Time to wrap this up. So here are a few more interesting moments from the conference.

The one genuinely interesting talk I attended had nothing to do with science at all. It was entitled “A Critique of the Precreation Chaos Gap Theory,” and was delivered by John Zoschke, a pastor from Kansas. Zoschke was keen to refute one particular form of the Gap Theory, which, in an attempt to reconcile Genesis with the long ages revealed by geology, inserts a long gap of time between two of the early verses in Genesis. (Which two depends on the particular version of the Gap Theory under consideration.)

Zoschke’s talk was a far cry from the usual “Scientists are wrong about everything!” revival tent atmosphere so typical of creationist presentations. There were no pyrotechnics, no ambitious claims, and no acrimony of any kind. Just sixty minutes of calm Biblical analysis, returning to the original Hebrew and making a serious effort to get at the original meaning of the text. Zoschke also referred to several different translations of the Bible, comparing their different versions of certain key verses. It was a useful counter to those who accuse creationists of being dogmatically attached to the King James version.

Obviously I am in no position to judge whether Zoschke’s understanding of ancient Hebrew is up to the task. But I do think a remark is in order. If we are to judge them by their best representatives then creationists take their Biblical analysis very seriously indeed. They endorse the young-Earth position because they genuinely believe (with considerable justice) that this is what was intended by the writer of Genesis. I am sympathetic to this view, as I have written before. The arguments I have seen defending alternatives like the day-age theory, the gap theory, or the framework hypothesis are not convincing.

(Along those lines, can someone explain to me the argument that the days in Genesis could not be twenty-four hour days because the Sun was not created until Day Four? The Earth and light were both created on Day One, and it seems to me that is all you need to talk about a normal day.)

Anyway, we should also note that Noah’s Ark was a big topic of discussion. John Woodmorappe, he of the famous treatise Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study (recently out of print, as he sadly informed us before his talk) discussed some new research showing, in his view, that a wooden, ark-size, boat could have been seaworthy for the duration of the great flood. Here’s tha abstract of his paper:

Ark-size wooden ships are not only possible, but were actively contemplated in the early twentieth century. Incomplete composite action, historically a weakness in wooden ships, can be greatly mitigated through the use of a sufficient number of low-tech, high-stiffness dowel connectors. The deflection of the ark could have been held down to no more than 1.75-2.0 times that of a completely composite ark that experienced no shear lag. In addition, the effects of limited lengths of timber, relative to the length of the ark, are not significant when such dowels are used.

Good to know!

Nor was Woodmorappe the only one thinking ark-thoughts. A team of four unleashed this haymaker on us (in a talk entitled “Structural Dynamic Stability of Noah’s Ark”):

If the Genesis flood was a catastrophic event that induced large-scale wind-driven waves, then the ark that carried Noah and his family needed to be very stable upon large, sometimes random, loads. This particular study has several research components that give greater insight into the structural dynamic stability of the ark: (1) a combined numerical-experimental modal analysis on a 1/200th scale ark structure quantifying the first three fundamental resonance frequencies and associated mode shapes: 528 Hz in pitch bending, 800 Hz in yaw benidng, and 1000 Hz in torsion; (2) a computational modal analysis that links the 1/200th scale ark structure with the full-scale structure of Noah’s Ark showing that the first fundamental frequency ranges from 1-4.5 Hz below the range of human resonances that typically range between 5-10 Hz; and (3) a 1/200th scale ark experimental study on turbulent random loads with waves that scaled as high as high as 500 ft (152 m) showing that Noah’s Ark would be stable even under these extreme loads. This combined computational-experimental study clearly shows the stability of the ark under extremely large-scale, deleterious conditions.

And here you thought that whole Noah’s Ark story was implausible.

Less heady was the talk “A Review of the Search for Noah’s Ark.” Short version: They haven’t found it. They’re not sure where to look. There’s probably little left of it anyway.

That’s about it for the talks, at least the ones I feel are worthy of comment. Let’s see, what else? Well, there was the fellow who explained to me sternly that materialism was plainly ridiculous, since the laws of logic exist and they are not material. There was the special session with the Association of Christian Graduate Researchers, trying to figure out how to attract hot young talent into creation science. There was that scary dinosaur outside the meeting rooms:



And that’s about it.

Well, not completely. You know how when you see a good movie you can lose yourself for a while. You can immerse yourself so completely in the world of the film that you are only barely aware you are sitting in a theater. But once you leave the illusion fades very quickly, and you come back down to reality.

Creationist gatherings have a similar effect on me. Surrounded by so many true believers it is easy to get lost in their world. You find yourself thinking, “Yeah! I wish those mean ol’ scientists would stop dumping on them!” But then I get back into the car, hit the road, and ten minutes later I’m thinking “What was that about?”

After leaving the conference I headed East on the Pennsy Turnpike, destined for New Jersey. But along the way I stopped off in Harrisburg to meet up with fellow Panda’s Thumber Burt Humburg and journalist extraordinaire Lauri Lebo:



If you’re only going to read one book about the big Dover trial, it should definitely be Lauri’s The Devil in Dover: An Insider’s Story of Dogma v. Darwin in Small-Town America. If you’re only going to read two books about the big Dover trial, read hers twice. (If you’re going to read three, read hers twice, then have a look Ed Humes’ book which is also pretty good.)

Anyway, thanks to Burt and Lauri for hastening my return to reality. Always good to get the creation cooties off as quickly as possible!

Comments

  1. #1 tresmal
    August 30, 2008

    I remember seeing a show about Noah’s Ark on one the science type channels that basically thoroughly discredited the whole idea. One point I remember them making is that the vapor pressure of water on an inundated Earth would be so high you would drown trying to breathe the air. Does this make sense to anybody?

  2. #2 jgfellow
    August 30, 2008

    1) Technically, the text of the flood talk about water coming from above and below (“kol ha-ma’yanot tihom rabbah va-arubbot ha-shamayim niphtichu” Genesis 7:11). It does not say in what proportion. So if 99% of the flood is essentially just ocean levels rising, you may be able to escape concerns such as the impact of water vapor on breathing.

    2) It’s still just a book

  3. #3 Leni
    August 31, 2008

    This particular study has several research components that give greater insight into the structural dynamic stability of the ark…[blah blah blah...] showing that Noah’s Ark would be stable even under these extreme loads.

    I’ve never understood this obsession with the ark. On the one hand, it’s obvious that they just want to make it all seem as plausible to the rest of us as they think it is. Or maybe it’s just fun for them to work the problem out.

    But on the other, it’s such a patently absurd exercise in speculation. And wholly unnecessary! God made a flood to kill nearly every living thing on the planet yet he couldn’t keep a simple boat afloat? It seems like a lot of bother to go through the motions of “proving” it possible, especially since we all know it comes down to their faith in the absolute truth of the Bible anyway. If they couldn’t get the numbers to work out (ha ha, like that was ever gonna happen) they would simply declare it a miracle, reality be damned.

  4. #4 fongooly
    August 31, 2008

    Leni, do you ever stop to think before you rattle off this insipid commentary? You seem to attribute motives to others that would require minds as simple as yours to actually follow through with. Are you an Asperger type at all? You seem to have no insights into the nature of humans who are remarkably able to mix delusional thinking with normal or higher intelligence. Or maybe Tourette’s is more your mofo thing.

  5. #5 Nick Gardner
    August 31, 2008

    Fuck you: “Are you an Asperger type at all?”

    Find a better way to criticize someone else.

  6. #6 J. J. Ramsey
    August 31, 2008

    Leni: “I’ve never understood this obsession with the ark…. If they couldn’t get the numbers to work out (ha ha, like that was ever gonna happen) they would simply declare it a miracle, reality be damned.”

    I think a big part of the problem is that the seaworthiness of the ark and its ability to take in all the animals were not treated as miracles in the text of Genesis. If Genesis had been written such that, say, the ark was a small crude box that God had miraculously made bigger on the inside than it was on the outside, creationists wouldn’t sweat it so much.

  7. #7 a regular
    August 31, 2008

    Hey Fongooly,

    you’re kind of creepy, with this stalking “leni-obsession” thing.

  8. #8 Strider
    August 31, 2008

    I do not even see the point of taking any of this seriously. Who cares how seriously Zoschke wanted to get to the meaning of the original text? It was STILL written by desert-dwelling people from the bronze age and it STILL bears little resemblance to objective reality. Can anyone tell me the point?

  9. #9 J. J. Ramsey
    August 31, 2008

    Strider: “Can anyone tell me the point?”

    Simple. To fight creationism, it helps to understand how creationists think.

  10. #10 David Marjanovi?
    August 31, 2008

    fongooly, what on the planet are you talking about?

  11. #11 Strider
    August 31, 2008

    J.J.
    I guess I understood that bit, fighting creationism and all that, but I mean, really, discussing the seaworthiness of the ark? The very idea of Noah’s ark being workable at all is the height of lunacy, such a thing would be impossible today much less “back then”, and I guess I just believe it should be treated as such.

  12. #12 fongooly
    August 31, 2008

    But Nick, I can’t help it, she called a person desperately trying to overcome such stigma a motherfucker. Where’s the compassion, the empathetic outreach? Don’t you see how much like you and I she is? How desperately she tries to say something intelligent? She is us, Nick!

  13. #13 Leni
    August 31, 2008

    JJ Ramsey wrote:

    I think a big part of the problem is that the seaworthiness of the ark and its ability to take in all the animals were not treated as miracles in the text of Genesis. If Genesis had been written such that, say, the ark was a small crude box that God had miraculously made bigger on the inside than it was on the outside, creationists wouldn’t sweat it so much.

    I did think about that, and I think you’re mostly right.

    But the logistics of the thing, from start to finish, are so ridiculous. The boat is simply one more absurdity in a long series of absurdities. Not that you need examples, but even the mundane stuff is laughable: there’s the problem of knowing which animals to take and where to find them, identifying their genders, safely catching and caging them, keeping them from dying from the stress of captivity, feeding them, storing their food, knowing what to feed them, cleaning up their poop and so on.

