (chemical needed for blood clotting) present in the blood is highest during that day, and actually dangerously low on the days before that.

For a more detailed explanation please refer to:

http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2204

 

Dimentions of Noah's Ark -  though ancient stories of the flood abound, it is ONLY in the Bible where detailed dimentions of the Ark are given.  Modern shipbuilding technology recently proved that the Ark, when built to Biblical specifications, would be unusually stable and would be most suitable for a flood.

 The book of PROVERBS also provides numerous useful and practical advice on how to live.

There are other numerous articles that deal with Biblical consistency with science.  One need only use the near-almighty GOOGLE.  I hope that this would be satisfactory. 


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janedoe401

janedoe401 wrote:

Greetings CrimsonEdge!

I find your challenge rather intriguing, so i'll try my best to answer it and hopefully, it will be to your satisfaction.

Firstly though, i'd like to limit my answer to the Christian perspective (since I'm a Christian) and using the Bible to be a bit more specific, since its the basis of my faith.

Secondly, though the Bible is a book of faith, and NOT a book of science, it does contain details that modern science has proven to be fact. I cannot say what religion has invented that science has not, BUT i can try to point out what the Bible has been saying all along and that science has PROVEN it to be true, or usefull for human development/survival.

You're right, it does contain details that correspond to reality, but so does a Superman comic book. The better question is, how many things in the bible does not line up with the findings of science? That number is quite large, which corresponds to the expectation one might have if considering that the bible is written by Middle eastern bronze age goat herders.

 

janedoe401 wrote:
Astronomy - Scientists didn't really know the number of stars in the universe and only recently discovered through powerful telescopes that their numbers are truly huge. The Bible however, frequently refers to the great number of stars in the heavens. Here are two examples.

Genesis 22:17
Blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.

Jeremiah 33:22
“As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured, so will I multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.”

Even today, scientists admit that they do not know how many stars there are. Only about 3,000 can be seen with the naked eye. We have seen estimates of 1021 stars—which is a lot of stars.(The number of grains of sand on the earth’s seashores is estimated to be 1025. As scientists discover more stars, wouldn’t it be interesting to discover that these two numbers match?)

Ok, this is just ridiculous. It's so vague that gullible people might believe it is a scientific statement if it does not immediately conflict with common knowledge. Fortunately, the science of astronomy deals with getting uncommon knowledge, so let's see how these verses do in a scientific context (after all, the link does pretend to be scientific).

"Multiplying your descendants" of David. Even if you add up all descendents of David, you are no way near the number of stars of number of sand grains. In fact, add upp all humans who ever lived if you like, you're still at least off by a factor of 1012 . That is 1000 billion. Let's just say, that if my students got the answer wrong by that factor, they'd get an F. The bible get's an F. Oh, while you're off thinking about this, could you scientifically define "host of heaven"? Until that is done, your claim is bogus.

janedoe401 wrote:
The Bible also says that each star is unique.

1 Corinthians 15:41
There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.

All stars look alike to the naked eye.* Even when seen through a telescope, they seem to be just points of light. However, analysis of their light spectra reveals that each is unique and different from all others (*Note: We understand that people can perceive some slight difference in color and apparent brightness when looking at stars with the naked eye, but we would not expect a person living in the first century A.D. to claim they differ from one another.)

What? Are you serious? We sure as hell can claim that. The visible stars differ in brightness by a factor of 100, it's quite obvious they are different. In fact, it's so damn obvious that the Greeks invented the magnitude system to keep track of the brightness, and they did this before christianty was invented. Furthermore, the differences in color are not so obvious but still noticable. Go out and compare the apperence of Betelgeuse to Rigel to Sirius. Anyone who claims they are the same has to be blind.

I consider that link a heresy to the good name of science! Smiling

 

janedoe401 wrote:
Health

It is a proven fact that a person’s mental and spiritual health is strongly correlated with physical health.[1] The Bible revealed this to us with these statements (and others) written by King Solomon about 950 BC.

Proverbs 12:4
An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.


Proverbs 14:30
A sound heart is life to the body,
But envy is rottenness to the bones.


Proverbs 15:30
The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
And a good report makes the bones healthy.


Proverbs 16:24
Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.


Proverbs 17:22
A merry heart does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones.

 

Circumcision - though circumcision was practiced in the ancient times by other races and not just the Israelites, its only in the Bible that they were commanded to circumcise their children on the 8th day.

Why the 8th day? Modern science has proven that the amount of prothrombin (chemical needed for blood clotting) present in the blood is highest during that day, and actually dangerously low on the days before that.

For a more detailed explanation please refer to:

http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2204

This is extremely silly. To begin, scientifically demonstrate what "spiritual health" is and how this "spirit" interacts with your health.

 

janedoe401 wrote:
Dimentions of Noah's Ark - though ancient stories of the flood abound, it is ONLY in the Bible where detailed dimentions of the Ark are given. Modern shipbuilding technology recently proved that the Ark, when built to Biblical specifications, would be unusually stable and would be most suitable for a flood.

Lies. It most certainly does not. Back your statement up.

janedoe401 wrote:
The book of PROVERBS also provides numerous useful and practical advice on how to live.

There are other numerous articles that deal with Biblical consistency with science. One need only use the near-almighty GOOGLE. I hope that this would be satisfactory.

It isn't. You have not produced anything even remotely valid.


jcgadfly
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Broncosfan

Broncosfan wrote:
Hambydammit wrote:

Sorry to overwhelm you with posts, but I need to add a footnote to all of that info.

I'm sure if you read all of that, you're going to come away wondering why there's such a clinical distance in it all. That's science. It does its best to remove itself from the "feelings" and "intangible nothingnesses" that people love to talk about, and tries to find out what's going on at the root.