    Perhaps this isn’t a standard argument, but I’ve heard creationists say that there was some sort of magical stasis induced in the animals that caused them to not need food.

    Did Genesis say anything about that? (I’m assuming it didn’t, but I could very well be wrong.)

    If not, then at some point God had to lend a helping hand. Otherwise, the animals would have simply died from stress, illness or starvation. It just seems to me that when they can’t explain it away they are perfectly happy to invoke the “God did it” excuse. I just don’t understand why they don’t do it for the ark.

    I suspect that they try to solve the ark problem because they can. It’s a manageable and fun problem to tackle, and they get the bonus of making it appear as if there actually is some science in creation science. I still feel baffled by it, though.

    ….

    A regular- it is creepy. I’d encourage you not to ask questions. It just sets him off.

  14. #14 Ginger Yellow
    August 31, 2008

    I’ve never understood why creationists expect to find the ark. Look at what happens to old buildings. Their bricks/stones get reused again and again. Timber was a valuable and unsubstitutable resource throughout much of history. If it had existed, it would have been recycled thousands of years ago.

  15. #15 fong
    August 31, 2008

    Ginger, did you ever hear of petrified wood?

    Used in a sentence: Leni is petrified of woodies.

  16. #16 Jason Rosenhouse
    August 31, 2008

    fongooly –

    I don’t know why you have this strange obsession with Leni, but please express yourself with a bit more dignity. If you don’t I’ll start deleting your comments.

    Strider –

    My point about Zoschke’s seriousness was directed at other Christians. As an atheist, I completely agree that it’s pointless to pour over every verse in the Bible, desperately trying to extract some deep meaning from it. But there are many other Christians who agree that the Bible should be analyzed meticulously, but who also accuse the young-Earthers of practicing bad theology, or of forcing an unreasonable interpretation on the text of the Bible. I don’t believe they are generally guilty of this. In fact, I think the folks who try toharmonize Genesis with modern science are far more guilty of it.

  17. #17 fongooly
    August 31, 2008

    Jason:
    Well, how dignified did you find Leni’s use of the term motherfucker to be? She applied it to both myself and a fellow named O’Brien, when neither of us even shared a similar viewpoint.
    And even if we had, how would such an appellation be appropriate on this sort of forum?

    The woman owes us at least an apology, and should owe you an apology as well.

  18. #18 Jason Rosenhouse
    August 31, 2008

    fongooly –

    I’m sure it must have been awful for you to be called a bad name, but I’m sure you can think of a more mature response than to post obnoxious and ill-considered remarks every time Leni comments. And I’m not looking for a debate on the issue. Keep your comments related to the post, please.

  19. #19 SiMPel MYnd
    August 31, 2008

    Well, it’s been said before, but I will say it one more time…

    Thanks, Jason, for attending and giving us the skinny on the creationist side of things. Like others, I don’t think I would be able to handle it myself. I would go ballistic in the Q&A sessions.

    Great job all around…

  20. #20 MarcusA
    August 31, 2008

    I think I prefer it when creationists don’t attempt to do science, when they stick to biblical literalism and reject reality when it gets in their way. Their science is no more than the rationalization of preformed conclusions.

    Doing feasibility studies on the Ark strikes me as little different than studying Bigfoot’s mating habits. The creationists are presuming the existence of the subject of the study.

    This type of pseudo-science seems far more damaging to real science than old-fashioned creationism.

  21. #21 fongooly
    August 31, 2008

    Jason:
    Well you can delete this comment too, but here’s what I said to Leni earlier:
    “Motherfucker was originally a self-denigrating term used in the American black culture.
    Whites then were quick to find it useful as a substitute for the n—– word.”

    You don’t need to know my race, but maybe you do need to know that I have close female relatives who are both mothers and black. And to brush me off with a patronizing “I’m sure it must have been awful” comment adds insult to real injury.

    Leni’s refusal to apologize even after I told her this is unacceptable.

  22. #22 Paul Murray
    August 31, 2008

    “Simple. To fight creationism, it helps to understand how creationists think.”

    Depends. If by “fighting creationism”, you mean getting the creationists to stop beliveing what they do: lots of luck, pal. The one common thread in all deconversion stories is that people have to think their own way out of it.

    A fight that *is* winnable is keeping creationism out of the laws. Discrediting it to the general public. And for that you don’t really need to go into the dank recesses of the “making excuses for God” mind.

  23. #23 J. J. Ramsey
    September 1, 2008

    Paul Murray: “If by ‘fighting creationism’, you mean getting the creationists to stop beliveing what they do: lots of luck, pal. The one common thread in all deconversion stories is that people have to think their own way out of it.”

    But they don’t think their way out of it in a vacuum. Deconverts from creationism are going to interact with arguments for and against creationism, and knowing how creationists tend to think can help with the latter.

    Paul Murray: “A fight that *is* winnable is keeping creationism out of the laws. Discrediting it to the general public.”

    Creationists of one stripe or another are a majority of the general public in the U.S., IIRC, so the latter goal still amounts to deconverting creationists, albeit not the most solidly committed ones.

  24. #24 Jason Rosenhouse
    September 1, 2008

    fongooly –

    I find it unacceptable to have you leaving obnoxious comments that have no connection to the post. I’m sorry that Leni insulted you, but sometimes in life you just have to suck it up and get over it. This is your last warning. Keep your comments related to the post.

  25. #25 Joe
    September 1, 2008

    “One point I remember them making is that the vapor pressure of water on an inundated Earth would be so high you would drown trying to breathe the air. Does this make sense to anybody?

    Posted by: tresmal | August 30, 2008 8:30 PM”

    It makes no sense at all.

    Think about being in the middle of a large ocean (or, even, lake), that approximates an “inundated” condition. At ordinary temperatures, the vapor pressure of water (at saturation) contributes less than than one percent to the atmosphere (both as composition and pressure).

  26. #26 SLC
    September 1, 2008

    I suggest that Mr. fongonly has now warn out his welcome here with his latest ridiculous statement comparing mass murderers with a statement made by Ms. Leni. Clearly, his vendetta against her contributes nothing to the discussion; it just wastes computer disk storage.

  27. #27 Bil Rohan Sr
    September 1, 2008

    The essence of religion is to declare the facts.
    The essence of science is to discover the facts.

    In religion truth is affirmed by belief.

    In science belief is affirmed by truth.

  28. #28 BlueMako
    September 1, 2008

    “God made a flood to kill nearly every living thing on the planet yet he couldn’t keep a simple boat afloat?”
    Not to mention the question of why use a flood at all, instead of a much simpler and less destructive method (like killing all the offending people instantly). The “kill most of the animals for no damn reason” part of the story never did make sense to me…

  29. #29 Koray
    September 1, 2008

    JR: Those scholars think the bible ought to be analyzed meticulously because they’re scholars and that’s what they like doing. They don’t care what regular non-scholar, stranded on an island with a bible, are supposed to think about whether it was a 24-hour day or not.

    The whole flood story is laughable, even if it was local.

  30. #30 Luna_the_cat
    September 2, 2008

    Jason — I realise you’ve wrapped the series up, but I have questions about Sanford’s talk — he’s attracted my attention in the past as well. Is there any chance I could either convince you to do a brief rundown on your blog, or ask you questions about it via email?

  31. #31 Bill Rohan Sr
    September 2, 2008

    Iggernay

    My point about declaration and discovery, as the essential difference between religion and science, is to point out that religious claims are not knowledge claims. You do not know anything, even though you think you do, when you accept statements based on religion. The claim that a book contains the words of a god is a declaration of the ancients, a primitive thought-form, that has survived and continues to be believed though there are no facts, and no possible facts, to substantiate it. It would be impossible for it to be true. To think it is a correct claim, that it is a knowledge statement, is to be in in error.

    Believing any religious claims, e.g. there is a god, or a god told Noah to build an ark, is not to know something but it is to live and act as if one knows something. Knowledge is a different species of human engagement with experience, distinct from the religious engagement of belief. Religion declares the nature of reality without justification of facts and sometimes despite the facts. Belief is to act as if the declaration is correct. Science discovers the nature of reality based on reason and evidence and constitutes knowledge.

  32. #32 Dave S.
    September 2, 2008

    Along those lines, can someone explain to me the argument that the days in Genesis could not be twenty-four hour days because the Sun was not created until Day Four? The Earth and light were both created on Day One, and it seems to me that is all you need to talk about a normal day.

    I think the argument goes that in order to have an ordinary literal day (especially with mornings and evenings), you must have the Sun. If you have an alternative for the Sun for those first few days, whether its the light of ‘let there be light’, or a substitute unmentioned temporary body, then those are not ordinary days. They are extraordinary days, never seen since, and not really days at all in the literal sense. Then you run into the problem of how you have light without a source. There could be a temporary source, but this is extra-Biblical and it calls into question of why perfectly good light was made on Day 1, only to be replaced by the Sun on Day 4. Yadda yadda yadda.

  33. #33 Jason Rosenhouse
    September 2, 2008

    iggernay –

    I’d appreciate it if you could find a more tasteful name to blog under. Thanks.

    Dave S -

    It’s not a big stretch to define an “ordinary day” as the time it takes the Earth to rotate on its axis relative to some light source. That we use the Sun for that purpose, whereas the source of light was different on the first three days of creation seems immaterial. As for where the light came from, why not the stars? It’s not as if the Sun is the only source of light in the cosmos.

  34. #34 SLC
    September 2, 2008

    Re Jason Rosenhouse

    The problem with assigning the stars as the source of light is that night and day would then be indistinguishable from each other.

    Actually, here is another explanation offered by old earth creationists, namely that the days of creation were not contiguous (as I recall suggested by the evangelist Jimmy Swaggart). Thus, in this hypothesis, the days of creation would be literal 24 hour days during which god was actually doing something but there might be long periods of time in between when god was busy on other projects or perhaps doing nothing.

  35. #35 Jason Rosenhouse
    September 2, 2008

    SLC -

    If not the stars, then perhaps some other source that does not correspond to any of the luminous objects we know of today. Seems like a far simpler hypothesis than to insert long periods of time into the text. I don’t think we need to entertain radical departures from the text just because the nature of the light on Day One is a bit mysterious.

  36. #36 SLC
    September 2, 2008

    Re Jason Rosenhouse

    I’m not quite sure what the point of Prof. Rosenhouses’ argument is. The issue of the source of the light and the question of whether the days of creation were contiguous are independent of each other. Those old earth creationists who argue for this hypothesis claim that the notion that the days of creation are contiguous is an assumption and is not literally stated in the text. This hypothesis is no better or no worse then the long days hypothesis or the gap hypothesis. The point of all of these hypotheses is to attempt to reconcile the obvious fact backed up by numerous lines of evidence that the earth and the universe are very old, and the 1st book of genesis. Of course, the young earth creationists either ignore the evidence or dream up cockamamie hypotheses to explain it away(e.g. the nonsense of Russell Humpherys).

  37. #37 Jon S
    September 2, 2008

    God made the sun, moon and stars on day four. As to the source of light on day one we can only speculate since the Bible doesn’t specify the source. God could have been the source of the light since He is light (see Revelation 22:5). There are other possibilities that are reasonable in light of scripture, but there’s no way to know for sure without specific revelation. As you point out Jason it’s not a big stretch to define an “ordinary day” as the time it takes the Earth to rotate on its axis relative to some light source.

    As for Noah’s Ark, it’s important to show that scripture can be trusted. If we can demonstrate that Noah’s Ark was both possible and feasible, then that goes to demonstrate the reliability of scripture. If Noah’s Ark could be demonstrated to be false then why believe anything in scripture? So it’s important for Christians to answer skeptics who claim it’s not possible for a wooden ark to be constructed at all, let alone by ancient man from the bronze age who were too dumb and stupid to build a wooden ship to save both man and animal from destruction.

  38. #38 SLC
    September 3, 2008

    Re Jon S

    Hey, our old friend numbnuts Mr. Jon S is back with more stupidity. The fact is that there is no evidence that a totally wooden ship as large as the ark was supposed to be could ever be constructed. The largest wooden ship ever built was the Spanish warship Santisima Trinidad, built in the late 18th century, carrying 130 cannon which fought at the battle of Trafalger, and weighed some 4500 tons. The ark as described in the scriptures was several times as large as that ship. In fact, the ark as described was the size of a World War 2 aircraft carrier of the Essex class. The notion that a wooden ship as large as the ark could be built and float without falling apart is as preposterous as Mr. Jon S’ claim that Tyrannosaurs were vegetarians.

  39. #39 Randy
    September 3, 2008

    The light source on creation Day 1 was almost certainly an extra-solar source. The phrase ‘let there be light’ (Day 1) could be thought to pertain to what most here would think of as the big bang, an energetic push of radiation in the gamma-ray range. Afterwards, cosmology defines a period termed the ‘dark ages’ – the time between Recombination and Reionization – when radiation in the visible wavelength was essentially gone. Massive black holes became the centers of great collections of matter, their accretion disks lighting up the dark cosmos in pinpoint fashion. These great collections of baryonic material were the beginnings of galaxies (however, not to forget that dark matter probably played an enormous role in helping shape vast cosmic structures). It was probably light from the center of our galaxy which first struck the earth early on Day 1, demarcating light/dark, day/night around the planet’s circumference. Hence the phrase, ‘and He separated the light from the darkness,’ etc.

  40. #40 SLC
    September 3, 2008

    Re Randy

    1. The difficulty with this type of reasoning is that it assumes that the earth was created before the stars and galaxies. This is not in accordance with the current cosmological theories.

    2. But young earth creations such as our own troll Mr. Jon S deny the existence of dark matter (and dark energy for that matter).

  41. #41 Dave S.
    September 3, 2008

    Dave S -

    It’s not a big stretch to define an ?ordinary day? as the time it takes the Earth to rotate on its axis relative to some light source. That we use the Sun for that purpose, whereas the source of light was different on the first three days of creation seems immaterial. As for where the light came from, why not the stars? It’s not as if the Sun is the only source of light in the cosmos.

    Hey, I’m just the messenger. It ain’t my theory. An ordinary day means daylight caused by the Sun. If you’re in a dark room and turn on a light, that’s not a ‘day’, even though you might simulate ‘days’ that way. Simulated days are not ordinary days with mornings and evenings. The first few days, whatever they were, were not ordinary. It was s solar system without the Sun. Nothing ordinary about that, whether it was souceless light or a Sun substitute. As for stars, we can see them, but they don’t turn night into day.

    Make of that what you will.

  42. #42 Jason Rosenhouse
    September 3, 2008

    SLC –

    My argument is simply that the YEC interpretation of Genesis is more reasonable than the interpretations offered by people trying to reconcile Genesis with modern science.

    That the days in Genesis are contiguous is so strongly implied by what is written that it hardly merits being called a mere assumption. The early chapters of Genesis seem to be providing a complete account of the early history of mankind, starting from his creation and proceding to the destruction of that creation in the flood. The creation week is later referred to as the reason for preserving the Sabbath day. The text of Genesis is written in a very natural way if the intent is to convey six consecutive days of work followed by a day of rest. To suggest that what seems intended to convey a complete history, and which makes perfect sense when interpreted that way, has actually left out huge swaths of history does not make sense.

    People often argue that the days in Genesis can’t be literal since the Sun was not created until Day Four, and then use this observation as a springboard for considering nonliteral interpretations of the text. I am arguing that the simpler hypothesis is that the light created on Day One could have been use to measure a normal day, despite the fact that its source is left a bit mysterious in the text. That is the connection between the questions of the source of light and the contiguity of the days.

  43. #43 Jason Rosenhouse
    September 3, 2008

    Dave S –

    I think you have an excessively restrictive notion of what constitutes an `ordinary day.’ Any YEC would agree that if the Sun is built into the definition of an ordinary day, then obviously the first three days were not ordinary. But if you define an ordinary day as the time it takes for the Earth to rotate once on its axis relative to a fixed light source, then I think we’re okay.

  44. #44 SLC
    September 3, 2008

    Re Jason Rosenhouse

    Prof. Rosenhouse, none of the old earth creationist hypotheses make any sense. How is the notion that the days of creation were millions of years long any more sensible then the notion that six 24 hour days with long time periods in between them occurred? How is the notion that there is a gap of time lasting several billion years in between the first sentence of Genesis I and the rest of the book (which still assumes six 24 hour days of creation) any more sensible then the non-contiguous day hypothesis? The fact is that all of them are trying to reconcile the musings of a bunch of goat herders with the findings of modern scientific endeavors. Not going to happen until Prof. Rosenhouse sees the back of his own ear!

  45. #45 Randy
    September 3, 2008

    Dear SLC,
    Thanks for your comments.
    1. Assumptions are a part of science. Since I am a creation researcher, I must base my assumptions on things that run counterintuitive to my scientific thinking at times. My confession to you is that I never find this exercise easy, nor is the outcome always satisfying. My experience is that in the end something usually suffers – either Bible history or science. I share your concern that, at least from a modern cosmological perspective, stars necessarily preceded the earth. However, since I have chosen my science, so to speak, I will necessarily want to construct a model wherein the reionization of the universe occurs much earlier than current cosmology predicts. Please see my blog here for a fuller explanation:
    http://stillbarkingmad.wordpress.com/2008/08/20/creationism-conference/#comments
    By the time the earth was here, Population III stars could have been very near ignition.
    2. I personally have no trouble with dark energy or dark matter.

  46. #46 Jon S
    September 3, 2008

    SLC, I figured you’d be happy to hear from me again. If you really don’t think there’s any evidence to support a totally wooden ship as large as the ark then please see Woodmorappe’s Noah’s Ark: A feasiblity study. There’s also Dr. Seon Won Hong, who’s not a creationist. Dr. Hong earned a B.S. degree in naval architecture from Seoul National University and a Ph.D. degree in applied mechanics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He completed a scientific study endorsing the seaworthiness of the ark. http://www.worldwideflood.com/ark/hull_form/hull_optimization.htm.

    I think you’re upset because ancient human beings did what modern humans consider to be preposterous. And it’s certainly not as preposterous as your claims that bridge engineers and designers could design a human spine superior to the one God made.

    You also point out that the old earth creationist arguments don’t make any sense, which is true. However the difference between the old earth argument and young earth argument is that YEC is supported Biblically, as Prof. Rosenhouse already pointed out, regardless of whether you actually believe it or not. You don’t have to do any mental gymnastics to make it fit naturalistic explanations or modern scientific models.

  47. #47 SLC
    September 3, 2008

    Re Jon S

    Mr. Jon S, as usual doesn’t know what he is talking about. The question isn’t whether a wooden boat the size of the arc could float or whether it could be made stable. The question is whether an all wooden ship the size of an Essex class aircraft carrier could hold together. The consensus of naval architects is that it could not, else such a vessel would have been built in the early 19th century. As I stated, the largest wooden ship ever built was the Santisma Trinidad was several times smaller then the arc was supposed to be. If the folks that Mr. Jon S quoted think that such a boat can be built, floated, and hold together, I suggest that they go about building such a vessel. In other words, they should put up or shut up.

    As for the comment about bridge engineers and human spines, Mr. Jon S’ claim of vegetarian Tyrannosaurs is probably the dumbest thing ever published on this blog. But it’s what one would expect from a fucktard like him.

    Re Randy

    1. Since Mr. Randy says he is a creationist and thinks that the earth was created before the galaxies and stars, does he also think that the other planets in the solar system and planets that have been discovered revolving around other stars were also created before them?

    2. Does Mr. Randy accept the claim made by Mr. Jon S (who, by the way also denies the big bang theory) that no other planet in the universe (or the multiverse) has life on it, intelligent or otherwise?

  48. #48 fockturd
    September 3, 2008

    SLC: What exactly makes Jon S a fucktard?

  49. #49 Dave S.
    September 3, 2008

    I think you have an excessively restrictive notion of what constitutes an `ordinary day.’ Any YEC would agree that if the Sun is built into the definition of an ordinary day, then obviously the first three days were not ordinary. But if you define an ordinary day as the time it takes for the Earth to rotate once on its axis relative to a fixed light source, then I think we’re okay.