You want to know about quantifying love? Well, it's been done, but you're not going to like the answers because they're not fuzzy. They're about chemicals, and probability matrices and sexual selection based on things like symmetry and pheromones.

I can't help you with your colloquial question of how wide you can spread your arms when you talk to your little kids and tell them how much you love them. That's a cultural thing, and full of linguistic vagueries.

If you want to know what love is, scientifically, check out all that stuff I posted, and you'll have a much more clinical idea. I'm not saying that you should give up speaking in warm fuzzies. I'm just saying that if you're going to demand quantification, you're going to have to live with the results of it.

Firstly, thanks for your many responses - it's just a shame that you contradict yourself in so many places as to essentially render your arguments useless.

By your own admission, you state that "you could probably come up with 100 definitions simply by interviewing 100 people". But then you turn around and say "I have no idea of what your conception of love is, but if an experiment was going to be done, you better believe a scientist would have a solid definition before he started".

So whose definition is he / she using when he/ she is conducting these experiments..?

And if there's so many definitions, then who's to say that the definition that he's chosen to use is solid..??

You also state that the word is "so culturally convoluted "that it doesn't have a single meaning worth quantifying".

But then you turn around in another post and say "You want to know about quantifying love? Well, it's been done, but you're not going to like the answers because they're not fuzzy.

So if the meaning is so convoluted that it can't be quantified, then how was it quantified in order to conduct the experiments that scientifically proved this thing called love can, in fact, be measured..?

You also refer to "cultural vagueries" - does this imply that a Greek scientist might conduct his experiments with an entirely different set of "assumptions / opinions / beliefs'' than a Chinese scientist..? Or a scientist from Iceland or wherever..??

Thanks alot for your responses - I was always under the impression that poets and songwriters and philosophers and so many others have been trying to define "love" for hundreds of years.

And the whole time, the geeks in the white lab coats had all the answers.

Who woulda thunk..!!!

Want to try and refute anything from the articles or do you think your assertions are sufficient?

 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


Susan
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Welcome to the forums,

Welcome to the forums, janedoe401.

When you get a minute, we'd love it if you'd hop over to the General Conversation, Introductions and Humor forum and introduce yourself. 

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server.


janedoe401
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Susan wrote: Welcome to

Susan wrote:

Welcome to the forums, janedoe401.

When you get a minute, we'd love it if you'd hop over to the General Conversation, Introductions and Humor forum and introduce yourself.

 

Thank you Susan!   


janedoe401
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KSMB wrote:

KSMB wrote:
janedoe401 wrote:

Greetings CrimsonEdge!

I find your challenge rather intriguing, so i'll try my best to answer it and hopefully, it will be to your satisfaction.

Firstly though, i'd like to limit my answer to the Christian perspective (since I'm a Christian) and using the Bible to be a bit more specific, since its the basis of my faith.

Secondly, though the Bible is a book of faith, and NOT a book of science, it does contain details that modern science has proven to be fact. I cannot say what religion has invented that science has not, BUT i can try to point out what the Bible has been saying all along and that science has PROVEN it to be true, or usefull for human development/survival.

You're right, it does contain details that correspond to reality, but so does a Superman comic book. The better question is, how many things in the bible does not line up with the findings of science? That number is quite large, which corresponds to the expectation one might have if considering that the bible is written by Middle eastern bronze age goat herders.

It would be quite easy to dismiss the Bible as mere fiction, especially if one considers it to be written by goat herders. However, being a rational person, isn't it reasonable to look at both sides of the coin? I'm sure that there are numerous facts in the Bible that seemingly do not add up to reasoning or science, but that may be more due to lack of understanding than error. As i pointed out in my previous post, the Bible is continuously being proven true be it through medicine, science, archeology or even common sense. One only has to look closely at the facts and the wealth of information available today.

KSMB wrote:
janedoe401 wrote:
Astronomy - Scientists didn't really know the number of stars in the universe and only recently discovered through powerful telescopes that their numbers are truly huge. The Bible however, frequently refers to the great number of stars in the heavens. Here are two examples.

Genesis 22:17
Blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.

Jeremiah 33:22
“As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured, so will I multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.”

Even today, scientists admit that they do not know how many stars there are. Only about 3,000 can be seen with the naked eye. We have seen estimates of 1021 stars—which is a lot of stars.(The number of grains of sand on the earth’s seashores is estimated to be 1025. As scientists discover more stars, wouldn’t it be interesting to discover that these two numbers match?)

Ok, this is just ridiculous. It's so vague that gullible people might believe it is a scientific statement if it does not immediately conflict with common knowledge. Fortunately, the science of astronomy deals with getting uncommon knowledge, so let's see how these verses do in a scientific context (after all, the link does pretend to be scientific).

"Multiplying your descendants" of David. Even if you add up all descendents of David, you are no way near the number of stars of number of sand grains. In fact, add upp all humans who ever lived if you like, you're still at least off by a factor of 1012 . That is 1000 billion. Let's just say, that if my students got the answer wrong by that factor, they'd get an F. The bible get's an F.

Kindly note that God said, "I WILL multiply the descendants of David my servant." That is a present perfect tense, meaning His work of multiplying is currently ongoing, and not yet done.

KSMB wrote:
Oh, while you're off thinking about this, could you scientifically define "host of heaven"? Until that is done, your claim is bogus.

It means stars of heaven. (Please refer to Genesis 22:17)

 

KSMB wrote:
janedoe401 wrote:
The Bible also says that each star is unique.

1 Corinthians 15:41
There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.

All stars look alike to the naked eye.* Even when seen through a telescope, they seem to be just points of light. However, analysis of their light spectra reveals that each is unique and different from all others (*Note: We understand that people can perceive some slight difference in color and apparent brightness when looking at stars with the naked eye, but we would not expect a person living in the first century A.D. to claim they differ from one another.)