    Like I said already, it’s not my argument, so I don’t have a horse in the race either way. You asked what the argument was, and I answered. I’m just reporting what I heard from other Christians criticising the YE narrative. I didn’t say it was a good argument or a bad argument, or that I agreed or disagreed with it. Clearly the YEers aren’t swayed this argument, since after all they remain YEers. But then again, YEers are seldom swayed by arguments that oppose their views.

  50. #50 tresmal
    September 3, 2008

    On the subject of Ark feasibility:
    How many people worked to build this Ark?
    How long did it take?
    What tools did they use?
    Where and how did they harvest and mill the lumber?
    And what kind of resources were available to Noah?

  51. #51 Jon S
    September 3, 2008

    SLC: If I were capable I’d certainly build a replica of the ark. However, since the best I’ve done is a raft I’ll wait until someone who knows what they’re doing decides to tackle that project and I’ll support them with my own money. I’ll put up the money to shut you up :-) Afterall, I helped get a museum built, so an ark would be a pretty cool next step.

    SLC is one of those stalkers who likes criticize me the moment I make a post. I think he’s got an alarm set up for when I make a comment ;-) Anywho, I’m waiting for him to present the poor bridge engineer who thinks he can build a better spine than God. That’s got to be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard anyone say on any blog… Well SLC, either put up or shut up ;-)

    SLC is also an alien hugger. As soon as someone discovers life on another planet wake me up, okay? Spend your billions, and billions more, and billions more for your hopeful wishes that will never come to be.

  52. #52 Jon S
    September 3, 2008

    tresmal, Go and visit the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. You’ll get a pretty good answer to all your questions.

  53. #53 bobyu
    September 4, 2008

    Jon S,
    Re life on another planet, I’ve been told WE are only one among many OTHER planets with life on it.
    Is there something in your bible that says otherwise?

  54. #54 Randy
    September 4, 2008

    Regarding extra-terrestrial life:
    I am not experienced in these things. Therefore, my unqualified opinion is that we will not find life outside of this planet’s sphere. (To answer another post, Yes, there actually is a verse which indirectly answers your question about the possibility of life elsewhere. It says something like this: he (meaning God) formed [the earth] to be inhabited. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=29&chapter=45&verse=18&version=9&context=verse
    Of course, the implied meaning of the verse would be that earth is the exclusive owner of life among all planets.)
    There might be a science behind this subject matter however. Perhaps it is incumbent upon the evolutionist (since their theory almost has to find ET life in order to survive) to plot a probability curve wherein the x-axis is the radial distance from any cosmic life-oasis such as Earth and f(x) is an exponential function of that distance describing the probability of finding life. The domain of the function should probably be [positive infinity, 0]. If in the next 100 years we do not find life or the evidence thereof in our solar neighborhood, it would seem that some kind of evolutionistic paradigm shift would be in order.

  55. #55 SLC
    September 4, 2008

    Re randy

    1. Come on Mr. randy, don’t be schmuck like Mr. Jon S. The fact is that we have now identified some 250 extra solar planets and that’s just in the neighborhood of the sun so to speak. There are several hundred billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy and at least a billion galaxies. Based on our current knowledge of the obvious existence of planets, there is no reason to suppose that the number of planets in the universe is not commensurate with the number of stars, i.e. there are, as Carl Sagan would say, billions and billions of them. To claim that the earth is the only planet in the universe that sustains life is a sign of monumental arrogance. To state this from a theistic point of view, a god who can create life on one planet can create life on billions of planets. Would this not be to his greater glory, to be worshiped by beings on multiple locations in the universe?

    2. From whence comes the notion that the probability of life decreases with the distance from the earth? The earth is nothing but a minor planet revolving around a minor star in the outer reaches of the Milky Way galaxy which differs not at all from millions of other galaxies in the observable universe. This kind of assumption makes no sense.

  56. #56 JimCH
    September 4, 2008

    Randy…
    What? Are you serious? It’s nearly impossible to address your comment because it’s incoherent.

    Perhaps it is incumbent upon the evolutionist (since their theory almost has to find ET life in order to survive) to plot a probability curve wherein the x-axis is the radial distance from any cosmic life-oasis such as Earth and f(x) is an exponential function of that distance describing the probability of finding life.

    Again, what the hell are you talking about? Why does evolutionary theory need to find other life in the universe to survive? &, what is to survive — evolution as a predictable theory, or Earth life?

  57. #57 Leni
    September 4, 2008

    Jon S wrote:

    As for Noah’s Ark, it’s important to show that scripture can be trusted. If we can demonstrate that Noah’s Ark was both possible and feasible, then that goes to demonstrate the reliability of scripture. If Noah’s Ark could be demonstrated to be false then why believe anything in scripture?

    But why should we assume that God would not have helped them to survive with divine intervention?

    (Aside from his being mostly intent on killing every living thing on the planet. Mostly.)

    Certainly you think that God is capable of it, so why didn’t he, and how can you be sure he didn’t?

    Further, the “feasibility” of the boat itself is only one of many logistical problems. Problems which would surely have been, under the circumstances, insurmountable without divine intervention. Food for the voyage, for example. How did Noah know what to take and how much to take? How did they identify the male and female of unfamiliar species? How the hell did they even catch them?

    Needless to say, your selection of the ark as the “pass or fail” factor seems wholly arbitrary to me.

  58. #58 llewelly
    September 4, 2008

    Randy:

    Perhaps it is incumbent upon the evolutionist (since their theory almost has to find ET life in order to survive) to plot a probability curve wherein the x-axis is the radial distance from any cosmic life-oasis such as Earth and f(x) is an exponential function of that distance describing the probability of finding life. The domain of the function should probably be [positive infinity, 0].

    Next you’ll tell us Roswell Man was a hoax, a pygmy, and dwarf, and therefore evolution is disproved.

  59. #59 Randy
    September 4, 2008

    SLC and Jim,

    Let me explain. It may very well be that your science and mine have similar problems – neither of us can produce the source of life. I have a problem in that my science claims biogenesis (for the creationist that term would mean a pre-existant, living God created all life forms) yet I am unable to show him to you and thus prove my point. He remains out there so to speak. I must look for him and wait for him. However, your science is no better off. You believe in an abiotic start to life, yet after at least 75 years of attempting to synthesize life in the laboratory, you have come up short. Worse, when you make comments like this, Why does evolutionary theory need to find other life in the universe to survive? you greatly limit your options. I have a hunch that many evolutionists would tend to disagree with you. That would doubtless be because they understand the lateness of the hour and realize that if on the very planet where life exploded long ago they are unable to create it again, they, like I, must begin to look for life out there.

  60. #60 mothergoose
    September 5, 2008

    Leni, I’d think it was clear that those of Noah’s time would have thought they took as many essential animals as they could, and that further, there were primitive zoos at that time, such as there still are in that same region, from which these animals could have been obtained. But why the effort to logically dissect bible stories when we already know such arguments, or attempts at ridicule, as if believers were all simply disabusable idiots, simply amount to gratuitous acts of cruelty.

  61. #61 Jon S
    September 5, 2008

    bobyu said: “I’ve been told WE are only one among many OTHER planets with life on it. Is there something in your bible that says otherwise?”

    Randy answered the question pretty good, but I’ll add a bit. First, WHO told you that we’re only one among many other planets with life on it? Do you believe everything everyone tells you? I was told there are aliens hiding in Roswell. And I know someone who shot big foot. Whether or not you BELIEVE any of this nonsense is based on faith, not facts. Of course no one can demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that life exists independent of earth. The best evidence I hear is based on faith, such as SLC who thinks by acknowledging the vastness of the universe is sufficient evidence of alien life. Contrary to what SLC believes, claiming that the earth is the only planet in the universe that sustains life is not monumental arrogance; right now every place we’ve ever looked we’ve demonstrated that the universe outside of earth is absolutely, positively dead, while earth flourishes. Further, there’s nothing in the Bible to suggest any other planet is suitable for life. God made earth our home, and Genesis 1:14-19 says that God made the sun, moon and stars to separate day from night and to serve as signs to mark the seasons and days and years. He made them for a specific purpose, so there’s no reason to think any other planet would be host to other life forms. There would be many theological problems if aliens did exist, such as whether or not they were sinners and were in need of salvation too.

    Leni, you ask “why should we assume that God would not have helped them (animals on the ark) to survive with divine intervention?” If God used divine intervention I think it’s reasonable to that he would have told us. When God uses miracles or divine intervention the Bible usually mentions such. Since it’s not mentioned there’s no reason to think that he did. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with believing that it’s possible that he used divine intervention, but I wouldn’t put my hope in it. And it would be more accurate to say that God’s intention was judgment over man’s sin.

    You suggest that feasibility problems of the boat would have been insurmountable, but I suggest it wasn’t. People back then were much superior to us today in many ways. They lived hundreds and hundreds of years, would have many years of experience, and didn’t have the generations of mutations that have been passed down through the ages since they were among the first humans to exist. I don’t see why food would be a problem. Noah could have used compressed hay, other dried plant material, seeds and grains, and the like. Meat-eating animals could have eaten dried meat, reconstituted dried meat, or slaughtered animals. Noah didn’t need to identify male and female animals, nor did he catch them. Genesis 6:20 says that the animals would come to Noah, and Genesis 7:8 indicates the animals came to Noah and entered the ark (kind of like the animals in the movie Evan Almighty).

    Randy, good posts!

  62. #62 JimCH
    September 5, 2008

    Randy…

    Let me explain. It may very well be that your science and mine have similar problems…

    Science is a process. Science is science; there is no your science or my science.

    …neither of us can produce the source of life.

    This is only a problem for you. Evolution says nothing about how life started, only what happens after it has been started. I think you must be confused.

    I have a problem in that my science claims biogenesis (for the creationist that term would mean a pre-existant, living God created all life forms) yet I am unable to show him to you and thus prove my point.