What? Are you serious? We sure as hell can claim that. The visible stars differ in brightness by a factor of 100, it's quite obvious they are different. In fact, it's so damn obvious that the Greeks invented the magnitude system to keep track of the brightness, and they did this before christianty was invented. Furthermore, the differences in color are not so obvious but still noticable. Go out and compare the apperence of Betelgeuse to Rigel to Sirius. Anyone who claims they are the same has to be blind.

True, some stars are indeed brighter than others, and others do not shine as brightly as most.

BUT.

When one looks at a clear, cloudless sky at night, MOST of the stars actually look quite the same. Are you telling me that YOU can distinguish EACH and EVERY single star you see at the sky as having a different brightness? You must have some set of eyes there. Oh, and even if you COULD, the factor as you mentioned, is just 100. Logically, if you would pair up 200 or even 101 stars, you would have at least one pair of stars having the same kind of brightness, so one would logically think that some stars are the same, when the truth is, in spite of what we would see with our eyes, every single star is different, as the Bible says it is.

 

KSMB wrote:
I consider that link a heresy to the good name of science! Smiling

Why do you say that? Have you carefully considered what is said in that link? Have you checked every detail and proved that all that they say are lies? Or did you merely brush it off without even bothering to check the link since it doesn't jive with your personal beliefs? It is interesting to note that the terminology you use is that of the Spanish inquisitors who always called anything the considered a threat as a heresy. Is this how a rational person would think?

KSMB wrote:
janedoe401 wrote:
Health

It is a proven fact that a person’s mental and spiritual health is strongly correlated with physical health.[1] The Bible revealed this to us with these statements (and others) written by King Solomon about 950 BC.

Proverbs 12:4
An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.


Proverbs 14:30
A sound heart is life to the body,
But envy is rottenness to the bones.


Proverbs 15:30
The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
And a good report makes the bones healthy.


Proverbs 16:24
Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.


Proverbs 17:22
A merry heart does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones.

 

Circumcision - though circumcision was practiced in the ancient times by other races and not just the Israelites, its only in the Bible that they were commanded to circumcise their children on the 8th day.

Why the 8th day? Modern science has proven that the amount of prothrombin (chemical needed for blood clotting) present in the blood is highest during that day, and actually dangerously low on the days before that.

For a more detailed explanation please refer to:

http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2204

This is extremely silly. To begin, scientifically demonstrate what "spiritual health" is and how this "spirit" interacts with your health.

Simply put, a sound mind promotes a sound body. Ever seen a person who is always angry, has nothing but hate and spiteful words for anyone around him/her? After years of that kind of attitude, it shows in the face and in the state of his health.

 

KSMB wrote:
janedoe401 wrote:
Dimentions of Noah's Ark - though ancient stories of the flood abound, it is ONLY in the Bible where detailed dimentions of the Ark are given. Modern shipbuilding technology recently proved that the Ark, when built to Biblical specifications, would be unusually stable and would be most suitable for a flood.

Lies. It most certainly does not. Back your statement up.

 

Noah’s Ark was the focus of a major 1993 scientific study headed by Dr. Seon Hong at the world-class ship research center KRISO, based in Daejeon, South Korea.

http://www.worldwideflood.com/ark/hull_form/hull_optimization.htm

I hope that you will take the effort to actually read this, since this highly specialized study proves beyond reasonable doubt that Noah's Ark is indeed seaworthy. If, however, you are NOT convinced and still think that the ark would NOT be seaworthy, then i will have to ask you back YOUR statement with scientific proof.

KSMB wrote:
janedoe401 wrote:
The book of PROVERBS also provides numerous useful and practical advice on how to live.

There are other numerous articles that deal with Biblical consistency with science. One need only use the near-almighty GOOGLE. I hope that this would be satisfactory.

It isn't. You have not produced anything even remotely valid.

I did. You just did not bother to look up the links and information i've shown you. If indeed you were interested in finding truth, you would have checked up on those links and shown me point by point where i was wrong and not use generalized statements broadly dismissing everything as irrelevant.

 

[MOD EDIT - fixed quotes]


KSMB
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KSMB wrote:

KSMB wrote:
janedoe401 wrote:

Secondly, though the Bible is a book of faith, and NOT a book of science, it does contain details that modern science has proven to be fact. I cannot say what religion has invented that science has not, BUT i can try to point out what the Bible has been saying all along and that science has PROVEN it to be true, or usefull for human development/survival.

You're right, it does contain details that correspond to reality, but so does a Superman comic book. The better question is, how many things in the bible does not line up with the findings of science? That number is quite large, which corresponds to the expectation one might have if considering that the bible is written by Middle eastern bronze age goat herders.

janedoe401 wrote:
It would be quite easy to dismiss the Bible as mere fiction, especially if one considers it to be written by goat herders. However, being a rational person, isn't it reasonable to look at both sides of the coin?

It is reasonable, I wish more christians (and people of faith in general) actually did that, and examined it rationally.

janedoe401 wrote:
I'm sure that there are numerous facts in the Bible that seemingly do not add up to reasoning or science, but that may be more due to lack of understanding than error.

You're right, but you fail to recognize that the lack of understanding lies with the people who wrote the bible.

janedoe401 wrote:
As i pointed out in my previous post, the Bible is continuously being proven true be it through medicine, science, archeology or even common sense. One only has to look closely at the facts and the wealth of information available today.