    You have a problem in that “your science” is not science. Again, science is a process whereby part of the criteria is that the hypothesis presented is falsifiable, yet you admit that it is impossible for you to supply proof. Whatever you may call it, it is not science (by definition). It’s not a debatable point.

    You believe in an abiotic start to life, yet after at least 75 years of attempting to synthesize life in the laboratory, you have come up short. I have a hunch that many evolutionists would tend to disagree with you. That would doubtless be because they understand the lateness of the hour and realize that if on the very planet where life exploded long ago they are unable to create it again, they, like I, must begin to look for life out there.

    Many points here. I don’t care if it takes 7500 years, it is still possible to prove or disprove that hypothesis. What lateness of hour are you talking about? Are you saying that there is some kind of time limit whereby when some magical hour is up the game is over? Your 100 years are up & I’m not satisfied therefore, I will be inserting my head back up my butt again. You are asserting some sort of time constraint that I’m afraid I didn’t know existed.

    Worse, when you make comments like this, Why does evolutionary theory need to find other life in the universe to survive? you greatly limit your options.

    Umm … that’s not a comment, it’s a question. That’s what the hook with the period underneath at the end is all about. I even supplied you with options regarding what I suspected you were talking about, but wasn’t sure of. I gather now from your “answer” that you are speaking to evolution as a theory. Again, you must be confused. As has already been stated, evolution is unconcerned with life’s origin.
    So, I’ll ask again, what the hell are you talking about?
    By the way, when Jon S comments that you’ve supplied great posts I’m afraid that you’ve just won a boobie prize. I’m amazed every time he manages to navigate back to this web site.

  63. #63 bobyu
    September 5, 2008

    Randy and Jon S: if you presume, in the absence of bible references to the contrary, that no life exists anywhere else in the universe, doesn’t that indicate more that your creator God got lucky this one time, than that this God has the ability to create whole worlds and living creatures up the gadzooks, yet has been content not to?
    Or is it simply that your sort wants us to stop looking as there’s no telling what we will find that is not in our – and thus in God’s – image?

  64. #64 Leni
    September 5, 2008

    Jon S wrote:

    If God used divine intervention I think it’s reasonable to that he would have told us. When God uses miracles or divine intervention the Bible usually mentions such. Since it’s not mentioned there’s no reason to think that he did. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with believing that it’s possible that he used divine intervention, but I wouldn’t put my hope in it.

    I wouldn’t put my hope in it either.

    And yet there is no reason to think that Noah could actually do as God commanded without His help. As you say: “the animals came to Noah and entered the ark“.

    So he did have some help.

    And it would be more accurate to say that God’s intention was judgment over man’s sin.

    It’s nice that you don’t mind “accurately” stating God’s intentions.

    Nevertheless, I still don’t understand why killing untold billions of blameless creatures would accomplish this.

    You suggest that feasibility problems of the boat would have been insurmountable…

    Actually, I suggested that the feasibility of the whole story was suspect.

    The ark, as I’ve said again and again, is the least of your problems.

    … but I suggest it wasn’t. People back then were much superior to us today in many ways.

    Really?

    They lived hundreds and hundreds of years, would have many years of experience, and didn’t have the generations of mutations that have been passed down through the ages since they were among the first humans to exist.

    Really? They lived “hundreds of years”? They didn’t have “mutations”?

    Well then, they must have been “superior”. Everyone knows that people with fewer mutations are superior.

    I don’t see why food would be a problem. Noah could have used compressed hay, other dried plant material, seeds and grains, and the like. Meat-eating animals could have eaten dried meat, reconstituted dried meat, or slaughtered animals.

    And Noah himself just *knew* how to do all of this?

    With no help at all, he just *knew* how to feed all the species?

    Noah didn’t need to identify male and female animals, nor did he catch them. Genesis 6:20 says that the animals would come to Noah, and Genesis 7:8 indicates the animals came to Noah and entered the ark (kind of like the animals in the movie Evan Almighty).

    So he did have God’s help.

    Except in not keeping the ark afloat, because that would have been… what.. superfluous?

  65. #65 mothergoose
    September 5, 2008

    Leni is addressing arguments supposedly to people she knows won’t be impressed or intimidated, yet if she is aiming for a more sophisticated audience, she also comes short of presenting other than the 8th grade level obvious. Proving perhaps she likes to write notes to herself in public. But at least she didn’t swear at these people, as did SLC and the like.

  66. #66 Leni
    September 5, 2008

    Nice response.

    I guess that clears everything up.

  67. #67 mothergoosed
    September 6, 2008

    Not really. The actual social practice in Israel that appears to show some historical basis for believing a flood had been called upon to end it is shown on the following site:
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/09/080905-israel-burials.html

  68. #68 Randy
    September 6, 2008

    JimCH said: As has already been stated, evolution is unconcerned with life’s origin.

    JimCH,
    I said a long time ago that I would not argue with incipience. Without an origin of life, you have no science. If, in your arguments, you are unable to rise above the ignorant level you have portrayed thus far, I must move on to more intelligent correspondents. Good day.

  69. #69 Randy
    September 6, 2008

    Make that “insipience.” I find your comments utterly foolish and your reasoning skills sub-academic.

  70. #70 bobyu
    September 6, 2008

    Randy, you of course cannot argue with incipience when your entire theory of life is an argument from insipience.

  71. #71 Jon S
    September 6, 2008

    JimCH says “Science is a process. Science is science; there is no your science or my science.”

    Fair enough, however there are different ways and approaches to interpret the evidence accumulated during the “scientific process”. There’s uniformitarianism, Creationsim, etc, which are all based on unprovable assumptions and beliefs. You believe the universe is over 13 billions years old because you accept and believe a uniformitarian or naturalistic process. I don’t. I believe what’s recorded in scripture as my starting point, thus I believe the earth is very young, probably less than 10,000 years old.

    You accurately point out that evolution says nothing about how life started, only what happens after it has been started. However Creationism has much to say about how life started. If you don’t want to address the issue because it’s outside the realm of evolution that’s fine, but don’t act as if the subject is taboo and off limits because you don’t have an adequate answer.

    You explain that science is a process whereby part of the criteria is that the hypothesis presented is falsifiable,and that our process is not science, whereas your process is? How is it that evolution is falsifiabe? Can you demonstrate in a laboratory that dinosaurs grew feathers, wings, avian lungs and such. Can you observe in the field a mammal going into the sea and becoming a whale? Did you an australopithecene evolve into man? These are the claims of evolution. If you or anyone else hasn’t done this then I suggest that evolution isn’t falsifiable either. It’s based upon faith and unprovable assumptions about the past.

    bobyu says that if we presume, in the absence of bible references to the contrary, that no life exists anywhere else in the universe, doesn’t that indicate more that your creator God got lucky this one time, than that this God has the ability to create whole worlds and living creatures up the gadzooks, yet has been content not to? bobyu, if God is all powerful, then there’s no luck involved. He did exactly what he intended to do according to his redemptive plan, and that seems to have not included alien life forms.

    You also ask if it’s simply that we want to stop looking for aliens as there’s no telling what we will find that is not in our – and thus in God’s – image?

    As a Christian I’m certainly not afraid of what we’ll find. I simply think it’s a waste of time, energy and money to go on a wild goose chase. All observable evidence indicates there’s nothing else out there, yet evolutionists cling to the hope of finding life out there to reinforce their belief system.

    Leni, you say you still don’t understand why killing untold billions of blameless creatures would accomplish this. Genesis 6:5-8 explains why God sent the flood. Even if you suggest that creatures (animals) are blameless, you should understand from a Christian perspective animals don’t have souls, and God didn’t create the earth specifically for them, but for man as our home until Christ comes again. God cares for animals, but they’re not part of his redemptive plan (Luke 12:5-7). Futhermore he did save the animals by bringing representatives to the ark.

    You seem surprised that humans lived hundreds of years and that they’re superior to modern humans. Noah lived 950 years. As for mutations, Adam would have had no mutations at the time God made them. But Adam’s descendants would have begun to accumulate mutations since they were born into into sin. If that is accurate then it would be reasonable to call them superior to us since we would have accumulated many more mutations than them.

    And yes, Noah did have God’s help. Specifically Noah had God’s help where the Bible mentions it, such as what I already referenced from scripture.

  72. #72 Gary Hurd
    September 6, 2008

    Thanks for your reports from inside the belly of the beast. And it is good also to see that Lauri and Burt are doing well.

    Another good book on Dover was Matthew Chapman’s �40 Days and 40 Nights� (2007 New York: Harper Collins). So far the only disapointing book on Dover I have read is Gordy Slack’s “The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything.”

    I wish that Mike Argento would get off his ass and write one, too.

  73. #73 Leni
    September 6, 2008

    Jon S wrote:

    Even if you suggest that creatures (animals) are blameless, you should understand from a Christian perspective animals don’t have souls, and God didn’t create the earth specifically for them, but for man as our home until Christ comes again. God cares for animals, but they’re not part of his redemptive plan (Luke 12:5-7). Futhermore he did save the animals by bringing representatives to the ark.

    He saved a few of the animals. He killed most of them, though. Untold millions of creatures doing nothing other than exactly what they were “designed” to do.

    This is really just a red herring. I mentioned it only to point out the outrageous, insane cruelty of murdering a planet full of living things for no good reason. Telling me what I already know (that you don’t think they have souls) doesn’t make the act any less senseless or cruel.

    And yes, Noah did have God’s help. Specifically Noah had God’s help where the Bible mentions it, such as what I already referenced from scripture.

    I understand that’s what you are trying to do, I just don’t think that’s what you are actually doing. Again, your points about the dried meat and hay weren’t terribly convincing. The bible doesn’t say how it happened either way, so it seems to me that you are perfectly willing to fill in the blanks with conjecture when it suits your needs.

    Anyway, as I said above, your side has a lot more to explain than whether or not the ark could have floated. The story is wildly ridiculous for more reasons that I could possibly come up with, yet you seem all too happy to brush off the reams of logistical nightmares so you can focus your attention on the ark. Frankly, I am starting to think that you are just going for the easiest target.