So you assert, and this is incorrect. The wealth of information (which is supplied to you and me by science, btw) shows that the people who wrote the bible knew very little. As an example, I offer that the Genesis creation stories (there are two... iffy) both contradict almost everything which is known about the formation of the universe, earth and the evolution of life.

janedoe401 wrote:
KSMB wrote:
janedoe401 wrote:
Astronomy - Scientists didn't really know the number of stars in the universe and only recently discovered through powerful telescopes that their numbers are truly huge. The Bible however, frequently refers to the great number of stars in the heavens. Here are two examples.

Genesis 22:17
Blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.

Jeremiah 33:22
“As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured, so will I multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.”

Even today, scientists admit that they do not know how many stars there are. Only about 3,000 can be seen with the naked eye. We have seen estimates of 1021 stars—which is a lot of stars.(The number of grains of sand on the earth’s seashores is estimated to be 1025. As scientists discover more stars, wouldn’t it be interesting to discover that these two numbers match?)

Ok, this is just ridiculous. It's so vague that gullible people might believe it is a scientific statement if it does not immediately conflict with common knowledge. Fortunately, the science of astronomy deals with getting uncommon knowledge, so let's see how these verses do in a scientific context (after all, the link does pretend to be scientific).

"Multiplying your descendants" of David. Even if you add up all descendents of David, you are no way near the number of stars of number of sand grains. In fact, add upp all humans who ever lived if you like, you're still at least off by a factor of 1012 . That is 1000 billion. Let's just say, that if my students got the answer wrong by that factor, they'd get an F. The bible get's an F.

Kindly note that God said, "I WILL multiply the descendants of David my servant." That is a present perfect tense, meaning His work of multiplying is currently ongoing, and not yet done.

Wait, you're offering up something which isn't done as "evidence" of fulfillment? This is not how science works, this is how ignorance and delusion works. Your conclusion here begs the question.

Let's look at what it would mean though, if fulfilled. Let's say that the descendants of David do multiply to the estimated number of stars (1022). If spread out evenly over the Earth, each person would have an area to live on which would be ~10-7 m2. This is smaller than a fraction of a square millimeter, the size of a pinhead. This is evenly over all of Earth, oceans, deserts, mountains included. Of course, the limit sets in far before this, due to limits in resources. So let's hope this one isn't fulfilled, shall we?

KSMB wrote:
janedoe401 wrote:
The Bible also says that each star is unique.


1 Corinthians 15:41
There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.

All stars look alike to the naked eye.* Even when seen through a telescope, they seem to be just points of light. However, analysis of their light spectra reveals that each is unique and different from all others (*Note: We understand that people can perceive some slight difference in color and apparent brightness when looking at stars with the naked eye, but we would not expect a person living in the first century A.D. to claim they differ from one another.)

What? Are you serious? We sure as hell can claim that. The visible stars differ in brightness by a factor of 100, it's quite obvious they are different. In fact, it's so damn obvious that the Greeks invented the magnitude system to keep track of the brightness, and they did this before christianty was invented. Furthermore, the differences in color are not so obvious but still noticable. Go out and compare the apperence of Betelgeuse to Rigel to Sirius. Anyone who claims they are the same has to be blind.

janedoe401 wrote:
True, some stars are indeed brighter than others, and others do not shine as brightly as most.

BUT.

When one looks at a clear, cloudless sky at night, MOST of the stars actually look quite the same. Are you telling me that YOU can distinguish EACH and EVERY single star you see at the sky as having a different brightness? You must have some set of eyes there. Oh, and even if you COULD, the factor as you mentioned, is just 100. Logically, if you would pair up 200 or even 101 stars, you would have at least one pair of stars having the same kind of brightness, so one would logically think that some stars are the same, when the truth is, in spite of what we would see with our eyes, every single star is different, as the Bible says it is.

I am not telling you I can distinguish each and every star, where did I say that? The brightness resolution of my eyes isn't that good. I am telling you that the stars clearly differ in apparent brightness (hence the invention of the magnitude system), and that you can see that some of them differ in color with just your eyes. That is essentially what the bible is saying, it really isn't a profound statement. Sort of at the same level as "Hey, the Sun is brighter than everything else".

As a sidenote, I could mention that stars with the same mass do have the same radiation properties. But being well versed in astronomy, you probably knew that.

 

KSMB wrote:
<

>(http://www.clarifyingchristianity.com/science.shtml)
>I consider that link a heresy to the good name of science! Smiling

janedoe401 wrote:
Why do you say that? Have you carefully considered what is said in that link? Have you checked every detail and proved that all that they say are lies? Or did you merely brush it off without even bothering to check the link since it doesn't jive with your personal beliefs?

I always find it amusing when christians accuse me of doing what they are doing themselves. I urge you to stop this projection. My conclusions are based on the examination of the claims of christianity and the bible.

As for your link, I looked through it. It was very poor reasoning between the premises (which in themselves are unjustified) and tons of ad hoc assumptions stacked on each other. But what could you expect from a page which is largely adapted from stuff from the ICR site. Creation "science" isn't anywhere near qualifying as actual science.

janedoe401 wrote:
It is interesting to note that the terminology you use is that of the Spanish inquisitors who always called anything the considered a threat as a heresy. Is this how a rational person would think?

It isn't, the inquisitors weren't rational, they were men of faith. I also apologize for the attempt to use humor.

KSMB wrote:
janedoe401 wrote:
Health

It is a proven fact that a person’s mental and spiritual health is strongly correlated with physical health.[1] The Bible revealed this to us with these statements (and others) written by King Solomon about 950 BC.

Proverbs 12:4
An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.


Proverbs 14:30
A sound heart is life to the body,
But envy is rottenness to the bones.


Proverbs 15:30
The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
And a good report makes the bones healthy.


Proverbs 16:24
Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.


Proverbs 17:22
A merry heart does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones.

 

Circumcision - though circumcision was practiced in the ancient times by other races and not just the Israelites, its only in the Bible that they were commanded to circumcise their children on the 8th day.

Why the 8th day? Modern science has proven that the amount of prothrombin (chemical needed for blood clotting) present in the blood is highest during that day, and actually dangerously low on the days before that.

For a more detailed explanation please refer to:

http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2204

This is extremely silly. To begin, scientifically demonstrate what "spiritual health" is and how this "spirit" interacts with your health.

janedoe401 wrote:
Simply put, a sound mind promotes a sound body. Ever seen a person who is always angry, has nothing but hate and spiteful words for anyone around him/her? After years of that kind of attitude, it shows in the face and in the state of his health.

Are you going to define "spirit" or not, like I asked? You threw it in here. Tell me what it is, I really want to know.

The bible verses are thoroughly unimpressive, tbh. It's like saying "don't eat poison, or you will die" in Hebrew prose. Profound indeed...

 

KSMB wrote:
janedoe401 wrote:
Dimentions of Noah's Ark - though ancient stories of the flood abound, it is ONLY in the Bible where detailed dimentions of the Ark are given. Modern shipbuilding technology recently proved that the Ark, when built to Biblical specifications, would be unusually stable and would be most suitable for a flood.

Lies. It most certainly does not. Back your statement up.

janedoe401 wrote:
Noah’s Ark was the focus of a major 1993 scientific study headed by Dr. Seon Hong at the world-class ship research center KRISO, based in Daejeon, South Korea.

http://www.worldwideflood.com/ark/hull_form/hull_optimization.htm

I hope that you will take the effort to actually read this, since this highly specialized study proves beyond reasonable doubt that Noah's Ark is indeed seaworthy. If, however, you are NOT convinced and still think that the ark would NOT be seaworthy, then i will have to ask you back YOUR statement with scientific proof.
Fantasic. You've given a link which shows that an imaginary vessel could be seaworthy. I am breathless. It's also published by answersingenesis, which has as much science in it as ICR. I guess I should have been more specific. There is no evidence for a world wide flood. You have to present some if you want to convince somebody. If you can do that, I'll happy concede your were right. Next, show me how this boat could have contained at least two each of all species on Earth. I am interested how they dealt with the 2600 species of termites, specifically the ones that eat wood.

janedoe401 wrote:
I hope that this would be satisfactory.

KSMB wrote:
It isn't. You have not produced anything even remotely valid.
janedoe401 wrote:
I did. You just did not bother to look up the links and information i've shown you.
Stop assuming. I checked out your links and concluded they said nothing of value. I expect the same curtosy when I start pasting links on what science actually has to say.
janedoe401 wrote:
If indeed you were interested in finding truth, you would have checked up on those links and shown me point by point where i was wrong and not use generalized statements broadly dismissing everything as irrelevant.
Again with the projection. Your websites already had their conclusion set up, then they searched for vague enough bible verses to compare to actual scientific knowledge (they even failed making valid comparisons). That process of assuming your conclusion as true with no evidence renders the whole thing invalid. What is asserted without evidence can be disgarded without evidence.

Edit: corrected the numbers in my estimate.

 

[MOD EDIT - fixed quotes] 


janedoe401
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Posts: 5
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Grettings! Sorry for the

Grettings! Sorry for the delay in reply. Been rather busy lately.

KSMB wrote:

You're right, but you fail to recognize that the lack of understanding lies with the people who wrote the bible.

Weeellll... that is your point of view.

KSMB wrote:

So you assert, and this is incorrect. The wealth of information (which is supplied to you and me by science, btw) shows that the people who wrote the bible knew very little. As an example, I offer that the Genesis creation stories (there are two... iffy) both contradict almost everything which is known about the formation of the universe, earth and the evolution of life.

Not really. For example, an examination of the human body shows that ALL elements found in it can be found in soil as well. This is consistent to the statement "GEN 2:7 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being."

Next, even according to science, life started in the ocean. Well, guess what living things God created first?

GEN 1:20 ¶ Then God said, "Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens."

Also according to science, man came out last. And guess what? Man was also the last living creature God created.

KSMB wrote:
Wait, you're offering up something which isn't done as "evidence" of fulfillment? This is not how science works, this is how ignorance and delusion works. Your conclusion here begs the question.

Actually, no. I was offering the STATEMENT as evidence. Even before man was aware that there were actually trillions of stars, (possibly even more) the Bible already equated their number with that of the number of grains of sand in the seashore.

KSMB wrote:

Let's look at what it would mean though, if fulfilled. Let's say that the descendants of David do multiply to the estimated number of stars (1022). If spread out evenly over the Earth, each person would have an area to live on which would be ~10-7 m2. This is smaller than a fraction of a square millimeter, the size of a pinhead. This is evenly over all of Earth, oceans, deserts, mountains included. Of course, the limit sets in far before this, due to limits in resources. So let's hope this one isn't fulfilled, shall we?

You know, i honestly wish i had your affinity with numbers. My college life would have been much easier. Anyway, your equations, though i assume are correct, only apply if you consider only ONE planet. Try to imagine two... three... hundreds... thousands... MILLIONS of other planets being populated. I'm sure that huge number can be comfortably accomodated by then.

KSMB wrote:
I am not telling you I can distinguish each and every star, where did I say that?

Sorry! I merely assumed you did. My bad!

KSMB wrote:
The brightness resolution of my eyes isn't that good. I am telling you that the stars clearly differ in apparent brightness (hence the invention of the magnitude system), and that you can see that some of them differ in color with just your eyes. That is essentially what the bible is saying, it really isn't a profound statement. Sort of at the same level as "Hey, the Sun is brighter than everything else".