    Last, your bald assertions about Adam’s supposed lack of mutations are not evidence against the findings modern genetics. Humans share mutations with countless other species, and many of them are beneficial. (Leaving aside the notion that more or less all genetic features could probably be described as mutations.) That could not have happened as many times as it has if humans had accumulated mutations independently of all other species, both plant and animal.

    The Biblical creation story does not (and likely can not) account for that, unless you start making wild speculations about God’s supposed activity even when the Bible doesn’t specifically say he did anything.

  74. #74 mothergoosed
    September 6, 2008

    Leni, you can’t convince someone that they are wrong by assuming they have made the same assumptions beforehand that you have then based your counter arguments on. You assume, ergo, they will agree with you on the nature of mutations – therefor, voila, you use that knowledge against them – you show their presumed inner inconsistencies and so forth. But they don’t believe in your ideas on mutations, so you prove nothing to them, and prove little to those who also know mutations are a temporary or stopgap explanation for what we are beginning to learn is a much more complicated process for genetic change.
    So again you are just writing rather simplistic notes to yourself. And you accuse these people of making “bald assertions” as if they know they were wrong at the time, as if they might just be lying to protect their God or some such. Or accuse of them of ridiculousness when they in fact have no sense of the ridiculousness in this area.
    You are like those who yell at the retarded to wise up or face punishment. Which is the epitome of ridiculousness.
    You and Jon S were made for each other – he’d say it was by God. I’d say it was by that great grinning accident manufacturer in the sky.

  75. #75 JimCH
    September 6, 2008

    Randy…
    Get a cup of de-caf, don’t forget to breath, & simmer down.

    You stated; “Without an origin of life, you have no science.” True enough, but I have not espoused anything as to how life began; this is a separate issue (virtually undisputed). Would you not acknowledge that many fine people (people that you, no doubt, likely admire) believe that god created life & then let evolution guide the course?
    If you will suffer my pedestrian reasoning skills just once more perhaps you could finally explain why you believe that there is a time constraint for a natural explanation (reproduced in a lab, no less) of the origin of life problem. I will be waiting with bated breath for you to apply your rapier-like cognitive skills & shine light into the vacuity that I thus far have mistakenly assumed to be a fulfilling life.

  76. #76 Jon S
    September 6, 2008

    Leni, do you really think God is outrageous, insane, cruel and a murderer? I think you just don’t realize how much God loves us and how much he wants what’s best for us. And what’s best for us is to submit to him in obedience. He promises the gift of eternal life to those who believe in him. Is that really so bad? Whether or not you think it was cruel for him to destroy every living thing on the earth except for those in the ark, I think it speaks well of just how much God hates sin (Romans 6:23). So the bottom line is whether or not you want to have eternal life in heaven or be separated from that cruel God forever.

    Leni says “The bible doesn’t say how it happened either way, so it seems to me that you are perfectly willing to fill in the blanks with conjecture when it suits your needs.”

    We all use conjecture when we don’t have the answers, but the key is to admit it, which I have done, so what’s your point? Are you saying that you never rely on conjecture, or that scientists don’t ever rely on conjecture?

  77. #77 Randy
    September 7, 2008

    Dear JimCH,

    I appreciate your response and especially that your tone is more civil. I guess I did kind of get on my high horse, but you must admit that you incite people when you use expletives and speak in condescending tones. You must remember, though I am a creationist, I have accessed the same state/national university system as you, and as such, have achieved an education level which permits me to speak intelligently on diverse subject matters…but only to other intelligent beings, otherwise, I have no choice but to abandon the effort. For now, I am off to the church house to pay homage to that great, merciful Being who created us all. There, I will think how best to re-enter this conversation (though I venture to say we will ultimately reach an impasse, as usually happens in these matters). Later.

  78. #78 Leni
    September 7, 2008

    Jon S, if god hates sin then that is just one more reason not to kill animals, who can not sin. So yes, I still think your God is an insane murderer.

    So the bottom line is whether or not you want to have eternal life in heaven or be separated from that cruel God forever.

    This kind of thing will not help convince me that your god isn’t a morally repugnant, murdering lunatic. This just makes me want to add narcissistic and tyrannical to the list.

    Aside from that, you’d do better to stay on topic and keep the proselytizing to yourself. I’m not interested.

    We all use conjecture when we don’t have the answers, but the key is to admit it, which I have done, so what’s your point? Are you saying that you never rely on conjecture, or that scientists don’t ever rely on conjecture?

    Of course that’s not my point. I’m saying your selective application of it in this circumstance is a kind of intellectual dishonesty.

    Wild conjecture does not become acceptable so long as we admit that it is conjecture. The key is most definitely not simply to “admit” we’ve used it. Anyway, it’s usually fairly evident when do, so the admission is largely unnecessary.

    No, it would be better to just use it sensibly and reasonably. You are not using it sensibly (i.e. making reasonable, justifiable deductions based on reasonable assumptions), you are simply throwing out wild guesses based on some claims that you assume to be true because you read them in a book that you assume contains only truth. This is not even close to what scientists do. They have facts and evidence, you have a book and some conjecture.

    And at least one of your conjectures is demonstrably false. I noticed you didn’t address the point I made about the mutations we share with other species.

  79. #79 mothergooser
    September 7, 2008

    Leni doesn’t really know what a mutation is but never saw one she didn’t know was by accident.

    And how about this paragraph:
    “Wild conjecture does not become acceptable so long as we admit that it is conjecture. The key is most definitely not simply to “admit” we’ve used it. Anyway, it’s usually fairly evident when do, so the admission is largely unnecessary.”
    How drunk do you have to be to not only write that but to understand it?

  80. #80 JimCH
    September 7, 2008

    Randy…
    “…when you use expletives…”
    Which expletives? I used the phrase “…what the hell…” twice. That’s all that I can see. Is that what you’re talking about?

  81. #81 SLC
    September 7, 2008

    Re Randy

    For the benefit of Mr. Randy, I will repeat a comment I have made earlier, although I don’t know if I made it on this blog.

    One should understand that the origin of the universe (big bang theory), the origin of life (currently there is no agreed on theory), and the evolution of life (neo-Darwinian theory) are three separate and distinct theories which are independent of each other, provided the origin of life is defined as the appearance of the first replicators. Thus, the origin of the universe is a problem in physics/cosmology, the origin of life is a problem in chemistry, while the evolution of life is a problem in biology. In particular, the theory of the origin of life doesn’t depend on the theory of the origin of the universe, other then the requirement that the latter must provide an explanation for the occurrence of atoms of higher atomic weight (currently such atoms are assumed to be created in supernovae explosions). Similarly, the evolution of life doesn’t depend on the theory of the origin of life since it only become applicable after the first replicators have appeared.

  82. #82 mothergooser
    September 7, 2008

    SLC writes:
    “Similarly, the evolution of life doesn’t depend on the theory of the origin of life since it only become applicable after the first replicators have appeared.”
    But your attempt to separate the “theories” you mentioned into three neat and independent packages falls woefully short, especially as a rebuttal to the Randys of this world, who, if conceptually challenged, are nevertheless quite clever.
    Clearly the operational or functional nature of the replicators has to be useful in determining the nature and causes of their “creation.”

  83. #83 Randy
    September 7, 2008

    SLC,
    This argument fails:

    (You said) In particular, the theory of the origin of life doesn’t depend on the theory of the origin of the universe, other then the requirement that the latter must provide an explanation for the occurrence of atoms of higher atomic weight (currently such atoms are assumed to be created in supernovae explosions). Similarly, the evolution of life doesn’t depend on the theory of the origin of life since it only become applicable after the first replicators have appeared.

    You just said ” A and B exist but B does not depend on A, or wait, maybe it does to some extent. Similarly, B and C exist but C is not dependent on B.”

    If I force a similarity between the two parts of your logic equation, I must conclude that C is indeed dependent on B to some extent. But that is altogether not what you meant. Try again.

  84. #84 SLC
    September 7, 2008

    Re Randy

    Mr. Randy is very confused. B depending on A in no way, shape, form, or regard implies the C depends on B. Now it could be argued that C depends on A, because, in the absence of elements of atomic weight greater then hydrogen and helium, we would never have gotten to either B or C. However, B depending on A and C depending on A does not imply that C depends on B.

  85. #85 JimCH
    September 7, 2008

    Randy…
    I’m not interested in ganging up on you but I must say that I don’t much appreciate your style either. You complain about tone at the mildest “offense”, over-react, & use that as a sleight-of-hand diversionary tactic for avoidance.
    By the way, as has already been pointed out, your demonstrated grasp of formal logic seems to be — how did you put it? — sub-academic.

  86. #86 mothersgoose
    September 7, 2008

    C is the effect of previous causation, purposive or not, in which B was necessarily instrumental. Thus B’s causation cannot be ruled out as instrumental in C’s. Thus C’s nature cannot be ruled out as a means through which to discover the nature of B’s causation.

  87. #87 Randy
    September 7, 2008

    You did not understand my last post or you would not have disagreed with it. There is nothing to disagree with. The logic is not mine – it is SLC’s. Read it again.

  88. #88 mothersgoose
    September 7, 2008

    Randy, I’m disagreeing with SLC on that particular point – which doesn’t necessarily mean I agree with yours, or at least with your inferences.
    But he’s clearly no logician.

  89. #89 386sx
    September 7, 2008

    But he’s clearly no logician.

    Read it again! He said the same thing you said. He gave all those necessary caveats and stuff.

  90. #90 Leni
    September 7, 2008

    JimCh wrote:

    You complain about tone at the mildest “offense”, over-react, & use that as a sleight-of-hand diversionary tactic for avoidance.

    Sounds vaguely familiar.

    Welcome to my world, motherfucker >:D

    SLC is correct. The Theory of Evolution does not depend upon the theories of abiogenesis. My guess is that eventually they will, but even if that never happens the lack of a direct, demonstrable link to A or B in no way reduces the veracity of C.

    While it’s likely true that evolution could not have occurred without some prior abiogenesis, at this time the distinct scientific theories are not dependent on upon each other the way Randy suggests they ought to be. The evidence for evolution is strong and exists independently of A or B, and no doubt will continue to do so when, if ever, a direct causal link is scientifically established.