The Bible also says that each star is unique.

1 Corinthians 15:41
There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.

It IS a profound statement. It is basically saying that each and every star is different. It is a very specific, concise statement and not a general, vague comment that you make it to be. The only vague part may be the meaning of "glory", but the basic premise is that every star IS different.

KSMB wrote:
As a sidenote, I could mention that stars with the same mass do have the same radiation properties.

Anyways, that is true IF there are two stars with EXACTLY the same mass.

KSMB wrote:
But being well versed in astronomy, you probably knew that.

Man I wish i was! I'm just an orinary layperson. And no, i definitely did NOT know that!


KSMB wrote:
I always find it amusing when christians accuse me of doing what they are doing themselves. I urge you to stop this projection. My conclusions are based on the examination of the claims of christianity and the bible.

ok.


KSMB wrote:
It isn't, the inquisitors weren't rational, they were men of faith. I also apologize for the attempt to use humor.

You are forgiven my son.

KSMB wrote:
Are you going to define "spirit" or not, like I asked? You threw it in here. Tell me what it is, I really want to know.

spir·it play_w("S0646800&quotEye-wink (sprt)

n.1. a. The vital principle or animating force within living beings.b. Incorporeal consciousness.2. The soul, considered as departing from the body of a person at death.3. Spirit The Holy Spirit.4. A supernatural being, as:a. An angel or a demon.b. A being inhabiting or embodying a particular place, object, or natural phenomenon.c. A fairy or sprite.5. a. The part of a human associated with the mind, will, and feelings: Though unable to join us today, they are with us in spirit.b. The essential nature of a person or group.6. A person as characterized by a stated quality: He is a proud spirit.7. a. An inclination or tendency of a specified kind: Her actions show a generous spirit.b. A causative, activating, or essential principle: The couple's engagement was announced in a joyous spirit.8. spirits A mood or an emotional state: The guests were in high spirits. His sour spirits put a damper on the gathering.9. A particular mood or an emotional state characterized by vigor and animation: sang with spirit.10. Strong loyalty or dedication: team spirit.11. The predominant mood of an occasion or a period: "The spirit of 1776 is not dead" Thomas Jefferson.12. The actual though unstated sense or significance of something: the spirit of the law.13. An alcohol solution of an essential or volatile substance. Often used in the plural with a singular verb.14. spirits An alcoholic beverage, especially distilled liquor.tr.v. spir·it·ed, spir·it·ing, spir·its Kindly take your pick.

 

 

KSMB wrote:
Fantasic. You've given a link which shows that an imaginary vessel could be seaworthy. I am breathless. It's also published by answersingenesis, which has as much science in it as ICR.
Not only is it seaworthy, but PERFECTLY designed for its purpose. If you've read the link you would know that the study showed that even minor adjustments on its dimentions would greately compromise its effectiveness. So the one who gave those dimentions knew EXACTLY what to tell Noah.
KSMB wrote:
I guess I should have been more specific. There is no evidence for a world wide flood. You have to present some if you want to convince somebody. If you can do that, I'll happy concede your were right. Next, show me how this boat could have contained at least two each of all species on Earth. I am interested how they dealt with the 2600 species of termites, specifically the ones that eat wood.

I already proved one point, and that is the Ark IS seaworthy. As for your other points, there are links to explain them as well, but i'm sure that you are already more than aware of them.

KSMB wrote:
Again with the projection. Your websites already had their conclusion set up, then they searched for vague enough bible verses to compare to actual scientific knowledge (they even failed making valid comparisons). That process of assuming your conclusion as true with no evidence renders the whole thing invalid. What is asserted without evidence can be disgarded without evidence.

Hmmm.... From what i've noticed, before you looked up the links, you already had your conclusion set up. I truly wish that i myself was a scientist or articulate enough to expain the error of your logic. So i'm left with showing you links. Unfortunately, if that link is theist in nature, you immediately brand it as unscientific, no matter what the credentials. So that would leave me with atheist based or purely scientific based websites. But websites giving proof for creationism OR ID are automatically branded as hacks. (such as the Discovery Institute).

That would leave me with atheist websites. Now, the chance of actually finding proof for creationism or ID in those are equal to finding an African American member for the Ku Klux Klan.

I have already shown you that which i know as proof for science in the Bible. If that and my level of reasoning doesn't cut it, then there really is nothing more that i can say.

 

[MOD EDIT - fixed quotes]


KSMB
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janedoe401

janedoe401 wrote:

Grettings! Sorry for the delay in reply. Been rather busy lately.

Greetings! It's ok, we all have our lives to take care of.

janedoe401 wrote:
KSMB wrote:

You're right, but you fail to recognize that the lack of understanding lies with the people who wrote the bible.

Weeellll... that is your point of view.

Not all points of view are equally valid. I back mine up with evidence, as you'll see below. This is infinitely better than points of view held on faith, which are useless.

KSMB wrote:

So you assert, and this is incorrect. The wealth of information (which is supplied to you and me by science, btw) shows that the people who wrote the bible knew very little. As an example, I offer that the Genesis creation stories (there are two... iffy) both contradict almost everything which is known about the formation of the universe, earth and the evolution of life.

janedoe401 wrote:
Not really. For example, an examination of the human body shows that ALL elements found in it can be found in soil as well. This is consistent to the statement "GEN 2:7 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being."

Next, even according to science, life started in the ocean. Well, guess what living things God created first?

GEN 1:20 ¶ Then God said, "Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens."

Also according to science, man came out last. And guess what? Man was also the last living creature God created.

You find this convincing? Please allow me to shed some scientific light on this issue. Firstly, to find the same elements in the human body as on Earth suggests that humans evolved on Earth. See what I didn't do? I didn't make a huge unjustified assumption on the existance of any god and that this god is responsible for breathing life in nostrils. Such an idea is just ad hoc stacked on ad hoc with no evidence, and can therefore be discarded.

According to Genesis, God created the day and night before he created the Sun. That is just silly, day and night is caused by the rotation of the earth, and wouldn't exist without the Sun. Genesis also says that vegetation on land is created before the Sun is created, which is sort of strange since plants rely on sun light for survival. Genesis calls the Moon a luminary, but in reality the Moon just reflects sun light (if you live in Waco, Texas, this is news).

You seem fond of the elements we (and the Earth) are made of. According to Genesis, the Earth is formed, and then some days later, the stars are formed. This is absolutely unsupported by evidence. What is supported is that the elements we are made of are produced in stars. You are made of star dust, literally. Stars have to live and die first for the Earth to have the composition is has.

Then there is the sequence of living things formed. The two Genesis stories have almost all of it wrong. First Genesis has fish and sea monsters and birds, then land animals all at once, then man. Science, which relies on evidence, not ancient myths, have bacteria, fish, amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs, mammals, birds, primates, man, each seperated by many millions of years. The second Genesis is even worse, as it has in order, man, plants, animals, woman.
How come you didn't include these failures of Genesis in your post? Btw, this is one of the reasons I hold that the authors of the bible knew very little. There's no judgement in that, just stating the obvious. If I lived then, I wouldn't have known more either. But I would have hoped that things I believed about the real world that turned out to be false, wouldn't be held to be true just because of religious dogma thousands of years later. That is the opposite of progress.

KSMB wrote:
Wait, you're offering up something which isn't done as "evidence" of fulfillment? This is not how science works, this is how ignorance and delusion works. Your conclusion here begs the question.

janedoe401 wrote:
Actually, no. I was offering the STATEMENT as evidence. Even before man was aware that there were actually trillions of stars, (possibly even more) the Bible already equated their number with that of the number of grains of sand in the seashore.

Statements aren't evidence. Statements can be valid if supported by evidence. Besides, you're changing what you said the verse meant earlier. Before, your "argument" was that there are many stars, and that the descendents of David would multiply and be as many. I show that this is absurd, so now you change what it was supposed to mean. I applaud your ability to change, and I urge you to consider that the bible might actually be wrong! If you can't consider this, you're being very close minded.

KSMB wrote:

Let's look at what it would mean though, if fulfilled. Let's say that the descendants of David do multiply to the estimated number of stars (1022). If spread out evenly over the Earth, each person would have an area to live on which would be ~10-7 m2. This is smaller than a fraction of a square millimeter, the size of a pinhead. This is evenly over all of Earth, oceans, deserts, mountains included. Of course, the limit sets in far before this, due to limits in resources. So let's hope this one isn't fulfilled, shall we?

janedoe401 wrote:
You know, i honestly wish i had your affinity with numbers. My college life would have been much easier. Anyway, your equations, though i assume are correct, only apply if you consider only ONE planet. Try to imagine two... three... hundreds... thousands... MILLIONS of other planets being populated. I'm sure that huge number can be comfortably accomodated by then.

This does not include any complicated equations at all. It's a very simple estimate, high school level stuff. I encourage you to check my math, don't assume I am correct. Question everything.

I can imagine many planets. Now, where is the bible verse that tells you there are millions of other planets and that the descendents of David will populate them?

KSMB wrote:
The brightness resolution of my eyes isn't that good. I am telling you that the stars clearly differ in apparent brightness (hence the invention of the magnitude system), and that you can see that some of them differ in color with just your eyes. That is essentially what the bible is saying, it really isn't a profound statement. Sort of at the same level as "Hey, the Sun is brighter than everything else".

janedoe401 wrote:
The Bible also says that each star is unique.

1 Corinthians 15:41
There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.

It IS a profound statement. It is basically saying that each and every star is different. It is a very specific, concise statement and not a general, vague comment that you make it to be. The only vague part may be the meaning of "glory", but the basic premise is that every star IS different.

Are we reading the same verse? You call "glory of x" a specific concise statement? I'd love to see something you might call vague. Your interpretation relies on the word "glory", and you're reading knowledge you have into the verse through this vagueness. In the verse 1 Cor 15:43, the resurrection of the dead is raised in glory. Could the use of the word glory get any more ambiguous? Unless you can show that the word glory means specifically what you assume it means to support your preheld conclusion, how could you possibly argue that this verse is somehow scientific?

This statement looks quite like the Genesis account, which also devides the heaves into Sun, Moon and stars. That account also calls the Moon a luminary, and the Moon doesn't even shine on its own. You might want to consider that the new testament largely is rehashed stuff from the old testament.

KSMB wrote:
As a sidenote, I could mention that stars with the same mass do have the same radiation properties.

janedoe401 wrote:
Anyways, that is true IF there are two stars with EXACTLY the same mass.

How exactly does it need to be? And how do you know?

KSMB wrote:
But being well versed in astronomy, you probably knew that.

janedoe401 wrote:
Man I wish i was! I'm just an orinary layperson. And no, i definitely did NOT know that!

Then how can you claim what you did just a few lines above? Divine revelation?