    As usual, and in the manner of JonS, the creationists feel the need to inject their own evidentially unsupported ideas in between A, B and C because that’s all they’ve got left: god in the gaps and arguments from ignorance.

  91. #91 mothergooser
    September 7, 2008

    Leni writes: “The Theory of Evolution does not depend upon the theories of abiogenesis. My guess is that eventually they will, but even if that never happens the lack of a direct, demonstrable link to A or B in no way reduces the veracity of C.”

    First, whichever actual theory of its abiogenesis is or is not correct, that likely has everything to do with the nature of the observations upon which the theory of life’s evolution has been based. So you not only don’t know enough to proclaim that one theory doesn’t depend on one of the others, you then say, well, maybe it will be discovered that you were wrong to say that.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with you being wrong. That’s apparently your designated role here. The designated emotional responder.

  92. #92 Randy
    September 7, 2008

    mothergoose,

    I apologize, my post was not directly to you though I guess it seemed that way. You are clearly the only one who sees the flaws in SLC’s logic as do I.

    You do not have to say the next line because I will say it for you – “our momentary agreement is in no wise an an implicit or explicit admission that you and I see eye to eye regarding the bigger picture at hand.”

  93. #93 386sx
    September 7, 2008

    I have a problem in that my science claims biogenesis (for the creationist that term would mean a pre-existant, living God created all life forms) yet I am unable to show him to you and thus prove my point.

    Oh well, keep praying! What makes you think that it would prove your point? If you could show people a pre-existEnt God, it doesn’t mean that it “poofed” all life forms. Even if it said it poofed everything, it could still be lying about it. Thank you for this insight into your most excellent logical skills.

  94. #94 386sx
    September 7, 2008

    That’s apparently your designated role here. The designated emotional responder.

    mothergooser, I think you and Randy are trolls. Have a nice day though!

  95. #95 Leni
    September 7, 2008

    First, whichever actual theory of its abiogenesis is or is not correct, that likely has everything to do with the nature of the observations upon which the theory of life’s evolution has been based.

    Again: I’m not saying it couldn’t or shouldn’t or can’t, but that we don’t currently have a working theory demonstrating that they do.

    Thus, the veracity of the Theory of Evolution does not depend on Big Bang Theory, or on various abiogenesis theories. If it did, it would probably say so right in the theory, somewhere. Wouldn’t it? Keep wishing all you want, but that won’t make it so.

    Until such time as it does, you’re just going to have to live with the fact that it doesn’t. Sorry to be so emotional.

    So you not only don’t know enough to proclaim that one theory doesn’t depend on one of the others…

    You have it exactly backwards. The fact that the Theory of Evolution does not depend in abiogenesis or Big Bang Theory is self evident. Saying that they do indeed scientifically depend upon each other at this time (as opposed to philosophically) requires “knowing” things that we, so far as I know, currently do not have evidence for. However, if you have some evidence to the contrary by all means present it.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with you being wrong. That’s apparently your designated role here. The designated emotional responder.

    Nice finish to an asinine and useless post, fon- I mean mothergoose. At least you’re managing to stay approximately on topic. That’s an improvement, at least.

    And as far as writing notes to oneself goes, take your own advice. Until you come up with something more interesting to back yourself up with than insults, this is the last time we converse.

  96. #96 mothersgoosed
    September 8, 2008

    Leni first writes: “The Theory of Evolution does not depend upon the theories of abiogenesis.”

    Later: “Again: I’m not saying it couldn’t or shouldn’t or can’t, but that we don’t currently have a working theory demonstrating that they do.”

    And: “If it did, it would probably say so right in the theory, somewhere.”

    How really silly you are. All theories depend on the unspoken assumptions that their factual foundations are reliable. Whatever the method of life’s initial formation, the nature of that formation would have its unique potential “built in” for its future development. That potential would be observable as a functioning apparatus, and without the necessity of knowing the root causes, the theory that most correctly explained and predicted life’s evolvement would be entirely dependent on how that original construction was observed.

    I don’t need to present evidence to disprove the accuracy of a contention that there is none out there. The burden to prove the negative remains with the naysayer.

    And of course you ARE the emotional responder. Your prose is replete with words and phrases such as wildly ridiculous, outrageous, murderous, etc., used as a substitute for rational or objective assessments. You assume a self-evidence that reflects a limited aptitude for complex analysis. (Your judgement lacks depth in other words.)

    You want to be seen as scientifically proficient or adept in some fashion, the exact discipline left deliberately vague. Your assessments are always of the probable wherever the possible is in tune with your desires. But never all that certain. Bets are almost always hedged. Emotions rule your roost.

    Last time we converse? One can only hope.

  97. #97 Leni
    September 8, 2008

    Good job sticking to the topic, fongooly. Mostly.

    All theories depend on the unspoken assumptions that their factual foundations are reliable.

    Sure. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they need to be interdependent in order to be true.

    Whatever the method of life’s initial formation, the nature of that formation would have its unique potential “built in” for its future development. That potential would be observable as a functioning apparatus, and without the necessity of knowing the root causes, the theory that most correctly explained and predicted life’s evolvement would be entirely dependent on how that original construction was observed.

    Again, you seem to have an inability to understand the difference between what we do have and what we could have. Are you a creationist by any chance?

    I don’t need to present evidence to disprove the accuracy of a contention that there is none out there. The burden to prove the negative remains with the naysayer.

    That’s not how it works, bucko.

    Again, are you a creationist? If you have evidence that Big Bang Theory, abiogenesis and the Theory of Evolution are causally related you should present it or, um, forever hold your peace.

    Of course, since you just launched this crap-bomb I have no reasonable expectation that either an explanation or silence will follow.

  98. #98 mothergoosedandcooked
    September 8, 2008

    Leni, you don’t understand the difference between what we think we know about what we have now and what we will find out we were wrong about later. In fact I’m not a creationist and am confident that we can determine eventually, from knowing more about how evolution works, much more about how life on earth originated. Which I’m also confident will rule out any supernatural or theistic origins. Unlike you and whatever your ilk, I’m not concerned with trying to win a debate with the creationists over any necessity to look or not look for the connections.

    They of course foresee a connection to be found in their favor – what’s the point of insisting such a connection couldn’t be found even if it existed? It’s sort of like lying back at them to counter their own self-deceptive projections. Just so much silliness.

    The point here is not that I claim evidence of specific causal relations with anything – it’s that you claim there is none that will change anything you think you know now.

    And did I say the theories need to be interdependent. I believe I pointed out that it’s illogical to say there’s no evidence that they might be. Too hard for your prosaic little mind to grasp, perhaps?

    And I note that you ducked the subject of your own alleged proficiency in this field, or in any related fields for that matter. Perhaps you’re just a crotchety old hermitess sitting in a room full of piled magazines and newspapers somewhere in the Bronx dreaming of what could have been if you could just get a good night’s sleep.

    And desperately conversing with your demons.

  99. #99 David Marjanovi?
    September 8, 2008

    As for Noah’s Ark, it’s important to show that scripture can be trusted. If we can demonstrate that Noah’s Ark was both possible and feasible, then that goes to demonstrate the reliability of scripture. If Noah’s Ark could be demonstrated to be false then why believe anything in scripture?

    Truly, the creationists are those of little faith.

    If Noah’s Ark was not possible and not feasible, why not simply assume it was yet another miracle? The story already requires hundreds of miracles (somebody counted them — I can’t find the website anymore, though). What is one more? Have you suddenly turned all scientist and want to apply the Principle of Parsimony to the Ineffable Word of God? Verily, ere the cock crows thrice… <violent shaking of hand with outstretched index finger>

    And if the story is bullshit, then why do you believe this says anything about the rest of the Bible? What is this Babylonian (ultimately Sumerian) story doing in Hebrew scripture in the first place!?!

    The same, incidentally, goes for the story of the creation of Eve. There’s a very, very similar Sumerian story about the creation of a goddess, and in Sumerian it even makes sense, because “life” (which is what “Eve” means) and “rib” were pronounced the same way in Sumerian. Sumerian mythology is chock full of puns — as is the Bible, but usually with puns that work in Hebrew, not in Sumerian.

    Where I come from, Jon, almost everyone is a Christian, and very, very few people are creationists or believe in Noah’s Ark. The argument from slippery slopes is a logical fallacy.

  100. #100 David Marjanovi?
    September 8, 2008

    We all use conjecture when we don’t have the answers, but the key is to admit it, which I have done, so what’s your point? Are you saying that you never rely on conjecture, or that scientists don’t ever rely on conjecture?

    Depends on what you mean by “rely”.

    Scientists speculate a lot, but then they test their speculations and throw away all those that turn out to contradict the observations.

    Speculations that cannot be tested even in principle are thrown out immediately — what good is an idea if, if it is wrong, we can’t find out that it’s wrong?

    Speculations that have been tested and have not been disproven are passed through a probability filter, the Principle of Parsimony: those speculations that require the smallest number of extra assumptions win.

    If there are several of those, scientists go back and try to find another way to test them.

    You, on the other hand, seem to propose giving up: “I can imagine a way to fill the gap in the story, so it could have worked, so it did work, hooray”.

    Scientists are content with saying “we don’t know yet”.

    It says something like this: he (meaning God) formed [the earth] to be inhabited. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=29&chapter=45&verse=18&version=9&context=verse
    Of course, the implied meaning of the verse would be that earth is the exclusive owner of life among all planets.)

    Like the rest of the Bible, this verse is written in a flat-earth context. The Earth is the bottom, and Heaven is the kettle above it, you understand? There are no “other planets” in this worldview, just moving dots of light in Heaven.

    You believe in an abiotic start to life, yet after at least 75 years of attempting to synthesize life in the laboratory, you have come up short. Worse, when you make comments like this, Why does evolutionary theory need to find other life in the universe to survive? you greatly limit your options. I have a hunch that many evolutionists would tend to disagree with you.

    Read up on the subject. Nobody has ever tried to synthesize life. The experiments that have been done were all intended to test if certain single steps in one of the several proposed chains of events are possible.