KSMB wrote:
Are you going to define "spirit" or not, like I asked? You threw it in here. Tell me what it is, I really want to know.

janedoe401 wrote:
spir·it play_w("S0646800&quotEye-wink (sprt)

n.1. a. The vital principle or animating force within living beings.b. Incorporeal consciousness.2. The soul, considered as departing from the body of a person at death.3. Spirit The Holy Spirit.4. A supernatural being, as:a. An angel or a demon.b. A being inhabiting or embodying a particular place, object, or natural phenomenon.c. A fairy or sprite.5. a. The part of a human associated with the mind, will, and feelings: Though unable to join us today, they are with us in spirit.b. The essential nature of a person or group.6. A person as characterized by a stated quality: He is a proud spirit.7. a. An inclination or tendency of a specified kind: Her actions show a generous spirit.b. A causative, activating, or essential principle: The couple's engagement was announced in a joyous spirit.8. spirits A mood or an emotional state: The guests were in high spirits. His sour spirits put a damper on the gathering.9. A particular mood or an emotional state characterized by vigor and animation: sang with spirit.10. Strong loyalty or dedication: team spirit.11. The predominant mood of an occasion or a period: "The spirit of 1776 is not dead" Thomas Jefferson.12. The actual though unstated sense or significance of something: the spirit of the law.13. An alcohol solution of an essential or volatile substance. Often used in the plural with a singular verb.14. spirits An alcoholic beverage, especially distilled liquor.tr.v. spir·it·ed, spir·it·ing, spir·its Kindly take your pick.

Ehm, I asked you what you meant by it, and you throw a dictionary at me. Dictionaries contain all possible uses of the word. It's not a definition, or in this case several. Am I to take this display of copy-paste to mean you don't know what you mean by spirit?

KSMB wrote:
Fantasic. You've given a link which shows that an imaginary vessel could be seaworthy. I am breathless. It's also published by answersingenesis, which has as much science in it as ICR.
janedoe401 wrote:
Not only is it seaworthy, but PERFECTLY designed for its purpose. If you've read the link you would know that the study showed that even minor adjustments on its dimentions would greately compromise its effectiveness. So the one who gave those dimentions knew EXACTLY what to tell Noah.
Rofl. Now it's perfectly designed. According to what precise criteria? When I read that article, they compared the bible arc to some other configurations (who chose those, and how?) and concluded that the arc was the best. It was presented using some unspecified parameters, nicely colorcoded for the intellectually lazy. That was the specific complaints I had. The general is that Noah's arc is imaginary. Using your reasoning, the tie fighter is PERFECTLY designed for its purpose. Even minor adjustments on its dimensions would greately compromise its effectiveness. So the one who gave those dimentions knew EXACTLY what to tell the engineers of the empire. Therefore, George Lucas is God. My evidence for this is the Star Wars movies. The point there is that my statement has the same value as yours, supported by equal amounts of "evidence". No joke.
KSMB wrote:
I guess I should have been more specific. There is no evidence for a world wide flood. You have to present some if you want to convince somebody. If you can do that, I'll happy concede your were right. Next, show me how this boat could have contained at least two each of all species on Earth. I am interested how they dealt with the 2600 species of termites, specifically the ones that eat wood.

janedoe401 wrote:
I already proved one point, and that is the Ark IS seaworthy. As for your other points, there are links to explain them as well, but i'm sure that you are already more than aware of them.

Oh really. Tell me, which of those "explanations" is the most convincing to you, and why? And I didn't see any explanation how the old civilizations like the egyptians and sumerians failed to notice being destroyed. Care to elaborate on that?

KSMB wrote:
Again with the projection. Your websites already had their conclusion set up, then they searched for vague enough bible verses to compare to actual scientific knowledge (they even failed making valid comparisons). That process of assuming your conclusion as true with no evidence renders the whole thing invalid. What is asserted without evidence can be disgarded without evidence.

janedoe401 wrote:
Hmmm.... From what i've noticed, before you looked up the links, you already had your conclusion set up. I truly wish that i myself was a scientist or articulate enough to expain the error of your logic. So i'm left with showing you links. Unfortunately, if that link is theist in nature, you immediately brand it as unscientific, no matter what the credentials. So that would leave me with atheist based or purely scientific based websites. But websites giving proof for creationism OR ID are automatically branded as hacks. (such as the Discovery Institute).

That would leave me with atheist websites. Now, the chance of actually finding proof for creationism or ID in those are equal to finding an African American member for the Ku Klux Klan.

I have already shown you that which i know as proof for science in the Bible. If that and my level of reasoning doesn't cut it, then there really is nothing more that i can say.

You exclude what scientific websites have to say? You really don't care to know the world as it really is? Is your cocoon of faith that fragile? Don't you see that such behavior is the opposite of rationality?

Creationism and its latest incarnation ID are branded as unscientific because they are just that. The few things in there that can be falsified, such as irreducable complexity have indeed been falsified. It's false. This puts creationism on the same level as astrology, not a very flattering level.

Who ever told you that what you've shown is scientific proof for the bible is lying to you. I encourage you to stop listening to those people, and at least consider listening to what scientists have to say. If not, you're doing what you accuse me of.

 


synthlord
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CrimsonEdge wrote: The

CrimsonEdge wrote:
The question, simply put, is what exactly has religion figured out that science could not?
That's really an improper question in my mind.
I read it as what has religion claimed that cannot be proven scientifically?, since there cannot be anything that exists that cannot be proven scientifically, even if we currently lack the technology or methodology to explain it.

The universe is governed by natural laws that can be observed, tested, and predicted when all the variables are known. If something occurs, it does so out of causality, not miracle or chance. When mankind has observed a new phenomenon, scientists rush to study it in hopes of discovering something new. Sometimes it takes generations of work to discover the nature of a new thing, but each step in the process brings us to a greater understanding of the natural mechanics of things, whether it's physics, medicine, or human behavior.

The answer, then, is nothing - religion has not discovered anything that cannot be explained sceintifically. It has only made claims - those that turn out to be real have scientific and causal factors; those that don't have those factors are not real, such as walking on water, the existence of an afterlife, raising the (truly) dead (before defibrilators and CPR existed), or alchemically transmuting water or blood into wine.