    There are good reasons to think that life is very common out there, but that intelligent or even just macroscopic life isn’t, and it’s, shall we say, difficult to find organisms comparable to bacteria deep in the crust of a planet through a telescope.

    right now every place we’ve ever looked we’ve demonstrated that the universe outside of earth is absolutely, positively dead, while earth flourishes.

    1) We still don’t even know if there’s life in the ocean under the ice of Europa.
    2) The extrasolar planets that are easiest to find are gas giants very close to their stars. That’s what we have found lots of, and they are all too hot for liquid water — duh. As far as I know, a single rocky planet in the right temperature range has so far been discovered, and we have no idea if there’s any life on it.

    Without an origin of life, you have no science.

    Nonsense. If you can’t explain the origin of life, you haven’t explained the origin of life yet. That’s all. Evolution starts when replication starts, no sooner. For the theory of evolution it does not matter at all if the first living cell was created or if it evolved out of lipid spheres with RNA inside.

    You believe the universe is over 13 billions years old because you accept and believe a uniformitarian or naturalistic process. I don’t.

    Then you’re not doing science. Here’s why: the Principle of Parsimony. You need to assume miracles. We don’t. You lose.

    I believe what’s recorded in scripture as my starting point

    You assume your very conclusion. This is circular logic, not science.

    You explain that science is a process whereby part of the criteria is that the hypothesis presented is falsifiable,and that our process is not science, whereas your process is? How is it that evolution is falsifiabe?

    Find me a single rabbit skeleton in Silurian rock, and the theory of evolution will be in deep trouble.

    Can you demonstrate in a laboratory that dinosaurs grew feathers, wings, avian lungs and such. Can you observe in the field a mammal going into the sea and becoming a whale? Did you an australopithecene evolve into man?

    Give me a very big laboratory and a couple million years, and I certainly can do all that. But I don’t need to. Science doesn’t require experiments, it only requires observations. Experiments are a convenient way of arranging the things we want to observe under controlled circumstances; this helps, but it isn’t necessary. The theory of evolution explains the fossil record and the extant diversity of life without contradictions. Either you come up with a theory that explains them even better, that is, with yet fewer extra assumptions — or you shut up. That’s how science works.

  101. #101 Opus
    September 8, 2008

    Maybe all the creationist folks who post here can help me with this question:

    Not only did Noah hav to find two of every species, but he had to make sure that he had carriers for all the vector-borne diseases we know today. He had to make sure that he had ticks with Lyme disease, mosquitoes with malaria and viral encephalitis, tsetse flies with encephalitis, etc. The list is endless.

    He also had to make sure that his family had syphilis, gonorrhea, Chancroid, Donovanosis, Lymphogranuloma venereum, Non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU) and pubic lice, just to mention a few.

    How did Noah manage to carry all these diseases without wiping out the human race?

  102. #102 JimV
    September 8, 2008

    Randy: and another thing, about that 100-year time limit of yours – including my grandparents, I have first or second-hand experience going back over 100 years, and in all that time, this god you say you are are looking for has not turned up (in the form of direct, credible evidence). When is your own time limit going to be up? (And in the meantime, evolution has been demonstrated in laboratory experiments on yeast, E. coli, and algae, including the evolution of a multi-celled organism from single-celled organisms.)

    It is at least suggestive to me, also, that this universe we find ourselves in, with its billions of billions of stars, and billions of years of age, as described previously on this thread, is exactly the sort of universe required for life to develop by random chance. If our cosmology were that of a flat earth under a dome, with simple light sources floating outside the dome, and roughly 10,000 years of age, that would falsify the ToE in its present form.

    To put it another way, the observations (fossil record, finches, etc.) which led Darwin, Russell, and others to conclude that evolution was responsible for the diversity of life on Earth could also be viewed as cosmological evidence for a bigger universe than was known of at that time (as well as for a genetic mechanism which was also not known). So in a way, I could say that the Big Bang Theory (some aspects of it, anyway) is a logical outgrowth of the ToE.

  103. #103 386sx
    September 8, 2008

    If Noah’s Ark could be demonstrated to be false then why believe anything in scripture?

    Man, that is one desperate freakin argument there dude. You cannot be for real. If you are, then man, you are one desperate creationist. That, or you got that argument from a seriously lame-o creationist apologetics book somewhere. Good freakin grief, man.

  104. #104 386sx
    September 8, 2008

    What is this Babylonian (ultimately Sumerian) story doing in Hebrew scripture in the first place!?!

    Easy. They’re all telling the same story about the same flood. More supporting evidence for the Bible! (That’s what a preacher once preached to us in a sermon when I was a little kid.)

  105. #105 386sx
    September 8, 2008

    How did Noah manage to carry all these diseases without wiping out the human race?

    I don’t know, but whatever it was, it wasn’t a miracle because the Bible usually tells us when God uses miracles to do stuff.

  106. #106 386sx
    September 8, 2008

    Easy. They’re all telling the same story about the same flood. More supporting evidence for the Bible! (That’s what a preacher once preached to us in a sermon when I was a little kid.)

    Apparently he was an expert on Babylonian Sumerian and other ancient history type stuff. Yeeaehhhh…

  107. #107 Jon S
    September 9, 2008

    Leni says “you’d do better to stay on topic and keep the proselytizing to yourself. I’m not interested.”

    I tend to stick to the topic until someone diverts from the subject by asking questions. If you don’t like my answers, then stop asking questions… or I just my answer them with a biblical response. If you don’t like it then perhaps you should leave your evolutionary proselytizing to yourself.

    Leni says “you are simply throwing out wild guesses based on some claims that you assume to be true because you read them in a book that you assume contains only truth. This is not even close to what scientists do. They have facts and evidence, you have a book and some conjecture.”

    If we know that the animals and people on the ark had to eat something, then, if scripture doesn’t specifically say what they ate, then we’re free to speculate on such matters. I still don’t get your argument. Why would it be unscientific to speculate that Noah could have used compressed hay, other dried plant material, seeds and grains, dried meat, reconstituted dried meat, or slaughtered animals? Can you demonstrate scientifically that this is not plausible? Since we can demonstrate that animals can eat these things, then we can freely speculate (or use conjecture) that it’s possible that these are options Noah had, no?

    Opus: Creationists do believe in speciation, which is distinct from evolution, in that it doesn’t assume that all organisms are related. The diseases and lifeforms you mention didn’t have to exist prior to the flood, and probably changed over time. Evolutionists tend to confuse what we can observe (change within an organism) and what we can’t observe (an ape changing into a man).

  108. #108 mothergooser
    September 9, 2008

    Jon S.
    We will now wait for Leni to point out that what you have just written is so dumb that you will know she is right as soon as you realize she is upset with you.

  109. #109 Leni
    September 16, 2008

    Fongooly, I’m not even reading your posts. I just sort of scroll by them. I’m sure whatever you have to say is devastating, I jut don’t care.

    JonS

    I tend to stick to the topic until someone diverts from the subject by asking questions.

    Oh. Questions bad. Got it.

    If you don’t like my answers, then stop asking questions…

    Gee, that sounds really like good advice. Can’t think where I’ve heard that one before.


    or I just my answer them with a biblical response. If you don’t like it then perhaps you should leave your evolutionary proselytizing to yourself.

    You are posting in a veritable cesspool of evolutionists.

    If you don’t like it, perhaps you should retreat to those places where people will not ask you questions. As things stand, here you are. And here am I.

    If we know that the animals and people on the ark had to eat something, then, if scripture doesn’t specifically say what they ate, then we’re free to speculate on such matters.

    Even when it makes no sense? Even when we all know Noah wasn’t a zoologist or a horticulturist?

    Suddenly when JonS thinks it’s ok we’re all free to speculate?

    I still don’t get your argument. Why would it be unscientific to speculate that Noah could have used compressed hay, other dried plant material, seeds and grains, dried meat, reconstituted dried meat, or slaughtered animals? Can you demonstrate scientifically that this is not plausible?

    I didn’t say it was “unscientific” so much as unrealistic. It’s only unscientific because you have no actual science to back these claims up.

    The short list of why it’s unrealistic is:

    1) Noah would not have known the difference between a male and a female of most species.
    2) He wouldn’t have known how to keep and house them, and
    3) He certainly would not have known how to keep them from dying from the stress of captivity.

    4) Even If he could build an ark.

    All without help, of course.

    Besides, I’m not the one making the claim that he could. You are. All this is your job. That you think you can show it could happen despite all indications otherwise, as I said, is only one of the many problems you face.

    Since we can demonstrate that animals can eat these things, then we can freely speculate (or use conjecture) that it’s possible that these are options Noah had, no?

    All you’ve done is speculate that some animals, in your perfect world, could survive on such things. You’ve yet to demonstrate that they could have or did.

    Got something besides “because I said do“?

    A) Noah has to know what they eat
    B) He had to find it for them in a timely manner and
    C) He had to provide it.

    How did that happen? You’ve shown none of these things.

    All you’ve done is offer some off the cuff, general speculation about it.

    Since we can demonstrate that animals can eat these things, then we can freely speculate (or use conjecture) that it’s possible that these are options Noah had, no?

    You haven’t demonstrated that “the animals” could have eaten anything, much less than that they would, or even did.

    All you did was mumble something unintelligible about hay and dried meat. Well, all animals don’t only eat hay or dried meat. What’s your point?

    Creationists do believe in speciation, which is distinct from evolution, in that it doesn’t assume that all organisms are related.

    It’s only distinct from evolution the way that parasites are distinct from their hosts. It takes from evolution what it needs to survive and discards the rest.

    The diseases and lifeforms you mention didn’t have to exist prior to the flood, and probably changed over time.

    Like pigs? Those horrible, unclean animals that we are all not only indebted to for much of our survival but related to?

    And “Probably changed over time”?

    See what I mean about parasitic?

    Evolutionists tend to confuse what we can observe (change within an organism) and what we can’t observe (an ape changing into a man).

    Apes didn’t “change into” men. We share a common ancestor.

    Get over it.